There are few greater creative challenges than figuring out how to end a TV show in a manner that satisfies the vast majority of fans.
The history of the medium is littered with series that totally screwed things up at the eleventh hour - looking at you, How I Met Your Mother and Game of Thrones - because doing justice to years of audience investment is such a gargantuan, basically thankless task.
And then there are those showrunners and writers who decided to do the least-expected thing imaginable, using their series finale to serve up something completely wild, even bats**t crazy, which if nothing else has kept fans discussing it ever since.
An expectation-defying final episode can either be a pleasant surprise for fans, piss them all off, or perhaps most commonly land with a somewhat polarising reception.
But no matter what you make of these finales, they all rank among the most shocking, left-field, and totally cuckoo bananas ever committed to the screen.
Whether you buy what they were selling or not, they defied all anticipation and did something quite different, for better or worse...
10. Smash Cut To Black - The Sopranos
In the lead-up to The Sopranos' much-anticipated series finale, there really only seemed to be two probable outcomes for mobster protagonist Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) - death or jail.
But creator David Chase opted to pull the rug out by deferring to a third option most fans didn't even appreciate existed - keeping them in the dark about Tony's fate entirely.
The finale, "Made in America," unforgettably ends with Tony meeting his family at a restaurant, accompanied by Journey's anthemic "Don't Stop Believin'."
But just as Tony's late-arriving daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) enters the diner, Tony looks up and... the show suddenly cuts to black, with Journey's song ironically cutting out on the lyrics "Don't stop..."
After a few beats the end credits start rolling, and if you watched the show while it was originally airing, you'll likely remember how many fans initially believed their cable boxes had shorted out at a critical moment.
But no, Chase decided to end The Sopranos on a devilishly ambiguous note, leaving some fans convinced that the sudden cut to black represented Tony being shot to death, while others saw it as indicative of him simply looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life.
Though initial reaction to the finale was understandably wildly polarising, its esteem has grown considerably over the last 15+ years, many coming around to how daringly Chase subverted everything audiences expected of the show's final moments.