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* As early as the first episode, with Krypton's destruction, which is made even sadder and poignant by the beautiful soundtrack. Right at the beginning of the cataclysm and the arrival of another earthquake comes this exchange:
-->'''Patroller''': Not another one!
-->'''Sul-Van''': No. The ''last'' one.
** "I'm not a freak. I'm not! I'M NOT!"
* When Corben realizes how he's lost by becoming Metallo:
-->'''Corben''': It's all fake. A FRAUD! There's the reality! The metal behind the man! It's all I am now! It's who I am... Metallo.
* "Ghost in the Machine": Mercy, trapped under a load of debris, calls to Luthor for help...and he abandons her. The look on her face as she answers his call shows she's been truly shaken.
* The reactions to [[FakingTheDead Clark being dead]] in "The Late Mr. Kent". Especially Lois
-->'''Lois''': I always teased him... But I had so much respect! (in tears) And I ''liked'' him too! I really did, I wish I'd told him...
* The ending to "Apokolips...Now!" has Superman crying within the episode. Not that the ending wasn't such for the viewers as well...
** Superman's reaction to [[spoiler: Dan Turpin's death]]. He howls with rage, and starts tearing Darkseid's machine apart. Up until this point, we've never seen Superman ''this'' angry before.
* When [[spoiler:Dan Turpin is killed]]. It's just so freakin' senseless, petty, and above all completely [[WhamEpisode out of nowhere]].
-->"Good-bye, old friend. In the end, the world didn't really need a Superman... just a brave one."
** The fact that he's based on the late, great JackKirby makes it sting even more.
* The otherwise nightmare-inducing Toyman's [[SuperHeroOrigin pop-up book]], which details how his innocent, kind-hearted father was tricked into being arrested for mob activity, forcing his son to live a ruined and lonely childhood.
-->"The boy moved from foster home to foster home, like a little toy that nobody wanted. A childhood is a terrible thing to lose, Ms. Lane..."
* The alternate-Superman in "Brave New Metropolis" in his interactions with Lois. His expressions throughout the episode can be surmised as "dead inside".
-->"You never knew how I felt about you. I didn't know... until you were gone."
* The first episode featuring Bizarro ends with him sacrificing himself to hold up Luthor's collapsing clone lab long enough for Superman to save Lois Lane. While he didn't stay dead, it was certainly a powerful moment, especially since it meant Bizarro accepting that he wasn't the real Superman.
-->'''Bizarro''': [[CloningBlues Me not Superman. You Superman...]] [[HeroicSacrifice Superman...save...Lois...]]\\\
(after the escape)
-->'''Superman''': In the end, he really was a hero.
* Superman discovering the unimaginable magnitude of Brainiac's crimes, and collapsing to his knees in a hologram of one of the dozens of worlds he's destroyed, complete with a powerful circling camera effect.
* The end of the whole series, with [[spoiler:Superman's brainwashed attack on Metropolis having turned much of the planet against him.]] Thank god the DCAU continued so this didn't become the actual ending for this version of him.
** And there's one line from [[Recap/SupermanTheAnimatedSeriesS3E12E13Legacy that episode]] that is both a {{TearJerker}} and utterly [[NightmareFuel spine-chilling]]: [[AGodAmI "Here, I am God."]]
* The whole sequence at the start of "Little Girl Lost" when Superman investigates the remains of his home planet, he comes across a distress signal that leads him to the frozen world Argo. There, he finds a hologram of a scientist named Kala, who explains that Argo had been the sister planet to Krypton. When Krypton was destroyed, it threw Argo out of their suns orbit, killing millions, and dooming the last survivors to a slow death of cold and starvation. Her surviving family was put in [[HumanPopsicle stasis]] and with tears in her eyes, she desperately pleads for rescue. The camera then pans to the pods, [[PopsicleSplat all of which have failed]]... except for Kala's daughter, the future-Supergirl.
--> '''Superman''': I'm too late...
* The people of Apokolips are so broken and bent to the will of Darkseid that when Superman gives him a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown, tossing him to the ground in defeat and declares to the slaves of Apokolips that they're free, they pick Darkseid up to help him heal. They're so far beyond the DespairEventHorizon that they can't even conceive of being without Darkseid, no matter how cruel he is.
* Just the fact that Darkseid ''literally'' feeds off the misery of his people.
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