10 TV Characters NOBODY Expected To Die

Not a single soul saw these shocking TV deaths coming.

How I Met Your Mother Tracy

Death is an inevitability in TV shows, and it stings all that much more when it happens to a character who you've perhaps grown to love over the course of many seasons.

And while we're often simply waiting for beloved characters to die given the fraught nature of their work, other times characters are killed off totally out of nowhere in genuinely shocking fashion.

That's certainly true of these 10 characters, whose deaths sent shockwaves throughout the fandom and, in extreme cases, caused vocal online outrage.

Sometimes a character in a TV show feels "safe" for whatever reason - perhaps they've suffered so much that they've developed plot armour, they survive in the source material, or the showrunners have made an effort to indicate their ongoing survival.

Whatever the reason, nobody expected these characters to die, and yet, each was taken off the chess board in jaw-dropping, devastating fashion.

In some cases the death scene was hugely dramatically effective, while in others it simply upset the fanbase enough that it might've ultimately been more trouble than it was worth.

Either way, nobody saw these character deaths coming...

10. David Palmer - 24

How I Met Your Mother Tracy

You won't find a more innately good character in 24 than David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) - the Democratic presidential candidate targeted for assassination in the show's first season, yet spared thanks to the efforts of CTU agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland).

Palmer went on to become President in the show's second season, which concluded with a cliffhanger ending where he was attacked with a biological nerve agent.

But Palmer survived again, and so by the time season three rolled around, he truly felt invincible. Palmer didn't seek re-election due to personal scandals, but nevertheless re-appeared for a few episodes throughout season four.

Beyond being the first Black President in the world of the show - and predating Barack Obama's election by more than five years - Palmer was 24's moral center, and by the time he'd survived two hit attempts and left office, it seemed apparent that he had some triple-reinforced plot armour.

But disaster struck mere minutes into season five, when while the opening credits were still rolling, Palmer was suddenly shot and killed by a sniper totally out of nowhere.

As gutting and truly unexpected as it was to see Palmer finally go down, it nevertheless served as an emotional catalyst for one of the show's strongest seasons.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.