25 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About These TV Season Finales That Will Make Them Even More Memorable

·19 min read

🚨 There are obviously MASSIVE spoilers ahead for a lot of past (and current) TV shows! 🚨

1.First, in The Bear Season 1 finale, the episode includes Carmy giving a speech in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and the moment was filmed on the last day of filming. Jeremy Allen White didn't know the final version of the scene would only consist of a single shot on his face. He explained that the way they filmed it, they shot footage of the other people in the meeting as he gives the speech as well.

Screenshots from "The Bear"
FX / Hulu

Also, the scene was so important to Jeremy that he actually read Carmy's speech most mornings before filming throughout the entire shoot. "I was thinking about it the whole shoot, and I used that speech as an in," Jeremy said. "I would read it most mornings before work because it seemed like a map for Carmy. I'd perform it alone a lot, in my apartment. Sometimes, I feel like I did better in my apartment than I did on the day, and that’s really difficult."

Screenshots from "The Bear"
FX / Hulu

2.For the Euphoria Season 1 finale, creator Sam Levinson always knew he wanted to do a musical number during the first season; however, it wasn't until he was writing the season finale that he realized Rue's relapse was the perfect time to do one. However, he told Zendaya he was interested in doing a musical number, and she wasn't sold on having to sing and dance on the show.

Screenshots from "Euphoria"
HBO

"I told [Zendaya] that I wanted to do a musical number, and she was like, 'Are you for real? Are you fucking with me?,'" Sam recalled. "I was like, 'No, no, I’m serious.' And she was like, 'With dancing and singing?' And I was like, 'Kind of. I don’t know if you’re fully dancing, but you’re definitely singing.' She was like, 'Let me see it first. I’m curious how you’re going to pull this off, but I trust if anyone is going to do it, you could do it in some way that feels right. I can’t totally imagine it right now.'" In the end, Zendaya got on board and was a perfectionist when it came to working with Labrinth on "All for Us."

3.For the Only Murders in the Building Season 2 finale, it took four days to film the moment inside Bunny's apartment where Charles, Oliver, and Mabel map out who they think committed the murder. And, the writers kept the identity of the killer a secret from the supporting cast and crew, so a lot of them were finding out as they filmed the scene.

Screenshots from "Only Murders in the Building."
Hulu

"It was exciting to watch people on set, the camera crew, and other people who hadn't known where all of this was going, watching it get filmed and read through the stuff until it became clear when Poppy steps forward," showrunner John Hoffman explained. "There were still people on the day when we were shooting that went, 'Oh, my God. I had no idea. I thought the script had changed because of certain things happening, and now I think Alice did it.'"

Screenshots from "Only Murders in the Building"
Hulu

4.In The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 1 finale, one of the biggest moments is when Conrad steps in for Jeremiah at the debutante ball and dances with Belly, all while Taylor Swift's "The Way I Loved You" plays. Getting this song in the episode was huge for author and executive producer Jenny Han, who actually listened to Fearless and was inspired by it when writing the books.

Screenshots from "The Summer I Turned Pretty"
Prime Video

"'The Way I Loved You' — that was the most important song. I didn't know if we were gonna be able to get it or not, because you just never know! I think many artists are selective about what they allow to be licensed. So, I had my fingers crossed," Jenny explained. "When I found out that we were granted permission, I was so excited — not just for myself as a fan, but also for the book fans! They'd been asking for so long, 'Can we get Taylor's music on the show?' And I was always like, it's not up to me. We got five [Taylor] songs total, which is wild. Such a bounty of riches. I think she's an amazing storyteller with her music."

5.For Moira's Pope-like outfit in the Schitt's Creek series finale, it took hairstylist Ana Sorys several weeks to figure out how to make Moira's hair crown. The original wig was only 40 inches long, but Ana ended up adding an extra 20 inches to the bottom to make it even longer at Dan Levy's request.

Screenshots from "Schitt's Creek"
Pop / CBC

"I made her hair piece out of stuffed pantyhose, and then I had to wrap hair around and glue it on and measure her head," Ana explained. "Finally, I ended up getting this great glue that I used to put my tiles down in my kitchen. That’s the only thing that worked that wouldn’t interfere with the color of the hair, darkening or leaving any residue. It was just the most perfect thing, and that was the last thing I tried the night before I had to have it prepared for Catherine [O'Hara]. It was just beautiful and crazy at the same time."

Screenshots from "Schitt's Creek"
Pop / CBC

6.In the Killing Eve series finale, Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh filmed one take of Villanelle and Eve's long-awaited kiss on the side of the road. So, what you see in the episode is a combination of what was scripted and what Jodie and Sandra added to the scene during filming.

Screenshots from "Killing Eve"
BBC America

"I think it was a one-take one, and it was just so electric watching that scene be filmed. I think it was like, We don't need another one. That's the one," showrunner Laura Neal told BuzzFeed. "I think it felt really special to Sandra and Jodie on the day, too, because it felt like such a long time coming. To finally have them come together, that just feels like such a huge moment in the history of the show."

Screenshots from "Killing Eve"
BBC America

7.While filming the One Tree Hill Season 3 finale, which involved Haley and Nathan's wedding, Bethany Joy Lenz almost missed shooting the scene on the bridge where Nathan jumps in the water to save Cooper and Rachel. On a recent episode of the Drama Queens podcast, Joy revealed that she missed her flight the day before filming the bridge moment was supposed to take place.

Screenshots from "One Tree Hill"
Warner Bros / The CW

In order to make it to set on time, she paid a random woman to drive her from Atlanta to North Carolina. "I found this woman that looked trustworthy, and I said, 'I will pay you $1,000 for you to drive me to Wilmington, North Carolina tonight,'" she recalled to Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush, who had no idea this happened. The woman and her boyfriend ended up driving Joy to set, and she made it just in time to film the Season 3 finale.

"Nathan! Nathan!"
Warner Bros / The CW

8.In the Bridgerton Season 2 finale, a classical version of "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus was chosen for Kate and Anthony's dance because the song actually inspired the scene during the writing process. Showrunner Chris Van Dusen revealed that the song was included in his writing playlist, and it immediately "stayed" with him while working on the Season 2 finale.

Screenshots from "Bridgerton"
Netflix

"[The song's lyrics] really [were] so fitting for what was happening with Kate and Anthony all season as far as taking the wrecking ball down to each other's issues. And culminating in that final dance between them I think is really magical," Chris explained. In terms of filming and rehearsing the dance, Jonathan Bailey said, "I think the hunger and the need to know that [Kate] is gonna be there for [Anthony] is in that final dance as well. There’s nothing more romantic and, really, sort of upsetting than a last dance."

Dance rehearsal for "Bridgerton"
Shondaland / Via youtu.be

9.Ella Purnell, who plays Jackie on Yellowjackets, knew that her character would (spoiler alert) die in the Season 1 finale from when she auditioned. She was informed that the role would only be a one-season deal, but she said it didn't hit her until she was filming the heartbreaking moment opposite Sophie Nélisse, who plays young Shauna. Sophie described the moment as "quite emotional" and equated it to losing a best friend in real life, too, since Ella will likely not return for Season 2.

Screenshots from "Yellowjackets"
Showtime

Speaking about filming the scene, Ella was actually lying there with her eyes closed, covered in fake snow, while Sophie acted her ass off. "The fake snow that they used, it expands when it's wet. So, when they were blowing it on top of me and making it look like fresh snowfall, I had to close my eyes because none of the fake snow could get in my eyes or my nose or my mouth because it would then expand and be really gross and quite painful," Ella recalled. "So, I basically had my eyes closed for about an hour and a half."

"Jackie!!!!!!"
Showtime

10.For the Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Season 1 finale, it took a full night to film the moment when Imogen is being chased by A in her old house. Due to the fact that the chase scene was so complex — and on top of it all, Imogen was very pregnant — Bailee Madison worked with a choreographer and director Lisa Soper to make sure her stunts were done correctly and that she was able to do most of them herself.

Screenshot from "Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin"
HBO Max

"They allowed me to step in for the choreography of the stunts and suggest some things that were Imogen-motivated. It was very emotional," Bailee recalled. "We filmed that final fight pretty much all day. By the end of it, the crew was ghost white after hearing us scream and fight. We started from the bathroom of Imogen’s house and went down the hallway, just trying to give it every single time. Travis, who was the man behind the mask who did all the stunts, put himself through hell with me, and I definitely messed him up and hurt him a couple of times."

Screenshots from "Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin"
HBO Max

11.For the This Is Us series finale, the cast and crew actually filmed about half the finale years in advance. During the episode, the flashbacks feature a Saturday at home with the Pearsons, so in order to include the original young Big Three actors, those scenes were filmed during Season 4, aka three seasons prior to the series finale.

Screenshots from "This Is Us"
NBC

Speaking about how he told Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore about filming series finale scenes years in advance, creator Dan Fogelman said they never questioned what those scenes would be used for down the line. He recalled, "I was like, 'Guys, we're going to go spend the extra four days on set, and you're going to shoot four days' worth of material with the kids that won't air for years and is untethered to anything else you're doing.' And they were like, 'Great!' Then, they came in and nailed it every single day."

12.Wynonna Earp star Melanie Scrofano was pregnant in real life while filming all of Season 2, which included the emotional moment when Wynonna gives birth and then gives up her daughter Alice in the season finale. In fact, Melanie gave birth to her second son only four days after wrapping filming for Season 2.

Screenshots from "Wynonna Earp"
SYFY

Talking about filming the Season 2 finale birth scene while also very pregnant, Melanie explained that it was some of the most "honest" and "real" storytelling she's ever been part of, but it was also extremely challenging. "When you're pregnant, and I was still pregnant, you have all these crazy fears of what could happen to the baby. So, that was a really tough scene to shoot because I'm seeing this perfect little baby — who deserves an Emmy for crying at all the right times — and it brought out all my worst fears," she said. "It was powerful, but also very horrible."

Screenshots from "Wynonna Earp"
SYFY / Via youtu.be

13.During the Abbott Elementary Season 1 finale, the cast and crew actually went on location and filmed for all the Philadelphia Zoo scenes. While they didn't film in a real zoo — they filmed at Descanso Gardens in Los Angeles — creator and star Quinta Brunson said the whole day actually felt like a field trip, with the adult cast members acting like "real teachers" with their child costars.

Screenshots from "Abbott Elementary"
ABC

"They think they go to school so when they're out of school, they're like, 'Ah! We're out of the school! We're on a field trip!'" Quinta explained when talking about working with the child actors. "So, we had to be real teachers and say, 'Hey, come in. Stop running.' But at the same time, even our cast got zany when we got out of the school. We also were wild."

Screenshots from "Abbott Elementary"
ABC

14.While filming the Stranger Things Season 4 finale, Millie Bobby Brown actually burst into tears the first time she came face-to-face with Jamie Campbell Bower in his full Vecna costume. In fact, he was so terrifying as Vecna that Millie wasn't sure that Jamie was actually underneath all of the prosthetics and wardrobe.

Screenshots from "Stranger Things"
Netflix

"They brought her up into a position where she's bound. I walked up to her [as Vecna], and she burst into tears. She wouldn't look at me, and she was visibly just disgusted by the whole thing," Jamie recalled. "After she cried and I made it obvious that she knew it was me, one of the things she said was that, 'I knew it was you when I could smell cigarettes,' because I'm a smoker."

Behind the scenes of "Stranger Things"
Netflix / Via youtu.be

15.For the Outlander Season 2 finale, which notably features Claire heartbreakingly saying goodbye to Jamie, finding out she's pregnant, and traveling back through the stones before Culloden, Caitriona Balfe said there was quite a long discussion on how to film their sex scene in the episode.

