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Tear Jerker: The Nostalgia Critic
Doug has said how much he loves tragic comedy. Judging by these examples, he's very good at it.

For Doug's videos as himself, go here.
  • Extremely easy to miss, but when the cartoon characters are hammering their anvil in during Cartoon All Stars, he starts off disagreeing when they say to believe in himself and they care about him. Now that's some good foreshadowing.
  • His terrified expression when he recounts how many times you have to break up with someone before they turn into a psycho and start stalking you. (It's 3.)
  • The "Alas poor Tom and Jerry" speech. What old-school Tom and Jerry fan didn't feel like that when they were singing about being best friends?
  • He made a list filled with 11 of it. WARNING: You will laugh more than cry. (Also, he's right. How did we survive our childhoods with all that in the stuff we watched?)
    • Some people say they kept it together for the list but lost it when he got shot in the head. Perhaps a catharsis thing?
  • In a much sillier version, his tribute to his beard in Mortal Kombat. It's the Sarah McLachlan song "I Will Remember You".
  • The way he says it is funny, but the thought of a mini-Critic retreating to his cupboard whenever he got scared and thinking he was the only one to do that is a depressing image.
    • After Scooby-Doo, the line about struggling to keep the past innocence and nostalgia alive becomes all the more poignant.
  • The Top 11 Dumbest Superman Moments ended pretty darkly. He says that despite everything, the Superman movies make him smile, but soon he remembers what happened to the World Trade Center, Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeves. Then he looks utterly miserable and leaves with "I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I'm gonna go kill myself." Thanks for making us sad too, love.
  • In his review of Short Circuit II he stammers out a "shit" with real tears in his eyes when he sees Johnny Five trying to get up from his beatdown.
  • In the Top 11 Cereal Mascots, there's a look of both guilt and crushing realization after the "my Dad still has AIDS" line. The latter is understandable (if slightly depressing by itself), but from the Alaska review it sounds like he's also worried about still getting punished.
  • The Patton speech "that [he] personally wrote" after failing to recognize Optimus Prime's death as a Tear Jerker is really funny, but then you see he's been tearing up so much that his glasses are looking really misty.
  • That childhood picture of his parents tearing him apart. The stepford "I had issues" makes it worse. It's either really funny or really sad. But who says it can't be both?
  • During their review of Superman IV, Linkara evidently finds Critic panicking and crying distressing.
  • Claire Milner, the girl who played Harley Quinn in the Casper review, died in a car accident in February 2014. She was 20 years old.
  • Seeing as how he had to talk about Siskel's death and what happened to Ebert, the 2nd half of the tribute to the duo, while still having jokes scattered around, made more than a few people tear up.
  • "This is just like prom night all over again!" That must have been awful.
  • People who have bad experiences with a lot of throwing up (either stress-related or just illness) will know exactly how he feels when he's sobbing and coughing after his first puking in Junior.
  • His suicide and the circumstances around it in Spoony's Captain America review was a bit distressing. How would you react if one of your friends casually revealed to the internet that he dressed you up in an humiliatingly objectifying outfit while he was raping you and is using the pictures for blackmail?
  • A fridge one at the end of Quest for Camelot. He says that Mary Poppins was his childhood idol. A Troubled Child would rather be "practically perfect in every way".
  • In their review of Troll IV, Snob and Phelous aren't all that happy to see him drunk and vulnerable. And these aren't the most empathetic of men so that means a lot.
  • His gigantic rant on how A Troll in Central Park is giving the bad message to rely on your hopes and dreams. Speaking from experience, are we Critic?
  • Over on Familiar Faces, his breaking down to CR about how insecure he is with his job, setting up the depression below.
  • The end of the "My Pet Monster" review was parodying the bizarre ending of the movie, but it was still effectively depressing in many ways:
    • That Thousand-Yard Stare when he remembers how he was pitied for acting like a monkey in eighth grade.
    • The call, how he just shrinks in more and more as it goes.
    • After he hangs up, how he just stares at his phone miserably for a few seconds, almost like he's been betrayed by it.
