Is it just me, or is TV getting sadder and sadder as the years go by? 2015 was so full of heartbreaking moments on television that narrowing it down for this list was not only depressing, but tiresome. Grab a box of tissues and look back at 29 of the saddest moments on television in the year 2015.
TV character deaths? That’s a whole other thing! Click here for the biggest character deaths of 2015.
#29 Rachel’s Final Farewell on the Stage of McKinley High, Glee
It was incredibly emotional to see Rachel on the McKinley High stage again, especially without her partner Finn. Creator Ryan Murphy has said he originally intended to end the show with Rachel returning to Ohio to reunite with Finn, the new Glee coach at McKinley to start their lives together. With Finn (and Monteith’s)’s passing, her story sadly ended differently, but equally strong. Rachel tears up, performs one last song and leaves McKinley one final time, ready to return to New York and take on the world after bailing on Broadway for her failed TV pilot. You will be missed, Rachel Berry.
#28 Xo Cheats on Rogelio, Jane the Virgin
Xo and Rogelio get in a fight when Rogelio’s mother comes to visit and blatantly shows her distaste for Xo. Angry that Rogelio doesn’t defend her, Xo ends up in a bar with her former fling Marco, and their interaction ends with locked lips. The kicker? Rogelio did in fact stick up for Xo while this was going on, only to have her cheat on him. Poor guy.
#27 Emma Gets Consumed by the Darkness, Once Upon a Time
The darkness attacks Regina, zeroing in on her light to try to extinguish it. Emma knows the only way to save Regina is to contain the darkness by anchoring it someone. Emma gives up Hook and everyone she loves, allowing the darkness to take over her (at least for the time being).
#26 Stiles Finds Sheriff Unconscious (or Dead?) in the Warehouse, Teen Wolf
It was tragic to see Stiles run into that warehouse thinking he was coming to save his father, only to discover his motionless body on the ground. The mid-season finale didn’t reveal Sheriff Stilinski’s fate, but the look on Stiles’ face was hard to endure for us.
#25 Asher Learns of Bonnie’s Past, How to Get Away with Murder
Bonnie reveals to Asher the truth behind her strange relationship with her molesting father, causing him to sympathize with why she would “kill” Sam. Of course, Bonnie did this knowing this is how Asher would react.
#24 Zeek and Camille’s Final Moment Before Surgery, Parenthood
Losing Zeek was a hard thing to watch. Just as gut-wrenching was the final exchange between him and his beloved Camille before deciding about his risky surgery. The two make a decision together on how to handle his failing health while on a hike to a spot they’ve always wanted to see the view from. When Zeek tells Camille he wants to live out the rest of his life in peace and asks if she’s with him, her response is perfect. “Of course I’m with you. I’m always with you.”
#23 Agent Callahan Asks Hotch for a Leave of Absence, Criminal Minds
Just as we were getting used to Jennifer Love Hewitt‘s presence on Criminal Minds, she’s gone. Agent Callahan (Hewitt) requests a leave of absence so she can focus on her growing family. Hewitt in fact had to do the same, as she was actually pregnant in real life. Hopefully her leave of absence is short lived, but for now, you’ll be missed Agent Callahan.
#22 Caputo’s Backstory, Orange is the New Black
In season 3 of OITNB, we learn that Caputo was once in a band that wasn’t half bad and had a beautiful girlfriend. Unfortunately, she was pregnant with his band-mate’s child. He thought the right thing to do was stay with her and raise the child, while the band found moderate success on tour. By the end, his girl still left him for his former band-mate, and Caputo was left without a family and without success. As we know, he’s remained that way to this day.
#21 Glenn Gets Mauled by Zombies, The Walking Dead
Admittedly, this was a lot more tragic in the moment because it was believed that the popular Walking Dead character Glenn died during this zombie maul. Luckily, it was just a plot device and Glenn is still indeed alive. For now.
#20 Agent Dorneget Gets Killed, NCIS
While on a mission with McGee in Cairo, Egypt, Dorneget met his end when one of the S-bombs that his team was tracking blew up. A tragic end for this fan-favorite.
#19 Jane Breaks Up with Michael, Jane the Virgin
Jane and Michael were FINALLY working things out again. Jane was falling back in love with the man she once agreed to marry and things were looking great. However, when a fit of rage overcomes Michael in the wake of his termination, he attacks Rafael for ratting him out and ends up hurting baby Mateo. Not cool. Jane is distraught and ends up breaking things off with poor Michael again after Michael discovers it wasn’t even Rafael who ratted him out. The kicker? She later discovers it actually WAS because of Rafael. Good-guy Michael loses out again.
#18 Finding Out Lucious is Lola’s Father, Empire
Jamal finds that his connection to his newly discovered daughter is having a huge impact on his life. He even writes her a beautiful song and ends his relationship with Ryan who has no interest in dealing with a kid. Then the bombshell. Olivia isn’t Jamal’s daughter at all. When Olivia (the mother)’s crazy ex-boyfriend comes seeking revenge against Jamal, Lucious admits that it was him who impregnated Olivia, not Jamal. Father of the year, right?
#17 Juliette’s Struggle with Postpartum Depression, Nashville
Following the birth of her daughter Cadence, we see a drastic change in Juliette’s behavior. Her short temper and complete detachment from her newborn daughter were upsetting, but the fact that Nashville didn’t shy away from the commonality of postpartum depression was good to see.
#16 Hodgins Gets Paralyzed, Bones
When a body bomb explodes in front of Hodgins and Aubry, the two are not in good condition. Aubry heroically covered Hodgins’ body and left him seemingly unscathed. Then, later Hodgins collapses from a delayed epidural hematoma choking his spinal cord. The winter finale ended on a cliffhanger leaving fans unsure if the beloved Dr. Jack Hodgins would ever walk again.
