Year in Review

2021 in Review: The 40 Most Heartbreaking TV Character Deaths

The TV year isn’t over just yet, but our tear ducts have had enough.

Even with a couple weeks left in our 2021 viewing, television has broken our hearts many times already this year, by way of some truly gut-wrenching character deaths.

In the list below (alphabetized by show), we’re revisiting 40 demises that shattered us this year, which kicked off with a tragic Lupin murder early in the year and culminated with the recent loss of a Walking Dead: World Beyond favorite.

And though other characters have met unfortunate ends on the small screen in 2021, we’ve whittled down our choices to the most heartbreaking deaths of the bunch, with only one tragedy per show represented. (Exceptions were made when multiple characters perished at the same time, as happened with an ill-fated For All Mankind couple.)

Needless to say, we’re slapping a big ol’ SPOILER ALERT on the list below. If you’re not caught up on the following series (listed alphabetically), you might want to bookmark this page for later: 9-1-1: Lone Star, The Baby-Sitters Club, Batwoman, Black Lightning, The Blacklist, Charmed, DC’s Stargirl, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Fear the Walking Dead, For All Mankind, Foundation, Grey’s Anatomy, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Haves and the Have Nots, It’s a Sin, Loki, Lucifer, Lupin, Mare of Easttown, Mayans MC, Money Heist, NCIS, On My Block, Pose, The Resident, The Rookie, SEAL Team, Snowfall, Squid Game, Station 19, S.W.A.T., Sweet Tooth, THEM, Titans, The Underground Railroad, Walker, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, What We Do in the Shadows, The White Lotus and/or Who Killed Sara?

But if you’re ready to get a little weepy, scroll through our list of the year’s saddest character deaths, then hit the comments with any others that left you in tears.