Good Luck Charlie Series Finale Recap: Hang In There, Baby... Everything Turns Out All Right

Good Luck Charlie Series Finale RecapGood Luck Charlie said goodbye on Sunday night with an hour-long episode that efficiently circled back on numerous themes and dynamics from the show’s four-season, 100-episode run — much of which I have been exposed to as the father of twin boys.

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Setting the stage for the series finale was Teddy’s imminent departure to attend college at Yale, before which she aimed to record one last wisdom-filled video diary for kid sister Charlie. Teddy, though, struggled to find a theme for her ultimate advice.

In the meantime, PJ near-instantly went from being an unemployed cooking school grad to the owner of his own food truck, with dad Bob along as his partner. But what would the gimmick for PJ’s enterprise be? When Bob scoffed at his eldest son’s first suggestion — a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich truck — it stirred some tension between the two. Until Bob got a literal taste of PJ’s creation, constructed of hand-blended peanuts and artisanal bread and what not. And boom, B&PJ’s PB&J Truck was born. (Frankly, I would have gone with the even more parallel-structured PJ&B’s PB&J’s. But age before lingual beauty. Also, I assume the truck offers a mix-and-match variety of breads, butters and jams…?)

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Gabe’s finale storyline had him doing girlfriend Lauren’s bidding, by helping her grandmother aka Mrs. Dabney ward off possible new neighbors, among them a Gabe-like trouble-maker. After Gabe’s bid to plainly counsel the kid to steer clear of “his” target fell on deaf ears, he got the idea to (with an assist from friends and family) scare off the prospective neighbors with a “daily marching band practice.” Groan. This subplot was clumsy, derivative (didn’t Gabe once before meet a younger rival…?) and reliant on the fiction that a family would move into a house before inspection/closing. But that’s me and my gr’up logic talking!

Moving on… Amy discovered that Good Morning, Denver‘s female cohost was leaving for… Good Morning, Waco… creating a plum opportunity for the Duncans’ famously ambitious matriarch. Amy prepped well (and often) for the gig — most amusingly, practicing how to feign interest in one of Debbie Dooley’s duds of a story — yet she bombed during her audition. Like, a Cindy Brady/”Baton Rouge!” type implosion. But an on-air phone call from Charlie ultimately saved the day and got Amy the job, by endearing her to viewers.

And then there was Teddy’s farewell party, to which Bob invited Spencer, who’s back in town for the summer slinging soft-serve at Pile High Yogurt. After dueting “Your Song” at the fete, Teddy and Spencer (who isn’t far from Yale, at college in Boston) agree to stay in touch… “as friends”… and likely more, falling as they do into one of those uber-rare Disney Channel kisses. (As some readers here have fretted, these two never navigated the matter of Spencer cheating. And while I wouldn’t expect Disney to spend a scene discussing such a heady issue as infidelity, they could have at least had Spencer acknowledge a “mistake” he made that “hurt” her. Maybe in a 2024 Kickstarter movie?)

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So in the end, Amy has her dream job, PJ and Bob are in business together, Gabe and Mrs. Dabney commemorate the end of their antagonistic era (though Toby seems poised carry the baton) and Teddy fires up the flipcam for one last missive to her sis, about how this crazy family she originally sought to teach her how to deal with, in the end, would bring nothing but “good luck, Charlie.”

And then we got a rock-and-rollin’ version of the theme song (sung by Bridgit Mendler), playing over loads of classic clips. With GLC a goner, what is now your… er, your kids‘… favorite Disney Channel comedy?

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56 Comments
  1. So happy PJ & Skyler are together forever!

    • a says:

      so sad that this is the end you all will be missed

    • a says:

      why are they stop making glc i loved that show when i was a kid now i am about to be a teenager

    • Makaela says:

      It is actually “Wake up Waco” not “Good Morning Waco” :) I absolutely love this show! I missed Ivy in this last episode though..loved Teddy and Spencer’s kiss LOL. I wish they would have had balloons pop up though like in that one episode ;)

    • emily says:

      good luck charlie is the best thing thats ever happend to me why cant teddy come back and then it can stay on its the best program im so sad please let it carry on i think bridget mendler has died it says on the internet .

  2. iMember says:

    A really sweet and classic send off. Going to miss this show a lot. One of my favorite moments was when Mrs Dabney saw Toby as the next devil child to constantly prank her when he’s older. Hahaha!
    _
    Looking forward to Girl Meets World!

  3. My now-16yo kiddo & I have watched this show since the beginning and were sad to see it come to an end. Like you, Matt, I wished they’d brought up the cheating issue, but overall, it was a great ending to an adorable show. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll miss it. :(

    • Joseph Dear says:

      Spencer’s cheating had long since been dealt with. It was the end of season 1 (or maybe early season 2) that he apologized and tried to get back together with her but she was too hurt. Then season 2 (or maybe beginning of 3) she forgve him and they actually got back together. The reason they broke up again had nothing to do with him being unfaithful; It was because of the struggles of a long-distance relationship (he had started college in Boston a semester early). The cheating had been previously addressed and was water under the bridge by the finale.

