Saying goodbye to a beloved TV character is always tough, but it becomes even harder when something about their departure feels… off.
As the debate surrounding Alex’s exit from Grey’s Anatomy rages on — 48 percent of TVLine readers still hate that Karev randomly reunited with secret-mom Izzie, while 25 percent love it and 27 percent admit to being somewhere in the middle — we thought we’d look back at some other polarizing TV departures on which we also admit to being “somewhere in the middle.”
Quick disclaimer: This is more about the manner in which a key character’s story was wrapped up, not the mere fact that an actor left a long-running show. For example, Nina Dobrev’s departure from The Vampire Diaries after six seasons certainly sent shockwaves through the CW drama’s fandom, but her character’s exit storyline — Elena was placed under a sleeping curse, keeping her somewhat in the picture — was largely well-received by fans. In other words, not polarizing.
No, we’re talking about those truly “WTF” character departures that either had you screaming at your TV in disgust or desperately Googling in confusion. From unnecessary deaths on shows like Veronica Mars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to unceremonious exits on shows like Lizzie McGuire and Law & Order: SVU, we’ve assembled 15 of TV’s messiest conclusions.
And here’s another disclaimer: Because we’re discussing major exits from more than a dozen TV shows, it should go without saying that this gallery is a spoiler minefield. You’ve been warned.
Browse our gallery of some of TV’s most polarizing exits — you can click here for direct access — then drop a comment with your thoughts below. Which befuddling character departures would you add to our list?