[[caption-width-right:350:''[[AwesomeMusic And I hope you die...]] [[Music/TheMountainGoats I hope we both die...]]'']]
''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'' is just another screwy, vulgar Creator/AdultSwim comedy, right?
* The ChristmasSpecial, where Orel's parents split up. Especially the end: " There's still two minutes left in today. I know you can make this the best Christmas ever. I have faith in you!" Never has a HopeSpot been so depressing.
* "Love", while one of the "silly" episodes, is about how the town of Moralton convinces Orel to put down his dog, mostly because the town found him annoying. It's a real ShootTheDog moment for much of the cast.
* "Nature", the two-parter in which the series started to [[GrowingTheBeard show some stubble]], features Clay taking Orel out on a hunting trip, pressuring him to kill an animal, and ultimately [[spoiler:getting drunk, crying, and shooting his son in the leg]]. There's a shot that shows ''two days'' passing before Clay comes to and drives Orel home.
** At one point in the speech Clay gives before [[spoiler:shooting Orel]], he removes his belt and accidentally drops his pants, which is the show's RunningGag. He's too drunk to put them back on properly and simply falls down, smashing his tent, curls up in to the fetal position half-naked, and breaks into tears. In front of his own son. It's not PlayedForLaughs.
** The fact that Orel [[spoiler:never completely heals from the gunshot wound; he has the limp all his life. This may have been averted if his parents had taken him to a competent doctor, rather than one who would simply keep his mouth shut.]]
*** [[spoiler: Or if Clay hadn't waited two days to drive him to the hospital.]]
** There is one line in particular: [[spoiler:"It's because you become a ''bad person'' when you drink!" Just the way Orel loses his composure, and his voice breaks and he's visibly on the verge of crying...]]
** "I hate you." The tone in his voice is simply chilling.
*** "[[InsultBackfire Hate away sister]], [[DramaticallyMissingThePoint hate away]]." Not really a response he was expecting.
* Fuck it, Season 3 of this show in general falls into this category; at this point in the show, it barely counts as a comedy series. The season's highlights include:
** "Dumb", wherein [[SonOfAWhore Joe]] beats his senile father's face in for thinking the mother of his child was dead.
** "Passing", which is about Clay's StartOfDarkness. We learn that his mother coddles him because she had multiple miscarriages due to her excessive drinking and smoking. When Clay [[spoiler:fakes suicide]] as a practical joke, his mother has a heart attack and dies. Clay's father threatens to beat him, but tells him he's not even worth it. From there, Clay associates physical abuse with worth, and constantly reminds him of his dead wife to get attention.
*** This one's made even worse by the fact that his mother ''[[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve convinced herself]]'' that God had answered her prayer to "take me and not him". His mother was also the one who ingrained the "Lost Commandments" into him, which he then passes on to Orel.
*** Clay, as a child, deliberately antagonizing his father in order to provoke an abusive response, as it's the only type of attention he can get from him. Set to the tune of "Love, Love, Love" by Music/TheMountainGoats.
*** Doubly effective as the song comes from ''The Sunset Tree'', an album who's songs are connected by the concept of John Darnielle's own [[AbusiveParents abusive stepfather]].
*** Clay's father introduces Clay to "Ol' Gunny", a revolver that, Clay's father explains, has for years been handed down from the head of the Puppington household to the eldest son. Clay's father, disgusted with his son, informs Clay that this is the end of the tradition; there will be no coming-of-age hunting trip for the two. Alone, Clay says to the pistol, "Don't worry, Ol' Gunny. I'll keep the tradition going." Cut to years later, when an aged Clay considers giving Ol' Gunny to his son... but doesn't.
*** "Help" is the other half of Clay's StartOfDarkness. It is revealed that Clay actually had the chance to live a normal life, but Bloberta pressured him to turn to alcohol so he'd marry her.
** The ending of "Numb" may be the most tearjerking depiction of a failing marriage in the history of television. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOMV9b8vcpE See for yourself.]]
*** The rest of the episode is about Bloberta deliberately tearing apart her genitals to seduce a doctor with a gore fetish. Made even darker when the viewer learns [[spoiler:the doctor's wife may have died doing the same thing]].
*** The ending of "Numb". Clay and Bloberta lie in their respective beds, considering their broken marriage, as Music/TheMountainGoats' "No Children" plays.
** "Grounded", in which Orel tries to kill himself multiple times in an attempt to meet God. What follows is a near-death dream sequence with some of the most intense imagery ever to appear on Adult Swim, including Church!Orel rocking regular Orel back and forth in his arms, Bartholomew, and even the hunting trip which hadn't even happened yet chronologically. The ''real'' tearjerker, though, comes from when Orel tries to tell of what he saw of Heaven, and Clay tries to whip it out of him for the sake of keeping the religious status quo; with each strike, the image of Oral as a church gradually recedes until it's just a regular church. [[KickTheDog Clay literally beat Orel's revelation out of him]].
** "Alone", [[http://vimeo.com/71946733 which observes three unrelated victims of sexual abuse alone in their apartments]].
*** Nurse Bendy, [[ReallyGetsAround the town bicycle]], is shown to mentally regress [[TheIngenue to a childlike state]], playing house with her teddy bears to cover up the fact that she hates herself for letting men sexually use her. This is made even worse when [[spoiler: her "Hubby" bear is knocked from its chair and onto her backside while she was cleaning up a spilled sandwich. This, coupled with [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything his spilling milk on her face in the process]], triggers a panic attack at the thought that even her ''fantasy'' Husband only wants her for sex]].
