Tear Jerker / Smallville

Please arrange the unsorted entries according to seasons, as shown in Smallville.

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    Season One 

    Season Two 
  • "Redux": Clark meets his grandfather William Clark, aka Martha's father. They became estranged because William has absolute contempt for Martha marrying Jonathan, a mere farmer instead of a lawyer like him. Wanting to spend time with his grandpa, Clark tries to get William, Martha, and Jonathan to make up, but fails. William never appears again.
  • In "Lineage," Rachel Dunleavy, the "villain" of the episode, while deranged, turns out to be a lonely woman looking for her long-lost son. She initially believed it was Clark and she's put at odds with Lionel Luthor with whom she had a previous relationship. When she kidnaps Lex in an attempt to have Lionel admit that she had a child with him and hand him over in a press conference, he instead issues a threat to her not to harm Lex or face the consequences. Enraged, she tries to kill Lex, only to have Clark save him as the ax breaks on his body. When she realizes that he can't be her son, she completely breaks down, and it's mentioned she was institutionalized. Martha, Jonathan, and even Lex take pity on her. The latter two make it a point to mention that this is exactly how Lionel ruins lives. She never even gets to reunite with her son, who's very much alive in the show.
    • After Clark finds out that Chloe is again trying to look into details about him when his alleged real mother arrives, he loses it and snaps at her that instead of trying to look into his mother, she should go find her own. This turns out to be a particularly sore spot for Chloe as her mother left her at a young age:
    Chloe: I know where she is, Clark. The difference is, she isn't interested in me!
    • When Clark asks Jonathan why he hates the Luthors so much, Jonathan reveals the story behind how he and Martha came to adopt Clark: He and Martha needed Lionel's help in getting the adoption papers to prove to the authorities that Clark is legally theirs, and Lionel agreed to help him. Afterwards, Lionel wanted Jonathan to persuade the Ross brothers (Pete's father and uncle) to sell their cream corn factory to him, but Jonathan refused, unable to betray the Rosses like that, until Lionel threatened to reveal to Child Services that Clark's adoption was faked if Jonathan doesn't comply. Clark, hearing the story of how Lionel got a hold in Smallville and how Pete's family got screwed over by him, blames himself, but Jonathan won't have it and takes full responsibility:
    Jonathan: Don't you ever feel that way, Clark. I won't allow it. It is my fault...Mine alone.
  • Ryan, a easily likable character from Seasons 1 and 2 who was telepathic, ended up dying from a brain tumor in the Season 2 episode "Ryan"; Clark did everything possible to prevent that from happening. In the same episode, Ryan even manages to try to warn Lex that he'll become evil if he's not careful. That episode had this troper in tears.
  • "Skinwalker": Kyla dying in Clark's arms.
  • "Insurgence" is one for Lex, from his Calling the Old Man Out of Jonathan always assuming the worst of him to the ending shot of him watching the Kents happily walk away after Lionel coldly told him he's moving out of the mansion.
  • In "Rush," Clark finally gathered the courage to ask Lana out. Then, Chloe is infected by adrenaline-stimulating parasites which makes her dangerously impulsive, and Clark is similarly affected by red kryptonite. Chloe brings them to the Talon (Lana's coffee shop), where they make out passionately—put it this way, the relevant clip received a 18+ rating on YouTube. Chloe strips Clark, the red kryptonite falls out, and he is back to normal to find Chloe pinning him onto a sofa. He tries to get away, but Chloe forces a kiss on him the moment Lana, who has been told by a waitress of their behavior, walks in...
    Clark: Lana, this is not what it looks like. (Lana stares at him, then sweeps past him)
    Chloe: Yes, it is, Lana, it is exactly what it looks like. Oh, and guess what? Clark told me everything. (Lana pauses at the door) And I mean, everything note . (Chloe walks out of the Talon)
    Clark: Lana, I Can Explain. (Lana slams the door behind her with tears streaming down her face)
    • Then later, Clark tries to apologize to Lana. Lana knows about the parasite and doesn't blame Chloe as she was not herself, but Clark sadly can't tell her about the red kryptonite.
      Lana: I could understand why she was kissing you, but why are you kissing her back?
    • Then she throws his rose away once he left.
  • In "Fever," when Clark falls very ill due to some kryptonite-irradiated spores, Chloe visits him when he is unconscious. It was pretty heartwarming at first...well, the Smallville wiki puts it best:
    Chloe: So yet in another classic maneuver to avoid emotional intimacy, I wrote my feelings down so that I could read them to you, thereby avoiding the embarrassing eye contact. (takes a deep breath and starts to read) "I want to let you in on a little secret, Clark. I'm not who you think I am. In fact, my disguise is so thin, I'm surprised you haven't seen right through me. I'm the girl of your dreams masquerading as your best friend. Sometimes I want to rip off this façade like I did at the Spring Formal, but I can't because you'll get scared and run away again. So I decided that it's better to live with the lie than expose my true feelings." This is so much easier when you are unconscious. (tenderly caresses Clark's hair) "My dad told me there are two types of girls: the ones you grow out of, and the ones you grow into. I really hope I'm the latter. I may not be the one you love today, but I'll let you go for now, hoping one day you'll fly back to me. Because I think you're worth the wait." (again, carefully strokes Clark's brow) Clark? (Clark smiles and stirs in his sleep)
    Clark: (groans) Lana? (*Collective wince from viewers*) (A few seconds of blank shock, then a Single Tear slides down Chloe's cheek; she leaves in a hurry, with one final tearful glance from the door)
    • Seriously, Seasons 1 and 2 just seem to be one long Break the Cutie sequence for Chloe. Clark just can't stop breaking her heart to chase after Lana, unconsciously or not.
    • Later, after Chloe caught Lana looking at Chloe's photos with Clark at the school dance:
      Chloe: Don't look at me like that.
      Lana: Like what way?
      Chloe: Like I'm some lovesick loser who is trying to hang onto something she never had.
  • In "Calling," Lionel comes to Chloe and offers her a column in the Daily Planet (something she wanted for a very long time)...at the price of investigating Clark. She turns him down, saying that she would never betray her friends. Lionel wonders if Clark would be as loyal to her as she is to him. Then she sees Lana and Clark kissing in the loft and leaves crying.
  • In the next episode "Exodus," Lana is preparing for Lex's wedding, and when Chloe asks, she lies and says that Clark and her are Just Friends. Chloe then confronts Clark, who barely pays her any attention.
    • Jor-El demands that Clark fulfill his Kryptonian destiny. In an attempt to resist it, Clark decides to sever his only Kryptonian link, the ship he arrived to Earth in, by putting a kryptonite key in it. The ship explodes, causing a huge shockwave. The Kent truck is overturned, and Martha loses her baby.
      Jonathan: Your actions have consequences, Clark! Didn't your mother and I ever teach you that?
      Clark: Yes, but—
      Jonathan: There's no time for excuses, Clark! It's too late! You didn't think this thing through. You had no idea what was going to happen, and now your mother is lying in a hospital bed!
    • Lana finds Clark, who is in pain and is convinced that he would only hurt everyone around him if he stayed in Smallville. He steals Chloe's red kryptonite ring, puts it on, and departs for Metropolis, leaving behind a distraught Lana.

    Season Three 
  • Picking up from "Exodus," in "Exile," Chloe tries to talk Clark into going back to Smallville and is met with violence.
    Clark: (pushing Chloe towards the door of his apartment) Chloe, get out! If you tell anywhere where I am, I'll go someplace where they'll never find me!
    Chloe: I don't know who you are anymore.
    Clark: GET OUT!!!
  • In the next episode, "Phoenix," Jonathan makes a deal with Jor-El to bring Clark back at the cost of his health. Lana breaks up with Clark.
    Chloe: I mean, let's face it, Lana. Clark has more issues than Rolling Stone. note 
  • "Truth": Chloe, who breathed in a truth gas that forces anyone she asks to tell the truth, asks Pete what is the secret. To both Chloe and Clark's surprise, instead of talking about Clark's secret (what she was asking for), he suddenly kissed her and admitted that he has had a crush on her for a long time. Shocked, Chloe forgets all about uncovering Clark; Pete is very embarrassed and runs away, pleading for Chloe (who is dying from the truth gas) to seek treatment. Later on, Clark asks why Pete never told him or Chloe; Pete replies he didn't think he ever had a chance with the gorgeous Chloe and also knows full well that she only has eyes for Clark (better than Clark himself anyway) and he is fine with them being together, even consoling Chloe when she broke up with Clark.
    • Made sadder later in "Forsaken" as Pete is Put on a Bus.
    • Lex admitting to Chloe that all he ever wanted from Lionel is love. Made even more poignant when, later, Lionel point-blank asks Lex "What do you want from me," and Lex replies "It doesn't matter, Dad, because I'm never going to get it."
    • Lana saying that no one wants to be around Chloe any more and she is leaving for Paris; she didn't tell Chloe because she doesn't trust her.
  • "Memoria": Lex reveals to Lionel what his brain treatments have caused him to remember—that his mother Lillian was responsible for his brother Julian's death, an action Lex took the blame for and arguably set the tone of Lionel and Lex's relationship. The look on Lionel's face when he realizes that all the resentment he had been holding toward his son was for nothing is heart-wrenching; his pitiful attempts to apologize as Lex utterly rejects the gesture and rips himself out of his father's grasp just end it for this troper.
    • Hell, every single one of Lex's memories count.

    Season Four 
  • "Façade": After Chloe confesses that she still loves Clark deeply, she looks on as Lois and Clark shares a flirty moment. The song playing nails it.
  • "Transference": Clark actually Lionel has a long flirt with Chloe, then pulls back at the last possible moment when they're about to kiss, with the cruelest of manners.
    Clark: Don't you wish...Miss Sullivan.
  • "Scare": An episode mostly dedicated to scaring the living daylights out of viewers, but near the end, Chloe tells Clark what her worst nightmare is. She says that she found her Missing Mom three months earlier...in a mental institution for a hereditary mental illness. That's why there is a Chloe-like straitjacket-bound zombie figure in her nightmare informing her that she cannot escape. She is terrified that she is going to end up insane like her mother and starts crying. While she says that she feels a bit better after telling a friend, Clark considers, but then decides against telling her his secret, despite her officially being his best friend at the time.
    • And then there is this time.
    Clark: (talking about his worst fear) ...I was completely alone.
    Chloe: I wish I could say that I'll always be here for you, but somehow I get the feeling that that is not a promise I can keep.
  • "Pariah": Clark finds that Alicia Baker has been murdered. It's...that Big "NO!" he lets out is one of those rare moments where the moment is not Narm; it is an anguished, primal wail, so horrifyingly real and gut-wrenching that you can't help feeling his grief. It's a lot worse when you consider that a) Alicia was the first girl he loved who knew, accepted, and understood him; and b) he never even had closure with her, seeing that she died believing he didn't trust her, and he pretty much has to live with that for the rest of his life. Also note just how violent his initial reaction to her death was even if she was only a three-episode character, her brief presence had a major impact, and her death was as powerfully and painfully emotional as was her relationship with Clark.
    • Clark also blames himself for her death. Believing if he told everyone about his secret like she said, she'd still be alive.
  • "Blank": Mostly funny and heartwarming, but with two small examples of this:
    • Clark seeing Lana for the first time after he lost all his memories.
    Clark: Who is that?
    Chloe: (sadly) That...is Lana. The love of your life.
    • Clark regains all his memories at the end, but forgets what Chloe did all throughout the episode to help him.
    Clark: Chloe, I need you to be completely honest with me.
    Chloe: Honest, huh?note 
    Clark: What'd I do?
    Chloe: You trusted me.note 
  • "Ageless": Evan, the freak of the week, ages rapidly and is about to self-destruct in a huge explosion. His last words are "I wish you were my father, Clark."
