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Tear Jerker / The Golden Girls

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  • Dorothy's dressing down of Stan and telling him why his leaving hurt her so much. She tells him that after 38 years of marriage with the good times, the bad times, the kids, the stresses, the arguments... after all that, he had his lawyer break the news of the divorce over the phone rather than going to her in person and having a proper conversation. "A stranger on the phone told me that my marriage was over." Just hearing her voice break a few times and Stan getting quiet after she gets her chance to truly say goodbye makes you feel sorry for both of them.
  • In Transplant, Blanche's sister Virginia arrives for a visit, despite her describing their childhood as negative because of her, Virginia is surprisingly polite, however the truth because she needs Blanche's help. She needs a kidney transplant, Blanche is unsure what to do, but on her last visit Virginia gives Blanche a deep emotional hug goodbye, Blanche visible realises she needs to help her sister. However Blanche returns early as they couldn't use her kidney, but found a suitable donor.
    • What makes it's especially important is that Dorothy, Rose and Sophia talk about what they would do for their family, they agree that if it was for their children it would be no doubt they would give their heart if needed.
  • Rose's desperation in "Job Hunt." It hits home even more now in these times, when many people over 50 find fewer and fewer companies willing to hire them.
  • Rose's observations on a local homeless woman in "Rose Fights Back", and her fears that she could end up like that woman if she can't find a job after losing Charlie's pension. She explains that, after assuming that woman was just lazy or stupid for getting herself into a bad situation, she's finally noticed that the lady is actually the exact same age as she is. Rose's line at the end of the monologue—"What am I going to do?"—hits hard, as she realizes that she, and countless others, are just as close to desperation as the bag lady.
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  • The entirety of "Blind Ambitions", where Rose's elder sister Lily comes for a visit while she copes with having recently become blind. Despite putting on a brave face and asserting her usual independence, Lily is shown to be distraught and frightened at her situation and no longer knows how to manage on her own. Rose tries her best to help her cope, initially in denial about how helpless her sister has become and then finds herself struggling to decide what's the best thing to help Lily get her life back. Lily eventually admits how scared she is and begs Rose to come back to Chicago with her to help her. Her tearful breakdown as Rose tries to console is truly gutwrenching to watch.
  • The Mother's Day episode where Rose encounters an elderly woman going home to visit her daughter. It turns out her daughter is dead and she visits her grave every Mother's Day.
    • The fact that Rose poses as the woman's daughter so that she isn't sent back to the retirement home - just long enough for her to escape the police.
  • The episode where the other girls give Rose a dog, Jake, because they know she's been sort of depressed lately. Hospital volunteer Rose ends up giving the dog to a man whose wife has just died, which doubles as a Heartwarming Moment.
    • And a bit of a callback: previously, while telling the story of how the four women came to be roommates, Blanche tells the tale of how she originally met Rose after Rose had just been evicted from her apartment for refusing to give up her only companion, a cat. As Blanche watches from the background, a child comes up to Rose and asks if he can pet the cat. It turns out that the child's own cat had recently died and they had not yet replaced it. Rose selflessly offers her own cat to the child. Witnessing the display of generosity, Blanche immediately decides that Rose is the sort of person she wants living with her.
  • The Whole Episode Flashback about celebrating birthdays. Rose's last birthday in St. Olaf was the first special occasion after the death of her husband Charlie. Talking to his empty chair, she tells him that she's decided to sell the house and move to Miami due to the Minnesota winters being hard on her health and the house being too full of memories for her to get on with her life. But as sad as she is to leave, she's excited to make new memories in Florida. The scene manages to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
  • Regularly in the show Blanche is shown to have a poor relationship with her children:
    • She regularly talks about she had maids and nannies to care for them and didn't realise she pushed them away until it was too late.
    • In fact most of her children have cut ties with her or only speak to her if they have to.
    • In "And Then There Was One", the girls were taking care of children during the Charity Walk-A-Thon, Emily one the babies is still unclaimed, Blanche despite being unmaternal is the only that can soothe the girl and she is starting to be Motherly towards the baby. However at the end Emily is returned with her Father who did call that he would be late but Sophia misheard it, Blanche sadly waves her off, she then calls Janet asking if she can visit her, Janet refuses until she hears the feeling in Blanche's voice and relents.
