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The Most Over-The-Top Deaths In TV History

Updated June 3, 2021 9.7k votes 1.7k voters 97.0k views20 items

List RulesVote up the most memorable, wild TV deaths that are burned into your brain.

As a medium, television rarely tries to rock the boat. TV shows try to stay on as long as possible without making a lot of changes - that's how you keep people coming back. But what happens when an actor decides to leave the show? Or what if the show doesn't adhere to the standard format of resetting every week? In that case, it's time for something harsh.

Characters have lost their lives on television for decades, often to teach viewers a lesson or to create some kind of sentimental moment. These ridiculous TV deaths are so over-the-top that the only message they're sending is "Don't mess with the showrunner."

What follows is a collection of intense TV death scenes that you can't believe made their way to the small screen. 

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  • Photo: AMC

    Everyone knew that Glenn was going to end his run on the series eating bat. Whether audiences read the comics or the mountain of spoilers on the internet, they knew that Negan was going to whomp Glenn into mush, but then The Walking Dead had to get cute.

    In 2015, in the episode "Thank You," Glenn and a red shirt get stuck on top of a dumpster in the middle of a horde of walkers, and they're seemingly dismembered - a disappointing ending for a beloved character. That turned out to be a ruse to throw the know-it-alls in the audience off the scent of Glenn's real fate.

    The Season 7 opener, "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be," has two vicious, over-the-top demises in a row. First, Negan bashes Abraham's noggin in as a show of power before doing the same to Glenn after Daryl punches him in the face. This time, the bludgeoning feels like it goes on forever and ends with a shot of Glenn's mutilated face to really hit it home to the audience that Glenn is dunzo.

    A bit much?
  • 2

    In ‘Hannibal,’ Beverly Katz Gets Sliced Into Thin Pieces And Displayed In Glass

    Photo: NBC

    For two seasons, Beverly Katz worked as a crime scene investigator alongside Will Graham as he investigated the Minnesota Shrike with the help of forensic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. During Season 2, Katz comes to the conclusion that something is off with Lecter, but she doesn't say anything about it.

    Rather than bring up her suspicions with the FBI, Katz goes to Lecter's home and stumbles upon his dungeon. Before she can alert the authorities, she's caught by Lecter, and that's that - or so we think. One episode later, the audience discovers that Katz wasn't just offed by the psychopath - she was sectioned vertically and displayed between pieces of glass. Lecter must be a fan of Damien Hirst.

    A bit much?
  • 3

    In ‘American Horror Story: Hotel,’ Gabriel Is Assaulted, Sewn Into A Mattress, And Then He Has An Overdose

    Photo: FX

    American Horror Story always goes over the top, whether it's offing a character, introducing a character, or just giving a music cue. That's what this show is about. That being said, Gabriel's demise in Hotel is absolutely wild. After checking into the Hotel Cortez to do illicit substances in peace, Gabriel meets multiple spirits at the same time, but it's not the maid that bothers him. That would be the ghost who uses a conical drill as a personal sexual device (if you know, you know).

    Gabriel is painfully assaulted by the creature for an excruciating amount of time (the clock literally goes backwards) until Sally, a third ghost, tells Gabriel that if he says he loves her, the pain will stop. He tells her that he loves her, and she follows through on the bargain before sewing him into the mattress. Gabriel later escapes from the mattress only to perish from complications due to withdrawal.

    A bit much?
  • Photo: HBO

    Cherry-picking the most over-the-top death in Game of Thrones is an impossible task - no one gets murked on Game of Thrones in a "normal" way. However, one of the most out-of-left-field ends appears in the Season 4 episode, "The Mountain and the Viper."

    Tasked with fighting the Mountain in public combat, Oberyn Martell flaunts his knowledge of the towering beast's part in the demise of his sister, Ella, before stabbing him in the chest and cutting his Achilles tendon. That's not the over-the-top part.

    As the Mountain lies in pain on the ground, Oberyn gets a little too close to the whopper of a human and gets his legs swept out from under him. The Mountain knocks out all of Oberyn's teeth with one punch, shoves his thumbs through the prince's eyes, and then crushes his skull. You'd think that you could call it a day with the whole eye-gouging thing - but that just wasn't enough, was it?

    A bit much?