Tear Jerker: Live Action TV G to L
aka: Live Action TVG-L
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Un gars, une fille
- This otherwise hilarious French-Canadian series got a few brilliant tear-jerker moments, all delivered by Sylvie Leonard. The first of the two most notable happens at the end of the episode in which Sylvie's mother dies. She gives a beautiful speech to her mother's grave, and asks her to give her a sign if she heard her. At this point, a pigeon poops on Guy's, her boyfriend, shoulder, turning it into a funny moment.
- The second happens during the final episode. After going all the way to Vietnam to adopt a little girl, Sylvie suddenly collapses in the street and wakes up in hospital. Weak and afraid she might die, she tells Guy how much she wanted to see their new child grow up and how much she loves him. The doctor arrives seconds later to inform them that Sylvie is actually pregnant, turning the scene into a heartwarming moment.
- While soap operas in general are liable to have a few tearjerkers mixed in with all the Narm, one would be hardpressed to find a span of time more rich with tearjerkers than 1994-1995 on General Hospital. In those two years, you had Monica Quartermaine's breast cancer, Stone and Robin's HIV/AIDS and perhaps the most tearjerking story ever on soaps, BJ's heart. Dominique's death in 1993 after hearing her unborn baby's heartbeat (carried by surrogate Lucy) was another good one.
- Karen admitting to ex-boyfriend Jagger that she had been sexually abused as child, felt unworthy of love, and that that's why she pushed him away and broke up with him always got to me.
- The deaths of Lila and Edward Quartermaine in 2004 and 2012 respectively, and passing of Anna Lee and John Ingle. Just watch Jane Eliot scream "I Want My Mommy!" after her mother dies, and "Please, don't go!" when talking to her dying father.
- Watching Edward and Lila walk off together when Edward dies is both tearjerking and heartwarming.
- The reunion of the Spencer siblings and the events that separated. If you can watch Anthony Geary's anguished performance in this storyline and not feel something, you are not human.
- Sergeant Brad Colbert in Generation Kill has a really affecting moment when he realises that a Marine under his command has shot a young Iraqi boy. The fact that Colbert's nickname is "Iceman" for his usually detached and cool attitude
- Navy Hospitalman Second Class Robert Timothy "Doc" Bryan trying to treat and protect a little boy before the group of Marines is overwhelmed by local civilians desperate for help and have to leave.
- When Evan Wright says goodbye at the end. Oh man, the feeling of "it's better left unsaid" because what they'd been through together meant there was just way too much to put into words completely laid me out. It was also that, even though he'd become accepted by the Marines as a friend, he's NOT one of them - he's the odd one out.
- The end of the seventh (last) episode, where the energy and tension of the invasion is winding down. Each of the characters (except Trombley) loses his momentum and, when he has a moment to think, realizes what they've all been through. Ray detoxing and provoking Rudy, Godfather defending his decisions in the field... and especially Lilley's video of footage.
- "Save Our Souls": A room on a cruise ship is haunted by the ghost of a stowaway name Lorelai, where she saw her lover kissing another woman. It turns out the woman she saw was only giving him a goodbye kiss, because neither wanted to marry each other even though they were supposed to. When Lorelai saw this, she ran away and hid in an access shaft, but slipped and plummeted to her death. The captain orders her body be tossed overboard, and she is never found. Her lover then spent years trying to find her across the world, to no avail.
- The season 1 finale when a certain character finds out they're dead:
- ''' Andrea: "But I'm going out with a poet...it's my brother's birthday"
- An episode dealt with the ghost of a teenage boy who died just after his girlfriend dumped him when she saw him dancing with another woman. Turns out the woman had been giving him dance lessons in preparation for the prom.
- The flashback episode to when Melinda was a teenager and she's talking with her grandmother in the hospital. Melinda suspects that a man looking at the two of them curiously is a ghost but her grandmother calmly explains to her what she should be feeling when she sees an actual ghost. Melinda then looks at her grandmother curiously and says "I'm feeling some of that right now" before realising what has happened as a group of panicked doctors run towards her grandmother's room.
- When Will leaves Glee to go become an accountant and then returns after hearing the Glee kids singing Don't Stop Believing.
- When Quinn found out about her pregnancy.
- The club performing "Keep Holding On" in Throwdown in support of Quinn, particularly when she lets out one sob at the very end just before the credits start up.
- When Quinn's parents kicked her out of the house in Ballad.
- Kurt's sad face/crying is enough to induce this.
- Will finding out about Terri's fake pregnancy.
- The entire "Smile" montage. The looks on Will and the club members' faces combined with the beautiful, yet sad music make it impossible to keep from crying.
- Finn finding out he's not the father of Quinn's baby.
- That scene at the "wedding" in Sectionals.
- The whole episode, "Home". Especially when Kurt sang "A House is Not a Home", coupled with his broken expression at the end.
- Kurt singing "Rose's Turn" in Laryngitis.
- Rachel and her real mom singing "I Dreamed A Dream" in Dream On.
- Everything involving Artie in the episode Dream On.
- "To Sir With Love" from Journey. Yeah. If you were not at least choking up you have no heart.
- When New Directions came in last place at regionals. We've all been there at one point or another.
- Kurt singing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" in Grilled Cheesus.
- The scene where Jean asks Sue if she wanted her to pray for her and she accepts.
- And the part with Kurt's dad holding his hand after waking up from his heart-attack coma.
- "I don't believe in God, Dad. But I believe in you, and I believe in us. That's what's sacred to me."
- "Dad, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere."
- The wedding speeches of Burt and Carole.
- Kurt announcing his transfer, and giving Mercedes one sorrowful look before he walks out of the room.
- "You said you'd NEVER breakup with me!" "... I never thought you'd make me feel like this."
- Finn's speech to Rachel at the Christmas tree lot. Poor guy.
- How distraught Karofsky looks after he kisses Kurt breaks my heart.
- Santana finally working up the nerve to tell Brittany that she loved her, only to be turned down in favor of Artie. A case of alas poor Alpha Bitch.
- Quinn telling Rachel that she is the one that Finn is going to chose. It is the sadest "I am going to win"-speech ever.