  4. LeeH. says:

    Are you talking about the cheating in the early seasons of the show (I think it was toward the end of S1)? They did talk about it in later episodes — Spencer acknowledged he hurt Teddy, was wrong, Teddy expressed her anger and hurt, etc.

    • Joseph Dear says:

      Indeed. And not only that, after the cheating was addressed, she eventually forgave him, they got back together, and then broke up again for a totally different reason (the struggles fo a long-distance relationship). His cheating back when they were high school freshmen had nothing to do with their not being together at this point.

  5. ali427 says:

    Love the Cindy Brady/Baton Rouge reference–well done!!!

  6. SN says:

    Very sweet ending, liked how they brought everyone back at the party. Would have liked to see poor Toby in the ending shot,was he still stuck in that walker in the living room??

    • Joseph Dear says:

      Seriously, what was up with no Toby in the final shot? I would have to imagine that his parents took him out of the show before they could finish filming the finale or something stupid like that. But yeah, it kinda took away from what was otherwise a great end.

  7. J.B.S says:

    Speaking as a guy in his 20s, GLC was definitely among the best shows that Disney has aired in the last decade. It had heart, humor, and most importantly, GLC was (more or less)realistic. All in all, it was a great finale & I’ll without a doubt watch it many more times in reruns.

  8. Ryan says:

    My fave?
    Gravity Falls, no contest,

    • Dani says:

      Gravity Falls is my favorite on Disney too but if we are talking live action comedies I have to go with Liv & Maddie as GLC’s successor. It’s a great family sitcom and Maddie is a character my daughter, who is more sporty and not so much for singing, can identify with.

  9. Erin says:

    Thank-you GLC, already miss you <3

    I love "Phineas and Ferb" and even enjoy "Dog with a Blog" and "Liv and Maddie" (go on judge me)

  10. Sparky says:

    As a thirty cough something year old with no kids – judge me, I don’t care; I thought it was a smart and very funny show. I will miss it.

  11. S says:

    What does PJ stand for?

  12. raven64 says:

    An episode revealed his name was mistakenly put on his birth certificate as Potty John

  13. Father says:

    As a father of two girls, an 11 year old and 6 year old, this was the one show we always watched as a family. Even though it was a Disneyfied sitcom, it managed to breakaway from clichés and managed to entertain different demographics. My kids like Jesse, but it’s not as clever, or as good.

  14. Adam says:

    I loved this show. I was in 5th grade when it started, a freshman in Highschool now, and I will miss it like crazy. And I want to see a rivival in 10-12 years called “Good Luck Toby” or something where they bring back all the original actors, Mia (Charlie) now being a teen, using the video diaries to help her life, and maybe doing something to help Toby (or a 6th child?). Also it would fulfil Toby as the next “Devil Child” and still follow the exploits of the now grown up PJ, Teddy, and Gabe. But this is just my rant for the future. Anyways I will miss the show a ton and loved it while it lasted.

  15. Tiffany says:

    With GLC and Shake It Up gone ANT Farm is my favorite.

  16. Morgan says:

    Why wasn’t Ivey there?

    • J.B.S says:

      IIRC, Ivey left for university/college in the 2nd to last episode & she got her own goodbye in that episode (and this is based only on promos that I’ve seen).

  17. nate says:

    gonna miss it soooo much….my last disney show till girl meets world

  18. NickC says:

    “But that’s me and my gr’up logic talking!”

    Awesome ST:TOS reference! (the episode was “Miri”)

  19. K says:

    I don’t have Disney Channel anymore (20-something without kids…), but I used to nanny kids who loved this show. I can’t believe it has been four years! I really enjoyed watching this with them (and I grew up on The Jersey, So Weird, Bug Juice, and Even Stevens!)

  20. Damian says:

    I’ll miss this show. This was pretty much the only DC show I was currently watching. I’ll def come back for Girl Meets World. Even though it means missing the show a lot, I really like DC’s strategy of pulling shows before they get too old. I wouldn’t mind and ABC family dramedy about Teddy’s college years though.

  21. c-mo says:

    Watched the show tonight with the two boys (13 & 10) and we were all sad. This and Phineas & Ferb were the only Disney shows that we watched. GLC, we will miss you!

  22. Carrie says:

    They did a great job. I’m gonna miss the show. There’s nothing else on the Disney channel I’d actually watch.

  23. WJM says:

    I always looked forward to Patricia Belcher’s portrayal of Mrs. Dabney. She could always be counted on to take an often ridiculous premise (like the one above) and make it believable and funny.

  24. mrs o says:

    This is the only Disney show we watched as a family. My husband would actually laugh out loud at times! We’ll miss it.

  25. MelindaB says:

    I haven’t seen the Disney Channel since my daughter was home from college at Christmas (and while I get tired of seeing episodes over and over, I’m thankful that she prefers TDC and Nickelodeon to MTV.) I’ll actually miss GLC. Sure, Bob and Amy were over the top, typical teen-TV “stupid parents,” but not all the time. Plus, I enjoyed seeing the silly vignettes during the credits. And Charlie was stinkin’ cute.