  • "Ebbtide's Revenge," which deals with the death of Sophia's son Phil, is full of heartbreaking moments:
    • Dorothy is chosen to give the eulogy at Phil's funeral. As she does, she breaks down and starts crying as she says that she's angry at him, because this was the last thing in the world she ever wanted to do.
    • Behind the scenes, Estelle Getty became extremely uncomfortable after reading the script, as it called for her to make jokes about Phil's cross-dressing while standing at his casket. Getty actually called the showrunners and told them that she refused to do the scene, insisting that a mother would never act that way at her own child's funeral. This prompted the scriptwriters to make alterations.
    • The saddest moment of all, though, is the end of the episode. Sophia's relationship with Phil became strained after he married his wife Angela, and she rarely visited him—and her grandchildren—because of their feud. Sophia claims that the source of the argument was the fact that Angela's family never paid her dowry, which turns out to be all of $47; Angela writes a check to cover the amount, but Sophia still acts snide toward her. Surprisingly, Rose coaxes the real reason for Sophia's anger out of her: it turns out that she was actually deeply ashamed of her son's cross-dressing, and though she claimed to blame Angela for not putting a stop to it, she truthfully blamed herself for what she considered his "problem." Rose tells her that Phil's cross-dressing wasn't anyone's fault, and that it's perfectly all right for Sophia to have loved Phil even though he wasn't "normal."
      Sophia: I did love him. He was my little boy. But every time I saw him, I always asked myself... what I did, what I said, when was the day I did whatever I did to make him the way he was.
      Angela: (moving to embrace Sophia) What he was, Sophia, was a good man.
      Sophia: (completely breaking down) My baby is gone...
  • Also the episode "Not Another Monday" - The conversation between Sophia and her friend Martha, who has been contemplating suicide.
    • As Martha and Sophia talk.
      Martha: No, I want to go. Lydia looked so peaceful. [takes hold of the pills]
      Sophia: [immediately grabs the pills] We're not in this life for peace!
      Martha: You're crying.
      Sophia: No, I'm not, I don't cry.
      Martha: I can see your tears!
      Sophia: And I can see yours, you know what that tells me?
      Martha: [voice breaking] What?
      Sophia: You're not as ready to die as you think you are. You still wanna live, kid!
      Martha: Some kid! I don't know what to do.
      Sophia: That's the point. If you're not sure, then you can't change your mind tomorrow. You wanted me to be there for your death. How about letting me be here for your life?
      Martha: Like a friend?
      Sophia: Like a best friend.
    • The end of the episode also qualifies. The girls have been looking after a neighbor's baby, and just before the parents arrive to pick him up, Sophia asks for a few minutes alone with him. She picks up the child and begins talking to him, telling him that while life is going to be difficult, it's always worth living. Seeing a great-grandmother speak to a child who she mostly likely won't live to see grown up is touching, especially when you consider Estelle Getty's later coming down with dementia.
  • "End of the Curse" - Blanche is going through menopause and spirals into a depression at the thought of getting old. The girls take her to see a therapist, where she reveals that getting old absolutely terrifies her. When she talks about sometimes seeing her mother's face instead of her own in the mirror tugs at the heartstrings:
    "You know, sometimes, I look in the mirror, and I see my mother's face. Not all the time, just every now and then, when the light's too bright, or too early in the morning, or late at night, or I look real fast. There it is - my mother's face. Scares me to death [chuckles nervously]. It just scares me to death. I just get so depressed I don't want to get out of bed in the morning... I don't want to get out of bed ever again."
    • This hits even harder after you've watched the later episode "Mother's Day", in which we find out what happened to Blanche's mother - before her death, she was living in a retirement home with Alzheimer's and had trouble remembering who she even was. This is what getting old means to Blanche, and why the thought of seeing her mother's face instead of her own scares and depresses her so much.
  • Blanche, after saying goodbye to her beloved Big Daddy when he dies: "I'm nobody's little girl anymore..."
    • Another from the actual goodbye speech: "I don't know if love can help you wherever you are, but if it can, then, honey, you got it."
