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Tear Jerker / Atop the Fourth Wall

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Tear Jerker moments in Atop the Fourth Wall. For History of Power Rangers examples, see here.

  • You know how Attempted Suicide is Played for Laughs at Atop the Fourth Wall? Well, there are two exceptions.
    • At the end of the Silent Hill Dead/Alive review, we learn the origins of the Magic Gun. It is made of the soul of a tortured little girl. A girl tortured by her parents to revive an ancient god. Upon learning of this, and how he has been using the Gun for so long, an already weakened Linkara is mind-raped to the point of believing that he was the girl's father and tries to shoot himself with the Gun. He only survives because the girl's spirit in the Gun sees he's worth saving, and doesn't shoot.
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    • "They didn't love me." After Linkara goes through an ominous book full of scrawled angry text that sets up some ominous foreshadowing, of all things it's that one little line, written plaintively in the corner of the page that packs the biggest emotional gut punch.
    • What really sold this scene was Mr. Lovhaug's delivery. The man chews the scenery every chance he gets, and now suddenly he sounds like he's about to cry. And who says he can't act?
  • Action Girl Iron Liz seems unbreakable, doesn't she? Not according to her livestream discussion with JewWario. She grew up horribly depressed, and tried to kill herself on her eighteenth birthday.
    • The discussion prompted a number of people in the chat to come forward with their own stories of depression and suicide attempts. It's a lot more common than you'd think for such a small group of people.
  • Seeing Linkara depressed in the beginning of his Care Bears review is off-putting to say the least. The guy seemed to have only two emotions until this point: anger and joy. This was neither. This was pure and true sadness.
    • Hell, that was just kicking us after we were already down! As mentioned below, you could tell that Cry For Justice actually broke him down, and not in the planned way the Dead/Alive breakdown was.
  • In Linkara's Justice League: Cry for Justice review, the moment where he unleashes his fury at Lian Harper's death wasn't funny in the slightest. Whereas normally, Linkara adds a bit of a dorky whine to his angry voice in order to convey a bit of comedy, even when he reviewed Countdown, there was NONE of that in Linkara's voice during that scene. Instead, there was nothing but pure, unmitigated fury toward James Robinson for killing off one of his favorite characters for nothing more than an unforeshadowed Shock Death that ALSO ruined the comic series that got him into comics, the Titans, because Lian Harper's presence in the book helped humanize Arsenal, her father.
    • Becomes even worse when the DC relaunch happened, where Lian Harper very existence was retconed along with Linkara's favorite Titans team. Even though his anger in The New Teen Titans Anti-Drug PSA about this was funny, you can tell that this whole thing has really upset him. Especially since in his Rise of Arsenal review, he stated that if they did not retcon Lian's death, he would lose more respect for DC than from the act itself. Be Careful What You Wish For indeed.
  • In Linkara's NBComics #1 review, when the magic kid tries to use a glove to wish for super powers, Linkara says "Don't waste your time with magic gloves kid, you'll only end up with a dead Planeteer."
  • In "The Grinning Man" Linkara really seems depressed that he doesn't even know the name of the girl who was killed to make the Magic Gun.
  • In "Planet of the Symbiotes", the look on Linkara's face when he realizes Liz was taken by the Entity is absolutely heartbreaking.
    • Oh, hell, even right before that, when he cries out "LIZ!" and rushes forward to save her, only to be blocked by the Entity... Lips will tremble and eyes will water.
  • After reviewing Electric Tale of Pikachu, he gives up as he sees no way to defeat the Entity, stands up, and a sadder rendition of his theme song plays as he slowly takes off the Ash-esque outfit he wore all episode and replaces it with his own outfit- even replicating camera angles of putting on his coat and hat seen in his opening credits. He just looks so...defeated. The worst part, however, is what he says to Nimue:
    Linkara: Well, Nimue, it was nice knowing you... although brief.
    Nimue: The emotion... is shared.
    • The magic gun is absorbed by the Entity.
      • However, if you stay for the credits, it says that the Magic Gun also came back after the Entity's death.
