Top 10 Best Cliffhangers in Television History

Cliff-Hangers entice viewers. They leave you wondering what will happen next. You cannot sleep; you count down the days until you find out what happened to your loved ones on TV.

The list is dedicated to the best 10 cliff-hangers in television history. Asking 100 people, these were the results.


1. Dallas: Who Shot JR? (A House Divided)

This was the best cliff-hanger so far EVER. In fact it was just the second season of Dallas and people were speculating all over North America about what happened. It was the popular culture of everyday talk. When the series returned, viewers learned that his sister in law shot him out of rage.

Interestingly enough, fans went crazy. T-shirts were made and printed with reference to this episode. The episode even got the attention of US President incumbent, Jimmy Carter. It is thus not surprising that the episode was the highest rated television episode in US History.


2. ER: Lucy & Carter Stabbed:

This was one of the most traumatic episodes I’ve watched on ER. My heart gasped as Carter falls to the floor after being wounded by a Schizophrenic patient to find Lucy on the floor lying in a pool of blood. The hardest part ever to watch was the death of Lucy. Kerry Weaver did an amazing job taking the lead at undoing the damage. My heart was aching as she had to stitch Lucy up after autopsy.


3. Roseanne: Season 8:

Darlene just got married. Dan is feeling ill. All of the sudden he has a heart attack and the final moments of the season listen in on ambulance arriving. Things in season 9 change as Roseanne bases most of the season on her book. Dan is seen alive, but in reality he died and never recovered. We only learn this in the series finale.


4. Dynasty: Moldavian Massacre:

This was the beginning of an end for this 1980s show. A major wedding (between Amanda and Michael) is about to occur, but is soon interrupted by terrorists who attempt a coup of Moldavia. The chapel is riddled with bullets. All major characters are presumed dead, lying lifelessly. Sadly when the show returned in June, no one big died; just two minor characters.

This was the most talked about episode with 60 million viewers. It was also named as one of the most Unforgettable Cliff-Hangers of Prime Time Television.


5. Melrose Place: Season 3 finale:

Everyone is inside or at least outside of the popular complex, Melrose Place when a criminally insane woman, Kimberly Shaw attempts and does blows up the building. The episode ends as she presses on the click button to detonate as Allison is inside drinking. Due to the Oklahoma Bombings a month earlier, the bomb explosion did not take place until September. No one except for one minor character died.

This was not all. Jake and his brother have a fight and both jump off a construction site more than 10 stories high. The fact that Grant Shaw was not leaving gave away the fact that he would live.


6. 90210: Season 1 Finale “One Party Can Ruin Your Whole Summer”:

90210 in 2009 promoted that someone would die at the end of season 1. With the exit of Dustin Milligan many speculated that Ethan would be killed off. As a drunken Annie drives off after Naomi’s party, she hits someone and drives-off. Viewers speculate who it was, only to be disappointed to learn it was a homeless man.


7. All My Children: Series Finale:

Watching the series finale, made me realize how bad of a job All My Children did at wrapping up the storylines. Too many unanswered questions were left open. Who did JR shoot? Who else did David save? We will never know due to an error Prospect Park made. The online network pulled the plug on the deal after revision the finale on television. We were supposed to see what would happen online, but never did because the plug was pulled before we could.


8. Simpson’s: Who Shot Mr. Burns:

Mr. Burns is evil. He attempts to steal daylight from the whole of Springfield. Everyone has a reason to hate him, but only 1 pulled the trigger on the 100+ year old. Who had done it? No one knew until season premiere in September. Maggie Simpson, a baby was revealed to have pulled the trigger, because Burns stole her candy.


9. Alias: Vaughan’s Identity:

Things become heated as Vaughan and Sydney go on vacation, only for the latter to find out that he is not Michael Vaughn. As he makes the confession, a car crashes into theirs. In the next episode, Vaughan is kidnapped by a fake rescue team and Sydney finds out she’s pregnant.


10. Friends: Ross’ Vows:

Ross was an interesting character that was funny to watch on this sitcom. In fact it was even funnier to watch him marry Emily but say he’s taking Rachel to marriage. The priest has no idea what to do and the episode stops there. The reception did go on, it left viewers kind of confused as Ross marries Emily but invites Rachel to go to Greece.


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