Best TV Episodes to Watch if You Need Hope

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As the world as we know it changes around us, one thing that everyone seems to be turning to escape our harsh reality is television. 

Not only is escapism important right now to lessen the anxiety we all feel, but a sense of hope for better days is always justified.

We gathered together a list of certain episodes of television for you to watch that instill positivity and never fail to remind us that everything will be okay.

"Jake and Amy" - Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Jake and Amy's Wedding Day - Brooklyn Nine-Nine

While many weddings and other events are being canceled or rescheduled because of COVID-19, it's hard not to feel disappointed when plans do not go as imagined.

And that is exactly what happened on Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5 Episode 22.

Almost everything that Jake and Amy had scheduled for their wedding day went up in flames because of bomb threats, a destroyed veil, and so on.

However, they managed to make light of the terrible situation and had the most perfect wedding that anyone could want.

"White Tulip" - Fringe

Trio of Fringe Stars

I might be a bit biased as it is my favorite show, but Fringe Season 2 Episode 17 is the single best episode of television.

It was the beginning of a symbol -- the white tulip -- that would go on to encompass what Fringe was all about: forgiveness and hope.

Behind all the extremely cool science fiction and mysteries was a show that dealt with relateable complex relationships, and the one at the forefront was Walter and Peter's father-son dynamic.

Walter did something unthinkable regarding his son, and this hour of television goes to show that everyone deserves forgiveness. What could be more hopeful than that?

"Win, Lose, or Draw" - Parks and Recreation

Leslie On Election Day

Leslie Knope is a ray of sunshine amongst the dark and depressing characters that fill our television screens.

Her main purpose in life was to help others, so when she finally achieved her dream on Parks and Recreation Season 4 Episode 22, it felt like a win for everyone.

Most Parks and Recreation episodes could make this list, but this one is the culmination of a season-long struggle for Leslie that showed that hard work can pay off.

Plus, it also goes to show that the right politician for the job can get elected sometimes.

"What Can Stop the Determined Heart" - Anne with an E

Anne Shirley Cuthbert - Anne with an E

Anne with an E is a show that is full of hope, but Anne with an E Season 3 Episode 3 took what could have been the most depressing hour of the show and shined some light on it.

Mary got sick, and we saw all of the characters deal with the news in their own way.

But in the end, the whole community came together to make the best of the situation for Mary.

Life is full of hard times, but Anne with an E reminds us that there are always going to be people who are there to lift one another when things get bad.

"Happily Ever After" - How I Met Your Mother

Ted Takes the Leap

After Stella left Ted at the altar, he seemed to be doing fine, but it was only a matter of time before he broke on How I Met Your Mother Season 4 Episode 6.

Ted was pushing down all the anger and hurt he felt, and he needed to do something about it before he burst.

But he surprised us all with what he decided to do near the end of the episode and taught us a big lesson about anger in the process.

I am sure that a lot of us are feeling angry right now, but Ted's revelation shows us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Pilot" - Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Zoey Dancing with Her Father Tall - Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 1

Musicals have always been full of heart and joy, and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist did not disappoint.

It was made very clear on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 1 that this was the show that we all needed to get through this rough time.

It has made us laugh, cry, and sing along as Zoey navigates her way through her new superpower.

And if that doesn't convince you to watch, wait until you see Zoey's dad sing "True Colors" to her.

"Kimmy Goes Outside!" - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

This one might be a bit on the nose, but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 1 Episode 1 showed us how great it is going to feel once we get to go back outside and return to our normal lives.

Kimmy never gave up hope that she would be free one day, and when she finally was, she was determined to live her life to the fullest and continue to be optimistic.

If Kimmy can stay inside for fifteen years and still manage to have so much hope, so can you.

"Clouds" - This Is Us

Looking for Joni Mitchell's House - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 15

As Rebecca dealt with her diagnosis, she enlisted Kevin's help to make her forget about her worries on This Is Us Season 4 Episode 15.

Rebecca and Kevin have never had the best relationship, but this hour showcased them when they are at their best.

And it also reminded us that it's okay to look for distractions when you're not ready to deal with your problems. Distractions are good, and most of the time they are what make life worth living.

Plus, we got to live vicariously through Rebecca as Kevin took her to see Joni Mitchell's house, something she has always dreamed of doing.

"Hey World!" - DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Outside the Box - DC's Legends of Tomorrow

This quirky Arrowverse show has always been about hope for a better world, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 Episode 16 was the epitome of that theme.

The world was terrified of creatures that they did not understand, but the Legends, in their bizarre way, proved that there was more to them than what meets the eye.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow, all-in-all, is the perfect show to turn to when you need a bit of inspiration, but could also use a laugh or two.

"Nationals" - Glee

Glee Season Finale Photo

Say what you want about Glee, the show inspired so many people who were trying to find their place in the world.

And as a show about misfits who always just wanted to be seen, Glee Season 3 Episode 21 saw the teens of New Directions finally accomplish what they set out to do since Glee Season 1 Episode 1.

It was an hour full of triumph and so much happiness that will put a smile on anyone's face.

"A Land Without Magic" - Once Upon a Time

A Land Without Magic Scene

Fairytales are truly the best representation of hope, and that is what Once Upon a Time was all about.

We can all relate to the fairytale characters of Storybrooke as they got quarantined when they were under a curse that made them forget who they were.

Thankfully, on Once Upon a Time Season 1 Episode 22, the people were finally awakened and reunited with their loved ones, showing us that if we just hold on to hope, we might just get our happy ending someday.

"God Bless Gay" - Queer Eye

They're Back! - Queer Eye Season 2 Episode 1

Queer Eye Season 2 Episode 1 was all about community and opening your heart to others.

Tammye, the Fab Five's first female client, cared so much about her town and the people in her life that she wanted to share her experience on the show with her community.

It was an episode that will make you cry but will also put the biggest smile on your face and restore your faith in humanity.

"Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose" - Schitt's Creek

Schitt's Creek Season 6 Poster

Schitt's Creek started as a show that was about a selfish rich family having to slum it in a town that they bought as a joke.

However, it quickly turned into one of the most heart-filled shows on television that displayed character development at its finest.

Schitt's Creek Season 4 Episode 13 is a perfect example of the show at its best -- funny and downright magical.

And Christmas just so happens to be the most hopeful holiday of them all.

"Remember Me as a Time of Day" - One Tree Hill

Leyton Pic

After six seasons filled with drama between Lucas and Peyton, they finally got their happy ending on One Tree Hill Season 6 Episode 24.

What could have doubled as a series finale, many of the show's storylines wrapped, and the hour was full of promise for every character.

If any episode of One Tree Hill is going to show you that things are going to be okay and that it pays off to hold on to hope, it is this one.

"Whenever You're Ready" - The Good Place

Goodbyes Are Hard To Say - The Good Place

On The Good Place Season 4 Episode 13, Team Cockroach finally got to live in the afterlife in peace without worrying about being tortured for an eternity or being chased down by demons.

It is an emotional hour of television as all the characters move on from one another, but it also leaves a sense of peace within its viewers.

The series finale of the show proves that a life spent with your loved ones is a gift, and to never take that for granted.

It is an important message that most of us need to hear right now, and I could not think of a better episode full of hope for the end of our list.

So what do you think TV Fanatics?

Are you going to watch any of these episodes while stuck inside? Or are there any other hopeful episodes that you think should be on this list?

Let me know in the comments! And be sure to stay safe and healthy.

Sarah Little was a staff writer for TV Fanatic.She retired in September 2021.

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