The Simpsons, Futurama is packed with memorable moments, including those that make viewers cry. Unlike The Simpsons, Futurama's tear-jerker moments are more infamous in the fanbase, and one moment (specifically, the ending of "Jurassic Bark") was considered so heartbreaking that the producers got hate mail over it.
- "Jurassic Bark", where it is implied that Seymour, having never forgotten Fry, waited for him to come home (despite his cryogenic freezing) until he is implied to have died of old age, managed to make even the crew cry. The very fitting music "I Will Wait For You" adds to the sadness. Probably one of the greatest pieces of dramatic irony ever.
Fry: I'll never forget him, but he forgot me a long, long time ago.
- Fridge Tear Jerker: The line after the one Fry forgets in "Walkin' on Sunshine"? "And I don't want to spend all my life, just in waiting for you." It actually gets worse the more you look at it. Becomes more of a Tear Jerker (or less, depending on how you look at it) when you realise that thanks to the time paradox, Lars spent many happy years with both Seymour and his family before the latter was fossilised and the former refroze himself.
- "Leela's Homeworld" has a moment which is tearjerking in a heartbreaking way is when Leela thinks her parents are her parents' murderers and is about to kill them, and they just accept it. In particular the line "That would be best". They're so ashamed of what they are, and so sure that Leela would be better off without them, they'd rather Leela kill them than find out the truth.
- For that matter, there's the scene where you see Leela's parents leave her at the orphanage. The heartbreak and sadness they both have at giving her the best chance to live in the normal world without regular Mutant prejudices is quite touching.
- The fate of Slurms McKenzie in "Fry and the Slurm Factory"; allowing himself to be crushed by the collapsing cave in order to save the Planet Express crew.
- The ending of "Luck of the Fryish". Fry spends the whole episode angrily admonishing his brother Yancy, convinced that Yancy hated him his whole life and stole his name, his lucky clover and all his accomplishments. Only in the end when he's digging up his "brother's" grave does he learn the truth: Yancy actually worshipped Fry and was heartbroken when he left, and named his son after him in his memory.
Yancy: Son, I'm naming you Philip J. Fry, in honor of my little brother, who I miss every day. *sniff* I love you, Philip. And I always will.
Fry: Here lies Phillip J. Fry. Named for his uncle, to carry on his spirit.
- The epitaph on the gravestone also counts.
- "The Sting" has a few:
- The ending: Fry is in shambles; it is revealed that he stayed at the hospital for weeks hardly ever leaving Leela's side, spending the whole time begging her to "wake up". Maybe not as much of a tear jerker as "Leela's Homeworld" or "Jurassic Bark," but still very touching.
- Terry's "FAREWELL FROM THE WORLD OF TOMORROW..." said in the exact same over-dramatic tone he uses to give WELCOME to Human Popsicles when they unfreeze. The other one that got me was Farnsworth's "Of course he still exists... as a frozen corpse in outer space! *hearty laugh, quickly turns into near-sobbing* oohh, I Made Myself Sad."
- Farnsworth notes at the funeral, "This makes me the oldest member of my family..." and immediately breaks down upon that realization.
- From Bender: "Whenever I would say 'Kill all humans', I'd always whisper 'Except one'. Fry was that one. And I never told him so!"
- Leela crying at the funeral, with Farnsworth comforting her, only to make her cry harder by saying "I'm lying to make her feel better!" out loud.
- Leela accepting her own insanity just before she wakes up and attempts to down enough space honey to sleep forever. Despite Fry's pleas, she sounds as if she is at her wit's end and just wants to stop suffering from her delusions.
- This one was potent enough to spawn an album from a band that were fans of the show, populated largely by Tear Jerker songs.
- The end of "Time Keeps on Slippin'": Fry realizing Leela will never know what it was that made her finally fall for him and marry him, combined with Bender's melancholy whistling of "Sweet Georgia Brown." To wit, Fry moved the stars themselves to write Leela a love note, and she will never know.
