We’ve said goodbye to a lot of our favorite characters in the last several years. In some situations, a star’s departure meant death, while in others, the possibility of a comeback was left open. As a matter of fact, the most surprising twists on television don’t often entail shocking pregnancy revelations, terrifying explosions, or unexpected time travel. Often, it’s a cast member’s unexpected exit that has people’s mouths dropping to the floor. Here is a list of 5 most shocking character exits from popular TV shows:
1. Derek Shepherd from Grey’s Anatomy
When our very own McDreamy was unexpectedly cut off in 2015, it sent shock waves across Grey’s Anatomy viewers. After a horrific car accident in season 11, the audience’s favorite character was declared brain-dead, widowing his beloved Meredith Grey in a tear-jerking episode that kept fans heartbroken for several seasons thereafter. After Derek’s departure, the show was never the same for many viewers.
2. Tom Cavanagh from The Flash
Cavanagh has been among the major of Team Flash, even if he hasn’t always performed the same part. In fact, showrunner Eric Wallace used that same phrase when announcing Cavanagh and Carlos Valdes’ departures on May 4: Tom and Carlos have been an integral part of our show for seven seasons and will be greatly missed, Both are incredible talents who created beloved characters that fans and audiences around the world have come to love. Which is why we are happily keeping the door open for return appearances.”
3. Hodor from Game of Thrones
When one of the most popular TV shows Game of Thrones proceeded past the plot of George R.R. Martin’s books, it cut off its most innocent characters. Hodor had been assisting Bran Stark since the beginning, and when Bran inadvertently notified the White Walker army of his whereabouts, Hodor assisted Bran in escaping while sacrificing his own life. Meera shrieked “Hold the door,” which Hodor repeated over and over until it became ‘Hodor’, revealing that he traveled through time to earn his name and iconic catchphrase.
4. Michael Scott from The Office
“I think season 7 will be my last year. I want to fulfill my contract and move on”, Steve told Entertainment Weekly in 2010. When questioned if he’ll ever change his stance, he said no, citing that his primary focus was enjoying time with his family. Fans said their goodbyes to Steve and Michael Scott after he married HR representative Holly Flax. The pair left Dunder Mifflin and relocated to Holly’s hometown of Colorado. Michael spent his final day at the office supply firm, bidding farewell to his co-workers.
5. Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men
Two and a Half Men dominated the TV shows industry for the majority of its tenure, but Charlie Sheen managed to crash it to the ground. During some contentious interviews, Sheen made some derogatory remarks, but the worst of them came when he slammed Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre. The next season was formally canceled once the statements were made public, and Sheen was sacked from the program a few weeks later. Charlie Harper, his character, was reported to have died in a subway accident.