Tear Jerker / Samurai Jack

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"My home..."

For all its action and adventure, comedy, happy moments, and even horror, there are also the moments that will make us weep for both our titular hero and other victims of Aku. Yes, that includes you big boys out there. And as bad as the past four seasons were, Season 5 really cranked this up.
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    Season 1 
The Beginning
  • The very first episode of this show proves to be one hell of a Downer Beginning. A carefree young prince from Japan watches as his peaceful life is forever ruined by the invasion of a demon named Aku, who kidnaps his father and burns his city to the ground, forcing him and his mother to flee. And so begins the story of Samurai Jack...
    • He never even got to say goodbye to his father.
    • Jack's departure from his mother, as she hands him to some sea-faring sailors. From both sides, it's sad. Jack has to watch his mother disappear in the fog, and his mother must let go of her son and await his return.
    • Later on, after Jack has grown into a man, he returns to his homeland under Aku's brutal occupation. He very briefly reunites with his father, who has been reduced to a frail old slave. Jack then tries to set things right by attempting to assassinate Aku... but only to be flung centuries into the future.

The Samurai Called Jack
  • A group of aquatic aliens meet Aku to request refuge on Earth after their planet's oceans were drained. When Aku admits he was responsible, the alien leader's son (rightly) calls out Aku on being a monster. Aku then fires his Eye Beams at the boy, which seemingly vaporizes him. The boy's grieving father is then informed that he wasn't outright killed, but was instead taken to the Pit of Hate.
  • Jack sees the carnage that Aku's forces have done to a town of talking dogs. And this is only the latest in a long series of atrocities by this tyrant.

Jack, the Woolies, and the Chritchellites

Jack and the Warrior Woman
  • Sure, most viewers were certain that Jack's new friend "Ikra" was really Aku and was going to betray him, but that almost made it worse! The audience guessed it, Jack could have guessed it, he really should have known; his loneliness and his compassion were both expertly exploited. Aku rubbing salt in the wound doesn't help, either.
    Jack: (kneeling down with sorrow and frustration) "I will destroy you Aku. I swear it!"

Jack and the Lava Monster
  • Jack fights his way through a maze of death, only to confront a near-invincible giant lava monster. Then we learn that the Lava Monster was actually a Viking warrior, who was imprisoned in solid stone after failing to defend his homeland from Aku. He learned to form the stone around him into a monstrous body, and he can only be freed to enter Valhalla if killed by another warrior in honorable combat. Which Jack does, sending the fallen Viking on to eternal rest.
    • The Single Tear the viking sheds as he can only watch as Aku destroys his home and killed his loved ones.
      • The very fact that the viking witnessed his own family's deaths, including his two young sons. All while Aku was laughing. It just goes to show how truly brutal and evil Aku is.

Aku's Fairy Tales
  • It's somewhat depressing to see the children play Jack vs. Aku, when you think about it. The ones playing Samurai Jack (nearly all of them) are bullies ganging on one kid just because he looks like Aku.
    • At least they find common ground when they laugh at an elder's warnings that Aku is watching them. It's not the Aku-looking kid they hate necessarily. It's just his bad luck his hairstyle resembles Aku's horns.

    Season 2 
Jack Learns to Jump Good
  • The despondency of the Wild Man and the Tribe when talking about the Red Gorillas who make their lives a living hell, and apparently follow them, just so they can steal their food and destroy their home. This is especially poignant if you've ever dealt with an oppressor who just won't stop.
    Wild Man: "We peaceful like flower, know not how to protect ourselves... OTHER TRIBE TAKE FOOD, SMASH HOME, NEVER LEAVE US ALONE!!! ...We pick up pieces, replant somewhere else. We scared... now like before, we find new home..."

Jack and the Ultra-Robots
  • Jack coming across the villages razed by the Ultra-Robots, especially since the first two have one remaining survivor tell Jack what happened before apparently dying. The third village has no survivors left to tell the tale to Jack, so he instead looks at the denizens' corpses and has tragic Imagine Spots of how the Ultra-Robots' victims died.

Jack Remembers the Past

Jack and the Monks
  • Jack screaming in complete and utter fury when a bot destroys a time portal before his own eyes. His voice never quite breaks like that in the rest of the series.
  • At a few points while Jack climbs the mountain, he just sounds so defeated.
    Jack: "It... is... impossible."
  • The ending:
    Monk: "Have you forgotten?!"
    Jack: "No. I have not forgotten."

Jack and the Spartans
  • The Spartan King mentions that he is the fifth ruler to fight in the war. That is likely decades of fighting in a Hopeless Forever War, again, and again, and again, while your neighbors are destroyed one by one, by an enemy you cannot permanently defeat. And there is no hope, no hope at all...
  • The Spartan King snapping at Jack over his assistance, then immediately apologizing for his insolent tone. Even a Spartan spirit cannot hold forever...
  • The Spartan Prince taking his father's place on the front lines, not knowing if he will ever return.
  • This exchange:
    King: "Your numbers have dwindled. I fear you will not survive another attack..."
    Soldier: "No my king! We will never give up! We WILL FIGHT!!"
  • And this exchange:
    Prince: "But I must be by your side..."
    King: "No my son, if something happens to me... you will be king".
    Prince: "I will not fail you, father."

Jack is Naked
  • A small one. When Jack tells the girl who stole his clothes it's not right to steal from others, the girl apologizes and explains she's orphaned. She then breaks down into tears telling him she was so hungry.
    • Sadder still, perhaps she's been caught before and people have gotten angry at her, unaware she didn't know better.

    Season 3 
Jack and the Zombies
  • Aku has stolen Jack's sword, has him pinned down, and is about to stab him through the heart. Jack, unable to escape, closes his eyes and says what he believes will be his last words:
    Jack: "Forgive me, Father. I have failed you."

Jack and the Travelling Creatures
  • After Jack had spent the whole episode traveling and passing test after test to prove his worth, he finally stands before a genuine time portal. There is a Guardian in front of it, and Jack humbly asks to be allowed to use it and is denied. He sounds so jaded after he realizes that he has to fight yet again.
    Jack: "I had hoped that just once, I would not have to battle for my goal, because it is noble and just. But I see that this is impossible."
    • After the Guardian curb stomps Jack, he decides not to kill him off after all.
      Guardian: "You can't use it yet, Samurai Jack. Not yet... Not yet."

Jack and the Creature
  • Jack gets angry at the Creature for eating his chance of returning home, even though it didn't mean to. Like any innocent pet, the creature is visibly sad that it upset Jack and doesn't fully understand why he's angry.
  • Although it's just a Disney Death for Jack, from the Creature's viewpoint, its poor friend is dead. Just yesterday, Jack was angry at it (justified as it ate a time-travel crystal). And now, he's been seemingly killed before it could make it up to Jack and earn his forgiveness.

Jack and the Haunted House
  • Jack encounters a scared, crying little girl. He follows the girl to her dark and empty house, where he gradually discovers some horrific events — her brother, mother, and father have all been... disappeared by some nameless demonic entity. And worse still, Jack finds that the girl was being forced by the demon to help it lure him into a trap.

The Birth of Evil, Part 1
  • The Black Mass that would eventually become Aku mindlessly inflicts horror upon the world, first destroying the dinosaurs on its landing, then killing a family of cavemen who were just trying to save one of their own, then absorbing an innocent farmer's dog. We get to see the unfortunate man discover his pet's fate, and his cries of anguish are heartbreaking.
  • The Emperor's departure from his pregnant wife, as he prepares and sets off to try and destroy the evil monster.
  • The very fact that the Emperor was the on who (unintentionally) created Aku is a definite case of Cruel Irony
  • The Emperor being forced to watch helplessly and screaming in agony and terror as he watches his homeland and everyone within it get destroyed by Aku is heartbreaking. It really drives in how much of a monster Aku is.

The Birth of Evil, Part 2
  • Watching the Emperor's men attempt to fight off Aku is kind of depressing. The men are attempting to defend the people of their homeland only for them to be wiped out instantly by Aku.
  • Bordering on Heartwarming, there's the Emperor finding his wife amongst the ruins of their home. She's very much alive, but he was still worried for her safety after previously watching Aku destroy the village.
  • Granted the Emperor sealed away Aku, found his wife and got to hold his newborn son, deep down you know it's not the last of Aku. Even the Emperor has a strong foreboding that their troubles aren't over yet. He only has so many years with his family before that fateful day Aku returns. In a sense, this is a Bittersweet Ending.

    Season 4 
The Aku Infection
  • It takes a while for Jack to grasp what's happening to him. He's perturbed by the black marks and unsettled to hear himself talk about requiring payment for rescuing someone, but he doesn't notice how exaggerated his bad mood is until he's spattered by fluid after killing an innocent robot; at which point he's horrified, and it only gets worse from there.
  • During a highly distressing Split-Personality Takeover when only his eye is visible, that eye weeps before he attacks the Lizard Monks. Eventually they restrain him and tell him what's happening. He begs for help weakly, but there's only so much they can do; only he can remove the evil influence, and only by using the good within himself. Hearing that he sounds like he's in tears, saying he can't do it.
  • Seeing the time portal destroyed in front of his eyes by his own hands only served to break Jack's spirit further.
  • While Jack is trying to fight the illness his spirit, represented as a young boy, says he can't do this alone. Images of his parents appear. They try to console him, and finally he says in a very quiet, broken voice: "I was not there for you." In this moment, you realize that in spite of him not making a spectacle of it, Jack is wrecked with guilt about having failed to protect his loved ones.

The Princess and the Bounty Hunters
  • The ending was particularly heart-wrenching. Princess Mira, an Anti-Villain who actually has a noble reason to claim the bounty on Jack (believing that doing so will free her oppressed country from Aku), works so hard to set up a well-laid trap. In the end, Jack curb stomps the bounty hunters, leaving her as the last one standing. When she realizes she can't defeat Jack, she drops her weapon and cries, solemnly accepting that she can never save her people. It's sad to see her so tragically accept this fate. Though he knows he didn't kill her, Jack doesn't even acknowledge her presence or offer to help her. What's especially poignant is that, knowing Jack like we do, he would have gladly helped her. All she had to do was ask! But she's too filled with pride to do so.

The Four Seasons of Death

The Tale of X9
  • Along with the previous Anti-Villain Episode mentioned above, the ending was just plain tragic. One of Aku's former robot henchmen, X9, turned out to be a tin man with a heart who just wanted to stop killing people, and also spend his life with his pet dog Lulu. But when Aku holds the dog hostage, X9 is given the impossible One Last Job of killing Samurai Jack. It ends in the only way we can expect it to, with Jack slicing down X9. The poor robot tells Jack to take care of Lulu, leaving the samurai feeling confused and worried.

Jack and the Baby
  • Jack's search for the Baby's parents, yielding no results.
  • At one point during the journey, the Baby that Jack is trying to escort home gets wet in the rain. Jack pleads to himself that the poor baby isn't getting sick. It's sad for any parent (even surrogate ones) to see an infant come down with something. And Jack's quietly pleading voice nails it.

    Season 5 
XCII
  • At the beginning, a family of blue humanoid aliens are running from an army of Aku's robots, only to be surrounded. The mother looks into her daughter's eyes and uses her antenna to communicate the words "I love you", the daughter doing the same. Sure, Jack saved them, but we basically just witnessed a family trying to Face Death with Dignity.
  • Jack is broken. He reveals just how bleak everything has become. Jack has been trapped in the future for over 50 years, yet he hasn't aged. But he is still no closer to finding his way home and setting things right, while Aku's rule over Earth has gotten even more oppressive despite Jack's best efforts. Jack has now reached his lowest point ever, and is basically just a shell going through the motions.
    • Jack's guilt over constantly failing to save the world from Aku's tyranny are now manifesting in a series of nightmarish hallucinations; where Jack's parents angrily accuse him of abandoning them to their fate, and many other innocent victims futilely plead for his help. The poor guy can't catch a break, not even when he's alone and away from fighting enemies.
    • Despite the hallucinations, the loss of his way back home, and the grittier, even more violent tactics, perhaps the most jarring and tear-jerking sign of how broken Jack has become over the years, is when danger erupts on the horizon and Jack — once the quintessential Chronic Hero — simply turns away from people in need without even looking back. It takes severe attacks from his guilt to get him to turn around, days later, and by the time he does arrive, the village in trouble has already been completely slaughtered — leaving nothing else to do but execute the perpetrator, Scaramouche.
  • On both a meta-level and an In-Universe level, the fact that both Jack and the audience have been denied a conclusion for years. Although while Jack's been waiting 50 years and the audience has only waited 12, it makes no difference. The fans can easily empathize with Jack's torment just the same.
  • Despite being set up to be Jack's most dangerous opponents to date, the Daughters of Aku have been shown to be very tragic villains. As vicious and dangerous as they are, they're ultimately just seven girls who were raised from birth in horrible conditions (including being brutally beaten for the smallest slights by their own mother) to become the elite warriors they are now, with zero choice in the matter. Basically, they're victims of Aku's tyranny as much as everyone else.

XCIII
  • Even Aku seems like he's become depressed because of his stalemate with Jack, lacking the energy he had from the earlier seasons. The fifty years haven't been kind to either one of them. His mental state has deteriorated to the point he's having conversations with himself. Despite the humorous tone of the "therapy session", it really highlights just how tired Aku is of the whole stalemate. He's been under self-imposed house arrest for so long, that he's become a sad puddle of his former magnificence.
    • The exchange with him and his scientists, which is a rather somber meta-joke about the old Aku (Mako) being gone, and the new Aku (Greg Baldwin) not being exactly the same as the old one.
  • Jack's inner debate reveals that he's tired of fighting and thinks it's become pointless. His subconscious demands that he put an end to his miserable life already. Worse, from what we know of Jack's state of mind, he's likely had this "conversation" before.
    Jack's subconscious: It's time to end it, don't you think?
    Jack: Never. They're just machines. I'll find a way. I always have.
    Subconscious: When you had the sword! But now it's gone! There's no hope!
    Jack: I've been doing fine without it.
    Subconscious: Well, listen to you. And what are you going to do when Aku finds you and realizes you have no sword?
    Jack: Aku doesn't know. And he hasn't shown himself in years. He keeps thinking that one of his machines can defeat me.
    Subconscious: Maybe he's right. You haven't faced anything so powerful. How much longer can you keep this up?
    Jack: It always seems bad at first, but then I find a way. They're just nuts and bolts. Just nuts and bolts...
    Subconscious: Who cares anymore?! There's no way home! There's nothing to fight for! There's no more honor! Come to think of it, the only honorable thing to do is
    Jack: Quiet!
    Subconscious: NO! I WON'T SPEND ETERNITY IN THIS FORSAKEN TIME!
    Jack: What do you want from me?
    Subconscious: ... I want it to end. Aren't you tired? Wouldn't it be great to be free of all of this? Our ancestors are waiting for us. They want you to join them.
  • The look on Jack's face as he hides inside a coffin inside a tomb where there's millions of them with only a firefly as his only source of light, his face perfectly portrays his fear and desperation to survive. The way he just begins to cling to his weapon like a Security Blanket makes him look more like a child afraid of the dark, rather than a warrior trying to survive. Kinda makes you want to give the poor guy a hug.
    • Sadder still, this grave helped signify the absence of life, which made Jack's plight all the more tense. You could tell the king had a tough, mustachioed appearance while alive by his temple's carved murals. Now all that's left is a jaundiced skeleton with cobwebs on it, long forgotten and abandoned, with any evidence of his rule eclipsed by Aku's. Which is then desecrated and cleaved into bits during the fight with the Daughters of Aku. Whoever he was, he did not get to rest in peace in an imposing, regal manner at all. Nor did the skeleton of the person Jack holed up in a coffin with, which was pulverized by the Daughters of Aku as well.
  • Towards the end of the episode, Jack manages to kill one of the Daughters of Aku by slitting her throat. But afterward, her mask falls off and she bleeds blood, not oil. Jack has just taken a human life for the first time in decades! His reaction is one of pure horror.
    • Jack, suffering a stab wound, lets himself fall into the river and be swept away to his potential death. Having killed a human being appears to have been the final push into making him outright suicidal.
    • What probably made Jack's shock worse is that one, this woman is young enough to be his child or grandchild, and two, he may have recognized that she was Japanese like him.
    • Just think about the life of that Daughter for a moment. From her very birth, she was made to be an unthinking weapon for Aku's sake. She was horribly mistreated during her childhood, just so that she could be a perfect killing machine, and was taught to abandon her own sisters if they didn't perform up to standards. And she died in service of her abusive mother and a malevolent deity she had no real knowledge of. Hers was a severely bleak life that wasn't even graced with a happy ending.
  • The subplot shown throughout the episode is a huge one, especially for its symbolism. As Jack travels through a forest, he passes by a lone white wolf which later gets into a fight with four tiger-like alien creatures. While the wolf is badass enough to kill the other beasts and achieve a narrow victory, it seems that he doesn't survive the battle. Well, at least not until the next episode, where it turns out that it survived.
  • It was but one episode ago that we were introduced to a very tough and dangerous-looking Jack fully clad in armory and weaponry. Now absolutely all of that rugged exterior is gone and he's been rendered a helpless mess.

XCIV
  • The Daughter whom Jack killed in the last episode is brought out of the temple by her sisters, not for the others to mourn or vow vengeance for, but to just leave her body outside while calling her a failure.
    Ashi: "Death is failure."
  • The fact that the Daughters are so ignorant of the world, to the point they think a male deer is a minion of Aku, and can't even understand the deer's affection for his mate (kissing and friendly gestures), it really does remind you that they probably have never been hugged, kissed, or told "good job" by their mother (or anyone else) in their whole lives.
  • After a Freak Out over killing one of the Daughters last episode, Jack accepts that he has no choice but to eliminate the others, then does so with grim efficiency. It's heartbreaking, especially considering how idealistic he was during the original series, although mitigated somewhat because he gave them the opportunity to avoid conflict.
    • Worth noting: Jack gave the Daughters more of a chance than his father did with the assassins in that flashback. Even after they insisted that their destiny was to kill him, he hesitated a moment, and tried talking them down for a few more moments before finally going on the attack. It's not that he had no guilt about cutting them down — it's that he recognized that he had no choice.
      • Edging into Fridge Horror is the fact that Jack didn't know the girls had zero say in their destiny and no choices. He assumed they were willing assassins who made the choice to come after him. In fact, his resolve to fight back hinged on that thought when he remembered his father fighting those bandits.
      • Just think for a moment about the futility of their entire lives. They were abused throughout their childhood, just so that an evil cult could get the chance to meet Aku. Jack knew nothing about their lives, nor did Aku even know they existed, but most of them were killed off in short order with no consequence whatsoever. We the audience got to see highlights of their upbringing, but even we never got to know them as actual characters beyond their purpose.
    • There's something profoundly sad about Ashi's ranting at Jack after he defeats her and kills all her sisters. Here is a young woman who was constantly abused throughout her entire life to the point where she doesn't even understand what emotions like love are, and after seeing all of her sisters dead and her life's mission failed, she doesn't even have the emotional capacity to cry or feel sadness for what she's lost, she can only defiantly curse Jack even as she falls to her (possible) death.
      • Further reinforcing this is the way Jack closes his eyes for a moment after letting Ashi fall, his expression solemn. Even after resolving that he'd have to kill the Daughters of Aku, it's clear that he didn't take any satisfaction in the deed.
    • After going through a lifetime of abuse and killing all but one member of the cult that raised them, the Daughters' lives have ended. The deity they sacrificed their lives for, in more than one way, is completely oblivious to their existence. The sole person who is still alive that knows them personally is callously indifferent to their survival. They died thinking they were failures, and the only person who came closest to mourning them is the man they were sent to kill, a man they were taught to hate for no reason other than the twisted views of the cult.

XCV
  • The episode starts with Jack finding Ashi's wounded body, causing him to hallucinate several crows calling him a killer and murderer. Jack has to stubbornly insist that he offered the Daughters mercy, and that they chose their path. Despite Gaining the Will to Kill, he's very clearly not okay with it.
    • Literally the only way Jack can keep from succumbing to his guilt is by insisting that the Daughters "chose their path", that they tried to kill him of their own will, and that they could have turned back any time they want to. Imagine how he's going to react if/when he finds out that they didn't choose the path; that they were the playthings of their mother's desires, and that they were so brutally conditioned by her and the other adult cult members that at the time of their deaths, they likely couldn't even conceive of there being another way to live their lives, let alone have made a conscious, meaningful decision to do so.
  • Jack's inner hallucinations suggesting that he just let Ashi die, and not without reason. Jack is apparently still so remorseful over killing all her sisters, that he wants to spare an "innocent" girl who feels nothing but violent hatred for him.
  • Ashi's reaction at the end of the episode when she sees Jack be gentle to a ladybug, and having a flashback to the High Priestess squashing a ladybug while she was admiring its beauty. She goes from trying to murder Jack to just dropping her scythe and sinking to the ground. Ashi is so broken that her reaction to seeing someone perform an act of simple tenderness leaves her basically confused to the point of not knowing what to do. Making matters worse for her is that the person performing the act of tenderness is the man she was raised and conditioned to kill, and had killed her sisters.
    • Young Ashi's fascination with the ladybug that flew by her as she sparred with one of her sisters. She stops fighting so that she can let it land on her hand and smiles at it, only for her mother to call it a distraction to her training before heartlessly crushing it. Ashi was absolutely capable of empathy and kindness, until her mother utterly stomped it out of her.

XCVI
  • The Scotsman's final confrontation with Aku, who effortlessly kills the old man in front of his family. This is somewhat lessened by the fact that he immediately comes back as a ghost (and doesn't seem to feel sad about his fate at all), but for a moment we all thought that one of the series' most iconic characters (behind Aku and Jack) was gone for good.
  • True to his word, Jack shows Ashi proof of how malevolent Aku is, just as he promised. It's not too far before he brings her to a single, beautiful tree in a dinghy grey valley. But seeing that one tree becomes Harsher in Hindsight once Jack reveals to Ashi (and the audience) that it wasn't always the only tree around. A long time ago, it used to be surrounded by other trees, making up a whole scenic forest. Then, we fade in to the present, where it is the last tree left in the valley. At some point, Aku had destroyed all but this one tree as a show of his dominance. And the worst part? Unless it means something else, its leaves falling indicates that it's dying.
    • More importantly, there's a slight expression of devastation on Ashi's face when it dawns on her that Aku exists to destroy the very thing she's been fighting to protect. She's just learned that her "benevolent creator" is actually a destroyer.
      • It's even Harsher in Hindsight; that tree is the same tree Jack is standing under in the final moments of the series, as the sun lights up the beautiful, unblemished forest around him. Ashi's sacrifice ensured that the forest would never be destroyed, but she never lived to see it in it's full glory.
  • Jack believing that he accidentally caused all of the kids to be electrocuted to death. This was enough to prove his worst fears and make himself submit to the phantom samurai (the Omen) from his nightmares, following it somewhere to possibly attempt suicide.

XCVII
  • A flashback to Ashi's past reveals that as a child, the High Priestess had Ashi and her sisters thrown into a pit of burning hot rocks while naked. That skintight black bodysuit you thought Ashi was wearing? That's not a suit at all; it's her own burnt, blackened skin! If you thought Ashi's mother was a horrible parent before, wait till you see this moment.
    • Actually, it's more likely that the "black suit" was a mixture of ash and rock powder, given that she scrubs it off to reveal healthy skin beneath. That doesn't make it much better, since the ash was essentially fused to her skin. And it doesn't make Ashi's childhood, and that of her sisters, any less horrifyingly tragic.
    • Which either means that the Daughters never bathed growing up or had to do that ritual regularly. Given the cult's mindset, either is incredibly possible.
  • There's something a little bit sad about the fact that after Samurai Jack defeated and humiliated him, Da Samurai hung up his sword instead of trying to become a more honorable warrior. Da Samurai seems resigned to the fact that he never was, and never will be, a badass fighter. To this day, he doesn't just still hang around the exact same tavern where he and Jack had met, he now runs the place as a cranky old bartender full of regrets.
  • The Omen's purpose is finally revealed: to tempt Jack into committing suicide for his failure in defeating Aku, and the resultant dishonor he suffered by losing his sword. He pulls no punches in coaxing and shaming Jack, by mentioning the innocent lives that were lost in the wake of his failures. If not for Ashi arriving to remind him of his success with restoring a little bit of hope to the world, and that he did in fact save the kidnapped children from the previous episode, Jack might not be alive!

XCVIII
  • The episode begins with a flashback to circa 50 years ago, which reveals how Samurai Jack's current madness and despair began.
    • First, Jack climbed up a mountain to reach a time portal — and this one is note  the last portal in the world. Jack actually managed to jump inside and enter the time portal, only for Aku to pull him out before he can return to the past. Aku then blows up the portal with his Eye Beams, and taunts Jack over how he will never get home now.
      • What makes the moment even sadder is the look of pure joy on Jack's face as he's diving down the portal, only for it to be wiped off when Aku pulls him out of it. It's just soul-crushing. Made even worse by Jack's anger at Aku for destroying the portal, as described further below...
    • Jack is now boiling with pure fury. Before Aku leaves, he uses his dark magic to corrupt and transform the three cute little goats that had tried to help Jack into ferocious giant beasts. The enraged Jack is tricked into taking out his anger on the three goat-monsters, who revert to their original selves after he killed them all. Jack is then shocked and saddened when he realizes what happened.
      • The deaths of the three little goats was what led to Jack losing his sword; or rather, the sword losing him. Jack's sword slipped out of his hands, and then fell down a deep pit. Because Jack had lost control of his emotions and tainted the blade with innocent blood, he was now spiritually unworthy, and it disappeared from the physical plane. This is why Jack can neither go home nor kill Aku.
      Jack: "I did not lose the sword... the sword left me."
    • Back in the present day, when Jack and Ashi go down into the cavern created by Aku's eye beams, Ashi shines a light on three notable stones at the basin. It's painfully obvious that Jack erected graves for the goats he killed. Or maybe not, it could just be a suggestive visual, because Ashi looks really forlorn as she's surveying the ground
      • Upon the return trip to the mountain, Jack spies a certain skeleton... the rotted-away corpse of one of the goats he killed, offset with a haunting bleating sound. Ashi even unknowingly (or perhaps knowingly but left without options) tears a horn off the skull of one as an Improvised Weapon.
  • Ashi killing her mother, the High Priestess. Abusive to the nth degree or not, that was still her last remaining family. This moment is tragic not so much because she died, but because someone this awful to their own children deserved such a fate. Worth noting however, is that if Ashi hadn't have done that, her mother would have killed Jack and HER.

C
  • Jack nostalgically reminisces and tells Ashi about his childhood in the past... which then turns very heartbreaking when he explains how his old family, friends, and experiences are now no more than mere memories, because he's unable to time-travel back to the past.
  • Jack's inner-self appears one last time. Not the clean-shaven, mean, anger-crazed version of him, mind you; but the bearded, kinder, yet hopeless version of him. And he has a very sobering warning for Jack about falling in love with Ashi, while he's still got a quest to accomplish and cannot age. It's the first time that Jack's ever grown to love someone on a very intimate level, which means that when worst comes to worst, the loss would be utterly devastating.
    Inner Jack: (with grave concern in his voice) "Be careful."
    Jack: "I know. This has never happened before."
    Inner Jack: "What are you going to do?"
    Jack: "...I don't know."
    • Jack then tries to leave Ashi behind, attempting to give her affection a stiff upper lip for her own good. However, Ashi's already been through this before and it ticks her off, causing her to run after him... which inadvertently leads her into meeting Aku, thus triggering a tragic chain of events described further below.
  • The Guardian (seems to) have been killed and his time portal is destroyed, which very likely means Jack is indeed stuck in Aku's dystopian future forever, with no chance of ever returning to the past and arriving home.
    • A meta-example: a lot of fans were very hopeful that the Guardian was still alive, and worried the writers forgot about him. Unfortunately, they did not forget... to hammer down the last nail sticking up in the whole "all the time portals are destroyed" plot angle. They went back over these old episodes with a fine-toothed comb and made sure the Guardian's involvement in the grand scheme was addressed, but in the cruelest way possible.
  • In a way, Scaramouche's final death, even if he did deserve it. He may have been a psycho murderer, but he seems to have been completely loyal to Aku. Scaramouche went through great lengths to inform Aku about Jack's lost sword, and was rewarded with a new body... but then Aku discovered the truth about that sword (which Scaramouche had no way of knowing about), so he destroyed the robot for all his trouble.
    • Even more so considering that Scaramouche actually did lead Aku to the right place at the right time. It was only when Aku came out of his fortress due to Scaramouch's prompting, that he found out about Ashi and was able to use her to actually win and get Jack's sword. So Scaramouche deserved his reward over his death in the end.
  • Aku realizes a very shocking revelation about Ashi — she is the literal Daughter of Aku. Ashi is horrified by Aku's explanation that she was never fully human to begin with, that her crazy mother had intentionally conceived her and all the other sisters by impregnating herself with the essence of the Master of Darkness himself.

CI
  • As with all final episodes in a series, just the fact that this is the end as a whole can conjure up tears. And judging by the entire direction that Jack's long journey has taken him, it will more likely than not end on a bittersweet note. It does.
  • Aku, after a period of indecision, decides that he'll have Ashi execute Jack.
  • The sight of those who came to rescue Jack as repayment for all the help he'd given them being injured and falling.
  • In a very weird way, Aku's death. Yes, it was a long time coming and he wholeheartedly deserved his fate, but it's truly a shame to see one of Cartoon Network's most iconic villains finally meet his end after being kept alive for so long. But what really sells it is Aku's reaction to Ashi breaking free from his control and using his time travel power to send Jack to the past to kill him. There's no Big "NO!", no Villainous Breakdown, no Skyward Scream, no hamminess of any kind. Just a quiet, subdued, almost fearful "Oh no" accompanied by an expression of pure, genuine horror. In that moment, Aku knew it was all over. After fighting Jack for 50 years In-Universe, after trying and failing every scheme in the book to destroy him, after throwing countless numbers of robots and bounty hunters at Jack, after going out of his way to destroy every time portal in existence to keep him from returning home, Aku had completely and utterly failed. His death was upon him, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. And he doesn't just die, he's completely erased from existence itself.
  • Ashi says that she will cease to exist (with Aku's death) when she and Jack are about to marry. It was quite inevitable that if Jack did return to the past by some miracle, it would have to end that way for her. She fades away in his arms, leaving her bridal clothing. It's like the ending to Gurren Lagann all over again!
    • Ashi's facial expressions as her and Jack went through the time portal right before she held his hand indicates that she knew even back then what was going to happen, as does how she immediately knows what is happening to her just before she fades away, which becomes much more heart-breaking and Harsher in Hindsight if you take the previous episode into account. In that episode Jack confided to Ashi how beautiful his home used to be, that he missed it dearly, and that he was never going to see it again. That it was only a memory to him now. In the end going back to the past was purely Ashi's choice. She didn't ask him whether or not she should do it, she just did on her own accord. Think about it for a moment: Ashi loved Jack so much that she chose to sacrifice her own life, her very own ''existence'', in order to get Jack back home.
    • As people on Reddit and Toonzone have pointed out, even in death, Aku still managed to hurt Jack by taking something he can never get back: Ashi. Also, Jack's line in Episode C about not wanting Ashi to become "just another memory" ends up being a lot Harsher in Hindsight.
  • Even after everything he's been through over the course of five seasons, Jack still loses the love of his life - whom he will never reunite with even in the afterlife because she didn't just die, she never existed - and ends up with a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Ashi's entire life is very sad. Raised in an evil cult, horrifically abused by her mother, losing all of her sisters, finding out everything she believes in is a lie, and finally experiencing love and freedom through Jack, only to be brainwashed and controlled again, this time by her father Aku, who forces her to nearly kill Jack. And just when it seems like she's finally gotten her Happily Ever After, she fades away, unable to exist without Aku siring her in the first place. And this happens right as she's walking down the aisle, on her wedding day.
  • All of Jack's friends from future would have been Ret Gone along with Ashi as killing Aku means that he couldn't kill or displace human populations for the next several millennia nor be able to invite various alien races to Earth, thus negating them from being born. Even if they still exist under a happier future, none of them will remember ever meeting Jack; even though he's a legendary hero now, all those events he took part in never happened. The only one who'll remember these events is Jack himself, unless he somehow decides to chronicle his adventures. There is a silver lining to this: they are finally free from the living hell that was Aku.
    • Though there's a chance they'll still exist in the future, just as very different people than what they were before, since they no longer have to live (and never have lived) under Aku's tyranny.
  • The final shot of the episode. Jack, standing alone on a hill, his long journey finally done, faces out towards the beautiful hills of his homeland, each of them covered in blooming cherry trees, his hair and gi blowing gently in the wind, underneath a cherry tree in the distinct half-shape of a heart, representing his broken heart at losing Ashi, that is gently shedding its blossoms down around him, as a shaft of light from the sun shines through the tree's branches, representing his resolve to continue living his life without Ashi, and to remember the brief time they spent together, as sad, subdued, yet beautiful music plays before fading to black. A sad, but beautiful and heartwarming way to close out the series.
    Japanese vocal: "Renchaku ha na hanasa na" (Your love has been set free)
  • A very special credit is listed in the voice cast.
    Past Aku — Mako

    Comics 
  • This story. During his travels, Jack meets a mute Combat Hand Fan-wielding geisha woman who Jack names Jill. They travel together for entire seasons, with Jack getting closer to her as time passes, until he suddenly discovers she's really Aku. When asked why, Aku claims it's to teach Jack a lesson, that Jack will always be alone. Yes, not only did Jack fall for this trick again, but the relationship lasted longer than with Ikra. What's worse, unlike with Ikra, where he was tricking Jack into leading him to a time portal, Aku had no reason to do it other than for his own amusement. Jack is so distraught, he can't even summon the energy to attack Aku. He just falls to his knees in despair as Aku flies away.

    Meta 
  • After the final episode, the original Cartoon Network Studios logo opens and closes with Samurai Jack. Hits harder for the kids that watched Samurai Jack when they were younger and get to see their childhood one last time.
  • So many fans have complained about the way it ended, mainly that poor Jack never got a chance to be truly happy! So much so that many of them have drawn or written alternate endings and posted them on youtube. At least two people have drawn up petitions and posted them online begging Genndy to create an alternate ending to the show, and one has already gotten over 400 signatures! After all these years, the fans love Jack so much they want to see him finally happy after all he's been through!!
  • In a way, this cover of "My Way" by Greg Baldwin as Aku himself. It's rather hilarious, yes, but it's still rather somber as Aku accepts the fact that he's dead for good.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TearJerker/SamuraiJack