148 voters

TV Shows That Essentially Exist To Make You Cry

Updated December 9, 2020 479 votes 148 voters 5.6k views20 items

List RulesVote up the TV shows that evoke the most tears.

While depressing TV shows are hard to watch, we often find ourselves so invested in the characters that we can't resist. We just keep watching to find out what happens next, even if we know it'll break our hearts. That's why some of the saddest TV shows are often the best, filled with characters so likable that we feel for them and want them to get through their horrible pain. Sometimes, the sadness is just so real that it's hard to stop crying no matter how hard you try. Whether it's a drama, comedy, or even a cartoon, there are sad elements in almost every show.

If one thing is for sure, though, no matter how sad these shows make us, we just can't stop watching. Often, the shows that make you cry are the best shows of all. Sure, being sad is no fun, but if a show can get that much emotion out of you, then they must be doing something right. So, here are some of the biggest tearjerker TV shows that likely exist just to make you cry.

  • This Is Us
    Photo: NBC

    This Is Us goes from one sad episode to the next, but the most tragic moment for fans is the passing of Jack. Even though the fact that he perishes is revealed early on, it's still a shock when it's finally shown on screen. Not only does he perish in a fire, but he saves his family members and goes back into the fire for Kate's dog.

    Watching how the family has to cope with this horrible loss is even worse. However, bad things continue to happen as the show goes on, only making viewers continously tear up more.

    • Actors: Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley
    • Premiered: 2016
    Falling apart?

    More This Is Us 

    The Best Characters on This Is Us, Ranked#19 of 56 The Best Drama TV Shows Airing Now#19 of 129 The Best Shows Currently On The Air

    Amazon_watch buy button
  • Parenthood
    Photo: NBC

    Like This Is UsParenthood is a realistic drama that just shows one tearjerking moment after another. While there are sad moments from episode 1 all the way to the finale, one of the saddest moments is definitely when Kristina is diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Watching her fight it is painful enough, but she even records a video for her family just in case she doesn't make it, which is devastating to have to watch. 

    • Actors: Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen
    • Premiered: 2010
    Falling apart?

    More Parenthood 

    The Best Seasons of Parenthood#272 of 339 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years#116 of 201 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

    Amazon_watch buy button
  • Grey's Anatomy
    Photo: ABC

    Since this show is set in a hospital, it's expected that there will be some sad moments, but fans have endured more heartbreak than they could've imagined. Everything changes when Derek is hurt in a car accident, leaving him with a terrible brain injury.

    After Derek's passing, fans were both outraged and in mourning. Sure, there are lots of goodbyes on the show, but watching one of your favorite characters perish that way is unforgivable. 

    • Actors: Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson
    • Premiered: 2005
    Falling apart?

    More Grey's Anatomy 

    The Best 'Grey's Anatomy' Seasons#17 of 73 The Best Current TV Shows For Women, Ranked#33 of 277 The Most Overrated TV Shows Of All Time

    Amazon_watch buy button
  • 13 Reasons Why
    Photo: Netflix

    While this show was created to spread self-harm awareness, many of the scenes are far too real, especially for young audiences. In the first season alone, you have to go through Hannah's struggles as she constantly gets hurt by those around her, which ultimately leads to her decision to take her own life. That scene is without a doubt the most devastating moment because of how detailed it is, but her assault will also make you sob and feel uneasy. 

    As if that wasn't heartbreaking enough, the show now has two more seasons, both of which have moments that are almost as devastating.

    • Actors: Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Kate Walsh
    • Premiered: 2017
    Falling apart?

    More 13 Reasons Why 

    Ranking the Best Seasons of '13 Reasons Why'#46 of 864 The Best New Shows That Have Premiered in the Last Few Years#22 of 452 The Best New Netflix Original Series of the Last Few Years

    Amazon_watch buy button