Many TV comedies, such as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Seinfeld, mostly stick to laughter. However, some of the saddest moments on television have been from comedic sitcoms.
Shows that had actors die in real life are heartbreaking. For example, John Ritter passed away during 8 Simple Rules, and Phil Hartman died during News Radio. Both shows ended after one final season demonstrating unmeasurable loss.
Saddest Moments From Comedic Sitcoms
TV comedies, including Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Arrested Development, Full House, and even Gravity Falls, have sad and sweet moments that deliver a good cry.
Additionally, classic sitcoms like All in the Family made viewers cry when Edith ( Jean Stapleton) avoided a rapist. Again, fans wept in the spinoff Archie Bunker's Place when Edith died, and Archie (Carroll O'Connor) laments to her slipper.
Finally, the series finale of Cheers left fans a wreck when Sam (Ted Danson) and Diane (Shelley Long) broke up so she could pursue her career.
But, perhaps the saddest moment in television history is the “Chicken Story,” in the series finale of M*A*S*H.
Hawkeye (Alan Alda) has PTSD from the war and is talking to a professional. He tells a story about being on a bus and needing a woman to silence her chicken. Otherwise, everyone on the bus would die.
However, after the noise stopped, Hawkeye realized a mother had suffocated her infant and that it was not a chicken. The pain of reliving the moment rips your heart right out of your chest.
Are you ready for more? Prepare yourself with tissues beforehand. It's going to be a weepy ride. Here are twenty times that the greatest TV comedies made us cry.
Image Credit: NBC Universal, Inc.
1. When Howard's Mom Dies: The Big Bang Theory
In “The Comic Book Regeneration,” viewers cried with Howard (Simon Helberg) after discovering his mom died. Mrs. Wolowitz (Carol Ann Susi) was an integral character in Howard's storyline.
She is best known for her obnoxious voice and the reality of never being physically seen on the show. Sadly, Susi died in real life, and the show chose to honor her memory with this episode.
The cast was genuinely sad, and the performances reflected that raw emotion. Fans can relive these moments on HBO Max.
Image Credit: The Big Bang Theory Wiki.
2. When Rachel Got off the Plane: Friends
“WE WERE ON A BREAK!” In the series finale of Friends, Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) realizes – finally, again – that he's in love with Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) and races to catch her before she leaves for Paris for her career.
She boards the plane, and fans' hearts break everywhere by the hurt on Ross' face. Then, once home, he plays a voicemail from Rachel, who realizes she also loves him and needs to get off the plane.
Finally, the message beeps, and we don't know if she made it until he turns around, to her voice saying, “I got off the plane.” It was the happy ending Ross, and Rachel fans were praying to receive.
Image Credit: Friends and Joey Wiki.
3. When Lisa Said Goodbye to Mr. Bergstrom: The Simpsons
The adult animated series, The Simpsons has several heartwarming moments. For example, in “Lisa's Substitute,” Miss Hoover believes that she has Lyme disease, and Mr. Bergstrom substitutes for her.
First, he introduces himself, “I'm Mr. Bergstrom. Feel free to make fun of my name if you want. Two suggestions are Mr. “Nerdstrom” and Mr. “Boogerstrom.” He becomes an engaging teacher, and Lisa develops a crush.
When Lisa walks into her classroom to learn Miss Hoover is back, she tearfully races to see Mr. Bergstrom off. Finally, he tells her it will be okay and gives her a note that reads, “You are Lisa Simpson.”
Image credit: Simpsons Wiki.
4. When Marshall Hears His Dad's Final Words: How I Met Your Mother
After Marshall's (Jason Segel) dad dies, Marshall and the gang attend his funeral. When he plays his final voice message from his dad, it turns out to be a pocket dial.
Marshall becomes angry and shouts, “Thanks a lot, God! You took my father. The greatest man I've ever known, and you've ripped him off this earth. Way too young. And he'll never get to meet our kids, Lily. But we got this voice mail. Thank you so much for the voice mail!”
However, his dad ultimately realizes he's pocket dialed, and his last words are, “I love you.” It's gut-wrenching and nearly impossible to watch with dry eyes. How I Met Your Mother is streaming on Hulu if one wants a good cry.
Image Credit: How I Met Your Mother Wiki.
5. When Michael Goes to Pam's Art Show: The Office
In “Business School,” Pam (Jenna Fischer) announces to her colleagues that she is part of an art show and asks them to support her. However, most of them don't show.
First, Oscar (Oscar Nuñez) and his boyfriend show up only to disparage her talent. Then, Roy (David Denman) brings his brother out of obligation but adds no insight or support.
Finally, Pam becomes depressed and begins to take her art down when Michael (Steve Carell) rounds the corner, “Pam-casso!”
He apologizes for being tardy before staring at her artwork in genuine awe. Then, finally, she tears up and hugs him. It's one of The Office's sweetest moments.
Image Credit: The Office Wiki.
6. When LT. Col. Henry Blake Dies in an Ambush: Mash
In the third season finale of MASH “Abyssinia, Henry,” viewers tearfully watched Lt. Col. Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson) says his goodbyes to his comrades after learning he acquired enough points to be discharged and return stateside.
However, in an unbelievable twist, Radar (Gary Burghoff) comes and interrupts a surgery and meekly announces that Blake's plane was shot down over the sea in Japan.
He elaborated, “With no survivors,” before exiting the tent and leaving cast and viewers in tears. The show produced loads of laughs, but this episode hurts.
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
7. When Schmidt Marries Cece: New Girl
In the fifth season finale of New Girl, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone) finally get married. Although, viewers didn't know if Schmidt would make it to the wedding because he went to beg Cece's mom to please come.
Ultimately, he succeeds, and we watch them get married. But, instead of watching them exchange vows, the vows play over the ceremony as we watch the gang delight in their union.
It's beautiful. Furthermore, it's priceless when Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) produces the “Jar” for the Jewish tradition of breaking a glass at their weddings. “JAR!”
Image Credit: New Girl Wiki.
8. When Eric Decides To Keep His Memories of Donna: That 70's Show
In That 70's Show, “It's a Wonderful Life,” Eric Forman (Topher Grace) is visited by an angel (Wayne Knight) that shows him what it would be like if he had never been with Donna (Laura Prepon).
There is loads of laughter, primarily with Fez's hair throughout the decade changes. However, when it comes time for the angel to erase Eric's memories of him and Donna, Eric pleads, “Wait, no. I want to keep it.”
So the angel disappears, and Eric keeps his memories of Donna. The scene puts a lump in the viewers' throats.
Image Credit: Fox Broadcasting Co.
9. When Carla Says Goodbye: Scrubs
In “My Long Goodbye,” Nurse Laverne Roberts (Aloma Wright) has been in a car accident and is in a coma.
It's tragic, and incidentally, in the previous episode, she was teaching Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) about her faith that “everything happens for a reason.” So it hurts even more.
Carla (Judy Reyes) doesn't want to say goodbye and refuses to go into Laverne's hospital room. Nonetheless, eventually, she makes her way in and destroys audiences with her tear-demanding declarations of immense sadness and love.
Laverne's death is one of the saddest moments in the comedy TV series Scrubs. The episodes where Dr. Cox loses three patients and finds out Ben died are also tragic. However, Scrubs is one of the best comedy shows on Hulu.
Image Credit: Scrubs Wiki.
10. When Phoebe Says Goodbye to the Triplets: Friends
In “The One Hundredth,” Friends fans watch Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) deliver her brother's surrogate triplets. She's decided that she wants to keep one of the babies and begs Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) to ask them on her behalf.
Ultimately, Rachel doesn't ask but tells Phoebe it's a no. So then, viewers watch as a tearful Phoebe says goodbye to the triplets. It's a heartwarming and tear-producing scene in an otherwise hilarious comedy TV sitcom.
Image Credit: NBCUniversal, Inc.
11. When We Find Out Dan Died: Roseanne
Once upon a time, Roseanne was one of the funniest TV shows with a largely shocked audience. In the series finale, during the final scene of the family at the table, Roseanne Connor (Roseanne Barr) reflects on her family members while revealing she's writing a book.
So viewers watched an alternate universe of her imagination dealing with Dan Connor's (John Goodman) death. Dan died of a heart attack at Darlene's (Sara Gilbert) and David's (Johnny Galecki) wedding; the last season was her altered version of events.
It's devastating to learn that the Connors never won the lottery. Furthermore, watching her walk to the couch and sit alone with the beloved afghan is an emotional gut punch.
Image Credit: American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
12. When Carrie Miscarried: King of Queens
In “Pregnant Pause (Part 2),” The King of Queens comedy TV series, Doug (Kevin James) and Carrie (Leah Remini) discover they will be parents. So Doug takes a second job as a limo driver to save for the baby.
He exhausts himself until he finally collapses at one of Carrie's doctor appointments. Sadly, Carrie miscarries, and fans watch the couple grieve together by a box labeled “Crib.”
It was a vastly different experience for viewers of the show to witness these hilarious characters being devastated. People expected that from TV dramas like Grey's Anatomy, but not from the Heffernans.
Image Credit: CBS Broadcasting.
13. When Mac Comes Out to His Dad and Frank Gets It: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
In “Mac Finds His Pride,” Frank tries to recruit Mac for the Gay Pride Parade and the gang's float. So Frank takes Mac to a bondage club to find his pride, but Mac doesn't relate to the gay men there.
Then, Frank takes Mac to a drag queen show. But, again, Mac doesn't relate to the gay stereotypes Frank is pushing on him. Finally, Mac realizes that he cannot be who he is until he comes out to his father.
Mac performs a beautiful dance at his father's prison as his method of coming out. Sadly, his dad walks out, but Frank stays, cries, and says, “I get it,” leaving viewers in tears for Mac and Frank.
Image Credit: FX Networks.
14. When Rebecca Overdoses: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
In “I Never Want to See Josh Again,” Rebecca Bloom (Rachel Bloom) is in a deep depression and stays on her mom Naomi's (Tovah Feldshuh) couch. She is mentally unable to do anything herself, leaving Naomi to care for everything.
Naomi discovers that Rebecca's been visiting several suicide sites. She becomes worried and confronts her.
Naomi begins drugging her with an anti-anxiety med that helps Rebecca to start feeling better. But, when she discovers what her mother's been doing, Rebecca accosts her.
Rebecca gets on a flight from NY to LA, and the attendant offers her a glass of wine to relax. Rebecca washes the entire bottle of anxiety pills down with the wine.
Then, she blurs in and out of consciousness and pushes a call button that reads “Help.” She chooses life, hands the empty bottle to the attendant, and says, “I need help.” It's a tear-jerking moment.
Image Credit: The CW.
15. When Will Asks Why His Dad Doesn't Want Him: The Fresh Prince of Bel-air
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air produced one of the saddest TV moments in history. After 14 years of abandonment, Will Smith's father Lou (Ben Vereen) shows up, claiming he wants to have a relationship.
Will extends his forgiveness. However, Aunt Vivian (Janet Hubert) and Uncle Phil (James Avery) are less than enthused.
Will and Lou are supposed to go on a trip, but Uncle Phil catches Lou trying to sneak away. They get into a heated argument when Phil refuses to make excuses for Lou to Will.
Then, Will walks in, packed and ready to go. Lou explains he has business to take care of, and Will dismisses him as Lou instead of dad as he walks out the door.
Suddenly, Will explodes about not needing him and how he's never needed him, but he breaks down and asks, “Why don't he want me, man?” before collapsing into Uncle Phil's hug. It's difficult not to fall apart with them.
Image Credit: NBC Universal, Inc.
16. When Ben Proposes to Leslie: Parks and Recreation
In “Halloween Surprise,” Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) surprises Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) as she's viewing a home on which she is regretfully canceling her lease.
Leslie asks her real estate agent questions before turning to see Ben walking in as the agent walks out. He gets down on one knee, but Leslie makes him wait.
She needs to take a minute to remember how perfect her life is at that moment. It's an adorable scene that leaves Parks and Recreation fans with happy tears on their cheeks.
Image Credit: NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
17. When George Confronts Manny: The George Lopez Show
In “Long Time, No See,” George Lopez receives a $20,000 check from his estranged father to pay off his debt. So George packs the family up to meet his father for the first time in 36 years.
On the way, Lopez reminisces about times he had before his father walked out on him and his mom. After the conversation turns to Benny (Belita Moreno), George says he doesn't want the check and rips it up before giving Manny (William Marquez) a tongue lashing.
The hurt in his voice is believable and pulls on the heartstrings. When Manny calls Benny a “Crazy Cabrona,” George punches him in the face and exclaims, “And that's for my mother!”
Image Credit: George Lopez Wiki.
18. When Patrick Marries David: Schitt's Creek
In the last episode, “Happy Ending,” Schitt's Creek fans finally witness David (Dan Levy) and Patrick (Noah Reid) get married.
Things don't go according to plan, as weddings rarely do. However, the exchange and sentiment of their vows are touching. Throughout the day, each of the Roses experiences bittersweet emotions realizing it's their last day in Schitt's Creek together.
Viewers cry happy tears for the couple but sad tears knowing the show is over because it's one of the best sitcoms ever. It's available to binge on Netflix with tissues in hand.
Image Credit: Pop Media Group.
19. Saying Goodbye: The Good Place
In “Whenever You're Ready,” the humans are allowed to end their time in the universe. However, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) suspects that Chidi (William Jackson Harper) is ready to leave, and she freaks out about being alone again.
So she takes him to places of significance for him in an attempt to get him to want to stay. Finally, however, he realizes what Eleanor is doing and agrees to abide to appease her loneliness.
Ultimately, she realizes she's being selfish and spends her last night with Chidi. She tells Chidi to please leave before she wakes up. Eleanor wakes up to a calendar Chidi made of himself for her.
She smiles at the gesture, and it's bittersweet. But, eventually, Eleanor musters up the courage to walk through the passage and end her time in The Good Place.
Image Credit: NBC Universal Media, LLC.
20. When Homer Explains Why There Aren't Any Pictures of Maggie: The Simpsons
In “And Maggie Makes Three,” Lisa asks why there aren't any pictures of Maggie in the family album. So Homer tells his story about quitting the nuclear power plant and landing his dream job at the Bowlarama.
However, when Marge discovers she is pregnant, Homer needs to make more money. So he goes back to Mr. Burns and begs for his job back.
Mr, Burns hangs a taunting sign that says, “Don't forget you're here forever.” However, Homer has taped Maggie's pictures to make the sign read, “Do it for her.” It's one of The Simpsons' best episodes.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.