Coming to the end of a TV series is akin to finishing a great page-turner. A sense of happiness and completion envelops you, before you realise - that's it. No more. Those characters whose journeys you have championed from the start have reached a close. That's why when a TV show makes the leap to the big screen, there's cause for celebration. It's not all over! There's MORE.
And while sometimes those films leave us wondering where it all went wrong, there's a bunch that manage the transition perfectly. Capturing everything we loved about the show, stretched out into a full-length flick. Here's some of the very best.
Starsky & Hutch (2006)
The TV series: Seventies kitsch at its best. The show birthed the first ever prime-time 'bromance' between Paul Glaser and David Soul, who played the Southern California cops tasked with belting around Bay City in a super cool Gran Torino.
The movie: Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, riding the crest of their comedy success, wrangled a funny cop comedy from the remnants of its more serious TV ancestor. Set in 1975, the movie amps up the supposed sexual subtext between the leading pair to amusingly OTT effect, as they try to stop a notorious drug dealer. Snoop Dogg steals the show as their informant Huggy Bear.
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
The TV series: A big ole slice of apple-pie Americana, The Brady Bunch series ran from 1969-1974 following the clean-cut and gosh-darn-nice antics of the family.
The movie: Through an unexplained plot contrivance, the Bradys exist in the 1990s while still clinging to the 1960s. Is it time travel? Who knows or cares when it works? The subtle winks and nods to the TV show's rigid morality are wrung for the best gags, with the cast playing up to those hammy escapades perfectly. Points to Gary Cole as the chipper pop, Mike Brady.
Beavis and Butthead Do America (1996)
The TV series: MTV's contribution to Gen X slackers, content to surf the couch in search of meaning, Beavis and Butthead were those no-hopers. When they weren't bumming around convenience stores, their commentaries on popular music were the highlight of the series.
The movie: Playing like an extended episode, Do America takes the two numbskulls on a cross-country tour where their toilet gags and constant innuendo land them in trouble with the FBI. Creator Mike Judge takes the successful skits from the show, recreating them in sillier ways that always score laughs.
Miami Vice (2006)
The TV series: Revel in the neon-tinted hedonism of '80s Miami, with Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas leading the charge as Floridian cops Crockett and Tubbs. The show ran for five seasons.
The movie: Michael Mann's decision to take loose inspiration from his own show alienated some viewers due to his unflinching approach to modern violence. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx star, along with some truly yowza hairstyles, as the two bleak cops patrolling the balmy city in the midst of a drug war. An exercise in low-key dramatics, it's an underrated adaptation.
Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
The TV series: Prior to the contemporary wave of anthology series spearheaded by American Horror Story, there was The Twilight Zone. Created by Rod Serling, across its various iterations the show remained fixated on the macabre side of human experience, blending together the supernatural with the sci-fi. It encouraged audiences to question everything years before Mulder got there.
The movie: Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, George Miller and John Landis helmed segments of the feature version, shifting from the more fixed sci-fi angle to broader horror strokes. Genuinely scary moments are brought life courtesy of some killer practical effects, and the acting work of Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow and Albert Brooks.
Wayne's World (1992)
The TV series: A stream of Saturday Night Live skits written by and starring Mike Myers as the mulleted musician Wayne Campbell, who, along with his best buddy Garth hosts a show out of his basement.
The movie: Same premise, same actors. Only major difference is the extended runtime and budget, which granted Myers and co more flexibility with the amount of silliness they could get away with. The 'Bohemian Rhapsody' sequence and its flood of alternate endings has cemented this warm-hearted comedy into pop culture history.
The Addams Family (1991)
The TV series: The unusual exploits of the titular brood were explored in the original series which racked up 64 episodes between 1964 and 1966, prior to cancellation.
The movie: Both the 1991 film and its 1993 sequel, Addams Family Values, poke fun at the stiffness of the TV show. Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci bring their comedy A-game as the oddball family whose lifestyle choices comes under scrutiny from the rest of society. The follow-up refocused the action to the Addams kids, particularly onto Wednesday's hilariously sadistic streak.
The TV series: The underrated 1989 UK mini-series Traffik chronicles the different sects of life affected by the drug trade.
The movie: Steven Soderbergh's drug-pushing drama boasts a massive ensemble, who tell a similar strain of tale in this American adaptation. The action relocates from Europe to the US as the human impact of large-scale drug operations unravel from the top right to the bottom.
The TV series: A comedy Western that ran from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. James Garner starred as cool Texan cardshark Bret Maverick who along with his brothers hit up rich patrons on Mississippi showboats.
The movie: James Garner returned for the movie - although dropping back into a supporting law enforcement role - alongside Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, who lead the fun flick as a couple of con artistes. Gibson's Lethal Weapon director Richard Donner sat behind the camera, which led to a sneaky crossover moment between the two movies.
In The Loop (2009)
The TV series: The Thick Of It, a UK series revolving around Malcolm Tucker, a party line enforcer who oversees a revolving door of government ministers. The inner workings of the modern political system have never been so beautifully satirised.
