News

The Walking Dead and the Most Heartbreaking TV Deaths of the Last 20 Years

From Buffy to This Is Us, it was hard to say goodbye to these favorite TV characters.

by | February 26, 2018 | Comments

No one is safe on The Walking Dead — except for maybe Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Other central characters can be killed off week to week, and the uncertainty has often been the most exciting part of watching the show. In the midseason premiere of season 8, AMC’s hit zombie series said goodbye to a character who has been on the show since the very beginning.


Spoiler alert! This article contains plot details for a major character death in The Walking Dead and 18 other TV shows.



The mortality rate for television characters has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Really, since cable shows like Game of Thrones — with its Stark family curse — chucked out the rule book governing the survival of beloved characters, no one is safe. The best surprise deaths can make viewers mourn for fictional characters. When it’s just a publicity stunt or a blatant contract termination, it doesn’t hurt quite as bad.

Real-life losses like John Ritter (8 Simple Rules), Phil Hartman (NewsRadio), and Bill Paxton, who was starring in CBS series Training Day when he died in 2017, are a different sort of heartrending tragedy.

Here are 19 of most heartbreaking TV deaths of the last 20 years. Fictional characters only.

Want to argue for a more heartbreaking death? Tell us in the comments below.

 

Tag Cloud

Rom-Com doctor who 71st Emmy Awards Amazon Prime Podcast Winners First Reviews Rocky comiccon Heroines Freeform TV Epix science fiction Shudder TCM finale The Witch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt unscripted Apple Cannes Chernobyl Super Bowl MSNBC foreign Nominations HBO toy story Shondaland Horror Mary Poppins Returns 21st Century Fox DC Comics supernatural 45 social media animated cooking witnail TCA Star Trek RT History Holidays Set visit GIFs police drama Anna Paquin sitcom Mary poppins YouTube Premium Western Starz Mudbound tv talk Summer Logo vampires Awards DirecTV Action streaming Film mutant Disney streaming service true crime Ellie Kemper serial killer Trivia Binge Guide Nat Geo technology ABC SundanceTV Year in Review The Arrangement Pixar TCA 2017 Paramount Network Cartoon Network Peacock teaser Sony Pictures CNN composers MTV HBO Max crime thriller Star Wars Lucasfilm Lifetime Premiere Dates AMC DC Universe Infographic period drama Interview romance thriller justice league Animation based on movie jamie lee curtis USA Network TV Land Britbox E! YouTube Red Trailer biography Captain marvel zero dark thirty TIFF Film Festival medical drama PaleyFest robots Christmas nature revenge mockumentary BET cats Fall TV Emmy Nominations crime drama TruTV Quiz E3 IFC Films ESPN political drama Tarantino Calendar zombie OWN green book latino Lionsgate Women's History Month Comedy Valentine's Day Cosplay Musicals BBC 2018 ratings 2016 Sundance binge RT21 harry potter CBS All Access ghosts 007 Drama Mary Tyler Moore TNT talk show Toys Red Carpet Superheroes Acorn TV Spectrum Originals spain 2015 comic A&E Marathons Nickelodeon Marvel Crackle award winner GLAAD spanish language MCU travel Spring TV anime Brie Larson VH1 stand-up comedy theme song Disney Thanksgiving San Diego Comic-Con politics singing competition Fantasy dragons Box Office historical drama sequel elevated horror docudrama Video Games video TBS Esquire FOX Song of Ice and Fire See It Skip It cults Mystery sports richard e. Grant Ovation Spike FX Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Syfy game of thrones Rocketman spider-man IFC facebook Rock WarnerMedia Black Mirror Awards Tour anthology cops Winter TV Biopics NYCC strong female leads crime 2017 disaster Columbia Pictures Arrowverse Comic Book Countdown Tumblr Bravo Mindy Kaling LGBTQ Pet Sematary Extras CW Seed Paramount crossover psycho space TLC Television Academy adaptation Superheroe LGBT Country USA Pride Month spy thriller television Universal Musical YA Martial Arts Reality National Geographic NBC Pop El Rey Elton John Election Opinion casting SXSW psychological thriller CBS Grammys Sneak Peek Amazon Prime Video zombies Watching Series adventure New York Comic Con Music cinemax GoT DC streaming service Writers Guild of America Masterpiece Adult Swim Photos dc Amazon Ghostbusters movies war kids Disney Channel golden globes miniseries APB Netflix Vudu south america Polls and Games First Look Teen Walt Disney Pictures CMT Comics on TV Warner Bros. cars WGN transformers Character Guide Comedy Central spinoff Kids & Family Showtime hispanic FXX Best and Worst children's TV Sci-Fi boxoffice natural history ABC Family Pirates X-Men SDCC 20th Century Fox ITV hist Tomatazos series dramedy game show Reality Competition American Society of Cinematographers blaxploitation Trophy Talk diversity festivals book Dark Horse Comics Oscars History VICE discovery The CW Schedule BBC America Stephen King Certified Fresh Sundance Now 2019 Family Emmys DGA dceu aliens Creative Arts Emmys PBS quibi President Fox News 24 frames Hulu what to watch Food Network