Screenshots from "Outlander"
Starz

Straying from the book, Jamie and Claire's last moments together happen at the stones, so the sex scene had to be outside. Cait was "adamant" about it not taking place "up against a tree," like the writers originally suggested. "I was like, 'No, not gonna happen that way! That's so not romantic, it can’t be up against a tree, that’s not right!' I was so adamant about it," she recalled. "They were like, 'Well, it’s gonna be cold and wet, are you gonna wanna be on the ground?' I was like, 'I don’t care, I'll be on the ground, it can’t be against a tree.' It just seemed so wrong and so not beautiful."

Screenshots from "Outlander"
Starz

16.The Never Have I Ever Season 3 finale ends with Devi showing up at Ben's bedroom door and cashing in his note that reads, "One free boink." When the cast got the script for the first time, Jaren Lewison flipped right to the final page of the script and was shocked that it ended in this way. He immediately texted Maitreyi Ramakrishnan his excitement.

Screenshots from "Never Have I Ever"
Netflix

Jaren explained that he has a "really bad habit" of going right to the end of scripts when he gets them, and that's exactly what he did for the Season 3 finale. "[I was] like, 'Holy eff. How the heck? Oh my god.' And then, I went all the way to the start and found out how we got there. I was texting Maitreyi the second I got it," he recalled. "I was like, 'Oh my god, the ending.' She was like, 'There’s no freakin' way you read it [that] quickly.' We were both texting each other, and I think that it was really cool for those two characters to have that moment."

Screenshots from "Never Have I Ever"
Netflix

17.During the Modern Family series finale, there is a sweet moment when the entire family participates in a giant group hug as they all get ready to go their separate ways. The moment was actually inspired by the iconic group hug from The Mary Tyler Moore Show series finale.

Group hugs among the cast
ABC / CBS

Modern Family showrunner Christopher Lloyd called the moment "a bit of [an] homage" and explained that it was "a chance for our characters to do what we hope our audience does...give this family a last hug before a goodbye."

The cast in a group hug
ABC / CBS

18.The Good Place Season 1 finale features one of the biggest TV twists ever, when we find out they've actually been in The Bad Place the entire time. While Kristen Bell and Ted Danson knew the twist pretty early on, the rest of the cast was left in the dark until the last possible moment, which added to their genuine surprise on screen.

"Oh man! I can't believe you figured it out!"
NBC

"They gave the most honest and real performance they could give, simply because they didn't know," creator Mike Schur explained when asked why he didn't let D'Arcy Carden, Jameela Jamil, and Manny Jacinto in on the big reveal. In total, Mike said probably only 20 people knew the secret throughout the filming of Season 1, and he said it was super satisfying when they finally got to tell everyone.

"This is The Bad Place."
NBC / Mike Schur / Via youtu.be

19.For the Hawkeye finale, the cast and crew filmed some of the exteriors at the real Rockefeller Center in NYC, and then, the set designers recreated the ice rink and iconic Christmas tree on a set in Atlanta. In fact, a majority of the major stunt scenes at Rockefeller Center in the finale were filmed on the stage and not at the real place.

Screenshots from "Hawkeye"
Marvel / Disney+

In Assembled: The Making of Hawkeye, the cast and crew explained how amazing it was to watch Rockefeller Center be recreated on a set. The crew matched everything down to the granite used; however, the only big change was they didn't use real ice for the ice rink. The crew determined that the ice would be too hard to maintain, and the Atlanta heat wouldn't keep it frozen, so they used a "knockoff substance" that wasn't slippery.

Behind the scenes of "Hawkeye"
Marvel / Disney+

20.The WandaVision series finale was originally going to feature a scene involving Agatha's rabbit Señor Scratchy, Monica, Billy, Tommy, and Ralph, but it was cut pretty early on in the process of filming.

