Ending a TV show on the right note is notoriously tricky. When a movie botches its conclusion, the fans are left feeling like they’ve wasted two hours of their lives, but where the small screen is concerned, it’s significantly longer than that.

This inevitably means showrunners and networks incur the wrath of irate fans if their grand finale is anything less than stellar, though the old ‘can’t please everyone’ adage definitely applies here.

There are many things to consider when bringing the curtain down on a series. Should certain characters die? Does the conclusion need to be neat and tidy, or is there room for ambiguity? And is it worth leaving the door open for a reunion down the line?

Some TV shows have ended on a cliffhanger that was never resolved, likely because a cancellation order wasn’t foreseen, while others doled out an open-ended finale and left the fans to draw their own conclusions. Moreover, there are series which have ended definitely, on their own terms, yet still left a dangling plot thread behind.

Here are the unanswered questions that TV series both recent and classic have allowed to linger indefinitely.

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