Top Ten: Times Joss Made Me Cry

And not the good kind of crying, either. This is a list of ways Joss Whedon broke my heart. But he’s so damn good at it, I can’t help but love him. Not a single tear went to waste, though. Like he says, he gives us what we need, not what we want.



Top Ten Eleven Times Joss Whedon Made Me Cry with Sadness

  1. Why can’t I stay? Oh gods. I can’t even think about Fred’s death without tearing up; why did I think I could write this list?
  2. Willow and Tara breaking up– Any time “Goodbye to You” plays when I’m in a department store or grocery store, I am a bawling mess
  3. Agent Coulson– Not only was it death, it was beautiful, heroic manipulation for the greater good. I hate that I love it so much
  4. Dr. Horrible’s induction– Dr. Horrible needed a kill to get into the ELE and it’s Joss, so how did I not see it coming? And how is it that him achieving his dream and losing his love all at once makes me cry even after seeing it a hundred times?
  5. Buffy’s gift– I cry the most when I think of other people’s losses. Seeing everyone crying, especially Spike, makes me lose it
  6. Tara– hopes up and then back down, just like that. And down really, really, really low
  7. Wes bleeding out alone– he just thought he was doing what was right, trying to save Angel’s son, and look what it got him. Plus, the emotion Angel has when he tries to kill him in the hospital…
  8. Am I done?– Cordy watching Doyle’s foreboding video message always makes me cry, especially considering Glenn Quinn’s struggles and death IRL
  9. Kitty Pryde– WHAT? I mean… WHAT? I’m still working through the stages of grief on this one
  10. Wes– Not only because Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was my favorite character in the show but having him die in Fred!Ilyria’s arms as he goes literally kills me (luckily, I’m a cat and have 9 lives, so I have to be careful how many times I watch the end of Angel). Only in a Joss Whedon show could you have two characters die in each other’s arms half a season apart and pack both deaths full of so many layers of emotion, love, regret, and bravery
  11. A leaf on the wind– When someone yells “Damn you, Joss!” out loud during CSTS, I laugh through my tears, but I always cry. This one hit me so hard. It was so painfully sudden and surprising and happened to such a great character.

You might have noticed Joyce isn’t on this list. I can’t remember crying over her death. I just remember being absolutely shocked. Because she’d been through so much and was getting better. That sudden kind of death for no apparent reason just doesn’t happen in TVLand! Of course, it took me a few episodes to realize that of course there was a reason. It’s Joss. There’s always a reason.

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21 Responses
  1. Ali says:

    Anya – every time! So quick and unceremonious the perfect character arc from self preserving selfish to selfless!

    • KateKintail says:

      I don’t think I cried over Anya. I honestly really can’t remember. But I know I was crying for the whole end of the episode and she was part of that; I think I probably felt more shocked than anything else. I wish I could remember! She was never my fave, but I liked her arc a lot and I know I felt for Xander when she died. There’s a fic I love where Spike & Xander meet up post-Angel and toast to those they’d lost. I always remember that scene because they both feel Anya’s loss.

  2. Travis Bickle says:

    Joss Whedon made me cry just last week. But it wasn’t him, it was an emissary. It was a sweet Russian woman who was one of the few people The Daily Show could actually find who was protesting the treatment of gays in the country. If you don’t want to watch the whole clip, skip to 5:27. If her quote from Angel doesn’t have you tearing up, then you’re made of stone!—behind-the-iron-closet

    • KateKintail says:

      Awwwwwwww I definitely watched the whole thing; of course I did!

      That woman quoting Angel was adorable and sweet and I definitely teared up! But I did laugh through a few parts. And I’m now wondering what I’m missing by not having the sex with the table…

      Also I’m happy to know I’m not the only person in the world who takes random quotes from shows and adds them to her personal philosophy πŸ™‚

  3. Raked says:

    Great list, though, regarding Joyce’s death, I will say that Anya’s speech during “The Body” does always get me.

    But man, just READING your mention of Doyle’s death and video made me tear up. Now I want to go watch that episode…except I’d be sad for the rest of the day!

    You’ve now inspired me to think about my own list.

