10 great tear-jerker geek TV episodes

Feature Juliette Harrisson 17 Aug 2012 - 07:33

Juliette counts down the geek TV episodes that'll make even the most resolutely dry-eyed geek TV viewers shed a tear, courtesy of Star Trek, Buffy, Doctor Who and more...

For obvious reasons, this article contains major spoilers.

Please note, ’10 Great’, not ‘Top 10’ – feel free to add your own in the comments below.

Crying: cathartic, emotional, headache-inducing. Usually a bad thing, but sometimes – when you have something in your eye, perhaps – floods of tears are the desired outcome of a stunning episode of television. This list probably needs little introduction, except to say that I only allowed one episode per series, otherwise the entire list could have been composed from Buffy and Doctor Who. Films are also excluded even if they’re spin-offs from a television series – we’ll get to them another time…

10. Star Trek, City on the Edge of Forever 

Regularly voted the best episode of Star Trek ever – and by that, I don’t just mean Original Series Trek. No, this episode is regularly voted the best episode of any Star Trek-related series or spin-off series. It’s got time travel, it’s got period costumes, it’s got romance, it’s got Joan Collins. Best of all, it’s got Kirk having to make the sort of sadistic choice people only ever have to make in science-fiction.

Tear-jerking moment: Kirk not only has to allow the lovely Edith to die, he actively has to prevent McCoy from saving her.

You might be all right until: "He knows, Doctor. He knows" (Spock).

9. Ashes to Ashes, Series 3 Episode 8 

Life on Mars had one of the best TV finales most of us had seen – and then, they made a spin-off series. And, fun as it was, there was always this niggling fear that the wrap-up to Ashes to Ashes would retroactively ruin Life on Mars, so there was a lot riding on this finale. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but for many of us, this episode put our fears to rest. It was emotional, fun, slightly ridiculous and it offered an ending that satisfied and even almost made sense.

Tear-jerking moment: The audience have just found out what happened to Gene Hunt on Coronation Day when Ray, Chris and Shazza find the videos of themselves Keats has been keeping, which reveal what happened to them.

You might be all right until: "Maybe you’re gonna be the one that saves me" (Oasis, Wonderwall, playing on Shazza’s Walkman as she’s stabbed to death).

8. Torchwood, Exit Wounds 

Joss Whedon may be known as King of the Cruel Character Deaths, but he ain’t got nothin’ on Russell T Davies and Chris Chibnall. Writers working on main series Doctor Who still have to be a bit careful who they kill off and how, but on Torchwood, anyone except Captain Jack is fair game and boy, did they prove it with this shocking season finale. It isn’t just that they killed off half the cast; it isn’t just that once again we’re presented with a shippers’ favourite couple who die before their love can be consummated. It’s the horribly cruel way in which they do it, Tosh bleeding to death alone except for an audio link with Owen, whose fate, given that he’s already undead, is necessarily grisly.

Tear-jerking moment: Owen and Tosh have one last, angst-ridden conversation as both face certain death in separate locations.

You might be all right until: "You’re breaking my heart" (Tosh).

7. Angel, A Hole in the World 

It’s a really close call between this episode and Hero ("Is that it? Am I done?"). But Fred’s death just pipped it over Doyle’s for the sheer prolonged nature of it. Having only just got it together with the love of her life (naturally), Fred spends the entire episode slowly dying while her friends try in vain to save her and Wesley wonders why every woman he so much as kisses ends up dead.

Tear-jerking moment: Fred dies in Wesley’s arms, and her body springs back into life as the rather less cuddly Illyria.

You might be all right until: "I’m not scared, I’m not scared, I’m not scared" (Fred).

6. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Far Beyond the Stars 

The death of Jadzia Dax in Tears of the Prophets, like that of any regular character, is pretty tear-jerking, but character deaths are not the only way to produce audience waterworks. Benny Russell’s fight, not even for equality, but for the right to dream of equality, must surely move even the stoniest of hearts and the sense of relief as we are returned to the familiar greys of Deep Space Nine is a palpable reminder of how far we hope to come in the end.

