Last week, Danger wrote about the must-see Game of Thrones season two death reel, which could be 183 minutes long and I’d watch every second. That show, maybe more than any other in history, does amazing violence and/or murder scenes, be they of the dragon or decapitation or demon smoke baby variety, so consider every GoT slaying and/or burning the honorary #1 on this list of TV’s most violent deaths. Some are from barbells, some are from swords, some are from punches, some are from elevators, but they’re all hard to watch — except for the dude who gets his face sliced off. That’s kind of cool. For the spoiler averse, I’ve included the name of the show on the next slide at the bottom of every page, so you can skip over it if need be.
Next: Breaking Bad
#10. Tortuga and DEA Agents on Breaking Bad
Hector and Walt’s elaborate homage to their favorite John Woo movie would have also worked here, but the tortoise explosion, featuring Danny Trejo’s head, in season two’s “Negro y Azul” is funnier, and Breaking Bad loves their darkly comical murder scenes. Like so:
Next: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
#9. Warren on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Most of the violence on Buffy was of the campy variety, in that it was both not scary and inexpensive looking. Shockingly, Kelly Kelly didn’t bring in the big bucks for the WB. But by season six, Joss Whedon & Co. occasionally splurged on a neat-looking special effect, like that time Dark Willow went all Xipe Totec and flayed Warren, who, to be fair, did have it coming after that whole Buffy Bot thing. Plus, oh yeah, killing Tara. It’s an especially horrific image from a show that only a few episodes earlier had devoted an entire song to mustard-stained shirts.
Next: Sons of Anarchy
#8. Elian Perez on Sons of Anarchy
The Parents Television Council page on Sons of Anarchy is a must-read for any fan of unintentional comedy.
Depictions of violence are frequent and explicit. The show features shootings, stabbings, and beatings; dead bodies crushed beneath cars; burned corpses; and a man killed by an axe to the head. In season one, Clay uses a cattle castration knife to cut off a rapist’s testicles, which are shown lying in a pool of blood. In the season two premiere, League members gang-rape and beat Gemma unconscious. Samcro biker Opie shoots a rival biker dead and mutilates his corpse by carving an anarchy symbol into bare flesh. Sex scenes include a female biker groupie stripping down to a bra and thong and straddling Jax. In season two, Samcro becomes partners in a hardcore pornography studio. There are frequent scenes of porn actors and actresses in only thongs and nipple coverings. Language includes multiple uses of “s***,” “ass****” and “douchebag” every episode. (Via)
They’re not doing a very good job dissuading people from watching the show. In fact, that description alone vaulted the (wrongful) murder of Elian Perez, who Tig shot in the jaw before Opie finished him off and cut the aforementioned “A” in the man’s chest, over Happy’s icepick stabbing of Mayan Esai Alvarez.
Next: Six Feet Under
#7. Kenneth MacDonald Henderson on Six Feet Under
Or, why I hate elevators. Every episode of Six Feet Under began with the death of a random stranger, to the show’s viewers at least, whose corpse would eventually make it to Fisher & Sons Funeral Home. Outside of SFU‘s series premiere, which set off the events of the entire show, the most notable of these cold open deaths occurred in the final episode of season four: four people are stuck in an elevator, one climbs out, and while assisting a pregnant woman…well, just watch. This scene, and that “Itchy & Scratchy” where Scratchy has his fur torn off because he’s stuck on an escalator, are the best pro-walking advertisements ever.
RIP Kenneth MacDonald Henderson.
#6. Sedullus on Spartacus
Earlier this year, FuneralWise.com published a report named “2012 TV Body Count Study Results: Summary, Background & Methodology,” which counted the number of deaths in various bloody TV shows. Among their findings: “The Starz series Spartacus: Vengeance topped all shows with an average of 25 dead bodies per episode, followed by HBO’s Game of Thrones with 14 dead bodies per episode.” The scene below is actually from the first season of Spartacus, but same difference, really; there’s an insane amount of bloodshed and, to quote the title of a YouTube video, “Spartacus cuts dudes face off.” And then his brain falls out. Here’s a GIF!
#5. Patrick Keenan and Antonio Nappa in Oz
Here are but a few ways the inmates and employees of Oswald State Correctional Facility were murdered:
- Tortured and dismembered
- Hanged from a basketball goal in the gym
- Throat slashed with a razor blade
- Pushed down an elevator shaft
- Electrocuted to death while in the bathtub
And so on. The writers of Oz needed to be clever in their death scenes because there were so many — well over 200 in only 56 episodes. I’m going with Patrick Keenan and Antonio Nappa because they were murdered in two totally different, yet equally brutal ways: the former had his skull crushed with a barbell, and the latter (played by Mark Margolis, a.k.a. Tio from Breaking Bad) was pricked with a needle and infected with AIDS by Mr. Eko before being smothered to death with a pillow. George Michael said it best:
Next: The Wire
#4. Devar Manigault on The Wire
The majority of the deaths on The Wire were of the gunshot variety. Heartbreaking, yes, but the brutality of, say, Bodie’s death wasn’t because it was terrifyingly violent, at least compared to the other selections on this list (yes, I felt weird typing that); rather, it was brutal in the sense that we had grown to love the character, and OMG HOW COULD THEY DO THAT TO BODIE. Devar Manigault, stepfather to Michael Lee, wasn’t so lucky. He sexually abused his stepson when Michael was a child, and shortly after he’s released from prison, he’s beaten to death by Chris, who, as Snoop remarks, “didn’t even wait to get the motherf*cker in the house.” That Snoop, such comic relief.
Next: The X-Files
#3. The Wee Baby Peacock on The X-Files
THIS episode. I was nine years old when “Home” first aired, which was old enough to watch The Simpsons on Fox but young enough to be totally terrified of X-Files promos, especially when they involved mutant babies born out of incest being buried alive. It wasn’t until two years ago that I finally saw “Home,” set in Pennsylvania, and it was just as horrifying (and great) as I feared (and wished). Even its origin story is messed up:
“Home” marked the return of writers James Wong and Glen Morgan, who had left after the second season to create Space: Above and Beyond. After returning to the series, the duo decided to write a shocking story to “start off with a bang.” The episode was inspired by a tale in Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography, about the time he stayed at a tenement home while touring in a British musical theatre. After dinner, the family took him upstairs to meet their son – and pulled him out from under a bed. The son had no arms and legs and flopped around while they sang and danced (Via)
“Home” is why babies should be illegal.
#2. Captain Joe Turner on Deadwood
This is the only scene from Deadwood I’ve ever seen. I want to watch the entire show RIGHT NOW.
Next: The Sopranos
#1. Tracee on The Sopranos
Tracee just wanted to make Tony Soprano some bread. That simple action, a thank you to her Bada Bing boss for suggesting that she take her son to the doctor, set off The Soprano‘s most violent chain of events. Over the course of season three’s “University,” the following happens: Tracee gets pregnant with Ralph Cifaretto’s baby, Tracee asks Tony whether she should keep the kid, Tony suggests she have an abortion, Tracee insults Ralphie in front of the other mobsters for laughing at her when Silvio pushed her around for taking time off work, Ralphie and Tracee have a threesome with a police officer, Ralphie consoles Tracee outside the Bing, Ralphie calls Tracee’s unborn daughter a “c*cksucking slob,” Tracee slaps Ralphie, and finally, Ralphie viciously beats Tracee to death in a parking lot. This is TV’s most violent death not only because it happened to a woman, but also because Tracee was a decent person. Unlike The Wire‘s Devar, a bad guy whose death we rooted for, the worst thing Tracee ever did was get involved with hothead Ralphie, who would later, well, y’know.