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Tear Jerker / Charmed (1998)

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"How dare you leave me! How could you go and die and leave me here all alone? Please come back. I need you. Please come back!"

Warning: Spoilers Off applies to these pages. Proceed at your own risk.

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    General 
  • Throughout the series, the sisters each die a few times. They're reversible, almost all of the time. While they mostly don't last, even the cheap deaths can be devastating when they're played well.
    Season 1 
  • "Dead Man Dating" Piper falling in love with Mark, a handsome Chinese guy... who's already dead and needs her help to recover his corpse so he can pass on. The scene where she tries to hold him but can't because he goes right through her could come across as silly but it's incredibly moving.
    • The end of the episode, where Mark is reunited with his father as they leave to the afterlife. The sisters watch over this and are understandably saddened.
  • As she struggled to break free of the Woogyman's control, Phoebe reverts back to her fearful childhood self.
    Phoebe: I can't! Don't make me...I don't like the basement."
  • While "That 70s Episode" is heartwarming in the sense that Phoebe gets to meet Patty at last, there is the bittersweet tinge that she nearly tries to stop Patty's eventual death but has to accept that she shouldn't change things.
    Season 2 
  • Andy's death left Prue in denial and simply shut in the house for about a month. Prue was obviously trying to avoid facing it but the way she later reveals her sorrow is not only heartbreaking, but it ups the seriousness of the show. For the first time in the show, a major character is shown dead for good and forever gone from their lives.
  • In "Morality Bites" when Phoebe realises that she must die for her crimes and Prue and Piper have to stand back and watch her burn to death.
  • "P3 H20" in which the sisters deal with the same demon that killed their mother. Poor Phoebe, who must use her power to see what their mother did wrong when she attempted to vanquish it, ends up not only seeing how Patty dies in her premonition, but actually relives it.
  • "Murphy's Luck" introduces a breed of Darklighter known as spirit killers. Spirit killers drive future Whitelighters to suicide as doing so prevents them from becoming Whitelighters and aiding witches. They're essentially the personification of the voice that tells you to jump.
    Season 3 
  • Seizing the eclipse as a time when the Elders won't be able to watch over them, the sisters attempt to marry Piper and Leo. All appears to be going well unitl Leo suddenly begins to convulse and is, seeminly painfully, forcibly orbed away. Piper falling to the floor and breaking down is what really cinched the whole thing.
  • In "Once Upon a Time", after having Leo snatched away from her in the previous episode, during their wedding no less, Piper has a Rage Against the Heavens moment where she angrily laments on all that the Elders have put her through. It's a great way of setting up the effect that the Elder's uncompromising nature has on the sisters that continues up until the end of the series.
    Piper: I bet you guys think this is real funny, don't ya? Haven't you taken enough from me? You have to send trolls to kick me while I'm down? I had a nice normal life, once. And you took that from me. You took my boyfriend, you took my life, the least you could do is leave me my freaking car keys. I am a good person. I'm a good witch, and damnit, I woulda made a great wife. And how dare you take that from me? I deserve... no, you know what? I demand that you send him back to me. You hear me? Right now. I'm going to stand in this very spot until you send Leo back to me.
    • A low-key one is Piper's Heel Realization that shirking her Charmed One duties because she was angry at the Elders put Kate in danger. She accepts that she understands why her and Leo's relationship could create a conflict of interest and, when her sisters try to argue in her favour, she fires back "not at the expense of a little girl."
  • In "The Good, the Bad and the Cursed", Phoebe accidentally forms a psychic link with a young Native man called Bo Lightfeather from 1873. Bo, trapped in a time loop, is forced to die over and over again. Prue and Cole enter the time loop and are forced to bear witness as the lawless leader of Bo's town repeatedly whips him. As a result of the psychic link, all of Bo's injuries are shared with Phoebe and everyone in the present have to helplessly watch as Phoebe whimpers with pain every time Sutter whips Bo. Plenty of fans call Alyssa Milano's screams of pain as this happens her finest hour in the show.
  • The flashback episode "Pre-Witched" after Penny has just died from a heart attack. A scene after the funeral has all sisters in the living room together. Piper tries to keep things optimistic and offers to make everyone dinner but Prue rebuffs her to meet her fiance while Phoebe informs the two of them that she's moving out, saying there's nothing there for her anymore. Both Prue and Phoebe walk out of the room leaving Piper alone trying to hold back her tears. Contrasted with a Heartwarming Moment at the end of the episode in the present when Piper decides not to move out of the house.
