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TV Characters' Final Words That Will Break Your Heart

When a character leaves a series, it's no easy task to give them a great sendoff. Sometimes, a character will die or transfer elsewhere, or any of thousands of things can pull them away, and when they leave, they often have something to say. This is where the challenge truly comes into play because a character's final words can make or break fans' opinions of them.

When someone sits down to watch a TV show, they invest a lot of time and mental energy into its stories, often finding one or more characters to be truly compelling. Because of this investment, a character's last words are incredibly important, as they can summarize their entire story and what they represent on the show. Losing that character for any reason can be difficult for any viewer.

Every TV character utters their last words eventually, but only a few are truly noteworthy. Occasionally, a TV character's final words will be profound or funny, but the ones that tear at the heartstrings are easily the most memorable. These characters had memorable final words before leaving their respective series, and each one will break your heart.

Hawkeye in M*A*S*H

"M*A*S*H" was one of television's greatest series, and it concluded with an episode that broke records. "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" is one of the best series finales ever put to film, and it ties up every loose end from the series in a heartbreaking story that shows the true horrors of war amidst the camaraderie built between soldiers on the battlefield.

In the episode, Hawkeye (Alan Alda) has a mental health crisis following the death of a baby, as he feels responsible. With the help of his friends, he manages to climb out of the pit of depression he's in and say goodbye to the members of the 4077th. Each goodbye is heartfelt and beautiful, leading up to the final scene where Hawkeye spends his final moments with B.J. Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell).

Hawkeye acknowledges the difficulty his friend has in saying goodbye, so he does it for him. He explains that if they don't see one another again, he wants Hunnicutt to know how much he means to him. In their final moments together, Hawkeye says his final words, "I'll miss you," and hugs him. (His actual final word is "What?!" as Hunnicutt's farewell is muffled by the sound of a helicopter.) Nevetheless, Hawkeye's heartfelt goodbye to Hunnicutt and the 4077th is a sentiment shared by everyone who tuned in to watch the final episode.

Earl in Dinosaurs

"Dinosaurs" was a 1990s family sitcom about anthropomorphic dinosaurs living in a prehistoric society. The Sinclair family consisted of the father, Earl (Stuart Pankin), and his wife, Fran (Jessica Walter), and their children, Robbie (Jason Willinger), Charlene (Sally Struthers), and Baby (Kevin Clash). Throughout the series, Earl takes care of his family while managing a challenging work-life balance.

The series concludes in a depressing way, as it focused on the planet's failing ecology, leading to an inevitable ice age, which is the result of global cooling. The older Sinclairs see the writing on the wall, and in the final scene, Earl tries to calm his youngest child as he ponders the terrible decisions made that led to the end of the world.

After reminiscing about their plight, Earl reassures his kids, saying, "Hey, I'm sure it'll all work out OK. After all, dinosaurs have been on this Earth for 150 million years. And, it's not like we're going to just ... disappear." Unfortunately, as we all know, the dinosaurs weren't long for this world and eventually went extinct, delivering an environmental message that was as poignant as it was heartbreaking.

Talisa Stark in Game of Thrones

Most "Game of Thrones" fans agree that one of the series' most important, shocking, and pivotal scenes is the "Red Wedding." The scene plays out in the Season 3 episode "The Rains of Castamere." In the episode, Robb Stark (Richard Madden) apologizes to Walder Frey (David Bradley) for going against his betrothal agreement to marry his beloved Talisa (Oona Chaplin). Frey accepts his apology, but in reality, he sets the Starks up, and during the wedding of Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) and Roslin Frey (Alexandra Dowling), men in balconies pull out crossbows and begin slaughtering everyone.

Shortly before this happens, Talisa has a conversation with Robb, telling him that she wants to name their son after his father, Ned. The last thing she says to him is, "Don't you want to teach little Ned Stark how to ride horses?" Shortly after this, the song "The Rains of Castamere" begins to play, and the murder plot is realized. A thug approaches Talia from behind and stabs her repeatedly in her pregnant belly, killing her and her unborn child. The scene is as ghastly as it is tragic, and we completely understand why Chaplin had such a hard time filming it.

Samuel T. Anders in Battlestar Galactica

"Battlestar Galactica" features a plethora of memorable characters, and at any moment, someone could be revealed to be a Cylon. This keeps the suspense going throughout the series, and when a beloved character realizes their truth, it sends shockwaves throughout the entire show, making for excellent television.

One such character is Samuel T. Anders (Michael Trucco), whom Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) rescued from Cylon-occupied Caprica and later married. He turns out to be a Cylon, but he isn't entirely sold on the company line. In the series' three-part finale, "Daybreak," Sam is plugged into a datastream on Galactica, where his near-comatose existence allows him to interface with the ship.

