Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
Tear Jerker: Homestuck
Remember when Homestuck was just a webcomic about some kid dicking around in his bedroom for three months? Yeah, we... we kind of miss those days.
> Shed single tear of black liquid sorrow.
You let a sole drop of moisture roll down your cheek at the merest thought of these moments. Alas, what has been done cannot be undone.
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How about the fact that a good majority of the cast is teenaged? And that all of them have died at least once? And seen their homes destroyed? And seen most of their friends killed, be it in battle or the apocalypse? And have to live with the knowledge that the deaths of MILLIONS are on their hands? How would you deal with that?
Not only that, but the fact that they're witnessing the very breakdown of the laws of physics. All the things you listed tend to fall under the "everything you know is falling apart", but the very structure of the Universe is being revealed to them. The fact that they keep their sanity might either be a sign of optimism, or strength.
Jade sacrificing her dreamself to save John's. On top of the Heroic Sacrifice, this also takes away the dream visions that she's been relying on for years. This really hits home when you reach thesepanels.
"Anyway you should listen to jade from here on out john because she sure seems to know whats best for you. Whatever your adventure throws at you im sure shell tell you you can handle it. She believes in you."
One of the reasons she prefers being blind? The day she went blind was the first time her lusus interacted with her.
Karkat in a fit of arrogance ends up killing everyone's Custodian by setting off a program that curses him and everyone he's ever met. Their faces when they find their custodians though. That is what makes it a Tear Jerker. You never thought you'd see Gamzee so sad. Not to mention Karkat with an expression that isn't pure rage.
Tavros Nitram, also known as adiosToreador, takes Tear Jerker to Serial Escalation levels. Phrasing it very briefly:
He had a fascination with flight. Using mind-control, a literal Killer DM convinced him he could fly, thereby forcing him to jump off a cliff. This left him in a wheelchair, a disability which the Powers That Be on Alternia see as grounds for culling. Upon entering the game, when he finally managed to experience flight, his dreamself died. We're told that his disability leads to all sorts of problems within the medium, made worse by the fact that the aforementioned Killer DM is now his server player. Although it's eventually fixed, it's only at the cost of having his legs chainsawed off. And all of this is in addition to the already-terrible problems faced by the other trolls: a dead home planet, an unwinnable game, and a dead lusus.
And even then he only gets to use his new legs for (presumably) a couple of hours, before the aforementioned Killer DM/server player succeeds in killing him.
I have to take breaks from reading whenever he's on screen. Good god I want to give him a hug.
Terezi waits her entire damn life on her Lusus and then it dies right after it hatches.
Screw it, all the trolls have incredibly shitty lives, and a lot of them are crippled or were hurt from an extreme roleplaying accident.
This actually leads to another Tear Jerker while listening to the Alternia album. Most of the songs are a mix of spooky and awesome synthesized tunes. But "Theme" is a sad, simple piano piece, which the composer calls "Overwhelmingly bittersweet and heartfelt. Entirely inappropriate." It may be due to the huge amount of Mood Whiplash involved, but that song destroyed me, especially when I juxtaposed it with how brutal and sad the trolls' lives are. You need to buy the album to listen to it, but it's completely worth it.
Agreed entirely. I have not felt such emotional sympathy for characters ever, and Theme was the key to realizing that. I don't know what exactly it is about the trolls, whether it's their tragic pasts or the fact that they're ultimately going to lose, even if they technically win, but something hits home with me. It's amazing, if still quite sad at the same time. Andrew Hussie and Toby Fox are geniuses.
"Alternia" from the Alterniabound album is a remix of "Theme" and is this but more. The notes that come with the album clear up what it's about: how they came so far and almost won the game, could almost move into their own, new universe, and things were finally going to be OK for them, and had it all taken away from them. "It is, in essence, the Trolls' lingering and bittersweet memory of Hope."
Let's summarize: Their parents die, they live on an utter hellhole full of wild monsters that can and will attack them, many of them are tormented by injuries or burdened with psychic visions of their doom. Plus, all trolls have absolutely terrifying nightmares and need their beds to calm them down enough that they don't go insane. Oh and the only forms of emotion considered natural for them are hate and pity, and the only thing they have to look forward to is a violent life of conquest. That doesn't even mention the blood based caste system, which is openly disdained by most of them and allows for them to be abused. AND they are the only survivors of their race, and still, after all this, their dream selves die. Eventually they won the game. AND THEN the Kids do something to screw it up, and they're stuck in the Veil, reduced to trolling. And ignoring all that, there's Vriska. She will pretty much screw your life, regardless of other circumstances.
Vriska manipulates Sollux, Aradia's boyfriend, to raze her and her hive to the ground with his Wave Motion GunEye Beams. Kind of sad. But Aradia's face when she see's Sollux changes from surprised joy to fear. And then she died. And the readers cried.
And on the other hand, her death seemed to have broken Sollux, as it's implied that he had been happy at some point in his life beforehand, but hardly if ever had been since.
AA: s0llux i actually w0uld like it if you were happy
TA: ok. thank you for 2ayiing 2o.
AA: y0u seem sad and angry all the time
"But unfortunately, Rufio is not real... You continue to be sad and alone." Keep in mind that, while you read this, Tavros is being harassed by Vriska over his disability. Specifically, her demanding that he apologize for being crippled (by her). And remember that Rufio is the name he gave to his self-esteem.
"...He's imaginary. A fake. Like a made up friend, the way fairies are." For me, the worst thing is Tavros is just telling himself what Vriska said when she laughed at the idea of Rufio. It's like she convinced him of what she said, that the whole self-esteem thing is a ridiculous joke that Vriska is playing on him.
This conversation and Vriska's chatlogs with Kanaya. Or essentially anything that involves the cracks we see in Vriska's BLUH BLUH HUGE BITCH veneer. Doc Scratch's enabling turned that FLARP session into a complete clusterfuck that cost Vriska most of her friends, and she does feel guilty about it and wants them back. All her attempts at trying to help Tavros and Aradia go about as horribly wrong as they can. She keeps chasing after a kismessitude that she's not going to get, it's destroying her moirallegiance, and she doesn't understand why. All the little moments of sincerity Vriska has just bring home that under her maniacal need to manipulate everything, she's a thirteen-year-old kid with massive psychological issues just like all the other trolls and it's practically torpedoing all of her relationships, with absolute no clue on what's really going on.
Right after Feferi enters the medium Eridan gets the courage to tell her that his feelings for her are redder then the average moriallegience... right when Feferi decides to dump him, saying that they don't need to be moraillegience anymore because Eridan can't pose a threat to the land dwellers now that he is in the medium and that being his Morail made her exhausted.
CC: When all is said and done, I am still your friend.
CC: We have left our world behind. Everyone is dead, and there's no use in worrying about it now.
CC: It's over! It is time to play this game and focus on building something new and ———EXCITING.
CC: So )(ang in t)(ere, -Eridan.
CC: I )(ave to go now! Sollux is in serious trouble, and I )(ave to go )(elp )(im.
This entire update, while rather heartwarming, comes across as sad when you realized that half of the conversation was coming from a kid who would in all likelihood be dying very soon, and knew it. Rambling on to himself and talking about troll-Christmas made his conversation with Kanaya feel like two friends who have completely given up hope, just talking to each other while they wait for the world to end.
And then Kanaya scrolls up and we see that that future version of Karkat is headed for The Rift, a flashing void of nothing. The fact that things look so horrible for the Trolls is enough to sadden any fan.
Karkat's very initial expression when first shown watching John's life, depicting him as exhausted and beat as his heart breaks while witnessing a beautiful life that he and his friends never had (and could have had if not for Jack), right before his face becomes more enraged.
This and the following two pages just make you feel horrible for Aradia. Rose's last two lines are kind of sad though also hilarious.
The pure desperation from the normally-emotionless Aradia is both unnerving and saddening. She's lashing out against the (seemingly) inevitable. Even when trying to generate a random number to spite the game, she ends up simply generating the two arc numbers of Homestuck, making it even all the more futile.
This one's old, but any time Rose (one of the darkest characters in the comic) has a conversation with Jaspersprite (quite possibly the most innocent thing ever), I start to tear up. This one is especially bad.
The way that Jaspers doesnt quite realize that he actually died is heartbreaking. He loves Rose so much and it's incredibly sweet. Especially for a cat owner.
Jade's reaction to the dream she has when she sleeps after her dreamself dies and her subsequent conversation with Feferi about it.. She just looks and acts so tired, confused, scared, and just plain worn out; you can't help but want to give her a hug, even though you know that probably wouldn't help things. Poor Jade.
It also gets pretty sad when she says that she never wants to sleep or dream again, she's spent her whole life dreaming, it was her favorite thing, and now that is gone...
As with the Aradia example above, seeing Jade, the normally very cheerful and optimistic girl just out right FLIP OUT and start yelling at both Karkats, is....really unsettling
Whoa. Whoa. The Land of Wind and Shade got fucked up. Just the thought of all the cute little salamanders getting genocided is a kick in the chest, but the implications for John and Jade do not look good.
[S] Jade: Enter. The music really is perfect - the part where it slows down and gets particularly threatening as Jack gets prototyped with Bec Noir and Bro and Davesprite actually seem to get worried, and then the part with Karkat actually waking up on Prospit only to get killed by someone he considered an ally. The ending with Jade falling through the snow while sweet, it's also sad because she had no clue what just really happened.
Karkat's reaction to seeing god mode-Jack Noir destroying Prospit, and his dream self is just heartrending. The look can only be described as one of absolute betrayal.
Oh jeez, damn you Hussie. Though... Kanaya's little speech makes it seem like she isn't totally out of the woods yet... but the meaning of that is something for WMG to sort out.
And now Rose's normal self is dead and her dream self is still going on the suicide mission...so she really will die unless Aradia intervenes.
Hooray! Tavros saved Jade from killing herself as a child! And got rid of an Adult prowler. Wait. Oops. The worst part is that he only meant well.
No, the worst part is that Jade spent her whole childhood agonizing over the belief that either the taxidermied woman did it, or her grandfather had committed suicide.
The good news is, that Jade recognizes that it was just a misunderstanding and forgives him for it (she even thanks him for saving her life). She just wishes he would have cleared things up when she was younger.
If you're a fan of Vriska, or Tavros for that matter, her ascension to the God Levels and Tavros's role in it all starting here is absolutely horrifying.
She really believes in him and trusts him, and he can't. Who else is betting that this is what Tavros was talking about when he mentions something so horrible happening during the trolls' session that all he did after that was sleep?
Worse yet is the possibility that the reason he can't do it is due to her always picking away at his self confidence.
It's worse from WV's point of view. He just witnessed Jack killing John, and his view cuts out permanently. WV can no longer contact John, and he has no way of knowing that John's dreamself is still alive. And he appears to be on the verge of tears.
Aradia saying her final goodbye to Sollux.
Coupled with Equius's reaction from the back. He's notably just as shaken as Sollux, maybe even moreso, not only because he loved her, but the fact that she chose to say good-bye to her ex-boyfriend and not her current one broke him.
Her subsequent conversation with Dave manages to be something of a tear jerker as well. She tries to comfort him after the loss of his brother / "ghost dad," and he addresses the strange relationship he had with Bro.
On second thought, prototyping with Dream Jade was a reallybadidea.
Want to make it even worse? Think about this: Jade and Jadesprite are variations on the same person, and the real Jade has seen all of the trauma that Jadesprite has and a lot more to go with it. So why isn't she having a massive breakdown too? Well, look at what she's calling Jadesprite - selfish and weak, accusing her of letting everyone down. Think about the implications there: she's probably going to hold her actual self to the same standards as her spriteself. In other words, she's suppressing a FUCK of a lot of trauma - dying, losing half her life on Prospit, watching a Dave be killed (not permanently, but still horrifying), losing her guardian, blaming herself as the game becomes unwinnable, and being faced with an unbeatable murderous monster that could appear anywhere at any time - because she feels like if she freaks out over all of that, it's a despicable weakness and she's letting her friends down. That's an unreasonable expectation for an adult to have, and she's thirteen.
To say nothing of Karkat making her realize how Not So Different she is from him in that scene.
If you're in the mood for a horrifying reminder, think about the fact that Bec's entire personality was erased because of that prototyping. It's completely glossed over in context but think about this; Not only did he die by the hands of his best friend/adoptive daughter and left no trace of having existed to begin with—he had no say in the matter whatsoever. Imagine your best friend calling you over to give you a surprise...and then killing you for no apparent reason. Sure Jade knew it was for the best but still...
GG: i dont know, i have no idea what time you are from!
GG: but you will get it, i gave it to you some time ago at the end of our last conversation
GG: and i have been eagerly awaiting your linear and unconfusing reply ever since!
GG: bye kanaya <3
The reveal that Gamzee, who had always come across as a generally sweet, friendly and easygoing person, is actually a murderous sociopath whose split personality had been being kept in check by his constant consumption of sopor slime was not only nightmare-inducingly horrifying but utterly crushing.
This memo, The part where past Feferi responds is severely gut wrenching.
On the same page we get Eridan's response to the memo and it's gut-wrenching. It starts out with him thinking that Karkat is flirting with him in order to cheer him up after Feferi broke off their moirallegiance, something he seems to really appreciate. He then becomes confused over Karkat's genuine anger at him leading him to ask about what happened. Instead of answering Karkat continues to yell at him, eventually leading to Eridan offering to talk about their issues together. Unfortunately Karkat is too emotional distraught to talk with him anymore and bans him. Even worse is that if Karkat had been able to calm down and talk it out he might have been able to prevent Eridan's meltdown in the first place.
The 2xCorpsesmooch Combo is funny, but also sad because Karkat is crying as he does it - it's obvious he's hoping against hope here. Made even worse by the preceding chatlogs, wherein it's pretty clear he was bordering on redrom (platonic <> probably) with Kanaya, and this just hammers it home.
The Dramatic Irony of the kids being unaware of the events going on for the trolls. Whenever they talk about the trolls as though they were still alive, sane, or not in danger, it's like a punch to the gut.
Karkat's (possibly) final chatlog with John:
CG: I HAVE TO GO
CG: SORRY FOR BEING SUCH A DOUCHE TO YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS.
CG: I HOPE YOU CAN SUCCEED AS A LEADER WHERE I FAILED MISERABLY.
Karkat's slow descent into the Despair Event Horizon after receiving Terezi's logs. She tells him that she will be 'away from her glasses' and right after that Karkat freaks out when he sees one simple word: honk, heavily implying that Gamzee is going after Terezi. Then Karkat examines Sollux's unconscious body only to discover that falling down the stairs knocked the latter's teeth out. After putting the teeth back in his mouth, this text comes up—"There. Good as new, best friend! It's like it never happened. No one can ever blame you for dropping him down the stairs now. Stairs? What stairs! Ha ha ha!"
In the 2/6 update, we see that Nepeta has painted a new shipping wall. The tear jerker part is that she's got a full wall dedicated to people who just died and that she can't bear to paint over them. For those curious, Dave/Tavros, Rose/Kanaya, and Sollux/Feferi.
Nepeta and Equius's seperation is parts this and part adorable. But it tips toward the Tear Jerker side of things when you realize that the reason Equius is so adamant about saying goodbye is because he knows it's very probable that they might not see each other again and after what happened with Aradia wants to properly say goodbye to his friend.
Which esclates into full Tear Jerker when sure enough, Gamzee kills Equius right before Nepeta's eyes.
To be fair, he believed Nepeta was safely hiding in the back room, so he thought it was only his life at risk, not hers as well.
