Award-winning television shows always seem to have unexplained plot points. For some reason, the greatest shows refuse to answer the questions fans want to know the most. These grave oversights in storytelling aren’t exclusive to TV either. Some Oscar-winning movies have unexplained moments as well.
Sure, there are a ton of shows where characters live above their means. But those inconsistencies are examples of TV tropes, not glaring plot flaws. Adding a new character in a series finale without outlining who they are or where they come from is a better example of an unexplained TV show moment. These occurrences are way more frequent than you might think.
Boy Meets World
Mr. Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn) is one of the most beloved characters on Boy Meets World. So it’s absolutely mind-boggling when Season 5 ends with Mr. Turner in critical condition after a motorcycle accident. He doesn’t return to the show, but the absence is never explained. Mr. Turner mentors Shawn (Rider Strong) and creates bonds with all of his other students; he’s a fixture on the show. The program producers didn’t seem to care, though.
For the record, Mr. Turner survives. Viewers learn this in 2015 when he appears on the spinoff Girl Meets World, but that’s way too little too late.
Walt Lloyd (Malcolm David Kelley) is either a superhero, a wizard, or a tiny god in Lost, but viewers will never know for sure. The show leaves more than one question unanswered, but fans especially want to know about Walt. He can apparently teleport and see the future, making him even more mysterious than Hurley (Jorge Garcia), the ghost whisperer. Walt’s sudden disappearance will always confuse some viewers.
Chuck Cunnigham (Gavan O’Herlihy) is the eldest of the three Cunningham children in Season 1 of Happy Days. But later in the series, dad Howard (Tom Bosley) explicitly refers to his two children: Richie (Ron Howard) and Joanie (Erin Moran).
Chuck never reappears after the first season. Did he die? Maybe there were some not-so-happy days, too.
The Big Bang Theory
Leonard (Johnny Galecki) dates Dr. Stephanie Barnett (Sara Rue) for a few episodes in the second season of The Big Bang Theory. The two even live together briefly, but then Stephanie disappears. In the episode, “The Vartabedian Conundrum,” Leonard tries to get Stephanie to move out, but she distracts him with sex multiple times. It seems like she has secured her place at the end of the episode. However, Stephanie never shows up on the program again. Did the couple finally split?
Anna Paquin played the beloved main character, Sookie, on HBO’s vampire drama True Blood. She even won a Golden Globe in 2009 for her performance. It’s a little strange, then, that her character unceremoniously marries a random guy. Viewers don’t know who he is or where he comes from. All of the Bon Temps residents live happily ever after, but Sookie is saddled with some stranger.
How I Met Your Mother
Very few people were happy with the twist at the end of How I Met Your Mother. By killing off the mother (the purported subject of the entire show), producers never really explain the identity of the titular character. The series builds toward Ted (Josh Radnor) meeting his future children’s mother, strongly implying she’s the one.
Radnor’s character ends up with Robin (Cobie Smulders), though. So is she the one? Viewers will never be entirely sure.
The series finale of House is full of twists. House (Hugh Laurie) miraculously survives the fire, for example. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) doesn’t beat cancer, though, and viewers wonder about House’s fate.
The title character fakes his death to avoid prison, so he can no longer practice medicine – not without a fake identity, at least. Will House become a vagrant or turn his life around? It’s hard to tell.
All My Children
In ’70s era All My Children episodes, widower Dr. Joe Martin (Ray MacDonnell) has three children to care for after his wife’s death. However, his job gets a little easier when son Bobby (Mike Bersell) goes up to the attic and never returns.
Oddly enough, the program alludes to Bobby a few times. A skeleton is found in the same attic with a “Bobby” nametag, and Joe’s other son refers to a Halloween skeleton prop as his brother. The soap opera producers don’t ever explain the boy’s disappearance, however.
Geoff Pierson plays President John Keeler on the third and fourth seasons of 24. Air Force One is attacked partway through the fourth season, though, and Keeler is critically wounded. His VP, Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin), is sworn in as president, but Keeler is never seen or heard from again. Executive producer Howard Gordon unequivocally stated Keeler was alive but too wounded to serve the public, while writer Manny Coto said, “Personally, I think he’s no longer with us.”
If the writers and producers can’t even agree on Keeler’s fate, how are fans supposed to know what happened to him?
It’s clear Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) have a romantic past in Seinfeld; there’s even some romance between them during the series. In fact, the Season 2 episode “The Deal” is about the rekindling of their physical relationship. However, the couple is platonic again by the third season. There’s no explanation and no flashbacks. What happened there?
The Good Wife producers fail to explain why Will (Josh Charles) calls Alicia (Julianna Margulies) right before he dies, and they do so on purpose. Co-creator Robert King noted, “We kind of wanted it to be never answered because it’s really what Alicia decides for herself… [whatever] makes her feel good.”
King also claimed the actors were told the reason for the call. He shared, “We needed to [tell them], and we needed to help Josh come to a place. Maybe Josh will tell someone someday.” All of the secrecy seems unnecessary, though.
In The Office‘s first episode, Michael (Steve Carell) jokes about filing a memo in the trash just like his brother does with taxes. That is the first and last time Michael’s brother is ever mentioned on the show, though. There is no indication Michael has a brother throughout the rest of the series. So does he, or does he not, have a sibling?