The Best Series Finales

56k votes 5.6k voters 105k views 156 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 and the best TV show endings 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 canceled, and make sure to add your favorite TV series finale/ending if it's not already on the list.

Collection Photo:  via hbo
  • 59 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,127
    - 695

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

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  2. 2
    + 1,688
    - 612

    added by HoserUSC
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,223
    - 821


    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

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  4. 4
    + 772
    - 586


    Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

    ;
  5. 5
    + 699
    - 576


    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

    ;
  6. 6
    + 539
    - 495


    Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

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  7. 7
    + 469
    - 517


    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

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  8. 8
    + 618
    - 560


    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

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  9. 9
    + 706
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    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

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  10. 10
    + 553
    - 710


    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

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  11. 11
    + 455
    - 471


    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

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  12. 12
    + 300
    - 376

    ranked high on reranks & added by BrianSkeith
    Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

    ;
  13. 13
    + 505
    - 794

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

    ;
  14. 14
    + 557
    - 1,041

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

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  15. 15
    + 314
    - 192

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

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  16. 16
    + 420
    - 288

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

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  17. 17
    + 282
    - 161

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

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  18. 18
    + 363
    - 501


    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

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  19. 19
    + 331
    - 476


    Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

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  20. 20
    + 381
    - 455


    Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

    ;
  21. 21
    + 310
    - 442


    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

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  22. 22
    + 462
    - 416

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

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  23. 23
    + 308
    - 483

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

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  24. 24
    + 326
    - 450

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

    ;
  25. 25
    + 367
    - 475


    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

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  26. 26
    + 403
    - 421

    ranked low on reranks & added by KennySlattery1
    Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

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  27. 27
    + 312
    - 325


    Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

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  28. 28
    + 168
    - 114

    ranked low on reranks & added by Ariel Kana
    Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

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  29. 29
    + 259
    - 426

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

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  30. 30
    + 376
    - 354

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

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  31. 31
    + 348
    - 328


    Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels

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  32. 32
    + 268
    - 378


    Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

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  33. 33
    + 233
    - 475

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

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  34. 34
    + 263
    - 325


    Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

    ;
  35. 35
    + 234
    - 326


    Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

    ;
  36. 36
    + 277
    - 405


    Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally

    ;
  37. 37
    + 209
    - 241


    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

    ;
  38. 38
    + 211
    - 318


    Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

    ;
  39. 39
    + 206
    - 319


    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

    ;
  40. 40
    + 238
    - 326

    added by Dismalhead
    Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

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  41. 41
    + 238
    - 250

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

    ;
  42. 42
    + 306
    - 463

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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 211
    - 369


    Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

    ;
  44. 44
    + 205
    - 288


    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

    ;
  45. 45
    + 77
    - 117

    added by phoebelouise
    Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

    ;
  46. 46
    + 185
    - 406

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 193
    - 288


    Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

    ;
  48. 48
    + 88
    - 68

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 113
    - 243

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Conrad, Richard Anderson, David Janssen

    ;
  50. 50
    + 101
    - 239

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mihaly 'Michu' Meszaros, Paul Fusco, Max Wright

    ;
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