queer eye
It's safe to say you should have a few tissues ready. (Illustration by Dororthy Timan, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis)

“Queer Eye” has been changing people’s lives and subsequently making audiences bawl their eyes out since it first aired on Bravo back in 2003. When it was announced that a reboot would be made on Netflix in 2018, the world was ready for more amazing stories, hilarious wit and everything else that makes “Queer Eye” so wonderful.

Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski and Karamo Brown definitely know how to tug on our heart strings, and their fourth and arguably most popular season was no different. So grab a box of tissues and get ready to relive some of the most beautiful moments from Season 4, ‘cause I’m counting down to which episode made me cry so hard I had to reconsider my life choices.

8. “How Wanda Got her Groove Back

Go Pythons! Okay, so this episode is definitely more dance-worthy than tear-worthy, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome.

Say hello to Wanda Winters, a hardworking woman who lives and breathes for her drill team, the Pythons. Being too busy shaping young minds and helping kids to become strong adults, she lost touch with the real world and therefore herself. Thankfully, the Fab Five were there to do what they do best, help her turn her life around and realize that she deserves to spend time on both herself and the people she cares about. Now that’s what “Queer Eye” is all about.

Tear count: 1/10

7. “Farm to Able

This next one scores an 11 out of 10 on the wholesome scale. The Fab Five travel to the rural Missouri countryside to help out Matt, a farmer and agriculture advocate.

All in the hopes of putting together a farm-to-table event by the end of the week, the crew help Matt completely transform himself. A recent divorcee finding the light after one of the darkest years of his life, Matt learns to move forward, to become a better father and partner in his newfound relationships and most importantly, how to make himself a priority even when it seems like all his time should be dedicated to his work.

It’s the inner transformation that really counts on “Queer Eye” but, man, that farmer-chic makeover was really one for the books.

Tear count: 2/10

6. “Soldier Returns Home

An army vet who spends his days building tiny houses for homeless veterans? It’s already a yes. If you’re anything like me, you will be wiping tears from your eyes about 20 minutes into the episode.

Brandonn Mixon, this episode’s hero, was injured while on deployment and medically discharged from military service. On the road to recovery, he lost his purpose and at some point lost his connection with his wife and three children.

Through his work with the Veterans Community Project, he found his way and with the help of the Fab Five, he learns to balance his work life, rekindle his relationship with his wife and become the best version of himself.

Tear count: 4/10

5. “A Tale of Two Cultures

Okay, now it’s really time to get ready for the waterworks, and we’re not even halfway through. “A Tale of Two Cultures” introduces the audience to Deanna Munoz, a second-generation Mexican American who has dedicated her life to the arts.

The Fab Five guide her in getting ready for her annual Latino Arts Festival, all while giving her a stunning makeover and providing her a killer office space for her arts foundation.

What’s more, Karamo helps Deanna heal from encounters of  hostility and racism from people in her past. She was once scared of how her neighbors would treat her, but after going door to door to promote her festival she finds love and acceptance.

The episode closes with one of the most accurate statements one could make about “Queer Eye” and what they do: “This world is upside down, but you guys make it right.”

I’m not crying, you are!

Tear Count: 6/10

4. “Stoner Skates By

This episode had all the fixings of an emotional rollercoaster: a beautiful father-daughter relationship, a man who wants to better himself for his family, Antoni Porowski with a corgi and *try not to cry, try not to cry …* a guest appearance from Michelle Kwan. I cannot make this up, nor can I make up the buckets of tears that were streaming from my eyes.

By the end of the episode, hero John Stoner comes to terms with a mental illness that has been keeping him from being a part of his daughter’s life. With the help of the Fab Five, he makes a complete 180, concluding with him cheering his daughter on the ice at her figure skating competition.

Tear count: 7/10

3. “Disabled But Not Really

“Queer Eye” isn’t always made up of side-splitting comedy and tender, lighthearted moments. Often times, they deal with real, important issues, and this episode was no exception. The Fab Five meets Wesley, a community activist who runs a fitness and nutrition organization called Disabled But Not Really.

A wheelchair user himself, his passion for helping others, as his love for both his mother and daughter, aided in what became one of the most beautiful episodes of Season 4.

Aside from making a fully-accessible home for Wesley, the Fab Five help him reconcile with what happened to him as a young man. The victim of a shooting that left him paralyzed, anybody watching would be brought to tears in the turnaround of this episode, when Wesley sat down with the man who shot him in an attempt to move forward and begin the journey of forgiveness. Here, Wesley got to hear firsthand why and how his shooting happened and the two men were able to make amends, forgive and uplift each other.

Tear Count: 9/10

 2. Without Further Ado

Just about everyone can look back on their high school experience and find that one special teacher that made an everlasting impact on their life. For the show’s own JVN, it was music director extraordinaire Kathi Dooley.

Kicking off the fourth season with a bang, this episode follows the busy day-to-day life of this beloved educator at Quincy Senior High School. Sure, the makeover was a tear-jerker in and of itself, with her going from a mullet-rocking lady stuck in the ’80s to a chic 2019 queen, but it was the other aspects of the episode that truly brought on the waterworks.

This episode was a celebration of educators. We see the way Ms. Dooley cares for her students, hear the Fab Five share their own memories about growing up and learn how much the students look up to their beloved teacher. To top it all off, Bobby designed a brand new teacher’s lounge to honor the hardworking educators of Quincy High and, in a way, educators around the country.

Tear Count: 10/10

1. “On Golden Kenny

And the winner for most tears of the season … Kenny Yarnevich. This episode will have you ugly crying more than a few times. Why you may ask? To start, the Fab Five help out a man who has spent the last, well, all of his life helping others.

Although he shares a strong bond with his family, he lives most of his life in solitude. That is until the Fab Five come to town. They completely flip his life around and help him to start over after hanging onto the past for far too long. In true “Queer Eye” fashion, he becomes a completely new man and learns to truly love himself.

The most powerful tear-jerker of the episode: the dog. That’s right, Antoni and Jonathan bring Kenny to an animal shelter to pick out a new best friend to share his home with. Excuse me? Who allowed me to weep this much?

When Kenny spots his new pup it’s basically love at first sight, leaving him, Antoni, Jonathan and yep, even you, crying on the floor until the end of the episode. I don’t make the rules, dogs really are just the key to everyone’s hearts.

Tear Count: off the charts

“Queer Eye” truly showcases the best of humanity, so it’s no wonder that each episode leaves viewers in awe — and tears. There’s no doubt that the next season will be a continuation of the same. Until then, you can catch me rewatching old episodes and, you guessed it, crying my eyes out.

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