Geeks is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
Everyone out there has a favorite television show they watched as a kid. In fact, many older adults will rewatch their favorite kids' shows as a way to help strike up some nostalgia, get that nice comforting feeling of yesteryear, and relax.
Relaxing as it might be to watch the antics of Spongebob Squarepants or the Powerpuff Girls kick some villain butt, it'd be a lie to say that there weren't moments where kid's shows took a turn for the heartbreaking. At times, the darkest episodes that shows had were the ones where the show ended.
If you remember some of the happy-go-lucky shows you used to watch on TV, finding out the upsetting endings to favorite kids shows might be a bit of a shocker. These, in particular, would make people wonder what writers were thinking.
Alf gets dissected.
If you were a child of the 80s, then you remember Alf, the family-friendly show about a weird-looking alien puppet with a penchant for eating cats. Everyone loved that goofy alien, except for the US government that Alf was hiding from.
The show regularly made mention that Alf would be dissected if government hands got him. Considering that this is a list of the most upsetting endings of favorite kids' shows, you can probably figure out how this ends, right?
Yep. Alf ends by having the titular character dying at the hands of the government. However, this wasn't done on purpose. Originally, the final episode was supposed to be a cliffhanger, but due to production issues, it became the season finale.
Eventually, producers admitted that Alf didn't die and that he escaped. Unfortunately, he never actually reunites with the Tanners—or even remembers who they were.
Every single character on 'Dinosaurs' dies.
The 80s and early 90s were a time when people loved seeing wholesome family sitcoms involving a hardworking (but bumbling) dad, a cute baby, a couple of kids old enough to talk, and a loving mom. That's why The Simpsons, Family Matters, The Cosby Show, and Dinosaurs were all major hits.
It was also a time when people started to pay attention to the plight of the environment, and somehow, those two totally opposite trends came together in one of the most upsetting endings of favorite kids' shows of the era.
Dinosaurs was a TV show that literally had every 90s family show trope out there, with Jim Henson-styled puppets. It was lighthearted and relatable in its own way.
So, of course, they decided to make the final episode one about the dangers of global warming—and what better way to handle that tough topic than to kill off every single character in a children's show?
Horrifying as it is, Dinosaurs ended by having the father dinosaur lie to his kids about dying as the camera slowly pans out one last time. I mean, dinosaurs shouldn't be shiny and happy all the time, but damn...
David the Gnome's Death Day
If you thought the ending to Dinosaurs was bleak, then you better watch out for The World of David the Gnome. This children's series aired on Nickelodeon and featured a gnome and his wife as they went on adventures, avoided trolls, and discussed nature.
Surprisingly, this show didn't take the Dinosaurs route of using their finale as a way to discuss the environment. Rather, the writers thought it was a better idea to have David and his wife have a mandatory death day.
In this world, when gnomes reach 400 years of age, they die by turning into trees. Well, both David and his wife turn 400. They die while holding each other's hands, thanking each other for being there for so many centuries.
We are pretty sure this ending traumatized at least one or two kids, even though writers probably intended it to be sweet.
The town of 'Little House on the Prairie' blows up.
In 1984, Little House on the Prairie was a favorite television show among fans of the book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It had frontier living, kids being kids, and slice after slice of Americana.
The ending to this show took a serious left turn that shocked audiences, and was also totally untrue to the book. The town where the show took place in was annihilated during a skirmish with Union soldiers fighting off a railroad tycoon.The entire thing showed the house getting broken and destroyed as a way to raise the middle finger to the railroad guy. In a twist that would make Michael Bay proud, kids got to watch the house they learned to love get blown to bits. Yay?
All the Digimon go back home.
Digimon Tamers was one of the many, many series that was geared towards marketing toys. The toys in this case were digital monsters that were pretty much repurposed Pokémon types. In the series, the kids bond with the digital creatures and become best friends.
So, since this has to be on this list, you have to realize that this is going to be a bad thing. In the finale of Digimon Tamers, all the digital monsters end up going back into the digital world after being pulled away from their owners.
The kids all burst into tears and wail after their friends as the Digimon all say, "You promised you'll play with us again!" Can it get any more upsetting than that?
Way to sell Digimon Rumble Arena to traumatized kids, assholes.
Uncle Phil made us all cry.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was one of the many wholesome sitcoms dealing with family hijinks—with Will Smith himself playing a cousin who comes to live with a rich Uncle Phil. Will Smith's character had one major family issue that was repeatedly mentioned in the series; he didn't have a father.
While this is not one the most disturbing endings of favorite kids' shows on this list, it still was one that elicited many tears from many viewers. This series ended by having Uncle Phil tell Will, "You are my son," as Will says goodbye to the family he grew close to.
How strange; it seems Will Smith is turning into Uncle Phil these days. He really is his father's son!
Tom and Jerry commit suicide.
Tom and Jerry was one of the most popular kids cartoons in the 1950s. They were old school humor with a lot of slapstick and the occasionally politically-incorrect joke thrown in for good measure.
A story about a cat chasing a mouse seems like it could only have one ending, but writers took it to a way darker level. It was so dark, it's been banned from TV networks since its airing.
In the last episode aired of the original Tom and Jerry series, Tom falls in love with a gold digger who cheats on him. Despondent, he turns to drinking and eventually decides to sit on a railroad so a train can crush him to death.
Jerry, feeling thankful that his girlfriend would never do that, stands by... until he sees his own girlfriend cheating on him with a richer man too. Then, Jerry decides to join his best friend in death.
Due to the insane level of depression in this episode, it's considered to be one of the most disturbing ending of favorite kids shows in history. It's not for people with depression, that's for sure.
Ed, Edd, and Eddy grow up.
Ed, Edd, and Eddy is a show that's a bit weird because it had two endings—and the first ending was one of the most upsetting endings to favorite kids' shows you'll ever see on Cartoon Network.
In the original ending of the show, the kids of the cul-de-sac start growing up and begin talking like more mature teenagers. Then, Eddy gets hit on the head by stuff from his garage. When he wakes up, it's revealed that Eddy is actually a senile old man.
As the cartoon progresses, it becomes clear that Eddy was dreaming about his childhood and that the entire show was a sign of Alzheimer's onset. Everything was a memory from the past, a dream.
The show was renewed shortly after, so the ending didn't end up staying the series finale for long. This is good, since that means the darkness of this show was easily written out.
Scoutmaster Lumpus was actually totally insane.
The 2000s show Camp Lazlo was created by the very same person who created Rocko's Modern Life; so, you have to actually expect some weirdness for a series finale. What we didn't expect to see, though, is a little low-key hint that Lumpus was a predator.
Scoutmaster Lumpus, the caretaker of the kids at Camp Kidney, starts stripping naked and talking about the freedom of not wearing clothes. People start catching on, rewarding him, and talking about how awesome his idea is.
Just when it seems like Lumpus is about to get all the rewards he's wanted, someone who looks eerily like Heffer Wolf from Rocko's Modern Life stops it all with a wild revelation. He says that Lumpus really isn't Lumpus at all. That guy locked Heffer's doppelgänger in a basement for months so he could take the position of scoutmaster.
The implications of this are pretty insane. There's a random, insane man who has been alone with kids in the woods, and he's naked in front of them. Kids just think it's a random, crazy guy, but parents were appalled at what they were accusing Lumpus of. We can't blame them; out of all of them here, this is definitely one of the weirder endings of favorite kids' shows out there.