Mentions of suicide and murder.
- Not all TV characters get the ending they deserve, but some actually do. Kimmy Schmidt, Pacey Witter, and Tahani all got endings that matched their character development.
- From owning a restaurant to becoming an afterlife architect, these characters found success and happiness in their respective shows.
- However, characters like Ragnar Lothbrok, Roman Godfrey, Jax Teller, and Walter White suffered tragic endings due to their actions and the consequences they faced.
There are many cases where TV characters got an unfair or undeserving ending, but there are others who got exactly what they deserved. The main characters of TV shows of any genre usually go through personal journeys that change the way they act, behave, and see the world. Many of them are not the same as they were in the first season of their show and at the end, but every TV show, no matter how successful, is always at risk of not giving its characters the ending they deserve. More often than not, the endings of main characters in TV shows are unfair, whether because the characters were given a happy ending or a tragic one, but some actually got what they deserved.
Some characters go through well-deserved character development in their shows that, by the time the final season arrives, they deserve a different ending than they did at first. It’s worth noting, however, that not all of these endings are happy ones, as some characters did truly horrible things throughout their stories that they had to pay for their actions. Of course, others deserved to be happy after going through and overcoming many challenges in their lives, and luckily, they got their happy endings.
10 Kimmy Schmidt – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Kimmy Schmidt became a successful author.
Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) was rescued from a doomsday cult in the fictional town of Durnsville, Indiana. The series, then, follows her adjustment to life, which is full of ups and downs. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt gave Kimmy the happy ending she deserved after the many hardships she went through and revealed that a now financially successful Kimmy opened Greenmulax World at Universal Studios, inspired by her own books. Kimmy also married Prince Frederick and freed other women that the Reverend had been holding captive.
9 Pacey Witter – Dawson’s Creek
Pacey Witter owned a restaurant & got back with Joey.
Behind the sarcastic personality of Dawson’s Creek Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson) was a kid with a lot of trauma. Pacey had a complicated relationship with his abusive parents and was considered the “black sheep” of his family, and as a result, Pacey struggled to find his place in the world. As Pacey’s grades were too low for college, he got a job after high school and worked on boats until he got a job at a restaurant. Working in the kitchen made Pacey realize what he was meant to do, and at the end of Dawson’s Creek, he was the owner of the restaurant The Icehouse, and he reignited his relationship with Joey.
8 Ragnar Lothbrok – Vikings
Ragnar Lothbrok was thrown into a pit of snakes.
Although Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) was the main character in the first seasons of Vikings, his lies and conflicts with other characters ultimately earned him a not-happy ending. Ragnar Lothbrok died in Vikings season 4, in the episode “All His Angels”, where after being tortured by King Aelle and having a cross cut into his head, he was thrown into a pit of snakes. Ragnar didn’t get a Viking funeral, and when Lagertha died in season 6, it was revealed that Ragnar made it to Valhalla. Ragnar himself knew he deserved to die after all the pain he caused, and he embraced death once his time arrived.
7 Tahani – The Good Place
Tahani became an afterlife architect.
The Good Place gave fitting endings to all its main characters, but Tahani’s (Jameela Jamil) ending deserves a special mention. Tahani Al-Jamil was a wealthy English philanthropist who was actually very full of herself when she arrived at the “good place”. With time, Tahani learned to be empathetic and selfless, and unlike her friends Eleanor, Chidi, and Jason, she decided to stay in the Good Place for a little longer. Tahani became an architect, just like Michael, and spent eternity helping other people become better and earn their spot at the Good Place.
6 Roman Godfrey – Hemlock Grove
Roman Godfrey was killed by Peter.
Hemlock Grove introduced Roman Godfrey (Bill Skarsgård), heir to the wealthy Godfrey family and also an “upir”, a type of vampire. Throughout the three seasons of Hemlock Grove, Roman had his moments of selflessness and kindness, but once he embraced his upir nature, he gave in to his darkest side. In the final season of Hemlock Grove, Roman Godfrey committed various horrible acts, mostly due to his insatiable hunger to kill, and the one that sealed his fate was the death of Destiny, Peter’s cousin. Peter, in his werewolf form, attacked his friend and killed him, with Roman repenting in his final moments and asking Peter to kill him as he didn’t want to live like a monster.
5 Jax Teller – Sons of Anarchy
Jax Teller sacrificed himself.
Jax Teller’s (Charlie Hunnam) downfall began with the death of his best friend, Opie Winston, and got worse after the murder of his wife, Tara Knowles. Blinded by his thirst for revenge and fueled by the lies of his mother, Gemma, the real murderer of Tara, Jax killed many people from other gangs and criminal organizations, but the one that led to his death was the murder of Jury White, president of the Sons of Anarchy Nevada charter. The death of another SAMCRO member is punished with death, so Jax had to meet “Mr. Mayhem”.
Note: “Mr. Mayhem” is SAMCRO’s code for death for a club member.
Jax’s actions in Sons of Anarchy season 7 created more issues for the club even though he thought they were for the benefit of it, but once he learned the truth and how he was manipulated by his mother, he embraced death by letting his bike crash directly onto a truck, similarly to how his father, J.T. Teller, died.
4 Schmidt – New Girl
Schmidt became a stay-at-home dad.
When Jess and the audience met Schmidt (Max Greenfield), he was the ladies’ man of the group and his extreme confidence often led him to be quite rude to women. When Schmidt fell in love with Cece, he went through the best character development in New Girl, overcoming his insecurities and being his authentic self. By the end of New Girl, Schmidt had gone from a workaholic to a stay-at-home dad while Cece went back to work, and this dynamic, which would have seemed impossible at the beginning of the series, worked out perfectly for their family.
3 Leslie Knope – Parks & Recreation
Leslie Knope possibly became President of the United States.
Leslie Knope achieved great things throughout Parks & Recreation, both in her personal and professional life. By the time season 7 began, Leslie was Midwest Regional Parks Director, and the flash-forwards in the series finale revealed she continued to succeed. Leslie went on to become Governor of Indiana and served two terms, and in the final flash-forward, it was hinted that Leslie fulfilled her dream of becoming President of the United States. Though it’s also possible that it was her husband, Ben, who became President, it’s widely accepted that Leslie achieved her ultimate goal.
2 Phoebe Buffay – Friends
Phoebe Buffay got the family she never had
Although all the main characters of Friends carried some family trauma, the most tragic one was, by far, Phoebe’s (Lisa Kudrow). Phoebe’s biological mother gave her and her twin sister to their father, Frank, and his partner, Lily (as the three of them were in a polyamorous relationship), as she wasn’t ready to be a mother. Frank later left Lily and the girls, and years later, Phoebe’s stepfather went to prison and Lily killed herself.
As a result, Phoebe ended up living on the streets throughout her teenage years, until she moved in with her grandmother. Phoebe never really had a family but found her place with her best friends, and when she married Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd), she finally got the loving and supporting family she never had.
1 Walter White – Breaking Bad
Walter White was shot and killed.
Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is one of the best characters in TV history, though not because of his good nature. Walter White is an antihero, and though he’s not the guy the audience is supposed to root for, his story is so engaging that viewers stick with him until the very end. By the end of Breaking Bad, Walter White had done more harm than good, and after his final act of revenge, he realized he had been wounded by a ricocheted bullet. Once Jesse left, Walt was left to die in Jack’s lab, and knowing that his family was now physically and financially safe and that he never set foot in a prison cell, Walt passed away peacefully.
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