Days are getting shorter and it’s starting to feel slightly cooler outside. It’s the end of summer and the beginning of autumn where leaves start to fall and orange spiced everything is available for mass consumption. This new season also signifies going back to school, starting something new whether it be a different job or living in another city. Whatever the case may be, it’s for sure an emotional ride.
Thank goodness for entertaining television though, right?
Characters and stories that make us laugh or even thrill us from time to time. As we escape into this electric current of wonders of dreams, there are moments where are favorite television character or show throw a big bag of onions into the mix that has us headed straight for the box. The tissue box that is. Whether it be hilarious comedies and outrageous cartoons to blood-thirsty zombies and family dramas, you become connected to these characters and feel like they’re your own family. You begin to feel their pain and cry along with every character in the show.
How did I arrive at these picks? Well, I’ve seen a ton of television, including each and every show below. I guess you can say it’s my job to watch movies and television and I thought it would it would be an entertaining journey, revisiting these certain moments that provoked a real emotion out of me.
Now I know there might be some left off this list, but let me assure you, I thought about them (including ‘The Office’.)
So if you’re all in for a good cry down memory lane, ahead are several of the saddest moments in television.
Be warned though, there are spoilers down below and you can rest assured you’ll be a sobbing mess by the end.
How I Met Your Mother: Season 6 – Episode 13 “Bad News”
How I Met Your Mother is not known for being a tear-inducing show. On the contrary, it’s a light-hearted series about a group of friends who hang out and live the joys of life around another. You can say it is a 1st cousin to the hit 90’s show ‘FRIENDS’, but set in a more modern era. In this episode called “Bad News”, a ton of different emotions will hit you and no matter if you’ve seen every episode or just the one, you are bound to grab the tissues and cry.
Married couple Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alysson Hannigan) have been trying to have children for a while now, but have been unsuccessful. Marshall wants to talk to his father about it but doesn’t because he’s afraid his sperm are no good and because he only talks to his dad when there is good news abound. Later on in the episode, Marshall’s mom and dad stop by for a surprise visit where Marshall tells them about the situation, and they repeat that they love him no matter what.
Marshall then goes to the fertility clinic to get his sperm tested, then out to the bar with his friends to await the news. He then receives the call saying his sperm are perfect and that they can proceed. Marshall then tries to call his dad and tell him the good news, but his father doesn’t answer. Lily arrives at the bar and sadly tells Marshall that his dad suffered a big heart attack and that he passed away.
This is where the waterworks happen because Marshall’s performance of confusion and pain of the situation is very real. In fact, Jason Segel was not aware of what was going to happen in the scene and this is his real reaction. Marshall, in shock, says, “My dad’s dead?” You can see him trying to make sense of it all. Lily and Marshall hug tightly as the camera pulls away and Marshall states in tears, “I’m not ready for this.” The performances are raw and spot on which make this comedy show a heart-breaker at this moment.
Cheers: Season 1 – Episode 5 “Coach’s Daughter”
I don’t recall a sitcom ever having such a heart-rending and sweet moment so early on in their broadcast. Usually, these more impactful moments happen in later seasons, way down the line. With such a funny show like ‘Cheers’ though, they brought the tears early on, particularly in its 5th episode.
This show was an escape for a lot of people where all kinds of citizens would take a breather from a long hard day and visit their favorite bar, “Where everyone knows your name.” I think we all yearn for something like that. It’s crazy cast of bar-tenders and busboys, and local drinkers all became household names quickly and made us laugh often.
One of the characters was named Ernie, but everyone referred to him as Coach, who was Sam’s old baseball coach, now turned bartender at the establishment. Coach was a good man who gave great advice and cared for people in his own way. He had been around the block and know life’s punches, including his wife dying many years prior.
In this specific episode, Coach’s daughter Lisa enters the fray with her new fiance, Roy. This guy is bad news and treats Lisa unfavorably. Nobody likes him, especially Coach. After witnessing the harshness of Roy, Coach takes his daughter into the office room in the back of the bar to have a talk with her.
He forbids her from marrying Roy because he doesn’t treat her right, where Lisa confesses that she knows he’s a no-good dude and that she is only marrying him because he asked and that she doubts anyone else would ever marry her.
