Cliffhangers have become a crucial part of television, and they are even used in sitcoms to bring the audience back time and time again. By putting a character or group of characters in a difficult situation, or confronted with a shocking revelation, at the end of an episode/season, it ensures that the audience will tune in next time to see what happens. Additionally, it is a terrific way to keep the audience thinking and speculating about the show in between episodes. There has been an incredible amount of unforgettable cliffhangers in TV history, and here are 10 of the greatest.
10. 24 – “Day 5: 6:00 a.m. – 7 a.m.”
Every episode of 24 ended on some kind of cliffhanger, and this was a huge part of what made it such a dramatic, intense and hugely popular show. One particularly memorable cliffhanger took place at the end of season two when Mandy appears out of nowhere to give President Palmer a poisoned handshake, but for the sake of this article we are fast forwarding to one that took place at the end of season five. This already dramatic season came to a shocking and bleak conclusion, with Jack being tracked down and captured by the Chinese government who has discovered that he is still alive. We then see a bound and beaten Jack being transferred aboard a cargo ship to Shanghai. We know that he is about to be brutally tortured, and possibly even killed. It is later revealed that he was tortured for nearly two years, but did not speak a single word the whole time.