The Most Unexpected TV Character Deaths Of All-Time

Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring in "Breaking Bad"
AMC/Sony Pictures Television

The death of certain TV characters in dramatic television can be jarring.

But extinguishing the life of some of your favorite protagonists–or even villains–is a necessity in order to advance the over-arching plot.

Other times, a character's sudden exit may have more to do with issues behind the scenes–like problematic actors being written off the show or a star of a show dying in real life.

Those deaths are sometimes handled poorly as writers suddenly attempt to scramble together a cohesive narrative that winds up failing and drawing criticism from loyal fans of the show.

Curious to hear about the surprising departures of characters on TV, Redditor BuckNa3ty asked:

"What was the most unexpected death in the show you watched?"

Dramas wouldn't be popular without controversial deaths.

Death On Wisteria Lane

"Mike from Desperate Housewives."

– Miss__Snrub

Literally Mind-Blowing

"Gus Fring Breaking Bad"

"That image of him walking out of the room is seared into my mind."

– send_tits_n_tats

Vigilante Serial Killer's Damaged Girlfriend

"Rita in Dexter."

– quivx

"I actually screamed what the f'k at the TV."

"Coincidentally that's when the show really stopped being good. Season 5 was garbage."

– BanIslandWasFull

How Dan Stevens Pursued A Movie Career

"Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey."

– Long-Tall-Sally61

Even medical procedurals had unexpected character exits.

Sacred Heart's Gossipy Nurse

"Laverne in Scrubs :("

"Edit: how did I forget Ben???"

– Whenyouattewhen

"Even the 'regular;' patient deaths in scrubs - like the nice old lady that died from a hospital acquired infection because she and Cabbage had a farewell moment when Cabbage had dirty hands."

– ReferenceTight1851

Duty Called

"Kutner, portrayed by Kal Penn in House M.D. The guy went to work with Obama so he needed to leave the show asap."

– Expensive-Tax5328

Killed By A Schizophrenic Patient

"Lucy on 'ER.'”

– LowerSeaworthiness

People still talk about the demise of these characters.

Illogical Death

"Death from Supernatural."

"Best character in the show... Killed by one of the DUMBEST written scenes ever to grace cinema."

"Dude is on the same power level as God himself, in fact he himself stated that in the end he'll take God too... But he was killed by a human. Show is so stupid sometimes."

– IBreedBagels

Season-Ender With A Bang

"The Byrdes' lawyer, Helen Pierce, in Ozark."

– melanchollist

Better Call An Ambulance

"howard hamlin."

– HungrymanH

"The whole season I knew something bad would happen to Howard, but I was honestly so thrown off when it happened. It was so sudden and it was sad that a character so pivotal to the show was just thrown out like that and disposed of with no hesitation. Probably one of the hardest deaths in BCS, alongside Werner Ziegler."

– SlavetoBeefShawarma

Most Graphic Exit

"Glenn from walking dead."

– Jeffthechef03

HBO's Six Feet Under was brilliant for challenging expectations.

Every episode started with the death of an ancillary character who winds up being a cadaver on the coroner's table at the Fisher & Sons Funeral Home.

Viewers knew these unfortunate characters would eventually perish at some point during the three-minute-long intro, but they never knew how because of the way each scene was directed to throw off audiences.

To me, these expected unexpected deaths were always something to look forward to in succeeding episodes.

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