10 Random Life Affirming Videos Guaranteed to Make You Weep the Big Fat Good Tears
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10 Random Life Affirming Videos Guaranteed to Make You Weep the Big Fat Good Tears

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | April 16, 2013 | Comments ()


It's a weird day here, as it often is when you're writing for a pop culture site the day after a tragedy. We're in an awkward position of wanting to acknowledge the events and talk about them (and TK's piece strikes the perfect note), as well as provide a space to get away from the events, escape from news coverage for a few moments, and read about something trivial, like movies, or television, or the fact that Justin Bieber wrote in the guestbook for the Anne Frank house that he hoped Frank would've been a "Belieber."

All of which is to say, I had no idea what write about today. Instead, I spent my time on YouTube, where I ended up challenging myself to find a video that would elicit tears. But not the super sad, OHMYGOD Sarah Mclaughlin PETA commercial tears or Blossom in Beaches bawl-your-face-off tears, but the happy, life affirming, wistful, or sweet tears brought on by hope and loss and sacrifice and the amazingness of people.

What I'm saying is, I put together a collection of videos designed to make you cry, damnit. And I fully goddamn guarantee that if you watch all ten of these, at least one of them will do the trick. Most of you won't make it past the first video because you are WEAK.


An Inspirational Commencement Speech from a Dying College Professor. If you don't have the time to watch all three and a half minutes, DO jump to around the 3:15 mark which will punch every goose bump on your body.

A Short Film About a Deaf-Mute Father Who Sacrifices Himself to Save His Daughter

Amy's Last Page

The Saddest Commercial Ever

Kirk Gibson's Walk Off Home Run to Win the 1988 World Series

Matt Dances Around the World, 2012 Edition

The Most Amazing Marriage Proposal In the History of All Time

A Marine Surprises Her Sister by Returning from Afghanistan for Her Graduation

Ben's Funeral Scene from "Scrubs"

Mr. Rogers Signing Off of "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" for the Last Time

5 Shows After Dark 4/16/13 | 10 Retroactively Awesome Cameos and Supporting Roles

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • SDA

    Take a look at the late Yasmin Ahmad;s Meaningful Ads.


  • SDA
  • TrickyHD

    Figured, bah, you won't get me to cry...even wanted to punch the daughter in the face with the deaf mute father...then..."The Most Amazing Marriage Proposal..." got me smiling/weeping a bit...then..."A Marine..." and "Ben's Funeral..." and I weeped, a good weep. Sometimes you need to let it out.

  • Trixie

    Leigh, the free hugs one slayed me. I wanna give free hugs now!

  • Kobie

    At the risk of repeating someone here, Gibson's HR did not win the 1988 World Series. It won GAME ONE of the 1988 World Series.

  • Amanda47

    Cry and Smile over 15 minutes: http://youtu.be/KSE1Mtnnm4Y (Hint: Jim Henson)

  • kimk

    When the puppeteers in character sing "Just one person" at the end.. gah. The whole service is just so sad but also uplifting - Big Bird singing "Being Green" is also something I can't get through without crying.

  • APOCooter

    Randy Pausch makes me lose it every freaking time.

  • What is it about Mr. Rogers that makes me cry every frakkin' time? I'm not kidding, I can't watch an episode without breaking down.

  • PerpetualIntern

    Because he's home. And comfort. And love. And he makes us feel safe.

  • Jim Slemaker

    You know what video makes me cry? It's the one of the Boston police officers and the US Army soldiers running TO the explosion sight.

  • brite59

    " ...and invariably, we end our little time together with a hug" If this isn't what human existence is about, then we are truly,truly lost.

  • himonoonna

    You HAD to break out the Thai life insurance commercials? My daughter and I spent an entire afternoon once watching them over and over. We watched Alien that night, and it seemed light by comparison.

    Seriously, I use those things in my college composition classes to teach pathos. No faster way to lighten the roll before add/drop period ends.

  • Mr. Rodgers just broke me. I was okay, a little teary, but that man gets me every time. I'll just be sitting here weeping if anyone needs a hug today.

  • habshockeygrl

    The one that makes me weep every time is Bjork at the end of Dancer in the Dark

  • BWeaves

    I was convinced that short film about the deaf dad was going to become a Pantene commercial like the one about the deaf violinist, and then I was going to be really pissed off and cry.

  • Aratweth

    If you're looking for the weepy commercial fuzzies, also check out this incredibly moving traffic safety commercial put out in Sussex, England, of all places. Completely inspired and effective...gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME.


    If you're looking for more sports jump-out-of -your-chair-cheering-at-your-cubicle fuzzies, a personal favorite was a mashup of the world's soccer fans' reaction to the Hail Mary kick from the 2010 US team. The video has the "Rudy" these as the soundtrack, and IT WILL GUT YOU.


  • rocklacasa

    For anyone that has ever been bullied, this is my go to tearjerker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?f...

  • LOVE that one!

  • Leigh

    Crap. The marriage proposal one makes me cry every darn time.
    I also like this one, "Free Hugs":

  • the other courtney

    My kid just asked me what I was watching. Perplexed, she asked why I would watch something that would make me cry. I tried to explain, resigned myself to accept that I didn't do a very good job.

    "Oh. So it's like when you have a lot of things in your heart and you need one thing to let them all out so they don't crash into each other in there."

    Yes. And then I cried harder.

  • the other courtney

    Thanks everyone - her comment stunned me and serves as a reminder that I should never underestimate what/how children perceive and internalize things we presume are too complex. Turns out something I couldn't define was very, very obvious.

  • zeke_the_pig

    zeke never liked kids. zeke suddenly understands why people do. That's an amazing one you got there.

