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Tearjerker / Night Court

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Night Court had its share of tears over the years. Some of the moments that inspired them include:

  • In Dan's Operation Part 2, Dan tells Harry that he's actually 40 years old. Harry tells Dan earnestly that at the rate he's going, he won't live to see 50. Dan's reply? An equally earnest "Good!" Dan then reveals that despite his Casanova tendencies, he never once heard any of the many women he's been with tell him that they loved him, and that he would rather die early than grow old alone. John Larroquette's performance in the scene is wrenching.
    Dan: You don't get it, do you? Listen to me. No one is ever going to love me. No one is ever going to say "I love you", and do you know why? Because in order to be loved one must be able to - give... and I . can't . give. I can not. I have never been able to give. And I don't... know why.
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  • Any of the scenes involving street urchin Leon parting from Harry.
  • The many, many times poor Bull is treated more like a monster than a person by those who don't know him. In Author, Author, Bull tearfully recounts a tale to Harry about how at sixteen, he was tricked into shaving his head just in time to humiliate him for Prom.
  • Harry getting dumped by his girlfriend, reporter Margaret, in Season 8.
    • The worst part was that he thought she was about to propose to him and he bought a ring planning to beat her to the punch. It turned out that the reason she wanted to talk to him in private after talking to her minister was that she was going into the Witness Protection Program, due to her testimony being needed to put a mobster behind bars.
  • The first episode after Selma Diamond's death has an especially poignant one.
    • Probably the biggest scene to hammer it home is Bull's final reaction. Early on, he's acting like his old self, but on the day where they're picking a permanent replacement, he gets drunk. He alternates between being a surly jerk and a clueless buffoon. When he sobers up enough, he's just so devastated.
      Bull: It just seems so unfair, Harry. I mean, I thought I understood things and then Selma died and now... now I don't know what the hell's going on. What's life all about, Harry?
      Harry: I don't know. I don't know why we live, and I don't know why we die, but I do know that as long as we're here, we better hold onto each other real tight.
      [Man Hug]
  • In another episode, Harry confronts another older judge on his erratic behavior, and learns that the man is on the verge of cracking after a career of seemingly-futile decisions. Judge Drayton finally breaks down after this speech:
    Judge Drayton: There was once this girl who came through my courtroom, carrying a baby. Beautiful girl, seventeen or eighteen. Long, dark hair, dark complexion... and a big black eye where her husband had hit her. She asked me to make him stop. I said, fine, I'll send him to jail. I gave him two years...then she changed her testimony, she said she was lying! She didn't want her husband to go to jail! He was a good provider, he brought home money so the family could eat! All she wanted, was for him to stop hitting her! And I couldn't make him stop, Harry! In twenty-five years, I couldn't make anybody stop!
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    • To make it worse Judge Drayton does similar comedy bits as Harry, but to such an extreme that it is affecting the court. When Harry finally confronts him Drayton asks Harry how long he's been on the bench and then sadly states that Harry is young and by the end could very well end up exactly like him
    • Harry claimed in court that he'd never met Drayton before... and then, in private, reveals that they did meet. Drayton gave a speech to the bar association that so moved Harry he can recall it, word for word, years later. Harry clearly looked up to Drayton but knows he has to force him to stop.
    • When Drayton comes out of his break. He quietly sits down and in a sad voice asks "What did I do?". Even worse is that it's clear this wasn't just a temporary break, as he can't even remember the bar speech mentioned above and sadly accepts he was the one who sad it but can't remember it.
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  • In the second episode, "The Former Harry Stone," word of Harry's criminal record gets out. With a sleazy reporter hounding him and questions spreading among the staff, Harry comes clean in court to help mediate the current case. His crime was stealing a car and crashing into a liquor store. He spent two nights in jail and a few weeks in a reformatory, but the incident deeply affected the rest of his life because of his "father's stare" and how his father never saw how Harry turned his life around and went on to law school:
    "Believe me, in 20 minutes, I spent my time in Hell. It was a courtroom like this, and he sat right there. You would've thought he could've blinked or... something. He could've reached out and slapped me, or yelled at me, or beat me, but... dammit, he just sat there and looked at me. And then when it was all over, all he said was, 'You disappointed me, Harold.' When a boy loves his father, you would rather get knocked across the head with a two-by-four than hear that kind of stuff. Anyway, not too long after that, he just... sort of... died. It always kind of bugged me, y'know? That he never found out. That... (tugs on his robe) that I hadn't made a habit out of stealing cars."
  • Hell, Harry's entire life was almost unbearably hard, especially when he talks about growing up without his mother:
    Harry: I am capable of feeling loss. When Selma died, I felt loss. When Florence died, I felt loss. Because I cared very much for them and they cared for me. If I needed comfort and compassion they were there. If I just needed a friend to talk to, they were there. But when I needed a mother, no one was there.
  • The April 16, 2018 death of Harry Anderson. In particular to two of his closest friends on the show, Markie Post, and John Larroquette (who was the only Night Court alum that Anderson worked with outside of the show's run) who took to Twitter, both extremely upset.
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