Grey's Anatomy's Latest Death: How Does It Rank Against Other TV Kills?

Grey's Anatomy Derek Dead

Grey’s Anatomy fans are in mourning Friday after losing Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd in a brutal car crash less than 24 hours ago.

And while we’d never attempt to downplay the gravity of a major character’s death, this certainly isn’t the first time Grey’s fans — or TV fans in general, for that matter — have been put through the proverbial wringer.

This season alone has been a veritable small-screen bloodbath, with fan-favorite characters from shows like Revenge, Sleepy Hollow and Chicago Fire arriving at bloody, premature ends.

So how does the loss of Dr. Shepherd stack up against other recent offings? Browse our gallery of TV deaths — both from yesterday and yesteryear — below, then drop a comment: Which deaths have hit you the hardest?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. And Haley Hotchner’s death is always overlooked. If you hear your loved one get shot over the phone like Aaron did, it counts as a shocking TV death.

    Disappointed that it got left out.

    As for Derek’s death, it wasn’t as traumatic as Haley dying.

    • Angela says:

      Ooh, yes. “100” was utterly heartbreaking.
      I’d add Maeve’s death to that list, too. Watching someone you love die right in front of you so violently…yeah. Can’t get much worse than that.

    • Ange says:

      I agree

    • Julie says:

      Haley’s death was made even worse for the fact that Hotch (and the rest of the team but especially Hotch) listened to the whole thing and knew they wouldn’t get there in time. I just recently saw this episode again (for the hundredth time) of that episode and not only Hotch slamming that phone against the steering wheel but everyone else’s expression: Penelope sobbing in her office, tears from Emoly and JJ and Morgan’s helpless expression knowing he would never get their fast enough to save her. And then not Hotch not knowing if Jack was safe….the whole episode was awful.

    • delfiteblu says:

      It isn’t that it’s overlooked; it’s just that Criminal Minds being what it is and the storyline leading up to it – it was a surprise but not among the biggest shocks on TV.

  2. Nothing overtakes Teri Bauer on 24. Yeah, there have been a lot of shocking deaths since then (looking at you, The Good Wife) but 24 really made killing off lead characters– especially women, especially sympathetic characters– something you could do on network tv. It’s commonplace to bump off big characters to better a story now but you only get that on tv now because Teri Bauer was murdered.

    • Grey's Fan says:

      Actually one of the first deaths of a major character came around 1981-82 (I’m too young to recall the exact timing) when Sid Fairgate died on Knot’s Landing. Sid and Karen were the main couple on the show. Sid’s death, someone tampered with the brakes on his car and he ended up plunging over a cliff and ended up paralyzed. Sid insisted Karen sign the constant forms for surgery to reverse the condition, but he didn’t survive the surgery. Indirectly, Sid’s baby sister Abby and his friend Gary Ewing were responsible for the events leading to the car crash with their shady business practices. After a few years of grieving, Karen met and married Mac McKenzie.

      • Debbie says:

        True. I’m old enough to have watched ALL years of Knots Landing. (Series ran 1979 to 1993). The difference between Sid’s death and Derek’s is that the Sid character died in 1981…maybe season 2?? Not really long enough to become an intrigal part of the show for viewers. Derek on the other hand…..well, just takes a look at the responses to his death to know how important he was to viewers.

    • Matt says:

      Well Renee / Michelle Also on 24

      • Cobra says:

        True, but Teri’s death predated those. And sure, other shows may have killed off main character’s before “24” did, but a lot of people consider “24” to have set the standard for such deaths, at least as far as “modern” TV goes…it was a true shocker to anyone who watched the show.

      • Julie says:

        I’ll add David Palmer to that list – the first couple minutes of season 5 were crazy. Teri Bauer’s death, to me, would’ve been surprising had I watched the series live from the beginning. I started watching at the beginning of season 5 and went back to catch up so I already knew she was dead. But had I not known, the manner and timing I’m sure would’ve been shocking to me.

  3. LADY_in_MD says:

    I will never get over
    Keith Scott
    Joss carter
    Teri Bauer

  4. Normandy says:

    A big difference is that it was done on Person of Interest to advance the story. On Grey’s Anatomy (and Private Practice) Shonda seems to do it out of petty spite just to get rid of actors she clashes with. On Sleepy Hollow, those deaths were the result of the show runner not having any clue what to do with them.

