10 of the Saddest TV Episodes That Make You Cry Every Time

Many people have been hooked on various television shows over the years. Even though the original medium, television, has declined in popularity, online platforms continue to offer shows that are essentially TV shows. It has long been a popular pastime for millions of people to enjoy while at home. Furthermore, for those who live under one roof with a large number of people, they can bond over what happens to their favorite characters, often getting excited for the next episode to find out.

While there are some bad TV shows, there have been many that have been well-received by both audiences and critics, with some being credited with inspiring other shows since. Some of these shows have featured heartbreaking scenes or episodes that have greatly shaped the various characters within said shows. Even years after the show has ended, reruns of the episodes can still make a lot of people cry. Here are ten of them.

1. The Quarterback from Glee

This episode of the musical series Glee may be the most heartbreaking of them all. To provide context for this episode, Hudson’s actor, Cory Monteith, died in July of 2013, with many of the cast members paying tribute and credit to the actor.

As a result, the cast’s performances and tributes throughout the episode straddled the line between great acting and genuine grief. Santana Lopez, played by Naya Rivera, in particular, sang If I Die Young but broke down hard. More tragically, Rivera died seven years after the episode aired, lending an ominous tone to the song.

2. The End from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been an excellent companion to the Marvel films, as it focuses on the many agents of the enigmatic organization S.H.I.E.L.D., which is credited with assisting the Avengers. While the series is full of action and intrigue, the final episode of the fifth season is nothing short of depressing.

While many people expect Agent Phil Coulson to die during the episode, it was Leo Fitz who was killed by falling to the flooring of a ship while rescuing Polly and Robin. While Fitz’s death was tragic in and of itself, it was exacerbated by the fact that he had recently married Jemma Simmons and was about to settle down with her.

3. Sanctuary and Death and All His Friends from Grey’s Anatomy

Sanctuary and Death and All His Friends, two Grey’s Anatomy episodes, had everyone on the edge of their seats. In Sanctuary, the hospital was the site of a mass shooting in which 18 people were shot, 11 of whom were fatally wounded.

The following episode, Death and All His Friends, saw both Owen Hunt and Derek Shepherd wounded as a result of the shooting, with Shepherd clinging to life. Despite the gripping tension, both men, along with others who were shot, recovered from their injuries.

4. Gone, Baby, Gone from Private Practice

Private Practice, a Grey’s Anatomy spin-off, had an equally tragic episode, Gone, Baby, Gone, during season five. In it, Amelia was about to go into labor, which prompted her coworkers to make an investment to care for her.

She eventually gave birth successfully. The baby was born without a frontal lobe, which was unfortunate. The baby eventually died in her arms. Faced with a difficult decision, Amelia eventually donated her baby’s organs for other babies across the country, which can be credited with saving their lives.

5. Jurassic Bark from Futurama

Futurama, created by Matt Groening, who also created The Simpsons, is one of the funniest shows to have aired in the 2000s. Even so, the show has its sad moments, one of which is Jurassic Bark.

Many people saw how Fry’s dog Seymour waited for his master until the end of his life, even though Fry was rendered frozen and remained so for centuries. The montage of him waiting for his owner, in particular, was a highlight of the show.

6. The Tales of Ba Sing Se from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Despite the show’s overall lighthearted and optimistic tone, Avatar: The Last Airbender has been praised for tackling a number of mature themes and is credited with making it appealing to children. The Tales of Ba Sing Se, in particular, was an emotional rollercoaster.

In one scene, Iroh appears to be strolling around Ba Sing Se, purchasing items for a fictitious occasion. It was eventually revealed that the occasion was a visit to his only son’s grave, where he sobbed while playing Leaves from the Vine. Furthermore, the role was dedicated to Iroh’s voice actor, Mako, who died in 2006.

7. The Angels Take Manhattan from Doctor Who

The Angels Take Manhattan is one of the many episodes of Doctor Who that felt quite bleak. In it, the Doctor and his companions must track down Rory, who has been sent back in time by the Weeping Angels, who have turned Manhattan into a feeding ground.

Despite their best efforts, it became clear that some sacrifices were required. As a result, the Doctor was forced to say his final farewell to Amelia Pond, as any change in the timeline could result in the destruction of New York.

8. The Diamond of the Day: Part One and Part Two from Merlin

While many of us know how King Arthur’s story ends, some of us can’t help but feel sad after watching the final episodes of Merlin, The Diamond of the Day: Part One and Part Two. In it, King Arthur, Merlot, and his knights had to fight at Camlann to finally put an end to Morgana’s reign of terror.

While they were successful in ending it, we all know how the story ends. Merlin pays his last respects to King Arthur, and Excalibur is thrown into the lake. The episode concludes with Merlin looking out over the lake of Avalon, much like a modern-day home security system, anticipating the return of the king and his close friend.

9. Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air


Despite The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s lighthearted nature, the episode Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse was a stark contrast to the show. Will met a familiar customer during the episode, who turned out to be his father Lou, whom he hadn’t seen in 14 years.

Will and Lou attempted to reconcile at first, but it proved much more difficult than expected. Lou eventually left Will, who was devastated. Will then vented to his adopted father, Uncle Phil, about his predicament. They then had an emotional breakdown, with the two finally hugging each other while crying.

10. Ozymandias from Breaking Bad


Ozymandias, perhaps Breaking Bad’s most iconic episode, pretty much set the tone towards the end of the series that Walter White’s time as a drug kingpin with massive investments and assets in the meth trade was about to come crashing down.

For one thing, his brother-in-law Hank was shot, which made White despondent. A chain of depressing events ensued. As a result, by the end of the episode, White was basically on the run, as his lawyer Saul drove him away while everyone was closing in on him.