Tear Jerker / RuPaul's Drag Race

  • Pretty much any time a queen gets a supportive message from one of her parents, there will be tears involved, from both the queen in question as well as the others as they recount how their own parents were less than accepting.
  • Ongina revealing that she has HIV after winning the Viva Glam challenge.
  • Rebecca crying in the bathroom in the same episode, depressed and grieving about her friend who is dying of AIDS.
  • During Bebe's tic-tac lunch with Ru, Bebe recounts life in poverty-ridden Cameroon, where AIDS runs amock, and implies that she's had to experience several deaths up close while breaking down in tears.
  • Pandora Boxx recounting nearly being Driven to Suicide because of homophobic bullying and the lingering self-doubt even after the attempt.
  • Sonique crying at the 2nd season reunion show, before coming out as trans.
  • A little one. In the "Queens in Space" episode of season 3, Raja choking out tearfully that she doesn't want Delta to be eliminated because Delta is her best friend. Raja is usually quite stoic, and she is often called "fake" by other members of the competition, but there is no denying that Raja is a girl who loves and cares about her friends.
  • Alexis' boyfriend in the Marines, who is most likely dead. She's completely given up hope of ever seeing him again.
  • Alexis Mateo almost leaving the competition, and Yara having a breakdown in the same episode.
  • Sharon Needles' backstory. She grew up in rural Iowa and was horribly bullied, and even the school administrators partially blamed her for bringing it on herself for being different. She ultimately dropped out of high school and left her hometown at a young age. It was only during a stint in Des Moines—Iowa's capital and largest city—that she was exposed to drag queens and other gay people, inspiring her to craft her drag act and eventually settle in Pittsburgh.
  • Jujubee crying backstage, saying, "I miss my dad!"
  • Latrice Royale´s speech when she sashays away.
  • From the season 4 reunion show, Latrice reading aloud the fan letter from a ten-year-old fan.
  • Jiggly crying in the 4th season reunion show as she recounts how she discovered that Phi Phi set her up for failure, saying that she let Phi Phi sleep at her apartment when they were first starting out as queens, and was completely devastated that her friend betrayed her.
  • In real life, the death of season 2 contestant Sahara Davenport.
    • The episode of All Stars where Manila talks to Latrice about Sahara and shows off a photo of the two of them together is also a tearjerker in retrospect. Manila and Sahara were a couple in real life.
  • The second half of All Stars Untucked: Episode 2. Chad gets a video message from his estranged father, who he hadn't seen in twenty-five years. Tear jerking enough by itself, as several of the queens start crying. Unfortunately, some of the queens' daddy issues come to light. Yara Sofia starts breaking down, and Chad comforts her. After this, Manila states that she feels unworthy in her dad's eyes because she's a drag queen. Finally, Latrice states that it's important to reconcile with their fathers, and how she never got that opportunity; her father died shortly after she was released from jail. You will need Kleenex during this episode.
  • Jujubee and Raven having to lipsync against each other in the penultimate episode of All Stars after saying that they can't stand the thought of having to do so, and the two of them can barely get through it without choking up. It's so emotional that Ru says "fuck it" and lets both of them stay!
  • Season Five's Beverly Monica Hillz coming out as transgender. It was clearly a heavy burden.
  • During the Snatch Game critiques of Season 5, Jinkx Monsoon keeps on chanting, "Water off a duck's back. Water off a duck's back". It's heartbreaking enough, but it gets even more so when you realize that she's expecting to be trashed by the judges, just as she was trashed by the other girls (the exceptions being Jade Jolie, Ivy Winters and Alaska) in the work room before the runway. It leads to Tears of Joy when she actually wins the challenge.
  • Alaska is critiqued for lacking heart by the judges, and visibly is unable to stop herself from getting emotional. Carries on to Untucked where she expresses some frustration that she's been constantly compared to Sharon, and that being told that she lacked heart by RuPaul deeply hurt her.
  • When Roxxxy Andrews revealed she and her sister had been left at a bus stop at 3 years old, recalling what the scene looked like and how her mother said she was just going to the store, only to be gone all night, then being a ward of the state for a year before being raised by their grandmother. Just wow.
  • Detox relating how his ex-boyfriend, who had been threatening and stalking him, died shortly after they broke up. While he tries not to let it show it's obvious he's still deeply hurt by it.
  • While working with gay vets in season 5, Jinkx's partner vaguely references a "medical condition" as a reason why he has trouble bending over. After dancing around it for a bit he eventually confesses that it's AIDS, and that side effects of the medication caused him to gain weight and reduced his mobility. Jinkx assures him that they'll get through it, but after the vet goes off for a bit we see Jinkx lose it for a moment, being disabled herself with narcolepsy.