    • Whatevah says:

      Agree. It’s Saturday and I’m still upset about Derek!

      • barb says:

        So mad I missed it, was he doa

      • Julie says:

        Me too! Well I didn’t actually watch until last night. I really don’t know how I went all day Friday without finding out about it. I know Derek wasn’t around most of the season but even knowing he’d be back at some point didn’t bother me. Knowing he’s dead is entirely different. Killing off a character with no feasible way to bring them back is a finality that really really sucks. Any other character outside of Meredith I would’ve (eventually) been okay with. I even forgave Shonda for killing Lexie AND Mark and kept watching. But this one I won’t. There could’ve been so many other ways to write him out. He could’ve even existed in Seattle offscreen. Patrick…why did you couldn’t have stuck it out, even limited appearances, for one more season?!

        • Skaddadle says:

          This is exactly true. They could have just had him quit the hospital and move like Izzie or even christina! He didn’t have to die. He was the dea lbreaker for me and i’m done with the show now.

        • delfiteblu says:

          I’m pretty sure he was fired; it wasn’t his choice as we were led to believe. Look for the Page Six page where he gave the interview to Entertainment This Week and see how he phrases everything. Look at the fact that it happened Thursday and the first cast member we’ve heard from is today, Monday and look at the fact that ABC put out a statement about killing him off. They NEVER do that! EVER! They knew there was going to be a ruckus and they were right.

        • delfiteblu says:

          I’m pretty sure he was fired; it wasn’t his choice as we were led to believe. Look for the Page Six page where he gave the interview to Entertainment This Week and see how he phrases everything. Look at the fact that it happened Thursday and the first cast member we’ve heard from is today, Monday and look at the fact that ABC put out a statement about killing him off. They NEVER do that! EVER! They knew there was going to be a ruckus and they were right.

      • delfiteblu says:

        It’s Monday and I usually watch the three hours of Grey’s on Lifetime during the day. (I’m retired.) Today I really, actually couldn’t watch it. I’m not one of those who threatened to quit watching the show but now I’m wondering if I’m going to be ABLE to watch it.

    • james says:

      Dempsey wanted to leave the show. I think killing him off was the right move if he wasn’t going to return.

      • Skaddadle says:

        Yeah but Katherine Hiegel wanted to leave the show too. And did they kill her off? nope. She had a bad kind of cancer and even recovered from it! I would have much rather them have killed her off than Derek. I just feel like the fans were cheated since they could have written him out any other way. AND on top of that it was incredibly stupid how they killed him off. Knowing he could have probably survived had he been at a hospital who actually knew what they were doing like Seattle Grace for instance. I just feel thing was poorly written and that the fans and Dempsey deserved better than that even though he wanted out. I mean look at Heigel’s exit. We could have gotten something along that line. But Shonda seems to like killing major players off and pissing off her fans. :(

        • tjmack says:

          Really? Written him out by leaving? That means that him and Meredith would have had to divorce and the fans would have reemed her for that as well. Characters die. It’s part of tv. He wanted out, and obviously he didn’t say he wanted to come back. The same goes for Mark & Lexie. Both of them said they didn’t have any intention on returning. The reason that Cristina and Izzie are alive is because they showed intention on returning. If they would have left him alive, then all fans would want to know is when is he coming back.

          Killing him was the only option. Besides he wasn’t the MAIN character. Meredith is. If they kill her, then the show is over. Anyone else is fair game. It’s the same with other shows. If 24 would have killed Jack Bauer, then that show would have been over. I can name many more, but I am seriously getting sick of everyone crying foul over Derek’s death. Patrick wanted out. You wanna blame someone? Blame Patrick.

          • delfiteblu says:

            WOW! Given the fact that you’re on a thread full of people who are mourning his loss, you don’t seem to have your facts straight and you seem pretty cranky. He wanted to work less; he didn’t want off the show – she fired him. He was SUSPENDED during the time he was in DC. And she did it in a hurry; they put this episode together in about three weeks.
            Lexie and Mark had no intention of coming back? Good – cause they were, you know, DEAD. The only reason I can fathom that Shonda left Izzie alive was to torture her. After her going public and rejecting and Emmy nomination due to crummy writing, it’s no wonder Shonda gave her cancer. She wouldn’t let her back on that show if they threatened to cancel it.
            I disagree about him not being a main character. Before last Thursday if you asked anybody who the three main characters have always been it would be Meredith, Christina, and Derek.
            If you’re getting sick of people crying foul, you might want to go read another thread.

