Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
Tear Jerker: SCP Foundation
Let's start with some of the images from SCP-978, which allows you to see what the subject of its photos wants most. The "horse" whose touch causes deadly rashes just wants to be pet, loved, and ridden upon by humans who are unharmed by it. 590 is screaming inside. Cassy wants to be 3-dimensional. 451 wants to be re-united with the rest of the SCP agents. 492 wants to be human. 811 wants to be human again. The living tank wants to be so unnecessary that plants grow on him. 187 just wants to eat a normal meal in her favorite restaurant without a blindfold.
Dr. Bright was the first SCP personnel on whom SCP-978 was tested. The photo that developed is an absolute tear-jerker. Keep in mind that he was in the middle of an argument with Dr. Clef when he was photographed, and could have easily desired something like Clef at the time (whose photograph developed with his head replaced by a giant fist giving Bright the finger).
Photo Result: Entire scene has changed. Appears to be outside, sky in background, grass in foreground. Subject of picture is simple tombstone bearing the engraving "Jack Bright, Resting at Last."
SCP-1467. A man who will vanish out of existance if he doesn't continuously confirm his existance. He reports that his wife and children died in a car crash, but there's no record of the crash, because there's no record they ever existed. Needless to say, the guy isn't doing too well mentally.
During the re-containment of SCP-096, the soldier that secured 096 found it in the remains of a minivan. After debriefing on the incident, he committed suicide. They found a crushed pacifier in his hand.
Unimaginable though it may be, Procedure 110-Montauk is, without a doubt, horrible. And it is being done, day after day, to SCP-231, a young pregnant girl and the victim of a Satanic sex cult who did nothing to deserve it. The fact that it must be done to prevent the Eldritch Abomination she carries from destroying the planet makes it even worse. No wonder some of the people who work with her either take amnesia-inducing drugs or commit suicide.
SCP-451 is a former Foundation agent who cannot perceive any other humans or their actions, due to the effects of an artifact he was ordered to retrieve. He is essentially completely alone, despite the fact that he is surrounded by his former coworkers at the site he used to work at.
One entry even mentioned him trying to commit suicide by closing his eyes inside 173's quarters. As quoted from the entry:
"SOB didn't even touch me. Instead [DATA REDACTED]. Wish I just disappeared with the rest of them."
This somehow manages to make a member of the Shark Punching Center a giant Woobie.
This tale mentions the "Decency" tale above and adds details of other SCPs and procedures into it. The ending of it hits pretty hard, too.
SCP-191 was just normal little girl (younger than 10) until a Mad Scientist abducted and turned her into a cyborg. Her Experiment Log, especially the second and third experimentnote the license plates she generated can be read as "I AM 191. 191 IS A GOOD MACHINE.", and fact that she never request anything, include the information of her relative, hint that she already accept her fate and try her best to please the Foundation.
And then comes the comments section, where people wonder how the researchers would react to their new life. They range, but Gears is just fucking heart gutting:
Doctor Gears stayed longer than any of the other personnel (with the exception of the O5 council, of course), assisting others with their re-adjustment into society. He noticed a wide variety of emotions from the leaving staff: some were overjoyed that they were finally done working with such dangerous objects and eager to start a new, normal life; some were angry that they basically had to start over from scratch, claiming that spending the last few years in a facility that according to official record did not exist was shit for their resumes; and, most curious of all, a fair amount of sadness from people who, as far as Gears was concerned, should have been glad everything was back to normal.
Days passed and people left, and eventually it was time for Gears himself to go. As he walked away from the now empty Site 19, he stopped and looked back for a moment, remembering all the time he had spent in that building. He still couldn't believe it was over, that protecting humanity, the job that he had committed himself to for longer than he could remember, was finished. As he gazed back at the facility, a strange thing began to happen: he began to feel rather odd. It was small at first, just a slight discomfort in his gut.
Then, the memories began to fall.
He remembered the constant struggles against 682. He remembered the puzzlement and amusement from testing 914. He was feeling quite uncomfortable now. He remembered the break room with the other researchers, how they would laugh and make jokes and have a great time while he would sit, stoic as always. He remembered the fun they would all have together. He could feel his breathing becoming labored. He remembered, shortly after the discovery of the loss of the anomalies, Bright finally achieving his final wish. He remembered Clef being unable to cope with normalcy and taking his own life. He remembered Rights, normally mischeveous and joyful, cleaning out her office with a distinct look of sorrow on her face. He remembered how even though it was a stressful, terrible place to be, how it was home to more demons and horrors than any other place in the world, perhaps even the universe…it was still home.
The researchers aren't the only ones that get in on this:
"To the O5 Council (and the rest of the Foundation, too!) -
Thank you all for being my very best collectors! Sadly, it is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that I do not think I will continue with my work any longer. I've done my part here, and I hope that my products have made people happy (I especially hope that they made YOU all happy as well!). As part of my final goodbyes, I have included a special, one-of-a-kind collectable that I wish for you to have. It may not be as impressive as my other creations, but I hope you find it wonderful in its own right.
This was the note that was attached to a rather large package wrapped in glimmering purple wrapping paper. When opened, the package contained a rather large replica of Site 19, made out of ordinary plastic. When opened, the model building contained detailed figurines of each of the site personnel, from the O5 personnel down to the lowliest janitors, each poseable and each with noticable smiles on their faces, but otherwise nothing anomalous about them. Each individual figurine has been sent to its appropriate counterpart along with a copy of the note.
SCP-1958. A VW Microbus converted into a spaceship by a bunch of beatniks who want to fly to Alpha Centauri. Hilarious, right? Except they screwed up the calculations, and won't reach it for almost forty million years. One of them keeps a diary as they succumb one by one to the hazards of space, depression and disease.
9/23/5█: I'm all alone now. Sam died this morning.
He could barely sit up or see towards the end. He asked me if we were there yet. I told him yeah, man, we'll be there tomorrow, just you get your rest. I didn't have the heart to tell him the truth. He asked me to read him "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" one last time. His eyes were closed by the time I finished. They never opened up again. I pushed him out the airlock after he was gone. There's not gonna be anyone left to push me out.
Many of the stories involving SCP-342, a universal ticket for any form of transportation that makes it impossible for its user to get off of the vehicle until they are pulled away by some sort of invisible, supernatural vehicle at the last stop and disappear from reality. The ticket-holders experience hallucinations and extreme terror as they near the last stop. This SCP's effects are so disturbing that watching a D-Class succumb to them is enough to make the agent accompanying him beg to be the next test subject. He gets his wish, with another agent accompanying him to record the effects and attempt to find a way to prevent them. Said agent happens to be his best friend. He fails.
SCP-919. A mirror that produces a sentient reflection of you that begs you to not leave the mirror, or it'll die. That's not the real Tear Jerker. That's the reveal that the mirror has no memetic influence on people. Your reflection is sincerely screaming and pleading for its life. Oh, and if you appear in front of the mirror again, it remembers the last time he died. Just imagine what it's like to be that reflection. Thankfully, turn out that it doesn't really care about your well-being, as long as you're there to cast reflection. As noted, the owner of SCP-919 had apparently died of dehydration.
Photographed Activity: Weeping in Site-19 cafeteria.
Photo Result: SCP-451 lies awake in a bunk in the Site-19 sleeping quarters, surrounded by other staff members. SCP-451 exhibits a look of relief on his face.
Test documents for SCP-348, a bowl of ailment-relieving soup inspired by a bowl of soup the author's dad made when she was sick — the very bowl in the article, in fact which will sometimes be accompanied by a message on the bowl:
Subject: 6-year-old male, recently injured self while playing with friends (minor scrapes and scratches) Brief Background: Parents divorced, currently lives with mother Notes: Message appeared, I’m sorry, son.
Further tests were done to see if it works on adults; there were almost a hundred tests there but very few messages and most people didn't feel like finishing the soup, though it did cure their ailments. When it was given to a man who murdered his father, the bowl filled with salt water (interpreted by reviewers to be the father's tears) for three hours.
In When One Reaches The End, Lord Blackwood's adventures end not with a bang, but a rumination on why he is no longer relevant and the futility of war.
SCP-1502, a small robot which walks around and mutilates people's faces. Sounds creepy, but not sad... until you analyze the article closely and figure out just where it came from and what or rather, who it truly is. (That, or look up the author's outright explanation on the discussion page.)
While the D-Class personnel are generally death-row/life imprisonment types, you have to feel sorry for the one involved in testing of SCP-738, who's stated outright to be both dyslexic and severely mentally retarded. The deal he was presented was a Sloppy Joe in exchange for Mopsy, a cherished toy - and when even a Lawful Evil DEMON feels bad about a Deal with the Devil, that's saying something!
We had but one chance to put things right. I do not know if you can save us. I do not know if you can change who you one day may be. You say you are trying to survive through your time, so you may live into mine. I really hope that you do. But above all else, there is one thing you need to know. From one maker of music to another, across all worlds, all times, no matter what you do or what you become: You are nothing less than beautiful.
Backstory: SCP-1342, a replica of Voyager 1 and its greetings, was sent by a race of aliens 40,000 years in the future whose technology was enhanced by seeing our radio and TV broadcasts to the point where they could have created faster-than-light travel and a sort of time travel but they were suddenly destroyed by humans. They debated on what to do next and came very close to annihilating us but decided on a more compassionate route instead. Unfortunately it's possible they were destroyed because we got the message — Stable Time Loops for one thing, and also the fact that we learned we can destroy a powerful alien race and they'd be too grateful to us to retaliate.
SCP-053 is a 3-year-old girl given a rather decent-sized room in the facility, new toys and the like amply provided and rotated every three months, frequently and properly maintained bedding and bathroom facilities, proper medical care, and three complete meals per day with up to two extra snacks if she asks. Heck, she's even allowed to give and receive gifts to and from the researchers, providing they're thoroughly checked first. Doesn't take a genius to realize she's got it a heck of a lot better than most other safe- or euclid-class humans or humanoids in the facility. So, what's the problem? Anyone (not necessarily limited to humans, either) over the age of three years old that makes direct physical contact, eye contact, or spends longer than ten minutes with her will become uncontrollably homicidal and attempt to kill her by any means necessary, taking down anyone that gets in the way as well. What makes this particularly heartbreaking is that she herself isn't even a Creepy Child or Enfant Terrible- she's described as being a relatively normal little three-year-old-girl, with only slightly above-average intelligence, a cheerful and pleasant personality, and only seems to get upset when presented with scary things or large groups of people. Which is completely normal for a three-year-old. Making it worse, she is utterly unaware of the effect she has on people. The way she perceives it, people just attack her violently for no reason. It's stated she ignores the people affected, which also implies that it's happened so often that she's gotten used to it as the norm. Even if one hasn't studied psychological development in children, it's still utterly heartbreaking that the kid has to go through this. In fact, the only thing that hasn't tried to kill her is the SCP Foundation's resident Omnicidal ManiacSCP-682. Yep. You read that right. And while the little girl was indeed frightened of it at first, after seeing that it showed no aggression towards her, began playing with it. This is implied to have lasted for a very long time before 682 was removed from her, leaving her crying for several minutes afterwards. Nightmare Fuel as to why researchers would put a homicidal urge-inspiring little girl in the same room as the most homicidally-inclined creature in the facility and why it didn't try to eat her aside, it's rather heartbreaking when you realize it's the first time she's actually been able to spend an extended period of time with another living creature without being violently lashed out against, only to be pulled away and likely never allowed to see it again.
When photographed by the previously mentioned SCP-789, it shows her riding on 682.
SCP-1230 is a book that allows the reader to live out vivid adventure fantasies in their dreams. It is completely benign, and seems to only want to give its readers an experience they will enjoy. However, one researcher became so obsessed with his fantasy that he killed himself after waking up. The book was found soaked with tears, with the same message on every page: "I'm so sorry. I never intended for this to happen. I just wanted to make people happy."
What's worse is that the GOC attack only kills one of the ships. The second is Driven to Suicide after losing its partner.
SCP-1470 is a... telepathic spider with a very heavy Australian accent. Despite that, however, he's happy to chat with researchers, who thinks are other spiders. In the end, he finds out that he's been talking to things beyond his comprehension, and despite the initial fear, grows to accept it, thanks the Doctor in charge for being there to talk to, and dies peacefully of premature aging, after finding a wife and having offspring who can't communicate.
"We will be dead when it reaches you. Our planet is dying. We do not have time to save ourselves. We only have time to ready ourselves, and to send a message.