    • That episode had a number of Tear Jerker moments around Blanche. The last time she speaks to Big Daddy, she's more worried about planning a festival and doesn't believe he sounds that sick. When she gets the news of his death, Blanche thinks he's just faking to get attention from her, until she breaks down crying wondering why she didn't go to him. And then, after returning to her childhood home for the funeral, Blanche gets into an argument with her sister Virginia and refuses to go to Big Daddy's funeral out of spite, missing her last chance to say goodbye to him face-to-face.
      • After getting the call about Big Daddy's death, Blanche cheerfully recalls how Big Daddy used to put ketchup on his lima beans before breaking down and sobbing her eyes out.
      Blanche: He always made everything sound... so damn special... oh God, why didn't I go when he called?
  • Shortly after Big Daddy passes away, Blanche's "Mammy" (her nanny and best friend from childhood) comes to visit after having left Blanche abruptly and not showing her face for forty years. She asks for Big Daddy's old music box, which was a gift from her, revealing that the two were having an affair. Blanche refuses, demanding an explanation as to why her Mammy had just left her alone. Her Mammy reveals that Blanche's mother had found out about the affair and furiously kicked Mammy out of the Hollingsworth household, but she was always around for Blanche's life, unseen:
    Mammy: I remember an early wedding in June. Most beautiful young bride I ever did see, dancing with her equally handsome father. The song was "Tennessee Waltz." You asked them to play it twice so you could dance with your daddy for as long as possible.
    Blanche: You were there?
    Mammy: I stood in the back by the caterers, so nobody would see me. You have no idea how much I wanted to just hug you. I just had to see my dumpling on her wedding day.
  • Almost the entirety of "Mrs. Blanche Devereaux." The whole episode shows some surprising depth of emotion in Blanche after her husband George is revealed to have faked his own death.
    • The scene where Rose urges Blanche to make peace with George is particularly gutting. She admits that she's actually envious of Blanche, because she's been given the opportunity to see the love of her life again. Rose further says that she'd trade anything to see her husband Charlie one more time for just five minutes, and urges Blanche to see George "for all of us who wish we had the chance." Even though we see her move on and date other men, even seriously, Rose never really gets over losing Charlie.
    • Then Blanche wakes up and reaches her arm to the empty side of the bed, realizing it was All Just a Dream and George is still gone.
    • The final scene. Think about it: after all the sounds they've heard coming from Blanche's bedroom, there's nothing that could get them to open that door ...unless they hear her crying. Then they all immediately understand what's happened and rush in - because this isn't the first time she's had this dream.
    • Becomes a Heartwarming Moment when Blanche tells the girls that this time she hugged George in her dream, and truly felt his presence as if he really was there.
  • The episode "Old Friends" is one of the saddest episodes of the series. The basic plot sees Sophia befriend another senior citizen named Alvin on the boardwalk; the two become fast friends, but there are hints that something is wrong. It turns out that Alvin has Alzheimer's disease, and what follows is one of the most painfully accurate depictions of the illness ever shown on television.
    • At one point, Alvin begins to become confused and distracted when Sophia brings up his deceased wife; he tries to change the subject, as he doesn't know what she's talking about. When Sophia presses him, Alvin begins to cry, as he's unable to remember his wife in the slightest. Sophia, realizing her mistake, comforts him by telling him that she forgets things about her own late husband, and then assures him that it's all right: "You go ahead and cry. Cry as much as you want."
    • The next day, Sophia returns to the boardwalk, and Alvin, instead of being friendly, is short-tempered and nasty with her, leaving her bewildered and hurt.
    • When Sophia and Alvin make up (though Alvin can't remember fighting in the first place), Dorothy is seen in the background; she followed Sophia to make sure that everything was OK. While there, she meets Alvin's daughter Sondra, who did the same thing. The two talk briefly, and while the conversation is pleasant, Sondra breaks down as she's forced to admit the truth: "My father is never going to be OK."
