* [[spoiler: Ricky's senseless death scene.]]
** Compounded and made doubly tragic when his SAT test scores are revealed. [[spoiler: He passed.]]
** FridgeHorror: Made even worse once you realize [[spoiler: Ricky]]'s son will grow up without a father to guide him. And the cycle continues...
* Doughboy's [[HeroicBSOD drunken breakdown in despair]] over [[spoiler: Ricky's death]] and society's apathy toward the plight of the 'hood.
** [[spoiler: His fade-out and the title card: "He was murdered two weeks later."]]
* "You're my only son and I'm not gonna lose you to no bullshit, you hear?" Best. Dad. Ever.
--> '''Furious:''' Give me the ''[[PrecisionFStrike motherfucking]]'' gun, Tre!
** LaurenceFishburne himself said that overnight, the role made him "father to a generation of fatherless children."
* The targets of [[spoiler: Doughboy's revenge for Ricky's murder. Made especially heartwrenching when two of them are shot as they crawl away, in agony, one pleading that he didn't kill Ricky before being shot.]]
* [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome The film score qualifies as heartrending in and of itself.]]
* The opening title cards: "One out of every twenty-one Black American males will be murdered in their lifetime", followed by "Most will die at the hands of another Black male." All this is played over the intense sounds of arguing, gunshots, children screaming, and one child crying, "They shot my brother!" Cue the opening shot of a '''STOP''' sign. SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped, indeed.
* Tre visibly fearing for his life at the hands of a ''police officer''. His subsequent emotional outburst in front of his girlfriend will definitely get the waterworks going.
* Doughboy's mother's treatment of him from him and Ricky getting into a fight to after [[spoiler: Rickys Murder]]for the death.