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Tear Jerker / Blackadder

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"Good luck, everyone."
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Though Blackadder is still regarded as one of the funniest sitcoms ever to air on British television, the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, "Goodbyeee", has one of the most poignant and sad final sequences of any sitcom, ever.


  • Baldrick's desperate, almost furious, rant about why can't they just stop fighting and go home. It's heartbreaking, especially when the usually gung-ho George has nothing he can really say in response as to why it wouldn't work.
  • The image of Darling crying and begging on his knees when the driver comes in and casts one of the most ominous shadows ever to the sound of war drums in the background is probably the most sad-but-super-chilling moment in the whole series. The studio audience laughing when General Melchett says "Goodbye, Kevin Darling" ruined the mood of the scene a bit. The worst part of this was that Darling knew what it meant, but General Melchett sincerely believed that it was all a jolly jape and he was doing him a favour by sending him to the front, signing his death sentence thinking he wouldn't really want to miss the "fun". Darling begs and pleads, but can't make a dent on Melchett's fantasy world.
    • Darling's fate was perhaps one of the hardest because, even though he wasn't a very sympathetic character through most of the series, he was so close to making it through the war, and had no idea what was going to happen to him, unlike the others whose lives mainly revolved around trying to get out of 'going over the top'.
    • When Darling said he'd never get to return to his old life and marry Doris, his girlfriend back home. Typically a series antagonist's actions are motivated by hopes of gaining things like substantial wealth and/or power; whereas you come to realise that Darling wasn't primarily seeking either of these per se, he just wanted to return to his old job, play cricket and marry the woman he loves.
      Darling: Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says: 'Bugger'.
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    • Notably when he lists off the things he thought he was going to do, such as going back to work at Pratt & Sons or keep wicket for the Croydon Gentlemen, there's laughter. When he mentions marrying Doris, there's nothing.
    • Take a look at Darling in the background just before they get ready to make the step. He's on the verge of tears throughout the whole thing and clearly terrified beyond what words can describe.
  • Blackadder's reaction to Darling's arrival in the trench makes the whole plot thread even more poignant; here is a man whom he has mocked mercilessly throughout the entire series... and yet when he arrives in the trench, rather than sneer at him for having to leave his desk job to join the push, Blackadder goes along with the fantasy that Darling volunteered, deciding not to kick him while he's down.
  • George's gung-ho facade finally cracks as the soldiers prepare to go over the top; after spending the whole series with a flamboyantly upbeat attitude and eagerness for battle, he's the first person to admit, in a sincere non-joking way — unlike how the faster-on-the-uptake Blackadder had been doing the whole time — that he doesn't want to die. And the worst part is, he's smiling while he says it.
    George: No really, this is brave! Splendid! Noble! ...Sir?
    Blackadder: Yes, lieutenant?
    George: I'm... scared, sir.
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    • George's slow realisation that he's the last of his old Tiddlywinks club still alive. The most horrifying part is that things like that actually happened. Groups of young men — known as "Pals Battalions" — would be encouraged to all join up together as friends; the idea of war was put to them as being like some sort of jolly, laddish escapade, like a friendly football game. Of course, once they got there, the reality was very different; and since often they would consist of a major portion of the men from individual towns, villages, neighbourhoods, clubs and communities, those would be left immediately devastated back in Britain if — or rather, when — most or all of them suffered heavy casualties. It's also pretty much the first time we see George's façade of almost-relentless cheeriness begin to break down.
    • The worst part of George's death? It was completely avoidable — Melchett offered him the opportunity to accompany him back to HQ to listen in on the results of the "big push" as they came in, but George turned it down because he genuinely believed it would be the breakthrough that would finally lead to the downfall of the enemy. He died thanks to that belief, as did many other young soldiers who were too naive to see the situation for what it really was.
    • Baldrick mentioning his own lost friends, which is played a bit for laughs, since they're all various small pets he brought to the front with him (a hamster, a worm etc.), but it's a very downplayed joke, and even Edmund can't bring himself to rib him much over it. He also talks about the day he signed up for the army, mentioning it was the only time he ever felt popular.
      Baldrick: We all thought it was going to be such fun...
  • When the guns fall silent and they think they are going to be OK, described as perhaps the most gutwrenching line in the entire series.
    Captain Darling: We lived through it. The Great War. 1914 to 1917.
  • When they leave the dugout to Stand To, Blackadder has come to accept that he, finally, will die. He's not panicking as he was with the firing squad, he's not making sarcastic remarks, he's calm and somewhat detached. He knows what's going to happen, and he's ready for it. If he really wanted to get out of it, he could have thought of something, even in those few seconds; he could have used the splinter on Baldrick's ladder, he could have had a heart attack, something. But no, he doesn't. While only Blackadder III and Back & Forth's Lord Blackadder achieved their goals, only Captain Blackadder came to terms with failure.
