TV Show Moments that Emotionaly Ruined You


#1

As I grow older, this is something I’ve experienced more frequently. I’ve watched a lot of television shows in the last couple years and several times I’ve been struck with extreme, profound sadness by what just transpired on the screen. Like the episode ends and I just gotta sit there for a minute without moving and just think “woah” and I go on to think about what I watched for most of the next day/week.

The most recent example of this occurred while I was watching Bojack Horseman. The episode opens with a Princess Caroline’s great-great-great-granddaughter Ruthie doing a school presentation on Princess Caroline. As the episode progresses, Ruthie tells a story about the hardship PC endures, but how she overcomes it all in the end. At one point in the episode, it is revealed that PC has had a miscarriage and she goes on a drinking bender and ends up breaking up with here boyfriend. While this was happening I thought “damn, well at least we know it works out in the end since Ruthie exists.” Then at the end, the show drives a stake through you’re heart and it is revealed that Ruthie doesn’t actually exist and it just a coping mechanism that PC uses to get her through hard points in her life.

This moment really stuck with me and I’ve thought about it daily since. I wonder what other similar experiences people might have had with TV, or even movies. Hope it’s not too much of a downer.


#2

that episode of the magic school bus where it had like. a fuckin mounted gun which turned things into trash, then it fired on itself and turned itself into trash, and then all the kids were stuck in trash hell


#3

Bojack has several moments that are tough as heck to take. The ending to “That’s Too Much, Man” is, well, too much man. The penultimate episode of season 4 is also just a tough as heck watch from start to finish that helps you to sympathise with arguably Bojack’s most unlikeable character.

The first one that comes to my mind though historically is Lost. That show was so hit or miss but god dang when it hit it really hit. The episode where it culminates in the big reveal for Locke’s character off the island interspersed with him banging on the hatch with resignation was so well done that I was still crying on my second rewatch years later. Absolutely amazing moment.


#4

I get overly emotionally invested in tv shows so, there’s a lot, probably

Did anyone here watch Misfits? Probably don’t (I never finished it) but
at the end of season three, alisha dies and simon goes back in time to close the timeloop of their relationship (and, ultimately, die, as well) or whatever, and I felt awful? for like the entire next day?

rewatched it with my boyfriend last year and he did not have anywhere near the same emotional response. he was just confused as to why he’d had to Do The Thing. ah well. I’m ridiculous.


#5

Oh boy, there’s just too many!

Battlestar Galactica - Gaeta’s execution
The Wire - Where’s Wallace?
Crazy-Ex Girlfriend - The unflinching suicide attempt
Futurama - Leela asking to "hear how it ends"
Justified - Finale "We dug coal together"
My Name is Earl - Earl putting Randy on his list

And, of course, the classic:

The Simpsons - DO IT FOR HER


#6

I just finished Devilman Crybaby and I don’t think a TV show has ever wrecked me emotionally as the final two episodes of that show has. I’m still sorting through my feelings about it a day later.

EDIT: Oh I just remembered a TV show episode that absolutely destroyed me emotionally more than that: the Deep Space Nine episode “The Visitor” just crushed me utterly. The subject matter is something that touches me personally, but regardless, it’s the most emotionally affecting episode of television I’ve ever seen.


#7

When I was 13 watching Gurren Lagann the last two episodes completely destroyed me, and because I’m a weirdo who can’t grow up watching the show again takes me back to that place and I’m just a bawling mess.

Serial Experiments Lain kind of wrecked me too, but for wildly different reasons, of course. The last third of that show is so weird and uncomfortable and it just fucked me up.


#8

The Wire - Carver unable to save Randy from the system and breaking down in his car

Battlestar Galactica - Roslin quietly dying next to Adama as the two fly over prehistoric Earth; I bawled

Twin Peaks: The Return - The ending; few works of fiction have left me feeling so hollow; I truly appreciate that ending but goddamn if it didn’t leave me in a tizzy for about 12 hours


#9

The third episode of Handmaid’s Tale is more or less the bleakest hour of television I’ve ever watched, and made me question whether or not I should continue with the series.