    • Jamie says:

      If Shonda had written him out by having him leave Meredith and his children for good, viewers would have hated the character (or taken it out on Meredith – saying she pushed him out the door). The actor really wanted to leave (I mean, he broke a contract to do it), and the only way you can do that with a devoted husband and father is to kill him. Sorry but it’s true. The hate that Shonda gets for being logical is ridiculous.

  5. AddieM says:

    Tara from SoA was the most tragic, Derek is coming a close second.

    • abz says:

      Tara’s death from Sons of Anarchy absolutely wrecked me. The way it happened to such a wonderful character. It was absolutely heartbreaking. Derek’s death made me emotional as well, but it doesn’t come close to how devastating Tara’s death was.
      There’s also Finn from Glee and I know he’s a different situation from the other characters because of Cory, but Finn’s goodbye episode still makes me teary-eyed whenever I see it.

      • abz says:

        Oh and the episode of Buffy where her mom died was also heartbreaking.
        Denny Duquette from Greys.
        Will Gardner from TGW.
        Joss Carter from PoI.
        So much sad deaths on TV. :(
        Although Joffrey’s death did make me very very happy

    • barb says:

      And Opie. SOA

  6. Azerty says:

    This year only Mcdreamy is top of the list, he was supposed to have signed a 2 years contract and he is the main male of the show so I was really convinced Grey’s was misleading us. Still can’t believe they did it. Also Sara Lance on Arrow and Cisco (but it didn’t stick) on Flash were totally unexpected for me. I was almost going to include Victoria on Revenge but I am not entirely sure she is dead. For the past years I would say Kate on NCIS, Lexie, Ned Stark and one missing from the slides: Papa Kent on Smallville…but the two worst shocking and devastating were Mike Delfino in Desperate and Keith Scott in OTH, specially Keith since his death was still impacting the characters 6 years later.

    • Azerty says:

      And Hank Shrader from Breakind Bad, I am surprised he is not on the slides, God dammit Marie they are minerals!

      • Cobra says:

        Yes, Hank’s death just took the wind out of me when it happened.
        And Dewey Crowe’s death on “Justified.” I mean, granted the guy was first-class @#&$%#@, but he was hilarious, and his idiocy just made him a character you couldn’t help but love.

    • Julie says:

      I have to agree – even when they couldn’t find with him last episode, or the previews for this episode, it never crossed my mind that they’d kill him off. I thought it was all a giant red herring. I really cannot think of a more shocking (or upsetting) death on TV in recent years. If I had watched 24 live during the first season (same with NCIS’s 2nd) I might have been shocked with killing Teri (or Kate) and there were a lot of shows in the gallery above I don’t watch (including the Good Wife which also looked pretty shocking) – it never crossed my mind that either Derek or Meredith wouldn’t make it to the end of either the series, or at least their storyline, without the other.

      • delfiteblu says:

        I agree with you completely. Since I knew he and Ellen had contracts thru 2016 and since I knew that he WAS in the process of setting up his race car show (or whatever) I didn’t find it THAT odd that he was missing, though I noticed the show was definitely not the same and neither was Meredith. When that truck hit him I was completely blown away. I know a lot of people had seen gossip about it but I hadn’t, not to mention the fact that I totally didn’t believe she would EVER kill him off since she promised last year she would never separate MerDer. I have lost every bit of respect I ever had for Shonda Rimes; I’ve gone from really admiring her to being tired of her outbursts about racists and shi**y people. And I hated it when I read that it was the first episode she had written since the one where Lexie died. What? She just wants to write the ones that make everybody cry? Bet she wrote Denny dying, too.

        Will Gardner was a shock – there were hints about Derek (that I didn’t believe) but they managed to keep the secret about Will. The difference is that I didn’t CARE about Will the way I did about Derek.

        I’m 68 and have watched a LOT of TV drama and don’t remember a more shocking death. Mark Greene dying on ER was heartwrenching, but we knew it was going to happen. Sid was a shock on Knots but as someone said, we weren’t as invested in him. Henry Blake on Mash was a shock but we only heard about it, didn’t see it, and not all of us were diehard fans so it didn’t mean as much. Frankly, Denny dying really made me cry, Lexie dying really HURT, but Derek being killed in such a spiteful way – well, it happened Thursday and my body is still aching from the tension!

