Tear Jerker / Red vs. Blue

"Was the project a success? Did you find what you were looking for?" "No...No, I did not. Though I believe I came very close. I wish...I wish I knew."
For such a comedic series, Red Vs. Blue can be genuinely sad when it chooses.

    open/close all folders 

    The Blood Gulch Chronicles 
  • Episode 50. Captain Flowers is an all around Nice Guy and A Father to His Men. Church tries saving him from a heart attack, only to inadvertently cause his death. It's a rather sad moment, despite the silliness of the situation.
    • Made even worse when it is revealed that the entire Time Travel aspect was just a simulation created by Gamma, who is doing so For the Evulz, meaning that while it isn't Church's fault at all, he still went through suffering like that for basically no reason whatsoever.
    • Then come Season 14...
  • During the Time Travel sequence, Church is about to go through the teleporter; he and Sheila have a nice talk. After he's gone, Sheila is silent for a moment, then says "Perhaps I should shut down for a while and conserve some power." The turret slowly lowers itself as she speaks, conveying a sense of immense loneliness, and the camera cuts to a completely-silent Blood Gulch for a good thirty seconds. For somewhere that seemed to be so lively, it's heartbreaking to see it abandoned without a second thought, leaving Sheila all by herself—and she simply shuts down rather than be alone.
  • In episode 52, at the end of the Time Travel sequence, Church gives this surprisingly somber speech to Tex; though it immediately gets negated by a Funny Moment, it was sad nonetheless (especially considering that Tex knew the truth about Church).
    "The one thing I didn't realize before was this. Maybe I'm the last Church not because I fix everything, but because I died and there's no way I can come back. And if that happens, I just wanna let you know that I'm sorry. I'm sorry I got you mixed up in all this stupid stuff. I'm sorry I wasn't a better guy than I should've been. I'm sorry for... for well, for a lot of stuff."
  • In Episode 100, the way Church says "...Tex?" after her ship appears to explode.
    • Later seasons would procede to make this even worse when we find out what happened to the real Church when Allison died.
    • Something that was somewhat sad at the time, but absolutely heartbreaking in retrospect? Tex's last word to them is 'Good-bye.'
    • After the ship explodes, Church and the rest of the Blues drudge back to Blue Base, clearly depressed and defeated. Perhaps out of pity, Sarge lets them go.
    Simmons: Sarge? Are we fighting?
    Sarge: No Simmons. I think they've had their ass kicked enough for one day. Let's leave some for tomorrow....
    • The speech Church gives at the end of the episode certainly qualifies, since Church is essentially admitting that he hates everyone in the canyon, including Tucker and Caboose, and that he can't stand being around them.
    "You should hate someone because they're an asshole, or a pervert, or snob, or they're lazy, or arrogant or an idiot or know-it-all. Those are reasons to dislike somebody. You don't hate a person because someone told you to. You have to learn to despise people on a personal level. Not because they're Red, or because they're Blue, but because you know them, and you see them every single day, and you can't stand them because they're a complete and total fucking douchebag."
    • Even worse when you figure out who he's talking about: Tucker is the pervert, Donut is the snob, Grif is lazy, Sarge is arrogant, Caboose is an idiot and Simmons is a know-it-all. By process of elimination, Church himself may be the asshole because on a list of people he hates and his reasons for hating them, Church puts himself first.
  • On a competent different note is one of the alternate endings. When Tex's ship blows up Sarge proceeds to heckle the Blues mercilessly over their losses, until he is brutally gunned down by Church. The remaining troops begin to fight to the death, resulting in everyone, even Doc, dying incredibly violent deaths. Finally, Caboose is the last one alive, and he boasts of his victory. He sounds so happy, until he works out that he is the only one left. Before he can decide how he feels about this, he is promptly crushed to death by the remains of the Motorcyle.

    Out of Mind 
  • York's death. He may only show up for a few episodes (until Seasons 9 and 10), but he seems like a genuinely nice guy, and the reactions around his death are heartbreaking.
    • And now we know he WAS a genuinely nice guy.
  • Delta staying with him, thinking he'll die too. Just heartbreaking.

  • The reason that Director Leonard Church used to play favorites with Tex is because she was based off his deceased wife.
  • While they are later brought back as memories through Epsilon; the original Church, Tex, Delta and Theta are all Killed Off for Real by the emp.
  • Caboose admitting "I'm scared" before driving off a cliff to protect Epsilon. Thankfully he survives, but it's still unsettling to hear the usually oblivious Caboose telling his friends that he's frightened in such a serious situation.
  • It may not be obvious at first, but if you think about it for a moment, imagine what Church must be feeling listening to the crashed pelican's black box recording. Tex was the strongest person he ever knew, and someone he loved so much he literally chases her through multiple planes of reality. She always had a plan, and she always seemed to know what she was doing. So imagine how disconcerting it must have been to hear her that her final words were a completely panicked "EVERYBODY JUST HOLD. ON!"
  • The Director may be a complete and utter bastard, but listening to his final message to the Chairman in the Season Epilogue really gets to you, and is possibly the one time the Director is portrayed in a sympathetic light:
    The Director: Dear Chairman. I am dissapointed by your decision to press charges, but I am not surprised. My only hope is that the courts will see the matters differently than you have. You see, I never had the chance to serve in battle, nor did fate provide me with the opportunity to sacrifice myself for Humanity as it did for so many others in the Great War.

    Someone extremely dear to me was lost very early in my life. My mind has always plagued me with the question 'If the choice had been placed in my hands, could I have save her?' The memory of her has haunted me my entire life, and more so in these last few years than I could ever have imagined. But given the events of these past few weeks, I feel confident that had I been given the chance, I would have made those sacrifices myself. Had I only the chance.

    I know that you disagreed with my methods, and that others will as well. This is beyond my control. However, I cannot imagine that any court would be able to convict me, no matter how low their opinion of my actions might be. You must understand one basic fact for all this to make sense my dear Chairman. These AI, they all come from somewhere. They are all based on a person. Our Alpha was no exception. And while the law has many penalties for the atrocities we inflict upon others, there are no punishments for the terrors that we inflict on ourselves.

    So you send your men. They won't find themselves a fight. They'll only find an old man. An old man tired, but satisfied he did his duty. An old man weary from a mind more filled with memory than it is with hope.

    Sincerely Yours, the former Director of Project Freelancer, Doctor Leonard Church.

  • The trailer starts off with Blood Gulch crew shenanigans, only to reveal Church, now dead, watching them. He laments his legacy and deadness to Tex, who appears next to him. Then there's the end of their conversation, which while maybe not a tearjerker in the sad way, sure elicits some kind of emotion, especially with the soft delivery of Tex's lines.
    Tex: Okay. So then we’re done?
    Church: No, [sighs] no we’re not done.
    Tex: Well if we’re not done... let’s get started.
    Church: Hey have I ever told you how helpful you are to me? I mean you’re so full of fucking wisdom, what would I do without you?
    Tex: Mm. I try my best. And you have no one to blame but yourself.
  • In Episode 2, we see Simmons speaking to Sarge in the testing grounds. In a truly heartwarming moment, and one of genuine emotion coming from Sarge, Sarge confides that he hopes after all these years he can call Simmons a friend. Then the real Sarge walks in, revealing that Simmons was talking to a holograph he created.
  • Donut's sudden death hit really hard. Sure, he gets better, but at the time viewers didn't know that (sanning sponsors) note . Even worse is Simmon's desperate yelling:
    Wash turns to Donut and shoots him. The warthog's window breaks.
    Simmons: Donut?
    Donut: Hey... Simmons? I think he shot me too... (Donut collapses)
    Simmons: Donut! No! Donut, Donut, are you okay? Come on, breathe, Donut! Breathe! (To Washington) Why did you do that?! What's wrong with you?!

  • Simmons' heartbroken "He's... Gone." when he thinks Grif is dead.
  • At the end of Revelation, after everything that's happened, Church entrusts to Caboose the duty of remembering him when he's gone.
  • Church's bittersweet monologue on a good love and a good memory. He finishes it with "and hell if you have to spend the rest of your life in a memory why not make it a good one?" Then the camera pans over Blood Gulch.
  • Sarge's Heroic B.S.O.D. upon learning his entire career was just a fake for the real soldiers to practice with. He just silently walks away, and is actually crying when the others catch up.

    Season 9 
  • Episode 20: Epsilon deleting Tex once and for all.
    Epsilon-Church: I forget you.
    • The fact that when Church was being saved from the memory unit, he thought that it was the end of the world, and essentially killed Tex for nothing. Moreover, watching his utter despair even before he realizes this. If you listen closely, you can hear him crying.
      Church: All right, world, do your fuckin' worst... Because I sure as hell just did mine.
    • This line is sad the first time, but going back after Season 10, it's even worse.
      Tex: Just do me a favor, okay? Don't say goodbye. I hate goodbyes.
    • Especially when you realize that the original Allison may have accidentally cursed the Director. If he had been able to say goodbye, if she had been truly gone, maybe he would have found it easier to let go.

