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Tear Jerker: Webcomics
"Lie Bot, what is the saddest thing?"
— Philippe of Achewood, setting himself, and the reader, up for a doozy.


Examples:

  • This Dinosaur Comics strip (shucks mah!)
  • Buttercup Festival, Second Series.
    "Reasons Hot Dogs Are Amazing:
    1. You can eat them almost every day
    2. They taste the way they smell
    3. They can be fun!
    4. Sometimes, it's hard to be alone in the world
    5. ..."
  • The death of Faye in Something Positive, and knowing this, the strip right before.
    • On the same topic, Faye's funeral
    • Also, the revelation that Fred had Alzheimer's. That it immediately followed an unexpected heartwarming moment with his adopted daughter did not help.
    • Much earlier, Davan at Scott's grave. The epitaph was just too much.
    • This comic.
    • Also, the ending of the Hell House arc.
    • An in-universe version of a musical tear-jerker is when Jason said that he doesn't get people who cry at songs, to which Davan succintly replied:
      Davan: *plays A Boy and His Frog*
    • This comic, where the beleaguered single male callboy at Nerdrotica who finds out that one of his regular callers is an old man who uses the service as a method of recalling memories of his deceased male lover.
    • The whole flashback of Scotty's last day, especially this comic, in which Davan pours his heart out to Scotty over the phone, coupled with Mr. Harris knocking on his son's door, wanting to talk to him, when you know how it's going to end. And at the end, just... Ow, my heartstrings.
      Davan: I never knew my half-brother, but I'd like to think you were sort of sent to me in his stead.
  • This Erfworld comic. It's because Grey and Grey Morality of the setting that makes you root for the both sides. And then you realise it's the Pacifist of "Bad" side doing the deed. And all the main protagonist knows about it all is this message from said pacificst: "Im In Ur Dirtz: We broke the leadership.". Baaaw!
  • Nanas Everyday Life. You don't even need to know the series to end up a snivelling wreck by the end of it. Compared to Nana's Everyday Life, Elfen Lied is straight-up comedy. Let that sink in for a while.
  • In Inhuman, Juu's death .
  • Breakfast of the Gods. Just, Breakfast of the Gods. Great writing, but man is it sad.
    • When 1/0 ended. Considering how the comic went, the ending was just perfect.
  • 8-Bit Theater had one, where after Black Mage died Fighter desperately pleads with him to wake up before going into an Unstoppable Rage.
    • Plus, Black Belt's death.
    • The note Black Mage wrote to White Mage. Being out of character for him somehow intensified its touching nature.
    • This strip. Black Mage finally achieves his dreams of becoming the most powerful evil force in the universe... and then the one being he's ever loved shows up out of nowhere, right into his line of fire, and he apparently kills her. And then, to add insult to injury, Fighter finally gets the picture that BM is evil and blames him for the one atrocity he didn't mean to commit.
    • There's another one in a comic hosted at his site, Warbot in Accounting.
      • Another one? Warbot is made to kick you in the gut at least once every comic.
  • The penultimate strip of The Last Days of Foxhound. After 500 strips of watching and getting to know and love them, the final, silent images of the team's dead bodies is heartbreaking (though it does have warning. Being a Foregone Conclusion doesn't make it easier).
    • Sniper Wolf and Berthold
  • Big Boss's explanation of The Boss's death, and Liquid's highly emotional reaction to it.
    Big Boss: You understand now? I had to kill the greatest hero of the modern era because the factions of Philosophers were fighting over money.
    Liquid Snake: But you burned those sons of bitches right? Tell me you went home and SKULLFUCKED every last one of them!
  • Sabrina Online's 1999 Christmas strip. Pretty hard for someone who has never had someone for any holiday season.
  • This short comic series about the rescue efforts of the May 2008 Sichuan Province Earthquake. (Note: Last two strips are humorous as a change of pace)
    • Link has now been updated to one that works. In case you weren't bawling already, the ones focusing on named people were all true stories - the artist took news stories and put them in comic form. Eyes are moist on the first one, wet on the second, and the waterworks break by the 4th or 5th.
