More gratuitous death than Maude Flanders?

I don’t want to hijack the Single Dad Sitcom thread so I’ll ask here. Has there been a more gratuitous death of an established character than the death of Maude Flanders on the Simpsons? She was knocked out of the top of the bleachers by a projectile free t-shirt.

The whale in Hitchhiker’s doesn’t count because it was created to die gratuitously. (And now I have a mental image of the poor thing wearing a red shirt.)

Tasha Yar?

John Ritter…

Kenny?

'Twasn’t gratuitous at all. Maggie Roswell wanted more money.

Rosalind Shays

Lord, yes! What a shock that was.

What show was Rosalind Shays in?

Now that makes sense. Thanks.

Tasha Yar was always going on away missions. Realistically, it had to catch up to a few of them somewhere along the line.

Kenny is a special case. Like the whale, it’s meant to be pointless. (Is Kenny’s sweatshirt red?)

Frankie Frame, a fan-favorite character on the cult soap opera Another World, was written out of the show via being brutally strangled to death on camera. Many people are still very upset about this.

That’s pretty scary. You have to love this viewer’s attitude:

The British spy drama Spooks (called MI-5 in the States I think) debuts. Episode one is the usual character-introduction/thin story affair, but we meet all the regular team. In episode 2 one of the “regular” team is tortured with, and drowned in, a deep fat fryer, in one of the most shocking and unexpected scenes I’ve ever seen. It got plenty of people talking about the show but boy was it gratuitous.

Weren’t the guest stars on Police Squad! killed off right away in every episode?

L.A. Law. She fell down an elevator shaft. Doors opened – no car. No foreshadowing either. If it had happened 20 years later, we would have been waiting for it.

If I remember right, the only reaction from the man she’d just been arguing with was a slight wince.

The episode title was “Good to the Last Drop”.

Rocket Romano.

As if having a helicopter prop sever your arm and being the constant victim of unrequieted love wasn’t enough.

Oh. My. God. This is beautiful. Simply beautiful.

How so?

Thanks, AuntiePam. I remember hearing about it, but hadn’t watched enough to know the character’s name.

The fryer death has me cringing. Damn, that’s nasty.

And I think I’m going to have to look into the Police Squad! question, mostly because it’s been too long since I’ve seen an episode. Weren’t they killed in the opening credits and never really a part of the shows? (Don’t bother answering, I’ll check.)

Heh. I still have an “I Miss Frankie” T-shirt. But the fans got their revenge (sort of). Less than three years after Frankie was killed off, the show was cancelled after 35 years on the air.

I thought the episode title was “Rosalind Gets the Shaft.”

Hah! I just bought that two days ago! At least for the first two, you’re right. The guest star is announced and killed immediately.

ETA: I should have said that Gangster Octopus, at least for the first two, is right.

What about Lara Flynn Boyle’s character on Las Vegas? Not a sitcom, but still an out-of-nowhere death.