We love watching comedy shows because we all love to laugh. Comedy is for jokes, for hijinks, for escaping into another world and watching another group of friends get in and out of trouble, sometimes scheming, sometimes bumbling, but always filling us with joy. Because these shows tend to go on for a while, their characters are always evolving, and in order to give them new plots and environments to play in, sometimes they need to be tested. The good times can’t be good times all the time.

We love when our favorite funny shows are funny, but sometimes they’re even better when they’re suddenly sad, at least for an episode or two. Sad stuff hits different when you went in expecting an easy, fun time, and heartbreak is all the more affecting when you see it on the face of someone who normally makes you laugh. We don’t want anything sad to happen in our favorite shows, but often, when it does happen, the shows really nail it.

For this list, we’ve found 12 episodes of our favorite comedy shows that make us and the rest of their fans break down in tears, whether it’s just for a few minutes or for a whole episode. Many of these episodes aren’t what you would call “Very Special Episodes,” since they aren’t about giving their audience serious moral messages. Instead, these episodes show how great a show can be when its characters can explore their deeper emotions, and whether that brings them together or drives them further apart. These episodes are hard to watch, but we love them anyway.

The 12 Saddest Episodes in Comedy Shows

Sad stuff always hits harder when you were expecting something funny.

Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

READ MORE: The 12 Best Bottle Episodes of TV Ever Made

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The 12 Most Memorable Bottle Episodes of Television

Smaller budgets and minimal sets sometimes make for the best episodes.

Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

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