Tear Jerker: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)
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- Splinter's back-story from the first episode. People familiar with previous versions would know the details, but to make it worse, in this universe, Splinter also had a daughter.
- To make things even sadder for poor Splinter, it turns out that Shredder has a hold of her. She never really died, per se- Shredder just raised her into a fighting machine that hates Splinter with her very core. Folks, say hello to this universe's version of Karai.
- When Donatello pleads his case, Splinter looks at a picture of him and his previous family and suddenly we hear a fire, wooding creaking and falling and finally Splinter screaming in pain, all while he's thinking in the present. Splinter's first Darkest Hour has never truly left his mind.
- In "Turtle Temper", we have Splinter's fear of Raphael ending up walking down Splinter's path if he doesn't watch his temper. The fact that this has to do with the aforementioned incident with Oroku Saki doesn't help.
Raphael: But it wasn't your fault. Shredder insulted you. You had no choice.Splinter: No choice? I could have chosen to ignore him. I could have chosen to let his words wash over me, like a river over stone. But I let him anger me. It was I who made his words into weapons. (walks over to Raph) That was the choice I made. (puts a hand on his shoulder) What choice will you make?
- Michelangelo sounded so hurt when he found out that he was being used by Bradford in "New Friend, Old Enemy". He so badly wanted to prove he could be friends with a human, but instead ends up captured by the Foot for all it's worth. "Rad Brad..."
- From the same episode, Shredder looking at a picture of Splinter and himself in their younger years. They didn't hate each other back then...
- In "Monkey Brains", we have Rockwell; he didn't ask to be mutated and have Falco take away his life.
- The Turtles' first real battle with the Shredder in "The Gauntlet" ends with all of them getting horribly outmatched. All four of them were subject to injuries they wouldn't dream of getting in a normal battle. Raph even got electrocuted.
- Splinter's nightmare in "Panic in the Sewers", where the Turtles are all killed by the Shredder.
- In "It Came From the Depths", poor Leatherhead is unable to control his freak-outs and ends up hurting Mikey, the only person who believes he's good. When Splinter tells him to leave, he does so without any hesitation...
- In "I, Monster", Splinter realizing that everything he had is gone- his family, his ninja clan, and even his humanity.
Splinter: No, I am a man. I am Hamato Yoshi!
- Not just that, but what sends Splinter over the edge—what makes him really lose it— is the thought of his children no longer needing him. He's watched his wife die, and lost his daughter, but the idea of losing his sons is what makes him give up hope. And the worst part is, the boys ARE going to grow up. Them not needing Splinter could very well become a reality one day. You can hear the crack and despair in his voice as he says this soliloquy.
- The Rat King using Splinter's memory of the night he lost everything.
- In "New Girl in Town", there's something sad about Leonardo feeling weighed down by The Chains of Commanding, and the only people who give him any kind of real sympathy are Mikey and Karai. Even his father says that leadership is about responsibility and that he should just tough it out.
- From "The Alien Agenda":
- Leo: I trusted you!Karai: I know! That's messed up, right?
- In "TCRI", Leatherhead's Heroic Sacrifice. To say the Turtles did not take it well would be an understatement.
- In "Enemy of my Enemy", Karai looks genuinely upset and betrayed when the Turtles go back on their word and attack Shredder.
- From "Karai's Vendetta":
- April complaining about her life during her fight with Karai. She's failing trigonometry, her friends are mutants, aliens are holding her dad hostage, and she lost her mother.
- Also at the very end of the episode: April has to go into hiding as both the Kraang and Shredder are now after her. Forced out of her old life because of forces beyond her control or will. Living that kind of like would make anyone else give up hope.
- Remember the Pulverizer from way back when? Well, in "Pulverizer Returns", his obsession with becoming a hero like the Turtles takes a more dramatic turn when he intentionally exposes himself to the mutagen. However, instead of turning into a humanoid animal, the mutagen painfully turns him into a blob monster who mindlessly lashes out at his surroundings until the Turtles can trap him. Yes, he was an idiot and it was his own fault, but he didn't deserve that! Things like that shouldn't happen to comic relief!
- The season finale was full of this:
- April finding out that the Foot have brainwashed her father.
- Splinter's mission against the Shredder is chalk full of these. Perhaps the biggest one of all being that his own daughter considers him her worst enemy because she thinks he killed her mother. The look of pain on his face is easily palpable as he flees.
- Also, his look of shock when the Shredder tells him about how he stole his daughter away.
- The worst part for one moment Karai almost recognized her birth name when Splinter says Miwa, but then tells Splinter her name is Karai.
- And to add salt to the wound, Shredder is laughing at pain he is causing, at what could be the second worst night of Hamato Yoshi's life.
- Not to mention the pain and anger in Karai's voice when Splinter retreats and she yells "Why won't you fight?! COWARD!" Her Missing Mom situation has really affected her emotionally. One can only imagine her reaction if she ever finds out the truth, realizes that she's been lied to her entire life, and that she tried to kill her real father.
- There's something inherently sad about seeing Splinter embrace his inner rat to defeat Shredder. Half a season ago, his turtle sons brought him back by reminding him of his humanity away from rats. And now, in a moment of rage, he embraced the rat just so he could survive.
- On the other hand, it can also be seen as a Crowning Moment of Awesome. Instead of fearing the rat, he's achieved synthesis. See Tigatron.
- But on that point a small part of Hamato Yoshi died when he decided to stop fighting like a Man and fight like a rat.
- The music playing during Splinter's Heroic Second Wind is not triumphant, but tragic. This was no good vs. evil battle; this was a man who lost everything and is now fighting to kill the former friend and ally who decided to destroy both their lives in a fit of petty jealousy.
- Leonardo's Heroic Sacrifice to stop Kraang Prime. The way Raph calls Leonardo's full name as the escape pod he's in drifts away is just heartbreaking.
2X1 The Mutation Situation
- Kirby O Neil getting transformed into a bat monster and April trying in vain to talk to him
- Then April getting angry at the turtles (for being indirectly responsible for Kirby becoming a monster) and saying she never wants to see them again.
- After he's been transformed and gone feral he attacks April who's forced to hit her own father in self-defense and he stops. His human side briefly regains control, and you can see in his eyes that he can't believe he just attacked his own daughter.
- Raphael's reaction to Leo getting captured.
- Leo's insecurities about whether or not he's a good leader are once again brought up.
- Anything to do with Yoshi and Miwa this episode.
- Pulverizer's Sanity Slippage and Leo acknowledging it.
Leo: Donnie, whatever, Pulverizer...Timothy, was, is gone now.
Donnie: Don't worry my friend. One day, I'll find a cure.
- All segments with him in general this episode. After hearing Donnie lamenting how he misses April, he breaks free and tries to go find her. But the attacks from The Police, Casey, and The Turtles only made him go more crazy.
- Donnie's final words to him in the episode.
Pulverizer: Donnie, there's something wrong...!
- Pulverizer/Mutagen Man's final words are heartbreaking. Donnie manages to finally take him down with a sort of petrifying goop that was disguised as mutagen, and as he freezes, he seems to regain some of his sanity.
- April still being upset at the turtles and even refusing herself to help them fight Mutagen Man.
- Every scene in which Donnie deals with April meeting Casey, especially the first time he sees them together and we see an Imagine Spot of his whole body shattering, and later during the fight with Mutagen Man when Leo casually refers to Casey as April's boyfriend, making Donnie wince. It's painful to watch, especially for anyone who was ever the geeky awkward friend that had to watch his unrequited crush meet someone else.
- Casey's story of how he lost his best friend due to accidentally hitting him in the face with a hockey stick.
- Slash falling off the building with Raph's anguished Say My Name. Later, it turns out he survived the fall and disappeared. Then we see Raph holding a leaf he fed Spike in sorrow. The look on his face shows how heartbroken he is that his pet turned into a savage beast and left him.
- You want to know how this can be even sadder some owners see their pets as their kids. In a way Raph lost his child when he lost Spike.
- The fact that he lost Spike by having him turn against him parallel to Splinter with Karai.
- Splinter's advice to Raphael reveals that he still feels the pain of losing his family.
- Most of this episode is also a tearjerker if one looks at it from Slash's perspective. It's clear that his actions make him come off more as a Well-Intentioned Extremist. However, after Raph calls him out on what he did to Donnie and Mikey, there is a slight pause before he lets out a monstrous roar signifying a prime of example of Then Let Me Be Evil as Slash only did what he did for Raph's sake and is hurt that the person that treated him as a friend for so many years essentially called him a monster.
- Metalhead's Shoot the Shaggy Dog-ness in the episode overall. Metalhead has finally been upgraded with intelligence in order to work alongside the Turtles, only for them to not trust him due to how much of a 3rd wheel he winds up becoming. Realizing this, Metalhead leaves on his own to take care of the mission by himself to show the turtles he was on their side the whole time, not only rescuing ALL the mutants and the turtles, but also destroying himself in order to ensure the Kraang would not find another way to get back to Earth. The ending implies that Donatello will fix him again, but it really makes the viewers feel for Metalhead's loyalty to his team and creator.
- Leo's constant raging on Metalhead sure didn't help, by the time Metalhead leaves the lair. It seemed like Leo had been waiting for a chance to force Donnie to dismantle him.
