18 of the Darkest Moments in Comedy TV Shows

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TV sitcoms are what we turn to when we need a good laugh. We can count on them to brighten our spirits and give us a well-needed distraction from reality (especially in our current political climate). But while these shows have proven to be therapeutic, not every single episode turns out to be as lighthearted or funny as we’d expect. There are heartbreaking moments that are just too emotional for words, like when Michael Scott said his farewells before moving to Colorado in The Office. And then there are the heartwarming scenes that make our hearts burst, like when Jess and Nick finally kissed on New Girl.

But then there are the episodes that explore much darker and more disturbing issues. You could be chuckling at a wisecrack one minute and the next, you’re tense and uneasy over a scene that actually shows things like gun violence, racism, or physical abuse. It’s not that unusual to see such serious issues getting addressed in TV comedies (in fact, the ability to perfectly weave in such topics while maintaining the show’s overall tone makes it all the more successful). However, any sitcom lover will tell you that going from a funny segment to a super intense scene can feel a bit jarring. See some of the darkest moments we’ve encountered on popular sitcoms.

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