30+ Popular TV Characters Who Were Suddenly Written Off The Show (And Why)

Writing off a character is a big deal for any show (except Game of Thrones; characters on that show drop like flies). Some shows, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Office, make sure to give their characters a ritualistic send off into that sweet fictional heaven, while others take care to provide a sensible storyline about where characters are headed, and others decide at the last minute not to get rid of the character at all. But more often, it seems that some programs write nary a farewell scene or even give a word of exposition to put their viewers' minds at ease. Here are some characters who were written off of their shows a little too abruptly. From award-winning Comedy Central programs to some of the best recent ABC shows, even prestigious programs will drop a character quickly if behind-the-scenes drama makes it necessary.


  • Stuart Minkus From 'Boy Meets World'

    Out of all the genres of television shows, kids TV can be harsh with its revolving door of child actors, swapping out one young face for the next in an instant. At least Boy Meets World had a sense of humor about it. Minkus, who was meant to be the intellectual foil of Cory and Shawn, was written out of the show without a word, but at the conclusion of the show he popped up to let them know that he had just moved to a homeroom across the hall.

  • Erlich Bachman From 'Silicon Valley'
    Photo: HBO

    After narrowly avoiding a palapa fire, Erlich Bachman made his exit from the Silicon Valley world when billionaire Gavin Belson paid a man to house Bachman in an opium den for five years. While Bachman was often insufferable, the character's antics were integral to Silicon Valley, so his departure left fans baffled. TJ Miller, who portrayed Bachman, initially said the decision was mutual

    However, there appeared to be more to the story. Reports later surfaced alleging Miller was difficult on set, frequently showed up unprepared, was under the influence while filming, and had a bad temper. Even creator Mike Judge acknowledged Miller's behavior caused issues. Miller told a slightly different version of the story during interviews after his departure.

  • Marissa Cooper From 'The O.C.'
    Photo: The O.C. / Fox

    Rumor has it that Mischa Barton, who portrayed notorious hot mess Marissa Cooper on The O.C., wanted out of the series to pursue a film career. So she died in the arms of her true love, Ryan Atwood, after being involved in a car wreck. It could have been worse - she could have been lifted into the sky by a UFO.

  • You don't mess with Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Isaac Hayes found this out after he quit South Park due to the episode "Trapped in the Closet" - a send-up of Scientology - for being intolerant toward his religious beliefs. Had he never seen South Park before? His character, Chef, was dropped off a bridge, where he fell on some rocks, was impaled by a branch, and had his limbs chewed off by a mountain lion and a grizzly bear. Later, Hayes's son claimed the church made the decision for him.