Cried So Ugly: The Top TV Episodes for Those In Need of a Good Cry


by Angela Dahl

I’m what you call a weeper; crying over fictional characters is my  special area of expertise. So, as an expert, I have compiled the following  list of my top “cried so ugly” TV moments, just in case anyone’s  ever in need of a weep-a-thon.

Friends: “The Last One”  (or any series finale)

Any series finale is enough to get anyone weepy because of the connections  that have been built with the characters over the years. A series finale  is really the end of a relationship – all you’re left with are the memories  of shows past. There has been no show that I have loved more than Friends. It was my first  “grown-up” TV love. The hit sitcom established a paradigm  that a lot of people fit their own friends into: in my group of friends,  for example, we’ve got a Phoebe, two Joeys, a Chandler, and a Ross (with  me being the Ross/Red Ross/The Divorcer). The final image of the final Friends episode, with the  six keys on the counter in Monica’s empty apartment and the pan to the  frame on the door, brings me to tears every time I watch it. Oh. My.  God (said in Janice voice).


Angel: “I Will Remember You” (or any “Why can’t they  just be together?!” stories)

There’s at least one of these couples in every TV show. It’s what  keeps us interested because we want more than anything for these two  characters to just be together already! If there is one television couple that personified “Why can’t  they just be together?!” it’s Buffy and Angel. There are several  reasons why they just can’t be together: One, he’s a vampire and she’s  a vampire slayer, so her job is essentially to kill him. Two, if Angel  experiences one moment of pure happiness, he’ll lose his soul and turn  back into the killer vampire he once was. However, during a Buffy crossover  episode of Angel viewers got the answers to a “what if” scenario. Angel,  through a special sort of blood transfusion, turns human, and he and  Buffy spend a special night together that includes lots of peanut butter  and… you know. This happiness is short-lived, though. Angel realizes  the danger he’s putting Buffy in by being human because she’ll have  to literally fight all his demons for him. Angel asks the Oracles to  make him a vampire again, but they warn him that in doing so, they will  have to reverse time, and only he will have the memories of the last  twenty-four hours, not Buffy. Before their time is up, Angel confesses  what he has done to Buffy, leading to their embrace as the seconds wind  down with Buffy repeatedly sobbing, “I’ll never forget. I’ll never  forget.” She does.

Grey’s Anatomy: “Losing My Religion” (or any time a loved  one dies)

The second season finale of Grey’s is, in a word, a sobfest. Meredith and Derek have to put their dog  down, which I originally thought had to be the saddest scene in the  episode. Mind you, this is also the episode where Webber throws his  seventeen-year-old niece, who’s dying from cancer, a prom at the hospital.  However, what is by far the saddest part of the episode is the conclusion  of the Denny/Izzie relationship. Denny, recovering from his heart transplant,  proposes to Izzie, who accepts and runs off to put on the perfect dress  that she intends on showing him before the prom party. And just when  you thought there was finally going to be a happy ending for a couple  on the show, Denny dies. This brings us to the crying ugly scene: Alex  lifts Izzie, who had finally decided on wearing a voluminous pink dress,  from the hospital bed with Denny’s body while Snow Patrol’s “Chasing  Cars” begins to play in the background. The contrast of the pink  dress covering part of Denny’s body and Izzie looking so small and lost  just breaks your heart.

Futurama: “Jurassic Bark” (or any story about a pet)

Any story about a pet or animal is already emotionally-loaded, because  animals are essentially furry children: you feed them, teach them manners  and how to go to the bathroom, and get really pissed off when someone  calls them ugly. In this Futurama episode, Fry finds out that his dog, Seymour, is a fossil at an exhibit  about pizzerias. The story oscillates between the development of Fry  and Seymour’s bond in the late 1990s to the future where Fry is trying  to get his dog back from the exhibit so the Professor can clone him.  It’s that bond that most of us have had with a pet that makes this story  so depressing. Futurama viewers already know that the premise of the show is that a guy from  1999 is cryogenically frozen for 1,000 years, so the dog and his owner  will have to separate. Right before Seymour’s DNA is extracted from  the fossil, Fry finds out that Seymour lived to be fifteen years old.  Realizing that Seymour had a full life and probably had another owner  and forgot about him, Fry stops the cloning. But as we find out through  a montage of seasons and years, Seymour sat outside the pizzeria the  rest of his life, obeying Fry’s last command to wait for him. The show  ends with the old dog finally lying down and closing his eyes. I’ve  never seen a sadder ending for a cartoon show.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: “Papa’s Got A Brand New Excuse”  (or any time Will Smith cries)

Let me say first that Will Smith equals talent.  That is the only math I am confident in. The Fresh Prince writers maintained a good comedy-to-drama ratio for a sitcom, but  Will Smith’s performances always took the dramatic episodes to the next  level. I don’t know what exactly caused my attachment to Mr. Smith —  his charm, his humor, or his handsome – but it’s come to a point where  every time Will Smith cries, I cry. In “Papa’s Got A Brand New  Excuse,” Lou, Will’s father who left him and his mom fourteen years  earlier, shows up while Will is working at The Peacock. They bond, and  Lou offers to take him on the road for the summer. Right before they  are due to leave, Lou tells Will that he has to cancel because of a  job opportunity, but Will and Uncle Phil both know that that means he’s  walking out again. Alone with Uncle Phil, Will has an angry tirade and  eventual emotional breakdown after he says, “How come he don’t  want me, man?” That line, the last line of the episode, is a shot  to the heart and Will Smith is to blame. The episode ends with Phil  and Will hugging and a close up on the father son statue that Will bought  for his father.

What are your “cried so ugly” TV moments?