- Splinter's interactions with Karai in this episode. He tries so hard to tell her that Shredder is really responsible for all that's happened, but she won't believe him.
- Sure everyone makes it out okay, but the Turtles having to see Splinter have an unfair rematch against the Shredder in his weakest state was hard to watch. For this troper, he had no idea if Splinter was going to actually make it through this episode.
- In spite of the episode's comedy, one can not help but feel sorry for Sir Malachi. All he wanted was someone to play with him.
- Also in the turtles' fight with the dragon, when Mikey thought that Leatherhead was actually back... His attempts to make "Leatherhead" snap out of his rage is just heartbreaking.
- Baxter's reaction to his mutation.
Baxter: What am I? I'm nothing anymore. I'm a freak. I'll never taken seriously as scientist.
- Mikey subtly admitting that he had no faith that the retromutagen would work before Raph gave him a Dope Slap.
- That whole episode is one for Karai. She learns that basically her whole life has been a lie. Not only is the man whom she believed to be her father responsible for her mother's death, he also kidnapped her and fueled her hatred against her real father. Her shock and facial expressions upon learning the truth are just heartbreaking.
- And it doesn't stop there. At the end of the episode Tiger Claw manages to defeat Karai, takes her hostage and brings her back to Shredder. Still somewhat hoping it was all just a lie, she asks him if Splinter really is her father. What does Shredder do? He bluntly says "Yes" and orders Tiger Claw to take her away. The episode ends with Karai getting thrown into a cell, left alone and begging to be let out. Even with all her nasty behaviour in previous episodes considered, it's very hard not to feel sorry for the poor girl.
- Mikey's condition after the battle with Tiger Claw. He is badly beaten up, has bruises all over his body, many scratches in his plastron and is barely conscious anymore.
- There's a brief moment in Tiger Claw's flashback where we see him actually defeating the 1987 Ninja Turtles. We've seen them go through a lot AND they even took on the Shredder from the 2003 series and managed to help defeat him as well. To see that Tiger Claw had defeated all four turtles really badly before his return is very sad to think of.
- We learn that Shredder's clan was wiped out, but was taken in and raised by Splinter's father. Also, Shredder learned about his origins when his jealousy for Tang Shen was boiling.
- Karai's mutation. Everyone knew Splinter wouldn't react well, but the fact that even Shredder was distraught made it even worse.
Splinter: My child...
- This line from Splinter made it even worse just by the tone in his voice as he holds the mutated Miwa in his arms. It's as though the moment we had seen previously between a reunited father and daughter had been snatched away and was now the last time Splinter would ever see his true daughter.
- To make it even worse, Splinter has now lost not only his wife, but seemingly his daughter twice now. Once when believing she had died when she was a baby in the fire, and now again both times due to the Shredder.
- The fact Shredder actually shows grief he redirects at Splinter is both this and Nightmare Fuel. The one thing Shredder has shown love towards that seemed at all genuine is lost to him in a way that is entirely his own fault...and instead of going My God, What Have I Done?, his thirst for revenge has consumed him so thoroughly, that the idea this isn't Splinter's fault is impossible for him to grasp. It shows just how much of Shredder's humanity his thirst for revenge has consumed. Rather than take responsibility for his actions, he can only think to blame the one who he's spent his entire life blaming for his misfortunes. It's both sad and terrifying to see someone so consumed by a grudge as to be incapable of grasping the concept a misfortune of theirs isn't the fault of their enemy.
- Mikey really wants to rescue Leatherhead and is eager to go to Dimension X, but Leo tells him he can't come along because "he's been messing up too much lately". With a really sad expression he calls his name and remembers how they became friends, one of the flashbacks even showing them sleeping cuddled up together.
- Imagine just what Leatherhead had to go through. He spent decades in Dimension X, completely alone without anyone whom he could trust, always having to spy on the Kraang and being careful not to get caught and when they do imprison him he gets tortured. Even after he returns to Earth he's still an old 'man' now, having lost much of his lifetime to the Kraang and probably never going to get it back.
Leatherhead: Thank you... my friends... I feared... that you would never come.
- The beginning of it where Shredder reminisces about Karai as well as The Reveal in the conversation with Tiger Claw afterwards that he didn't care for the human race.
- The destruction of the Lair.
- The scene where everyone except Leo and Splinter head back to the lair to take one meaningful thing with them fits here. There's no music for awhile and seeing April flash back to memories of her with the turtles and Splinter over the past year or two was pretty sad to watch as well.
- The one thing Raph takes before leaving: an old photograph of Spike.
- Raphael's Unstoppable Rage when Shredder wounds and seemingly kills Splinter.
- Even worse - or better - Mikey manages to stop him from completely losing it by hugging him. Mikey, of all turtles!
