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The Greatest TV Character Losses of All Time

Updated September 23, 2020 • 9:21am PDT 62.9k votes 5.4k voters 43.1k views161 items

List RulesOnly TV characters that fundamentally changed the show by being written off, and the show continued without them.

We all remember losing our favorite characters -- Elliot Stabler (Law & Order SVU), Mark Greene (ER), Diane Chambers (Cheers), Fox Mulder (The X Files), Kalinda Sharma and Will Gardner (The Good Wife), Mathew Crawley (Downton Abbey) and practically everyone we started to emotionally invest in on Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. They get killed off, leave town, die of a terminal illness, get kidnapped, or sometimes just get transported to another world. Regardless of how they were written off (or why the actor chose to leave), they leave a gaping void in the show they built. This list is about ranking the greatest losses, whether the characters were good or evil. We wish the characters would have stayed because there were so many more stories to tell. Without them, the TV show went on but was never quite the same. 
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