- The entire history of Derek Hale. All of it- most of the main cast have had bad things happen to them, but from the age of 16 onwards his life has been nothing but one tragic event after another. Meet a gorgeous girl at 16 who you fall head of heels for? Yeah, she's your teacher and you have to keep it secret, but you love her, and she seems to love you too. Only she's really a hunter using you to kill your entire family! Great home life? Happy, loving family of werewolves? Killed in a fire that you were (at least indirectly) the cause of! So you spend the next few years wallowing in misery and guilt, but it's okay, you still have your older sister... nope, she gets murdered. By your psychotic, supposedly comatose uncle, no less. And that's before the series even starts, for crying out loud...
- In 3x08, we learn why Derek's eyes are blue. It's because he had to Mercy Kill his first love after the werewolf bite didn't take. Made worse by the fact that he helped set up the werewolf attack that was supposed to turn her, and that she knew Derek was some type of supernatural creature anyway, so it could have worked out.
- Lydia crying over Jackson is not a happy time...
- "I miss your mom."
- In "Lunatic", when Stiles has to handcuff Scott to the radiator to keep him from hurting anyone. Scott's pleas eventually turn to screaming as the light of the full moon falls on him, and the look on Stiles' face as he sits in the hallway and covers his ears...
- How Jackson's parents realized the text Stiles sent from his phone wasn't from their son - Jackson hasn't been able to say 'I love you' to them since he found out he was adopted.
Sheriff Stilinski: Jackson doesn't say 'I love you?'
Jackson's Father: Not once in eleven years.
- In the latest episode, we have Stiles and his dad, the latter of whom reveals that he was fired because Stiles has stolen police property and gotten a restraining order placed against him, which didn't reflect well on the Sheriff or the county. The fact that Stiles looks ready to either break down sobbing or give his dad a hug during the conversation doesn't help at all.
Stiles: ...Dad? Why aren't you yelling at me?
Sheriff Stilinski: Because I don't want to feel any worse by having to yell at my boy.
- Scott, Stiles, Jackson, and Allison fall under a hallucinogenic spell, preying on their worst issues. While Scott's issues (the loss of Allison) is the lightest, Allison fears she'll become just like her father, aunt, and grandfather. Stiles think his father blames him for his mother's death resulting in a vision of his dad stumbling into the party drunk and telling Stiles how much of a burden he is before throwing the liquor bottle at him. Jackson fears that he has no real identity because he doesn't know who his birth parents where.
- Scott's fears have more layers if you look at them. Depending on when you think it starts, part of it could be the part where Stiles walks away for seemingly no reason. Not to mention, Allison is Scott's anchor as a werewolf. Losing her could mean losing control.
- Could be a case of Fridge Brilliance, back in Lunatic when he and Allison broke up, he could remember how dangerous and out of control he became when he actually lost her and that's why the fear is so much more real than before.
- A flashback in Season 5 makes Stiles' hallucination even more heartbreaking. In the late stages of her frontotemporal dementia, Claudia attacked ten-year-old Stiles because she thought he was trying to kill her. No wonder he blames himself for her death.
- The backstory of the kanima's master: Dunked in a pool by the drunken high school swim team, suffers a near-death experience, only to be dragged out and ordered by the swim coach to keep quiet about it, even being forgotten by those who were there. Which, as the next episode informs us, happened when he was nine. Sure, he was unhinged, but you could clearly understand just what knocked him loose. This becomes worse at the ending of the episode when Matt, who is revealed to be the Kanima's master, is fleeing the police station and Gerard catches up to him and drowns him in the river, and Matt's last thoughts are of drowning in the pool. Disturbing as fuck.
- One detail Matt relates when telling the story. One girl had her hand in a boy's board shorts. He's dying a horrific death, and two kids are more interested in sex than saving his life.
- Scott's mom recoiling in fear and terror when she sees him wolfed out and the heartbroken look on his face afterwards.
- The Sheriff having a near meltdown upon seeing Stiles bloodied, beaten, but very much alive after his disappearance from the lacrosse field. After threatening to 'pistol whip' those responsible, he finally breaks down into tears and hugs his kid as tightly as is humanly possible. Also a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- The final ten minutes of Season 2, entirely, are heart-warming, awesome and tear-jerking all in one for both Jackson and Lydia. Let's recap. Lydia knows that she needs to find Jackson to return his house key in a symbolic declaration of her love. When she and Stiles arrive at the fight scene, Kanima!Jackson goes to attack her. Lydia doesn't flinch, and instead holds the key to him; he begins to turn back to normal. As he takes the key, Derek and Peter attack him, leaving him to die in Lydia's arms, where she tells him how much she loves him. As she lays his dead body to the ground, she begins to cry. All of a sudden, he begins to move, and he rises as a werewolf, renewed. The two finally embrace with tears in their eyes. Damn, writers, just... Damn. Because Stiles witnesses the whole thing. Remember he's been in love with Lydia for years and had actually been making some progress this season before this.
- The episode in season 2 where Allison's mother is going to die because Derek had to scratch her away from killing Scott at some underground party. She knows she's going to turn into a werewolf and she chooses to die by her own terms, with her husband helping her. The scene is so moving, especially after he'd agree to help her with her suicide note. You can clearly see that even though they're kind of manipulative and evil, they do care for each other. Also, tops to Allison's reaction when she finds out.
"I'll tell them that you suffered from depression. Even though, in the last twenty years, I've never once seen you depressed..."
- Even worse if you know someone who actually does suffer from depression, but keeps (or kept) it so well-hidden no one knew about it. Until. . .
- Season 3 episode 1. Isaac is talking with Mrs. McCall in the hospital, they can't contact Derek, his emergency contact. When she asks if he has another contact? He answers that is Scott.
- Stiles, upon finding Heather's body. Not just in the fact that he's looking at the dead body of someone he knew, but also because he knew her because of his mother.
- Isaac has several scenes in Unleashed (season 3, episode 4) that are absolutely heartbreaking.
- First, he and Allison are locked in a supply closet, causing him to have flashbacks to how his father used to lock him in a freezer in their basement. He begins to have a panic attack, slams himself repeatedly against the closet door, and wolfs out, injuring Allison in the process. When Scott rescues them and gets Isaac to regain control, he looks horrified at having clawed Allison and apologizes over and over.
- Later, Derek has to send Isaac away from the loft for his own safety. In order to completely drive him away emotionally as well as physically, Derek refuses to explain his motives and, when Isaac questions him anyway, throws a glass at his head in a horribly close parallel to Isaac's father in 2.02.
Isaac: Did I do something wrong, Derek?
- One that pulls triple-duty as a Crowning Momentof Heartwarming and Crowning Moment of Awesome as well: A mentally battered Scott is attempting to commit suicide with a road flare and gasoline spread around his feet. He begins to tell Stiles, Allison, and Lydia about how he used to be nothing before he was bitten, how he wants to be nothing again, and how everyone would be better off with him gone. Stiles finally has enough and gives one of the most beautiful speeches in the series yet, proving that he's not just a lancer or sidekick to Scott; he truly loves his best friend with every ounce of his being and would die for him.
Okay, listen to me, okay? You're not "no one." Okay, you're someone. Scott, you're my best friend. Okay? I need you. (choking up) Scott, you're my brother.
Alright, so... (he begins walking into the gas)
If you're gonna do this, you're just gonna have to take me with you then. (takes the flare and throws it away)
- Boyd's death. Not only because it's accompanied by a flashback of Erica's death which shows she died trying to kill Kali but also because of how everyone reacts. Especially Derek.
- Not only that Boyd's last act is trying to comfort his Alpha, his friend. Thanking him for changing his life and for the gift of the bite. And the last thing Boyd see's before he dies is Erica reaching out for him and calling his name one last time before she died...
- Stiles' face after his father gets taken by the darach. It's the face of a kid on the verge of a complete breakdown, because as far as he knows, he's probably just lost the only other parent he had.
- Doesn't help that Stiles finally told his father about all the supernatural events that have occurred thus far, with the Sheriff understandably not believing everything, and his last words to him were ''Mom would've believed me."
- Ethan's description of what life was like for him and Aidan prior to them joining Ducalion's pack: They were omegas, at the bottom of the pecking order, at least in part because they couldn't control their shapeshifting ability. And they were treated horribly, until they learned from Ducalion and killed their way up the food chain. They didn't join up with Ducalion out of lust for power but literally for their own good.
- Stiles' expression when he talks about his dad, who'd been taken by the Darach, especially when he starts musing to himself/Cora in the ambulance. It actually hurts to look at.
