From what I have been taught to believe, sitcoms were created to make the audience laugh. As we can tell from my insane ramblings on “very special episodes”, they teach us to laugh at even the most depressing and disturbing of situations (child molestation? Children possibly found dead in fridges? Please hold while I stitch my sides back together!). But, sometimes sitcoms know how to actually handle a situation and make the audience feel something other than comfort from a show. Brian told me he wanted me to look into some of the saddest episodes of sitcoms, or just shows that we would never naturally watch and get upset about.
After an extensive Google search (and by extensive, I mean I typed “saddest episodes of sitcoms” into the search box and clicked the top answer), I found a list of clips already created of some of the saddest episodes of sitcoms. It’s called, “The 10 Weepiest Situation Comedy Episodes Ever”. Not surprisingly, “Scrubs” made the list three times. For anyone who watches “Scrubs”, like I used to do avidly, this makes sense. The show handles sad episodes all the time; it’s about a hospital for Christ’s sake. And sometimes, at hospitals, shit happens. Fortunately for me, some of the clips of the other episodes listed wouldn’t work anymore, which I was happy about because I really don’t feel like watching “M*A*S*H”. So, I’ll just put the site up and you can click the videos that I’m referring to. You’re welcome for putting no more effort into this post, but rather just copying off of what another list does.
Also, I’m nervous that this post won’t be that funny since I don’t really see humor in most of these scenes. That’s probably a downer. Sorry in advance
*SPOILER ALERT: If you watch “How I Met Your Mother” and for some reason haven’t seen the most recent season, there’s a heart wrenching clip on here you might want to avoid.
Scrubs “My Long Goodbye”: Yeah, so, Laverne is a well-loved nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital where the “Scrubs” crew chills (or works, whatever), and she gets into a car accident and dies. So, that alone is pretty depressing. Girl had sass coming out the ass; she was a real feisty one. RIP Laverne. But, so, everyone is preparing themselves to say goodbye to her, except for Carla, a fellow nurse, who can’t seem to let go and accept what’s happened. That’s also pretty depressing. She hallucinates Laverne with her all day. Also depressing is that Dr. Cox’s daughter is being born on the same day and he is trying to hide that fact because he doesn’t want her birth being associated with Laverne’s death. There are just so many layers of sadness here. It’s like one big emotional onion, continuously being peeled. The clip has the comic relief of Elliot telling that weird and stupid story about her friend in school that annoys me because Elliot annoys me, but also J.D., who is desperately wanting to be Dr. Cox’s daughter’s god-father, but it is all intricately woven together with the sad moments. “Scrubs” has an insane talent for that. So, the most depressing aspect of this clip is clearly the passing of Laverne, but I’d also like to argue that there is another depressing aspect at the end of the clip. The doctors go out for a beer and toast to Laverne, communally grieving and commemorating her, but J.D. and Jordan are left in her hospital room, waiting for people to arrive to meet the new baby. Is this sad to anyone else? I’m not even talking about how no one is visiting Jordan and her baby, but I mean how J.D. is not out with the rest of the doctors drinking to Laverne. If I were J.D., I know my feelings would be hurt. Crushed, really. I’d be crying when I found out they all drank together without me. And not only because I like drinking and being included in everything that my friends and acquaintances do, but because that was a really touching moment that they will all remember and J.D. didn’t get to be a part of it. I don’t know, I just think that makes the situation even sadder. I’m getting worked up thinking about it.
The Office “Jim and Pam’s Wedding”: I think that Jim and Pam’s wedding is really cute, but I don’t know if I would necessarily call it “weepy”. I’m looking for tears of sadness, website I found through a Google search, not tears of “awww that’s so cute. Michael Scott is funny; everyone almost messed up the wedding! Good thing Jim and Pam were smarter and knew ahead of time to make sure this didn’t happen. Awww, Jim and Pam are so cute”.
