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The Saddest Last Lines In TV History

It's always a sad day when one of your favorite TV characters kicks the bucket. Even if it's the right decision to kill that character from a storytelling perspective, and even if they get to deliver a kickass final speech before they go, it still sucks to know that they won't be a part of your favorite show anymore.

It's even worse when a beloved character doesn't get that big moment, when they don't even see their death coming until it's too late. Rather than going out after a final heroic monologue, sometimes a character goes out with a whimper, and that's what we're here to talk about today. We're pouring one out for all our fave fictional homies whose deaths came out of nowhere, and whose final words weren't uplifting or heroic but just plain sad. The tragic and unexpected ways that these characters all met their ends means that, for most of them, they gave their final words without us or them realizing it ... until it was too late.

Oh, and since we're talking about character deaths, it probably goes without saying, but spoilers abound ahead. There, now unlike all the characters we're talking about today, you've been given ample warning of what's about to come.

This character's last line broke our hearts in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

For it's time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was groundbreaking in many ways. The characters of Willow Rosenberg and Tara Maclay were one of the first lesbian couples on television, and their relationship helped blaze a trail for more queer representation of all types on mainstream television. But nothing good can last, especially if you're a Joss Whedon character, and so Willow and Tara's relationship came to an abrupt end when one of them got "Jossed" in the season 6 episode "Seeing Red."

In that episode, recurring antagonist Warren Mears — an aspiring teenage supervillain — decides that he's been defeated by Buffy one too many times, and he decides to put an end to her in a decidedly non-supervillainous fashion. He simply walks up to her with a handgun and shoots her in the chest. Then, as Warren turns to flee, he carelessly fires off a few more rounds up into the air. One stray bullet flies through a window, into a room where Tara and Willow are having a conversation, hitting Tara in the back. Seeing her own blood suddenly splatter onto Willow's shirt, Tara says, "Your shirt," before collapsing to the ground, unconscious. And although Buffy, the intended target of Warren's rage, survives this encounter, Tara does not. She dies in Willow's arms.

For all the good that the show did for queer representation, Tara's death has gone on to be remembered as perhaps the most polarizing moment in Buffy history, criticized by many as yet another painful example of the "Bury Your Gays" trope. Her death has aged so poorly that one of the former showrunners, Marti Noxon, even recently apologized for it.

Mad Men got incredibly grim with this sad scene

At its heart, Mad Men is an extremely nihilistic show, and this is reflected in the way the series handles death. There are several character deaths throughout Mad Men, and every one occurs in intentionally unsatisfying ways, frequently off-screen, with little warning. No character who dies in the show gets a big memorable death speech, and frequently, a character's last words are written to be as bland and routine as possible.

There are several examples to choose from, but without a doubt, the most comically underwhelming death in the series is that of Don Draper's elderly secretary Ida Blankenship. Midway through the episode "The Beautiful Girls," after connecting Don to his ex-wife for a phone call, Ms. Blankenship tells him, "Mrs. Francis is on the line." Then, at some point in the next few minutes, she dies off-screen, sitting upright at her desk. No one notices until a few scenes later, and at one point, Don even has a brief one-sided conversation with her body, not realizing that she's dead.

Once her body is discovered, it's wheeled out of the office, and the episode moves on because everyone at the agency still has a lot of work to do. It's a simple, morbidly funny, and oddly chilling portrayal of how death actually tends to meet us in real life. It's not always during a season finale or as part of some grand heroic sacrifice. More often, death meets you at a random moment in the middle of an otherwise normal day, and then, the day just continues without you.

Game of Thrones served up one of the most disturbing deaths in TV history

During season 4 of Game of Thrones, when Tyrion Lannister is on trial for murder, he asks for a trial by combat, believing it to be his only chance at survival. The crown appoints the towering Gregor Clegane, aka the Mountain, to be their champion. Upon hearing this, Oberyn Martell comes to Tyrion and volunteers to be his champion. Why? Trial by combat will finally give Martell a chance for revenge against Clegane, the man who killed his sister.

Though everyone believes Martell to be the underdog going into the fight, his superior speed has him running circles around the lumbering Clegane. Soon, Martell knocks Clegane to the ground, and he has a chance to strike a killing blow. But he doesn't want Clegane getting off that easy. Instead, he wants the Mountain to confess to his crimes. Oberyn says, "You can't die yet. You haven't confessed. Say it. Say her name: Elia Martell. You raped her. You killed her children. Elia Martell. ... Say her name. Say it!"

However, this little speech gives Gregor Clegane time to recover, He grabs Martell's head and crushes his skull with his bare hands. There are no shortage of surprising, tragic deaths in Game of Thrones, but the swiftness and gruesomeness of Martell's untimely demise might make it the one that haunts us the most.

The Good Wife gave us a haunting final phone call

By season 5 of The Good Wife, Alicia Florrick and Will Gardner have been through a lot. They've been friends, co-workers, lovers, and they've had plenty of fights. But by the time we've reached the episode "Dramatics, Your Honor," they're at somewhat of a crossroads. They've been broken up for quite a while, and their two respective law firms are feuding with one another, but there's also a sense that maybe, someday, they could reconnect and bury the hatchet.

That's why Alicia is surprised one afternoon to see that she has a voicemail from Will. "Alicia..." he begins, in a rather serious voice, seemingly like he has something important to tell her. But then, another voice in the background calls for him. Will responds, "Hold, hold on, your honor. I'll call you back." Then he abruptly hanging up. But that's the last time Alicia ever hears his voice. Shortly thereafter, Will's client, a desperate young man, produces a handgun that he snuck into the courtroom and tries to shoot a witness. Will intervenes, and he's fatally shot while doing so.

Will's death occurs off-screen, so we don't know his actual last words. All we have is that voicemail. Alicia plays the message to herself many times over the rest of the series, trying to imagine what it was that Will wanted to tell her. Was he apologizing? Chastising her for her firm's actions during their ongoing feud? Confessing his love? Whatever it was, Alicia never got a chance to find out, and neither did we.

Black Sails shocked us with these sad last lines

During season 2 of Black Sails, Captain Flint and Miranda Barlow have grown tired of living as pirates, so they've come up with a plan to start fresh. They learn that their old friend from England, Peter Ashe, has become the governor of Carolina. They seek him out, hoping for a pardon. However, throughout their visit, Ashe's bodyguards are clearly nervous to have a pair of wanted outlaws in the house. At one point, when Miranda steps a little too close to Ashe, his bodyguard warns her that if she does that again, he'll shoot her.

Then, as the three have dinner, Miranda makes a terrible discovery. She pieces together that, back when they were all living in England, Peter was the one who sold her out and exposed the polyamorous three-way affair between her, Flint, and their old friend, Thomas Hamilton. He was the one who destroyed their lives and forced them to flee to the New World in the first place.

Peter Ashe tries to apologize, he asks Miranda what she wants, and she responds with, "What do I want? I want to see this whole g**d**n city, this city that you purchased with our misery, burn. I want to see you hanged on the very gallows you've used to hang men for crimes far slighter than this. I want to see that noose around your neck and I want to pull the f***ing lever with my own two ha–"

Then, Miranda falls to the ground because Ashe's bodyguard shoots her through the head. Just like he promised.

This scene from Bojack Horseman left us devastated

By the end of season three of Bojack Horseman, Sarah Lynn — a former child star turned wild party girl — has more or less turned her life around, and she's just about to get her nine-month sobriety chip. Then she receives a call one day from Bojack, who asks her if she wants to party. Without hesitation, she agrees. The moment is played for comedy, but it kicks off an episode that's about to become deathly serious.

From here, Bojack and Sarah Lynn start doing every drug they can think of. As they do so, they discuss their past regrets. Sarah Lynn mentions that she doesn't think it's right to allow children to become actors. She says, "I didn't know what I was signing up for. I was three."

This drinking and drug-fueled bender ends up lasting an entire month, and it ends with the two of them alone in an empty planetarium. And though Bojack is admiring the stars above them, Sarah Lynn is marveling at the architecture of the planetarium building itself. She muses, "I wanna be an architect," before leaning against Bojack and passing out. And then, as the episode fades to black, she dies of an overdose.

If that weren't sad enough, if you rewatch the series with Sarah Lynn's final words in mind, you can actually notice that throughout the show, she repeatedly expresses an interest in architecture, as early as a flashback in episode 3 when she's about three years old. The saddest part of Sarah Lynn's death is that, in her last moments, she essentially reveals that she spent her entire life trying to please other people and never got to live the life she really wanted.

The Haunting of Hill House made TV history a little more terrifying

Nell from The Haunting of Hill House has spent her entire life haunted — not just by her plagued crippling depression, but also by a literal ghost that she's dubbed "the Bent-Neck Lady." Usually appearing at night at the foot of Nell's bed, the spirit looks like an adult woman with long dark hair and a broken neck, as if she's just been hanged.

Midway through the series, Nell finally discovers who the Bent-Neck Lady is. Tired of being tormented by this spirit, Nell returns to Hill House, her long-abandoned childhood home, convinced that the ghosts of her past can't do anything to hurt her. When she arrives, Nell enters a vision of a well-lit and prosperous Hill House at its peak, where she's greeted by her long-dead mother. Her mother walks Nell to the top of a staircase and places a necklace around Nell's neck. Cutting back to reality, we see that the necklace is actually a noose, and before she realizes what's happening, Nell falls off a balcony, snapping her own neck.

