22 TV Character Arcs That Were Needlessly Tragic, Infuriating, Or Just Plain Garbage In The End

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community which TV characters had the most unnecessarily tragic endings. Here are some of their responses (and a few of my own, because I just have a lot of feelings):

Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead, including Season 4 of “Stranger Things”!!! ?


Shireen Baratheon from Game of Thrones

Shireen burning


“She was so pure and lovely. I can still hear her screams for her father.”



Eddie Munson from Stranger Things

eddie saying he didnt run away as he dies


“Eddie didn’t need to die to complete his character arc. It would’ve been easy to play Eddie as an obnoxious coward who needed to be redeemed but Quinn’s portrayal made him so lovable that he was a stand-up character right off the bat. The guy wasn’t a coward (his running away from danger wasn’t cowardice as much as it was common sense), so his desire to die fighting felt wholly unnecessary. And as far as turning him into a hero? From the beginning, he sought out people who were othered and bullied and misunderstood, took them under his wing, and made them feel safe and loved and wanted. Eddie never needed to die to be a hero — he already WAS a hero!”



Bob Newby from Stranger Things

bob dying


“He was so pure and good to Joyce and her kids.”



Villanelle from Killing Eve

villanelle about to kiss sandra oh's character

BBC / Everett Collection

“The whole final season was a mess — no wonder none of the actors have even acknowledged it. Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh both deserved better writing to work with. Instead, they got one kissing scene after four whole seasons.”



Alex Karev from Grey’s Anatomy

alex's letter being read by another character, confessing he was also in love with Izzie


“He didn’t die, but the Grey’s Anatomy writers did him dirty! He had one the best character developments, only to have it all ruined in one episode. I would have actually preferred him being killed off instead.”



Maya St. Germain from Pretty Little Liars

the four friends comforting each other


“There was absolutely no reason for Maya to be killed off in such a brutal way. Her murder added nothing to the overall mystery, it destroyed a beautiful relationship, and it caused Emily unnecessary trauma. It was just awful all around.”



Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson from Orange is the New Black

tasha in court


“It wasn’t enough that she watched her best friend die, she had to also be convicted for a murder she didn’t commit?! Heartbreaking!”



Justin Foley from 13 Reasons Why

justin in the hospital bed


“Yeah, he was a complete dick in the first season, but then we got to see him turn over a new leaf. He become a better person, and fans grew to sympathize with him and care for and love him. His death scene broke my heart — his life was finally getting better, he was sober, he had a new family…you writers just had to kill him, didn’t you? Of all the characters on 13 Reasons Why that deserved a happy ending, Justin was sure as hell one of them.”


“That was so f*cked up to kill him off. Not only was he my absolute favorite character, but his death also stigmatized HIV even more.”



Beth Greene from The Walking Dead

beth's body being carried out of a building


“She had come so far and was growing so much. I loved her character — it was such a stupid move to kill her off like that. The whole ‘killing/assaulting a female character for a male character’s development’ trope needs to stop. I stopped watching the series after that.”


“I feel like no one was as traumatized by Beth as I was! Glenn is always the go-to horrible death for The Walking Dead, but Beth’s death gutted me.”



Bellamy Blake from The 100

character shooting Bellamy

The CW

“The whole ending of his storyline was completely out of character, and then he was shot by his best friend for essentially no reason at all. I’m still mad about it. It was so unnecessarily tragic.”



Erin Greene from Midnight Mass

character screaming as a canoe goes up in flames


“She starts out as a woman fleeing a bad marriage while pregnant. She’s excited about the baby and wants to be a better mom than the one she has. She reunites with her teenage love and is happy. Then, she loses the baby due to the vampire blood she was unknowingly consuming. Her boyfriend goes missing and then he finally comes back only to die right in front of her to prove he isn’t lying. She then finds out she’s stuck on the island with bloodthirsty religious fanatics. She does manage to save the day in the end, but she went through so much!”



Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars

Logan standing outside of the car before it blows up


Suggested by: steinbeck32

“This was so ridiculously unnecessary. Not only did they kill off a beloved character in the revival, they did it right after he and Veronica finally got married too! His death truly served no purpose.”



Jen Lindley from Dawson’s Creek

close up of Jen in the hospital

The WB

“She was arguably the best character on the show — yes, even next to Pacey. She was caring and supportive of everyone, but never got that back in return. Literally, her entire arc on the show was her trying to belong and find happiness, just for her to find that and then be killed off so all the other characters could learn something and get their own happy endings. It sucked.”



Colin Zabel from Mare of Easttown

character pointing a gun at someone


“He was so hopeful and was on a path to redeeming himself! His death was so damn quick that I had to rewatch it a few times to make sure I actually saw what I saw. I felt so bad for Mare to have witnessed that brutal murder.”



Chris Miles from Skins

group of people looking up at fireworks


Suggested by: poinkpoinkpoink

“I sob every single time I rewatch any Skins episodes with Chris. His death was absolutely heart-wrenching, especially since his girlfriend, Jal, was pregnant.”



Lexie Grey from Grey’s Anatomy

lexie with scratches and blood dying


“I get that the actor wanted to end her run on Grey’s Anatomy, but the plane crash was unnecessarily traumatic, tragic, dark, and gory. It was so contrasting to her light-hearted and kind character — the part where they mentioned the animals eating her body was it for me. She deserved so much better. I am still traumatized by it to this day.”



Derek Shepard from Grey’s Anatomy

character saying that Derek is dead


“I sobbed at the cruelty of killing him off the show.”



Erin Silver from 90210

character comforting another

CW Network/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Everyone else on the show got a relatively happy ending except Silver! She ended up alone, lost her baby, and then she was also diagnosed with cancer?! WTF?!! After all the hell she went through, she deserved a much, much better ending.”



Dean Winchester from Supernatural

characters saying their goodbyes

The CW

“15 years of character development, family, Castiel’s love and sacrifice…and then he dies on a stupid hunt. If any character deserved a happily ever after, it was Dean.”



Terry Bellefleur from True Blood

Terry outside dying


“If ANYONE on that show deserved a happy ending, it was him. It crushes me every time I rewatch.”



Marissa Cooper from The O.C.

marissa outside on the street as she dies


“I know the actor wanted to leave show, but to this day, I still have not forgiven the writers for this one. To me, The O.C. died with Marissa.”



And finally: J.T. Yorke from Degrassi: The Next Generation

Liberty comforting JT


“He was stabbed while on his way to tell Liberty he was in love with her. It was heartbreaking.”


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

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