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Tear Jerker: RWBY
Blake was right. The real world in RWBY isn't the same as a fairytale.

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    Volume 1 
Players And Pieces
  • When Ruby ends up rushing headlong into danger against the Deathstalker and the Nevermore, she's snagged by one of the Nevermore's feathers. Yang rushes to help her, but she can only watch as Ruby struggles to free herself, while the Deathstalker prepares to deliver the killing blow to Ruby. Had Weiss not intervened, Yang could have seen her sister be killed while she couldn't do ANYTHING to save her.
    • This one goes further if you take into account their implied relationship. How many older sisters do you know who read their younger sister bedtime stories? Every single night? Neither of them ever mention their mother, though their dad gets a mention. Given the meanings of Red as Roses II and Gold, Yang could easily be as much her mother as her sister. Which brings the potential Adult Fear up a notch.
    • Becomes even worse after "Burning the Candle" because of Harsher in Hindsight, considering this is the second time that Ruby is danger and Yang can do nothing to help her.

The Badge and the Burden Part II
  • A fridge moment, but the likely explanation for why Weiss never had a bunk bed is because she had no one to share it with.
    • And then we learn in Volume 2 that she does have a sister.

Jaunedice Part II
  • The episode might as well be titled Harsher in Hindsight. Remember when it was sorta okay to laugh at Jaune being pathetic? Well, with Jaune's confession about how he found some forged transcripts and snuck his way into Beacon, those days are OVER.
    Jaune: I wasn't really accepted into Beacon.
    Pyrrha: What do you mean...?
    Jaune: I mean I didn't go to combat school, I didn't pass any tests, I didn't earn my spot in this academy! I lied. I got my hands on some fake transcripts, and I lied.
    Pyrrha: What...? But, why...?
    Jaune: 'Cause this is what I've always wanted to be! My father, my grandfather, and his father before him were all warriors! They were all heroes. I wanted to be one too. I was just never good enough...
    Pyrrha: Then let me help you!
    Jaune: I don't want help! I don't want to be the Damsel in Distress—I want to be The Hero!
    Pyrrha: Jaune, I—
    Jaune: I'm tired of being the lovable idiot, stuck in the tree, while his friends fight for their lives! Don't you understand? If I can't do this on my own... then what good am I?
    Pyrrha: [reaches out to Jaune; Jaune flinches away]
    Jaune: Just... leave me alone... okay?
    Pyrrha: ... If... that's what you think is best... [leaves]

Forever Fall Part I
  • Pyrrha being on non-speaking terms with Jaune on account of the above conversation.

The Stray
  • Blake after her fight with Weiss...
    • Hell, the fight itself. Many will want to label Weiss as a racist, but it turns out that her position isn't as cut and dry as that. It turns out that the White Fang, a organization that Blake herself was implied to have been a part off, is responsible for the kidnapping and possible murders of both associates of her grandfather's company as well as family members. Weiss then implies that she may have suffered abuse, the extent of which has not been revealed, at the hands of her father due to his anger. Anger that was caused by these actions. On the other hand the Schnee Dust Company is heavily implied to be incredibly cruel to its Faunus workers, bordering on if not slavery. You can hardly blame them for wanting to rise up but is going so far really justified? Blake may have left them because of exactly that reason if her trailer is any indication. It's a war that's caused innocents on both sides to suffer. It's so tragic to see the effects it's had on both Weiss and Blake and we haven't even seen what actually happened to either of them, but if what's implied is true then it's hard to fault either of them for their opinions on the White Fang. And now the team may have been torn asunder...
      • To further elaborate on Blake's perspective above, back in episode one it was mentioned that the White Fang was once a peaceful group. Drawing conjecture from the Black trailer and what's been revealed in the plot Blake probably had to watch as the White Fang transformed from a peaceful protest group into the apparent terrorists that they are now. Blake wasn't just trying to justify the White Fang to Weiss but also to herself. Imagine, watching the group that once stood for peace and equality turn into the human hating organization it is today. Having to watch friends and comrades grow more bitter and hateful, resorting to worse and worse methods to accomplish their goals until they don't even remember what they were fighting for to begin with.
      • Blink and you'll miss it, but you can see a second of recognition from Blake when Weiss mentions the train car. Considering that was the mission that seems to have tipped Blake over the edge and leave White Fang, having to deal with that dual emotions of the things she dislikes about White Fang while trying to maintain her frustration with Weiss's apparent indifference to the Fauna perspective shot her - and might've been part of what forced the Wham Line.
    • Worse, when Blake runs away from the team after blurting out her secret in the heat of the moment. She runs out into the grounds, where she sees the statue seen in the opening of the Hunters. She looks up at them, with their raised weapons, looking heroic and triumphant...and then it focuses on the Creature of Grimm they're fighting, just a mindless beast to be put down. The comparison she's drawing is obvious, and heartbreaking.
    • Long story short, the entire situation is a massive mess of Gray and Grey Morality.
    • The sheer length of the argument counts. There's a Smash Cut between "near the docks of Vale" to the girls' dorm room and a shift from day to night before the two girls finally get to the meat of what's being argued over... and Ruby and Yang watching somberly as the argument drags on and on.
    • Ruby's absolute devastation as Blake speeds out of the room. She's watching her team fall apart and there's nothing she can do.

Black and White
  • Ruby explaining to Penny why they're looking for Blake.
    Penny: I don't have a lot of friends... But if I did, I would want them to talk to me about things!
    Ruby: [looks down] Me too.
  • After the battle, Ruby looks up to find Penny gone. Cut to Penny being driven away, as her guardian scolds her for going out without his permission.
    Driver: You should know better than to go running around in a strange city.
    Penny: I know, sir.
    Driver: [drives off] Penny, your time will come.

    Volume 2 
Best Day Ever
  • Poor Tukson's fate. From what little screen time he had, we learn that like Blake, he was a member of the White Fang and tried to leave presumably due to thinking they were going too far. Unlike Blake, he gets killed for it.
    • This can be potential Fridge Horror for a good reason why Blake doesn't want anyone knowing she's a faunus - someone who may recognize her would want her dead.

Welcome To Beacon
  • Blake's worry over the White Fang's plans. And worse, she knows that they won't wait for the world or the school to be ready before they move, and that they may never be ready even if they did.
    • Even after Blake had previously agreed to let the team know if anything was worrying her, she had to be pushed by Weiss into voicing her deep concerns about the White Fang. This implies that Blake still doesn't completely trust her teammates, which says a lot about how she grew up.
  • Ozpin's final words to a departing Ironwood. You can tell by his tone that he wishes for nothing more then to spare his students from the burdens that they will inevitably have to face.
    Ironwood: But ask yourself this. Do you honestly believe your children can win a war?
    Ozpin: [quietly] I hope they never have to.
  • When Ozpin is debriefing Blake in-flashback, near the end of the conversation, he says with the most heartbreaking look on his face, "If you ever feel the need to talk, don't hesitate to ask," implying that something may have happened to a student who did not do so.

A Minor Hiccup
  • Penny just seems pretty terrified throughout the episode, and like she genuinely wants to tell Ruby but doesn't know if she can trust her, or anyone.
    • And after an incident involving a truck and the old man that runs the "From Dust Till Dawn" shop, it turns out that she's a robot.
      • When Penny begins to explain, her exact words are that she's "not a real girl." Not "normal," but "real." What does this mean for how she views herself?
    • The sheer desperation in her voice as she begs Ruby to promise that they're friends. You tell just how terrified she is that Ruby will abandon her once she knows.
  • Weiss trying to fake a smile at the thought of talking to her father. As of this episode, the extent of his treatment of her isn't clear, but it's obvious that he's someone that she desperately doesn't want to talk to.
    • Weiss' line about wanting bunk beds as kids gets a whole lot sadder when we learn that she does have a sister.
    • We see her trying to smile directly, we see her failing in the reflection of the monitor. "Mirror, mirror" indeed.
  • Ruby seems almost distraught over not knowing what happened to Penny. Her tone gets more and more stressed and she seems desperate to keep her friend close.

Painting The Town...
  • Torchwick quickly wins over the crowd of Faunus by acknowledging that he's not a good person and pointing out their common enemy: those in power. While Torchwick is likely lying to win them over, it really says a lot about their lot in life that all he has to do is just remind them of that and they're willing to work with a known criminal who doesn't even try to hide his own (worse-than-average) Fantastic Racism against them.
  • Blake's explanation of why the White Fang wear Grimm masks as a symbol of becoming the very monsters humanity tries to portray them as. In many ways its a sad reflection of how far the White Fang has descended from its once noble goals.

Extracurricular
  • Poor Blake is not faring well after the last episode. She's dozed off during sparring trials, seems too tired to even keep up with the girls walking, got baggy eyes from a lack of sleep, doesn't want to eat, coldly turns down Sun's invite to the dance citing they both have better things to do, and ignores her team's suggestion that she go to the dance to let off some steam. Volume 2 is shaping Blake up to be one of the biggest Woobies in the show.
  • Poor Pyrrha cannot get out of the friendzone. Jaune even obliviously talks to her about his failed attempts to woo Weiss. It almost hurts how hard she tries to drop hints to him only to have them fly over his head.
    Jaune: It's...Weiss.
    Pyrrha: *Frowns* ...Oh... *Forces herself to perk up* What about her?
    Jaune: I asked her to the dance and she shot me down. Ha...big surprise, right? Heheh...
    Pyrrha: Well...I believe the saying goes 'There's...plenty of fish in the sea...' *Averts her eyes for a second*
    Jaune: That's easy for you to say. You've probably got guys clambering over each other just to ask you out.
    Pyrrha: Heheh... You'd be surprised...
    Jaune: Oh please. *Walking away* If you don't get a date to the dance, I'll wear a dress. Ha! *Pyrrha is visibly saddened as he leaves*

Burning The Candle
  • The story of Ruby and Yang's parents:
    • Their dad had been on a team with Summer Rose, Qrow, and Yang's mom - then one day Summer never came back from a mission, it tore both children up, and their dad just kinda shut down. The reason for this being that Summer wasn't his first love lost; it was Yang's mom, who had left them before this. This drove Yang to find out what she could, to the same extremes that Blake is currently going through - so one night, when dad was out of the house, she took the sleeping toddler Ruby in a wagon and walked for hours, when they finally arrived at an abandoned house...only to find it's now inhabited by grimm. They wouldn't have lasted a second if not for their uncle Qrow.
  • Pyrrha once again tries to help Jaune with his love troubles and once again it obviously tears her up inside to do it, what's worse is that both Nora and Ren witness it this time with sad faces.
    Nora: (sad eyed) Practice what you preach, Pyrrha.
  • Jaune's reaction to Weiss asking Neptune to the dance. It's subtle, but you can almost feel the pain he felt. It can definitely strike a chord with people who know what it's like to be rejected no matter what you do.

Dance Dance Infiltration
  • Pyrrha pouring her heart out to Jaune, telling him how until she met Jaune she never had any friends, because everyone assumed she was too good for them. Granted, this gets fixed by the end of the episode, but you have to feel sorry for the girl.
  • Ruby getting busted with her weapon in the CCT by Ironwood. Now, this requires some explaining: Having seen Cinder Fall enter the tower, and an unconscious guard by the entrance, she's leapt into action, summoning her weapon and getting ready to stop an attack. After a brief fight with Cinder, Ironwood enters the room, and comes face to face with Ruby. She smiles and turns back to her foe… but Cinder's somehow disappeared. And with the room partially wrecked, it's fairly logical to assume that Ruby is going to get the blame for whatever Cinder did to the tower (at least in the interim until the guards come to).

Other

  • The lyrics to Red Like Roses Part 2 appear to be sung from the point of view of Ruby, despairing at the loss of a loved one. Then the full version of the song was released, and two more verses were added. The second verse appears to be sung from the point of view of whoever it was that died, full of regret that she had to leave Ruby all alone, and saying she had every intention of coming home again. Then the third verse is a duet, which sounds like an angry argument between the two. The fact that the second voice is sung by primary singer Casey Lee Williams' mother leans even more towards the idea that the song is about Ruby and her own mother.
    Every nightmare just discloses
    • According to Casey Lee it was to/from Ruby's mother.
  • Although Gold is a happy song known to be about Yang always looking after Ruby, there's one line in the song that becomes this when you think about it. The second half of the chorus:
    Like the smell of a rose, on a summer's day/I will be there to take all your fears away
    • It's reinforcing Yang looking after Ruby, almost like a mother would. Now, what was the name of Ruby's mother?
    • In addition, this line:
      I'm so happy/Just to have you here
      • With the revelation that Yang almost got Ruby killed when searching for her own missing mother, these and some of the other lyrics sound like Yang is reassuring herself just as much as Ruby.
Ruby QuestTearJerker/Web OriginalThat Guy with the Glasses

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