Frasier has had many in its eleven seasons.
- Say what you want about Season 10, "Rooms With a View" is one long tearjerker as Niles goes for emergency heart surgery. It's heightened when Niles keeps saying Daphne's name — just in case.
Daphne: I hate hospitals.
- At the climax is Martin's flashback concerning Hester's diagnosis of cancer.
- Daphne, screaming and tears, saying there's nothing until she knows Niles is out of surgery and perfectly fine. Anyone with someone like that in their life was crying with her.
- The above two examples go hand in hand, as Martin's flashback comes directly after he comforts Daphne:
Martin: (sombrely) I know what you mean.
(Cut to a flashback, where a doctor is putting up x-rays in front of Martin)
Doctor: Your wife's x-rays don't look good, Mr. Crane.
- When Niles discovers Maris' infidelity with her fencing instructor (completely by accident — there was a sensory deprivation tank and mixed-up pronouns involved). His reaction is to shrink in on himself and look as pathetic as possible, complete with puppy dog eyes. Then, in the next scene, he arrives at Frasier's home. Frasier and Martin had agreed not to coddle Niles, but when they open the door, Niles steps in, looks like he's about to cry and flings his arms out. Frasier and Martin immediately hug him and show him they're there for him (and even Eddie licks his face and cuddles into his lap).
- When Niles finds out Maris is having an affair with their marriage counselor he is heartbroken and he realizes it's the end for them.
- "And then I ran into the bedroom, tears pouring down my face and said 'Mommy, mommy! The puppy Santa gave me for Christmas won't wake up!'" (From a caller to Frasier's radio show in Season 1's "Miracle on Third or Fourth Street".) Given the sheer bombardment of Christmas-themed misery Frasier and Roz have suffered by that point, this one also has Black Comedy points.
- The guy in "The Impossible Dream" (season 4) who described a heartwrenching death he'd witnessed only to have Frasier remind him he'd resolved not to watch sad movies. note
- Niles' broken heart as he celebrates a successful divorce settlement with Frasier, then turns and sees Daphne walk into Cafe Nervosa hand-in-hand with his lawyer. You can see an utter sadness on his face not even seen when Maris cheated on him.
- In the final episode, when Niles said, "I'll miss the coffees."
- A subtler example moments before; when the removal man comes to take Martin's chair away, Frasier expresses relief at finally getting it out of his apartment, but can't resist telling the guy to make sure he takes care of it. Then, once he's moved his preferred chair into its place, it seems to finally sink in that he's all alone.
- When Frasier recites the Tennyson poem.
- The final few moments of the finale can bring tears to your eyes. Especially when you realize that Frasier's farewell message to his family, and later his radio listener, can just as well be taken as a direct message to the viewer.
- Another subtle one. As they hug, Martin tells Frasier, "thank you." This is a Call-Back to the first episode where they get into a fight because Frasier was upset that Martin never verbally thanked him for allowing him to move in with him.
- In season 4's "Mixed Doubles," Niles spends the whole episode trying to work up the courage to admit his feelings to Daphne. After both of them are cheated on by their dates, they meet up at a singles bar and Daphne asks him to imagine what it would have been like if they'd met there by chance at some other time in their lives. Niles imagines the scenario, which involves him asking, "What are you doing with the rest of your life?" Daphne laughs and thanks him and says, in a completely friendly manner, "I love ya, Doctor Crane." Niles sits for a moment before saying, completely honestly, "I love you too, Daphne."
- In the episode "Frasier's Edge", Frasier's mentor, Dr. Tewksbury, is trying to help him through a crisis of confidence. He advises him to diagnose himself as if he were a caller on his own show. Frasier tries to stall by bringing up numerous exercises, but Tewksbury pushes him to deal with his feelings. Finally, Frasier breaks down:Frasier: But I don't know what he wants!Dr. Tewksbury: Then why do you keep trying to bury him in psychiatric exercises?Frasier: Because that's all I have![long pause, Tewksbury looks at him sadly]Frasier (whispering): ...I'm sorry, caller. I can't help you.
- And then at the end of that episode, when Frasier is given his Lifetime Achievement Award, he says to the crowd:Frasier: Thank you for honoring my life... I just wish I knew what to do with the rest of it...
- And then at the end of that episode, when Frasier is given his Lifetime Achievement Award, he says to the crowd:
- In the Season 9 episode "Deathtrap," after Martin explains about "Hamster Heaven" to console Roz's daughter Alice about her dead pet, Alice asks about whether Eddie would be going to "Dog Heaven." Martin laughs and says not for a long time. But after she leaves, Martin looks somber and calls Eddie over to his lap for a hug. (Reality Subtext: Moose, the dog who originally played Eddie, was retired from regular appearances at the end of the previous season. He was getting too old to perform some of the tricks so his son, Enzo, had taken over the role.)
- "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue": Even Frasier himself said "It just breaks my heart!" The scene where Niles and Daphne dance together, to the song "They Can't Take That Away from Me", aware that their chance to be together is slipping away forever...
- The first half of the episode ends with Daphne about to confess her feelings to Niles only for Mel to arrive and announce that they'd eloped the night before. Daphne puts on a brave face as she makes an excuse to leave the apartment only to break down in tears once outside.
- Season 6's "Visions of Daphne" is one big Tear Jerker for Niles. He has to learn from Daphne that Donny is planning to propose to her, then she comes to him saying she had a vision that she was meant to be with someone else and he convinces her that she's right and shouldn't accept the proposal. Then Frasier and Martin convince him of how unethical, let alone what a bad friend he would be, if he let Daphne make this decision in his advice so he tries to talk her back into marrying Donny. She's determined to say no, but Donny proposes to her in such a sweet way (in front of all the Crane men) that she surprises them all by accepting. Niles simply walks, heartbroken, out of the room. The pain that Frasier and Martin feel for him is evident. Then, later, she thanks Niles for his (second) piece of advice, saying that she had it in mind when she accepted the proposal.Martin: I'd do anything to fix this for you, son.Niles: It's my own fault. I had chance after chance to tell her how I feel and I always kept my mouth shut.
- At the end, Daphne has a second vision, saying that she saw her dream man with a dragon, which she thinks is ridiculous. The next scene is Niles, unwrapping a present Roz bought him - a ceramic dragon. And both of them are oblivious.
- In "Room Full of Heroes," Frasier hosts a costume party where everyone's supposed to dress as their own personal heroes. Niles comes as Martin, which at first is incredibly heartwarming. But as the night goes on, Niles takes the role farther and farther, sinking into it more and more, until in a moment of passion, he declares both his "sons" complete disappointments and utter failures. It's sad enough that, deep down, Niles thinks that's his father's real opinion, but the saddest thing of all is Martin's face on the verge of tears as he looks at Niles and angrily sets the record straight:Martin: You stop right there! You will not put these words in my mouth. I was always proud of you boys, and I will not be portrayed as some drunken, judgmental jackass!
- And the previous scene, they wistfully talk about Hester.
- In the episode "Daphne Returns", Niles finally realizes how deeply embedded in fantasy his infatuation with Daphne has been:Frasier: You have a chance for a real relationship with Daphne, yet you're resisting it.Niles: Why would I do that?Frasier: Because if your relationship with Daphne doesn't work out... then you will have spent the last seven years of your life... chasing an illusion.
- Frasier and Martin's talk about the infidelity of both their wives. Yes, Frasier's beloved mother cheated on his father.
- In "A Day in May" one of the b-plots has Martin sitting at a table in a strange room drinking a cup of coffee. When Niles calls him he lies and says he's at the track. Later he's met there by a woman. While chatting they both say they think about each other a lot, and the woman asks how his hip is doing. An old flame of Martin's, perhaps? Not quite. They're at the local prison to attend the parole hearing of the woman's son. He was the criminal who shot Martin in the hip, cutting short his police career and crippling him for life. The young man describes his success with the prison work program and how he hopes to get a job in computer science once he gets out. And he says he regrets his crime "every day." The parole board asks Martin if he'd like the make a statement. Martin struggles to his feet, pauses for a moment...and says "I have nothing to say." The board ultimately decides not to grant parole. As Martin starts to leave the young man's mother quietly sobs in her seat. Martin turns around as if to comfort her...but he has nothing to say...
- In "Our Father, Whose Art Ain't Heaven", Frasier, after lying about liking a painting Martin bought for him, finally decides to be honest with his father about not liking it. Martin seems to accept the explanation, but then breaks down into tears, devastated that his own son would accept a gift he didn't want. Seeing that he made his father cry makes him start crying too. While it's a funny scene in itself (see the "Funny" page), the scene's undercurrent is still heartbreaking underneath the laughs. The fact is Martin seems to think he failed as a father ("I could never do anything for my sons!") and Frasier is ashamed that he was so ungrateful and caused his father so much pain ("I'm the most ungrateful son in the world!") Niles walks in on the scene and starts crying as well, because none of his high-society friends want to come to his party. That may seem silly, but he's getting divorced and his ex-wife is spitefully tearing his whole social circle away from him.
- Roz ending up in tears about breaking up with her boyfriend, Roger. Both times. The second time is especially sad. Frasier has recently debuted in a new market (Spokane), but the audience is hostile since he is replacing a local legend. Frasier has Roz pretend to call in and fake a problem. In doing so, her insistence that she's perfectly fine shatters and she breaks down on the air.
- All three Cranes watching home movies of Hester.
- The same episode ("Momma Mia") has Frasier dating a woman named Mia Preston who looks exactly like Hester when she was younger, with Frasier being oblivious. Obviously meant to be Played for Laughs, but the reactions of Niles (who's deeply concerned for Frasier) and especially Martin make it less funny. Especially since Martin actually slips up and calls Mia "honey" briefly. It's clear how much they all miss Hester.
- Charlotte's breakdown in "Match Game". She's trying to put on a good face the whole episode only for it be revealed she's dangerously close to the Despair Event Horizon because of how much her life sucks.
