The best shows on television are those that yank our emotions across the spectrum, and the sad stuff is often what hits us the hardest. And yet, we can't get enough or look away.
nebukakke asked: What's the saddest moment from a TV show in your opinion?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity. And there are spoilers. You've been warned.
10. Watch at your own risk.
When they tell Big Bird on Sesame Street that Mr. Hooper died (the actual actor died). Everyone was crying real tears. I was an adult when I saw that clip and I still bawled.
If you've never seen the footage of Big Bird singing "It's Not Easy Being Green" at Jim Henson's funeral, look it up and get prepared to have your day ruined.
Oh jeez, I just looked it up and now I'm bawling. They did that really well.
9. The horrors of war.
Band of Brothers. When Bill Guarnere and Joe Toye get blown up and you see the affect it has on Buck. But the part that really gets me is when they talk about how none of the men look down on Buck for breaking after seeing his friends like that.
For me it's the end of the Bastogne episodes where Easy Company are sat in a church and they fade away one by one as the list of the dead and injured is read out. To see someone we recognised and liked fade out and think "holy fuck, when did he die?!"
I just watched the market garden episode and prior to their drop one of them goes to pick up his laundry in England and the woman doing the laundry listed off names of the dead who hadn't collected yet. Very solid
8. The Vietnam War was senseless slaughter.
The episode of MASH where Radar has to read out Henry's death while the are all in the operating room. They all have to react and then put it behind them and get back to work.
And they keep working in complete silence. You always see them talking and joking while operating but then they all stoped I felt like it was so real.
It's fascinating the way they did that. The script had been kept under wraps, the cast thought they'd wrapped it up except for an short humorous O.R. scene... and were then given the real last page of script. They had just few minutes to read it before shooting began, and were as shocked as anyone in the audience.
But it was a bad take - they then had to do it again. Someone dropped an instrument, which made a metallic clatter, breaking the silence - that wasn't in the script but it was perfect.
7. Oh, House.
The culmination of House's Head/Wilson's Heart for me
Yep, these episodes. I can get through House's Head, but Wilson's Heart just wrecks me every time.
House is one of my favorite shows, and I feel like it's kind of been forgotten since ending.But it had some really brilliant episodes, those two included.
6. The early seasons were reliably outstanding.
Homer Simpson losing his mom again sitting on the hood of his car looking up to the Stars.
S07E08 if YouTube is correct. Need to watch the whole episode obviously https://youtu.be/vfGAleaUa2o
As a young girl who's father left when I was 3, this scene was very cathartic. No one had time for my sadness, I felt like stupid kid who had to get over it (mom said while very frustrated). I got to see an adult feel what I felt and nobody shamed them, just loved them.
Damn I'm about to cry now, totally forgot about that episode. Gonna watch it tonight, Just so happens I coped by watching the Simpsons 24/7 so this'll be a real nostalgia trip!
5. He was no hero.
Walter White's saving Pinkman in the last episode.
"Say the words. Say you want this. Nothing happens until you say it. "
"I want this."
"Then do it yourself."
That whole scene is amazing.
He let him get tortured
He tried to kill him
He chose to not save his girlfriend
He was indirectly responsible for his second girlfriends death
He further damaged the already broken Jesse
4. In her new blue car.
When Mrs Landingham dies in the West Wing. Such a pure character.
Watching for the first time. Near the end of season 1 when Charlie asks why she's said on Christmas Eve, she tells him the story of her boys dying in Vietnam without their mom on Christmas eve. Now that I know she dies I'm not sure I'll be ready for it.
I was going to mention that one. Gets me every time. I also get a bit teary at the end of the Stackhouse Filibuster when C.J. mentions all the other senators coming in to ask questions and give Stackhouse a break, "Grandfathers all."
And she'd been on her way to the White House to show off the brand new car she'd finally been able to buy.
Jed Bartlett's speech in the cathedral, where he's just lashing out at God in both Latin and English, is a sight to behold.
3. Full circle.
The last episode of Six Feet Under, when we can see the last moments of each person of the show, heartbreaking
Greatest finale of all time. I still can't watch with choking up.
2. A real tearjerker.
I have to say one of the saddest moments will always be the death of Marshall's dad in HIMYM. The countdown in the episode never made sense until you have seen it completly and as it turns to Lily tells Marshall his dad died. Such an overall emotional episode. Never can make it through it without crying.
Came here to say this. Fantastic episodes of television. The "I'm not ready for this" line where he sobs while hugging Lily is heartbreaking. And then the rant on the phone when he gets the last message from his dad—such a good show.
1. HBO's "Chernobyl" is a masterpiece.
I was going to say Henry Blake's death in M*A*S*H, but the funeral scene for the firefighters in HBO's Chernobyl might just beat that now. It's certainly the bleakest thing I've seen on TV in a long time.
The whole series of Chernobyl was bleak. That beginning part whereby the main scientist kills himself was gut wrenching
It's the only show I've seen that starts with a suicide and only gets more depressing from there.
Secretly, we all fear having birthdays like the one in Sixteen Candles, where nobody shows up and we're forced to deal with how lonely we feel as people. But sometimes, people have things happen on their birthday that put Molly Ringwald to shame.
It stinks to have your special day go sour. Moreover, it hurts, that if whatever happened was bad enough, you will never be able to not associate your birthday with that awful thing.