The 5 best character outputs on TV (and the 5 worst)

Character exit happens on TV for various reasons, either the actor is ready to move on to other projects, there is a conflict on the set, the actor is dissatisfied with the material that their character gets, or the amount of screen time they get.

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Either way, some writers deal with these situations in a way that is becoming the character, while others make it their mission to break down the character they have created before saying the final goodbye. Ultimately, these character outputs tend to stick to the audience for better or worse.

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Best grade exit

Matt Casey


Jesse Spencer has been at the helm Chicago brand for ten seasons, and when the actor decided it was time to move on, the writers gave him a thoughtful exit story that made room for his return if he ever decided he wanted it.

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To bring the story back from seasons 1 and 2, Matt travels to Oregon to take care of the Darden boys, whom he previously cared for when their mother was in prison. With their mother back in jail for yet another DUI and no one else to step up, Matt knows he needs to do the right thing and give up his family on Firehouse 51 to be the family of the boys who need him more. It’s a great exit, worthy of the character that fans have loved for ten seasons.


Nic Nevins


Emily VanCamp in The Resident # 3

Emily VanCamp has recently parted ways with the show she has starred in – The home. Similar to what happened with the exit of Derek Shepherd’s character on grey’s Anatomy, the authors knew that leaving Nic to leave her husband and daughter would be too uncharacteristic for her. It would ruin the amazing character she has repeated throughout the seasons.

So the writers decided that death was the way to go with her exit, and she was sent off in a heartbreaking episode of The Resident, where they honored the character Nic Nevins, not to mention the amazing performance of her husband on screen Matt Czuchry.


Fiona Gallagher


Fiona from Shameless

Emmy Rossum wanted to move on to other projects and left the beloved comedy Shameless at the end of season 9. Fans have loved this tough and brave character who did everything in her power to take care of her family, even though she inevitably ended up messing around every now and then.

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The writers have broken the character down in her final season. It seemed like Fiona was heading for the same fate as most of her family (drinking, problems with the law, etc.), but she gets some unexpected money and finally gets them together. On the advice of her brother Ian, Fiona gets as far away as possible from Southside, but not until she leaves half the money to her siblings. It was a great way to honor the character and give her the bright future she deserves.


Lexie Gray


Lexie Grey's death about Grey's anatomy.

grey’s Anatomy have had many exits, but few were handled as tactfully as Lexies. Chyler Leigh worked side by side with the creator of the show Shonda Rhimes to work out a story that would work for her character.

In a heartbreaking event, Lexie confesses her love for Mark in an emotionally charged speech worthy of one of the best couples in the series. Seeing her struggle with her emotions all season, it was satisfying to give her character the last minute before she embarked on a flight that eventually turned out to be her last. Lexie dies as a result of the plane crash and holds the hand of the man she loves without being told. And that somehow made it easier to let go of her.


Derek Morgan


criminals are shemar moore derek exit

Criminals are had his fair share of poorly handled exits, but that can not be said of Derek Morgan. In an interview with AND! News, Shemar told Moore that he stayed in the show long enough because he felt he owed the character a proper farewell, and the writers honored it with a very heroic exit.

After being put through hell in his final season, Derek gets his son and retires to a more peaceful and demon-free life with his family. After the match viewers have seen him go through, he deserved nothing less than an adventurous ending.

Worst grade exit

Elliot Stabler


To be the leader of SVU for 12 seasons, fans were disappointed when it was time to say goodbye to detective Elliot Stabler. The loss came unexpectedly and the character did not receive any proper rejection, only mentioning having withdrawn in next season’s premiere.

RELATED: Main Characters of Law and Order SVU Ranked by Likability

It is somewhat understandable that because the reason for his exit was failed contract negotiations, the writers simply did not have the time or opportunity to give him a proper farewell, but it still felt deficient in the great character they created. However, he has recently joined a spin-off and is returning to his role as Elliot Stabler after nearly ten years.

Mina Okafor


Mina poses for a promo image for The Resident

Mina was one of the most beloved characters in The home, and while the authors gave Emily VanCamp a wonderful exit, the same cannot be said of Dr. Okafor.

Although writers knew of the actress’ desire to leave, they ended her story by having her deported from the United States, forcing her to return to Nigeria. When she planned to go there anyway, it did not make much sense to create the expulsion plan, and it just was not the farewell she deserved.

Elena Gilbert


The Vampire Diaries Elena is in the cemetery

Elena Gilbert was a very controversial part of The Vampire Diaries because fans either loved her or hated her and there was no middle ground. Either way, she was the lead role of the show, and after Nina Dobrev’s 6-year contract expired, she expressed the desire to leave.

When the writers wanted to keep making the show, they decided to continue the show without their main character instead of ending it. Considering that the show lost the lead and its leading ship Delena, it was a surprise it continued for two more seasons. Luckily, they did not kill Elena, but simply put her in a coma, allowing Nina to return to the series finale and give the fans the happy ending they deserved.


Alex Karev


Justin Chambers as Alex Karev in Grey's Anatomy

Despite grey’s Anatomy have an entry in the best outputs, there can be a whole list consisting of all the bad outputs they have given grades. Most fans, however, agree that the worst was given to Alex Karev. He was the character with the most character development through the seasons. Starting as an idiot, he grew into a brilliant pediatric surgeon and a wonderful friend and husband.

Or so everyone thought. Until Justin Chambers wanted to move on from the show, and the way they decided to write him off was by leaving his wife for a former flame Izzie Stevens because he found out Izzie was giving birth to his children. It seemed very far out for Alex just to leave everyone he loved, especially Jo. And the tear-jerking letters he left behind did no better.

Erin Lindsay


Many fans agree Chicago PD was never the same after Erin Lindsay left Chicago, but it was the way she left that made fans tumble in anger. It was no secret that there were some issues on the set for the Chicago PD, but Sophia Bush’s exit made everyone completely blind.

After getting a terrible story in season 4, it was more than expected that the writers would correct it in season 5, but season 5 never came for Erin. And then they decided they wanted to ruin the whole character development in a single episode. After the worst things she has overcome, such as the grief that led to her addiction, they get Erin to sacrifice the life she has built in Chicago to help her battered mother. It was such a bad episode that the fans were angry already, but knowing that this was how they let the beloved character go was unforgivable.

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