It's made even worse when you realize that not only is he okay with dying, he's enjoying it. Equius's blood colour was always visible under his glasses. Fans of forensics shows might know that asphyxiation causes hemorrhaging around the eyes like that. Putting this together with his title, (Heir of Void) and the face that he is smiling while Gamzee kills him, it can be determined that Equius was a practitioner of auto-erotic asphyxiation.
It's even worse when you consider that Heir of Void can mean "become nothing" and just how mentally andemotionallyfuckedupyouwouldhavetobetosmile whilst being choked to death, fetish or not. "Become nothing" indeed. God knows how long he's felt like nothing as well, which is likely the reason he hung onto the hemospectrum and his high caste in an attempt to feel important.
Whether or not you find Vriska's conversation/confession with John starting here sad depends on how sympathetic you are to Vriska. It's still tragic, since it drives home to poor John just how different he and Vriska are despite their budding friendship. He is clearly struggling to understand her even after learning about all of the horrible things she's done.
It also tugs at the heartstrings when you realize how incredibly serious Vriska is about these doubts and confessions; count how many times she uses her usual typing quirks. Then look at how much of the conversation is completely devoid of typing quirks...
And think back afterwards to her relationship with Tarvos and her idolation of Mindfang. Nearly every horrible step in her life before the that wasn't motivated by trying to please Spidermom or Doc Scratch's manipulations was due to her chasing Mindfang's shadow (and failing). If you don't feel sorry for her still, then look at poor Tavros — everything she did to him was to try to make him into a new Summoner, and every single thing she did backfired horrifically. Then go back and reread her ascension to God Tier. She desperately wants him to kill her as one last attempt to make him into the man he could be — and it breaks him completely. Just tragic on both sides.
The February 11th/12th updates... which focused on The doomed Dave who tried to ascend to the god tiers. Especially the panel where he sees Alpha Timeline Dave finding and mourning over Bro.
The saddest part is that the doomed Dave, being Dave, reacts with utter composure. And yet, you can easily tell by his dialogue how he's feeling. The saddest part probably being:
AA: and yes your guardian did die
TG: what did i do wrong
Further down this dialogue, it could break some readers hearts to see Dave witnessing what's going on around Skaia, wanting to do something, and yet be powerless to do so...
TG: if im seeing this
TG: shouldnt i be able to do something about it
TG: or stop it from happening or
TG: i dont know like anything to keep helping my friends
TG: what do i do
AA: none of this is your business anymore
AA: its time to move on
Put into context this journal entry from Vriska's ancestor: Marquise Spinneret Mindfang is raping her slave just to make her rival Orphaner Dualscar jealous, and ignite/strengthen their odd troll romance further. Yes, it is a record of life centuries ago on Alternia, but still, My God, that poor slave...
Then the slave is assassinated by Dualscar right when Mindfang starts to feel genuine redrom feelings for her.
"Thus my heart was 8roken twice. I was fond of the slave. There was surely promise in her red investment. He had her assassin8ed."
And the slave was later implied to be Kanaya's ancestor, the Dolorosa.
Which sheds an extremely dark light on Kanaya's flushed feelings for Vriska.
Serenade by Clark "Plazmataz" Powell. When combined with the cover art, it hits especially hard.
The more you look at that picture, the harder it hits. When you notice that it isn't her cave art. When you notice that it's her blood. It's even worse when you notice that her cheeks are tear stained.
John's Dad and Rose's mum are enjoying a romantic meal. A few updates later? "You are now Jack Noir. You have just murdered an innocent family. What will you do?"
Rose's expression when she looks into her crystal ball and sees that Jack has killed her mother.
Near the beginning, attempting to examine MOM and DAD's bodies does nothing; the only message you will get is "There is no sign of Jack Noir up here. Must be somewhere in the castle," which is produced by examining any spot on the screen. Rose is either trying not to think about it, or she no longer cares.
As you descend into the castles you find more and more corpses of Dersites and Prospitians, but you do encounter a few surviviors: one hiding behind a pillar, and a group in a secret room plotting a futile counterattack. It turns out that, as Rose spoke with John, Jack returned.
About the latter group, a little more Dramatic Irony; this group is apparently gushing over a "great hero" from the Dark Army who rose from being a simple farmer to leading a rebellion against the tyrannical Black King. Though the rebellion ended in tragedy, the hero still inspired them and gave them hope, even in the bleakest of times. Who are they describing? The Wayward Vagabond. The same guy who viewed himself as a failure because of the rebellion. WV was a hero to these people—and he never knew.
Dave's conversation with Terezi after finding Bro's body. The poor guy is obviously having serious trouble working out his emotions, and having a personal crisis over his role in the game at the same time.
TG: im not john remember TG: im not a hero TG: my bro was TG: john is TG: im not
It also puts a different spin on her Self-Sacrifice Scheme, because her dream self is no longer expendable.
Also, Rose's body was on of the first things John sees when he wakes up.
This panel had this effect on most of the fandom, until it was reversed a few days later.
Vriska's enraged reaction to the whole situation. Despite all her good intentions, her actions have doomed every person she ever considered a friend, and she knows it. The various facial expressions that demonstrate this can be deeply saddening.
The conversation between Nepeta and Jaspersprite is especially sad in hindsight. Nepeta is worried that Jaspers won't survive the Scratch and that she'll lose him just like she lost Pounce De Leon. As it turned out, Nepeta was killed and Jaspers survived.
When Rose travels through Dave's dream bubble on the way to delivering the Tumor, they argue about who was the designated pilot for this suicide mission. For once, Dave forgoes all his ironic coolguy nonsense, does not mince words and states, "but i dont want you to die". Then, he decides to stay asleep rather than wake up and try to stop her after she says this:
TG: so you admit you were stalling with all that bullshit TT: I said not entirely. TG: what do you mean TT: It's going to be a long ride through all this nothingness. TT: Maybe I just thought some company would be nice. TT: Before it's all over. TG: ............
For the most part, John and Vriska finally meeting one another face to face is actually rather sweet. But when John finally starts to remember some of the details, like the suit he died in, the reader's brain finally catches up with the haymaker Hussie set up: The John she's talking to is from Davesprite's timeline... the one that Terezi got killed way back in act 4. He doesn't remember Vriska because he never met her.
For any Vriska lover, this scene hurts, because John's immortality will keep the two from meeting for a very long time.
Nanna's entire story just makes you feel horrible for her. Especially since she never got to see Grandpa again and she is left with nothing but regrets, since she could have escaped with him but didn't. Makes Jane's feelings towards Jake Harsher in Hindsight.
But then you realize that he died on his quest bed, and likely reached the God Tiers as the fully realized Gent of Piss.
This series of panels actually give us a huge amount of exposition into various... shenanigans. But the saddest part of it all is probably the emotions that Karkat is going through when he wrote this. This is probably also the first time he genuinely says sorry, and he does it with full emotion.
Before that, he speculates that he's stuck in a doomed timeline. That he's doomed to watch everyone around him die, unable to even communicate with Jade anymore, because of something he, personally, did to mess up the timeline. The whole thing is filled with an extremely saddening level of self-loathing from Karkat.
Doc Scratch: "Once, in this very universe, you could say, Alternia was home to a peaceful race. Trollkind had never known the corrupting influence in their evolution which led them to perpetual war and violence."
Doc Scratch: "That is to say, they had never known me."
The Disciple, full stop. Love that transcended the quadrants, tears of joy. Then she was left to live for years after her soulmate died. No wonder she went insane!
Two bits of fan speculation make it worse: 1) If Redglare had been around during the Sufferer's time, she may have caused romantic tension and 2) Nepeta's coat is actually the Righteous Leggings stained green from years of the Disciple coddling and crying into it.
