It was on September 26, 1986 — 30 years ago today — that Pamela Barnes Ewing awoke from a dream and negated an entire season of TV. Dallas was a soap opera juggernaut for CBS, and over 14 seasons and 357 episodes, the series had to get… creative at times.
Okay, get ready for some SOAP OPERA BACK STORY! Jealous Katherine ran down Bobby with her car because she was in love with him, and Bobby later died in the hospital. Then an entire season of TV happened, until Bobby’s ex-wife Pamela awoke in her bed and revealed that NONE OF IT HAPPENED! And Bobby was alive and showering. Although the series lasted another four seasons, it never regained the top spot.
Today, let’s look back at other terrible TV plot twists that nearly sunk shows…
1. The Cork Is Out of the Bag
Lost lived and died by the insanely intricate and mysterious world of the island, unfortunately the writers didn’t know exactly what to do with it. According to TV writer Nick Santora, he was told by a friend who wrote for Lost, “We literally just think of the weirdest, most f**ked up thing and write it, and we’re never going to pay it off.” This mostly explains the literal cork that keeps the whole island from sinking. Mostly.
2. The Walking, Not-So Dead Glenn
Over six seasons, Glenn Rhee became one of the most beloved characters on The Walking Dead, mostly because he never flipped out and put everyone in danger, like pretty much every other character has. So, how does the show repay us for our devotion? By fake-out killing him repeatedly! In “Thank You,” Glenn is last seen falling into a horde of hungry walkers, then for three episodes we wait to find out what the heck happened. Finally a month later, it’s revealed that he magically crawled under a dumpster and hid. Amazing storytelling!
3. Roseanne Didn’t Win… At All
The finale of Roseanne is in a similar category as Dallas, but it dials the crazy to eleven. In the final moments of a hilariously realistic depiction of lower middle class life in the Midwest, the titular character reveals that she fabricated her own happy ending. In about seven minutes of voice over, Roseanne tells us Dan is dead, Jackie is gay, Becky and David are together, Darlene and Mark were a couple, and ends it all with a long fade out over a T.E. Lawrence quote. What a punchline!
4. When All Else Fails… ALIENS!
Dynasty was the show that knocked Dallas out of the top spot, so it was natural that a spinoff would be rushed into production. Unfortunately, The Colbys never matched its success. At the end of season two, the writers must have gotten desperate, because they went out in a hail of gunfire that included an abortion, a kidnapping, a car crash, and finally, an alien abduction! Since the series was cancelled shortly after, we never got to see how the producers were going to write themselves out of that whopper.
5. The Tommy Westphall Universe
This one is so bonkers it has its own term. St. Elsewhere told the tales of Boston doctors at St. Eligius Hospital, until it all went off the rails in the final moments. The entire series is revealed to be the concoction of an autistic boy with a snow globe. Everything you watched for six seasons did not happened, no one you cared about ever existed, and nothing matters. Thanks a lot, Tommy Westphall.
Speaking of Ridiculous Plots, Here’s How The Hoff Saved Baywatch…
Tell us what you think! Which TV plot twist was the worst? Are there any we left off the list? Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Khail Anonymous, on Twitter.