You know a TV death is sad when years later you can still get a lump in your throat just thinking about it.
These deaths are like that.
In some cases it's how the character went out that caused all the pain. The injustice of seeing such a great character meet a terrible end, or a heroic character going out beautifully.
In other cases, it is the reaction of everyone around the character that gets the wracking sobs going.
Either way, some of these ripped our (we, the collective, the viewers) hearts out. Which ones got to you?
Will Gardner - The Good Wife
As it is with many of the deaths on this list, it's not so much crying about the death itself that happens during these episodes, but it was impossible not to cry watching Diane and Kalinda dealing with the melee at the courthouse and trying to get in touch with Alicia. Will's body on the table, knowing nothing could be done. It was all horrific and unexpected.
Joyce Summers - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This death happened just like in real life. It was completely unexpected. There weren't bullets or vampires. Joyce thought she was doing fine, but succumbed to a brain tumor while at home alone on the sofa. Buffy walked into the surreal situation, and we got to see a girl who is normally surrounded by death utterly floored by the reality of someone close to her dying of natural causes. "The Body" remains my favorite episode of the series.
Nate Fisher - Six Feet Under
Nate had a brain problem called AVM. He had it under control, and had just had surgery even, ensuring he was well. But he died due to post-op complications. Um. NO! That doesn't happen to our favorite television characters. That's too real. But coming from a show about death, would we expect less? The funeral afterward was another sucker punch. Of course, this was before we knew the finale was coming and we'd never hear Sia again without crying softly (or heavily).
Mark Greene - ER
Mark Greene suffered from cancer for a long time before he died, and his daughter was really suffering as well. He decided to spend the end of his life tring to make hers better by taking her to Hawaii where he grew up. Rachel eventually calls Elizabeth to come help her with him and while his family is on the beach and life carries on and he listens to that damn sappy version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, he dies. Seriously, reliving these on YouTube is killing me!
Allison Argent - Teen Wolf
It seemed like something was off with Allison long before she died, on a season that threatened to kill off one of the main characters. Nobody expected it to be Allison or Scott. They're going to find their way back to each other! Well, in her final moments, as she lay dying in his arms, she did tell Scott he was the only guy she every truly loved. Another truly shocking moment. The tighter lid the keep on the story, the more emotional the loss.
George O-Malley - Grey's Anatomy
Oh man. George made a major decision, to join the Army and do his doctoring there. So OF COURSE nobody would recognize him when a heroic man in uniform who had just been dragged by a bus after stepping in front of it to save a pedestrian was rushed in, barely alive. But when they figured it out? Holy tears batman. Sob much?
Charlie Pace - Lost
Charlie had such a wonderful journey as a character on Lost, which made watching him accept a suicide mission terrible to watch. Even though Desmond already saw it happen in a vision, it was possible to change the endings of them before, so we hoped Charlie's fate would change, as well. Instead, he saved everyone, and drowned after giving Desmond a message on his hand. Gut-wrenching!
Megan O'Brien - Scorpion
We've always known that Megan was dying, but that didn't make her death any less painful. Between Walter's breakdown at potentially not getting to her in time and Sylvester's gift of allowing Megan to see the stars one last time, it was a sob fest. Then, right when the tears stopped falling, Megan's video message to Walter started to play.
Lt. Colonel Henry Blake - M*A*S*H
Everybody wanted to get away from the war. Their ticket home was the one thing they all agreed upon was the best thing that could happen to them. So there were happy faces and tears of joy that quickly turned to tears of sorrow when Henry Blake's helicopter was shot down on his way home. So unfair!!!
Etta Bishop - Fringe
Peter and Olivia finally found their daughter, Etta, in the future. There was the hope that they could finally be a family again, and then, that dream is ripped from us. But hey, at least we got to see Etta die in the arms of her parents. That's totally not painful.
Paul Hennessey - 8 Simple Rules
When John Ritter died suddenly in real life at the age of 54, the 8 Simple Rules character did as well, while buying milk. The entire cast cried throughout the episode, and knowing they were really missing their friend and father figure make the scenes all the more heart wrenching. John Ritter was loved by all of us as much as by them, too. A last article written by the character about his children only increased the sobs.
Lucy Knight - ER
When Carter was stabbed by a lunatic in the ER, as he fell to the floor he saw his friend, Lucy, was already bleeding on the floor. While Carter made it, Lucy didn't. It was pretty rough on the entire ER because she was loved by all. No, it didn't help knowing Kellie Martin wanted to leave the show. Not one bit.
Lady - Game of Thrones
Sorry, Ned Stark killing Lady, Sansa's direwolf was terrible. The direwolves seemed so important when the stories first started, and they disappeared and/or died too easily thereafter. No fair! To think of all they've lost since, and that was just the beginning, is almost too much to bear.
Juliet Burke - Lost
Let's be honest, Sawyer didn't start out as the romantic hero, but that's sure how he ended up, and he paid the terrible price of having the love of his life dying in his arms after she fell down into the hole with the bomb they were trying to set off. He heard her down there, alive, and dug his way to her. First she said to him what they'll say when the remember each other in the afterlife. Just wow. Then she asked him to kiss her, then said she had something really important to tell him and died in his arms. It's even more powerful watching it again!
Sybil Crawley - Downton Abbey
Sybil's baby wasn't being born properly, and if they didn't do something soon, she was going to die. Well, guess what? She died! Lord Grantham refused to take the word of the doctor Lady Grantham trusted, and as a result, her daughter died in childbirth. All because he wanted to stick with the old-fashioned practices. Sybil delivered her child, and everyone thought all was well. Only later her health deteriorated, and she was gone. It was unexpected and shocking.