    • You can't even hate the director for it. It's made too obvious that he's just defending his work from the random idiot calling to bitch at him.
    • Sitting in his room alone. Made worse by the music he chose when he was sitting there. "The Lonely Man". Aww Critic, honey...
  • And if you thought that was bad, the commercial special turns it Up to Eleven:
    • After the most likely intentional OTT-ness of the first breakdown ("I'm a wreck!" and such), the second breakdown just before his Moment Of Awesome will very likely throw you for a loop. "There's nothing left for me anymore." He just sounds so lost and broken.
    • The adorable picture of eight year old Critic. The Dark and Troubled Past he's built up is slightly less funny when you have such a sweet face to attach it to.
    • The very near Death by Despair, slumping over his chair lifeless. If he hadn't managed to pull himself out of it, it's actually rather scary to imagine such a Hot-Blooded guy just kinda wasting away.
      • There's something quite unsettling about that shot before the camera goes back to him for his song. It's hard to explain, but it's like those movies where you think the person is just sleeping, but it turns out they died alone.
    • The instrumental he used for his Despair Event Horizon is called Sad Romance, and the full version might just be the most heartbreaking piece of music ever heard.
    • Say you were mid twenties or so. You're either recently been classed as disabled, you've lost your job or you just feel like your life is slipping you by. The episode will hit all the harder.
  • Little Monsters. A bit like the Chick trying to make The Adventures of Milo and Otis funny but sliding into Tranquil Fury at the animal abuse scenes, he tries to offset the unpleasantness of this one (especially the scenes of parents yelling at children) but it gets under his skin and will get under yours.
  • From Spooning With Spoony III in the donation drive, while funny too, his broken reaction when he realizes he's been raped by Spoony. Again.
  • From Care Bears II and the Book Ends of the It's a Wonderful Plot special, just how much Santa Christ now dislikes the Critic. It's deserved from his POV, but Critic really did fuck up completely by accident.
  • The Baby Geniuses review. Just seeing how broken that movie made him makes you feel bad that's it's also a Funny Moment.
    • Even the ending doesn't give that much relief. He's all excited about getting a second chance to do the Q&A, wanting people to realize that he's funny and creative, but when he gets there he can only swear at them again.
  • Staring sadly into the mirror in his review of The Legend of the Titanic. Quivering lip + Puppy-Dog Eyes + the music that played after Gandalf's death = instant woobie.
  • In the Little Nemo review where he gets celebrated for not making a Finding Nemo joke, his squeeing that he's never felt so loved is pretty dreadful once the fridge sets in.
  • His top 11 list of Batman: The Animated Series was very like the show's dark tone. The majority of the episodes he picked were tragic, there weren't all that many jokes and he sums up abusive relationships in just one depressingly accurate line.
  • It's easy to miss, but in the Critic/Joe grudge match when he's losing, he looks like he's going to cry and says "okay" in a really defeated tone. He goes to a muggy angry face next time we see him, but you have to feel kinda bad for the guy.
  • In his review of Alaska, he remembers the last time he mouthed off to his dad and is actually shaking as he says it really was the last time. Funny and intriguing too obviously, but seriously, shaking.
  • As bad as the episode was, even the LP gives a surprise foreshadowing painful moment:
    Critic: [quietly bitter] Yes, thanks for that, I have nothing, thanks for the reminder.
    • With what he's said about his family, relating to Bart and poor grades, this line also serves to be Harsher in Hindsight:
    Critic: A "D-". That's- I feel so privileged that you gave me this opportunity, game, to have my family look at me, hate me, and totally want to disown me. That's wonderful.
  • In the beginning of James and the Giant Peach, his stunned, speechless, beaten-puppy expression when Chester yells at him.
    • His desperation to be liked again, especially as he doesn't get it.
    • That openly vulnerable expression when he asks the audience if he's restored anything in their eyes makes your soul ache.
  • Maybe not to the point of tears, but did anyone want to give him a hug when he was so delighted that another person (Lupa in this instance) actually listened to him for once, only to have a Yank the Dog's Chain?
    • Listen closely and you'll hear "Sad Romance" playing again.
    • It also shows you that he really does want to be a better person by how quickly he gets a whole new outlook just because he was listened to, it's just life keeps screwing him over.
    • Lupa herself becomes quite The Woobie when she accepts that the Critic doesn't want her help reviewing Simon Sez. It turns out she's faking because she likes him to suffer as much as anyone else, but it's still a bit moving.
  • His view of the robot from Doug's 1st Movie as The Woobie. "It's actually kind of hard to watch."
  • Despite the insanity of "El Tango De Pretense", look at him when he's walking down the street in the Moulin Rouge! review and you'll clearly see that he's been crying.
    • Blink and you'll miss it, but the Chick visibly flinches when they hit Spoony's house.
    • Brental Floss' pitiful "Ho-hoooo..." after he's shot by the Critic toward the end. Not exactly tearjerking (especially considering the humor that follows it), but still quite sad.
    • After Doug revealed that this was the review where they decided Critic needed to be wrapped up soon, "The Review Must Go On" - with its lines like "I think I'm done", "the joke's gone on too long", Critic typing "The End" while dying, even Chick going to watch Scooby-Doo - gets some seriously painful double meanings.
  • His reaction to Patch being fired in Santa Claus: The Movie, ending with a tearful "Fa la la la la, la la la la."
    • Anyone feel kinda depressed when Critic leaped up all excited to give Santa Christ a hug but never got it?
  • The most epic answering machine message. It starts off as deliciously hammy fun, but then it surprisingly turns much sadder and darker with Ringtone's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • It's played for laughs, but his reaction to the pet he called Ballsack dying. He just sounds so destroyed. The next review even shows he gave it a decent headstone.
  • In the Patch Adams review, his horror at the idea that he'd just been mocking a real person who was molested as a kid, and murdered.
    • Even before that, his Tranquil Fury over the family being forced out while Patch - for some unknown reason - gets to be with their father in his last moments.
    • The entire second half of the review is a combination of this and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming/Awesome.
    • His quiet "did he really just say that?" when Patch asks what's wrong with death. Another button pushed, movie.
  • Ponyo time and again tempts him into making a joke about the 2011 tragic Japanese earthquake and tsunami, but thank God he never does. Seeing him struggling to keep his sadness in is no less touching. Even a messed-up nerd like him feels sad for all the ruined lives resulting from the tsunami.
  • Played for laughs, but in Thomas And The Magic Railroad he really seems broken at the idea that he's Alec Baldwin's delusion. One must wonder how badly he'd take finding the fourth wall and realizing he really is just fictional.
  • A bit more muted, but yet another one in “fuck-ups part three”. At the start he obviously just wants the list of his flaws over and done with (even finishing Douchey's sentences for him), and at the end he has a screaming breakdown about everyone being awful. It's so bad that Douchey has a My God, What Have I Done? moment and decides to leave him alone.
    • The bitter way he says “maybe I should be my own troll”. A cute nod to Doug playing both Critic and Douchey, but also pretty true in-character as well. When Douchey praises him for being good at coming up with insults for himself, you know damn well the reason why.
    • He looks pretty disappointed when Douchey realizes they've been bonding and forces it to stop.
    • He's so lonely he's reaching out to Douchey. He's willing to spend time with someone who treats him like crap just so he won't be alone.
  • Nostalgia Prime's depression over how far his franchise has fallen since the days of the cartoon. Apparently, no one gave him the memo about Transformers Prime.
  • Drunkenly crying to his giant monkey plushie in Jack about how he thought everything was going to get easier as he grew up sounds a little too much like a funnier version of the "lost innocence" rant in ''The Last Unicorn".
  • It was Played for Laughs, but there's something quite sad about his bitterness that women always leave him right after sex on one night stands.
  • In "The Top 11 Simpsons Episodes", right after setting us up with Bart's tears over failing again, admitting he did badly in school and that all the talks about if there was something wrong/feelings of failure really hit close to home for him. Suddenly all those "God, Critic, you are such a dumbass" moments have a painful edge to them.
    • What probably makes it so potent is that a lot of people can relate to it. As woobie-ish as child abuse and rape are, thankfully only a minority know what's like that. Feeling worthless at school? Awfully common.
    • And makes some of his lines from previous episodes cringe-inducing. He's used to disappointment now so doesn't really mind? Well he did back then.
  • The big rant at the beginning of his review of the Scooby-Doo movie about how lonely he is. Through his crazy and angry tone, his extreme resentment of what he does, and his general feeling of hopelessness that culminates into a breakdown, you can really see how much he wants friends or at least someone to hang out with.
    • It didn't just involve him being lonely, it also included how he's never done anything to make anyone's life better and how he'd love it if someone said "that guy is okay, not great, but okay". With that, he may have possibly beat out Dean Winchester for the lowest self-esteem a character could have.
    • As a troper who's trying really hard to figure out how to make herself a better person and dosen't really have any friends, this whole episode really hit home for her.
    • To the troper above....there are many, many, many tropers on this site. If you want, we could be your friends.
    • Also lends a sad irony to the numerous crossovers and cameos that came before this episode. Either he doesn't get that the other contributors getting excited to do co-reviews with him means that they like him, or he pushed them away because his self-hate was getting so bad he felt like he didn't deserve them.
    • "What's the point in trying to change anything, I am where I am, nothing's gonna make it any different." Could also explain why, after all the progress made in To Boldly Flee and the Plot Hole, he reverted back to 2008 characterization when he came back.
    • That it was improvised and expanded from two lines by Doug doesn't help. In the commentary, by the time Critic emitted his Howl of Sorrow, Rob seemed stunned and the man himself sounded embarrassed.
    • Thank God Young!Critic and Old!Critic came in, otherwise the depressing "this is how I do my shitty review" bit would have continued.
    • For all his talk on conspiracies and "narcs", young!Critic still seems pretty innocent and hopeful about life.
    • When Critic is talking to his younger self, "Perfect" by Smashing Pumpkins is playing. You know, the one that goes "But please, you know you're just like me, next time I promise we'll be perfect"? Because it's not like the review hadn't been soul-ripping enough already.
    • Old!Critic's more subdued personality, memory loss and shakier voice is quite uncomfortable for tropers with grandparents suffering from early dementia.
    • Granted, the context was Present!Critic explaining a scene in Wedding Crashers to Young!Critic, but am I the only one who cringed when Young!Critic asked "Do I have to become you?"
    • His Heroic Suicide. More violent than the To Boldly Flee version, but he looks just as happy to be ending it.
    • After celebrating how he'd saved the world again, his cheerful mood dropping when he realizes he has nobody to brag to.
    • Yeah he's a dinosaur, but anyone who's tried to get their relative or friend out of depression can relate to The Other Guy's tired annoyance when he tells Critic he'd been trying to get him in a poker game for five years.
    • Thankfully it ends up alright, but Critic looks very young and vulnerable when he's getting up the nerve to join the poker-game.
    Critic: God, I should've done this a long time ago.
    Eighties Dan: You were always welcome.
    • Watching To Boldly Flee, then this review, makes all of this drama super effective!
  • At the end of To Boldly Flee, the Critic merges with the plot hole to save our universe, but cannot do reviews anymore. The entire movie was basically all about endings, and about the Critic admitting to himself that he's all messed up and should do something about it. All my sorrow...
  • Especially if suffering from an eating disorder, one can find CriticReloaded!Critic's utter revulsion of his SuburbanKnights!body (and remember how Doug gleed over even fanboys calling him sexy in that movie?) more depressing than funny.
  • The reboot opening theme clips serve as a constant reminder of Critic's main breakdown: preparing for the fight that led to Ma-Ti's death > screaming in the car on his way to the Plot Hole > peacefully merging with the thing.
