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    21 Alternate Endings To TV Shows That Would Have Changed Everything

    I can't believe Eric was supposed to be Gossip Girl until the writers changed it.

    Some TV shows have absolutely perfect endings — all of the questions are answered, the character arcs are satisfying, and the story is tied up with a nice little bow.

    Other endings...leave a little to be desired. Sometimes, you're left just begging for an alternate ending. They can't leave things like that, right?!

    Well, it turns out, a lot of TV shows did almost end completely differently — for better or for worse. Here are 21 of the most surprising discoveries I found:

    🚨 Warning: Spoilers ahead, including ones for the "Killing Eve" finale!!! 🚨

    1. Squid Game ends with Gi-hun abruptly turning around and walking back through the airport terminal after a call with the creators of the game. However, it almost ended with him getting on the plane and leaving instead.

    Gi-hun leaving the plane

    Creator and director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that they "wrestled between" the two endings: "We constantly asked ourselves, is it really right for Gi-hun to make the decision to leave and go see his family, to pursue his own happiness? Is that the right way for us to really propose the question or the message that we wanted to convey through the series?"

    Gi-hun standing in a line of people all wearing the same uniform

    2. Pretty Little Liars originally ended on a darker note. Initially, Spencer's evil twin, Alex, was supposed to get away with her crimes and Toby would have been the only one who was suspicious of her.

    side by side of Spencer and her evil twin

    Troian Bellisario (who played Spencer) explained in an interview with Entertainment Tonight: "I think that ultimately would’ve left things too much up in the air and we would've been worried for Spencer. So it was really fun because this way, Spencer got a happy ending, and all the girls got a happy ending, and Alex got to be with her family — which is great, but also in a little bit of a tricky situation."

    View this video on YouTube

    Freeform / Via youtu.be

    3. The Killing Eve writers played around with several alternate endings for the series. In the controversial finale, Villanelle and Eve finally share a long-awaited moment of intimacy...only for Villanelle to be shot to death a few minutes later.

    View this video on YouTube

    BBC America

    But Villanelle's fate wasn't always set in stone. Showrunner Laura Neal explained in an interview with Collider: "We discussed lots of different versions of the ending. ... We talked about both of them living. We talked about both of them dying. We talked about a version where Villanelle lived and Eve dies, and we spoke about all of those versions quite seriously. ... There was a version that was written where Villanelle more overtly saves Eve, sacrifices herself for Eve. That was a version that existed in the script stage for a while, and then we moved away from that because it didn't feel quite true to Villanelle's innate self-interest."

    Villanelle and Eve kissing on the side of the street

    4. Dan wasn't always supposed to be Gossip Girl on Gossip Girl. Initially, the writers were actually planning on it being Eric. But when fans and media outlets started to catch on, they pivoted.

    close up of Eric

    Executive producer and writer, Joshua Safran, revealed at Vulture Festival in 2019 that he actually wanted Nate to be Gossip Girl. As for why we ended up with Dan as Gossip Girl? Your guess is as good as anyones. "I like to joke that Dan was Gossip Girl because I had left the show by then," Joshua said. "Dan was not my intended Gossip Girl, so honestly you'd have to ask someone else."

    5. The creators of Russian Doll initially pitched a different ending for Season 1, but Netflix asked them to change it because they felt it was too similar to another show that was in development at the time, Maniac.

    ending scenes of Russian Doll and Maniac

    "I guess the thing we had pitched was similar to a twist in Maniac," co-creator Leslye Headland said in an interview with IndieWire. "And they were like, ‘We are very sad to tell you this, obviously no one knows this except the people that are working on Maniac, which happens to be us, this feels like it’s a little too close to that.’ That was a hard day."

    the characters of Russian Doll at a party with wine glasses in hand

    6. The How I Met Your Mother creators filmed an alternate, happier ending where Tracy (the mother) doesn't die, meaning she and Ted end up together instead of him reuniting with Robin. Turns out, the writers were torn between the two possible endings.

