Top 10 Saddest Cartoon Episodes

Script written by Jamie Leslie Ready for a good cry? You'd better be…Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Saddest Cartoon Episodes. For this list, we're taking a look at cartoon episodes that provided us with the most feels. We'll be excluding anime because those shows deserve a tear-jerking list of their own.  Special thanks to our users AXHP or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Jamie Leslie

Top 10 Saddest Cartoon Episodes


Ready for a good cry? You’d better be… Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Saddest Cartoon Episodes. 

For this list, we’re taking a look at cartoon episodes that provided us with the most feels. We’ll be excluding anime because those shows deserve a tear-jerking list of their own. 
 

#10: “Code of Hero”
“Beast Wars: Transformers” (1996-99)

Is a villain truly a villain if he sacrifices himself for the sake of good? After starting as a follower of the evil Predacon leader Megatron, Dinobot rebels against him, and ends up with the heroic Maximals. However, some still see him as evil, so Dinobot is determined to show them he’s no longer the monster they think he is. He’s given that opportunity when he finds himself facing a Predacon onslaught with no backup, and fights to the death to save a group of protohumans that will eventually give birth to the human race. Dinobot succeeds in thwarting their plans, but is mortally wounded in the process. Unable to help him, the Transformers leave their fallen comrade with one final salute.

#9: “Rose’s Scabbard”
“Steven Universe” (2013-)

Everyone grieves the loss of a loved one differently. In Pearl’s case, she pushes away her friend Steven – the son of a woman she followed, respected and loved deeply. After accompanying the Crystal Gems to the Strawberry Battlefield, Steven begins to uncover many new truths about his late mother, and starts to see that Pearl never got the closure she needed on their relationship. This becomes even clearer when Pearl lashes out after discovering that Rose may’ve kept secrets from her. Denying the fact that anyone was closer to Rose than she was, Pearl runs away upset. But eventually she realizes there’s no better way to stay close to her late friend than by sharing her memories of Rose with Steven.

#8: “Game Over”
“ReBoot” (1994-2001)

Unfortunately for the citizens of Mainframe, these games don’t come with extra lives. In the midst of a war against the virus Megabyte, the system’s User sends a game down onto the city. In an attempt to save that section of Mainframe, Enzo, along with his friend AndrAla (Awndrea) and loyal dog Frisket, jump into the Mortal Kombat-style fighting game to defeat the User. The game proves to be more than the young Guardian and his friends can handle however, and after Enzo is dealt a crippling blow (loses an eye) during the final battle, they story moves to the perspective of those outside the game as they wait for it to end. As the purple game cube begins to disappear, we hear, for the first time, the most frightening words ever uttered in the series. (Game over, the user wins)

#7: “Heart of Ice”
“Batman: The Animated Series” (1992-95)

Some Batman villains just want to watch the world burn; some want to see it freeze – but the reason why might surprise you. The Dark Knight has a tendency to fight baddies that are victims of circumstance – take Mary Dahl, for example, whose eternal youth was more curse than blessing. However, “Heart of Ice” sees the Caped Crusader face the diabolical Mr. Freeze. The Daytime Emmy Award-winning episode follows Batman as he chases this former GothCorp scientist, whom he discovers is solely seeking revenge on GothCorp CEO Ferris Boyle for turning him into a monster and essentially sentencing his wife to death. Ultimately, Batman does apprehend the villain and sends him off to Arkham Asylum, where Freeze can only mourn his loved one.

#6: “I Remember You”
“Adventure Time” (2010-)

Sometimes it takes a true friend to remind you of who you really are. In a desperate attempt to win the affection of a princess – as is his way – the Ice King seeks out Marceline the Vampire Queen to help him write a song. This song-writing session gets all-too real when Marceline tries to remind the wizard of his life before he found the magic crown that drove him nuts and erased his memories. Saddened by the reality of the situation, Marceline opts to bond with her old friend the only way she can, and we are left watching a touching flashback scene where see how the two met and became friends in the aftermath of the Mushroom War.

#5: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)

What IS Christmas all about? The always-emo Charlie Brown’s depressive state reaches an all-time low in this classic Christmas special, as he contemplates why the holiday spirit eludes him. Against his better judgment, Chuck takes Lucy’s advice and directs the school’s nativity play, but this just makes matters worse when he’s met with jeers from his classmates after failing to produce an adequate Christmas tree. Although Linus’ poignant speech cheers him up temporarily, Charlie Brown is in such a deep emotional hole, the only thing that can yank him out of it for good is the sight of his friends showing his little tree some TLC and belting out Christmas carols. It’s all so simple.

#4: “Life of Brian”
“Family Guy” (1999-2003; 2005-)

After one of their many trips to the past goes awry, Stewie and Brian agree to destroy their time machine. However, fate is cruel, and Stewie immediately regrets this decision when Brian is struck by a car and critically injured, ultimately uttering his last words from the operating table. Reality sets in for Stewie when he realizes that repairing the time machine is impossible, and so the grieving process must begin. To help the family cope with their loss, Lois and Peter bring home a new dog named Vinny – but, while he is able to emote with Stewie about his lost friend, Vinny can’t replace the void left by Brian in the Griffin household.

#3: “Mother Simpson”
“The Simpsons” (1989-)

When a show’s on as long as “The Simpsons,” it’s bound to turn to the bittersweet every now and then. The moment when Lisa says goodbye to her substitute teacher always gets us sniffling. But it’s the mystery you never knew you wanted solved surrounding the whereabouts of Homer’s mother that makes our list. This melancholy episode sees Homer joyfully reunited with his long-lost mother Mona after 27 years. The two make up for lost time, but soon it’s revealed that it’s Mona’s troubled history with the law that’s kept her away so long – and it forces her away again, leaving her son with a hole in his heart. At least this time, however, they’re able to share a heartfelt goodbye.

#2: “Mother’s Day”
“Rugrats” (1991-2004)

Nothing prepares you for the heartbreaking reality of having to reveal this kind of truth to your child. The babies celebrate their first Mother’s Day experience by crafting presents for their beloved moms. But this only draws attention to the fact that Chuckie doesn’t have a mother. The episode sees him searching for a surrogate mom, and thinking about what he’s missing. It turns out that, due to Chuckie’s tender age, his father has withheld information about his son’s mother, hoping he could shield him from the pain of missing her. With support from the other parents, Chas decides to introduce Chuckie to his mother via a box of her belongings – go ahead: we dare you not to cry.

Before we unveil our top pick for Saddest Cartoon Episode, here are a few honorable mentions:

- “Aftershock”
“Teen Titans” (2003-06)

- “The Mirror”
“Gargoyles” (1994-97)

- “Remembrance of Courage Past”
“Courage the Cowardly Dog” (1999-2002)

- “Twisted Sister”
“The Powerpuff Girls” (1998-2005)

#1: “Jurassic Bark”
“Futurama” (1999-2013)

If you’re ever given the opportunity to travel 1,000 years into the future, consider what you might be leaving behind. In pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry’s case, one thing he abandoned was his lucky seven-leaf clover; but fortunately, as we learn in another tear-jerking episode, his nephew put that to good use. But Fry also left his dog Seymour back in the year 2000. When he unearths a fossil of his long-lost pal in the 31st century, Fry decides to bring Seymour back as a clone. However, he ultimately decides against the procedure, thinking that the pooch will have forgotten their friendship. All it takes is one heart-wrenching flashback for us to learn that that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Do you agree with our list? Which cartoon episode got you all choked up? For more sentimental Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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