The movie: It's arguable whether creator Armando Iannucci one-upped his own work in the spin-off film. The laughs come thick (ahem) and fast, as Tucker serves as Prime Minister's Director of Communications on the cusp of the Iraq war.
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
The TV series: One of the longest-running cartoon series on TV, The Simpsons started out in the late '80s as a sketch on The Tracy Ullman Show. It's currently on its 28th season.
The movie: Stretching the exploits of America's favourite animated family into a feature-length movie was met with skepticism... until it opened. The joys of Spider-pig aside, it's a warm-hearted riff on the best parts of the TV series that avoids the trappings of being merely an extended episode.
The Muppet Movie (1979)
The TV series: Jim Henson's variety show-style series featured his own puppet creations The Muppets, as their ringleader Kermit serves as a Liz Lemon-esque showrunner trying to keep them all in line.
The movie: Before the 1990s got too big for its boots and made everything meta and intertextual, there was this. Stacked with oodles of fun nods to popular culture and a raft of cameos, Kermit's journey to Hollywood is still an absolute blast to watch. Particularly when the lil' froggie belts out his Oscar-nominated song 'Rainbow Connection'.
The TV series: Firefly, Joss Whedon's cult series that created one of the most loyal fanbases of any sci-fi property. The plot follows the crew of the Serenity, a mish-mash of various blue-collar types who explore the galaxy. Like Futurama but without Bender.
The movie: Much fanfare has been made over the series' early cancellation, with fans furiously signing petitions to bring back the show. And some of that outrage overshadowed just how brilliant Whedon's feature film conclusion truly is. A fully-rounded space western that stands alone and as a superb accompaniment, it's a must-see for sci-fi fans.
21 Jump Street (2012)
The TV series: A boyishly handsome Johnny Depp is one of the cops who goes undercover at high schools and colleges to crack the escalating crime problems penetrating the education system.
The movie: Phil Lord and Chris Miller made riotous fun of the fact that their film is another in a long line of adaptations, from Nick Offerman's Deputy making a cutting meta-nod about the movie's own recyclable nature to the sneaky cameo from Depp. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are the odd pair at the centre of this amusing update, with the former demonstrating his surprisingly adept comedy timing.
The Naked Gun (1988)
The TV series: Police Squad was struck down in its prime after only six episodes aired. The comedy genii behind Airplane, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams feasted on decades of cop procedurals in this excellent spoof.
The movie: The first in a series of spin-off movies - it also happens to be the best - Leslie Nielsen reprises his role from the series, Lt. Frank Drebin. A buffoon whose incompetence was a direct hit on parts Nielsen played earlier in his career, he bumbles his way through cases and narrowly avoids death on multiple occasions. Sheer comedy gold.
The X-Files: Fight The Future (1998)
The TV series: The iconic cult series from the '90s starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI Special Agents tasked with investigating 'special' cases that usually involve somethin' spooky.
The movie: Far better than its 2008 successor - the less said about that the better - Fight The Future trades its humble origins for the flair enabled by a bigger budget. Mulder and Scully do a full-blown blockbuster as they delve into the truth behind the government's alien cover-ups.
The Fugitive (1996)
The TV series: This '60s show cast David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, who breaks free of custody after he is accused of murdering his wife. He starts a new life as a fugitive while trying to hunt down the 'one-armed man.'
The movie: Very loosely inspired by the series. Harrison Ford plays Kimble, a man on the run after being wrongly accused of killing his wife. Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-winning performance, is the U.S. Marshal hot on his tail. A simple premise that stands up due to the precision of its execution, which beefs up the subplot a bit more than the series did.
The Untouchables (1990)
The TV series: Robert Stack starred as Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, who battled the tide of crime that hit Chicago during the 1930s.
The movie: This sterling example of a TV series upgraded in style is directed by Brian De Palma from a script by David Mamet. As if that wasn't proof of pedigree, its starry cast includes Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro and Andy Garcia in the lengthy retelling of gangster Al Capone's boozy reign over the windy city. It's violent, funny, and at times, quite breathtaking.
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
The TV series: Gene Roddenberry's long-running science fiction series Star Trek incorporates five separate TV shows; The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Generations, along with 12 movies.
The movie: Commonly recognised as the best Star Trek movie in existence, The Wrath Of Khan wipes the floor with the half-baked attempts at revitalising this classic property on the big screen. Ripe with emotional complexity, some kickass action sequences and a thoroughly satisfactory ending, Captain Kirk facing his long-time nemesis is must-see cinema.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
The TV series: Mystery, intrigue and super-cool style pervades the original Mission: Impossible series, which ran for a couple of seasons in the late '60s-early '70s before its brief reprisal in the '80s.
The movie: Take a look at the box office receipts for Rogue Nation and this is hands down the best example of a successful TV-to-movie adaptation. Lifting the bare bones of the Mission: Impossible small-screen format onto a movie franchise template worked like a charm. Bigger budgets meant bigger stars, and for Brian DePalma's original feature spinoff there was no movie star bigger than Tom Cruise.
Cruise still performs all of his own stunts as the action sequences get progressively more and more ambitious with each installment, but it's De Palma's superb 1996 offering that made that all-important transition to the big leagues.