10 Unexpected Sitcom Scenes That Made Us Bawl Our Eyes Out

The greatest trick comedy ever pulled was breaking our hearts.

If you watch a moving episode of a drama, it's usually fairly easy to deal with; writers tend to build up to these things, signpost the tragedy along the way, and then watch you turn into a wreck come the credits. Sitcoms have different rules when it comes to crying though; they catch you off-guard because they're simply not there to make you cry and the result is often increased because of that. They over-riding agenda, of course is to do the opposite, obviously. And bearing in mind that, a lot of the time, there's not all that much difference between the poignant and the completely ridiculous, it can be difficult to guess when writers are going to pull out a tearjerker. But which are the most devastatingly sad moments of sitcom history? To answer that particular query, we've put together ten scenes that reduced us to quivering, crying messes, and which crucially, we didn't even see coming...

10. Holmes Has Dementia - That Mitchell & Webb Look

Strictly speaking, That Mitchell and Webb Look is not a sitcom but a sketch show, though the format did owe a lot to the comic expectations attached to the sitcom format. And ignoring the trifles of semantics, one of comedy's most touching moments was created in the dying embers of the show, and it deserves talking about. The very last sketch between the pair revolves around Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, who are now elderly, and the latter visits the former, who is now in a home with dementia. The comedy comes from Mitchell's Holmes who's both racist and clumsy; Inspector Lestrade visits with a case for Holmes, realises what's happened, and shortly leaves. So far, so conventional. But then when it's just the pair of them, Holmes tells Watson, "I know, John. I do know. I can't get the fog to clear." Robert Webb tears up. Mitchell stares into the distance, and then he calls for a nurse. That's the end of the series, and they haven't made a single sketch since. And what a place to leave it.

Mark White hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.