- What really sets this up is the fact that Fry only finds out what finally made Leela fall in love with him is because she was being kind to him about something else he had done for her (learning to fly the ship). If she had just stayed in the pilot's seat, she would have seen it too.
- After the Globetrotters tell Bender he can't join them, Bender is in tears. It's even more jarring that these are natural-looking tears instead of the drops of oil that are usually used.
- Near the beginning of "Amazon Women in the Mood," we see Kif attempting to call Amy, only to become extremely nervous and hang up. He tries to pick up the phone again, but hesitates, says, "Why must I be such a coward?" and breaks down in tears. Even Zapp feels at least some pity for him. This makes the scene where Kif finally confesses his love for Amy (which she happily reciprocates) all the more heartwarming.
- Kif and Amy's situation in "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch". When Kif becomes pregnant, Amy is unsure of how to feel, and has anxiety over her life changing in such a significant way. Meanwhile, Kif claims that it's the happiest he's ever been in his entire life, (and given that we've seen some pretty low points of his, that's saying something.) At the baby shower, Amy breaks down sobbing and flees, unable to deal with the pressure of parenthood. Meanwhile, Kif is distraught over being abandoned by Amy on top of being pregnant. However, Amy eventually returns to come to the aide of Kif and her children.
- In "The Beast with a Billion Backs", when Bender asks if he can go with Fry of the golden escalators to Yivo, and Fry answers, "Aw, sorry Bender. Robots don't go to Heaven." It's just the way Fry says it... Followed up by Bender standing alone in a field, sadly whispering, "Death to all humans."
- The ending of "I Dated A Robot". There's supposed to be an anti-piracy moral in there, but watching Fry tearfully blank out his beloved Lucy Liu-bot is just plain... sad. "I'll always remember you, Fry. MEMORY DELETED." Even sadder when you notice this is the one of the few times the Lucy Liu robot said Fry's name normally.
- "The Late Phillip J. Fry":
- Leela's message to Fry:
Leela: Dear Fry, Our time together was short but it was the best time of my life.
- Leela about Fry: "My whole life I have been mad at him, and it wasn't his fault."
- Fry, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth watching end of the universe is presented so breathtakingly beautiful, it almost makes one look forward to it.
- When they arrive in the year one billion, Fry is insistent that even though all life is extinct, they should keep going forward in the hope of finding a way home, because Leela is still waiting for him. His dejected reaction as Farnsworth tells him there's no hope and this is the end of everything is heartbreaking.
Fry: I made it, Leela. Sorry I'm a billion years late.
- Leela's message to Fry:
- Scruffy and Washbucket in "The Prisoner of Benda". "In another city we could be anyone we want-" "Go. Go now. Before I beg you to stay." It's as poignant as it is utterly, utterly ridiculous.
- Nibbler noting that his cute little sailor outfit (his real naval uniform!) in "That Darn Katz!" belonged to his best friend, who died in it...
- In "Godfellas", when the Shrimpkins (the tiny beings who live on Bender) are all killed in a nuclear war. "Look, Daddy! I'm hugging God. Maybe if I hug him real hard he'll save us from--"
- Bender's reaction to their deaths. Made worse when he talks to the could-be-God and makes it clear just how much his failure is eating at him.
- There's something really powerful about Bender's breakdown at the end of "Lethal Inspection". Over the course of the episode he goes from a complete arrogant Jerkass to being so unable to cope with his mortality that he can do nothing but helplessly punch holes in the wall and cry. Anyone who's thought too hard about their own mortality knows that feeling.
Bender: All I wanted was a little quality control. But he didn't care enough, and now I'm gonna die! I deserve better; I'm Bender, dammit! (breaks down sobbing) I'm Bender!
- How could you not mention the end of that episode? It's one of the best twists in the show's history. Little bird, little bird, fly through my window...
- In "Three Hundred Big Boys", Kif getting reduced to a sobbing wreck after his gift for Amy is apparently eaten by a whale is pretty aww-worthy.
