The 10 Most ‘WTF’ Television Series Finales

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

top 10 wtf series finales The 10 Most WTF Television Series Finales

Everybody loves television. If you don’t, you’re lying and if you’re not lying then why are you reading an an article about television? Either way, week after week, hundreds of millions of people tune into their favorite televisions shows.

Each year, a select few series must come to an end – either by their own choosing or because of cancellation. In a series finale, writers are forced to find a way bring together everything that viewers have seen in the past seasons and provide a conclusion that leaves fans feeling justified for investing so countless hours watching over the years.

Due to the recent Lost series finale outcry, we put together a list of the top television series finales – not the best ones, not the worst ones, but the ones that make you say, “WTF?”

While I’m sure that many finales could fit this bill, we’ve narrowed it down (using an extremely complicated and nerdy mathematical formula) to the top ten. Some finales that were considered, but not included are Roseanne, The X-Files, Felicity, Veronica Mars, Twin Peaks, M*A*S*H (yes, M*A*S*H) and the aforementioned Lost series finale.

Although, with over 1,700 comments (and counting) in our Lost finale explanation piece, it does appear that maybe I should amend this article and include it as an honorable mention.

Be warned, if there are now-canceled TV shows that you plan to watch on DVD or Blu-ray, this article contains MASSIVE spoilers about what many would consider the most critical episode in a television series entire run.

You have been warned…

In any case, sit back, relax… and get ready to say, “WTF?”

10. Life On Mars (US): “Life Is a Rock”

wtf television series finales life on mars us The 10 Most WTF Television Series Finales

WTF? It’s literally about life on (the way to) Mars.

What better way to start off a WTF list then with an Americanized version of a popular British television show. While the U.K. version of Life on Mars was a brilliant series, the U.S. version paled in comparison. This was never more obvious than in the terrible series finale.

The story of Sam Tyler, a modern-day police detective, who gets hit by a car in 2008 (2006 in the U.K. series) and wakes up in 1973 was a brilliant premise. The mystery of the series was whether or not Sam Tyler actually traveled back in time, is dead or simply in a coma.

After 17 episodes (that’s 1 more episode than the U.K. series had), it was revealed that Sam Tyler had not actually traveled back in time, nor was he was dead or in a coma.

As it turns out, Sam Tyler was actually an astronaut on the first manned mission to Mars, sleeping in a hibernation chamber. The chamber was equipped with computer software that helped the astronauts dream about whatever they wanted. Unfortunately, Sam Tyler’s computer screwed up and thus created the world of 1973.

Suffice to say, this is nowhere near the brilliant ending of the original version. While I won’t spoil it for you, I will tell you that the U.K. version of Life on Mars was voted the #1 greatest TV ending of all time.

You can check out both the terrible U.S. ending as well as the far superior U.K. ending, but if you were at all interested in this series on ABC, I implore you to seek out the original version – you won’t be disappointed.

U.S. Ending

U.K. Ending

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TAGS: 24, Lost
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  1. MEDIUM won, after all.

  2. The Dinosaur one just makes me sad. I loved that show when I was a kid. I guess despite how similar the fat, stupid, dad character we see in cartoons and kids shows Earl takes the place of the stupidest since he’s the only one who successfully destroyed the world.

  3. What about Lost?

    • Yeah what about LOST? That storytelling wreck of epic proportions aired its finale a month before this article was written, plenty of time to include it in the number 0 spot; Zero because its so bad its worse then the #1 spot.

      Of all the WTF series endings LOST is the one that most screwed the public with its writers need for some artistic ending that few if anyone would be happy with. Sometimes if wonder if the creative bozos (not Spielberg but Damon Lindelof and the other guy whose name I can’t rcall right now) did it deliberately as one big literary joke at the expensive of the viewing public. Its not that the explinatio iin the end was so bad although it was also less then what was expected, but that the thing had so many holes and plot threads that the creators clearly had no plans on ever following thru with.

      LOST is deserving of the top of this list and God help us if anything worse manages to top it.

    • No one bothered to watch Lost to the end :-D

      • I only watched the first season i think it got weird after that!

  4. even enterprise was a bull ending..

  5. WTF? He was killed at the end in Sopranos. A few shows before he had asked his buddy what he thought happened after you died and his answer was “it just goes black”.

    • @sybil; yeeeeeaaaahhhh, that’s not the line…

  6. one word: newhart!

  7. The shield sold of been on here that ending still messes my head up, the shield, the sopranos and lost were my worst WTF endings wish I stopped all 3 of them before the last season

  8. The end is tailored on the Godfather’s one. Tony Soprano’s end will be just like the final scene from the movie. Look at both in parallel.