Tear-jerking moment: Still recovering from a vicious beating, Benny Russell is told that his story has been pulped and he is fired. He breaks down, denied even the right to imagine a better future.

You might be all right until: "You can pulp a story, but you cannot destroy an idea!" (Benny Russell).

5. True Blood, I Will Rise Up 

True Blood is many things – silly, sexy, funny, gross. It’s not often moving, but for a couple of scenes in the early seasons, it put aside the daftness for something at least aiming at, if not achieving, profound. One is the season 1 scene in which Sookie sobs as she eats her late grandmother’s last pie. But the best single scene True Blood has done so far is the end of season 2’s I Will Rise Up. Eric, best known at the time as the character who throws people’s disembodied arms across the room, cries, Sookie bonds with a vampire other than Bill and in the midst of two extremes of religious mania (Christian fundamentalists and Bacchants), some kind of peace is found as the sun rises.

Tear-jerking moment: Godric, tired of millennia of blood, meets the sun in a Christ-like pose.

You might be all right until: "A human with me at the end, and human tears. Two thousand years and I can still be surprised. In this, I see God" (Godric).

4. Doctor Who, Vincent and the Doctor 

New Who is not short of weepies, and most would probably go for Doomsday as the pinnacle of Doctor-y angst (‘I’m burning up a universe to say goodbye’). But for those of us with a fondness for Richard Curtis’ particular brand of overblown emotion, nothing can quite beat first Vincent Van Gogh seeing just how revered he would become, and then the discovery that, in the end, it wasn’t enough to save him.

Tear-jerking moment: Van Gogh’s face as he looks around the (slightly inaccurate) Louvre.

You might be all right until: "Every life is a pile of good things and bad things… and we definitely added to his pile of good things" (The Doctor).

3. Blackadder Goes Forth, Goodbyeee 

It’s hard to say whether Blackadder really counts as a ‘geek’ show, which is why this is down at #3. But they did a time travel episode one time (Blackadder Back and Forth) and a fantasy episode (Blackadder’s Christmas Carol) and this episode is probably one of the most heart-breaking, brilliantly composed episodes of television ever, so it deserves to be included. The segue from black comedy into serious historical tragedy is smoothly and perfectly done, as George admits to being scared and Blackadder sincerely wishes everyone good luck, Baldrick’s final cunning plan coming sadly too late.

Tear-jerking moment: The boys go over the top and are immediately gunned down in slow-motion.

You might be all right until: Personally, I’m blubbing all the way from Darling’s wish to "Marry Doris", but the truly stone-hearted might hold out until the fade-out to a field of poppies.

 

2. Quantum Leap, The Leap Home Part 1 

Fan favourite episode MIA is not short of moments to make you cry or stop you ever being able to listen to Georgia On My Mind with a dry eye again. But there’s one episode that beats even that for sheer blub-potential. Sam leaps back into himself as a teenager, and struggles to save his father and brother from early deaths and his sister from an unhappy marriage, while Al tries to get him just to enjoy this unexpected chance to spend a few more days with his family.

Tear-jerking moment: Sam’s last dinner with his family is pretty moving, but it’s a slightly earlier scene that’s guaranteed to bring the tears. Sam’s little sister asks about the Beatles’ future and Sam sings her Imagine, to a simple guitar accompaniment. His sister cries because she realises he really does know the future and their brother is going to die, Sam and Al struggle to hold back tears and avoid telling her John Lennon’s future, and the audience (i.e. me) bawl their eyes out over Sam’s brother, John Lennon, the beauty of the song and the state of the world in general.

You might be all right until: ‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…’ (Sam singing ‘Imagine’).

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Gift 

You might expect to see Becoming Part 2 in the top spot, and this one is another very close call. In terms of shock value, episode structure and character development, Becoming might even be the superior episode. But The Gift, rather than tearing Buffy apart inside by forcing her to kill, allowed her to find some emotional peace and closure by allowing her to die (that being her gift. I didn’t say it was subtle). And rather than the well-written uncertainty of the end of Becoming, here we get sheer, unadulterated grief. This episode finishes Buffy’s story in a soaring, dramatic culmination of the one hundred episodes flown through in the ‘previously on.’ Much as I love the musical, the show perhaps should have finished here.

