Pat, played by Pam St Clement, passed away in an extended New Year's Day episode following her recent diagnosis of terminal cancer. Friends and family, including her son David (Michael French), gathered to say their goodbyes during her final moments.
In real life, meanwhile, St Clement has decided to bow out from EastEnders after 25 and a half years to pursue other work and life opportunities.
Writing on Twitter after the episode aired, Cole commented: "Please tell me I'm not the only person to have shed a tear at #Eastenders?? Is there something wrong with me..? #Goodbyepat #endofanearring."
Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand also tuned in, telling his online followers: "Watching Pat Butcher fade out in #eastenders is getting the family emotional, come on u can pull through, use Dot Cotton as the inspiration!"
He added: "Janine cracks me up!! Bianca stop crying please because the kleenex are at the ready if we see another tear! #eastenders."
Former Hollyoaks star Gerard McCarthy (Kris Fisher) tweeted: "EastEnders was epic tonight! Bryan Kirkwood, Simon Ashdown, Pam St Clement and cast and crew take a bow."
DJ Annie Mac remarked: "The Queen of Clip On Earrings is dead. R.I.P Pat Butcher."
St Clement's long-time co-star Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale) also paid tribute to Pat on Twitter shortly before the episode began.
Woodyatt said: "Less than an hour until the end of an earring. Goodbye Pat Harris Beale Wicks Butcher Evans, we will miss you."
Pat's final EastEnders episode ran for 70 minutes and concluded with a reworked version of the soap's theme tune as a tribute to the much-loved character.
In the coming days, viewers will see the matriarch's family dealing with their grief in the build-up to her funeral, which airs on January 13.
Returnee David will also have to contend with threats from twisted Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman), who is keen to settle their old score once and for all.
EastEnders continues on Monday at 8pm on BBC One.
> EastEnders star Pam St Clement on bowing out as Pat
> EastEnders' Pam St Clement: 'I'm glad of dramatic exit'
> Barbara Windsor, Patsy Palmer lead Pam St Clement exit tributes
> Read more EastEnders news and spoilers
Watch clips from Pat's final EastEnders episode below:
Watch some of Pat's EastEnders best bits: