The “Mad Men” Cheat Sheet You Need To Get Ready For The “End Of An Era”

Mad Men

Mad Men. God what a show. If you’re a fan, you’re probably freaking the fuck out right now. After years (literal YEARS) of lusting after Don Draper and his giant schlong, we’re going to have to say goodbye. The show that changed television is finally coming to a close, and it’s almost too painful to talk about.


But, because talking about television shows is one of the most fun things in the world to do, I’ve decided to help you out. Naturally, having watched all seven seasons of Mad Men, you know what happens. Everyone’s screwing everyone and Don has a weird-as-fuck past. But as for specifics? It gets a little hazy. Maybe it’s because the show has spanned over nine years of our lives, maybe it’s because we drank a lot during that time, or maybe it’s because we were watching Joan’s perfect figure with envy. Whatever it was, we all forgot some of the details. So I’ve taken it upon myself to create a little cheat sheet of the seasons to get you up to date so you’ll actually know what the hell is going on during the finale.

Season 1
March – November, 1960

  • Don meets Peggy, who starts out as his secretary (LOL).
  • Pete fucks Peggy on the night of his bachelor party.
  • Don cheats on his wife, Betty, with some artist chick, thus begins the whole “infidelity” thing.
  • We find out that Don’s name is actually Dick Whitman, and the mind fucking starts.
  • Don/Dick has a younger brother named Adam.
  • Don gives Adam $5,000 and tells him to GTFO of his life.
  • Peggy starts writing copy.
  • Roger has some heart attacks and cheats on his wife, Mona, with Joan because Joan is a goddess.
  • We find out that Don Draper was a lieutenant in the Korean war, about to be sent home. Dick was under his command. When Don gets blown up in an explosion, Dick switches dog tags with him, and takes on Don Draper’s identity.
  • Don becomes a partner at Sterling Cooper.
  • Peggy gets fat but JK. She’s actually just pregnant with Pete’s kid. She gives it up for adoption immediately because fuck that noise.
  • Don and Betty basically hate each other.
  • Don’s brother hangs himself and Don spends Thanksgiving alone like the brooding hunk of man that he is.


Season 2
February – October 1962

  • Don and Betty are trying this whole “marriage” thing, but it’s obviously horse shit.
  • Joan and Roger are no longer a thing, despite how much we love them together.
  • Pete’s dad dies in a airplane accident.
  • Oh, and Trudy (his wife) can’t get prego.
  • And then he tells Peggy that he loves her, so she tells him that she gave away his bastard child.
  • After everyone finds out that Joan is old AF (31), she decides to get engaged to Greg Harris.
  • Greg then rapes Joan in Don’s office because he’s a sick bastard.
  • But she still decides to be with him, because people are so weird.
  • Roger proposes to secretary Jane Siegel, oh and then realizes that he has to divorce Mona.
  • Freddy pees himself during a meeting. Whoops.
  • Betty kicks Don out after being told that he’s cheating on her. Total Betty Move.
  • Apparently Don visited Peggy in the hospital when she had the baby and told her to get her shit together.
  • Don goes to Cali and visits the real Don’s wife, Anna, who apparently is super good friends with him.
  • Turns out, Betty is pregnant. She kind of wants to get an abortion, but she tells Don about the baby instead.


Season 3
May – December 1963

  • Betty meets Henry Francis at a party and acts suuuuuper slutty.
  • Betty’s father, Gene, comes to visit, hates Don, and dies.
  • Joan’s hubby can’t become a surgeon because he sucks at doing surgery so he enlists in the army.
  • So even though Joan literally just put in her two weeks, she has to find a new job. Because guys suck.
  • Everyone rides around on a tracker in the office and someone’s toe got cut off. #Advertising.
  • Betty starts banging Henry.
  • Betty snoops in Don’s shit and finds out that he’s actually Dick.
  • Don has to fess up, and Betty is a bitch, as expected.
  • JFK gets shot, and people FREAK OUT.
  • Don doesn’t get why Betty is being such a baby about JFK’s death, so she decides she wants to leave him (well that, and the whole “he lied about his identity and cheats on her with anything that moves” thing).
  • After realizing that the agency is going to get bought out, a bunch of the faves get together and decide to make “Sterling Cooper Draper Price”.
  • Don finds out they Betty is cheating on her, so he calls her a whore.
  • After realizing that he’s being a total hypocrite, he decides to not fight Betty on the divorce. She leaves with the baby and Henry to get a divorce in Reno. Byeeee, Felicia.


Season 4
November 1964 – October 1965

  • After Don’s divorce with Betty, he starts to really lose his shit.
  • Like, “alcoholic, prostitute buying, floundering at work,” lose his shit.
  • And, naturally, he fucks his secretary because he’s Don Draper.
  • Don goes to Cali, and finds out that Anna is dying of cancer.
  • Trudy has a baby, and Pete acts like he’s going to actually be a good father.
  • And Peggy starts dating Abe, and gets pissed off at Don because he’s being a total dick about everything.
  • But after Don finds out that Anna died, Peggy comforts him, and they start being friends again. #TeamDonAndPeggy
  • Don actually starts to get his shit together after his kind-of-sort-of fake wife dies.
  • Joan and Roger hook up (finally) and naturally, Joan gets knocked up.
  • But instead of aborting the baby, she pretends that douchebag Greg is the father.
  • People start asking questions about Don’s past, and he’s sort of freaking out, since identity theft is kind of a big deal.
  • Roger looses the Lucky Strike account, and then Don releases a statement that SCDP will no longer take cigarette accounts. Which sort of pisses everyone off.
  • Except Megan.
  • And then he takes Megan and his kids to Cali, and randomly proposes to the bitch, because whatever.
  • Even though he actually HAS a girlfriend, who ends up being a little upset about this whole situation.
  • Don and Betty sell the house, and Betty realizes she might have made a mistake by letting that giant penis catch of a man go.


