Top 10 Saddest Teen Drama Series Finales

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Top 10 Saddest Teen Drama Series Finales

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Sammie Purcell
We're still crying over the saddest finales on teen dramas. Our countdown includes "Veronica Mars," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Friday Night Lights," and more!
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Top 10 Saddest Finales on Teen Dramas


Welcome to MsMojo, where today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Saddest Finales on Teen Drama Shows

For this list, we’ll be looking at shows that left us wallowing in a puddle of tears. Beware of weepy spoilers ahead, and let us know if we missed your favorite tearjerkers in the comments below.

#10: “Years, Continents, Bloodshed”
“Veronica Mars” (2004-19)


After 12 years off the air, fans were elated to finally have a fourth and final season of the beloved “Veronica Mars.” While we’re definitely still happy we got it, we had no idea it would end in such heartbreak. It took a long time for Logan to become a romantic interest worthy of Veronica, but by the time the final season rolled around, he seemed like an entirely different person from the jerk we met in season one. When the two get married in the series finale, it feels like our favorite teen detective will get the happy ending she deserves. We should have known better. In a terrifying turn, Logan dies in a car explosion, leaving Veronica – and the audience – devastated.

#9: “Dreams Come True”
“Glee” (2009-15)


The cast of “Glee” has certainly been through their fair share of hardships. When actor Cory Monteith tragically died in 2013, the characters on the show had to deal with it just as their real life counterparts did. The episode dedicated to Finn was beautiful – and in 2015 during the series finale, the show once again paid him tribute. In the finale, McKinley becomes a performing arts school, and Sue – who became the vice president of the United States, because of course she did – dedicates the school’s auditorium to Finn. We don’t know about you, but hearing the words “Finn Hudson Auditorium” still makes us tear up to this day.

#8: “When The Saints Go Marching In”
“The Originals” (2013-18)


Series finales often end with the death of a beloved character. But “The Originals” decided to up the ante, killing off not one, but two, of our favorite vampires. The two brothers at the center of the story – Klaus and Elijah – loved each other dearly, and were willing to follow one another into any fire. So it makes sense their stories would end together – but just because it makes sense doesn’t mean we have to accept it with dry eyes! Family was one of the biggest themes of “The Originals” – and Elijah’s purpose was to see Klaus redeemed – something he definitely achieved. It’s bittersweet, but the image of the two staking each other will haunt us forever.

#7: “Always”
“Friday Night Lights” (2006-11)


Clear eyes? After this finale, definitely not! We get teary just thinking about the Dillon Panthers and the East Dillon Lions. This finale isn’t “sad” in the traditional way – in fact, most of the things that happen are wonderful! The team won state, Matt and Julie end up back together, there are plenty of heartfelt moments between our favorite characters. But, the best – and most emotional – moment of the episode comes when Coach Taylor tells Tami it’s her turn to follow her professional dreams ... And cue the waterworks. The real sadness of this finale is that we just didn’t want it to end. We too, just wanted to stay in Texas forever.

#6: “Rise: Part 2”
“Skins” (2007-13)


We talked about “Friday Night Lights” – now for something on the opposite side of the spectrum.“Skins” was never the sunniest of teen shows, but that’s exactly why we loved it. It wasn’t afraid to show the darker side of life – and on the finale, things definitely got dark. Cook, Charlie and Emma were three of the series most beloved characters. So, witnessing the trio’s torrid roadtrip and the torrent of emotions that poor out during it is difficult to watch. And the end is even worse – Emma’s death was a horrible blow, one that fans were incredibly saddened to see. We didn’t expect something happy, necessarily – it’s “Skins” after all – but this one still hurts.

#5: “Chosen”
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)


In Buffy’s acclaimed seven season, the origin of the power of the slayer is finally revealed. But while that may be important, the true point of this cult-favorite was never where the power came from – but how the power was used. In the finale, Buffy has Willow share that power with all the other women in the world who are Potential Slayers. From that point on, there will no longer be a chosen one. Instead, every Potential Slayer will be able to find that power in herself. Again, not a traditionally sad finale – but happy tears were shed, and this episode will always make us miss our feminist icon.

#4: “I Was Feeling Epic”
“The Vampire Diaries” (2009-17)


Epic is definitely the perfect way to describe the finale of this beloved teen drama, and there are almost too many tear jerking moments in this episode to count. We see Caroline and Stefan say goodbye for the last time. We see Bonnie and Enzo briefly reunite. But, in possibly the saddest turn of events, we see Stefan sacrifice himself for Damon. The Salvatore brothers have been through a LOT to get to this point – and looking back at them in season one, you would have never guessed this is where they end up. But Stefan dies – and in doing so, gives his brother what he wanted: a life with Elena.

#3: “Brave New World”
“Boy Meets World” (1993-2000)


If you don’t immediately tear up when you hear the words “class dismissed,” did you even grow up in the 90s? “Boy Meets World” was a beloved teen show – and no one was more beloved than Mr. Feeny. And while much of this series finale has to do with the goodbyes between the central young cast, they also all have to say farewell to childhood – and that means saying farewell to Fa-Fa-Fa Feeny himsel. He was more than a teacher to the kids on the show - he felt like a teacher to everyone watching. So in a way, it felt like we were all growing up a little as this show came to a close. And there’s not much sadder than that.

#2: “Graduation”
“13 Reasons Why” (2017-20)


Throughout the run of this Netflix show, plenty of upsetting things happened. So it’s no wonder the series finale kept that streak alive. The final season starts out with plenty of questions to be answered, not least of which is whose funeral is shown in episode one? The answer – a giant surprise. During the prom, Justin, a character who recently overcame a drug addiction, suddenly passes out. In the series’ final moments, he is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and we learn the funeral was his. It’s a devastating moment, and one we won’t soon forget.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“The End’s Not Near, It’s Here”, “The OC” (2003-07)
Ryan Pays It Forward

“In Dreams Begin Responsibilities”, “My So-Called Life” (1994-95)
We’re Still Crying Over Brian’s Letter

“Voodoo”, “My Mad Fat Diary” (2013-15)
This Teen Show Was Gone Too Soon

“Finally: Part 2”, “Degrassi: The Next Generation” (2001-15)
Who Doesn’t Cry at Graduation?

“Foreverwood Part 2”, “Everwood” (2002-06)
Conclusive Evidence That Ferris Wheels Are the Most Romantic

#1: “...Must Come To An End”
“Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003)


“Hey Amy, it’s mom.” The words that launched a thousand tears. The “Dawson’s Creek” finale brought us a lot of happy moments – Dawson making it in Hollywood, Pacey and Joey FINALLY ending up together. But, with great happiness comes great sadness in the death of Jen. This one hurts for a lot of reasons – not least of all because Jen was the absolute best. But watching her individual goodbyes with the likes of Grams, Jack, Pacey and the rest of the Capeside crew felt like one huge gut punch one right after the other. Honestly, we still haven’t really forgiven Kevin Williamson for this one.
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