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19 Wildly Depressing Cartoon Episodes Guaranteed To Make You Cry

Updated October 13, 2021 15.8k votes 3.6k voters 127.4k views19 items

List RulesVote up the animated episodes that hit your emotions hardest

We all remember that emotional cartoon episode that made us weep unexpectedly. Sometimes, animated series have such beautiful storytelling that they can break from simple comedic tales to deliver emotional stories that are even more moving because they're so surprising. These cartoon episodes have the ability to make people shed tears more than any drama that you'd see in a movie theater and what makes it even more amazing is that it is animated characters kicking you right in the feels.

So this is a list of some of the most emotional animated shows ever made. Have some tissues ready for this stroll down memory lane, because the animated TV shows all go for broke with heartbreaking episodes.

Vote up the most moving animated stories below.

  • Photo: Fox

    Has there ever been a more affecting depiction of canine loyalty on television? After spending a thousand years in a cryogenic freeze, Fry finally but tragically reconnects with a clone of Seymour, the mutt he befriended back in his days at Panucci's Pizza. It's heartbreaking enough as is, but in the final moments, this episode pulls out all the stops, revealing that the original Seymour spent more than a decade waiting for Fry's return, eventually expiring on the sidewalk in front of Panucci's.

    Did this one make you emotional?
  • 2

    Rugrats - "Mother's Day"

    Photo: Nickelodeon
    Chuckie's mom is curiously missing for the first several episodes of Rugrats, which usually means something tragic happened. This is no exception. It turns out Chuckie's mom died a while ago but she didn't leave before she penned a poem to her beloved son. The poem is enough to bring a tear to anyone's eye, and it demonstrates just how unexpectedly soulful Rugrats can be.
    Did this one make you emotional?
  • Photo: Fox
    Probably the only piece of entertainment to use the song "Don't You Forget About Me" more effectively than The Breakfast Club, this episode hinges on a twist that, in other hands, could be gimmicky. Instead, Fry's discovery of his seven-leaf clover's fate and his brother Yancy's real feelings about him hits like an emotional sledgehammer, especially for anyone who has ever felt the sting of sibling rivalry.
    Did this one make you emotional?
  • 4

    Adventure Time - "I Remember You"

    Photo: Cartoon Network
    Adventure Time is usually a pretty upbeat and happy-go-lucky show, but this episode deals with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The Ice King, usually the antagonist of the show, reveals his backstory, which is depressing as hell, since he fails to remember his former self in what is clearly a metaphor for these real life afflictions.
    Did this one make you emotional?