Quinn: Do you want to know how this story plays out? I get Finn, you get heart-broken. And then Finn and I stay here and start a family. I'll become a successful real estate agent, and Finn will take over Kurt's dads tire shop. You don't belong here Rachel, and you can't hate me for helping to send you on your way.Quinn: Yes it is! You are so frustrating! And that is why you can't write a good song; because you live in this little school girl fantasy of life. Rachel, if you keep looking for that happy ending, then you are never going to get it right!
- Especially when you consider her determination to get out of Lima and do something great with her life, even during the pregnancy plot. She went through absolute hell to get her life back, and just when things were looking up, a new wave of drama came up. And now, here she is, Quinn Fabray, finally battered and broken to the point where she has finally given up all her ambitions and is resigned to the fact that she's not going to amount to anything particularly great in life.Quinn has spent quite a bit of time being a bitch this season, but...
- Will talking to Emma in "Rumors" about how he doesn't want to leave the kids and her behind because they've done so much for him and he needs them as much as they need him, but then saying how badly he wants to go with April. There's something about the idea that Will's dreams and opportunities are passing him by, but he wouldn't even consider going because the glee club means so much to him. It's both heartwarming and heartbreaking.
- Kurt getting voted Prom Queen with Karofsky as King as a humiliating, sadistic joke. Eventually he refuses to let it get him down and turns it into awesomeness, but still—teens are fucking monsters. And the worst part? Prior to this, the fandom absolutely loved the idea of Kurt and Blaine being voted Prom King/Queen as a gesture of acceptance. Ryan Murphy, you bastard.
- Karofsky's tearful apology and saying 'I can't' softly to Kurt at Prom and walking away.
- Jean's funeral because of the scene's multitude of similarities to the deaths and funerals of people he cared about just as much as Sue cares about Jean.
- The performance of Fix You in Asian F is a tearjerker and heartwarming especially the image of Emma as a girl praying.
- Bieste...just....Bieste. And in "Props," when her douchecanoe husband says "Who's going to love you now?" She says "Me." Awesomeness, indeed.
- The entirety of "Goodbye". If the seniors singing their goodbyes to the underclassmen and vise versa, Kurt and Finn's rejections from their respective dream schools, the graduation ceremony, and the Finchel break up didn't get to you, congratulations. You're a cyborg.
- EVERYTHING about "The Break-Up"
- EVERYTHING in "The Quarterback". Made even worse because for most of the cast, it was their real reactions to Cory's death.
The Golden Girls
- The Grand Finale, for sure.
- The second half to the end of the episode where the girls stay in a homeless shelter for the night, looking for a misplaced lottery ticket worth $10,000. They do find it but give it away to help the needy, having briefly experienced and lived as they did (and talked to some people, one of which was one of Sophia's friends and a big Tear Jerker of its own).
- Rose's heart attack, particularly the scenes where her other three friends decide that they will take care of her, and each other, no matter what happens to them in the future.
- Blanche's reunion with her husband, which turned out to be All Just a Dream. In fact, it was a dream that she had already experienced several times, but she always woke up just before she was able to hug him. In this (presumably final) time, she did, finally moving on from his death.
- The end of the episode where Sophia successfully convinces a friend not to commit suicide.
- Phil's death (Sophia's son, who was often referred to in the series but never actually seen). Watching Sophia, normally the most stout and strong-willed of the four girls, completely break down when it finally sets in to her that her son is gone is nothing short of heartbreaking. Here's the clip.
- Blanche weeping over her father's death after spending the past several hours in complete denial of it.
- Blair reading the letter she wrote to Serena.
- Chuck coming to Blair to break apart in her arms and perhaps get some comfort after the death of his father. Also the scene earlier in the episode when Blair finally tells him she loves him, and he just drives off.
- In the following episode when Chuck has mocked Blair for her love for him (this after he's left her in the middle of the night and disappeared for a month) and she breaks down crying in front of her mirror.
- Blair confessing her love for Chuck once again in the season two finale, and him just walking away.
- The hospital scene in The Debarted when Chuck has to deal with his emotions after his father's death (and Blair has to help him stand).
- Chuck finally going to see Lily after she's been diagnosed with cancer.
- Eric telling his father that he doesn't want him in his life.
- Blair breaking apart crying alone in her room after Chuck traded her to Jack for the Empire hotel.
- Chuck letting Blair go in the season four finale. Their entire conversation was heartbreaking and the look on his face as she walks away was just too sad for words.
- After months of not being able to feel anything, neither physical nor emotional, Chuck finds out that Blair is pregnant and that Louis is the father. The episode ends with Chuck crying on his bed, comforted by the dog he got in the same episode. The writers cried, some of the actors cried...
- Chuck visiting Lily after Dan's book has been released, lamenting his loneliness and saying he doesn't want to end up like Charlie Trout, his character in the book.
- Everything after the accident in Season 5. Blair losing the baby, praying just for Chuck to be alive, and eventually deciding that she can't be with Chuck if there's any chance he'll be the one punished for it. Chuck's confusion as he desperately searches for a reason why she abandoned him and her constantly-about-to-break-down expression just breaks your heart.
Great Teacher Onizuka
- The live action Great Teacher Onizuka episode where Tomoko pours her heart out during the public speaking part of the competition.
- End of season two, Denny's death and Izzie curled up next to him on the hospital bed.
- Season 3. The 'woman with two uteruses' subplot in the episode "Let The Angels Commit"
- "Damage Case", where an intern from a rival hospital causes a car crash and severely injures a pregnant woman, who dies from her injuries. The scene where the intern begs the woman's father to forgive him.
- "Into You Like a Train"...
- "Can I ask you something? ...Do you believe in heaven?""I do... Don't you?""...I want to."
- End of season 5 where they find out that it was George who was hit by a bus after pushing a girl out of its path and he dies. Or when Meredith and Derek give their hospital wedding to Izzie and Karev.
- That episode where Molly from The Unit was guest starring as a patient whose sister thought she was having serious hallucinations about falling in love with a man she met on a cruise and planning to marry him. Her sister did not believe her and kept chalking the halluncinations up to the brain tumor that Molly's had for a while. Derek was the only one who really believed her. Molly has the surgery and she dies but what made this a true tearjerker was when the man actually shows up at Seattle Grace and tells Meredith and Molly's sister that he and Molly really met and fell in love and was going to get married as soon as she got better.
- In season 2, Break Through- When Meredith's DNR patient that she intubated by accident dies, she quickly leaves the room and goes to hide in a supply closet to have a quiet little panic attack. Derek, who is currently back with Addison, follows her and manages to calm her down enough for her to choke out, "I.. I can't- I don't- I don't want my mother to die alone!" When you find out later just what kind of hideously abusive childhood Meredith had, the fact that she has any shred of affection for her mother at all, much less to this point, it makes it all the more heartbreaking.
- Dear God, the episode where Eric Stoltz's character is executed, along with the storyline about the kid who needed a kidney and would have gotten it from the serial killer had the killer not had surgery. The scene where his mother is getting ready to say goodbye... And one of the final scenes where one of the female doctors broke down in tears, ashamed of herself for earlier trying to stop the surgery on the serial killer so the kid could have his kidney, and starts praying for forgiveness... Damn you, Grey's Anatomy. Just... damn you.
- In season 5 there is an episode with a little girl who is terminally ill and there is nothing left they can do for her but her father just keeps on fighting for her and trying to raise money to take her to Mexico and get her some special treatment. Eventually she dies in his arms while he tells her how beautiful Mexico is.
- Seeing Charles Percy die in Bailey's arms.
- Dear God most of that season's finale. Bailey crouching in terror under a bed
- So many of the scenes between Cristina and Owen in Season Five, but especially the scene when he's having the panic attack and the scene when he's in the shower and describes how his best surgery involved lying on top of a guy to apply pressure to the wounds and slow the bleeding for two hours in order to save him. He tells Cristina that the guy wrote a letter thanking him... and then killed himself.
- The bomb episode. Every single moment of it, whether invoking sad tears (when Derek finds out that it's Meredith holding the bomb, followed by his patient promptly flat-lining, almost everyone leaving Meredith alone in the room, or, you know, the bomb going off) or happy ones (Bailey's baby being born and being named after George), the entire episode is made of this trope.
- When George's mom comes to the hospital and Callie tells her about Arizona and Sofia.
- After a 39 hour day when Meredith goes to answer the door expecting the pizza delivery and it is the social worker holding Zola. "She's yours.".
- Lexie's death in the season 8 finale. The whole episode is a downer throughout given the predicament of Meredith and the others, but that scene... ah, geez...
- Mark's death, in the season nine premiere.
Hannah Montana Forever
- The scene in "Love That Lets Go" while we're looking at back at some of the happy memories that Miley has been through with Blue Jeans, as the song of the same name plays over it. Also, the last bit before commercial where Miley tells the audience that it was dedicated to her horse in real life.
- "Been Here All Along", where Miley tells Robby Ray that she's happy to have a father like him, and they hug, which is followed by them having fun together on the pier.
- Then, Hannah performs "Been Here All Along". Watch and let the crowd's reaction reflect on you.
- After that, she sings "I'm Still Good", and during the ending credits, the crowd dances along. It should make you happy to watch.
- The finale has quite a few:
- Lily getting angry at Miley saying that she's the last person she'd want to take anywhere with her.
- When they're at the airport and are about to leave, at the last second, Lily decides she doesn't want to come because she knows that the movie has been Miley's dream but not hers.
- The part following it, showing Miley on her flight and arriving in Paris and Lily returning to her dorm in Standford.
- As well as the closing credits when "I'll Always Remember You" plays, especially if you were a long time fan of the series, you WILL be brought to tears knowing it's all over. As well as when the theme song plays, if you watched this when it premiered, you must have thought, "Wow, this is the last time we'll be hearing this..."
- This whole episode is one big tear jerker. It won't completely obliterate your heart like that one Disney film, but it will take it, slash it in half and hit it with a giant rock.
- In the first episode when Steve's dad is killed while Steve is talking on the phone with him has to qualify for some.
- Danny in "Malama Ka Aina" (episode 3) and Rachel threatening to take away Grace from him. The way he pleads at the end for her not to take Grace away (again) is just murder. Especially if you have father issues, and you hear this grown man begging his ex-wife to let him see his daughter because he loves her that much.
Danno: Rachel, just hear me out. Before you sic your lawyers on me, I wanna remind you of something. I moved 5,000 miles so that I could see Grace twice a week. Twice a week, okay? That is 48 hours, 52 times a year for a grand total of 2,500 hours. When you factor in sleep, and school, I can really only count on 400 hours of real face time each year. And ya know? That's only going to shrink as she starts making friends... Then she goes off to college... So ultimately that does not leave me with a lot of time to spend with my daughter. Not as much as I would want. But I never complained. I never complained. Because every single one of those minutes reminds me of what I am doing, and why I am here. That little girl is my life. So I am asking you- I am begging you to please- please just be kind. Don't take her away from me, that's all.
- Rachel drops the petition. You may commence with the tears.
- Later in that same episode, Steve just tells Danno "Maybe you're not as alone around here as you think Danno."
- Steve finding out that his dad was at his football game. T_T
- Chin's situation. Just, just Chin's situation. And what had to happen to his ex-fiancée Malia...
- The "eureka" scene, where a young Hawking - already debilitated but not yet immobilised by his motor neuron disease - comes to a sudden realisation about the nature of the Big Bang and chases after Roger Penrose at a train station before desperately chalking out diagrams on the platform flagstones
- In episode 2 of the live-action Hell Girl series, Enma Ai's client is a hikikomori whose father has been murdered. There's a heartbreaking flashback sequence in which we see all the times his father talked to him through the door of his room, patiently trying again and again to reach his son. They love each other, but whatever sorrow has taken hold of the boy won't let go. And now it's too late — he'll never see his dad again, never get to make things right. You'll need to hug someone you love after watching this.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
- Right from the start in "The Wrong Path." Hercules' wife and children are murdered by Hera... in front of him... before the opening credits. Before setting out to settle the score with Hera, Hercules buries his family and grieves.
- "The Other Side": While on a mission to the Underworld, Hercules is briefly reunited with his family. Though overjoyed to see his loved ones again, Hercules knows full well this is only temporary, which clearly gnaws at him. Additionally, his family is unware they're dead, so the big guy has to carry this load by himself. And what viewer couldn't be moved by:
- Ilia: Daddy, I missed you.Hercules: I missed you, too, Ilia. I missed you all so much.Ilia: Are you crying, Daddy?Hercules: ...No, the wind just blew something in my eye.