The humans opt to destroy their ships and start anew on Earth, so Sam pilots the fleet into the sun. As he does this, he says, "I'll see you on the other side," echoing the same words Kara said to Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) before she died. As Sam says this, he smiles, and it's the last thing he utters before he dies, indicating he believes he will see Kara after his death.

Charlie Pace in Lost

Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) in "Lost" has a lot of baggage, and few would call him an extraordinarily good person at the beginning of the show. Fortunately, he adapts and evolves to the island and his fellow survivors, which helps him to become a better man and friend to the people around him. Charlie finds his ultimate redemption in "Through the Looking Glass" in Season 3.

The action ramps up as the Others go after the survivors at their beach camp while Penny's freighter is anchored nearby. Charlie and Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) are on the boat when Charlie intercepts a transmission from Penny (Sonya Walger), Desmond's partner. It turns out, Penny has no idea about the boat, indicating the survivors were tricked.

Before Charlie can leave the communications room, a bad guy detonates a grenade, so Charlie closes the watertight door to spare Desmond. Knowing he's going to die, Charlie does what he can to save his friends by quickly scrawling "NOT PENNY'S BOAT" on his left palm, which he holds to the porthole so Desmond can see it in one of the series' most pause-worthy and saddest moments.

PFC Jackson in Band of Brothers

"Band of Brothers" is one of the most realistic portrayals of WWII combat to ever grace the small screen, and it features a massive cast. Because the series is based on true stories, many of the characters are representations of real people who fought during the conflict, and the show doesn't pull any punches in depicting the horrors of war — especially when it comes to its character deaths.

Pfc. Eugene Jackson (Andrew-Lee Potts) is a member of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who goes on patrol across a river. During the mission, Jackson finds himself too close to a grenade and is severely wounded when it explodes. He's picked up by his team and taken back across the river, but it's not good.

Jackson's wounds are fatal, and as he lies there among his friends, he knows the end is coming. Jackson says something that's been uttered on countless battlefields throughout history: "I don't wanna die ... I don't wanna die." As the team works to stabilize him, they know his end is near, and he dies soon after despite their best efforts to keep him alive.

Poussey Washington in Orange Is the New Black

Season 4 of "Orange Is the New Black" ends with the tragic death of Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley), which sets the stage for the next season's events. During what begins as a peaceful demonstration in the cafeteria, Suzanne Warren (Uzo Aduba) becomes increasingly more agitated, pushing Poussey to try and calm her down to de-escalate the situation. Unfortunately, this puts her into the action as Corrections Officer Bayley (Alan Aisenberg) restrains her.

Bayley doesn't merely hold her — he pushes her to the ground and places his knee onto her back. He holds this position for far too long while fighting off Suzanne, resulting in Poussey's accidental death by suffocation. Before this happens, Poussey says very few words, as she's desperate for air, and her last words before dying are simply, "It hurts."

Poussey dies while trying to help a fellow inmate, and her death is entirely unnecessary. It sparks a series of protests throughout the prison and impacts nearly every character moving forward. Sadly, the episode proved somewhat prescient, as George Floyd Jr. died in much the same way on Mary 25, 2020, only four years after the episode "The Animals" aired.

Lance Sweets in Bones

Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) is easily one of the most beloved character from the Fox series "Bones." Sweets is an FBI psychologist assigned to work with Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), beginning in the third season. He's an affable, funny, young character inexperienced with police work, who serves as a window for the audience into the psychology of the show's two steely leads. He remains an important character throughout the series, but he dies horribly in the Season 10 premiere, "The Conspiracy in the Corpse."

As the episode progresses and the murder plot unfolds, Booth and Brennan are called to a parking garage, where they find Sweets. He'd been beaten to a pulp by the murderer who took evidence off Sweets, leaving him to die. As his friends arrive, they work to try and help him, but their efforts are ineffective, and he soon dies from major internal injuries.

Before he dies, he explains what happened to his friends who try to comfort him. His last words are, "You two, the world is a lot better than you think it is. It's ...." With that, Sweets succumbs to his injuries and dies. Sweets' death had a huge impact on the other characters in "Bones," and it came out of nowhere, leaving everyone, including the fans, blindsided and utterly devastated.

The Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who

No character in the history of television has said as many final words as the Doctor. "Doctor Who" first aired in 1963, and over a dozen actors, good and bad, have played the Doctor. The Doctor regenerates when he dies, so another actor steps in to take the place of whoever leaves the series, and in most cases, they offer profound goodbyes to the fans.

Everyone has their favorite Doctor (and favorite Doctor exit', and many of the Doctor's last words are hopeful and quite lovely. Of course, there are those who reminisce and say something truly heartbreaking. This is true of the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), who had the rare opportunity to say his last line multiple times. Thanks to some timey-wimey shenanigans, the Tenth Doctor died and returned repeatedly.

Each time The Doctor was about to regenerate, he simply said, "I don't want to go." These five words echo the fans' sentiment as well as Tennant's, who truly loved playing the character. When he returned to the series for the 50th anniversary special, he repeated these words, as there's nothing else he could have said to improve upon his original final thoughts.

Rex Van de Kamp in Desperate Housewives

Rex Van de Kamp (Steven Culp) and his wife, Bree (Marcia Cross), have a tumultuous relationship in "Desperate Housewives," leading to their separation. Eventually, Rex is hospitalized with a strange sickness that's later confirmed to be caused by ingesting potassium pills. These were supplied by Bree's would-be lover, George (Roger Bart), who wanted to get Rex out of the way.

Rex and Bree reconcile shortly before he learns of his poisoning, which he blames on his wife. At this time, Rex's health is failing rapidly, so he gets out a pad and pen to write a letter to Bree, which amounts to his final words. He writes, "Bree, I understand, and I forgive you." Unfortunately, he couldn't write anything else, as he died soon after.

Eventually, Bree learns the truth, and in an act of vengeance, she doesn't intervene to save George when he ingests pills, intending to force Bree to rescue him. Bree lets this happen, vindicating her late husband while coming to terms with her inadvertent part in his demise. Rex's final words are heartbreaking because he died believing his wife killed him and she had no way to change his mind.

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Glenn Rhee in The Walking Dead

Fans of "The Walking Dead" comics knew all too well that Glenn Rhee's (Steven Yeun) days were numbered on the television show. There were a couple of misdirects, but eventually, Glenn found himself kneeling before Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and there was no way he'd walk away from that.

Negan explains very clearly that he'll kill one of the survivors kneeling before him, which plays into the season finale's cliffhanger. Eventually, he settles on killing Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), and he beats him to death. Daryl (Norman Reedus) sucker-punches him, so Negan rebukes by killing Glenn next, beating him to death in front of his wife and friends. Negan hits him hard on the head, knocking his left eyeball from the socket. As he struggles from the blow, Glenn looks at his distraught wife and says, "I will find you." These are the last words Glenn utters on the show, and they're truly heartbreaking, as all anyone can do is watch him suffer.

Eddie Munson in Stranger Things

Eddie Munro (Joseph Quinn) is one of the most beloved characters on "Stranger Things," but he only stuck around for one season. Eddie is the school's local drug dealer and dungeon master, and he forms a bond with Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo). Eddie becomes the target of Hawkins' Satanic Panic surrounding Dungeons & Dragons, and he feels incredibly guilty for running when Chrissy (Grace Van Dien) died.

Eddie has an amazing redemption arc, playing Metallica's "Master of Puppets" in the Upside-Down to buy the group some time to stop Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower). He succeeds but is attacked by Vecna's army of bats, which tear him apart. Eddie doesn't die right away and has a brief moment with Dustin, who holds him in his arms as he succumbs to his injuries.

Eddie makes Dustin promise to protect everyone after he's gone. In his final moments, Eddie looks at Dustin and says, "I think it's finally my year," taking his last breath to say, "I love you, man." It's a tragic scene but also an amazing departure for the character — and best of all, Quinn improvised that heartbreaking final line in the moment.

Dean Winchester in Supernatural

It was something of a running joke on "Supernatural" that the main characters could die and return from one episode to the next. Dean (Jensen Ackles) died multiple times throughout the show's 15 seasons, having gone to Hell, turned into a demon, entered the veil, and more. Eventually, "Supernatural" wound down to its final season, and in the series finale, Dean dies for good.

While fighting a pack of vamps in a barn, Dean is thrown back into a wooden post with a piece of sharpened rebar. The steel goes right into Dean's back, likely puncturing his lung and delivering a fatal blow. When the dust settles, his brother, Sam (Jared Padalecki), tries to free him, but they both realize that Dean's luck has finally run out, and they have an emotional conversation.

Their conversation is heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time as they reminisce, and Dean makes Sam promise to let him go and to carry on without him. Sam reluctantly agrees, and he remains with him as he fades. After Sam tells his brother, "It's okay. You can go now," Dean looks into his brother's eyes and says, "Goodbye, Sam."

George Sr. in Young Sheldon

In the pilot episode of "Young Sheldon," Sheldon (Jim Parsons) says through narration that he wished he'd told his father more before he died. Fans of "The Big Bang Theory" knew Sheldon's dad died when he was young, so it was likely George Sr. (Lance Barber) would die before "Young Sheldon" concluded. The showrunners ended the series with George's passing off-screen.

The antepenultimate episode shows George Sr. doing something he did in many episodes: leaving the house for work. When he does this, he says the same thing he often said to his family: "See y'all later." This was George Sr.'s last words in the series, though nobody in his family knew that for some time. Later, two of George's coworkers arrive at the house to deliver some bad news. They tell his wife, Mary (Zoe Perry), that George died suddenly of a heart attack. The rest of the episode deals with the fallout of George Sr.'s death, and it's heartbreaking to know he left the family in such a normal, relatable way, making it hard to get over his passing.