It’s always sad when one of our favorite television characters dies. It’s even more heartbreaking when that character is a teenager.
It’s the job of the TV writer to create drama; it’s what keeps viewers tuned in. However, high-stakes drama means creating bad circumstances for your favorite characters. And nothing is more dramatic than a character’s sudden demise.
Break out the tissues and get ready to weep all over again with this sampling of the saddest deaths in teen television dramas. Which teen character death made you cry the most? Vote up the casualty that had you reaching for Kleenex after Kleenex after Kleenex.
- Photo: CTV
J.T. Yorke (Ryan Cooley) is everyone's friend at Degrassi Community School. He is well-liked and enjoys the role of class clown.
During Season 6 of the series, J.T. is a senior in high school with a bright future ahead of him. One night, Emma throws a party for Liberty's (Sarah Barrable-Tishauer) birthday, a girl with whom J.T. has unresolved feelings. At the party, J.T. chases after Liberty in an attempt to get back together.
J.T. goes outside to find Liberty, but spots two drunk Lakehurst teens, Johnny (Scott Paterson) and Drake (Brendan McMurtry-Howlett), next to his car. One of the boys appears to be peeing on J.T.'s vehicle. When he confronts them, Drake takes out a blade and stabs J.T.
Liberty discovers the injured J.T., and he is rushed to the hospital, but it is too late. All of his friends who rushed to the hospital are there to hear the devastating news.Tearjerker?
- 2112 VOTESPhoto: Fox
Finn Hudson’s passing would have left anyone with a heartbeat completely devastated. The tragedy becomes a million times sadder when we remember that the actor who portrayed him, Cory Monteith, perished unexpectedly.
The writers at Glee had the difficult task of dealing with Monteith's real-life sudden demise from an OD that occurred prior to the start of the show's fifth season. His character Finn was the heart of the series and one of the most well-liked characters on all of television.
It took producers until the third episode to figure out how to handle the character's death. In the episode "The Quarterback," the glee club performs the song "Seasons of Love" at Finn's funeral. Several weeks later, they hold a memorial for their friend and each sings a song in dedication to Finn.
Finn's girlfriend Rachel (Lea Michele) honors Finn by singing Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love." It's an emotional performance made even more heartbreaking because Michele and Monteith were involved romantically off-screen, as well. Michele's tears and emotions are completely real.Tearjerker?
- 355 VOTESPhoto: MTV
In the Season 3 Teen Wolf episode “Insatiable,” Allison Argent (Crystal Reed) is taken out by an Oni demon. Her final scene is painful to see unfold as her poor father has just lost his wife and Allison is his only daughter.
Teen Wolf fans watched Allison go from a regular, run-of-the-mill teenager to a Hunter with excellent archery skills. She vowed to protect the weak, and her courage ultimately cost Allison her life.
After she is fatally wounded, Allison perishes in the arms of her first true love Scott (Tyler Posey). Before she drifts off forever, she tells him that she is still in love with him.
Allison's demise enraged Teen Wolf fans everywhere, but actress Reed wanted to leave the show to pursue other interests. It left the show's producers with a tough decision on how to handle the character's exit.
Executive producer Jeff Davis explained why they decided to off Allison in order to be true to her character:
We’d debated it many different ways, actually. The show is growing up, and it’s just like what they did on The Good Wife; it’s shocking and it changes the show. Death happens and everyone else is left behind. It spins the characters and the story in new directions. To be honest, we struggled to think of a reason why Allison would leave Beacon Hills. This was more true to her character. She’s not the kind of person who would just say, "OK, guys, I’m out of here. Take care." It was a powerful, painful moment. And to be honest, if we’d known Colton [Haynes] was going to leave after Season 2, I’m not so sure he would have survived. I have the utmost respect for Crystal, who sat me down and told me she was ready to move on and try new things. I’m proud of her and feel very fortunate to have had an actress like that.Tearjerker?
- Photo: 20th Television
When Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) began their relationship on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was considered a landmark same-sex television coupling. Soon, young witch Tara became a popular and well-liked character on the show.
During a 2002 Season 6 episode, one of Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) enemies, Warren Mears (Adam Busch), shows up at her house. "The Trio" member fires off several rounds at Buffy, but one of the stray bullets winds up hitting Tara. Willow is there to witness the act. In a fit of rage, she goes after Warren and skins him alive, thus becoming Dark Willow.
Tara's sudden demise was devastating for Buffy fans. She was a kind and sweet character who played a key role in the battle of evil. Marti Noxon, who served as the series showrunner during Season 6, later admitted that she regretted what happened to Tara's character. Noxon explained:
There were parts of season six where I feel we went too far. We pushed into some categories that almost felt sadistic and that Buffy was volunteering for things that were beyond just “bad choices” and were almost irresponsible for the character. That may have to do with my own history. [Laughs.] The personal, right? It’s personal. And I think that killing Tara was - in retrospect, of all the people, did she have to die?Tearjerker?