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It’s the holiday season so it’s time to see that coffee commercial featuring the beloved son that’s been away due to war back at home and waking up the family with a fresh brewed pot of coffee and mom is just so happy she’s about to cry and this is the most wonderful time of the year and now your eyes are misty. Whether you watch network television, stream on demand or click through YouTube, you’re sitting through commercials. It’s OK to tear up.

Cotton Is Not Afraid

Most commercials are content just to show you the good, and completely avoid the bad. Or if they do show you the bad it’s just to exploit a fear. Not cotton. No way, Jack. Cotton isn’t good or evil. Mom wears cotton. Kim Jung Un wears cotton. Cotton just is. You can paint your narrow politics all over it if you want, but god damn it, you’re not doing it justice. Cotton was there for the Vietnam War. Cotton was wrapped around your newborn daughter in the neonatal ward. You used cotton to dry your eyes when you had your heart broken and grandpa was buried in cotton. Cotton is your companion in life. Your partner that walks beside you. Forever. Aaron Neville never sang a song about fuckin’ wool. -Joe McAdam

You’re Not Supposed To Swallow Gum

I usually tear up the most at commercials that have to do with families but this got me. First of all, it’s almost two minutes long so even if at the beginning you’re thinking about how annoyingly cheesy it is there’s time for you to turn around. It’s obviously an ad for Extra gum and you know that early on, so you think that these high schoolers are just using gum to neutralize their breath before a makeout sesh at prom. BUT then you realize that the guy is sketching something on the inside of the gum wrappers in every scene. You start to warn yourself that this is the hitter, this is how an Extra commercial is going to make you cry. Then he does it, the guy proposes to his girlfriend by making a story out of all of the drawings he made on those stupid gum wrappers and all of a sudden you realize you’re crying. They did it. Extra made their otherwise useless gum wrappers into something kind of beautiful. -Eleni Skoutakis

Just Buy Some Life Insurance

A Thai commercial for life insurance: A slovenly, unshaven, desperate-looking young man with a heart of gold gives out his last dollar to some kid on the street, gives his food to stray dogs, and even helps a kind of mean old lady move her food cart every day. The ad makes no fucking sense at first: You get the impression that this is a man who is clinging on to the desperate hope that life is worth living by being as giving to people as possible. And then it hits you: LIFE INSURANCE. Like this man trying to do good and doing it selflessly, you can do good by buying your loved ones an insurance policy. But because life is ultimately futile, you will fucking die, and no amount of good deeds can prevent it, you don’t need to waste your time running yourself ragged like this poor bastard. Just buy some fucking life insurance. I wept for this man and for the loved ones I know I’ll leave behind when I’m gone, you will too. -Legba Carrefour

Don’t Let This Little Girl Blow Up

Lyndon B. Johnson’s bold-faced accusation that a vote for Barry Goldwater for president would be a vote for turning little girls into radioactive vapor was the first political attack ad and still stands as perhaps the most gut-wrenching thing ever committed to TV. The ad opens with a little girl counting pedals on a flower, but she’s little and she can’t count very well, and suddenly a cyberpunk nuclear command operator takes over and the count turns into a count-down and by the end of the commercial, we’re all fucking dead. It’s pretty easy to laugh at the commercial now, but when I saw it as part of PBS special in the early 1980’s—back when we still had to be scared of nuclear war—I out-loud bawled so fucking hard my mom had to turn the TV off and I was convinced for several years that public television was out to get me. Sometimes, an ad can make you cry via sentiment, sometimes in terror. Be warned. -Legba Carrefour

Puppies Make Us Cry


Seriously. This puppy and his Clydesdale squad are all anyone could ever want in life. The puppy gets lost and I lost a little bit of myself. Thank goodness for Christmas miracles because that puppy came home and everything worked out great. I’m not sure what this has to do with beer other than it makes me cry for almost no reason but it is great. -Allison Lane

Funny Tears Are Still Tears

Define crying. This is just a great commercial. I don’t know why I get so tickled but it brings me to tears. Tears technically mean I’m crying. I guess. -Allison Lane

A Stomach Full of Tears

Since we’re already on the deep end – I used to make my college roommates watch this commercial. Nobody thought it was funny. I couldn’t stop crying – probably lack of sleep and adderall. Also poop jokes this elaborate make me cry. -Allison Lane

Every Kid Deserves Pizza


This commercial appeared on the original VHS of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie (pizza: get it?). It’s about a dorkus kid who plays right field because he sucks at baseball, and his dad comes to every game anyway not expecting much. But one fateful day he makes a game winning catch, defying the expectations of his team, his father, and even himself. His reward is that the whole team gets to go to sit down Pizza Hut, which doesn’t exist anymore, but was indeed a real treat back then. The whole thing is set to a saccharine ballad that would make John Denver look away. -Andrew Bucket


It’s a montage of abused dogs and cats, set to angel, a very very weepy song originally about the guy from smashing pumpkins that died. If you don’t cry about one of those three things, you’re a total monster. If you cry about all three, wanna date? -Andrew Bucket

Puppies Still Make Us Cry


If you put an animal on a screen, any kind of animal, any kind of screen…I’m crying. Sure, all of those awful adoption commercials will make me cry but then there’s this commercial which literally takes you through the entire life of a boy and his dog. But the kicker, the thing that does me in here, is the origin story behind the name of this dog: Duck. -Jenn Tisdale

Welcome Home!

My go-to cry material is footage soldiers coming home. One is usually enough to do it but put together a compilation and I’m fucked. I don’t care what you’re selling, you can sell it to me if you place your logo at the end of a bunch of soldiers coming home. I don’t really know if these are real soldiers (my source cry-footage is home videos of soldiers surprising their loved ones in boxes and shit) but it’s really the concept that counts. By the end of this commercial I’m tearing up and whispering the words to “God Bless America” under my breath. -Tam Sackman

Don’t Make Your Dog Cry


If you die from a beer-related incident, your dog will sit at the door waiting for you to come home until it grows old and dies too. I’m alright with the bonding montage, usually give it a smile like “this really attractive man really loves that dog” an then it’s like “okay, come home and spend time with this animal please” until they hit you with that punchline that’s like YOU CAN EXPEDITE YOUR DOGS AGING PROCESS BY DRIVING DRUNK. DO YOU WANT THAT HORRIBLE BUT STILL ATTRACTIVE MAN? DO YOU? Didn’t think so. I don’t know how this would contribute to beer sales, which I thought was the point of commercials. -Tam Sackman

Stop Bullying

I saw this GE commercial last year at the end of December. (Note: the holidays are never a particularly emotionally stable time for me, so I am always at high risk for catching feelings while inevitably watching lots and lots of TV.) When the spot is finished, there’s a part of you that’s just like, “What in the fuck did I just watch?” because it is, admittedly, kind of super weird. But goddamn did I feel so sorry for that muppet monster while he was being mistreated! That (combined with the soundtrack) brought me to #MUCHEMOTION, and even though the ending is a happy one, it is (on the whole) a tearful viewing experience for me. -Megan Burns