Follow TV Tropes

Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope.


Fridge Sadness

Go To

So, you've just finished watching the new movie, Puppy Boy and the Mischievous Miss Meow. Then as you're walking out of the cinema, you realize; Miss Meow decided to move to Earth at the end, but what about her family? They don't have spaceships, so they can't move with her. That's actually really sad.

Congratulations, you've just experienced Fridge Sadness.

Fridge Sadness is when you realize something about a work after experiencing it that makes the story sadder. This can be achieved via thinking deeply about the implications, looking at real-life events happening either now, or in the time period the media takes place in, or just wondering What Could Have Been.

Types of Fridge Sadness include:

  • The Not-So Happy Ending: The ending seems happy, until you think through all of its implications and realize that it might not have been as happy as it was presented. In other words, a more subtle variation of an Esoteric Happy Ending.
  • The Backstory Implications: A character's backstory is revealed, and once you think about it, it becomes much worse than initially implied. This is common with backstories that start with something bad happening to the character as a child.
  • The Past Installment Sadness: You've finished watching a sequel or spinoff, and after you're done, you suddenly think "Aw, man, it would have been so sweet if Bob from the first movie was here to see that". This often happens with characters who have died in previous installments.

What sets Fridge Sadness apart from Fridge Horror is that while Fridge Horror usually pertains to things that send chills down your spine or make you feel icky, Fridge Sadness makes it a little harder to watch the movie without feeling a little crushed.

Not to be confused with someone being sad because there's nothing in their fridge.

Media with Fridge Sadness moments include:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 


    Video Games 
  • A Way Out
  • Dark Souls III
  • Ghost Trick
  • Halo: Reach
  • HoloFunk - Pre-6.0: In the 5.0 lore, Aloe has short hair in a concept sketch of a family photo that appears to have been taken just before things before went to hell; her brother's hair is longer, but is tied up to give the impression that it's only as short as hers. This implies, together with another sketch showing that Aloe's brother later untied his hair post-betrayal, as his unmasked concept sketches show, that her long hair in the present is at least partially because it's unkempt from Mamoru's death causing their home lives to become completely dysfunctional and eventually non-existent.
  • Life Is Strange
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
  • Monolith:
    • After clearing Hard difficulty for the first time, you are able to play as D-13 in Normal difficulty, and for each respective difficulty setting, D-13's and Null's runs are mechanically identical. This means that D-13 in Normal Difficulty, should you go far enough without being able to enter Nowhere, will effectively beat their best friend to Power Eternal and become a similar Tragic Monster to what they fight in Hard difficulty.
    • The Sudden Death lethality renders you a One-Hit-Point Wonder. With it enabled, it is possible for your HP to be reduced to zero in the mirror practice fight against D-13. Imagine if D-13 accidentally killed Null this way while sparring with them. Unlike the D-13 Hard difficulty ending, that death would have been for nothing.
  • Neopets
  • Tales of Xillia 2

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation