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    17 Main TV Characters Who Left Their Shows And Made People Say "Good Riddance"

    Hasta la vista.

    A while back, I rounded up some of the best and worst character departures. Now, I'm back with some new ones nominated by y'all (and a few more from me)! Here are 17 character departures that actually helped the show.

    WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

    1. Marissa on The O.C.

    Fox

    "I actually thought The OC was way better after Marissa was gone. Nothing can top the first season, but the fourth was so much tighter and more interesting than Seasons 2 and 3."

    sweetcuppincakes

    "I was so happy when they killed Marissa off. Granted, I hated the storyline and how it was executed, but I was happy to have an end to her whining and doing so many dumb things. I do feel bad for Mischa Barton, though."

    faceghostta

    2. Jess on New Girl

    Fox

    "When Jess was gone on jury duty, the show was so much better."

    kate4747

    "The girl was the worst part of New Girl. Jess was annoying and I swear they could lift that whole character out of the series and it would have still been great."

    tuffylrue

    "Agree. I actually loved having Megan Fox on in that brief period."

    chelseasometimes23

    3. Tyler on The Vampire Diaries

    The CW

    To be honest, Tyler's storyline had run its course. We were much more interested in seeing Klaus and Caroline, and even though Klaus left, it still felt like Tyler and Caroline paled in comparison to them. He didn't have much of a storyline when he did show up in later seasons, and losing him was like losing dead weight.

    4. Duncan on Veronica Mars

    Duncan tells Veronica goodbye and that he loves her
    UPN

    "He was so boring."

    kristinlindb

    "Agreed! He was an annoying character and I didn't like him with Veronica. She deserved better."

    jennifern482c4a8b3

    5. Derek on Grey's Anatomy

    Derek right before his car crash
    ABC

    "Derek's death definitely helped. I like Meredith so much more since his death. Plus, Season 12 was one of the best seasons they've had in a long time and really revitalized the show for me. I think it was a great thing for their relationship as well. The more and more popular Meredith becomes, the more he would resent her. I don't believe that if he was still alive they definitely would have gotten divorced. But in his death, Meredith can just hold on to the good. She can continue to believe that Derek was the love of her life."

    BirdieWolf15

    6. Dana on Zoey 101

    Nickelodeon

    I know this is a kid's show, but still. She was whiny and snobby, and my least favorite of Zoey's roommates. Cutting her loose led to bringing Lola on, who made the show so much better. 

    7. Mutt on Schitt's Creek

    Mutt during Alexis and his breakup
    Pop!TV

    "He was a hot piece of cardboard and him leaving the show made things way better."

    rachelc43

    8. Laurie and Eric on That '70s Show

    20th Century Fox / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "Laurie Foreman and Eric Foreman in That 70's Show leaving also helped. Laurie was a disgusting character and Eric was such an asshole to everyone and so selfish; it was better each time they left."

    jennifern482c4a8b3

    9. Jenny on Gossip Girl

    Jenny leaving on a train
    The CW

    "It helped so much! It's like the world became a better place!"

    mazeltov

    10. Coach on New Girl

    Coach in the show
    Fox

    "His departure did not hurt the show...at all. And it most certainly did not decline afterward. It allowed Winston's character to really shine, and the show just got even better."

    kayakchic39

    "To me, Coach was the worst character, so I shed no tears when he left. He was kind of a douche when he came back."

    tiffanyalexandraw

    "If Coach didn't leave, we wouldn't have Winston Bishop. ... His first departure helped. Winnie the Bish > Coach."

    egc26

    11. Diane on Cheers

    Diane
    Paramount Television / courtesy Everett Collection

    "Shelley Long in Cheers. Kirstie Alley was so much better!"

    Doo-Dah

    12. Ziva on NCIS

    Ziva on a moped with Tony
    CBS

    "We got more DiNozzo/McGee friendship, and then we got Bishop, who I adore. #HotTake."

    betherick85

    13. Basically all the old characters on Once Upon a Time

    all the characters at Granny's diner
    ABC

    "Probably a super unpopular opinion, but I really liked the seventh season of Once Upon a Time. I thought it was much better than the fifth and sixth seasons, which were just dull and boring. Dark Emma kinda ruined the show for me. I just wish the seventh season had been an entirely new show. End OUAT with Season 6 and make a spinoff with adult Henry and his family. I would have loved to have seen more of Henry, Lucy, and Cinderella, and even more of Hook and Alice would have been cool."

    sacredchoice101

    14. Sybil on Downton Abbey

    Sibyl dying as Tom and her best friend beg her not to
    PBS

    "I loved her and Tom together, but her death allowed the growth of his character from servant to co-manager; from outsider to family."

    adriennec1

    15. Elliot on Law & Order: SVU

    Elliot
    Virginia Sherwood / NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "I loved his partnership with Olivia and I was devastated when he left, but the ... show is still going, stronger than ever, 10 years later. ... Olivia has been able to grow and change in that time."

    grndrnkgddss

    16. Mandy on The West Wing

    Mandy sitting in a meeting
    NBC

    "She wasn't even written off; she just didn't come back the next season. Her character was kind of pointless and mostly just annoying. She didn't add anything to an otherwise brilliant pilot season."

    jenrussell

    17. And finally, Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    The WB

    Look, I love Angel, and I loved Angel and Buffy together. But I actually preferred the show's later seasons. I liked the increased focus on Spike, and it felt like we didn't really lose anything in losing Angel. Plus, Angel was WAY more interesting on Angel, where he was allowed to actually grow.

    What other characters made the show way better by leaving? Let us know in the comments!

    Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.

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