From the comics
- Explorers on the Moon: Wolff, overcome with guilt at betraying the others, leaving the rocket and marooning himself in space in the hope that it will give the others more oxygen; even Captain Haddock, who moments ago thought Wolff had actually tried to commit sabotage, is moved to tears by this.
- When Snowy is beaten by Jorgen. Snowy had gotten into perilous situations before, but to see him so beat up in that manner, and how casually Jorgen threw him through the compartment, just made you realize that behind the sassy comments and awesome feats, he was just a poor little dog defending his master.
- There's this air of dread throughout the whole book, from characters constantly saying how they fear they won't survive the Moon expedition, to all the perils that occur once they're in outer space. You feel a big sense of fear in this adventure more than any other.
- Tintin in Tibet: The Yeti's grief when Chang leaves.
Chang: People treat him like an animal, but I belive he has the soul of a man
Captain Haddock: "You can at least save yourself. You must cut the rope, it's the only answer!"Tintin: "Never! Either we're both saved, or we die together!"
- There's also the Captain trying to sacrifice himself to save Tintin, along with Tintin's reaction to his plan.
- Another one, when they arrive at the crashed airplane. The scene is already sad. And then Tintin finds a teddy bear... Thanks to Fridge Horror, we may easily guess what it means.
- Tintin crying when he hears of Tchang's death and also when he finds him. We almost never see Tintin cry, so to see our hero showing such a human, vulnerable moment takes us with him as well.
- The book overall is the most depressing of the whole Tintin series bar the Moon books. There's this air of melancholy and lost hope throughout the whole story. And when you consider that Herge wrote it after suffering from an existential crisis himself...
- Snowy's reaction to Tintin being supposedly killed by firing squad in "Cigars of the Pharaoh". He's so upset that he decides to lie down and die on Tintin's grave. Thankfully, he learns that Tintin's still alive.
- Mrs Wang crying for her son Didi's mental health in The Blue Lotus. This is so emotional it makes Tintin cry as well.
- Tintin saying goodbye to Tchang at the end, and the two of them crying over it. It's notable to point out that Tintin is rarely seen crying.
- Haddock crying for himself (and his mother) in Crab with the Golden Claws. The poor man's a wreck at the start of the story, and while you could see he's an irresponsible drunk, he's also a good, honorable man who's been taken advantage of for a long time. The fact that he considers Alan a friend says a lot.
- In Flight 714 moments after a dangerous landing, Snowy goes into hysterics and runs off howling. Rastapopoulos' thugs immediately open fire on the poor dog, though they don't even come close to hitting him, prompting Tintin to attack them in rage. Even though Snowy escapes, there is a moment where Tintin tears up thinking he may never see him again.
From the animated series
- In the scene in "Tintin in Tibet" where Haddock tries to sacrifice himself, he mutters bitterly to himself that he's "just getting rid of dead weight" while trying to cut the rope, which makes the scene all the more painful.
Captain Haddock: "Couldn't you find something else?"
- In the same episode, when Tintin finds the teddy bear (see above), Haddock says a line that's far more heartbreaking when it's heard than when it's read.
Haddock: The plane was carrying a team of scientist, as well as...a...young, chinese boy...Tintin: *with tears in his eyes* Chang! My poor friend Chang...
- Haddock reading the article about the plane crash, and the realization that it's the plane Chang was on.