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Tear Jerker / Are You Afraid of the Dark?

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.

  • After spending most of his screen time snarking and antagonizing the rest of the Midnight Society, Eric opens "The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun" heartbroken by his grandfather's recent passing. The story itself is one his 'Popup' told him years ago, and it can be inferred that he inspired Eric's love of scary stories. The episode even ends with the others coming in to hug him.
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  • The lifeguard during the cold open of "The Tale of the Dead Man's Float" failing to save his girlfriend's brother from being drowned by the ghost. The main characters meet him in the present day as the janitor of the school when the pool is re-opened. He's clearly a haunted, broken man, keeping watch over the pool in case the ghost ever re-appears again.
  • A few times, but most notably the ending of "The Tale of the Dream Girl" when Johnny, having realized that he is dead and that the titular "dream girl" is his also-dead girlfriend, says goodbye to his sister and walks off in the afterlife with the girl of his dreams. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment.
  • "The Tale of the Hungry Hounds"note  is a kicker if you're an animal lover, particularly of dogs and/or foxes.
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  • "The Tale of the Train Magic", despite its whimsical title, has a surprisingly sombre storyline. It begins with a boy mourning the loss of his father, who was a train conductor. One night, the boy crosses the train tracks and encounters a strange train, meeting a man named Ray Lawson who runs Train 713. When he visits his father's old station, he learns the story of 713; a ghost train which he witnessed pass by him. The story is especially tragic concerning the ghost of Ray Lawson; he was an elderly conductor who was given a message to switch the tracks at switch 224 due to the other line being renovated, but he forgot to check his watch and fell asleep, causing the train to crash and all within it to perish. Ray now wants to use the boy as the new conductor so he can finally move on. When the boy thwarts his plans, the ghost train is destroyed, but Ray must now wander the empty tracks for all eternity, never to truly find peace. Despite his insanity, his bitter rant to the boy about how just one mistake cost him everything is heart-wrenching.
    Ray Lawson: I made ONE mistake!
  • The end of "The Tale of the Lonely Ghost" will choke you up. The protagonist realizes that the ghost girl just wants to see her mother again, the revelation that the old woman the protagonist met earlier is the girl's mother, and the shot of the two happily playing in the girl's pink room — just before the protagonist's friend screams to be let out of the mirror.
    • It was depressing before that. The old woman, Nanny, was living with the protagonist's aunt and her daughter because she had nowhere else to go. The aunt's daughter, a Jerkass Alpha Bitch, frequently called Nanny a crazy old woman and frequently verbally abused her. Just seeing that tired, defeated look in Nanny's eyes as she's treated like garbage, you just want to give her a hug and break a lamp over the cousin's smug face.
    • "My baby! My poor baby. I didn't know you were here... All this time..."
  • "The Tale of the Full Moon" features a young boy who suspects his neighbor (who happens to be dating his mom) is a werewolf. However, he soon learns that it's actually the neighbor's brother who is the werewolf and the tearjerker moment comes in when said werewolf is shown to be genuinely frightened and confused with the neighbor comforting him.
    • There's also a scene where the protagonist's mother stares sadly at a picture of the boy's father. It's implied that he died.
  • The ending of "The Tale of the Jagged Sign", where Joshua and Marjorie end up together. The sign is finally finished, and the doves on the model become real. Also doubles as Heartwarming.
  • Despite being kind of a narmy Black Comedy, the plight of the old man in "The Tale of Station 109.1" can be upsetting for some. He somehow wound up trapped on Earth after dying (possibly caused after Jaime locked his brother in the hearse), so he keeps asking those he encounters, "Can you help me get home?"
    • As well as the other old people searching for "home".
    • DJ Roy's (Gilbert Gottfried) line about how the afterlife is only scary and hellish for people who were terrible in life. For those who led a good life, it's "...the best thing there is."
  • "The Tale Of The Shiny Red Bicycle". The protagonist, Mike and his best friend, Ricky, are preteen boys riding their bikes along a bridge. Things are fine until Ricky begins to fall off the bridge only for Mike to try and fail at saving him from going over, and he helplessly watches him drown before his eyes. As he screams his friend's name, he now wakes up from the nightmare as a teenager, still being haunted by that day all these years later. Even though the ending reveals that it was an accident; the bike's bent wheels caused the boy to drown and not Mike's inability to save him, Ricky's ghost acknowledges this and tells him he misses him, too and both the boy's remains and the bike itself are discovered, it's still a very sad fate, especially for anyone who may have went through a similar thing in their childhood.