Season 5
May 1966 – Spring(ish) 1967

  • Megan is SOMEHOW promoted to copy writer in the agency, obviously because she’s talented and not because she’s married to Don or anything.
  • Even though Megan totally wants to be an actress.
  • Michael Ginsberg and proves to be completely annoying.
  • Peggy decides to leave the agency because she’s Peggy.
  • Roger and Jane take LSD, and decide to get a divorce, because LSD is bad.
  • Sally catches her step-grandmother giving Roger head, which is pretty awkward.
  • Pete gets an apartment in the city for when he “has to work late.”
  • Joan finally confronts her piece of shit husband and tells him to GTFO.
  • THEN the partners (minus Don) whore her out for the Jaguar account.
  • Lane Price steals from the company, gets found out by Don, gets fired and commits suicide.
  • In the office.
  • And Pete, Roger, and Don have to cut him down. Which is a shitty way to start the work day.
  • Megan gets an acting role, and Don drinks alone, because somethings never change.


 Season 6
December 1967 – November 1968

  • Peggy is killing at her new job.
  • Pete and Trudy have a dinner party, and Pete invites one of the wives back to his downtown apartment.
  • Where he bangs her. Obviously.
  • BUT she shows up at his house after her husband found out and beat her.
  • Don starts cheating on his (new) wife with Sylvia, because what else did you expect?
  • Turns out, Megan is friends with Sylvia and tells her about her miscarriage.
  • Joan hates that she fucked the Jag guy.
  • Don cancels the Jag account, and Joan gets pissed since she fucked the guy.
  • Don meets with Peggy’s boss before a Chevy meeting and decides to combine firms.
  • Sylvia ends the affair with Don after realizing she’s being a total bitch to Megan.
  • Peggy accidentally stabs her boyfriend (Abe) and so he breaks up with her.
  • Betty sees Don on the way to a summer camp and they randomly have sex.
  • But the next day they basically pretend it never happened.
  • Roger tries to be a father to his bastard child, but Joan is NOT about it.
  • The agency becomes “Sterling Cooper & Partners.”
  • Sally’s friend slips a love letter to Sylvia’s son in their apartment with out her permission.
  • So Sally goes to the apartment to get it back, and catches Don having sex with Sylvia.
  • Ted and Peggy become a thing.
  • And Ted leaves his wife, fucks Peggy, then changes his mind.
  • Don loses his shit during a meeting with Hershey and reveals his weird-as-shit childhood.
  • The partners decide that Don needs to take a “leave of absence” and Peggy takes his place in the agency.


(First Half Of) Season 7
January 1969 – July 1969

  • Don is still secretly writing ads for the firm, even though he was sort of fired.
  • Peggy awkwardly thinks her secretary’s flowers are for her, even though Ted is SO over her.
  • Don and Sally start rebuilding their relationship after realizing that they’re both shitheads.
  • Don goes out to Cali when Megan finds out that he got fired, but she gets pissed and kicks him out.
  • So he gets a job with a rival firm, tells Roger, and is told to come back to work.
  • BUT no one knew he was coming back, so it’s super awkward.
  • Betty is a shitty mom, but that’s to be expected.
  • Roger’s daughter becomes a hippy and runs away to a hippy camp.
  • She refuses to come home for her baby, since she was abandoned as a baby. #DaddyIssues
  • Don is pissed that he’s in a bitch position but decides to actually get his shit together, yet again.
  • Ginsberg is paranoid by the new computer in the office, cuts off his own nipple, gives it to Peggy, and gets sent to the hospital.
  • Peggy freaks out about an account but Don reassures her, and they slow dance because sometimes life is perfect.
  • The firm tries to fire Don but, LOL, no.
  • Don calls Megan asking to come to Cali. She says no, and ends the marriage.
  • Bert dies, and Don has a vision of him, and past secretaries, singing a song.
  • This half of the series ends with Don almost breaking down in tears.

And that’s it. If you’e kept up through the series (and this article), you are a trooper, and you know that the end of the series is just the start of something new. Hopefully a movie where Jon Hamm finally goes full frontal.

[via Mad Men Season 1, Mad Men Season 2, Mad Men Season 3, Mad Men Season 4, Mad Men Season 5, Mad Men Season 6, Mad Men Season 7]

Image via s_bukley /

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Rachel Varina

(yeahokaywhat) Aspiring to be the next Tina Fey, Rachel spends her free time doing nothing to reach that goal. While judging people based on how they use "they're" vs. "there" on social media, she likes eating buffalo chicken dip, watching other people's Netflix, and wearing sweatpants way more than is socially acceptable.

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