  • PDamian

    Some of the videos made me smile, but no tears ... and then I read your kid's comment. That's some good parentin', there. Thanks for writing and telling us about it.

  • Why do we call it parenting when we take little people, who can express the inexpressible with such simple clarity, and make them into grownups who not only lose that ability, but become cultured attuned to suppress greatness?

    While it's getting to be a pile-on situation, a good day among the Pajiba community. Hugs all-around, and TK, you were brilliant at an early hour; don't sell yourself short. Just imagine you inspired this kid's profound moment.

  • PerpetualIntern

    Well, crap. I didn't watch the video because I didn't want to cry at work, and then your brilliant child's comment made me just completely lose it.

  • TK

    I should've let your kid write my article. That's goddamn brilliant.

  • Jerce

    You have a really smart kid.

  • Tinkerville

    Actually I think that's a great explanation.

  • I dare not watch these at work, because I HATE when people wander into my office and I'm sniffling into a tissue, and I have to try and explain why I'm crying over a puppy. I will say that reading THE FUCKIN' TITLES of some of these caused a few tears to seep out. Damn you, Rowles, you beautiful bastard.

  • If I had to verbally comment, this wouldn't even be close to coherent. I just stumbled over here from the DMV website after completing the final papers releasing my very first car, my big ol' fifteen year old tank, travel buddy, and probably biggest non-factory contributor to this city's air pollution (if we're being totally honest with ourselves here), to the salvage company that took him on Friday. I put off finalizing things as long as possible. Yesterday, I woke up dreading that task, and then, after everything else that happened, it seemed both very small in the grand scheme of things and too impossibly huge to tackle immediately. I just did nothing for the remainder of the day other than chat on the phone with my mom about our respective pets for a solid hour and then watch a bunch of dog videos, with my dogs.

    I've thus far watched Kirk Gibson and Mr. Rogers. I'm so glad I sprang for the good tissues yesterday. Fuck those 100% recycled tissues from last week. They are not nice to faces.

    I want to tell the rest of today to screw off and just cuddle and sob with all of you. Ice cream and e-hugs and for everybody!

  • b

    oh lawds, okay. yeah. i sympathize on letting go of a 15-year old travel buddy of a car. i had to do that a couple of years ago, and it still hurts me to this day. his name was hawthorne, he was a 1997 toyota avalon with nearly 200,000 miles, a ton of ill-advised bumper stickers, and he went to a young mother for barely enough to buy scrap metal.

    ...this had nothing to do with the content of this post, but my stupid linux browser won't play videos so i can't get in with the crying, but i'm pmsing anyway, so, yeah.

  • Mine was named Alvin. He was a '98 Dodge Caravan with just over 240,000 miles and his original transmission fully intact, until it gave out last week. He got me and my best friend across the U.S., towing a U-haul loaded down with all our earthly possessions. The last day of that trip we went from 120+ degree desert to 100+ degree mountains, passing legions of overheating shiny new looking cars, never slowing down. To top it off, we later found out the back brake pads he'd had installed before the trip were somehow backwards and the old front brakes were working at, oh, about 40% capacity. That was four years and 20,000 miles ago (after he'd already slogged through half a decade as a commuter vehicle and half a decade as the sole source of transportation for about a dozen college kids). He was a BAMF.

  • pxilated

    Even watching those on mute (at work), I've been through many tissues.

  • Jakesalterego

    I had to stop 2 minutes into the short film, as I am dangerously close to wailing at work.

  • prairiegirl

    I haven't watched a video yet but I'm already crying at the thought of the Mr. Rogers video. Excuse me as a go grab a box of tissues. Commencing video watching shortly.

  • loganbowes

    Everyone always points to Ben's funeral as the saddest Scrubs scene. I happen to think it's this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • Scrubs had so many damn heart-wrenching scenes. I never understood how it was capable of being so joyfully funny and yet so very sad at the same time. That scene of Dr. Cox breaking down really did get to me because it was like watching someone you loved and respected lose it. What's harder than watching our heroes stumble?

  • Sherry

    I refuse to watch. Already brought to my knees by the Ben's funeral clip, damn it.

  • JH

    This is the one that gets me from Scrubs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

  • You bastard. I couldn't resist. That scene... ack.

  • I was an eight year old Oakland A's fan, and no woman has ever broken my heart as thoroughly as Kirk Gibson. It was the first time sports stabbed me in the gut.

  • simplysarah

    Ok, I didn't even WATCH any of the videos and this article made me tear up. I give up.

  • Me too.

  • Django

    Those surprise homecoming videos. Every goddamn time.

  • Wembley

    I don't like them, especially when it's kids. You don't think they worry? That they are terrified of what might happen. That they bottle it up in order to "be Brave" or "Be the man of the house" to "take care of mommy/daddy for me"? Kids understand it, on some level at least, that their loved one might never come back. And instead of letting them know your safe, as soon as you are safe, you prolong their fear, their worry a few days (or more), in order to make an entrance (like you're fucking Kim Kardashian (or any other self-centered nitwit).

  • Django

    Hadn't really thought of that, and don't intend to disregard or disrespect that experience. Have been fortunate to not experience it myself, so I could use the perspective broadening.


  • Mrs. Pilot

    I absolutely agree. How many hours and possibly days does a family wait for the "big set up" to happen. My husband has done 9 tours and not one time have we discussed surprising the kids at school, vacation, etc...when he'd returned. Our family being together is more important then a viral video and a interview on The Talk.

  • NateMan

    You and me both. Jesus.

  • Ted Zancha

    WHAT THE HELL GUYS! Why are you actively trying to turn me into a weeping mess at work every week?

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