---->'''Bendy''': And thank You kindly for keeping our joyous family together under this one love-filled roof. We all need people who aren't mean to me, or don't act like they only care about doing dirty, awful things to you. We need family because they ''care'' that I'm a real person, who has thoughts of... sadness, sometimes, along with happy thoughts, or scared, or [[BuffySpeak alone-ness]] thoughts. I ''feel'' thoughts of emotions, [[BeneathTheMask and I need people to know that]]. So... thank You for keeping this family in good shape. [[StepfordSmiler The end, for now, while we eat. Signed, my family!]] Wow - [[SandInMyEyes my eye is really sweating up a storm, here!]]
*** Miss Sculptham, who [[StockholmSyndrome is in love with her rapist]] and, as heavily implied by the bloody coat hanger she keeps around[[note]]along with hurriedly turning off the radio when she hears the word "abortion"[[/note]], aborted the unborn child that was conceived from the rape. It's hinted that she also intentionally lured him in by dyeing her hair brunette, as he "didn't like blondes".
*** And finally there's Miss Censordoll, whose obsession with chicken eggs (as seen in an earlier episode) stems from the fact that her mother had her sexual organs surgically removed when she was an infant, which has [[AGodAmI deluded Miss Censordoll into believing that she is God]].
---->'''Censordoll''': I was an infant when I had them - I was an infant when you had them ''removed''. So for all intents and purposes, I am immaculate from conception. I am ''not'' HolierThanThou, mother... but I ''am'' holier than '''you'''.
*** Just to show you how soul-crushingly depressing it is, ''[[GoneHorriblyRight this was the episode that got the series cancelled.]]''
** The ending of "Sundays". Reverend Putty, himself in an awful mood, looks around at the congregation for inspiration for his sermon (entitled "Hope"). The townspeople are all depressed, due to their own lives being in shambles; in desperation, Putty looks for the one person he can rely on to always be cheerful and optimistic: Orel. However, when Putty finds Orel in the crowd, he discovers Orel in a similar state, his leg in a cast due to the hunting accident. Defeated, Putty changes the title of the sermon from "Hope" to "Hopeless".
*** This is [[spoiler:turned around completely in the next episode, however. Putty gives a long sermon about how while things may ''seem'' hopeless, you should never despair, because God is with you even then and will always look after you. Orel is brought out of his funk and returns to his cheerful ways.]]
** "Sacrifice", in which Clay attempts to start a bar fight by spewing misogynistic hate and reminding Doctor Potterswheel about how he accidentally killed his wife. When he only succeeds in driving everyone away from him without a punch being thrown, he breaks down in the empty bar and cries.
*** Considering that Clay as a child associates being abused with love and his crappy marriage, his attempt to start that bar fight may have been a genuine attempt to gain some affection, something sorely lacking in his own marriage. From that perspective, it's really quite twisted.
*** As creator Dino Stamatopoulos was [[CreatorBreakdown going through a nasty divorce around the time the episode was made]], it's entirely possible that some of his darker thoughts regarding women and fidelity [[RealitySubtext slipped their way into Clay's speech]] at the end.
*** The ending of "Sacrifice". Having driven all his friends to hating him, Clay spends his time in the bar getting drunk, not going to church, work, or even home to see his family on Easter.
*** Especially sad as Clay misses his [[spoiler:(okay, Daniel's)]] son's first complete sentence.
--->'''Shapey:''' When I'm thirsty, it feels how I feel when I'm alone.
*** Bloberta's reaction to Shapey is quite sad, while he's trying to grab her attention she's trashing the kitchen looking for the handkerchief that Dr. Potterswheel gave her, and tries to blindly push him away with, "Not now, Shapey." Only to [[WhamLine stop in her tracks in shock at what Shapey said]], ending the scene looking remorseful.
*** [[http://boards.adultswim.com/t5/Moral-Orel/A-Final-Q-amp-A-Possible/td-p/47747798/page/4 This]] Q&A from Dino reveals that this is what his [[RealitySubtext daughter Tigger (Shapey's voice actress) said when she was young right out of the blue]]. The words profoundly stuck with him even till the day she was 9-years old and recording that scene.
** In the episode "Honor", Clay, whom we manically flip between loathing entirely and feeling sorry for, finally snaps and comes out of the closet in front of his entire family, confessing his love to his best friend who coldly rejects him, having come over the course of the episode to realize what a monster Clay is. While it's one of the most heartwarming episodes of the series as far as wrapping everything up (tearjerking in its own right), it serves as the final nail in Clay's coffin. If we can judge by the pictures on the walls of adult!Orel's house, Clay pretty much lives and dies alone and unloved by anybody except out of obligation.
* Beforel Orel's depiction of Orel losing his rationality in favor of blind faith is profoundly depressing, even if he doesn't end up corrupted by the town's problems.
** "Grandpa! [[InMysteriousWays GOD stopped me! Through you!]]" "No....."
** It goes double if the watcher has been raised in a similar corrupt church (and I stress 'church' not religion) or has known someone raised in one. Kinda sinks in how much of a bullet you dodged, doesn't it?
* Whatever you may feel about Clay, but it's hard not to feel sorry for him in Beforel Orel when he cries in the pub as he realizes that he never touched Bloberta and could never have conceived Shapey with her.
** Same thing happened to Clay when confronts his father while breaking into tears in front of the latter. Arthur [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone realized]] [[JerkassRealization how his shunning]] towards his son resulted. But the true dagger to Arthur's (and the audience's) heart is that Clay [[RejectedApology refuses to reconcile]] and tells Orel not to trust Arthur out of spite.
* Beforel Orel ends with [[spoiler: Orel's first belting. To make it worse, he was so excited to see Clay's study for the first time.]]