Tear-jerking moment: Buffy’s apparently agonising death is pretty gut-wrenching, but it’s the reactions of her friends that will bring the tears. When Spike breaks down and sobs, chance are you will too.

You might be all right until: "She saved the world. A lot." (Buffy’s gravestone).

Bubbling under: The X-Files, 'Closure’, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ‘The Inner Light’, Stargate SG-1, ‘Heroes’, Farscape, ‘The Peacekeeper Wars’. The West Wing really isn’t a geek show, otherwise ‘Two Cathedrals’ would easily break the top five.

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"Tear-jerking moment: Van Gogh’s face as he looks around the (slightly inaccurate) Louvre"

Just as well it's Musee D'Orsay and not the Louvre, then ;)

Far Beyond the Stars is a good choice for DS9 :) But personally I would have chosen The Visitor from series 4. Tear jerking moment = when Sisko demands that Jake forgets about him and moves on with his life. Giant manly tears...

I'm still angry about Sky 1 showing the shot of Buffy's tombstone in the promo to the episode. Way to spoil the ending guys!

It seems that every time there is one of these lists I submit one from Stargate, so here are 2 from Stargate Atlantis, both featuring David Hewlett as Dr Rodney McKay.

"The last Man" sees Col Shepherd accidently sent 5000 years into the future by a faulty gate, and stuck in a powered down Atlantis completely alone, on a planet that is sliding into destruction in the path of an ever expanding Red Giant Sun. The episode shows the alternate future deaths of almost all the main characters but for me the tear jerker comes when you realise that McKay has spent the last 20 years of his life in a job that is way beneath him, with obviously no friends, completely obsessed over saving his friend from his fate, but it becomes clear his true motivation is saving the woman he loves from hers. This is the power of genius, the man alters the timeline and changes the path of the whole universe, to save his wife.

"The Shrine" is rather more simple, Rodney gets infected with a parasite, that basically gives him an extremely rapid form of Alzheimers. The degeneration of his characters mind and personality is shown full on, and stellar acting by Hewlett is what sells it, without question. Pretty much all the characters cry as they see their friend slipping away from them, and I defy anyone watching not to do the same.

Argh! I'm sorry Juliette but I as excellent and emotionally fraught as City on the Edge of Forever is, I can't cry at the Star Trek episode that features Joan Collins (ugh). It's the episodes where Spock gets emotional or falls in love that upset me - The Naked Time and This Side of Paradise. Anyhow, nice list anyway!

no Jurassic Bark?

No way Buffy should have ended on that episode! The last two series were easily the best. Also, her death does not appear agonising, she's basically jumping in a big pool of magic.

Two words: Ianto Jones

I'd say that the Buffy episode "The Body" is much sadder, with Anya's confused emotions being the saddest part

What about the ending of Blake's 7? Even after all these years I haven't recovered from that.

An honourable mention should also go to Adric's death in Doctor Who, too.

Vincent and The Doctor is my favourite Matt Smith episode. This was much better done than most of Series 4's rather forced "weepie moments" invariably centred on Donna. Always great to see Art history in Who, this is a welcome distraction from the "crack in time" story arc. City of Death was sublime but Leonardo's Mona Lisa is a little obvious in terms of works of art. Van Gogh's depression is also very sensitively handled.

Edgar. 24

Ashes to Ashes I agree with (would also put the finale of Life on Mars here), I blubbed for ages when it was finally over - it was Bowie's "Heroes" that really got me going at the end.
Another vote for "Jurrasic Bark" as well, can't believe it isn't in the notable mentions as Futurama also has "The Luck of the Fryrish" which is a bit emotional at the end.

The Gift? Screw that. I'm sobbing like a baby when Dawn breaks down in the corridor in "The Body", or from the moment Buffy says "Mom, Mom, Mommy?" and calls Giles and imagines the ambulance getting in time and cleans up her own vomit. That entire scene is just heartwrenching. The entire episode, when Xander punches the wall. I'm crying again.

