Heartbreaking moments from kid shows can include the death of a character, but also the final scenes of a series. Children understand narrative differently than adults, so it's extremely important for these programs to wrap up in a way that leaves younger audiences with a sense of finality.
Some popular programs have said goodbye in a satisfyingly bittersweet way, while others have filled their farewells with so much emotion they've become the saddest kid show endings ever.
- Photo: PBS
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood first hit the air so long ago that the first couple of episodes were in black and white. The show began airing in 1968 and came to end after 31 seasons in 2001. It is not often you see a series last multiple generations, especially with the same host, but Fred Rogers was there every step of the way - a calm and gentle presence in everyone's lives, no matter their age.
When the final episode aired in August 2001, many tears were shed (even though the show stayed in syndication for several years after). At the end, Mister Rogers offers one last piece of advice on how to be better humans, sings a song about how proud of us he was, then waves to the camera and says, "Be back next time." He passed two years later from stomach cancer.Emotional moment?
- Photo: Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie / Nickelodeon
The conclusion to Hey Arnold! was left on a cliffhanger after "The Journal," the last episode produced for the series. It was supposed to lead into Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, but the film was canceled after the poor theatrical performance of Hey Arnold!: The Movie. Finally, in 2017, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie was released as a TV movie and fans got the closure they needed - especially the long-awaited reveal of the whereabouts of Arnold's parents.
After finding out his parents (along with everyone else's) were under a 10-year spell of "sleeping sickness," Arnold cures them all and brings his parents home. The final scene of the movie (and the series) features Arnold's parents walking him to his first day of sixth grade. They agree to meet outside the school at 3:30 pm, and Arnold can't help but smile as the doors close.Emotional moment?
- Photo: Nick Jr.
Blue's Clues didn't end with the Season 4 finale "Steve Goes to College," but it did include many "final" moments for the series, such as Steve's final episode as the host, the final "We Just Figured Out Blue's Clues," and the final episode to use the original opening sequence. Blue's Clues went on after Steve Burns left, and "Joe" hosted the show until it bowed out just two seasons later and was never given a proper finale.
Steve's final episode is emotional because he was like a teacher and friend to viewers. Losing him was a huge blow to kids everywhere. In the final moment of the episode, Steve (having just left for college) calls Blue and asks to speak to the audience, and delivers one final message: that he misses us. Many kids cried that day, and maybe some adults too...Emotional moment?
- Photo: Buena Vista Television
Doug has an unusual history. The original series ran from 1991 to 1994 on Nickelodeon before going off the air. Disney brought it back in 1996 for three more seasons, then it finally ended for real (if you don't count the subsequent movie).
In the finale, Patti asks Doug out and they agree to go on a "date date," which leads to Doug recording the encounter in his journal, filling the final page. It took almost a decade and two different incarnations of the series, but Doug finally filled up his beloved journal. The series closes with Porkchop replacing Doug's old journal with a new one for all his new adventures.Emotional moment?