While there’s clearly “No crying in baseball,” you can rest assured there is in television — at least, the way I see it.
If you grew up in the 90s, you surely experienced a tearjerker or two (or three or more) while watching some of your favorite small screen characters go through some less than ideal circumstances.
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
It was season four’s ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Excuse episode’ that pulled on our heartstrings, especially for those with deadbeat dads. In Will’s case, his father, or lack thereof, was a trucker named Lou who epitomized the term “unreliable.” Good ol’ Lou (more like shitty Lou!) walked out on Will and his mother when he was a mere four-years-old — literally went out for a pack of smokes and never returned.
In this emotional scene, Lou attempted to get Uncle Phil to do his “dirty work” for him via delivering Will some crushing news. Big Phil refused, leading to what was arguably the NBC’s program’s most emotional moment.
Failing to go incognito on another disappearing act, Lou fesses up to Will that he’ll be putting the trip he promised “on hold.”
After maintaining his composure until his dad left, Will finally lets his frustrations out in a monologue tirade that should not be called anything less than sitcom art. Case in point: The powerful scene ending was reportedly ad-libbed, according to The Huffington Post.
If Uncle Phil were to say “Will, I am your father,” I’m pretty darn certain that the majority of America would’ve responded with a “Hell fuckin’ yeah he is,” if asked.
The next moment can be filed under the ““Don’t Knock It Unless You’ve Tried To Watch It” category. I’m talkin’ bout The WB’s Dawson’s Creek! More specifically, the death of Dawson’s father, Mitch.
You see, unlike shitty Lou, Mitch Leery was a fine fellow. On this particular night, he was out getting milk for his baby, Lily. Unfortunately, the last Dawson would ever see of his dad was during their major tiff over the former dropping out of USC film school.
Despite having previously dealt and forgiven a cheating wife (Gail was bumping uglies with newscaster Bob in season one), karma clearly wasn’t on Mitch’s side in this one when he was driving to The Village Market. The 45-year-old was just trying to enjoy his ice cream cone, and sing along to 70s icons The Doobie Brothers.
However, while drumming the air to “Gimme The Beat Boys,” he loses his vanilla scoop and ultimately his life to an oncoming vehicle after picking it up.
Evidently, it was not worth the extra calories. Too soon? I think not-we’re closing in on 14 years now.
Side Note: Mitch should be damn happy to know that young Dawson turned into a damn good Hollywood director!
Saved By The Bell
Saved By The Bell kicked off its third season with a more unbearable taste than the sourest of warheads for our hero, Zack Morris in ‘The Last Dance at Bayside’ in 1991.
It was in this very episode that we a saw a whole new side to Kelly, who came clean to Zach about her feelings for Jeff from The Max.
Apparently, no one told Zack to keep his enemies close and the pretty boy restaurant managers closer. From the confines of a picnic table, Bayside High’s finest piece of you-know-what took a sledgehammer to the Prom King’s heart.
Honestly speaking, she also took one to Michael Bolton fans’ ears when she left Slater and Jessie on the stage singing, I mean Milli Vanilli, the shit out of ‘How Am I Supposed To Live Without You.’
Need not worry, Morris loyalists, Zack clearly got the last laugh in the end when Ms. Kapowski caught Jeff straying with a blonde at a nightclub!
Six Feet Under
Lastly, I bring to you, Six Feet Under’s series-finale montage, which was quite honestly a tad bit on the depressive side, regardless of its strong inclination to bring on the waterworks.
Whoever said that death comes in threes sure as shit didn’t check out the ‘Everyone’s Waiting’ installment! If death was anything like precipitation, it was sure as shit raining cats and dogs. But then again, when you’re running a funeral biz like the Fishers, how the hell couldn’t it be?
Anywho, we were led on a road trip via Claire’s smart car as she popped Sia’s ‘Breathe Me’ into her CD player (RIP compact discs — well, almost). In her rear view mirror, she sees her deceased brother Nate on his trademark jog, and then he’s gone-some real symbolic “Life Goes On”-type shit here!
Claire turns onto the freeway, transporting us further and further in time, as we cut back and forth to those closest to her continuing to age.
Funerals, weddings and other celebratory moments are spliced together with the passings of our main characters. Ruth dies in a hospital. David’s beau, Keith gets fatally shot while coming out the back of an armored truck. David kicks the bucket after suffering a heart attack, Rico drops dead on a ship, Brenda on a couch. And last but not least, Claire in her bedroom at… wait for it, wait for it… 102-years-old! Helluva run that ginger had.
If by any chance you happen to be doubting your masculinity right about now, know that you are not alone. Simply grab a Kleenex, dry your teary eyes and congratulate yourself for being human!