486 voters

TV Shows That Essentially Exist To Make You Cry

Updated December 9, 2020 1.5k votes 486 voters 20.5k 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.

  • Photo: Netflix

    Despite being a cartoon, BoJack Horseman is one of the most brutally honest shows that is guaranteed to make you feel down in the dumps. While the show is funny and uses animals for the characters, it touches on darker subjects including depression, abuse, and substance use.

    Some of the saddest moments on the show include Sarah Lynn's passing and the moment BoJack's mom recognizes him. However, there are countless dark and upsetting moments throughout the entire show that will make you question your own life.

    • Actors: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, Aaron Paul
    • Premiered: August 22, 2014
    Falling apart?

    More BoJack Horseman 

    80 Incredible Animal Puns You Probably Missed On BoJack Horseman#11 of 101 The Best Adult Cartoon Shows In TV History#175 of 650 The Best Cartoons of All Time

  • 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: September 20, 2016
    Falling apart?

    More This Is Us 

    The Best Characters on This Is Us, Ranked#20 of 188 The Best Shows Currently On The Air#25 of 229 The Greatest TV Shows for Women

  • 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, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens, Kevin McKidd, Jesse Williams
    • Premiered: March 27, 2005
    Falling apart?

    More Grey's Anatomy 

    The Best 'Grey's Anatomy' Seasons#79 of 320 The Best TV Shows Of The Past 20 Years#24 of 69 The Best Current TV Shows For Women

  • Photo: HBO

    The cycle of life might not seem as devastating if you live in a funeral home, but that setting doesn't stop this show from making you bawl. This show uses dark humor and irony to discuss personal tragedy after Nate, the owner of a funeral home, perishes in a car accident.

    The heartbreaking scenes begin right from episode 1 when Nate Sr.'s passing and the aftermath are first shown. As if that isn't hard enough, there are many traumatic events that follow, each one making the show even harder to watch. Of all the depressing moments though, it seems that the ending montage elicited the most tears from fans.

    • Actors: Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose, Rachel Griffiths
    • Premiered: June 3, 2001
    Falling apart?

    More Six Feet Under 

    #137 of 206 The TV Shows With The Best Writing#46 of 128 The Best Dramedy TV Series#36 of 390 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time