Omar Little - The Wire
Michael K. Williams’ portrayal of Omar Little is not just The Wire’s greatest character but one of TV’s best overall. Despite his reputation as a slightly less rotten egg among some true stinkers, there were dozens of characters who wanted Omar dead in this crime drama set in Baltimore, Maryland. And when they finally got him, it was truly gutwrenching.
Sarah Lynn - Bojack Horseman
In season three’s That’s Too Much, Man! BoJack pays a visit to Sarah Lynn, who is nine months sober and looking to celebrate by falling off the wagon. BoJack takes advantage of this and takes her on a month-long bender. At the end of the episode, he and Sarah visit a planetarium. Sarah says, “I wanna be an architect,” before dying of a fatal overdose.
Matthew Crawley - Downton Abbey
At the end of Downton Abbey’s season three, heir Michael Crawley welcomes a newborn son into the world with Lady Mary. Thrilled, he drives off to tell his family the news, only to suffer a fatal car accident on the way, killing him and the hopes of thousands watching at home. What’s more, his death came on the Christmas Day special!
Charlie Pace - Lost
Charlie Pace’s life was saved several times by Desmond prior to his season three finale death. After infiltrating the Looking Glass station, Charlie stops to listen to a transmission from Penny, Desmond’s lost love, Mikhail floods the station with a grenade through the porthole. Charlie locks himself in the communication room to stop the whole station from flooding and save his friend Desmond’s life. The scene traumatised a whole generation of Lost fanatics.
Brian Griffin - Family Guy
Brian Griffin’s death in the twelfth season’s Life of Brian genuinely shocked viewers. Not only is it rare to seemingly permanently kill off anybody in animated TV, but seeing a fan favourite such as Brian bite the dust came out of nowhere, which is probably why the writers did it. Brian was replaced in the short-term by a ball-busting dog named Vinnie before returning two episodes later thanks to Stewie saving him in his time machine.
Susan - Seinfeld
Susan, played by Heidi Swedberg, wasn’t a popular member of the Seinfeld cast despite having a pivotal role as George Costanza’s fiance. Jason Alexander, who played Costanza, even admitted years later that he vented his frustrations at not being able to work off Swedberg’s acting style. Eventually, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld killed Susan off outright by being poisoned from a glue adhesive on an envelope. Fans have since slated the show for killing off a character they actually liked.
Ned Stark - Game of Thrones
Opie - Sons of Anarchy
Fresh out of Chino State Penitentiary, Harry “Opie” Winston (played by Ryan Hurst) ends up right back in prison after punching Sheriff Roosevelt. While in prison, he gets involved in a fight, in which he’s hit with a lead pipe around the head. A few more strikes prove too much for Opie, who dies on the spot. Sons of Anarchy are still reeling from this death to this day.
Zoe Barnes - House of Cards
Zoe Barnes was one of the first great characters in House of Cards. This journalist’s relationship with Frank Underwood becomes strained after she realises he’s not so clean-cut. In season two, this fractured relationship reaches a boiling point when Underwood tails Zoe on to a subway platform where he pushes her in front of a speeding train.
Gus Fring - Breaking Bad
A lot of TV character deaths lean more into the tragic factor, whereas poor Gus Fring’s death in Breaking Bad is outright horrific. After being bombed by Walter and Hector Salamanca, Gus is seen walking out of Hector’s room. At first, the audience presumes everything is fine. Gus, sure, he’s a little shaken but nothing serious. Except of half his face is gone.