Image by Ralph Klein from Pixabay

The deaths of major characters in TV shows serve as a turning point to herald in a new chapter.

They typically begin as cliffhangers that leave audiences impatiently waiting for an entire season to see what happens next.
And while saying goodbye to a series regular is tough, their demise can breathe new life into a TV show that could've gone stagnant.

But that is only if the deaths were warranted and logically made sense.

Because sometimes, there are unnecessary deaths that can be attributed to lazy writing or an actor who, for various reasons, was not asked to renew their contract.

Curious to hear examples of a random character departures, Redditor Jumpingonacloud asked:
"What is the most unnecessary death in a TV Show?"
Warning: spoiler alerts abound.

These fantasy/sci-fi shows had plenty of unwarranted deaths people still talk about.

The Knight From GOT

"Ser Barristan Selmy the Bold."

"Killed in an alley by some scrubs, like a scrub, just to subvert our expectations."


A Punishing Return

"Charlie in Supernatural. Girl straight up left Earth for Oz, and you bring her back for one episode just to get murdered in a bathtub by a nazi??"


The Departed Chief Engineer

"They killed off Trip in the final episode of Star Trek Enterprise. It was was a low point in a lackluster finale."


A Resurrection

"Spike on Buffy The Vampire Slayer."

"Why bother killing him off on Buffy just to bring him back next season on Angel."


Procedural shows often center around deaths. But when major characters are killed off for no legit reason, it's brutal.

The Sympathetic Serial Killer

"Deb from Dexter."


Rotating Hospital Staff

"Like half the cast of Grey's Anatomy. Between a plane crash, mass shooter, a bunch of multi-casualty staff incidents, car crashes, and other random deaths. I have no idea how that hospital still has any staff left."


The Comic Relief

"Dr Lance Sweets from Bones."


Fatal Courtroom Appearance

"Will Gardner - The Good Wife."


"I completely agree with you but I also think that those two episodes were a masterpiece. The way they showed the whole process of him dying (by pure chance because that was supposed to be Alicia's client) and all his friends/ coworkers finding out about the shooting is just so devastating. I think TGW does one of the best representations of grief and loss. I think it hits especially hard because Will still had to completely forgive Alicia when he died and now he never will get the chance to do so. They weren't okay when he died but maybe they could have been in the future. Or maybe not. She will have to live with the fear that he still hated her when he died and she will never be able to make amends."


The body count was high in these intense dramas, but no one expected these beloved personalities to have their permanent exit.

Peaceful Demonstration Gone Wrong

"Poussey in Orange is the New Black. I think about half their viewers stopped watching after that."


"Her death was far from unnecessary. It set up Taystee, and Caputo's storyline for the next 3 seasons. And those were the direct ones, she also indirectly caused every other storyline, but that goes without saying."

"She died so other characters could have interesting storylines. I mean, imo, Taystee had the best storyline out of all the characters after that."


Poor Kid

"Carl from The Walking Dead."


"Yes!!! It was such a cheap shot to kill off Carl. They compromised the plot for shock value. Carl was often what kept Rick the writers taking away that key element, it really messed with Rick's storyline."


Twas A Cheap Shot

"Richard Harrow in Boardwalk Empire. I was so annoyed by it, I stopped watching after that."


"Ooh I wasn't expecting to see this but yes. I could accept all the other deaths but this one hurt because it didn't have to happen and he was so close to having a happy ending."


Deaths in sitcoms are tricky to navigate. Sitcoms are pure comedy but have space to accommodate poignant storylines and controversial issues. If done well, it can be a triumph.

I remember being dumbfounded after watching the ninth-season finale of Roseanne when the titular character said that her husband, Dan Conner, had died from a heart attack, and the entire season was fictionalized as part of the novel she was working on.

And then the roles reversed and Dan became the widower in the Roseanne spin-off, The Connors, which premiered in 2018.

I understand Roseanne Barr's controversial comments led to her firing from the revival series, Roseanne, and its cancellation before the show's new iteration as The Connors.

While there was a backstage explanation for her departure, Dan's passing during the show's original incarnation still struck me as abrupt and unnecessary.

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