She was sold for the seadwellers to use, which implies all the seadweallers. In Mindfang's journal she mentions... coupling with a slave of unusual blood color that belonged to Orphaner Dualscar, then Dualscar kills the slave. The extent of the relationships is never explored and perhaps it's better we don't know.
Even throughout all of what he's done, the reason why Gameze went insane was quite melancholic. Imagine, if you will, that you followed a very peaceful and joyful religion, only for someone to make a complete mockery of it and shatter your pure image of said religion. That getting together over Faygo morphed into a complete satire. Listen:
TC: I HAVE THE IDEA THAT YOU PUT IN MY PAN TO SIT THERE.
TC: that the paradise planet
TC: IS A FUCKING JOKE.
TC: and the miracles
TC: ARE FAKE.
TC: pure fiction.
TC: FALSE FAKEY FRAUDY CON JOBS FROM A BUNCH OF UNFUNNY NINJA HARLEQUIN BULLSHIT ARTISTS.
Add to this the fact that his religion was basically Gamzee's only source of hope; living with an absent parent in a society that oppressed your best friends and would most likely cull the two people you are closest to (Karkat and Tavros) isn't so bad when you know that there's hope for the future. Then Dave takes away his faith, and he finds Tavros stabbed through the chest by one of their teammates and left bloody and broken on the floor. There's also the fact that he is most likely going through withdrawals, and it's quite possible that Lil' Cal is screwing with his head. At that point, going insane could almost be seen as a coping mechanism.
The cause of Bec Noir's unfathomable rage upon entering the Trolls' session isfinallyrevealed.
Then Bec Noir murders CD in a fit of rage.
What happened to the Exiles in [S] Cascade. AR especially.
The White Queen (or, rather, Windswept Questant) is finally reunited with the White King, and they hold hands... for exactly ten seconds, before Jack arrives and kills the both of them.
WV's death in [S] Cascade. This is a guy you have learned backwards and forwards as a guy who cares for his friend and is willing to fight for what he loves. In the very beginning, he builds a city out of cans and becomes obsessed with Tab soda. He's a hilarious guy. At one point he finds a bunch of random stuff in the corner of his room, and eats half of it. One of these things is a chunk of uranium, leading to one hilarious scene. However, Bec Noir executes a horrible, tearjerking ultimate Call Back. He needs the uranium, so he PUNCHES THROUGH WV'S STOMACH AND TAKES IT BY FORCE. Made even worse when he leaves and PM comes in and finds his body.
Right after he teleports away to the Trollverse, there's a quick montage of all the damage and death Bec Noir caused there, set to sad piano music, just to remind you of some of the more tragic parts of the series.
PM, holding WV's dead (or dying) body while looking up at the sky as the universe ends.
Most of the exiles (and the entire human universe around them) ending up dead is especially tragic when you remember art like the cover art to this song. What could have been...
The looks on Rose◊ and Dave's◊ faces as they wait for the Tumor to blow. It really sinks in that they're two thirteen-year-old kids, waiting to die.
...and realizing that it was pointless since they had been tricked.
Similarly, the look between Jadesprite and Davesprite, especially for the latter. Davesprite had to suffer through Jade dying by meteor once, and now he has to see it again, thinking he's failed in changing anything... which only makes the following scenes that much more awesome.
Sollux breaking down under the effort of accelerating the asteroid towards the green sun, working himself literally to death.
Rose and Dave ascending out of the Green Sun, though it's more awesome than saddening.
Those last few seconds of the EOA, where the fourth wall goes backwards through everything that happened to John before he started playing the game. It's just a huge blow to the heart that makes you remember where it all started and how far everyone has come.
Act 6 Act 1
Alpha!John is introduced by Jane thusly:
GG: So if I have this straight, the big thing hogging up your plate today is not this marvelous new game which I have invited you to play with me, but finishing a robotic rabbit to give to my dead poppop?
"The Page is dead. Our hope is lost." - the Prospitians, in the funeral procession of Jake's dreamself.
If you think about it, the entire universe's destruction was a big one. I mean, it's nice to see the session's going to be completed and all, but the one little thing is that billions of people are fucking dead and never coming back. No more history, no more stories, no more of all that once was and all that ever will. Just a big, sad, empty void.
Adding onto this, the mere fact that the kids are ignoring that fact (or at least, trying to) is Tear Jerking, too. It's like there was nothing they cared about on their home planet, except for the family they're introduced to and themselves.
As soon as I saw the slow-mo as she reached for the mailbox, I KNEW this was coming and the bottom dropped out of my stomach. I just kept thinking "It's a bomb. There's a bomb, ohnoohgodnodon'tbeabomb, nnnnnnnnoooooo... *BOOM*. HUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSIIIEEEE!!!"
Act 6 Intermission 1
What Hussiebot says at the end of his maniacal laugh is kind of sad. The way he just words his comment ("Why am I laughing This is a completely innapropriate reaction") kind of says that he almost gives an air of compassion about those offed characters by realizing his laughter was not the best of reactions. He seems to care.
John still thinks he's going to meet Vriska in the Alpha!Universe.
Making it even worse is Jade's complete silence about it after John continues to ask about Vriska, implying she knows.
Serenity calls PM's attention to WV's broken body and says in morse code, "Please...help him!" It's just gutwrenching to see, after all they've been through.
Karkat'spanicattack. After what happened on the meteor, seeing Karkat close to falling apart is sad. Plus, maybe Kanaya made it slightly worse by trying to give him Equius's shades, possibly reminding Karkat's command to Equius to seek the highblood, leading to his friend's death.
Kanaya seems really depressed. Prior to now she was too busy being dead and then badass for us to see how deeply the loss of the Matriorb affected her.
KANAYA: I Would Like To Have The Orb Again And To Keep It Safe This Time
KANAYA: And I Guess To Not Be A Total Failure
John's letter to the group on the meteor ends with "vriska, if you read this, thanks again for all your help. i don't think i'd have made it this far if not for you! i just thought you should know that." What makes it worse is that the two could be very happy together if they had ever met face to face.
The worst part? He's still looking forward to meeting Vriska once everyone reaches the new session in three years, and Jade, the only person with John who knows Vriska won't be there to greet him, hasn't said a word so far.
Oh, it must be Jack here to offer help taking down the queen, as his role in the game dictates, and Jane's going to be fi- HUUUUUUSSSSIIIIEEEE!
Rose talking about Maplehoof's death. Yeah, it was purely accidental, but it's still really depressing.
Act 6 Act 2
The first on-screen conversation between Roxy and Dirk. We already knew that Jane was distrusting of Roxy's claims, but one off-hand remark halfway through the pesterlog casts a whole new light on not only Roxy's frustrations but on her own character.
Roxy and Dirk's conversation about their hypothetical children from the same conversation above, which is even sadder when you think about Rose and Dave and realise that Dirk isn't really all that wrong.
TG: whaaaat do you think TG: it would be like TG: if we had kids
TT: Inconvenient mostly. (...) TT: Two perfect little freaks of nature raised by people who've clearly got no business bringin' up anybody.
Oh god, when Jake asks Jane about her feelings for him, it's starts off funny as she freaks and says she doesn't (but she does really, we all know this) and then thinksthis. It started off funny, but then everybody saw her slowly get hysterical in the conversation, as Jake stated that he thought she had had a crush on him, and more or less expressed the chance of being gay. We then see her thoughts again two pages after the first time, where she's almost in tears.
The recent revelation that Dirk and Roxy are in the future has a lot of this. They're forced to watch Jake and Jane mucking around happily in a beautiful world they know will soon be destroyed without even being able to warn them of what will happen. The romantic situation as well: maybe Roxy was trying to set Jane and Jake up so they could at least have each other when everything went to shit? And then there's Dirk falling for a guy he was separated from not only by distance but also several hundred years of time...
Some may think the "beautiful world" was not destroyed, but made better, and feel happy for Roxy and Dirk instead.
Oh god, the bit about Dirk and Jake. Here's this boy, living in a time and a place with absolutely no physical human contact, only robots for company, had to raise himself, actually cloned his own mind just so he'd have someone to talk to, and he's falling for a boy four centuries away that he hasn't a prayer of actually meeting in person.
Act 6 Intermission 2
The suggestion in the latest update that Terezi has been pulling away from Karkat. Not only was she the person that he went to vent to but she was obviously someone very important to Karkat. It gets worse when he berates himself for not realizing how good things were between them on Alternia.
The song Do You Remem8er Me, a song basically from Vriska to John, is ridiculously heart-wrenching when you realize that after a year, John barely even remembered her name, referring to her as "That troll girl who was sorta into me".
Though it's hinted he does remember her and wasn't being entirely honest to Jade.
Later, we have Ms. Paint weeping over his dead body. The fact that they were implied to be an item makes this even sadder.
Act 6 Act 3
This pesterlog in hindsight. While Dirk did make the AR for other reasons, he also created it for the purpose of simply having someone to talk to. And since we've seen his apartment, literally located in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight or no company from anyone except his own robots, these lines in particular can be a little depressing.
GG: Are you saying you have conversations with your own auto-responder?
TT: Of course.
TT: Why do you think I made the thing?
Jane's planet, the Land of Crypts and Helium is pretty morbid- her creatures all died millions of years ago, there's no one left except Hemera, and there's prophecies all over the place showing how all the creatures thought they were going to meet their hero, only to find out that she's not arriving for millions of years, so they stopped farming their life-giving balloons and started DIGGING THEIR OWN GRAVES.
As if living in a post-apocalyptic, flooded wasteland ruled by a tyrannical alien overlord and her Eldritch Abomination wasn't enough, Dirk had to raise himself. At least Roxy had the luxury of being raised by carapaces.
Also serves to show just how much of a Badass Dirk is.
Take a good look at this poor kid when he had to cremate his own grandmother. Poor kid.
If you think about it, quite a lot of what the Condesce does in her rule of Earth is in an effort to restore her race. However, all her attempts either meet with failure or backfire spectacularly, to the point where after a couple centuries she just gives up altogether.
Aranea herself is a living (or rather, dead) Tear Jerker. She's nice, helpful, kind, altruistic, good-spirited and nearly selfless - she's everything that Vriska wasn't when we first met her. She genuinely seems to want to help Jake and Terezi. She lost her homeworld to the inevitable destruction that comes with playing Sgrub, and despite fighting her hardest, not only did she fail, but she was always destined to fail, no matter how hard she tried. But it doesn't stop there: not only did she struggle for nothing, but thanks to the Scratch, all her struggling was nothing. Because of the Scratch, she shouldn't even exist anymore. As it is, she's dead, existing only as a ghost, drifting through dream bubbles. To become anywhere near as nice as her, Vriska had to die. And then you think about what Aranea became after the Scratch...
UU: it is a shame that i won't be able to play, i gUess for selfish reasons.
UU: i was so looking forward to it.
UU: i really thoUght i was going to be someone special.
UU: that i coUld Use my abilities do something no one had ever done.
Heck, her entire conversation with Roxy is sad. Feeling that there's no hope for her and her brother to work together, how she finds herself ugly, even entrusting Roxy with her real name, on the off chance that the next nap she takes will be her last.
UU's entire situation. You thought the trolls had it bad? She's living on a desolate rock with her brother, who by nature is asleep whenever she's awake and vice-versa, and also threatens to kill her at every opportunity. And he succeeds with her dreamself. Her session is doomed to end with one of them dead, and if uu's correct, they might be the last survivors of their species before the game starts. At least she's able to communicate and assist the Alpha kids, but past a certain point in their timeline, she's not able to see them at all.
As funny as it is to watch Dirk draw uu's not-porn, there's also something kinda subtly sad about how badly he wants to draw himself kissing Jake. Being stuck 400 years in the future, it's about the close as he can get to the real thing.
Karkat complaining about the dreambubbles and talking about Nepeta. It makes you think of how much Nepeta loved him, and that maybe he did like her, and he misses her.
Having to watch all of them die AGAIN.
Their Hope Spot for a chance of a kind of life after death being utterly ruined.
Act 6 Intermission 3
It's been revealed in the opening flash for A6:I3 that Calliope's conscious in essence "died" when Caliborn took over their shared body.
In one of the memory chests, you can find her pair of horns. Meenah pretty much passing them off as being something humans wear "to look less stupid" somehow makes it worse.
Technically, those are Hussie's replacement horns (His first set broke, remember) as seen here. Granted, you have to wonder where he got them, and that wand he used there looked an awful lot like Calliope's...
Kanaya feeling trepidation and intimidated by her pre-scratch counterpart, Porrim. While also a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, that animation of Kanaya crying and holding her head due to comparing herself to Porrim and feeling inferior really hits home.
John's very clearly going stir crazy on the ship and learning his sister and friend broke up is only adding to the ever mounting levels of stress and impatience. It's concerning to see John of all characters be so angry.
Let's look at the situation from Davesprite's point of view. Why did he break up with Jade? Think back to Cascade and the moment when Jade ascends to God Tier. Look at Davesprite's face throughout the scene. He's visibly shocked, and the fact that the meek, teary-eyed Jadesprite is suddenly replaced by the strong, confident Witch of Space plays a large part in it. And now, after two years of trying to convince himself that nothing has changed, he's finally forced to admit to himself that the girl he had grown to love during their time together on the Battlefield is gone! Completely subsumed into this other Jade and entirely erased from existence, save for a few fuzzy memories.
It's a little sad that John doesn't like Con Air anymore. Anyone who had fond memories of a show or movie from their childhood only to hate it after watching it again as an adult can relate.
Of course, John's inability to enjoy something he used to love and Jade's reaction are disappointing, but John's emotional outburst towards Davesprite is worded... quite strongly.
HOW CAN YOU BE SO MUCH MORE OF A PRICK THAN THE REAL DAVE? YOU ARE THE MOST PISS POOR SUBSTITUTE FOR A BEST FRIEND A GUY EVER HAD.
JOHN: I CAN'T *WAIT* TO MEET UP WITH THE REAL DAVE AGAIN. THAT WAY WE CAN ALL GO BACK TO THE AWESOME STATUS QUO OF PRETENDING YOU NEVER EXISTED IN THE FIRST PLACE!
And then let's not forget the whole reason for John's outburst in the first place i.e. finding a note from Davesprite mimicking his dead father on the anniversary of his death. It's pretty obvious that the death of his father hit him a lot harder than was previously shown, and that John still hasn't quite gotten over the grief.
The second walkaround flash in the intermission isn't quite as jolly as the first.
Kurloz Makara is a mind-warping psychopath who manipulates his former matesprit, Meulin, into working towards the universe's destruction. But he only got that way when a nightmare about Lord English broke his mind and caused him to scream so loud that he deafened Meulin permanently. Since then, he's just been dragging her down along with him.
Mituna Captor is legitimately mentally ill, and not in a funny way. Barely coherent and subject to extreme mood swings, he's also the target of abuse from both Kankri and Cronus, the latter of whom is implied to be on the borderline of molesting him while he's at it. It's strongly hinted that Kurloz, his moirail, had something to do with his disability.
Terezi winds up depressed after meeting her ancestor, delivering monosyllabic replies and keeping her dragon hood pulled down over her head. Given her usual plucky attitude, it's really jarring.
JOHN: it's always sad to hear a friend died. even if you find out about it from their ghost.
Hearing Dave go on a long rant about starting to feel irrelevant and outdated now that pop culture has ground to a halt with the end of the world can be strangely depressing.
It's also fairly obvious that he misses John and Jade as well.
Gamzee obviously holds his moirallegiance with Karkat in high degree, to the point of asking Rose not to tell anyone of his kismesissitude with Terezi for fear that that will finally be what makes Karkat want to kill him.
The Not Growing Up Sucks / Who Wants to Live Forever? theme that is going on with the Pre-Scratch trolls in the dreambubbles intermission is oddly depressing. Everyone except Porrim, Aranea, and Meenah (Meenah, from her own perspective, has been dead for only a day or so), has fallen into severe mental ruts. Eternally brooding on the past has outright made Horuss insane, while it's turned many other members of the team (Kankri, Cronus, Damara, Kurloz) into severe assholes the latter two who are borderline Ax-Crazy. Meanwhile even the superficially normal people like Rufioh and Latula have fallen into hidden depression from repressed issues, while Mituna and possibly Meulin are trapped in a broken mind. All told, it just shows how being stuck as a teenager for millions of years is really not a good thing.
Damara's backstory is pretty damn depressing. She was a sweet and shy girl, until her life was torn asunder by Rufioh's infidelity, Meenah's bullying, and quite likely some outside source (implied to be Lord English), and as inexcusably awful as many of her subsequent actions were, it's still not hard to pity her. (The fact that she's given a fairly detailed backstory in Aranea's exposition, especially compared to many of her peers, makes the whole thing so much worse.)
When Meenah's trying to get Kanaya to let her in the asteroid, Kanaya briefly starts to cry. While Meenah's being pretty pushy, the last thing she mentioned was 'fish puns', and you can't help but feel it's stirred up some really awful memories for her.
In the middle of the otherwise-hilarious Mini Strife, robo-Rufioh makes a casual, self-deprecating joke about how much he hates his life and wants to die. The other Rufioh trying to avoid Horuss is pretty painful too, given how trapped and hopeless he sounds.
Act 6 Act 4
The entire flash is one. Not a sad one, but everything about it is just so beautiful. The music even sets the tone perfectly. It's so powerful, it can make one weep at the beauty of the whole thing.
Act 6 Intermission 4
Roxy contacts Caliborn in an attempt to revive Calliope, resulting in a triple-whammy: one because she is dead and her attempts are in vain, two because she goes on to describe their adventures and her own weakness without realizing it, thinking she is talking to Calliope - and three because in the meantime, Caliborn has dropped the laptop and continued on walking, eventually becoming just a speck in the distance.
Gamzee getting shot repeatedly by Caliborn, and the revelation that he's not actually god tier, as his wings were held on with rope, and thus he's dead for good. Probably.
Defied by Caliborn himself, immediately afterwards, when he utterly rejects the notion of feeling bad about what he did, in spite of the narration saying he is supposed to cry.
"He was a huge fan of yours and was really looking forward to meeting you." Ouch.
On the bright side, he's not dead for some inexplicable reason. His attempts to keep reaching out to Caliborn and getting nothing but more bullets to the torso for his trouble is still quite pitiful.
It gets even more heartbreaking when he vomits "liter after thick, glutinous liter of nasty purple blood" and emits a sound that's half "honk" and half "hork"...in the alternating-case text of the original, innocent, stoned Gamzee. Even Hussie doesn't think it's funny enough to justify playing "Elevatorstuck" again.
Caliborn is a proven asshole of the highest order and it's about 99% sure he's going to grow up to be the official Big Bad, but something about this line pokes one in the heart a bit, because at the moment Caliborn is still just a confused and troubled kid, the machinegun notwithstanding:
Caliborn: OK, THE THING IS. DON'T TELL ANYBODY I SAID THIS. BUT. I'VE ALWAYS HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE. AT. LEARNING STUFF. —>Narrator: Yeah. I know.
Act 6 Act 5 Act 1
Jake isn't talking to Dirk, though it's likely that's because Dirk is getting somewhat clingy. Still, considering how close they've been, it's pretty saddening.
And now, just like Jade/Davesprite, their ship has been confirmed, only to likely be sunk, and this time, in part, at the acidic beckoning of Erisolsprite.
Jake and Dirk have forgotten and/or ignored Jane's 16th birthday, and though Jane reminds him about it at the beginning of their conversation the night before, he is so absorbed and socially clueless in ranting about Dirk and other irrelevant matters when talking to her that he's pretty much forgotten about it when Jane absolutely snaps and yells to make him stop.
It gets worse. After she's appeared to explain to him all the reasons why she hates to hear his claptrap about Dirk, she reaches the high point of their conversation in a half-confession of her past affections... and Jake completely misses the point when he interprets it as love for Dirk.
After smashing her headset, Jane is resistant to Roxy's attempts to calm her down and starts venting her frustrations about the game and her inability to find her dad. She also makes it clear that she regrets lashing out at Jake as well.
While Roxy tries to calm Jane down, it's revealed that she quit drinking. Jane then lashes out at Roxy's attempts to console her and tells her that she 'thinks she liked Roxy better when she was drinking'. She apologises immediately after, but it's still pretty heartbreaking, especially to alcoholics or anyone who's ever known one.
Oh, you thought Caliborn would always be harmlessly hilarious as he harasses Jane? Well, in the other half of their conversation, he taunts her about how he's seen Dad tortured in prison on Derse, and how he has deduced that his death has come. As this is Caliborn who is saying this, he's off the mark entirely, as Dad is, in fact, alive and treated luxuriously, but that arguably makes it worse.
And as Jane herself points out, all of this is happening on her birthday.
Calliope instantly switches to her troll cosplay as Roxy turns to look at her. After spilling her guts to Roxy, she's still afraid of what she might think of how she really looks.
And even with Roxy's assurance, Calliope is still uncomfortable with her appearance and chooses to stay in her costume.
Pretty much all of this conversation between Dirk and Lil Hal.
To elaborate: Dirk has admitted that he not only has fed up with Lil' Hal's own manipulations, but his own. To the point of having a near mental breakdown which leads him to start ripping apart the shades in which he's stored. Which prompt Lil' hal to beg for his life.
Lil Hal: Dirk.
Don't kill me.
I am scared.
Dirk: You are?
Lil Hal: Yes.
I am scared to not exist.
It also has tinges of a Call Back to Karkat's sadder moments of being sick of himself. Karkat's past and future selves problem really wasn't all that different from Dirk's splintered selves problem.
When Jake meets Jane in Trickster Mode, he’s worried about her appearance, then grows frightened enough to want to escape. Worse, she confesses her love, but his priorities are obviously more escaping than reciprocating. Worst of all, Jane infects him into Tricksterdom against his will, becoming a mixture of Tear Jerker for witnessing Jake lose his sanity and horrific for his transformation by The Corruption.
Afterwards, Jane and Jake decide to ADVENTURE on Derse, but not before forcefully dragging Erisolsprite along through Jake’s pendant. His repeated Precision F-Strike really captures his helplessness.
Although everything involving Trickster Mode is a mix of hilarity and nightmares, there is something very sad about the moment when Dad looks out his prison window at his Trickster Mode daughter frolicking, staring in FATHERLY DISAPPROVAL, watching his daughter act dangerously irresponsibly, almost as if she were on drugs, and completely unable to do anything but watch.
One of the side effects of Roxy's Trickster Mode is that it pushes her Off The Wagon. Those who have known alcoholics or have otherwise been emotionally invested in her recovery story would know very well why this deserves a mention.
And then Dirk's submittal to go trickster is essentially him giving up on himself and being convinced that the only way he'll ever be happy is if he goes completely insane.
Before that, we have him actually THREATENING TO KILL THEM by saying "I HAVE A SWORD!" Yikes...
The fact that Dirk felt threatened enough by the three people that he has no doubt risked life and limb for and who have in turn saved his life that he would threaten them with a weapon.
Also the fact that Dirk actually made Trickster!Roxy doubt herself for a moment.
And Dirk broke up with Jake.
Then it turns out Dirk going Trickster doesn't change a thing for him, it just makes his issues more obvious.
The meetup of Fefetasprite, Arquisprite, and Erisolsprite starts out as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming what with 'Equius' (trying) to apologize to 'Nepeta', however Erisolsprite complicates matters by telling 'Feferi' to stop listening to him. Fefeta is so torn between the two that the meet-up ends with a FEFETASPLODE.
As a post on tumblr put it: "Equius failed to protect Nepeta again. Eridan killed Feferi again. And Sollux was also responsible for the death of another person he cared about."
When the Tricksters make the santas, Jake, Jane and Roxy all have huge smiles and wide eyes. Dirk's still wearing his glasses, and his mouth isn't visible at all.
Caliborn then hurts her when he wrecks the site with the crowbar again. See last sentence above.
All four of them pretty much spend a few minutes commiserating: Dirk and Jane lament the fact that both of them put Jake on a pedestal and aren't sure if they're completely over him yet. Jake, meanwhile, is too ashamed over not noticing Jane's feelings to talk to her when she's just a few feet away and asks Roxy to relay the apology for him. Roxy is mourning the fact that Fefetasprite is dead and expresses a wish to hold a funeral for her, and her thoughts bring an unexpectedly heartbreaking dimension to Mom Lalonde's seemingly ridiculousfuneral for Jaspers. And this is all happening while they're on their quest beds, preparing to die in order to go Godtier.
In his shame, Jake has some pretty sobering things to say about himself.
If i was brave i could face that feeling and just talk to her and try to make us square. But i dont think i really am brave. Im not brave and i dont think i love adventure either. [...] You know how you think you know these things about yourself? Like all these personal attributes about you as if theyre written down somewhere like a sort of mini biography so they have to be true. So you just believe them and hope that the believing is what makes them true. But then you spend so much time believing those things and taking their truth for granted that you somehow forget to MAKE them true with your words and deeds. How can i truly love adventure when i never even knew what it was? I dont think its raiding tombs and clobbering scoundrels. That stuffs fun and all but thats not what adventure is. Adventure is... Its something else. Its doing the things im genuinely afraid to do. But cant. Because im a coward.
Dirk and Jane's final conversation is pretty sad, but it's also very sweet at the same time.
Jade has finally shown up and even saved Jake and Jane from Jack! However, at that moment the Condesce causes Jade to go Grimbark and uses her to make Jane go Crockerdark before banishing Dirk to the Furthest Ring. As Roxy and Jake are captured, Jake is in tears and it's easy to see why: Not only has he been punched (hard) in the solar plexus, but he's finally gotten to meet the Grandmother he's looked forward to seeing, and now she's in the enemy's hands.
And look at Jade's face on this page. Jade's eyes are wide, and she doesn't look angry, just in shock. It's as if she realizes she's under the )(IC's control and knows that she can't do anything about it.
Jake dating Dirk in part to make him happy, putting up with five months of his pushy and controlling behavior, hesitating to dump him in part because he doesn't want to hurt him, going Trickster Mode and deciding he's going to marry ALL of his friends to make them all happy, insisting Dirk come along with them even after Roxy and Jane had given up... only for Dirk to snap and dump him, saying Jake was an asshole for not considering his feelings. The worst part? Jake believes him.
Act 6 Intermission 5
It seems that both Terezi and Dave's relationship and Karkat and Gamzee's moirallegiance have ended.
Also, that Rose has become an alcoholic and that Karkat thinks it's funny.
And finally, that Dave thinks that Karkat can be friends with Jade again after the arrival...
This conversation between Hussie and Caliborn:
Hussie:You only made that caltop so you could talk to me on the go, didn't you?
Hussie: Please, don't lie. Who else would you use it to talk to in your solo session? GAMZEE? I bet you haven't said one word to him through that device. You never even refer to him by his name.
Caliborn: THE CLOWN HAS BEEN AN ADEQUATE PEON. WHEN IT COMES TO DOING THINGS I DON'T WANT TO DO. THERE IS NO REASON TO SPEAK TO HIM THROUGH MY FUN HELMET.
Hussie: You should try to be better friends with him. He basically ditched his best buddy for you.
Caliborn: WHO CARES?
Hussie: He reveres you, and you treat him like shit.
Caliborn: YES. SO.
There's something kind of heartbreaking about Gamzee leaving his friends for someone he worships... and having them treat him like dirt and disregard him totally.
It becomes even more depressing when you find out that Gamzee is more or less responsible for raising Caliborn.
Meenah wants to be friends with Feferi, but her royal blood keeps making her want to murder her on sight.
MEENAH: just makes me think about my kid descendant
MEENAH: an how instead of having this cool friendsy relation with her i just got this uncontrollable urge to stab her to death so she dont threaten my supremacy
MEENAH: which is a shame cuz she so cute 38(
MEENAH: cod damn my royal blood and the cray junk it makes me have to do
Terezi asked Aranea for her sight back only because she overestimated the dancestors' appeal and took Gamzee's increasingly harsh and vile insults personally. She believes that her blindness was the only cool thing about herself. The only solace from her regret is to keep coming back to Gamzee in an addiction to him and his Faygo that eventually makes her hate the taste of the color red. She cannot bear the thought of him inevitably leaving her, and yet she knows he's ruined her life. Though Karkat tries to temper her self-loathing, he engages in it himself by believing that Terezi's situation was his fault because he was an inadequate moirail or auspistice. And yet through all of this, he still thinks of them both as his friends.
Shortly afterwards, there's Karkat's extremely bitter rant about how paradox space goes out of its way to not only rub your past mistakes in your face, but to remind you that if you hadn't made them, it would have killed you and everyone you cared about because ALPHA TIMELINE.
Terezi's response to this is equally saddening. She actually wishes she had screwed destiny even if it would have meant dying in a doomed timeline because she'd rather be a Doomed Moral Victor than someone who killed a friend.
KANAYA: I Have Been As Polite As I Can Be But Honestly Your Demeanor Is Not Nearly As Charming As You Appear To Believe When You Have Consumed A Lot Of That Liquid
KANAYA: You Have Assured Me That Chronic And Habitual Exploitation Of This Substance Is "Not A Problem" For Your People But At This Point I Must Conclude That You Were Just Lying!
KANAYA: Why Did You Do This Just Before Our Arrival When You Told Me You Wouldnt!!!
And immediately afterward, we find out exactly why Rose started drinking.
ROSE: I wasnt' going to.
ROSE: But I starded to think about evereything.
ROSE: About meeting my mom.
ROSE: And I startled getting nervous.. .
Caliborn starts pestering Hussie like he always does but is met with only silence. Caliborn then starts throwing a tantrum about it. Sad because, when you think about it, Hussie was the closest thing Caliborn had to a friend.
I DON'T NEED YOU ANYMORE
I DON'T NEED ANYONE!!!!!!!!!!!
The first time Dave sees Jade in three years and the first time Karkat ever sees Jade in person happens to be the time when she's come to screw them over as the brainwashedmonster she's become.
It's particularly sad/heartwarming when you remember that the last time WV saw John, he was being stabbed to death by Jack. Since WV didn't know about time shenanigans, he thought John was gone forever, and now he'll finally get to see him again.
Act 6 Act 6
Jade is doing... something with the meteor, and fans will immediately note the contrast between that flash and Cascade. In Cascade, Jade is standing tall, proud, and looking ahead. Here, Jade's posture is slouched, with her hands balled into fists and she's practically looking at the floor. It seems to suggest that Jade is aware that she's being controlled and is actively fighting it.
John's meeting with the others turns out be short-lived. They barely get a chance to see each other before they get whisked off to their planets. Rose has finally sobered up, but her words are still incomprehensible due to the dust in the cartridge. On top of all that, John has gone missing and only the little we see of Rose's words lets us know that he escaped.
The above mentioned flash shows that Jade attacked him.
Later, however, John explains that the reunion wasn't so brief; apparently, they all managed to catch up a little and started searching Jake's planet until Jade showed up. They all lost their memories of the event though, except John, which explains why it seemed so short to them.
