In order for a show to succeed with TV audiences, so many things have to go right that it sometimes is shocking that so many series go the distance. That said, it isn’t like a show making a single mistake is necessarily going to mean that it is facing its impending doom, especially if that aspect of the show is corrected.
While it is almost always imperative that viewers invest in a show’s main cast of characters, at times one or more of them have missed the mark. Thankfully, throughout television history, there have been many examples of characters leaving a series behind much to the pleasure of the show’s fans. With that in mind, it is time to get to this list of 15 TV character departures that made fans rejoice.
15 Scott Templeton – The Wire
As one of the best shows in TV history, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that The Wire was mostly chocked full of fantastic characters. Unfortunately, once the show began to focus on the press, a character named Scott Templeton was introduced. Revealed to be making up parts of his stories, Templeton not only is a liar but he’s a smug one, too.
14 Maria LaGuerta – Dexter
Even though the actor who brought Maria LaGuerta to life in Dexter was an excellent part of the show Oz, it made fans of the show extremely happy when she was written out of the show. After all, the character not only hit on Dexter an awful lot, when it obviously was unwelcome, but she was anything but loyal to the show’s other beloved characters.
13 Robert California – The Office
Last seen during the season eight finale of The Office, Robert California was an alright character and had he remained in a supporting role, that could have worked. Unfortunately, the show at one point thrust Robert into a lead role which revealed how inconsistent and annoying the character could be a lot of the time.
12 Paige McCullers – Pretty Little Liars
Actually an outright baffling character, from one moment to the next it seemed like Pretty Little Liars’ writers wanted us to feel completely differently about Paige McCullers. After all, at one point Paige’s swimming obsession led to her holding Emily’s head underwater and then shortly after that Paige fell for her would be drowning victim. On top of that, Paige thinking she knew best how to deal with “A” was frustrating, to say the least.
11 Mark Brendanawicz – Parks and Recreation
Clearly, meant to be one of Parks and Recreation’s ongoing main characters early on, Mark Brendanawicz even had a budding relationship with Leslie. However, the character’s dry delivery of every line and the way it seemed like he was trying to seem above all of the show’s craziness made him an awful fit for this comedy.
10 Seven – Married With Children
Throughout television history, there is a long tradition of shows hiring children to play new lead characters in order to spruce up the ratings. While that certainly has worked at times, the idea that the people behind Married With Children thought their fans would enjoy having a whiny kid added to the show is mind-boggling. Thankfully, Seven disappeared before too long much to everyone’s happiness.
9 Priya Koothrappali – The Big Bang Theory
As anyone that has watched sitcoms over the years no doubt realizes, those shows love creating an obvious couple so they can come up with ridiculous ways to keep them apart. That said, just because that kind of story happens a lot, doesn’t mean viewers enjoy it all the time. For example, when The Big Bang Theory kept Leonard and Penny apart by having him date Priya Koothrappali, it made most viewers detest her character.
8 Kali – Stranger Things
As the only character on this list that only appeared in a single episode of their show, it may seem weird that we’ve included Kali here. However, if you recall the episode of Stranger Things she was a part of, it certainly seemed like they were setting her up for a return down the road. Fortunately for Stranger Things fans, it seems like the show’s writers listened to the near-universal dislike for her storyline so they have not brought Kali back.
7 Andrea Harrison — The Walking Dead
If you have ever read a “Walking Dead” comic book, then you likely realize how disappointing having Andrea appear on this list is since she is great in that medium. Unfortunately, when it comes to the portrayal of Andrea in the show, she somehow became more and more annoying over time. After all, she was hot-headed, ditched Michonne and the rest of her friends, and her attractions to Shane and then The Governor got old really quickly.
6 Nikki and Paulo – Lost
In an interesting twist, not only did Lost fans dislike the sudden introduction of Nikki and Paulo like they were there all along, the show’s creators weren’t fans as well. In fact, during an interview with Esquire, series co-creator Carlton Cuse said the characters were “a story idea where once we'd initiated it we regretted having done it”.
Perhaps that is why they not only quickly wrote Nikki and Paulo out, but had the characters buried alive to the relief of viewers who wanted them gone.
5 Lucy – The Big Bang Theory
The only show to appear on this list twice, Lucy from The Big Bang Theory also drove viewers pretty nuts. At first, that didn’t have to be the case as fans were understanding of her social anxiety. However, by the time it became abundantly clear that Lucy was completely one dimensional seeing her react the same way over and over got tired.
Worse yet, the way she kept stringing Raj along even though it was clear she wasn’t comfortable with him grated on viewers’ nerves.
4 June Stahl – Sons of Anarchy
Here is the thing about a show like Sons of Anarchy, viewers know that the main characters are criminals but they are ok with that since it is entertaining. As such, when Agent June Stahl was introduced and put a hamper on the SOA’s plans while also being shady herself, it was an outrage for many viewers. Of course, in the style of this show, she met a violent end after a while and viewers were only too happy to bid her adieu.
3 Oliver Trask – The O.C.
Even though The O.C.’s time in the spotlight was relatively short-lived, when this show was a hit, it was the talk of the town. Unfortunately, smack dab in the middle of that era was the really bad Oliver Trask storyline. Clearly, introduced in a lame attempt to create drama in Ryan and Marissa’s relationship, Trask’s obsession with her was so transparent that it drove viewers nuts that Marissa didn’t notice.
2 Joffrey Baratheon – Game of Thrones
Once considered to be the most universally disliked character on television, Joffrey Baratheon was so sadistic and whiny at the same time that he made viewers detest him to their core. For that reason, most viewers rejoiced when the young king suddenly fell to the ground and succumbed to poisoning, in front of his mother, no less.
1 Emily Waltham – Friends
Right off the hop, we want to make it clear that we totally understand why Emily Waltham would want to keep Ross away from Rachel, given his Freudian slip during their wedding. That said, why the show’s writers and producers thought that viewers would enjoy seeing the dissolution of the lead characters as we know them getting teased is beyond us. For that reason, when her character disappeared entirely it made most fans happy.
Sources: cheatsheet.com, mashable.com, insider.com, uproxx.com, ranker.com