tv

From Friends to Breaking Bad: The very best TV show finales of the 21st century.

Warning: This article contains MANY spoilers. You’ve been warned…

Whenever there’s a bad television show finale, the internet goes batsh*t crazy.

Twitter blows up, people make Facebook statuses for the first time in six years and memes are pumped out within moments.

It’s the anarchy and chaos of political warfare without the actual ramifications in the real world.

But as the world goes nuts there is a group of screenwriters, sitting on the edge of their beds in Hollywood scrolling through the internet, wondering why they aren’t being praised for their amazing season finales.

We see you.

Here are the best television finales that have ever graced our screens. Let’s relive the good times.

Breaking Bad.

Walter White from Breaking Bad. Image: Stan.

For many people, Walter White was reason enough to drop out of law and start teaching science.

The ultimate anti-hero became etched into the public memory when Breaking Bad began in 2008, but five years on he met his fate in the series finale.

In the final episode, before his death, the protagonist executed revenge with mathematical precision. He killed most of the bad guys, managed to get the money to his children, made up with his wife and took a bullet for Jesse.

The ending was far from predictable – nobody ever expects the main character to die.

But we got the closure we needed, and every loose end was tied up.

Friends.

best series finale
We will never not love this show. Image: Warner Brothers.
ADVERTISEMENT

They said they'd be there for you, and they were.

"The last one."

"The one where they say goodbye."

It's rare for a season finale to be so damn good that it has several titles (and even its own Wikipedia page).

The two-part finale aired in 2004 and was watched by over 50 million people.

In case you missed it, there's nothing better than the Friends couch pivot scene. Post continues after video.

Here were the key takeaways:

  • Ross confessed his love for Rachel and they got back together.
  • Monica and Chandler adopted twins and move to the 'burbs.
  • Everyone had a coffee together at Central Perk and packed up their apartments.

It made us feel all gushy inside.

Good job, screenwriters.

via GIPHY

Parks and Recreation.

best series finale
The whole Parks and Recreation squad. Image: NBC Universal.
ADVERTISEMENT

After seven seasons of intense belly laughter, the series finale for Parks and Recreation left us feeling complete.

As the crew were about to leave Pawnee forever, the Parks and Rec crew had one final task to complete together – a broken swing set.

When the swing was fixed, the Pawnee crew gathered together for a photo. Ben asked Leslie if she was ready and she smiled at the camera and said, simply, "I'm ready".

Skipping into the future, here's where everyone ended up:

  • Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry was elected mayor before he died at age 100.
  • Craig worked at Tom's Bistro where he met Typhoon - the hairdresser who he married.
  • Tom married Lucy and tried to expand his restaurant business but lost everything during the recession. Luckily, he used his failure to become a motivational speaker.
  • Andy and April gave birth to a little boy who they named Jack.
  • Jean-Ralphio faked his own death for insurance money but was caught when he attended his own funeral.
  • Ron became the Superintendent of Pawnee National Park.
  • Donna and Joe were happily living in Seattle, where their real-estate agency was booming. With April's help, the pair set up a non-profit program called "Teach Yo' Self".
  • Leslie became the governor of Indiana for two consecutive terms, supported by the entire team.
  • Chris and Ann had another child, and Leslie and Ann try to... set their kids up. It appeared to be working.

And to finish the whole thing off, the entire crew attended Jerry's funeral, where there were Secret Service members everywhere.

Yep. Either Ben or Leslie became president.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

best series finale
The ultimate crew. Image: 20th Century Fox Television.

Buffy gave life to the 'chic-witch' phase of the early noughties and we couldn't be more grateful. But when it comes to the season finale, it's gone down in history.

Buffy began by killing Caleb, and the next day spent the night in the arms of Spike.

Everyone turned up for the final battle at Sunnydale High in a yellow school bus, where Willow defied the tradition of only ever having one slayer per generation, as she raised an army.

Buffy got stabbed, but came back to life with renewed determination. Then, as the world crumbled and Sunnydale collapsed into the Hellmouth cavern, Buffy told Spike she loved him.

Then, as they all sat together, Buffy realised she was no longer the sole Slayer, and she smiled.

It gave us closure, despite all the stake-through-the-heart action.

For more on this topic:

Want more TV and Movies? Visit our newsletter page and sign up to "TV and Movies"  for a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews, from our Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik (see one of her newsletters here).

00:00 / ???