Screenshots from "WandaVision"
Marvel / Disney+

Director Matt Shakman revealed that the scene was "very fun" and involved a "Goonies-style set piece involving Señor Scratchy, who was Agatha's familiar, turning into a sort of demon bunny and chasing the kiddos, Monica, and Ralph around the bewitched basement." Ultimately, the scene was cut because they felt the show was meant to focus on Wanda and Vision, and adding this scene to the finale took away from their emotional final stories.

  Marvel / Disney+
Marvel / Disney+

21.In the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 1 finale, Joshua Bassett actually improvised a majority of Ricky's big speech to Nini where he talks about how much he loves her and their favorite memories together. Joshua included memories from his own relationships and memories specific to his and Olivia Rodrigo's friendship.

"A little silly song about clouds. I love you."
Disney+

Talking about filming the moment, showrunner Tim Federle recalled only having the words "I don't not love you" — as a callback to Nini's anniversary song — as the only thing scripted. He then pulled Joshua aside and asked him, "Just talk to her. Just tell her you love her." Meanwhile, Joshua said, "Every single time, I would change it to something else that was specific to [Olivia] and I, and getting her reaction out of it was the best thing in the world."

"...and I said, Come on, live a little.'"
Disney+

22.During The Vampire Diaries Season 5 finale, Ian Somerhalder added in the word "baby" during filming of the emotional scene when Damon says goodbye to Elena just before the Other Side collapses and he's trapped without her.

Screenshots from "The Vampire Diaries"
The CW

At the time, director Chris Grismer said it was a difficult, emotional, and "quiet" day on set. Also, since Elena couldn't actually see Damon in the scene, Nina Dobrev did a lot of her acting with Ian just off camera saying his lines.

Screenshots from "The Vampire Diaries"
The CW

23.After filming wrapped on The Big Bang Theory series finale, the cast all took something from set to commemorate their historic run as one of the most-watched comedy series ever. Kaley Cuoco took home two pieces of art from the iconic living room, Simon Helberg kept Howard's Nintendo controller belt buckle from the pilot and finale, and Melissa Rauch took Bernadette's glasses.

Screenshots from "The Big Bang Theory"
CBS

While Jim Parsons didn't take anything from set, he did start crying when some of the crew made them each a gift that was given to them after they wrapped. "The set department was gracious enough to make us all replicas of the little placard that says 4A on the apartment," he explained. "I opened that and had tears in my eyes immediately."

Screenshots from "The Big Bang Theory"
CBS

24.Both finales for Outer Banks so far have ended on pretty big cliffhangers. In the Season 1 finale, everyone thinks John B. and Sarah are dead, meanwhile the Season 2 finale features all of the Pogues ending up on a deserted island while it's revealed that Big John is alive. While both of these season finales are memorable, the cast and crew actually filmed alternate endings for each season.

Screenshots from "Outer Banks"
Netflix

Creators Jonas and Josh Pate revealed that both finales were used to set up what would come next; however, they filmed different endings because they weren't "100 percent sure" what they wanted to use. "Sometimes, you just don't know until you put it together, and that's definitely part of our process, trial and error," Josh said. "We write more than we talk, and then we trade pages back and forth, and we'd say, 'That was good,' 'That's a bad idea.' So, we would try different endings and we even shot alternate endings in both seasons, and we picked the ones we felt were the best."

"But you...have to help my son."
Netflix

25.And finally, for the Grey's Anatomy Season 8 finale, which features the plane crash and the heartbreaking death of Lexie Grey, most of the cast members didn't know Lexie was going to die and Chyler Leigh was leaving the series until the table read for the episode.

"Meant to be."
ABC

Sarah Drew, who played April Kepner, recalled finding out, saying, "We were all weeping at the table read because nobody knew it was coming. There were rumors that maybe somebody might die, but nobody [except Chyler] knew who."

Screenshots from "Grey's Anatomy"
ABC