  9. Umm… WTF? Is this a joke? You add seinfeld who just put the people on trial from the start of it but ignore Roseanne? You know where the ending tells us the whole show is just a story that she made up after her husband died and the rest of the family left her…

    That is far up there with St.Elsewhere’s it’s all in a kid’s head…

  10. I would think more into the Seinfeld and Sopranos ending. The Sopranos ending featured characters in the diner connected to tony’s past and it all had to do with the uncertainty of his life and how little control of it he actually has despite what his ego might lead him to believe. Examples of this pop up quite often throughout the series, so i give David Case credit for staying true to that notion, cause that is ultimately what the show is about. A man who is trying to gain control in both his personal and “professional” life while dealing with the obstacles that both present. But i understand why that would be hard to ascertain because it isn’t the most clear message. So it makes that it is on the list. In regards to Seinfeld, the ending is great because it encompasses the essence of what the show was about which was 4 selfish people acting selfishly with each of them enabling each others self centered behavior. Was the finale kind of a cop-out cause it just re-used all of the funniest moments? Maybe, but the moments they recall in the trial are a showcase of all four individuals most selfish acts that were 90% of the time encouraged directly or indirectly by one or all of them, and 100% of the time caused both physical and mental harm to anyone that wasn’t one of the four of them..except newman. Therefore when all these moments are reiterated back to them there is no way out of it because the only people that would reassure them of their own innocence on each isolated incident were each other or they were doomed to re-commit acts of selfishness time and time again because they only had each other as a judge and jury. With those options they would never truly judge each others actions, at risk of having to do the same for they didn’t. In the end, everyone that ever encountered their apathy filled antics takes up that judgement revealing the quasi-psychotic-narssistic-personalities they truly are. The punishment: Each other. So idk.. it’s kind of brilliant especially when you consider that the show ended on top of it’s game. So i would reconsider putting The Sopranos a little lower on the list and completely removing Seinfeld especially when series finales like Rosanne and Lost are not on the list. I mean Lost? C’mon

    • alright but what about the fact that it’s a clip show and they aired a clip show directly before it thats some horrible planning lol

  11. Definitely agree Lost should’ve been up there. Strange yet predictable to see all the fans of that horrible show defending it as if the show as well as the ending wasn’t just meandering crap that made no sense.

    • Why? Because you didn’t understand it?

  12. Thanks , I’ve just been searching for info about this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have found out so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive about the supply?

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  14. Actually, the final moments of The Prisoner finale imply that the omnipresent, (apparently) subservient dwarf butler was Number One all along.

  15. Still pissed about the Sopranos.

  16. Let’s just hope How I Met Your Mother doesn’t end up on this list? Am I right?!

  17. I remember watching the final episode of David the Gnome as a child. It was my favorite show and I remember freaking out and crying for a long time over it…or long time to a kid, so like for an hour until my Mom could explain reruns and syndication. Still that was really f’d up and scarred my little kiddie brain. I’m glad someone acknowledged how messed up it was for a kids show.

  18. Good post. but didn’t anyone hate the ‘Six Feet Under’ ending as much as I did? I watched through my fingers shouting “stop please stop”

  19. The Soprano’s ending seemed sinister to me, for all we know what might not have been his daughter arriving through the door at the end. Come on people you seen the films, the crooks and nasty. Some with a machine gun under their coat might’ve walked in, its the price you pay for being a gangster.

  20. How about the ending of Battlestar Galactica?

  21. I found the endings of Seinfeld, Quantum Leap, The Sopranos, Roseanne and The Prisoner really great, because the’re unexpected and memorable. I didn’t count the clip show in seinfeld as a real episode.

    Did’nt see the Dino one, but it sounds really funny – a least for an adult.

    But the St. Elsewhere, it seems to be really weird…

  22. Oh, and Lost. The ending wasn’t that bad. But the bonfire elseword storyline was, and they let us think in 6.1 it was an elseworld where the island was lost under water. Split timelines or something. And they let us think Desmond can switch between these timelines. It was just dumb. Many things they did do in this storyline was just to let the audience think it was something else, and it makes no sense with the ending.

    If the finale introduced this elseworld, took a few good scenes and it is revealed in the last minutes that it is a bonfire, it would be ok.

    but ok, i admit something else would’ve been even better. It’s not like everyone spent the most important part of his/her life on the island.

  23. Oh, and Vin, you made a good ponit about Seinfeld. I think, you really got it wrapped up what the ending was all about. I mean even Charlie Harper is an angel (ok, not in the show…) compared to Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer.

  24. OMGoodness!!! I’m still mad over the Seinfeld finale. What’s worse is that they have not reunited to give the fans some form of resolution. The older actors are dying and still no reunion. Selfish!!

    • Uhm go watch season 7 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it was basically a Seinfeld reuinon the finale of that season is actually called “Seinfeld”

  25. I like the Sopranos’s ending. In the end it was the audience that got whack!

    I liked that ending better than Lost’s ending. I love the ending of Lost when it first ended. However than I realize we never got any answers to a lot of question.

  26. ALF shouldn’t count because it wasn’t meant to be the series finale, just a cliffhanger for the next season.

  27. It is SO ironic that the tags for this post are 24 and lost yet none of those shows are on this list!!

  28. I hope The Big Bang Theory never ever makes this list. Seinfeld, I’m disappointed for. The rest of these shows, nah. Please Chuck Lorre…don’t screw us on TBBT

  29. I think The X-Files should have made the list. It was a horrible series finale that needed to be followed up on. However they went and made a second X-Files movie that did nothing to continue the finale’s storyline. They just carried on as if the end of the series finale never happened. Very disappointing!