13. Teri Bauer in 24
Portrayed by: Leslie Hope
Dies in: "11:00 P.M. - 12:00 A.M." (Season 1, Episode 24)
The first season of 24 is an exercise in breaking down TV conventions, right into the silently ticking seconds of the final hour, when the hero’s big reward for a day’s worth of saving lives, being put through the emotional wringer, and outing the agency mole, Nina Myers, is to discover that his wife already found Nina out, and caught a fatal bullet in the gut for it.
After saving his wife and daughter multiple times throughout the day, Jack makes it to Teri just in time for her to die in his arms. 24 would go on to kill off fan-favorite characters in bulk, but even if we didn’t quite care for Teri, this was a historically dark moment for TV, just for it’s total refusal of a happy ending.