    Ted and Tracy under an umbrella

    Here's the alternate (aka correct) ending. You're welcome!

    View this video on YouTube

    CBS

    7. There's an alternate Hannah Montana ending where it's implied that everything was "only a dream." Originally, the show ended with a young Miley playing in her bedroom, apparently imagining the whole series.

    a child playing with a Hannah doll

    Watch the scene for yourself:

    View this video on YouTube

    Disney / Via youtu.be

    8. In the controversial Seinfeld finale, the gang goes to prison after they're found guilty of violating a "Good Samaritan law." More specifically, for choosing to laugh and mock a man who was being carjacked at gunpoint rather than try to help him or report the crime to the authorities.

    Kramer saying that jail could be fun because they won't have to worry about weekend plans or about their meals

    However, there's an alternate ending — which can be seen on the DVD set — where they're found not guilty. Other ideas tossed around included the group sitting around in a coffee shop with nothing to say to each other, Jerry saying, "That's it," and then all of them going their separate ways, or simply not having a finale at all.

    the friends in a court room

    9. Everwood had two possible endings ready to go. In the version viewers saw, Ephram and Amy reunite on the Ferris wheel. In the other version, Ephram is on his way to the Ferris wheel when he gets a call from his ex, Madison.

    Amy and Ephram kissing and Madison sitting with her arms crossed

    Here's the ending that aired, in case you need a refresher:

    View this video on YouTube

    The WB / Via youtu.be

    10. Greek ended with Casey and Cappie bidding farewell to their friends and driving off to Washington for law school. However, showrunner, Sean Smith, revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that they also filmed another ending: a flash-forward sequence.

    the cast posing on the campus

    "The flash-forward was to...Rusty, Rebecca, Dale, and Calvin’s graduation," Sean explained. "We also reveal, at the end, that it was Cappie’s graduation as well. ... It was our undergrads — who were then graduates — two years later from when we left off at spring break with Casey coming back from GW to see Rusty’s graduation and then being reunited with Cappie, and them kind of having a drink of hope at Dobbler’s at the end to show that as a game-changer for them. And Ashleigh was back from New York and Evan’s married."

    11. Friends almost didn't have Rachel get off the plane to be with Ross in the finale.

    Rachel showing up at Ross's apartment after getting off the plane

    Executive producer David Crane explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: "We did talk about, with Ross and Rachel, a gray area of where they aren’t together, but we hint there’s a sense that they might be down the road. But we thought, 'No, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it.'"

    Ross and Rachel hugging in the apartment hallway

    12. The original ending for Lost involved a big volcano. The creators initially imagined the series concluding with Jack and Smokey incarnate fighting over the fate of the island at the top of a volcano, Mount Doom.

    a character climbing a large rock

    "The volcano had been dormant for the duration of the series, but based on moving into this endgame, the island had become unstable and the volcano was going to erupt," co-creator, Damon Lindelof, said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "We were going to have lots of seismic activity, and ultimately, there was going to be this big fight between the forces of good and the forces of evil, which ended up in the series manifesting as Jack and The Man in Black, in the midst of magma. Magma spewing everywhere!"

    an erupting volcano

    13. The shocking twist in the final minute of Cruel Summer — in which we see Jeanette hear Kate call out for help in the basement, then smile and turn away — almost didn't happen.

    View this video on YouTube

    Freeform

    "We had versions of the ending where it was more of a misunderstanding, where it was sort of a near miss. Or Kate thinks one thing happened and Jeanette sees something different," showrunner, Tia Napolitano, said in an interview with TheWrap. "But it just felt like a lot of to-do about nothing if that was the answer. This felt much more satisfying than a pure misunderstanding."

    two characters in the mall

    14. Dexter executive producer and showrunner, Clyde Phillips, who left the show after the fourth season, said he would have pitched a different ending for the series.