Bobby Simone - NYPD Blue
The actual death scene of Bobby Simone on NYPD Blue was beautiful, full of meaningful touches and thoughts as he came closer and closer to death after suffering from a bacterial infection that went to his brain due to complications after a heart transplant. He cried as he came to one more time befor his las breath and so did we.
Zeek Braverman - Parenthood
We almost always expected Zeek would die before the series concluded, but they dragged his life out to the bitter end, allowing him to live to see his grandchild born and start planning a vacation with Millie. That was the kicker. You just knew he wouldn't make it then. So when he died in his chair, it felt too permanent. No Parenthood reunion show or movie would ever be the same because Zeek was the heart of the show. Spreading his ashes? Goodness.
Lexie Grey - Grey's Anatomy
Plane crash on Grey's and the body count rises. Mark declares his love for Lexie, who only wants him to hold her hand while she goes. Instead, he tells her how wonderful their lives will be when the end up together. They're meant to be. And she just slips away. Oh for God's sake! Meredith arrived on the scene about 30 seconds after she was gone. Scream sobs from her and us!
Mark Sloan - Grey's Anatomy
Of course, did we know Mark was so beaten from the crash? Um...no. A summer hiatus later and another beloved doc was eradicted from Grey's when Mark's injuried left him brain dead and on life support. He was off to be with Lexie in the afterlife. At least he had a positive outlook! We just cried. Again.
Amanda Holden - Army Wives
Amanda Holden was the daughter of Claudio Jo Holden. Both women were in a bombing and viewers thought they made it out with scrapes and bruises. Claudia Joy took her daughter to Harvard and said goodbye, only to wake up from a coma, discovering she had been ushering off her girl to the afterlife, as she had died in the blast. It was oddly moving and a real tearjerker. Army Wives had a way of writing emotional episodes and this one was a great tale of mother/daughter love.
Finn Collins - The 100
Finn was being used as a cautionary tale on Earth. If you kill a bunch of people, no matter the reason, your life will be taken. Well, at least if you're Finn. We just learned that he was only in detainment on the Arc because he gave the girl he loved an amazing gift and took the heat for it. Clarke killed him in front of an audience while Raven looked on in horror, and Finn fans hoped it would end differently.
Grace Hanadarko - Saving Grace
Grace Hanadarko was drinking and driving when she hit a man who was on death row with her car. Impossible, right? Not when an angel intervenes to set you straight. After watching her three year journey to find salvation and grace so that if she died she wouldn't go to hell, we saw her martyr herself to save others in an abrupt and surprising ending. Viewers were sobbing at her death and at her redemption.
Beth Green - The Walking Dead
Just moments after Rick and Darryl arrived at the hospital to save Beth, she wound up shot between the eyes but not on purpose. It's the way that it happened that made it so awful. She survived so many walkers, but was killed by someone by accident. Seeing Darryl carrying her out of the hospital was unbearable.
Seymour Asses - Futurama
Fry found stray dog Seymour and they became best friends. When Fry was accidententally cryogenically frozen, Seymour tried to get Fry's family to understand what happened. When they didn't, he spent the next 12 years in one place, just waiting for Fry to come back. Then he died. The zinger? Fry came out of it and had the chance to clone Seymour, but stopped just short. Why? Because he learned Seymour lived 12 more years without him and didn't think it was fair to do that to his friend, who had shared a wonderful and full life without him, forgetting all about him while he was gone. See the irony there? There was nobody to tell him Seymour's entire life was spent waiting for the friend he loved so much and he would have given anything to see Fry again. Oh. I'm sobbing just thinking about it again!
Mr. Hooper - Sesame Street
For a lot of thirty somethings, Mr Hooper was their first exposure to death. Actor Will Lee's passing hit the Sesame Street family hard, but the writers decided to use it as a teachable moment and not dodge the issue of death. Using Big Bird as a surrogate for kids, the grieving cast members gently try to explain death the the six foot tall four year old. Big Bird's confusion, anger, and sadness still resonate. We dare you to watch that scene and not get a little choked up.
Amber Volakis - House
Amber was a really strong character and a great foil for House. Although she doesn't end up working with House, she becomes involved with Wilson and ends up as a patient of House's when she is poisoned with Flu medication due to bad kidneys after a bus accident her and House were in. It was like a "Wilson can't have nice things" scenario when she died in his arms. Wilson was gutted and we were for him.
Debbie Wolowitz A.K.A. Howard’s Mom - The Big Bang Theory
We never got to see Debbie Wolowitz, but we sure heard her. After the actor playing her - Carol Ann Susi - died of cancer in November of 2014, the producers decided to write an episode where Howard’s mother died as well. On The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Episode 15 (“The Comic Book Store Regeneration”), Howard received a phone call informing him his mother had died in her sleep. She was loud, obnoxious and a source of constant embarrassment for Howard but when the end came, he fell to pieces. As did we. Debbie provided so many laughs over the years, and without realizing it, she made her way into our hearts. All while not showing her face to us even once.
Laurel Lance - Arrow
Laurel/The Black Canary was killed by Damien Dahrk with an arrow to the chest, confirming on Arrow Season 4 that she's the one in the grave we first saw on the season premiere.
Liz - The Blacklist
The Blacklist viewers were SHOCKED when the series killed off this series regular toward the end of Season 3. And we mean SHOCKED!