10+ Surprisingly Dark Sitcom Moments

While sitcoms are known for keeping things lighthearted and funny, that's not always the case.

No laugh track is required when they handle life's more sensitive issues, such as death, racism, alcoholism, and so much more. When this happens, it's jarring; no one sees it coming.

Ready for this? Here are 10+ surprising dark sitcom moments.

TW: This article contains depictions or discussions of sensitive topics and may be triggering to some readers.

When *The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air* tackles abandonment:


For such a comedic show, they sure handled some tough subjects, such as violence, drugs, and abandonment.

When Will says "how come he don't want me, man?" when talking about his dad, it will get you in the feels every time.

When Ron reveals how much Leslie hurt him on *Parks and Rec*:

Anytime Ron shows emotion it's pretty jarring, so when Ron revealed how much Leslie hurt him by leaving the Parks department, things got dark.

There was a bittersweet moment when the two of them cleaned up the office afterward and listened to Ron's favorite song.

When Martin blows up on his kids on *Frasier*:

This took place when Martin took his kids to a steakhouse. When they start making fun of the food and the waitress, he freaked out at them.

He told them that they're nothing like their mother, who was classy. It was a very harsh moment.

When the dad dies in real life on *8 Simple Rules*:

When actor John Ritter tragically passed away in real life, the show decided to kill him off onscreen.

This resulted in several emotional episodes, including the moment when the family found out that he had died suddenly.

When a girl was being beaten by her father on *Boy Meets World*:

YouTube | Boymeetsworldclips

When Shawn was keeping the girl at his house while his parents were out of town, Cory thought that it was because they were sleeping together.

As it turns out, Shawn was simply protecting the girl from her dad who beat her. So sad.

When they kill off the mother on *How I Met Your Mother*:


It's been called one of the worst endings in TV history. The show left fans in anticipation of who the mom was, only to kill her off in the end.

To top it off, this caused Ted to pursue Robin, once again, in the end.

When Alex almost dies in *Family Ties*:


In one episode, he was supposed to be in the car that tragically killed one of his friends.

When Alex broke down sobbing, crying “why am I alive?” it was a dark moment that really made you think.

When Rosa's parents don't accept her for being bisexual on *Brooklyn Nine-Nine*:

Rosa has always been a tough character, so seeing her being emotional and vulnerable to her parents was a big step for her.

Sadly, they didn't accept her sexuality and even stopped talking to her for a while.

When Monica and Richard break up on *Friends*:

Their significant age gap came to a head when Richard revealed that he didn't want to have any more kids.

So when they were dancing at the wedding and realized they should break up, it was heartbreaking when Monica said, "So what do we do now?" and Richard replied, "We dance."

When Ted is so lonely on *How I Met Your Mother*:

The "Time Travels” episode sets viewers up to think that Ted is at the bar having a good time with his friends.

In reality, though, he's actually alone at the bar, trying to cope with the fact that everyone is moving on with their lives without him.

When *Family Matters* tackles some sad racial issues:

YouTube | navberkami

In one episode, Laura decides to start a petition to get Black History courses added to her school's curriculum.

While she receives a lot of support, one horrifying incident outweighs everything. She finds her locker broken into, with a note saying she should go back to Africa.

When Phoebe says goodbye to her babies on *Friends*:


She knew she would have to give them up all along, but this didn't make it any easier when the moment came.

It's hard not to cry when Phoebe looks at the babies and says, "well, if you're gonna cry," and then cries.

When Marshall's dad dies on *How I Met Your Mother*:

YouTube | Jack Boyd

How can you not sob at this moment? First, there is a countdown throughout the episode, from 50 to 1, leading us to believe it's a pregnancy countdown for Lily.

Then, when the countdown reaches one, Lily tells Marshall the bad news — a moment that was delivered to the actor, Jason Segel, in a way that was not rehearsed so he could give a natural reaction.

When Will and Carlton face racial profiling on *The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air*:


With the Black Lives Matter Movement more prevalent than ever, this moment is especially difficult to watch.

During the season one episode, Will and Carlton were arrested for driving what the police believed to be a stolen vehicle. This caused Will to be convinced that the car was presumed stolen because they were black men.

