Tear Jerker / Dragon Ball Super

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"Gohan... I couldn't protect the world."
Despite it being a more lighthearted series, than its predecessor, Dragon Ball Super has plenty of emotional and tearjerking moments, and one story arc is called to be the darkest here, period.

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    Battle of Gods Saga 
  • It's sad to see Vegeta being in a pathetic state after Beerus gave him a Humiliation Conga: Beerus trolls Vegeta by scaring him witless, crashes Bulma's birthday party, and then proceeds to beat up Buu for eating the last pudding. It escalates further to the point where the main cast members attempt to take down Beerus, only to fail miserably. In the last few moments, Vegeta tried to defy Beerus, only for him to get curbstomped by the god of destruction. It's gotten to the point where Vegeta would at least be honored in being killed by Beerus.
    • There is a little silver-lining to this. Vegeta, being the poster-child for Proud Warrior Race Guy, looks at it as "At least I can say that the only being who could actually kill me and make me stay dead was the God of Destruction himself!" which is basically the biggest Badass Boast a warrior could ask for.
  • Even worse is what comes after. Vegeta is reduced to begging Beerus for mercy on his hands and knees- not for himself, he's made peace with the fact that he can't fight a god like Beerus. He's begging Beerus to spare Bulma's life after she steps in to save him. To listen to the Prince of All Saiyans begging with such humility- no vain threats, no promises of revenge- it's pretty heartbreaking.

    Resurrection F Saga 
  • After getting injured by Goku unintentionally, Krillin has 18 tend to his wounds. He then laments about how huge the gap between him and Goku had gotten over the years. For anybody who watched the original series, it's hard to hear this since there was a time on which Goku and Krillin were more or less in the same level. Watching as Goku gets strong enough to fight gods while Krillin's best efforts can't make much of a difference is harsh.
    • Even sadder is that Krillin's lament acknowledges the Can't Catch Up scenario of the Z-Fighters. Most of them acted as The Rival for Goku at one point in the original series before Goku ended up fighting more powerful enemies and becoming far stronger since he's a Saiyan. Furthermore, while Krillin had already retired from fighting since the Cell Games, this must have been the first time that he acknowledged his weakness in the series.
    • On a similar note, this scene also give us a brief hint of how Yamcha and Chiaotzu must have felt when they quit fighting after the Cell Games, since he too is now forced into the sidelines and rarely gets to help in protecting Earth since the role went to the Saiyans like Goku, Vegeta, and Gohan.
  • Piccolo has made a Heroic Sacrifice to save Gohan after Frieza's gruesome torture.
    • Worse, Gohan had to watch his friend, mentor, and father figure die while protecting him again. Gohan has an epic It's All My Fault speech before he rapidly raises his energy, not caring if he dies in the process, so his father and Vegeta can make their way to Earth.
    • Goku softly telling Piccolo that they will bring him back.
    • Dende crying over Piccolo's body, begging Goku and Vegeta to pay Frieza back. Given that Frieza is the same monster who nearly wiped out his entire race and destroyed his original home planet, he most likely takes Piccolo's death very personally.
      • Even worse is that Piccolo fused with Nail, who Dende really looked up to as a big brother. He might be crying over him too...
  • Frieza's destruction of the Earth is even more crushing, as this version bothers to show the families of Bulma, Goku, Gohan, and Krillin in the final seconds before their destruction. All of them quickly hit the Despair Event Horizon.
  • While he did become an evil asshole like Frieza, everything that happened to Tagoma after Frieza's resurrection was tragic; first he's critically injured by the guy he helped revive just for suggesting that he forget about the Saiyans. After that, he is forcefully made Frieza's unwilling "sparring partner" (living punching bag) for his training. Every day, for four months straight, he was tortured to the brink of death, placed in the new instant healing tank, brought back to full health, and then tortured to near death again, rinse, repeat. The horrible experience twisted the once Noble Demon who cared about his commander and allies, and who was willing to spare those that had angered him and his commander, into a maniac who no longer showed any mercy to anyone, cared nothing for his allies, and who was now cruel and sadistic. Just as things were finally going his way, and he was going to be made Frieza's new commander and be given a number of planets to rule, he had his body stolen. Now, he must spend the rest of his life trapped in a frog's body.

