2013 was a year filled with tears caused by what we saw on television, and the masochists inside ourselves couldn’t help but put them all together in one list. Because of the vast number of spoilers this article contains, we’ve hidden the major deaths and/or events in white so you’re not entirely spoiled. In order to look at the surprises, just highlight the text.
“The Vampire Diaries”: Funerals and feathers
“The Vampire Diaries” is no stranger to character deaths, and it seems that even when you’re expecting or wanting a character to die, you’re still hit with that emotional tsunami. Bonnie‘s funeral was absolutely no exception! Even though we all technically saw it coming and some of us welcomed it with open arms, it was by far the most emotional scene on The Vampire Diaries this season.
“Teen Wolf”: A lost love
When Derek had to kill Paige, we found ourselves grieving not only for him but also for the victim. That flashback brought us to such a critical point in Derek‘s life, and having seen what he had to endure to get those eyes just broke our “Teen Wolf” hearts. This, in addition to the after effects the event caused, definitely make it a contender for most emotional “Teen Wolf” scene.
“Doctor Who”: Blink and you’ll miss it
We knew this episode was going to be emotional no matter what, but 2013’s Christmas Special definitely held one of the most emotional moments for us as fans of the Eleventh Doctor. When the Doctor hallucinated about Amy, that’s when we just about lost it. It was sad enough that we were losing our raggedy man, but so was Amy, and she didn’t even get a chance to properly say goodbye, seeing as the Doctor just imagined it. We wish her and Rory were able to properly say goodbye to the Doctor, but we’re pretty sure they would’ve been pretty shocked had they witnessed the regenerating sneeze that brought us Peter Capaldi.
“Game of Thrones”: Caught off guard
Every year on “Game of Thrones” there’s a penultimate episode that either tugs at your heartstrings or makes your brain explode, and this year was no exception. The Red Wedding was one of the most unexpected bloodbaths that we’ve seen since the first season. If you’d read the books you knew what was coming, but HBO managed to surprise everyone thanks to the level of gore. Practically half of the Stark line died in that episode, and now they barely have a claim to the throne, or at least not as well as they did before they got ambushed. Seeing Catelyn Stark scream for her son was one of our many sob-worthy points…until she also got axed. That’s the thing with “Game of Thrones”: No one’s safe.
“Downton Abbey”: A shocking birth
The most emotional events are always the shocking, unexpected ones. That’s what we got when Sybil died earlier this year on “Downton Abbey.” No one had seen it coming, and when it did happen we yelled and screamed at our TV for someone to take action and help her survive. After the yelling and screaming, and for some of us even during all of it, our tears flowed like never before. This scene was by far the most emotional and traumatizing one of “Downton Abbey’s” history. Thankful, series 4 is much easier on the heart.
“The Newsroom”: Africa and a haircut
This character’s story arc was a mystery all season long until we found out exactly what happened when they went to Africa. The events that took place were so tragic that almost anyone would have gone through the same emotions, but Maggie’s was so severe we wondered if anything would be normal again for her. Finding out what happened to invoke such a personal change and then wondering if she’d ever really heal from that event was definitely one of the most emotional parts of “The Newsroom” this season.
“Merlin”: The last battle
When the “Merlin” series finale aired in the U.S. a lot of us already knew what was going to happen, but that didn’t stop us from crying. Every part of the finale from the magic reveal to the Battle of Camlann and Arthur’s last breath had us bawling. The added deaths of Morgana and Gwaine (Who can forget his terrible last words?!) just made the whole emotional ordeal even worse. We dreaded that episode for five years. Even though it’s been months since it aired, we’re still not over it.
“Scandal”: Huck and Quinn’s cringeworthy fight
One of the most emotionally heart-wrenching scenes of “Scandal” this season was when Huck tortured Quinn. We were treated to a powerful moment with two great actors who put on acting for a scene that was so horrible, so gut-wrenchingly awful and wrong…but we couldn’t look away. Throughout the episode we were rooting for Quinn to be safe by the end, and when those scenes were finished we were so happy she was okay.
“The Originals”: A forgotten brother
We admit that so far “The Originals” has been mostly dramatic and intriguing rather than emotional, but there’s one specific moment that pulled at our heart strings. When Klaus had to compel Cami in season 1, episode 4 to forget her brother’s death, we were yelling and crying and screaming and bawling. We didn’t want that character to forget anything! It was ultimately a power struggle, and of course Klaus won. We can’t wait until the events of the mid-season finale come back to bite him in the behind! Pun totally intended.
“Orphan Black”: A trip to the hospital
“Orphan Black” is an action-packed series, but there are moments that make you want to empty out your tissue box too! When Kira got hit by a car it left us speechless, motionless, and just filled with dread. All we kept thinking was, “Is she going to survive? She’s too important! They can’t. WHAT? NO.” And it didn’t help that there’s a wait between the time we see that happen and when we see her next, so our minds just kept wandering to the worst possibilities. In the end, Kira healed miraculously, but that won’t stop us from over-worrying about any of these characters.
“Breaking Bad”: Walt’s confession
The series finale brought a confession from Walt that we didn’t expect: He admitted that everything he’s done, he did for himself. His wife Skyler expected a different answer – one about protecting his family, like he’s used in the past – but this time was different. Maybe he was finally truthful because he knew death was imminent, or because he had hit rock bottom. With so many emotional moments in “Breaking Bad’s” final eight episodes, it was hard to pick one scene to share here.
“The Walking Dead”: The loss of a beloved man
The midseason finale of “The Walking Dead” shook up the show in two major ways: The survivors lost their home, and The Governor killed Hershel. We can’t forget that The Governor died, too, but his loss was a long time coming and everyone was happy to see him go. The death of Hershel was just plain sad. We lost a fan favorite who always had wise advice, and he died so gruesomely in front of his family. When Season 4 resumes in February, viewers will watch as the humans regroup from one of the biggest assaults they’ve ever faced.
“Glee”: An emotional tribute
Without a doubt the most emotional episode of the season, and definitely the most emotional episode of the entire series was Finn Hudson’s tribute episode on “Glee.” The entire episode was filled with soul-crushing sadness and scenes that just made you want to ball up in the fetal position, and it’s so hard to pick just one scene for this article. With that said, we think that the most emotional part was Finn’s family — Kurt, Burt and Carole — talking about how they’ll miss Finn, and our hearts were shattered when Finn’s mom started crying. If you didn’t cry during this episode, we have to wonder if you have a soul.
“The Office”: It all ends here
We saw the Dunder Mifflin employees begin a new chapter in their lives. Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak made small appearances – just long enough for Kelly to leave her baby with her husband and run away with Ryan. Angela and Dwight finally tied the knot after nine years of ups and downs and twisted romantic entanglements. Thankfully, Jim and Pam, who spent most of the season building tension in their relationship, lived happily ever after, leaving Pennsylvania to follow Jim’s dream job to Austin, Texas. It was just a little show about a paper company, but it had so much heart.
“Supernatural”: A farewell to family
“Supernatural” is, at its core, a show about family. There is no higher virtue for Sam and Dean than protecting their family, so those rare few who have made their way into the Winchesters’ hearts have also snuck into ours; Sam and Dean’s family is our family, too. So Kevin’s sudden death shattered us, as it did Dean, who, only a handful of episodes earlier, had called Kevin family and swore to protect and even die for him. And this tragic event is only made worse by the fact that it was a result of Dean’s desperation to save Sam, who was also lost to him by the end of the heart-wrenching mid-season finale.
What moment broke your heart on television in 2013?