troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Tear Jerker: Live Action TVQ-S
    open/close all folders 

    Reality TV 
  • Several people have actually committed suicide after being contestants on a reality TV show. Cheryl Kosewicz from the show Pirate Master was found dead during the show's run on TV (after filming) and someone from Paradise Hotel also did the same.
  • Big Brother: All Stars had a small tear jerker when Dr. Will and Boogie, Chilltown, were put up on the block against each other and they chose to evict Dr. Will. Throughout the game, they played around in the diary room and pretended to call each other on the telephone. After Dr. Will was evicted, Boogie had one of those where he had the phone-hand to his head and asked "Hello? Hello?" and there was no answer. Course he won anyway...Stupid Booger...
    • When Big Brother left Channel 4 in the UK, it signed off with a Champion of Champions series. This ended with a montage of clips of Jade Goody, not a past champion, but certainly the most famous former housemate, who had since died at the age of 27. Host Davina McCall was not the only person to sob.
  • The Israeli version’s third season (not including the celebrity season) has Ram Preiß Siton who came out on television. His parents had been told not that long before he came in, so the only ones who knew were his family, production (he had told them he might come out during the show), presumably some of his friends, and his boyfriend, known only by his nickname ‘Smiley’ (Kiyukhi חִיּוּכִי). The really tear-jerking moment came later on, when one of the two hosts, Asi ‘Azar, who is also gay, came in to talk to Ram about it. Bar Refaeli was sitting at the same table as they were, and was moved to tears by the scene.
  • Michael from Survivor: The Australian Outback being evacuated. He was going to be perhaps one of the best players ever (Tina admitted that he could have beaten her) but then passed out in the fire and ran into the water in pain, fingers burned together. They then showed him being evacuated and saying "Bye!" to everyone. A few other people being evacuated. There were a few people where it wasn't really that big of an impact and was sort of a relief to see that they got treatment. (Like say, Bruce in Panama or Jonathan Penner & James in Micronesia) But some others were odd...Kathleen quit the game in Micronesia and was having a mental breakdown, but the most recent was in Samoa where Mike and Russell S. both had extremely low blood pressure and Russell S. was saying "No no let me get back into the game"

    Series/Robin Hood 
  • The end of series three. Okay yeah, so this series didn't measure up to the previous two, but the final moment when Robin is revealed to be dying is very well done. First we have Robin heading off to Sherwood alone. As he does so, he runs his fingers through the grass, neatly bookending the series, as when he first returned to Locksley at the start of the show, he did the same thing with a bush. After a tearful goodbye with his friends, he stumbles off alone and finally collapses by a tree, a very dejected version of his theme playing. And then...it suddenly turns into a calm, gentle version of Marian's theme, as her spirit appears to take him into the afterlife and the music becomes happy. Sure, Robin is dead, he never reclaimed his lands and the Outlaws are left to struggle on without him, but at least he ended up with Marian and not Kate!

    Romance Of The Three Kingdoms 

    Rough Riders 
  • The Rough Riders miniseries. When Tiffany, in one of the battles, shouts out as Roosevelt has charged forward with no one else following, "For God's sake, follow the Colonel!" He stands up to follow his own words and that's when the bullet goes straight through his head, making him fall back into the group of other soldiers, dead.

    Royal Pains 
  • Royal Pains doesn't usually do tear-jerkers, but the auction episode in season 5 is an exception. Throughout the season, Boris' cousin Milos has been presented as a Big Bad who killed Boris' half-brother and is ruthlessly trying to destroy Boris' household to get at some artifact at Shadow Pond. To try and flush him out, the Lawsons stage a fake auction during which all of Boris' possessions are up for grabs, in hopes that Milos will bid on whatever the Macguffin is. But after acquiring several of the items, they watch as he becomes increasingly erratic. Eventually, it's revealed that the treasure he's looking for doesn't exist. Far from being cold and calculating, he's actually severely mentally ill and dying from the same disease that Boris has. His whole campaign against Boris wasn't the usual intra-familial squabbling that's been plaguing Boris throughout the series. He's just desperate for a cure to his disease. Watching a sympathetic Boris trying to reason with his cousin at the end is pretty damned heartbreaking.

    S Club 
  • S Club...a surprising amount of episodes, specials and the movie were very sad, depressing or disturbing. "Boyfriends and Birthdays" in particular, with people dropping hints as gently as they can, and the kid becoming increasingly unable to deny the fact that his father, who has hasn't seen for years, isn't going to come and see him, because he doesn't care. Also, it was a bit jarring to have people making the same jokes as always, only this time no-one is laughing.

    Saturday Night Live 
  • While Saturday Night Live is supposed to be a funny show about 70-80% of the time (depending on season), they've surprisingly have had their tearjerking moments
    • In 1989, when former cast member Gilda Radner died, Steve Martin (the host for that night and a good friend of Radner's) gave a touching eulogy to Radner and they replayed an old sketch with Martin and Radner in the 1970's that was them dancing. The pure emotion that Martin had on his face and was trying to go on with the show was heartbreaking.
      • One Gilda Radner bit was the black-and-white sketch where she portayed a Greta Garbo-style old time actress, speaking to the camera. The moment when the camera pans around and you see she was actually talking to a Sad Clown may have seemed like a Big Lipped Alligator Moment to some, but for some reason it always struck me as quite bittersweet, especially with the combination of the music and the release of a single balloon into the sky. After Gilda Radner's death, it seemed even more of Tear Jerker to me. (Maybe it seems like an Empathy Doll Shot?)
      • The short film "Don't Look Back in Anger" stars John Belushi, made up like an old man (and ironically, mentioned in the sketch as the last living member of the Not Ready for Primetime cast), visiting the graves of his costars. Painful and bittersweet when it first came out, but then, after he died (and saying, "They always said I'd be the first to go")...then, later than that - the first grave he visits is Gilda Radner's...-AUGH-
    • This moment is more of of a tearjerker now than it was then, but there was an old Schiller's Reels sketch called "Love is a Dream" which had Jan Hooks and Phil Hartman in it. Hooks played an old woman going into a storage place and taking out an old necklace of hers and suddenly she's flashing back to a young woman as Hartman comes out as Nutcracker-like soldier and they dance and it's just so beautiful. As the flashback ends she puts away the necklace and is walking out and the guard there waves goodbye to her, which is Hartman's character as an old man. This was a touching and mildly tear-jerking video at first, but when Hartman died in 1998, it became a full fledged sobfest.
      • Phil Hartman's goodbye from his last episode of season 19 (1993-1994 season; the host was Heather Locklear; the musical guest was Janet Jackson) was sad enough, but now when you look back... It's Phil, singing, and holding a clearly sobbing Chris Farley... There are no words.
    • On the 25th Anniversary SNL Special, Jon Lovitz cried when he introduced that sketch.
    • When Mr. Rogers died, during the last sketch of the night, Sanz came out onto a stage with only a spotlight on him. He had on a cardigan sweater and was saying "A very good friend of ours died this week" and then started to sing "You're Special" and then said "Thank you, Mr. Rogers" and then the camera fixed on a little trolley going across the stage and into black.
    • The much-despised (and with good cause) Jean Doumanian era (1980-1981), of all places, has a Tear Jerker moment on what many consider is one of the few consistently funny episodes of that season (the episode hosted by Karen Black with musical guests Cheap Trick and The Stanley Clark Trio). There's a sketch that takes place through the eyes of a man who is laid up in the hospital after having a stroke (his thoughts can still be heard and are voiced by Gilbert Gottfried in one of the rare times that Gottfried actually had an indoor voice). After being visited by his Jerk Ass daughter and her boyfriend (played by episode host Karen Black and cast member Charles Rocket), who only care about finding his will, his best friend, Rachel, (played by Denny Dillon) is revealed to be the only one who actually cares about him (as she loved him, despite that he married someone else) and the one who is the beneficiary to his will. Rachel's line, "I've always wanted you, Morris. Why didn't you ask me? Why was it Ruth you married?", the way she takes one final look back at him before she leaves (knowing that he's going to die), and the ending of the sketch ( in which the man is put under with a sedative and sings a song that he remembers from when he was with Rachel) is heart-wrenching.
    • Kristen Wiig's goodbye sketch, which plays out over the credits and officially closes Season 37. Love her or hate her, it's hard not to get a little teary-eyed during this.
  • The somber cold opening to the December 15, 2012 episode. In lieu of a comedic opening, they had a choir of 20 kids singing "Silent Night" in memory of those slain in the Sandy Rock Elementary School shootings. They also had one during the first SNL episode following 9/11 with then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
  • The Weekend Update on the Ben Affleck/Kanye West episode where Bill Hader's Stefon character breaks up with Seth Meyers after growing tired of him always wanting him to recommend normal tourist attractions and Seth realizes that he does love him and stops Stefon's wedding to Anderson Cooper (guest starring as himself), The Graduate style, all ending with Stefon and Seth returning to Studio 8H with the audience and some recurring Weekend Update characters welcoming them back. Along with being awesome, it will bring tears to your eyes, as it's Bill Hader's final episode as a regular cast member and a perfect send-off for one of his best characters on the show.

    Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World 
  • "The Sewer King" when Bazalgette spends weeks drawing up his plans for the London Sewers to the point of damaging his own health only for them to be rejected mostly due to political infighting amongst the committe in charge. It's just the look on the actors face while we cut to his wife talking about how gutted he is. In fact, there were quite a few tear jerkers in that series - suprisingly many for a show about engineering!
    • The same episode, at the end, features a short, home-movie style clip of Dr. John Snow in his study, working. He looks up into the camera and smiles, modest and slightly shy... and then we learn that he died five years before Bazelgette's sewers were completed and his theories about the cause of the cholera epidemic (that it was spread in the water, not through the air) were finally validated.

    Seventh Heaven 
  • "Nothing Endures but Change".
  • Charlotte Kerjesz's story in the episode "I Hate You". Even a kid whose father taught him the Holocaust was a fake is crying by the end of it.

    Sharpe 
  • Near the end of Sharpe's Waterloo, the last of the original batch of Sharpe, Harris and Hagman in the farmyard. Harris spots that Hagman is about to be shot and shouts his name, but isn't quite fast enough to stop it happening... and then is himself bayoneted in the back. He crawls the few yards to grab his friend's hand and then dies. This is topped off by Sharpe audibly choking up on learning of their deaths.
  • After Hakeswill kills Theresa.
    "You told me you didn't speak french"
    "I lied. My wife tauht me. She taught me many things. Above all, how to say goodbye."
  • Sharpe's battle with the death of young Perkins, after he is stabbed in the stomach by a supposed ally. Begging first for a tune from Dan, then for his mum and finally apologising to Sergeant Harper for not being a good enough soldier and letting him down. All the while his comrades try to comfort him.

    Skins 
  • Sid's father's death, and his utterly shell-shocked reaction to it, in Season 2 of Skins.
  • When Sid runs to the beach in tears, and Michelle follows him, and then he turns around and says to her brokenly, "Chelle, I'm so lonely." Add Fat Segal's beautiful ambient music in the background.
    • Except that the track in this part is by Sigur Rós. Beautiful scene and beautiful music, anyway.
  • Chris' death and funeral.
  • The scene in the final episode of Series 2 where Tony and Sid say goodbye. "I've always loved you the best, Sid." Heartwrenching.
    • Series 2's finale is like a neverending tearjerker. Aside from the two examples above, the other plotlines have Anwar reaching a dead end in his life and facing up to the shame and loneliness from being left behind while all his other friends were able to move on with their lives. During the scene where he makes up with Maxxie and leaves with him, this becomes tears of happiness... only to become tears of sorrow again when the bus leaves to show Sketch, alone and forgotten with a face of pure despair.
  • In Series 1, Cassie's near-suicide was heartbreaking to watch.
  • Naomi's struggles to face up to her love of Emily in her episode.
    Emily: I know you, Naomi. I know you're lonely. I think you need somebody to want you. Well, I do want you. So be brave, and want me back!
    • Also the catflap scene. Equal parts heartwarming and tearjerking.
  • And her continued failure to cope in Katie and Emily's ep.
    Emily: What do you do if someone you love lets you down? Really fucks you over?
    Thomas: You must try to stop loving them.
    Emily: And is that possible?
    Thomas: ...No, I don't think so.
    • And we all know that Thomas is really talking about Pandora when he says that.
    • And then Emily comes out to Thomas who takes it as the most normal thing he's ever heard, and she falls apart again.
    • Fuck it. Emily is a walking Tear Jerker, Naomi is (mostly) a walking Crowning Moment Of Awesome, and them finally getting together is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • And then they had to go and fuck it all to hell in Series 4.
    • Naomi at the end of Emily's episode, when she realises that there's nothing she can do to stop Emily finding out that she cheated with Sophia - at an open day that she promised Emily she wouldn't even go to. The desperation is written there.
    • The pool scene in Katie's episode. "I fucked the dead girl, I'm the one who gave her the drugs, and now she's punishing me for it."
  • Effy's suicide attempt in Freddie's S4 ep. (Freddie's murder in Effy's ep provoked anger rather than tears...)
  • The entire scene where we find out about Grace's Death and that Rich has been hallucinating for the entire episode that she was awake. What really hammers it home is the last scene of Professor Blood, who was a seemingly irredeemable character, breaking down on the stairs of his ruined house is the worst thing. Seeing a father well and truly losing it, and admitting that he also talks to Grace all the time because he doesn't know what else to do, and then crying and asking "what would she think of me for turning off the bloody machine" is just physically painful to watch.
    • Especially seeing as, from his perspective, she was his little girl, and we saw Rich watching baby videos of Grace earlier in the episode. you cannot help but think of her as a lost daughter, rather than a lost girlfriend or friend. that kinda makes it worse. the whole idea of 'no parent should ever bury their child.

     Sliders 
  • In "Applied Physics," Mallory struggles with Quinn's memories and 'remembers' horrifying things that haunted him, starting with the Kromaggs.
    Mallory: I was using the Travel Agency and these visions started again. Nightmares. I saw some place - my home being overrun by these things. My mother was taken away, they were torturing you and this thing made it real! I saw a man - a friend shot dead in front of me.
    Rembrandt: The Professor.
    Mallory: I don't know who he was, but he meant so much to me I can't stop hurting.
  • Since Season 4, Rembrandt carried around the guilt of not being able to save Wade from the Kromaggs. In "Requiem," he reveals that as she was being taken away, he did nothing because he thought it was just a Kromagg mind trick. He realized too late he was wrong.
    "I saw the pain and the fear in her eyes. It was her."

     Slings And Arrows 
  • Season 3 in particular is full of tear-jerking moments. The series finale when Geoffrey tells the now-invisible Oliver he loves him.

    Soap 
  • Elaine's death on Soap. She'd been kidnapped and escaped but was shot while getting away. She makes it back to the Campbells' and dies in Danny's arms. And it's shot perfectly - they cut to the rest of the family looking on, and then go to black as we hear the ambulance siren.

    Space Cases 
  • Space Cases: The scene of the crew reacting to the apparent death of Catalina.

    Spaced 
  • The beginning of the final episode, when it showed a video of Tim, Daisy, Mike, and all the others just hanging out and having a good time. And then the heartwarming ending of the series, when Tim and Daisy have their happy ending, and then calm music plays. She even had to FAST-FORWARD through the credits, because the music was about to make her cry!
    • The DVD extra "Skip to the End", in which Tim and Daisy become a real couple and have a baby. However, it also has a Crowning Moment of Funny, in which Tim insists on naming the baby "Luke".

    Spin City 
  • Goodbye - Part 2, especially when the Mayor is saying goodbye to Mike.

    Spooks 
  • When Jo was shot dead by Ros in what was effectively a Heroic Sacrifice. The look in Ros' eyes, which are normally so cold was just heartbreaking.
  • "Just leave it as something that was never said, okay? Something wonderful, that was never said."