- "Judgment Day": Hercules is framed for the murder of his second wife, Serena, by Ares. Though Hercules clears his name, Serena is still lost. The big guy blames himself for what happened to Serena, and viewers can't help but feel for him.
- The end of the Serena arc is almost as sad. Herc is able to save her through time-travel, but in the new reality, she's married to someone else, and only Hercules and Autylocus (who went to the past with him) remember his second marriage at all.
- "Twilight": Hercules' mother is dying. He struggles to save her, but even though he accepts that it's her time, he is no less saddened by this turn of events - particularly as he, Iolaus and Jason are there as she dies. The 3 heroes being on the edge of tears and not outright bawling is an accomplishment.
- Iolaus died several times. While fans may mock the repetitiveness of it, in-show it was always treated seriously. Hercules always grieved over losing his best friend and never took for granted the possibility that Iolaus could come back. It's a testament to the actors that Iolaus' death was moving, whether it be the second or third time viewers had seen it.
- Strife's death in "Armageddon Now, Part 1." You know it's bad when even Ares expresses regret over it and anger at Callisto for doing it.
"He wasn't so bad. He-he tried real hard. He was just no good at his job. You didn't have to do this!"
- The end of the flashback in "Twilight," in which a young Hercules returns home from his first war.
Hercules: This belonged to a friend of mine - a kid about my age. I had to watch him die to realize you were right, Mother. There's no glory in war.
Alcmene: For every boy that's not coming home, one hundred more will and that's because of you.
Hercules: Then why do I feel like I failed?
- Heroes - the ending of "Company Man". "I love you, Clairebear... (to Haitian) Go deep."
Daphne: Do one more thing for me?Matt: Anything.Daphne: Fly me to the moon.
- When Sylar is all but begging for his mother to tell him it's okay if he's nothing special, even sader is that he's actually begging for her to tell him he can stop killing people and that he doesn't have to destroy New York.
- Also the scenes in 'Cautionary Tales' between Hiro and his dad. Especially the part where Hiro meets himself as a boy: 'There are some things even Tazeko Kensei cannot change'. It didn't provoke actual tears, but it came very close.
- The final scene between Hiro and Yaeko.
- Any of the scenes involving Micah in season 3, episode 3. Niki is dead, and Micah meets Tracy, who looks exactly like her.
- Virginia Gray's death.
- Isaac's death. Even though it was strongly foreshadowed at, and showed signs of possibly being prevented thanks to Hiro's attempts to change the future where New York got nuked, it still didn't lessen the impact. "I finally get to die a hero".
- And for that matter, Charlie's death and Hiro's failed attempts to save her from getting Sylared also qualify.
- One of the saddest elements of the entire series for me was Stephen's story. Imprisoned by the Company for years because of a killing he perpetrated accidentally when he lost control of his ability to create vortexes, he escapes, dodging company pursuit in an effort to meet up with his family. However, when his wife fails to come to a meeting he arranged, Noah ambushes him, and, holding a gun to his head, threatens to imprison him again unless he uses his ability to kill Sylar. However, Stephen refuses to be a monster, and, with nothing left to live for, kills himself by entering one of his own vortexes.
- The online tie-in Dreams Until Death. Two random Red Shirts Sylar takes down in seconds in the series were deeply in love (and, if you've read the rest of the tie-ins, were characters you might be invested in), and have a dream about what their life together would have been. No way he's coming back from the Moral Event Horizon, redemption arc be damned!
- HRG and Claude's confrontation on the bridge during "Company Man." Especially the way it ends.
- "First you show me that I can be harmed by no weapon, and then you cut me deeper than any blade possibly could." He was evil but boy did Adam get the shaft hard.
- Hiro, regressed to the mind of a 10-year-old, traveling back in time and getting one last reunion with his mother.
- The end of season 1. Nathan flying in at the last second and saying "You saved the cheerleader, so we could save the world." Then flying off with an out of control nuclear Peter afterwards exploding in the sky
- In "Cold Snap": Daphne Millbrook's death.
- This one.
Peter: You know how he used to be, full of hope and optimism?Ando: That's the Hiro I know.Peter: Went away the day you died. Between you and me, I think that's why he's so obsessed about changing the past. He wants to save you.
- "Five Years Gone," especially the exchange between Future!Peter and Ando.
- The season 3 finale, despite the Fridge Logic involved in the death (where's Claire's blood?). Not the death itself, but the sequence of events that framed it.
- 1. Fight in which Nathan dies.
- By the time Nathan was discovered, he was long past the point where Claire's blood could have helped him. On the other hand, Bob & Mohinder were able to promptly treat HRG after he was shot.
- 2. Commercial break.
- 3. Angela hunting down Matt to tell him that if he doesn't come with her, Nathan's going to die.
- From then on until they found the body were the most gut-wrenching 15 minutes. The only sounds out of her mouth for the rest of the episode were horrified whimpering and " Mama needs to go School Days on Sylar's ass."
- Matt's reaction to what Angela and HRG are asking him to do and his reaction afterward to what he's just done, showing that he's still a good man.
- 1. Fight in which Nathan dies.
- Jeremy Greer. God in Heaven, Jeremy Greer. He accidentally kills his parents with his power to control life and death. Bennet and Tracy attempt to make a cover story for him, but the Smug Snake of a sheriff lets circumstantial evidence decide everything. When Bennet and Tracy do get him out, an irate neighbor attempts to kill Jeremy as justice. Jeremy, not believing he can ever find a place for himself, kills the guy and refuses to heal him, despite Bennet begging him to, causing the cops to re-arrest him. After they bring him in, a deputy takes him out back, tells him there's no room for freaks in his town, chains him to a truck, and has Jeremy dragged through the streets until he dies. The sheer unfairness of it all.
- Nathan's final death scene! It's amazing how, despite how many times they killed off the character, they still manage to make it so moving this time... And Sylar taking control of the body and walking away while waving to a tearful Peter is just the icing on it all.
- Nathan's funeral at the end of Upon This Rock. Pass the tissues please. And the part with the fighter jets flying overhead and Peter's little smile as * one of the fighters breaks away* , as if it's Nathan saying goodbye... BAWWWWWWWWWW!!!
- The scene where Claire talks with the Haitian after he's mind wipped Zach. Mostly due to the devastated look on Claire's face and her sobbing plead for the Haitian to "give him back".
