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Tear Jerker: Doug Walker
Crossing over with horror, the real review of Breaking Dawn. He loved the films for being so delightfully shit, here he's shaking and sounds like he's seconds away from tears. The fact that he also apologizes for possibly overreacting doesn't help.
In the same vein, his disappointed hate over Paranormal Activity 5 when he said in the last review that they'll probably always keep him hooked. He says it was something that he and his wife both loved and they could spend some much needed time together watching, but the creators messed it all up.
On the Digimon commentary, Doug almost whimpering when he remembers the original video upload going wrong and all the messages from people who assumed he'd done it on purpose and was just trolling them with the promise of the review.
At the end of "The Top 11 Best NC Episodes", he gives his thanks to the fandom, saying they made him feel like he was on top of the world. But since Demo Reel went away, his and Critic's Take That, Audience! lists combined are pretty huge, and a sweet moment becomes very sad in hindsight.
In December 2012, he did a tiny bit passive-aggressive but very positive facebook post promoting the honest trailer of The Dark Knight Rises and asking why his own review got yelled at when he said the same things as they did. What's painful about this? He got over 100 comments calling him the next Spoony, "the Michael Bay of the internet" and other horrible names, and he soon deleted the post out of guilt. Ouch.
His To Boldly Flee commentary. He keeps on calling himself fucked in the head, and it gets really uncomfortable after a while. Also his Suburban Knights commentary, where he assumes anyone who does a crossover with him is just doing it to be polite.
His identifying with Marv from Sin City, explaining that everyone has felt worthless at one point in their lives.
In a Harsher in Hindsight example, all the times where he was so excited for Demo Reel - like when he was that overjoyed to be moving on he couldn't even get proper words out, or when Rob had to tell him to wait until Critic was over to begin with it - can be heartbreaking to watch now.
At Anime Revolution 2013, he talked about how he really wanted it to be a hit, and at the improv game "What Gets Said At NC's Funeral", he says joking but tearfully 'that's what you get for making Demo Reel'. The audience howling with laughter made it worse.
Given the show's message regarding what child stars go through, seeing Doug in “Up A Tree” ask Jeremy Shada (the voice actor for Finn) not to go crazy and keep sane note and it's not the first time post-Demo Reel that he's bashed child stars for being predisposed to slutty or batshit is really quite a disheartening moment.
For everyone who was hopeful about his Avatar reviews, eight words in "The Avatar Returns": "if I didn't have to do these vlogs". Bit of a bump back to reality.
Hearing the guy who once said he lived for sexual attention reassure people that his mug wouldn't be on the site front-page every day for two months was pretty disheartening.
Much like apologizing for his face, it's disappointing to see him so disparagingly comment on Iroh's optimism in the face of something awful.
His constant shoehorning of Animation Age Ghetto, whether it's praise of the show or negative, walks a fine line between frustrating and miserable when you remember he always used to have a "kids should forever be treated with respect" anvil.
His desperation for a light show where the good guys win and let him know what it's like to have fun with a series again is pretty squirm-inducing for Avatar fans who know that it gets darker and more lose-happy after the first season.
Bringing this up again in the S1 finale right after talking about how everyone in Zuko's life rejects him straddles the line between sad and pitifully funny.
Everyone with a braincell knew it was coming, but it doesn't make the second half of "Zuko Alone", where he's barely keeping it together complimenting the voice actor on getting the vulnerable emotions so right, any less sad.
Over on facebook, after watching "Crossroads To Destiny", he says Zuko's turn broke his heart. Played for Laughs, but after all his wanting Zuko to go through shit so he can get better and give hope, there's still something there.
He gets very choked up and subdued towards the end of The Blue Spirit, when he talks about Aang and Zuko being in a shitty situation and just having to deal.
That he knows how it feels to have his brain telling him he's always failing even when logically that might not be true. Depressed people trying to work creatively can relate.
A lot felt uncomfortable when he started off "Return To Omashu" assuming that we think so little of him and the only emotion we want is anger.
He shows a pretty high level of knowledge about how grief works in “The Desert”.
Continued in "The Serpent's Pass", where he understands Aang's need to push the pain down and goes overboard in wanting that relating character to suffer so he can get hope when he makes it through.
He gets really into defending Aang's reasons for grieving/being a douche against Rob's crit in the "Appa's Lost Days" vlog. Casually bringing up abusive relationships (in another spot) doesn't help either.