    St Elsewhere 
  • St. Elsewhere many times, but especially at the end of the heart transplant episode where Jack Morrison goes to the ICU, takes out his stethoscope, and listens to his late wife's heart which is now beating in Eve Leighton's chest.
  • The finale is sure to get you crying, especially if you're a cat lover. Seriously, MTM, what the fuck?!

    Franchise/Star Trek 
  • The ultimate Tear Jerker, the first five minutes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nines opening episode where we see Benjamin Sisko lose his wife and his ship. The cold numb feeling as Sisko is dragged away from his wife's dead body; "Dammit! We can't just leave her!" - "Sir! There's nothing we can do!"
    • Another frequently-cited tear jerker is "The Visitor", a time travel story in which Jake watches his father die and spends the rest of his life trying to bring him back. He succeeds, but at the cost of his own life (in the future)... and Ben has to watch. Fathers and sons alike were hit hard by this one.
    • Duet, when the Cardassian mass murderer war criminal is confronted with the fact that he's not really said war criminal but his former file clerk impersonating him.
      "Darhe'el": [fevered] I AM ALIVE! I WILL ALWAYS BE ALIVE! It's Marritza who's dead! Marritza, who was good for nothing but cowering under his bunk and weeping like a woman! Who would, every night, cover his ears, because he couldn't bear to hear the screaming... for mercy... of the Bajorans...[he breaks down and slowly starts to weep uncontrollably, before muttering quietly]...Covered my ears every night, because I couldn't bear to hear those horrible screams...You have no idea what it's like to be a coward. To see these horrors and do nothing... Marritza's dead. He deserves to be dead.
      • Oh my god, the end of that episode. One of the more heartwrenching Cruel Twist Endings, ever: Kira convinces Marritza to return to Cardassia since it's going to need men like him to improve...only for a random Bajoran to run up to Marritza and stab him, killing him:
        Kira: Why did you do it?! He wasn't Gul Darhe'el!
        Bajoran: He was a Cardassian! That's reason enough!
        Kira: No, it's not.
      • Much of "Duet", but one particular moment is Kira's plea that she be allowed to continue the investigation, on behalf of "every Bajoran who moved too slowly, and then never moved again."
    • The finale manages to do it through Mood Whiplash. The happiness of the end of the war quickly turns into the sadness of Odo's departure, Garak returning to a destroyed Cardassia, and Sisko's death/ascension.
      • "To the best crew any Captain ever had. This may be the last time we're all together, but no matter what the future holds, no matter how far we travel, a part of us - a very important part - will always remain here, on Deep Space Nine." When you think about what that crew went through together... Cue sobs.
      • Weyoun... poor, poor Weyoun. Not just his death(s), but his entire existance, really.
      • Damar...poor, poor Damar. Especially his final "Keep..."
    • "The Siege of AR-558" nearly managed to make two men cry.
    • "The Quickening", never a baby has been so beautiful. Never a birth made me cry before...
    • The earliest one of the series after "Emissary" is in "Battle Lines," where Kira - who up until this point has never displayed anything remotely resembling vulnerability - completely shatters at Kai Opaka's death.
    • "Hard Time."
    • Dear GOD, the death of Jadzia. Between her last words, the Klingon death howl, and the chant that Worf starts into, it can still induce tears, even when you know it's coming.
      • And then, on top of that, there's the scene in the first episode after it when Worf listens to Vic singing Jadzia's favorite song, and then destroys the lounge in a heart-broken rage.
    • In "Sacrifice of Angels", I always had a hard time watching Garak and Kira's exchange over Ziyal's body, especially Garak's reaction to her death, and the fact that he betrayed himself by revealing that yes, he did genuinely care for her. Dukat's reaction to Ziyal's death was just as bad.
      • God yes. Poor Ziyal. And the way Dukat reacts... He may be the Big Bad, but that doesn't make this scene any less sad.
    • The end of "Tacking Into the Wind". The fact that Kira is caught in the middle of a full-blown Mexican Stand Off and barely even notices because she's so absorbed in caring for Odo is heartbreaking. This story arc is full of these; Kira's conversation with Garak about why she is ignoring Odo's illness in "Tacking Into the Wind" and the first scene of "Extreme Measures".
    • "The Darkness and the Light". Poor Kira. Especially the deaths of Furel and Lupaza.
    • The baby changeling dying in "The Begotten". Oh. My. God.
    • I saw this episode when I was really young, and I know it's not the most popular, but Heart of Stone. Odo recognizes that Kira isn't Kira because "[she] said something [she] would never say... [she] said she loved me." And then at the end, Kira asks him how she knew. "Nothing important."
    • When Benny Russell has a nervous breakdown in "Far Beyond The Stars" because the publisher pulped the issue carrying his story—which was "real"—thanks to racism, you can feel his pain.
  • In the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds" had a ton:
    • Picard sheds a single tear, as he's powerless to stop the Borg from altering his mind and body. Add in Ron Jones's epically sad music and a Klingon would weep.
    • After failing to save the captain, Riker walks into Picard's office and looks at his empty chair and sadly asks "What would you do?"
      • In that same scene, Guinan walks into the office a few seconds later and tells Riker the hard truth:
      Guinan: It would've been easier if he just died, but he didn't. They took him from us apiece at a time. You're gonna have to do something you don't want to do... You have to let go of Picard...
      Guinan: Did he ever tell you why we were so close?
      Riker: No.
      Guinan: Oh... Then let me just say that...our relationship is beyond friendship - beyond family. And I will let him go. And you must do the same. There can only be one captain - and that is now your chair.
    • A short but powerful scene in which the Enterprise witnesses the complete defeat of the fleet at Wolf 359.
      • Including the ship that Riker would've been commanding, if he hadn't turned down the promotion.
    • In the following episode, "Family" Picard suddenly breaks down and cries, admitting to his brother how wretched he feels that he couldn't stop the Borg from taking over his mind. To see Jean-Luc "Bad Mo-fo" Picard cry is hard enough, but when you factor in Patrick Stewart's acting, it just becomes too much.
      Jean-Luc: "They took everything I was. They used me to kill and to destroy, and I couldn't stop them! I should have been able to stop them! I tried. I tried so hard. But I wasn't strong enough! I wasn't good enough! I should have been able to stop them. I should, I should."
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation "Skin of Evil". Tasha Yar's final messages do it to me every time. Even 20 years later. Interestingly, today is the 20th anniversary of that episode's first broadcast.
    • Especially "I hope I met death with my eyes open."
    • This line got cut: "Data...It did happen."
    • 'Yesterday's Enterprise' is simply one episode-long Tear Jerker and Crowning Moment Of Awesome. Picard's still fighting as flames rise higher and higher around him, the moment that Tasha and the Lieutenant have when she reports to the Enterprise-C (especially 'But I don't want you here...'), 'Tell me about - Tasha Yar...', 'Let's make sure history never forgets the name - 'Enterprise' ..., and my all-time favorite:
      Tasha Yar: Guinan told me that I die a senseless death in the other timeline. I didn't like the sound of that. I've always known the dangers that come with a Starfleet uniform. If I am to die in one - I'd like my death to count for something.'''
    • "The Inner Light" is one long Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, but the end, where Picard plays Kamin's tune on the flute... I dare you not to choke up.
      • "Now we live in you. Tell them of us... my darling."
      • And then the follow up episode where Picard falls in love, and tells the woman what happened in "The Inner Light" because "I want you to know how much my music means to me, and how much it means to me to share it with someone." Then they play the tune together in a maintenance tunnel so that it echoes through the entire ship.
    • The end of the finale, "All Good Things..."- "You were always welcome", followed by Picard beginning the card game with the pull-out to the ship as it enters the nebula- he chokes up just thinking about it for some reason. The perfect finale.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation's episode "The Bonding" was just one big tearjerker from beginning to end. Even Wesley was tugging on heartstrings in that one.
      "On the Starship Enterprise, no one is alone."
    • The death of Data's daughter, Lal, as a result of Cascade Failure in ST:TNG episode The Offspring. Especially her final few words to her father.
      Lal: I love you, father.
      Lal: I will feel it for both of us.
      • Her last words always bring a tear to my eye.
      Lal: Thank you for my life.
      • Another tearjerker? Lal's name actually means "beloved".
      • The admiral's description of Data's desperate attempts to save Lal.
      Haftel: There was nothing anyone could have done. We'd repolarize one pathway and another would collapse. And then another. And his hands started moving faster than I could see, trying to stay ahead of each breakdown. He refused to give up. He was remarkable.
  • The end of the episode Brothers, and the death of Data's creator/father.
    • Also on the subject of Data—I may be alone here, but I always found Descent to be a little bit sad. Especially Data's simple "Goodbye, Lore," when he finally deactivates Lore for good. Emotionless, my foot.
    • Lore's last words as Data deactivated him: "I love you... brother..." Indeed; it was always debatable whether Lore did love Data or not.
    • The scene in "Darmok" where Picard tells the story of Gilgamesh to the dying Tamarian captain: "He who was my friend through adventure and hardship is gone forever."
  • Picard gets a truly beautiful monologue in the episode "Where Silence Has Lease", where - with everyone on the ship doomed to die in twenty minutes - he talks to Nagilum disguised as Data.
    Data: I have a question, sir.
    Picard: Yes, Data. What is it?
    Data: What is death?
    Picard: Oh, is that all? Well, Data, you're asking probably the most difficult of all questions. Some see it as a changing into an indestructible form, forever unchanging; they believe that the purpose of the entire universe is to then maintain that form in an Earth-like garden which will give delight and pleasure through all eternity. On the other hand, there are those who hold to the idea of our blinking into nothingness, with all our experiences, hopes and dreams merely a delusion.
    Data: Which do you believe, sir?
    Picard: Considering the marvelous complexity of our universe, its clockwork perfection, its balances of this against that, matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension...I believe that our existence must be more than either of these philosophies. That what we are goes beyond Euclidian or other practical measuring systems and that our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality.
    • This YTMND doesn't help much, either, syncing the final part of his monologue with Barber's Adagio for Strings, showing images of various galaxies and nebulae before finally showing Picard arriving in Heaven.
  • The acting in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Half a Life" was a little on the dry side, but at least part of it. Lwaxana Troi (Deanna's overbearing mother) has fallen in love with a scientist who has just turned sixty, and is heading back to his planet to commit a customary ritual suicide. Lwaxana isn't happy, and Deanna finds her furious mother trying to teleport down to the planet and chewing the authorities' ear off about the custom... before breaking down in tears. The scene that follows is a very emotional moment between mother and daughter that no doubt touches home to many people who have lost a parent (and includes one of the rare moments where Deanna willingly uses telepathic speech with her mother - she usually goes out of her way not to).
    Lwaxana: But I'm crying. I don't cry...
    Deanna: You cried when Father died. We both cried.
    • The episode Dark Page was worse, when it's finally revealed that Deanna had a sister who drowned while she was a baby; her mother has suppressed the knowledge of Kestra's existence ever since, and now she finally breaks down and hugs the illusion of her daughter, and says goodbye.
      • Earlier in the same episode where Deanna is tormented by the illusion of her father (conjured by Lwaxana in an attempt to make Deanna stop searching for her inside of her own dreamscape), he sings her a familiar childhood song, and wants to talk to her, because "they'll never have that chance again." Watch it, weep. and go call your father.
      Deanna: ...Goodbye, Daddy.
      • "Half a Life" and "Dark Page" are especially powerful since Lwaxana is a character usually Played for Laughs. To see such a brassy, sassy Large Ham emotionally stripped raw is pretty shocking.
  • The TNG series premiere "Encounter at Farpoint" has one - DeForest Kelley's last-ever appearance as the immortal Dr. "Bones" McCoy.
    McCoy: Well, she's a new ship, but she's got the right name. Now you remember that, y'hear? ...Treat her like a lady, and she'll always bring you home.
    • While on the subject of beloved classic characters, "Relics" should also be mentioned here for what was a wonderful tribute to James Doohan. The Enterprise comes across a Dyson Sphere with a crashed ship on it's surface, after beaming over they discover Scotty alive, over 70 years after the events of Star Trek VI. However he struggles to adapt to the differences in this new time, the Tear Jerker comes when he goes onto a holodeck simulation of the original Enterprise bridge and sadly walks around the empty room, knowing all of his friends are long gone. All he can do is raise a glass and sadly toast:
    Scotty: Here's to ye, lads.
    • The episode Sarek is particularly rough going for anyone who's lost a loved one to Alzheimer's. The legendary Ambassador Sarek comes aboard the Enterprise to conclude a peace treaty, but it turns out his mental health is deteriorating at a frightening rate. In order to keep him stable enough to finish the negotiations, Sarek mindmelds with Picard to regain a measure of his self-control. Unfortunately, this leaves Picard a screaming, despairing mess, channeling all of Sarek's repressed emotions and love for his son Spock, falling apart in Beverly Crusher's arms. Patrick Stewart acts the hell out of this scene, but it's not easy going. And while we're on the subject of Sarek, there's also Unification where he dies.
    • There's also a Reality Subtext, as the first episode was written around the time of Gene Roddenberry's decline and the second, where Sarek died, was dedicated to Gene, who had died not long after it was filmed. It's about the decline and death of the father of Star Trek, giving it a more personal Tear Jerking touch.
  • The Naked Now had Tasha indulging with Data under the influence of a virus similar to the TOS episode The Naked Time. Her later That Didn't Happen excuse, to what we find later is one of his most cherished memories, leaves us heartbroken for someone who can't be.
    • It comes up again in Measure of a Man when the Captain is seeking out examples of Data's humanity to show the court how wrong it would be to dismantle him- he shows the only holophoto Data has is of Tasha... and then the looks on the faces of the court, including people who had considered him as nothing more than an elaborate automaton, as Picard makes Data tell them exacly why she's so important.
      • More wrenching still is that Data attempts to avoid answering the question out of respect for Tasha. Picard answers this concern quite calmly and no doubt accurately.
    Picard: Under the circumstances, I don't think Tasha would mind.
  • More Data in The Measure of a Man. Riker's guilt for playing devil's advocate, not to mention essentially committing multiple acts of battery, shows that their friendship has evolved from what it was. Data's forgiveness of same, noting that he did what he had to do, shows that not only does he understand humanity more than he thinks, he embodies some of our best traits.
