Fans tune in to their favorite shows week after week to watch the characters grow and plot arcs develop. Even though everyone knows it’s fictional, it’s very easy to become attached and even possessive. When a show doesn’t go the way you envisioned it, you feel cheated. When a character does something that you feel doesn’t live up to their character, you feel betrayed. And when your favorite character (close your eyes, kids) dies, you have even been known to go into mourning. The first stage of mourning TV characters is to light Twitter on fire with millions of others to ask questions, demand answers, beg for the writers to reconsider (even though it’s already done) and shout thinly veiled expletives with at least a dozen punctuation marks.
Sometimes, though, the death of a TV character has brought millions of people great joy. Whether they were villains or just characters whose plots ran dry, great shows are littered with characters who overstayed their welcome. The following list discusses 10 deaths of television characters who most fans were thrilled to finally get to say goodbye to. Major spoiler alerts for various shows throughout the past fifteen years’ worth of on-screen moments.
10. Nikki & Paulo on Lost
There were quite a bit of things that fans disliked about Lost by the time it ended. But in the beginning of the series, most of them couldn’t get enough of the mysterious show. That is, until Nikki and Paulo showed up, out of nowhere. The writers of the show wrote the couple into the script in response to fans always wondering what the rest of the plane crash survivors were doing who were never featured on the show. So, they added Nikki and Paulo’s storyline as a couple who had separated from the group. But the response was immediate and was so negative towards them, the writers killed the pair off later on that same season.
9. Bill Henrickson
Fans didn’t seem to dislike Bill Henrickson on Big Love because he was a polygamist. They seemed to dislike him because he was a smug, condescending martyr who acted more like a father to his wives than he did a husband. Although the show was critically acclaimed and did well in ratings, fans never took well to Bill, largely due to the fact that despite having so much good fortune, he always found himself either miserable or in a massive amount of trouble. Henrickson’s death on the series finale was a huge shock to most, as it came by the hands of one of the lesser-run plotlines in the show.
8. Marissa from The OC
Not everyone who loved The OC was happy when Marissa, so surprisingly, died in one of her girl-gone-wild benders that ended in a fiery car crash. Ryan, played by Ben McKenzie on the teen drama, might have been crazy over the whiny teen beauty, but most fans of the show believed Marissa’s story-line had long-since run its course and grew sick of her. It was just another example of people refusing to relate to a character who has it all but still acts miserable at every turn. Despite picking up a lot of attention and press after Marissa’s shocking death, The OC’s ratings were never able to recover and the show ended that same season.
7. Lori from The Walking Dead
Fans of The Walking Dead didn’t seem take well to Lori from the beginning, mainly due to the affair she had with her husband’s police partner. But their vexation with her only grew with each passing show. Message boards would light up immediately after each show with Lori haters who consistently complained that she nagged too much, caused unnecessary tension between Rick and his partner Shane, was never any help to the group and, despite the savage apocalypse going on, still never seemed to know where her son was or what he was doing. So, the writers gave the fans what they wanted and killed Lori off in a brutally bloody scene while giving birth to baby Judith. When Carl returned to collect his mother’s body, a zombie had already beaten him to it, leaving nothing but a puddle of guts, thrilling most fans.
6. Adriana on The Sopranos
There was already a lot to dislike about Drea de Matteo’s character, Adriana on the hit HBO series, The Sopranos. The writers intentionally wrote her as a spoiled, lavish, and very whiny mob girlfriend and she played the part well. The rest of the show was written so well, though, that most people found her character at the very least tolerable. But, when she turned rat and became a reluctant FBI informant, a strong disgust for her character grew. Although she was far from the first on the show who the Feds turned, it only gave viewers a legitimate reason to truly dislike her. The writers knew her character had seen her day and killed her off by having Silvio drive her out into the middle of the woods, pumping bullet after bullet into her, keeping the suspense of the show up and thus the ratings.
5. Clay on Sons Of Anarchy
Fans went back and forth on the Sons Of Anarchy inside-villain Clay for a while. Sometimes they liked him and wanted him to stay, other times they hated his guts. It was bad enough when the show revealed that Clay inadvertently killed Opie’s wife, murdered Jax’s father, and kidnapped Tara to have her killed. But after Jax discovered most of these things and still didn’t take care of Clay himself, fans grew restless with the show and accused the writers of just running multiple plot lines into the ground to try to waste time every season. So, the writers finally gave the viewers what they wanted by having Jax kill a repentant Clay who admitted that he knew he had it coming.
4. Andrea on The Walking Dead
Another character from the popular zombiefest show The Walking Dead, Andrea’s character was disliked from the start, but it became so bad that viewers’ disgust for her even seemingly trumped that of Lori. Fans freaked out every week over Andrea and meme after meme went viral depicting her inability to work well with the group for no other reason that she just didn’t want to be told what to do. After making a string of ill-advised and troublesome decisions, putting the group or individuals of the group in danger, then began the plot line of her love affair with the governor, which basically served as the final nail in her proverbial coffin. Fans of the show were elated when she was finally killed off at the hands of a –you guessed it- zombie.
3. Brody from Homeland
He was a soldier. Then he was a terrorist. Then he was a double agent. Then he was an accused terrorist on the run, turned drug addict, turned double agent again… It all became too much for Homeland fans who wondered what exactly the show was trying to do with Brody’s character. In a grim finale, Brody was shown publicly martyred while Carrie, his only supporter, watched. Fans received Brody’s death well with hopes that it means the show will finally take on a new story arc.
2. Hank from Breaking Bad
There was perhaps no other show on television that created the amount of inner turmoil that Breaking Bad did for fans. Although viewers knew that technically Walt was the bad guy and Hank was the good guy, it never quite felt that way. Fans grew attached to Walt, despite the fact that he was clearly breaking the law and feeding into a rampant drug problem along the border. But thanks to his pompous attitude and always acting so condescending towards Walt (even before turning meth king), Hank was never well-liked among fans. When Hank discovered Walt’s identity and knew that he was the reason he was nearly killed, fans still couldn’t find it in their hearts to back Hank and only grew more excited when Walt advised him to “tread lightly,” knowing that his time on the show was quickly coming to an end.
1. King Joffrey
Game of Thrones is infamous for killing off its most popular and beloved characters with little to no warning, sending the internet into a tizzy that is almost as enjoyable to watch as the show itself. But Sunday night, the writers of the show killed off possibly the most hated character in recent TV history when King Joffrey was poisoned on his wedding day and died in his mother’s arms. The scene came as a huge surprise to viewers (for those who haven’t read the books, anyway) and had them rushing to the internet to collectively scream, “Finally!”