The uproarious Canadian comedy series Schitt’s Creek might have delivered laughs for six seasons, but creators Daniel and Eugene Levy have also ensured it’s full of tearful moments as well. When the Rose family loses its wealth and is forced to move to rural Canada, they think life as they know it is over. But once they befriend the colorful locals of Schitt’s Creek, they realize they may have found their home.
Throughout Johnny’s journey from video store magnate to small-town motel owner, Moira’s progression from soap opera star to community theater bon vivante, Alexis’s segue from ditsy socialite to community organizer, and David’s ascension from art gallery manager to small business owner, the family has had to really get in touch with their feelings. There have been some obviously standout emotional moments in the series, but here are 10 surprisingly touching moments we didn’t expect.
10 JOHNNY STANDING UP FOR SCHITT’S CREEK
Johnny Rose was once a wealthy video store mogul with chains around the country, so his malaise about having to live in a motel and make minimum wage is palpable. But he tries to remain optimistic and inspire his family to make the best of their circumstances, which eventually results in them all warming up to Schitt’s Creek.
When they happen to run into some old friends from their past, they begrudgingly agree to have dinner with them. The couple spends the whole time badmouthing Schitt’s Creek until Johnny can stand it no longer. His little speech defending his new home and its inhabitants is meaningful because it’s from the heart.
9 ALEXIS GRADUATING
Alexis may have lead a life of extravagant parties, fashion shows, and world-traveling, but to live in Schitt’s Creek she needs to learn life skills that are more applicable. She ends up going back to high school to finish the degree she abandoned traveling, and then pursuing online college.
The fact that Alexis decides to pursue higher education at almost 30 and stick with it says something about the intrepid nature of her character, which only continues to grow when she begins her own communications firm by Season 4. She is no longer defined by her designer handbag or what famous man she’s dating, but by her inner fortitude.
8 STEVIE NAILING IT IN CABARET
Out of all the Roses, Stevie bonds with David the most because of their shared introverted misanthropy. However, it’s Moira who becomes an unlikely friend to her when she’s feeling depressed about her life’s direction. Moira generously offers her the lead in her new play.
Stevie is admittedly nervous about performing in “Cabaret”, but Moira’s surprisingly maternal guidance gives her the confidence she needs. When she absolutely crushes her solo number, you can see the pride beaming in Moira’s eyes as she watches Stevie’s star shine brightly.
7 ALEXIS DECIDING TO STAY IN SCHITT’S CREEK
None of the Roses are particularly happy about having to settle in Schitt’s Creek, far removed from the hustle and bustle of a big exciting metropolis. Alexis takes it particularly hard, cut off from her influential famous friends and glamorous lifestyle.
When some of them happen to pass through Schitt’s Creek while she’s organizing an event for Single’s Week, they offer her a means to escape. Juxtaposed with the encouraging and friendly locals, however, she’s begun to see them for the vapid and disingenuous people they bare, and decides that Schitt’s Creek is where she belongs.
6 ALEXIS SUPPORTING TED’S BIG DREAM
Ted wanted to be with Alexis since the very first season, but she wasn’t ready. Even when he proposed, she was still in love with Mutt, so Ted moved on to Heather. When Alexis was finally ready, Ted was taken, so she had to throw herself into her new business.
Finally, in Season 4, it was the right time for them to be together, but soon after Ted got an amazing opportunity to study turtles thousands of miles away from Schitt’s Creek. Alexis supporting Ted’s dream is one of the most selfless things she’s done on the show and demonstrates her newfound willingness to put someone else’s desires before her own.
5 TED AND DAVID TALKING ABOUT LOVE
David and Alexis aren’t the most emotionally open of people, especially David. When he drops off a box of dog sweaters at Ted’s clinic, he’s not prepared to be trapped by Ted and roped into a sentimental discussion about heartbreak. But it’s clear Ted is still processing his feelings for Alexis, so David lends him an ear.
What David says to Ted really demonstrates how much growth he’s done since meeting Patrick. His relationship has showed him the importance of honest communication, because it makes both partners feel comfortable to express themselves. He proclaims when you meet someone who makes you feel that way you should never let them go.
4 WHEN ROLAND AND JOCELYN SAVE THE DAY
Roland and Jocelyn Schitt have been both a blessing and a curse to the Roses. While Moira has benefited from joining Jocelyn’s Jazzagals group, Johnny rarely benefits from Roland’s attempts to be a handyman around the Rosebud Motel. However in Season 6, when Johnny and Moira need help most, it’s this unlikely pair that comes to the rescue.
Johnny wants to expand the Rosebud Motel but can’t come up with the funds, and when he hears an anonymous buyer beat him to another property, he feels defeated. That is, until he learns the anonymous buyer was the Schitts, who took a second mortgage out on their house to help the Roses realize their plan. The depth of emotion conveyed between Johnny and Roland when the big reveal is made is unexpectedly poignant.
3 DAVID CARRYING PATRICK ON THEIR HIKE
In the fifth season, Patrick decides that he and David should go on a romantic picnic. Except that in order to do it, they need to go on a hike, and David isn’t the most athletically inclined. He nevertheless does it for Patrick, except Patrick gets injured along the route, placing David in the role of expedition leader.
Patrick wants to turn back but David won’t have it. He scoops Patrick up and carries him the rest of the way, with visions of cheese and crackers and a soft blanket spurring him on. He has no idea the reward he’ll get for his efforts – Patrick proposes to him at the top of the peak.
2 DAVID AND MOIRA PERFORMING “THE NUMBER”
For Schitt’s Creek’s “Asbestos Fest”, Moira decides to choose a flashy and complicated vocal piece to wow the audience. Despite her merciless practice schedule, she can’t seem to recapture the magic of performing the number like she did in her youth.
Seeing his mother struggle, David decides to help her. He suggests they do their “Christmas in July” duet that they used to perform when he was a kid, and it’s the perfect choice. It’s touching not because the song is performed well, but because David is willing to bomb hard so his mom won’t be embarrassed alone on stage.
1 THE ROSES MAKING JOHNNY’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
In the series Christmas Special, Johnny Rose becomes despondent when he realizes his family doesn’t seem to be in the holiday spirit. He assumes it’s because their situation in Schitt’s Creek means they won’t be throwing an amazing Christmas soiree like they used to.
When the family notices his sudden mood shift, they and their friends gather together to decorate the Rosebud Motel, making it a winter wonderland better than any luxurious party they ever had. Johnny doesn’t care about glitz and glamour, he just wants his family around him, smiling and happy.
NEXT: Schitt’s Creek: Most Hilarious One-Liners From The Show