Ah, Saturday. A good day to have a good cry, no? Today, I’m going to look back at my favorite weepy moments in sitcoms. Several of these are ‘a very special episode,’ but most are attempting ‘whiplash poignancy,’ with varying degrees of success.
And now, without further ado, get ready to cry!
First, some honorable mentions:
Too many Scrubs episodes to note
Full House-Papuli passing away
Blossom-just about every episode here too
8 Simple Rules-John Ritter dies
Yes, this one was forced by real life circumstances, but dang if I don’t get misty-eyed every time. A pre-BBT Penny, Katey Segal and the other kids really nailed it with the emotion of the scene. Of course, the show didn’t hold up well after that, but what can you expect when the main focus of the show unexpectedly dies?
Saved by the Bell-Jesse’s so scared!
Jesse feels like she needs to take caffeine pills to keep up with her multitude of activities and school, and her friends are all terribly concerned. It eventually culminates with her trying to convince Zach she can do it all, and collapsing into a heap. Yes, it’s terribly cheesy, but honestly? SBTB was a Saturday morning show. I’m surprised it’s held up as well as it has.
Full House-“A door named Dad.”
Stephanie gets paired up with the jerky boy from her class, and has him over to get their project done. When she gets in a fight with her dad, and her partner gives her advice on how to survive a beating, Stephanie learns more than she bargained for. He comes to class the next day with a black eye, from “a door named Dad,” and Stephanie tells Uncle Jesse, and her new friend is taken out of the abusive home. Steph’s little meltdown after the fact is what gets me every time, at least a little.
The Office-Jim and Pam get married
Aww, they are soooo freaking cute. It’s the couple you wanted to get together since the show first came on the air, and after 5 seasons of shenanigans, they finally do. From Jim cutting his tie to make Pam feel better about a torn veil, to everyone dancing down the aisle, the waterworks are going through practically this whole episode.
HIMYM-Marshal’s dad dies
Here is the first instance of whiplash poignancy. The entire episode is focused on getting Lily’s fertility test results, when BAM! she steps out of a cab, and tells Marshal his dad had died. Marshal is such a teddy bear, you REALLY feel for him when he is hurting, and that is thanks in no small part to the excellent work Jason Segal does. This isn’t higher on the list only because the showrunners though it would be a good idea to have a countdown to the announcement. You think it’s going to be this good thing, but no. Terribly macabre, and really out of place, I think, in an otherwise emotional episode.(Sorry for the crappy video quality)
Boy Meets World-Another child abuse episode
Cory is jealous of Shawn when he sees a girl staying the night at Shawn’s house, thinking Shawn is having her over for romantic reasons. Shawn breaks the news to Cory, and Cory does what he can to help. When it becomes unfeasible for her to stay at Shawn’s house, she spends the night at Cory’s where her parents discover her, and finally make them contact the authorities. Even though you don’t know the girl, the emotions the boys go through can really get to a person, and by the end, you’re rooting for her to be running through fields in Vermont with a favorite Aunt.
I don’t really watch this show. I’ve never even seen the full episode of this weeper. But here’s the kicker: you don’t need ANY prior knowledge to be weeping like a baby through that clip. Fry, the main character who was frozen for a thousand years, had a dog. And the dog waited for him to come back. Even with that brief description, I’m tearing up just thinking about it, so if you are not in a place where crying would be an acceptable thing, I would suggest NOT watching that clip.
Boy Meets World-Shawn joins a cult
I’ve already spoken of this one briefly, but it needed to be on here. I feel like Troy-“Why are you making us feel these emotions,” show? You’re supposed to be a quirky, fun little show that makes us laugh, not weep uncontrollably. Ok, I don’t fully believe that. BMW didn’t have to work very hard in the fourth and fifth season to make me get all weepy. I love the characters, and anytime they are not happy, I get all empathetic and whatnot. And since conflict moves the story forward, I was misty a bunch during BMW’s run.
Fresh Prince-Deadbeat Dad strikes again
Will’s dad comes into town, making promises, and generally trying to actually be a good dad. But as soon as it’s not in his best interest anymore, he bolts. And Will Smith gives the monologue of a lifetime, which I will cry at over and over again, even if I’d seen it several times in a row. It is just that good.
And now, my number one pick is...
Scrubs, the once and future champion of whiplash poignancy, I dare you to watch this episode two times in a row. So, Ben, Jordan’s brother, and Cox’s best friend, has leukemia, and when he makes an appearance at Sacred Heart after a couple of years of not being checked out, Dr. Cox insists he be seen. Now here’s the trick of the episode: Ben died about five minutes in, but Cox still sees him in and around the hospital, all 6th sense-like. Unless you know what to look for, you don’t realize he’s dead until you get to his funeral at the end of the episode, then BOOM! Whiplash every time, and me, a sobbing mess on the floor because, dang, this episode gets me every time.
And there we have it! Now, dry those eyes, and have fun with the rest of your Saturday! It’s not like I ruined it with 10 of the cryingest sitcom moments, now, is it?
Did I miss any? Put one too high, or too low? Let me know in the comments!