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7 Shows Where a Main Character Leaves and it’s Not the Same

If you’re as dedicated to television as us, a small piece of your heart breaks whenever a lead character leaves your favorite show. There are some spoilers ahead, so read at your own discretion!

1. Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey

Just when you thought Matthew and Mary would live a happy life together with their new daughter, there’s a car accident that changes everything. After season three, Downton Abbey loses their main character, and no one ever fully recovered from the heartbreak. This unexpected death left fans wondering who will be the next heir to the Downton estate and how Mary would deal with the grief. However we’re happy to check out Matthew, played by Dan Stevens, in the upcoming Beauty & the Beast remake!

2.  Greg Serrano from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Even though Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a refreshing comedy that dispels gender norms through the quirky Rebecca Bunch, Greg Serrano is definitely the fan favorite. From his sassy one-liners to his poor fashion sense, Greg, who is played by Santino Fontana, is the ideal side character and love interest for Rebecca. So, when he departs Crazy Ex-Girlfriend with the cliche airport exit, viewers’ hearts and interest in the show left on his flight too.

3. Lucas Scott and Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill

Never wrapping up their plot line, OTH fans were left hanging when Lucas and Peyton, played by Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton, didn’t return after season six. Similar to Matthew and Mary Crawley, everyone wanted to see what their life would have looked like post-baby, and, quite frankly, the last three seasons of One Tree Hill were not the same without them.

4. Michael Scott from The Office

In a tearful exit, Michael Scott, played by the hilarious Steve Carell, left Dunder Mifflin after seven hilarious seasons. With his absence, the show continued on with Jim and Pam’s relationship taking center stage, and Dwight Schrute continuing with his antics, but everyone missed Michael’s dry sense of humor and questionable leadership.

5. Jess from New Girl

Though Jess may have only left briefly in the fifth season of New Girl, we felt mixed feelings when Reagan, played by Megan Fox, moved into the loft. At the same time though, we understand Zooey Deschanel’s absence as she was granted a long maternity leave to welcome her daughter Elsie into the world. But we have to admit, New Girl was not the same without Jess’s signature quirkiness.

6. Eric Foreman and Michael Kelso from That ‘70s Show

The eighth and final season of this retro sitcom saw the departure of both Eric Foreman (played by Topher Grace) and Michael Kelso (played by Ashton Kutcher). While we definitely felt the pain when heartthrob Kelso departed, the series shocked many when Eric left, especially since he was quickly replaced by a new character, Randy Pearson (played by Josh Meyers). Needless to say, the show felt empty without Eric’s cynical comments and Kelso’s utterly hilarious lack of common sense.

7. Derek Shepherd from Grey’s Anatomy

McDreamy’s death back in season eleven shocked us all and dashed many a dream about our own happy endings. Although it came out that Patrick Dempsey had wanted to move on from the show, we still cursed Shonda Rhimes for making us ugly cry yet again. The show has since moved on with new shocking plot lines and interesting characters, and Meredith (played by Ellen Pompeo) even briefly dated a new co-worker. Maybe it’s just us, but it hasn’t quite been the same without Derek Shepherd’s stunning smile and how his relationship with Meredith gave us the ultimate #relationshipgoals.

Honorable mentions: The Olsen Twins on Fuller House and Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men

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Betsy Roy


Betsy is a senior at Emmanuel College studying secondary education and history, and is the chapter's Social Media Director. Believing she'll pen the next Great American Novel, Betsy enjoys: art museums, long walks on the beach, and napping in front of fireplaces.
Gianna is a freshman at Emmanuel College and is really excited to see what this year has in store for her. Along with writing for Her Campus, Gianna participates in Yoga Club, Zumba Club, and Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project. In her free time, you will most likely find her watching Friends and sipping tea out of her Central Perk mug. 
Holliston//Boston Current senior at EC, future teacher of your children Things that make me happy include: Christmas, new bottles of nail polish, ice cream cookie sandwiches, a good book, and anyone who can understand my Friends jokes. 
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