    • To be more specific, Clark and Lana find a baby boy in a field and adopt him. Unfortunately, the baby, named "Evan," starts aging rapidly and, despite everyone's best efforts, dies. The worse part was the scene where Evan's biological father didn't want anything to do with him.
  • "Forever": What did you expect from the last episode of high school? Special mentions goes to Chloe sadly packing up her things at the Torch and has one good long look at the office before leaving. It is going to be sorely missed.

    Season Five 
  • "Lexmas": Picking up from the heartwarming part of the episode... The Dream Apocalypse unfolds as Lana starts rapidly losing blood after delivering a baby girl. Lex begs his father to let Lana get the best treatment, but Dreamworld!Lionel cruelly denies it as, in reality, Lionel orders a risky operation to be done on Lex. Lex breaks down in the dream world and wakes up in reality. Afterwards, Lex decides the only thing that can prevent him from losing the people he loves is money and power, and orders for a smear campaign against Jonathan to be initiated. The ghost of his mother shows up as a reflection in the window and weeps as her son is determined to go down the wrong path.
    • The good parts are just as tear-jerking when you think about it. The dream shows that, despite what he did or will do, Lex really wished his relationship with Clark and Chloe never soured like it did in the real world.
  • "Reckoning," the 100th episode, is made of TearJerkers. The first happens when Clark finally tells Lana his secret and everyone's extremely happy, to the point that you start to wonder what the big deal was with the secret. Then she dies in a violent car crash when Lex gets obsessed with finding out what Lana knows about Clark. Clark gets to the scene too late, and his reaction as his dad tries to pull him away is heart-wrenching. But then Clark goes back in time with the help of Jor-El, right after he told him that they weren't gods. Unfortunately, messing with the time stream has horrible consequences, and Jonathan dies in Lana's place. Martha's agonized screams at the time of Jonathan's passing, and the funeral afterward really made this troper turn on the waterworks.
  • "Vengeance": The entire episode deals with Clark's grief and regret over his actions in "Reckoning," and how he's been bottling up all of his emotions. It all finally comes out at the end of the episode, when he walks into his living room while his mom is watching an old home video of theirs. It shows Jonathan playing with a young Clark, and closes off with him turning to face the camera and saying a spirited "Bye-bye"; it's almost like a posthumous farewell from father to son.
    • Just the scene of Clark breaking down in his mother's arms can get to anybody. Anybody who thought that Tom Welling couldn't act before was proven very wrong with this scene.

    Season Six 
  • "Labyrinth": Chloe is shot in the chest by officers. She twitches a few times before dying in Clark's arms. Don't worry, All Just a Dream.
    • The whole background created by Dr. Hudson can be considered that if taken as reality. Think, a child lost his parents. As a result, he started making up a story where he is capable of protecting everyone. Then he snapped and hurt everyone he cared about.
  • "Crimson": Clark is dosed with red krptonite and crashes Lex and Lana's engagement party.
    Kal: (to Chloe) After all, once Lana's off the market, all those years of unrequited pining may actually pay off. Can't say I haven't thought about it.
    • Then at the end, Jimmy gets increasingly jealous of Chloe's relationship with Clark. He said Clark does all sorts of horrible things when on red kryptonite (although he doesn't know that) but is Easily Forgiven, and accuses that she would never speak to him again if he is the one being the Jerkass. He challenges her saying that she would have chosen Clark over him if she had a chance. She hesitates for a long while being denying it but the damage is done. He says their relationship should be put on hold and storms out, and Chloe looks like she's going to cry.
  • "Progeny": In a flashback, Moira Sullivan leaving young Chloe for her own protection because of her uncontrollable Mind Control powers.
    • Chloe find her mother fully conscious in Lex's secret facility. Clark breaks them out. Moira starts to slip back into her catatonic state and there is nothing Clark or Chloe could do. Clark could just watch helplessly as Chloe and her mother exchange final words as she becomes increasingly halting in speech before her Fate Worse Than Death.
