The 20 Most Heart-Wrenching TV Moments Of All Time

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18. M*A*S*H – Hawkeye’s total recall

Though billed as a sitcom, M*A*S*H regularly reminded its viewers of the awful consequences of war. Indeed, the series’ final episode features Hawkeye painfully recalling a harrowing repressed memory of a mother smothering her baby to avoid detection by enemy troops. And his tearful revelation shows that nobody is immune to the horrors of conflict.

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17. How I Met Your Mother – Marshall’s father dies

Throughout its run, How I Met Your Mother dealt with many sad topics. But the sitcom outdid itself when it killed off Marshall’s father in an emotional sixth season episode. To aid Marshall’s remorseful reaction, actor Jason Segel limited his knowledge of the script, leading to his gut-punching ad-lib, “I’m not ready for this.”

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16. The Wire – Carver fails Randy

In HBO’s The Wire, “The Game” had no winners, only losers. And despite the efforts of Sergeant Carver, orphan Randy becomes doomed to an uncertain future when his house is destroyed by thugs. Knowing there is nothing he can do, Carver can only walk away in silence as Randy berates him from the wings.

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