  26. B. McCreavy says:

    My 10,9 and 6 year old kids loved GLC…and after a while so did thier mom and me. We watched every episode and will truly miss the Duncan family. We loved the final episode and thought it was well done.

  27. karen gutmann says:

    I am very sad to hear that this series is coming to an end. My daughter and I both always looked forward to it and enjoyed every episode. I guess it is true that all good things must come to an end. Wonderful show disney channel. We will miss the Duncan family!!!!

  28. Janet Sewell says:

    One of my all time favorite shows. I will miss it so much. I cried when it was over. Wanted to see Charlie grow up. She is just a little darling. A big thank you to the cast for all the wonderful shows. Love you all.

  29. Laisha B. says:

    OMFG ,I am so sad that GLC is ended. I cried at the last episode, and I am praying to god that they will revive the series in the near future with all the SAME actors. I was only 8 years old when this amazing show started. now I am 11 soon turning twelve. I even thought most of Teddy’s advice was helpful. I also loved everybody else on the show. Bob,Amy,PJ,Teddy,Gabe,and Charlie I will absolutely miss with all my heart.Toby wasn’t really on the show that long, so that’s why they should revive the show,and instead of it being good luck Charlie, it could be good luck Toby,having maybe Gabe helping Toby out with life, just like how Teddy did with Charlie. I will do whatever I can to revive this show in any way.I just want to thank Eric, Leigh-Ann , Jason, Bridget, and Mia sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for being just purely amazing, and helping me also survive my “special family”. I will always love you GLC!!!!!!

  30. Ivanska says:

    I am really surprised the best and only Disney TV show that I enjoyed with my kids has ended. I really think is a big mistake. This is the only Disney show I enjoyed. Every single episode was a lot of fun. I will miss this show and the Duncan family terribly. Every character was a hit and so real. Disney really should evaluate another season.

  31. Sara says:

    We just got into GLC this year – my 6 year old was stuck on Nickelodeon shows for the longest time… but I loved the transition. My fav is Austin & Ally! Hoping that there will be a Season 4 (fingers crossed). We just adore Ross Lynch! Really-the whole cast is great. Even my almost-2-year-old gets excited for A&A when he hears the theme song =)

  32. nena kennedy says:

    Good Luck Charlie had to be the best tv shows ever and I’m a 31 year old women and every cast member made me laugh. You all will be greatly missed. I hope we see all of you again cause the whole cast is highly talented. Good Luck Charlie and ALL!

  33. Tessa says:

    Who was the curly haired stranger at the going away part??

  34. Storm says:

    Great writing and great actors made this show stand out. No magic, talking dogs or super powers, just regular people. And excellent supporting cast retained throughout the show. Ivy was the perfect compliment to Teddy. Mrs. Dabney was so good with Gabe — even when they just talked about her–“Hello, Mrs. Dabney. This is Amy Duncan…please don’t hang up.”

    My favorite actor was PJ, maybe not so bright, but the nicest and most positive role model. Paired with Bob were the best scenes of the show. Bob invites PJ to attend the bug awards dinner where Murray always wins. Bob (feeling lucky) asks PJ, “How would you like to see your old man win this year?” and PJ in shock replies, “Murray’s my father?” And Bob and PJ doing a square dance so PJ can graduate from high school was a classic, Bob was amazing. To Teddy and everyone’s credit, the show was not a overblown main character and childish extras, but a solid team supporting each other. When the family couldn’t come up to Amy’s standards to win a talent show, she hired another family to replace them. When she gets home, they replaced her with another mother…who made really good cookies, so Amy was fine with that. Other shows couldn’t have pulled that off.

    Other Disney shows could learn from GLC’s success.

  35. Haya Eason says:

    Loved the finale but I didn’t see the character Ivy not even in a video chat with the best friend, Teddy. Will miss this show tremendously as my daughter would let me know when it was on because she knows I like it. Funny antics from all of the cast/characters. So glad to have seen the good acting and less skin from the teens. Loved Teddy’s wardrobe choices and he voice is so melodic. Every character had their issues but the love and humor got them through everything.

    • Storm says:

      Probably mentioned before. Ivy was featured in the previous episode when Ivy was moving away to college. She and Teddy said their heartfelt goodbyes at the end of that episode, so she had already moved away.

  36. charlotte says:

    i miss good luck charlie:(

  37. Darlene Haight says:

    As a 56 year old grandmother I have to say that GLC was one of the funniest showed on TV. my daughter and I always watched with (or without) my grandchildren,not even minding if it was a repeat. We all will miss this show & here’s hoping PJ escaped the baby chair he was stuck in in one of the funniest episodes ever!

  38. hamda says:

    Good luck Charlie is the best series I have ever watched, same reviews of my whole big family, please make with same excellent actors again, Bob, amie,PJ, gave,teddy,Charlie and tobby. Love it please bring all these excellent actors again together

  39. I think we did good with the shows thank you all for watching we love you all

  40. charlotte says:

    i love good luck charlie i will never forget

  41. emmy says:

    I’m a teenager and I still watch Disney channel I wish good luck Charlie would come back on and I am sad that it ended I cried for weeks and now I am just still so sad please have the show come back on. Please I looked up to the show and I really wish it would come back on.