      • Linkara's desperate, hopeless reaction to losing her. That isn't the look of a man who lost his best weapon, he treats her taking with the same gravity as Liz being taken.
  • The duplication of Spock's death with Pollo. Particularly Iron Liz calling Linkara "Lewis" to snap him out of suicidally running in. Note that no one has ever referred to Linkara by his real name before this.
    • Let's say you watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Now, let's say you remember seeing it while watching Linkara's reviews of the comic adaptation. The second Pollo said "I have been, and always shall be, your friend.", just like Spock before him, you could tell right away how this would end. The worst thing? It changes nothing; whether you saw it or not, Pollo's death is still a sad moment.
    • This exchange between Pollo and Linkara as the former slowly dies from radiation after saving Comicron-1 from Mechakara.
    Pollo: I knew what I had to do. I stopped the other me.
    Linkara: He's not you.
    Pollo: You said you were afraid that I might become like him. I hope this proves otherwise.
    Linkara: You didn't have to prove anything. You're nothing like him, Pollo. You're my friend.
    • Pollo never backed himself up, because he said he it wouldn't be "him"; it would be like a clone, a different person. You ever wonder why Linkara never tried to resurrect anyone via cloning after attempting it with Spoony (and why he didn't offer it as an option when Ma-ti died?) That was Pollo's influence.
  • The spirit of the girl inside the Magic Gun is unable to do anything due to some anti-magic field affecting most of his equipment. Of course, the Girl In The Gun is probably stuck in a probable And I Must Scream scenario.
    • Later reviews reveal that she voluntarily blocked Linkara's magic herself and that she was just fine. Still doesn't affect the fear and sorrow felt on her behalf up until then, though.
  • Linkara telling Harvey and Pollo that whenever he uses the Magic Gun, he can hear her whispering in his ear... and now he can't.
  • Linkara has decided to go on a quest to travel across the U.S. to find a sorcerer to help fix his magic- and he's going alone. He has no true clue of where to start looking (the best lead he has are some magic hotspots to the north that Nimue picked up on her scanner) and no backup or weapons except for a single Mark 2 Cybermat and a wrist communicator to call for help. To top it all off, Harvey's pleading with him not to go and Holokara is to do the show in the real Linkara's absence. Linkara's family's breaking up over this, and even when he gets his magic back eventually (or at all) nothing will ever be the same again.
    • Also, he has left without saying good-bye to anyone but Pollo, because he knows they'll just try to talk him out of it.
  • When he reviewed One More Day for his 200th episode he took time to talk about how Spider-Man, despite being in his mid-to-late 20s, still acts like he's a teenager and stated that maybe Marvel should just reboot Spider-Man and said in a pretty sad tone "If the creative teams are unwilling to get him out of his high school life...then why the hell isn't he still there?"
    • The review in general, which goes a long way in justifying why he hates that particular title so much. Which is not helped at all by how genuine the bouts of anger and frustration turn out to be; one gets the feeling that Lewis wasn't fully scripting just how pissed he was in reviewing it.
  • When he meets Margeret and starts pressing Margeret for answers, trying to figure out how to make things better, thinking it means he has to be a "goody two shoes" and thinking Margaret should kill him so he can't get any worse. He really doesn't know what else to do.
  • Holokara's rant about superheroes in the end of Batman: Jazz #1 was surprisingly tearjerking.
    Holokara: They'll never change unless we make them change.
  • The Thing from Another World #2- Harvey, Linkara, 90's Kid, and Linksano have turned on each other out of paranoia and fear - a shadow creature sent by the Gungslinger is screwing with their perceptions to make them believe they're trapped in the apartment with no way out, and enhancing their preexisting resentments towards each other so they fight. All this so Linkara gets angry enough that his Magic Gun's full potential will activate- and when that happens, the Gunslinger will come to claim it for his own collection. It's utterly heartbreaking to see their close friendship devolve into an explosion of bickering and unfounded accusations against one another, not one of them taking the time to stop and think rationally, or listen- and the viewer's left watching this, knowing that if they don't trust each other again soon, they're all screwed.