Her dad then tells her that she’s so beautiful and that she looks just like her mother. Lisa agrees and states, “Exactly! I look just like mom and she wasn’t….” – her dad interrupts her with a dumbfounded look. He tells her that her mother was more beautiful every day he was with her and that she is the most beautiful kid in the world as his voice cracks with sadness.
It’s such an endearing moment between a father and daughter and while it might not get an ugly-cry like most of these on this list, it still conjures up the big waterworks with me. Hell, even Neil Gaiman wrote about it in his book ‘American Gods’.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 – Episode 16 “The Body”
A show about vampires you say? Yes, a show about vampires and demons made this list and for good reason. Joss Whedon perfectly conjured up a fantastical universe into tv series that was part horror, part comedy, part drama, with a mix of musical theatre and silent film. There still has been nothing like it on television to this day. There were a lot of sad moments in this show (Tara’s death, anyone?), but nothing like the entire episode of “The Body”, which Whedon directed himself.
In the show, Buffy has the superpowers to fight evil and send all of the vicious demons and vampires back to hell with the help of her high-school friends. In this particular episode though, Buffy is completely powerless when she finds out her mother Joyce has suddenly died from a brain aneurysm. The effect this episode has is striking in many ways as it tackles very real emotions and actions dealing with all aspects of death and loved ones.
Even more so, the actress Kristine Sutherland who played Joyce Summers (mother to Buffy and Dawn) had a deep connection with every main character in the show, which made the episode harder to deal with in every character’s perspective. More importantly, Whedon decided to NOT use music of any kind in this episode, which is strange because music is a big part of the show.
But as the episode progresses, we see the heart-breaking scene of Buffy discovering her lifeless mother and not being able to save her. We also witness the meltdown of several characters, a first kiss, anger in the grieving process, and to top it all off – a speech from the character Anya about death and why we all face it.
Happy Days: Season 5 – Episode 18 “Richie Almost Dies”
Usually, this tv show was exactly like its title suggested – happy. But in one episode, it was anything but that emotion that made us smile. In the duration of the series, we got to know the gang, one of them being the epitome of cool in The Fonz, played by Henry Winkler. With his leather jacket and ability to slap anything and make it work perfectly, along with riding a motorcycle and having well-coiffed hair – he was the all-American cool guy. Everyone just wanted to be like Fonzie. In this episode though, we saw a different and much more vulnerable side of The Fonz, which allowed Winkler to showcase his incredible acting chops in a super emotional scene.
In the episode, Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) buys a bike from Fonzie and is involved in a bad crash shortly after. Richie falls into a coma, where the rest of the gang talk about how much they love him and we see some clips of his previous episodes.
The segment though that tugs at those tear ducts are when Richie is laid out in the hospital bed, deep in a coma, where The Fonz comes to visit him alone. Fonzie looks to the ceiling and begs God to help his friend recover as his voice cracks and he begins to cry. The cool guy has never been portrayed in this susceptible state, but it worked perfectly and had a profound effect on the masses, due to Winkler’s wonderful performance.
It’s also of note that this emotional scene was added when school teachers requested that Fonzie break down in tears as to show kids who admired him that the cool guys can be emotional too.
Scrubs: Season 3 – Episode 14 “My Screw Up”
I was torn between two moments in Scrubs. I know I could have gone with the episode where Dr. Cox has a mental breakdown after losing four patients. It’s an emotional ride to see our favorite guy who always holds it together completely lose his grip. But instead, I went with this particular episode because it hits harder and is absolutely unexpected.
Scrubs is mostly known for being the happy-go-lucky, silly show with tons of laughs, but every now and again they had some extremely moving sequences. But the one that takes the cake is with Brendan Fraser’s last appearance on the show as a character named Ben (Dr. Cox’s best friend and brother-in-law).
This marks the third time Ben has been on the show. The two episodes prior showed Ben as a funny-as-hell guy who we all instantly fell in love with. Turns out, he had leukemia, but with the help of Dr. Cox, he healed up and went into remission.
Two years later, Ben shows back up at Sacred Heart to see everyone and to attend Dr. Cox’s son’s birthday. Ben said he’s been feeling fine but hasn’t been going to his regular check-ups to see if cancer has reappeared. Dr. Cox and J.D. coax him to get tested just in case. As this is happening, a patient who was having some irregular breathing problems dies on the spot and Dr. Cox blames J.D. for the death and tells him to go home.
