If you’ve ever sat through an episode of A Million Little Things, chances are you’ve gotten teary-eyed by the end of the hour. Although the ABC drama regularly includes feel-good and comedic moments, the show’s plot is heavily rooted in emotional scenarios. Throughout its three seasons (and counting), there have been so many sad and heartbreaking moments that it’s hard to get through an episode without shedding a few tears — or, you know, bawling your eyes out.
The series kicked off on an incredibly sobering note as Season 1, Episode 1 found the group of friends in utter disarray after Jon — the glue of their group — died by suicide. And unfortunately, things don’t get any easier from there. The series revolves around the grief that is ever-present among Jon’s wife, kids, and friends as they learn how to live their lives without him. And in doing so, it also finds the characters in some incredibly challenging situations, like losing a parent, struggling with cancer, and facing racism head-on.
But like Jon always said, friendship is “a million little things,” and the group of pals can always count on each other when things get rough. Still, that doesn’t make any of these moments any less heartbreaking. Here are some of the most memorable tearjerkers:
1. Jon’s Big Secret
Much of the storyline in Season 1 revolved around a mysterious Barbara Johnson, who Jon left a ton of money to right before his death. Eventually, it’s revealed that Barbara and Jon knew each other in college through Dave — Barbara’s boyfriend and Jon’s close friend.
When Delilah and Barbara met face to face, Delilah learned that Jon blamed himself for Dave’s death. After convincing Dave to go to Los Angeles with him years earlier, Jon ended up missing their flight, leaving Dave to fly alone. Unfortunately, Dave’s flight ended up being American Airlines Flight 11 on the morning of September 11, 2001.
Learning about Jon’s survivor’s guilt and Barbara’s loss was an emotional moment for the group. It also gave them a better understanding of the heaviness Jon carried with him before he passed.
2. PJ’s Depression
Season 2 introduces viewers to Barbara’s teenage son, PJ, who was living with depression. PJ befriended Rome, who helped him manage his symptoms. But that didn’t stop PJ from ultimately attempting to take his life at the end of the season. Luckily, Rome talked PJ out of it. Still, the scene of the teenager almost jumping off a ledge — just like Jon — was gut-wrenching to watch.
3. Katherine’s Trip To “The Grand Canyon”
After finding out Charlie wasn’t Jon’s baby, but Eddie’s as a result of his affair with Delilah, Katherine literally dropped everything and isolated herself at her mom’s house in the beginning of Season 2. What was even sadder than seeing the overachieving attorney in such a vulnerable and broken state was the fact that her son Theo had no clue where his mom went. In order to ease his anxieties, Eddie told Theo that Katherine was fighting a big case in the Grand Canyon. But in reality, she was an emotional wreck.
4. Gary & Maggie’s Breakup
From the first episode, Gary and Maggie were incredibly supportive of one another, making them a fan-favorite couple. Gary was Maggie’s biggest cheerleader as he remained by her side all throughout her cancer treatment. Likewise, Maggie was the first person who really allowed Gary to be vulnerable.
So, it was devastating when Maggie told Gary she couldn’t marry him after she found the engagement ring he bought her. She realized her and Gary’s relationship revolved around Gary wanting to save her, the way he couldn’t save Jon. But even though Maggie may have made the right choice, it didn’t make it any easier seeing how heartbroken they both were after the breakup.
5. Rome Losing His Mom
One of the more sudden deaths on the show was when Rome’s mother, Renee, passed away in Season 2. In the episode, Renee was ecstatic — after years of asking her husband Walter to go on a cruise, he finally surprised her with one for their 50th wedding anniversary. But Renee suddenly experienced an fatal aneurysm while at a hair salon, leaving Walter and Rome in shock. But the one silver lining? The last thing Renee asked of Rome was for him to mend his relationship with his father, a promise he keeps, as evidenced in later episodes.
6. Gary’s Missed Connection With His Mom
After encouragement from Delilah, Gary visited his mom Alice — an actor in New York — who he hadn’t seen since she left him when he was only 9 years old. But what was supposed to be a heartfelt reunion was anything but as Alice showed her true colors. When she learned a big-shot director wanted to talk to her, the actor chose her career over her son and flaked on the dinner plans she had with Gary. It’s a super sad moment as Gary once again was abandoned.
7. Eve Changing Her Mind
For most of Season 1, Rome and Regina were on separate pages when it came to wanting kids. But the couple finally reached common ground in Season 2 and decided to adopt. After meeting Eve, an expectant mother, they all agreed to an open adoption. Despite some challenges, everything was set for Rome and Regina to welcome home their new baby.
But after the couple had already met the baby, Eve called off the adoption. This left both Regina and Rome devastated and shocked. It also caused a strain between the two as they were unsure how to move forward from the loss.
8. Sophie’s Sexual Assault
Sophie’s love for playing the guitar was evident since the beginning of the show. As she prepared to audition for a music school in Season 3, she began working with Peter, a respected guitar teacher. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the horrific when Peter started to groom and take advantage of Sophie. As uncomfortable as the scenes with Peter and Sophie were, it was even harder to watch the teen blame herself as she tried to process her trauma.
9. Eddie & Katherine’s Separation
To say that Eddie and Katherine have a rocky relationship is an understatement. But by the end of Season 2, the couple finally found themselves in a good place and decided to renew their vows. Unfortunately, right before the vow renewal, Eddie was hit by a car and seriously injured. If that wasn’t sad enough, the aftermath of his accident was even more heartbreaking. After struggling with the pain of his injury, Eddie’s broke his sobriety, which led Katherine to ask for a divorce. When the couple finally broke the news to Theo, the 10-year-old’s reaction was heartbreaking. The conversation ultimately ended with Theo asking his parents if they can all cuddle together, one last time.
10. Delilah’s Breakdown
For most of Season 3, Delilah was in France and unable to fly back home because of the coronavirus pandemic. When she finally returned, it was clear Jon’s death still weighed heavily on her. After she suggested the family move permanently to France, her kids and Gary accused her of running away from her problems, causing the widow to have an emotional breakdown. She even smashed a family photo of Jon into pieces. Although Delilah’s had low moments before, this was a first for her, as she has always maintained a strong exterior for her kids and friends.
More emotional moments are sure to come when A Million Little Things returns to ABC for Season 4.