Writing a character is no easy thing to do, much less one people can actually connect with. Most shows are crafted with multiple seasons in mind and during that run, some characters can become superfluous and get written out.
Other times, external circumstances play a pivotal role in the decision-making process of whether a characters gets to stay on or is kicked off a show.
Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV Shows on Amazon Prime Video. WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME!
Regardless of the reasons for a character's exit, we couldn't help but notice a few instances where the punishment did not match the crime -- if they committed any. As a result, we have picked out 13 cases that stood out to us, but feel free to mention which ones you think we missed that deserved to be on the list.
So, settle in and let's count down the names of these unlucky folks who undeservedly drew the short end of the stick when it was time to make their exit.
Donna Gable (Kevin Can Wait)
No one expected the show to be an artistic masterpiece, but we didn't think it was going to show a total disregard for its audience either. But that was what happened when the matriarch on a family sitcom was killed between seasons with barely any acknowledgment afterward.
Wade Welles (Sliders)
She was around from the beginning, but for some reason, they thought the best way to bring her story to an end was to have her enslaved and thrown in a breeder camp in an alternate earth for eighteen months after which her brain was hooked up to a mainframe and used to run simulations. In the end, she couldn't escape, and she died in that dire state. I mean, she was a communist and all, but that's just cruel.
Frank Underwood (House Of Cards)
The circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Kevin Spacey by Netflix were most unpleasant, but that doesn't mean the character he plays deserved to be killed offscreen.
Tara Thornton (True Blood)
An abusive childhood, an abysmal love life, and living under an assumed identity apparently wasn't misery enough to bestow upon Tara as she was later turned into a vampire -- the species she despised most -- her life then ended abruptly at the hands of a Hep-V infected vampire.
Nikki and Paulo (Lost)
These two came about as a result of an attempt to appease fans who were calling for more side characters to be seen every now and then. Suffice it to say the experiment did not work out as well as everyone hoped. Nikki and Paulo -- being total trashbags notwithstanding -- bore the brunt of the attempt at course correction. They were injected with a strong paralytic courtesy of some island spiders that made them look as good as dead to the others. The other survivors buried them alive, and that was the end of that.
Roseanne Conner (Roseanne)
Another character that suffered from the catastrophic missteps of its portrayer. Roseanne, the name of the creator and lead character of said sitcom, was killed offscreen as a result of a lethal drug overdose. From another perspective, some considered the departure fitting, but a character as big as she was deserved so much more.
Maggie Greene (The Walking Dead)
If you had no idea that you've seen Maggie for possibly the last time, then you can blame the AMC hype machine for that. Because swallowed up in the whirlwind of emotions that followed Andrew Lincoln's final episode (but not death) was the relatively silent departure of Maggie. Her fate was left as open as Rick's, but for a character that was around since the second season, her departure warranted at least a little bit of fanfare.
Adam Milligan (Supernatural)
The half-brother of the Winchesters sole purpose for existing was apparently to prevent Dean from serving as Michael's vessel. After his and Sam's souls were used as punching bags by the feuding archangels, Dean chose to rescue Sam's soul and forget about the person who chose to offer himself up in Dean's stead. As it stands, his soul has been damaged beyond repair and is still in the cage.
Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad)
Jesse's misfortune was mostly of his own doing. The guy couldn't make a single good decision to save his life. But the way his fate was left open to interpretation as he drove off in a manic fit of relief and depression wasn't enough. Hopefully, the proposed spinoff movie will allow this unlucky chap to get the happy ending he so desperately needs.
Marcy Warton (Travelers)
Traveler 3569 was always on borrowed time once she was shipped into the body of a mentally impaired woman, but it didn't make the reboot she underwent any less heartbreaking. Technically, Marcy is still very much alive, but she is now without the abundant kindness and quirky mannerisms that endeared her to everyone around her.
Karen Jackson (Shameless)
Karen was a nightmare. She saw everyone as a means to an end. That trait was wiped out in the most brutal way by a jealousy-fueled Mandy Malkovich who ran her over with a car. Karen went into a coma and was then revived by the restoring power of oral sex. Afterward, she could barely piece together a full sentence or make new memories.
Jill Morgan (MacGyver)
Just when she was beginning to get more time on screen, they had to go and have Murdock, a thoroughly underwhelming villain, murder her offscreen. With Mac being one foot in one foot out at The Phoenix Foundation, the team was in need of someone who was ready to step in and fill his role. She seemed to be the natural option, but it was not to be.
Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon)
Half of the show -- for two seasons -- was dedicated to showing Riggs making his way back up from the dark pit he was in when we first met him. That is not to say that Martin's recovery wasn't slow -- like, really slow; it was even infuriating at times. Still, most people came along for the ride until some not-so-behind-the-scenes squabbling brought everything to an abrupt end when Riggs was fatally shot -- in a graveyard of all places.