    Moira: Being with you again... It's the greatest gift I could've ever been given.
    • Another reminder of despite his godlike powers, there are always people he can't save. It is the injustice that Lex walks free (after he threatens to kill Chloe or worse if she doesn't take back her article on him), Chloe has to endure this kind of pain, and Moira barely had a chance to get to know the amazing woman her little daughter has grown up to be that gets you.
    Moira: My little cub reporter... (tenderly strokes Chloe's chin) This belongs...to you. (hands her back her necklace)
    Chloe: (desperately) No, Mom, please... please don't go, Mom... Not yet, not again! (voice breaks)
    Moira: I... love you... Chlo... Chloe... (goes completely catatonic; kneeling in front of her mother, Chloe starts to sob into her lap)
    • If you don't feel your heart break, you don't have one to begin with.
  • "Phantom," Bizarro": The death and return of Chloe Sullivan. Lois gets stabbed, and calls Chloe before passing out. Chloe arrives to find her losing blood badly. She starts to cry and a shining Single Tear falls on Lois' forehead, healing her completely, but Chloe goes unconscious instead. Clark arrives and takes them to the hospital, where they try and fail to revive Chloe. However, the scene is rather brutally butchered by Chloe Waking Up at the Morgue immediately after her death (and in a rather Narmy fashion), which greatly weakens a scene that could potentially be the biggest Tear Jerker as unlike all other lives at risk in the two episodes, being an original character, Chloe is perfectly capable of dying any time, she arguably just outlived her usefulness as Lana just learned Clark's secret and Chloe giving her life saving Lois would be quite symbolic. As this scene seems to be one of the worst spoiled, viewers are going to be sorely disappointed when they finally get to see it. They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot indeed. Also, as corny as it sounds, the lack of Died in Your Arms Tonight and/or Pietà Plagiarism (which Smallville usually do pretty well) also makes it less powerful than it could be.
    • In comparison, Lana's supposed death dragged on a lot longer than it is best, being such a Creator's Pet.

    Season Seven 
  • Cure: Chloe walks in on Kara and Jimmy alone and they part on a bad note although Kara is oblivious. At the end of the episode, Chloe's hope of curing her meteor infection is crushed when the doctor calmly states he actually wants to cut out her heart. Jimmy and Chloe talk, but when Jimmy suggests they agree that the future just be normal, Chloe cannot promise him this. Jimmy thinks Chloe is still mad about him helping Kara despite that Chloe always rushes off the help Clark, but Chloe insists that she isn't. He says he has been very patient with Chloe and doesn't understand why she can't tell him what the problem is. When she doesn't answer, Jimmy says he can't do it anymore and leaves Chloe in tears.note 
    • When Chloe decides to go to get treatment for meteor infection, she lies but Clark sees through it at once. Chloe admits that there might be memory loss.
    Chloe: If I have to give up a little bit of my past to gain a future, then so be it.
    Clark: You're going to forget everything! You're going to forget your friends, your experiences— you're going to forget me. You're going to forget me.note .
  • Julian's death at the end of "Persona".
  • "Hero": A small one that once again radiates Magnificent Bastard-ness, Lex Luthor-style.
    Lex: (to Pete) You know, we may have more in common than you think: we both have a friend who let us down and something tells me that you know what it's like to love a woman who's still infatuated with Clark Kent.
    • The "friend" is Clark, Lex loves Lana and Pete loves Chloe, but both are infatuated with Clark. Pete's case is worse because he never had any chance with Chloe.
  • "Veritas": Clark and Chloe is convinced Lionel murdered all others in his secret society. Lionel ends up on his knees before Chloe trying to make her listen, but sadly, Poor Communication Kills.
    • Clark finally gets to see Lana and tries to get her to respond, but she is completely catatonic until she whispers, "Kal-El". Clark looks hopeful for a moment, but she continues, saying he is too late. Devastated, Clark closes Lana's eyes and begins to cry. Chloe enters the hallway with the two of them at the end, but keeps her distance as she, too, starts to cry.
  • "Descent": Lex kills his father. Although it is marred by how Lionel is being very negatively portrayed in Traveler.
    • Am I the only one who was horribly upset when Lionel Luthor died? The fact that things between he and Lex deteriorated to the point where there was really no other way it could end was sad enough, but his message to Clark, when he acknowledges that after all those years, he's finally met someone who he admits was better than him? Sniff... don't get me wrong, he was a bastard, there is no doubt about that. But he was a Magnificent one, and it felt like the show lost a part of itself when he went, especially since he'd been trying so hard to turn around ever since Seasons 4 or 5.
    • And, while it was always a Foregone Conclusion, Lex finally sealed his Face–Heel Turn by destroying his good part, Alexander.
    • Even though Earth-2 Lionel is evil as our Lionel use to be, deep down he truly loved his son and regretted letting Earth-2 Clark kill him (he even admit that).
  • For fans of Lex and Clark's friendship, the last five minutes of Season Seven's "Arctic" can be considered a pretty massive Tear Jerker. Especially with Lex's final words to an injured Clark as he holds him in his arms as the Fortress of Solitude falls around them both.
    Lex: "I love you like a brother, Clark. But it has to end this way... I'm sorry."

    Season Eight 
  • Instinct: A Tear Jerker set into motion six years ago. Jimmy found Chloe's love letter to Clark from Fever (apparently she kept it around all these years). After Clark saves Jimmy from Maxima, Jimmy tells him about it. Chloe admits writing it, shows it to Clark, says the feelings are real and she never regretted loving him. Clark later regrets never realizing her feelings even though she has always been right in front of him. *Sob*
  • Abyss: Both heartwarming and tear jerking.
    Chloe: I've forgotten almost everyone, Clark, and I'm having to fake my feelings more and more with people. Pretty soon there isn't going to be any more "I, Chloe." Just an I.Q.
    • Clark carries an unconscious Chloe to the Fortress as more and more of her memory fades.
    Clark: Chloe never would have gotten hurt if she wasn't trying to protect me.
    Jor-El: I tried to warn you the danger in sharing your true identity.
    Clark: Now that I'm taking more risks, it's even more dangerous for her. Chloe deserves a life free from the burden of my secret. When you restore her memory, I don't want her to remember anything about Krypton. Or my abilities.
    Jor-El: I know this choice is not easy for you, my son. But it will be done.
    Clark: You're the best friend and ally I could have had, Chloe. The truth is, you saved me more than I could have ever saved you. I'm sorry to go back to hiding the truth from you, but the best way that I know to protect you... is to let you go. (kisses her on her forehead)
    • After taking her back to Smallville, Clark returns.
    Clark: Jor-El. I've come here to thank you for what you've done. Chloe's a lot safer now that she doesn't remember the truth about me. I guess I'm just starting to realize how much I actually lost.
    Jor-El: You made a difficult choice. I'm proud of you, Kal-El.
    • Finally:
    Jor-El: I'm here for you as well, my son.
    Clark: Thank you... Father.
    • Note this is the only time Clark calls Jor-El "father", he is so grateful for him saving Chloe from a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Requiem: Lana absorbs so much kryptonite radiation that she can no longer be anywhere near Clark. Their final, dramatic goodbye before she leaves Smallville is absolutely heartwrenching.
  • Turbulence: Jimmy and Chloe had an argument over Davis, and Jimmy says he is fed up with Chloe taking sides with Clark and now Davis but not him. Just look at Chloe after Jimmy says this line. And when she is crying alone in her apartment.
    Jimmy: Marrying you... was the biggest mistake of my life.
  • Eternal: Davis asks Chloe to do a Mercy Kill. She couldn't bring herself to do it. When Clark arrives and Doomsday threatens to emerge, Chloe is forced to pull the switch that brings down a tank of liquid kryptonite on Davis. She then rushes to the cage where Davis is held, tears streaming down her face, and they pressed their hands together across the glass before he dies.
