The Best Series Finales

48k votes 4.8k voters 93k views 159 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Finale episodes of TV shows

This list of the best series finales in television is a somber reminder that no matter how much you love a TV character or a show, in time, they all will end. Your favorite TV couple, your favorite villain, and even your favorite television businesses will all close up shop at some point, and these are the best final episodes of those series that are no longer on the air. And believe it or not, some of the best TV shows ever didn't make the list because they straight up had bad finales.

This list includes the greatest television series finales in the history of television, ranked by TV viewers who had a strong reaction - good or bad - to the final episodes of their favorite shows. Some of these TV shows had the highest ranked series finales of all time while others are on the list simply for resonating with their fans. Some series finales, like the final episode of Newhart, are still talked about because people can't believe the show actually ended that way. Others, like M*A*S*H, rank high because they were emotionally fulfilling to the fans who had turned on their TVs and opened their lives to those most loved TV characters week after week, right up until the end.

What show had the best series finale? That's what this list is here to decide. Remember, the top series finales both wrapped up the storylines AND left viewers wanting more. Go easy on the series finales that came as a result of a show being cancelled, and make sure to add your favorite TV series finale/ending if it's not already on the list.

Collection Photo:  via hbo
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  1. 1
    + 1,008
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    M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Series Finales

    the people's #1 & most listed
    M*A*S*H Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

  2. 2
    + 1,375
    - 541
    Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by HoserUSC
    Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

  3. 3
    + 1,083
    - 703
    Friends is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Friends Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

  4. 4
    + 677
    - 526
    Newhart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Newhart Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

  5. 5
    + 638
    - 510
    Cheers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Cheers Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

  6. 6
    + 483
    - 439
    The Tonight Show Starring John... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

  7. 7
    + 538
    - 494
    Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Six Feet Under Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

  8. 8
    + 626
    - 511
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

  9. 9
    + 408
    - 454
    Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

  10. 10
    + 403
    - 418
    Frasier is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Frasier Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

  11. 11
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    - 632
    The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The Sopranos James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

  12. 12
    + 270
    - 327
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by BrianSkeith
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

  13. 13
    + 239
    - 119
    Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Series Finales

    ranked low on reranks & added by SensitivePsych0
    Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

  14. 14
    + 444
    - 696
    Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

  15. 15
    + 329
    - 456
    ER is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Series Finales


    ER Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

  16. 16
    + 494
    - 921
    Lost is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lost Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

  17. 17
    + 417
    - 379
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Series Finales

    ranked low on reranks
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

  18. 18
    + 286
    - 431
    The Wire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Wire Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

  19. 19
    + 348
    - 246
    House is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Series Finales

    ranked low on reranks & added by detectivepookie
    House Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

  20. 20
    + 277
    - 396
    24 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Series Finales


    24 Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

  21. 21
    + 342
    - 421
    The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The Wonder Years Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

  22. 22
    + 296
    - 414
    Home Improvement is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Home Improvement Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

  23. 23
    + 274
    - 437
    Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

  24. 24
    + 195
    - 114
    The Office is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Series Finales

    ranked low on reranks & added by ludwig848
    The Office Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer 2005

  25. 25
    + 323
    - 435
    Angel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Angel David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

  26. 26
    + 350
    - 386
    Scrubs is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by KennySlattery1
    Scrubs Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

  27. 27
    + 343
    - 322
    Charmed is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by Dismalhead
    Charmed Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

  28. 28
    + 115
    - 77
    Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by Ariel Kana
    Parks and Recreation Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

  29. 29
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    - 298
    Boy Meets World is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Boy Meets World Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels

  30. 30
    + 231
    - 383
    Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Quantum Leap Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

  31. 31
    + 282
    - 297
    The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The Golden Girls Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

  32. 32
    + 237
    - 346
    Full House is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Full House Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

  33. 33
    + 219
    - 438
    The Cosby Show is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Cosby Show Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

  34. 34
    + 259
    - 370
    Will & Grace is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Will & Grace Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally

  35. 35
    + 218
    - 293
    Everybody Loves Raymond is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

  36. 36
    + 238
    - 295
    Smallville is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Smallville Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

  37. 37
    + 210
    - 297
    The Shield is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by Dismalhead
    The Shield Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

  38. 38
    + 287
    - 433
    Leverage is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by Ann-CatrinJansson
    Leverage Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane

  39. 39
    + 187
    - 215
    Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Happy Days Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

  40. 40
    + 218
    - 221
    Married... with Children is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Series Finales

    ranked low on reranks
    Married... with Children Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

  41. 41
    + 189
    - 342
    Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Friday Night Lights Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

  42. 42
    + 192
    - 291
    All in the Family is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Series Finales


    All in the Family Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

  43. 43
    + 182
    - 287
    The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

  44. 44
    + 181
    - 264
    Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Magnum, P.I. Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

  45. 45
    + 59
    - 90
    30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Series Finales

    added by phoebelouise
    30 Rock Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

  46. 46
    + 176
    - 268
    Family Ties is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Family Ties Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

  47. 47
    + 58
    - 44
    Justified is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Series Finales

    ranked low on reranks & added by WestenBabb
    Justified Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

  48. 48
    + 125
    - 230
    The King of Queens is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Series Finales


    The King of Queens Kevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller

  49. 49
    + 131
    - 201
    Who's the Boss? is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Series Finales


    Who's the Boss? Tony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano

  50. 50
    + 154
    - 376
    Chuck is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Series Finales

    often listed & added by WarrenMitchell
    Chuck Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez

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