  • K'Ehleyr's death in "Reunion," where she uses her last bit of strength to place Alexander's hand in Worf's. And then Worf lets out the Klingon Death scream, and sounds utterly heartbroken.
    Worf: Have you ever witnessed death? Then look, and always remember.
  • Star Trek: Voyager had several of these:
    • The "Year of Hell" two-parter packed many into a small space by virtue of being, well, a year of hell. Janeway sending most of the crew off for their own good. Poor, blinded Tuvok trying to shave by touch, and Seven becoming his ever-present helper. Janeway's tribute to the ship that's given them everything it had to give. Her farewell to the last few crew, who know they'll never see her again. Voyager crumpling like cardboard into the side of Annorax's ship... Nobody likes a Reset Button, but it's never come as a greater relief than in this wrenching story.
    • "Living Witness", one of the show's best episodes, involves a backup copy of the Doctor activated 700 years in the series' future. He fixes some revisionist history and brings peace to a whole world, but he'll be homesick for the rest of his life — all his crewmates died centuries ago. He sets off on a lonely journey to the Alpha Quadrant, and if he gets there, all he can hope to find are the descendants of his friends.
      • It's sad a lot of fans hate that episode because of the concept of a backup Doctor being ridiculous, although it is a logical idea. But the fact that all of his friends are gone and you can tell he misses them. When you discover he left, you really do hope he made it home. It's why The Doctor was one of the series most touching characters.
    • "Homestead". Laugh if you want, but I'm not ashamed to admit that Neelix's farewell scene is the only thing on TV that's actually made me cry. The first two times I saw it. More than any other Trek crew, Voyager's was a family, and Neelix was its heart.
    • "Equinox" was an odd episode, and had a notable amount of bad writing, But Ransom's last words were enough to make up for it.
    Ransom: You've got a fine crew, Captain. Promise me you'll get them home.
    Janeway:...I promise.
    • Oh, most definitely. It's bad enough I haven't seen the episode, but Ransom's death scene sounds horrible. The very concept is heartwrenching enough.
    • "Endgame"s ending where after 7 long years, Voyager finally makes it back to earth.
    • The ending of the episode "Blink Of An Eye", in which the lone astronaut (Daniel Dae Kim of Lost) who made it to Voyager and met the crew, watches the ship (considered by his society to be a god) finally warp away while sitting on a rock as an old man, with a look of heartbreak on his face. There's a reason why this is often included in the list of top Voyager episodes.
    • In "Real Life", the death of the Doctor's holographic daughter. Yes, she isn't real, but the effect it has on the Doctor is, and it's such an acute reminder of how painful ordinary life can be. What makes is sadder is that the Doctor could have just terminated the program, but he faced up to her death instead because otherwise he wouldn't have got anything out of the simulation.
    • I may be alone on this, but I found the end of the episode Maneuvers to be a mini-tearjerker; Chakotay does his best to rectify a situation he created, attempts to keep the crew out of danger, and is ultimately captured and tortured for it. And when he returns to Voyager, Janeway and he have this conversation which was the tearjerker For me—because of the emotion in Chakotay's voice, and knowing all the things that had already happened to him in this episode:
    Janeway: I'm putting you on report, in case that means anything anymore.
    Chakotay: It means something to me, Captain. It means I've let you down, and for that I'm truly sorry.
    • The ending of "The Chute," when Harry feels guilty about trying to kill Paris while they were in the alien prison, and Paris pauses for a moment before saying, "You want to know what I remember? Someone saying, 'This man is my friend. Nobody touches him.' I'll remember that for a long time."
    • "Jetrel" is actually quite similar to Deep Space Nine's "Duet" except this time it is Neelix who is confronting the scientist who created the weapon that destroyed his homeworld. Just before said scientist dies after trying everything to atone and reverse his mistakes, Neelix finally forgives him for his sins.
    • "Heroes and Demons": The scene where Freya dies in the Doctor's arms after sacrificing herself for him. Despite Freya being a hologram, the Doctor (obviously) finds her death no less real, and later he can't even bring himself to adopt the name he'd chosen for himself, as it reminded him of her.
    • "One Small Step". Kelly is an explorer to the last breath, and Seven is moved to tears (so naturally the audience is too).
  • Star Trek: The Original Series wasn't so heavy on this, but it does have a few instances:
    • Commodore Decker's epic breakdown in "The Doomsday Machine" as he relates the Planet Killer's assault on his crew.
      Decker: I stayed behind. The Captain... last man aboard the ship; that's what you're supposed to do isn't it? And then it hit again, and the transporter went out. They were down there, I'm up here...
      Kirk: What hit? What attacked you?
      Decker: They say there's no devil, Jim... but there is — right out of hell, I saw it!
      Kirk: Matt, where's your crew?
      Decker: On the third planet.
      Kirk: There is no third planet.
      Decker: (sobbing) Don't you think I know that? There was, but not anymore! They called me, they begged me for help — four hundred of them! I couldn't... I-I couldn't...
    • "City on the Edge of Forever" definitely goes for the heartstrings. The original screenplay by Harlan Ellison was even more of a tearjerker, especially thanks to the inclusion of a legless World War I veteran called Trooper who is murdered as a result of the Enterprise crew members' presence in the past. Unlike Edith Keeler's survival, Trooper's death doesn't affect the time stream, and Kirk's reaction to the idea that the poor guy's life didn't matter is wrenching.
    • "The Immunity Syndrome": after Spock is chosen over Bones for the dangerous mission, Bones walks him down to the hanger deck, and Spock tells him, with just a touch of sarcasm, "Wish me luck." Bones refuses to say it until Spock is out of earshot. Later, when Spock's mission seems to have turned into a suicide run, Spock calls over the comm, "Tell Dr. Mc Coy he should have wished me luck." The look on Bones's face...
    • "Amok Time":
      T'Pau: Live long and prosper, Spock.
      Spock: I shall do neither. I have killed my captain and my friend.
    • "The Naked Time" when Spock is under the influence of a virus that removes his inhibitions, and he breaks down crying that his mother never got to hear "I love you".
    • In a similar vein, Spock's ending words in "This Side of Paradise" about his time as part of the Lotus Eating Machine: "I have little to say about it, Captain. Except that, for the first time in my life, I was happy."
      Dammit, Spock.
    • "Where No Man Has Gone Before," had Elizabeth Dehner's death.
      • I would say that Gary Mitchell's death from the same episode was also heartbreaking. He was essentially Kirk's brother (making his absence from the 2009 movie both annoying and painful) with both men forced to turn on each other; Kirk to protect his beloved ship and crew and Mitchell intoxicated and corrupted by godlike power that he never asked for; especially evident during his few brief moments of lucidity near the end of the episode, where both times, all the poor man can say is his best friend's name.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "The Forgotten." Following a devastating battle with the Xindi, Trip is asked to write a letter to a killed crewman's parents - a task he finds increasingly difficult before he finally cracks.
    "Every time I start, I hear myself saying what a fine young woman she was – how smart and full of potential. And I realize, I'm not thinking about Taylor at all, I'm thinking about Elizabeth. So many people dead. I tried not to see her any differently than the other seven million, so I've spent the last nine months pretending she was just another victim! But she's not. She's my sister, T'Pol - my baby sister!"