Then, in her last moments, Nell finds herself travelling backward in time, hanging in front of her own bed and looking at her younger self cowering before her. Nell realizes that all along, the bent-neck lady had been herself — a vision from the future sent back in time to warn herself of her own unfortunate end. But tragically, she didn't understand the meaning of these visions until it was too late. As she feels the life slip from her body, all that Nell can do is mutter a single mournful word over and over again: "No, no, no, no, no, no."

This might be the saddest last line in Breaking Bad

From the sleazy, fast-talking Saul Goodman to the chilling mastermind Gus Fring, the crime drama Breaking Bad is stuffed full of instantly iconic characters. But by the show's fifth season, a minor supporting character who'd unexpectedly grown into one of the most beloved characters was Mike Ehrmantraut. Unassuming yet effective, world-weary yet honorable, this plain-spoken criminal enforcer always lit up the screen any time he was part of a scene.

In the episode "Say My Name," Mike's lawyer, Dan Wachsberger, is arrested by the DEA, and he starts giving away what he knows of Mike and Walter White's operation. Mike and Walt meet up near a placid river where Mike tells Walt that he's getting out of town, and he advises Walt to do the same. But Walter refuses to walk away. Instead, he wants to try to clean up this mess, but in order to do so, he needs one thing — the names of nine former associates of Mike and Dan's who are now in jail, some of the only people who know about his and Walt's involvement in the meth trade. Mike believes, correctly, that Walt intends to kill these men, so he refuses Walt's request and walks away, climbing into his car.

At this, Walt draws a pistol and shoots Mike in the gut. Mike manages to make it down to the bank of the river before collapsing into a sitting position. It's there where Walter finds him, staring at the water as he bleeds from his stomach. Walter starts to speak, to apologize for what he's done, but Mike, in his trademark laconic style, simply says to Walter, "Shut the f*** up and let me die in peace." And so, Walter does.

X-Men ruined an innocent expression for an entire generation

Despite being ostensibly a show for children, the surprisingly dark 1992 X-Men cartoon series set the tone early by killing off one of the central heroes during the show's very first episode, a truly unforgettable twist that left a lasting impression on its young viewers.

In the episode, our heroes must infiltrate a heavily guarded government facility to destroy a secret database of mutants' personal information that the government is using for nefarious purposes. Alongside the X-Men you know and love such as Wolverine, Cyclops, and Storm, the wise-cracking Morph is on the mission, and in addition to being a shapeshifter, he's also Wolverine's best friend and confidante.

The mission is a success, and the team is escaping the facility, running off into the woods. Wolverine is leading the way, followed by Morph, and then Morph utters the now-infamous line, "Didn't I tell ya? Clear sailing all the way." But in that moment, a trio of robotic Sentinels emerge from the trees and begin to close in around Wolverine. Morph rushes to save his friend, and as he does so, he calls out, "Wolverine, pull back!" The Sentinels open fire with a barrage of lasers on the two mutants. In the end, Wolverine survives the assault, but Morph does not.

Because of this one iconic moment, an entire certain generation of kids grew up unable to hear the phrase "clear sailing" without instantly flashing back to this unexpectedly traumatizing episode of their favorite cartoon.

Seinfeld is one of the funniest shows in TV history ... except for this sad line

Season 7 of Seinfeld features a truly shocking twist when a major plotline and a major character both meet a surprising end. Over the course of that season, George is getting closer and closer to his wedding date with a woman named Susan Ross. Despite the fact that she's a lovely person who seems to be, inexplicably, into him, George is absolutely miserable and wants out.

In the season finale, "The Invitations," Susan and George find themselves needing to purchase wedding invitations, and George, ever the cheapskate, opts for the least expensive option available, infuriating Susan. Later, in their apartment, as Susan is preparing to send the invitations, she calls out to George as he's leaving, "Hey, don't forget tomorrow. We're going shopping for rings, so don't make any plans. And this time, we're not skimping!"

Then, over the course of the episode, as George continues to go about his day, we periodically cut back to Susan, licking and sealing envelopes. Then, the episode ends with a truly shocking twist. In one of the most shocking moments in sitcom history, Susan suddenly slumps over dead, poisoned by the low-quality adhesive of the extremely cheap envelopes.

When he hears the news from her doctor, George is mildly surprised at this development but not necessarily disappointed. After all, he was looking for a way out. It was one of the boldest writing decisions ever made by a television sitcom, not to mention one of the simultaneously saddest and funniest moments in television history.