While these shows got another season after this finale, these episodes sent their season out with a bang, making you very hyped for the next season, whenever that may be.
Much like the last list, there are a few ground rules. The big one that needs to be mentioned is it must not be a Series Finale. That means that the last episode of a show cannot be counted. Secondly, it does not matter when the next season aired after this episode, as long as it has aired. Two Part episodes also count for this list, as long as they were the last two episodes of the season or if Part 1 was the very last episode of the season, and Part 2 was the first episode of the next season, in which case only the first part will be on here.
10. “Optimal Tip-To-Tip Efficency” – Silicon Valley
There is a moment in every show where you realize you are in it for the long haul. Silicon Valley dropped the mic at the end of it’s first season with this moment. The show had slowly been gathering pace both story and comedy wise, so when we are treated to the best and most science based dick joke in TV history, it is no surprise that this show became a must watch for many people. The episode had you laughing constantly, all while moving the plot forward and giving a great ending to a season long arc.
9. “Development Arrested” – Arrested Development
I feel like this is cheating a little, but with S4 airing in 2013, this episode was no longer the series finale, like it had been for so long before. Sending the show out in a blaze of glory, we get a lot of plot resolution in most major plot lines, such as George Micheal finally telling his dad about his feelings for Maeby, Lindsay discovering she is adopted and the reveal that Lucille was behind the whole operation, not George who was actually a patsy. Mixing plenty of laughs in with the constant barrage of running jokes, this episode is a brilliant season finale that has the rare distinction of working better than the actual series finale (to date, S5 is due May 2016 by any rumors, so that may change.)
8. “Exam Times” – The Inbetweeners
It’s not often that we get a season finale of an English comedy series that has legit character development, but when The Inbetweeners bowed out at the end of their second season, we got this episode that finally showed us that these four lads actually have a modicum of emotion. This episode is all about balancing social with academic life, and while some chase relationships, others shit their pants during a test. This episode while being hilarious and full of funny moments, actually let us see that these are just teenagers, and they are going to be heartbroken when relationships fail, especially if it is because of Jay’s massive cock.
7. “The Opposite” – Seinfeld
There are a few problems I have with shows that lack overarching storylines. One of them is a generally unappealing season finale, as there is no resolution to wrap up. While Seinfeld did have overarching plots in earlier and later seasons, it is this Season 5 finale that is just full on hilarious, forgiving all the overarching plots in favor of just a great episode of TV. In this episode, we see George realize he needs to do the opposite of everything to succeed while also bringing the best pickup line for all of us to never use in “My name is George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.”
6. “Space Race Part One and Two” – Archer
It is always a pleasant surprise when we get a season finale that is easily among one of the best episodes of the entire show, let alone when it is a two parter. Space Race easily hits those highs as it sends the ISIS crew into space to try and stop an astronaut mutiny. What we get is a pop culture filled romp through a space station that brings back classic characters and shows a little character development. It’s all you can ask for in a season finale, and the added bonus of Bryan Cranston voicing the main enemy is just a nice touch.
5. “The Nightman Cometh” – It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Called “Seinfeld on crack” by some critics, IASIP is another show that throws overarching plots out the window to just produce funny episodes of TV. Here we get the return of a running joke in The Nightman, as Charlie writes a musical that he performs with the sole aim to use it to get with The Waitress. This episode is a classic of the show, filled with laugh out loud lines, many a callback and most importantly, Danny De Vito singing about getting the troll toll to get into this boy’s hole. If there is anything this episode shows well, is that the right circumstances can make almost anything funny.
4. “Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part One” – The Simpsons
Cliffhangers are quite possibly the worst thing to exist in TV. When done well, it can build tension and excitement, but when done wrong, it leaves you wanting more, especially if the show is bitingly cancelled after the cliffhanger. However, Who Shot Mr. Burns let The Simpsons indulge in this idea, and crafted one of the best episodes of the golden age of the show, and one that set off a manic attempt to find the shooter in the summer of 1995 as the world waited for the 7th season to premiere, much liked the Who Shot J.R. plotline from Dallas over a decade earlier. The episode builds the mystery very well, with numerous hints and red herrings pointing viewers in multiple directions, all while maintaining the charm and the humor that made the show so good in the first place.
3. “The Leap” – How I Met Your Mother
Ending one of the better seasons of HIMYM, this episode wrapped up the season beautifully with the wonderful pick of A.C Newman’s Prophets in the background as Ted and the gang make the literal leap across buildings to go use a hottub. But it meant so much more than that for many of them, with Ted especially taking the biggest leap as a person after a particularly brutal season. This was one of the first episodes of TV that I remember standing out to me as being really good at what it does. It also gave us the great joke of Ted being attacked by a goat, which would have put it on the list to start with, the fact that it was one that really threw the show forward is a big bonus.
2. “Moving Up” – Parks And Recreation
Pawnee, how I yearn for more. This sixth season finale was an all round great episode of Parks and Recreation, but also TV. Acting as a quasi-series finale in case the show was not renewed for the 7th and final season, this double length episode packed everything it had into this episode, with fantastic laughs, emotional scenes (We will never forget you Lil’ Sebastian) and most importantly, the wrapping up of a load of storylines. This episode showed the series was headed to its end, and the time jump at the end of the episode just proved that the series was willing to push itself to find new storylines, which was something the show really needed.
1. “A Fistful of Paintballs/For A Few Paintballs More” – Community
As I mentioned earlier with Archer, when an episode is both a season finale and one of the best episodes of the show, it is a truly magical thing that is becoming rarer and rarer. So when Community brought back the paintball concept for its two part season finale, fans were excited as Modern Warfare was one of the most loved episodes of the show to date. Taking on both spaghetti westerns and the Star Wars movies, this episode was consistently hilarious and a wonderful homage to the genres it based itself on while pushing along the show story, as Pierce was almost pushed out of the study group only for him to come back and not want to be a part of it. We also get some unique combinations group wise (I still ship Annie/Abed) but most importantly, we get a perfect capper to one of the best seasons of a comedy series as a whole.
Did I miss anything? Did I get the list completely wrong? Fire off in the comments with your top season finales from comedy shows!