- Joseph's murder at Samuel's hands in Thanksgiving. The look of horror on Samuel's face as he realizes what he's done sealed the deal of Samuel becoming the favorite character of many.
- What happened to Future Syler's little boy. It's just so horrible. Poor, poor Sylar.
- The end of the Higher Ground episode "Innocence" where Peter's previously estranged father dies, in the midst of a recollection of their visits to Central Park, with the words "I love you too, son" on his lips. If that doesn't get you, the episode's last shot of a 7-year-old Peter muttering "'bye, dad" as his father strides in slow-motion across a bridge will.
- The end of "Daised (sic) and Confused", when Daisy opens her father's photo album, and finally grieves for her dead mother, after spending the entire episode resenting her and blowing up at her father (and showing up at the funeral in the very Goth getup that led her to the school in the first place).
- How is "Exposed" missing? The scene in which Scott confronts Shelby in the woods and she loses it is heartbreaking.
- The end of "Daised (sic) and Confused", when Daisy opens her father's photo album, and finally grieves for her dead mother, after spending the entire episode resenting her and blowing up at her father (and showing up at the funeral in the very Goth getup that led her to the school in the first place).
Home and Away
- Leah breaking down after Dan's death.
- April's entire OCD storyline, especially the scene where Bianca confronts her.
- Charlie's death
- Bianca's scenes when she's suffering post-partem psychosis.
- Any scene where Dexter or April cry.
How I Met Your Mother
- HIMYM is usually one of the happiest shows around... but dammit, it can make you cry like a baby:
- The ending of Come On. Seeing Ted arriving home so happy only to find Marshall sitting on their building's doorsteps, in the rain, holding Lily's engagement ring.
- Lily telling Ted she's having doubts about marrying Marshall and telling him why she wants to go to San Francisco in Milk. Aly's acting in that scene is perfectly heartbreaking.
- Near the end of season 3 there was a subplot: Ted decides to "dump" Barney and Neil Patrick Harris decides to break our hearts for the next 3 episodes. Finally resolved with heart-warmth, but terrible while it lasts.
- The ending of Benefits. That is all. Damn you NPH!
- Robin: He can't separate the physical from the emotional. He's all like...Barney: I love you.Robin: (misunderstands him and thinks he's talking about Ted) ... exactly! He's not like you, you know?
- Definitely seconded. Just the look on his face while Robin remains oblivious...
- Ted and Lily's extremely tense screaming match in "The Front Porch" after Ted realizes that Lily broke him and Robin up. Even though everything's forgiven in the end, it was like watching your parents fighting and threatening divorce.
- Ted's speech to Stella in As Fast As She Can, about how he wants what Stella and Tony and Lily and Marshall have, but is tired of looking and waiting.
- Ted: Okay, I'm gonna say something out loud that I've been doing a pretty good job of not saying out loud lately... what you and Tony have... what I thought for a second that you and I had... what I know that Marshall and Lily have... I want that! I do. I keep waiting for it to happen and waiting for it to happen, and... I guess I'm just, uh... I'm tired of waiting. And that's all I'm willing to say on that subject.Stella: (...) I know that you're tired of waiting and... you may have to wait a little while more, but... she's on her way, Ted! And she's getting here as fast as she can.Ted: (smiling softly) Goodbye, Stella.Stella: (near whisper) Goodbye, Ted.
- The ending of "Bad News" where Marshall learns that his dad had a fatal heart attack. The look on Lilly's face alone was enough to make you cry. Then you notice that Marshell is trying to be strong and failing.
- Marshall: (breaking down in Lily's arms) I'm not ready for this.
- Marshall's breakdown outside of his father's funeral in "Last Words." Brings out all the emotions that run through a person in that circumstance.
- Barney's emotional meltdown at the basketball hoop in the end of 'Legendaddy'. He has very recently had his father (who abandoned him when he was six) come back into his life and try to reconnect with him. Barney was hoping his father, Jerry, would be a hard-partying roadie who wasn't capable of being a father, since this would justify him abandoning Barney. However, Jerry has turned out to be a loving dad with two children, including a boy named 'Jerome Junior'. Barney can't handle this, and it culminates into him trying to yank JJ's basketball hoop off the garage so he could have at least some souvenir of a childhood he never got to have. Particularly heartbreaking is this exchange:
- Barney: You're lame, okay? You're just some lame suburban dad.Jerry: Why does that make you so mad?!Barney: (finally losing it) Because if you were gonna be some lame suburban dad, why couldn't you have been that for me?!?
- At the end of 'Change of Heart', when Lily has finally convinced that Barney has actual feelings for Nora, he shows up where she is having brunch with her parents, and the scene goes on to show him going inside, apologizing for telling her he wasn't interested, and being introduced to her parents. Alas, it's just an imagination spot, and the look on his face when it pans back to him standing out there and giving up is just heartcrushing. To top it off, just after he walks away, Nora looks up and has missed him, also with a look as if she wished he were in there.
- In "The Exploding Meatball Sub", when Lily is about to head off to Spain because supporting Marshall through his oblivious insistence on quitting his job and taking up ridiculous projects while volunteering for the NRDC is driving her crazy. Ted is rightly appalled, furious, and clearly terrified (for although he doesn't mention it, the memory of Lily breaking for San Fransisco is clearly in the forefront of both his and the audience's minds), until in the middle of Lily's rant, she breaks down into tears and confesses that she's afraid that Marshall doesn't want to have a baby with her anymore. Ted's demeanor immediately dissolves into tenderness with a soft "Oh Lil..."
- At the end of 'Tick, Tick, Tick...'
- Future Ted:...for Barney, the second that would never end was this one..."
- After realising that Robin has chosen Kevin the look on Barney's face is absolutely heartbreaking. Then the icing on the cake? Watching him clean up the bedroom he had decorated with rose petals and candles.
- In 'Symphony of Illumination' Robin is narrating the episode to her and Barney's future kids. Until she finds out she can't ever have children. "So I can't have kids. Big deal. This way, there's no one to hold me back in life. No one to keep me from travelling where I wanna travel, no one getting in the way of my career. If you wanna know the truth of it, I'm glad you guys aren't real." And the kids fade away.
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries
- When Barbara Havers is shot in the abdomen, throwing herself in front of a bullet to save someone else. Even though you know they wouldn't really do it, Lynley doesn't know, and his reaction is absolutely heartbreaking.
