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12 Science Fiction TV Scenes That Upset Fans The Most

Maybe it means we're a little self-loathing, but we TV fans love an upsetting moment. From scenes that make us boil with rage to those that make us ugly cry into our pillows, there are plenty of ways our favorite shows have made us upset over the years. When it comes to the genre of sci-fi, pretty much everything possible or impossible is on the table. Often said to inspire a sense of wonder, sci-fi TV shows can deliver a punch to the gut we never recover from.

From unsuccessful attempts to fight off Daleks in "Doctor Who" to emotional reunions in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," sci-fi TV gives us plenty of classic and contemporary moments that stir up emotions. Boldly going where other stories can't, shows like "Misfits," "Rick & Morty," and "Orphan Black" sneak upsetting scenes on us when we're least expecting it, making the drama all the more difficult to deal with. Got a tissue ready? Here are 12 times science fiction TV made us the most upset.

Spoilers ahead for "Stranger Things," "Misfits," "The Umbrella Academy" and other shows.

The Doctor and Rose say goodbye

The regeneration episodes of "Doctor Who" always provide a harrowing goodbye worth having a good weep over, but none have touched the nerve of a fanbase quite like the Tenth Doctor's farewell with Rose Tyler. Often considered one of the best "Doctor Who" companions of all time, Rose's time-travel journey came to an end in the second series of the "Doctor Who" relaunch. In the 2006 episode "Doomsday," the Doctor and Rose are seen hanging on for dear life after the Cybermen break through a fracture in the universe. After a prolonged fight against the scary metal men, plus the Daleks, Rose falls through the fracture and is separated from the Doctor forever. Cue the tissues.

It's not until their final moments together that the true heartbreak reveals itself. The Doctor manages to send an image of himself to visit Rose on a beach, in true romantic style. The pair exchange teary goodbyes, with the Doctor vanishing before sharing his parting words. SFX Magazine voted this scene as the greatest sci-fi moment of all time back in 2014, with fans deeply moved by the duo's painful goodbyes. Addressing the episode 10 years later, director Graeme Harper said, "Just as he starts to fade away from this dimension never quite able to get the words 'I love you!' out, he disappears completely, leaving a devastated Rose — and breaking all our hearts on her behalf."

Lexa's death on The 100

Dedicated fans might have a difficult time dealing with any character's death, but when their demise comes completely out of the blue, the fallout can be unbearable. Such was the case for the Season 3 death of Lexa in The CW sci-fi series "The 100." After being hit by a stray bullet, Lexa loses too much blood and dies shortly after. As Clarke happens to be The CW's first officially openly bisexual main character, the decision to kill off the first woman audiences see her have a relationship with was immediately questioned by viewers. As noted by Culturess, LGBTQIA+ characters tend to bear the brunt of unnecessary on-screen death, and many fans felt Lexa was just another victim.

In fact, the fan reaction became so volatile that "The 100" bosses had to officially apologize. As reported by E! Online, executive producer Jason Rothenberg second-guessed his decision in an open letter to fans. "Their relationship held greater importance than even I realized. And that very important representation was taken away by one stray bullet." It's a scathing mark on an otherwise successful show.

Vecna possibly kills Max

It might have reignited the world's love for Kate Bush, but Max and Vecna's standoff was enough to make any "Stranger Things" fan hold their breath. After the suspense of Max escaping Vecna's clutches at the end of "Volume One," the final episode of Season 4 proved to be another punch to the gut for fans of the show. Choosing to offer herself up as bait to distract Vecna for long enough for his physical body to be killed, Max's second pass at levitation ends in snapping limbs and blood streaming from her eyes. That description is haunting enough without adding the shock of watching a fan favorite fall at the final hurdle. The episode offers lots of emotion, but very few answers. 

Even though the second part of Season 4 has since wrapped up, fans are still mulling the scene over in great detail. Some fans have stated that Sadie Sink herself deserved better, while several fan theories speculate on what the Duffer Brothers might have in store next. What's more, Redditors believe that this could only be the start of Max's problems, fueling rumors about Season 5.

Buffy kills Angel

It's an age-old tale — a vampire falls for a sweet vampire slayer, and the vampire slayer has to kill the vampire in an unsettling surprise. In "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Season 2, Angel reverts back into his evil persona of Angelus. One thing leads to another, and his soul is restored, which turns him back into the benevolent Angel ... just in time for Buffy to have to kill him in order to close a hell dimension and save the world. Throughout the show, Buffy has to make a lot of noble scarifies to save the world. It's kind of her thing.  

Their final farewell (for the time being) is just as heartbreaking as you would expect, with some fans still considering the scene as one of the show's most emotional. In the seconds before Angel's death, Buffy is heard to say "close your eyes" before pushing him into hell, left in tears while trying to process what she has had to do. Even Shakespeare couldn't write teen drama as hard-hitting as this, with the show once described as an "education in how to write romance." 

Wanda realizes Vision isn't real

In the finale of Marvel's TV sensation "WandaVision," the tables turn for a superhero people may have started to feel contempt for. Throughout the show's standalone season, Wanda uses her Scarlet Witch powers to take an entire town hostage to create the normal life she has always dreamed of. Wanda turns from a celebrated Avenger to a selfish villain. Considering the traumas she's been through by this point in her story — in chronological order: the death of her parents, her brother, and her android boyfriend on separate occasions — perhaps we shouldn't judge Wanda too harshly, but even Agatha Harkness pales in comparison when it comes to conniving plans that hurt many people. Wanda realizes how far over the edge she's gone in Episode 8, "Previously On," which includes a flashback of Vision delivering his now-famous "Love Preserving" speech. 

As mentioned in Vulture, this is the episode when Wanda begins to see how dangerous she really can be. Fans quickly took to social media to express their heartbreak and emotion after the episode aired, with Wanda's realization connecting with the lies told by SWORD head honcho Tyler Hayward. It's a lot to take in for any dedicated fan, but the sadness might just be worth the payoff. Fans commented that Wanda could now perhaps be seen as one of the strongest Avengers in the MCU, giving her an emotional turning point that's both flawed and human.

Neelix leaves on Star Trek: Voyager

When a franchise is as big and beloved as "Star Trek," taking big swings can make or break the reputation of an individual series. In Episode 23 of Season 7, "Star Trek: Voyager" loses a valuable member of its crew. After finding a colony of Talaxians that he wishes to help, Neelix develops feelings for Talaxian Dexa and her son Brax, feeling conflicted after he finishes his mission. While his decision to leave isn't much to shed a tear over by itself, his departure is full of emotion. With his fellow crew members lining the ship's hallways to see him off, Neelix leaves the Voyager with a trembling lip and a sense of hope for his newfound romance. Having never been a Starfleet officer himself, fans were left unsure what kind of farewell Neelix would get, and the answer was positively emotional. 

Fans have since commended the episode for doing right by both Neelix and the show itself. Avid Trekkies have questioned why he had to choose between romance and the Voyager in the first place, with fans divided on whether Neelix should have been able to stay. "We often said, 'What would happen if Neelix ran into Talaxians and had to make a decision?' I said very early on in the season, the only way I would do that story was if Neelix left." executive producer Kenneth Biller told Cinescape at the time.

Ben Hargreeves sacrifices himself

Preventing the end of the world is no light feat, and sometimes ultimate sacrifices become necessary. In "The Umbrella Academy" Season 2's "743," ghostly Ben leaves the comfort of his spiritual world behind by using the last of his energy to have a heart-to-heart with Victor. While each of the siblings use their best efforts to push forward, it's left up to the only non-living human of the bunch to save the day. The pair have one last emotional farewell before Ben disappears into glimmering blue lights. His absence from "The Umbrella Academy" had a noticeable impact on the group, with fans acknowledging that it might have simply been his time to move on.

Though the death of Ben's ghost is emotional, the continued fan speculation about his original death is pretty confusing. It is later explained to be linked to what's become known as the "Jennifer Incident," though some viewers are not convinced. 

M.K.'s death on Orphan Black

While some might feel the world could never have too many versions of Tatiana Maslany, the creative team behind "Orphan Black" thought there should be some limits. In Episode 2 of Season 5, the skittish M.K. meets a violent end when Ferdinand literally stamps the life out of her after learning she's posed as her sister Rachel. Figuring he can take on two birds with one stone, Ferdinand justifies her death as punishment for stealing his money, and it provides him with the chance to take out his anger towards Rachel at the same time. Fans note that M.K.'s death is made even more emotional by the fact she willingly gave herself up for her fellow clone-siblings after initially coming off as elusive and hesitant to get involved.

The real kicker? M.K. is just starting to integrate with her cloned sisters. It takes a while for the sickly M.K. to get there, with Sarah remarking, "You're one of us now" moments before her death. With fans clearly unsettled, "Orphan Black" creators were quick to defend their decision, citing that "nobody is safe" when it comes to the fate of the clones. Ouch.

Rick mourns Tony

You might be surprised to see Rick, and not Morty appear in this list. Sure, Morty has his fair share of tear-jerking moments. Living out an entire relationship, as well as a harrowing plane crash, before watching it erased by an accidental timeline reset was soul-crushing for him, although many fans laughed and saw the humorous side. Yet it's Rick that delivers a gut punch when he finds out his stranger-turned-nemesis Tony the toilet guy has died. In the episode "The Old Man and the Seat," we see Rick's idea of a private toilet heaven interrupted on by an outsider. Intent on making him pay, Rick goes above and beyond to take his revenge, only for Tony to show him nothing but kindness.

Seeing such a sweet and polite character last for mere minutes on screen feels like a difficult watch in itself, but it's Rick's sudden emotional compass that really clinches this as an upsetting moment for fans. As Redditor therealhoboyobo explains, Rick has always wanted connections that mean something but sees this as a weak part of his personality. In true Rick style, the friendship that never was still makes him more bitter than compassionate. 

Picard and Jenice meet

In a relatively unexpected move, the sensibility of "Casablanca" crossed over into the 1988 hit "Star Trek: The Next Generation." This specific episode's existence is somewhat upsetting to fans, as it maintains a meager average score of 6.5 on IMDb. Even while the contents of "We'll Always Have Paris" failed to impress, its final moment pulls at the heartstrings. Fans learn that Picard and his ex Jenice were originally supposed to meet at the Parisian Café des Artistes in 2342, but Picard never showed. Consumed with life on the ship rather than his romantic relationship with Jenice, Picard opts to part ways and the two fail to track each other down.

The emotional kicker comes when Picard and Jenice finally get to have their reunion. The pair's chance to say goodbye feels bittersweet, as some fans suggest Picard isn't made out to be a great guy after all. Redditors do agree that putting this relationship to bed is charming, and takes an emotional look at what happens when things don't work out the way you hoped they would.

Sam sees Dean with a new family

As far as "Supernatural" goes, "Swan Song" is an episode that sets fans' emotional pulses racing. In the finale of "Supernatural" Season 5, Sam is assumed to have returned from hell to see something he never wanted to — a domesticated Dean. The buildup to Sam's realization is deadly, with Lucifer already claiming the lives of Castiel and Bobby. While Sam offers his body as a vessel, Dean finds himself returning to Lisa. The heartbreaking final scene shows Sam standing outside Lisa's home, watching the happy family have dinner as if nothing had happened.

Emotions were already high before the final scene aired, with Redditors commenting on the rollercoaster of feelings between Sam and Dean in the fight to win back control. Yet the final moments cause a different kind of upset, almost acting as a letdown to what came before. Even while Dean assumed he was fulfilling Sam's wishes of granting him a normal life, the Winchester boys getting domesticated goes completely against their hunting nature. Even so, some agree that it provides a perfectly teary ending.

Alisha's death on Misfits

When it came to its Season 3 ending, "Misfits" decided to go out with a bang. One of the many catastrophic fallouts in the episode is the death of Alisha in an instance of terrible timing. Alisha happens to walk in on an undead Rachel in the midst of a revenge-oriented knife attack on the Misfits. Rachel slashes Alisha's throat, and she bleeds out in Simon's arms. Back when it first aired in 2011, Alisha's death made fans sob into their sofa cushions. There has been plenty of fan debate over which death in "Misfits" was truly the saddest, and Alisha's often comes out on top.

According to Redditor chocolate_bear92, Alisha's death is so sad because of its layers. Future Simon likely knows what would end up happening to her, and that means their relationship is stuck in an infinite loop. The rest of the gang's reaction is difficult to watch, with each of them functionally powerless and unable to fix the situation. Regardless of popular opinion, Alisha's murder is inarguably cold and callous, and could have easily been prevented if she was in the right place at the right time.