- The entirety of "We'll Have A Good Time Then".
Shawn: Yeah, yeah. Well, I guess it's easy to be efficient when you're not feeling what I am.Jack: Don't tell me how I'm feeling, okay? I'm his son, too.Shawn: Are you? When you were a little kid, did you sit next to him while he watched TV all night long, hoping that he'd say something to you? Did you ever once clean up after him when he came home drunk? And when he didn't come home at all, did you lay in bed thinking it was something you did that drove him away? And when he was gone, did you walk around and make believe that everything was okay, when inside it was tearing you apart? Did you?Jack: No. No, I didn't get to do any of those things. You see, I knew I had a father, and he was gone from me my whole life.Shawn: But you turned out okay, Jack. Look at you. You know who you are. You deal with things. Me, I'm just another version of him.
- Jack and Shawn's argument:
Shawn: You heard what I said?Chet: Yeah. You been saying it your whole life. I just never listened. I'm listening now.Shawn: I'm really screwed up, Dad. It's like I'm watching myself do these things that I hate, and I can't stop them. Why couldn't you just stick around? Wasn't I good enough for you?Chet: No, Shawn. I wasn't good enough for you.
- And then:
Doctor: We lost him. His heart wasn't strong enough. I'm sorry, boys.
- And, of course:
- The ending shot: Shawn and Jack see what was the present Chet gave them: A photo of the three of them together.
- The final scene with Chet when he has another ( fatal) attack is just to say "Shawn...".
- Or the end of the series finale.Feeny:I love you all. Class dismissed.
- The episode with the lunch lady's death, especially in the last few minutes when the kids she loved so much each brought a rose on a lunch tray to put on her coffin to say goodbye.
- "Dangerous Secret", where Cory and Shawn help a girl named Claire, whose dad hits her. It's handled with maturity and respect from the beginning, and it's gut-wrenching to the core.Claire: ...I didn't do anything to him. I didn't do anything...why did he have me?
- After Topanga moves away, at the end of the episode Cory's still standing in the backyard, watching the road to see if Topanga's car turns back (it never does). Eric walks into the scene a minute after, and tries his best to console Cory - but in the end, even he knows there's nothing he, as his big brother, can do to make him feel better about the situation. Wham. And then Cory asks him if he could keep him company while he continues to watch the road, and of course, he does. Double wham. Verge of tears, man.
- "Resurrection" and "Can I Help to Cheer You?" are heartbreaking due to the sheer amount of hell they put Eric through.Eric: I can't be your dad, Tommy.Tommy: Why not?Eric: (sits Tommy on his lap) These people in California, they sound really... nice.Tommy: But I want to be here with you!Eric: You're gonna have a house with a mom, and a dad, and a big pool, and a big sister, and a dog named "Waldo."Tommy: I don't need a dog, I have you! Eric I'm never going with anybody except you!Eric: I'm not going to adopt you Tommy.Tommy: Why not?Eric: Because... I'm not.Tommy: (pleading) Yes you are!Eric: Tommy... I'm not going to adopt you.Tommy: ...I don't like you anymore.Eric: I'm sorry to hear that Tom...Tommy: And I'm going to California to be with people who care about me.Eric: Good for you Tommy. Good for you, man. (Eric leaves the room, closes the door, and starts sobbing)Orphanage Official: (to Eric) Good for you.
- It turns into a happy tearjerker in Girl Meets World when an adult Tommy, who now understands why Eric did it, meets him again and tells him his adoptive family was great and Eric giving him up was the best thing anyone did for him. The best part? Eric finally decides to 'adopt' him...as his campaign manager.
- The Flash Forward in "Seven the Hard Way", showing what would happen if the core group didn't settle the argument which was on the verge of ending their friendships - Cory & Topanga are having marriage counseling, Jack's become just like his stepfather, Rachel wound up marrying the boyfriend who she broke up prior to her first appearance, Angela & Shawn have fallen apart but still love one another, Shawn doesn't speak with Cory or Topanga anymore, and no-one's heard from Eric in years. The scene then undergoes a Mood Whiplash when Eric turns up... having become a hermit, married a moose & changed his name to "Plays With Squirrels", only for the scene to undergo another Mood Whiplash when Eric gets Jack to read his several thousand page manifesto, which only features nine words on the first page. And those nine words pack an emotional punch.Jack (Reading Eric's manifesto): Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself.Shawn: So why are all the other pages blank?Plays With Squirrels: Nothing else seemed important.
