30 TV Episodes That Made Us Cry In 2017

Sometimes, you just need a good cry. And, that’s where I come in. Over the last year, I’ve watched a lot of television, and I’ve cried at most of it. If you don’t believe me, just check Twitter.

While those tears definitely weren't good for my makeup, they are very good for anyone who would like to watch a cathartic, emotional bit of television. At this point, I know all of the greats in 2017. As we heard towards the end of the year, which is naturally a charged period of time, you might also want to let it all out with some of your favorite characters.

So, keep reading to find out which episodes of television turned on the water works over the last 12 months. Yes, you’ll find This Is Us and Jane The Virgin ahead, but there are also lots of surprise editions. Hey, you never know what will tug your heart strings in precisely the right way.

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This Is Us, “Memphis”

If one episode of television doesn’t need an explanation as a tear-jerker, it’s This Is Us’ “Memphis,” 43 minutes of saccharine drama created specifically to make you sob on a couch. While everything in this installment is touching — young William (Jermel Nakia)! — the ending is the true, heart-shattering crescendo.

I will likely never be able to shake the image of Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) using the head-holding relaxation technique he learned from adoptive father Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) on his dying, newly-found biological father William Hill (Ron Cephas Jones).

And the ducks! And Young William’s after-life reunion with his mother! It’s all too much in the best, most cathartic way.
This Is Us, “Number Two”

While every episode of This Is Us could be on this list, I’m only going to include the aforementioned “Memphis” and season 2’s gutting “Number Two.” Everything is heart-wrenching, from seeing the exact moment Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) suffers a miscarriage to 1980s Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore) meltdown in a grocery store over her son’s death during delivery.

As with all things This Is Us, get the tissues.
Game Of Thrones, “The Spoils of War”

This season 7 episode is remembered for its kick-ass dragon battle, yet, there’s more to it than that. “Spoils Of War” also features the game-changing moment when Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) reunite in the crypts of their family home, after at least half a decade apart.

On a show where sibling relationships are usually strained, at best, the scene packs triple the emotional wallop.
The Goldbergs, “Graduation Day”

TV friends, The Goldbergs is one of the most emotionally-charged shows on television, despite its comedy moniker. Basically, every single episode has made me tear up, but none pull on the heartstrings as much as “Graduation Day,” where Erica Goldberg (Hayley Orrantia) is forced to come to terms with how much she needs her “smother,” Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey). And, on the other side, Bev has to painfully push her little girl out of the nest for her own good.

All Very Nice Things make me cry.
Better Things, “Graduation”

Emotionally-charged graduation episodes sure were a Thing this year. Better Things’ season 2 finale went a different way with the milestone installment, ending with the most shockingly poignant dance sequence on cable TV.
Black-ish, “Sprinkles”

Like fellow ABC family sitcom The Goldbergs, Black-ish will surprise you with an unexpected jolt of pathos. For season 3 finale “Sprinkles”, that moment arrives when Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross) is waiting to give birth to her fifth child. Her mother-in-law Ruby (Jenifer Lewis), who usually sticks to dragging Bow, screeches, “Somebody get my daughter a blanket!” It’s immediately the most meaningful sentence ever said on Black-ish to the point where I cried through writing the last three sentences.
Girls, “Latching”

Saying goodbye to shows is always a fraught process, and that was no different with HBO’s lightning rod of a comedy, Girls. Things became even more affecting with the series finale of the Lena Dunham-starrer as we watched a desperate Hannah Horvath (Dunham) attempt to connect with her brand new baby, Grover.

However, all’s well that ends well, as Hannah’s final words on Girls are “I got it.” And, she does. Cue the happy tears.
Bold Type, “Carry The Weight”

The only way you didn’t cry when Scarlet boss Jacqueline Carlyle (Melora Hardin) grasped the hands of our three leading ladies — supporting the young women and subsequently revealing she is a sexual assault survivor — is if you don’t watch The Bold Type. And, that’s a problem you need to fix immediately.
The Fosters, “Chasing Waterfalls”

As someone who’s overly obsessed with her parents’ health, “Chasing Waterfalls” hits home as it slowly reveals just how increasingly dire Lena Adams Foster’s (Sherri Saum) father’s health actually is.
New Girl, “Five Stars For Beezus”

“Five Stars” puts together two things that are sure to make most people cry: endings and big romantic reunions. After seasons apart, Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) finally realize they’re soulmates and get back together in a Lorde-backed sequence, all while it was originally unclear whether the episode would serve a New Girl season finale or series finale.