    • Even the opening theme change in Ghost Dad is depressing for a different reason, as it involves a lot of Rachel getting abused and features none of Critic's proud moments. That also might mean, as he's carried on from what The Guyver review planted before, that Critic is losing more and more memories of who he was pre-comeback.
  • In The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, Doug the advertising man making Rachel the infertile woman cry.
  • Pearl Harbor: Despite the Critical Research Failure Broken Aesop of the Bay rant, and his hypocrisy later, the moment where he's slumped back in his chair, silent and wrecked and then speaking shakily, is actually well-earned emotionally, even just for a few seconds.
  • He calls Paranoia "like a miserable night that just won't seem to end", and judging from his tired red eyes in the review it seems like he's had a few of those.
    • He brings "Demo Reel = purgatory" as a twist that makes no sense, and then he breaks out of Smug Snake reviewer mode to look away and tell everyone to shut up.
  • Part of it's his own fault, but how lonely he sounds when calling Santa Christ in “Son Of The Mask”, calling him the “only good, decent person [he] knows”. The new eye-bags don't help.
    • After the happiness he found in the Plot Hole, Santa Christ (showing off a sadist side) telling him that he was meant to suffer is just really cruel.
    • His expression after he suffers the heart attack, practically like he would have preferred dying.
    • Critic begging the Devil to Mercy Kill him so he'll be rid of the horrible images. Evilina brings up his death in To Boldly Flee and decides it's “crueler to leave him alive”, and the two them leave Critic to curl up on the floor and sob.
    • A dirge-like Ominous Music Box Tune playing over this scene until his end doesn't help at all.
    • The ending: “I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it because it'll never go away”. And then crying some more. Jesus.
    • And after all that, playing the sad instrumental version of “The Review Must Go On” makes said song even more depressing.
  • Most of the Where the Wild Things Are editorial is pretty poignant, but when he talks about "there's no logical reason why, it just seems like everything that should be good is now falling apart", there's a resigned tone to his voice that just hurts you.
  • As soon as he finds out in The King and I that people are complaining about the wall, his eyes get all red, he looks like he's about to cry and he motor mouths passive-aggressively while everyone complains.
    • Also how after all that upset, he still goes back immediately to the old wall with a happy hopeful smile, but just gets more and more crushed and frustrated the more the audience complains.
  • Just the entire "Farewell to Roger Ebert" video.
    • Doug spends a fair amount of time, mostly centered around the response tweet to the tribute but in other places too, trying to make us aware that he's nowhere near as good as Ebert. The farewell is bad enough, but all that on top is heartbreaking.
    • And with Doug in a later vlog trying to explain that he survives each day essentially like a zombie, Critic being desperate for some of the passion Ebert and Siskel had, saying that if he possessed it for anything he'd be set.
    • Special mention for Doug mentioning that he would be constantly looking for Ebert's next appearance so he could tell him just how much that tweet meant to him, but now he'll never get the chance...
    • From his red eyes and flushed face, you can plainly tell that Doug had spent a lot of the day crying.
    • Just the fact that he put the video up the same day as Ebert's death when he could have waited until Tuesday shows just how much the man meant to him (plus, what he had to say probably wouldn't have been nearly as fresh in his mind if he waited).
    • "I'm the Nostalgia Critic... and you will always be remembered."
  • In the embarrassingly sad variant, "The Looney Tunes Show: Good Or Bad" had him impersonating "most people's reaction to change" by bawling on the floor like a baby. Even Douchey got more respect than that.
  • His speech towards Peter Souless about how Dr. Seuss's stories aren't just simple kid's stories, even if there's a Broken Base on why exactly it's so sad.
    • Critic reminding himself that hope is not something he should have and that all is lost. It sounds like it should be a funny moment, but he's pink-eyed, To Boldly Flee is again the Elephant in the Room and even Evilina looks sad.
    • His making Evilina cry twice, once by shooting her My Little Pony doll and the other time hitting her hard and telling her to shut up. Rachel really does look like she's about to bawl.