- This whole sequence served as Foreshadowing for "Girl Meets World", with pretty much all the implied futures coming to be... meaning both Shawn and Jack wound up down some bad paths.
- The moment everyone realises that Rachel silently left without notice after the fuss of Eric's transformation into Plays With Squirrels, especially when Plays With notes it was because she found it too hard to be in the same as the man she should have married. One of the last things seen in the Flash Forward is Shawn quietly mourning that he let Angela leave again.
- Shawn's alcoholism. While drunk, he confesses that he doesn't believe anyone has ever cared about him, and while everyone jumps to assure him that this isn't the case, it's still a heartbreaking scene, and gives an insight into just how much Shawn went through as a kid and the way it's affected him growing up.Shawn: You're not my dad! I don't have a dad. And I don't have a mom. I'm an orphan. I'm an old orphan. My childhood is over, and - and I never had any parents.
- And then, of course, "I'll be your father." Cue waterworks.
- The end of Cory's storyline in "The Psychotic Episode". Cory's afraid of everything changing after he gets married and that's what's been causing his nightmares.
- The entirety of "Cult Fiction".Cory: Shawn, this is a hug. Okay? This is a hug! And this is when you hug somebody. When you care about them and you want them to know that! Now, you cannot leave here, do you hear me? Turner took care of you; he loves you. And you love him. Is that real? Or are Mr. Mack and the Center real? You decide. But you cannot go. We can go.
Shawn: But you didn't teach me enough. You, and Cory, and my parents, and the Matthews and the handful of people who really care about me, so don't blow me off, Jon! Don't blow me off, God! I never asked you for anything before and I never wanted to come to you like this, but don't take Turner away from me; he's not yelling at me yet. God, you're not talking but I know you're here, so I'm gonna talk, and you can listen. God, I don't wanna be empty inside anymore.
- Shawn's speech to the sickly baby Joshua in "Resurrection" doubles as this and as a Heartwarming Moment.
- "All you had to say was no." Fortunately, Alan had a very good reason for refusing to allow Cory and Topanga to stay with them.
- After Alan apologizes for saying Shawn is a bad influence on Cory and a generally bad kid in "If You Can't Be With The One You Love", Shawn tells him it's fine, his tone implying that he's been expecting the people he looks up to to turn on him. Alan doesn't actually believe what he said, but Shawn does, and that makes it all the more heartbreaking.
- The culmination of Shawn's and Angela's relationship following a stumble that makes Angela fear that she'll just hurt Shawn by trying to get back together. The entire two-parter is just a series of Tear Jerkers as Angela finally gets to be with her father, Angela decides to go to Europe for a year, Shawn attempts to impress Angela's father by joining the army (even though it's the ONE THING Angela is against because it created so much space between her and her father), and finally Angela's father getting Angela to admit to Shawn that she is and forever will be in love with him. Pass the Kleenex, please.
- The ending of "And There Was Shawn": After Shawn snaps out of his Imagine Spot of a horror movie, he reveals to the others why he caused the episode's conflict: he blames himself for Topanga and Cory's break up.
- The big Wham Episode reveal of "Her Answer". During the "party' for Topanga and Cory eloping ( when they didn't in "His Answer"), Amy ends up letting out her blunt answer: She doesn't approve of them eloping and even asks Topanga "Why didn't you just go to Yale?". Shocking coming from Amy of all people.
- Cory delivering a big Calling the Old Woman Out speech towards Amy after Topanga rightfully so leaves surprised and upset, furiously pointing out to Amy how she should support Cory's decisions and how he loves Topanga, finally revealing they didn't elope by Topanga's choice since she didn't like the fact Amy wasn't there.
- Put yourself in Amy's shoes: Was it wrong for her to say that? Yes, but you also take into account (and even the show points this out as well) that Amy herself is unable to accept that Cory's become an adult and has another figure in his life to go carry with him in his life. It's basically just a mother unwilling to let her son go. Amy herself hits this revelation when Alan points this out during the "clothes" analogy.
- From "Boy Meets Real World", Shawn telling Cory about all the letters he wrote to Jack upon finding out he had a brother, only to never get an answer.
Tear Jerker / Boy Meets World