Throughout the rest of the episode, Ben tries to get Dr. Cox to relax, forgive J.D., and not to forget his son’s birthday. Eventually, Dr. Cox accepts this and heads out of the hospital from a 60-hour workday. Dr. Cox even forgives himself for treating his psyche so hard as he arrives.
That’s when J.D. asks him, “Where do you think you are?” Cox is in fact NOT at his son’s birthday, but at Ben’s funeral and is joined by most of the case at the cemetery. The patient who died earlier in the episode was indeed Ben and Dr. Cox went into denial until this moment where he must confront the death of his best friend as a steady stream of tears rolls down his face. It’s a poignant moment because we’ve never seen this character this sensitive before, where he allows everyone to console him.
M*A*S*H: Season 11 – Episode 16 “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”
It’s predictable that this would be on the list, but here it is and for good reason. This show was one of the biggest television series for its time. We all watched every week as the 4077th dealt with the Korean War in their own ways. There were many sad moments throughout, but none quite like the series finale. As the war was coming to an end, we got to spend one last moment with Hawkeye, Hot Lips, and Klinger as they shut down the camp.
The most heartbreaking scene though involves Hawkeye as we see him in a mental hospital at the start of the episode. We don’t know why he is there, but he’s talking with a psychiatrist about his mental breakdown. Hawkeye was usually the jokester of the series and had a coolness about him, but in this episode, we see him in a completely different light.
As the episode goes on, the psychiatrist tries to figure out what went wrong, which is where Hawkeye tells him about being on a bus with some refugees, where the Chinese army showed up. The bus had to turn off the engine and lights and keep extremely silent in order not to be seen and captured. Some woman’s chicken started to make noise and cluck, which endangered everyone, so Hawkeye yelled out her to keep the chicken quiet. The woman then smothers the chicken to protect the bus full of people from meeting their demise.
After he tells this story comes the teardrops. Hawkeye realizes it wasn’t a chicken, but the woman’s newborn baby. She smothered her own baby to keep everyone alive, which causes Hawkeye to lose it and sob uncontrollably. And we know now that he has finally stopped suppressing that horrible incident and can start to move forward and heal. What a bummer of a scene. Over 105 million people watched this episode and I can guarantee you that all of them had waterworks on their face.
The Walking Dead: Season 6 – Episode 4 “Here’s Not Here”
I know you’re thinking how a zombie show, let along The Walking Dead could make this list, but before the series jumped the shark, there was a treasure trove of melodramatic sequences. One could say that Merle Dixon’s death was one of the sadder moments, but I disagree. While that was super tragic, it doesn’t compare to the entire episode listed here, which could arguably be one of the finer episodes in television history.
This particular episode featured only one of the regular cast members through its duration, being Morgan (Lennie James), who is one of the best actors out there. Up until this point, we have only had a slice of what Morgan went through from seeing him and his son in the pilot episode. Here though, we get a glimpse of the horrors he endured and the humanity that he though was once gone forever, shining through again and changing him for the rest of his life.
From what we know, Morgan lost himself after the death of his family and set up a camp for only himself and killed anyone who dare enter, both zombies and humans alike. He was unmerciful, that is until he finally met up with Rick again for a brief moment. After this chance encounter, they parted ways again only to cross paths yet again where Morgan transformed into a stoic man who learned aikido and had stopped killing completely, except for the blood-thirsty undead who got to close.
This episode is that story of how he changed from a ruthless killer into a peaceful man, which didn’t come easy. In this installment, Morgan comes across a man named Eastman, played perfectly by John Carroll Lynch, who even was nominated for awards for his guest spot on the show.
Eastman tries to help Morgan but is met with a fight, which Eastman knocks out Morgan and ends up in a barred cell he has created. Once imprisoned, Morgan pleads for Eastman to kill him, but instead, he gives his prisoner some advice on the “Art of Peace”. Eastman then tends to his little plot of land and feeds his goat Tabitha and tries to milk her. As the days pass, Eastman reveals a little of himself to Morgan, saying he was a forensic psychiatrist and soon realizes Morgan has severe PTSD from the loss of his family he has never dealt with.