    • The fact that Harvey's the first one to snap makes it even worse. Both times Linkara went missing, Harvey was always there to keep everyone on track, looking out for the others, and yet here he's clearly losing it and being the most suspicious of all of them, accusing everyone of being either an imposter.
  • Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #2 - The situation has been resolved, and everyone's fine. Everyone except Harvey. He's clearly torn up about what he said and what he was willing to do, regardless of whether his perceptions were skewed and preexisting resentment over the Holokara incident enhanced by the above mentioned shadow monster or not. Even though Linkara reassures him that it's okay, Harvey still says he needs some time and distance, so he's going on a concert tour across the US. Lewis hasn't turned in a performance so heartbreaking since the origin story of the Magic Gun.
  • Harvey Finevoice gets his long-awaited backstory at the end of Archie Giant Series Magazine #452 ...and it's depressing as hell. After his son Charlie died (he even says he doesn't remember what age he was—"It's always too young"), he became a drunken wreck, stopped singing, and drove his wife away. After his latest failed attempt to visit his son's grave, Linkara (who was filming his training montage for the Amazons Attack review) saw him pass out right next to him on the sidewalk and got him help- which Harvey credits with saving his life.
    Harvey: How do you let go of something like this?
  • Harvey's rant at the Ghost of Christmas Future deserves its own mention.
    Harvey: Now we have you, the future. And what is the future? I'm gonna die. Of course I am. I'm gonna die. Nineties Kid is gonna die. The Ninja-Style Dancer is gonna die. The little blue robot is gonna die! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! We're all gonna die...and leave when we shouldn't...
  • One more Harvey line: "You have no goddamn idea what it's like!"
  • A few times Harvey has talked about watching Linkara's back, notably when he mistakenly called Linkara by his dead son's name ("That's why I'll always have Charlie's back"). It's a figure of speech, but it still makes it all the worse that when The Gunslinger finally steals Linkara's gun, he does it by literally shooting him in the back, when he's apparently alone in the apartment.
  • The Gunslinger getting drunk and watching The Great Dictator as he becomes permanently bonded to our universe.
    • How broken he looked when he was talking about all the people he gathered from other worlds dying when they came over to his. He even starts the segment of the log with a soft "They're all dead."
    • Even if he was pissed at the time his absolute change in body language and tone when he confronts Linkara, shouting "I can never go home because of you! I can never see my wife, my family, my friends!" while looking on the verge of tears.
    • Though it only becomes so on a second viewing, as it doesn't sink in the first time due to information that wasn't revealed yet, his desperate pleading with Linkara not to destroy his watch are heart wrenching afterwards.
  • Adding to that is the horrified My God, What Have I Done? look on Linkara's face as he watches the video. Made even worse by the fact that only a few months ago he had been shown how close he was to turning evil. after this, he was probably starting to see himself as a Designated Failure Hero.
  • A non-storyline one was his final video of his Titans month reviews, where he expresses his admiration for the series but at the same time disappointment that it'll never be the same one that he read from his childhood ever again.
  • At the end of ASBAR #6, Nimue uses a moment of stability in her slipping mental state to inform Linkara that she suspects she's losing it. While she is a computerized voice, there is just enough emotion in her lines to give one a sense that she's absolutely, Bring My Brown Pants levels of terrified.
  • Lewis in the Man of Steel vlog is pretty notably depressed at how he views the movie.
  • We finally see Jaeris again in The Culling, Part 1. He's let himself go, drinking away his sorrows, and he still blames Linkara for cutting him off from his homeworld. Pollo gives him a lecture on how what's happened to him is his own fault, comparing him to the likes of Lord Vyce and The Entity. After Pollo leaves, Sierra reassures Jaeris that it still believes in him. Jaeris is silent for a moment, before simply saying 'thanks'. It's clear that Jaeris is hurting badly, and time will not heal his wounds on its own.