Futurama “Jurassic Bark”: K, so I used to watch “Futurama” when it was on back in the 90’s or whatever decade it was, then stopped because I just stopped caring, I guess. Whatever, I was over it and I don’t regret what happened. So, I have no idea what this episode was actually about. I’m assuming that Fry’s dog has been found fossilized. That seems to be fairly obvious. But whatever, this clip is actually so upsetting. I’m not someone who “cares” about “animals”. There was no need for the quotation marks around “animals”, I just thought it made me sound more dramatic. As my mother said earlier today, “I don’t like things that are alive and not human”. Wise words, mom. Wise words. But, this is just sad. Fry says he wonders how the dog became fossilized, so there is a flashback to 2000, when Fry was transported to the year 3000. The dog just sits there for what seems like years judging from that dude who works in the pizza shop’s changing appearance. Like, how depressing is that? The dog just sits. And waits. And the man brings him pizza but the dog doesn’t eat it. I don’t understand how the dog could have survived for years if it didn’t eat, but um, also, it hangs out in snow, so I’m genuinely confused as to how the dog lived as long as it did. And the dog’s face at the end. That is the face of sadness. Angels lose their wings when they see the face of that dog. Also, the music playing. I’m a sucker for music of the past (and by “past”, I don’t mean the 90’s when we were all into boy bands and now it’s wicked cool to be into them again). The music playing in this scene just gives it a different feel than if the dog was sitting there in silence or something. It makes it nostalgic and you know what’s going to happen to the animal. Damn, that was actually really upsetting. Come on, Matt Groening. That was dark.
Scrubs “My Lunch”: All right, so this episode is about J.D. finally receiving love and friendship from Dr. Cox after one of his patients dies or something and it seems like all is good. There’s this wicked annoying patient on it that was on the show during one of the first seasons and she’s back. She dies and there are three patients waiting on organs, so they finally have their donor. Also, Dr. Cox is a good friend with one of the patients, so he is very pleased. I bet you’ve all figured out exactly where this is going now, huh? Well, you’re all correct. That organ donor has rabies and they didn’t find out until after all three other patients had been given her organs. You all guessed that, right? I’m just going to assume so. You’re all so smart. Yeah, so all three patients die and Dr. Cox just gets real mad and forgets all of the words of advice he gave to J.D. earlier about his patient dying. This actually isn’t that sad. They could have picked a much better clip if need be that this website had a three “Scrubs” episodes quota to reach. Like there’s one where this lovable old lady who has been in the hospital for a while is finally being released, and then this screw up intern gets her sick again and she doesn’t realize it and “Fix You” by Coldplay is saying so it’s all just so upsetting. But whatever, this website. You do you, I’ma do me. Dipset.
How I Met Your Mother “Bad News”: So, this website only has a picture of this episode for some reason, so I’ll include a 13 second YouTube clip because I can’t find a longer one that makes sense or is in English. Essentially, Marshall and Lily are getting nervous because they’re having trouble getting pregnant. They’re both tested and Marshall is extremely nervous because he’s afraid it’s him that’s the problem. Throughout the episode, they show flashbacks and continuous clips of Marshall calling his father for advice and to give him good news. His father always answers and is sitting in his same garage working on something. So, Marshall gets the good news that he isn’t baron or something and he calls his dad and his dad doesn’t answer the phone and the scene shows the garage, but Marshall’s father isn’t there. Marshall’s wicked excited though so he ignores this as being weird. He runs out to talk to Lily and she tells him that his father passed away. This is really depressing and upsetting because as opposed to other shows, like “Scrubs”, which doesn’t have a laugh track/live audience, “How I Met Your Mother” does, so it’s always extremely unsettling to me when shows with laugh tracks have no one laughing. If there’s a real audience there, I can’t imagine how uncomfortable all of them felt. I’m assuming it wasn’t a real audience, I feel like an ass for even suggesting there could have been. But yet, that’s always so off to me. Also, “How I Met Your Mother” gets laughs constantly, so it’s even more disturbing that it’s just Jason Segel being sad. Also, it’s Jason Segel. JASON SEGEL SHOULD ONLY BE SAD AND CRYING TO BE HUMOROUS LIKE HE DID IN “FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL” WHEN HE HAS SEX WITH THAT WOMAN AND THEN CRIES. I’m sorry, I got worked up. I just love Jason Segel and never want to see him sad. Seriously though, this episode almost made me cry the first time I watched it. It’s just so unnatural with the rest of the show.
