Code Geass got one in the very first episode from a minor character - it could be found really sad: Nakata sadly looks at a photograph of his family, and says his last words: '...Nippon...banzai!'. Cue explosion.
The episode about Kallen and her mother was really sad. Especially when Kallen realizes that her mother stayed not because it would be easy to be a Britannian slave, but because she wanted to stay with Kallen.
That episode marks the first and probably last time you could cry over a hot dog vendor.
C.C.: "Lying tears hurt others; lying smiles... hurt only oneself"
And the end of the episode... damn. Having Kallen speak to the still BSOD-ing Mrs. Kouzuki and tell her she's gonna change the world so they can live happily, and even when she's still in her Lotus-Eater Machine, Kouzuki touches Kallen's hand and tell her to do her best?
"C.C... I don't know why snow is white... But I do find such white snow beautiful." The delivery was so soft... yet so powerful...
The Wham Episode and the aftermath near the end of Code Geass's first season. Especially seeing poor Princess Euphemia slowly dying next to her bodyguard/boyfriend Suzaku intercut with scenes of the people she was trying to help cursing her name
Hearing Suzaku lying to Euphemia that it was a huge success and everyone is so happy now...
The sequence on the Avalon seems designed to punch you in the gut. It's actually worse than just having Euphie die, because it shows all of the desperate, anxious struggle to keep someone alive, and then shows it failing.
And in the still image montage the moment after Euphie dies, the images of Suzaku getting dragged out and a close up of him screaming for Euphie while everybody is chanting for Zero are arrows to your heart.
When Nunally called Lelouch to ask if Euphie could come to the school festival with them. Mostly because, imagine how Lulu was feeling about that...
The whole thing is saddening. Not only is she dead, but she will always be remembered as a monster who massacred Japanese, which renders her life absolutely meaningless. It got worse.
The worst part was her being forced to commit such a horrific act. Killing her outright would have been bad but this... this is a nightmare...
No more of a nightmare than it was for Euphie herself. Remember, when most people are compelled by a Geass, they do it without batting an eyelid - even if it's an order to shoot themselves in the neck. But Euphemia? The command is so utterly against her nature that she actually fights it off for several seconds before the inexorable power of the Geass forcibly rewires her mind... she spent the last few seconds of her non-mind-controlled life in sheer abject horror of what she was about to commit.
Worse yet... Euphemia's order is to "Kill all the Japanese". She walks right past the unconscious Suzaku. Even though Suzaku is clearly Japanese, and lying right outside of the room she was in, she managed to convince herself not to.
In one scene, Lelouch as Zero is confronted by a mortally wounded old woman who begs him to help them as Zero is their hero before dying while Lelouch can only stand there in shock, knowing that he's responsible for the whole massacre.
In a non-canon example, there is a doujinshi that has the geassed Euphemia force herself onto Suzaku... and once she's "become his bride", she reasons that it makes her Japanese as well... and commits suicide to stop herself. It's absolutely horrifying.
It's called Engage.
Then it happens in Super Robot Wars Z2: Hakai-Hen, despite so many fans hoping for a less violent conclusion.
And then there's Cornelia's reaction to Euphemia's death. She spends the rest of the episode in a near-catatonic state, staring into the fireplace in her office and remembering her childhood days with her baby sister. It's the only time that Cornelia, Lady of War personified, is seen so full of despair and vulnerability. And it's made worse because she never got to the Avalon in time to say goodbye...
The phonecall between Suzaku, and Lelouch, that happens after this, especially, since their both preparing for battle at the time. Especially when Suzaku tells Lelouch, that he's going to become a murderer in the skies over Tokyo. Its obvious at this time, hes passed the Despair Event Horison.
Episode 13 where Lelouch, Kallen, and Suzaku are all questioning the missions they take part in and the killings that happen. Watching this episode on my second run through of the series, it's quite sad how they all decide the best thing to do is to keep going and knowing how many hard times are still coming for them.
The flashback to Lelouch and Suzaku being separated as children.The scene where little Lelouch is in the back of the car, driving away from little Suzaku, and the two of them are watching each other fade away into the distance. It is even sadder when you realize they do see each other again they are both so messed up they'll never be as happy as they were that summer together.