    Stargate Atlantis 
  • Stargate Atlantis made a Tear Jerker out of its very first scene, in which Ayiana and a male Ancient just stand there for a while, looking at each other in silence, then part—and Atlantis leaves Earth forever. Especially since we know what happens to Ayiana much, much later...
    • Also, possibly the Funeral scene in Sunday. Even if the rest of the episode was a flat out ridiculous.
      • Possibly?! Weir was close to breaking down in tears! And that's before someone starts to play on a bagpipe while the gate is dialed and the casket is brought back to Earth.
      • Bagpipes are simply Tear Jerker incarnate for whatever reason. Add them to a funeral and the waterworks come, guaranteed. Just goes to show they know how to get to the audience.
    • Ronon's reaction to finding out his friends are Wraith Worshippers in Reunion.
      • For that matter, most of Ronon's scenes in Sateda could fall under this trope.
  • In Infection, Todd's gradual realisation to what taking the retrovirus really means for himself and his crew. The fact that Christopher Heyerdahl is a damn fine actor who can speak more with one facial expression than most can with a monologue doesn't help.
  • "The Shrine". Good God, "The Shrine". If you've ever had a relative with Alzheimer's, this episode will hit home. The writer was nominated for a Nebula Award for this episode, along with The Dark Knight and WALL-E.
    • The scene where John and Rodney are on the pier at night toghether, with Rodney trying to remember his niece's name, asking if they should say their goodbyes now, John resolutely refusing (I'm not saying goodbye! "Well I'm saying it anyway! "Well I'm not gonna listen!"), ending with Rodney saying that John is a good friend...calling him Arthur. John looks at him in shock, thinking he's losing even more memory...and then the two burst into a fit of giggles. I never really bought the two of them being friends until this scene.
    • Woolsey gets one in when he talks about his father's moment of clarity. It's a far more relatable story, and hits that much harder for it.
    • The Infirmary scene. Good God where do I start? Ronon reaching out and just holding onto Rodney's leg while he's trying to explain about the shrine, like he's scared to let Rodney go but can't let himself get to close. Then there's the fact that John is barely fighting back the tears in this scene.
    • Also, Rodney's reaction when they actually bring him to the shrine and he gets better...only to find out that it's only for 24 hours, after which he will die. His gut-wrenching terror that the people he trusts would inflict such a thing on him is terrifying and all the more saddening because they were trying to do the right thing.
  • There's a tiny little moment in Echoes when Teyla is in the infirmary and Ronon's talking to her. This doubles as a CMoH and solidified Jason Momoa as a great actor.
  • "With her last breath she took out three of Michael's Hive Ships... And we buried another empty casket." -Future Rodney speaking about Sam's last stand during an ambush over a heavily populated world.
  • The end of Vegas. An alternate version of John Sheppard, who missed his chance to go to Atlantis and had nothing left on Earth, gives his life to save the world from the Wraith, and dies content and peaceful. Enhanced by playing Johnny Cash's "Solitary Man", which is probably the perfect song for Sheppard.
  • For fans of Stargate SG-1, Samantha Carter's farewell to the show - and Amanda Tapping's, to boot - likely induced quite a few tears. Carter was a mainstay of SG-1 through the show's entire run, and her transfer brought home the fact that the longest-running science fiction show in American television history had just come to an end.