    Piper: "But it feels good that forever isn't today".
  • "Death Takes a Halliwell" - Prue has to accept that she can't prevent the Angel of Death from taking Inspector Davidson. She in fact has to watch as the seeker demons drain his blood.
    • There's also the death of poor Mrs Owens in the prologue. Phoebe utters a Little "No" when she hears about it.
    • The Angel of Death confronting Prue at the end of the episode. In contrast to her confident super-witch persona, Prue is left solemn and crying.
  • The fact that she's alive again by the next episode doesn't make Piper's "...Prue? I'm cold..." in All Hell Breaks Loose any less soul-crushing.
    • Prue's distress at her getting shot leads to her going mad and using her powers to move the crowds out of the way. It's the first and last time she uses her powers offensively on innocents and, while most of them did have it coming, it's sad to see Prue completely lose it in desperation.
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    Season 4 
  • Prue's funeral at the start of season 4. The music adds to it as well, Holly Marie Combs is brilliant as usual in that scene and Darryl the Deadpan Snarker was tearing up.
    • Particularly Piper's furious scream when a demonic bounty hunter comes after Cole. You can really feel her frustration that even on today of all days, they can't catch a break.
    Piper: (softly) Stop it... (screaming) stop it, stop it, STOP IT DAMMIT! This is Prue's funeral for God's sakes. Can we at least bury her in peace? Is that too much to ask?
    • Paige saying to her boyfriend Shane "don't hurt me okay" - after all the trauma she's already suffered in being adopted, losing her parents in a car crash, years of alcoholism and drug abuse and just finding out one of her potential sisters has died.
    • Likewise it's revealed that the man Paige thought was an abuser was covering for his wife. This probably means he was abused in some way too, and Paige nearly killed him senselessly.
    "I'm not covering for you anymore, Carol. You keep your hands off our son."
  • Fury-Piper screaming at the top of her lungs "How dare you leave me?!" to Prue's grave in "Hell Hath No Fury". Considering how cheap death usually is for the Halliwell sisters, this kind of permanence in the show isn't taken lightly.
  • The beginning of "A Knight To Remember" where Piper is sitting in Prue's room, going through all her things before sadly putting on her jacket and leaving. Turns into a CMOH at the end when Paige moves in with them.
  • "A Paige From the Past" - where Paige desperately tries to stop her parents from dying in the car crash, only to learn You Can't Fight Fate.
    • She's so happy to be reunited with them in the past at first...and gets reminded of how horrible she was to them. They even remind her that their previous conversation had her calling them "not really her parents".
    • She also ends up getting expelled from school, which didn't appear to happen in the original timeline. She begs her parents "I don't turn out like this", wishing they could know she does become a better person.
    • Her mother's speech is pure Adult Fear that can sometimes be scarier than any demon.
    "We know you're good. We've always known. But we also know that you're lost and that scares us. And there's nothing in the world we want more than to help you find your way home. We just don't know how."
  • Source-possessed Cole being vanquished in "Long Live the Queen." Made worse by little moments such as Cole genuinely saying he doesn't want to have to kill Piper, Phoebe's "I'm sorry," as she chooses saving her sisters and Leo over Cole, and what Cole intended to be a Dying Declaration of Love.
    Season 5 
  • A warlock from the future teams up with his present self and together they're able to kill both Paige and Phoebe. The devastated Piper kneels slumped against a wall and weeps while Leo tries to convince her that her sisters can be saved, to which Piper disagrees.
    Piper: You can't heal ashes!
  • In their conversation, Future!Piper tells Present!Piper that Miles must die. Future!Piper tells Present!Piper that when Phoebe asks which direction she should say right. When the time comes and Phoebe does ask, Present!Piper clearly struggles between allowing an innocent to die and saving her sister.
    Present!Piper: God forgive me...
    • Then comes the moment Miles actually does die. As he's shot, Phoebe runs over to Miles and cradles his body as both Pipers, present close to tears and future in solemn acceptance, watch. Future!Piper then fades away.
  • The final line of "Centennial Charmed", when Paige has returned reality to normal but with Cole still dead. Rather than delivering the last line as another one of Paige's quips (which could've made Paige sound mean-spirited), Rose McGowan makes Paige sound almost pitying.
    Paige: Happy birthday, Cole.
  • Leo becoming an Elder and Piper realising her family is going to be torn apart.
    Season 6 
  • The sixth season finale where Chris dies and Leo just loses it. Very sad and tear-inducing.
    • This whole episode is borderline Leo torture: Leo has finally managed to mend fences with his son from the future who hates him, and the cast has managed to protect Wyatt when everything goes to hell. Gideon escapes, the world is now out of balance, Piper is in the hospital in labor with complications, and Barbas the Demon of Fear is on the loose and now working with Gideon. The two sisters who haven't been warped by the change in the balance of the world are put under a spell leaving Leo and Chris as the only ones unaffected and trying to put everything right. Leo is then taunted/tortured by Barbas with visions of Evil!Wyatt and gets back home just in time to find his mentor and friend kidnapping his infant older son, and his adult younger son lying on the floor with a stab wound he got trying to protect his brother. This wound, of course, is magical in nature and can't be healed with any magic but the one who did the stabbing. Chris repeatedly insists Leo stop trying to heal him and go rescue Wyatt, finally convincing Leo with the words "Find Gideon, and you'll save us both." After retrieving one of the sisters to watch over Chris, he leaves to find a way to locate Gideon, and when he finally finds a lead, he hears Paige shouting for him, and gets back to Chris just in time to beg him not to die.
    Leo: Hey, I'm here now you can hold on okay? Hold on, hold on... I'm here, you can hold on. Don't give up, okay?
    Chris: You either...
    Leo: No, no, no. Please, no, no, please no...
    • Immediately after Chris' death, Leo is so caught up in his grief that he doesn't notice that Chris' body disappears. He clings to the sheets until he looks up and realizes Chris isn't there anymore and his rage causes him to completely wreck the attic. Really, what makes this season finale so moving is the fact that it's a series of adult fears manifested in one plot, between Leo trying not to make a choice of which son to save, finding out that someone he trusted so much was trying to kill his son, as well as the knowledge in the back of his mind that his wife is going through a risky delivery process in a completely screwed up world. It's only further enhanced by the fact that Brian Krause dishes out the best acting he has in him in these episodes.
    Season 7 
  • "Styx Feet Under" features one between Paige and Piper. Piper as the Angel of Death has to lead her sister to the afterlife, and Paige's futile attempts at stalling by tearfully admitting things such as her taking Piper's earrings and borrowing a jacket without asking then letting Phoebe take the blame is heartbreaking. Of course her death is averted but still.
    Paige: You can't blame a girl for trying.
  • Phoebe in "Charmageddon" has to touch the Book of Shadows to relive all the losses she's suffered in her life. For added heartstrings, we're shown the flashback of Penny dying in "Pre-Witched". Phoebe only found her at the bottom of the stairs when it happened, but now she has to actually see it.
    Season 8 
  • In "Payback's A Witch," during his birthday party, Wyatt brings his action figures to life to search for the Put on a Bus Leo. Wyatt doesn't know what happened, but he feels Leo broke a promise to always be there. That is sad enough, but it turns out that Wyatt blames himself for Leo going away.
  • Billie crying in front of her parents in "Mr and Mrs Witch" to try and get them to remember who she is? Genuine Tear Jerker.
  • Then there's the murder of the parents in "Generation Hex". Two innocent people who were only killed because the Triad wanted to complete Christie's Heel–Face Door-Slam. It's also clear that Christie's vanquish of the last member brings her no satisfaction.
    • Even before that, Christie has refused to see her parents at all. It's implied they've flown out more than once and she hasn't seen them. Helen is even begging just to talk to her on the phone. The sad thing is that Christie only sees them to prevent Billie from helping Piper.
  • Phoebe moving out for good, and Piper's tearful acceptance of the fact that they'll never live together again. It calls back to the "forever isn't today" scene from "Pre-Witched" - and you remember that without Leo, Piper is left alone in the house again.
  • Billie being forced to kill her sister in self-defense and her breakdown. While her sister was evil, she still loved her and with her sister's death, she lost all of her family.
    • Before that, she begs Christie to "just come home".
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