JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is famous for its Crazy Awesome-nesss and overall Badassery. However, this is also a multi-generational epic of the conflict and tragedy brought upon by a traitorous adopted son's ambitions, which have all directly or indirectly caused the protagonists and their friends suffer for over a century.
- The death of Jonathan's dog, Danny, is particularly crushing because the animal was the closest thing Jonathan had to a friend, and it's even sadder because of how easily it could have been prevented. The dog died only because Dio lost against Jonathan in a fair fight, and he got him killed in the cruellest way possible. note The first truly saddening moment in the series underscores just how much of a bastard Dio is.
- At the beginning of the Genre Shift, George Joestar protects Jonathan from Dio's dagger, and then dies in his arms. This is after making a speech on how he was sorry he was so hard on him since his youth.
- Bruford's tragic backstory, as well as his inevitable fate: Both he and Tarkus sacrificed themselves in order to save their master, Queen Mary, but Reality Ensues since Elizabeth, her political rival had already had her killed. With the revelation of their Senseless Sacrifice, it's little wonder why both he and especially Tarkus lost faith in humanity and became easy for Dio to control.
- The death of Will Zeppeli. He knew he was inevitably going to die the way he did, so he used it to Jonathan's advantage.
- The death of Jonathan Joestar: he dies to save his wife, an infant of a woman killed by a zombie to which he had no connections to, and his unborn child, on his honeymoon no less, taking Dio down to the bottom of the sea with him. Made all the sadder by the smile on his face when he dies, directed at his wife, the readers, and Dio himself.
There's also the fact that in the end, even after all the damage Dio Brando did, Jonathan was able to forgive him and call their relationship a "bizarre friendship". He even felt sorrow for when he thought he was dead after beating him finally. Talk about Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
And then his last words to his wife are even more heart-wrenching:"Be Happy...Erina."
- Somehow, even Dio Brando makes the scene more sorrowful. He rants about his situation, about the ludicrousness of Jonathan's suicidal strategy all while his head is cradled in his arms ... and then he realizes that Jonathan has just died. The look of shock and then sadness on his face proves that as much as Dio Brando loved trumpeting how his vampirization put him above normal humans, in these last moments he was as human as any man.
- Stroheim's Heroic Sacrifice through a suicide by hand-grenade to stop Santana from being unleashed upon humanity; one of the few times you will ever cry for any Nazi, let alone one as heroic as him. Heck, even Jojo himself was crying with respect for his bravery. Making it even more awesome when he comes back as a cyborg to briefly fight on par with Kars for a short time, and even brought back as a cast regular.
- Which actually makes Stroheim's ultimate fate rather sad as well; he ends up being gunned down during the Battle of Stalingrad as he tries to cover a retreat singlehandedly.
- Mark's death at the hands of Wamuu, another example of Too Good for This Sinful Earth; he was one of Caesar's only friends. In spite of being a Nazi with great enthusiasm to the cause, he had plans to marry to his girlfriend after the war. These plans are cut short when the Pillar Man walks and absorbs half of his body while not even bothering to notice, his last words were to die a painless death. Such a pointless Kick the Dog moment filled with Lack of Empathy fueled both Caesar and Joseph with intense vengeance...and campy poses.
- The flashback regarding Caesar's backstory, after years of wanting to exact revenge on his father for leaving him, he gets saved by him before he could be killed by the Pillar Men's trap. The wrenching part about it all? His father died without knowing he just saved his son.
- Caesar's death. From the very realization he's dead, Joseph and Lisa Lisa are clearly distraught and trying their best to maintain their composure as they continue on deeper into the mansion, and then they find where Caesar died under the piece of debris. The moment they see it, Lisa Lisa, who was up until now the calmest of the group, breaks down into tears along with Joseph who screams his name, complete with highly emotional Manly Tears. Only silence answers them.
- The Anime recreates both this scene and Caesar's backstory in the same episode. It's depicted fantastically and is every bit as tragic in the manga, especially on how they deliver it. "Il Mare Eterno Nella Mia Anima" sums up the tearful emotions of the scene so perfectly it hurts.
- Elizabeth Joestar aka Lisa Lisa's backstory, which involves her killing the zombie that killed her husband, George Joestar. Unfortunately, he had impersonated a highly ranked officer, which, when found out by a hapless soldier, led to her being forced to leave her son, Joseph, in the care of her mother-in-law while she was on the run as a fugitive. The kicker: the zombie was one of the surviving members of Dio's army, making the couple another victim of Dio's ambition.
- Seeing Wham/Wamuu return to the wind, while Joseph salutes him.
- Everyone's reaction to Joseph's Disney Death at the climax of Part II. Especially Speedwagon, who starts tearing up and laments that "it's happening again", thinking back to Jonathan's death at the end of Part I.
- In the epilogue of Battle Tendency, is revealed that Erina, Speedwagon and Stroheim died before the start of the Part III. While they had more or less good deaths (Erina died of old age surrounded by all her loved ones, Speedwagon died at the age of 89 of a heart attack having success in life after the misery he suffered in his youth and Stroheim died honorably as a prideful German soldier in the battle of Stalingrad, sacrificing himself to let his men retreat), is quite sad to know that they died after spending so many time with them in the first two parts.
- Avdol's first death, trying to save Polnareff. It was actually a cover-up to hide from the enemy in order to heal up, but Polnareff's tears at the sight of what he thought was his death and trying to kill Hanged Man for insulting him is very tear swelling.
Kakyoin:H-he's just hurt...it's just a minor wound. See? He's going to start speaking...he'll open his eyes at any moment. Right, Mr.Avdol? You're going to wake up, right? Mr. Avdol, wake up! Please! Mr.Avdol!
- Kakyoin's reaction to this in the manga is very short, simply wondering how this could've happened and then getting upset at Polnareff's seeming indifference. In the anime, however, he's much more emotional, insisting that Avdol is just fine and that he'll get up and start speaking soon, shaking his body and calling out to him when he doesn't.
- Enya's death is surprisingly sad, despite being a horrible person who was a very bad judge on her arguably worse son's character. Dio had an assassin kill her off on the off chance she'd reveal his power despite all of her loyalty to him and having no intentions of revealing it anyhow. Just leaves a bad taste in the heroes' mouths and underscores how little Dio cares about his men.
Polnareff: The old bitch gave me Hell, but I'm REALLY having complicated feelings towards her right now!!
- N'Doul's death; after being beaten by Jotaro, he uses his Stand to kill himself in order to not spill out any information on his allies, especially Dio. He then tells how his life had no value until Dio came into his life and acknowledged him. Jotaro buried his body in respect, wondering why people like him would follow Dio.
- During the fight with Alessi, a random Egyptian woman takes Polnareff (at the time a seven-year-old) in and tries to help him. She gets deaged to a fetus by Alessi's Stand, only surviving because Jotaro and Polnareff beat the hell out of Alessi, undoing his power. When she comes to, she finds Polnareff's lost earring (he left it in the bath when Alessi tried to drown him) and runs out after the duo, asking if they've seen a young boy. Polnareff, not wanting to get an innocent woman caught up in their trouble, denies any knowledge. Now here's where the tear jerker comes in: in doing this, he abandons the earring, the only thing he had left of his sister. And as they walk away, he orders Jotaro not to say a word. Polnareff's various tribulations are played for laughs a lot, but this is a rather somber moment. Even moreso if you know the usual kind of personality Polnareff has.
- When Suzi goes to visit her daughter Holly, it's clear that she is in failing health. Even still, Holly smiles warmly for her mother. Even with the grim specter of death looming over her, she never loses her positive outlook.
- Avdol's second death, also trying to save Polnareff. It's so sudden that Polnareff feels immediate guilt and anger towards Vanilla Ice once he reveals he killed him.
- The anime made Polnareff's apparent death at the hands of Cream a real tearjerker too, with Iggy looking at Polnareff unable to do nothing while watching Cream inevitably closing in Polnareff.
- Iggy's death. Especially since he died saving Polnareff, the guy he'd spent the entire series bickering with.
- The anime makes it worse: after Pet Shop's death, Iggy looks like he's about to die and laments the chain of events that lead to him sinking towards the sea floor, flashing back to his life in New York City and his antics in Egypt. He doesn't die there, but people who know what's coming won't enjoy this "sneak preview" of what's to come.
- Polnareff, after defeating Vanilla Ice, witnesses the spirits of his two friends floating away giving him their acknowledgement, driving the big man to tears.
- And the anime version drives the viewers to tears with some of the most heart-rending music played over the scene where they fly away, which itself has some of the best animation in the series.
- As Kakyoin vows to uncover the secret of Dio's Stand, we get a flashback to his youth—he was estranged from other kids his age, and even his own parents. It wasn't that anyone didn't try to reach out to him; rather, he never felt he could truly be understood by anyone because no one else could see his Stand, Hierophant Green. It wasn't until he met Jotaro and the others in the present day that he ever truly felt a bond with anyone.
"Yesterday, I knew that my reality was different from everyone else. Loneliness. Instead of trying to understand others, I had decided to give up until that day. The slight tingling of Emerald. I was wondering why I was still living."
- This is perhaps highlighted best in his image song "Goodbye Nostalgia", after listening to this you just want to give the poor man a hug.
- Kakyoin's death. It makes it worse that you get to hear his final thoughts, and they're about his unseen parents, who have no idea where their son is and what's happened to him.
Kakyoin: "I wonder if they got the letter I sent them... Oh well, they probably didn't have time to read it anyway..."
Kakyoin: (in thought) It's a...message. It's the best I can do...Mr. Joestar...please understand. Please, figure it out...
- The anime takes it a step further—after using his Stand in a last-ditch effort to tip off the others about the specific ability of Dio's Stand, Kakyoin's final thoughts are heard over haunting, sorrowful music as the color slowly bleeds out of the scene, reflecting his impending death:
- Joseph's "death", especially how he gives advice from beyond the grave to help Jotaro not be blindly angered by his death and how he enjoyed the adventure he had with him.
Diamond Is Unbreakable
- Josuke having to accept that his Stand can't bring his grandfather back to life.
- Keicho Nijimura's motivation: he's creating Stand users because he can't bear to see his unkillable father suffer as the horrible thing he's become. Made worse when Josuke reveals why Keicho's father keeps scrabbling at the same box every day before crying uncontrollably — there's a torn-up photo of his family in it. The poor bastard has enough sense of self to remember what he was.
- A sort of minor one, but when Koichi encounters Tamami Kobayashi, he does so by running over his cat with a bike. And to make matters worse, Tamami was the one who put the cat in the bag. It's heart-wrenching not only to think that someone would actually be cruel enough to do such a thing, but this troper in particular has had an experience with accidentally killing helpless animals. Turns out the cat was a fake, but still.
- Rohan coming to the realization that the ghost girl was once his baby sitter, killed by Kira prior to gaining a Stand.
- Shigechi's death. Made even more sad by his last Harvest giving Josuke a clue to the killer and then cutting to Reimi seeing his spirit ascending to the afterlife, screaming in pain. Made even worse when you remember how he even got into the mess leading up to his death; all he wanted was to eat his sandwich.
- Hayato being forced into becoming a Tyke Bomb while Kira gloated on how helpless he was; makes you feel really sorry for a brat who put hidden cameras to check on his mother without her knowledge.
- You almost start to feel bad for Hayato once he starts realizing that his father seems a little different from how he usually is. Crosses into Nightmare Fuel during the bath scene, when the poor kid is scared shitless when Kira decides to take a bath with him.
- Hayato watching everyone die under the effects of Another One Bites the Dust.
- Rohan's death while under the effects of Bites the Dust. As he dies in front of a helpless Hayato, Kira gloats and comments that Rohan's last thoughts were probably that he could not draw anymore, while in fact Rohan was more concerned about Koichi and called for him in his last moments. Made even more sad by Reimi seeing his spirit ascending to the afterlife, as the poor ghost girl breaks down crying.
- Josuke telling Okuyasu to wake up during the battle with Kira. refusing to believe that he might be dead. Josuke crying and calling Okuyasu a dumbass after he really does wake up definately counts too.
- Hayato telling Josuke that there is no hope for bringing Okuyasu back to life with Crazy Diamond and that he should just give up. This only makes this moment sadder when you realize that this is exactly what Jotaro told Josuke after Angelo killed Ryohei as its very likely that Hayato's words brought that moment back into Josuke's mind.
- Shinobu Kawajiri waiting for her husband to come home, not knowing he had been killed and replaced by Kira many days ago, who himself died recently. To make matters worse, she hated Kosaku, but adored Kira as Kosaku, not knowing she'd fallen in love with a character acted out by a serial killer.
- We can only assume that Kosaku, the original Kosaku, went to Aya's Salon to change his face into something handsome so his wife might love him again, but in the end he was killed randomly by Kira.
- Seeing Joseph Joestar in this part can be downright heartbreaking when you think back to part 2 with him being this young man growing into a warrior and part 3 with him being older and wiser but still possessing his energy and humour and then looking at this old and senile shadow of his former self.
- Even some villains, especially La Squadra di Esecuzione in this arc, invoke this, being a great deal more sympathetic than most of the other sagas' rosters of villainy.
- Pesci greatly admired Prosciutto like a big brother, despite being treated like an annoyance. When Bruno manages to pin him under the train wheels, Pesci is greatly saddened by this sight, enough to man up enough to give Bruno an even harder fight than his idol.
- Their leader, Risotto Nero, is no exception. When Risotto Nero was 14 years old, his cousin was run over by a drunk driver. Though the driver was punished by the law, Risotto could not forgive him and, four years later, at age 18, he assassinated the driver. Even when he managed to create his own squad and Stand, he received little recognition for his successes, leading to an attempt on uncovering the boss's identity, it led to the deaths of two of his comrades in horrific ways. With vengeance in his heart, he decides to take revenge on the boss, with each death of his team fueling this desire more and more.
- The sudden deaths of Abbachio and Narancia, with the former recalling his failures as a failed cop who let his friend die due to his bribery and the latter wanting to return to his hometown.
- When Giorno and company find the former on the brink of death, Narancia tears up and begs Giorno to tell him that Gold Experience can heal his wounds.
- When the latter is killed, it was completely sudden in the midst of Diavolo's rampage. Giorno apologizes to him for being placed in his body at the wrong time, blankets his corpse in flowers from his hometown, and almost loses his resolve over the loss of his friend.
- Bruno's death at the hands of Diavolo. He gets revived by his friend's Stand power, and manages to survive for a while, but is fully aware that he's slowly breaking down to eventually die for real. This culminates in his true and final death via Heroic Sacrifice in order to stop the mad mafia boss' ambitions by giving time for Giorno to gain the Requiem power
- The end of part 5, where Giorno, despite being hardened for the series, finally starts to tear up at the loss of his friends Buccarati, Narancia, and Abbachio he fought alongside, until Buccarati's spirit talks to him and encourages him, along with Narancia and Abbachio, before departing. He mans up and takes hold of his (and Buccairati's) dream for them.
- Polnareff has been switched into a turtle's body for the rest of his life. However, his recall to his adventures and losses in Part 3 is very tearjerking for what was thought to be his last thoughts at the time.
- Weather Report's death at Pucci's hands, something that would've ended the conflict had Jolyne not arrived at the wrong time to give the Big Bad a chance to kill the former. Even more emotional baggage for Jolyne to deal with.
- Jolyne's death, where she smiles at Emporio before standing up to Pucci one last time as he closes in. Then a page and a half later, you see her getting ripped apart like tissue paper by Pucci's stand as Emporio breaks down in tears. All that remains is her stand's sunglasses, which quickly disintegrate under accelerated time as a colony of butterflies flutter off.
- FF's death.
"Look at me, Jolyne. This is my spirit. This is my intellect. I was alive."
- Hermes, Anasui, and Jotaro's deaths at the hands of Pucci's new Stand.
- The Bittersweet Ending itself. Yes, the Big Bad is dead, and Emporio survived... but he's the only one left who can remember their friendship. The only upshot is that he may just be able to make friends with the new, well-adjusted Jolyne.
- Even if he's the villain and kills almost everyone in the climax, Pucci's backstory is pretty tragic - things go catastrophically wrong not for just him, but two other characters, on an almost Shakespearean level. A woman's baby is stillborn, so she switches it with one of a pair of twin brothers. Those brothers were Pucci and Weather, the latter of which unknowingly ended up in a relationship with his sister, Perla. Pucci attempts to break them up indirectly (due to having learned the truth from the woman's confession at church), but the detective he hired in the process turns out to have ties to a hate group that goes after Weather and Perla for being a mixed-race couple. Perla kills herself, believing Weather to have died from the beating, but he hasn't - and his powers prevent him from taking his own life. It's no wonder all that lead Pucci to believe You Can't Fight Fate.
Steel Ball Run
- Johnny's past regarding the death of his older brother Nicolas; he never stopped blaming himself for it where it's most likely not even his fault, and how his father blatantly favored Nicolas over Johnny, years after his brother's death. The latter is made all the more heartbreaking when it's clear that Johnny desperately wanted his father's affection.
"Ahh...God, you took the wrong son."
- Diego's backstory, which includes his own mother basically killing herself to make sure he gets fed.
- In addition to that, the fact that Diego suffered basically the same fate as Dio. Both of them died from being cut in half.
- At least Diego died feeling victorious and believing he defeated Valentine. Alternate Diego died the same way Dio did, feeling like a complete failure before the heroes.
- Gyro's death. We are treated to a close up on Johnny's visibly heartbroken expression, as well as a flashback to everything that had happened before. Johnny doesn't even scream out his name; everything happened so fast and he was so dumbfounded that he couldn't do anything but watch, teary-eyed and desperate.
- After killing Funny Valentine, he sees his ghost and the latter gives his farewells. This is followed a by several-page spread of their memories of building a strong bond.
- The fate of the unnamed woman in Ojirou bathroom. She's unable to move for fear that she may get cut by Ojirou's booby trapped house and his Stand could take effect.
- The continuation of Johnny's life didn't end with a Happy Ending; as it turns out, he died to protect his wife from a disease. To make Johnny's life worse, when he tried to heal his wife, Rina, from her paper-folding disease with the Holy Corpse parts, he accidentally transferred the disease to his son, then to himself. The only way to make sure it didn't spread any further was kill himself. Ouch.
- Josuke tears up a little when he sees a happy family playing around and is reminded that absolutely no one came to look for him when he went missing and lost his memory. The revelation that he's not even a true person due to being an amalgamation of Kira and someone else only makes it worse.
- Similarly, Josuke desperately hugging Yasuho after the two were separated, because she's his anchor in 'a world of strangers'.
- One scene has Holly mistaking Josefumi for her son Kira while the latter is in the same room, when Kira reminds her of himself, Holly realizes that the illness is making her forgetting about her son, and is brought to tears.
- During the boat scene, Josefumi breaks down crying while Damo tortures him, saying to himself that he always gets abandoned; said internal dialogue is accompanied by a flashback to the time he drowned at the beach, showing that his mother just left him to drown.
- Kira's death. While he was cold and kind of a jerk, he not only cares about his mother but has enough warmth and decency to care about others too, apologizing to Josefumi for dragging him into this. A brilliant alternate take on the villain from part 4.
- Later topped by Josefumi sacrificing his own body to save Kira via the Rokakaka fruit. And to make things worse, he clearly states that this is his death.
- Young Joseph's super attack in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, Unforgettable Memories. "You're still in my heart."
- Yoshikage Kira's fate in the one-shot story Dead Man's Questions, especially for a man who just wanted to live a quiet, peaceful life. He gets to live the same struggles as the rest of the living beings, with the addition of not knowing who he was while he was alive. There's no "Rest In Peace" for him. Granted, he probably deserved it, but having Killer Queen torn from him is still a bit much.
- The ending for Kakyoin in the Capcom fighter: He manages to defeat Dio, but is mortally wounded by him in the process. He tells Jotaro and Joesph that he's fine on the flight back to Japan, but passes away shortly thereafter, telling Avdol and Iggy that he would be joining them soon. Jotaro's reaction to Kakyoin's death in the last moments of the ending makes it all the sadder...
- The ending for the second half of the Stardust Crusaders anime. After the awesomeness of Yes's "Roundabout" for parts 1 and 2, and the jaunty "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles for the first half of part 3, we have the non-vocal and melancholy "Last Train Home" by Pat Metheny. The credits itself are mostly still frames, one includes a depressed Joseph holding three train tickets and the other shows Jotaro, Polnareff, and Joseph on one side of a bridge, while Avdol, Iggy, and Kakyoin are on the other side. The last shot of the ending animation is of the group photo the heroes took shortly after meeting Iggy, which becomes all the sadder when you realize that by the time the story ends, half of these brave heroes will die.