Everyone remembers the saddest television finales — Six Feet Under, Boy Meets World, Cheers — but it's much easier to forget about TV show happy endings that are actually sad. As is often the case in film, series finales are usually presented in a positive light, but turn out to be kind of bleak when you start to think about them.
This insidious phenomenon is especially common in sitcoms, as those worlds tend to have a glossy sheen to them that helps keep the action light and playful. Although this picturesque facade gels smoothly with the majority of comedy series, it's hard to put a positive spin on a conclusive event, and close inspection of some series enders reveals that all that glitters isn't gold.
Of course, the confusion isn't limited to sitcoms. There's really no genre that's safe, and when a later season of a show takes a dip in quality, chances are good that the final episode will be certifiably tone deaf. Even though some TV series with deceptively sad finales wrap up in a satisfying manner, it's always a little jarring when a lighthearted show takes a melancholic left turn.