    Champa Saga 
  • The revelation that Sixth Universe's Earth was destroyed in a war and that humanity is extinct there. Fortunately subverted, as Beerus uses his won wish to restore the Earth.
  • While Champa and Beerus' bickering may be somewhat amusing, it's still sad to see two twins fighting like that.
  • It's hard not to feel a little bad for Frost when Goku is beating him around, especially since Frost wants to win the tournament to end all conflict in his universe. Subverted that Frost is actually as bad as Frieza.
  • The Reveal that Frost was just as evil as Frieza counts as one in and on itself, as many people both In-Universe and in the fanbase had taken a liking to him because he seemed to be such a Nice Guy.
  • After losing his match to Vegeta, Magetta is seen softly sobbing over on the Universe 6 side, clearly reacting badly to Vegeta's insult moments before his ringout.
  • Champa's anger at his own team for losing and "dragging his name through the mud". True to his petty nature, he was willing to wipe out his team for it. With the exception of Frost, the audience grew to like all the characters of Universe 6 and seeing all of them sweat nervously and about to be killed at the hands of a petty god makes the scene hard to watch. Most likely, all the fighters of Universe 6 simply wanted to go back home after the tournament but can't even do that. And other powerful figures (Beerus, Whis, and Vados) does nothing to stop him. Thank goodness for the arrival of Omni-King.

    Potaufeu Arc 
  • King Kai tells Goku that his reckless way of fighting shown against Hit at the tournament could impair his coordination and ability to become stronger, which nearly shatters Goku's feelings. Complete with appropriate sad music playing in the background.
    • Beyond even this, just the sense alone that after years upon years of pursuing the most dangerous means of pushing his body beyond healthy limits to achieve greater heights, even with reasonable resting periods, all of this body-breaking labor is finally beginning to take its toll on Goku.
    • When Goku is playing with Pan, although he's annoyed that he can't train at the moment, he's more upset that he can't take Pan up to see the stars.
      • It's coming to the realization that Goku is not the little boy we saw in Dragon Ball anymore or the young man we saw in Z. By now, he's in his mid 40s and it's very possible for age is starting to take its toll on his body, particularly considering the amount of strain he always puts himself through during all his battles and adventures. Sure Senzu Beans and healing tanks can recover your wounds but not how your body gradually goes as you go up in age. Goku is getting older, so is Vegeta, and this is especially true for Krillin and the others like Bulma and Yamcha; there's a reminder that there may come when he can't fight and protect his friends and Earth due to his body no longer being able to handle it.
  • When Pan goes missing, unwittingly abducted by the Pilaf Gang, Goku forlornly looks upwards and reaches towards the sky - much as Pan did the night before where Goku apologized to her that he couldn't fly her up to the stars she was reaching for - before screaming her name in frustrated desperation. It's the first time in a long, long while that we've seen Goku truly feel helpless, considering that his temporary loss of ki control made things so he couldn't even fly to look for his only grandchild.
    • It's even more heartwrenching in the English dub as Sean Schemmel adds to Goku's frustration what sounds like the starts of him crying.

    Future Trunks Saga 

    Breather Episodes 
  • Episode 68: Gohan comes to Shenron to wish for Pan's health, as she's quite ill, and doctors've failed to cure her because of her Saiyan blood. Imagine, however unlikely, what could have happened if Pan had't gotten cured by Shenron.
  • It's sad enough that King Kai and his company are still dead; it's even sadder that absolutely no one but Goku cared about his desire to live again.
    • Thinking about it even more, it shows some extremely messed up priorities for almost the entire cast. King Kai was the one who trained Goku to beat Vegeta and Nappa during the Saiyan arc, and without his help the Earth wouldn't have survived the invasion. Not only that, but the techniques he gave Goku allowed him to effectively fight later enemies as well. All of the other wishes, excluding Gohan and 18's, were all for things that were not only selfish, but as Bulma showed fairly simple to obtain as well.
      • To be fair to the other though, King Kai's wish is just as selfish. Being alive or dead is really only a matter of pride for him considering he lives in the world of the afterlife. Not to mention that he could have had them wish him back at any point before this.
  • Episode 69: When Beerus destroys Bulma's time machine, it has the side effect of damaging and maybe even destroying Future Bulma's notes, one of the last things still remaining from Future Trunks' timeline.
  • Episode 71-72. Goku dies, though briefly, because of Hit. The faces of Gohan, Goten and Piccolo show this pretty well. It becomes a lot less sad when we learn that it was Goku himself who hired Hit to kill him, in order to fight at his maximum potential.
  • Episode 75: We see pretty much all of Krillin's insecurities and doubts about his toughness and fighting ability laid out for us. After so many years of Super Saiyan this and Goku and Vegeta that, can you blame him? In the last few minutes of the episode, he and Goku go into an Empire Strikes Back-like cave that shows us shadow hallucinations: King Piccolo, Saiyan-era Vegeta and Nappa, the Ginyu Force, Frieza, Perfect Cell, and Kid Buu. Then, a final smoke cloud rises up: Tambourine. Poor Krillin, man.
    • Earlier in the episode while stopping a heist, Krillin gets grazed by a bullet... the injury was minor and he healed quickly, but this is a series where near everybody is bullet proof. Whether his guard was down, or his durability has really gotten that low, it shows how far poor Krillin has fallen since he stopped being a martial artist. What's worse is that in the Super adaptation of the Resurrection F arc, Frieza ordered his men to kill Krillin just to be sadistic to Goku (who hadn't arrived yet) and Krillin managed to dodge all of them easily. Imagine if that wasn't the case ...
    • Then there was No. 18 and Marron questioning Krillin's strength. 18 was especially blunt, though there's subtle hints that it's because she's worried for him, rather than looking down upon things. Still, for a man who had a lot of self-doubt issues since DBZ, this had to hurt the most.
      No. 18: Look at you. The man I fell in love with wasn't such a spineless weakling.
      Marron: Huh? Is Daddy weak? I want a strong daddy...
  • Episode 76: Things start off rough for Krillin after he, in rapid succession, faces down Tambourine, Frieza and Buu and then after they dispatch the villains with a Kamehameha, Krillin tries to ditch. Goku has the audacity to call him out on this and Krillin's insecurities really rise up.
    Goku: If you don't, you can't fight if someone stronger shows up.
    Krillin: I won't fight.
    Goku: Krillin?
    Krillin: I'm...scared... I'M NOT LIKE YOU!

