Pick: Which classic TV show had the most satisfying series finale?

Do you prefer tears or a twist?

Spring is the season of rebirth, of new life. Well, in nature. On television, it's when everything traditionally ends. All shows have to come to an end sometime. (Except The Simpsons, it seems.) The only question is whether a series ends on its own terms… or unceremoniously comes to halt thanks to the network.

With some huge TV shows wrapping up their runs at the moment, series finales are once again a point of pop-culture discussion. And debate. So it begs the question: Which TV finale is your favorite?

Whether they tugged on our heartstrings or served up a twist, these finales stuck in our mind. We stuck to shows that ended in the 20th century.

Did we overlook your favorite? There were a lot of sleepers we didn't include. (China Beach!) Tell us in the comments.
  1. Pick your favorite TV series finale from the following memorable list:

Pick: Which classic TV show had the most satisfying series finale?

Your Result...

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markymark 2 months ago
I became so sick of Mash constantly preaching to the viewers as if we were stupid. Yes, war is bad, who knew?? Sure glad they beat that into us each week. It became tiresome very quickly the first season. It's viewers were probably all the cowards who ran to Canada before Vietnam ended. This nation was founded on revolution and fighting wars is what kept us free. I think we all understood it was not a pleasant business but a necessary one.
It seems to me that it was the start of the main stream media deciding how we should think. You know, their way.
David markymark 2 months ago
Wow talk about painting with broad strokes! That's quite a sweeping overgeneralization about who watches MASH?! Get over yourself.
MrsP58 markymark 1 month ago
While I often felt Alan Alda was a little too full of himself, I NEVER felt I was being treated as stupid. Everyone I knew watched M*A*S*H. No one I knew went to Canada, which was not cowardly. It must have taken those young men great courage to make the very difficult decision to risk never again seeing their family and friends. It was never just a matter of cowards who did not want to get shot. Our nation was not founded on revolution. Our nation was founded on the principles of freedom of religion, etc., and we fought a revolution to achieve that end. We do not ALL understand war to be a necessary business, so I'll thank you not to speak for me. I'm still not convinced we should have been sending our sons, brothers, husbands and fathers to their deaths in South Korea and Vietnam, nor will I even discuss the wars since then with a fool. If you found a TV shoe so tiresome, all you ever had to do was change the channel. M*A*S*H did not last 11 seasons because it was tiresome. Nor does mainstream media decide how we should think. If you're that easily swayed, so be it. I think and decide for myself. I wholeheartedly agree with David above when he says GET OVER YOURSELF.
David 2 months ago
No better ending to a sitcom EVER than Newhart. Creatively mind-blowing no one saw it coming.
Debate is now over.
moax429 David 2 months ago
That's *your* opinion, which you *are* entitled to. "Newhart" was very *dumb* and unconvincing, and so was the finale (which seemed to have been quickly thrown together).

Although I'm glad the "MASH" finale was the most popular, I chose "Happy Days." And although this is *my* opinion also, I thought it was a nice ending to one of my favorite shows during my teen years.
David moax429 2 months ago
A bit of tongue and cheek in the review is all!
David moax429 2 months ago
The first two seasons of Happy Days were an excellent slice of nostalgic 50s decade.
After that the show slowly went downhill fast as Fonzie started to morph into a Super Hero and defying the common sense of the viewer.
Connie David 2 months ago
Agreed! Loved the ending - can't think of a better wrap up other than the Monk series, where everyone lived happily ever after.
MrsP58 David 1 month ago
My choice would be a tie between Newhart and The Fugitive. In its day, The Fugitive finale had the highest number of viewers. Still, I'll never forget the Newhart finale.
MrsP58 Connie 1 month ago
While it wasn't my choice as best finale, I certainly agree that the "happily ever after" aspect of the ending was wonderful. Especially the idea of Sharona and Randy.
Hdaneck7 2 months ago
I remember some friends preferring to go out rather than watch the MASH finale. So I sat alone in the dark & actually cried. The show ran the gamut of emotions and as a 21yr old heading into the crazy world, I felt, in some way, the show helped prepare me for some of the joys and sorrows I'd be facing.
Delmo 15 months ago
I thought the Perry Mason finale was cool, having the behind the scenes crew appear in front of the camera for a change.
RedSamRackham 15 months ago
* Gilligan's Island should've ended like Newhart with Maynard G. Krebs waking up from a dream! * This list failed to include Hawaii 5-O finale when McGarrett finally captured the ever elusive Wo-Fat and booked him himself! ☺
GordARebelato 15 months ago
I am a big Seinfeld fan but I thought their finale show could have being a lot better. I would say it was one of the worst shows. It was too much crammed into an hour. I don't even bother watching it when it it is aired. They should have followed the same format that made the show popular, it should have being a show about nothing.
David GordARebelato 2 months ago
In contrast, actually the more I watch it the more I like it - bringing together all the characters from the show was great idea I think and the courtroom scene is hilarious.
Russ 15 months ago
I see that most people voted like they felt everyone else would so they didn't feel excluded.
RickeyMulkey 15 months ago
70% similar to the most popular responses
djw1120 21 months ago
I picked "Star Trek: The Next Generation" just out of a personal preference, although I really liked the M*A*S*H finale too.
DIGGER1 21 months ago
Pick: Which classic TV show had the most satisfying series finale?
100% similar
100% similar to the most popular responses
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The final episode of "M.A.S.H." gets my vote every single time. It's a "WIN-WIN" scenario, you might say.
Runeshaper 22 months ago
Happy Days - Joanie and Chachi get married :)

