Skip To Content

    23 Times Main Characters Were Written Off TV Shows And Basically Ruined The Show

    "You don’t continue a show when the person the show is about in the first place is gone."

    A while back, I wrote about the best and worst TV character departures, and people had a lottttt of thoughts in the comments. So I'm back with 23 more character departures that people just can't stand!

    SPOILERS AHEAD!

    1. Ruby on Once Upon A Time

    Ruby
    Jeff Petry / ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "Ruby 'Red' should be mentioned. She was such a badass and [I] loved the character so much, and her being a werewolf had a load of potential for great stories! Ruby deserve to be way above [an] underrated character. I mean she was the reason I got into the show."

    sonofhadesandmaleficent

    2. Cristina on Grey's Anatomy

    Cristina in scrubs
    Ron Tom / ABC / courtesy Everett Collection

    "Shonda Rhimes said herself when Season 10 aired that Cristina and Meredith were the true love story of the show. Ellen Pompeo was disappointed in fans and critics saying the show couldn't go on without Patrick Dempsey when they didn't say the same about Sandra Oh leaving. While there was of course a before and after Derek died in Season 11, the biggest 'old Grey's' and 'new Grey's' was before and after Cristina left."

    silverhera

    3. Eric on That '70s Show

    Eric at work
    20th Century Fox / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "Season 8 of That '70s Show was honestly a wild drug trip instead of an actual season. I know Topher Grace quit the show so they sent his character to Africa, but Randy (Eric’s replacement) could not hold a candle to Eric’s one-liners or comedic timing. The show went downhill after Season 7 because Eric was the heart of the show. You don’t continue a show when the person the show is about in the first place is gone."

    jurneespelliman1

    4. Fiona on Shameless

    Fiona
    Cliff Lipson / Showtime / courtesy Everett Collection

    "Her spiral in the last couple of seasons was painful to watch, and I got really annoyed by her decisions. Still, she was the one who anchored the family, and while I still loved Season 10, it felt like something was missing. And they didn’t even MENTION her at Ian and Mickey’s wedding."

    aaronr41a39e0d1

    "Yep, she was such a big part of the family and then it's like she barely ever existed. I don't understand why they've decided to handle it this way."

    aliceinautieland

    5. Michael on Jane The Virgin

    Michael
    Danny Feld/The CW / courtesy Everett Collection

    "It's stupid how his character came back out of nowhere as a 'different person' and they brought him back just to get rid of him again. They certainly didn't do him justice."

    mexigirl94

    6. Lucas and Peyton on One Tree Hill

    Lucas and Peyton in the comet about to leave town
    The CW

    "I know not everyone likes Lucas and Peyton, and they can be annoying at times, but the show just was not the same without them. Lucas was literally the main character that the show centered around, and without him the show kind of just fell apart. Seasons 7–9 were bad and you can’t change my mind."

    taylornealy

    7. Troy on Community

    Troy with his puppet
    Vivian Zink / NBC / courtesy Everett Collection

    "Not only was he a fantastic character, but the show really lost something special when it lost Troy and Abed’s friendship."

    am301394wne

    "He was one of the few characters that interacted with every member of the study group and his friendship with Abed was my favorite thing in the whole show."

    kaylee32x

    8. Elena on The Vampire Diaries

    Elena in her magical coma
    The CW

    "Elena wasn't the best character, but Nina leaving the show was awful. The ratings dropped and the show was missing something. I love that they developed the relationship between the brothers more but apart from that, the show was terrible the last two seasons."

    uhm

    9. Dave on Gilmore Girls

    Dave talking to Lane
    The WB

    "He's a relatively small character, but I'm convinced that Gilmore Girls would have been better had Adam Brody stayed. Zack and Lane were a horrible couple and she lost all the independence she wanted throughout the first four seasons; I feel like had Dave stayed on the show, he would have encouraged her to apply to a top-notch music program (and give her the support to stand up to her mother) instead of buying a small apartment with her horrible bandmates."

    books_baking_broadway

    "I love Dave too! [I] loved how he respected Mrs. Kim’s beliefs and knew Lane was worth it...especially when he read the Bible in one night because of what Mrs. Kim said (but she was actually quoting Shakespeare). But she was impressed with him. Both a very funny and touching moment. I don’t hate Zack, but Dave and Lane were by far a better couple."