      • While he doesn't deserve the sympathy, it's bad from Critic's perspective too. For so long he declared himself defender of kids and not be like his own Abusive Parents, but here he is having no regret for making a girl cry.
    • After a certain scene that occurs after the Cat gets hit in the groin, the Critic leaves to stare at the sunset. He then starts to wonder if he's losing his touch. It's not as dramatic as the other times he's broken by a movie, but watching start to doubt himself is a bit disheartening.
    • they come back and his guilt doesn't last long, but the analysts committing suicide. They're desperate and broken without their charts, and both they and the Critic know that it's all his fault that they want a Together in Death.
  • "Top 11 South Park Episodes" is a downer for how much Critic can't seem to stand his fans. Irony of it being the only reason why it's this list is because Doug asked the fans what they wanted and they chose South Park.
  • At the end of reviewing A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, he admits that, while the movie still has plenty of flaws, he can't bring himself to despise it as much after learning the Ending Fatigue was written by Kubrick, not Spielberg - the latter was faced with a no-win situation, but still went ahead and produced it for his dead friend (who had wanted to emulate Spielberg's more whimsical style).
    • Doug being an abusive parent and making his child cry was as crushing as it was scary.
  • In the Superheroes editorial, he reassures them that he "gets all the anxiety and torment beating down on a guy". Add that to some very red eyes and you get the urge for some cuddling.
  • There's something depressing about him tearfully begging the Breaking of the Wind (or Fart Joke, as he's called) not to leave him as he reaches the ending of The Master of Disguise.
    • Rachel is really hopeful and vulnerable when she tells Critic it's her birthday. Also Critic rubbing the salt in at the end tossing out a "happy birthday" after he's beaten and fired her is a particularly cruel moment in hindsight.
  • Knowing context, the build-up to the Demo Reel Take That at the end of Sailor Moon. Dr. Hack says it's going to be the best show ever, and going to post-To Boldly Flee, you might remember Doug being so excited for it that he couldn't even get words out. Word of God is that they even made Donnie Critic just because they were pissed off at the demands for Critic's return.
  • In The Last Airbender, Rachel!Katara says “Critic has a long way to go before he's capable of saving anything”. She's right to say it as she's only known him as a Dirty Coward, but it's painful when you think about the three times he's managed to save the whole world.
  • His conclusion to his already downbeat analyzing of The Graduate
    Critic: In my world, it's a constant reminder of how it's best to slowly figure out what you want rather than rush into something you're unsure about, because fighting too quickly for your freedom will result in making your prison bars even stronger.
  • The overhead shot of a dead Jack!Critic in the 2013 Nostalgia-Ween opening. Maybe just because of the depressing-implications Call Back.
  • All the talk in “Why Do We Love Zombies?” about getting used to being beaten down and having the kindness sapped out of you can get very uncomfortable after a while.
  • Critic and Santa Christ in a Mexican Standoff in the Devil review is a very depressing image, as it drives home how far apart the two have fallen.
  • In Dawn Of The Commercials, Critic breaking down crying over none of his favorite toys being at Toys R Us, followed by the return of his mom (who he still lives with)
  • In Man of Steel, Joe's trauma over his childhood abuse, and Critic not caring.
    • The awkward "now you're the outcast!" moment in the behind the scenes video.
  • His description of how much it hurts to be lied to in "Why Lie About Santa". For Reality Subtext, Rob admitted lying to Doug about there being no issues with Demo Reel.
  • In the "Top 12 Santa Clauses", relating to the Mall Santa's hating what he does but carrying on to exploit people who think he's good at it is a nasty reminder of his constant job issues.
  • No matter what your opinion is of the reboot or the place she came from, Rachel leaving TGWTG to go back home to California. It's what she wants and she'll be happier, but it's still sad. Also both her farewell videos in Face/Off, and Doug's accidental deletion of her send-off episode.
  • In "The Worst Christmas Special EVER", he really hates the moral of "you always win when you are good". And while he focuses on Christmas, the Elephant in the Living Room is that due to Real Life Writes the Plot, his attempt at being good failed utterly. Not to mention that an earlier editorial discussed having the kindness beaten out of him.