  1. Facu EguiluzJanuary 29th, 2013 at 10:38 am

    i think you miss to put chuck on it , but im totally agree with you haha, i cried for so long when chuck finish ,that mi eyes couldn’t take it anymore so i keep on watching it like it was on the first day

  2. BrianJanuary 29th, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Thank you!!! I thought I was the only person who cried at a stupid Futurama episode!! Jurassic Bark gets me every. damn. time!

  3. JessJanuary 29th, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I can’t believe The Body didn’t make this list! That episode of Buffy is an insane tearjerker.

  4. LaurenJanuary 29th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Doctor Who: Doomsday and Journey’s End get me every time!

  5. CraigJanuary 29th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    So many episodes of Buffy have made me a little bit weepy: The Gift and Amends are just two that I can think of off the top of my head. Never got to weepy over Chuck, I loved the show and I’d put it up with Buffy as my two favorite TV series of all time…it just wasn’t the crying kind of show for me. Also have got to mention ER, that show provided some tear jerking moments, especially “All in the Family” from season 6, gut wrenching stuff there.

  6. maryJanuary 29th, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I think FRIENDS used to be my all time favorite cry so ugly episode that is until I saw Chuck! I start crying 3 episodes before it ends.

    I think the saddest moment in TV history (for me) is when Sarah watches herself say she loves Chuck and then tells Chuck she believes him, but she just doesn’t feel it. OH MY WORD!!!! an entire box of kleenex….

  7. Sarah FJanuary 29th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Any episode of Parenthood especially this past season has made me cry. Also the last episode of Friday Night Lights and Chuck

  8. ElsJanuary 29th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Cried so ugly TV moments? Last episodes of Chuck and Fringe. Some damn good television shows they were..

  9. JuarhelaJanuary 29th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    1. Last episode of Chuck.
    2. The episode of Home Improvement where JTT thought he might have cancer.
    3. The last episode of Green Lantern The Animated Series (Loss). Seriously. I’m a 30 year old woman and I was bawling at a cartoon.
    4. “Shock Theatre” episode of Quantum Leap. If you didn’t cry when Al was crying at watching his friend get the life shocked out of him, you are not human 🙂

  10. AlanaJanuary 29th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Firefly: out of gas

  11. Michele SinopoliJanuary 29th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Three Company was a little weepy for me Two girls and one boy were roommates after five years of the show they moved out on their own. Chuck is the most ugly cry lol..end of the show Sarah wants to hear from Chuck’s story on the beach last one I remember LOST, several people met at the church that is the first time for Jack listens and speak with his father also Jack and dog just died on the island in the end was really make me sad.

  12. CinnyJanuary 29th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Buffy – Pretty much any episode she or Willow cries. Like The Body, or the one when Tara dies, or when Angel breaks up with Buffy before his spin-off or when Buffy jumps in the portal in season 5 OR – you get my drift. Then there are happy cries like when Buffy wins that award at Prom.

    Chuck – The entire last season maybe??? What they did to Sarah was SO unfair. So yea pretty much that whole thing.

    And sadly enough, Glee episodes make me sob but mostly when it comes to Kurt’s dad’s health because lets face it, Kurt’s dad is the coolest character on that damn show.

    I agree with your Friends choice… Sucked watching that show go 🙁 Also Firefly and a few Lost episodes… Like with Sawyer and the blonde chick’s whose name is escaping me… Eh you know. That whole sad story with them.

  13. JenniferJanuary 29th, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I remember the first series finale I cried during was The Cosby Show. I sat on my Mom’s lap and wept. From that moment on, I cannot watch a series finale for any show without shedding a single tear! Of course, Friends and Chuck are at the very top as no matter how many times I watch the finale, I cry like I did the first time.

  14. AlanahCJanuary 29th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Buffy’s “The Body,” I mean, c’mon, how on earth could you not list that?

    Others for me: The Buffy series finale, Firefly’s “Out of Gas,” How I Met Your Mother’s “The Symphony of Illumination,” Doctor Who’s “The Silence In The Library/Forest of the Dead,” “Human Nature/The Family of Blodd,” “The End of Time,” and “The Angels Take Manhattan.” Supernatural’s “Heart,” “Swan Song,” and “Let It Burn.” And a number of others, I’m sure.

  15. KimberlyJanuary 29th, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Seriously. The series finale of Sex and the City gets me EVERY TIME! And the series finale of That’s 70s Show. And Friends. And One Tree Hill. And Dawson’s Creek. And Buffy. You get the point.

  16. fargategirlJanuary 29th, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Any FRINGE ep with Walter brokenhearted, and the last one most of all.
    Farscape Season 3 “Icarus Abides”, when John dies, and “The Choice”
    Stargate SG1 “Heroes” when Frazier dies. Heartbreaking.
    That is all . . .

  17. lindsayJanuary 29th, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I ugly cry a lot (A LOT…too much probably) at my TV shows or books, even if it’s happy ugly cries. The s2 finale of Alias when Syd wakes up two years later, the s5 premiere during Vaughn’s funeral, Chuck’s finale, Chuck’s proposal, Chuck’s wedding, when Sarah killed the bad guy in the corn field and Chuck thinks she’s evil, a lot of Firefly, absolutely the Friends finale, all the Star Trek series finales particularly Voyager’s, Stargate when Daniel died the first time, and the list goes on and on.

  18. marcusJanuary 30th, 2013 at 12:03 am

    The episode of Futurama where he finds out he had nephew named after him, as an uncle who is very close to his nephews and nieces that gets to me. Doctor Who power of 3. Smallville Vengeance is pretty bad because he finds the tickets his dad had for them and home movie at the end.

  19. CharJanuary 30th, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Thirtysomething when Gary dies. UGH!

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