Acting like a Shrinking Violet with the camera, having a lot of embarrassed side-eye moments, in "The Guru" after he admits to bawling at "can I have some onion-banana juice please".
Earlier on, he tries his best to get people to understand how pulling out of something you've been attached to for years can literally make you sick.
The tangent in "Lake Laogai" where he lets slip that he's scared of the government killing him was as sad as it was weird.
In “The Awakening”, there's an unsettling talk about how it feels to be a failure, and really should be seen to be believed.
His "Nightmares and Daydreams" review when he talks about how much he related to Aang when it comes to stress.
In “Boiling Rock”, he goes on a long, fairly sobering tangent about ending up alone, people who want control feeling empty and having to just live with yourself when you do bad shit.
You feel very uncomfortable when he vaguely mentions in two vlogs ("Southern Raiders" and "Avatar Aang") that he had to defend himself violently once and regrets it. Plus the former episode has a just-as-awkward message saying sometimes it's impossible to forgive someone.
One of his reasons for the show dethroning Daria as his new favorite is slightly darker than the rest: it's okay to have failings and you can recover from those failings and that brings him slightly back from the road of hating humanity.
When he talked at Connecticon 2012 about the most surreal part of fandom being so many people wanting to waste their time on him, and that they shouldn't, how can you not want to give him a hug?
“The Aftermath” is him explaining awkwardly and haltingly (which he apologizes for by the end) why he's not liking Korra as much as Avatar. On the scale of things it's not all that important, but he does sound very sad about it.
During the "When Extremes Meet" episode of The Legend of Korra, after losing his train of thought, Doug acts so saddened that he starts contemplating suicide.
At about 10.19 of "Slumber Party Panic", the initially funny mood of Doug's utter confusion suddenly gets depressing when he tells everyone they'll be watching a breakdown of someone who wasn't even all there before, and the camera just stays on him for a while twitching and looking like he's going to cry.
After giving the summary, his hands shake, his face crumples and he wails that he has no idea what to say.
The exact same thing in "Trouble In Lumpy Space", as he promises at the end that he'll be more together in the next one but his face just crumples into such a haunted expression.
And like before, he again gets broken at not being able to say anything, apologizing for how confused he sounds, how the vlogs must not be very good and trying to explain that he thinks the show has put him in a bad place.
Doug: [voice trembling] ... I've never come across something where I can't really say what's good about it and what's good about it because it's not giving me that. It's just giving me what it is and I can't...
In "Prisoners Of Love," he worries that he's being a failure by not being able to do much analyzing of the show.
His saying that the show hurt him but he didn't know why (because at this point he didn't think it isn't bad or anything, just chaotic) was pretty depressing.
Thankfully he didn't, but thinking he should just quit, especially when the next vlog didn't come out until a week later.
In "Memories Of Boom Boom Mountain", admitting that he used to want to save everyone and feel needed but now doesn't bother.
In "My Two Favorite People", he outright said he had a Friend Versus Lover situation with his wife and friends. Even Jason looked like he hadn't needed to hear this.
Jori getting upset and asking the comment sections to tell her she's not crazy in "What Is Life?" when Doug assumes that "welcome to the gun show" is just something she made up and mocks her for it.
In "The Duke", Doug's panic at the next episode title: Donny.
Continued in the actual episode, as Doug has a whole spiel about needing to be miserable followed by Jason being thrown off by the nihilism and telling people to just go watch Demo Reel.
It's hard not to wince for mostly Harsher in Hindsight reasons when he relates to the Ice King in "What Have You Done".
He gets seriously crinkled and whimpery at what he thinks is Jason refusing to do a segway at the end.
"His Hero" brings back what he was talking about in "Southern Raiders" and "Avatar Aang", explaining vaguely "there are going to be people who try and hurt us".
Everyone going away at the end of "City Of Thieves", leaving Doug to look miserable.
His Puppy-Dog Eyes in "Blood Under The Skin" when he complains that with Rob there he gets ganged up on.
The end of "To Cut A Woman's Hair". Jason confuses Doug talking about the AT character Donny with the dead Donnie and the mood instantly sours with Doug calling Jason an asshole.