#15 Finding Out Captain Lance Wws Working with Darhk, Arrow
Captain Lance assumed that, given Arrow’s disappearance and all the attacks facing their city, working with Damien Darhk was his only option. When Darhk showed his true colors and even threatens Laurel, Captain Lance is forced to play along with this corruption for even longer.
#14 Paige Tells Pastor Tim About Her Parents, The Americans
In a shocking turn of events during the season 3 finale of The Americans, Paige spills the beans to Pastor Tim that her parents are Russians. Not only was this so sad because of the repercussions for her parents, but also because of how overwhelming the prospect of lying to everyone in her life had become, leading her to vent to at least one person.
#13 Captain Randall Rapes Jamie, Outlander
The sadistic Redcoat Black Jack Randall takes control of Jamie’s soul and unfortunately his body when he horrifically raped him in the season 1 finale. The psychological effects were just as tragic as the act itself.
#12 Shireen Gets Burned at the Stake, Game of Thrones
The absolutely insane Baratheons take Melisandre’s word that the only way for their armies to press forward is to sacrifice their daughter at the stake. The sweet little girl cries out to her parents for help as she’s burned alive in front of them.
#11 Connor and Jude’s Exchange of Love, The Fosters
Connor and Jude finally exchange “I love you” for the first time, as Jude tells Connor that he thinks it’s good that he’s going to go live with his mother. It was sad to see this beautiful moment have to happen just as the two are forced to separate.
#10 Pennsatucky Gets Raped, Orange Is the New Black
Pennsatucky is a love-to hate/hate-to-love character. In the beginning, she was nothing but annoying and we wanted her gone. As the show went on, she became purely entertaining and her eccentricities became endearing. When she made friends with the new guard, it was nice to see some normalcy in her life. However, the guard took full advantage of his position of power and abused poor Pennsatucky just as she had been so many times in the past. Her face as she realized that this friendship wasn’t genuine was difficult to bare.
#9 Dean’s Words to Sam When He Thinks He’s at the End of His Rope
Death offered to relocate Dean off of Earth so that he’s no longer a danger to himself or others in the season 10 finale. Feeling like there’s really nothing left for him to do to get out of this, Dean punches all SPN fans in the gut when he delivers his line to Sam over the phone saying, “Brother, I’m done. Grab a pen. It’s time to say goodbye.” Of course, Sam and Dean will never be done. Ever. But in that moment, it really felt like something tragic was in the works for these brothers.
#8 Olivia and Fitz’s Post-Abortion Breakup, Scandal
Olivia and Fitz really weren’t ready to be together in such high-pressure circumstances, and a baby definitely wouldn’t help with everything they had going on. Because of this, Olivia opted to have an abortion, and the aftermath was detrimental to her and Fitz’s relationship.
#7 Barry Doesn’t Save His Mother, The Flash
All season long, it seemed like The Flash was building up to Barry saving his mom’s life. This definitely got fans hopeful for her salvation. Unfortunately, in the season 1 finale, Barry opts not to save her when he travels back in time. This extremely difficult decision for him was a result of his future self signaling and warning him not to do so. And so, poor Barry had to watch his mother die.
#6 Lily’s Final Moments, The Vampire Diaries
Lily gains forgiveness from Stefan, but still works on Damon. She even ends up staking herself in an attempt to destroy Julian and save Damon and Valerie. In her final moments, she apologizes to him for everything, but Damon’s response is that Lily got what was coming to her. These are the last words Lily hears before she dies.
#5 Meredith Has to Console Another Surgeon When Derek Dies, Grey’s Anatomy
After signing the papers to pull the plug on her husband, Meredith walks outside and sees one of the surgeons on duty for Derek crying. Despite going on her own emotional journey about saying goodbye to her husband, Meredith, being the strong woman that she is, tells the surgeon to learn from this so that she can be better for next time.
#4 Betty and Don’s Last Words, Mad Men
Mad Men may have ended on a high note with clarity for Don Draper, but things didn’t end so nicely for Betty. There was always a little part of me that hoped that this couple that started the show out together would somehow work out their problems by the end. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Betty was diagnosed with lung cancer (probably from smoking in literally every scene) and Don had to say his goodbye over the phone. The exchange was both perfect and heartbreaking. Don softly said, “birdie…” (his old nickname for Betty) to which she responded, “I know.” The two had an understanding of their love for each other and it was a perfect goodbye. It was also a nice callback to the “Bye, bye Birdie” episode.
#3 Castle and Beckett Seperate, Castle
Why? Why toy with our emotions likes this? Castle and Beckett belong together and season 8 has really liked keeping that from us. Fans were heartbroken when Beckett dumped her new husband to focus her attention on her mother’s 16-year old murder case. This simply can not last.
#2 The Tragic Backstory of Charlotte DiLaurentis, Pretty Little Liars
The biggest mystery of the entire series of Pretty Little Liars was finally solved this year, and I. Marlene King actually made us sympathize with the “devil” that is “A”. We learned of “A’s” incredibly sad upbringing as a confused transgender child who was essentially neglected by her parents. The years of exile formed her path for vengeance and need for belonging. By the end of it, we just wished Charlotte/CeCe/A could have grown up in better circumstances.
#1 Sansa Being Raped While Theon Has to Watch, Game of Thrones
First of all, having to endure sweet Sansa (who has already had to endure more than almost any character on Game of Thrones, which is seriously saying something) getting horrifically abused by that sociopath Ramsay was dark enough. But the focus on broken-down Theon (aka Reek) having to watch a girl he considers his sister was very hard to bare. His expression, combined with the sounds of pain and terror coming from Sansa was one of the darkest and saddest scenes on television.