Shirley. When Lelouch shows up late for his date with Shirley and finds her standing in the rain outside the opera house, and Lelouch learns that Zero killed her father in the Narita battle. Made even sadder by the fact that Lelouch is Zero. Then there's the matter of how Mao took advantage of this situation, and what Lelouch did to ease Shirley's suffering...
Shirley's anguished scream while Lelouch uses his Geass on her.
There's also Shirley's mother's reaction to the undertakers starting to bury her husband. She gets on her knees and begs them not to bury him again.
Two of the picture dramas near the end of the first season are quite sad. The first, 22.25, is quite heartwarming until Nunnally drops her half of her mother's commemorative plate, a memento of Euphemia, just as the radio cuts off at the start of the Euphinator incident. The second one offers a powerful look at Suzaku's despair, especially his belief that killing his father set everything into motion and the implied realization that he will have to face Lelouch.
Mao's death is actually pretty moving, if you consider the fact that everything he did was because of his love for C.C. and desire to save her from her death wish and that his insanity was never truly his fault in the first place. So he's been soundly beaten, in even worse shape than he was at the beginning of the story, and can't even talk anymore, but he's still just so happy to see C.C. and then she comforts him before shooting him. The straightest-played Mercy Kill in the series.
The end of season one, where we find how far apart Lelouch and Suzaku have grown and how much they now hate each other. Suzaku finally corners Zero, without the Gawain or any contingency plan. Suzaku walks up, and in the ensuing scene they both aim straight at each other's weak points. At the very end, a gunshot is heard, and all goes black.
It's even more sad when Kallen and Suzaku finally found out Lelouch is Zero, and let's just say they didn't take it well.
Cornelia when Lelouch revealed his identity as Zero to her. Especially when she brings up Clovis and Euphy.
Rather striking is a scene in episode five of the second season, where Lelouch is pleasantly interacting with his fellow students and the notices the check marks on a wall, which he had geassed one of the female students to make daily as a way to test the duration of his power. While nothing is said, the look on his face when he sees the wall and when he sees Shirley conveys how much he realizes that he's screwed up people's lives through his activities. It's even more depressing in retrospect, since instead of a positive development happening, things just get worse as the series progresses.
Speaking of which, the fate of Carve-tan, by Word of God, isn't a pretty one: Since she was evacuated from Area 11, she was taken away from Ashford Academy and that wall she must carve. After that, every night she would escape from her home to head to Ashford, which resulted in a nervous breakdown. She had to be confined so she wouldn't escape again, but they say she's doing better.
It worsens in R2 Episode 13. When after regaining all her memories and going through a period of having no idea who she could trust, Shirley accepts that whatever evils Lelouch has committed to further his schemes, she'll always be loyal to him, even when she still isn't sure what's going on. She makes the understandable mistake of assuming that if she's on Lelouch's side and Rolo's on Lelouch's side, Rolo must be trustworthy. The price she pays for this mistake is bleeding to death in Lelouch's arms.
The real heart-wrenching part of that scene is when Lelouch begs for her not to die, and even tried using his Geass to keep her alive, repeatedly, but to no avail.
Shirley: No matter how many times I'm reborn... I'm sure I'll... fall in love with you again, Lulu...
And Lelouch's scream of anguish when Shirley dies?
It gets even worse. The next episode, during Shirley's funeral, Shirley's mom crying throughout makes the entire scene even more painful to watch.
Also a bit of a Tear Jerker is, in the fourth ending that debuted after R2 13, one shot showed Shirley as an angel.
Lelouch frantically re-casting his Geass on her, screaming all the while "Shirley! Don't die! I ORDER YOU NOT TO DIE!!!"
And Jeremiah himself in Episode 13.
When Rolo walks in and explains what he did to Lelouch and Lelouch turns around and acts pleased and happy. The thought of what Lelouch must really be feeling . . . that just hurt.
Episode 15 of R2: C.C. has apparently decided to die, giving her life up to the Emperor, and sends Lelouch into her memories so he won't have to watch. Instead, Lelouch learns that C.C.'s real "heart's desire" is just to be loved, honestly and truthfully. Lelouch races back to her and convinces her not to give up, in a scene that makes it look like the two of them might finally stop playing Dueling Tsundere and admit to liking each other...but then it's revealed that instead of dying, C.C. lost her immortality and all her memories prior to the Geass, reducing her to the level of a ten-year-old slave-girl from the Dark Ages. When she mistakes Lelouch for her new master and, trembling with fear, rattles off her skills ("I can cook and clean and sew, I can handle sheep and cows, I can read a little and I know numbers up to twenty, and I've handled dead bodies before..."), even Lelouch looks like he's about to start crying.