    • KateKintail says:

      Okay, yes. Anya’s reaction/speech… I had forgotten that. A week ago I turned on the tv and it was that ep of Buffy, just as she walks in. How is that for bad timing? I turn it on just as Buffy walks in and finds her mother. And I thought about this list I’d already scheduled. But, man, what a terrible thing to just turn on the tv and see.

      Poor Doyle. I liked the way he was “used” in the final season, too, to manipulate Angel a bit emotionally. But that video always kills me.

      If you post your own list of any sort, be sure to let me know!

  4. Natalia says:

    Try Joyce again once you have lost a parent yourself. I did. It’s #1 now.

  5. Robyn says:

    My Joss Whedon affirmation mantra,
    “Oh, I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!
    Do it again! Do it again! Do it again!”

    >> Only in a Joss Whedon show could you have two characters
    >> die in each other’s arms half a season apart and pack both deaths
    >> full of so many layers of emotion, love, regret, and bravery.

    YES ! ! ! (although ummm . . . , not really)

    Xena: Warrior Princess
    “Destiny” and “One Against an Army”

    If you loved “A Hole in the World” and “Not Fade Away” from “Angel”
    Watch enough episodes to get invested in the characters and then watch the two episodes suggested. They have the same tearing your heart from your body and squeezing life’s blood from your soul of the best Angel and Buffy hurt/comfort episodes.

    • KateKintail says:

      Good to know. I watched Xena about halfway through when it originally aired. I can’t remember why I stopped watching, but probably the reason was college (as I didn’t have a TV for 2 years and by then I’d fallen behind). One day I hope to watch it through fully and will watch out for those episodes.

  6. Aitchbee says:

    Re (6): I had noticed that Amber Benson’s name appeared in the opening credits for the first time and thought “Oh, good, she’s a regular now”. I should have known.

    • KateKintail says:

      Ah! I don’t think I’d noticed the first time.

      *shakes fist* He’s so tricky. He so brilliantly knows how to manipulate our emotions.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Not sure what the Kitty Pryde reference is to. But I agree with everything else on your list, wholeheartedly.

  8. Anna Granfors says:

    I read this article just yesterday via the link from Whedonesque, and pretty much agree down the line. Though the “Willow and Tara” one made me think “that’s odd…I’ve never heard ‘Goodbye To You’ except during that episode.”

    So I’m in my local supermarket today, in a kind of depressed mood anyway, and turning into the snacks/chips aisle to get some fatty anti-depressant or other, what comes on? You guessed it…and sure enough, I’m sniffling and trying hard to keep the tears in, while happy shoppers are passing by wondering “what the hell’s wrong with this crazy woman”. I kept it together long enough to check out, then climbed into the car and let loose.

    The bag of fatty anti-depressant is history now, and helped…a little.

    • KateKintail says:

      Awwwwww! *hands tissues* I love when songs so perfectly capture a moment in a show/movie… but sometimes it’s a moment that reduces me to tears. Good for you for holding it together that long!

  9. Amanda says:

    I keep meaning to make one of these lists myself, but I agree with everything you listed. Except I did totally cry over Joyce’s death. With Tara, though I missed her terribly, I never cried because I felt too much shock in the moment of her death. It’s Willow’s reactions later on that make me tear up.

    But like you, I love Joss for every single tear – even as I’m cursing his name.

    • KateKintail says:

      If you make a list, be sure to put the link here; I’d love to read it (though I’ll probably cry all over again). Interesting that our reactions were the opposite of each other for Joyce’s and Tara’s deaths.

      I was at a Harry Potter meetup on Saturday talking Buffy with some friends and one compared Tara to a brick (actually, he referred to her as “The Brick”) and said he wasn’t sad at all at her death. It was a knife in my heart!

      It’s definitely Jossmagic, making us feel so deeply, hurting us, and making us still love him. Actually, it suddenly sounds like an abusive relationship LOL

      • Amanda says:

        If I make that list I’ll definitely share it. Thanks!

        I can’t believe someone said that about Tara! *gasp* Of course, maybe I’m not the best judge of character. I’m one of the few Buffy fans who actually likes Dawn. πŸ˜‰

        • KateKintail says:

          W00t! I LIKE DAWN TOO!

          She definitely has her moments of annoying behavior… but that was the point, as Buffy’s kid sister. She was as complex a character as you can get. I really liked her role in the show (even if her entrance made me think I’d missed an episode or something).

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