    • The entirety of the scene where Dorothy has to tell Sophia the truth about Alvin. Sophia admits that she already knows that something is wrong and doesn't want to admit it; when Dorothy actually tells her about Alvin's illness, the older woman is stunned. Dorothy then admits further bad news: Alvin's family has made the decision to send him to New York to receive special care. Sophia ends the scene by commenting that even after a long, eventful life, reality can still "spit right in your face."
    • At the end of the episode, which is funny, sweet, and tearjerking all at the same time, Sophia sits alone on the boardwalk, realizing that Alvin has gone; Dorothy comes over and tries to comfort her. As they get ready to leave, Sophia comments that Alvin might not even remember her—but she'll always remember him. They walk away, and a man comes along to sit on Alvin and Sophia's bench:
      Sophia: Hey! Someone's sittin' there!
      (The man hurries away, and Dorothy takes Sophia by the arm. They slowly leave the boardwalk, both looking back at the now-empty bench.)
    • It really becomes a tearjerker when you learn about how Estelle Getty came down with dementia, just as Alvin suffered from Alzheimer's in the episode.
  • In one episode, Sophia learns a friend from Shady Pines named Lilian has been transferred to Sunny Pastures, which Sophia explains is the bottom of the barrel for nursing homes. It turns out she's not exaggerating, although we learn this is because it doesn't have enough funding, and the guy who runs Sunny Pastures is trying to do the best he can despite the aggravating bureaucratic procedures it takes to the run the place. Sophia conspires to break Lilian out, and does, but we learn that she's genuinely senile and suffering from either dementia or Alzheimer's. Sophia runs herself ragged taking care of Lilian, until the girls manage to find a better nursing home for her. Dorothy comments that everything worked out okay... but wonders why she doesn't feel better. Blanche mentions something along the lines of "because there are places out there that are worse than Sunny Pastures and Lilian just got lucky."
    • Made even worse in hindsight because Blanche is still right. Especially in Florida, which has a very high retiree population, the state of most nursing homes is closer to Sunny Pastures' example than anyone would like. The lawsuit deluge of recent years has arguably made it worse by driving malpractice insurance costs up even further, and most legislation designed to punish negligence is questionably effective at best.
  • Miles leaving after it's revealed that the criminal he's been hiding from isn't actually dead. He rushes out after he says goodbye, and leaves Rose his Robert Frost poetry book, telling her to think of him when she reads a certain page. She immediately does:
    "And when to the heart of a man, was it ever a less than a treason/To bow and accept the end of a love, or of a season?"
  • The entire third act of "Brother, Can You Spare That Jacket?" where the girls go to a homeless shelter to find a jacket with a winning lottery ticket in the pocket. While searching, they have various discussions with the homeless, including a woman Sophia knows from Shady Pines, learning that homelessness can affect anyone. When they do manage to find the ticket, they give it to the shelter, thanking the priest in charge for everything.
    • The version of "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime" played while the girls search the shelter, juxtaposed with shots of the residents of the shelter (including a mother and her young children), only adds fuel to the depressing fire.
    • The person in the homeless shelter that Blanche meets. He was staring at her purse, and she quickly snapped at him. He said he was wondering if she had any gum; she apologizes and they begin to talk. He tells her he doesn't really belong there; he's actually a sociology student studying the homeless for his doctorate. Blanche warms up to him and mentions how he seems more like her own son than a typical homeless person. Then, he lets the masquerade fall: He already has his doctorate, but he still needs to stay in the shelter because he's an alcoholic. He ends by telling her to be extra careful with her purse, since he didn't really want a piece of gum. Sad enough, but when you think about how now youth unemployment (especially among recent college graduates with little to no job history) is currently twice the national average, it becomes eerily tragic.
      • What's especially sad is that, despite the fact he and Blanche have had a lovely chat and grown to like each other, he is still contemplating stealing from her. The only thing that's changed is that he at least has the decency to warn her that he might do it.
    • Rose talks to a man about her age. He was laid off from his job as a hotelier when the hotel business took a hit. He tried to find another job, but no one was willing to train someone his age, eventually leaving him with only a box for shelter. It took three months, but he made his way to Miami because he was afraid he would freeze to death if he stayed in Minneapolis. Much like the young man Blanche met, it's eerie in hindsight with all of the lay-offs caused by the '08 recession.
