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16 Teen Shows That Ended With One Final Emotional Gut Punch

March 2, 2021 360 votes 51 voters16 items

List RulesVote 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. 

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  • 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! 

    Emotional moment?
  • 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. 

    Emotional moment?
  • The whole crux of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that there can only be one girl activated with the Slayer power, which is what makes Buffy so special and so powerful.

    But in "Chosen," Buffy and Willow decide to cast a spell so that all the Potentials can be activated with the power. A lot of fans have questions about how this actually works - doesn't it sort of undo everything? - but it's an optimistic ending to the series, empowering teen girls everywhere to harness their inner witchy side.

    Emotional moment?
  • Photo: ABC Family

    If anything, The Secret Life of the American Teenager showed that being a teen mom is full of its own unique issues, but it doesn't have to derail someone's life. Amy proves that by canceling her engagement to Ricky and heading off to college. While the series ending is open-ended, it concludes with Ricky reading their son a bedtime story and ending it with "and she lived happily ever after," obviously a nod to Amy. 

    In an interview with MTV, series creator Brenda Hampton confirms that it was all, actually, a happy ending. She imagines Amy's life like this:

    No, Amy did not come back from New York. After a couple of years, Ricky and John moved to New York, along with George, Amy’s dad and John’s grandpa. The cross-country travel while taking on college was just too stressful for Amy, but no one wanted to see her abandon her dreams, so everyone came to her. That’s right, Grandpa George, Ricky, and John all in an apartment in Brooklyn Heights, all so Amy could be with John more often while getting her degree. But they were a safe distance away over the Brooklyn Bridge, and she remained in the dorm for a few years.

    Emotional moment?