If we’re being completely honest, the finale of “Hannah Montana” was probably the real beginning of Miley Cyrus’ career. By the fourth season, Miley had clearly moved beyond the blonde wig, and she was ready to burst onto the scene as a serious musician. But that doesn’t mean that fans were ready to let “Hannah” go just yet, so when the series aired its last episode five years ago today (!!!), there were some pretty serious expectations.
Luckily, the writers knew exactly what they were doing going into the finale. Rather than saving Miley’s reveal that she was Hannah to the world for the last episode, they decided to drop that bomb a few episodes earlier and use their finale to focus on the really important piece of the show: friendship.
Right from the pilot, Miley and Lilly’s friendship was the backbone of the series. When Lilly found out Miley’s secret, it was put to the ultimate test, and, of course, in super adorable fashion, the two passed, making their relationship stronger than ever.
Throughout the show, Lilly (and, eventually Oliver) served as Miley’s rock, even when living a double life as Hannah got really, really hard. They were always there for each other, and seeing this model of BFFship was more fun to watch than even Hannah’s craziest performances.
So, going into the finale, when Miley started considering breaking her promise to go to Stanford with Lilly so she could film a movie to Paris with Tom Cruise and Steven Speilberg (which like, okay, sounds pretty cool), fans were devastated. Like, real tears, ugly crying devastated.
But then, Lilly decided that she would come to Paris with Miley, and it felt like everything was going to be A-okay again. Of course, though, it can’t be that easy, and Lilly eventually realized that she couldn’t give up her dream of going to college just to follow Miley. Suddenly, it seemed like our favorite pair would be split up again. Break out the tissues.
In the end, though, friendship triumphed, and Miley showed up at her and Lilly’s dorm room in one of the most aww-inspiring moments Disney Channel has ever produced, teaching us all that, if you’ve got great friends, you don’t need anything else.
Other friendships also popped up throughout the finale, with Rico and Jackson admitting that they’ve secretly been BFFs this whole time (which we all already knew, because duh) and even Miley and Jackson acknowledging how much they actually love each other. Basically, the finale was all about happiness and the relationships that make life worth it.
So it all ended with even more tears, just this time, happy tears.
We still miss you, “Hannah Montana”! Thanks for all the feels.