Love this list but I would have to have gone with Hero for Angel - It took me a good hour to recover after that one because Whedon had set Doyle up to be such a great character and instantly a favourite of mine. That and Glenn Quinn's own story just makes it all the more tragic.

Aeryn's death in Farscape's series 2 finale "Die Me, Dichotomy" made me cry. Even though you knew by that point in the episode that there was a possible way for her to come back, it was still gut-wrenching seeing her plunge into the lake with John struggling to overcome the neural chip and then his "Oh God, what have I done?" gets me every time.

For some reason I hate Vincent and The Doctor, IMHO the saddest Doctor Who episode is The Girl Who Waited.

Have to agree with Michael de Boer and JimBob - The Gift, while certainly tear-inducing, doesn't come any where near The Body. I think theres about 3 scenes in the whole of The Body where I don't cry! Even after many viewings I still can't watch it without turning into an emotional wreck.

Decent, but list totally fails with out Jurrasic Bark.

Lord, Martin Freeman at the end of Sherlock Series 2 finale, The Reichenbach Fall. I've got to pull it together just thinking about it.

I'd put The Body over The Gift as well. I'd put it over most things. I don't know how many times I've seen it and I still spend all forty-two minutes sobbing like a child.

"WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO MOVE THE BODY!" isn't just tear jerking, it's heart breaking, and that's only the first five minutes of the episode.

I, too, wondered why this wasn't on the list.

If this were MY list, I'd have put "Vincent and The Doctor" up higher. I about lost it when Van Gogh was listening to how much he was revered in the present day, and saw how much people appreciated their work. That had me sobbing like a child.

And just for s---s and giggles, I'd add the last scene of "The End of Time, Part 2" where the camera closes in on the Tenth Doctor and he says, tearfully, "I don't want to go...". THAT THERE?! WHOO!! I yelled at the screen, "I DON'T EITHER, DAMN IT!!!", tissue in hand.

Yes, I am a virile, manly man. And I cry at Doctor Who. I'm also single. And that might be why, but hey. Whatever.

What about Fringe's 'Peter'? It was the first time in my life I cried during the whole episode. And I don't usually cry at all.

Also Farscape's 'The Choice' where Aeryn mourns the death of the other John Crichton. The whole look and feel of the episode is bleak and depressing. And Claudia Black's performance is just astounding and 'tear-jerking'.

As for Doctor Who I would also go for 'The Girl Who Waited', but I agree with 'Vincent and the Doctor' too.

I don't think that 'Dexter' qualifies as geek, but I would also mention the season 5 premiere 'My Bad' (another instance I cried the whole episode).

This is a great list especially the top 4. The Buffy episode must have been a hard one to choose, personally I would have had difficulty choosing between The Gift, Becoming and The Killer in Me, but I think you choose the right one. Also was a bit shocked to see you hadn't included Star Trek NG's Inner Light, that one gets me everytime.

I've always found The Luck of the Fryish to be much sadder than Jurassic Bark.

How about the end of Six Feet Under? I cry until my throat is raw I get a headache and have to go lie down. Then I get up and have a paracetamol because life is too short.

Well as someone noted below for Deep Space 9 the Visitor is a far better tear jerker. Also what about B5 Sleeping in the Light? That one gets me the most of any episode ever.
And for me the part of End of Time Part II that gets me is where Wilfred salutes the Doctor as he is about to leave for the last time.

No Futurama? Really? The show that cannot be used as a Turing test because it makes computers cry?

One thing on Who, and I know this is a cheat, The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang taken together are devastating. The whole Amy / Rory story there is gut wrenching (Rory cradling her body at the start of BB and the whole Last Centurion thing in particular, not to mention Amy refusing to run, determined to keep him with her through sheer willpower despite him pleading with her to get away) and then you get THAT damn monologue from Matt Smith as his Doctor prepares to be wiped from existence. Even better you get the switch to utter triumph (and I've seen bitter, hardened Whovians literally punch the air at this) with the 'Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue' line so it's happy tears to finish ;)

Oh, and I freely admit I cannot make it through Bablyon 5's Sleeping in Light without blubbing like a baby.

being a big babylon 5 fan there are several episodes i think could be included, especially sleeping in light ... zhadum always gets me too, as delenn watches the message john has left her, whilst he plummets to his doom ...

