Parenthood Turns 100: We Single Out Each Castmember's Best Episode

Before we’re forced to bid Parenthood a fond farewell on Jan. 29 — do we have to? — a much happier milestone is just around the corner: the series’ 100th episode, airing this Thursday (NBC, 10/9c).

In the past five-and-a-half seasons, we’ve admittedly lost count of the show’s tearjerking moments so how do we celebrate such a major event for the beloved drama?

We revisited Parenthood‘s past 99 hours — So. Many. Tissues. — and hand-picked the cast members’ most memorable episodes and/or scenes.

Some were easy standouts (Joel’s heart-to-heart with Zeek!), while others weren’t so clear-cut (can we just say Monica Potter rocked Season 4 and call it a day?)

The gallery below contains our picks, but we want to hear yours, too! Click through the photos for a trip down memory lane, then hit the comments with the standout moments you won’t soon forget.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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28 Comments
  1. Tran says:

    Season Two was a little lackluster in my opinion even though one of them involves Crosby’s affair with Max’s behavioral therapist Gaby (Minka Kelly).

    • Kay L says:

      For the most part, I agree- however, I do have to say I enjoyed Gaby’s relationship with Max, helping him to grow and his parents to calm down and recognize there’s hope. And if I recall, this was also the season of Sydney’s sore-loser phase and Julia’s locking her in her room and drinking outside of it while Syd screamed- still one of my favorite scenes :)

    • Fx says:

      I started watching from the second season which got me hooked and I loved it. I actually think the fifth season was the weakest and Ray Romano’s character is the worst.

  2. me says:

    Just reading through it got me teary-eyed

  3. Eric7740 says:

    All amazing performances!!! Some of the actors deserve multiple mentions. Parenthood was truly one of the most under-appreciated gems of a television program probably from the last 50 years.

  4. AJ says:

    It’s been a while since he’s been on the show, but I always loved seeing Alex (Michael B Jordan) on the show. He was an amazing character and his final scene with Kristina was heartbreaking.

    • DL says:

      This. This! A thousand times this! It’s my favorite tearjerker scene in the entire series. Please, TVLine, AMEND THE LIST! Add this scene, for the love of all that is good and soft and tissue-y!

    • Jan says:

      WOW! I totally agree! Michael B. Jordan was wonderful on the show and this scene was probably my favorite of the entire series, too.

  5. Court says:

    I need to go back rewatch the entire series. What a wonderful, wonderful show. It’s true, this show was so underrated. It relied on truly moving and emotional performances. The relationships felt so genuine and real. I always love show where it’s based off a family and how they’re all connected – kind of like Brothers and Sisters. I love those dynamics.

  6. Pia says:

    So now crying = good acting?

    • DL says:

      Begone with you, cynical troll person! We don’t need your kind here.

      • Pia says:

        I’ve been a fan of the show since the beginning, although I did start watching only because it’s set in Berkeley (and the LAness of their “Berkeley” is ridiculous). My favorite moments are different from almost all of these.

        • Jan says:

          As a native of Berkeley, ICAM!! The pilot showed some favorite Berkeley landmarks, but later episodes have so obviously been filmed in LA (or, NOT Berkeley). Reminds me of MacMillan & Wife supposedly being set in SF.

          • Pia says:

            Best Berkeley moment: When Max talks about taking the 18 bus line downtown to the BART station. That was my bus for years!

    • Wordsmith says:

      Only when it’s really done right, which seems to be a particular specialty of this show.

    • Hayes says:

      For me at least, when I feel the heartbreak when they cry, then that’s good acting. Parenthood actors do that very well.

  7. webly3 says:

    I agree with all of these besides Monica Potter’s. I felt that her strongest moment was when she shaved her head in Keep On Rowing. But, the videos she made for her kids in case she died was a close second.

  8. Lerbert says:

    I don’t disagree that these are great moments but I think Parenthood and the characters have really shone best when playing quieter moments–like when Adam and Kristina are almost giddy when they find out Hank is possibly on the spectrum and that Max could be like Hank in the future with a job, (ex)wife, and child. Or when Sarah talked about how hard it is to be a single mom. Or when Zeke made the right decision to sell the house. Or Jasmine setting Crosby straight about their partnership. These kind conversations were my favorite part of the show.

    • Stacy says:

      I think with Parenthood you need two “greatest” lists: one crying and one not crying! I too love many of the smaller moments. IMHO, the crying scenes are usually reactively vulnerable, whereas the quiet scenes are proactively vulnerable. The latter of which tends to display more character growth and progression.

  9. Bean3 says:

    How about when Amber got in that horrible wreck and Zeke confronted her about being so reckless? All. the. tears.

  10. Abby says:

    This list is pretty epic, just from the perspective that I would NEVER have been able to narrow down the cast’s performances to a single best episode. Well done. I will absolutely miss this show when its gone.

  11. HAP says:

    Never understood why Monica Potter didn’t get an Emmy nom for the work she did during the cancer battle.

  12. Robin Williams says:

    Zeke not vulnerable? So many touching scenes over the years showing his tender side with both his children and grandchildren. What about the moment between Amber and Zeke when she told him of her pregnancy? Or his support of Ryan in adjusting to life outside the military and PTSD? Or giving the Mustang he rebuilt to Drew. Seriously, I think I tear up as much with Zeke as with other characters.

  13. Kathi says:

    Im sure going to miss watching Parenthood every week. I haven’t missed a episode, every week i look forward to your show. It makes my night, your a real family a town I know. I feel like your my family. I’m sad your show is finished, wish it was not ending. The Breavermens are sincere, loving and real. You’ll be missed!!!
    Love you all
    Kathi

  14. I can add a ton of moments – Amber’s fight with her father in season two – it’s one of the best scenes ever. I still remember that phrase “and you were not there for me when I really needed you. And so I have trouble believing that you’ve changed, because I’ve heard it all before. And I’m sorry but I look at you and I just see the same loser who let me down.”

    Or how about after Amber’s car crash when Zeke told her – “You don’t have my permission to mess with my dreams” or when she told him she was pregnant.

    Overall I just realise how easy Crosby had it all the time – he acted selfish mostly, he’s arrogant, he’s egocentrical and – just a jerk. He cheated on Jasmine with Max’s therapist, he dragged Adam into the business, but he acted like he knew better than him all the time, he was a jerk to his mother (countless times overall and) when she wanted to sell the house..

  15. G.Michael Stewart says:

    If may I would like to say that this is a show that you cant just pick out just one show that was best I would like to thank parenthood cast, crew & director for 100 family heart warming shows that showed us all the way family should be.

  16. Donna Hastings says:

    Great show! I will miss it after watching it for 5 years. Wonderful writing and acting, and although I will miss the show, I look forward to seeing each actor/actress in other shows!

  17. Sally says:

    I can’t say enough about how much I love this show and how much I will miss it..I will be watching tonight with my box of tissues..