8 Shows That Killed Off a Major Character in the Final Season

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House of Cards

The season has yet to premiere, but we already know that House of Cards antihero Frank Underwood will be killed off immediately in the final season. The trailer shows wife and now U.S. President Claire Underwood speaking to his grave, saying “When they bury me, it won’t be in my backyard. And when they pay their respects, they’ll have to wait in line.”

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In a shocking finale twist that was ultimately undone for it’s revival, the Conners’ beloved father figure Dan (John Goodman) is revealed to have passed away due to a heart attack suffered earlier in the season. Him appearing in episodes after his heart attack was explained as a figment of narrator Roseanne’s imagination, as well as the alternate ending she had written for her autobiography.



Misfits had no problem killing off main characters, practically wiping out its entire original cast by the fourth season. It only seemed fitting that, before wrapping the series, they would kill off one final character: Mark, the young, introverted Scottish man trapped inside of a tortoise shell. In his brief moment as a human, enjoying his blossoming relationship with Abby, he is killed by an object inversion spell cast by Sarah.


Six Feet Under

The reason this tragic death wasn’t delayed until Six Feet Under‘s final episode was so the show could use the final few episodes exploring how the family deals with the devastation. After seeming to have recovered from a brain hemorrhage, Nate Fisher unexpectedly dies in his hospital bed with brother David sleeping by his side.

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Max Keenan wasn’t the first main character on Bones to die — pour one out for Sweets! — but his final season exit felt the most conclusive for the series. The loving father of Bones (with a messy and malicious past) dies while in recovery from surgery after killing the assassins sent for his grandchildren.



Dexter never shied away from death and gore, and the controversial series finale was no exception. There were plenty of deaths, but Debra Morgan’s passing was one of the saddest. After Dexter removes his beloved step-sister from life support and disposed of her body in the ocean, he sails off into a hurricane in an apparent suicide attempt — thought it’s revealed only moments later he faked it.


The Wire

Felicia “Snoop” Pearson’s heartbreaking death didn’t occur in the final episode, but it was a crucial moment in the series’ final season. After she’s ordered to kill Michael (her fellow gang member suspected to be in communication with the police), he beats her to the chase and aims his gun at her head. Her final words are, “How my hair look, Mike?” to which he answers, “You look good, girl.”

The CW

Vampire Diaries

We always thought vampires were immortal, but CW’s The Vampire Diaries proved that’s not always the case. While Damon was ready to sacrifice himself so the small town of Mystic Falls could be saved, his younger brother and friend Stefan decides that fate was his.

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Let’s face it — we’re all losing sleep trying to figure out who is going to get killed off Modern Family in Season 10.

Though no hints or names have been dropped, series co-creator Christopher Lloyd shared last month that a “significant character in the series” will die, and that this death will impact the family over multiple episodes. And as this is rumored to be the show’s final season, it seems fitting to wait until now to take a risk so outside of the lighthearted series’ usual tone.

But to hold us off until we find out, we’re taking a look at other popular shows that killed off a major character in their final seasons. Click through the gallery above!