Follow TV Tropes

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


Tear Jerker / Top Gear (UK)

Go To

I know Hammond and May think my 928 Porsche is a bit dull. But for one very good reason, it isn't dull to me. Back in 1994, I was living in London and I got a call one evening from my mum to say that my dad was desperately ill in a hospital in Sheffield, and I needed to get there as quickly as possible. And I had just taken the chicken out of the oven and I thought, "Well, I'll take that for my mum because she won't have eaten". I ran outside and I had a 928 on test that week, and when I arrived in Sheffield, the chicken was still warm and my dad was still alive. In fact, he died half an hour later. And the truth is, if I hadn't been driving a car that can sit quite happily at 170 miles per hour, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to say goodbye to my dad. So as far as I'm concerned, the 928 is alright.
- Jeremy Clarkson, explaining his love for the Porsche 928.

Surprisingly more than a few times, usually when the one of the trio (or all of them) lament on the passing of some automotive great.

  • Near the end of the American Special, the trio pass through New Orleans, which had recently been damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
    Jeremy: How can the rest of America sleep at night knowing this is here?
  • During series 7, instead of doing the news, they aired a tribute to recently deceased rally driver Richard Burns. Particularly memorable and touching since he was a good friend of Jeremy and would often go over to Jezza's house to play video games with his son.
  • Hammond's Little "No" when he learns that he has lost the race to the North Pole. He didn't even try and finish the journey afterwards, stating that it would be cruel to make the effort to go there after he had already lost just to hear Clarkson gloat.
  • Advertisement:
  • Series 15, Episode 5 — the tribute to Senna.
  • The finale of Series 15, episode 6, is bound to bring a tear to the eye of anyone who's a fan of old British sports cars. After the boys arrive at the now-disused TVR factory in Blackpool (the company is still active, but they had stopped using the premises), they wander around the now-empty building and remark at how silent the factory is. Then, the lights flicker to life, revealing the room is now full of classic British sports cars from before the industry was devastated by buy-outs and Executive Meddling from the continent - TVRs, Jensens, MGs, Aston Martins... the list goes on. There's even a Jaguar E-Type and an Aston Martin DB5 sitting amongst the set.
    • The earlier Series 13, episode 7 finale commands a similar effect.
  • Series 17, episode 6 features a rally team made up of war amputees attempting to earn a place in the famous Dakar Rally. It's quite incredible to hear about (and see!) the difficulties they go through and how they overcome them in their quest to get into the race. There's also a much sadder Tear Jerker in the segment, as one of the team members starts telling a story about one of his fellow soldiers who was killed in the accident that cost him his limbs, and he starts crying. Out of respect, the camera cuts away.
  • Series 19 features a tribute to the late, great Carroll Shelby.
  • In Series 21 the boys visit a war memorial in Burma to those who died in WW2 where James and Richard sit silently as Jeremy reads from 'Bridge Over The River Kwai'.
  • In the Patagonia Special (or Episode 0 of the 22nd Series / 2014's Christmas Special), Jeremy explains, in absolute sincerity, the story of why he chose a Porsche 928 despite its unfavourable reputation with James and Richard. He had one on test in 1994, and after receiving an emergency call from his mother, the Porsche let him quickly travel from London to Sheffield to see his dying father one last time. Jeremy said on-screen that he was sure he wouldn't have been able to say goodbye to him if he hadn't been testing the 928 that week.
    • The page quote and above description do the scene justice, but one thing it cannot capture is a small moment after he mentions his father died a half hour after he saw him: Clarkson, ever jolly, goofy, and snarky as all hell, almost breaks down on camera. He just barely manages to save it, but it's still sobering to see that side of the normally Cheeky Clarkson.
  • When Clarkson expiring contract with the BBC was not renewed by them in response to his fight with a producer, the news hit Hammond and May pretty hard. In proof that the three of them are Fire-Forged Friends, all have given statements about how the three of them are a package. Exemplified the most, when on the day of the announcement, reporters swarmed James May's home, and began pestering him with questions about the future the show, who he would like to replace Jeremy, when it was clear he just wanted to be left alone to absorb the news of the matter. May gave this response:
    James May: As much as I think he's a knob, I quite like working with Jeremy.
  • The final episode of the Clarkson, Hammond, and May run. Sad for both Hammond and May's sincere thank you and goodbyes, but also for the fact that Clarkson could not be there to add his as well.
  • After Sabine Schmitz passed away due to cancer, Top Gear aired a special. As a sign of just how much of an impact she had on people's lives, Clarkson, Hammond, and May all returned to pay tribute and every interviewee spoke at length of how amazing Schmitz was as a human being. In the end, Hammond wistfully sums up the world's loss, noting that she had so much more to give, but now no one will get to see what more she could have accomplished.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: