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34 Of The Most Unexpected Deaths In TV History

Character deaths that left television viewers shocked, saddened, and a little bit angry. Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they consider to be the most shocking character death in TV history. Here are some of the responses.

1. Ned Stark, Game of Thrones


"They actually killed off the main character early in the series. I kept waiting for him to escape the beheading, but it actually happened and we were shooketh!"


2. Sarah Lynne, Bojack Horseman


"The death of Sarah Lynne on Bojack Horseman seemed to be so inevitable, but it still caught me off guard in a really visceral way. It evokes the same feeling you get when some young star burns out too young."


3. Ana Lucia and Libby, Lost


"When Michael shoots Ana Lucia and then he shoots Libby right after! I was shook!"


4. Lance Sweets, Bones

20th Television

"It was so unexpected and I kept expecting him to either survive or for it to turn out to have been faked. Seeing Cam unzip his body bag broke me."


5. Joyce Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

20th Television

"Did anyone see that one coming? There was no prelude or foreshadowing to her passing. Also in a show full of vampires and witches you never thought someone might die of natural causes. It was so simple and yet so impactful. 'The Body' is still one of the best hours of television ever made."


6. Tracy McConnell (The Mother), How I Met Your Mother

20th Television

"We spent nine seasons waiting to meet her, only to have her killed off within a few episodes. I was definitely shocked that they decided to do that."


7. Carl Grimes, The Walking Dead


"He doesn’t die in the comics and becomes such a strong character! Killing him off in the show was just bad writing."


8. Mike Delfino, Desperate Housewives


"I couldn't stop sobbing! Mike gets shot while protecting his wife and dies in his wife's arms. Susan and Mike deserved a happy life."


9. Derek Shepherd, Grey’s Anatomy


"Derek Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy literally ruined my life when he was killed off. My mom and I didn’t move from the couch for about six hours after that episode aired and just cried together. I will never get over it."


10. Shireen Baratheon, Game of Thrones


"No other death on GOT affected me like hers. Of course Ned and Rob’s deaths were very sad too, but Shireen was literally one of the most innocent characters. And poor Davos was heartbroken."


11. Warrick Brown, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

CBS Television

"The death that got me was definitely Warrick Brown on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. So unexpected and I was so little when that episode aired. I still tear up if I think about that episode too much."


12. Rita Bennett, Dexter

CBS Television

"Things were going so well for them in their relationship, and he actually genuinely loved her — she was the tie to Dexter’s emotions. Dexter had killed the Trinity Killer and was about to go meet Rita and the baby on vacation and he comes home to find her body in the bathtub. Biggest plot twist ever. She was the last person I'd have guessed would die."


13. Maude Flanders, The Simpsons

20th Television

"It happened so suddenly and randomly at the beginning of an episode, because Homer was being an idiot and launched a T-shirt gun at her. It felt so bizarre since The Simpsons hardly ever features the death of a significant character."


14. J.T. Yorke, Degrassi: The Next Generation

Sony Pictures Television

"I know it is probably over-said at this point but one of the most shocking deaths I can recall from TV is when J.T. Yorke got stabbed on Degrassi: The Next Generation. I remember how tear-jerking and shocking it was to watch."


15. Tara Knowles, Sons of Anarchy

20th Television

"I actually took a break from the show because her death was so rough."


16. Mrs. Landingham, The West Wing

Warner Bros. Television

"She played the President’s beloved secretary/resident Lady Dumbledore in the White House and she got hit by a drunk driver. It. Was. Devastating."


17. Matthew Crawley, Downton Abbey


"I was devastated by Sybil's death earlier in the season, but Matthew's car accident right after the birth of his son was so devastating I threw my couch pillows across the living room in rage. Thanks Julian Fellowes for the years of so many mixed emotions."


18. Omar Little, The Wire


"I still get teary-eyed watching that episode. He would have been a great character to have through the whole series as an informant type guy."


19. Mark Greene, ER

Warner Bros.

"They had no right to play with my emotions like that. This was not OK."


20. Multiple characters, Game of Thrones


"Everyone in the Red wedding. It went against all typical tropes. I mean the noble son is suppose to get revenge for his father's wrongful death. It basically eliminated all of the good guys and any visible chance of revenge at the time. I was so shocked."


21. Marissa Cooper, The O.C.

Warner Bros. Television

"I was so surprised when I watched the episode and I couldn’t stop crying. She was my favourite character and went though hell."


22. Bob Newby, Stranger Things


"Honestly I will never be over Bob."


23. Will Gardner, The Good Wife

CBS Television

"Will Gardner from The Good Wife shocked me completely. It was in the middle of the season and in the middle of a huge rivalry between him and Alicia — who were supposed to be endgame, or so it seemed. It came out of nowhere and left me in some very unexpected tears on a Wednesday night."


24. Freddie McClair, Skins


"He did not deserve such an unceremonious send-off!"


25. Hodor, Game of Thrones


"As a book reader, I knew most of the major deaths that came before season six. Hodor's death was just a punch in the gut."


26. Zoe Barnes, House of Cards


"She was such a major character in season one, I couldn't believe they would kill her off in the first episode of season two. I was so shocked!"


27. Charlie, Lost


"He was one of my favourite characters and it just devastated me. I know he died helping Desmond but it still hurt."


28. Siobhan Sadler, Orphan Black

Temple Street Productions

"I was devastated by Siobhan's death in Orphan Black. I thought she would live happily with her kids, but she ended up being killed just two episodes before the finale."


29. Uncle Keith, One Tree Hill

Warner Bros. Television

"That was too much. I thought it was over and everyone was going to be fine and THEN HE WAS KILLED BY HIS OWN BROTHER. I’m still not OK."


30. Beth Greene, The Walking Dead


"I was shocked and it broke my heart. I cried for over an hour after the episode ended. Still not over it."


31. Poussey Washington, Orange is the New Black


"She was and still is my favourite character from the whole series, and her death was so sudden and unexpected. Heck, my friend and I didn't even know she had died! We thought she had just passed out, until Taystee started screaming and then we did as well. Honestly the show isn't the same without her. My friend even quit watching the show because she was so heartbroken."


32. Charlie Bradbury, Supernatural

Warner Bros. Television

"She was such a loved character and for her to be killed off was so tragic. Like it happens to all the women on Supernatural, but I though she was different. She was so quirky and loveable and she probably had the worst death on the entire show."


33. Lexa, The 100

The CW

"I never expected it and despite it being like two/three years ago now, I'm still upset and hella salty about it! Legends never die. She truly deserved more than bloody dying from a stray bullet."


34. Oberyn Martel, Game of Thrones


"He was kicking ass and taking names and then BOOM! Dead! And in a horrifying way that still haunts me. Plus I was sure he wouldn’t die because that would mean Tyrion would die and I was SURE Tyrion wouldn’t die…but of course the writers had a plan for that all along."


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

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