Comedy shows can provide jokes and moments that define a generation. Whether you're getting laughs in a hospital room or sailing along with some undersea creatures, comedy shows, when done right, maintain their fanbase all the way to the end. The problem with a lot of comedy shows, though, is that they don't always know when to end. When this happens, shows lose the charm and good writing they had when they began.
Sadly, there are many great comedy shows that suffered this fate. This leads to fans either ignoring later episodes or the general reception of the show becoming negative. Here are our picks for great comedy shows that went (or are continuing to go) on for too long.
10 THE OFFICE
The Office is a popular show that still gets referenced today. That just goes to show how funny and well-written the jokes and characters were. Underneath all the goofy dialogue, the show also had a lot of heart, featuring characters that everyone cared about.
The show even had its own perfect ending with Jim and Pam's wedding. Then it went on for a few more seasons. After that point, the writing went downhill. With Michael Scott leaving the show, it was hard to recapture the tone of the previous seasons. It started out strong, but it didn't finish strong.
9 THE SIMPSONS
The Simpsons is one of the longest-running shows of all time. While it started out decades ago with crude animation work, the humor was more than enough to keep people invested in the series. The Simpsons family remains one of the most iconic in pop culture, but that alone can't save the show.
With 30 seasons to its name, The Simpsons has aptly run out of a lot of jokes and scenarios over the years. It started out in 1989, and many agree that it could've ended over 10 seasons ago and been better for it.
8 SOUTH PARK
South Park was always a show that got by in a generally mean-spirited way. It was never afraid to poke fun at current events, but that's precisely what drew a lot of people toward it. However, the show has been going on for 22 seasons now, leading to a lot of the humor becoming stale.
People can only watch the same type of joke so much before they start to recognize a pattern. Even when it debuted, South Park was controversial, but it's much less tasteful nowadays. It can still churn out a good, sophisticated parody, but it's losing its luster a little.
Friends is another one of those classic shows that still gets referenced today. However, there was only a limited amount of time we were going to follow these characters gracefully. There were certain plot threads and developments that the show dealt with for quite some time that were eventually thrown away by its tenth season.
Furthermore, having Rachel and Joey suddenly romantically involved after all that time was a disappointing change of pace. The show was already on a timer, considering that it had a limited amount of characters and focused mostly on them. Unfortunately, the show kept going after that timer went down to "0."
6 FAMILY GUY
Family Guy is a show similar to The Simpsons, featuring a lot of adult-related humor that takes a critical yet humorous perspective on current events. Like any potential cash cow, Family Guy went on for quite a long time, having 17 seasons to its name.
In that time, a lot of the jokes have started to wear thin, leaving a lot of people disillusioned with the series. That hasn't stopped the show from trying new things, but it seems like it's just doing things differently as a direct response to criticism. Even the creator of the show said that it should've ended in Season 7.
5 SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
SpongeBob SquarePants had jokes and gags that defined an entire generation. Whether it be ripped pants or "Sweet Victory", you can make an old SpongeBob reference and have almost the whole room join in with you. However, the creator of the show left after its third season.
The tonal shift starting with Season 4 was very apparent to most viewers, and the quality of SpongeBob SquarePants quickly declined after that. All of the most hated episodes are in those later seasons. While there are some diamonds in the rough, they are the exceptions to the more modern episodes of the show.
4 THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS
The Fairly OddParents was a popular Nickelodeon show, having recently ended its 10-season run. However, it probably should've ended several seasons ago with "Channel Chasers". With the show primarily being about Timmy making a wish to fix a problem and then that wish causing even greater problems, it was only a matter of time before people started to catch onto it.
The show tried to rectify this familiarity by introducing new characters like Poof and Sparky, who turned out to be annoying distractions rather than welcome additions. On top of that, the writing went downhill, turning beloved characters into echoes of their former selves.
3 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
How I Met Your Mother is all about one story (three guesses what it is). That one story takes approximately 10 seasons to tell, which has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. How I Met Your Mother could've been a much shorter show than it turned out to be.
As the show kept delaying the inevitable, it felt that it was just drawing out the story unnecessarily. This leads to a lot of episodes and stories that don't add anything to the overall plot. Overall, they can be skipped. As expected, the jokes became less funny too, with the writers having to constantly come up with new material to sustain the show's long run.
2 THE BIG BANG THEORY
The Big Bang Theory had a host of popular characters, but seeing those characters be socially awkward was only going to be funny for so long. It was nice to see those characters grow and move forward with their lives, but each of those moments was sandwiched in between episodes and jokes that started to outstay their welcome.
The longer the show went on, the less that people seemed to latch onto it. Having recently ended its 12-season run, some feel that the ending has been long overdue. The humor in the show has always been questionable, but it got worse the longer the show went on.
Scrubs had a phenomenal ending in its eighth season. It was a show that had the potential to be enjoyable from start to finish, leading to a satisfying series that people would love to rewatch. The problem is that, after that ending, the show was promptly continued for a ninth season.
Only three of the original cast members reprised their roles, with a bunch of new characters joining the roster. As a result, the ninth season was a painful way to continue the series. The worst part of the whole ordeal is that if it weren't for that last season, Scrubs would've been an extremely consistent and funny show.