The Golden Girls may be known for its humor and witty social commentary, but the show's seven seasons were also full of some heartbreaking moments as well.
Grab some tissues and keep reading to see which 10 episodes made us all cry into our cheesecake.
10 Big Daddy's Death
Season 5, Episode 21 'Ebbtide'
Season 5 opens with Blanche proudly announcing to anyone who will listen that she has been crowned the queen of Miami's Citrus Festival Ball. In her excitement, she rushes through a phone call with her father, Big Daddy — unaware that it would be her last. She soon learns from her sister that Big Daddy has passed away.
At the end of the episode, Blanche stands beside both her mother and father's graves, telling them to take care of one another. She then turns to Dorothy and says, "I'm nobody's little girl anymore."
9 Dorothy's Pupil is Deported
Season 2, Episode 21 'Dorothy's Prized Pupil'
After Dorothy secretly enters a student she has been tutoring — Mario — into an essay contest, she is delighted to tell him that he won. His essay on what it truly means to be an American was a huge hit. So huge that the article about his essay award in the newspaper alerted the authorities that he was in the country illegally. After spending the episode working with Mario to try to keep him in the country, Dorothy ultimately proves unsuccessful.
The most heartbreaking scene comes towards the end of the episode when Dorothy reads an excerpt from Mario's essay: "Being in America feels like you're always among friends."
8 Phil's Death
Season 6, Episode 12 'Ebbtide's Revenge'
Throughout the series, there are a lot of jokes at Sophia's off-screen son, Phil's, expense. That's why it comes as a shock when he passes away suddenly in season six. Most of the episode focuses on Dorothy's struggle to write a eulogy for her brother and Sophia's ongoing battle with Phil's now-widow.
The episode ends with Sophia — normally a nonstop show of wit and humor — falling apart, sobbing, saying that "her baby is gone."
7 Sophia's Friend's Near-Suicide
Season 5, Episode 7 'Not Another Monday'
In a particularly heavy episode, Sophia learns that her close friend Martha plans to kill herself — and she wants Sophia to be there when she does it. Martha tells Sophia she is tired of suffering, both mentally and physically, and that Sophia is fortunate to be surrounded by loved ones. Much of the episode centers on Sophia struggling to decide what she should do.
Sophia shows up at Martha's on the night she plans to end her life and they have a conversation about the way they met. They were both in the hospital having different surgeries. Sophia urges Martha to recount the events of that day. "I hated that place," Martha says. Sophia talks Martha out of her decision by reminding her they were both afraid to die at the hospital that day. "I remember," Martha says. "Remember better," Sophia continues. "Remember life."
6 Blanche's Old Fashioned Romance
Season 7, Episode 16 'The Commitments'
After Dorothy meets (and falls for) a Beatles impersonator, Blanche agrees to take Dorothy's place for a previously scheduled blind date. Blanche is instantly attracted to the man and begins going through the typical Blanche Devereaux motions to get him into bed — but for the first time, none of it is working.
After spending the entirety of the episode trying to get her new boyfriend to kiss her, he tells Blanche that he would prefer an "old fashioned romance" instead. At the end of the conversation, he kisses her sweetly before leaving. When a stunned Blanche is later telling Rose what happened, Rose asks "Take things slowly? An old fashioned romance? How does all of this make you feel?" "Like a lady," Blanche says.
5 Dorothy's Illness
Season 5, Episodes 1 and 2 'Sick and Tired'
The first two episodes of season five found Dorothy severely sick, tired, and hopeless. She is confident that something is wrong with her, but her test results continue to come back fine. Doctors dismiss her as either old, crazy, or both. After flying from Miami to New York and being humiliated by yet another doctor, the ever-fearless Dorothy falls apart. "Maybe they're right, all those doctors. Maybe I am crazy," she tells Rose, who replies, "You're not crazy, honey, you're sick."
Although Dorothy is proven right by the end of the episode and finds she does have an illness, it's difficult to watch as doctors continue to ignore her cries for help.
4 Rose's First Birthday After Charlie's Death
Season 2, Episode 25 'A Piece of Cake'
'A Piece of Cake' centers on the girls exchanging stories of past birthday adventures. Most of these stories — like Dorothy being forced to spend her birthday a part of Mr. HaHa's Birthday Roundup — are funny and lighthearted.
Rose's birthday story is less amusing. She tells the girls about the first birthday she spent alone in St. Olaf after her husband, Charlie, passed away. In the flashback, we see Rose sitting at her kitchen table, alone, preparing to slice into a birthday cake that she has "surprised" herself with. She talks to Charlie, although he isn't there, explaining her plans to move to Miami. She maintains her optimistic composure until the very end when it's time to decide who gets the buttercream rose from the cake. Her voice cracks as she says "I love you, Charlie. I miss you."
3 Blanche and Sophia's Spiritual Encounters
Season 7, Episode 11 'Room Seven'
Room Seven is a two-for-one special on pulled heartstrings. The episode begins with Blanche learning that her grandmother's plantation is being torn down. Soon after, Sophia begins choking to death and passes out, where she gets to see her husband Sal "on the other side." After she regains consciousness, she tells Dorothy what happened. Dorothy doesn't believe her.
The girls travel to Blanche's childhood home, where viewers get to see a glimpse into Blanche's former life. The episode captures what it feels like to grow older and lose those important parts of childhood. Between Dorothy's face when she realizes her mother was telling the truth and Blanche's tear-filled goodbye to her grandmother's home, 'Room Seven' packs a punch.
2 Blanche Gets to Hug George
Season 6, Episode 9 'Mrs. George Devereaux'
In season six, we learn that Blanche has a recurring dream: her husband George comes back into her life, announcing his death was staged, and the two fall in love all over again. However, she always wakes up from her dream just before she gets to hug George one last time.
The entire episode plays out as if the viewer were inside Blanche's dream. We get to meet George and watch as he and Blanche reunite. At the end of the episode, Blanche finally gets to hug him again, just before waking up.
1 The Final Goodbye
Season 7, Episodes 25 and 26 v 'One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest'
Without a doubt, the saddest episode of The Golden Girls is the two-part series finale, when Dorothy marries Lucas and moves out of the girls' beloved Miami home. Many of the tears shared among the group were real; they were saying goodbye to more than just Dorothy. This episode was goodbye to The Golden Girls, to each other, and to seven seasons of what became a decade-defining television show. The finale is full of tear-jerking moments, but one speech rises to the top. During the final goodbye, Rose says:
"What can you say about seven years of fights and laughter, secrets, cheesecake? . . . Dorothy, is this goodbye?” Dorothy turns to them one last time, nodding. "I love you, always. You're angels, all of you."