    • Sophia spots a woman she knew from Shady Pines, who reveals her own tragic story about why she's in the shelter - what little money she had suddenly ran out, and when she asked the home for help, they gave her some phone numbers and turned her away. She had no family to take her in, and no means of supporting herself.
      "I didn't know - nobody told me - that it costs money to grow old. I just figured that was the one thing you got to do for free. It isn't. The home costs money. The doctors cost money. Medicine costs money. I always thought it was so sad; I outlived my entire family. But I never knew it was going to be a punishment."
  • Even this throwaway joke from the first season: Rose tells her daughter Kirsten she keeps her will in the cookie jar. It's sweet and sad when you remember that Rose lost her Charlie...
    Rose: Whenever I caught your father in the kitchen, he was always in the cookie jar. This way, he still is!
    • In the same episode, Kirsten is shocked by how meager Rose's estate is, as she assumed that Charlie left her a massive sum of money due to his great success as a salesman. Rose explains that she lost most of that inheritance through bad investments and business deals, and Kirsten dresses her down for it in a very nasty (albeit somewhat justified) way. Blanche and Dorothy are suspicious, and Rose eventually confesses that she was actually lying about Charlie's wealth—he was only a mediocre salesman at best and didn't leave her all that much in the first place, but since she's spent her whole life telling stories about his skill, she can't bring herself to tell Kirsten the truth. It's a heartrending example of Parents as People—Rose was genuinely trying to make Charlie seem like a hero in her family's eyes, and is willing to take that lie to the grave with her (and risk the anger of all of her children while doing it). Thankfully, after some Oblivious Guilt Slinging by her granddaughter Charlene (who explains that a fairy-tale grandfather she invented is "very, very rich"), Rose eventually admits the whole story to Kirsten, who is much more understanding once she knows the facts.
  • The episode when Rose fears she may have HIV, seeing Rose (who is usually very cheerful and optimistic) feeling hopeless, terrified, and cynical is very sad.
    • One particularly painful moment shows up when Rose loses her temper at Blanche and tells her that, of all people, she shouldn't have to deal with AIDS, because she's a "good person." Given that, when the episode was filmed, a large subset of the U.S. population genuinely believed that HIV and AIDS were a kind of "divine judgment" on groups like gay men, promiscuous individuals, and people of color, hearing Rose—usually the sweetest character—parrot such harmful views stings deeply. Thankfully, Blanche puts her in her place in a Moment of Awesome: "AIDS is not a bad person's disease, Rose. It is not God punishing people for their sins."
  • When Dorothy announces she is remarrying Stan, Sophia tells her that if she goes through with it she'll cut her out of her life, and Dorothy is very hurt by this.
  • In "Heart Attack," Rose, trying to comfort Dorothy when she thinks that Sophia might be dying, tells the story of how Charlie passed away. At first, it's funny, largely because he had his fatal heart attack while they were making love, and began to argue with Rose about dressing him in a pair of white pants, as it was after Labor Day. But then:
    Dorothy: And...?
    Rose: And... he told me he loved me... and... then it was over. And I put a pair of gray flannel pants on him. And a blue shirt... and a striped tie. (Voice breaking) And he was all dressed when the paramedics got there. note 
    • This entire episode deals with the very painful reality that our parents have to die sometime, and how you're never fully prepared to deal with it. Dorothy confides in Blanche that, if Sophia dies, she'll be an orphan, and it doesn't matter how old you are, "when you lose a parent you might as well be six."
  • Rose's breakdown over not being smart enough to keep up with her boyfriend Miles in "Dancing In The Dark."
  • "Where's Charlie?" was an episode that had Sophia at her worst. She plays upon Rose's belief that Charlie is trying to contact her from beyond the grave for the sake of getting money from Rose, but the end result of her joke has Rose returning the ring Miles gave her and potentially ruining their relationship. When Dorothy finds out about this, she flat out calls Sophia a horrible person and orders her to admit the truth. Rose may have been gullible, but she had every right to be upset with Sophia.
    Rose: You mocked my relationship with Charlie, and you nearly ruined my relationship with Miles! How can you be so cruel?!
