1 of 26 David Giesbrecht/Fox
Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), The Following
We knew Joe Carroll was a grizzly serial killer, but nothing could have prepared us for his grizzly Season 2 beard. It seems Carroll's grooming habits aren't nearly as razor-sharp as his wit. Since he faked his death, we guess this technically could be a beard of disguise. But after losing his family and — more importantly — his cult, Carroll has got his fair share of sorrows.
2 of 26 ABC
Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox), Lost
After leaving the Island, Jack grew probably the most famous beard of sorrow (and developed a nasty pill addiction to boot). But while he was right to insist, "We have to go back," we never want to go back to that beard.
3 of 26 CBS
Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Star Trek: The Next Generation
Riker didn't grow just any beard; he grew a beard for the apocalypse! When the first officer came across an alternate version of himself, he came face-to-face with the sad truth: When the Borgs win, the razors lose.
4 of 26 FOX
Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), 24
After losing his wife, Jack's chin was literally bristling with sadness. But it turns out doing a little beheading is Jack's shaving grace. Afterw the CTU agent killed a pedophile, Jack picked up the razor again.
5 of 26 NBC
Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley), Scrubs
If you didn't know Dr. Cox was depressed after losing three patients in a row, his sad attempt at a beard should clue you in. The fact that he grew it while sitting alone in the dark drinking probably helped too. Scrubs never did shy away from a cliché or two.
6 of 26 Ursula Coyote/AMC
Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Breaking Bad
He lost his family, his friends, his health and his home. But there is one thing Walt still had at the end — his depression beard! So while he may have felt at his lowest, at least Walt looked his best. Plus, it was nice he had something to keep him warm when he was all alone during those cold New Hampshire nights.
7 of 26 Ursula Coyote/AMC
Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), Breaking Bad
Jesse Pinkman was the hottest meth addict on TV. That is, until he became a slave to a bunch of Nazis and started looking like an off-brand Notebook-era Ryan Gosling.
8 of 26 Showtime
Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk), Weeds
When Nancy turned Andy down in favor of a drug kingpin, his chin bore the grunt his pain. And though we really sympathized with Andy, we doubt Nancy had any regrets upon seeing that face rug.
9 of 26 tk
Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar), Heroes
Nathan never even expected to make it out of the big NYC blowout, so he was probably a little too preoccupied with being alive to shave. Plus, who wouldn't grow a beard after your brother (literally) went nuclear?
10 of 26 NBC
Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), The Office
Post- Angela breakup Dwight can be summed up in four words: beets, beard and Battlestar Galactica. The paper salesman didn't like to show it, but he was a major mashmallow inside, as his breakup beard proved.
11 of 26 NBC
Roy (David Denman), The Office
After Pam called off the wedding, Roy spiraled into a deep depression, complete with obligatory facial hair and DUI. We never saw this coming, but Roy's beard blues actually made us feel sorry for the guy.
12 of 26 NBC
Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane), ER
After a helicopter's rotor blades cut off his arm, Dr. Romano stopped cutting his facial hair. He kept the beard for the rest of his life (when a different helicopter landed on top of him and exploded). OK, maybe he gets a pass.
13 of 26 Syfy
Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan), Battlestar Galactica
Col. Tigh was a little too busy adjusting to having only one eye, struggling with guilt over poisoning his wife and dealing with a full-blown robot takeover to bother with a razor. Who can blame him for not shaving?
14 of 26 Syfy
Galen Tyrol (Aaron Douglass), Battlestar Galactica
Sometimes we wonder if razors were even available on New Caprica since seemingly everyone there sported some serious scruff. Fortunately, Tyrol's return to Galactica marked a return to the adorable baby face we knew and loved.
15 of 26 Paramount
Cole (Julian MacMahon), Charmed
We can't blame Phoebe for dumping Cole. (He was a demon after all.) But there really was no reason for him to grow that atrocious beard. Couldn't he have used his special powers to keep it at to some nice stubble at least?
16 of 26 Ron Tom/ABC
Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), Grey's Anatomy
After losing a patient, McDreamy became McBeardy while he considered leaving behind medicine for good. Fortunately for Meredith, he ended up seeing the light, grabbing a razor and proposing to her.
17 of 26 Eric Liebowitz/ABC/Getty Images
Daniel (Eric Mabius), Ugly Betty
After breaking up with his fiancé, Daniel grew a brooding beard so everyone would know he was hurting inside. The new scruff stuck around until Marc enacted a secret plan to make him hot and cool again. Soon, he was shaving once more and designers were coming to him instead of the other way around. But wasn't Ugly Betty supposed to teach us that it's what's on the inside that counts?
18 of 26 Warner Home Video
Chuck (Zachary Levi), Chuck
Chuck might have lost his girlfriend and his spy job, but at least he had one heck of an epic beard at the beginning of Season 3. But in an effort to get Sarah back, Chuck ditched his hairy new companion and attempted to blend in as a mariachi singer. (Don't ask.)
19 of 26 Warner Home Video
Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn), Veronica Mars
If we thought we murdered our sister and lost our virginity to our half-sister, we'd probably grow a beard and run off to Cuba too. Fortunately, Keith Mars was able to bring Duncan back to Neptune, where he was able to 1) shave and 2) find out he didn't commit murder or incest!
20 of 26 CBS
Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), How I Met Your Mother
Ted has gotten dumped countless times over the years, but only one breakup gave him the full-blown beard blues. After splitting with Robin (again), Ted grew some sexy scruff. But the best part of the ordeal? Seeing him shave it off in various, hilarious stages. We were partial to the Old-Timey Inventor.
21 of 26 NBC
Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), Parks and Recreation
Since Ben "resigned in shame," it makes sense that he'd want to match his facial hair to the situation. But it's hard to focus on Ben's shameful beard attempt with the ideas of the Low-Cal Calzone Zone and Requiem for a Tuesday blocking out all other thoughts.
22 of 26 Justin Lubin/NBC
Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), Community
One thing Jeff never lost throughout his time at Greendale was his id. But upon graduating and discovering that looking like a tall Ryan Seacrest doesn't translate to real-life success, Jeff's ego wilted. And so did his desire to shave.
23 of 26 Robert Voets/Warner Bros. Entertainment
Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), Mentalist
With the Red John saga behind him, Jane could focus on anything. Apparently, he chose to focus on growing a beard.
24 of 26 HBO
Mark Antony (James Purefoy), Rome
Upset that Octavius defeated his army, Mark Antony went a little off the deep end, growing a thick, scraggly beard. When he finally emerged from his depression, he upgraded to guyliner.
25 of 26 20th Century Fox/Everett
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof), Angel
Having his throat slit made it difficult for Wesley to shave, we're sure. But once his wound healed, Wesley decided to keep the beard, like a constant reminder of his new badass, angsty and ruthless self.
26 of 26 Randy Tepper/Showtime
Dexter Morgan(Michael C. Hall), Dexter
This beard represents all that is wrong with the world. After seasons of exciting drama and mystery, Dexter ended with its titular anti-hero stealing his sister's corpse, leaving his son with a serial killer and growing a lumberjack beard because — oh yeah — he's a lumberjack now. This goes far beyond a beard of sorrow. This is a beard of completely giving up and knowing it.