The legendary sitcom about the place where everybody knows your name ended with Sam (Ted Danson) telling a patron through the window, “Sorry, we’re closed.”
Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)
The Parks and Rec finale gave viewers a peek into the future for Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her crew of weirdos. But it ended in the present day, with everyone posing for a photo after fixing a swingset. In the last moments, Ben (Adam Scott) asks Leslie, “You ready, babe?”
“Yes,” she answers, then faces the camera. “I’m ready.”
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
After Sunnydale crumbles into the Hellmouth, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her loyal friends stand at the edge of what was once their hometown, reflecting on how their lives have changed. “You’ve just got to live like a person; how does that feel?” Faith (Eliza Dushku) asks. “Yeah, Buffy,” Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) says. “What are we gonna do now?” Her sister just smiles.
The Office (2005-2013)
“All in all, I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary,” Pam says in her last interview, as we see Michael hanging a watercolor of the office building. “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”
The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
The Vampire Diaries came to an end with a reunion that got fans teary-eyed. Inside the Salvatore house, Stefan (Paul Wesley) opens the door to find his brother. “Hello, brother,” Damon (Ian Somerhalder) says, and the series ends with their embrace.
As all the Friends turn in their keys and leave that purple-walled apartment for the last time, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) suggests they get some coffee. “Sure,” Chandler (Matthew Perry) agrees. “Where?”
The West Wing (1999-2006)
President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) left office in The West Wing’s finale, but he doesn’t spend the last moments of the series waxing nostalgic about his presidency. “What are you thinking about?” his wife, Abbey (Stockard Channing), asks as he looks out the window of the airplane taking them home to New Hampshire. “Tomorrow,” he replies.
Gilmore Girls (2000-2007, 2016)
Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino came up with the final four words of the series way back in season 1, but as she exited the show before its seventh season, she didn’t use them until the last scene of 2016’s Netflix revival of the series, A Year in the Life. The finale ended with Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) sitting in Stars Hollow’s gazebo, saying:
Rory: I’m pregnant.
After successfully killing Dolarhyde, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), longtime adversaries with a strong, strange connection, are left alone on a cliff. “See? This is all I ever wanted for you, Will. For both of us,” Lecter says. “It’s beautiful,” Graham replies. With that, he embraces Lecter and steps off the cliff.
Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)
The 2017 revival of David Lynch’s trippy cult-hit series ended with a bang (er, a shriek). In the last scene, after finding a dead end at the Palmer house, Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) asks a simple question that introduces a wild new possibility: “What year is this?”
Boy Meets World (1993-2000)
Boy Meets World ended with the four main stars saying goodbye to their beloved teacher Mr. Feeny (William Daniels), thanking him for all he’d given them and demanding he tell them he loves them — which he refuses to do, insisting it would be inappropriate. It’s only after they’ve all left that he becomes emotional. “I love you all,” he says, looking over the empty classroom. “Class dismissed.”
The finale of Community ended with a meta-joke as no other show ever would, with a fake commercial for a Community board game, narrated by series creator Dan Harmon. It says:
“Dice not included. Lines between perception, desire, and reality may be blurred, redundant, or interchangeable. Characters may hook up with no regard to your emotional investment. Some episodes too conceptual to be funny, some too funny to be immersive, and some so immersive they still aren’t funny. Consistency between seasons may vary. Viewers may be measured by a secretive obsolete system based on selected participants keeping handwritten journals of what they watch. Show may be canceled and move to the internet, where it turns out tens of millions were watching, may not matter. Fake commercial may end with a disclaimer gag which may descend into vain Chuck Lorre-esque rant by narcissistic creator. Creator may be unstable. Therapist may have told creator this is not how you make yourself a good person. Life may pass by while we ignore or mistreat those close to us. Those close to us may be watching. Those people may want to know I love them but I may be incapable of saying it. Contains pieces the size of a child’s esophagus.”
Sex and the City (1998-2004)
Sex and the City ended, naturally, with Carrie musing in voiceover. Over a montage of her friends with their husbands, children, and lovers that ends with Carrie walking down the street and answering a call from Big (whose name, we finally learn from the screen on her bedazzled flip phone, is John), she says:
“Later that day, I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”
The final scene (besides the closing credits) of Seinfeld ended with a thoroughly mundane conversation about which buttons to button on a shirt. “The second button is the key button. It literally makes or breaks the shirt. Look at it — it’s too high, it’s in no-man’s-land,” Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) tells George (Jason Alexander).
“Haven’t we had this conversation before?” George asks. “You think?” Jerry replies. “I think we have,” George says, and Jerry finally agrees, “Yeah, maybe we have.”
They had had the conversation before — in the series’ first episode.