16 Teen Shows That Ended With One Final Emotional Gut Punch

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Vote up the series endings that made you tear up.

Teens are many things, but they're mostly dramatic. Which is why everyone, teens and adults alike, are so easily hooked on teen TV shows, which are never lacking in melodrama. Whether it's harnessing supernatural powers or saying goodbye to beloved characters, all teen shows have their gut-wrenching moments, usually near the end of the series. It's then that they close the doors of their classrooms, pay tribute to characters who have passed, or finally reach their #RelationshipGoals.

Here are some of the most tear-jerking teen drama series finale moments - grab your tissues and de-puffing eye masks because you're going to need them. 


  • 'Boy Meets World' Ends With Feeney Saying Goodbye To An Empty Classroom 
    Photo: ABC

    While it's now sort of a cliche, you have to love when a series ends with someone turning off a light or closing a door as a final goodbye to the set. It happens in Friends, Fresh Prince, and most heartbreakingly in Boy Meets World, when Mr. Feeney is seen in the empty classroom where it all started.

    He tells the empty chairs - and fans bawling at home - that he loves them all. Class dismissed indeed! 

    247 votes

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  • In 'Dawson's Creek,'  Dying Jen Makes A Video For Her Daughter To Watch
    Photo: The WB

    At the time, the mere fact that Dawson's Creek was coming to an end was enough of a loss for fans, but they didn't have to go so hard at bringing closure to the characters' stories. The two-part finale sees Jen succumb to a fatal heart condition, but not before Dawson, ever the filmmaker, helps her make a video for her daughter, Amy. 

    As soon as she starts with, "If you're seeing this, then I'm not here anymore," tissues are needed! One of her main wishes is for her daughter to spend time at the beach, since the ocean "makes you dream." Ugh, just tear our hearts out now, thank you very much. Jen ends up passing with Gram by her side and Amy in Jack's custody, making the goodbye all the more heartfelt. 

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  • In 'Glee,' Sue Dedicates The School Auditorium To The Dearly Departed Finn
    Photo: Fox

    Fans were devastated when actor Cory Monteith, who played Finn on Glee, passed. They also wrote his character off the show, though no cause of death was given. Kurt explains on the show that it doesn't matter how a person goes, but how they lived their life.

    Finn's legacy lives on, though, when Sue, now vice principal, dedicates the auditorium to him at the high school at the end of the series. For a high school jock turned glee club member, there's no better honor. 

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    76 VOTES

    In 'The O.C.,'  Future Ryan Sees Another Street Kid Just Like He Was And Asks If He Needs Help 

    In 'The O.C.,'  Future Ryan Sees Another Street Kid Just Like He Was And Asks If He Needs Help 
    Photo: Fox

    Don't you just love a series finale with a flash-forward to let you know that all your beloved characters end up okay?

    After four seasons, The O.C. graced fans with just that, and in one of the more poignant moments, we learned that Ryan has become a famous architect. But he never forgets his roots - he sees a street kid while on a building project, and it reminds him of his life before ever meeting the Cohens. "Hey, kid, need help?" might be one of the most tear-jerking moments in teen show history. 

    76 votes
  • In '13 Reasons Why,' Justin Succumbs To HIV/AIDS
    Photo: Netflix

    When someone collapses in the penultimate episode of a series, it's never a good thing - especially for Justin in 13 Reasons Why, who succumbs to HIV/AIDS. It's sort of a sloppy plotline, as it's revealed that he had contracted HIV while living on the streets as an addict, and it had developed into AIDS, leading him to contract a fatal case of pneumonia.

    It's mostly sloppy because it's hard to imagine that Justin could have been so sick without having seen a doctor who could have caught it and treated it earlier, as it's fairly common in the US. Instead of using the finale as a platform to raise awareness about the real, contemporary reality of HIV/AIDS treatment, the writers fell into a common trope about HIV being a "death sentence" for this LGBTQ+ character. It's mostly tragic because it's an unnecessary demise for the character, who definitely deserved better. 

    77 votes

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  • In 'One Tree Hill,' Flashing Forward To The Future, Jamie Beats His Dad’s Basketball Record
    Photo: The CW

    The One Tree Hill finale is two full hours of tear-jerking moments and time-jumps. Everyone gets a happy ending - which is always nice - but especially Haley and Nathan, the show's OTP.

    In a time-jump, the group is all reunited at the high school to watch their son, Jamie, play basketball. And he ends up beating his dad's record. If you weren't sobbing, you have no soul. 

    68 votes

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