Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), Breaking Bad
One good thing to come out of the writers' strike in 2008? Jesse Pinkman lived! Vince Gilligan never envisioned Walt and Jesse's complex, tortured journey together and had planned to kill Jesse off in the ninth episode of the first season in a bungled drug deal to consume Walt with guilt, but the strike shortened the season to seven episodes. In truth though, Gilligan was so taken by Paul's performance by the second episode that he knew it would be a "huge, colossal mistake" to off him. "I didn't know how damn good this guy was when I hired him," Gilligan said in 2010. Since his change of heart, Paul has won two Emmys, given us a billion epic cry faces
— and Jesse lived in the end. Yeah, bitch!