There's nothing more shocking than when a show decides to off a character out of nowhere, killing off a cast member and leaving the audience reeling as a result.
However, usually us viewers can be sure that the cast and crew were aware of the forthcoming surprise, and had months of advance notice of where their character was headed (read: Heaven) long before we were made privy to that fact. And usually this assumption would be right, as actors often collaborate with the creators of the shows they star in to decide on the best direction for their character to take.
However, in recent years the cultural obsession with spoilers has meant many actors are kept in the dark about their fate, particularly on big budget shows, lest they spill the beans and ruin things. Even before this phenomenon, some less-than-cooperative actors were offed without their knowledge do filmmakers could continue shooting without them, as seen in this run down of ten tv deaths so surprising that not even the actors saw them coming.
10. Frank Dunphy (Fred Willard) - Modern Family
Now admittedly this one was more the fault of the actors involved than many of the entries on this list, as they could have seen this spoiler coming if they'd read the scripts. But this one has nonetheless taken on a poignant significance in recent weeks.
Modern Family star Sarah Hyland admitted during the show's recent final season earlier this year that she doesn't read the scripts of episodes her character isn't in, meaning she wasn't expecting the devastating death of her onscreen grandfather.
Played by comedy veteran Fred Willard, the kindly old character was offed to Hyland's surprise just a few months before Willard himself died suddenly shortly after the series wrapped for good.