Grey’s Anatomy – Season 5: “John Doe is George!”
If there’s one show that rivals Game of Thrones when it comes to traumatic character deaths, it’s Grey’s Anatomy. Creator Shonda Rhimes knows not only how to make viewers reach for a tissue, but also how to keep them talking and tweeting all summer. Going into the fifth season finale, viewers were worried about Izzie’s ongoing battle with brain cancer; Rhimes pulled a classic bait and switch. The doctors spent the episode operating on a John Doe who had been dragged by a bus after saving a pedestrian. In the final moments, Meredith Grey realizes that the John Doe is none other than her close friend and colleague George O’Malley. Moments later, after a seemingly successful brain surgery, Izzie flatlines, and George is rushed into surgery. The chilling final moments left viewers wondering who would live and who would die.
Friends – Season 4: Ross Says Rachel’s Name
Sure, Friends isn’t exactly a show full of big thrills and shocking twists, but they still always delivered huge season finales with memorable endings. The end of the fourth season delivered the most notable cliffhanger, though almost every season of Friends finished with a big twist, like when the audience discovered that Rachel was pregnant at Monica and Chandler’s wedding, and when Ross walked in on Joey proposing to Rachel. In season four, the whole gang is in London for Ross’ wedding to Emily. After Rachel shows up at the last minute before the ceremony, Ross has a massive Freudian slip while standing at the altar. Instead of saying Emily’s name when it comes time to say ‘I do,’ Ross declares,“I Ross, take thee, Rachel…” We’re left on the registrar asking Emily whether or not he should continue with the ceremony.