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Tear Jerker / Batman Beyond

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Tear Jerker moments in Batman Beyond.

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.


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    General/Multiple Seasons & Episodes/Other 
  • Just seeing what became of Bruce's life. Batman was always the Trope Codifier for Informed Loner; Beyond was the first time it ever stopped being an Informed Attribute. Bruce has outlived Alfred, Jim, and Leslie, is estranged from his former sidekicks, has no contact with his friends in the Justice League, and didn't even take retirement as an opportunity to spend time with people who were only Bruce's friends like Lucius Fox and Veronica Vreeland. Summed up perfectly by Barbara in "A Touch of Curare":
    Barbara: Such a great man. So alone.
    • Speaking of Barbara, when she makes her official debut in Beyond, she also seems to have lost faith in vigilantism much like Bruce initially, refusing to accept Terry as the new Batman and even threatening to arrest him for interfering in police matters. Fortunately, after "Eyewitness," she buries the hatchet with Terry and begins to renew her faith in superheroes, much like Bruce.
  • The theory of Warren and Mary's divorce being caused by Warren suspecting Mary of infidelity, due to the boys' black hair and blue eyes. They are still married when Terry is about eight, implying that Warren forgave Mary for the first time, and they divorced after Matt was born. The real kicker is that Mary was never unfaithful to Warren. Terry and Matt's true parentage was due to Warren's reproductive material being overwritten with Bruce Wayne's with what he thought was a flu shot, as part of a secret and unsanctioned government attempt to create a new Batman. So Warren essentially suspected his wife of having an affair with a man she'd never even met. Their marriage was essentially ruined by an outside party, yet they were still on good terms with each other in a platonic sense and treated both Terry and Matt with mutual love and respect.
  • Terry and Bruce's fight in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue," especially the part where Bruce is struggling for his pills while Terry, instead of helping, just stands and watches in disgust. He then tells Bruce he is insane and leaves him on the floor struggling for his meds while he is having an attack. Considering how close Terry and Bruce were, seeing their relationship come to this is really hard to watch. Thankfully, that scene was just a potential scenario in Terry's mind and not what actually happened. Still, it's a horrible thing to watch.
    • In the same episode, we find out Ace of the Royal Flush Gang died of an aneurysm caused by years of experimentation on her. Not only that, but her last request was for Batman to stay with her until the end, since both of them had their childhood taken away. And Bruce's dog is named "Ace"...
    • Amanda Waller intended to create a new Batman to replace Bruce when he became too old to keep up the fight, which is how Terry was born. She also intended to have young Terry's parents killed and hired Bruce's old love Andrea Beaumont aka The Phantasm to do the deed but, ultimately, she couldn't go through with it and confronted Waller about how monstrous the whole project was and how it flew in the face of everything that Batman stood for. Waller ended up agreeing with her. If you know anything about Waller, it takes a LOT for her to admit being wrong about something. Not that it mattered, since Terry lost his father years later...
  • On a meta level, the sudden death of Eisner-winner Darwyn Cooke, who provided the intro to the show as well as the much of the art in the DCAU.
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    Season 1 
1x01/02 — Rebirth, Parts & 2
  • Bruce Wayne's last fight as Batman. He struggles to keep up with the goons, then gets a heart attack at the worst possible time and is forced to pick up a gun just to defend himself and the kidnapped daughter of Veronica Vreeland, one of his few remaining friends from BTAS. You can honestly understand why he retired after that.
    • It seems almost out of place for a man as Crazy-Prepared as Bruce Wayne to have overextended himself like that... but consider who it was who usually kept him from overextending himself. Alfred is obvious by his absence, and the major part he played in Bruce's life is all too clear.
    • Just the look on his face when he's forced to use a gun as a threat: Reminder that Bruce hates guns, not just by principle but it being the tool that lead him into becoming Batman. That's not even getting to his face afterwards as he realizes he's hold the gun and drops it with disgust and horror. And of course as he closes off the Batcave, he says these final words...
      Bruce: Never again.
  • After much silence, Terry finally breaks down after his father's death.
    • It's even more heartbreaking when you realize that the last thing they did was fight.
      Terry: [tears in his eyes] I yelled at him, Mom. He grounded me, and I wouldn't listen. The things I said... [his mom hugs him] I'm such a jerk...
  • By the main time setting of the show, it becomes clear that Bruce eventually lost faith in vigilantism. When Terry comes to him with evidence of Derek Powers' corruption, Bruce initially demands that the teenager go to Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Later, when trying to force Terry to return the Batsuit, he says he'll call the police and let them handle the issue despite Terry's pleas. Given the past efforts of the GCPD with Batman's help, Bruce, however, had at this point gave in to leaving matters to the authorities rather then letting a superhero take care of things. It takes Terry's reminder of the loss of his parents for Bruce to finally regain his faith.

1x03 — Black Out

1x04 — Golem

  • Willie Watt had been bullied for most of his life, including by his own father. Is it ever any wonder why he snapped and went after those that hurt him, providing a heartbreaking look into the damage that bullying does?