From the same episode Orange Boy's eulogy of General Bartley, where he admitted even though he hated him for turning him into a cyborg, he was also just as loyal to the royal family and would have probably changed sides if he knew the truth, probably brought tears to some peoples eyes.
Nunnally's "death", made even worse because technically, Lelouch indirectly killed her thanks to his "live" Geass on Suzaku. And if that doesn't get you, Lelouch's final line will... "Don't lie to me!!... Come on, Rolo... just a little... let me speak... with Nunnally..."
It's his face that just makes it. Lelouch is slumped in his chair, and just the look on his face...he just looks so utterly defeated. Lelouch has raged at the heavens and screamed in anguish, but this is the first and only time in the whole series that he's just broken.
And Lelouch frantically yelling at Rolo to stop over-using his Geass was pretty painful to watch. Especially because it was repeatedly cutoff by Rolo's Geass and Rolo's speech about not wanting to be used anymore.
The worst bit? Lelouch was on pause through every word of that speech. He never heard how glad Rolo was that he got a chance to spend a year with someone who didn't treat him like a mindless weapon.
And that song that played through it... the same music played when Lelouch screamed that he hated Rolo and wanted to kill him.
Rolo: "It was a lie... right? What you said about wanting to kill me... That you... hated me and all of that..."
When you consider that everything he did for Lelouch, even killing Shirley, was all because he loved him and wanted to be loved as a real person. Rolo is a mentally and emotionally screwed-up kid, like pretty much everybody else in the show.
Rolo's last words are what always got this troper. He wanted to be loved so badly that he convinced himself that Lelouch was lying earlier when he screamed at him. However this troper takes comfort in the fact that Lelouch ended up caring about him in the end as seen when Lelouch includes Rolo in his list of people he cared about.
The picture drama 19.02.
After Rolo's swan-dance was over, when "Kallen, you must live on," came crashing down in full.
See this scene from Episode 18: Lelouch begging Rolo to see Nunally is heart-wrenching. Most people agree that he lost it in Episode 18. Made much worse by what comes in the later episodes.
When Gilford sacrificed his own life to save Lelouch's, yelling "Princess! Please live on!"
The Black Knights betray Zero. Schneizel has told them that their leader is an ex-Britannian prince and that his miracles are just tricks. What's worse is that Ohgi takes his, along with that of Villetta's, words for it. When they're convinced thanks to Schneizel with a recording of Lelouch falsely admitting to Suzaku of Geassing Euphemia, list of his Geassed victims, and notifying of the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead (Lelouch refused to believe it because of Suzaku's presumed duplicity), it's angst for them. Next, they manipulate Kallen into bringing him in to them, leading them to an ambush where the Black Knights point their guns at them and call out Lelouch for his actions. It really hurts for them, even Kallen trying to reason with them fails as they suspect she's under Lelouch's control with his Geass. Realizing there's no way out, Lelouch acts like the Magnificent Bastard he is by falsely admitting he's using them all, including Kallen. Before the inevitable, he whispers to her "you have to live" just before Rolo saves his ass in the last minute. Even so, it's still sad. So it's goodbye for Lelouch to be with his former team. ;(
The WORST part about it? The Black Knights NEVER BOTHERED to find the reason WHY Lelouch was AGAINST BRITANNIA. Had they DID their research, there would be NO BETRAYAL. It was no wonder why this event was the final nail for setting up Zero Requiem.
In episode 20 of R2 there's a scene when Lelouch is on the phone to Rivalz and tells him "Could you tell Milly that I don't think I'll be able to come back and shoot fireworks with anyone anymore?" and then monologues about defeating the emperor even at the cost of himself. Majorly depressing moment.
Rivalz asks Lelouch where Rolo is, to which he responds "He's here with me."