    • Mary says:

      It’s funny. I thought the same thing. I knew he was contracted for 2 years so I was half watching the episode because I knew he wasn’t getting killed off. Even when the doctor said to Meredith “I’m sorry for your loss” I thought it was somehow a play on words or he was referring to something else. Boy was I wrong! Like many people, my favorite part of GA was the Mer Der relationship so this really puts a damper on the show.

  7. alex says:

    Derek was just the first of many, be prepared for a lot of death in the coming weeks if the may sweeps scorecard is anything to go by.

  8. JK says:

    Derek was a shock. not Will Gardner shocking, but this stung. And Lexi Grey’s death scene with Mark is probably the most emotionally draining TV death I’ve experienced. These 3 for me are my top 3 deaths, with Alcide Herveaux’s coming in right after.

    • JK says:

      Oh, and I haven’t been able to get through season 2 of House of Cards after Zoey was killed. And I’m still watch Chicago Fire, but still am pissed Shay’s gone, everytime they bring up her name.

      • Julie says:

        Zoe was shocking in the manner in which it happened (and who did it, at least at the time because I actually thought he had some sort of affection for her) but I had not connection to her so I didn’t really care. After almost. 11 years of watching GA and rooting for Meredith and Derek, this hurt a lot more.

    • Cobra says:

      Another one that still throws me is Nate Westen on Burn Notice. I was not at all expecting it when he took the bullet.

  9. leash10 says:

    Doesn’t that looke like Owen in he pic with Lexie & not Mark? Just curious.

    Devastated, devastated by Derek’s death, followed closely by Will Gardner’s. I had forgotten about Mike Defino but that was awful too.

    • leash10 says:

      Oh & I was also completey heartbroken over Lexi & then Mark’s death. I didn’t like how they let us have Mark alive after knowing he had died.

  10. Drew says:

    Henry Blake was such a shock that the cast didn’t even know about it until they filmed the scene where their characters found out.
    Joyce Summers was the most iconic TV death, in my opinion. Not only was it a sucker punch, but “The Body” was one of the most gripping hours of TV that I’ve seen. Joss Whedon was great, once upon a time.

    • Zeplady says:

      I remember watching the MASH episode where Henry Blake died. It was about 9 years ago in syndication; my husband was working nights and he came home to me crying like a baby. That was a truly shocking death.

    • Tamim says:

      As soon as you mentioned Henry Blake I started feeling it in my chest. I was kid – he was my first unexpected death.

  11. Jenna says:

    My top 5:

    Henry Blake
    Rita Morgan
    Lucy Knight
    Ned Stark
    The Red Wedding

    Derek’s death, and some others on the list were terribly sad, as well. But these 5 were the most shocking…and tragic; maybe it was the way they were done.

  12. Emily says:

    Charlie, in LOST, anyone? And Jin and Sun – they were the TV deaths that broke me.

    • B says:

      Charlie’s death scene…locking the door to save Desmond, frantically trying to keep his hand above the water while writing “not Penny’s boat”…every time. Although there are very few death scenes on Lost that I wouldn’t include, this one was the first one that really hurt.

      Jim staying behind with Sun is one of the most beautiful things.

    • Julie says:

      Both were awful. Charlie’s was sad but and I was surprised but everyone was expendable on LOST. I didn’t care about Charlie as much as some of the others. For me, Jin & Sun’s was worse. Much sadder than Charlie’s. And it was beautifully done…I kept waiting for them to come walking out of that ocean like Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and Jack did. And knowing that their daughter lost both of her parents killed me too! And I cried when Jack died…I know it was the very last second of the very last episode but still…I still wish that he was in the plane with the rest and lived a long, happy life with Kate.

  13. Youry says:

    Difference is Derek has been around far longer than the others. Main character in one of the world’s most popular series for 11 years means his death has an impact the others just never gained.

  14. Matt says:

    24 season 8 Renee / -Annie wersching death hit me real hard couldn’t talk I was so sad .

  15. Matt says:

    Rita on Dexter .. Haley on Criminal minds was a very hard death

  16. Jim says:

    How about Lance Sweets from Bones? There have been very few deaths that have been shocking for me, as far as not knowing the actor was leaving the show. Teri on 24 & Carter from POI are a couple of the other ones.