    brittanijuneb

    10. Cuddy on House

    Cuddy smiling
    Greg Gayne / 20th Century Fox / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "The last season of House without Cuddy in it wasn't nearly as good. Their back-and-forth bantering and the way they were always triangulating Wilson into their standoffs was a central part of the show, and everything felt weaker without those subplots."

    cougar33

    11. Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    Gina with her arms crossed
    John P. Fleenor / Fox / courtesy Everett Collection

    "The show has sucked so much since she left. I don’t know if that’s because of her departure or switching networks, but the newest season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was a disaster."

    ullaglasa

    12. Glenn on The Walking Dead

    Glenn with wide eyes
    AMC

    "When they killed Glenn on The Walking Dead. The show lost a lot of its mojo that day and moving forward."

    trevort4764d5153

    13. Carmen on The L Word

    Carmen
    Paul Michaud / Showtime / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "She changed so much about Shane and it felt so real and beautiful to see them navigating their relationship and Carmen's family. I know Sarah Shahi's contract was up when she left the show, but it was such a moment of growth for Shane that never went anywhere and left her in a stagnant, same-old trope role."

    mythandry

    14. Lexa on The 100

    Lexa with a spear
    Cate Cameron / The CW / courtesy Everett Collection

    "I couldn't even watch it after they killed her off in such a terrible TV trope. She gave Clarke a lot of depth and personality and it fell flat after Lexa was gone."

    eblankenship3899

    15. Andy on Modern Family

    Andy and Haley
    Eddy Chen / ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "I stopped watching after Andy left. It was just back to Season 1 stuff and not funny anymore. ... [Haley] had so much growth before that and they just threw it away, not by being a mom, but by ending up with Dylan."

    doinfthings

    16. The Originals on The Vampire Diaries

    Bob Mahoney/The CW Network / courtesy Everett Collection, Quantrell Colbert / CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection, Quantrell D. Colbert / The CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "For ME the show started to lack after the Originals left. Elijah is my husband — Kol too. Klaus was spicy and fun to watch and Rebekah was the best friend I never knew I needed. ... They may have done bad things (I mean everyone on that show did) but I still loved them and missed them."

    mermaidmcqueen102

    "The Originals leaving hit hard. They were definitely some of the best 'villains' on TVD. Still not over the end of The Originals."

    jasrnine

    17. Abbie on Sleepy Hollow

    Abby with a flashlight in an alley
    David Johnson/Fox / courtesy Everett Collection

    "When the writers stopped focusing on Abbie, the writing became tired and stupid. Show ended when they killed her off."

    tmcpher1120

    18. Charlie on Two and a Half Men

    Charlie sitting on the couch with a beer
    Greg Gayne / CBS / courtesy Everett Collection

    "I know he self-destructed in real life, which lead to his firing, but Charlie Sheen getting booted from Two and a Half Men pretty much killed the show (at least for me). It ran for four more seasons with Ashton Kutcher, but it just wasn't the same. It almost became a parody of itself. Sheen was just so good in those early seasons."

    michaeldavid

    19. Reyna on Nashville

    Reyna in the hospital
    Jake Giles Netter / CMT / courtesy Everett Collection

    "Reyna James on Nashville hurt a lot. The show never recovered. It would have helped to kill off Scarlett instead."

    twinmommy

    20. Dr. Melendez on The Good Doctor

    Melendez in a hospital bed
    ABC

    "One of the worst departures is Dr. Melendez on The Good Doctor. I have no intention of watching the next season."

    greenbluepurple

    21. Rick on The Walking Dead

    Rick
    AMC

    "I couldn’t watch anymore after he left."

    andreahenry

    22. Crowley on Supernatural

    Crowley with his hands clasped
    Diyah Pera / The CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "I just loved his sassiness. He added humor to the show, and I miss him."

    0odlesofno0dles

    23. And finally, Lexie and Mark on Grey's Anatomy

    Lexie and Mark clapping
    Scott Garfield / ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    "Lexie and Mark was the worst departure for me! I guess from social media I already knew Derek was going to die, I just didn't know how, but the point is, I was prepared for it to happen so it wasn't such a big deal for me. But Lexie and Mark...I was not ready and I'm still not over it."

    greenbluepurple

    What other characters ruined a TV show by leaving? Let us know in the comments below!

    Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form