In R2 episode 21, after Lelouch geasses God, causing Charles and Marianne to disappear from existence, he then tells them the meaning behind Nunnally's smile and that she knew that, because of her being blind and crippled, there was nothing in the world she could do on her own. So her smile was the only way for her to show her gratitude. That whole speech, along with the fact that their own parents abandoned them, believing that it was for the best but making everything So Much Worse.
Kallen's attempt to reach Lelouch in R2 episode 22. It starts off all nostalgic, but once Kallen starts talking Lelouch just shuts down. As she talks, they keep zooming in on Lelouch's face, making it clear he's forcing himself not to say a word. Then she gets desperate and kisses him, and for a single, brief moment, it seems as if she got through. But no. He closes up again and crushes her heart, so she barely manages to bottle up her urge to cry and marches off with a simple "goodbye." Then it focuses on Lelouch, with his eyes hidden from view, and he sorrowfully repeats the same line.
And finally, in the Grand Finale: Lelouch, having made himself the most despised man in the world with control over every country, allows his friend Suzaku, now having faked his own death and taken up the mantle of Zero, to publicly assassinate him, this is known as Zero Requiem. As flashbacks explain their plan, the scene cuts to show the people who knew Lelouch best - C.C., Kallen, and even Suzaku - begin crying as the sword pierces his chest and comes out of his back. After Suzaku removes the sword, Lelouch falls down next to Nunnally, who finally realizes his intentions were noble all along and, as he rapidly bleeds to death, begs him not to leave her and tells him that she loves him no matter what. And just to cap it all off, after Lelouch has finally died, Nunnally desperately cries and screams for him, and her inarticulate grief is drowned out by the crowd cheering for the man who murdered him. The music didn't help.
"Continued Story" begins playing immediately after Lelouchs' Last Words. Hearing this song, as Nunnally cries over her brothers' body, screaming for him to come back, Kallen figuring out the truth of Lelouchs' actions, all while the crowd chants for his murderer, will really put a lump in your throat.
"Madder Sky" is powerful enough to be listed again here. Again, one of those pieces where simply listening to it will evoke ... feelings.
To quote Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Although this is probably more apt than the original use; it was Lelouch's crowning achievement, but Nunnally's broken sobbing over the body of her brother, while the people cheered his own alter ego for killing him, is quite the reverse.
Really, entire psychology theses could be written on the multifarious dimensions of Tear Jerker in that finale. One More Chance!, Kallen's post-finale Image Song (Thank you for your love/All those people I've met until today that supported me./Thank you for your love/I won't forget you, a person with a strong and beautiful heart./One more chance/Please watch over me./So that I can continue down the path of my belief./Yes, one more chance, just one more./I will try to live on, for you too./Even though the war was ended./I cannot let my tears fall, yet/Until I can ascend one step/On the staircase of our promise) made this C.C./Lelouch-shipping troper who doesn't even like Kallen AT ALL break down and cry hysterically. The fact that it is possibly the most upbeat, poppy tune ever associated with the showdoes not help.
Speaking of Nunnally and Lelouch? "Nunnally, you are already leading a way of life with your own set of admirable principles. That is why I can walk my own path now. Thank you. I love you, Nunnally." (And that "I love you" is actually aishiteru, GDIY). It certainly doesn't help that he says this right before a complete Kick the Dog moment, and is made even worse by Nunnally insulting her brother afterwards and the expression he has on his face when she's not looking.
Lelouch says "the path I must take to my destiny" in the dub, which makes it clearer that he knows he's going to die and can do so knowing that she can make her own decisions.
What made Lelouch's death even worse was the flashing to the faces of the Black Knights, who were screaming at Zero, or turning away. Shinichirō actually looked like he was about to cry, poor little Tianzi actually looked away in tears, Kaguya and Ougi were shell-shocked... And also the flash to Cornelia and co in the building attempting to rush outside.
To drive the point even further? This little exchange after Suzaku/Zero kills Lelouch:
Tohdoh: This... this is...?
Kallen: That's Zero. Yes, it's Zero!
Kaguya's own post-series character theme clearly indicates that she loves him, grieves him, thanks him, and wishes he would come back. She may not understand everything, she may not realize Suzaku is still alive... but she certainly gets the point. Indeed, this song is a tear jerker in itself.
