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

Crunchyroll Set visit BBC America golden globe awards kong San Diego Comic-Con hidden camera crime drama TV comic 79th Golden Globes Awards trophy kids Tokyo Olympics Endgame hispanic heritage month nature book South by Southwest Film Festival Reality DC Universe summer TV new zealand period drama women cars Amazon Studios spider-man scary what to watch fresh Oscar cops dogs jamie lee curtis Black History Month hispanic cancelled TV series Premiere Dates TCA Winter 2020 cults Disney wonder woman Spring TV docudrama Valentine's Day french Television Academy Columbia Pictures Amazon Prime Video Turner Classic Movies summer preview romance PBS DGA DC streaming service travel anthology DC Comics prank New York Comic Con game of thrones Thanksgiving Nat Geo Sundance Now joker facebook rt labs critics edition TCA 2017 Holidays Britbox YouTube Red art house MGM Comics on TV adventure book adaptation psychological thriller FXX pirates of the caribbean 24 frames Anna Paquin universal monsters ITV Writers Guild of America 20th Century Fox Amazon Prime Ovation sopranos sag awards criterion First Reviews comedies Podcast indiana jones 2017 streamig popular action-comedy 2016 Countdown Starz FX on Hulu historical drama President cancelled television ABC Signature mockumentary Fox News Fantasy Apple TV Plus Rocketman TV renewals feel good SundanceTV reviews batman franchise Pop IFC Films A24 Wes Anderson comiccon king kong latino Tarantino discovery Disney Plus Discovery Channel obituary Winter TV TIFF Instagram Live ESPN Epix video Tags: Comedy rt labs Rom-Com APB asian-american Awards Tour ABC Fargo Avengers worst movies Song of Ice and Fire Prime Video AMC Plus streaming movies A&E comic books Shudder canceled TV shows movies dragons sports Holiday Marvel Television hist cinemax GLAAD Video Games Netflix Christmas movies cancelled saw robots Teen Sundance talk show Cartoon Network news TNT Funimation Hear Us Out Universal Pictures MTV mob fast and furious best Walt Disney Pictures science fiction biography witnail Adult Swim MSNBC elevated horror black comedy stop motion disaster critic resources Syfy live action 99% king arthur Box Office zombie legend 2020 American Society of Cinematographers television Crackle hollywood YouTube Sony Pictures Arrowverse scary movies halloween 2015 laika TCA Awards Opinion HBO Max WGN Tubi Lifetime The CW Infographic cats south america lord of the rings Ghostbusters gangster Freeform richard e. Grant based on movie VOD dexter Country high school First Look Reality Competition mutant Schedule Legendary adaptation Hulu strong female leads Mary Poppins Returns Grammys GoT live event 45 Marvel Studios cooking Family stand-up comedy telelvision political drama Image Comics TCM YouTube Premium Chilling Adventures of Sabrina teaser Best Actor parents movie Universal japanese war Chernobyl Travel Channel binge RT21 Pride Month Winners Mudbound Nickelodeon 007 cancelled TV shows supernatural doctor who The Purge Biopics dark boxing remakes VH1 all-time police drama Paramount HFPA screen actors guild versus Marvel National Geographic E3 2019 Pixar Martial Arts The Arrangement sitcom IFC nfl 4/20 SDCC cartoon ViacomCBS Star Wars space christmas movies NBA Toys psycho Musicals Acorn TV young adult Election vampires marvel cinematic universe Musical Tumblr spain Warner Bros. suspense OWN critics slashers Paramount Plus classics Pop TV IMDb TV Comedy Central Quiz Netflix Ellie Kemper trailers chucky Hallmark Christmas movies boxoffice Rocky breaking bad Horror Best Picture Brie Larson SXSW 2022 Photos Extras PlayStation spinoff comics Baby Yoda Awards rt archives aliens Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt vs. unscripted award winner 71st Emmy Awards godzilla CNN Disney streaming service mission: impossible Women's History Month genre harry potter medical drama BBC One 2021 Cannes Film Festival video on demand Best and Worst Music die hard Emmys game show Stephen King Pacific Islander Binge Guide 94th Oscars serial killer ID directors slasher Focus Features Mystery sequels target marvel comics OneApp Peacock zombies thriller kaiju crime thriller emmy awards transformers politics NYCC Shondaland blockbusters royal family dramedy The Academy rotten Sundance TV black free movies ratings football comic book movies Star Trek finale TLC 73rd Emmy Awards international anime 93rd Oscars BBC natural history golden globes stoner mcc TBS Marathons italian toronto Mindy Kaling Paramount Network Character Guide Superheroe Mary poppins Vudu Exclusive Video Creative Arts Emmys Disney Channel Apple rom-coms VICE BAFTA FOX Film Trophy Talk Summer HBO renewed TV shows children's TV zero dark thirty E! MCU blockbuster razzies screenings Western Year in Review japan Superheroes The Walking Dead Oscars twilight olympics Calendar NBC new star wars movies sequel Classic Film crossover 2018 Fox Searchlight CBS All Access Trivia Tomatazos Apple TV+ dceu scene in color TV movies CMT justice league halloween tv Fall TV TCA Masterpiece TV Land documentaries romantic comedy Certified Fresh TV One LGBT 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards summer TV preview 90s Cosplay Interview Sci-Fi Super Bowl rotten movies we love canceled independent Showtime werewolf Pet Sematary ABC Family worst Drama CW Seed USA films series concert foreign jurassic park Rock ghosts RT History spider-verse USA Network FX spanish The Witch monster movies venice Black Mirror Best Director adenture PaleyFest docuseries posters Lifetime Christmas movies basketball biopic Bravo HBO Go Spectrum Originals Best Actress GIFs Disney+ Disney Plus animated miniseries documentary History dreamworks new york true crime spy thriller leaderboard Pirates TruTV Lionsgate Comedy reboot Christmas festival Dark Horse Comics Kids & Family Hallmark 1990s australia obi wan Alien Hollywood Foreign Press Association superman Comic Book SXSW X-Men Turner The Walt Disney Company LGBTQ Spike james bond Heroines Red Carpet casting Food Network Animation know your critic revenge Mary Tyler Moore blaxploitation Sneak Peek tv talk Captain marvel Esquire 72 Emmy Awards archives Neflix Nominations CBS Watching Series Television Critics Association deadpool indie toy story Action nbcuniversal El Rey BET Awards Broadway Emmy Nominations Logo satire green book AMC Polls and Games singing competition BET comic book movie scorecard Comic-Con@Home 2021 WarnerMedia name the review child's play dc 21st Century Fox spanish language debate crime a nightmare on elm street diversity Elton John See It Skip It heist movie theme song Academy Awards festivals aapi YA quibi Amazon composers Trailer technology social media DirecTV Lucasfilm streaming superhero