EW Looks Back

TV's Biggest Tearjerkers

Four years after ''Lost'' had fans sobbing into their Apollo bars over Desmond and Penny's sad/happy telephone reunion, EW staffers weigh in on the televised moments that made them weep

1. Desmond connects with Penny
Lost (Feb. 28, 2008)
Television can make us cry from sadness, pain, and the outrage of another Kardashian reality series. It can also make us sniffle from joy, as it did during one of Lost's best hours, ''The Constant,'' when romantic castaway Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) braved brain-melting time travel just to call his girlfriend and say ''I love you'' on Christmas Eve. Pass the tissue, bruthuh. —Jeff Jensen

2. Bailey gives birth
Grey's Anatomy (Feb. 12, 2006)
This rare moment of weakness from tough-as-nails Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) in ''As We Know It'' — season 2's intense two-part bomb episode — was hard to watch dry-eyed. When doc George O'Malley (the since-departed T.R. Knight) coached Bailey through the birth of her son while her husband underwent brain surgery, we flatlined from emotional overload. —Sandra Gonzalez

3. Bobby Simone dies
NYPD Blue (Nov. 24, 1998)
Just because NYPD Blue was a gritty cop show didn't mean it couldn't make fans tear up. Case in point: ''Heart and Souls,'' when Jimmy Smits' Bobby gave up the good fight and died from a bad heart (breaking our hearts at the same time). —Lynette Rice

4. Laura runs away
Little House on the Prairie (Dec. 18, 1974)
''The Lord Is My Shepherd,'' a two-parter in which Melissa Gilbert's Laura left home after refusing to pray for her sick baby brother, could have made a tree cry. Especially if that tree was the one that kind old man/angel Jonathan (Ernest Borgnine) whittled into the cross that ultimately led Pa (Michael Landon) to find her. My cup runneth over...with my own tears. —Jessica Shaw

5. Neal's dad is a cheater
Freaks and Geeks (March 13, 2000)
''Your dad's the coolest,'' Sam (John Francis Daley) told Neal (Samm Levine) in the cold open of ''The Garage Door.'' But what followed was a long, dreadful debunking of that theory. Neal, with help from Sam, found out his father was a philanderer when he discovered his convertible parked at another woman's house. Sam, racked with guilt, ran home to give his square but faithful dad a grateful embrace. At that point, we were all hugging Mr. Weir. —Ray Rahman

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Originally posted Feb 24, 2012 Published in issue #1198 Mar 16, 2012 Order article reprints