It was eventually decided the FOX comedy would return for one lat season, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get a little emotional every time I hear “Green Light.”

Also, CeCe (Hannah Simone) is pregnant, and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) bought her about 500 flowers to celebrate. How wouldn't you cry?
The Mindy Project, “It Had To Be You”

While “Beezus” could have been a season-closer or a series-ender, everyone knew going in Mindy’s “It Had To Be You” the installment would mark the end of the FOX-turned-Hulu rom-com. So, it was packed with tons of tear-inducing nostalgia, including a post-wedding bike ride for heroine Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling). This time, to signal growth, the doctor avoids riding head-first into a pool.

While you’re already crying about that big ole metaphor, Mindy goes and puts it leading couple, Mindy and Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) back together. It’s all too much!
Jane The Virgin, “Chapter Fifty-Four”

I cried about this episode of Jane before I even watched it. The death of Michael Cordero Brett Dier), not at the hands of a drug queenpin, but, instead, due to a freak medical complication, still ruins me, nearly a full year after it happened. It’s so painful, I watched all of “Chapter Fifty-Four,” but skipped Michael’s death scene because it would simply hurt too much.

R.I.P. Michael, you would have been the best lawyer.
Jane The Virgin, “Chapter Sixty-Seven”

Speaking of Michael, I can’t leave out season 4’s “Chapter Sixty-Seven,” which dealt with the cop-turned-would-be-lawyer’s death in one of the most important ways possible. Gina Rodriguez has been a tour de force of grief since Jane Villanueva became a widow, but she’s ot the only one who lost someone.

In “Sixty-Seven” we finally see how the loss of Michael affected his very young step-son Matteo (Elias Janssen). The little boy bluntly explains to mom’s new boyfriend Adam how devastated Jane was after Michael’s death, requesting, “So don’t hurt her feelings and die, okay?”

Who knew Janssen was such a good actor?
You’re The Worst, “This Is Just Marketing”

The FXX drama’s Worsties pride themselves on lacking most of the basic empathy beleaguering the rest of us. That’s why it’s so moving to see Lindsay (Kether Donoghue) experience true, heart-shattering love for the first time — all for her baby niece.
Grey’s Anatomy, “Be Still, My Soul”

Parents’ stuff gets me every time, and that includes on Grey’s Anatomy, when Maggie Pierce’s (Kelly McCreary) mother dies the second the doctor turns her back on the ailing older woman to open a window.
Grace And Frankie, “The Gun”

Martin Sheen rarely gets big emotional moment on his Netflix family comedy. Yet, he does in “The Gun,” where his character Robert Hanson finally comes out to his cold and distant mother as a happily married gay man. He hopes she’ll surprise him by being supportive, but the homophobic nonagenarian does not.

The real gut punch arrives when Mrs. Hanson (Lois Smith) calls her son back into the room after initially brushing off his sexuality. Robert’s hopeful face falls when he realizes his mom doesn’t want to take back her cruel statements. No, she wants to demand he takes the gift he bought her, a new Kindle, with him.
Downward Dog, “Pilot”

Of course I cried while watching a an average-sized, ambitious woman create an entire advertising campaign about feeling most beautiful with her dog. Of course I did.

P.S. ABC, please bring back Downward Dog.
Dear White People, “Chapter V”

This Barry Jenkins-directed episode might be the most emotionally devastating episode of television this year, as it illustrates how quickly an innocent young Black person could go from enjoying a carefree day to looking down the barrel of a policeman’s gun. On top of that impossible-to-shake truth, seeing Reggie Green (Marque Richardson) episode-closing, secret breakdown only makes the entire installment all the more meaningful.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, “I Never Want to See Josh Again.”

