A show about a man keeping his urge to kill a secret is bound to have some of these.
- Dexter's flashback to what happened to him as a child, when he is faced with a crime scene that triggers the repressed memory of seeing his mother murdered with a chainsaw in front of him when he was three, and being left in a shipping container with her body for days. The look on his face when he is overwhelmed by the full realization of what happened is heartbreaking. No wonder he's so messed up.
- At the end of Season 1, when Dexter is weeping in the corner after slitting his brothers throat, waiting for him to die He says so himself that he was the first victim he truly regrets having to kill.
- From the end of Season 1, when Dexter imagines a parade in his honour, with people cheering him for keeping Miami safe and "protecting their children". Some find it funny, but when you think about Dexter saying this must be what itís like to walk in the light, it just shows you how lonely and unaccepted he feels and how he wishes he could get peopleís approval.
- Dexterís dream in Season 2, in which he imagines himself as the Dark Defender, saving his mother, his brother, and himself.
- Dexter's meeting the man who was responsible for killing his mother. He has a huge freak out when he's about to kill him and just manages to stop before he does it, thanks to Lila. It's one of the rare moments where Dexter has a major breakdown.
- The euthanasia scene in season 3. "You finally brought me the perfect pie."
- Deb goes back to the parking lot where Lundy was killed. Whatever you might think about her, seeing her break down like that is truly heartbreaking.
- The end of Season 4, Dexter kills the Trinity Killer and comes home to finding Rita dead in her bathtub, the entire bathroom covered in her blood with their infant son Harrison crying whilst sitting in the blood, echoing his own trauma. Dexter instantly grabs Harrison and runs outside, the expression of grief on his face sells it.
- When Dexter says "I hope you don't mind I picked out that dress you were wearing when we first met." to Rita's corpse in her coffin before the funeral. The way the line is delivered in rushed, mumbled, and completely shell-shocked voice is just heartbreaking.
- Almost the entirety of the first episode of Season 5; Dexter breaks down after killing that guy with the boat anchor, Astor loses it after Dexter tells her of Rita's death, and Dexter realises just how much he misses Rita and turns up to her funeral—shell-shocked and late—to give a heartbreaking speech about how much she meant to him.
- When Lumen says goodbye to Dexter in Season 5. One of the few times beyond his brother's death in Season 1 that Dexter has nearly teared up.