EmBee 26 months ago
I did NOT vote for MASH even though it has always been in my wheelhouse and seems to be always on. My problem with it was that when it went up to 2 1/2 hours I felt they should have followed the characters home so we could see them reacclimate themselves to their real lives (Margaret I'm guessing would have stayed in the Army and been reassigned somewhere like Walter Reed or Lanstuhl). But I wanted to see Hawkeye's Dad, Mildred, Klinger's parents etc. So I found it a little disappointing.
So I went with Newhart even though I didn't watch it regularly I DID happen to see the finale and couldn't stop laughing.
theFAN2000 26 months ago
I picked Seinfeld because of the way it came full circle back to the beginning of the pilot episode. It was like saying "We want to leave before we end up repeating ourselves". Plus you can look at it as the whole "I could not get arrested" actor thing.
MarcSoules 26 months ago
Yeah, I went with Newhart because it stayed in line with a sitcom. It was a huge surprise. St. Elsewhere was similar. Mash was sooo long, and sappy.
GordARebelato MarcSoules 15 months ago
I agree. I do not know why these sitcoms that have being popular by following a certain format all of a sudden go away from that on their finale episode. I hate the sappy endings where everyone is hugging and crying.
JeffTanner 26 months ago
I saw the M*A*S*H Finale many, many times over the years, and it is my favorite of all. A lot of these I never saw. Or knew about even.
Lucyneenah19701 26 months ago
The Family Ties, Little House on the Prairie, Mary Tyler Moore, MASH, and All in the Family finales were all sad. Sitcoms shouldn't have any episodes that are sad. They're supposed to be funny.
I've forgotten The Wonder Years finale.
The Leave it to Beaver finale was cute and sweet, like the whole series.
I wonder if the last episode of I Love Lucy is considered a finale. The episode with the Revolutionary War statue.
My favorite finale is Newhart! Really funny! I got 70%similar.
The I Love Lucy show did not have a finale as it went on for a few more years in an hour format.
TomTerrrific 26 months ago
Now that I think about it, the Monk finale was great, too.
FrankCollins 26 months ago
If there were more viewers who followed The Fugitive, that would have won easily. I followed it through reruns many years later, but it still had the same effect. It is by far the best. I thought the MTM ending was brilliant, and a vicious but true criticism of TV news and its viewers. I was very disappointed with both the MASH and STNG endings. But MASH never recovered from the loss of its original cast, including Colonel Blake and Trapper John, and got increasingly full of itself as it went on, especially the Hawkeye character.
MrsPhilHarris FrankCollins 26 months ago
I agree with you about MASH.
MrsP58 FrankCollins 1 month ago
I actually didn't mind losing Henry Blake or Trapper John. They were both married womanizers. Hawkeye was also a womanizer, but he was not married. In any event, I liked Col. Potter and BJ much better. And after all, they lasted years longer than either Henry or Trapper John, so someone must have agreed with me.
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