He says it casually, but anyone with depression can relate to him in "The Real You" when he says that he's not convinced he carries on living everyday and it's like having a back-up part of his brain that keeps the dead body going.
For whatever reason, in "Guardians Of Sunshine", Doug's energy just completely saps after they liken what Finn and Jake did to BMO as rape/abuse. Jason has to ask how he's doing.
"Susan Strong" has Doug surprisingly sad and whimpery over how he's apparently getting less attractive.
In "Belly Of The Beast", Jason makes to quit after getting tired of Doug's memory problems, and Doug tearfully begs him not to leave.
He loves "The Limit" because he can really identify with it. And as the episode involves Jake working himself until he's nearly dead, that earns Doug some woobie points.
In "No One Can Hear You", Doug has a vague choked little speech about how tragic Jake is in the episode because he's deluded himself into chasing a dream that will never come. Lampshaded by Jason who makes various confused faces in Jori's direction.
Like in "Susan Strong", Doug whimpering that he's ugly at the end of "Jake vs Me-Mow"
"The Final Frontier" has moments pretty similar to "Donny", as Doug says that while if you want to fight death that's warranted, it's still not wrong to want to die and that Jake's attitude in the episode was comforting.
It's awesome and heartwarming too, but the "Ice King's Glasses" video has Doug getting very impassioned about how everyone deserves to be happy but life will fuck you over so look for the good things, and how he used to get angry over media but is now feeling awful for it because that meant he didn't prepare himself for adult pain.
While he's a dick to Bubblegum, Doug's voice going all sad when he said he doesn't want Finn to be a heartbroken loser like he's been for years still makes him pretty woobie. Especially when his brief sob gets a genuinely confused shrug from Jori/Jason behind his back.
"Daddy's Little Monster" has Doug trying really hard to talk about how, even though he's usually laidback and likes jokes, there's been bad times when he's felt really hurt, wanted to take things seriously and whoever was talking to him just didn't care.
The "Princess Monster Wife" vlog actually got a warning for being really sad, and it was, with Jori relating to the wife "because all women feel like that", Doug also comparing himself to the wife, and Doug ranting about how growing up he was obsessed with looking for a way to "fit in with the normal people."
His bit in "BMO Noire" about how, for ages, he didn't get jokes that kicked down and people who were trying to get him to laugh at them called him stupid until he did. That's a shame.
If you remember his TBF commentary on how insecure people (i.e Critic) do it, Doug talking again in "Who Would Win" about how if you really care about someone, you can be as horrible to them as you can because you know they'll come back. But "sometimes it gets out of control".
Fittingly, given the episode, "I Remember You" was another vlog that had a warning for being upsetting.
Doug relating to the entire thing, saying that if you've seen a person with memory loss or something is changing and you're forgetting you were or just "losing someone while they're still there", you could really identify with it. He confirms in "Simon & Marcy" that this is the episode that broke him, and you can see why.
Jason admitting that with his epilepsy, his memory fading at such a young age really scared him. Also lends a bittersweet reason as to why he gets on Doug's case for never remembering anything so much.
Doug having to tell people that whether their loved one has extreme depression or bipolar or anything else, it's okay to distance themselves if they can't handle it because it's not fair to the ill person if they're not ready.
When the topic goes onto caring for people with mental health issues, Jason and Jori briefly mentioning his uncle dying from early Alzheimer's in his 40s and how awful it was. And then their friend's mom who has MS, and how he has a really depressing time looking after her.
Doug (getting more upset as he continues) repeating a news story about an anchor's wife who's memory was fading to the point where they finally put her in a home and the anchor would always come visit her but she couldn't remember his name and so would always call him "Mr Happy" because that's how he made her feel.
This bit at the end of "Jake The Dad" seems designed to be a kayfabe woobie moment:
Jori: This is your life, sir.
Doug: (pained) And it hurts.
You knew it was coming, but Doug identifying with Finn wanting to be someone else in "Davey," for reasons of both creepy fans and "going through really extreme stuff for a while" so yearning for something mundane.
Even the tagline is depressing. "We all want to be someone else sometimes."
Even if you can't stand her hatred of Princess Bubblegum, you gotta feel bad for Jori being scared of the next con because she's afraid people will abuse her. It's also sad that Doug keeps assuming everyone will hate him at conventions, even if he keeps getting proven wrong.
By this point everyone knew and it was just confirmation, but Doug admitting in "All Your Fault" that he's got into the bad habit of thinking work is more important than food and that nobody should be like him when it comes to the extent of not eating.
During "All Of The Little People", Doug getting so into a rant that even Jason assumes he's talking about himself.
Doug: I'm done with my reality so I'm going to retreat to this reality where I can be this, and it so rarely fixes everything, the problem is still there and still finds a way to manifest and sometimes can grow worse because now you're- actual reality has fallen apart and you find you just brought your troubles with you in the new reality except you can't retreat back to regular reality because it's like I've already destroyed this so I could stay here but isn't it meant to make me happy...
In “The Vault”, Doug defending repression because “I know this is going to make me miserable and nothing's good gonna come of it so I'm just gonna erase it”.
A lot like the episode, the second half of the “Breezy” vlog where they talk about depression is really uncomfortable, with Jori describing how it feels to be so broken you don't even feel sad anymore, and Doug saying that when you binge on sex you just want a thing to like you, and that he used to be the obnoxious “be happy do something fun” guy to his many depressed friends, but knows what it's like now.
The second half of “Little Brother” is bittersweet, as firstly there won't be daily AT vlogs any more and secondly Doug thanks Jason for helping him out of being so confused at first, and the rest of the family for being so nice to him when they didn't have to.
His upset over Varrick being the bad guy in "The Sting" starts off funny, but gets much less so when he just keeps whimpering and groaning about it.
Things get better later though in "Night of a Thousand Stars" when he says that at first he didn't like Varrick being the bad guy but now he REALLY likes it due to how funny and Crazy Awesome Varrick still is even as a bad guy.
In the mostly positive first stretch updates video for the indiegogo project, "there are a lot of things people assure you are gonna happen and they don't" is an awkwardly regretful moment.
In both his 2012 and 2013 Christmas messages he mentions how hard (and in other videos sanity slipping) and optimism-crushing both years were for him and others, and that's why he tries so desperately hard to have hope around Christmas.
His tribute to Justin. He only talks for about a minute, but sounds completely numb and his red eyes make it obvious he's been crying. Plus The League Of Super Critics calling it "a tribute from the Nostalgia Critic" instead of using his name, and the fact that they would have put advertisements on the video if Michaud hadn't stopped them, makes you feel all the more bad for him.
On his commentary for The Wicker Man, he's still beating himself up over erasing the footage of Rachel's departure, saying it felt like a knife in the heart.
His early valentine's day post can strike a sad chord when he says "you have to be a little crazy to devote yourself to being with someone when being with yourself is hard enough."
Anyone who complained about the Running Gag in the commercial special because they'd been sexually harassed felt a lot worse when he had a rant against them in both "The Real You" and The Room commentary, and acted like they were just MRAs.
There's a moment in the AI commentary where he tries to repeat what he said about Critic in To Boldly Flee (wants to be a good person, character evolves beyond the writer), but then there's an awkward silence when he realizes that's not really the case anymore, and he sadly backtracks saying he's being pretentious.
The post about Downtown Abbey should be uplifting but just comes off sad due to how much he feels the need to cling onto some hope. The comments ignoring him and asking for reviews don't help.
The behind the scenes video had Doug and Rob fight twice; first time had Doug backing away and use props as protection, the second time had Doug yell at Rob for a bad line read and everybody else in awkward silence. It was probably just teasing that filming put in a worse light, but it's still not fun to watch.
There's a ramble in “Doug's Top Ten Hottest Women” where he apologizes for being so naive in a lot of ways, but defends himself because he was happier not knowing about being in danger or people hating him and wanting to hurt him.
He talks a lot in “Transformers 4” about how his life is just bad movies and viewing audience has a choice but he doesn't, and how you should feel guilty for him. You probably will. He admits towards the end that it's been a seriously bitter video.
His post remembering Robin Williams, relating to the “spark of madness” speech and say he needs his own bit of insanity even if it ends up burning him away.
Also his tribute, with a tangent saying even with his knowledge of depression, there are so many levels to the disease and he can't guess at anyone else's. And then when he talks in more detail about how Robin's “spark of madness” stand-up was something he desperately needed to hear as a kid (and as an adult too).
Doug: As someone who was different... is different, in many respects, who wanted to do something with that difference and be special but not hated by everybody, not made fun of like everyone who is kinda different...