  • During Untucked Laganja Estranja received a very touching message from her parents, telling her that they have come to accept her as a drag queen, and her mother apologizing for avoiding her for so long due to her career choice.
  • Trinity revealing that she's HIV-positive and that the reason she came on the show was to be a role model for other young adults with the virus.
  • Joslyn getting a video message from her boyfriend who says that they both were effected hard by the death of their 6 year old nephew.
  • More of a meta thing but the fact that the show's attempts to be more trans positive has been responded to so harshly by the fanbase is quite upsetting when you consider that the show itself hasn't necessarily had the most positive history with trans people.
  • Miss Fame talking about her grandfather, who had been the father figure in her life, and how he was murdered when she was 15 years old. Miss Fame actually starts crying after she stumbles on an old photo of them with his grandmother she had brought with her to the competition.
  • And season 8 gives us one with the first elimination. The moment Ru announces that the Laila is staying you can see how crushed Naysha is. And when makes her exit you can see her choking back tears as she writes her farewell message. Made even worse when you realize she has been trying out since season 1.
    • Even moreso in the Untucked, the moment she leaves the stage the tears start flowing a she chokes back sobs. As she's led to the workroom, the stage hand assisting her gives a very sad Aside Glance, obviously feeling for Naysha's misery.
  • Also in the first episode of season 8. Kim Chi explaining her fear that her mom will discover her drag career. As far as her mom knows, Kim Chi is a makeup artist, and thinks that the pictures of Kim Chi that she saw were just Kim Chi's makeup jobs. Kim Chi states that she doesn't want to let her mom down, and is saddened that she isn't the kind of son an Asian mom would want. This comes through later when she has to dress in an outfit inspired by her mother, and the judges all comment that although it was beautiful, there was an incredible somberness to her runway, likely caused by the turmoil with her mother.
    • Fridge Horror: During the aforementioned mother-homage runway, all of the queens feature photos of themselves with their mothers ... however, Kim Chi's mother's face is blurred out. This could mean that even after filming Kim Chi still did not come out to her mother (so the show could not approach her mother for rights for her face to be shown), or Kim Chi did come out to her mother, and her mother took the news poorly.
      • Confirmed in the reunion that Kim Chi has not told her mother about her career yet, and has no intention of ever telling her.
  • Thorgy Thor tells the girls about her hippie parents, in particular, her mother. While young she went off to college and partied all the time, but always called home to see how her parents were getting along. Turns out her mother was dying from cancer and had taken a turn for the worse, but her parents and sister didn't want her to know because they didn't want to take away the 'college experience' from her. Finally, her father tells Thorgy to come home while her mother was literally on her death bed, but the cancer had deteriorated her so much she was already gone mentally, meaning Thorgy never got the chance to give a real goodbye to her. She says to this day she's angry and resentful towards her father and sister for keeping it a secret from her.
  • Bob the Drag Queen breaking down in tears as she shares the very real terror she felt when her mother was diagnosed with a rare form of pneumonia that nearly took her life. One day Bob's mother was healthy and active, and suddenly she was practically a skeleton.
  • Derrick Barry talking about the falling out she had with her mother, after she came out and the first thing out of Derrick's mother's mouth was effectively if they could keep it a secret from everyone else. Derrick says the experience made him lose a lot of respect for her mother, and that it really left her broken in a way that she still hasn't really recovered from.
  • It's sad that the good vibes among the queens in All Stars 2 were brought down significantly by Ru's announcement that they'd be eliminating each other. None of them are particularly happy with the twist, and both Roxxxy and Tatiana are heartbroken that they have to make a choice like that. When Roxxxy eliminates Coco, she actually bursts into tears, and neither she nor the other queens seem that happy come the final dance.
    • Adore breaking down backstage after Michelle reads her outfit and she ends up in the bottom 3. The fact that Michelle basically tore Adore down for just wearing an outfit that's typical for her style is pretty heartbreaking; she says it takes her back to being "baby Adore" and makes her feel like she doesn't belong.
    • In a Periscope video after the episode had aired, Adore confesses that Michelle's critiques were not what made the decision, just part of the factor. Guest judge Raven-Symone being incredibly harsh to her for some reason, and in Danny's personal life, he had been dealing with depression stemming from his father passing away and his boyfriend suddenly breaking up with him. He says that part of the reason he decided to come onto All Stars was that it would keep him occupied as he worked through his grief, only to realize that it wasn't helping.
    • Following the hardships of the first episode and her inability to persuaded to stay, knowing her heart isn't in it, Adore quits before Snatch Game. Especially sad since she was an early favorite to win and all the other queens loved her, leaving one to wonder What Could Have Been had she stuck it out.
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