Top 10 Heartbreaking Moments in Teen TV Dramas



Top 10 Heartbreaking Moments in Teen TV Dramas

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
Script written by Carly Comtois

These teen television shows are called dramas for a reason! Watch as MsMojo counts down the definitive ranking of the Top 10 most heartbreaking moments in Teen TV Dramas, such as The O.C., 90210, Gilmore Girls, Skins, Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, Glee, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and More!

We'll be looking at the saddest TV scenes that made us cry, whether they be goodbyes, farewells or tv show deaths so a spoiler alert is definitely in order.

If you didn't see your favorite show be sure to check out our ranking of the Top 10 Most Heartbreaking Scenes in TV Dramas here:

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Top 10 Heartbreaking Moments in Teen TV Dramas

They're called dramas for a reason. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Heartbreaking Moments in Teen TV Dramas.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the moments from our favorite teen dramas that brought tears to our eyes. Obviously, each and every one of these entries is going to have spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.

#10: Dylan & Kelly Confess to Brenda
“Beverly Hills, 90210” (1990-2000)

Dylan and Kelly confessing their affair to Brenda hurts for so many reasons- but we can’t imagine being betrayed by both our boyfriend and best friend at the same time. Brenda’s pain and difficulty processing what she’s being told, along with her genuinely stunned reaction, makes this one of the saddest scenes in the drama– which is saying a lot. Although Dylan and Brenda’s relationship was tumultuous, we couldn’t help but feel just as heartbroken as she did… Also, can we add that Dylan's unapologetic, blasé attitude made this scene extra difficult to watch? Poor, poor Brenda.

#9: Lorelai Tells Luke She Cheated on Him
“Gilmore Girls” (2000-07; 2016-)

Luke and Lorelai were friends and eventually lovers for many seasons of this drama. The two eventually decide to get engaged, but other things end up taking precedence over the wedding. After giving Luke an ultimatum, Lorelai ends up sleeping with Christopher, which she has to admit to Luke when he shows up the next morning ready to go elope. It was the way he got back in his truck without a word that killed fans of the couple. Fans also couldn't handle when Rory cried after sleeping with Dean, knowing she was "the other woman." “Gilmore Girls” was just a hard show for us to watch in general because the women made several difficult choices when it came to the men in their lives.

#8: Jimmy Gets Shot
“Degrassi: The Next Generation” (2001-15)

If we have to choose only one heartbreaking moment from a show that lives to break viewers' hearts on a regular basis, then this would be it. Before Aubrey Graham was singing Hotline Bling under his stage name Drake, he played Jimmy Brooks, one of the coolest guys at Degrassi Community School. But with popularity comes the pressure to "be cool" and that includes making fun of those less popular – like Rick, who one day has enough of the bullying and brings a gun to school. He shoots Jimmy in the back as he runs away. Luckily, poor Jimmy survives, but is confined to a wheelchair, and his basketball days are over.

#7: Freddie Dies
“Skins” (2007-13)

In a show as heavy as “Skins,” there are endless tragic moments, like when Tony doesn’t remember where he lives– but Freddie’s death was one of the standout heartbreaking moments of this show. He and his best friend, Cook, are both into the same girl, Effy Stonem. When it hurts their friendship, Effy can't forgive herself and starts to see a counselor after attempting suicide. However, her counselor is crazier than his own patients and secretly wants her to himself, so he traps Freddie in a stairwell and beats him to death with a bat. The fact that no one knew what happened to him for so long made fans angry, but Cook figuring it out and avenging his friend's death made the loss of such a good character a bit easier to accept.

#6: Marissa Dies
“The O.C.” (2003-07)

Love her or hate her, you couldn't help but be sad when the rebellious girl-next-door died in a fiery car crash. Until then, the saddest moment had been season one's finale (xref) when Ryan went back to Chino and Seth sailed away for the summer. Throughout her time on the show, Marissa dealt with substance abuse and depression, and acted out by dating bad boys, all to make her snobby mother mad. At the end of season 3, Marissa seemed to be getting her life together by going back to her off-and-on boyfriend Ryan. But on the way to the airport, her drunk ex-boyfriend ran them off the road, and that was it for Marissa Cooper.

#5: Jen's Video to Her Daughter
“Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003)

In the two-part series finale set five years in the future, viewers learn that one of the main characters, Jen Lindley, is suffering from a fatal heart condition. During the show's final season, Jen dealt with her grandmother being diagnosed with breast cancer. It's only fitting – and absolutely heartbreaking – that Jen's Grams would be by her side as she dies of her own illness. And if that doesn’t get to you, the video she makes to her then one-year-old daughter will; where she lists all the things she hopes for her daughter’s life. While the drama was named for the titular character Dawson Leery, Jen was often the heart of the show, and fans were sad to see her get such a bleak ending.

#4: The School Shooting
“One Tree Hill” (2003-12)

Jimmy Edwards bringing a gun to school was dramatic enough. Let alone the fact that Lucas and a bleeding Peyton were stuck in the library while Nathan, Haley, and Mouth were stuck in the tutor center with the shooter himself. But the real heartbreaking moment from this episode goes down as one of the biggest plot twists in teen drama history: the death of Keith Scott. Everyone knew that Dan and Keith were far from the perfect brothers, but when Dan picked up that gun from next to Jimmy's lifeless body and put a bullet through his own brother, audiences everywhere felt shocked and betrayed.

#3: Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes' Death
“The Vampire Diaries” (2009-)

Yes, our hearts hurt when Sheriff Forbes finally succumbed to her cancer. She was one of the only parental figures left for our favorite vampires to turn to in Mystic Falls. But the real heartbreak came from the other characters' reactions to her death. Her daughter Caroline singing at the funeral, Damon giving the eulogy since he missed out on doing it for his own mother, and Caroline showing her mom a memory of her teaching her to ride a bike as she dies. Most heartbreaking of all, the episode ends with Caroline shutting off her humanity because she'd rather go rogue than deal with her loss.

#2: Buffy Kills Angel
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)

The only thing harder than being in love with a vampire is being a vampire hunter whose sole purpose is to kill people like him. This... minor setback weighs heavily on Buffy and Angel’s relationship throughout earlier seasons, but reaches a whole new level when Angel becomes his evil alter ego, Angelus. In the season two finale, Buffy and Angelus are locked in battle as he attempts to raise a demon. Angel's soul is restored, but in order to save the world, Buffy is forced to put a sword through his body to stop the demon as he creates a vortex– pushing Angel into it as a result. Angel fortunately doesn't actually die, but Buffy would have to endure her mother’s devastating death later down the line.

Before we reveal the most heartbreaking moment of all, here are a few honorable mentions.

Maya's Death
“Pretty Little Liars” (2010-)

Sam Watches Dean be Ripped Apart by Hellhounds
“Supernatural” (2005-)

Fred is Infected by a Demon
“Angel” (1999-2004)

Stiles Saves Scott
“Teen Wolf” (2011-)

Ryan's Death
“Smallville” (2001-11)

Lena Loses the Baby
“The Fosters” (2013-)

#1: The New Directions Sing About Finn's death
“Glee” (2009-15)

The only thing more heartbreaking than a main character dying on a show is the actual actor passing away. Cory Monteith, who played Finn on “Glee,” died of a drug overdose before season 5, and so his character had to be written off as well. This episode, titled "The Quarterback," served as a tribute to the actor and character that had been on the show since episode 1. Besides the opening number in which the whole cast sang a song in his honor, other characters paid tribute to his death with music–most notably Lea Michele, who was not only his on-screen love interest but his real life girlfriend as well. So when Rachel sang "Make You Feel My Love," wow... we all felt it.

Do you agree with our list? Which teen drama moment broke your heart? For more emotional top 10s published every day subscribe to MsMojo.