''Downton Abbey,'' ''Walking Dead'' (three times!), ''Grey's Anatomy,'' ''Boardwalk Empire,'' and more series that bumped off characters we didn't expect to lose (SPOILER ALERT!)
26. LEXIE GREY (Chyler Leigh), Grey's Anatomy (2012)
We've seen hordes of beloved Grey's characters die over the years from George O'Malley (T.R. Knight) to Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) but few were killed off as unceremoniously as Lexie Grey, the younger sister of title character Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). The show's season 8 finale featured a plane crash that saw Lexie pinned under a big chunk of debris and die just 20 minutes into the episode, and that came just a week after she had told former flame Mark (Eric Dane) that she was still in love with him. ''We're gonna have the best life, you and me. We're gonna be so happy,'' he told her, obviously responding to her love confession. ''So you can't die, okay? You can't die. Because we're supposed to end up together. We're meant to be.'' Clearly, series boss Shonda Rhimes didn't see it that way. After the death, Rhimes explained that the decision to kill Lexie was mutual with Leigh. ''We had a lot of thoughtful discussion about it and ultimately we both decided this was the right time for her character's journey to end,'' Rhimes wrote on Twitter. ''As far as I'm concerned Chyler will always remain a part of the Shondaland family and I can't wait to work with her again in the future.''
Image Credit: Karen Neal/ABC