From here, Morgan slowly starts to change when Eastman heads out on an errand and Morgan has to save Tabitha the goat from being eaten by zombies. Realizing his cell was never locked, he saves the goat and Eastman and Morgan forms a friendship, where he teaches him Aikido and to be the peaceful man he knows he can be.
In the climactic scene of the show, Morgan is faced with a zombie of someone he killed prior. In a moment of weakness, he freezes when Eastman saves him but is bitten. Morgan regresses to his old self, but when coming across a pair of survivors needing help, he picks up the bo staff and realizes what he was taught be Eastman is the correct way. He then heads back to help his friend, but he is turning into a zombie as other vicious corpses are feating on Tabitha the goat.
In a tear-jerking scene, Eastman uses his last breath to bequeath all of his teachings and possessions to Marogan, even that of his daughter’s last gift to him. It’s a highly powerful moment as Morgan has to kill his new friend and bury them. Even if it was the death of Tabitha or Eastman, who we instantly grew to love in this longer-than-normal episode, or that Morgan had the hope to live another day and reunite with Rick – this episode caused everyone to shed tears, as humanity will always win out.
The Simpsons: Season 7 – Episode 8 “Mother Simpson”
Sadness and grabbing the tissues are not something you’d coincide with the longest-running comedy show on television – The Simpsons. In fact, you’re probably laughing and quoting the funny lines on a daily basis. There have been only a handful of times where the waterworks opened up. One of those being when we realized why Homer still worked a job he hated (it was because of Maggie – Do it for Her). But I think the saddest moment from the series thus far has a bigger impact, which is when Homer finally sees his mother for the first time in 27 years. Nothing could compare us for their emotional reunion and Homer’s funny, yet sentimental state.
The episode starts off funny enough where Mr. Burns forces the power plant employees to clean up a highway. Homer wants no part of this and fakes his own death to get out of work. Classic Homer move. As he’s done this, the whole town thinks he’s dead, where Marge has him go to the government office to fix the mess he’s created. That’s when he finds out that his mother is alive, where he had been led to believe she had died when he was a baby.
Homer sets out to prove it by heading to the cemetery to his mother’s grave only for the grave to be Walt Whitman’s grave, which gives way to a great joke about Homer actually knowing who Walt Whitman is. Homer then falls into a freshly made grave for himself in his confusion but is helped out by an old woman who is actually his mother. The two tenderly embrace and the Simpson family meet Homer.
From here, we see Homer question why his mother left for 27 years and never contacted him, saying, “I guess I was just a horrible son and no mother would want me.” Marge then says he is a sweet and loving man, which then Homer asks, “Then why did she leave me?”
The Simpsons then confront Mother Simpson (Glenn Close), and she tells them that when Homer was a baby, she joined a hippie faction that protested Mr. Burns’ power plant that was dead set on poisoning the residents of Springfield with germs. Her and the hippie movement set off a bomb that killed all the germs in the lab and while everyone ran out of the power plant and trampled Mr. Burns, Mother Simpson went back to check on him. That’s when the police showed up and started to arrest people, which led Mother Simpson to run and go into hiding as they were still on the lookout for her.
She told Homer that she sent a care package every week, but it went undelivered. While they went to pick up all the leftover care packages, she is spotted by the police and has to leave Homer once again. Homer and Marge understand that she was doing this to protect her family all along.
Homer and his mother share a final moment alone together before the ride takes her off into hiding again. In this super sad sequence, she tells her son, “Remember, whatever happens, you have a mother, and she’s truly proud of you.” They hug and she’s off. The episode comes to an end as Homer sits on top of his car and looks into the night sky of the stars shining down upon him while Alf Clausen’s beautiful score plays. Homer feels whole and complete that he knows now he has a mother who loves him. What a powerful scene.
Game of Thrones: Season 6 – Episode 5 “The Door”
Game of Thrones is a milestone in television. The amount of work and production that went into this show is outstanding. Additionally, the dense history and numerous characters that we grew to love and hate on the show all made a big impact on us and culture. Nothing had ever been done like Game of Thrones before. While this fantasy-action show is not known for inducing tears to stream, it still had a couple of moments of pure sadness. And no, I’m not talking about The Red Wedding. That episode was more shocking than it was sad.