  • Laika: The First Dog in Space will NEVER make the experiment of shooting animals into the space funny ever again.
    • Wrong section, but go on, just try playing this song at the same time.
  • This Animal Crossing comic from This Is Game. A mother gets into Animal Crossing thanks to her child; being wheelchair-bound, the game gave something for the mother to do. Sadly, the mother's sclerosis became serious and she eventually passed away. A year and a half later, the boy decides to visit the game and finds his mailbox full of presents from his mother with letters saying how much she loves him.
  • This Insecticomics episode. "REPAIR. HER."
  • Jack:
    • "He hurt me, uncle Jack..."; and then later Skye Bluedeer just wiping Fnar's face clean... the whole arc is one big cryfest.
    • "I can't read dis book ..."
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures : Hannah's recent death.
    • Even more painful: Anna collecting the ashes and visibly starting to fall apart emotionally.
    • Also: Hennya's death in Abel's Story.
    • The tragic story of Aniz and Destania after the death of Siar, Aniz's clan leader, and the rest of the clan.
    • When Abel visits his dying mother at the hospital and she stays alive just long enough to tell him that she always loved him before passing away was especially potent for readers who have been in similar situations with their relatives.
  • The ending of Concerned: The Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman
    "Daddy? Please wake up." (beat) "Daddy?"
  • Mew Cai's last words in Keychain of Creation.
  • Kid Radd.
    • The death of younger Sheena. As the ROM they were in collapsed, the heroes were stranded in a mess of garbled coding, glitching the game up and costing Sheena's life. Seeing her newfound sister fade away, Sheena dropped to the ground. "She's gone..."
    • Bogey realizing he was useless and in the way on their missions, unable to do anything aside from get himself killed, and becoming an increasingly minor character as he pondered his usefulness. That combined with the fact that he was actually in love with Sheena, but could see she and Radd were meant for each other.
    • Sheena realizing she loves Radd and wanting them to be together, but being afraid it was their programming speaking. Afterwards, she realizes that regardless of programming, she'd have fallen for him all along.
    • Back to Bogey, the second one is made even worse by his Heroic Sacrifice. Radd is losing in the final battle against the Seer. One more hit and he's dead, permanently. The Seer is about to use his most powerful move yet, to wipe out Radd and everyone else. Bogey is trapped in there with them, watching unnoticed from the sidelines. He makes his appearance, reminding Radd that he could get a full life meter from killing the most common enemy in his game... a Bogey. At first Radd refuses to do this, but realizes he has to. Despite all his fighting, Bogey dies the hopeless death of an enemy sprite. Or does he?
    • The ending, too. Possibly the best webcomic ending out there.
    • The fact that Bogey nearly forced Radd to kill him. Bogey says something along the lines of, "I understand.", walks away, and suddenly runs back and tries attacking Radd. Radd blocks it... And kills Bogey in the process. *sniff*
  • User Friendly reminds us that Remembrance Day's not just for World Wars any more.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Galatea finally learns what kindness is, here and here.
  • This Darthsand Droids strip. Which is strange, considering a) we knew it was coming, b) the character himself is still alive, because c) it's a comedic RPG. Talented webcomic artists.
    • This strip also. This is the most sympathetic Yoda ever, lamenting over DookŻ's betrayal.
  • A Softer World is true art. This is just one reason why. And then there's this...
  • The moment in MegaTokyo where Largo and Erika have an argument, and Largo gets depressed enough to actually manage to drink himself into a drunken stupor is strangely heartbreaking.
    • This non-story comic. "A Failure Of Conscience", indeed.
      • The omake chapter "Circuity" [1]. "I said I'd push back the wind for you!"... Made even better by "Circuity: Rewound", a rewrite and update of the omake Fred did for the 4th volume.
  • The Worst Thing I Ever Did; A True Story, from Ricky Garduno's 1930 Nightmare Theatre. Merry Christmas...?
  • Questionable Content does this starting with strip number 500. Faye's Dad's death
    • These two strips. Say what you will about Marten and Dora's relationship, but seeing it come to an end after so long was pretty heartbreaking.
