McDreamy and Michael Scott's departures changed each show for good.
Over so many years of television, it's inevitable that we also see many great characters come and go, whether from an iconic, long-running show or a newer series we just recently got into. But no matter the particular reason behind the departure, it's never easy to say goodbye to a beloved character — in fact, sometimes it's downright shocking and heartbreaking! From tragic deaths in emotional TV shows to abrupt actor exits that we never saw coming, we've rounded up 20 of the most shocking character exits that television has witnessed — and have also taken a closer look at the real story behind the unexpected departures.
While some of these character exits are simply due to the actor wanting to pursue other opportunities (including one actor that even left to work at the White House!), others are of course more controversial, ranging from the stars getting fired to others who left after experiencing differences of opinion with the show's network and creators. From Michael Scott in The Office to McDreamy (and so many others) in Grey's Anatomy, here's a closer look at the most shocking and controversial character exits in TV history.