The Best Series Finales

47k votes 4.6k voters 91k views 157 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
    + 990
    - 572

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,319
    - 528

    added by HoserUSC
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,050
    - 690


    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

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  4. 4
    + 670
    - 511


    Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

    ;
  5. 5
    + 625
    - 502


    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

    ;
  6. 6
    + 477
    - 430


    Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

    ;
  7. 7
    + 525
    - 485


    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

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  8. 8
    + 616
    - 501


    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

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  9. 9
    + 396
    - 449


    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

    ;
  10. 10
    + 394
    - 412


    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

    ;
  11. 11
    + 264
    - 319

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

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  12. 12
    + 454
    - 621


    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

    ;
  13. 13
    + 435
    - 685


    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

    ;
  14. 14
    + 321
    - 447


    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

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  15. 15
    + 485
    - 901

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

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  16. 16
    + 230
    - 111

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

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  17. 17
    + 280
    - 424

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

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  18. 18
    + 337
    - 415


    Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

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  19. 19
    + 290
    - 408


    Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

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  20. 20
    + 405
    - 373

    ranked low on reranks
    Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

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  21. 21
    + 319
    - 426


    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

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  22. 22
    + 326
    - 241

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

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  23. 23
    + 271
    - 388

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

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  24. 24
    + 271
    - 430

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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 340
    - 378

    added by KennySlattery1
    Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

    ;
  26. 26
    + 336
    - 316

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

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  27. 27
    + 184
    - 110

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

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  28. 28
    + 229
    - 377

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

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  29. 29
    + 303
    - 295


    Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels

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  30. 30
    + 274
    - 294


    Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

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  31. 31
    + 107
    - 72

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

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  32. 32
    + 232
    - 341


    Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

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  33. 33
    + 217
    - 430

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

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  34. 34
    + 251
    - 364


    Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally

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  35. 35
    + 216
    - 285


    Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

    ;
  36. 36
    + 233
    - 292


    Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

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  37. 37
    + 203
    - 293

    added by Dismalhead
    Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

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  38. 38
    + 283
    - 428

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 214
    - 218

    ranked low on reranks
    Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

    ;
  40. 40
    + 181
    - 213


    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

    ;
  41. 41
    + 189
    - 288


    Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

    ;
  42. 42
    + 178
    - 280


    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

    ;
  43. 43
    + 179
    - 261


    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

    ;
  44. 44
    + 54
    - 86

    added by phoebelouise
    Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

    ;
  45. 45
    + 186
    - 337


    Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

    ;
  46. 46
    + 173
    - 265


    Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

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  47. 47
    + 57
    - 39

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

    ;
  48. 48
    + 123
    - 227


    Kevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller

    ;
  49. 49
    + 128
    - 200


    Tony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano

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  50. 50
    + 149
    - 371

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

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158 +

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