    Stargate Universe 
  • Senator Armstrong's sacrifice in the pilot.
  • Riley's death.
  • Chloe saying goodbye to people in "Visitation". Her video for Scott was bad enough, but forgiving Greer because he'll probably be the one to kill her when the alien infection takes over? Pass the bucket.
  • When Alternate!Destiny plunged into the star at the end of "Twin Destinies"
  • T.J. not only learns that she has Lou Gehrig's, but watches videos of the disease progressing in her alternate self, leading to her death less than ten years in the future.

    The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 
  • The ending of "Birdman in Boston", when Cody watches his son, Bubba the hawk fly away.
    Cody: *voice breaking* Mom, when you left, did your mother cry?
    Carrie: *hugs Cody* Only after I was gone.
    Cody: *breaks down in tears*

    The Suite Life On Deck 
  • Marcus' goodbye party in "Bon Voyage", especially when he's thanking everyone and telling them how fondly he has always thought of them.
  • The ending of "Computer Date". Poor Callie...

    Super Sentai 
  • Mikoto's death in Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger, made all the more amazing by the fact that for most of the series he had been the resident Magnificent Bastard.
  • Any episode of any Super Sentai series where the rangers befriend a Monster of the Week that doesn't want to hurt people or cause trouble never ends well for the heroes.
  • Burai's death in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger.
  • In episode 12 of Gokaiger, we have Joe's desperate attempt to get Barizorg to remember his humanity as Sid Bamick.
Live Action TVM-PTearjerker/Live-Action TVLive Action TVT-Z

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
79151
23