    close up of Dexter

    Clyde explained in an interview with E! News: "In the very last scene of the series, Dexter wakes up. And everybody is going to think, 'Oh, it was a dream.' And then the camera pulls back and back and back and then we realize, 'No, it's not a dream.' Dexter's opening his eyes and he's on the execution table at the Florida Penitentiary. They're just starting to administer the drugs and he looks out through the window to the observation gallery. In the gallery are all the people that Dexter killed — including the Trinity Killer and the Ice Truck Killer (his brother Rudy), LaGuerta who he was responsible killing, Doakes who he's arguably responsible for, Rita, who he's arguably responsible for, Lila. All the big deaths, and also whoever the weekly episodic kills were. They are all there."

    close up of Clyde during an interview

    15. The Haunting of Hill House has a pretty happy ending: Steven's wife is revealed to be pregnant, and everyone is more or less at peace. However, the show almost went in a much darker direction.

    the characters gather round the table for a birthday

    Showrunner Mike Flanagan said in an interview with Thrillist: "We talked for a very, very long time about putting the Red Room window, that weird vertical window, in the background of this shot. And I ultimately decided not to. It was too cruel. But there was a lot of talk that this peace might not be real. In the version we ended up going with, I think it absolutely is real."

    different scenes of the house with dim light and fabric covering the furniture

    16. We all know that Pacey and Joey were meant to be on Dawson's Creek (right, guys? RIGHT?). But they weren't always intended to end up together.

    Pacey and Joey dancing at prom

    From the very beginning, the creators had planned on having Joey end up with Dawson. About halfway through the show, however, they changed their mind and pivoted. And thus, Joey and Pacey were endgame.

    a cross over Dawson and Joey and an arrow pointing to Pacey and Joey

    17. My fellow Schitt's Creek fans, if you're still not over Ted and Alexis' breakup, I have some news for you. It turns out that we almost got our happy ending.

    Ted and Alexis breaking up and saying how proud they are of each other and that they love each other

    Annie Murphy (who played Alexis) revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that she was told the show was going to end with a double wedding between David and Patrick (who do get married in the finale) and Alexis and Ted. When things changed and that didn't happen, Annie was so upset that she actually threatened to quit the show.

    Alexis and Ted having coffee in their scrubs

    18. Sex and the City creator, Darren Star, was reportedly unhappy with the show's ending. If he'd had the final say, he wouldn't have had Carrie and Big end up together*. "I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don’t ultimately find happiness from marriage," he said. "Not that they can’t. But the show initially was going off script from the romantic comedies that had come before it. That’s what had made women so attached.”

    Mr. Big telling Carrie she's the one and Carrie telling him to kiss her

    19. The Vampire Diaries was originally supposed to end with both Stefan and Damon dying to save Elena. "Both brothers [would] die in the name of saving their girl and then be watching her like ghosts," co-creator Julie Plec explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "[Elena would go] off into the sunset to live her life and maybe marry Matt Donovan or maybe become a doctor, but those brothers would be side-by-side watching her live."

    Stefan and Damon on either side of Elena

    However, things changed when Nina Dobrev (who played Elena) left the show after Season 6, effectively killing the love triangle. "I felt like we had to make a commitment to seeing Damon and Elena through to the end," Julie said. "If Nina had never left, I would’ve loved to have been able to see if Stefan and Elena could’ve found their way back to each other. I don’t know if they could have, but had that departure not been a part of it, the long game would’ve been to see if we could bring the love triangle back around before the series ended and really leave a choice."

    Stefan and Elena and Damon and Elena

    20. The controversial ending to Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life — in which Rory tells Lorelai she's pregnant, presumably with Logan's baby — was actually supposed to happen back in Season 7 of the original Gilmore Girls.

    Rory tells her mom she's pregnant

    21. And finally, there's a Breaking Bad alternate ending where everything turns out to be a figment of Bryan Cranston's Malcolm in the Middle character's imagination.

    Walter White on the phone at night

    Yup, you read that right. I'll leave you with this scene:

    View this video on YouTube

    AMC

    Which one of these surprised you the most? Would you have preferred any of these alternate endings? Tell us in the comments!