Teen Wolf has the elements of a dramedy, making it just as heartbreaking as it is comedic. These are the saddest moments in each season of the show.
It may be a supernatural drama, but Teen Wolf maintains a comedic undertone throughout the series. The light-hearted nature is partially what makes it so popular among fans, as the show offers a reprieve from the other more monotonous or heavier programs on network television.
However, Teen Wolf doesn’t neglect its dramatic aspect, and fans are kept on the edge of their seats due to the high stakes. As proven by multiple storylines and character deaths, the writers aren’t afraid to go down a darker path. Each season has an especially heartbreaking moment that showcases how well the series blends the genres.
Season 1: When Allison Breaks Up With Scott
Scott and Allison’s breakup is conflicting because it’s easy to see both characters’ sides. On one hand, Scott lies to Allison for the entirety of Teen Wolf season 1, and by keeping secrets he’s putting Allison in danger. On the other, Allison comes from a family of werewolf hunters and she could easily turn against him.
The logical decision would’ve been for Scott to end things earlier, but the heart wants what it wants. In season 1 episode 7, “Night School,” Scott puts his life on the line in order to keep Allison safe. However, Allison becomes fed up with his dishonesty and ends things between them. After everything Scott has been through, it’s disheartening to see him lose one of the people he cares about most.
Season 2: When Jackson Sacrifices Himself
Jackson isn’t the most likable character in Teen Wolf, but his sacrifice in the season 2 finale proves that he can be redeemed. He only becomes the Kanima because of his deep-rooted trauma, and while it doesn’t excuse Jackson’s actions, it does make them easier to understand.
Jackson is inherently selfish and rarely displays a genuine love for Lydia. Yet, she’s the only one able to break through to him, and she gives Jackson the strength to do the right thing. He surrenders to Derek and Peter, with Lydia’s reaction being the saddest component of all. Thankfully, Jackson isn’t dead for long, and a plot twist reveals that only the Kanima-side of him has been killed.
Season 3: When Allison Dies In Scott’s Arms
Allison has the saddest death in Teen Wolf, and it’s not just because she’s a main character. Losing Allison deeply impacts her friends and family, and there’s a clear shift in the show after Crystal Reed exits. It’s difficult to tell whether the humor is purposely dialed down or if the jokes simply have less of an impact.
Either way, the memory of Scott holding Allison while she dies is fresh in viewers’ minds all throughout the fourth season. Allison’s most romantic quote in Teen Wolf is said moments before her death, as she confesses her love to Scott before it’s too late. Scott’s reaction is heartbreaking in itself, and the overhead shot of their figures closes out the episode.
Season 4: When Lydia Hears Her Grandmother’s Tape
While this might not be the most obvious choice, Lydia has the most heartbreaking storyline in Teen Wolf season 4. Not only is she grieving the death of her best friend and her boyfriend, but she becomes the odd one out in the McCall Pack. With Scott dating Kira and Stiles dating Malia, Lydia often finds herself alone.
She breaks down several times throughout the season, which pushes the events of season 4, episode 9, “Perishable,” over the edge. As if losing Allison and Aiden wasn’t enough, Lydia is tied up and forced to listen to the recording of her grandmother’s murder. It enrages Stiles and he does his best to comfort her, but there’s only so much he can do tied to the other side of the pole. Lydia takes hit after hit during the fourth season, and it’s made worse when she’s left to fend for herself.
Season 5: When Scott Doesn’t Believe Stiles
While there’s no shortage of upsetting scenes during the fifth season, trusting Theo is the worst thing Scott ever did to Stiles in Teen Wolf. Scott and Stiles’s friendship is at the center of everything, and what happens between the two of them holds more weight than anything else. Although he acts out of self-defense, Stiles spends the season hiding Donovan’s death because he’s so wracked with guilt.
When Scott chooses to believe Theo over his best friend, Stiles is beaten down even more. It’s often difficult to be angry at Scott due to his good intentions, but this interaction doesn’t go over well with fans. Scott turns his back on Stiles and leaves him outside in the rain, leaving Stiles and viewers both crushed.
Season 6, Part One: When Stiles Is Taken By The Ghost Riders
There’s no question that Stiles and Lydia have the best romantic tropes in Teen Wolf, but it doesn’t make Lydia’s memory loss any easier to endure. In one of the saddest moments of the series, the two realize that they may never see each other again. Lydia’s insistence that she won’t forget Stiles, followed by the stark realization that she will, is devastating.
Stiles doesn’t waste time and says everything that Stydia shippers have been waiting to hear for years. Stiles confesses his love to Lydia only seconds before he’s physically ripped away from her. The most devastating aspect of the scene happens after everything goes quiet. Lydia sits in the jeep, alone and in tears, and the camera focuses on her empty hand, which Stiles had previously been holding.
Season 6, Part Two: When Scott Can’t Heal
Teen Wolf can’t end without delivering one final gut-wrenching moment in its series finale. During season 6, episode 20, “The Wolves of Wars,” Scott faces enemies of the past when the Anuk-Ite attempts to discover his greatest fear. Scott gauges out his own eyes to avoid turning into stone but is in too much pain to focus on healing. His misery radiates through the screen, and his friends’ panic doesn’t do anything to calm viewers’ nerves.
For a moment, it seems as though Teen Wolf might actually let Scott stay blind, creating a very real sense of terror. When Lydia and Stiles hold hands, Lydia is suddenly hit with the memory of their first kiss. By kissing Scott, Malia is able to distract him long enough to regain his vision. Despite the happy ending, the fear and helplessness Scott displays are unlike anything fans have seen from him before.