"We have seen the signals from those who came before us. They were different, and we still don't really understand them. But if there were those who came before, there may be those who come after. It is in this hope that our harbingers travel.
"One has found you and learned your language so it can relay this message. Please listen.
"The galaxy is dark, and empty, and cold. It spins inevitably toward death. You will die too, one day. Perhaps you will have longer than we have. We hope so. But one day you too must vanish.
"And when your time is passing, please send this message on, so the next voice can speak against the darkness."
SCP-1424, an anomalous Alaskan Malamute puppy. It has a normal body temperature below freezing, it exudes ammonia through its paws and tongue, it does not heal, shows no vital signs, and does nothing but wander aimlessly around its containment cell. It was recovered from an animal shelter after multiple attempts at euthanasia failed. When the Foundation recovered it, they extracted a raw steak, a bunch of paper, and a diamond ring from its stomach.
Figured it out yet? The dog was a present, but it ate some things it shouldn't have. The angry owner killed it by putting it in an ammonia-based freezer, but it came back as a zombie.
SCP-239, an 8-year-old Reality Warper, gets convinced that she's a witch to help keep her imagination in check a bit. Her diary entry at the end of an incident are heartbreaking because they come after finding out that she'd been put in a medically-induced coma, because of that diary entry..
His Kind Eyes, turns out that 087-1 just want to help the child below...
SCP-590, a 16-year-old kid who can heal with a touch...by taking on all of the injuries and afflictions of those he touches. He's effectively immortal, and bedridden thanks to being damaged too much. But Dr. Bright insisted he be used to help cure several cases of severe autism, which rendered his mental facilities to that of a three-year-old.
That's not the worst of it. Bright did that as an act of mercy. Why? 590 is his little brother. In fact, the whole family is pretty damn tragic. Their youngest sister was stillborn, and 590 cured her in front of Foundation agents, leading them to confiscate her and classify her as SCP-321. She's pretty screwed up because of all this, both physiologically and developmentally. Their father was a junior researcher who climbed through the ranks in the hopes of getting her released; he eventually became an O5, the highest authority in the Foundation, but was still denied. And just to add another layer to the misery, Dr. Bright's older brother is also an O5. One can only imagine what he thinks of all this.
SCP-1322, a tiny dimensional anomaly that allowed the Foundation to communicate with another world...and unwittingly doom its people to extinction with a vaccine that sterilized them as an unexpected side-effect. They send increasingly deadly weapons through the portal in a desperate attempt to get revenge. According to the discussion page, the writer of the article wanted to see if a Keter could be written as tragedy instead of horror.
Last communication received from SCP-1322-A. Communication consisted of text reading “YOU KILLED US. YOU DID THIS TO US. IN YOUR CARELESSNESS AND YOUR ARROGANCE YOU HAVE DESTROYED OUR POSTERITY. BUT WE SHALL AVENGE. WE OF THE LAST GENERATION PLEDGE AND VOW THIS. WE WILL FIND A WAY."
One wouldn't expect a sequel to a story entitled "Poopstick McGee and the Flying Walruses" to be a Tear Jerker, but seeing Dr. Kondraki (yes, that Kondraki) as a senile old man in an asylum, with the implication that the Foundation was all just an elaborate delusion...it's painful. The original is mostly hilarious and slightly tragic; this one is slightly hilarious and mostly tragic. Especially the last few lines.
SCP-1481 is a genie who's stoned out of his mind and utterly fails at granting wishes. Then he accidentally reveals that someone wished for him to be in this state, For the Evulz. Not only that, but it would have been possible to wish him out of that state if the Jerkass wasn't smart enough to make a second wish that prevents anyone from doing so.
SCP-1252 is an half-finished imaginary friend. Why is it half-finished ? Because the little girl who was "summoning" him died during his creation. He doesn't know about her fate, and from what the article tells us about him, he truly would have been the best friend a little girl could wish to have.
SCP-2002 It's an unknown vessel that's heading to earth that has no propulsion and multiple spheres attached to it. it was destroyed by a GOC Laser sat before it got to earth. What it was? It was a Foundation vessel from a future where an SCP caused a Depopulation Bomb. The things insides where hundreds of human embryos they mangaged to save from the effects.