The other wildly affecting final episode-closer of 2017 hails from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's “I Never Want to See Josh Again,” as the episode ends with lead character Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) methodically swallowing prescription drugs, following a number of emotional lows.
Handmaid’s Tale, “Late”

Every episode of Handmaid’s Tale gives viewers a reason to cry. However, “Late” is the one you’ll definitely need a box of tissues for. There are two reasons for this: Alexis Bledel’s haunting blue eyes staring into your soul as her lover, a woman, hangs to death in the flashbacks. This time, we get a glimpse of June (Elisabeth Moss) protesting the Gilead regime at the very beginning of its power; the protest looks stunningly similar to the real-life Women’s March protests.

Upsettingly, the Handmaid’s demonstration takes a brutal, bloody turn, as the military opens fire on the protesters, killing dozens, if not hundreds. Like many things Handmaid’s, the scene reminds you how quickly things could turn equally terrible in the real world.
Stranger Things, “Dig Dug”

If you’re not noticing a theme, family stuff gets me. Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) Upside Down reunion with her catatonic mother Terry Ives (Aimee Mullins) is no exception.

Breathe. Sunflower. Three to the right, four to the left. 450. Rainbow…
13 Reasons Why, “Tape 5, Side A”

It was horrifying to watch Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice) rape a passed-out Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe) in her own bed, at her own party. Now, as countless sexual predators are being dragged into the light, it’s impossible to not feel overcome by the thought of how many Jessicas there are out there.
13 Reasons Why, “Tape 7, Side A”

13 Reasons Why season 1 wraps with another hugely emotional episode, painstakingly showing both Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) rape and subsequent suicide. Tears need to be shed over that kind of realistic tragedy.
She’s Gotta Have It, “#HeGotItAllMixedUp”

Fellow Netflix show She’s Gotta Have It doesn’t exactly seem like a tear-jerker, but that’s because you may not have noticed one big cameo. During Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) big art opening, a woman walks up to her gushing, “Your work is just incredible! And I really, really love it.” The scene seems innocuous until you realize the mystery woman is played by Tracy Camilla Johns, the original Nola Darling.

We’re witnessing a sweet passing of the Darling guard, and that’s the kind of Black girl magic worth messing up your eyeliner for.
The Bachelorette, “Week 9: Season 13 Finale”

While romantic successes populate most of this list, The Bachelorette has earned a spot thanks to the genuinely upsetting, raw breakup between Rachel Lindsay and Peter Kraus. Has a lone false eyelash ever looked so very sad?
Insecure, “Hella Perspective”

Since we’re on the topic of breakups, it’s time to talk about Insecure season 2 finale “Hella Perspective,” which gives viewers a final resolution on the split between Issa (Issa Rae) and Lawrence (Jay Ellis). These two might be terrible together, but that doesn’t mean it’s not awful to watch Issa’s fantasy sequence of Lawrence’s proposal and their subsequent life together, only to realize the sweet scenes are just that — a fantasy.
Scandal, “Transfer of Power”

Look, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) are a trash couple. I know. And, yet, Olivia’s big romantic gesture of running out of the White House to kiss Fitz goodbye as he exits the presidency still chokes me up. It is what it is.
Big Little Lies, “You Get What You Need”

Don’t worry, no one is crying over a monster like Perry (Alexander Skarsgard). Rather, the tears are thanks to the disturbingly honest moment all the Lies women realize they have a beast in their midst at the Otter Bay fundraiser and all share the same knowing, terrified, look.

As with many other episodes on this list, it all feels to close to reality.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “99”

If you’re someone who loves friendship, Brooklyn Nine-Nine will always get you. The comedy masters the art of friendship porn in “99,” when the stoic Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) comes out as bisexual to friend and coworker Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio). It’s all the more poignant when you remember actress Beatriz came out as a bisexual herself in 2016, and the Nine-Nine writers clearly added the romantic plot line in a show of support.
Black Mirror, “Hang the DJ”

With the premiere of Black Mirror season 4 merely days away, just know you’re going to need the Kleenex for this one.
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