      • That last line before Marten closed the door was just such an awful way to put it, it conveyed how hurt he was and was actually horribly true at the same time. That one line matched the angst of this strip right after it.
  • The death of Thor in Brat-halla. Admittedly, it's in a story set in the future so the character isn't actually dead "yet," and it's really a case of Foregone Conclusion, but the sheer unstoppable inevitability of it.
    • Welcome to Norse Mythology! We're all just killing time until the end of the world!
  • Several in YU+ME: dream , such as how Fiona's mom died and tried to kill her in the process, the big revelation that it's all just a dream, and especially when it's revealed that Lia broke all the rules just to be able to truly meet Fiona and is currently being imprisoned/tortured/raped/some other form of horrible treatment because of it.
  • The ending of Fleep.
    • "I'm coming Jenny!"
  • Bogroll's death in Erfworld, that is all. It's only after his Heroic Sacrifice (shouting "For Lord Hamster!!", no less) that you realize how much you rooted for him. And it gets worse, when Parson shows his Not So Stoic side at the news...
    • And Vinny crying at Prince Ansom's death kinda stabbed me in the heart.
  • There's just something about this minus. strip... The main character gets rejected from playing with two girls, believing that minus will just cheat by using her magic powers. She creates an angel to play catch.
    • The same two girls play a game where they flip a coin and call heads or tails. One of them gets dejected for losing constantly, so she demands minus to send her to the past so she can tell her past self to say the right answer. minus sends her back too far. She eventually returns as an old woman who's lived a full life. Despite the sister wanting her to return to her original age, the other sister refuses and comforts her sibling, saying everything will be all right.
    • And there's this strip. A cloud she created wants to play with minus. Getting tired of the cloud, she simply makes it inanimate again.
    • The ending.
    • For a lot of people this is the first minus. strip they saw. Without context, the last panel is an absolutely heartrending statement of defiance and serenity. The whole world is falling apart and she's just standing there, waiting to take a swing at that asteroid.
  • The "The Luckiest" three-page sequence from Vinci and Arty — it's already a bona fide tear jerker song.
  • This page in Kevin & Kell. (Kell's father has Alzhiemers for those who don't know).
  • In Ozy and Millie, after hearing about his biological mother Shelley, Ozy almost looked like he'd break his normally stoic state and start crying.
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space: If you get the reference, you know what's coming...but not that last panel.
  • The ending of Better Days.
  • Grim Tales from Down Below fits one in too, after Grim Jr. lashes out at Mini Mandy for saving his life, you can see how crushed Mini Mandy is, one page later, she is RIPPED INTO PIECES BY THE PUMPKINATOR, and another page later, Lock, Shock, and Barrel are horrified, unlike Oogie, who is laughing in pure glee, and after Junior Took a Level in Badass, the Redeemer comes and takes Mini Mandy to heaven, she gives Junior one last kiss, in my opinion, merging Tear Jerker AND Nightmare Fuel together PERFECTLY.
  • Even the Black Comedy VG Cats has one: "But... But I waited for you, Mr. Potatomoto. We all waited. We've always waited."
    • In the other spectrum, "Perfect Gift". Scott can touch your hearts if he wants.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja manages to pull one off with Dark Smoke Puncher and his major daddy issues. You just want see the poor kid get a real hug.
  • Least I Could Do in memorial of the author's cat, Baby Sohmer
  • Girly started off as a care free dada comic, the most recent arc ended with this
  • Lint, in this strip, confirms Bactine's death after several agonizing panels of uncertainty.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    Torg: I'm not going to call, e-mail or correspond with you in any way. I'm not going to see you again.
    (pause)
    Torg: But I will miss you.
  • Red's death in Cuanta Vida.
    • And RED Scout's reaction to it.
    • And on top of that, seeing Sniper alone at Red's grave, which he dug himself... Oh, my heart hurts.
    • And then BLU Medic mercy killed Sniper right after he lost his eyes.
  • Request Comics, by the authors/photographers of Terror Island, makes a surprisingly sad strip.
  • Cyanide and Happiness does this deliberately as part of their "Depressing Comics Weeks". Also, their animated short, "Waiting for the Bus".
  • Subnormality: A Coward's Tale. Even if you don't read the Walls of Text, it's still sad.
  • "Pure Cuteness Overdose" by Zeurel. "Fetch..."
  • Fans! has a few, notably from the God-Machine arc;
    • "Save Draft. That paragraph stays." Context; Shanna is writing about this adventure four years after the fact, and up to this moment, we don't know whether Will survived the final battle.
  • Brawl in the Family's Ode To Minions. As if the first time it invoked What Measure Is a Mook? was bad enough...
  • This comic. Sure, yukkuris are supposed to be either funny or annoying, but this... Abusive Parents, Family-Unfriendly Death, and the scene where Alice goes out into the rain to stay with her Mommie... Although, the parts where the Mommie realizes how much Alice loves her, in turn realizing how much she loves Alice and her sisters, and Alice, her sisters, and Mommie being happily reunited in the after life, at least provides a Bitter Sweet Ending.
  • The ending of Exploitation Now.
  • Nature of Nature's Art. Ending of the first arc, as Quintet repeatedly attacks Meander's living body, now fully facing the fact that Meander, her best friend, is dead and all that's left is a vacuous animal with only the slightest snippets of memory making him keep near to her. Then, as he runs off into the wild, away from his friend that his vacuous animal brain can't understand why she was attacking him, we are left with a quote from him from near the beginning of the story. Then we have the end of the second arc which is going on now, what is it with nofna and best friend death anyway?
    • The second arc is worse than that. It's revealed that XZ (formerly known as Nutsedge) has been constantly bombarded with sexism, leading to her decision to quit the college. This is revealed through SV's nightmarish power - and then SV beats her to death. If that wasn't enough, right after this No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, he realises that he's dying, and as he writes his story, his monologue reveals the lesson he has learned, and the secret to true happiness... and then, after he dies, when the investigators see his message, it turns out to be illegible, and SV is passed off as a fool who never learned anything! Yes, in the end, SV's efforts were for nothing.
  • These two Captain SNES: The Game Masta comics. The first makes me cry Manly Tears at Frog's speech telling the Eater of Dreams to choke on it, the second... Lucca's subsequent betrayal foiling it.
  • A Running Gag in Achewood is Philippe asking Lie Bot "What is the saddest thing?" and getting an uncharacteristically — and brutally — honest answer. They have generally been intentionally over-the-top, but the first one is legendarily depressing.
  • Nedroid's Comics are no stranger to dark humor, but the Alt Text in this comic is pretty depressing.
    "It grows from here. Reginald begins reducing more and more actions to simple lines of dialogue: 'nod,' 'dance,' 'laugh,' 'love.' Eventually his muscles atrophy; his body wastes away. Only the left hemisphere of his brain remains alive, the spoken word itself reduced to mere thought. And once Beartato earns his master's degree and invents a brain-to-speech synthesizer, that final thought is at last heard: 'Weep a single tear for the life I have wasted."
  • From Las Lindas: Goodbye, Mora. Seriously, if you don't cry at this you are made of stone.
  • "The First Week", from Jenny the Military Spouse. Jenny goes through the first week of her husband's first overseas deployment. All in the form of a happy cheerful helpful guide on how to deal with deployments. It's the implications of Jenny lying wide-awake in bed clenching her blanket it her hands.
  • The death of Phe in The Meek was bad enough when we saw her husband's subsequent reactions, but then we had to see the reactions of Suda and Rana...
  • Goodbye Chains: The death of Banquo. To the point where some of the fanbase keep demanding him back, and refuse to acknowledge his death.
  • "This" from Three Panel Soul gets me
  • The rather...bizarre Sugar Babiez has an unexpected one near the end. This comes in the form of Despair, parts one and two. Your Millage May Vary, but the fact that this is that last we see of Jess before the comic ends makes it hit a little harder than it should.
  • From Schlock Mercenary:
    Lota: King Lota thinks it is a little too big.
    Schlock: Brad's best friend thinks it's almost big enough.
  • From Cheer Up Emo Kid: "Dog" (10 pages)
  • Drow Tales: Kiel's reaction to Naal being taken over by her demon and sealed up. And as if that weren't gut-wrenching enough, the epilogue implies that Kiel might have been right about some of Naal still being left in the demon
  • This.
    • That series seems tailor-made to be as saddening as possible. Quite a feat with only a handful of comics to its name.
  • This entry for an OC tournament left many a person only able to say "...wow" in their comments. The gist of it is both O Cs are dying, one a demon that will eventually be reborn, the other a man that will just simply die. As he's dying, he hopes that they'll be something afterwards. "Something above our heads. Or burning like a bloody furnace below our feet. I'd... I'd take either over nothing at all." The part that will really make the tears flow? There is something. "Welcome to Endrealm."
  • Although Errant Story has more of the other moments, the page after this one certainly qualifies as a Tear Jerker. Sarine is faced with something she definitely has trouble trying to execute. "Anilis, I don't want to have to kill this girl!"
  • Ace Dick's game of life is an in-story example (with Shout Outs to Batman and The Oregon Trail). The reason that the second face of Demonhead Mobster Kingpin could be defeated was because it was so depressing that DMK grew a second emotion meter.
  • This comic by Rebecca Sugar. It takes otherwise hilarious quotes from the Simpsons, and makes them so heartbreakingly sad. ( "Can I go now?")
  • The Super Fogeys has one of the most elegantly sorrowful strips ever, all about getting old.
    • And again. Dear lord, this much bittersweet should be illegal. For context, Star Maiden stole Spy Gal's boyfriend when they were young, breaking Spy Gal's heart. This is the first time they've confronted each other since.
  • This collection of minicomics of Pokemon, based on the question of where is Ash's father.
  • Venus Envy, anyone? Despite being a major exporter of Wangst, there are a good deal of legitimately sad bits.
    • Richie's rant about how Alex/Zoe is a freak, after she's blackmailed by Principal Darc
    • The author's personal experience with transphobic violence is easily the worst bit.
    • And Nina STABBING the protagonist (presumably to death, as the strip ends with Nina standing over a collapsed and stabbed Zoe) is a big example of Anyone Can Die, especially in a formerly lighthearted comic. YMMV as to whether this is Wangst, a Tear Jerker, or even Nightmare Fuel.
  • Teddy Bear Anti-Christ is usually darkly and morbidly humorous, but this one is sad. Poor Byron.
  • Joy's miscarriage and Issac's reaction in Namir Deiter are bad enough, but then she begins to obsess over a custom-made doll with her hair and Isaac's fur and ears... that breathes. Blue's Played for Laughs reaction softens it, but it's still paints a very disturbing picture of her psyche.
  • Pauline's death, and Julie's breakdown afterword in Our Little Adventure. It was especially jarring considering how much of a Blithe Spirit Julie normally is.
  • In Dubious Company, after the Sues and Stus capture the pirates, Sal calculates their chance of escape at 0%. Further cemented when she is the first to be hauled off for execution.
  • No Black Plume, with its heavy reliance on black comedy, sometimes skirts with this.
  • This might be a small one, but in Tales of the Questor, Quen breaks down the night after the first time he kills someone. He's a boy who can barely be considered a man, and gets comforted by his mama.
  • From Plush and Blood, Annetea's death.
  • This Little Dog Lost Mother's Day comic May 13, 2012.
  • Any Pokemon Nuzlocke comic will have them But this one by Ky-Nim really sells it.
  • Annie Mia/Leila's backstory in School Bites. "And I knew I would never see him dance again..."
  • Tocsin's death scene in Dragon Tails (at least until the next strip. The latest in a line of a thousand mindless automatons, and the only one to realise that he has life, and understand exactly what that means. As he sacrifices himself to save the dragons and realises that he's just another clone generated by a magical sphere, his last words really clinch it:
    Tocsin: Now that you know that the sphere will resurrect my form, please promise, please...don't bring me back.
  • Sugar Bits: Bo's song.
    Mary had a little lamb
    A lamb that she soon lost
    And no one tried to find this lamb
    Not at any cost
  • Knights Of Buena Vista does this In-Universe. Both Adriana and Dick cry when thinking about Ordinary People.

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