'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
The Death of Buffy's Mom (Season Five, Episode 16: "The Body")
When you've routinely battled vampires, demons, and other entities that go bump in the night before graduating high school, can anything shock you anymore? The answer provided by "The Body," creator Joss Whedon's masterpiece to this day, is a harrowing, heartbreaking yes. When Buffy returns home to find her mother dead of an aneurysm, what follows involves long silences, gutwrenching sobbing, vomit, anger, denial, grief, love — in short, one of the most emotionally insightful and devastating depictions of death in small-screen history, vampires or no.