  • Stiletto: A terrifying mix of Nightmare Fuel and Tear Jerker. Davis returns from the dead, and begs Chloe to keep him in her basement in Eternal, but when a thug presses a knife to Chloe's neck, Davis pounces and kills him. She is forced to dump the bodies. Another Break the Cutie moment for poor Chloe as she realised that These Hands Have Killed.
  • Beast: Chloe runs away with Davis Bloome so she could keep Doomsday in check and protect Clark, seemingly forever:
    Clark: But what about you, Chloe? Chloe, I'm gonna spend every second looking for you. I will find a way to save you!
    • And then...
    Chloe: I must have thrown a million green rocks away and I've never really saved you. Now, I can.
    Chloe: Clark, if there's one lesson I've learned from you, it's that choosing the greater good is never a sacrifice.
    • Especially tear jerking when you remembered that in Abyss, Clark told her that she saved him more than he could ever have saved her, but she didn't know that because she was unconscious.

  • Doomsday: Jimmy and Davis kill each other and Jimmy dies in Chloe's arms after a Dying Declaration of Love. Clark renounces humanity and walks out of her life.

    Season Nine 
  • Savior: Chloe begs Clark to go back in time and save Jimmy, but he adamantly refuses.
    Chloe: There isn't really anything human left in you.
    • Chloe reveals to Emil that she had gone through so much she needs to carry a gun to fall asleep. Really, by this point Chloe is like a walking Tear Jerker, seeing how all of those in season eight directly involves her.
  • Season 9's "Kandor". A clone of Jor-El arrives in Smallville and is surprised to learn he has a son. He and Clark spend the entire episode trying to meet, but Tess, Zod, and life keep getting in the way. They finally run into each other at the end, just in time for Jor-El to die of a mortal wound. Goddamn you, Smallville. That hurts!
  • The end of "Absolute Justice" Part 1: While Clark wakes up into the main room of the abandoned building, he learns by uncovering the wall portrait that the group he was investigating were a powerful team of heroes, and we see a flashback to their eventual downfall: Wildcat/Ted Grant gets arrested in his gym, we see Green Lantern/Alan Scott get taken in for aiding and abetting The (Original) Flash/Jay Garrick when he (falsely) gets taken in for fraud, Star-Spangled Kid/Sylvester Pembleton for (trumped-up changes of) embezzlement. Perhaps most painful were Hourman/Wesley Dodds', Hawkman/Carter Hall's and Atom/Al Pratt's arrests for taking part in a riot (the former filmed cradling a dying woman) and Dr. Fate/Kent Nelson being taken away to be institutionalized as his wife watches and cries.
  • Hell, anything to do with The Woobie that is Season 9's Dr. Fate.
    Dr. Fate: Carter, you have no idea how much I wish I could remember what my life was like before Dr. Fate. I had a wife. I think her name was Inza. And a family. But I can't... I can't remember. I scared them all away.
    Carter: Family is more than blood.
  • Zod chokes the life out of his lover, Faora, for betraying him. As her body lies on the ground, Zod notices her hand resting on her abdomen. He leans down over her midsection and turns on his super-hearing. To his horror, he hears a faint heartbeat fluttering and dying. Zod has just unwittingly murdered his own unborn child. Sure, what he does shortly thereafter is downright bastardly, but for a moment one's heart breaks for the man.
  • In "Salvation", Clark announces to the Justice League via comm-link to Watchtower that he'll stop the Kryptonian attacks around the world, by using the Book of Rao to transport them to a new world where he could lead them. Chloe, who grew up with Clark mature from farmboy to the leader of his lost people, and processing the possibility of this being the last time that she ever sees him again, tries to keep her composure as he announces this, but fails, and can only utter a single, potent line that summed up her feelings:
    Chloe: I'm so proud of you, Clark. (quickly walks out of the control room of the Watchtower)

    Season Ten 
  • In Season 10, we have the death of Hawkman. Stabbed through the chest by Slade, and with his wings on fire, he still manages to fly to the rescue, saving Lois from plummeting to her death. As he dies, he talks about how he's going to be reunited with his wife, cracks a joke, and then goes. Doubles as a Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • While her entire life could be considered a Tear Jerker, there's something really sad about Tess's quiet "he's my father" when Earth-2 Clark demands to know why she didn't let him kill E-2 Lionel. She has so many issues when it comes to her family, and E-2 Lionel has been absolutely horrible towards her, yet she still can't let go of the desire to just be wanted by her father.