     Universe Survival Saga 

     Manga 
  • Gowasu tries to talk down Goku Black, who claims that he has done too much to turn away from what he has done. When Gowasu continues to plead for him to stop his Zero Mortals Plan, Black takes his hand...and runs him through with his energy blade.
  • From Chapter 23, Trunks talking to Vegeta about Future Bulma and how much she wanted to go to the past to meet him is pretty heartbreaking, even if Vegeta was an all-out bastard at the time Trunks was born. This act is so touching, it motivates Vegeta set aside his pride and fuse with Goku to deal with Merged Zamasu.
    Trunks: I can't afford to lose my father and the rest of you here. It's for my mother's sake as well...
    Vegeta: For Bulma, you mean?
    Trunks: Yes... Losing you early in this world, Mother seemed lonely and missed you very much while she had to raise me on her own. Ever since I met you in the past, she never stopped asking me about how you were. To tell you the truth, she was going to travel with me to the past if she wasn't killed by Goku Black. Mother... was more eager to see you back in time rather than to escape from Goku Black, I think.
    Vegeta: ...Bulma.
    Trunks: I don't want her to be sad anymore. Never again! For my mother in the past, who is waiting for you to come home—I cannot let you die here!
  • Gowasu is clearly remorseful for the whole incident with Zamasu to the point that he apologized to his God of Destruction for it, not helping is how Rumsshi reacts to it. He basically shows No Sympathy towards to old Kai and berates him for not only the whole Zamasu incident but also the fact that he has to rely Beerus to resolve it. Heck he even threatened to stomp Gowasu to death if the meeting with the Grand Priest actually involves what Zamasu had done.
  • In an extra picture found in the fourth volume of the manga, we actually see how Gowasu asked Zamasu to join him as his apprentice back when Zamasu was just the Kai of his quadrant, akin to King Kai. Just look at it, Zamasu was so young and was looking for peace, it is pretty tragic and shocking to see how he was before all the events in the Future Trunks saga happened. The most interesting is Zamasu's pet. Like King Kai, he also had his own "Bubbles".

    Meta 
  • Chris Ayres having to step down part way through the Resurrection 'F' saga due to end-stage COPD Emphysema, necessitating a double lung transplant... and even then, his prognosis wasn't good. This is especially rough, given how it negates a planned meta-Heartwarming moment with Frieza interacting with Frost, voiced by Chris's brother Greg.
  • On the Japanese side, Hiromi Tsuru, the voice of Bulma, passed away on November 15, 2017 due to aortic dissection. She was only 57 years old. May her soul rest in peace.
    • Her last lines in Super? "We're counting on you, everyone." It's as if she was not only saying goodbye to U7 team, but to the fans, too.
  • The announcement of Dragon Ball Super going on an indefinite hiatus and possibly concluding was given with only eight episodes remaining before its finale. For longtime fans of the series, or newcomers who were just getting into the franchise, it was a sudden and saddening hit to hear the series would be leaving so soon. While apparently it may yet return or there will be something beyond Super, it was still a blow, especially so close on the heels of Tsuru's passing, Ayres' struggles and anxiety about the health of the rest of the cast. Turned to joy when it was revealed that Super is coming back after all, and only on a hiatus for the movie and the manga to catch up.

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