    • How sad Mrs. Walker looks when Doug says she gave up her opera singing career to raise him and Rob.
  • Fittingly for a pretty dark year, he puts in a moment of bittersweet for the last 2013 editorial, noting how he and others can relate to feeling confused and failing to pull through on things, especially around Christmas.
  • Seeing a depressed Carl and Quinn in a cameo at the end of The Wicker Man got some serious feelings from people. Rachel included.
    • Critic ends up about to cry because he just saw Cage in a bear suit and doesn't know what old bear meme to pick. Malcolm acting like he's helping but actually turning out to be working for Tamara makes it worse.
    • Critic's casual acceptance that he has to be in pain for fanservice and views becomes horrible when you remember "
  • While it was meant to be funny, and he technically deserves it for what he's been acting like, if you relate to Critic's new Hates Being Touched feelings then the “Top 11 Best And Strangest Couples” opening is very uncomfortable. It'd be one thing if Critic was just disgusted, but he looks like he might cry too.
  • How seriously broken he looks after the Ass Pull in Ghost Dad used to reveal that Bill Cosby's character is still alive. It winds up confusing him so much that he can't think of anything funny or clever to say in response to it.
  • While also heartwarming, the To Boldly Flee music (the same music that he used for “WTF Is Up With The Ending Of The Graduate”) playing over a young Critic's shrine to Tim Burton in Alice in Wonderland brings up sad What Could Have Been feelings.
  • The halfway point of "Disney Afternoon" has a Surprise Creepy scene, where Critic realizes things haven't changed since he was a teenager, and that he's still watching cartoons and commenting on them. There's even a sad music sting.
    • There's something both interestingly depressing and creepy about how desperate Critic is to regress back into being a teenager and trying to forget his adult issues, from pretending he was at school to being so fixated on the illusion that he turned the studio into a recreation of his bedroom.
  • Food Fight begins with the Critic going into a nervous breakdown, smashing all the products featured in the film before crying on the floor amongst them bitterly. It concludes with him broken down and lying in a fetal position in the middle of all the wrecked products urging the audience not to watch it in a distraught whisper.
    • With The Reveal that it wasn't the movie that broke him but the fact that he didn't get money for it, it might almost seem like the Critic has got even more fed up with being stuck doing a job he resents having to do and starts sobbing as he again yearn for his intended fate inside the Plot Hole.
    • Not just the breakdown itself. How about the scene where he realizes it was a waste of time? Malcolm and Tamara coo over the "new big thing" while he just slowly crumples and walks out.
  • The Lorax: The illustrative sketches in Loraxtown involving marketing were quite sad.
    • The NC's voiceovers during these don't help, because that reminds me that our society works like this in real life.
    • In the beginning, the giving tree's pleading and crying when the little boy she was friends with chops her down and feeds her to the paper machine.
  • If you weren't more interested on Critic's first big nerd-rage in "Blue Brothers 2000", you would spot Commercial!Malcolm putting a blanket over Commercial!Tamara's dead body and mourning her. Throughout the entire scene, Malcolm's acting - where he's upset and in a panic - is surprisingly moving.
  • Jurassic Park III: The Critic receiving a phone call that his mother had died, with the dinosaur interrupting before he can hear her final words. Even if she's shown to be an alcoholic who insulted and verbally abused him, the Critic is genuinely broken by it.
    • And she didn't tell him she was sick because she knew he was too busy working. Whether that was just more passive-aggressive abuse or genuine not wanting him to worry, ouch.
    • His utter disbelief that the T-Rex from the first film was easily overpowered and killed is this.
      • And then it inspires him to write a dark skit where a father kills his daughter's favorite doll and tries to force her to love a Barbie.
    • Even the beginning is surprisingly somber, with Rob asking him about nightmares and Critic (in such a world-weary tone) responding “those are yet to come”.