- The whole episode was pretty much an adaptation of the comic arc where Leo got ambushed, their home destroyed, and being forced to leave New York.
- Kirby being mutated again.
- Casey sadly revealing that he was unable to find his father and his sister, and the possibility that he may never see his family again can hit you right in the gut.
- Even without a father or a parental figure, the turtles can at least survive on their own. But April and Casey are still really just kids. With no families left after the Kraang invasion, they're very much on their own now.
3x01 "Within the Woods"
- Leo's state after the attack in the Season 2 finale. He's been practically comatose for three months, and is shown to still be in pain. Even following THAT, he's shown to be physically weak and vomits from stomach pains.
Leo: *to himself* Stop whining, and just do it!
- The in-universe explanation for Leo having a different voice. note Shredder dealt heavy damage to his throat when he beat him, so much that his throat and vocal cords will never be the same.
- When everyone heads out into the woods to search for Raph, Leo stays behind at the house and tries to force himself to stand up and resume training and he goes the extra mile of giving himself some...tough love talk.
- The way Raph as a dog-like plant monster cowers like an abused child when The Creep walks into the shed is pretty upsetting.
- Him getting absorbed was pretty hard to watch.
- Hell, the fact that he didn't even recognize his family while in that state is upsetting in itself.
- Him getting absorbed was pretty hard to watch.
- Big Foot overhearing the comments Leo and Casey make at its expense. The following scene with Mikey calling them out on it is mildly heartwarming.
- Donnie in this episode. After chasing after April since Episode 1, he realizes that she doesn't feel the same way. In particular, the scene where Raph tells him that Donnie "chases after April like a lovestruck puppy" (inexact words), Donnie is angrily about to snap back...before quietly deciding not to.
- Worse: Donnie was just complaining about how BIG FOOT was chasing after HIM and then Raph pointed out that Donnie was the same way with April. Donnie's reaction was one of sad realization that Raph was right.
- Also, the scene where he gives April the music box is pretty disappointing. That's literally the sweetest thing Donnie's ever done for her and April doesn't even try to conceal how much she doesn't like it.
- Near the end of the episode, Donnie more or less admits to April that being on the wrong end of Big Foot's Abhorrent Admirer qualities has made him realize he's no better when it comes to him and April. You can really sense the despondency and bitterness in Donnie's word as he resigns himself to believe he and April could never be...
Donnie: I get it now… Donnie is to April as Big Foot was to Donnie. I'm just… a mutant.
- The ending with April feeling like she has lost her family all over again due to her mom really being a monster and she doesn't know if her real mom is still out there.
- After Mikey trashes the living room, the others, (minis April) start yelling at him, especially Raph, who then yells at him "Some ninja. You're just a big screw-up!". Mikey is so hurt that he decides to run away.
Mikey: I'm not gonna stay where I'm not wanted.
- The look on Raph's face when April accuses him of being inconsiderate towards Mikey when he thought he was just being a Reasonable Authority Figure.
- Leonardo's frustration over his injuries.
- Splinter having lost his mind and reverting to acting like a feral rat due to the events of the season finale, especially when his sons try to calm him down and remind him that they're his sons. Thankfully, he got better by the end.
- Karai accepting that her mind is going in her mutated form, and that she only told the Turtles where to find her so that she can say goodbye to them, April, and Casey. She leaves them, and even Mikey starts to cry.
- Raph's shock when Mikey solemnly tells the team that they're heading home after the retro-mutagen fails and Karai leaves them. He just sounds so defeated.
- You may find it funny at first when Zeck yells at the others to not call him Bebop. Then he breaks down crying and it becomes clear: He's trying to hold on to whatever he's got left of his humanity. You have to feel sorry for the guy.
- The team goes back to Dimension X, where Mikey feels like he can be the smart one and the leader and the fighter. It's obvious that he's just looking for approval from his brothers, but his overbearing attitude and edging in on their roles quickly pushes their buttons. As much as they tell him off for slacking and goofing around, they really like him best that way. The problem is Mikey himself doesn't always like him best that way. It's difficult to grow in a team without stepping on anyone's toes, and Mikey going from excitedly showing off his skills to his brothers to dejectedly floating in the background can attest to that.
- Karai continues to lose her humanity and Donnie tries to cure her and the retro-mutagen does not work on her, forcing her to leave the turtles.
- The chances for the Turtles to recover Karai have decreased drastically now that she was given the mind control worm. Furthermore, it was via her ear-canal, so it could be coughed out like last time. Leonardo is definitely bummed out.
- A subtle one, but when Splinter manages to heal April and Kirby embraces her, Splinter's face seems to be rather downtrodden, despite his sucess. We then remember that this was caused by his own daughter, who is once more under the control of his worst enemy and perhaps the sight reminded that he may never be able to do the same.