'Parenthood' Star Mae Whitman & 7 More of TV's Best Criers

Throughout this season of Parenthood, one of the biggest storylines has been the saga of Ryan and Amber (aka Ryber), a young couple deeply in love. Unfortunately for them, it's been a long journey these past few months: in just 10 episodes, we've seen Ryber do long-distance, get engaged, plan a wedding, un-plan said wedding, battle hesitant parents, re-plan said wedding, deal with Ryan's PTSD issues, and, last episode, (probably) break up when Ryan announced he'd reenlisted into the army.

Yet while we've always been rooting for Ryber to succeed, we can't help but be a little happy they've had so much trouble this season. Why? Because whenever Amber struggles, she cries — and Mae Whitman is the best crier on TV.

So sorry, Ryber, but keep those issues coming, so long as it means we'll get to see Whitman expertly sob all season long. And if you don't watch Parenthood (although you should) but love the waterworks? Here are seven other amazing TV criers.

Image: NBC

1Mae Whitman

Mae Whitman has many talents: she’s a wonderful actor, an impressive singer, and an expert banana stand worker. Clearly, though, her biggest skill is her ability to cry on-screen with heartbreaking realism. Whenever Amber Holt tears up on Parenthood, whether it’s over her troubled engagement or her fights with her mom, it’s impossible for the viewer not to start sobbing, too. She’s that good — and apparently, she always has been.

2Lauren Graham

Whitman may be the best crier, but her TV mom Lauren Graham comes in a close second. Whether she’s sobbing over Luke on Gilmore Girls or fighting with Amber on Parenthood, Graham is a crying extraordinaire.

Image: The CW

3Chandra Wilson

Many members of the Grey’s Anatomy cast are fantastic criers, but Chandra Wilson takes the cake. For 10 seasons now, the actress behind Dr. Miranda Bailey has proven how adept a crier she is, from that time she admitted her marriage was failing to that time she realized the elevators weren’t working while a gunman roamed the hospital halls. Without Wilson’s perfect sobs, much of Grey’s drama over the years wouldn’t have been half as affecting.

Image: ABC

4Claire Danes

Sure, Danes’ cry-face may be kind of ugly, but it’s just proof that the Homeland actress is one of the best criers on television. From the moment Carrie’s chin starts quavering, viewers know that they’re in for a real feat of acting. Danes’ crying skills are so well-known that they’ve inspired supercuts, a blog, and even a parody on Saturday Night Live.

Image: Showtime

5James Van Der Beek

He may not be doing too much TV crying now, but back in the ’90s, the face that launched a thousand memes was EVERYTHING.

Image: The CW

6Aaron Paul

Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman wouldn’t have been nearly as lovable a character if the actor portraying him, Aaron Paul, wasn’t such an incredible crier. Every time Jesse collapsed into tears, viewers’ hearts grew ten sizes.

Image: AMC

7Alyson Hannigan

Most of Hannigan’s most memorable crying scenes were back on Buffy (remember how upsetting the whole post-Tara Black Willow saga was?), but even on the much lighter How I Met Your Mother, Hannigan brings the tears. The episode where she tells Marshall that his father is dead is almost too hard to watch, thanks to Hannigan’s realistic, emotional crying.

Image: The CW

8Jensen Ackles

Non-viewers might not understand how a show about demon-hunting has as many emotional scenes as it does, but that’s part of the beauty of Supernatural. The show knows how to perfectly balance comedy and drama, and thanks to the crying skills of star Jensen Ackles, those serious scenes tend to be heartbreaking. Warning: do not watch this supercut of Dean crying unless you want to be miserable for the rest of your life.

Image: The CW