  • While it might be Laser-Guided Karma mixed in with fanservice, you're going to feel sorry for him in The Last Angry Geek's Future's End episode where he's got nothing left but a Thousand-Yard Stare, and breaks down crying when he kneels down to service The Cinema Snob.
  • In “Nostalgia Critic Talks Transformers 4”, the state of the Critic/Chester friendship. Critic used to give him money and offered him a job and Chester defended him, but now Critic takes over the show with a baseball bat and kicks him for no reason when Chester tries to be nice.
  • Synecdoche, New York is a really sad film in itself, and he gets melancholy in “Is Tree Of Life Full Of Shit”, talking about self-destructive people getting into bad situations, fathers missing their daughters being little girls, and himself getting more confused about time passing as he gets older.
  • Hearing the Brain brutally reduce Pinky to tears was incredibly uncomfortable and depressing. Even sadder is the fact that the Critic actually thought it was funny and what PatB fans wanted to hear.
    • A lot like Santa Christ and Chester, the state of the relationship between Film Brain and Critic, going from the former helping the latter in TBF and worrying for Kyle's melancholia because he had another friend who had been suicidally depressed, to creeping outside his studio and threatening to kill him.
  • Hyper Fangirl is a horrible deluded person who needs to get as far away from Critic as possible, but in one of her vlogs she says that the questions other fans give are the only thing that keep her going through the week and make her believe she has friends. It's a rare moment of lucidity that induces pity at the very least.
    • And it gets a lot worse in "Princess Diaries 2". When she and Critic review the movie together, she sounds normal. It's only when the Critic and her assassin bring up how wrong it is to manipulate someone that she has a brief Oh, Crap/My God, What Have I Done? moment, which she quickly derails by distracting them. The ending is pretty hard to watch, as Critic and the assassin try to talk her down and convince her that she can't force Critic to love her, and that her obsession isn't love. She almost gets it... before turning around and desperately trying to replay the movie, convinced they can make it work if she just plays it again. Past a certain point, she's less of an obsessed fangirl and more of a mentally ill woman who needs help.
    • The saddest part is the Critic actually does seem to be genuinely trying to get through to her, but she won't listen.
  • Seeing Film Brain cry over a picture of Pinky and the Brain and tearfully sing their theme song. With the sad music playing in the background in the Ghost Rider 2 review.
  • Malcolm in the “Top 11 Best Avatar Episodes” gets his woobie status turned up to 11: helping Critic, legit thinking they were going to fend off Dante together, but Critic runs away. He begs Critic to come back because Dante will kill him, but Critic's a selfish Dirty Coward and when Malcolm is burned on the wall, Critic still doesn't appreciate the help.
  • “Is Eyes Wide Shut Artsy Porn” discusses the mix of “nightmares exposing you at your very core” and “love/sexuality is scary and often relationships can't deal with it”, so it's going to be a heavy episode for anyone currently going through either or both those things.
  • A year on in “Top 11 New Halloween Classics”, he's still got the melancholy brought up in “Why Do We Love Zombies”, discussing in the Paranorman segment that the scariest monsters are just humans who were too sad to cope, and that anyone including him could become one of those monsters.
  • “Reality seeping in” during The Monster Squad is hard to watch, as Critic and the others get more and more depressed due to the reality monster getting inside their heads.
    • Tamara having a rare vulnerable moment where she thinks she's finally being included in the boy team and looks so happy, but Critic still just ignores her.
    • Critic's panicked-denial reaction to the reveal that “Scary German Guy” is a Holocaust survivor, stressing that he needs to keep up the innocent delusion his brain has got him into and that the number is someone's phone. Even Analyst 1 looks concerned.
  • His talk about You Can't Fight Fate in Is There Another Good Shyamalan Movie? is another patented “use meta for sadness” moment, as he explains that if this trope is true, victims are screwed, people who don't want to be mean are screwed, and that he's just a chess piece character in someone else's story.
  • To some people, the first part of his rant against Hyper Fan Girl.

The Nostalgia ChickTearJerker/That Guy with the GlassesDoug Walker

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