It’s said that we’re living in a golden age of television. And judging by today’s small screen output, it’s not hard to see why. But throughout its history, television has been full of poignant moments that have put our composure to the test. These 20 scenes, for example, are the saddest the medium has ever had to offer.
20. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – Will’s father abandons him
While Will Smith has given plenty of emotional cinematic performances, few of them compare to his acting in The Fresh Prince’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse” episode. After his good-for-nothing father abandons him, Will lets out an emotional tirade before breaking down in Uncle Phil’s arms. It surely remains among the star’s finest moments.
19. The Simpsons – Homer says goodbye to his mom
In a similar vein, The Simpsons deals with absent parents in the episode “Mother Simpson.” When his mother returns after 20 years, Homer enjoys a blissful reunion. But then he suffers the agony of seeing her leave again. The final scene of Homer solemnly staring at the stars ensured that no viewer went unmoved.