- Watching how the story progresses in "The Tip of the Zoidberg" Watching how Zoidberg and Farnsworth became the Cloudcuckoolander's they are today (it was a result of Tritonian Hypermalaria and Yetiism), and how their lifelong friendship was forged can really tug at the heartstrings. Especially when you find out that Farnsworth made Zoidberg promise he would perform a mercy killing on him if he ever started to exhibit signs of Hypermalaria, and when Farnsworth told Zoidberg many years later that he was starting to exhibit said symptoms and he had to uphold his promise.
Farnsworth: There's one thing I don't understand, Zoidberg. How did you persuade Mom to give you her precious yeti head. Did you have to promise anything in return?
- When Zoidberg is confronted by the Planet Express crew, telling him they hate him, he has no friends and no one wants him around. Hearing Zoidberg break down and say "I'm sorry" is utterly heartwrenching, especially in how it's said. You really get the feeling that Zoidberg truly feels bad about what he's done, he's trying his best, but all it results in is disaster.
- A brief moment when Zoidberg sheepishly says "I'm sorry" when Amy demands him to give her kidney back.
- Other from that very episode. Zoidberg hiding what he had to sacrifice for the cure in order to save Farnsworth. Sure, it was basically nothing, but it was literally all that Zoidberg had.
Zoidberg: Nothing, nothing at all.
- Leela looking out into space at the end of, "A Bicyclops Built for Two", considering her own true origins.
"How many planets could there be?"
- "A Flight to Remember": Everyone of the main cast has just made it to the escape pod. Bender, actually having fallen in love instead of being the usual Jerkass hungry for wealth, has pulled (with great success) a very daring rescue for his newfound love, Contessa. The escape pod launches off, but is soon caught in a black hole due to excessive weight. Turns out that the excessive weight was Contessa. Horrified, Bender argues rather valiantly to change her mind, but is eventually convinced to let her go to save his life and the life of his coworkers. Despite the Mood Whiplash of a joke that followed (Bender finding out that the Contessa's necklace is a fake), it was truly an unexpected tearjerker from a character that, back then, was not known for many.
- In "Overclockwise":
Fry: Don't go, Leela. Please. You and me, we were supposed to...
Leela: ... What?
Fry: I don't know. But some day we'll find out... won't we?
- The ending where Fry and Leela silently read through Bender's prediction of their ultimate fate together. They make no comments but their varying expressions as they read through the ups and downs of their relationship is enough.
- The entire scene where Fry seeks out OmnissiahBender in the Niagara Falls and asks about the future. The sad look Bender gets after calculating for a considerable amount of time, implying that there is absolutely no hope for Fry and Leela and that he didn't have the heart to tell Fry... for me that was the most hopeless scene on the entire show.
- "Where the Buggalo Roam" ending. Kif has just managed to rescue the girl of his dreams and the entire heard of buggalo while flying through a dust tornado on a buggalo, a feat that only those who were true Martians were said to have accomplished, and managed to convince the native Martians to let the Wongs keep their land with very little incident and a fairer deal, yet, despite all his efforts to Amy's parents, they still hate him, and are convinced that Zap was the one responsible for all Kif's achievements.
- This one is mitigated a bit by Amy's admission that one of the reasons she likes Kif is because her parents don't like him.
- Quite a few appear in "Bender's Big Score":
Bender: Oh, God! What have I DONE?!
- Fry going back to the past and managing to live in his old time, eating dinner with his family, playing basketball with his brother again and with the seven-leafed clover making a cameo.
- Fry also reunites with his dog Seymour, so he no longer died alone, waiting for Fry to come back.
- Though since Fry left on a long trip to try and recapture Leelu, a Narwhal that reminded him of Leela, Seymour spent a long time waiting for him, and stayed alive long enough for Fry to come back home. And then was promptly fast-fossilized by Bender trying to kill him.
- When Bender, after twelve years of trying to locate Fry, finds and (assumingly) kills him, starts laughing maniacally... only to break down crying.
- Fry's Eureka Moment realizing that he's Lars, dashing down the street excitedly, "I'm coming, Leela!"
- Almost everything we learn about Lars from the wedding onwards: he's really a version of Fry who traveled back to the 21st century until the year 2012. In that time, he painfully accepted letting go of Leela and formed an attachment to a narwhal named "Leelu". After working at the aquarium, rising up to assistant director through his strong bond with Leelu, the aquarium releases her back to the wild. Unsatisfied with that, he spent two years searching the frozen north for her before finding her and capturing her. However he once again tearfully accepts reality as Leelu would rather be with a male narwhal she mated with in his absence. Then Bender tracks him down, destroys his home, and he discovers that he was Lars all along. He freezes himself again in Michelle's cryo-chamber, gets a job at the Head Museum in the year 3002, and completes the Stable Time Loop of forming a relationship with Leela as Lars...only to realize that he's now in jeopardy as a paradox duplicate because of Fry's presence in the 31st century. He breaks off the wedding and, knowing he's doomed, commits a Heroic Sacrifice to save Leela from Nudar at the very end. Lars had to endure the heatbreak of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy not just once but twice; and when he finally has a chance at everything he's ever wanted, the universe won't even let him have that. Leela being left at the altar is also sad (partly because Fry was being a selfish jerk about it, which rubs salt in the wound).
- The ending to "Cold Warriors" features Fry and his father, Yancy Sr., ice fishing. After seeing his father being incredibly tough on Fry throughout the episode, he finally explains to his son that he's hard on him so he'll be able to be strong in the future. It's topped off with this line
- "Into the Wild Green Yonder", mostly due to ending the Grand Finale with a Bittersweet Ending / Cliffhanger.
- Four words: "At last, I'm beautiful..."
- Spoken as the character is mostly likely being eaten by quintillions of Benders, with his only crime being going on a rampage because he was pushed to the breaking point while trying to apologize for a similar incident earlier in the episode involving a comment about his mother.
- The end of "The Bots and the Bees" this is combined with a heartwarming moment when Bender gives up his son's memories of him, just so he can be happy and be a bender like him.
- Just remember son, your daddy loves you.
- Calculon performing Romeo's death, proving that his unholy acting talent goes far beyond hammy soap operas, making you respect a one-joke character before his death.
- What makes it worse is that Calculon went through all that in order to beat his arch-rival in an acting competition and he lost.
- Worst of all, that decision was unanimous. Absolutely none of the judges gave a damn for the sheer emotion that he, a robot, managed to achieve.
- "Fun on a Bun". First, there's the fact that Leela is so broken up over not just Fry's apparent death but the fact that she believes she ate him that she erases all of her memories of him. Something similar happens to Fry, but they both see various things during their day-to-day lives that constantly remind them of the other. The only thing that stops this episode from being a total tragedy is that Status Quo dictated a happy ending.
- Salmon!Fry overcomes his own instincts (and a cliff, and a bear) in order to travel to Salmon!Leela's stream, fertilize her eggs, and die at her side.
- The story of Professor Farnsworth as the last Giant Tortoise of his kind in existence. He goes on a long journey in order to get to a possibly viable female. They successfully reproduce... only for the babies to be crushed by a boulder.
- There's more to it: The episode is dedicated to the memory of "Lonesome George", the last ever Pinta Island Tortoise in existence who died in June, after numerous attempts to save the species through breeding with a sub species.
- "Parasites Lost". Fry's situation in this episode, wanting to know if Leela was truly attracted to him or only what the brain worms had made him.
- Worse when she threw him out he realized the truth, she loved what the worms made him.
- Bender overhearing the crew badmouth his poor cooking in "The 30% Iron Chef".
- "The Why of Fry":
Nibbler: What is one life weighed against the entire universe?
- Fry explaining what being on the other side of What Is One Man's Life in Comparison? is like.
Fry: (tearfully) But it was my life!
Leela: You know what, Fry? I don't care if you're not the most important person in the universe. It really makes me happy to see you right now.
- Really, the entirety of that episode is hard to sit through with a dry eye, especially if you too have felt utterly unimportant in the face of the world. The ending itself, when Fry decides that Leela is worth more than his old life, and Nibbler's promise to help him all he can (especially touching when you remember that he doesn't really know Fry) is a tear-jerker of a different kind.
Fry: Then I am the most important person in the universe.
- In "Calculon 2.0", after he is brought back from the dead, Calculon realizes that no one appreciates his type of acting anymore. He becomes very somber and depressed. He can only get a bit role on his old show, yet his depression does allow him to give a spectacular performance. The saddest line is below.
Calculon: I don't deserve another chance to live. Maybe I didn't even deserve my first.
- His speech at the end where he notes not only did people not care he was dead but they were happier without him.
- A subtler example, but for a moment, there's a shot of the interior of his suitcase where you can see a carefully preserved photo of Coilette among his most precious belongings. It really reminds you that, although "Bend Her" had a fairly silly and happy ending for the Planet Express crew/the audience, from Calculon's perspective, the love of his life died under the most ridiculously tragic circumstances imaginable and pretty much everything he valued about his life (Coilette, his career, his fame) is gone forever.
- Leela's Breaking Speech to Calculon:
Leela: I'm sorry, Calculon, but someone needs to remind you of the truth. You're a grade-B actor who died and was immediately forgotten... You're nothing but a pompous windbag who lost touch with genuine emotion years ago. The sad fact is, we should have left you dead, because you can't possibly do a scene like this.
- The ending to "Game of Tones", where Nibbler allows Fry to enter a dream of his mother's from the past. As it turns out, she dreamed a lot about him after he disappeared.
- Fry's whole desire just to spend a little more time with his family even if it is in a dream. This becomes more saddening when Fry refuses to go along with his mission so he can stay with his family, but the Professor tells him he can't because on New Year's Eve, he wasn't at his house after 10pm. Fry then opens the door and sees an empty white void, letting out a Big "NO!".
- Not to mention when Fry finally gets the chance to talk to his mom like he wanted to all episode (courtesy of Nibbler at the end) he just pulls her into a big hug... the first time he's been able to hug her in 1000 years. Then in the past, his mother wakes up and looks at his photo before smiling and going back to sleep.
- This line from "Crimes of the Hot":
Bender: Fry, as you know, there are a lot of things I'm willing to kill for: jewels, vengeance, Father O'Malley's weedwhacker, but, at long last, I've found something I'm willing to die for: this mindless turtle.
- Just the way he says it.
- The ending of "Meanwhile", the final episode. After Fry is saved from a time loop resulting in his death, he accidentally destroys the device causing the time loop, freezing everyone and everything except himself and Leela, permanently. We are then shown that the two live out full and happy lives together. They finally get married, have their honeymoon, and grow old together... but none of their friends and loved ones are able to see it happen (although at the end, the professor manages to find them and repair the device so that they can all go back in time to the point before the device was built, thus allowing Fry And Leela to relive their lives all over again with their loved ones). The music the montage is set to makes it all the more sad and fitting, considering it's the last episode: it's Chopin's Etude in E Major Op. 10 No. 3.
- The beginning of "Space Pilot 3000", where Fry is miserable because of his terrible job as a pizza delivery boy, his girlfriend dumping him on New Years' Eve, and being unable to take time off to party or spend time with his family. Even worse, this was a millennium anniversary, which is a once in a lifetime event.
- Just the fact that as far as Fry's family knows, their youngest member vanished one night. Since him being accidentally cryogenically frozen for 1000 years is not a scenario that would cross anybody's mind, the most likely possibility from their viewpoint is that Fry was murdered or died in an accident and his body unrecoverable. A glimpse into the world of real-life families who have had a relative disappear with no trace.