20 Most Sad TV Character Deaths

Every TV shiw will witness one or more popular TV  characters disappear from our screen as the seasons pass.

1. Gary Mendez – A Million Little Things

It was difficult going into A Million Little Things Season 5, knowing Gary would probably die from cancer, but we weren’t prepared for much his death hurt. The last two episodes of Season 5 were the hardest, knowing that Gary wouldn’t survive and that he and Maggie were on borrowed time. We were all sobbing as Gary asked Eddie and Rome to help him end his life. Seeing Gary say goodbye to his loved ones made it real.
Gary had been the heart and soul of the series, so it hurt to lose him.

2. Will Gardner – The Good Wife

As it is with many of the deaths on this list, it’s not so much crying about the death itself that happens during these episodes, but it was impossible not to cry watching Diane and Kalinda dealing with the melee at the courthouse and trying to get in touch with Alicia. Will’s body on the table, knowing nothing could be done. It was all horrific and unexpected.

3.Joyce Summers – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

This death happened just like in real life. It was completely unexpected. There weren’t bullets or vampires. Joyce thought she was doing fine, but succumbed to a brain tumor while at home alone on the sofa. Buffy walked into the surreal situation, and we got to see a girl who is normally surrounded by death utterly floored by the reality of someone close to her dying of natural causes. “The Body” remains my favorite episode of the series.

4. Nate Fisher – Six Feet Under

Nate had a brain problem called AVM. He had it under control, and had just had surgery even, ensuring he was well. But he died due to post-op complications. Um. NO! That doesn’t happen to our favorite television characters. That’s too real. But coming from a show about death, would we expect less? The funeral afterward was another sucker punch. Of course, this was before we knew the finale was coming and we’d never hear Sia again without crying softly (or heavily).

5. Mark Greene – ER

Mark Greene suffered from cancer for a long time before he died, and his daughter was really suffering as well. He decided to spend the end of his life tring to make hers better by taking her to Hawaii where he grew up with fame. Rachel eventually calls Elizabeth to come help her with him and while his family is on the beach and life carries on and he listens to that damn sappy version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, he dies. Seriously, reliving these on YouTube is killing me!

6. Poussey Washington – Orange Is the New Black

Long before this brutal type of killing was realized in our everyday lives, Poussey Washington lost her life while standing up for injustices in prison. It was a violent and crushing death on the surface and in how fellow inmates and viewers responded to it. The show wanted to shed light on everyday injustices in prisons and by police officers on the black community, and they succeeded. It’s just too bad it didn’t have the desired effects to bring about actual change.

7. Peter III – The Great

The Great is very lightly based on history, but the one thing we knew couldn’t last was the marriage between Peter III and Catherine II. Frankly, we never expected to fall for the couple at all. Our Catherine and Peter had a love-hate relationship that we couldn’t help but root for, even though it was the very definition of toxic. So it was pretty surprising when just moments after declaring his enduring love for Catherine (when he was defying her direct orders), Peter fell through the ice and died, leaving Catherine gasping for air at the shock of it. Her reaction was visceral and heartbreaking, which made the death all the more effective to propelling her story forward.

8. Allison Argent – Teen Wolf

Allison returned from the dead in Teen Wolf: The Movie, but that doesn’t eliminate how we felt about her death when it occurred. Back then, it seemed like something was off with Allison long before she died in a season that threatened to kill off one of the main characters. Nobody expected it to be Allison or Scott. They’re going to find their way back to each other! Well, in her final moments, as she lay dying in his arms, she did tell Scott he was the only guy she ever truly loved. Another truly shocking moment. The tighter lid they keep on the story, the more emotional the loss.

9. George O-Malley – Grey’s Anatomy

Oh man. George made a major decision, to join the Army and do his doctoring there. So OF COURSE nobody would instantly recognize him when a heroic man in uniform who had just been dragged by a bus after stepping in front of it to save a pedestrian was rushed in, barely alive. But when they figured it out? Holy tears batman. Sob much?

10. Charlie Pace – Lost

Charlie had such a wonderful journey as a character on Lost, which made watching him accept a suicide mission terrible to watch. Even though Desmond already saw it happen in a vision, it was possible to change the endings of them before, so we hoped Charlie’s fate would change, as well. Instead, he saved everyone, and drowned after giving Desmond a message on his hand. Gut-wrenching!