#10

Just about any major beat from FLCL. It captures the fraught confusion of coming of age better than anything I’ve ever seen. The tension of your first big crush, and the deliciously painful way it consumes your waking thoughts. The freedom of time, interests, and responsibility to just let it. The unnecessarily premature epiphany that adulthood will be much bleaker than childhood - that it’s necessary to dissolve the life you know and love (for better or worse) in order to move forward.

Biggest of all, though, is its attack on naive fantasy as a basis for desire. When something we want is just out of reach, it seems perfect; but that distance, and that perfection, are unsustainable, and the longer we hold on to those fantasies, the more it hurts when we invariably have to let them go.


#11

Goddamn that final episode of Six Feet Under got me good. I should maybe watch that show again?

(Watch it have aged terribly, probably)


#12

Lynch is so good at that. I stayed up all night to watch it as soon as it went online (I’m in the UK), and after that ending I was left there at a complete loss. It’s frustrating, but it’s a hell of an ending, and extremely right. But it stuck with me for the next couple of days. So much distilled into that moment.


#13

The 2nd to last episode of season 1 of Osomatsu-san just out of nowhere got WAY too real for me. The one where…

…one by one, the brothers realize that they have to grow up some day, and start to move out. Some of them run into some hard times, but they persevere and make the best of it. They get jobs. They start to mature. All except for the eldest (Oso, I think), who through laziness or (more likely) fear of failure becomes increasingly reclusive and depressed and resentful of his brothers for finding their own small successes in working towards growth and independence. Oso knows he’s putting a financial and emotional burden on his parents but he’s too far gone to take those first steps. It all comes to a head when the family is all together throwing a party for the youngest brother, the only other brother still living with the parents by that point, in celebration of his new job (or acceptance into college or something). As everyone congratulates the youngest brother on his future endeavors, Osomatsu just stews in his frustration with himself and bitterness that even the baby of the family has passed him until he just snaps and lashes out, shouting at everyone and ending the party early.

And then on the LAST episode, none of that ever happened and they all play baseball against some fucking space aliens or whatever.

I’m not gonna lie, I even teared up a little bit writing out that recap. It hit way too close to some of my own anxieties, ESPECIALLY as of the time that I was watching that episode.


#14

Season 3, Episode 13, “Holiday Special”


#15

star wars clone wars is one of my favourite shows and I was basically emotionally ruined for the majority of season 4 through 6


#16

As a teenage boy I totally didn’t get wrecked by the episode of Sailor Moon where she defeats Super Meryl with the help of the spirits of her dead friends. Nope. Never happened.


#17

From the past 6 months:

Episode 9 of Devilman Crybaby wrecked my whole business, Episodes 10 and the finale of Made in Abyss hurt real bad, and episodes 8 and 9 of Land of the Lustrous were entirely unfair to my whole emotional being.

Just a lotta anime, mostly. I don’t really recall any times when non-anime has wrecked my emotional shop in the same ways. Might just be that I don’t watch enough outside of the anime space to run into them, but I definitely think anime as a medium grapples with certain themes in a manner that really resonates with me (lookin’ at you PING-PONG THE ANIMATION, JEEZ)


#19

I barely watch anime, but it has a far larger part of the list than expected.

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Azula vs Zuko fight. It’s scored perfectly and just has this raw emotion to it that fucks me up. It’s not like a “I’m sobbing cause it’s so sad” moment, but just an overwhelming one.
Cowboy Bebop - "You’re gonna carry that weight"
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air "How come he don’t want me, man?!"
Fullmetal Alchemist "It’s a terrible day for rain"
Futurama - "If… it… takes forever…"
Gravity Falls - The finale is incredibly bittersweet
House - Season 4 finale I consider the height of the series, including it’s ability to just devastate me.
Kill la Kill - "You can’t wear a sailor uniform forever"
Pokemon (Sun & Moon) - One Journey Ends, Another Begins…
Steven Universe - The entire show is an emotional struggle
Trigun - Wolfwood’s Death
Wakfu - The two part finale of the first season left me an absolute mess, almost seeming to repeatedly try to outdo itself in destroying me


#20

I’m surprised how long it’s been since that finished, it still comes into my mind every so often. Can’t wait to rewatch it.


#21

The final few episodes of any given Kamen Rider series holds incredible destructive power over me because i am Extremely That Bitch but especially W. That acoustic theme starts playing and i’m fucking done.