A series finale is a grand way of wrapping things up. It is almost a swan song for the writers who have worked so hard on the season for so long. The series finale allows them catharsis in the way of executing all the build-up, connecting all the plot holes and proper send-offs to the characters. The finale also lets the directors pay homage to us, fans by including callbacks from the start of the season. These callbacks may be small references or full fan service that lets us have an “OHHHH!” moment. but mostly, they act as a touchstone for how far the show, the characters, and the fans have come.
Let us look at a few of the moments of series finales where the makers added some wonderful callbacks to older episodes.
1. Mr. Robot ends with the song “Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Jacques Brel. This song was adapted by Neil Diamond in “If You Go Away”, a song that was featured in the pilot episode of the show.
2. The finale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer shows our beloved posse walking together. Buffy asks the group what they should do and Xander answers, “Mini-golf.” He had suggested the same thing in the season premiere of the second season after they had defeated the first big villain of the series.
3. In 30 Rock, when Liz is watching Jack’s suicide video, he blames her to which she laments that this had happened with her gynecologist too. In the first episode of season 5, Liz had told Jack how her gynecologist had killed himself.
4. The finale of The Good Place sees our characters saying their bittersweet goodbyes to one another. We see Eleanor and Janet sipping margaritas on a bench by the trees while saying their farewells. This is a reference to Eleanor’s death on Earth, which she had mentioned in the series premiere. Eleanor had died when grocery carts hit after she dropped her margarita mix in the parking lot.
5. After fan-favorite vampire Stefan Salvatore sacrificed himself at the end of Vampire Diaries, he has a reunion with Elena. All this happening as he passes from life to death, they recreate the run-in in the school hallway that they had the very first time we met them in the pilot episode.
6. The series finale of Veep has a nomination acceptance speech by Selina. Before that, Gary notices a chia seed in her teeth and tosses it out. This is a callback to the first episode where Selina asks Mike if he has a seed in his teeth.
7. In Gilmore Girls, the song that Luke and Lorelai dance to after getting married is the same song they danced to on their first date.
8. In the series finale of Grey’s Anatomy, Miranda sits behind Amelia during her delivery. This is a sweet callback to what the late George O’Malley had done for Miranda back in Season 2.
9. When we first meet Jim Halpert in The Office, he is a disgruntled employee who wants to get out of his job. This is referenced in the final episode when Jim thanks his company for everything he has achieved in his life.
10. The final episode of The Big Bang Theory shows the characters wearing the same outfits from the first episode of the show.
11. The final episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has Rebecca and Paula singing the song West Covina at the end. This was the same song that Rebecca sang at the end of the first episode.
12. The final moments of Seinfeld show us our main characters locked up in a prison cell, where Jerry and George argue over the placement of a shirt button. The same debate that they were having in the first episode.
13. The finale of Modern Family followed the same structure as the pilot. It followed the three main families and their problems with them meeting at Mitch and Cam’s house at the end.