    • B says:

      Sweets’ death was SO shocking (and unnecessary). I went from “Oh, he’s hurt, but Bones and Booth are there, they’ll save him”, to “wait, they have to save him, right? They wouldn’t go there,” to “holy crap, they really just did that” in about 30 seconds. I didn’t even cry because I didn’t think it was really happening.

    • matty says:

      Good one!

  17. HG says:

    Honestly, I don’t think the show can survive the loss of Derek. The relationship of Meredith & Derek was the core of the show for me. Next to Meredith, he was the most important character. It is more than sad. It may be fiction, but fictional characters live In the imagination adrenal as any human being.

    • Em says:

      Me too. From the beginning it was all about the Mer/Der with Cristina as 3rd but very important. It’s done. No one wants to see Meredith with some one else.

    • Julie says:

      It was core for me too. The only thing worse would be killing off Meredith. As much as this show is called “GREY’S Anatomy” where Meredith Grey is the lead, if you had to pick one, the Derek and Meredith relationship started in the very first second of the very first episode. “Mer-Der” is as much a “character” as anyone else in that ensemble. I haven’t cared about any other relationship of this show. I liked Izzie and Alex and Lexie and Mark would’ve been a close second. But that didn’t start in scene one, episode one. And I’d like to believe Mark and Lexie are together somewhere.

      • delfiteblu says:

        HG, EM and JULIE – I completely agree with all of you. Their relationship was the core of the show and many things hinged on it, not to mention their love story. I was in love with Lexie and Mark, too so that whole thing really hurt. I’m a sucker for a good love story and Derek may have been too good to be true, but that’s fine with me. :) It really hit me hard; my body has been aching ever since, though I’m probably the only one in the world who didn’t cry – hopefully it’ll come cause I feel like I need it.

        My grown daughter said she had to cry into her pillow to keep from making noise and that her face was still swollen the next day. I don’t even know that it’s the loss of HIM so much as it is the loss of the story we all bought into – that even if silly things like the hospital flooding and the ceiling collapsing on a surgery patient, or Izzy killing a patient and being allowed to come back or the three residents spending most of several days away from their posts hanging out in Dermatology – even though we knew those weren’t reality, we believed in MerDer and loved him for all the things he did (and his 1 or 2 minor flaws :) Every time he let Christina come get in their bed and kick him out, I loved him a little more.

    • Jamie says:

      Interesting perspective – I personally never watched the show primarily for their relationship, so I never thought of it as the core. I wonder how many viewers agree with you/will stop watching.

  18. Spence says:

    Kind of surprised there’s no Vikings on here… Siggy and Athelstan this season alone was very surprising and sad. Also, I’m surprised Tyreese is the only Walking Dead death on the list haha.

    • PGJU says:

      Yeah…Herschel’s death on The Walking Dead was gut wrenching, as was Lori Grimes’s (Carl’s mom). I disliked Lori intensely, but her. Death was gut wrenching. One other unmentioned death that was just a gut-wrencher was that of Elam Ferguson on Hell On Wheels. It was breathtaking in the pain that watching it generated.

  19. BrightLight says:

    Almost 14 years later and I’m still not over the death of Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing. I mean she finally got a new car. My BFF actually told me about it when he read it on a spoiler site and I refused to believe him until I heard it with my own ears.
    In remembrance of:
    B.J. and Tony Jones
    Nina Sharp
    Lucy Knight
    Haley Hotchner
    Joyce Summers
    Charlie Pace

    • Julie says:

      BJ Jones….that is the first TV death that made me cry. And I remember bawling. I was 13 years old and it was so well done. When Tony lost it and laid his head on her body in the hospital bed and then when Felicia realized that’s whose heart Maxie was getting. Awful awful. But then they destroyed the character of Tony Jones.

    • delfiteblu says:

      You are so right! I had temporarily forgotten that and THAT was an awful, awful shock. It always seemed to me that there was no reason for it. And John Spencer dying (Leo) was horrible. The West Wing is my all time favorite show and I’ll never get over those.

  20. TW says:

    Jin and Sun, and Charlie on Lost.

  21. Trident says:

    Dr. Greene’s death on ER. That was a fitting end to a beloved character.

    • Nicole says:

      The thing with Mark is that we all knew his death was coming. This is consists of characters with whom death was a complete surprise to fans.

      Side note, I couldn’t listen to Somewhere Over The Rainbow for the longest time without thinking of Mark Greens death. For a fictional character, he really was amazing.

  22. ek says:

    Henry Blake on mash was the hardest

  23. Nekyr says:

    Tara on Buffy!

  24. hannah says:

    Nothing beats the death of Lucy Knight on ER

  25. Fiona says:

    Ianto!!!!! Torchowood.

  26. Nick says:

    I have to agree that Joyce summers was the biggest gut punch for me personally. I am kind of surprised that Fred from Angel wasn’t listed…her death scene with Wesley kills me to this day.

  27. matty says:

    Why mention Lexie Grey but not Mark Sloane? his death was equally devastating… But I can’t think of a TV death more upsetting than Will Gardner!

    Also, I can’t believe you didn’t mention Jack McKay from B.H. 90210, that death scene was talked about for MONTHS afterwards.

    • Julie says:

      Mark was devastating but not shocking. I knew all summer he was leaving and then you had the first two episodes of the next season before you actually saw him die. Lexie’s was shocking. And maybe I just wasn’t paying attention but I had no idea ahead of time that Chyler Leigh was leaving.

  28. matty says:

    PS: Thank you for including BJ from General Hospital! that is by far one of the most upsetting deaths in TV history!

    • Julie says:

      Seriously…I still remember when Felicia lost it when she found out Maxie got BJ’s heart.

      • matty says:

        I do too, that was a fantastic scene, Kristina Wagner was so great in it. I even remember when Lucy found out about the accident and was so worried about BJ. Alan sat with her and comforted her.

    • Melanie says:

      I just replied the same thing. That storyline was heartbreaking, yet one of the best.

  29. Joey says:

    Do shocking deaths on TV shows based on other work count though? Because needless to say at least a healthy component of the viewership of that show would include people who knew it was coming. I’m looking at you, Game of Thrones. Unless you want to count deaths that didn’t happen in the books i.e. Talisa Maegyr at the Red Wedding considering she’s a stand in for Jeyne Westerling who hasn’t yet died in the series.

    • ProfessorPreis says:

      I’m surprised she wasn’t on the list – her death was the first shock of the Red Wedding and was a departure from the books.

  30. Cobra says:

    Dewey Crowe on “Justified.”

    By the way, if you haven’t watched the final season of “Justified,” don’t read that last sentence.

  31. Jan says:

    For ME, nothing will ever top the death of Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits) ON NYPD Blue. Of course, that’s not a recent death. For those of us on the West Coast, the spoilers were out fast & furious. Even though I shied away from them, I figured out he would be dying.

  32. Cobra says:

    Law & Order also had two famous major deaths in its first six seasons…Max Greevy and Claire Kinkaid.

    • jodyparkuruguay says:

      I remember that! Also there was this ADA who got killed and was dumped in the trunk of a car in season 15. That was shocking too. I really really miss Law and Order.

  33. Shawn says:

    Valar Morghulis

  34. Jess says:

    Sara’s head in a box on Prison Break was one of the lowest moments in TV history for me. Granted, they listened to the fans and brought her back, but only to punish us by killing Michael in the finale.

  35. cuius says:

    This is why I like Game of Thrones – you’re thankful if anybody survives an episode, let alone a season

  36. MJM says:

    Shame on you for leaving out Alan Birch on Chicago Hope.

  37. skrable2 says:

    Lance Sweets on Bones?

  38. Matthew Crawley! I almost died when he died on Downton Abbey
    Sweets on Bones! I didn’t want him to die

    I knew this was coming for Derek, I mean Patrick Dempsey had been absent almost the whole season, I was getting used to not having him around, I guess it was a strategy of Shonda, see if the show would do good without him so Dempsey could ignore his contract and leave

  39. littlered says:

    I knew everything was to good to be true, with derek and mer but never expected to see one of them leave the serie, won t be the same might not want to watch it any more, to depressing .

    • PGJU says:

      Oh come on! Patrick Dempsey sounds like a real jerk! The show will be just fine without his character. The writers are still the same talented group of folks.

  40. Katie says:

    I can’t believe you guys thought to include Prue from Charmed! I love that show so much, and it tends to get overlooked. Her death was tough to endure, but Holly Marie Combs playing a grieving Piper will always be worth it.

  41. Allie says:

    Bobby Simone on NYPD Blue was the first one that really affected me. And Teri Bauer was the first one that seemed to make it normal to kill off lead actors. Now, it’s not a shock to kill them off.

    Not a shock to see Mc Dreamy getting killed off since it was obvious he was leaving the moment he signed up to compete in the World Endurance championship. That and season 12 weren’t going to work. And shonda always kills them off.

  42. jm says:

    Saddest Deaths for me…

    Apart the one of Buffy´s mom… Tara´s dying was unexpected and terrible. Such a nice character, killing off once she joined the main cast… how you dare Mr. Wheaton, how you dare?

    Jesus on True Blood was another sad one for me. Another sympathetic caracter killed off. And talking about the actor who played this character… He has another one in another tv-show… Well indeed, he dies in almost any thing he does… but Santos death in Ugly betty was horrendous…

    And one more, this time, a not such a nice character but Aby dying in Dawsons Creek was also sad… she was the pepper in such edulcorated group…

  43. Liz says:

    You forgot Buffy’s death! They killed the main character! Or Billy’s death in Ally McBeal.
    And True Blood, Game of Thrones are killer shows indeed…
    Mike’s death in Desperate Housewives sucked as well…

    • Ally Oop says:

      Buffy’s death was extremely shocking. I still remember sitting in our livingroom with my mouth wide open as they showed her headstone and everything with the inscription “She saved the world, a lot”. Then to cap things off, words on the screen popped up saying “Thank you for 5 great years” and thus was how I found out about the show’s cancellation by WB. Luckily, the show was brought back by UPN and her death was reversed.

  44. Shonda may want to consider renaming the show “Disgrace’s Anatomy”.

  45. valerie says:

    Will gardner shocked me most

  46. Lauren says:

    I don’t think any death will ever wreck me like Will Gardner’s did. That two week period where Will, (SPOILERS, obviously) Allison Argent from Teen Wolf, James from Scandal, the Mother from HIMYM and Beverly Katz from Hannibal all died was one of the most emotionally wrecking periods of my life (yeah, I know, it’s tv). I also cried buckets when Denny from Grey’s died (that whole episode, actually, because my dog died that day, and they put down Meredith’s dog in that episode. Great timing!) and, weirdly, the scene in Breaking Bad where they made Jesse watch his girlfriend get shot. I think I cried more in that scene than when Hank died, I was full on SOBBING, which I think only ever happened for Will. Also Moira from Arrow – more because of Thea and Ollie than for being sad that Moira died. And the Red Wedding. Fred from Angel. And I mentioned her above, but the mother being dead on HIMYM had me sobbing for hours after the final episode, although that was a combination of grief that she was dead, and rage and disappointment at the writers for the horrible ending. And the Cory Monteith tribute episode, but that was more because of Cory’s death than for Finn’s, the character’s death didn’t matter in the wake of Cory’s actual death.
    I stopped watching Grey’s a while back, but I might watch the episode where Derek dies just to see how it is handled.

  47. Alia says:

    I am not sad with Derek dead, I am really disappointed. If Patrick Dempsey wanted to leave the show they had a good end for him: Washington and separated or in a long range relationship with Meredith with off-screen encounters. This girl is not going to watch a Shonda Rhimes show anymore.

  48. DiegoC says:

    for me, the 2 most shocking deaths are from TARA, true blood. ( yep, both times. as human and vampire, i never saw it coming.

    honorable mentions for: catelyn and robb stark ( i almost died with them), rita Morgan and more recently: mrs. Grayson.

  49. Angela says:

    cant believe you didn’t add Neal Cassidy and sheriff graham from OUAT.

  50. KCC says:

    Although they don’t qualify as “shocking” in a dramatic TV sense, I find the death of an actor followed by the “death” of the character they played more moving because of the finality of it. RIP: Nicholas Colasanto, coach on Cheers, Carol Ann Susi, Mrs. Walowitz on BBT.

    • Angela says:

      I totally agree on that. If the character dies, but the actor’s still alive, that means there’s always a chance the character can come back in some capacity or another. Plus, of course, there’s the obvious relief of knowing that while a character you love may be dead, at least the actor who played them is still alive and well and you can see them in other things if you so wish.
      But when the actor dies in real life…yeah. That makes it tougher to deal with. I remember absolutely bawling my eyes out at the episode of “Glee” that paid tribute to Cory.