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

Jacob Shelton
4.5M views 31 items

Writing or killing 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 and others take care to provide a sensible storyline about where characters are headed, if written off. 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. This is the list of characters that were written off of their TV shows, maybe a little too soon. 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 make it necessary. 

Since the dawn of the age of television, characters have been coming and going. Sometimes a supporting character on one show will get a starring role on another, or maybe the star on one show will turn out to be a giant piece of garbage who gets written out without prior warning - Hollywood is tough, baby! You've got to roll with the punches. The characters on this list were unceremoniously written off their TV series. Some of them were released for good reasons (we're looking at you Charlie Sheen), some where actors who quit, and some were let go due to machinations far out of their control.

Writers' strikes, substance control issues, and just plain wanting to be written off the show - it's all on this list and few things are more disappointing to fans than characters written off, when they were the ones you loved to watch. When badass characters suddenly go, a show can feel empty. After you click through, feel free to leave a comment letting us know if we missed anyone of if there's a character that disappeared that you especially missed.


Francis Underwood is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 30+ Popular TV Characters Who Were Suddenly Written Off The Show (And Why)
Photo: via Wikimedia

For five seasons, Kevin Spacey terrified Netflix audiences via his portrayal of the Machiavellian politician Francis Underwood. However, his character was written out in season six and filming resumed without him. Spacey was one of many men who faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the first of which came from fellow actor Anthony Rapp. Due to the allegations, Netflix severed ties with the actor. 

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Erlich Bachman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 30+ Popular TV Characters Who Were Suddenly Written Off The Show (And Why)
Photo: via Tumblr

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, claimed he would never return to the show and representatives initially released a statement saying this decision was mutual. 

However, there appeared to be more to the story. Reports would later surface alleging Miller was difficult on set, frequently showed up unprepared, was under the influence while filming, and had an explosive temper. Even creator Mike Judge acknowledged Miller's behavior caused issues. Miller took some digs at directors and co-stars during interviews after his departure, which seemed to substantiate the rumors. 

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Marissa Cooper is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 30+ Popular TV Characters Who Were Suddenly Written Off The Show (And Why)
Photo:  The O.C.
Rumor has it that 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.

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Chef is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 30+ Popular TV Characters Who Were Suddenly Written Off The Show (And Why)
Photo:  South Park
You don't mess with Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Isaac Hayes found this out when he criticized the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet" - a send up of Scientology - for being intolerant towards the religious beliefs of others. 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.

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