It's fair to say that the primary function of art is to entertain and basically give audiences what they want, but let's be honest - a satisfying payoff hits that much harder if the journey there is coloured by frustration and turmoil.
Sometimes we need to get the exact opposite of what we want in order to feel all the more euphoric when the desired payoff finally arrives, and so TV writers may conceive episodes or scenes that intentionally stoke the viewer's rage.
To be clear, this list doesn't include moments that inadvertently aggravated the audience - like the finales of How I Met Your Mother and Dexter, for example - but rather willfully enraging moments that were entirely by design.
These 10 TV episodes all keenly pushed your buttons, from killing off beloved characters to denying your most basic desires in favour of something better, even if the kneejerk reaction from most was one of pure, indignant anger.
In some cases the real payoff came in a later episode, while in others we had to reflect on the episode and its meaning to truly make peace with it...
10. Made In America - The Sopranos
The Sopranos' series finale "Made in America" is one of the most talked-about closers in TV history, and caused the show's fanbase to have a collective meltdown upon its original 2007 airing.
The episode and the series ends with Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) gathering with his family in a diner while the threat of an impending indictment hangs over his head.
Throughout the scene, as Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" plays, we get the vibe that maybe, just maybe, we're building to something here, especially with David Chase constantly cross-cutting to Tony's daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) struggling to park her car nearby.
Eventually the diner door opens and Tony looks up, only for the scene to cut sharply to black with the music abruptly cutting off. After a brief pause, the end credits roll, and that's all she wrote.
The ending was so sudden that many initially believed their cable signal had dropped out, but this was indeed Chase's complete vision for the show's ending.
While Chase stated that he didn't simply cut to black to piss off the audience for no reason, he did add that he intentionally ended the show where he did to stick it to those viewers who expected to see Tony get his violent comeuppance in the finale. Chase said:
"There was so much more to say than could have been conveyed by an image of Tony facedown in a bowl of onion rings with a bullet in his head... The way I see it is that Tony Soprano had been people's alter ego. They had gleefully watched him rob, kill, pillage, lie, and cheat. They had cheered him on. And then, all of a sudden, they wanted to see him punished for all that. They wanted 'justice.' They wanted to see his brains splattered on the wall. I thought that was disgusting, frankly... The pathetic thing - to me - was how much they wanted his blood, after cheering him on for eight years."
In much the same way that the Coen Brothers shied away from indulging our most primal desires in No Country for Old Men by denying us the grisly climax we expected, Chase wanted bloodthirsty Sopranos fans to reflect on why they wanted to see that.