Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard endured a nightmare send-off in his final game for the club as Stoke embarrassed the Reds with five first-half goals at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke scored three in eight minutes, Mame Biram Diouf netting a brace and Jonathan Walters also on target.
Ex-Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam made it 4-0 from 20 yards before Steven Nzonzi added the fifth from 25 yards.
Gerrard got one back before substitute Peter Crouch headed Stoke’s sixth.
This was no way for a player of Gerrard’s stature to bow out.
The Los Angeles Galaxy-bound midfielder managed to mark his 710th and final appearance for the Reds with a 186th goal.
But the 34-year-old was badly let down by his team-mates who were out-classed and out-witted from start to finish.
Liverpool finish the season sixth in the table, enough to secure a Europa League third qualifying round spot.
But boss Brendan Rodgers, who dropped young forward Raheem Sterling to the bench after he turned down a new contract, clearly has his work cut out this summer to rebuild his team.
In contrast, Stoke end a productive campaign ninth in the table after a thumping win.
Mark Hughes’s rampant side showed no mercy as they easily swept aside Liverpool in an astonishing first-half display.
Diouf opened the floodgates in the 22nd minute after Simon Mignolet parried Adam’s powerful drive into the striker’s path.
It was 2-0 four minutes later, Diouf letting fly from the edge of the area after being afforded far too much time and space.
Liverpool looked shell-shocked when Walters made it 3-0 on the half hour after poor defending by Emre Can allowed the Stoke striker to pounce from close range despite Mignolet’s best efforts.
The Reds were a shambles, Adam making it 4-0 after pouncing on a mistake by Lucas Leiva to power home from 20 yards.
It was Steven Nzonzi’s who came up with the goal of the game, the French midfielder making it 5-0 from long distance on the stroke of half time.
The last time Liverpool conceded six or more goals in a top flight game was in 1963, 7-2 against Spurs.
This was the first time Liverpool have ever conceded five first half goals in a Premier League game.
Stoke were the first team to have a five goal half-time advantage in the Premier League since Man City v Burnley in April 2010.
Peter Crouch has now scored 47 headed goals in the Premier League, more than any other player.
Rodgers sent on Kolo Toure and Jordon Ibe in an effort to tighten up the defence at the start of the second half.
Gerrard did manage to mark his last game with a goal after a composed low finish.
But another Liverpool old boy restored Stoke’s five-goal cushion as Peter Crouch headed home just five minutes after coming on as a substitute.
At the end, Gerrard could not wait to get off the pitch after a miserable farewell appearance.
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes:
“We couldn’t have asked for a better finish to a really great season.
“The level of performance in that first 45 minutes was exceptional and I don’t think it reflects badly on Liverpool. I think most teams would have struggled to cope with the quality and intensity of our play.
“It is a great performance against a very good team with great individual talents, and we have been able to get the level of performance that I think a lot of people sensed we were capable of.
“Everything came together and we showed what a good side we are.”