Skip To Content

    26 Tragic Television Characters That Totally Deserved Better

    The general consensus: these characters deserved better.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which television characters are the most tragic in history. Here are the results.

    🚨 Warning: Major spoilers for some TV shows ahead! 🚨

    1. Joyce and Will Byers (Stranger Things)

    Netflix / Via youtube.com

    "The woman has been through so much in her life, not including the monsters. It's just a string of non-stop misery for her."

    mariajamal974

    "He’s been through so much, like the death of his mom’s boyfriend, being POSSESSED, and obviously being stuck in the Upside Down."

    shadeofblue

    "Stranger Things, or as I like to call it, 'How Many Ways Can We Almost Kill Will Byers While Mentally Torturing Joyce Byers?'"

    artargeni

    2. Lexa (The 100)

    CW / Via variety.com

    "Her storyline was built up so perfectly, she finally got the person she loved to trust her again, and then she died. She deserved better. The fan base deserved better."

    a4cc7f965d

    3. Mickey Milkovich (Shameless)

    Showtime / Via serialminds.com

    "He overcame a violent, homophobic father, correctional rape, watching the love of his life getting arrested by military police, taking care of his boyfriend as he battled mental illness, being broken up with by said boyfriend, going to prison for a bogus charge and then being left at the Mexican border by the person he loves most in the world. If this isn't the definition of tragic I don't know what is."

    micksaysfuckyou

    "The bravest man, who wanted nothing but to love and be loved, without a doubt deserved better."

    samethrillagain

    4. Annalise Keating (How to Get Away With Murder)

    ABC / Via hollywoodreporter.com

    "She gave birth to a dead baby, was put in prison for Wes' death whom she loved like a son and didn't kill! One thing after another keeps happening to her but damn I admire her!"

    aperel612

    5. Jack Pearson (This is Us)

    NBC / Via thecelebritycastle.com

    "We all knew he had died, but the way he died and how he went back in to save Kate’s dog and precious memorabilia. Ugh, it really tugged on my heart strings!"

    keshapatel

    "He was an amazing husband to Rebecca, not to mention the best father to his kids. That Super Bowl episode got me crying buckets."

    alalji65

    6. Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy)

    ABC / Via women.com

    "That woman has been through enough awful to fill several novels. Her loved ones suffered horrible, preventable deaths, life dealt her ridiculously terrible cards, and she went through at least a dozen unlikely, crippling and traumatizing disasters. Truly devastating."

    lordsmojo

    "This girl cannot catch a break."

    samanthacatherine24

    7. Toby Flenderson (The Office)

    NBC / Via nbc.com

    "He was such a good guy, and Michael was always an asshole to him. He once said that if he was in a room with Toby, Bin Laden, and Hitler, and he had a gun with two bullets, he would shoot Toby twice. WTF, asshole?"

    nickisciarrino

    "He was way too cute to be treated that way."

    daniellem456094353

    8. Lady Edith Crawley (Downton Abbey)

    BBC / Via fanpop.com

    "Lady Edith... Fucking... Crawley. Yeah, she ended up okay, but not until the end of the last season. For six seasons she just got shit on over and over."

    jamieh30

    9. Dean and Sam Winchester (Supernatural)

    CW / Via sweatpantsandcoffee.com

    "Dean has died over 100 times, he was tortured in hell for 40 years, and as soon as he gets his mom back she’s taken from him again."

    dlynch1d

    "Sam's mom and girlfriend burned in front of him, he died, lost his brother, got addicted to demon blood, was stuck in a cage with Lucifer, lost his soul, suffered from PTSD, got hallucinations, almost died again, got possessed, killed Kevin, and that's only the beginning."

    marie-francel

    "Someone give those guys a vacation."

    kayleeb4dc54c800

    10. Bonnie Bennett (The Vampire Diaries)

    CW / Via playbuzz.com

    "She constantly put herself in harms way for her friends (and they often expected her to save their butts). She died more than once, had her first love cheat on her with a ghost, and watched her father get murdered in front of her. She suffered immense physical pain and was left alone in an alternate universe (after being stabbed, mind you). Oh, and she finally found someone who loved her and they killed him in front of her, too."

    amandac4e9a08530

    11. Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad)

    AMC / Via amc.com

    "He was constantly being manipulated and verbally abused by Walt, who only used him for his own selfish gains (including making him think that he had accidentally poisoned a child). He had to suffer through the deaths of the people he loved and became a literal slave in the final season."

    rosieg4858d274f

    "He’s the epitome of human devastation wrapped up in a single character."

    jenmas

    "They just shit on Jesse until the finale!"

    dlv8814

    12. Meg Griffin (Family Guy)

    FOX / Via huffingtonpost.com

    "The show isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but I just don’t think the way her family treats her is very funny. Meg always ends up as the butt of the joke. She deserves better."

    sarahm461ad99e9

    13. Matthew "Rickety Cricket" Mara (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

    FX / Via imgur.com

    "He left the priesthood, became homeless, got addicted to crack and PCP, had his legs broken, his throat slashed, had a dog defile his throat wound, got ringworm, blinded in one eye, lit on fire, and became a prostitute to support his drug habit."

    adamjunrein

    14. The Starks (Game of Thrones)

    HBO / Via patricksponaugle.com

    "Catelyn Stark's husband was beheaded, she thought her sons were burned alive and that her daughters were being held hostage. She had to watch her son and his wife be murdered at a wedding where she was murdered, too. She had it so rough, my dudes, and she deserved better."

    jennad4cadaeb93

    "Sansa has lost and suffered so much."

    madelineb4381cfa55

    "Ned Stark was such a kind, loving man, and always did what was right. Duty and honor ended up getting him killed. The fact that he went to his grave carrying such a heavy burden ruins me every time I watch the show."

    erinburkmanr

    "All. Of. The. Starks."

    cooperscooper11

    15. Hannah Baker (13 Reasons Why)

    Netflix / Via thoughtcatalog.com

    "She deserved everything good in the world, but the world turned on her."

    amyd41e25d6ef

    "This girl had been abused and slut shamed.... No one deserves that."

    taonga2000

    16. Garry "Jerry"/"Larry"/"Lenny"/"Terry"/"Barry"/"Gerry" Gergich "Gengurch"/"Girgich"/"Gergrench" (Parks and Rec)

    NBC / Via uproxx.com

    "His character is the butt of so many jokes and it makes me sad because he's the absolute best!"

    amandap92

    "He’s a mess, but he’s so kind and genuine. Everyone mocks him and bullies him, and he never retaliates."

    leahkathleenr

    "His entire existence is tragic."

    dizrayspect

    17. Worf (Star Trek)

    CBS / Via cbr.com

    "Every episode he’s in, in every series, it’s 'shit on Worf day'. He’s not Human enough, he’s not Klingon enough, his son is a shit to him. But who gets called on to save the damn day? That’s right, mother fuckin’ Worf."

    hennaw

    18. Merlin (Merlin)

    BBC / Via bbc.co.uk

    "Nothing is as tragic as being forced to spend eternity waiting for someone to come back from the dead, watching the entire world move on without you, unable to grow close to anyone without losing them."

    bethanyrosec

    19. Olivia Benson (Law and Order: SVU)

    NBC / Via popculture.com

    "Her dad was a rapist and her mother was his victim, her partner was murdered, she was kidnapped and tortured for days, she got PTSD, she adopted the son of a murdered prostitute and then had to fight for full custody."

    xxcrimsonquillxx

    "The writers have put her through hell for 19 seasons!"

    aperel612

    20. FitzSimmons (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D)

    ABC / Via purefandom.com

    "All they want is to make beautiful science together, but they keep getting separated by time or space or BOTH. For goodness' sake, Whedons, just let these precious geniuses get married and settle down in Perthshire already."

    - Jamie Jirak

    21. BoJack Horseman (BoJack Horseman)

    Netflix / Via jhsblackandwhite.com

    "Few characters can encapsulate the inability to find joy, self destruct, alienate everyone, and feelings of unworthiness like he can. He sees glimpses of what life could be like, but can never seem to make it fit."

    vandalbison

    22. Spencer Reid (Criminal Minds)

    CBS / Via criminalminds.wikia.com

    "He was already unsure about whether or not he’d find someone with an equal intellect, let alone someone to love, but when he did she got freaking murdered! He dealt with a drug addiction after being kidnapped and tortured, his mom has schizophrenia and he’s constantly worried about whether or not he has it, too. Plus, he’s seen the worst of humanity while working with the FBI. Justice for Reid!"

    eisuneek

    "And the show isn't even over yet."

    voidnogitsune

    23. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Buffy and Angel)

    WB / Via hypable.com

    "He started out as just a funny foil in Buffy. Then, in Angel, his whole life is pretty much destroyed. He literally said, 'I had my throat slit and all my friends abandoned me.' He had to suffer through that and watch his love die. He did not deserve that."

    cassidys43de882a4

    24. Wallace (The Wire)

    HBO / Via thewire.wikia.com

    "Sure, he did snitch, but he was just a kid. He got out of the situation and was warned not to come back but he did anyways and then, well..."

    marial45a4dfe30

    25. Frodo (The End of the F***ing World)

    Netflix / Via hypable.com

    "He deserved better than what he got."

    kateflowerhome

    26. Kenny (South Park)

    Comedy Central / Via southpark.wikia.com

    "Need I go on?"

    lizmurr2011

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

    TV and Movies

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

    Newsletter signup form