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23 Utterly Devastating TV Scenes That Don’t Even Involve A Main Character Dying

“I still get sad chills when I think about it.”


On Dawson’s Creek, when Pacey cried to his dad, who was passed out drunk:

The WB

“When Pacey’s on the beach with his passed out, drunk dad and has a conversation with him. It just kills me…’It’s your job to love me no matter who I am or who I become, because you’re my father.’ Gets me every time.”



On Full House, when Jessie moved out and said goodbye to Michelle, and they exchanged gifts:


“When Uncle Jesse moves out on Full House and Michelle gives him her stuffed animal…I am crying tears of such mixed and complex emotions!!!!”



On Friends, when Chandler told Monica they weren’t going to be able to conceive:



On This Is Us, when Beth got William’s postcard:


“I thought I couldn’t be any more heartbroken … but when Beth got the postcard, I sobbed. I haven’t watched the show in years, but that scene was so well written and acted.”



On Parenthood, when Julia realized Zoe was going to keep her baby:


“When Julia realizes she isn’t getting the baby. Pretty sure ‘Transatlanticism’ is playing. It’s an emotional meteor.”



On This Is Us, when Nicki was born two minutes before Oct. 19, when he would’ve been safe from the Vietnam draft, and the camera panned over all the other Oct. 18 babies that would eventually get drafted in the war:


“There’s a lot of big scenes on This Is Us, but the one that got me is the one with the flashback to when Jack’s brother is born. Had he been born a few minutes later, he would have had a higher draft number and would not have gone to Vietnam. The camera pans over the nursery to all the baby boys born that day and you realize they are all going to get drafted. It’s so fucking sad.”



On Call the Midwife, when Sister Julienne found the baby that had been left out to die:


“This show is so underrated and always emotional. The worst episode ever for me was when all of those babies were being born with deformities due to that morning sickness drug (Thalidomide), and one of the babies was purposefully left naked by an open window, in a hospital room by itself, to die. I just cannot fathom how somebody could do that, and I so badly wanted to hold and snuggle that fictional baby.”



On 9-1-1, when Buck thought he’d lost Christopher during the tsunami episode:



On One Tree Hill, when Jamie put Quentin’s cape on his casket, and Brooke finally broke down over her assault:

The CW

“The scene when Jamie draped the cape over the casket had me bawling like a baby.”


“No matter how many times I watch it, that episode destroys me. Just thinking about it makes me cry.”



On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., when everyone gave Hunter and Bobbi a spy’s goodbye:


“The spy’s goodbye makes me cry every time. Very little is said, but [there’s] so much emotion, knowing that Hunter and Bobbi took one for the team and they would never see them again.”



On Julie and the Phantoms, when Julie gave Luke’s song about his mother (“Unsaid Emily”) to her, and it flashed back to the fights they’d had and his parents discovering he was dead:


“The police lights get me every time.”



On Outlander, when Claire was assaulted and she dissociated, imagining a happy life with Jamie in the ’60s:


“It was so sad seeing her being wrapped up safely in Jamie’s arms in the fantasy against her being brutally assaulted [in reality].”



In The Haunting of Bly Manor, when Jamie finds Dani staring into bath water and tells her that she’ll feel for the both of them:


“Everyone talks about the final lake scene in The Haunting of Bly Manor when when Jamie finds Dani (rightfully so, because it’s absolutely heartbreaking), but no one talks about the bathtub scene right before that. The way Jamie keeps repeating ‘no,’ when Dani brokenly sighs Jamie’s name, and when Jamie says, ‘Iif you can’t feel anything, then I’ll feel everything for the both of us’ absolutely destroys me every single time.”



In Outer Banks, when JJ breaks down in the hot tub and Kie and Pope climb in to hug him:


“The hot tub scene in Outer Banks, when Kie and Pope are so mad at JJ for buying it [but] then he stands up covered in bruises from his dad and they get in fully clothed and hug him while he sobs. [It] gets me every time.”



On Girlfriends, when Maya had a miscarriage and finally broke down to Darnell:


“When Maya cries, ‘I wanted to give you a little girl’…yeah, I cried too.”



On Scrubs, when Dr. Cox broke down after three of his patients died from kidney transplants he’d pushed for:


“Dr. Cox losing all of the patients is the episode that just does me in. He couldn’t have known what would happen, and as they all kept passing, one after the other, you could see the terror and hopelessness and guilt in his eyes.”



On Girlfriends, when Joan and Brock broke up because he didn’t want children:


“It was pure heartbreak for me!! Like, they loved each other so much, but Joan wanted kids and Brock was firmly against having kids. They couldn’t make it work. What was beautiful about it was it wasn’t a screaming match, but they argued hard and you could see when they both realized that their love couldn’t get them past that one problem. And Joan sobbing on the couch was totally heartbreaking…I still get sad chills when I think about it.”



On Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, when Zoey finds out how little time her dad has left and sings “How Do I” to him:


“All the musical scenes with her dad were heartbreaking. When she sings ‘How Do I’ after they find out he’s got only a little time, [it] made me ugly cry.”



On Shameless, when Fiona got Lip’s sponsor drunk and he screamed at her, then kicked her out:



On Doctor Who, when Rose and the Doctor had to say goodbye, and then he disappeared before he could say “I love you”:



On M*A*S*H, when Hawkeye remembers that the woman he told to keep her chicken quiet actually was holding a baby, and that she killed her baby to protect them:



On Parenthood, when Zeek takes Amber to see her wrecked car after her car crash and tells her off:



And finally, on Scrubs, when JD was writing the speech about Kelso, and we saw that he hid how all the events at the hospital affected him:


“The scene that gets me that’s not talked about is end of ‘My Jiggly Ball.’ It’s a funny episode, but that last few minutes, it shows the humanity of Bob Kelso and how the weight of some of his decisions get to him. There’s no talking, but it’s so well acted. [I] highly recommend watching it.”


Any more that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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