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The Most Heartbreaking Moments In ‘American Horror Story’

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Vote up the heart-wrenching moments that made you shed a tear.

For a show that's supposed to be all about terror, gore, and the dark side of human nature, American Horror Story has proven time and again that it can break viewers' hearts just as easily as it can make their hearts pound. Over the course of 10 seasons, the show has depicted families falling apart, the consequences of absolute power, and even the end of the world.

The sadness of some of these storylines sticks with viewers for years. Whether it's Violet Harmon discovering her fate in Murder House or Doris Gardner finding out she's not all that talented in Red Tide, it's impossible not to feel some level of sympathy - and maybe even empathy - for the show's many characters.

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  • 1
    735 VOTES

    Pepper’s Backstory

    Pepper’s Backstory
    Photo: FX

    Pepper, the meatloaf-loving "pinhead" from Asylum, returned in Freak Show with her own tragic storyline.

    As the freak show closes, Elsa returns Pepper to her alcoholic sister and brother-in-law, who are less than excited to have her around. They eventually frame her for the murder of her infant nephew, which results in her being sent to Briarcliff Manor.

    In what might be one of the saddest scenes in AHS history, Pepper holds her hand to cheek while she cries over a magazine with Elsa on the cover.

  • 2
    697 VOTES

    The Murder Of Ma Petite

    The Murder Of Ma Petite
    Photo: FX

    Ma Petite's innocence and lovable nature make her one of the more endearing characters in American Horror Story, which is partly why viewers found her untimely death so upsetting. As Dell frantically searches for an escape from Stanley's blackmail, he tricks Ma Petite into giving him a hug, then crushes her to death.

    The next time the audience sees Ma Petite, her lifeless body is floating in a jar on display in Stanley's museum. The senseless and violent nature of her death ends up being the undoing of the entire freak show.

  • 3
    592 VOTES

    Misty Day Getting Trapped In Hell

    Misty Day Getting Trapped In Hell
    Photo: FX

    As she attempts to perform the Seven Wonders, the beloved Misty Day cannot escape from hell. Misty's hell turns out to be her high school biology class, where she's forced to dissect a living frog over and over again for eternity. The fact that Misty had been a benevolent character throughout the season makes her fate seem especially cruel.

    It's little consolation that Misty does finally escape her living hell a full five seasons later in Apocalypse.

  • 4
    630 VOTES

    Violet Harmon Discovering Her Corpse

    Violet Harmon Discovering Her Corpse
    Photo: FX

    In perhaps the biggest twist of American Horror Story's first season, the episode "Smoldering Children" reveals that Violet Harmon has been a ghost since the end of the sixth episode. The audience learns Tate was unable to save Violet after she overdosed on pills, and he hid her body to protect her from the truth.

    As Tate takes Violet further and further into the basement of Murder House, she finds her own body, its arms contorted and its mouth filled with flies. Violet's reaction is so visceral and filled with intense grief that it borders closer to tragedy than horror.

  • 5
    502 VOTES

    Constance Trying To Drag Adelaide’s Body To The House

    Constance Trying To Drag Adelaide’s Body To The House
    Photo: FX

    Amidst the chaos of Murder House's Halloween episode, there's the shocking death of Adelaide. After being hit by a car while trick-or-treating, Adelaide is still alive - but just barely. In an effort to keep her daughter with her forever, Constance drags Adelaide's body to the house's lawn.

    The scene is so uncomfortable to watch that even the other characters look away. Constance's efforts are ultimately in vain, but Adelaide's spirit later confirms that she didn't want to be trapped at the house, anyway.

  • 6
    468 VOTES

    The Relationship Between Liz Taylor And Tristan Duffy

    The Relationship Between Liz Taylor And Tristan Duffy
    Photo: FX

    Liz Taylor seemingly finds her other half when she begins her affair with Tristan in Hotel. Tristan also finds his humanity in Liz, who sees him as a whole person. However, the couple's happiness is cut short when the Countess slashes Tristan's throat, leaving him to die in Liz's arms.

    The nightmare continues as Tristan's ghost refuses to reveal himself to Liz, wanting her to move on with her life. It's only in Liz's own death that the couple is reunited.