I three. Amazing episode that hits home home hard on the the subject of loss. I also thought the finale of Six Feet Under should be on there. When you see the death of all the main characters I was sobbing my heart out.

Get rid of Torchwood and Blackadder (its great, but def not geek programming) and add Quantum Leap:MIA and Doctor Who:The Family of Blood. Other than that, pretty good list.

Futurama, the episode with Fry's dog is very sad...

True, The Body is one big sob-fest from start to finish. But I never re-watch it because it's too horrible, and if I'm going to watch people die of cancer, I'll watch ER anyway. So for me, The Gift is 'greater' because I actually want to watch it again and cry at it again, whereas The Body is just like watching your worst nightmares unfold. In a bad way.

You got me. French museums are not my forte! I just remember seeing The Starry Night in MoMA in New York and thinking 'this isn't in Paris...'

Too frustrating. Stuff like that just makes me annoyed at the writers for writing something so depressing!

See above

It was in the honourable mentions - two Star Treks seemed enough and I wanted to include City of the Edge of Forever!

I thought about The Choice, but something about that ep is just too depressing for me somehow. Peter makes me cry too, but I had to leave some things out, and I already had 'Peter' in the Top Whole Episode flashbacks t'other week ;)

That episode of Doctor Who, Vincent and the Doctor gets me everytime. The "monster" was so-so but the episode is definitely one of my faves of that season.

Doomsday..The 10th Doctors Final farewell to Rose Tyler in Bad Wolf Bay...He says ''Rose Tyler, I.....'' and the Tardis vanishes into the void before he can tell Rose he loves her *Sobs*...Not to mention the end of Series 3 of Being Human (UK version) "The Wolf-Shaped Bullet". *sniff*

If you watched all of Babylon 5 and you *dont* cry at sleeping in light (essentially everything in it from start to finish). Be it from the parting of John and Delenn to the tearful toast scene. To peoples reactions at the letters, to them returning home or JMS switching off the lights and G'kars (as always) magnificent eulogy. Then there is something very very wrong with you.

This list is incomplete without Futurama 'Jurassic Bark' - I blubbered like a child at the end of that one.

Supernatural: What Is And What Should Never Be - Tearjerking moment: "
Why? Why is it my job to save these people? Why do I have to be some kind of hero? What about us? Mom's not supposed to live? Sammy's not supposed to get married? Why do we have to sacrifice everything, Dad?"
TNG: The Inner Light - Tearjerking moment: When Jean Luc plays the flute alone in his ready room at the end of the episode.
DW: The End of Time Part II - Tearjerking Moment: "I don't want to go"

Also...
Twin Peaks: Dispute Between Brothers - Tearjerking moment: When Harry gives Dale a Bookhouse Boys badge as he is leaving.
Heroes: Brave New World - Tearjerking moment: Hiro's discussion with the 85 year old Charlie.

I find your lack of Jurassic Bark disturbing.

Completely agree with the above, the paper towel soaking up sick and the off-shot of the phone. Unfortunately I also can't watch it, it's too real, if you get my meaning.

I'd add Talyn!John's death in "Icarus Abides," where John and Aeryn say their last words. I'd also add the scene where Aeryn is calling for John who is up in Farscape 1 saving the universe and dying slowly. Then there is the entire episode of The Choice, which I can't watch.

Fair enough. I respectfuly disagree, but like it says at the top, it's 10 great eps, not a top 10 and I can't say you haven't chosen 10 great episodes here!

The Body should have been on here! that episode of Buffy made me cry the most.

Well I don't see Torchwood Children of Earth. When Ianto died super super tear jerker.

Screw that - Jack's grandson. And Frobisher's family. Jeez that was brutal.

how about when Rose "dies" in "Army of Ghosts"... or when the 456 kill Ianto in "Torchwood: Childen of Earth".