Carnival of Doom

  • After the Carnival of Doom's arrival prompts the Midnight Society's first emergency meeting, Rachel overhears Louise and Aikiko whisper about how initiating her was a "mistake". Ouch!
  • Poor Rachel's reaction when she learns that Mr. Tophat has abducted Gavin. She frantically runs throughout school looking for anyone who remembers the Carnival of Doom, but not even the Midnight Society remembers it. She even bicycles back to the clearing it was last night, in hopes she can somehow save Adam and Gavin. But to her dismay, it's gone. Not only has she lost all chance of saving her first ever friend, but the boy she was starting to like was stolen from right under her. All she can do is drop to her knees and desperately plead it's all a bad dream.
  • There's an element of sadness at seeing Mr. Tophat's origin story. Known originally as Markus Corcorran, he was once a border-line good person who simply wanted his carnival to be his and his late father's legacy. But between his impatience and a stroke of bad luck, his carnival's untested rides cost him everything.
    • As it turns out, Mr. Tophat wasn't the only one whose life was ruined by tragedy. His untested merry-go-round broke down and killed a father, mother and four children. They were only survived by one daughter, who we see crying her eyes out at the loss.
    • His revealing that although the power to make people forget him is a blessing, it's also a curse, as it prevents him from making a name for himself like he previously wanted. If anything, he's not that different from Rachel, who knows what it's like to go through life without friends.

Curse of the Shadows

  • Luke blaming himself for not coming along with Connor, convinced that if he had just come along, things might've been different.
    • This is driven home by Luke's Anxiety Dreams of what might've happened if he had bothered to come, when he sees a darkness-possessed Connor accusingly ask why he didn't come.
  • The backstory of the curse: it all started with June Murphy, the idealistic daughter of a lighthouse keeper. She overheard the Mayor of Shadowbay break the news to her father that the lighthouse was being shut down. We cut to the sobering sight of June forlornly trying to play a board game with her father as he apologizes for having this bad news on her shoulders. It's every parent's worst nightmare to be unable to shield their child from trouble.
    • The sight of June's petition being just a few signatures short of saving her home and her father's lighthouse.
    • After June's untimely death trying to retrieve the lighthouse key, we cut to Mr. Murphy grieving before her grave, made up of flowers and what few belongings she had.
  • Gabby realizing that they didn't save Connor, he's still trapped and the Shadow Man has taken over his form.
    • If you think she had it hard, Luke doesn't it take it any better. Gabby and everyone else has to convince him that's not Connor, it could easily be interpreted as Luke being in denial that the baleful young man standing before him could be anything but his friend and hero.
  • When Luke accuses him he hates children, Sardo argues that he's spent years warning child after child not to go into the haunted woods, in hopes of staving off the Shadow Man. He makes a point that if he really hated kids as much as Luke believes he does, he wouldn't be so bothered watching them disappear days later.
  • After spending most of the story struggling with his insecurity about his role in the group, Jai realizes and comes to terms with having to make a Heroic Sacrifice in order to buy his friends time to escape the Shadow Man.
  • "Connor" (the Shadow Man in disguise) telling the kids to their parents. What follows is the love child of Adults Are Useless and Darkest Hour, as their respective families chew them out and nearly force them to forgo the trap they worked so hard on. Among them is Gabby being chewed out by her mother that she doesn't care for her future.
    • It was probably bad enough for Luke to deal with his normally comic-relief father chewing him out. It was possibly worse to have the knife twisted by the enemy while wearing the face of his missing best friend.
    • While Hannah and Seth do their chores as punishment for their escapades, Hannah tries to urge her downcast brother to help in the chores. A melancholic Seth argues "What's the point if we're just going to die?" What saddens him most is, if the Shadowman gets him, he won't even get a chance to join the Midnight Society like he always wanted.
    • When Gabby leaves to pull off the trap to stop the Shadow Man, Gabby's mother is left with a vague note, the sight of her daughter driving away, and Parting Words Regret.
  • Sardo's death at the hands of the Shadow Man. The cherry on top is his last lines to Luke:
  • Seth sadly catching on that if the Shadow Man claimed Gabby, then despite what Luke said, his sister isn't "hiding".
  • After Luke frees everyone from the lighthouse, Connor goes back for Zoey, but it turns out that she and the others have been in the shadow for too long and would disappear in the light. He holds her hand and comforts her as she walks into the light.