Saddest single episodes of TV series

I’ll start with one of the most obvious: The death of Henry Blake on MAS*H.

 And here are two more:

A Twilight zone ep. from the 1980s incarnation called “The cold equations,” in which a man on a small space shuttle must jettison a female stowaway in order to save his own life–and I believe something else was also at stake here that was much bigger, though I can’t recall what it was. The ep. ends with the man crying his eyes out since he had no other choice than to do what he did. The network had fought this ending, but the producers won out.

And another TZ ep. from the same decade, called “The Toys of Caliban”:

A retarded young man with a bizarre power to get anything he wants by saying “Bring!” causes so much unintended heartache and trouble that his dad eventually decides to end both their lives by coaxing the boy to “bring” fire and let it engulf their house.

“The Body” - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Only saw it the first time it aired. I will never willingly watch it again. Too real.

Regarding “The Cold Equations”: it’s based on a short story with the same grim ending. Do you have a cite verifying the network’s oppositon? I ask not to be contentious but because the very heart of the story is that ending, and given that we’re talking about the Twilight Zone–not known for its touchy-feely stories–I find it hard to believe anyone fought the ending.

Also, thissite may be edifying for any fans of the story.

I knew this would be what you posted when I saw your name as the last poster to this thread, and I agree. I’ve seen it a half dozen times and have shed a tear each time.

Jurassic Bark - Futurama.

The last episode of Season 4 of the Wire. THe last episode always gives a “where are they now?” montage, but having that after the season spent in the schools was pretty heartbreaking.


The show was full of sad moments, but the episode 13 of Dead Like Me (“Vacation”) was, at least for me, the saddest of them all. The episode alternates between George’s memory of happy vacations when she was a small child with the current disintegrating Lass family on vacation, and while compiling lists of “last thoughts before dying” of Reaper colletions Mason comes across Daisy’s horribly lonely last thoughts. (Jesus, I sound like a chick worked up over peoples’ emotions and stuff. Ah, heck, I don’t care; the show was a well done, non-sappy, non-manipulative drama with the occasional moment of direly black humor.)


I remember reading about it back then, possibly in Starlog or some similar magazine. As I recall, the network folks wanted the shuttle pilot to find some way to save both their lives, or at least hers.

That’s what I came in here to post - beat me to it. :slight_smile:

Hmm. Given that Wikipedia notes that it was the 80s Twilight Zone, and the enormous donkey-cock suckitude of that series, your claim seems likely.

When Brendan Fraser’s character dies in “Scrubs,” but we don’t know it’s happened until the end.

Oh, man, Jurassic Bark… I was sitting there surreptitiously wiping away tears so my husband wouldn’t see me crying at a cartoon. (Of course, for all I know he was doing the same.)

That one got to me too. Damn, but they really got us on that one, didn’t they?

Ok, someone help me here. I’ve seen a TV representation of this story; however, to my knowledge I have never seen an episode of The Twilight Zone that was not in B&W and intoduced by Rod Serling.

What did I watch?

That episode (“My Screw-Up”) and an earlier one, “My Old Lady” had me crying. I’d nominate “My Screw-Up” as the single best episode of Scrubs.

The episode about Fry’s lucky clover was up there, too.

TZ has been revived a few times.

My favorite is “My Lunch”.

Scrubs is known for episodes that end sadly, and a good number of the “happy” endings are at best, bittersweet. For pure sadness, the first-season effort in which JD, Eliot, and Turk all do their best to save three patients who all deserve to live–and who all die–is a big one.

First of all, the 80s New Twilight Zone is a terrific show — better in many way than the original. You’re probably thinking about the 2002 revival, which was terrible.

“The Cold Equations” was from the 80s version.

Second, it was hardly likely that there was any network interference on the show for the simple fact that it was shown in the third season of the show, when it was not on any network – it was being syndicated.