Kaguya: Why did my precious one
Kaguya: Only leave me a dream behind and suddenly vanish?
Kaguya: If my wish can be answered
Kaguya: Please, come back here
After all of that trouble, Lelouch and Nunnally are once again separated, this time on a permanent basis. The last time they had any quality time together was before Lelouch left for his business at the SAZ, which of course preceded the Black Rebellion, and the subsequent time-skip and estrangement from Nunnally. Every one of his attempts to get back to her ended in failure due to Suzaku's interference, especially including the latter's accidental FLEIJAing of the settlement, which rendered her apparently dead. When she reappeared alive and well, it was too late for him to turn back from his Suicide by Cop plan, Zero Requiem, and when they are finally in each other's presence, no longer as adversaries, as Nunnally has just learned his plan, Lelouch is already bleeding to death, the deed already done.
The look on Lelouch's face just before Suzaku runs him through with the sword. It just drove home the fact that Lelouch planned all this, and he faces death with a satisfied little smile grin...
The final words exchanged between Suzaku and Lelouch. Just the way Lelouch held him while he whispered his final wish, both a condemnation and a mantle of honor to Suzaku, made me burst into tears. And then Suzaku's, "This geass I gladly accept," with tears running from his eyes. The way Lelouch almost symbolically smeared his own blood purposefully across Zerozaku's mask as he fell was also a punch in the gut.
Lelouch's Last Words. After all the Magnificent Bastard moves he pulled throughout the series, he died proudly yet still with his trademark arrogance. "I will destroy the world...and make it...anew." With his life on flash-forward in the background, it truly drives home how complex and amazing a person Lelouch really was, and what end he had always wanted in his heart.
Nunnally's idea of a good world was one where she can live in peace with her brother- who died in order to create what he saw as a better world for her.
Just as Lelouch planned, he died with virtually the entire world celebrating his death and remembering him as an evil tyrant, rather than what he really was...
Arthur the cat in front of Suzaku's "grave".
Considering that as Suzaku is being remembered as a dedicated follower of Emperor Lelouch, he won't likely get many other visitors in his grave, and will likely be remembered as almost as much of a villain as Lelouch was. The whole thing is made worse when you consider the "Live" geass is still active and Lelouch's Last Request is to live on while sacrficing his identity and any chance of pursuing happiness.
The last picture drama of the series, which dealt with Lelouch's promise of fireworks among other things, was such a Tear Jerker that you only needed to understand one word of Japanese, "yakusoku," to start sobbing hysterically.
Lelouch is dead. That means that he let C.C. down by never fulfilling his promise to her.
C.C. learned to accept her immortality, and no longer consider it a curse. By far a better option than to pass on something you hate to someone you care about, certainly. What's a better way to defeat the curse of immortality, than to turn it into a gift?
A rather sad one involving Shirley: when she and Lelouch are shopping for gifts for their teacher, the still mind-wiped Shirley sees some rail cars, and mentions to Lelouch that she's always wanted to take a ride in one of them. Lelouch then recalls his showdown with Mao and is momentarily stunned.
Lelouch's Mind Rape scene in R2. As Suzaku holds him down and covers his left eye so that he can't Geass anyone, the Emperor is happily preparing to put false memories into his mind. Considering that he loves Nunnally more than anything else in the world...forgetting her must be a Fate Worse than Death.
Lelouch: "You made me forget my mother, now you're making me forget Nunnally?"
The last scene in the "Kiseki no Birthday" Picture Drama.
Kallen: That idiot... Now I can't forget you even though I want to.
Nina: Now I remember, Shirley. There was something I wanted to tell you. Thanks for being my friend.
Nunnally:Rolo, we would have been good friends. After all, we both loved big brother Lelouch.
Suzaku: Lelouch, I won't thank you. Your sins are that grave. But, just for today... Happy Birthday, Lelouch.
The Fuji memorial. One candle for every person killed in the Euphinator incident. There are a lot of candles.
One of biggest Tear Jerker scenes in the series was when Nunally fired FLEIJA, and she cried at every shot. It was heartwrenching to see a little girl firing a weapon of mass destruction.
