When we watch a TV show we love, it’s normal to feel emotionally invested in the characters. When something major happens to them — they find love, they experience loss, they have a moment of growth — we’re experiencing that with them. That’s why it’s such a big deal when a TV character dies. Even though we know that it’s just an actor playing a part on the screen, it’s still possible to feel totally devastated.
Of course, in the world of television, things are not always what they seem. Sometimes, a character is only presumed dead, but they’re actually still alive. Unless a character actually has a proper sendoff on camera — where you, as the viewer, can actually confirm they are dead — there’s always a chance that they’ll come back. Depending on the show, this can either be a wild, exciting plot twist, or a completely unrealistic turn of events.
It’s pretty obvious to tell when a character has been (temporarily) killed off for shock value. In some cases, a series just needs a good ratings boost — and nothing drives viewers to the screen like the potential of a fan-favorite character biting the dust. But if the character who dies also happens to be the show’s namesake — for example, Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer — you really shouldn’t be surprised when they return unscathed.
Below, you’ll find 10 of the least convincing death fake-outs in TV history. All of these shows have been out for at least a year, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about spoilers — unless you’re just now getting around to binge-watching Game of Thrones.
The 10 Least Convincing Fake TV Deaths
Did these “shocking” TV deaths actually fool anyone?
10 TV Actors Who Were Replaced For Controversial Reasons
These actors were replaced from hit shows under clouds of controversy.