The Wonder Years “Independence Day”: Damn, this was the final episode of “The Wonder Years”. My God, do I love that show. That’s a damn good show, right there. A damn good show. So coming of age. So many noogies. So many girls wearing three pigtails (there was actually only one). So, I forget what happens this entire episode. If you asked me to name what happened in this episode from memory before I watched this clip of the last four minutes, I’d say that I remembered one thing happening, but really, so much occurs. So, apparently Kevin Arnold hasn’t been home in a long time and apparently neither has Winnie Cooper. But they’re back for the fourth of July for some reason unknown to me. Paul’s still weird looking as fuck, so he has that going for him. Good thing him and Kev stay in touch later, huh? And apparently Kevin wasn’t speaking to his family at this point. Also, his rebellious hippy sister is pretty pregnant which he didn’t know about so how fucking long has Kevin been gone? What’s going on here? I could easily look it up, but I’d rather be confused. All right, so Kevin tells the audience what happens to everyone later in life because the show is ending. Damn, I’ve been watching “Boy Meets World” pretty much daily these past few weeks and those Savage brothers really look a lot alike which I never thought when I was younger. Also, can I say, Fred Savage, hubba hubba. You know what I mean? Kid’s a real cutie. Anyway, so his sister, mother, and brother apparently just go on to live the lives that you’d expect of them. I guess. I don’t even know anymore. But here’s the killer: Kevin says that his weird looking brother took over the family business in two years…when their father dies. Like okay. Right there. That alone, that statement alone is going to make me cry. Obviously he has to die at some point, but two years? That’s it? That’s so unbearably depressing to me. Especially since Kevin says that they mended their relationship. Obviously that’s really good, but they only get two more years together. All of the kids are still relatively young then. And their poor mother. That right there all kills me. And you just weren’t expecting him to say it. Pretty sneaky, Kevin Arnold. So, that was the only thing I remembered about how the episode ends. I kind of just assumed that Winnie and Kevin stay together, but then he drops that other bombshell that he greeted Winnie when she came back from Paris…with his wife and kids! Kevin! What is this shit?! I understand that “The Wonder Years” was different from other family shows at the time in that it displayed more realistic depictions of family life and real life and blah blah blah , and I get that Winnie and Kevin staying together, especially during that time period and after she’d been in Paris for 8 years, is cliché and unrealistic, but I don’t give a shit. I’m the number one person who hates when things are cliché and expected, but I don’t care. Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper belong together. This was just depressing on so many levels. I don’t believe in love anymore.
Scrubs “My Screw Up”: When Brian first brought up the idea about writing on really sad episodes of sitcoms, this was actually the first episode of a television show that came to mind. I cried when I first saw this episode. And I cried when I watched it again. “Scrubs”: triple threat. Killin it. So, Brendan Fraser plays Dr. Cox’s wife/exwife/wife’s brother who he is best friends with. In either the first or second season, he’s introduced and they find out that he has cancer. I think Leukemia. So, that in itself was depressing. But, then they brought him back in the third season and he chilled with Dr. Cox the entire episode, being fun and charming and making us laugh the entire way. Until this clip. Dr. Cox talks about his son’s birthday party during the episode and he apparently thinks that’s where he is, even though I think it’s kind of clear from the background and his outfit that he’s not going to a child’s birthday party. Then Brendan Fraser says something ominous and weird that Dr. Cox doesn’t understand and it’s revealed: Brendan Fraser has died. I don’t remember the full episode well enough to know if there was a time earlier in it that we might pick up that he’s died, but from what I recall from my initial reaction seeing it for the first time, we’re completely blindsided by the death. As far as I remember, we have no idea that he’s going to be dead, perhaps he’s even been dead the whole time. Who knows? We were tricked. Pretty rude. But anyway, this is sad. This is real sad. It’s always sad when Dr. Cox gets sad and shows emotion since he’s such a sassy beast in every other episode. Also, again, the music is so perfectly placed here. That Zach Braff, he knows his music selection. This episode will always succeed in getting me teary eyed. And that is a job well done, “Scrubs”.
So, I guess those are some sad episodes of shows, as according to this website. I agree with them. It’s kind of weird looking at more recent shows, as opposed to shows that were absolutely terrible in the 80’s and 90’s and no one realized. Maybe we’ll look back in 20 years at these shows and realize they’re terrible, but who has time for that now? No one. Literally no one. Because we can’t fast forward and see what’s going on then. I miss my older shows. They’re so much easier to make fun of and not feel bad about making fun of them. Although, I have no feelings, so I don’t really know how my emotions would function. It’s anyone’s guess, really. If anyone finds out or has a guess to venture, I’m willing to listen. And then I’m willing to ignore you.