  • In one episode, Blanche receives a visit from a strange young man named David asking about her husband George. When he doesn't leave even after learning George has long since passed on, Blanche finally calls him forward to learn what his story is. He reveals that George Devereaux was his father, meaning Blanche's lifelong sweetheart had fathered an illegitimate child with another woman. Her Tranquil Fury quickly boils into open heartache as she is completely overwhelmed by the revelation, feeling betrayed by the one man to whom she was ever truly devoted.
    • Later evolves into a Heartwarming Moment when Blanche comes to terms with what happened and grants David the right to know who his late father was. The turning point comes when David admits to Blanche that he's angry too, at his father for being absent his whole life, and at his mother for lying to him right up to her deathbed. He was just as much an innocent victim of the whole mess as Blanche.
  • Dorothy falling in love with Stan again and intending to re-marry him. Just when it seems all is set for the ceremony and she has won the blessing of both her friends and her mother, Stan approaches Dorothy with a prenuptial agreement. It completely unravels all the trust rebuilt between the two and ends with Dorothy ordering Stan out of the house before they have even walked the aisle. Dorothy later accepts that it simply was not meant to be, but in that moment you can just see and feel the betrayal she feels as she is forced to announce to her friends and family that the wedding is off.
    Dorothy: I have an announcement to make... I've decided not to make the same mistake twice. I'm sorry.
  • "Room 7" focuses on Blanche trying desperately to keep her grandmother's plantation house from being demolished. It was a huge part of Blanche's childhood, and she can't bear the thought of losing a place where she always felt loved and wanted. After a heart to heart with her grandmother's spirit, she decides to finally let go, but not before one last look around, as a way to say goodbye. She stands in the foyer, now stripped bare, and there's an echo of a young Blanche's laughter. Blanche smiles, laughs a bit, and quietly leaves. The episode ends with Blanche listening to the sound of the wind chimes she took from the house.
  • In "Journey to the Center of Attention," Blanche grows jealous after Dorothy's singing starts attracting the male attention at the Rusty Anchor, where she's the reigning queen among the men. She tries to steal Dorothy's thunder by singing a sexy solo, but makes a fool of herself instead. When Dorothy goes to comfort Blanche, she tearfully confesses to Dorothy that the only thing she's assured of is being the center of attention, and seeing Dorothy so beautiful and confident made her feel threatened. It's tough to see Blanche this vulnerable.
    • Dorothy gets another, smaller moment at the end of the episode. When Blanche asks if Dorothy ever feels jealous of her, Dorothy says, with genuine pain in her voice, "Every day of my life." Given how much Dorothy's Hollywood Homely looks are made the butt of jokes on the show, that one line reveals that she's deeply affected by her own insecurities.
    • Dorothy singing Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do." The song is all about someone abandoned by a lover, and how devastated they are by loneliness.
  • "All Bets Are Off" centers around Dorothy's gambling addiction resurfacing and spiraling out of control. It all culminates when she tries to trick Rose into giving her the money to pay off a bookie. At first, it seems Rose is just being overly trusting of Dorothy's obvious lies. It even bothers Dorothy, who responds to Rose saying she trusts her completely by telling her she's being naive. When Rose insists that, if she can't trust a dear friend like Dorothy, whom can she trust, Dorothy flat out yells, "I am stealing your money!" Rose just calmly tells her, "I know, Dorothy. I was just hoping that you'd have a hard time taking advantage of someone who cares about you as much as I do." This gets Dorothy to tearfully admit she needs help.
  • In "Diamond in the Rough", Blanche courts a very handsome and kindly caterer named Jake who seems to be everything a woman could want in a man, and he quickly wins over all the girls with his good looks and demeanor. However, Blanche starts having her doubts about him, taking issue with many minor things about his style and mannerisms like she believes he's too good to be true. Jake, however ,is a complete gentleman and so Blanche's complaints leave the other girls baffled, especially when she decides to go out with another friend to the very dinner Jake has been hired to cater. That evening, Blanche expects Jake to ask her out to the dance, and he comes in seemingly to ask that very question.
    Blanche: [...] But we do come from two different worlds, you know, and our relationship can only go so far. And that's why I can't go to the banquet with you.
