Sad/poignant sitcom moments

Almost every sitcom will try to tug at your heartstrings at least once. Usually it falls flat, but occassionally the results are good enough to leave you close to tears.

Futurama - Seymour waiting for Fry to return in “Jurassic Bark”

Cheers - Diane leaving to finish her novel. “Have a good life.”

MASH* - Henry Blake goes home

What are your favorites?

Ah, the “Very Special Episode.” Not really a fan.

Futurama has 2 more.

Leela’s parents are with her along her childhood to young adulthood. (cue Pizzicato Five music and montage)

Fry’s brother (Yancey) actually cared about him (Philip) and named his own son after Fry (Philip). (cue Don’t you forget about me 80’s song)

added the parentheses with names in them to avoid confusion.

I assume open spoilers are OK in here. The one that always gets me, after a billion repeat viewings, is the Scrubs episode “My Screw Up,” when Dr. Cox comes to the realization that his best friend, Ben, is dead. John C. McGinley plays it perfectly. The scene is about 7 minutes into this clip, and it looks like there’s enough of the episode there so that you get the context.

The “aw, jeez” look on McGinley’s face reminds me of another actor, Carrol O’Connor, when he plays Archie Bunker hearing that his daughter has miscarried.

ETA: Sheesh, YouTube has everything.

Cheers – Coach realizes his daughter looks like her mother (not sad, but very poignant).

When it falls flat it’s a Very Special Episode. When it works, it works.

All in the Family had loads of these and they worked well: Edith’s near-rape; Beverly’s death, most of the Xmas episodes, Gloria’s miscarriage, Mike and Gloria’s separation, the arrival of Stephanie.

The episode of Newsradio where they find out Bill is dead (because Phil Hartman died) and Matthew has a hard time dealing with it.

Family Ties: Alex P. Keaton’s friend dying in a car crash.

Friends: Chandler turning off the light in a dead downstairs neighbor’s house after finding out how much they had in common: “We’ll try to keep it down.”

Cheers: “We’re closed”

The Wonder Years: the entire voice-over sequence with the 4th of July parade and the “Dad, You wanna play catch?” part.

The Simpsons: the episode where Homer meets his long-lost mother who has to run away from the cops again had a really sweet image of homer sitting on his car’s hood watching a starry sky as the credits rolled.

Saved By The Bell Mr. Belding’s cooler brother spent the week charming the students but then ran out on them before a field trip they were all looking forward to. Mr. Belding throws his brother out and he and Zack share a moment together: “Rod was always the more exciting Belding.” “Yeah, but we got the better Belding.”

I thought Elaine’s death in Danny’s arms was very effective in Soap. Perhaps because her whole kidnapping had been played very lightly, it was something of a shock for the storyline to end that way. Soap had an amazing way of mixing slapstick farce with truly touching moments.

One more Futurama episode to add.

The one where Fry takes the stinger for Leela, he stayed by her bedside until she awoke from the coma.

MASH often went over the top with their episodes, but one that was genuinely touching was one of their less famous ones. In the episode, a soldier dies, but stays around as a ghost watching the MASH go about its business.

In the end, he sees other “ghost” soldiers walking down the road. He gets up to join them. He walks along side another soldier and says, “What do you think it will be like?”

The other says, “I don’t know.”

He then says, “Where are we going?”

The other says, “I don’t know.”

And they walk into the distance.

Very touching.

Blackadder Goes Forth: Goodbyeee - Pretty much the whole episode but one scene I remember was when Darling shows up for the attack. Blackadder and Darling are bitter enemies and have always verbally abused each other in the past but they realize they’ve both been sent to die so they just say hello to each other this time.

Good Times–the death of James Evans, and Florida’s eventual reaction.

I seem to recall an All in the Family episode where Archie & Mike are in a basement (I can’t remember if one or both had been locked in). Archie is reminiscing about his father & for the first time you see Mike begin “to get” Archie.

I don’t think I’ve seen it since it originally aired, but it stuck with me.

“Good night, Shoebootie.”

There was a Mary Tyler Moore episode–pretty late in the run–where Murray decides that he is (A) in love with Mary and (B) must tell her. He confides in Lou, who tells Mary while imploring her not to completely crush the guy. Mary handles it with tact and evasiveness, dropping hints that whatever he’s about to say, he maybe shouldn’t say it. Not a satisfying resolution, but an eminently believable one.

Actually, there were quite a few MTM episodes that qualify for this thread:
–Mary dates a much older man
–Mary plainly doesn’t want to recommend Rhoda for a job opening at the station
–Lou gets set up on a blind date with a much older woman
–Mary inadvertently gets a job for her ex-prostitute pal–Chita Rivera’s character, the one she met in jail that one time–at the same car rental company where Georgette works
–Sue Anne Niven tries to poach Phyllis’s husband

How could I have forgotten to mention this? What a great, great episode.

I came in here to mention “Jurassic Bark.”

I also seem to recall an episode of Home Improvement where Tim and Jill are concerned that Randy might have cancer. There’s a moment where Jill is talking to Wilson about how Randy was always the one getting sick, and there are flashbacks to when he was a young toddler running around and laughing.

Friends - Chandler convinces Erica to let him and Monica to adopt her unborn baby.