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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Jun 22, 2014
Headline for We Didn't See it Coming: 7 TV Shows with Unexpected Endings
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We Didn't See it Coming: 7 TV Shows with Unexpected Endings

Our favourite television shows share an important space in our lives. We connect with the characters while their stories play out in front of us. Through these stories, we relax, reflect on life, compare ourselves, and simply just enjoy. They exist throughout popular culture, not only on T.V., but in magazines, movies, and cyberspace. When they end, it can feel as if it's the end of an era. Here are 7 television shows that had unexpected endings:

1

Dexter "Remember the Monsters?"

Dexter "Remember the Monsters?"

Dexter's final episode has him surrounded by nature. After years of trying to figure out what it means to be human, if there's a core nature to human beings, and justifying his violence, he moves on to seclusion in nature where death has no social construct. Death just is.

2

Dinosaurs "Changing Nature"

Dinosaurs "Changing Nature"

Sometimes called the "most traumatizing series finale ever", the Dinosaurs finale took a dark turn from its usual comedy laden script. It was filled with commentary on our consumption, our obsession with progress, climate change, and the destruction of life on earth (literally). The bunch beetle does not return for its season, causing a chain reaction of change, all the way to the final scene where everyone dies.

3

Seinfeld Series Finale

Seinfeld Series Finale

In the Seinfeld final episode, the beloved characters are on trial for, (gasp) their characters. Seinfeld had four people who took the tiny little things seriously enough to have huge drawn-out conversations about them (shirt buttons for example), that it ended up making a farce out of everything in life, even the oh-so-important court of law.

4

How I Met Your Mother "Last Forever"

How I Met Your Mother "Last Forever"

How I Met Your Mother was a series that scoffed at the linear timelines and embraced modern romantic ideology. In the final episode, Ted (main character), finishes the love epic as a widower who comes full circle back to Robyn, the real tension of the story. It had many viewers angry and confused, but as a show that didn't follow linear time, it also rejects the notion of one true soul mate, which tends to fit into linear time constructs.

5

Alf "Consider Me Gone"

Alf "Consider Me Gone"

Alf gets kidnapped for experimentation and execution. Here is another family show, like Dinosaurs, that had a fantasy element. The finale brought up questions about how human curiosity is placed above all else, and even carries traces of animal testing and vivisection.

6

The Sopranos "Made in America"

The Sopranos "Made in America"

After most of the family gathers in a diner while Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is playing on a table jukebox, the screen drops to black for ten seconds before the credits roll. Tony Soprano's life has ended, and in a show where death was always visual, we were shocked to see nothing. In the final scenes, the tension and anxiety of the main character jumps from the screen into the viewer, then leaves the viewer in nihilistic darkness with their mind racing waiting for the next bell to ring.

7

The Little House on the Prairie "The Last Farewell"

The Little House on the Prairie "The Last Farewell"

This show about simple living and family values goes out with a bang when in the final episode, Walnut Grove is destroyed. In this fascinating response to early capitalism, the townsfolk learn that Walnut Grove is being taken over by a railroad tycoon who owns the land the town is built on. What do they do? Blow it up in resistance.