- Helen's death, Lynley's face, and Barbara doing her level best to save her. Just... ouch.
- Inspector Morse The Remorseful Day The last few scenes where Lewis is saying goodbye.
It Aint Half Hot Mum
- In the last ever episode of It Ain't Half Hot Mum, the war is over and the men are demobbed. As Sergeant Major Williams struggles to make conversation, the viewers and Concert Party realize that the army was his life; he has nothing to return to as a civilian. Gunner Parkin invites Sergeant Major to dinner where he can see Parkin's mother (his former love) again.
- Many many scenes - at least one per episode.
- Ogata-sensei's death and the preceding conversation in episode 7.
Joan Of Arcadia
- The scene from Joan of Arcadia when Judith dies just after watching Joan juggle in "Friday Night." And the subsequent reactions to her death, especially Friedman reading Hamlet.
- Watching "Death Be Not Whatever" and "Jump" scenes involving Rocky
- The episode "Silence", in which Joan is diagnosed with Lyme Disease and begins to think that her contact with God is just a hallucination. The scene where she is pleading with all the avatars of God to tell her something, and they just look at her in silence...
- In the finale of season 1 "Eclipse Of The Korven", K-9 destroys the Korven, burning out his power core, and because he had his regeneration circuit removed in the previous episode, he could not repair himself, killing him. His regeneration circuit does manage to home itself back to him, and revives K-9.
- Given its Anyone Can Die policy, Kamen Rider Ryuki, unsurprisingly, has a fair number of these moments.
Mitsuru Sano/Kamen Rider Imperer: Why did something like this happen? All I wanted was to be happy.
- Kamen Rider Imperer's final moments are particularly painful. Betrayed and left for dead in the Mirror World without his armor for protection, he spends his last seconds alive in the rain, gazing at the lone figure of a woman who may have represented everything he wanted in a life, as his body slowly dissolves into nothingness.
Kido Shinji/Kamen Rider Ryuki: I just realized that I do want to close the Mirror World. I'm sure it will cause alot of pain, but I still want it to end. I don't know if it's right or wrong but as a Rider, I have a wish I want fulfilled, and this is it.
- Shinji's death in the penultimate episode. Lethally wounded by a Raydragoon, he drives off an army of Monsters before succumbing to his wounds. It's only made worse in one of the first scenes of the final episode, as Ren regretfully walks away, leaving Shinji's corpse as one more casaulty in the day's massacre.
Ogawa Eri: Ren, if you sit there, you'll catch a cold.
- Asakura Takeshi/Kamen Rider Ouja and Kitaoka Shuichi/Kamen Rider Zolda have had bones to pick with each other since the former's debut. When the time comes to finally settle things between them, Asakura is victorious. However, as Zolda's armor breaks away, Asakura realizes that it is Kitaoka's manservant, Yura Goro, not Kitaoka himself that he had just killed. As for Kitaoka himself, the audience is taken to his mansion, his body resting peacefully on a couch, having finally succumbed to the illness that threatened his life.
- As the victor of the Rider War, Akiyama Ren finally succeeds in saving Ogawa Eri, but at the price of his life. Crawling all the way to her hospital room, he leaves the memento he'd kept of her, a pair of rings, in her hands before taking his final rest.
- Realizing that his sister, Yui, would always reject his offer to save her, Kanzaki Shiro, in a moment of despair destroys Kamen Rider Odin, and thus forfeits the final prize of the Rider War. However, unwilling to accept his sister's death, Shiro threatens to restart the Rider War in spite of her pleas. Then the camera pulls back, and we see Shiro for what he really is beyond the stoic malevolence; a young man tortured by the fear of a world without his sister. As the younger version of his sister pleads with him one last time, the camera pulls to a sentimental gaze of the older Shiro as he rewinds time, revealing that now, both versions of the Kanzaki siblings live in their own version of the Mirror World, populated not with the Monsters they created but with the drawings of happy times between them. As the ending credits roll, we return to the Atori, and pull in on a picture of the Kanzaki siblings, a younger version of them as opposed to the older versions, implying that the two died in the new timeline Shiro created.
- Kamen Rider Kiva was always a serious show that could tug at the heartstrings, but when Mio died, my eyes definitely watered for her. The ending of the episode was horribly sad when she shattered in Wataru's arms. Even more heart wrenching is how she died. Originally, it appeared that she had done a Diving Save to save her husband, Taiga. Later on, Bishop revealed he killed her, seeing Mio as a hindrance.
- Kamen Rider Double isn't as serious as Kiva or Blade. It doesn't matter though, as it can deliver several sad moments. At the end of the A arc, the poor little girl. And Kirihiko's death. As his hankerchief blew away,
- The Puppeteer Dopant. You have to feel sorry for him, since his daughter died a few months prior to obtaining his Gaia Memory.
- Phillip's death, with an acoustic version of Cyclone Effect playing in the background. It takes an upbeat song and makes the line "We've got nothing else" tragic in context. Yes, he's brought back to life the next episode but the preview is entirely melancholic for the next episode. Shoutaro himself is in tears cause he is technically the one to kill Phillip by deactivating the transformation.
- A Bitter Sweet moment: The Sonozaki family reuniting peacefully in death. After having spent the entire series fighting and backstabbing each other, Wakana and Saeko are seen embracing while Ryubee tells Philip they'll be watching over him.
Kenan and Kel
- In the original series, the death of Stevie Mason never fails to draw a few sniffles.
- Screw that, then entire episode The Scent of Roses. The whole thing was effectively an exercise in ripping Michael’s guts out.
- The episode where a teenage girl is asked to help find a treasure left to her by her father before his death (which the bad guys are after as well). She hated her father all her life, while others idolised him, feeling pushed aside, and agrees only reluctantly. In the end it turns out that the treasure her father left her is a beautiful, but monetarily worthless hoard of crystal/stone compounds in a cavern – a beautiful sight reserved only for her, and which had no cash value to him whatsoever. He loved her more than money after all.
- Given that one of the actors is a sentient car, the scene in Knight of the Drones, where a completely smashed up via missile launcher KITT weakly asks Bonnie why it’s so dark outside and she tells him that it’s night, is far more moving than it has any right to be. Bonnie is sometimes jokingly referred to as KITT’s mother, but in this scene, you can’t help but buy it.
