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    18 Controversial And Unpopular TV Storylines Writers Reallyyyyy Regret

    The Vampire Diaries showrunner wishes that Stefan and Elena ended up together!

    Spoilers ahead!!!

    Note: Some of the following contains mentions of sexual assault.

    1. Recently, Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman addressed one of the show's controversial aspects: Chandler's parent. She was often referred to with he/him pronouns and as "Chandler's father" or "dad," despite the fact that she was a transgender woman.

    Kathleen Turner as Chandler's parent

    Kauffman apologized for misgendering her and said, "Pronouns were not yet something that I understood, so we didn't refer to that character as ‘she.' That was a mistake."

    Marta Kauffman smiling

    2. Kauffman has also said she regretted the Friends storyline where Phoebe dates her sister Ursula's stalker.

    Phoebe talking to Ursula's stalker

    3. In addition, Kauffman has also said she regrets the storyline where Brad Pitt guest starred and his character spread a rumor that Rachel was a hermaphrodite.

    Ross tells Rachel he and Will started a rumor in high school that rachel was born with male and female parts, and chandler says "you were the hermaphrodite cheerleader from long island?"

    4. New character Chrissy was introduced in the first episode of Stranger Things 4, and rightaway she had an easy chemistry with fan favorite character Eddie.

    chrissy remembers eddie's band, corroded coffin, and says how could she forget with a name like that - eddie calls her a freak and she smiles

    Chrissy ended up dying at the end of the episode, upsetting fans — and the creators themselves. “We always have those moments [of ‘What have we done?’],” Matt Duffer said. The Duffer brothers revealed they'd actually shot the drug deal scene (above) after they'd shot Chrissy's death, so they didn't realize how great the characters would be together.

    Chrissy dying and Eddie screaming

    5. The writers also said they regretted killing Bob in Season 2. "When we killed Bob in Season 2, I didn’t want to do that. We had fallen in love with both the character and Sean Astin. And Sean didn’t want to die. Winona Ryder didn’t want him to die," Matt revealed.

    Hopper carrying a screaming joyce away as bob dies

    6. "The Principal and the Pauper" is one of the most loathed episodes of The Simpsons, with many fans and critics marking it as the point where the show jumped the shark.

    Principal Skinner and the "real" Skinner

    In the episode, Principal Skinner is revealed to be an impostor (whose real name is Armin Tamzarian) who has been assuming the identity of a military friend long thought to be dead.

    Armin and the real Skinner

    Simpsons creator Matt Groening eventually called the episode and its storyline "a mistake" in an interview with Rolling Stone, and in the Season 9 DVD introduction, he said it was one of his least favorite episodes.

    Matt Groening

    7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer memorably killed Willow's girlfriend Tara in Season 6, just after she'd been added to the opening credits. As Tara was one-half of one of the first lesbian couples on mainstream TV, the death resulted in lots of controversy, and is often cited as a part of the "bury your gays" trope.

    Tara is shot and says "your shirt" as willow's shirt is splattered with her blood - she collapses and Willow says "Tara? Baby? Baby, come on!"

    "I think that killing Tara was — in retrospect, of all the people, did she have to die?" Writer Marti Noxon said to Vulture of the controversial decision.

    Marti Noxon

    8. A similar example was Kate on Last Tango in Halifax. Many people saw the death, which occurred just after the character had gotten married to her wife, as yet another example of "Bury Your Gays"/Dead Lesbian Syndrome. Writer Sally Wainwright initially called this phenomenon a "myth," saying, "People get killed off all the time."

    Kate in the show

    However, Wainwright later changed her mind — "I wrote another ending, but it didn’t work. At the time, I thought it was the right choice, but I do actually regret it now.”

    Sally at an event

    9. Another main character's death that the creators regret? The unexpected death of lead character Marissa Cooper in The O.C.

    Ryan pulls Marissa from the flaming car and tells her he's going to get help, but she begs him to stay

    Turns out, The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz is still conflicted about the character's death.

    Schwartz in 2019

    10. On another The O.C. note, Schwartz also said he regrets the way the Season 3 storyline between Johnny and Marissa was handled.

    Johnny and Marissa

    "I think, for a lot of us, the Johnny storyline was probably one we'd like to have a do-over on," Schwartz said in an interview with HuffPost.


    11. Remember when Berlin died on Money Heist? Well, turns out that series creator Alex Pina regrets killing him off!

    Berlin saying "I've spent my life being a bit of an asshole, but today...I think I feel like dying with dignity" then walking into fire

    Pina called him a "misogynist, narcissist, and psychopath" but said he made the show interesting.


    12. A huge part of The Vampire Diaries was the love triangle between Elena and brothers Damon and Stefan.

    Promo shot with Damon, Stefan, and Elena

    Well, it turns out that one Vampire Diaries showrunner was NOT a fan of the person Elena ended up with, Damon.

    In fact, Kevin Williamson wanted Elena and Stefan to end up together.

    Kevin Williamson on the red carpet

    In speaking about the series finale, Williamson told Deadline, “I always thought it would be Stefan and Elena. They were sort of the anchor of the show, but because we lost Elena in Season 6, we couldn’t go back."

    13. One more love triangle that a show creator doesn't view too fondly...the love triangle with Dean, Rory, and Jess on Gilmore Girls.

    In this case, it's not that Gilmore Girls writer Amy Sherman-Palladino felt that Rory ended up with the wrong person — it's that she wishes viewers wouldn't focus on this triangle at all, which suggests she is possibly not a huge fan of the storylines, looking back.

    Amy Sherman-Palladino

    14. Shonda Rhimes kind of regrets killing a character too — the minor character Dylan Young, who was the bomb defuser in the famous Grey's Anatomy episode with the patient who had a bomb in his chest.

    Dylan behind Meredith as she holds the bomb in the patient's chest

    Rhimes said that actor Kyle Chandler would pitch her ideas where his character didn't explode, but she didn't take him up on any of them because exploding was what the character was written to do, even if she didn't want to do it. "I did not expect to have Kyle Chandler," she said. "I didn’t want to explode him."

    Shonda smiling

    15. Another character death the creators wish they could go back in time on: Lexa from The 100. Creator Jason Rothenberg walked back on the show's controversial decision to kill off Lexa and even issued the fandom an apology letter.

    a character saying "i'm not gonna let you die" while the other replies, "There're nothing you can do now"

    Rothenberg said he was stunned by the backlash from fans and "heartbroken" over the criticism.

    Rotheberg at "The 100" panel at New York Comic Con

    16. Having Spinner and Emma drunkenly get married and then decide to stay together on Degrassi: The Next Generation has been heavily criticized by both fans and the cast.

    Spinner and Emma wedding

    During a 2018 interview with Miriam McDonald (who played Emma), executive producer Stephen Stohn called having Spinner and Emma end up together "one of the biggest regrets of his life."

    Stephen Stohn in 2018

    More recently, Degrassi director and producer Stefan Brogren, a longtime defender of the relationship, came out against it in an interview with AV Club.

    Stefan Brogren in 2018

    17. On another Degrassi note, the relationship between Miles and Tristan in The Next Generation and Next Class has become controversial in recent years, mostly because of anti-bi comments by Tristan's character that went unaddressed.

    Tristan calls Miles a "manwhore" and says, "Is there another name for someone who humps anything that moves?"

    In 2021, Degrassi creator and producer Linda Schuyler said that she would definitely write certain aspects of that relationship differently now.

    Linda Schuyler

    18. And finally, here's one last character death a writer regrets — Lamplighter on The Boys. Showrunner Eric Kripke said Lamplighter's death was written into the scripts early on and needed to happen, based on what the character had done. Still, Kripke regretted writing the death in after seeing actor Shawn Ashmore in the role — but it was too late to change.

    lamplighter says he just wanted to make his dad proud then erupts into flame as hughie looks shocked

    "Shawn made that character so world-weary and sympathetic for someone who had done such terrible things, and made that character so interesting that I, along with the other writers, were like, goddamn he's an awesome character," Kripke said.

    Eric at the boys season 3 premiere

    Did any of these surprise you? Disagree with any of the creators here? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

    Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly identified Dylan Young as the patient, not the bomb defuser, in #7. Oops!