I was crying with shock at the penultimate episode of Mad Men Series Five, but I'll admit it doesn't pack the same punch as the ones of these I've seen. Agreed though, a distinct lack of Being Human. And how about the finale of Misfits Series Three?

the ending of Dr. Who "the girl in the fireplace" was pretty sad also..

I did notice it in the Bubbling under but thought it deserved a second mention in the comments. I do conceed that more than 2 Star Treks would have been overkill. These kinds of lists are always going to be personal, but I think you do have something for everyone in this one - tissues at the ready.

Could argue with Buffy and Who eps but like you said, so many to choose from (am I the only one who gets a bit moist in the eye department watching 'Gridlock'?) but I do feel that Lost deserves to be here as many many eps got me weepy, if I had to narrow it down I'd go for 'The Constant'

This list is incomplete without "Sleeping in Light" from Babylon 5. Hell, "Sleeping in Light" should BE the list!

Could argue with Buffy, Angel (Finale "would you like me tolie for you now") and Who eps but like you said, so many to choose from (am I the only one who gets a bit moist in the eye department watching 'Gridlock'?) but I do feel that Lost deserves to be here as many many eps got me weepy, if I had to narrow it down I'd go for 'The Constant' Oh and

Hahahah very true.I was sad at how shitty a death Anya got. And that we had no time to mourn.Loved her so,

SG-1's "Heroes" should really have made it into the top 10. Also, Stargate Atlantis' "Sunday" is a really emotional episode and should have at least been mentioned. Rodney's final discussion with his hallucination of Carson Beckett and blaming himself for his death... had me in tears.

Torchwood: when Capt. Jack Harkness danced with Capt. Jack Harkness, which brought more tears than the kiss that followed. Then Jack steps back into time. One of the most sad and romantic scenes ever.

While I agree with most of the choices esp the van Gogh episode of who, I would also add my vote for Buffy's 'The Body' (For Anya's reaction alone), Ds9's 'The Visitor' where Jake gives his life for his father, the last episode of Quantum Leap when Sam realises he could have leapt home at any time but instead he sacrifices that to help others, including Al. and there's Spock's death; 'i have been and always shall be your friend'
I was tempted to add Alfred's crying scene at the end of TDKR but the acting just wasn't quite right.

These Doctor Who episodes need to be included: Father's Day, The Girl in the Fireplace, and Doomsday. (Come on, that scene on the beach between The Doctor and Rose. If you don't get at least a tear in your eye, you have no soul.)

Ahh... yet another series I'm sad to say I'm very little acquainted with. But Netflix to the rescue! It's on the queue.

Lauren Ambrose... rowr...

You could also add my screwup from scrubs and the shrine from stargate: atlantis.

nothing comes close to Jurassic Bark, had me in floods of tears

What?? No Dawson's Creek episode? Oh well, never mind. Vincent & the Doctor was not just a tear-jerk episode but the best of Moffat's stewardship so far. I would have to nominate any episode of Lassie however. If you can feature DC, you can feature anything with Collies.

Doctor Who, the scene where Rose and the Doctor part without him saying I love you???

Firefly, the funeral of a young friend of Mal, but actually a farewell to series (The Message). Cried like a baby...

Lost's The Candidate - utterly shocking and affecting deaths in the sub. Lost had a few good, touching deaths, including in Through The Looking Glass Part 2 at the end of season 3 and Do No Harm in season 1.

Just a quick question; in the Doomsday episode of DW wasn't it "I'm burning up a sun just to say goodbye."? Not a universe...?

Just watched Turn Left from series 4 of DW and I would add this awesome episode to the list. Bernard Cribbins is the classiest actor by a long way.

The scene where his new foreign housemates are being sent to a labour camp is amazing. The emotion he conveyed in his eyes alone as the family were being loaded onto the army trucks brought a tear to my eye! Not a single word from his lips for 30 seconds or more but the best actor on the screen by a long shot.

Another vote for Jurassic Bark...

