10 Great Sitcoms That Went Downhill In Their Final Season

The cast of Scrubs, Danny and Mindy in The Mindy Project, the cast of That 70s show

Situational comedy is a genre that elicits laughs from viewers, but they still demand good quality from the shows they invest their time into. Many sitcoms build a huge fanbase through their runs, but disappoint them right at the end during the final season. Their plots meander, the main characters leave, or the writing just loses the touch that it used to have, making the sitcom go downhill.

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Shows like Scrubs, Roseanne, and Modern Family entertained for years, but writers and cast could not stick the landing (which is always difficult to do with beloved TV shows). These sitcoms were great until they got botched by their final installments.



10 Seinfeld

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Jerry Seinfeld played himself in Seinfeld, which took a humorous look at the dynamics between him and his friends Elain, Kramer, and George. It was gloriously wacky and undoubtedly funny, but the ninth season of the sitcom proved to be its undoing.

Seinfeld is considered the greatest sitcom of all time because it managed to make something inconsequential hilarious, but the series walked back on this formula in its finale, actually making the despicable four face consequences. Besides the finale, the other episodes of the season also lacked the sparkle that lit up previous episodes, making them act out of character throughout. The final season was mean-spirited and mocked the audience.

9 Modern Family

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Luke, Haley, Alex, Phil and Claire Dunphy with Cam, Lily, and Mitchell, and Manny, Jay and Gloria in Modern Family

Even when Modern Family employed cringey sitcom tropes, it was a delight to watch through all of its seasons. The all-ages comedy was set up perfectly, especially in its early seasons, and the sharp delivery by the cast was impeccable. However, much of the comedic timing faded in the last season, which was sweet but felt rushed.

The Dunphy kids left their home all at once, and Cam and Mitchell also decided to move to Missouri to live a life of football coaching. Instead of tying up loose ends well and with patience, it seemed to set up a future revival or spin-off with open-ended fates for all the characters.

8 Two & A Half Men

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Alan, Walden, welcome Jake who comes in through the front door in Two and a Half Men

Two And A Half Men was always one of the most problematic sitcoms, but it crossed many lines in its final season that were hard for audiences to swallow. In a weird twist, Walden decided that he wanted children, and his solution to that was to marry Allen so that they could adopt a child. They succeeded in this rather offensive con and even continued to harp on stereotypes about gay men while Allen was deciding on his wedding arrangements.

Everything about this season was absurd and made little sense, and it could have very well been skipped as a whole. Two And A Half Men lost much of the plot when Charlie left, but the last season steamrollered it into the ground.

7 Awkward

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Awkward image.

MTV’s Awkward was one of the most refreshing sitcoms on air as Jenna and co. got into all sorts of strange situations (starting with the premise of the show.) It had a habit of veering towards highly bizarre tangents, which only increased the appeal of the show. Sadly, season 5 of the show was its last one, and the writers chose to fixate on season 4’s drama rather than going back in for what made the show great in its first couple of seasons.

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The last season became soapy instead of hilarious, as all the characters were hung up on the drama from the Mexican vacation they took in the last season. The typical Awkward charm was lost as the characters outgrew the show.

6 Scrubs

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sacred Heart's new interns in Scrubs season 9

It’s never a good idea to divert the premise of a hit sitcom in its last season, but Scrubs did it anyway. Fans loved the medical comedy-drama that focussed on the doctors and interns. J.D. and Turk’s shenanigans, along with their love lives and the interpersonal dynamics of this particular cast were what made Scrubs beloved, but season 9 was the season that ruined the TV show for good.

Along with some familiar faces, a new cast was introduced as the show suddenly captured the lives of the medical students rather than the staff. Predictably, this did not sit well with fans and the show was canceled after this botched season.

5 The Office

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Pam appreciates the watercolor in The Office finale

Few sitcoms have had the kind of trajectory that The Office has had. The show started with a season that wasn’t great at all but was thankfully given the chance to bloom into one of the funniest cringe comedies out there. It also then petered out once Michael Scott’s character exited the show, and ended with a whimper in season 9.

The geniality of the office turned into mean-spirited humor, and new characters were introduced willy-nilly with no real thought. Andy’s arc made fans cringe, and the sudden change in characters like Pam made viewers scratch their heads. There were also parts of the series finale that rounded off the show well, even if it left fans to ponder about an upsetting television plot hole.

4 The Mindy Project

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–> Mindy and Danny in The Mindy Project

With The Office on her portfolio, Mindy Kaling has always been held to a higher standard of writing. The Mindy Project initially delivered laughs, romance, and friendship in pleasing doses, but things went awry as the butterflies-inducing leading man, Danny was written into the ground as a sexist, controlling partner in season 5.

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The final, sixth season of the sitcom could not do much to bounce back from this either. All the growth that Mindy had gone through in leaving a bad partner was reversed as old exes swung through the series, and when she eventually got back together with Danny, who had not bothered to change at all.

3 How I Met Your Mother

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Josh Radnor is Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother

The final installment of How I Met Your Mother may have answered the burning question that fans had had since the very beginning of the show, but ruined much of what the show had established in one fell swoop, as well. There was little to no point in chasing after the elusive Mother when she was discarded casually towards the end.

In a move that appealed to no audience, Barney and Robin were reduced to a side note, and she and Ted were shoehorned together. Fans despised this ending which seemed like a lazy way to avoid actually building a satisfactory conclusion for the sitcom.

2 That ’70s Show

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ashton Kutcher as Kelso and Topher Grace as Eric on That '70s Show

That ’70s Show couldn’t ever recover from the exit of Eric Foreman, the main character of the sitcom, in season 7. In a similar fashion, Kelso also only appeared in a handful of episodes of season 8, leaving the show without some of its major characters whom fans were used to rooting for.

Absurdly enough, Jackie and Fez got together, which was a mismatched couple if there ever was one. All of this resulted in a subpar final season of a show that had given audiences much to laugh about over the years.

1 Roseanne

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The cast of the Roseanne reboot sitting on a couch, including Roseanne Barr.

Fans loved Roseanne because it showed a working-class couple’s life and times as they raised their family. Roseanne and Dan, along with their children D.J., Becky, and Darlene led common lives, but there was a certain charm to it. When the family won a lottery in its last season, the spell was broken.

The entire premise of the show changed, as the Conners suddenly had tons of money and could do whatever they wanted. The show had gathered fans because of the relatability of this family, which washed away when they won the lottery and became wealthy.

NEXT: 10 TV Shows Where A Main Character Dies At The End


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