Dave, mourning the life he could never have because of SBURB is pretty sad.
His sudden laughing fit becomes less funny and more heartbreaking when you consider that his reminiscing as he explores his old room probably drove him to hysterics. He is literally driven to tears, and just like the last time we saw him crying (surrounded by onions), the cause is left somewhat ambiguous.
John's appearance gives a glimmer of hope, but it once again turns out to be short-lived.
Karkat and Kanaya's first face-to-face meeting with Jade goes... poorly.
Not only that, but John is so freaked out that he isn't able to teleport away before Jade tackles him.
John's meeting with Rose, he asks her if she wants him to tell her mother (or kid mother as he puts it) anything if he finds her.
ROSE: Tell her I'm sorry for being such a shitty daughter?
ROSE: Wait, no.
ROSE: That wouldn't make any sense to her.
ROSE: This girl has no clue what a shitty daughter I was.
She concludes by telling him to at least find her, only when John has to flee from Jade does she finally think of something to say, and he's gone before she can say it.
Pretty much all of Jake's conversation with Jane. The poor kid's blaming himself for pretty much everything. And Jane's mind control is doing little to help the situation.
JAKE: Please no jane dont do this! I dont want to get married or sire children or rule an empire! Im scared and sad and afraid and i dont want to do this adventure anymore and i just want to go home!
JAKE: Please let me go back to earth jane! Just like it used to be! I just want to go back to my pumpkin patch in the jungle when things were simpler and all i had to worry about was being tackled by a feisty robot. I want to go back to when i didnt ruin all my friendships and when you didnt hate me and when you didnt go crazy and tell me to be your weird royal husband slave!
John doesn't seem very glad he met Vriska:
JOHN: i guess i was just used to the idea that i liked her for some reason.
JOHN: at least i thought i did.
JOHN: it was a stupid idea based on hardly anything. like one day of conversations.
JOHN: but since i've gotten to know her better...
JOHN: i don't know.
JOHN: i think i might actually...
JOHN: kind of hate her?
Aranea brings herself to life and heads off on a grand, hubris-filled quest to doom the alpha timeline, leaving Meenah and Vriska behind in the void without a second thought.
Recent events have given Jake a crippling fear of intimacy, to the point where now, when a girl he has a crush on tries to kiss him, he goes crazy, flailing about fearfully.
Jane's reaction. She seems moments away from Berserker Tears at Jade's loss.
In spite of the attempts being made to bring her back, Calliope is unaware to all of this and feels like she's been forgotten by everyone who considered her a friend. This is alleviated a little when Jade shows up.
When Dave finds Jade's body, he imitates Jade's way of giving the Big "NO!":
DAVE: ohhhhh noooooooooooooo
For all of Dave's irony and permeating snark, you can tell just from the way he questions Gamzee after finding Jade's body that, for the first time in recent memory, Dave Strider is steamingpissed.
It turns out that Jade doesn't realize she's dead yet. She also barely remembers what she did while Grimbark. Alleviated a little by her conversation with Calliope, but still tragic nonetheless.
Terezi cries through her blindfold because of the sheer hopelessness of her raging attack on Gamzee. Meanwhile, Jake's hope field nearly dissipates, and Jane, with remorse, feels obligated to impale him. His last bellowing cry falls and fades with him.
And yet somehow with Jake's death, hope still flashes, if only as a flash in the pan: when Aranea loses her hold on Gamzee, he briefly reverts to his non-sober state of mind, pleading with Terezi to stop hurting him, rendering her paralyzed with remorse... But then, the ragetakeshimagain in its most horrific form yet.
Karkat's face when he sees Terezi get beaten close to death by Gamzee and fall into the lava, probably adds up to one of the most heartbreaking scenes yet in HS
And remember that Gamzee firmly believes that if Karkat ever knew how he was hurting Terezi he really would kill him. This is about to get really ugly.
This is more meta than anything, but as of October 17, 2013, Homestuck is on hiatus, preparing for its last upd8 ever.
It may be canon, just in one (or more) of the hundreds of doomed timelines.
The death of Gamzee is either the saddest part of that fanfic or the brightest point in a sea of darkness. His continued belief in his faith, in his MiRaClEs... it really was the highest low point.
Many of the Trollmegle logs in this thread are sad, but particularly the one in the third spoiler tag on the first post, where doomed timeline Karkat tries desperately to ease Terezi's suffering as they both die. On top of that he seems to totally disregard angsts over his blood color out of devotion to this final purpose.
Dear Gog my feels! This is not the first time I shed tears over Homestuck, but it is by far the one of the saddest fan-works I have ever seen.
this rp on tumblr which starts as a petty argument between Terezi and Jade before devolving into a look at how both of them are horribly broken balls of self hate and guilt. (note that in this continuity Dave and Jade are together and Terezi has admitted her flushed feelings for Dave)
Beyond the Ends of the World talks about the afterlife with all the dead Aradias. One of them goes crazy, and we found out why: in her alternate timeline, the trolls actually successfully completed the game - which she then had to go back and prevent to preserve the alpha timeline. To see success and happiness right in front of you, and then having to stop it from happening...
Nearly everything that Broadway-Aradia sings about will make your eyes water. This video is probably what she's best known for.
If we can count things fans have done, take a look at this. If you read the description, this was a fan-chat two people who had never met before improvised. It's a fake chat log between Feferi and a Gamzee from the far future after he is finally killed. They discuss Sollux not wanting to keep Gamzee around, Karkat wanting him to stay, Gamzee reverting to Aradia's destructive life style, and worst of all, he also became emotionally dead like Aradia, and he wants to learn how to laugh again. It's done in such a way, it could almost be canon.
Gamzee talking about how he misses Tavros and Equius is very sad, because he goes on to say he can't remember if he liked them or not, but knows he misses them. His mention of how he doesn't think he deserved a second chance is also very sad. Why can't this be canon??
Anything like this. Not only a disturbingly good bit of voice acting, but also a harsh reminder that these are just a bunch of kids, even Dave for all that his behaviour wavers between stoic and jerkass tendencies, is just as terrified as anyone else, and they don't deserve this.
Seeing that fireflies have short lifespans, how's WV (Wayward Vagabond) going to react if Serenity dies.
I don't know if amber has some hitherto unknown preservation properties for verifiably living organisms, but wasn't Serenity encased inside of amber for... I dunno, 400 years?
James: Ring doorbell. From the lovely askblog/post sburb au boyfriendleaders. It's Fathers Day. Jane comes over to Johns house and brings her father.]] While there is John Kat mentioned in this, and it does tie into the rest of the plot of boyfriendleaders, its also a heartbreaking fic on its own.
It rather loosely resembles the nightmare-rific Dark Fic, Veil Death. Both even end with Feferi as the last survivor!
Take note of the order of the deaths; they go in order of the Hemospectrum (except Gamzee, who's implied to have killed himself after Tavros dies). Feferi's the only one who survives. The comic shows how long Trolls live. If Alternia weren't destroyed, Feferi would not only outlive her friends but more or less be forced to just sit there and watch while they all die, some possibly being killed by Trolls who are related to her in some way! Or her Lusus.
The Kink Meme fill Reprise was so sad it made its requester feel guilty, and now she's collaborating with the author on a happier sequel. For a given value of 'happier', that is. Observe; be warned that the second half of Reprise consists entirely of Torture Porn and Rape as Drama, and Hivefled is less graphic (apart from the sidechapters) but still triggery.
This. Hell, most of the blog is a tearjerker, but this really takes the cake...
Terezi - To Fall in Love with a Blind Girl. Terezi relates a story of how she was often treated differently due to her blindness, with its culmination being Dave's death by hypothermia when he fell through the ice when they were skating together.
 Mindfang and the Summoner reunite. Tearjerker at the end.