Tearjerker: Dumbing of Age

  • The story of how Amber broke.
  • Sal is visibly having a breakdown of her own during the convenience store holdup; Word Of God is that she had no intention of getting away with it and wanted to get caught. That's how thoroughly starved for attention she was.
  • "You taste like alcohol," and the three following strips.
  • Billie, having an epiphany about herself and worried sick about Ruth, confronts her in her room (lock-picking is a very useful skill) because, last time they spoke, Ruth told her she "couldn't bring herself (Ruth) to do it yet", hinting that at some point in time Ruth would fall off the wagon again. So Ruth explains what she meant, in a tirade full of depressive realism which leaves Billie in tears:
    Ruth: Billie, I am so tired. The school. The alcohol. The stress. The loneliness. I can't survive it forever. I will be worn down. It's just a matter of time. But I can hold out for a little longer. Long enough for you to move on. To stop caring about me so much. Then I can give in. Open a bottle. Maybe slip away. See? That's why I didn't want to tell you, dumbass.
  • Joyce, who nearly got raped. While she tries to act cheerful, deep down she is still very affected by this event, having nightmares about it and still very scared of meeting the guy again. It also turns out the reason Joyce is rarely alone is because she's too scared to be by herself and follows Walky or Ethan around because she thinks it's safer.
  • Becky's Anguished Declaration of Love to Joyce, only for Joyce to reluctantly rebuff her.
  • After being subjected to Roz's incredibly vitriolic rant about her previous behavior, Joyce leaves Leslie's class in tears. That's bad enough, but then we see Joyce outside by herself for the first time since the party. And then it just gets worse as Joyce starts to see Ryan in place of all the people outside...
  • Joyce's acceptance and love for Becky is starting to become this, as it becomes obvious it is making it harder for Becky to accept Joyce's rejection. It gets to the point that Becky demands Joyce to be mad at her, after she fired Ethan as Joyce's boyfriend, but joyce had already broken up with Ethan, so Joyce just tells her that she helped.
  • "You want to get rid of her, just like you did Dana."
  • "My word is 'Painful'!"