When Dr. Cox loses three patients in one day on *Scrubs*:


This moment was the perfect example of how emotionally draining being a doctor can be.

After he lost his patients, he sank into an alcohol-fueled depression, because he could not deal with the loss.

When Homer is able to bond briefly with Lisa on *The Simpsons*:

Since Lisa is super smart, she hasn't always been able to bond with her dad.

This, however, all changed when Homer got a crayon stuck in his brain. Sadly, this moment was brief as it was removed and he became, well, dumb once again.

When Elena details her verbal sexual harassment experience on *One Day at a Time*:

This show is progressive in a lot of ways, and touches on a ton of complex and interesting issues.

But one of the best (and darkest) moments was when Elena opened up about a man who went too far with her.

When Monica and Chandler find out that they're unable to have kids on Friends*:


After months and months of trying to get pregnant, the couple's fertility issues came to a head when Monica was diagnosed as having a “hostile” cervical environment.

This was a sad moment for the characters. It also hit home with millions of couples who struggle with infertility.

When Howard's mom dies on *The Big Bang Theory*:


The character spent years jokingly wishing she would die so that he could live his life in peace. But when it actually happened, it wasn't a cause for celebration.

This moment was also heartbreaking since the actress died in real life.

When Chidi had to leave *The Good Place*:

Honestly, having to watch Eleanor and Chidi say goodbye to each other was probably one of the worst things on television in quite some time.

Especially for such a feel-good show like The Good Place.

When *Black-ish* discussed Black Lives Matter:


This show has never been shy dealing with tough topics, but when the Johnsons all watched a Black Lives Matter protest on TV and had a discussion about it, it brought tears to my eyes.

When Amy told Jake about her sexual harassment experience on *Brooklyn Nine-Nine*:

While B99 is one of the most successful modern comedy shows, they make sure that they talk about very real issues that people face.

This was one of those moments, in which Amy details her harassment to Jake in a very serious scene, leaving us all grabbing for tissues.

When ICE raided Cloud 9 on *Superstore*:


And don't forget, they even arrested Mateo.

This was definitely a shock to the viewers, as most people didn't expect the show to do something like this. But the writing was amazing and moved the viewers.

When Devi said something horrible to her mother on *Never Have I Ever*:


She told her mom that instead of her father dying, she wished it had been her mother.

Needless to say, this was a heartbreaking moment between parent and child. Thankfully, everything was okay in the end.

When Dudley and Arnold get molested in *Diff'rent Strokes*:

If you don't remember Mr. Horton, I envy you. This was probably one of the darkest moments in the entire show.

It's uncomfortable to watch, but it's also necessary, as it allowed a very important message to be told to both children and adults.

When Quagmire's sister gets abused in *Family Guy*:

Family Guy usually tackles issues with humor, but that was not the case in the episode where it follows Brenda who is in an abusive relationship.

Fans were definitely caught off guard by the serious way it approached the subject as, usually, the show keeps things light.

When Charles admitted that his father abused him on *Full House*:

What made this scene even worse was that he told it to Stephanie, who, as you can see, is shocked by the info.

It's always harder to watch a scene like this between two children vs a child and an adult.

When Shawn joined a cult on *Boy Meets World*:


In what was probably one of the most iconic episodes of the show, Shawn has to confront his idea of family, God, and his loneliness once he joins a cult and Mr. Turner ends up in a serious accident.

This show knows how to write emotional scenes.

When all the dinosaurs freeze in the finale of *Dinosaurs*.

Keep in mind, this is a show about talking puppet dinosaurs! Who would have thought this would happen!

Their entire planet collapses and they all die frozen. It's so freaking depressing.

When Maude Flanders dies in *The Simpsons*:

While The Simpsons knows how to write emotional scenes, when Ned Flanders' wife died, it was probably one of the worst moments.

Homer is actually very comforting to Ned, and Ned even curses God. It's a very sad but well-written episode.

When Mac dances on *It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia*:

Not only is the dance super emotional, but it happens after Mac comes out to his homophobic father.

The dance is his way of letting go and embracing his true self. It's truly beautiful.