    Season 10 
  • Church makes an offhand remark about how Carolina is "worse than Tex". He's not saying this out of hate, given he's comparing Carolina to the woman he has always loved. However, Carolina reaches a new level of furious, yelling at him and Tucker to Get Out.
    • Worse, she took a shot that went right through him. Up until then she'd been firing over Tucker's head and given the speed at which she responded with the bullet, you get the impression that the shot would've gone right through him even if he was a physical person.
  • Every time Wash tries to help Carolina in the present day, he gets coldly blown off. It's been shown somewhat that Wash and Carolina had a good friendship during the Project, something akin to a little brother and big sister. Wash, who came back from the depths of insanity and was able to reclaim some of his old self, is just trying to make things a little more like the old times and it hurts him when he can't seem to make it happen.
    • As of Season 10 Episode 18, he's finally had enough of what Carolina's become, holds a gun to the back of her head after she threatens Tucker, and joins the Reds, Tucker, and Caboose on walking out on her and Church. In the end, he just finally gave up on trying to restore the camaraderie he and Carolina used to have.
  • The creators did such a good job turning pre-Epsilon Wash into a naive, loveable innocent that just anticipating what will happen to him is a gut punch.
    • Also invoked with the North/Theta relationship. Knowing what happens to each of them, given their nice/adorable personalities, is awful.
  • Connie gets a song named after her in the Season 10 soundtrack. The song? A slow, solemn orchestral version of the Season 9 song "Can't Trust Anybody Now".
  • C.T.'s death, with the sad music in the background, her dying words, and the Insurrectionist Leader softly pleading "no... no..." Not to mention Carolina still seemed to consider her part of the team and probably would have spared her if she came quietly. It's made worse in that it was generally assumed she lived until Season 7 and had just used a voice modifier to make her sound like a man.
    • Made even more impressive in that it is perhaps one of the biggest Tearjerkers in the entire series... and doesn't even feature any of the main characters (except tangentially).
    • And then we find out that C.T. considered Tex a friend and left behind a copy of the data that made her defect for her to discover what was really going on. And Tex just killed her with not the slightest hint of mercy.
  • North and York's talk as they watch Carolina train... is both heartwarming and heartcrushing knowing their fates.
    • In the same episode Wash saying, "She lost something, I think she just needs some time to try and find it again" as Carolina leaves for the "old fortress" is this.
    • Add in their lengthy discussion about Delta and Theta that so thoroughly demonstrates that both AI's are suffering PTSD (Theta can't "sleep" at night and has a panic attack if he's yanked, while Delta spends all his spare time calculating the odds of various horrible scenarios playing out).
  • Season 10, Episode 12: Carolina goes to the island where York died and mourns him; Epsilon digs up some of York's old journal entries and shows her that York was in love with her; and Wash is taken aback when Caboose refers to him as a friend, as though he'd forgotten the meaning of the word.
    • York's last journal entry as well, even more than all the others. It's just... York's growing excitement as he thinks Command is tracking Carolina and his crushed disappointment when he finds out it's Texas.
    • Some other slightly lesser ones but powerful all the same. Carolina talks about the collapse of the Freelancer team and the death of her trust; Carolina asks why she should ever trust the BG Crew and Epsilon disappears. "That's what I thought." Finally, there's Church's line after the last journal entry.
      Carolina: Why did you show me that?
      • And for the triple whammy, you've got York's total dejection, Carolina's pained anger and Church's just ... dead voice: Three people delivering lines of pain in relation to lost loves in brutally quick succession.
    • Another small one: when Epsilon-Delta appears, Carolina's voice is full of surprise and hope. When he disappears two lines later...
  • As of episode 13 it is revealed that quite nearly all of the tragedy of the series could have been avoided if Carolina had done a few things differently.
  • The contents of Wash's locker are frickin' hilarious ... until the Fridge Horror sets in. He had a rubber ducky, for God's sake. He was basically Caboose with a functioning frontal lobe. And now look at him. It brings a whole new meaning to this exhange:
    Caboose: We've got a lot in common Agent Washington.
  • Episode 14 was rather abusive to Wash. In the back story, he gets completely torn into by South and York then makes him feel worse by commenting how "every time [Wash] opens [his] mouth, he makes things worse". Then, in the present storyline, Carolina (his big sister figure) and Epsilon (his former AI) have formed an alliance that he's been somewhat shunned from, with Carolina still not giving Wash a proper amount of respect, despite her change in attitude.
  • As much as you want to hate him, and as horrible as the consequences of it were, that one moment of weakness from the director where he yells "No, Allison!" hits hard.
    • Especially since this was such a strong memory/emotion that it shut down virtually every AI that had been fragmented off of Alpha, crippling the Freelancers with them, especially Eta and Iota, the Alpha's happiness and love.
  • Cross-posted from Nightmare Fuel: In episode 16 of season 10, we finally see a scene of the Director, Counselor, Gamma, Sigma, and Omega torturing a new fragment out of Alpha. It's exactly as horrible as it sounds. What makes it worse is that this is the first on screen appearance of Alpha-chronologically, the first appearance of Church. He's depicted in the Halo: Reach engine with no firearms or shoulder pads. Compared to how he'll later look, he looks... incomplete, a symbol of how badly fragmented he's become.
    • In particular, Alpha's just...broken sounding voice as he talks to "the Director".
      Alpha: Director? Please, what is going on?
      Director (Gamma): There was another incident. Security failed.
      Alpha: I—is it the schematics? Just—they're too complex, I just need more time to work on them—!
    • And then they do the unthinkable. It's notable that even the Director thinks this is uncalled for.
      Alpha: Was anybody hurt?!''
      Director (Gamma): I am sorry. Yes. Washington and another died.
      Alpha: Who?!
      Director (Gamma): ...I can't say.
      Alpha: Who?! Who died?!
      Director (Sigma): Agent Texas.
      Alpha: NO! OH MY GOD, NO!
    • York refusing to leave Carolina's side while she's in a comatose state, even falling asleep next to her with his hand over hers.
  • Hearing Connie in her post-mortem video log. She doesn't give the files to York, Carolina, North or Wash, the most trustworthy Freelancers, but Tex, her killer. Not because she's the best, but because she's the only one she can trust. Puts everything in a new light.
    • And then Tex finds the files on the original Allison. She looks at her hand, and clenches it, almost as if to say 'I'm not human?'
    • One last twist of the knife for Theta: According to Connie's files, his emotional core is trust.
    • We finally get to see the real Allison's face... through Epsilon's memories as Wash is screaming in pain, remembering the last time the Director ever saw her.
  • The ending of Episode 18 was just one big Tear Jerker. Epsilon-Church finally loses his temper at the Blood Gulch Crew and chews them out, pretty much blaming them (somewhat rightly) for all of his and the Alpha's problems. They and Washington end up leaving him and Carolina, one by one, with Caboose being the last one of the original Blood Gulch Crew (Washington leaves afterwards). You can practically see the tears in the kid's eyes as he backs away slowly.
    • And yet, for all of that, Church just drove away the only people who have ever really stuck by himand he knows it. The "Please Don't Leave Me" begging he turned to by the end is painful to watch.
    • The first person to leave is Tucker, who's been friends with Church longer than anyone else, from even before the first episode of the series.
      • Actually, the first person to leave is Grif, who gets so fed up with Church he basically tells to Eff off. Keep in mind, Grif is the perhaps the ONE person Church has had NO problems with and genuinely gets along with pretty well. The fact that Church snaps at Grif first and tears into him shows just how broken he's become.
    • And then Church tries to appeal to Caboose, the one person who has always believed in him. Caboose just silently turns around and walks away.
      • Even worse, right before Caboose walks away, he trembles for a bit and then backs up as though his one and only friend has turned into some kind of monster. One can imagine him crying silently inside his helmet.
    • While it's hard to see, Church goes from his solid Alpha form back to his Epsilon form and fades away as this happens, as though he is also leaving.
    • What got me was Carolina still acting like stone during that scene. She truly never cared for ANY of the Blood Gulch Crew, and that scene just shows.
      • It got worse with Wash's words:
  • Texas' scene with Alpha is 100% tear jerker from beginning to end.
    Alpha: I'm tired. I'm just ... really tired.
    • It puts all of Blood Gulch Chronicles in a sadder light. Tex is the one who originally named Alpha as Church, and even seems to have helped establish his new identity from the BGC, so she knows exactly who she's talking to in her whole interaction with Church there. Her attack on the Sidewinder base now feels like another attempt to save Alpha from the Director, and the whole series an attempt to protect him.
    • One should also imagine the entirety of the BGC from Tex's point of view after this. Church consistently calls her a bitch, muses about her frequency to cheat, and basically how much she had made his life miserable. Considering everything we had just witnessed, no doubt Tex agrees on that last part. The last time Tex saw Alpha before Blood Gulch he was a delusional, exhausted mess. And when she arrives, she's met with a bitter, angry man who believes her to be a dishonest, cheating, greedy, and all around terrible person. It's not hard to imagine that from Tex's perspective, this is all bitterness over her failure to save Church in time. And the worst part is the Tex is most likely forced to play along with Church's delusions, acting as the physically abusive and mean person he claims her to be. All so Church doesn't have to remember all the misery he went through when he was tortured as Alpha.
  • Carolina giving York his lighter back.
    • The fight before that. They brawl, but the music is just a piano playing Carolina's theme.
    • The tears were flowing even before that: York pleading with her to let it go, to come with him.
      York: You can trust me.
      Carolina: Maybe, but you can't trust me.
      (Cue the saddest fight scene of the series. Of all time.)
  • Caboose's reaction to Doc's speech about how they've actually had some pretty good times. It's the silence after Caboose's line that does it.
    Doc: You all got what you wanted!
    Caboose: (softly) Not everybody.
  • Carolina and Church stumbling on the army of Tex clones. As Church put it, "he kept trying to get her right". It shows not only how insane the Director has become, but just how broken and devastated he was when Allison died.
  • The Director listening to the Allison clip on repeat for a whole three days according to F.I.L.I.S. He also hasn't eaten in that amount of time either.
  • At the finale of Carolina's fight with the army of Tex copies, she's finally forced to admit that she can't do it alone. For someone who's been an Arrogant Kung Fu Chick for so long, it's practically a Heel Realization. Just listen to her voice.
  • When Church goes after the main Tex AI that's controlling the robot duplicates, he finds that the roles of episode 19 have become reversed. This time, it's HIM trying to save Tex, and HER that's become too broken to save. The tone of his voice as he says goodbye drives it home.
    Tex: Weird...I don't know why, but I hate goodbyes.
    Church: I know why. *Sighs quietly* ...Goodbye.
    • You know what's worse? Tex told Alpha-Church who she was in the past, but he didn't tell her who he is in the present. He's passing up a chance to be with her again to keep her from suffering any further.
    • Also, depending on how you read it, Church could have possibly just euthanized Tex.
  • The Director asking Carolina to leave her pistol so he could commit suicide. Hell, the first half of episode 22 in general...
    • How 'bout the subtle reveal that The Director is Carolina's father, and the original Allison was Carolina's mother?
      • It's subtle until half a dozen emotions wash over Carolina's face before she finally calms, kisses him on the forehead and walks away. That one gesture pretty well cements the implications as fact.
      • It also turns all of seasons 9 and 10 into a huge retroactive tear jerker.
    • Honestly, FILSS' death is really sad. It's clear she doesn't want to be erased, but she has to follow orders. It's made worse by the fact she sounds like Shiela.
    • There's something beautiful and terrible about Epsilon taking the forms of his now deceased AI brethren in his rant against the Director. It gets worse when you realize each part correlated with the AI core emotion: Delta (brilliant), Theta (trusted), Gamma (lied), Omega (tortured), Sigma (manipulated for the Director's own ambitions)... and Theta's voice is just like a little kid who's been betrayed....
      • It's easy to forget that Epsilon remembers each and every single one of his AI brethren, and the pain they went through. And each of the fragments he turns into looks broken in some way. I even felt sympathetic for Sigma and Gamma, and they were the two AI's used by Maine and Wyoming, two of the deadliest Freelancers. But when Theta appeared... I'm sorry, something's in my eye...
    • Am I the only one who finds it tearjerking, yet slightly romantic, when he says "I just need to watch this, I think I have a way, A way to bring her back right this time." which shows that all he wanted out of this whole mess that Project Freelancer became was to bring back his long lost love?
    • Now, let's think about this revelation for a second. Texas was based on failure. No matter what happens, she never wins. Except against her daughter, and when that happens she still loses by gaining Carolina's resentment. On the flip side, Carolina can never win against her mother's ghost, and it's clear which of them her father favours. What does that tell her?
    • Just the way the Director looks at Carolina, a look filled with sadness, regret and, most of all, weariness. This puts his actions into a much harsher light than before: instead of a cold, uncaring man who will do whatever it takes to bring back Allison, even Mind Rape Tex, we see a broken shell of a man, consumed by the longing for a woman he probably loved more than life itself, trying every damn thing he could to bring her back, to see her just one more time. After getting called out by what is essentitally himself for all the things he did in his pursuit and seeing the pure hatred in his own daughters eyes, whose said to be a spitting image of his beloved wife, one even the most stone-hearted would shed a tear at this.
    • The music that plays during this whole time is just moving.
  • In a post credits scene, North carrying South on his back after their 'family conversation', and him assuring her that he's always got her back. Considering his fate, what would have been a heartwarming moment is twisted into tragedy.
    • If you're like this troper and you're a brother to a sister you have a really close relationship with, North and South's whole tragedy can be the most heartbreaking thing in the series. Especially the fact that she betrayed him so coldly. We may have known she was hotblooded and cruel before, but what throwing him under the bus like that was just so unforgivable. Even the fucking Director cared about those who loved him more than she.

    Season 11 
  • Tucker's talk with Wash in Episode 14:
    Wash: If you just listened to me, you could do this.
    Tucker: Well I don't want to do this, you ever think of that? All I want to do is stand around and talk to my friend, but he's gone now and all I've got is you.
    Wash: *beat* What?
    Tucker: It's fucking bullshit.
    • Which crosses into CMOH territory as Tucker considers Church his friend and genuinely misses his presence... until you remember the speech Church gave at the end of Season 5, where he calls Tucker a pervert and says that he hates him and everyone else in the canyon, and wishes he didn't have to see them every day. This, combined with Church exploding at the Blood Gulch Crew in Season 10, make it possible that Tucker's "friendship" with Church was an entirely one-sided one.
  • Episode 18
    • Scoreboard for the climactic battle:
      • Freckles turned to near scrap metal.
      • Lopez immobilized (again).
      • Donut down, having taken an explosion to the back.
      • Sarge grievously injured by a rail gun.
      • Wash also injured by rail gun shot. Now taken prisoner by Locus after closing off the escape route.
  • Episode 19, the finale, shows that only Caboose, Simmons, Grif and Tucker made it out of Crash Site Bravo alive. Sarge and Wash are prisoners, Lopez and Donut's status is unknown and the teleporter cubes have seemingly trapped Doc in subspace. The BG crew are seriously beginning to fray. Even Tucker doesn't make an attempt to woo Vanessa Kimball, the leader of the New Republic.

    Season 12 
  • Episode 2, Felix sacrificing Rogers by detonating a bomb while he was next to it.
  • "...Jason? Man, what's going on?"
  • Episode 5 (While freaking HILARIOUS) is also this, if you think about it. Everyone, Tucker especially, is trying again and again to beat Felix, thus proving themselves ready and able to attempt the rescue mission to save their friends. Only, they simply get turned into a laughing stock of practically the ENTIRE resistance. Harsh.
  • Episode 5, the conversation between Tucker and Felix at the end. It shows that despite his recent jerkish attitude, Felix still has some empathy for Tucker. Except he really doesn't and is just feigning any empathy he might be showing. He hates the BGC and is part of a scheme to commit genocide against the population of Chorus for profit
  • Episode 8, the elite squad are genuinely upset that their leaders (Captains Grif, Simmons, Caboose and Tucker) left on the rescue mission without them.
  • Episode 9, Wash starts having flashbacks to his past and he seems genuinely guilty and upset at what he's done, like shooting Lopez and Donut back in Season 8 to the point where he runs to try and stop it.
  • Episode 10, Felix was never their friend, and rubs it in their faces before trying to kill them.
    • To add insult to injury, literally, - that comment he made about the Reds and Blues being considered the galaxy's greatest soldiers? All a lie. In fact, he absolutely despised being with them.
    • It's also Fridge Horror, as this is yet another betrayal Wash has gone through. This time, it's on a personal level, as Felix had been pretending to be Wash's fanboy throughout Season 11, only to reveal that he hated him and every moment he was forced to spend around him
    • Not to mention poor Dr. Grey. The previous episode, she was all chipper and upbeat, even when talking about rather morbid subjects. But as Locus and Felix's troops slaughter her comrades, she can only duck for cover and whimper, "Oh, dear."
    • After Carolina rescues the team in Episode 10, Church reveals himself to be with her as well, clearly expecting a rather joyous reunion. What does he get? Tucker angrily attacking him, clearly upset at everything he's been through and blaming Church for at least some of it.
  • Episode 11: Overlapping with heartwarming: when Carolina strikes the guard on the console from behind, her camouflage equipment made her armor black, making her resemble Tex.
  • Episode 12: Felix and Locus trick Kimball, Doyle, and the lieutenants into thinking the Reds and Blues have been killed. The effect this has on the lieutenants is absolutely soul-crushing - Jensen looks like she's crying under the helmet and Smith immediately goes to comfort her (and given how much he was shown to idolise Caboose, he's probably not doing so well himself), Bitters walks away gesturing wildly and he'd probably be cursing up a storm if the scene was voiced, while Palomo just puts a hand against his visor like he can't believe what's going on.
    • And the worst part is, given what we know of Felix's true personality, he's probably laughing his head off inside his helmet.
    • Caboose's little rant, while funny, is also depressing. Church's leaving really did upset him, and his write off of the depression he went through especially since Freckles died is just sad.
  • Episode 14
    • Tucker and Church's relationship has taken a turn for the worse. Church has Taken A Level In Badass as of late, but all Tucker remembers is the old Church, causing frustration from both ends.
      • One of the reasons that they clash in this episode is Tucker's unwillingness to risk their lives for the sake of gaining information. Tucker tried that in Episode 2, and it got two of his team killed.
      • And now Tucker's actions have resulted in Carolina using her super speed to save Caboose from getting stabbed, reopening the knife wound from Felix, causing her to pass out from blood loss. Church is not going to be happy.
    • We see Kimball at the pond again, mourning the loss of the Reds and Blues and wondering how they could possibly win the war at this point. Made even worse by Felix coming down to reassure and encourage her to keep fighting, which would have been a CMOH if not for the fact that he's playing her like a fiddle, and only encouraging her to lead an all-out assault against the Feds so he can get everyone killed.
  • Episode 15
    • Though the fandom appears to have had this one guessed for a while now, Washington finally realises how their enemies keep finding them: 'Freckles' is a tracking device, and it looks like Caboose is going to lose his new best friend so quickly after being reunited...
      • Especially crushing is Wash's voice. You can tell he doesn't want to hurt Caboose.
  • Episode 16
    • All the tension from Church & Carolina abandoning the team in season 11, Tucker being unable to let go of his old perceptions of Church, and other mishaps finally rear their ugly head in a big argument. Thankfully, they end up talking through their differences.
  • Episode 18
    • The Reds and Blues fail to stop the War and although they manage to bring it to a halt, dozens of soldiers on both sides still died as a result of Control's schemes. Also, Tucker getting stabbed by Felix is pretty hard to watch, but it's made worse when the episode ends on a shot of him passed out on the ground as his friends try to help him and Kimbal's desperate voice tries to contact him and the others over the radio.
  • Episode 19
    • While in the background of some rather intense reveals, it turns out that the Chairman has acquired FILSS or a copy of her. That's not the sad part. The sad part is that, as opposed to her usual chirpy or at least level voice in previous seasons, even when being ordered to wipe herself from the system, she sounds sad and tired. The only other times AIs have been 'tired'... well, it was never good.
  • Am I the only troper who finds the fact that, as of the Season 12 finale, we STILL have no idea where Doc is or what happened to him, a complete Tear Jerker?
    • Note: He was trapped in an errantly thrown grenade that traps the target in a pocket dimension. The sad thing is, the only individual who actually notices when Doc vanishes off the face of the Chorus is Lopez.

    Season 13 
  • A huge one just from the trailer. It seems that Church is going to die again.
    • The thought of losing Theta so soon after his semi-return is heartbreaking.
      • While Theta may hit the hardest on account of being heartrendingly adorable and sweet, it will also be hard to see the other fan favorite Delta go. Possibly the others as well, seeing as Church was getting along with some of them.
      • At least the bit about Delta and Theta didn't happen, since Epsilon died by splitting back into the fragments.
  • In episode 6, we get a hint that Carolina has been on edge and basically in soldier-mode for so long that she has trouble relaxing when the opportunity presents itself, to the point of not being sure how to relax.
    • Further is some of the commentary that the original Project Freelancer equipment and Epsilon are outdated compared to the modern equipment. Combined with a preceding shot of Church spacing out and it suggests he may be going into rampancy after all.
    • Episode 13 strongly implies that she's constantly on edge because she alone realized how close the battle of the radio jammer at the end of Season 12 could have gone. Specifically, in that Locus's insanity prevented him from simply killing Wash, and both of the mercs had Tucker surrounded. Given her history, losing any of the Reds or Blues would be by far her worst nightmare.
  • Episode 7 gives a view of Locus before he became Locus. It appears he was once 'human' in mindset. Overall, reliving that memory managed to shake up the normally stoic Locus.
    • Also in episode 7, Sharkface says that his friends had been killed by the freelancers while he was in physical therapy. It's easy to feel empathy for the guy, what with all the loss on the freelancer side too.
  • In episode 8, we see all of the long-gone Freelancers in Carolina's vision. Hearing Tex and York's voices after so long, even briefly, might just cause a sniffle or two. Carolina's upset reaction when it's over doesn't help, and it's hard not to wonder exactly what happened between the scene changes.
    • As of episode 13, we now know that she had to watch all the Freelancers and the Reds and Blues die.
  • Doc's predicament. He was sent to a dimension where he slowly lost his sanity, the only thing keeping him going being the thought of the Reds and Blues working to save him. In reality, everyone forgot about him and it's clear that he's heartbroken when he realizes this. He channels O'Malley and starts beating Tucker up. It's hard not to feel for the guy.
  • Episode 11: Poor, poor Church. He's failing. Delta couldn't even talk before dissolving. Theta screams before he dissolves, and Church just doesn't know what to do before dissolving as well.
    • Just how... lost he sounds. He knows he can't protect Carolina, and it gave him a (literal) Heroic B.S.O.D. that's damn near palpable.
  • The beginning of Episode 11 features a Rebel and a Fed both taking cover behind the same rock. The Rebel wants to Fed to leave, since he found the rock first but the Fed insists they can share. The Rebel says "Over my dead body." and promptly gets shot in the head by Locus. His pettiness and inability to cooperate got him killed in the middle of a crucial battle. The Fed can only lampshade the irony.
  • Episode 12: Poor Doyle. First he fails to keep the Great Key out of Charon's hands, and is then subjected to a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Kimball when the group returns to Armonia. It all amounts to him believing himself to be a failure as both a leader and a human being. It's hard not to feel sorry for him.
  • Episode 13: "Church, I can't lose another family."
    • Expanding on that, we find out what Carolina's vision in episode 8 consisted of: watching all of her old friends on Project Freelancer die again. And then seeing the Blood Gulch Crew killed, as well. And not being able to do anything about it.
      • This becomes far harsher in hindsight, as Epsilon sacrifices himself to run Maine's armor in the finale. As seen in the finale stills, Carolina was on her way, but in the end, she wasn't able to protect someone she cared about ...
    • Carolina's reaction when Church compares her to the Meta/Maine is both this and chilling. She refuses to acknowledge Church's comment on her being the best, a stark departure of the Carolina of just three seasons ago. Her loss against Felix, and again at the radio jammer have destroyed her sense of self-worth. Her earlier comments on wanting to run drills and being unable to relax shows that the only thing on her mind is her own failings, and she's focusing on becoming stronger, to the point that she endangered both herself and Epsilon. The only thing that's (barely) preventing her from being the next Meta is her attachment to the Reds and Blues.
  • Episode 15:
    • While initially played for laughs, Grif's upbringing, as brought up by O'Malley, makes Grif's mannerisms pretty harsh in hindsight when one connects the pieces. Turns out that as a kid, Grif's parents constantly favored his sister over him (explaining his constant hostility towards others), his father wasn't exactly "stable" (resulting in Grif's consistent opposition to order), and after his mother ran off to join the circus, apart from being left to take care of his sister on his own, the utter humiliation Grif felt at the fact that his mother "turns tricks behind the elephant cage" is what lead to Grif's binge-eating hobbies. It's hard not to feel absolute pity for Grif as he can only bow down his head in shame after being reminded of his horrid childhood, and so broken that he can only whimper "It was a nice circus".
  • Episode 16:
    • Sharkface refusing to let go of his hatred for Carolina and Washington, even after the former tries to give him a chance to walk away out of regret for what the Freelancers did to his comrades. He's so broken and bitter that he uses his last words to vow that he won't stop hunting Carolina and Washington as long as he lives. Washington and Kimball have to gun him down.
      • Particularly telling is that Carolina sounds solemn when she acknowledges his death, as opposed to being satisfied with beating him.
    • Doyle's Heroic Sacrifice. When he realizes that there's no way to destroy Armonia's nuclear reactor without setting off the explosion by hand, he resolves to make up for his previous cowardice by doing the job himself. After giving Kimball some final words of encouragement, admitting she's better suited to lead than him, he proceeds to do just that.
    • When Kimball realizes what's about to happen, she starts shouting at General Doyle for being so reckless, because his death will leave his key-sword accessible to Felix...except then her voice starts breaking, and it's not too hard to imagine that she's just as upset that Doyle's about to die. Notably, she doesn't move to get back on the Pelican to leave until Carolina grabs her shoulder and practically pushes her on board.
      • Kimball's last, desperate "Wait, no—! " before she's cut off.
    • Even worse is just how resigned Doyle sounds. He's not scared or trying to put on a brave face, or even at peace. He sounds so thoroughly convinced that this was the only way, and that he would just continue to be a burden if he survived and just takes it with a grim acceptance.
  • Episode 17:
    • In the aftermath of Armonia's destruction and General Doyle's Heroic Sacrifice, the armies of Chorus are scattered and demoralized; the Feds initially believe that Kimball left Doyle to die; and Charon's surviving forces—including Felix and Locus— have access to the Purge. Darkest Hour doesn't begin to describe it.
      • Particularly telling is when the BGC's lieutenants meet up with Matthews, and all five of them silently hang their heads—it's easy to see how depressed they are.
    • Kimball, shaken by Doyle's death, doesn't say anything to anyone until her Rousing Speech—and even then, she admits that she was wrong about the Federal Army of Chorus.
  • Episode 18:
    • Wash's words seem to have left a long-lasting effect on Locus's psyche. This recent episode demonstrates that in subtle yet terrifying ways. Prior to the duel at the Purge Temple, Wash insists that the two mercs can turn around and stop what they are doing. Locus looks away as if considering it, seems to prepare to respond... and then Felix places a hand on his shoulder while refusing Wash's statement. Considering just what kind of individual Felix is, this is by no means a comforting gesture. Felix has no qualms with crossing the Moral Event Horizon, and he is perfectly willing to drag the mentally weakened Locus along with him.
    • In addition, Locus begins to show concern about the various troops that they've left behind at the Communication Tower and Crash Site Alpha, pointing out they'll be killed in the Purge as well and that many of them were former partners. However, Felix brushes this off but you can still clearly tell that Locus is struggling between his mission and his humanity.
  • Episode 19:
    • The final result of what recent events have done to Locus. Between the revelation of what he fears in the portal of trials, the complete failure of his mission with the destruction of the Purge Temple, his ensuing battle wounds, and the Armor-Piercing Question handed to him by Santa, it's pretty clear that he's a broken shell of a man who finally sees himself for what he really is: a murderer who tried to pass himself off as a professional.
    • In a way, Felix's Villainous Breakdown after Locus pulls a Heel–Face Turn counts as this. It's the point where he realizes he's just lost everything, and his terrified attempts to bring Locus back to his side show just how far his mind has broken. He completely loses what little sanity he has left when Locus abandons him.
  • Episode 20:
    • Matthews getting shot by a Mantis drone and knocked out. Poor kid can't seem to catch a break.
    • When Tucker and Epsilon first make it to Hargrove's trophy room, Epsilon finds Tex's helmet. He doesn't say anything about it, but his next words sound pissed.
    • The transition to 'AI Time':
    Tucker: See you on the other side
    (Everything slows down to a near stop as we transition to Epsilon's POV)
    Epsilon: Not this time, buddy.
    Epsilon: There’s so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day. And because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero… never gets to see that ending. They’ll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They’ll never know if the day was really saved. In the end… they just have to have faith. Ain’t that a bitch.
    • What makes Epsilon's sacrifice even worse is that there's no guarantee that the new fragments made from Church's passing will be the ones we know. Delta, Theta, and the rest... gone.
      • Somewhat mitigated by the After Buzz interview with Miles and Burnie, where the pair indicated that the new fragments would be like the old ones starting afresh, similar to Delta's birth that we see in Season 9.
      • And possibly worse, We're in the same boat as Church. While it sure does look like the Red and Blues, with everything they've learned over the last thirteen years AND an upgraded version of the Meta's armor at full power, will escape there's no guarantee. Just like Church, all we can do is have faith that they'll make it out.
    • In a way, Grif pacing around cursing after Hargrove shows himself. The way he yells about how they were SO CLOSE reeks of desperation.
    • The Dark Reprise of Contact, the ending theme for Season 11, that plays during the end credits.
      • The line "One of us will be forgotten" takes on new meaning given what Church did. He essentially sacrificed his existence by "forgetting" himself

    Season 14 
  • The explanation for just why Church's original body in Season 1 started to decompose. The body actually belonged to Private "This doesn't seem physically possible" Jimmy, who volunteered to help the war effort in any way he could. This led to Flowers having the Alpha AI implanted into the volunteer's skull, overwriting their entire personality with Church's, save for a few vague memories of his girlfriend (who Church construes to be Tex) and remembering that Jimmy died in pain that apparently was comparable to having his skull torn out and being beaten to death with it. Perhaps the biggest example of Harsher in Hindsight from the Blood Gulch Chronicles.
    • Another Harsher in Hindsight example. For years now, some people in the fandom have believed that the original Allison was a terrible girlfriend/spouse, due to Alpha mentioning that 'Tex' used to steal his wallet and sleep around with other guys. With the revelation that some of Jimmy's memories remained dormant in Alpha's new body, it may be that these memories were of Jimmy's girlfriend, so Allison and by extention, Tex have been misblamed all this time.
  • Even though the self-destruction of Unit FH57’s ship is Played for Laughs, it’s kinda sad that these characters who we've gotten to know over the past two episodes, and were about to embark on a new adventure of their own, are all presumably dead.
  • Though he's undoubdtedly a piece of shit, it's hard not to feel bad for Gabriel Lazono when we learn that his dad never cared about him at all.
  • It's easy to miss but in Club, when Locus accidentally removes the makeup that covers his scars, you can see his expression in the mirror. He looks...devastated. It shows that he's been trying to go back to being 'Samuel Ortez' now that the war is over; and it's a Foregone Conclusion that this won't work.
  • The ending of episode 15, "Caboose's Guide to Making Friends". It starts out as a happy romp, showing off his various "friends" but it quickly dives off the sad portion when he starts talking about losing friends and it's shown the Epsilon AI and the other AIs disappearing then it's quickly showing Caboose diving into depression, flanked by the ravaged husks of the various machines he's befriended.
  • While Episode 16 is an absolute gut-buster, O'Malley's time in Church's head is pretty sad (if in an admittedly funny way), especially now that we've covered the history of the Freelancers and the AIs. He immediately remarks how Church's mind, represented as a frozen facility, feels familiar. He then meets Alpha!Church, who is to O'Malley's surprise resigned to letting him take over out of sheer stress. Even though Alpha!Church has no recollection of the torture at the behest of Project Freelancer, the pain was still there this whole time.
  • Episode 21
    • South and Georgia bullying Ohio, Iowa, and Idaho like the military equivalent of a Jerk Jock and Alpha Bitch pair.
    Georgia: Some of us have actual missions to train for.
    South: (false sweetness) Have fun cleaning our gear when we're done Triplets.
    • Ohio, Iowa, and Idaho are friends with Wash and CT... or at least, they were until the latter two ranked in the top ten while the former three ranked at the bottom. The entire thing comes off as the social outcasts losing friends to the Jerkass cool kids.
    Iowa: (tentatively) See you at lunch?
    Wash: Uh... yeah. Sure.
    Iowa: Five Things You'd Rather Be Doing. Go.
    Ohio: Anything.
    Iowa and Idaho: One.
    Ohio: Something else.
    Both: Two.
    Ohio: Not this?
    Both: Three...
    Ohio: Contemplating the futility of existence in a coffee shop.
    Both: Four?
    Idaho: Seems like your hearts not really in this, Oh.
    Ohio: Your Mom!!
    Iowa: Oooh snap, that's our girl!
  • Episode 22
    • After finding out they had been Reassigned to Antarctica instead of being given a real mission, Ohio breaks down crying that her one chance to show Project Freelancer that she was a good soldier was yanked away from her.
    • At the end of the episode, Wash comes up to South and CT asking if they'd seen the Triplets, because he wanted to have lunch with them. Even if he was among the top ranking Freelancers, he still cared about his old friends... made worse that now that the Triplets are gone, Wash becomes the target of the others' teasing.
      • Even worse is that he was told they dropped out of the project instead of straight up abandoned on an ice world. And South continues to be gleefully dismissive of them.

