Is there anything more heartbreaking than a beloved TV show building up to a much-anticipated final bow, and then utterly blowing it? It happens more often than it should. In some cases it’s a big swing and a miss. In others it’s a lack of closure. And in some cases, a disastrous finale can harm the cultural cache of a long-running series overall. Now, the Great Pop Culture Debate podcast is looking back at some of the most notable televised blunders as we discuss the worst TV series finales of all time — and we need YOUR input!
Below find a list of just about every notably bad American TV series finale we could think of. (If you’re taking this on a mobile device, we recommend clicking this link for an easier navigated page.) Note that these are SERIES finales, not SEASON finales (although if there was a reboot of the series, we still considered the original bad ending even if it was retconned out later). Some of them are divisive, with strong supporters alongside their intense detractors. Some are just universally reviled. Pick your favorite bad finale — choose as many as you like — then share the poll with your friends so they can have their say. The more votes, the better balanced the bracket used in the debate. Did we miss your favorite bad finale? Add it in the space below and we may discuss it in the episode!
The poll will run until July 26. Make sure to submit your answer by then!
The 32 top vote-getters will be discussed in Season 8 of the Great Pop Culture Debate podcast, debuting in Fall 2023. Find out more at greatpopculturedebate.com.