- In fact, any episode that features KITT being busted up (which happened every time they wanted to do a design revamp and thus, fairly often). Everyone worries about him as much as they would a flesh and blood teammate. On one occasion Michael even spends countless hours waiting around outside of the repair lab emergency room after KITT gets drowned in acid.
- The death of Devon in the Knight Rider 2000 movie, complete with flashback to the first ever episode.
The L Word
- Dana's death was definitely the saddest moment of the series, no question, but scene in "Lacuna" where Shane finds Jenny in the bathroom cutting herself to shreds is a very close second. Jenny's so broken and Shane is so terrified for her, it's both painful to watch and moving at the same time.
- In the three-part episode, "The Odyssey", Lassie gets trapped in a truck and is driven hundreds of miles from Timmy and the Martin family, and tries to return home. Timmy meanwhile, slowly begins to lose hope of ever seeing her again. Near the end of the third episode, Timmy gives up, and with tears in his eyes, goes out to bury Lassie's toys. But as he's burying them, he suddenly hears a familiar bark. He looks up and finds Lassie running towards him down the hill.
Last of the Summer Wine
- The episode "Last Post and Pigeon" starts out as a typical episode, just set in France instead of Yorkshire. But it becomes more serious towards the end when Compo finds the spot where he and some of his fellow soldiers camped overnight after a grueling escape from the Germans. The episode ends with him, Clegg and Truly setting up a memorial on the spot, and Compo plays a sombre trumpet solo. As he plays, and the trio stand in silent respect, the camera zooms in on Compo, spotting a tear rolling down his cheek. Now consider that this was the last episode Bill Owen (Compo) filmed before he died a few days after they finished.
- When Danny is called back into service by the Marines, Ed makes a phone call to one of his old CIA connections, and asks where his protege is being sent. We don't hear the response, but seeing the tough-as-nails Ed shudder and virtually age ten years makes it abundantly clear that he's convinced Danny will come home in a casket.
Laverne & Shirley
- For a show that didn't usually take itself very seriously, the episode "Why Did The Fireman...?" is just heartbreaking.
Law And Order
- Law & Order had one with Lennie Briscoe in Season 8. His daughter gets arrested for drug possession and is forced to testify against her dealer, and after his acquittal she ends up murdered. He goes to the crime scene and has to be restrained from cradling her body by his partner. To see this gruff, world-weary homicide detective on the verge of sobbing just makes you ache.
Lennie: "She was my baby, Rey. What am I gonna do?"Rey: "You're going home with me, partner."
- In the season 9 episode Refuge, Part 2, Abby breaks down in the courtroom after Carlton Radford is convicted, knowing it will help bring down the Russian mobsters who killed her friend, Toni Ricci. She later mails a copy of the verdict slip to Ricci's parents.
- As Rey Curtis prepares to leave the squad to care for his dying wife, Lennie gives him a goodbye hug:
Lennie: Anything, Rey. I don't care what time it is. Just pick up the damn phone.
- In the season 3 episode Mother Love, a former honor student turned crack addict has been shot dead. The trail leads first to her dealer/boyfriend, but there is no evidence to link him to it. Stone and Robinette discover that the girl had stolen from her family, including bearer bonds from her grandmother, to support her habit and suspicion falls on her father. Ultimately, they discover that it was her mother who had killed her. Performed by the incomparable Mary Alice (the Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions).
Virginia Bryant: "I looked at her, it was so hard. Those little lines of blood in her eyes, her hands full of holes. My baby... It was so pitiful. She gave me the gun. She begged me, 'Mama...put me out of my misery. Do it for me...please.' I...I gave up. I gave her what she wanted. I killed my baby."
- In the Season 10 "Endurance", a mother has been put on trial for murdering her son, who suffered from severe physical and mental health problems which had obviously taken their toll on her. Upon his cross-examination, McCoy inadvertently prompts the mother to break down on the stand and admit that she had watched him have what she thought was a fatal seizure, unable to bear saving him only to force him to endure the pain and suffering he was forced to live through, and actually attempted to kill herself with her son's pills so that they would both die together before coming to her senses. The woman's tearful breakdown as she insists that she couldn't bear to see her son suffer any more is so affecting that even the hard-assed, seen-it-all-before McCoy looks shaken by it. And notably, it marks one of the few times he deliberately enables a technically guilty party to receive a lighter sentence.
- There's a similar episode where he's cross examining a pediatric oncologist who killed a man who had conned her out of money by claiming he could speak to the dead. The woman breaks down and begins babbling uncontrollably and McCoy is shocked to realize that for once, the accused wasn't presenting a bullshit defense. Years and years of watching children die despite her best efforts had taken it's toll on her, and this man scamming her was the final blow.
- The ending of Season 4's "Mayhem". A very socially awkward but endearing man is on trial for a string of brutal murders - he's unable to provide an alibi but both the detectives and prosecutors feel he didn't do it. Eventually, his mother reveals his alibi - he's actually gay, and was seeing his lover when the murders took place, however he didn't tell the police because he didn't want his mother to find out. However, his mother already knew, but had never told him because she didn't want to embarrass him. The obviously relieved detectives go to the prison where he's remanded to get him released - only to find out he was just killed by another prisoner.
- The season 6 episode "Aftershock". Claire Kincaid getting killed in a car accident
- The Season 7 finale, "Terminal." Adam has been unavailable throughout much of the episode and not quite up to his usual Deadpan Snarker standard when he is around, because his wife is dying in the hospital. The final scene is him alone in the hospital room with her when she finally dies. He begins to cry.
- McCoy is trying a man for killing several people while driving drunk. McCoy is going further than usual in his pursuit of justice. Everyone is telling him to back off, because Jack lost his lover to a drunk driver. Then the defendant breaks down and begs for forgiveness, and Jack realizes what he's doing. A defendant in tears and Jack pausing over a sheet of paper shouldn't be that evocative...
Law And Order Criminal Intent
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent, episode Magnificat. Det. Goren's interrogation of Paul Whitlock, whose wife (based on Andrea Yates) is being charged for the murder of three of their sons in an attempted murder-suicide. You can view the clip here.
Nelda: Don't you care about me at all? I know you do, I saw it.Goren: I didn't mean for you to see it.
