18 Pieces of Media in 2016 Ranked by How Much They Made Me Cry

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I’m a crier. I cry a freaking lot. All my friends know this. I’ve been known to cry at McDonald’s commercials, compliments, songs, my twentieth time watching Love Actually and just about everything else. This was a good year for crying — like, hardcore a good year for crying. If you paid just a tiny bit of attention to the world you probably spent a good amount of time crying. If you’re me, you probably spent at least five hours a week crying. But not all crying is equal. Some crying is kind of fun? It feels good? Like, it’s cathartic and it means you’re moved and feeling your emotions at full blast. So if you’re looking for a good cry, here are 18 things that made me cry this year.

18. This is Us

I started crying three minutes into the first episode.

17. Jenny’s Wedding

I’ve seen it three times and cried more than once each time. I love Katherine Heigl.

16. That University of Phoenix Commercial With That Song Mallory Ortberg Hates

I actually downloaded this song I love it so much.

15. That Vine Where the Guy Sings “If your name is Junior and you’re really handsome come on raise your hand”

This is the most pure thing on the entire internet.

14. Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick’s Version of “True Colors” from the Trolls Movie

Yes I cried twice during this movie and yes I’ve also cried many times just listening to this song.

13. Lin Manuel Miranda’s Grammy Acceptance Speech


12. My (At Least) Annual Rewatch of the Part in Glee Where Santana Gets Outed

Sometimes I watch this whole episode and cry, sometimes I watch the part where Finn outs her and cry, sometimes I watch the part where she finds out about the commercial and I cry, sometimes I just watch the Rumor Has It/Someone Like You performance and cry.

11. E Mo Tion Side B by Carly Rae Jepsen

Specifically the songs “Cry” and “Fever.”

10. Diego Luna’s Jarritos Commercial

9. That Tall Barbie that Looks Like Jen Richards

Also she’s wearing the trans flag colors!!! The idea of a trans barbie made me cry like a baby.

8. Vanessa Hudgens Singing “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” in Grease Live!

7. Jenny Owen Youngs Singing “The Rainbow Connection” (and also “This Time Around”)

“The Rainbow Connection” is about 38 minutes into this video, which also made me cry and she sang “This Time Around” at A-Camp and I died.

6. Meet the Titanosaur Youtube Video

Look at my beautiful dead, long-necked wife!!!!!

5. Moana

I cried eleven times when I saw it in the theater.

4. Cecelia Kyoko’s Snapchats and Selfies

Cecelia sends me the wisest words and most affirming statements and most tear-inducingly beautiful selfies. I love her like a planet loves its sun.

3. Jane’s Wedding in Jane the Virgin

I started when Jane put on her veil and literally died when Michael started speaking in Spanish.

2. Steven Universe

Nearly every single episode.

1. Heather’s Essay About Dolly Parton

Here’s me crying at the beginning of the essay and a much less attractive picture of me crying later on in the essay.

Heather Hogan is maybe the best writer alive, this essay shows why.

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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. I am not at all a crier, but JtV and Heather’s Dolly Piece did bring tears to these dry eyes. It’s been my mission this year to spread the gospel far and wide about both.

    thank you for this wonderful list, Mey!

  2. I’ll be honest and say that when I read “Media”, I instantly assumed art media. I was so happy that someone felt the same tear jerking reaction of using a new tube of paint or the smell of oil paints. But now I see I am just really weird and I am crying over both art and some of these videos.

    Damn PMS.

    • I bring tissues whenever I go to the museum because art makes me cry a LOT. Have also cried about chalk pastel pencils, so hopefully that helps you feel less alone in the world

  3. Rereading Heather’s Dolly piece was a thing I really needed and didn’t know how much i really really needed. Now I’m crying a little.

  4. We are one. The other day I was watching clips of Samantha Bee on YouTube, including one where she brought out Michelle Branch to sing “Goodbye to Cruz,” which was objectively hilarious but I bawled like a small infant the whole time because I have been Pavlovianly conditioned by Joss Whedon to sob to that melody.

  5. I cried so much in Moana! And I normally don’t cry at things! Apparently I am a big emotional baby on the inside!

    • Emma Thompson crying to Joni Mitchell!
      I watched it about an hour ago for the 100th time (probably an accurate number) and it was just as heartbreaking as ever.

      • Seeing Emma Thompson in the early scenes and knowing that later in the movie she cries to Joni Mitchell = crying

    • it is you will cry tears of pain experiencing the atrocity known as ‘love actually’, you will cry tears for all the movies that did not get made despite this prairie fire getting made, you will cry tears for the two hours you could’ve spent picking out toenail polish that you spent watching the movie. you will cry for future generations, knowing they will probably be watching this movie as the planet self-combusts from global warming.

      • Noooo Riese

        Ok so I love Love Actually and always have despite it being kind of hilariously bad in hindsight, it has such a special place in my heart.

        My girlfriend hates Love Actually and for a month I’ve been negotiating on whether we could watch it at xmas or not.

        LAST NIGHT AS A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE, she reveals she really loves it and has been going to great pains to pretend she hates it for a whole month! to surprise me with it and watch it together on my birthday.

        If that doesn’t make you love Love Actually, Riese, nothing can! ??

  6. The Rainbow Connection is more like 56 minutes in I think. And totally worth looking for. Thank you Mey for showing it to me.

  7. Okay, so I was doing COMPLETELY FINE until those pictures of you crying and that made me tear up. Like, I cry at everything, but seeing you sad just got to me. Gonna find some tissues now.

  8. I loved this so so so much. I am glad I am not the only one who cried 3-5 times during every This Is Us episode. ???

    • I haven’t watched it yet but I seriously teared up at the trailer and that means I probably should watch it. I need a new crying show, I just keep rewatching Parenthood but this had a similar family crying show feel.

  9. I finally decided to go through this and have a good cry about something and got to the Glee video and now I’m sitting here remembering watching that as a baby gay 15 year old in my mom’s basement and crying then and now here I am crying again and?? what i mean to say is thank you you are such a wonderful human being and I’m so glad you posted this

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