- I'll miss you, Mr. Hooper.
- We'll all miss you, Mr. Hooper...
- "You're right, Big Bird. It's... It'll never be the same around here without him. But you know something? We can all be very happy that we had the chance to be with him, and to know him, and to love him a lot when he was here."
- When Big Bird says "Give me one good reason!" and you know that no one can, because there is no good reason. It just is.
- Big Bird questions why this had to happen, and the only possible answer is both realistic and so very sad: "Because. Just because."
- What made this scene so realistic, touching and emotional was indeed the genuine emotion shown by the adults as they comfort Big Bird in his realization that, indeed, his beloved Mr. Hooper was never coming back. The scene – done in one take and kept intact – showed that even adults (who fully understand the concept of death) cry and feel very sad when someone close to them dies, and that it is OK to cry, sometimes together, when something sad happens. Rumors have always been that the producer initially envisioned the adults keeping their composure but maintaining their comforting tone with Big Bird, but the original take was the only one done after it was realized the genuine show of emotion made the scene more realistic.
- While it's unknown how true that rumor is, the first take was the only one they could use. In a 2006 interview Bob McGrath said they tried to do a second take but they only lasted a minute before they broke down.
- Add to that Big Bird singing "It's Not Easy Being Green" to a recently deceased Jim Henson during Henson's funeral service, and the Muppets win at bringing even the most hard-hearted hannahs to tears every time. The big gut-wrencher is right after he finishes...
Big Bird: Thank you, Kermit.
- That song is brought up in this Something Positive that's somehow both funny and sad.
- Worse yet, Robin keeping the other Muppets together by singing "Just One Person" during the tribute the Muppets did as their first show after his death. Kermit walking through the door at the end is by far the most poignant moment in that scene.
Scooter: Reading a fanmail Perhaps the substance of Jim Henson's genius was the ability to see wonder far off in crazy directions. And get people to follow him there.
- The scene where Big Bird tells Snuffy that he has to go away, as he has been convinced by his friends that Snuffy doesn't exist... until he starts wiping away Snuffy's tears, and realizes that Snuffy must be real, as he's crying real tears.
- This scene gets an emotional Call Back later in Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird where two children sneak into the tent where Big Bird is being held prisoner and wonder if he's real. Then they see a tear and remark that he must be real. Muppet magic.
- After shooting the scene, the puppeteers removed their masks to reveal that they were both actually crying.
- Some of the songs.
- Well, I'd like to visit the moon...
- It's not that easy bein' green...
- This frog has to go his own way...
- Darling, our marriage is doomed. Here stands your heartbroken groom... "Don't Walk" is a lesser example, but it still counts.
- "One Way" as well, though it ends on a heartwarming note.
- From the same album as "One Way" (1977's Signs to be exact), "Please Keep Off The Grass". Marilyn Sokol soars on vocals.
- I'm a blue bird...from Follow that Bird. Has been determined to be one of the top childhood-destroying moments in all of fiction.
- A more obscure example: I think that it is wonderful...
- A lot of the older songs in general can come to be this over time.
- The film insert/song It's alright to cry is another example.
- The "Gift of the Magi" Plot with Ernie, Bert and Mr. Hooper in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.
- Particularly Bert and Ernie voluntarily bartering away their most prized possessions. You can practically see the internal conflict, and these guys are basically just socks with hands inside them! The Muppeteers are geniuses at conveying emotion without words. Fortunately, Mr. Hooper catches onto what's going on.
- "I'm So Blue", sung by Big Bird in Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird. Buckets of tears and a definite need for a hug, even when watched as an adult. Poor Big Bird!
- The lyrics to "I Wonder 'Bout the World Up There" become much more poignant when you realize that this was one of Jim Henson's last performances - it was recorded just several months before his untimely passing. By the end of May 1990, Jim wasn't wondering anymore about "the world up there" - he was living it. The song was released eventually, along with several other unreleased songs and old favorites, on the 1991 "Jim Henson: A Sesame Street Celebration" CD.
- The Here is Your Life segments sometimes have some dramatic moments with a contestant's neighbor/friend. It happened with the Oak Tree (when Marty and Sarah became chairs), Red House (which moved away from the yellow house), Left sneaker becomes a modern sculpture, and the loaf of breads' friend became peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and french toasts.
Right Sneaker: It was like twin-brother (voice breaksdown) but lost each other.
Guy Smiley: Well, Get ready, Because we found him.
Right Sneaker: Oh no! You couldn't have.
Guy Smiley: Yes, we did. Here he is at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Formerly a left sneaker and now, THE MODERN SCULPTURE.
- From 1997, there's ''Things That I Remember'', a tribute to Ernie and Bert's friendship. It's mostly heartwarming, but the tearjerker hits hard when you consider the Reality Subtext behind the lyrics: First, this was one of Jeff Moss' last songs (if not his last period) written for the show before he passed away from cancer on September 24th, 1998. Second, though Steve Whitmire is playing Ernie, all the flashback clips are of Jim's Ernie. To quote one YouTube commenter, "Can you imagine how hard this must have been for Frank Oz to do?"
- It doesn't seem to be on YouTube, but there's a cute little song called "You and You and Me", written by Jon Stone, about Elmo, Grover and Zoe taking turns going through a door. The comprehensive 2008 book Street Gang by Michael Davis reveals that Stone, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease, wrote that song the day he died. Since he was a commanding presence on the Street since day 1, being behind some of the most famous songs and sketches, he went out with a blaze of glory.
- Cookie Monster having a rather sad nightmare on meeting a giant, talking cookie, given the name "The Monster Cookie". As he tells Cookie Monster in his sob story, he used to be a monster, though he had been transformed into a cookie because he was on a cookie-only diet, and regrets that he never had carrots, fish, or bread. After this sad nightmare, Cookie Monster wakes up moaning, "What a dream! Oh, Very sad!" He then approaches a cookie and scolds himself to never eat cookies again, and eats carrots, fish, and bread, and then a cookie afterwards leaving a remark "Well, Maybe sometime a cookie!" The whole sketch is so over-the-top and dependent on the Space Whale Aesop that it's utterly fantastic. Props to Jerry's and Frank's impeccable performances.
Cookie Monster: What happened next?
The Monster Cookie: Then me started to break into chocolate chips!
Cookie Monster: (Gasp) NO!
The Monster Cookie: Then me brain turned into cream filling!
Cookie Monster: OH NO!
The Monster Cookie: Then me leave crumbs, Whenever me walked!
Cookie Monster: And in other words, You did not exactly picture your health, right?
The Monster Cookie: Right! And before me knew it, It was too late... (Voice breaks down) Me transformed into a big monster cookie! (sobbing hysterically)
Cookie Monster: (also sobbing as well) It's a catastrophe!!! WHY?!? WHY?!?
- An in-universe example occurs on one of the game show sketches, The Crying Game Show. In this sketch, host Sonny Friendly tells a contestant a sad story; the contestant that cries the hardest wins the game. Ultimately, the grand prize is Sonny Friendly's own teddy bear - causing Friendly to cry the hardest, thus winning the game. The contestants continue to cry after the announcer blurted that there are no consolation prizes. And all of this is Played for Laughs...
- A Two-Headed Monster skit (the first in episode #2228) provides another in-universe example, where they're presented with the letters "S" and "AD". As the letters get put together into the word "SAD", they get all emotional. Like any time Muppet characters on this show cries, it straddles the line between funny and touching.
- In general, any songs about the moon or space are this, helped by the fact that many of them are ballads.
- The song "If Moon was Cookie," especially towards the end when Cookie Monster realizes that if he ate the moon, there would be no moonlight, and he couldn't look out his window at the moon ever again. Oh, *sniff.* Coupled with the simple, yet effective, instrumentation of the song and it becomes a thing of beauty. Just give it a listen.
- "The Moon Shines" can have this effect as well, with the beautiful arrangement combined with the slightly Deranged Animation and Jerry Nelson singing in his kid voice.
- The trope name is mentioned vertabrim by Alistair Cookie when the Monsterpiece Theatre parody of 12 Angry Men starts with a Fake-Out Opening sketch-within-a-sketch called Three Sad Cows, which is about, well, three sad cows.
- Much of part 2 of the 2001 hurricane arc is this, especially Big Bird's reaction to his nest being blown away from the Hurricane from the previous episode (quoted below). Anyone that lost something cherished in a similar incident - especially their own homes - can definitely relate. There's a reason why all the street scenes from the hurricane week were compiled to help children cope with hurricanes and other disasters (not to mention several reairings after subsequent high-profile hurricanes).
Big Bird: (Mourning) Oh, Gordon! My Home! My Nest!
Gordon: Big Bird, It's gonna be alright.
Big Bird: No, It is not!
Gordon: You're right. You're right, Big Bird. It's not alright. But it will be all right.
Big Bird: But what happened to my nest?!?
Gordon: Well, the wind was too strong it blew it all apart. (As he comforts Big Bird) I'm with you.
- The episode (made in the wake of the September 11th attacks) where Elmo becomes traumatized after a fire breaks out at Hooper's Store.
Alan: It's okay. There's nothing to be afraid of. The chief said that the fire is out.
Elmo: Elmo doesn't care, Alan! Elmo doesn't want to go back into Hooper's Store ever again!
- Becomes heartwarming when the adults arrange a meeting with real firefighters who tell Elmo that there's nothing to be afraid of. They dedicated their appearance on the show to a comrade who passed away during the attacks.
- Taking a nod from Mr. Hooper's death, there is a special that dealt with Elmo dealing with the death of his Uncle Jack, from Elmo's father remembering the good times he had with his brother when they were kids to cousin Jesse facing the fact that her father is gone for good. The special, entitled When Families Grieve, was nominated for a primetime Emmy, but lost to the only other nominee, a Nick News special about cancer.
- The show has a resource kit for families with incarcerated parents. There's a little cartoon film about a girl and her family going to visit her father in prison. It might be the saddest thing in Sesame Street history. Well, one of them anyway.
It's hard not to be able to touch or hug each other, but Daddy blows me a kiss. I tell him I'll save it for later. Before we know it, it's time to go already.
- The song "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" (released on the CD Elmo's Lowdown Hoedown) is an in-universe example, as it describes a cafe where cowboys and cowgirls let out their sadness.
- On the street scene for episode 2402, the Two-Headed Monster's sobbing in failure at being unable to stop Irvine the grouch's tantrum (which had disrupted the former's lullaby on violin). Maria had said that a grouch baby isn't like a regular baby - Irvine always has a tendency to scream and cry a lot. The whole thing positions itself headlong into Narm Charm. Especially when coupled with Maria's comment on this situation:
Maria: Oh no, And now I have got three people crying... or is it two?
- One of the Ernie and Bert skits features Bert feeling sad out-of-the-blue and to Ernie's confusion. He then proceeds to list the things that make him sad. Bert feels better, but Ernie doesn't by the end of it (First scene on episode #2621).
- The old sketch where Bert reminds Ernie that he's special can have this effect as well.
- The episode where Big Bird's Transatlantic Equivalent Abelardo comes to visit and they both end up losing each other. They then both sing a song, without realizing they're together.
- Watching a lot of the older (re: 70's-80's) sketches and realizing that most of the Muppeteers in them are gone now... Yes, Muppets live forever but unfortunately, the people below them don't.
- Christopher Reeve appeared in The '90s to talk about his wheelchair. Never has a celebrity's Sesame Street Cred been so uniquely moving.
- Similarly, Itzhak Perlman's appearance is another guest segment worth putting on this page.
- Ray Charles singing his own arrangement of the show's classic "Bein' Green" (from his 1975 album Renaissance) on the show.
- It's kind of hard to watch Murray host newer Sesame Street Newsflash segments, because the first thing that pops into one's head is "I miss Kermit!" It just drives home how much Kermit's role has diminished over the years, and the contrast to how prominent he used to be.
- The 2013 episode where the Count wins an award but isn't able to attend the ceremony becomes this when you realize what sparked it (see the Meta tab).
- Two of the last tracks on the Greatest Hits Album Platinum All Time Favorites fit this trope (even if they're rarely sung nowadaysnote ): "Little Things" sung by Prairie Dawn (one of the last songs by the show's MVP composer Joe Raposo before he died of cancer in 1989note ), and "We Are All Earthlings", an affirmation that we all share this beautiful planet. They're a bit syrupy, sure, but that's what makes them so enjoyable.
- The 2003 compilation Songs From The Street 35 Years Of Music ends with a remix of the main theme that interpolates samples of some of the show's older albums, showing how far the show has come since then.