R2 episode 13 has this via Fridge Horror: When Lelouch is desperately trying to keep Shirley alive by repeatedly Geass-ing her, she invokes Reincarnation Romance, saying "no matter how many times I'm reborn, I'll always fall in love with you again..." What makes it really gut-wrenching is that, because Geass can compel a person to follow any command, she's really just doing her best to carry out Lelouch's order to not die. In other words, she's more or less saying "I'm sorry Lulu, but I can't help but die...the best I can promise is to hope for a second life". She was so aware of her own imminent death that even being Geass'd couldn't stop it.
Rivalz provides quite a few tearjerking moments. We find out in one of the audio dramas that he’s become estranged from his parents due to some sort of dispute. He seems to have spent most of his time at Ashford hopelessly pursuing Milly, who constantly rejects him in pursuit of Lelouch, his best friend. Despite this, he seems to be very loyal to Lelouch and considers him his “best friend in the world”. Then Suzaku rocks up and Rivalz is kicked into the background as Lelouch reconnects with his old friend. Over the course of R2 he loses three of his best friends Suzaku, Rolo and Shirley, fails to save Nina from the Britannians and finally watches from the sidelines as Lelouch, still his best friend, becomes a tyrant and is then assassinated.
Not really a big one, but the way Marika Soresi (Kewell's little sister) of the Valkyrie Squadron yells out her brother's name the moment before she dies reminded me so much of Kallen and Nunnally's relationships with their big brothers that it was hard not to be sad. Sure, she was working for Luciano Bradley, but she was also a young girl who's brother had been taken away from her.
At Shirley's funeral we see that Gino, Anya and Suzaku are wearing black Knight of Rounds cloaks, as opposed to their usual coloured ones. They knights have designated funeral cloaks. Therefore, they must go to a lot of funerals, which in itself is very sad.
That whole scene is one massive tearjerker. Shirley's mom sobbing uncontrollably. Suzaku getting teared up. Rivalz with tears streaming down his face. Milly's more restrained yet still obvious grief. *sniff*
Even if you hate Nina, it's still extremely sad to see her reaction to Euphemia's death and her breakdown in r2. Regardless of her crimes, this is a young, lonely girl who's life has been ruined because of one mistake.
In episode 6 of R2, when Suzaku makes Lelouch speak to Nunnally on his phone. Though Rolo has given them some time to talk without tipping off Suzaku that Lelouch has regained his memories, Lelouch's words are still rushed and frantic — he knows he doesn't have much time, and there's so much to say. The way he desperately shouts "I love you!" to her absolutely broke my heart.
Later, at the very end of that same episode, Lelouch screams Nunnally's name when he's unable to save her. The way she seems to hear it and jerks her head toward where she thinks she heard such a familiar voice call out her name...
I understand Suzaku isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, that he's as terribly flawed as anyone else...but gosh darn it, he's been through so much and he really and truly does want peace for the world, but no matter what he does he can't seem to ever catch a break.
Lloyd, R2 ep. 8: "So Suzaku managed to save a million lives and no one will ever thank him for it, eh?"
Cecile: "I think he knew that going in. He's used to it now."
Re-watching this scene, knowing what the ultimate ending of the series will be and Suzaku's final fate...ugh.
At the time, unfortunately, he was too absorbed with the idea of becoming Knight of One, which in itself came at the expense of other nations.
Tinged with a bit of Fridge Brilliance (or perhaps horror), but the way Lelouch's death mirrors that of Euphie's. Not only do they both go down in history as villains, but they both die hand-in-hand with a loved one while the crowd cheers their deaths and chants the name of their killer... Zero.
Nightmare of Nunnally
In the part where Nunnally rejects instrumentality, causing her parents to vanish is perhaps even more of a Tear Jerker when you see Charles and Marianne vanishing from existence, largely because they accept it quite peacefully compared to the anime, and their love for their children is more genuine in this version. Nunnally tears up at this point; while she wanted to stop their plan, she didn't necessarily want them to die.
Nunnally in Wonderland
Shirley's casting as the fawn. Nunnally asks her if she's lost something and Shirley replies, "Only everything important." The delivery is so soft that it made me get a little choked up. However, it's sort of ruined by Lelouch's cold remark of: "I wanted you to give her directions, not poetry, Shirley!".
Tortiose!Rolo is sad about having a heart condition, and his heart actually stops beatings at the end of his appearance. It's quite sad given his fate.