I do believe that most emotional moment from the series involved everyone’s favorite one-word character Hodor. A ton of big events happened in this episode, including the origin of the White Walkers, Jorah’s undying love and devotion for Daenerys, Jon Snow’s plan to take on the Bolton’s and much more. But most importantly, we get to see the origins and ultimately extremely sad death of Hodor.
This worked so well because as we see Hodor’s death, we also get a big origin to reveal of the lovable character and why he was only able to mutter one word. This followed a highly intense action scene that involved the Night King, zombies, and White Walkers.
In the chaotic scene, the Three-Eyed Raven is transferring knowledge to Bran about the impending armies, while Bran hears the cries of Meera and Hodor who are trying to save his body from being killed. Bran splits his consciousness to control Hodor in the present as the zombies and Night King being to attack. The three take Bran through a tunnel and plan to escape with Hodor closing the door behind them, keeping the villains at bay. Meera yells to Hodor to “hold the door”, while they escape, which causes the wights to literally tear him apart and eat him.
His death causes Bran to enter Hodor’s mind as a young kid where he’s known as Wylis, which forges a connection to a young and the present Hodor. In this time-travel of telepathy scene, Bran being inside of the young Wylis’ causes him to suffer a severe seizure, hearing Meera yell “Hold the Door”, which causes him to yell that over and over until it slurs into “Hodor”, which is now all he can say.
As Hodor is viciously killed, we find out that for most of his life, he has known what was coming, but couldn’t verbalize it. The way this episode played out brought on the most tears in the series history in my opinion as the most lovable and likable character was put to death in a gruesome way, while finding out his tragic origins at the same time. What a perfect episode.
WWE Monday Night Raw: November 14, 2005 “Eddie Guerrero Tribute”
Yes, people, pro-wrestling can have emotional moments too that have you grabbing the Kleenex. Whether it being someone winning the World-Heavyweight titles, a tender retirement speech, or one wrestler telling another they love them in their final match, these characters and people have moved into our hearts for the long haul.
Nothing quite compares to the down-right ugly crying that happened on November 14, 2005, from not just the audience in person and watching at home, but by all the wrestling super-stars too. Eddie Guerrero was one of the best pro-wrestlers to ever lived. Full Stop. His untimely death was acute heart failure due to underlying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, where his brother discovered him in his hotel room.
The following night on Monday Night Raw, all storylines were canceled and a tribute to Eddie was in place. The show started with every single pro-wrestler standing out front in the center at the top of the stage, their hands crossed in front, while a 10-bell salute sounded off. Then a montage video of the great moments of Eddie played while Johnny Cash’s version of ‘Hurt’ played through the arena and at home. There was not a dry eye in the house, and to see each and every wrestler not able to hold back tears, was something else.
In between a few matches that weren’t pertinent to the storylines in place, including the last match with Eddie’s brother finishing the show with Eddie’s signature frog splash, there were a series of interviews where certain wrestlers agreed to say their final words to Eddie, each one of them coming to tears and not being able to finish the interview. Stephanie McMahon, John Cena, Kurt Angle, and Rey Mysterio all broke down over the loss of their friend, but one person stuck out in particular. That was Eddie’s best friend Chris Benoit, who could barely get a word out but could only cry for his friend in an uncontrollable way. It was raw emotion pouring out and it affected everyone watching. I still miss Eddie.
LOST: Season 3 – Episode 23 “Through the Looking Glass”
Has it really been 12 or more years since the hit landmark series ‘LOST’ graced our airwaves? Time has flown by for sure, but I guess the time wasn’t really an issue in that show. For a show that messed with our minds consistently each week with the sci-fi aspects, time jumps, and multiple characters, the showrunners still managed to get a good bit of sentiment in each episode. From always asking “Are they on the island? Are they off the island? Where in the hell is the polar bear?”, we all grew attached to these characters over time. Perhaps the one character we loved most was Charlie Pace, played by the adventurous hobbit, Dominic Monaghan.
Not everyone survived this show. Well – in fact, if you watched the series finale, you could say that nobody survived, but perhaps the saddest moment on this show was that of the sacrifice of Charlie Pace. I’m sure some will try and through the hat in for Jinn and Sun, but it’s not on par with Charlie’s story and ultimate demise, which is just so poignant.