- Derek still can't catch a break. His Mercy Kill turns out to be the reason Jennifer Blake is still alive, making him indirectly responsible for even more pain.
- Papa Stilinski revealing the story of why he always had an inkling that something was up in Beacon Hills: As a deputy, he had to help a girl who was dying in a car accident. The girl declared, "if you want to be with her, go now", referring to his dying wife. He didn't believe her words, and he stayed with the girl until she passed away. When he went to the hospital after the fact, he found Stiles in the waiting room, head in his hands. His wife had died and Stiles was alone with her when it happened.
- The end of Alpha Pact, where the main characters are about to make enormous sacrifices to save their families. It's the depressing music and fear on their faces (and possible consequences) that really sells it.
- In a happy way, the ending of Lunar Ellipse, where Derek and Cora are finally okay, and don't have anything really hanging over their heads, and Derek finally gets the hell out of Beacon Hills.
- The end of "The Overlooked", where Scott's agrees to join Deucalion, and Stiles is pleading with him to stay, saying that they always have a plan B, just don't go, and Scott replies "not this time".
- Made worse when you remember Stiles monologue to Cora earlier in the episode, where he says that instead of Scott, it used to be him with a plan, or at least a plan B. When Scott says that they don't have a plan B this time, its almost like he's finally saying that Stiles is useless now.
- Stiles talking with Caitlin in the hospital, about why she and her girlfriend had camped out.
Stiles: You wanted to make it romantic ...
- Allison breaking up with Scott in the first season because she can't trust him.
- In "Galvanized": Kira eating lunch with her Dad because she doesn't have anyone to sit with and saying she doesn't care about getting a boyfriend, she just wants a friend. Her awkwardness had mostly been Played for Laughs before, but the scene makes it clear how lonely she really is. Made worse when the camera pans to Scott listening and had been just about to ask her out. Remember it wasn't so long ago that he was a high school outcast. (Although at least he always had Stiles).
- Three in Season 3's "Riddled:"
- The scene where Scott is in school, and his love interest, Kira, shows up as music starts playing. It's set up so that you expect some sort of moment between them, but when Kira calls out his name Scott doesn't even notice. He walks away, completely zoned out because he is too worried about Stiles to care about girls or school right now.
- Stiles telling Scott that the medical tests that are being run on him are to check for frontotemporal dementia, which is what killed his mother, and that there is no cure. Scott tells him that he'll find one, and they hug, crying.
- This is sort of subtle, but Scott is actually offering Stiles the bite here. Frontotemporal dementia has no cure, but making Stiles a werewolf would give him the ability to heal and survive. Particularly heartbreaking when you consider the fact that Scott has never wanted to give anyone the bite, but he's willing to do it for Stiles.
- The Nogitsune, when completing the process of taking over Stiles's mind, tells him that all of his loved ones are going to be the first to die. Stiles, in tears, stares at Melissa and his dad, and tries in vain to convince the demon otherwise.
- The fact that, now that Stiles is possessed by the Big Bad, his friends are likely going to have to fight him at some point down the line. It's even more gutting when you realize that two of those friends are Scott and Lydia, who are two people he adores.
- Echo House:
- Every time Stiles cries, my heart breaks for him. This episode is no exception.
- "The Wolf and the Fox" reveals that the Nogitsune may be faking Stiles' disease on the brain scans in order to destroy Stiles' hope.
- "Insatiable": Allison dies in Scott's arms as Isaac, Kira, Lydia, and Noshiko watch in horror. Made even worse by her final words to Scott: "I love you." And then Chris shows up to see his dead daughter. Jesus, Jeff Davis. Jesus.
Scott: I can't take your pain!
Allison: It doesn't hurt...
- Meanwhile Stiles spends the whole episode guilt-stricken about all the people he killed and how he hurt Scott under the influence of the Nogitsune. note Despite Scott insisting it wasn't his fault, Stiles is just so obviously broken that he doesn't even care about his own life anymore and has given up.
Stiles: "What you mean if he dies do I die? I don't care. So long as no one else dies because of me....I remember everything I did Scott, I remember pushing that sword into you, I remember twisting it...You guys gotta promise you can't let anyone else get hurt because of me."