11.Lt. Colonel Henry Blake – M*A*S*H

Everybody wanted to get away from the war. Their ticket home was the one thing they all agreed upon was the best thing that could happen to them. So there were happy faces and tears of joy that quickly turned to tears of sorrow when Henry Blake’s helicopter was shot down on his way home. So unfair!!!

12. Logan Roy – Succession

Logan Roy’s death was a stunning development on its surface, but beneath that surface, it made perfect sense as the series rocketed toward a conclusion. The premise was always to find his successor, whatever that might be, and let’s face it, Logan wasn’t such a great guy that he needed to survive to the end. A great character, yes, but one of poor character, as it may be. What made this death sad was how his children handled it as the great man left the earth not surrounded lovingly by family but on a business trip on the day of his eldest son’s wedding. His children lived in his often dark shadow, but they felt the enormity of the loss before they could even understand what it meant.

13. Paul Hennessey – 8 Simple Rules

When John Ritter died suddenly in real life at the age of 54, the 8 Simple Rules character did as well, while buying milk. The entire cast cried throughout the episode, and knowing they were really missing their friend and father figure make the scenes all the more heart wrenching. John Ritter was loved by all of us as much as by them, too. A last article written by the character about his children only increased the sobs.

14. Billy Baker – All American

It broke our hearts when Billy Baker died on All American Season 5 Episode 11. He went out a hero saving Jabari from a bus accident. Since it was sudden, no one got to say goodbye, which made it difficult for the Bakers and Spencer to grieve. Spencer was especially filled with guilt since he and Billy were arguing when Billy died. As his family began to move on, Billy’s presence lives on inside his family, and he’ll be forever missed. He had been the patriarch of the series, and there is a gaping hole from his absence.

15. Lucy Knight – ER

When Carter was stabbed by a lunatic in the ER, as he fell to the floor he saw his friend, Lucy, was already bleeding on the floor. While Carter made it, Lucy didn’t. It was pretty rough on the entire ER because she was loved by all. No, it didn’t help knowing Kellie Martin wanted to leave the show. Not one bit.

16. Juliet Burke – Lost

Let’s be honest, Sawyer didn’t start out as the romantic hero, but that’s sure how he ended up, and he paid the terrible price of having the love of his life dying in his arms after she fell down into the hole with the bomb they were trying to set off. He heard her down there, alive, and dug his way to her. First she said to him what they’ll say when the remember each other in the afterlife. Just wow. Then she asked him to kiss her, then said she had something really important to tell him and died in his arms. It’s even more powerful watching it again!

17. Gabriel Reyes – 9-1-1: Lone Star

In the series’ supersized season four finale, what should’ve been a happy celebration of love as Carlos and T.K. prepared for their wedding took an utterly shocking turn when, mere hours after Carlos asked his father to be his Best Man, the Reyes Patriarch was gunned down at his doorstep.
And worst yet, as it stands, there is no rhyme, reason, or answers to who is behind the senseless murder.
With one grooming tragically losing his mother a year prior, a wedding was marred by tragedy, and one of the most compelling characters and father/son relationships on the series came to a close in a most devastating fashion, changing the trajectory of this series and Carlos’ arc for seasons to come.

18. Sybil Crawley – Downton Abbey

Sybil’s baby wasn’t being born properly, and if they didn’t do something soon, she was going to die. Well, guess what? She died! Lord Grantham refused to take the word of the doctor Lady Grantham trusted, and as a result, her daughter died in childbirth. All because he wanted to stick with the old-fashioned practices. Sybil delivered her child, and everyone thought all was well. Only later her health deteriorated, and she was gone. It was unexpected and shocking.

19. Bobby Simone – NYPD Blue

The actual death scene of Bobby Simone on NYPD Blue was beautiful, full of meaningful touches and thoughts as he came closer and closer to death after suffering from a bacterial infection that went to his brain due to complications after a heart transplant. He cried as he came to one more time before his las breath and so did we.

20. Zeek Braverman – Parentho

We almost always expected Zeek would die before the series concluded, but they dragged his life out to the bitter end, allowing him to live to see his grandchild born and start planning a vacation with Millie. That was the kicker. You just knew he wouldn’t make it then. So when he died in his chair, it felt too permanent. No Parenthood reunion show or movie would ever be the same because Zeek was the heart of the show. Spreading his ashes? Goodness.

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