- Mel and Niles' relationship, as well as Donny and Daphne's, is the most tearjerking hurdle between Niles and Daphne finally getting together:
- After being left at the altar, you see Donny breaking down and "making friends" with the groom on the cake, named "Mr. Chump", while repeatedly trying to sue Daphne and Frasier to ease his heartbreak. Over the course of the show he's later seen getting into multiple serious relationships far too fast as a result of being on the rebound, and outright admitting (in front of his newest partner) that he will never find someone as good as Daphne. It's played for laughs by that point, but we need only look towards his touching romance with Daphne in earlier seasons to know that he really did love her.
- Mel, although at first glance looking like just another Maris in Niles' life, also clearly loved him when they were together. She even says to Daphne, in a bittersweet Heartwarming Moment, that she wants to be that person Niles trusts enough to help him be everything he ever wanted—showing that her manipulation of him, while still ultimately not good for Niles, was for his sake and not just because she's selfish like Maris was. Niles, in return, discards her the minute he thinks Daphne may have feelings for him and they break up after four days married. That heartbreak is a big part of why she becomes so cruel towards him later.Mel: NO! [Bangs hard on the table] I promised myself I wouldn't cry.
- "Don Juan in Hell", the episode where Frasier openly acknowledges to himself how badly he's been traumatized by his failed marriages and relationships with women. He couldn't handle having a relationship with a very well suited Girl of the Week because he knew how much it would hurt when he inevitably lost her. The happy note it ends on, where he puts his demons (Lilith, Diane, his mother, and his hippy first wife) behind him is even mitigated by him continuing to struggle with relationships over the next several seasons.
"In loving memory of our friends Lynn and David Angell"
- And at the end of the season premiere "Don Juan In Hell":
- For those unaware. David Angell, the executive producer, along with his wife were killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks aboard American Airlines Flight 11.
- In season 3's "Moon Dance," Daphne attends a ball with Niles to prove to his friends that he is over Maris. In the heat of a very passionate dance, Niles admits that he adores her. She says the same back to him and they share their first kiss. When they sit down, Niles is positively glowing until Daphne says, "I had no idea you were such a good actor." The way his face slowly falls as the realization dawns on him is crushing.
- Frasier's "therapy" session with Eddie in "Back Talk" counts as both this and a Heartwarming Moment, as it's both an insight into how lonely and unhappy he is deep down and how much he has come to genuinely value Daphne's companionship and friendship. (And, of course, since Daphne only hears the last bit and completely misinterprets it, it becomes funny again as well.)Frasier: Do you want to know what's bothering me? Well, here's a start: I'm talking to a dog, that bothers me. I'm another year older today. I suppose that bothers me. Though not as much as people seem to think. [Increasingly maudlin] I'm still single. That's a big one. Not having a woman to share my life with. The only women in my life are friends: Roz and Daphne. Daphne's not even here anymore, she'll be married soon. That's going to be tough on Dad... who am I kidding. It's going to be tough on me. It's been nice having her here. Even when my love life hasn't been going so well, I can always come home to a warm and considerate woman. You know, that's probably why I've been so brusque with her lately: I know that once she's gone, I'll probably be twice as lonely. Well, it's quite a realization isn't it? I really do love Daphne and I'm about to lose her. I've got to show her how I feel about her, while I still have the chance.
- When Martin breaks up with Sherry for good in "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do", as he was looking for marriage and she wasn't. He does his best to put on a brave face, but you know it's breaking his heart.
- "First Date": A freshly divorced Niles tries to work up the courage to finally, finally ask Daphne out on a date... and still fumbles at the first hurdle, for fear of her rejecting the offer. For anyone who's ever had to deal with that, watching Niles desperately trying to work up the nerve is heartbreaking. Making it worse, miscommunication means Daphne thinks he's in love with someone else, and the end result is her helping to cook a romantic meal for a made-up girlfriend. Just to twist the knife deeper and deeper is how in-synch the two show themselves to be, even singing together as they chop food... and Niles still can't do it.
- And then, for one last stab, at the end of the episode Daphne assumes Niles has been dumped, and states it would be wrong for him to date when he's clearly still recovering from Maris. Though things do get slightly better when Niles manages to convince her to share the meal they made together.
- Sadly, John Mahoney (Martin) passing away in 2018 at the age of 77.
- Kelsey Grammer appeared on The Talk several days later and declared: "He was my father and I loved him." He explained that Mahoney played his father longer than he knew his own father and that he never had a brother either, meaning that his relationships with both men was very much like a Real Life counterpart.
- In "Boo!", Frasier and Niles, after Martin's suffered a heart attack note , confessing they're not ready to lose him. Even before Mahoney's death, any middle-aged son or daughter have felt the same of their own elderly parent.
- While the series does its best to paint the characters in an unsympathetic light, you can't deny that the way things ended for Donny and Mel was heartbreaking. Niles left Mel days into their marriage and Daphne left Donny at the altar, and it's heavily implied that neither jilted lover ever got over the breakups. Depending on your viewpoint, it almost puts the Niles/Daphne love story into Esoteric Happy Ending territory when you consider that they ruined two other lives in the process.