    Jake: (Deflated) Well... that wasn't my question, but you answered it for me anyway.
    Blanche: What? I don't understand.
    • Guilt-ridden, Blanche seeks to make amends with Jake at the banquet that night, realizing that she was too quick to let go of a good thing. Jake is thrilled to see her, but has decided that he needs to find someone with whom he is more compatible, reasoning that their differences would only come up again if they were to stay together. Before leaving he shares this with Blanche:
    Jake: Blanche, knowing you has been one of the greatest things I have ever had in my whole life. Remember that. (kisses her) Goodbye, Blanche.
  • In "Break-In," the girls are victims of a robbery. Dorothy and Blanche each had something stolen, but it is Rose who suffers the most. She can't sleep at night, she buys herself self-defense weapons including a gun, and even a visit to a psychiatrist doesn't help. One night Blanche and a suitor of hers come home and startles Rose, who blindly opens fire at the front door (she luckily only hits Blanche's Chinese vase, but could have easily hurt or even killed the two of them instead).
    Dorothy: Now, honey, we were robbed. It's scary, but it happens. And now it's over. And the robbers are gone.
    Rose: (breaking down crying) I know, I know it's over, I know they're gone. But not for me! For me, in my mind, they'll always be here!
  • In "In a Bed of Rose's," Rose and her new boyfriend Al finally have sex...and Al dies during the act. She goes to tell Lucille, Al's sister and roommate, only to discover that he was actually her husband. Lucille is surprisingly nonchalant about it, as Al was a serial cheater who slept with everyone who came his way (apparently, the first time he ever had sex with another woman was on his and Lucille's honeymoon. She assumes that Rose is only there to reveal the philandering as an act of revenge, but when Rose actually tells her what happened, she's stunned and goes into denial.
    Lucille: I'm talking, so it can't be true, you know what I mean? If I keep isn't true. All I have to do is talk forever...
  • In the two-parter "Sick and Tired," Dorothy suffers from a mysterious case of exhaustion that won't go away—it's been months, and she sometimes can't work up enough strength to speak in front of her students or even lift her arms to wash her hair. She goes to see doctor after doctor—all men—who repeatedly tell her that she's just getting older and should try something like a dye job. She mostly deals with these opinions in her usual Deadpan Snarker manner...but towards the end of the first part of the episode, after traveling to New York to see a world-renowned specialist and still being dismissed, she breaks down absolutely sobbing in Rose's arms, admitting that she's losing all hope and fears that she's going insane because no one will listen to her. Thankfully, the second part of the episode has her friend Harry Weston, himself a doctor, actually treat her with empathy and send her to a specialist who correctly diagnoses her with chronic fatigue syndrome.
    • At the end of the first episode, Sophia confesses to Rose and Blanche that she's absolutely terrified about Dorothy. She admits that she wouldn't feel right if she outlived one of her own children (which hits especially hard when you remember that, in a later episode, her son Phil passes away), and remarks that she's losing hope, too: "Dorothy could be dying and we don't know it."
    • The whole episode becomes especially poignant because Susan Harris, who created the show, actually suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome herself and likely faced the same issues that Dorothy does.
  • The final episode of the original series has lots of these.
    • After talking with Blanche and Rose:
      Sophia: Goodbye, my girls.
    • Stan saying goodbye to Dorothy by secretly replacing her limo driver and pulling off to the side of the road. He gives a heartfelt speech about how, despite his philandering and marriages to two other women, he will always consider Dorothy the true love of his life and never forget her.
    • Sophia actually intending to give Dorothy money.
    • Earlier at Dorothy's wedding, when the priest asks the 'is there any reason these two should not be wed' question, there's a shot of Stan. You can tell he wants to say something, but he keeps quiet so Dorothy can finally be happy.
    • A happy heartwarming: None of the girls say anything because they want Dorothy to be happy.
    • Sophia actually cries when Lucas kisses the bride. (Doubles as a funny moment, since she's surprised by it.)
    • The final shot of the three remaining girls embracing and sobbing as Dorothy has exited their lives for the last time.
      Dorothy: You will always be my sisters. Always.

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