  • Clark and Jonathan's reunion in "Kent". Even though it's an alternate universe, the son telling the father everything he taught him...
  • Kara's departure in "Prophecy", abrupt though it was.
  • Tess's death in the finale. Sure, to an extent it was hard to miss coming, but there's something about how she spends the whole two-part finale completely separated from Clark, Lois, Oliver, and Chloe, all of whom had become her friends at this point and dies without them even aware of what she was doing or even concerned about her (admittedly with reason) is terribly tragic.
    • What makes the latter part particularly upsetting is that no one noticed that she hadn't showed up to Clark and Lois's wedding. (Which was before the apocalypse situation!)
  • Lex's return and his conversation with Clark in the Finale. Clark finally sees that his former best friend is beyond any reason or morality and Their fate as enemies has been sealed. When Clark says "I'm sorry I couldn't save You", You can almost see his heart breaking. The character we knew and loved, the one who tried so hard to be a good man, is gone forever, replaced by the spiteful, cruel man life turned him into. If that doesn't invoke a tear, nothing will.
  • Clark begging the spirit of Jonathan Kent that he needs his help against Darkseid. He knows full well that there's nothing his father could do even if he was alive. He's been used to being the strongest one in his household since he was a toddler, he's bent steel in his bare hands and vaporized mighty rivers with a hard glare since then, and is now himself completely outmatched. But even on the day he becomes Superman, there's still a part of him deep down inside that believes his dad can fix it all and make everything okay again, because he's his son and that's what dads are supposed to do. Instead, Jonathan makes him understand he has it in him to save the world himself.

  • Am I the only Lex fan who feels like crying every time Clark refuses to tell Lex the truth about him? Particularly is Season 1 episode "Leech", in which Lex pretty much has it figured out for himself and makes it very clear that he intends to keep Clark's secret. All he wants is for his best and only friend to trust him... and Clark pushes him away. He cares about you, dammit Clark!
    Lex: You're the closest I've had to a real friend my whole life. You don't have to hide anything from me.
    • In "Finale", right before he heads off to face Darkseid, Clark essentially told Lex he's sorry for not being a better friend.
    • The In-Universe What Could Have Been if Clark had been more trusting in Lex is indeed very, very sad. Knowing who Clark is and what he could do could have given Lex the hope he needed to become the better man he might have been. Somewhere, in some Alternate Universe, Lex and Clark are the ultimate Brains/Brawn crimefighting team. . .
  • When Clark and Lionel switch bodies for an episode, you get some Crowning Moments Of Awesome for the acting of the two, mostly because they can mimick each other's traits incredibly well, but also some gutwrenching moments from Clark-In-Lionel when he starts to break down in jail. First, when he bluberly begs why the guards are dragging him away until he sees his face and snaps, then when he's beaten up by the thug demanding protection money, and then when he finds out he's dying. It may not always click on first viewing, but remember, this is Superboy in jail without his powers. Clark is a good person, he's tried to do nothing but good his entire life, he didn't deserve this and damn it it hurts to just try to think what its like for him.
  • Whitney's father's death. It's sudden, but it was well built up to, and later added to in the second season when Whitney himself dies in an act of heroics which fails.
    • Pam's deathbed reconciliation with Lex in the same episode.
  • Lex giving Clark a foil before possibly leaving Smallville. Clark is close to tears, while Lex is putting on a brave face. It's just a great scene that perfectly illustrates the mutual respect and friendship between these two men who you know will grow up to be enemies.
    Lex: It's a foil, Clark. Every hero should have one.