- Chris and Isaac in the Argent apartment following Allison's death. Chris goes on about how Isaac doesn't need to stay, that he'll be fine, and that he's learned how to compartmentalize his emotions and bottle them up when there's still work to be done. Then Isaac barely chokes out "I can't". Chris immediately pulls him into a big hug.
- Also, Lydia's reaction to Allison's death. She may not have been there when it happened, but because she is a banshee and can signal a death before it's about to happen, this means she knew beforehand. Her screaming Allison's name and breaking down on top of an unconscious Stiles...
- Aiden's death. He gets impaled by an Oni's sword, and dies in Ethan's arms. Before he dies he asks, "Does it hurt you as much as it hurts me?" Ethan replies with a tearful, "Yeah," and holds him as he dies.
- And then he dies saying "Lydia never believed I was one of the good guys anyway" showing how much her opinion mattered to him. And, unfortunately, he died before he got to see how much his death impacted her.
- After the dust settles, Scott is finally able to break down and cry for the friends who died. His final scene of the season is him crying in Mama McCall's arms.
- Teenage Derek returning to his home and finding out it's been burned down. He searches the ruins for a bit, then just crouches down and sits there.
- While it's somewhat Played for Laughs, the moments where Malia is having an awkward time in class and can't answer any questions the teacher asks her because she missed eight years of school.
- Lydia trying and failing to get control of her banshee abilities in "I.E.D.", and realizing she could go the same way as Meredith.
- "Weaponized" Scott and Stiles discussing their parent's respective money problems. It's yet another burden these two teenage boys have to shoulder and probably have shouldered since before the show.
Stiles: "You know how many problems that money could solve? For you? Me? My dad The Eichen House and MRI bills are crushing him."
Scott: "Mom does this thing, she writes down all the items in our budget, and how much they cost, then she adds them all up and figures out how long we have until we lose the house."
- Meredith's suicide, as well as Lydia's reaction to it.
- When Parrish is burned alive in the police cruiser by a fellow officer, he is screaming and pleading, but his killer won't listen. The next we see of him, the normal friendly and sweet Parrish walks into the police station covered in ash and beats the guys unconscious. It very jarring and distressing to see.
- Near the end of "Perishable," when Brunski forces Lydia and Stiles to hear the final words of the former's grandmother when he killed her. These words? "Please don't hurt my Ariel. Don't hurt Ariel." Ariel was her nickname for Lydia due to their bonding over the Little Mermaid. Lydia looks ready to burst into tears and/or murder Brunski herself.
- In the same episode Stiles reveals to his Dad that he knows about their money problems, resulting in one of the many raw and heartbreaking exchanges between the Stilinski's.
Sheriff Stilinski: "Stiles are you going through my stuff."
Stiles: "Yeah, I go through all of your stuff. Especially when you keep things from me."
Sheriff Stilinski: "I keep things from you because you don't need to know everything."
Stiles: "Yes, I do. I have to know everything. How the hell else am I supposed to take care of you?
Sheriff Stilinski: "You're not supposed to take care of me! I'm the dad. You're the son. You get it? Dad. Son. I take care of you!
Stiles: "....We're supposed to take care of each other."
- Chris Argent admitting "[he] has nothing left"
- Kate revealing one of her main motivations for her actions in Season 4: Avenging Allison.
Chris: Alison died protecting those she loved. What would you die for ?
- The first episode of season 5 has the group (sans Liam), now entering their senior year, writing their initials on the inside of Beacon Hills Library's bookshelves: SS (Stiles), LM (Lydia), KY (Kira), MT (Malia) and finally, SM (Scott). But then, Scott adds one more set of initials: AA, for their fallen friend.
Stiles: She woulda been with us.
Lydia: She still is.
- In "Required Readings" has most of the group re-living traumatizing flashbacks from their childhood, but Stiles' had most of the fandom, (and himself) in tears.
Claudia: (to Sheriff Stilinski) "I couldnít stand to be in that room anymore, not with [Stiles] looking at me like that. Heís trying to hurt me. I donít care if you donít believe me but he is! Heís trying to kill me!"
- "Lies of Omission" has the fellowship break up. Scott ends his friendship with Stiles because of Theo's lies; Kira has left town for fear of hurting Scott; Malia is utterly broken by her inability to save another victim; Parrish has locked himself in jail due to his supernatural nature influencing him; finally, Scott tells Liam that he won't save a dying Hayden. At this point, it looks like the last remaining hero that can save the day is Lydia.