     Season 15 
  • At the end of Season 13, with Charon Industries dealt with, it seemed like Chorus could finally have some peace. But in this season, we learn that they've been trying to maintain their independence, they're being partially blamed for the Reds and Blues' attacks, and the UNSC is threatening military intervention. Chorus is being dragged into conflict once again.
  • Vic has long crossed the Despair Event Horizon and begs Dylan to kill him in exchange for the Blood Gulch Chronicles. Making it worse is his personality turning him into a Stepford Smiler who keeps insisting he's just joking, only to go right back to what a torment his life is. In the end we don't even find out for sure what Dylan did.

  • A retroactive tear jerker in Caboose's Image Song, "Your Best Friend." The season 8 finale has Church leave him to go find Tex in the Epsilon unit, telling Caboose to remember him. The season 10 finale has Church leave the base altogether to go on a mission with Carolina, which she says will take a "long time"; Caboose is the first to notice he's gone and to remark, "He's gone right now," which in context implies he understands that Church is going to be gone for a long time. NOW try listening to him sing about how all he wants is to be Church's best friend.
  • Episode 2 of Season 11 ends with a brief caption saying "in memory of David Dreger", a big name RT Community member who was found dead after going missing for about three weeks.
  • End credits of Season 13: "Very Special Thanks to Monty Oum."
  • As explained in the Red vs Blue Ultimate Fan Guide, the reason for Dr Grey's personality. She was relatively normal (we get a brief view of it when she's making a log entry at the temple), but the stress of constantly putting back together the wounded, well, she just kept telling herself to go to her happy place. She lives there now.note 

Alternative Title(s): Red Vs Blue The Blood Gulch Chronicles, Red Vs Blue The Recollection, Red Vs Blue The Project Freelancer Saga