- Also, the ending of Semi-Detached. You really must watch the episode to appreciate why it's so sad.
- The season 5 episode "In the Wee Small Hours," Detective Eames's testimony. The phrase "acquired taste" still makes some hardcore fans cry.
- Goren's mother is schizophrenic, and has lymphoma. ON her last day alive, Bobby must find out from her whether or not her old lover, who turned into a serial rapist and murderer, was his biological father. She admits to never knowing for sure. His look of devastation will break your heart. In the same scene, he tries to calm her and she starts flailing on him weakly. It's really the saddest moment of the whole show, this poor woman beating up on her big, strong son in helpless anger, and he the one who loves her the most in the world. . .
- Goren and Eames's final scene in the season nine opener. They have the most heartbreaking conversation, ending in an Anywhere But The Lips kiss. Eames accepts the captaincy, on the condition she has to fire Goren. She does so, but then lays her badge and gun on Ross's old desk and quits herself because she can't imagine working without her beloved partner.
You're the best. You always will be.
- An episode which circled around five kids (three black, two latino), who all grew up in the neighborhood. The latino children fell on hard times whereas the african american children were well on their ways to better lives. One day, the elder latino child came up to the children and killed two of them, wounding the third. His own brother was later killed in the episode as well, and the wounded child later died of her wounds. Five dead children of their neighborhood, all killed over something so...senseless. It really got to Detective Logan.
Det.Logan: You know, I've consulted countless grieving parents over their losses before, but every once in a while, there's that one case that just...just...
Law And Order UK
- "Unloved": Steel's efforts to comfort and help a 13-year-old boy who's just pleaded guilty to murder after swallowing his barrister's argument that his genes made him a killer.
"You're always saying we should fight for the victim. I'm the victim. (tearfully) Fight for me".
- Matt clearly struggling to hold back his anger and tears when talking to Alesha after her rape and his similar demeanor when reviewing the tape of her attack (he very noticeably stands far away from the TV and turns his back so as not to see it, but still cringes at what he hears) and during the trial. It's especially poignant when you recall that he spent the first half of the episode flipping out about her initial complaint that her doctor had touched her inappropriately, but now knows that he needs to put his feelings aside in order to be there for her.
- Alesha begging James to prosecute her rapist:
- Ronnie keeping hold of Matt at the crime scene
- Pete's widow breaking down the minute she opens her door and sees Matt there
- The end scene in the church where Matt tearfully admits that he genuinely doesn't know whether or not he was abused (after spending the entire episode denying it altogether), and Ronnie understanding that he needs to be alone after assuring him that he's done nothing wrong. "I'll be outside when you're finished."
- The end of the episode "Deal". Just. . .watch it. It is that wrenching that one cannot accurately describe it.
- Every scene in "Survivor's Guilt":
- Natalie struggling to keep it together before finally breaking down in the privacy of her office, Angie being all subdued and somber, and Alesha crying as she corrected herself to use the past tense when referring to Matt, "WAS a police officer."
- But the best moments went to Ronnie—his stunned, shell-shocked demeanor at the crime scene, consoling Matt's sister (who tearfully admitted that she always knew she would hear this news someday), his wandering around Matt's now-deserted apartment, struggling with the temptation to drink, petting Matt's cat and quietly telling it "Yeah, I miss him too", his simply asking Matt's killer "Why?", actually empathizing with him (the man was acting out of misplaced vengeance over the death of his brother) and reaching out to him with words that clearly reflected his own feelings-—“When someone you love dies, the hardest thing is to be left behind. You’d do anything to bring them back. You’d take their place.”, and later, in a conversation with the gunman's mother, "The police officer, who died? His name was Matthew Devlin. And he was like...like *my* son."
- You could even count the gunman's My God, What Have I Done? moment, where he not only musters up the courage and decency to confess and plead guilty, he caps it off by apologizing to Matt's sister, "for taking your brother away from you".
- In "Tremors", the revelation that Ronnie's grandson—born the day Matt was killed—has been named Matthew.
- On a sad note, his estrangement from his younger daughter continues, even as he's forged a tentative reconciliation with the older one.
- Ronnie being so broken by the murder of his friend DI Wes Leyton—this is now the THIRD time he has been through something like this—that he almost gives in to the urge to drink, going so far as to buy a bottle of vodka before working up the nerve to walk out of the store.
Life After People
- At the end of the original documentary, it's speculated that while apes may one day achieve a human-like mastery over the environment, the ability to look outside one's self and contemplate your place in the cosmos was an evolutionary accident that will likely never be repeated. Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether anything from the time of humans survives...because even if it does, there will be no one to talk about it.
Narrator: And so, like an abandoned village on a global scale, the Earth will move on without us. There was life before us, and there will be life...after people.
- Then there's the closing perspective on humankind's "reign" over planet Earth: if the Earth's 4.5 billion year existence were condensed into a 24 hour period, man's time on the planet would be half a minute long. And the 10,000 years it would take the earth to wipe out nearly all traces of our existence? A fraction of a second. We Are as Mayflies, indeed.
- The Inferred Holocaust of millions of domestic animals that won't be able to make it outside.
- The seeing-eye dog that continues to follow its daily routine as if its master was still there by its side. The poor thing continues to adhere to its training, ignoring the instinct to raid the cupboards in hunger while it waits for a feeding that will never come. Well-trained dogs will do this almost to the point of starvation.
- The destruction of mankind's greatest works of art. It's not easy to watch the Mona Lisa rot away and the dome of the Sistine Chapel crumble to dust.
Los Archivos del Cardenal
- The Chilean TV series "Los Archivos del Cardenal" ("The Files od the Cardinal"), narrating the struggle of the "Vicaria de la Solidaridad" ("Vicary of Solidarity") during the terrible Chilean dictatorship, is the perfect mix of Tear Jerker and horror. Maybe the names and some circumstances were changed to protect sensitibilites of the victims and their families, but the emotional impact is devastating.
- 2.19 - Truth and Consequences. The ultimate wham episode. Trick and Bo telling Kenzi she should leave, Kenzi breaking up with Nate to protect him, Nadia's death...all of it.
- Bo draining the unwilling killer Fae in "Adventures in FAEbysitting.
- "Delinquents": Lauren finally breaking down over how horrible her life has become, and then breaking up with Bo.