There are two ways to wrap up a canceled or ending TV show. There's the oft employed looking back at an empty room and closing the door option. Then there's the "WTF! Let's stab their eyeballs with crazy!" approach.
Guess which ones these guys chose?
Note: With the end of True Blood looming in the distance (like a big scary vampire castle), the ending of The Boondocks well behind us (just like racism) and the inevitable violent death of Game of Thrones (just like ... well, every character), it's easy to start feeling pretty pessimistic about the state of modern TV. But with this Cracked Classic, we're prepared to remind you that things could be much, much worse. Just so much worse. Be thankful for everything you have because the alternative is too terrible to imagine. -Cracked
7ALF is Sent Off to be Tortured and Dissected
In 1986, a friendly, wise-cracking alien crashed into the Tanner's garage, claiming to be the only survivor of his destroyed planet of Melmac. Despite being able to fluently speak English and explaining that his name is Gordon Shumway, the Tanners dubbed him ALF (for Alien Life Form) and only refer to him as such from then on. Kind of a dick move now that we think about it.
Initially, the Tanners weren't very happy to house a short smartass who wanted to eat their cat, but they soon realized the gravity of the situation after a man from the Alien Task Force showed up at their door. Curious, Kate Tanner asked the man just what would happen to ALF if they did catch him.
Actual quote from the first episode:
"We'll see how it responds to intense heat, freezing cold, high voltage, toxic substances, pain, sleep deprivation, inoculation [that's needles], and, of course, dissection."
"Why don't you just pull its toenails out?"
"You didn't let me finish."
Forget trying to learn about advanced science from this obviously technically superior species, our government would rather see what he looks like on fire.
Naturally, the Tanners decide that annoying or not, they absolutely have to keep ALF safe from the Alien Task Force so he won't be tortured to death. Over the next four years, the Tanners learned to love ALF and accept him as part of the family, until the Alien Task Force finally caught him!
The final shot of the entire series.
It starts when ALF receives a message from two surviving Melmacians, letting him know that they are going to colonize a new planet and want him to join them. ALF is torn between the continued survival of his species and his new family. Finally, he decides to join his own kind. The Tanners throw him a farewell party, have a very emotional goodbye and drive him to the outskirts of town to meet his friends' ship.
Then, just as the spaceship is preparing to pick him up, the Alien Task Force shows up, surrounding ALF. Frightened and low on fuel, his Melmacian buddies fly off, the agents close in on ALF and the credits roll, leaving viewers to assume the adorable, wise-cracking ALF is hauled off to be burned, frozen, poisoned, stabbed and finally gutted off-camera.
"That's odd. There's just a hand in here."
What were the producers thinking? Well, it would be awesome if this ending had been their plan all along and the previous 100 episodes were purely setup, an elaborate prank played by some people who really, really hated children. But the reality is the episode wasn't supposed to be the finale, it was to be a cliffhanger and the show just got cancelled before they could resolve it. Not that all of the eight-year-olds who subsequently cried themselves to sleep knew that.
Eventually, six years later, ABC aired Project ALF, a TV movie that explained ALF hadn't been executed yet, but was scheduled to be. Though he does escape the lab, he never meets back up with his Melmacian friends or reunites with the Tanners. Actually, he doesn't even seem to remember them (for some unexplained reason, they've moved to Iceland). In fact, one Amazon.com reviewer claims Project ALF made his children cry! So instead of a graphic, Muppet death, ALF is sent off into an existential collapse. Enjoy your adolescence, kids!
6Dinosaurs: Absolutely Everyone Dies
Who could forget Dinosaurs, the lovable product of the Jim Henson Creature workshop? Earl "Not the Momma" Sinclair and his family dealt with typical sitcom family issues, occasionally taking on more controversial issues under a thinly veiled prehistoric euphemism (i.e.: masturbating = doing the mating dance by yourself).
But the real star of the show was the adorable and mischievous Baby Sinclair. With such a cute and cuddly tone, naturally, the show had to end with everyone dying. And we mean everyone. This is the only sitcom in history that actually ended with the on-camera extinction of the entire species that starred in it.
Unless mullets count as a species.
In the finale, the family is disappointed when the beautiful and colorful bunch-beetle migration display fails to appear. Turns out the beetles never showed because a plastic fruit factory has destroyed their breeding grounds and effectively wiped out their entire population. The beetles were keeping a breed of creeper vine in check, which quickly spreads out of control. Earl is put in charge of the problem, and in trying to wipe out the vines, sprays massive amounts of defoliant that ends up wiping out all plant life on the planet.
Now desperate to make rain to revive the plants, they cause all the major volcanoes to erupt, confusing rain clouds with smoke clouds. In the end, the clouds end up causing global cooling which the TV says will last tens of thousands of years.
Earl apologizes to family for killing everyone as they rally together to wait for death as the snow piles up. The End.
On one hand, we get that they were trying to do some kind of hamfisted message about the environment. On the other, the message was, "No matter how hard you try to fix the environment, it will fucking kill you in the end." Thanks for watching, kids!