The 10 Most ‘WTF’ Television Series Finales

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

7. Seinfeld: “The Finale”

wtf television series finales seinfeld The 10 Most WTF Television Series Finales

WTF? They’re on trial.

The series finale of Seinfeld is one of the few WTF finales on the list that needs no explanation. After 9 seasons of hilarious predicaments from the puffy shirt, the double-dip and the Soup Nazi, 76 million viewers tuned into the final episode.  As it turns out, the joke was on us; we had to sit through an hour-long train wreck as Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George were put on trial for breaking the Good Samaritan Law and being a bad influence.

The episode ended up a mash-up clip-show and unwanted reunion with every iconic character from the series past. Perhaps the episode would have been better received if NBC hadn’t already aired an hour-long clip show before the start of the finale.

Either way, the series finale of Seinfeld was not only a terrible episode, but a horrible way to say goodbye to four characters and an amazing TV series that brought us so many laughs.

Thankfully, the series was partly redeemed in the quasi-Seinfeld reunion during the most recent season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

You can take a look at some of the horrible Seinfeld finale below.

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TAGS: 24, Lost
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  1. WTF:

    When I watched this, back in the day, I thought that it was the most amazing sequence ever. The ending shot is recursive. It is a comment on the fractal nature of the Universe. Everything is the same everywhere, some days are bad and somedays are bad, but it is alll just what you make of it.

    • It would be somewhat helpful to know which series you’re talking about.

  2. I can’t believe there was no mention of Roseanne. That mess was whack!

  3. “St. Elsewhere” is often cited as the best surprise ending of any US TV series (“Newhart” is the other strong contender). “The Sopranos” isn’t too hard to figure out: Tony got whacked in the diner. “The Prisoner” finale makes perfect sense if you catch Leo McKern’s inflection in the opening voiceover: he’s not telling Patrick McGoohan “you are Number Six”, he’s answering his question “who is Number One?”: “*you are*, Number Six”. He was never actually in The Village, the whole series is what is playing out in his mind might happen to him as he drives to tender his resignation.

    • bollocks

      • I’ll ditto that bollocks. Sopranos ending is not obvious – as it is the last ep, the viewer will NEVER really know if Tony gets whacked, which may be realistic (a gangster’s life can always go either way)but makes for an unsatisfying finale. If Tony was whacked FOR SURE, they would have been idiots not to show it – why shy away from the graphic for the ending of one of the most graphic shows ever televised? Newhart was great but the St. Elsewhere ending was beyond idiotic – it was akin to the Dallas season that got written off as “Bobby’s Dream” – it’s not clever, it’s a cliche way for writers to get out of the corner they’ve written themselves into. Dinosaurs ending still upsets me and I wasn’t even a child then – that should have been at Number 1 for the show staff’s incredible arrogance – thinking their political point of view (one I would ordinarily agree with) re: global warming should be shoved down people’s (esp. children’s) throats on a comedy show, even ones with previous, more subtle messages. Never saw the Prisoner so no call on that one.

        • The Sopranos ending was not obvious, but once the camera sequence was realized the ending is clear. Throughout the series, there were three perspectives, the audience, any given character, and Tony’s view. Go back and look at the final sequence again.

          In the final sequence, the camera bounced from audience perspective, to a character perspective, and to Tony’s perspective. We saw Meadow’s struggle with parking or Tony’s family at the table, to Tony from his son’s or wife’s perspective, and then to Tony’s perspective who was looking towards the door and that bell for meadow’s arrival. It was a sequence that played over and over. The last shot we see is Tony looking up at the bell (his son’s perspective). The next shot would have been Tony’s perspective towards the door, but there was nothing. Fade to black.

          Anyone who doesn’t see this simply doesn’t want to see it. The ending was brilliant but, like so many, I didn’t see it at first.

  4. I liked the end of the Sopranos. With Tony’s lifestyle, it shows that he cannot relax. He always has to be suspicious of anyone and everyone he does and doesn’t know. They focused on the guy that kept looking at him, and when he got up to go to the bathroom. They focused on Meadow trying to park her car, building up to the possibility of something happening to her. If you’re an avid viewer of the show it was actually very suspenseful. And that last moment when you hear the bell ring and Tony looks up. Was it Meadow coming in? Was it someone coming in to put an end to Tony? Or did life just go on for the family? I guess the viewer gets to draw his or her own conclusion…

  5. End of the Sopranos….Tony gets whacked live with it

    • Yes. Tony gets whacked….Precisely because he wasn’t being as careful as he should be.

  6. And the end of ANGEL ! Did you see the end of Angel ?! I couldn’t believe my eyes, such a great show and such a bad end ….

    • Bad?! It was brilliant! I actually think it was a ballsy, very Whedonesque move, to end a series on such an open cliffhanger. It’s an invitation to let the viewer’s imagination run wild, which is an exception in the TV world where we’re a little too used to the opposite: usually the writers feel the need to leash our imagination by explaining everything. Now if you really need to know what happened next, go read the Angel comics.

      • Why read the Angel comics if you can imagine the ending?, lets go further, why see the damn series if you can imagine all by yourself?

        • Bingo! You’ve hit the nail on the head. Have heard so many people declaring that a vague ending is more artistically true or philosophically true (as life goes on) or some other gobbledygook like that – bottom line: if the series has never been nebulous, the ending should not be. Otherwise you’re cheating the viewers who like the show for what it is.

  7. to me, the most wtf tv ending of all time was the traumatic last episode of MK: Konquest. i mean, come on! shao khan killing off both heroes and villains and making lord rayden kneel before him? what were they thinking, man? it was so traumatic when i was 15 that i promised myself to never watch another series passionately

    • Well, the show got abruptly cancelled. It’s not like the writers wanted to end it that way

  8. The ending of Sopranos was the best episode of the series. It was a perfect ending. =)

  9. Sopranos: Tony, the egomaniac that he is, wins. He survived it all, yet, death is all around him, and as the camera cuts all over, he is watching.. every last inch of the place, just incase… always having to look over is shoulder, never really safe, yet, such a huge ego, and so powerful, he sits there with his family. Careless and happy. His wife lives in riches, his son get’s a fancy job, all based on Tonys “business”… meanwhile, Tony, the target of many, is in plain site, worrying about Onion rings, while Meadow drivers her fancy car that she can’t even park… All is happy in Soprano land… or is it? He’ll never be able to let his guard down. The guys in the corner? The couple? That man at the bar? The person who just barged into the Diner?

  10. Well the finale of Quantum Leap makes more sense given Sam’s desires to set things right. I personally dislike lists like this because they skim over the episode. It was set up, but Bellisarius went heavy-handed at the end just to make sure there was no one that didn’t understand that the entire series was based on Sam’s sub-conscious and his understanding right from wrong.

    The people that slam the final season of Roseanne, they also miss the point, given the fact that the season starts out with Dan having a major heart attack. They could’ve played in straight, but they didn’t they went down a dythymic/borderline world with Roseanne and how would she cope with this very, very major blow.

  11. Hey what about the Twin Peaks finale? No one ever mention the WTF we all experienced when watching that. It made absolutely no sense and didn’t actually explain anything.

    • That’s the beauty of David Lynch’s genius. Actually, the entire series is one big WTF moment and I wouldn’t want it any other way… except that I’d love more David Bowie in there.

    • That last episode was not mean’t to be a series finale, just a cliffhanger season finale. TP was cancelled due to low ratings, once they resolved the murder of Laura Palmer people just weren’t interested any more. Plus the series was losing it’s edge because Lynch more or less stop participating in it. He came back to it later on, but it was too late.

  12. Clearly whoever made this list hasn’t seen Neon Genesis Evangelion.

  13. You forgot “House”..aweful ending!

  14. The ending of the sopranos is very easy:Is all about family…That’s why he pull the song “Dont stop believing” of journey…Because of everything he have in the all series the only thing that he still have is his family…Not a bad ending like everyone says…Of course if you understanding

  15. you forgot to add “The L Word” that was a major WTF for many.

    • True. After the series finale, they were supposed to make a movie that would be its direct sequel, but we’re still waiting for it to happen. Any news?

  16. Yes, but who is number one.

  17. I think that The Secret Life of an American Teenager should be on there

  18. The thinking mans doctor who um no NO see doctor who IS the thinking mans dr who.

  19. I disagree about the synopsis of the Quantum Leap ending and it’s inclusion on this list, although I respect the opinion. A lot of pertinent information was left out in it’s judgment. For one, Sam was given a choice of one last jump. Instead of jumping home he choose to jump to change the timeline in order for his best friend Al to have a better life, partly because of the guilt he felt after one leap where he was able to save his brother from being killed in the Vietnam War, but at the cost of causing Al, a prisoner of war at the time, to suffer more at the hands of the enemy. The bartender who gave him the choice was meant to represent “God” or some higher being that informed Sam that he was using him for a greater purpose. As he tells Sam, it was always his (Sam’s) own choice to return home and if he continues, the jumps will get harder. Sam WANTED to continue jumping because of his inherent goodness.

    • @AP

      Still doesn’t explain how they misspelled his name…

  20. I think I’m the only person on the planet who was upset with the Will & Grace finale…Or maybe I’m just the only person on the planet who watched the show. Either way, I remember crying.

    • Lol I do watch that show infact it has to be my most favorite mainly due to the greatest tv character I have ever seen–the extremely humorous jack McFarland.i mean the finale usually has to achieve a purpose to solve an obstacle presented earlier in the season or throughout the entire series which in this case was the nature of their friendship and it’s importance as well was its hinderence in their personal lives so it could not have all been happy.i did adore Karen and jacks ending because it felt true to their character with karen maintainsing her youth and abusing Rosario and jack inherenting all that money in the way as unconventional as he was. I know it was hard to see will and grace lose their spark after just 2 years of separation but regaining it all back after 18 years but that’s what “fate” or “destiny” (I don’t which one will said brought them together) it showed how magical and strong of bond they shared that just felt right even after that dispute because the first time jack and Karen brought them together but the second time it was their fate the very fate that made them friends in the first place.with relationships that beautiful you don’t have to force them they just rekindle like they have never been broken in the first place. Sorry I justreally love that show and u r the very first person I know to have acknowledged its existence