    • Blackadder, a character defined by his total apathy for anyone other than himself, wishing everyone good luck just before they charge. That his last words weren't a joke or a snide remark, but the first and perhaps only ones he ever spoken with empathy for other human beings, says all that needs to be said about what he's thinking right now.
    • Blackadder hears out one last plan from Baldrick and, instead of insulting it, says "Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait..." He doesn't actually hear it out; there isn't time. But he does say that whatever it is would have been better than his earlier plan of pretending to be mad.
      Blackadder: ...I mean, who would've noticed another madman 'round here?
    • Blackadder's attempts to escape going over the top, compounded by how clueless Baldrick and George about why he's even trying, attempting to lighten the mood with poetry.
      Blackadder: I'm sorry, I think I've got to get out of here!
  • After years of fighting an utterly pointless war and almost getting out of it, Blackadder, Baldrick, Lieutenant George, Captain Darling and hundreds of other men go over the top of the trenches, set to an incredibly poignant piano version of the theme music. They don't visibly die, but just fade away to be replaced by a modern day shot of a poppy field overdubbed with birdsong.
    • Especially poignant considering the fact that poppies are the traditional flower to remember WWI. After the fighting, especially at Flanders' Field, the earth was so stirred up by the men fighting and charging across it that poppy seeds, which had been laying dormant, bloomed all over it. Just to see how something so horrible can produce something so beautiful ... which still isn't worth the price we paid for it. That a comedy show can make this point in a couple of fade-out frames is nothing short of amazing.
    • What particularly makes the ending tragic is its sharp contrast to the finales of the first and second season, in which the entire cast is killed off, and their deaths are played for laughs.
    • The Audio version of this scene, lacking the slow fade to the poppies, instead has a few lines from the episode. One each, actually.
      George: We've had some good times, some damnably good laughs, eh?
      Baldrick: I thought it was going to be such fun.
      Darling: But, eh, I don't want to go...
      Blackadder: Good Luck, everyone.
    • Such is the power of this episode, that it aired 10 days before Remembrance Sunday and received no complaints.
    • The story behind the infamous ending is also rather sad. It was the only take of the scene done because Rowan Atkinson and the rest of the cast were so overcome with grief, knowing that the inhumanity they were reenacting was real, that they couldn't bear to try it again when it didn't come out quite right.
    • The script made the final scene all the more haunting and tragic as the stage directions said "They go over the top. They don't get very far."
  • Each character responds to the final call in different ways but they all come to realise they weren't fighting for the greater good, they were being sacrificed for the greater good. It's not a bunch of men screaming and shouting for joy as they fight for their loved ones, it's a bunch of terrified, brave, ordinary men accepting that they're going to die and there's nothing they can do to escape.
    • Blackadder keeps a stiff upper lip and has accepted that he's going to die no matter what, being sarcastic as always in the face of death and fury.
    • George realises the full weight of the war and how much it's taken from him, he admits for the first time that he's actually afraid. However, he's still the first to climb up and go out fighting Germans.
    • Darling has a solemn look of "I was so close..." before tearing up but it doesn't stop him from climbing over with the other men. He admits he just wanted to go home, play cricket with his friends, and see his girlfriend. He was afraid and he told everyone that he defied General Melchett because he'd rather die than serve him one more time. In actuality, he wanted to survive like everyone else and saw something General Melchett was too deluded to see for himself. He's practically admitting that he's better off dead than spending another minute serving a deluded moron who treats war like a harmless game of tennis.
    • Baldrick remains an airhead but his fears slip through the cracks when he says that he outlived the pets he brought with him. He also admits to joining the army for the wrong reasons and seeing that the war wasn't like what it was promised to him. As he reaches the ladder, Baldrick tries to find any excuse to escape (such as saying the ladder has a splinter) or to distract himself from the fact that he's going to die.

Meanwhile, it's not like the rest of the series had not bouts of glumness at points...
  • The ending of "The Black Seal" was also quite bitter and poignant. Though intercut with silly jokes till the end, it shows Edmund dying alone after his family and the entire court are poisoned to death. Firstly, not only is Edmund maimed and on the verge of death, but he also hears his father for once calling him by name and showing him some care and paying his respects, the lack of this affection being actually one of the reasons for his choices. Then as he lays dying by his own stupidity, a montage shows some family moments from past episodes and makes clear that it has all passed forever.
  • A small one from the Blackadder II episode "Money" when he has his Heroic BSoD after Baldrick informs him he can't run away from the monks is one of the few times he's in genuine despair.
    Blackadder: When I die Baldrick, do you think people will remember me?

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