The wife says the episode of Angel where he's human for a day before time gets reset was pretty good. She also says I'm a wuss for putting it on her because I supposedly liked the episode too. Now I'm a sissy for the "supposedly"... she's right, but I'll never say it.

Agree, the body easily gets over the gift!

I am surprised that no-one mentioned the death of Dr Carson Beckett in series 3 of SGA episode sunday.A great episode that has the Doctor being farewelled by the members of the Atlantis expedition whilst a lone bag piper plays.I was left with feeling of having lost a friend,

But isn't that the entire point of this article? The episode is only depressing because it makes us care and feel for the character's. Same reason why The Body should have been the episode chosen from Buffy, yes it was heartbreaking when Buffy died (for the second time) but it was an epic saving the world (and her sister) from a god! Joyce's death was just heartbreaking, and the reactions from each of the character's felt real!

Correct - left me absolutely devastated for days. Actually - I don't think I've ever really recovered.

I start crying I think within the first five minutes of Sleeping In Light and tend to keep crying until about five minutes after the end of the credits.

And I feel no shame for that.

Absolutely agree on LOST... It feels that people who were let down by the finale (which was tear jerking in the extreme) like to pretend it never existed...... The Constant should easily make the list... its the first thing I thought of when I saw the page title.

I have often wondered why the Scoobies gave Buffy a tombstone when they were trying to keep her 'death' a secret by using the robot etc.

I've got one you may not remember, but it's definitely worth a rewatch: from the "new" Outer Limits: "Tribunal". Saul Rubinek + Auschwitz + a time-traveling character like The Doctor. OMG, it's amazing... just find it and watch with a box of tissues.
Your list includes the ones I'd choose... except I'd definitely put "The Inner Light" in the list instead of "City on the Edge of Forever".

The Doctor's Wife:
"I just wanted to say... hello. Hello Doctor! It's so very nice to meet you."

How about when Charlie died on LOST or when the Lone Gunmen died on The X-Files? I admit both of those episodes really choked me up. I also remember, as a kid, watching Tom Baker regenerate and was quite upset about. Of course, at the time, I had no idea that the Doctor could regenerate (being American and the only person I knew who watched Doctor Who) and didn't know what was going on...

I'm a bit surprised this wasn't on here, but 'The Shrine' from Season Five of Stargate: Atlantis, when McKay starts losing his memory, always got me.

Saw the title and the first thing that came to my head was Eureka's I Do Over.

Slightly disappointed that it's not in the list, but then, no list can please everyone ;)

The luck of the fryrish! JB was just an imitation of that episode imo really captures the love hate relationship between brothers.

had me sobbing like a child, also the doctor and Rose on bad wolf bay (Doomsday?)

everyone loved Ianto Jones, never understood why really

I remember watching Jurassic Bark as an 18 year old on a sunday afternoon. After watching it I went to work where I felt awful for 6 hours. I got home and cried for a good 10 minutes uncontrolably. It still stands as the most heart wrenching television I have seen. Like Kris I never recovered

Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani, anybody who sees the 5th doctor give the cure to a girl he barely even knows and then procede to die must have a heart of stone!

Of course you could list any of the original Incredible Hulk episodes, they always used to get me going.

Scrubs. The episode where dr cox thinks he's going to his sons birthday and
It's his brother in laws funeral. A true weeper

yes this. scrubs had several truly wonderful episodes if you like crying like a big girl (disclaimer: i am not a big girl, i was just borrowing her tear ducts).

Buffy's mother's death was much more heartbreaking. We expect our heroes to sacrifice themselves...and to be revivified later. Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy, Buffy's mom, and Bruce Wayne's parents don't come back. They inspire and drive our heroes.

On another note, I thought the death of Whitney's father on "Smallville" was worth a tear. It was the first big, heartfelt and adult moment on the show. It made the succession of deaths later pale by comparison.

Thank you for including The Visitor from DS9. BRILLIANT episode - but I am sorry it is a CRIME against humanity, sci/fi and fantasy, television and art that you refused to include THE BODY on this list because you didn't want to re-watch it. Shame. Anya's speech reaches into your very soul and rips it into shreds.

Just seeing Jurassic Bark in the comments, I teared up at the thought of it. Gets to me every time.

How do you figure that "cathartic" is "usually a bad thing"? Very weird statement to mak.e

Totally Agree, Children of Earth is one of the high weather marks of British drama in the last quarter century IMHO...

Blake's 7: Blake wasn't so much a weepie as a open mouthed *W* *T* *F* moment as you wondered how the hell they were going to get out of that then a couple of years later you realised they didn't get out of there, then you realise that it is one of the most incredible ending to a series ever.

The Body absolutely should have been the Buffy entry, if only for Anya's monologue...

Holey moley you've just ruined one of my most beloved shows. That particular plot (ha!) hole never occurred to me. That's it - I'm throwing out all my DVDs...

My tear-jerker episode of DW was "The Big Bang" when Rory, having killed Amy, makes a rubbish joke and then says "You would have laughed at that. Please laugh!"
I was feeling highly emotional at this point, due to Amy dying, the Doctor being locked up, River being trapped, poor plastic Rory...so, naturally, I started to sob like a little baby.

Real men cry. Real sci-fi loving men cry at DW

Why did the episode have to be so SHORT! "I stole a Time Lord, and I ran away...

Donna was amazing too, but Bernard (I feel so bad, I don't know his name) was one of the high points. And where is "Family of Blood"?

WHERE IN THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS IS "FAMILY OF BLOOD"?

Angel the series finale "Not Fade Away" when Wesley dies in Illyria/Fred's arms.

That and the Buffy ep "The Body" when Buffy finally loses it, were both tear jerkers for me.

I have to say, I LOVE Rory's development as a character. Here I was thinking he was going to be like Mickey, left behind and in love with the Doctor for taking her out of the doldrums of life, but he ended up being a real hero. And I'm thankful to Steven Moffat for that. The Doctor - the man who makes people better.

"The Doctor's Wife" was EPIC!!! I loved that episode.

Not a bad list although I agree with most of the comments here, especially with "The Body" episode of Buffy over "The Gift" and the 2 that mentioned the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Shrine". It was one of the most beautifully acted episodes of any TV program I have ever seen. An Oscar worthy performance from David Hewlett in my opinion.
I also had tears in my eyes in the Battlestar Galactica finale when Adama took Roslin on that last flight and she died from cancer - again wonderfully acted and a very touching scene. I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet.

"Much as I love the musical, the show perhaps should have finished here."
No, it really shouldn't have. And not just because season 6 is awesome and because I like season 7 despite its flaws or because of the great, dark storylines and complex character development in the last 2 seasons, but because of my deep hatred for the idea of ending the show with the sacrificial death of the main character, showing her dying at the age of 20 like most other Slayers and finding the only peace in death. Buffy's ending should be her surviving and finding a life for herself, not having to die.

The Gift = great episode, great season finale. But would've been a terrible series finale.

As for The Hole in the World - I really despise that episode, with the way Fred was made into a Mary Sue before being killed off, and the unconvincing out of the blue, no buildup romance with Wesley. It tried so hard to be a tearjerker but it only makes me cringe.

The episodes of the Next Generation:Skin of Evil during Tasha funeral and in the Lower Decks when Picard announces the death of Sito Jaxa get me teary every time

Buffy's very last episode does it for me. When she gives that speech about slayers rising up and you see that girl with the baseball bat. Christ, I am tearing up even now. I need a tissue.

Um. Sherlock Series Two?? I can't even type the name of the episode, there were so many feels...
John: "You were the most...human, human being..."
Me: "WHY, GOD??? WHY??" *breaks down in floods of tears*

"It's not fair. You're turning me into you."
Damn you, Rory Williams! Why do you insist on breaking my heart so damn often??

All good calls. I would have picked 'Rapture' as a more tear jerky episode. Sisko has prophetic visions, and it falls to Jake to take them away to save his father. The look on sisko's face when he looks at Jake knowing what had happened - heart breaking.

wheres the warehouse 13 episode where myka reveals she has cancer and pete shows his real emotion to her or the futurama ones these two guys are typing

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