  • His general disappointment that the Brute Force series only had 4 issues in his final review of the series. In spite of how stupid it was, he wishes that it would be re-launched for the sake of it being awesome.
    • Made retroactively incredibly heartwarming by the fact that Marvel Comics themselves heard his plea and made a special issue of Deadpool purely to bring back Brute Force, if just once, even confirming he did it in the story via having his own I Am A Man meme appear with the bear, calling himself “Bear” the same way Linkara refers to his stuffed bear. The industry is listening to him.
  • The October 2013 trailer. "Help me."
  • When Linkara is finally forced to shut Nimue down, the real her breaks through to tell him she understands, in what is by far the most emotion she's ever shown.
    • And when he finally does her last words are "Help me", and just in case that wasn't sad enough a sad reprise of her insanity leitmotif plays over completely heartbroken Linkara restoring the ship's environmental controls.
  • From 2014 - 2018, there was a yellow hat on the shelves in honor of JewWario. Lewis has removed the hat from the shelf. It comes off as heartbreaking since Lewis was close to Justin and the removal of the hat seems to imply how disappointed (and more or less devastated) Lewis probably is after what came out.
  • In Nova Girls: Kissing Canvas he reveals that he has finally quit reading his once-favorite comic series Teen Titans, thanks to its writer sexually harassing a woman at a panel.
  • In a way, Lewis' reflection on why he hates Holy Terror most of all the comics he's reviewed on ATFW. The book's message of hatred, paranoia and intolerance is the exact opposite of his own personal philosophy, and his admission that he himself is afraid of terrorism in his speech about the book's twisted moral message is genuinely tearjerking.
    • Notice the way Lewis sighs and takes a deep breath as he puts the comic down, with sadness and loathing in his eyes (and again when he picks it back up), as if to say "I can't believe we live in a world where I should ever have to talk about this".
  • The Stinger for Cosmic Slam #1: Jaeris and Pollo are looking for Jaeris's home dimension, but the lack of results is testing his patience, causing him to wonder if it's really worth the effort to get home. And then Sierra is infected by the King of Worms, knocks Jaeris out, and forces Pollo into an older body.
  • Jaeris's initial response to Linkara inviting him to Christmas dinner and pointing out that even if they did find a way to return to his dimension, he's become acclimated to our dimension and would die instantly if he went home.
  • The first trailer for the movie has Linkara considering stopping the show.
    • As of the actual first section, we discover it's because all the shit that's happened to him over the course of the storylines seem to have provoked some traumatic stress.
      • Also from the trailer:
      Nash: We almost died...I'm not okay with that.
    • Harvey admits he doesn't believe in God, mainly because of him having lost his son.
    • The death of Allen and Linkara's reaction to it.
    • Linkara admitting that he feels like he's just waiting to die.
    • Linkara's conversation with Allen's corpse about how he feels like his life is a comic book sometimes, adding in how he may just go through a reboot, do something like Spider-Man did in One More Day or have something like what happened to Arsenal in Cry for Justice. Given how much Linkara hates those books...
    • Linkara reflecting too late (except not) on what an asshole he's been to Allen.
  • The crashing of ComiCron1.
  • Linkara's misery induced rant at the end of the Ghostbusters II review. Mentioning not only some real world issues with getting his videos out on time, but also different storyline issues including that his friends might be about to betray him.
    • And one of them actually did betray him: 90's Kid.
  • The end of the review of RoboCop Versus The Terminator #2 where Harvey, the Ninja-Style Dancer, Pollo, and Dr. Linksano have a What the Hell, Hero? intervention about Linkara's recent actions and results in them deciding to leave rather than support Linkara's current course.
  • As one comment points out, the Magic Gun ending up under the control of the Entity is partially this. She finally managed to end up with somebody who cares about her and then she's controlled by the very thing her parents killed her and made her into a gun for.
  • Vyce's speech at the end of Comic Book Quickies #7 really brings home on how much he's lost in his quest to kill The Enitiy. His home planet, the allies who fought by his side, the ship he called home, it's clear that the only thing that drives him is finally defeating the very thing he's lost everything to, and he's afraid he doesn't know what to do after that.
    • On top of that the fact that Comicron One had a function that allows self repair of the ship and fabrication of things meant that all the trouble and pain Linkara and everyone went though to make Comicron Two was not only pointless, but drives even more to the point on how entirely lucky they were beating Vyce.
  • The Entity actually gets one in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #11-12. It is overcome by its own relative insignificance and chooses to die. It even asks if there's anything else after this world. It's hard to make someone feel bad for the death of an Eldritch Abomination like the entity, but by God, here it is.
    • It's evident during its "glitching" that happens when Linkara's Armor-Piercing Question hits it, as the previous one did before. If you stop and examine its movements during its glitching, it's no longer screaming in agony or clutching its head... The Entity is sobbing. It grips its face and shivers, while another glitch shows it clutching its chest and seeming to wallow in its own misery. It's a disturbingly close depiction of grief over the fact one is about to die, coming from a being who still manages to explode on Linkara's face about how he cannot possibly sympathize with it... Before slipping into the acceptance stage of grief, passively accepting Linkara's company during its final moments.
    • Tying back into the point made about him above, Vyce's own breakdown and eventual demise is this as well as being Nightmare Fuel. His introspection and interactions with Linkara and his friends, especially 90's Kid, made it seem like he could have potentially begun to redeem himself from the universal conqueror he had become. His brutal breakdown in the face of the final death of the Entity he had spent his entire life chasing after only shows how much for all of his talk of wanting to end the Entity, his own life had become irreversibly intertwined with it and had become a player in the twisted "game" they had played part in as a result, and his inability to accept it's death not being at his own hands led to his own downfall. As one commentor eloquently put it:
      Sara Fontanini: The game is a metaphor for the characters feeling lost and confused, trying to distract themselves with an endless battle rather than face their own despair, trapping themselves in a rut because they're too afriad....or in Vyce's case, too prideful.
      IN Vyce's 'game' he's the dark hero utilising evil methods in the name of a greater good....but without the entity justifying his actions, he's just an asshole using big guns to bully others. If he fails to defeat the entity and save everyone, he 'loses. the game, without even the ability of defeating his archenemy to keep him comfort, to give meaning to his own life.
      And that's why he's a villain.

  • His review of the episodes of the Teen Titans cartoon's adaptation of Terra's arc has a subtle one; many fans had noted that the Wario hat that was in the videos as a tribute to JewWario is no longer there. As noted above, Lewis may have been very hurt by the revelations about a long-gone friend. To his credit, he doesn't mention it, and goes on with the review like normal, but it doesn't make it any less sad. Made a little bit worse when you realize the episodes he's reviewing are about a friend of the heroes doing something horrible.
  • The finale of the Clone Saga, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth Comic, has Mirrorkara point over to the posters of the Channel Awesome anniversary specials while giving a monologue, questioning why Linkara still has them up. Meaning that the mass exodus of the site happened within the show's continuity. Every horrible thing that happened in real-life occurred in-universe as well, and when Mirrorkara first brings it up, Linkara visibly turns away. That had to sting.
    • Notably? Up until that point, Linkara had been shrugging off Mirrorkara's attempts at a Hannibal Lecture effortlessly; that was the first thing he said that really got to Linkara, something Mirrorkara immediately notices and starts hammering on repeatedly.
    • Erin during the finale is revealed to have a Dark and Troubled Past that explains how she knows so much about the Outer Gods, she comes from a universe where 'ancient evils' had begun to destroy everything, and had killed her parents. And her only source of help? Mirrorkara, who turns out to have been an Abusive Parent substitute. Not only that, but her Only Friend during this period of time, which turns out to have been ten years, was Searis. When Pollo disables her, Erin rushes over in desperation just to make sure she's not badly damaged.
  • Linkara going overboard to get ready for Halloween in the "Clive Barker's Hellraiser #1" review and it's not for trick or treating. He is loaded down with every tool in his arsenal that he can carry, trying to be ready for whatever madness falls on his doorstep this year. It's Played for Laughs but it's also clear how worn out and traumatized he is from unknown terrors plaguing him every year just for it being Halloween.