In the show, Charlie Pace was a successful rock star in the band Drive Shaft known for the song “You all everybody”. His personal life though was in shambles as he was a big heroin junkie, before that infamous plane debacle on the island. Through his time on the show, Charlie became friends with everyone, kicked his drug habit, fell in love with a pregnant woman and took care of her kid, and more.
In the season finale of season three, Charlie had become the fan-favorite of the show, which made his loss all the more tragic and powerful in that he led a life of only thinking about himself, but in his final moments, gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Charlie swam down to the Looking Glass station to shut down the mechanical device that was blocking the transmissions to the island. An explosion happened and the Looking Glass began to flood. Charlie pushed out his friend Desmond after succeeding in his mission to let him live, while Charlie wrote those three horrifying words to warn the others just before he drowned. “Not Penny’s Boat”. His death ended the season and everyone, including me, was super upset about it. He is still one of the best characters on tv who you’d want to hang out with in real life.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Season 4 – Episode 24 “Papa’s Got A Brand New Excuse”
Nobody would ever think that this show could cause you to cry. And not just cry, but I mean ugly-snot sob cry. Will Smith is one of the biggest superstars in the world. When he first came on the scene, he was a hip-hop rapper with his friend, which led to him getting his own comedy show. This show became one of the biggest sitcoms of the 1990s, and then, of course, to Will became the big action-blockbuster movie star he is today. Will Smith is a damn good actor as we’ve seen time and time again, but we got that first glimpse way back with Fresh Prince in this episode.
This scene not only proved that a silly-ass sitcom can have heavy emotional gut-punch that leaves you wailing in the fetal position when you just think about it, but it also showed a very different side to Will Smith. Before this, we really only saw his comedic and musical chops. He was quick with a joke and made you smile no matter what. However, with this brief 4-minute segment, Will Smith has all of us in heavy tears. Not only us watching at home, but if you listen closely, you can hear crying on set, which was actress Karyn Parsons (Hillary), backstage getting emotional at the scene. Also of note that proves Will’s impressive acting chops, the whole emotional rant was improvised by him. Pure genius.
As we’ve known in the show and its iconic theme song, Will was raised by his mother after his father left the family at a young age and had no contact with them. Will was being raised on the mean streets in Philadelphia, but she thought it would be a good idea to move him with his uncle and aunt in a uber-nice neighborhood in California, where his cousin Carlton and his Uncle Phil (a respected judge) could look after Will better and keep on the right track.
With this particular episode though, Will’s father who hasn’t seen in almost 15 years comes back into his life. Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivian are not so keen on this, but Will just wants his father back in his life and is quick to forgive him. The father/son duo have a couple of good days together, bonding over sports and things alike, where his father Lou invites Will to help drive his truck for the summer. Will jumps at the chance to spend more time with his father, but it causes a fight between himself and Uncle Phil, leaving Will to storm out of the house.
As Will is finishing packing upstairs to leave with his dad, Lou tells Uncle Phil that he can’t take Will with him and is leaving without telling him. Phil won’t do his dirty work, where Will catches his dad just before he sneaks out cowardly. Lou explains, and Will being heartbroken again, calmly accepts and calls him Lou and not “dad”, knowing he will never see him again.
As Lou walks out, Will tries to brush it off with an awkward comedy, but his emotions take over and we get perhaps the best passionate, angry rant in a sitcom ever. After his big and deserved outburst, Will breaks down in tears and asks, “How come he don’t want me, man?” Uncle Phil and Will embrace in a hug and the show ends. It’s a guaranteed tear-jerker.
Six Feet Under: Season 5 – Episode 12 “Everyone’s Waiting”
HBO hit a home-run with this series. Never in my life have I been connected this way to a television character like I was with Six Feet Under. For five years I felt part of the Fisher family. It was a darkly funny and emotional roller coaster for five seasons, where it wasn’t uncommon to get choked up every episode, but nothing compared to the series finale’s last moments. Hell, in that case, the show’s last four episodes.
If you’ve never seen this show, you should do yourself a favor and binge it. Bring tissue from Costco, because you’re gonna need the reserves here. The series follows a family-run mortuary business in Los Angeles and weaves in and out of their lives that are complicated, to say the least.
A few episodes before the series finale, the main star of the show Nate Fisher’s previous brain aneurysm comes back and he passes away. It throws everyone for a loop, both in the show and its audience. Tears flowed for sure. But in the series finale, things look up for everyone as Claire is about to set out on a cross country journey to pursue her dream of photography in New York.
After a heartfelt and tearful goodbye to her family, she gets in her car and puts in Ted’s un-cool mix and Sia’s song “Breathe Me” begins to play. As Claire is driving cross country, we get a montage of flash-forwards of every major character in the series, showing everyone’s life and eventual death play out. We see tearful reunions, kids getting older, marriages, and loved ones passing away, even telling us what year and how old each character was, ending on Claire, who lived to be 102 years old.
This is definitely the best ending to any television show to ever grace the small screen – hands down. Living with these characters from 2000-2005 felt like I was losing my own family and it still has me crying if I watch this show or even hear that “Breathe Me” song. This show deserved a proper and elegant sendoff and it got exactly that. What of the trie finer moments in tv history, and perhaps the most emotional one.
Futurama: Season 4 – Episode 7 “Jurassic Bark”
Congratulations! You have reached the conclusion of this weepy, sad-as-hell list. And with a comedy cartoon no less. For those of you who don’t know Futurama that well and think, “How the hell can this be sad in any way?”, well you just don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m willing to bet the farm that anyone who watches this particular episode, whether or not you’ve seen every episode 100 times or have never watched this series in your life – you will ball your eyes out in this installment of Futurama.
The creators of Futurama “killed” an entire audience watching at home when Jurassic Bark first aired all those years ago. This series was the more intellectual sci-fi version of The Simpsons, that had a mix of some of the smartest and silliest humor on television. The characters were completely developed and every storyline was meaningful and had unbelievably good jokes. The show throughout its multi-run on the tv waves won numerous awards and paved the way for other series.
In this episode though, the house was brought down and there wasn’t a dry eye on the house for days. Even still thinking about this episode and trying to explain it chokes me up. How could a lovable and ridiculous cartoon evoke this type of emotion out of me, let alone everyone else who has watched it? Turns out, the concocted a story that is timeless, true, and unwavering with sadness, especially a Mike-Tyson powered gut punch at the end that will leave you in complete shambles every time.
Futurama has had its share of emotional moments for sure, including Fry visiting his brother’s grave, his love relationship with Leela, Bender’s origin, and more. But nothing brings out the ugly cry quite like Jurassic Bark.
The episode starts out where Fry and Bender visit a history museum that has uncovered a pizzeria similar to where Fry worked 1000 years ago but was “accidentally” frozen in 1999. Fry and his robot friend look around, where Fry realizes they have the fossilized remains of his pet dog from 1999.
Fry and Bender steal the dog, he named Seymour, because Professor Farnsworth claims to be able to clone the dog from its DNA so Fry can have his old best friend back. As the episode progresses, we see Fry getting his apartment ready for Seymour, which has Bender becoming increasingly jealous and mean. On the other hand, we have flashback sequences of Fry and his dog hanging out and living together – being best friends and singing pop songs.
At the end of the episode, Professor Farnsworth is about to clone the Seymour, when he discovers that the dog lived to be 15 years old, meaning that he lived for 12 more years after Fry got frozen.
Fry then cancels the cloning process and states that if Seymour has lived that much longer, then he probably went on to lead a happy life with a new family and forgot all about him, but that he still loved Seymour. In fact, he says, “I’ll never forget him, but he forgot me a long time ago.” (The most un-true words ever spoken.) The cloning is stopped and Fry takes one last look at his beloved fossilized dog as everyone exits the room.
After that, we get a flashback montage that reveals that Seymour the dog was completely loyal to Fry and obeyed his last command, which was, “Wait right here for me.” Seymour waited in the same spot for 12 years as the montage shows the seasons change and Seymour getting old, waiting for Fry to come back. In the end, poor Seymour is very old, lays down, closes his eyes, and passes away in that same spot. “I Will Wait for You” from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg as sung by Connie Francis as the montage plays out, which makes it all the sadder.
Every time I think about or watch this episode, I immediately want to run and hug my dog, a loyal best friend and member of the family. The other true sad part about it all was that Fry will never know how loyal and loving Seymour was.
Written by: Bryan Kluger