Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Tear Jerker / The People v. O.J. Simpson

Go To

  • In the first episode, after Nicole and Ronald have been murdered and as the police are investigating the crime scene and they listen to her answering machine, one of the messages is the voice of O.J. and Nicole's young daughter, Sydney, on the verge of tears and desperately begging her mother to call her back.
    • Also earlier we just saw the police as they access the murder scene and Nicole's house, where we find the two grade-school aged kids peacefully asleep and unaware of the horrors that occurred outdoors, their lives have just changed in one evening.
  • O.J. preparing to shoot himself as Robert Kardashian begs him not to. O.J. at first holds Robert's outstretched hand while pressing the gun into his forehead, and eventually is talked out of it by Robert reminding him about his soon-to-be orphaned children, and pleading with him not to desecrate the room where Kim sleeps.
  • In "100 Percent Not Guilty", Marcia Clark meets with Ron Goldman's parents. Fred Goldman's sheer, smoldering rage at how his son has been reduced to a minor character in someone else's tragedy is pretty hard to watch.
    • And considering the already known outcome of the trial, seeing Marcia promise the Goldman family that they will receive justice only for the already distraught Fred Goldman to reply "you better" only twists the knife on this tearjerker and easily notches it up to a Harsher in Hindsight scene.
  • Your mileage may vary, but watching David Schwimmer's performance as Robert Kardashian can come across as one. He starts the series horrified at the murder of Nicole and Ron, and equally as horrified at the prospect of his friend OJ wanting to commit suicide or even go to prison…only to become a shell-shocked wreck as the series goes on when it becomes clear to him that maybe, just maybe, one of his dearest and closest friends was capable of a truly terrible crime.
    • The scene where he confesses his worries to his ex-wife Kris is especially affecting, since this one thing they see eye-to-eye on and they're worried about their family's safety. O.J. wasn't just Robert's friend but Kris' as well, and they're both horrified a man they've known for twenty years could do something so reprehensible.
    Robert (sobbing): He was my friend!!!'
    (Kris breaks down crying too and embraces Robert)
  • Advertisement:
  • At the beginning of "The Race Card", the flashback where we see Cochran being pulled over by a racist cop simply for driving in an affluent white neighborhood, is made to step out of his vehicle and being handcuffed right in front of his daughters for protesting his treatment, and only avoids arrest (or worse) because he is able to show his credentials as an attorney. All of this happens on a busy street where dozens of passersby get to witness his humiliation. Cochran is a Knight Templar lawyer who is willing to manipulate, lie and use absolutely ruthless courtroom tactics to achieve his goals of furthering the civil rights of black people... but given the kind of treatment he has endured all his life, treatment countless other African Americans have experienced, it's not hard to see why.
  • In "Marcia Marcia Marcia", Marcia deals with a ridiculous amount of sexism from both the Dream Team, her ex-husband, and the public, but briefly manages to rise above it... and then she finds out that her asshole first ex-husband (not her current ex-husband) has sold nude photos of her to the tabloids. Yes, Marcia is egotistical and had a habit of making poor decisions regarding the case and her life, but shit.
  • Advertisement:
  • Goldman family bursting into tears and Clark coming apart in her office after the verdict is announced.
  • The press conference that Garcetti, Clark, and Darden have to give afterwards. Darden tries to speak with composure, only to break down in tears and stop his speech mid-sentence. He then walks away from the podium and embraces the Goldmans.
  • Marcia revealing to Chris why she was so willing to take the case against O.J., and one of the reason why she is so focused on prosecuting spousal abuse cases in general - she was raped when she was 17 by a waiter. She tried to suppress the trauma of it afterwards, but she found that her feelings and anger about it came flying out of her when it came time to work her first rape case. As a result, she realized that she had an ingrained sense of "vengeance for victims" that she had always thought a jury would share with her. Chris, who has been listening with a sorrowful look on his face this whole time, finally breaks his silence.
    Chris: What happened to the waiter?
    Marcia: Same thing that happened today.
  • The final scene of the series, if one is sympathetic to Simpson. O.J. has returned home and celebrates with his family, but discovers his neighbors now hate him, his golf club won't let him back in, finds most of the party guests are just attention seekers who came to revel in his current notoriety, and is finally abandoned by Robert Kardashian after O.J. gives a speech about finding "the real killers".
  • The finale credits show a split screen of each major character and their real-life counterpart and listing what became of them. It all ends with a split screen of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.
  • Another real life case of Harsher in Hindsight is Robert trying to get through to his kids the hollow nature of fame for its own sake. It can actually get you thinking it's a blessing he didn't live to see what they've made of their lives.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: