Netflix One Day's brutal ending twist leaves viewers devastated

13 February 2024, 13:23 | Updated: 13 February 2024, 15:10

Leo Woodall & Ambika Mod Interview Each Other | Netflix One Day | The Group Chat

By Katie Louise Smith

"It’s been an hour since I finished One Day and I’m still crying over it. I hate you Netflix, you will hear from my attorneys."

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If you've watched all 14 episodes of Netflix's One Day, you might be entitled to compensation.

The streaming service's latest limited series starring Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod has taken the platform by storm, and as more and more people reach the devastating end of the series, the reactions on social media are starting to pile up.

One Day follows the 20-year relationship of Emma Morley (Mod) and Dexter Mayhew (Woodall) after they become friends at graduation. Each episode takes place on the same day (July 15th, St. Swithin's Day), one year later.

The series is an adaptation of the 2009 best-selling novel by David Nicholls, and was also turned into a film in 2011 starring Anne Hathaway. Those that had already read the book will know exactly how Dexter and Emma's story ends, but Netflix viewers who have watched the show without reading the book, watching the film or seeing a single spoiler have been left distraught.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Netflix's One Day ending

Netflix viewers are in tears after One Day's brutal twist ending
Netflix viewers are in tears after One Day's brutal twist ending. Picture: Netflix, @tahlie.mcinnes1 via TikTok

In episode 13, the penultimate episode of One Day, viewers watch as Dexter and Emma grow closer over a three year span. They're finally a couple, they move in together, they get married, Emma becomes step-mum to Jasmine, they start trying for a baby and they finally start looking for a house of their own.

On July 15th 2002, Dex and Em start the day with an argument because Emma has so far been unable to get pregnant. They settle their argument and then go about their day. After missing each other's calls, they end up leaving each other voicemails, looking forward to what they've got planned.

But then, tragedy strikes. While on the way to meet Dexter at the house viewing, Emma is riding her bike in the pouring rain when she's struck by a car. The final scene is absolutely brutal, as it shows Emma lying on the floor seriously wounded as Dexter smiles while listening to her final voicemail.

The final episode then opens with Dexter and Emma together. At first glance, viewers might think that she survived but when Dexter's mother who passed away years before from cancer appears, it's clear that Emma is dead.

Viewers have been left devastated over the outcome ending of Dexter and Emma's love story, and it's clear they weren't expecting such a tragic and abrupt ending.

"It’s been an hour since I finished the show and I’m still crying over it. I hate you Netflix, you will hear from my attorneys," one viewer wrote. Another added: "END OF EPISODE 13 OF ONE DAY ON NETFLIX YOU RUINED MY LIFE."

One Day's lead writer Nicole Taylor explained why the production team thought it was necessary to keep the ending the same as the original book.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said: "I interrogated it fully. I didn’t feel under any pressure to change the ending or to keep the ending. I just wanted to reinterview it for its place in the piece."

Ultimately, she thought it was necessary to the "structural and thematic integrity" of the piece: "Once you pull that out, you better have something just as good, if not better, in terms of the meaning of the piece as a whole and the cosmic enduring nature of love and friendship and how your whole life can be defined by a chance."

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