    • It becomes even worse in the next episode "Clive Barker's Hellraiser Summer Special," after it becomes obvious that something is happening this year... and it's no longer being Played for Laughs.
    Linkara: This, this is what Halloween is to me! It's not trick or treating, or apple-bobbing, or parties, or anything spoopy, it's just horror! Horror for thirty one days! Something going wrong for no real reasons!
  • Linkara and the others are shifting through different alternate timelines, and they aren't always aware of the changes. So it's a bit of a gut punch when Linkara doesn't know why no one from Channel Awesome is answering his call for help.
  • In the Black Panther, vol. 4 #1-6 review, he reaches the part of the comic where a Wakandan councilor suggests that they could trade the cure for cancer for help in tracking down Klaw, but the other councilors object because the west doesn't deserve it. Linkara, who's lost friends and family to cancer, is absolutely furious that the Wakandans would withhold the cure for cancer just because the western government allow for the sale of cigarettes.
  • Linkara starts the 600th episode preparing to do the Caligula comic as The Cinema Snob had suggested. He gets a call from someone who tells him the things Brad has been up to lately and immediately cancels the review, moving over to Sins Past instead.
    Linkara: [answering his phone] "Hello?...uh huh...oh...OH! He said that, huh? Made that crap up too, huh? [sighs] OK, yeah, screw him. Thanks for letting me know. Bye."
    • It's especially saddening, since way back before, Linkara and the Cinema Snob, along with the rest of Channel Awesome came off like a bunch of True Companions. Now? This is just one of many instances where they've turned against each other.
    • Shortly after the episode aired, a number of Brad's fans criticized the segment on the AT4W official Tumblr account. Lewis proceeded to absolutely explode and go on a furious rant about how much he and the rest of the ChangeTheChannel team were hurt by Brad's actions.
  • The title card for the episode covering the Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger arc about Burai's death features Linkara and Burai's American counterpart Tommy Oliver visiting his grave to mourn him.
  • His commentary at the end of Heroes in Crisis regarding heroes being casually killed or turned evil is quite sobering. For all comic book fans like to joke that Death Is Cheap in comics, the fact is that for every major hero who's died and come back there are a dozen c-list characters, like Hotspot and Lagoon Boy, who never came back because they just don't have enough fans for the executives to care. Case in point, Lewis refers to his all-time favorite superhero, Danny Chase, aka Phantasm of The New Teen Titans, a Scrappy character who died all the way back in 1992 and has never come back. Odds are that any minor hero casually killed for shock value in any event comic you read will have at least one person for whom that character was their favorite superhero.
    • There's something rather depressing about Lewis' frustration of the comic, enraged at Tom King (and by an extent, DC Comics itself too) being rather disparaging with its themes of mental illness and the poor handling of the topic, border lining unfortunate implications with how all the characters with underlining mental illness are put up as. Considering Lewis himself once criticized himself for how disrespectful he was towards those with mental illness (notably depression) in his Superman #701 review, this must have stung.
    • Minor one, but even Lewis has to stop the review to enforce-plead with his audience to not attack Tom King for writing the story, considering King received death threats over how poor the reception was for Heroes in Crisis.
  • At the end of the "Web of Life" review, Linkara remarks that the Confession torturing him will give him a lot to talk to his therapist about. It's a sobering reminder that the bizarre events in Linkara's life have left some pretty significant psychological marks.
  • Allen's state in the "Yet Another 15 Screw-Ups" countdown is just depressing. The poor man's hair is in a complete mess, and he's at his wit's end after dealing with Trump and his inane demands for four years straight. His speech to the man also cuts deeply; this is a Reasonable Authority Figure who, for all intents and purposes, believes in his country and the people who live in it, so dealing with someone who represents every negative stereotype of it just has to hurt. The fact that he's been fired would've also been the depressing cherry on top, but Vetinari Job Security thankfully makes it more of a vacation that he desperately needs.


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