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Tear Jerker / Cheers

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Time keeps on slippin'...

For a comedy, Cheers had its tearjerking moments:

  • The ending of "Dark Imaginings", as seen in the image, forces Sam to realize he's getting older and has nothing to show for it.
  • The entirety of Season 2 can be this on Rewatch Bonus, because all of the sniping and arguing they do in those episodes might be Played for Laughs, but knowing how the season finale goes... no wonder Diane went to a sanitarium and Sam's hit the bottle.
  • The Dream Sequence after Diane leaves for good in "I Do, Adieu", where Sam imagines what might have been with the two of them as an elderly married couple.
  • Sam's tearful goodbye with his imaginary son in "Go Make". The son says "see you in a few years," but as of Sam's guest appearance on Frasier he still hadn't found someone to settle down with.
  • In "Pitch It Again, Sam," Sam gets a chance to pitch in an exhibition game. At the stadium, Sam comments that the only thing missing from this great opportunity is Coach. Carla tries to do an impression of Coach to motivate him, but she winds up crying - twice.
    Carla: I just miss him so much.
  • Diane's recounting of her relationship with her beloved cat Elizabeth, whom she's found out has just died, in "Let Me Count the Ways." It gets progressively harder and harder to listen to what she tells Sam without breaking out in tears of our own:
    Diane: (Sigh) Well, she was the only one in my life who was always there.... When everybody else was mad at me, she always liked me...when I'd—hide when my parents argued, she'd come with me, and...whenever I was sick, she never left the bed until I was well again....
    (Tearful Smile; Sam smiles encouragingly; Diane walks to the desk)
    Diane: And then, um...when I was...twelve years old, my parents separated. (Swallows) It was—maybe the worst night of my life.... Believe it or not, I actually thought about throwing myself in the lake. But—then I...looked down at this cat in my lap, and thought, "Well...who would take care of Elizabeth?" (Tears finally escape) She saved my life that night! And I know it's—crazy, and it's irrational, but...oh, Sam, I can't help thinking that last night, when her time came, she must have wondered where I was....
    • It's more than even Sam can bear, as he starts shedding some Manly Tears at this.
    • Testament to the power of this sequence: Shelley Long received an Emmy for her performance in this episode.
  • "Sorry, we're closed." (*adjusts Geronimo picture, walks to the back room*)
  • In "Coach Buries A Grudge," Coach prepares to host a memorial service for his recently-deceased best friend, only to find out moments before that he attempted to cheat on his wife. Horrified and disgusted, he tears up the speech Diane helped help write, deciding it'd be more fitting to rip into him in front of the assembled guests and tell them all just what a terrible person he really was. Against Diane and Sam's urgings, he takes the podium...
    Coach: I had a beautiful speech written for me here but uh.... I'd rather say a few things from my own heart about T-Bone Scarpiggione. T-Bone Scarpiggione was a son of.... (Trails off, looking at T-Bone's picture) That man was a son of a.... T-Bone Scarpiggione was a son of an immigrant. And like most immigrants, he was a human being. Human beings make mistakes. We're just not perfect. But I'll tell ya what isn't a mistake; (Choking up) To love someone and forgive him.... No matter what his shortcomings. That's not a mistake. I loved that man... And I forgive him. And I know that for the rest of my life... Every day there's gonna be a moment where I'm gonna miss him. That's all I got to say.
    • At that point, all of the guests at the wake declare how T-Bone hit on (and actually slept with) their wives too. They all go to lynch his cardboard picture, before Diane starts singing "Amazing Grace" - causing the others to stop and join her, finally forgiving T-Bone.
  • Diane's request for Coach to "watch over Sam" in "Cheerio Cheers" is doubly this when you realize that not only would Diane not see Coach again prior to his death in-universe, Coach's actor Nicholas Colasanto died only a few days after the episode was filmed.
    • That entire episode is an example of Harsher in Hindsight. From the title, to the above-mentioned scene, to several other dialogue exchanges, the Coach couldn't have gone out in a more painful to watch in hindsight episode.
  • The last appearance of Coach was an outtake used for a stinger (observant viewers will notice Carla's not pregnant, when during that time she was), when Coach was visited by an old teammate who according to Coach was blind. The ex-teammate tells him he got the nickname "the Blind Man" because he sold venetian blinds door-to-door in the offseason; Coach naturally Comically Misses The Point and is impressed with how he can still get around while blind. After he leaves, Carla tells Coach that the ex-teammate could see as well as anyone. Coach responds mystically, "In some ways, he can see more", a fitting last line by Coach in the series.
  • While being able to finally admit it was an impressive moment of self awareness and insight, Sam finally saying in a group therapy session that, after years of his sex life being his primary character trait and the only thing anyone at the bar every really praises or comments on anymore, he's become a sex addict—Even though he doesn't even like having sex with random women anymore, even though no woman takes him seriously as a romantic partner because of his hound tendencies (as Rebecca told him in an angry rant earlier that day), even though he's become unhappy with himself and his life, he can't stop thinking about sex or actively pursuing it. He's still in therapy when he shows up on Frasier, and, as the episode's events suggest, still can't hold down a meaningful relationship.
    • Foreshadowed when Diane does a write up on Don Juanism based on Sam. Sam initially thinks it's a paper on his sexual prowess, but finds out that it's a critique on his inability to form any sort of relationships, has nothing but sex on his mind, and will become a disillusioned, bitter old man. While the episode ends on a light moment, the issue is never resolved.
  • "Coach's Daughter": The Titular daughter admitting that she knows her fiance Roy is a horrible jerk, but thinks so little of herself that she's willing to marry him for being the first guy to pay attention to her. It quickly turns to happy tears when she asks Coach to look at her just like anyone else.. and he still calls her beautiful and the two embrace, his daughter tearing up.
    Coach: Oh my God. I never realized how much you look like your mother.
    Lisa: I know. I look exactly like her. And Mom wasn't.... comfortable with her beauty.
    Coach: (choking up) But that's what made her more beautiful. Your mother grew more beautiful every day of her life.
    Lisa: (teary) She was really beautiful.
    Coach: Yes, and so are you. You're the most beautiful kid in the whole world.
  • The final moment of "Dance Diane Dance", after Diane gives an impassioned speech to the Boston Ballet to let her audition (not knowing she's awful at it). After Sam and Frasier rescue her from embarrassment by telling her they faked the good reviews from her dance instructor, she nervously chuckles and says, "Never mind." However, the scene has Mood Whiplash as Diane gazes longingly at the ballet dancers practicing, wishing she could be one of them, but knowing now she never would have the talent to.
  • "Home is the Sailor" picks up a little while after "I Do, Adieu" and shows what's changed since then. While a largely funny episode, Sam confides in Rebecca why he sold the bar in the first place. He kept seeing Diane's face everywhere and just couldn't take it anymore.
  • "One For the Books" features a WWI veteran who keeps waiting for his buddies to show up for a reunion. No-one shows up all night, and he eventually realizes that, out of his whole outfit, he's the last one left. That's a sobering realization to come to, especially in the years after the episode initially aired and fewer veterans of that war were left. Thankfully, the main cast offer to celebrate any future reunions with him, and he doesn't seem averse to the idea.

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