1x05 — Meltdown

  • The music for this episode alone is tear-jerking.
  • Terry's utterly heartbroken "Oh, Fries..." when it becomes apparent that Victor has returned to his old ways. Mostly because he was one of the few people who had any faith in him.
    • While Terry believes Freeze can do good with his new life, Bruce doubts it. After all the times Bruce tried to help his villains reform as well as rejecting more brutal methods by Lock-Up and The Judge, he's become so bitter that he can't see a path to redemption for his most Tragic Villain.
    • Fridge Logic makes it worse when you realize he probably gave up on his enemies when, after all the times he tried to help Harley, she helped the Joker break Tim. Bruce might not even realize that she's still alive and turned out okay.
  • Freeze's last words: "Believe me... You're the only one who cares." No, he's not, Freeze. He's not.
  • Watch here; just make sure your tissues are available.
  • Freeze's My God, What Have I Done? / Turn the Other Cheek confrontation to an attempt on his life by an old man who can only sob about how Freeze froze his family.

1x06 — Heroes

  • This episode is basically a dark and tragic deconstruction of the Fantastic Four's origin, with three scientists becoming superheroes after a particle experiment gone wrong. Although the Terrific Trio is granted public support, their conditions prevent them from having normal lives and it's revealed that their powers will eventually kill them. Even worse, their so-called "friend" Howard Hodges set up the accident so that he could be with Freon/Dr. Mary Michaels. Seeking revenge, they all die horribly in a fight with Terry and Hodges gets off scot-free. How would Bruce feel?
    Batman: I've gotta shut that thing off! Thousands of people will die! Magma! Dr. Morgan, you can't let that happen! You're a hero, remember?
    Magma: No, I'm an accident. Real heroes, they make a choice. I never did.
    • Earlier in the episode, the Terrific Trio saves a family being held hostage by terrorists. Magma crushes a bomb with his hand, saving the family. Afterwards, the wife and daughter are led out. When the girl (who had the bomb strapped closest to her) sees Magma approaching her, she screams "Don't let him hurt me!" Magma's discussion afterwards is just heartbreaking.
      Magma: You saw the way she looked at me. (smashes mirror) We're freaks!
    • It's worth noting that Terry is the explicit reason they all died, having put Freon and 2-D Man into situations that would kill them as well as beat Magma to death. His anger is probably at least partially towards himself.

1x07 — Shriek

  • Seeing Shriek -a devoted acoustician- go deaf can be a bit sad.

1x08 — Dead Man's Hand

  • The climax where King orders Ten/Melanie to come save him just as a security guard shows up. Batman whispers "Don't do it; just go" with the most heartbreaking voice and facial expression.
    • When Ten is shot at and starts to fall, Batman catches her as she looks at him remorsefully, saying, "I don't suppose I could convince you to let me go." We're then treated to a somber Kubrick Stare from Batman, which says a lot with only one expression, seen here.
  • Terry watching the police take Melanie away along with her family is just as devastating because just as she's in the back of the truck, Melanie sees Terry in the crowd.

1x09 — The Winning Edge

  • Seeing just how desperate Mason is for the slappers, chasing after the car, is a bit of an Alas, Poor Villain moment.

1x10 — Spellbound

  • Spellbinder's last two victims before he targets Terry.
    • First, poor Mister Deakins is hypnotized and drags a valuable dress around, thinking he's in the middle of a war and dragging a wounded comrade to safety. Especially not funny for anyone who knows anything about PTSD.
    • Then he goes after Jared Tate's mother on her wedding day, scaring her out of her mind and nearly getting her killed at least twice.

1x11 — Disappearing Inque

  • When Bruce dons the exosuit to save Terry from Inque, Terry looks on in shock and terror, knowing full well that the exosuit puts such a strain on Bruce that he could very well die. After Inque punches Bruce across the room, Terry screams a Big "NO!".
    • Made even more heartbreaking when you stop and think about what happened the last time Bruce's protege was kidnapped by a dangerous supervillain, as revealed in Return of the Joker. Tim Drake/Robin ended up severely messed up because Bruce let him fight crime on the streets, and swore off ever allowing another young partner to do the same. He lets Terry don the Batsuit, and Terry is kidnapped and hauled off someplace Bruce can't identify? Bruce must have been kicking himself over that one...
  • The fate of Aaron Herbst, a miserable loser who fell for the wrong woman and ended up monstrously deformed and agonizingly crippled for what (judging from Inque's lack of aging) may be a very long life, is pretty depressing.

1x12 — A Touch of Curare

1x13 — Ascension

    Season 2 
2x01 — Splicers

2x02 — Earth Mover

  • This episode is riddled with heartache. You have Tony Maycheck, a man buried alive in radioactive waste seeking vengeance on Bill Wallace, his business partner who raised his daughter Jackie after the accident. He gets a Heel–Face Turn when he uses the last bits of his life to allow them to escape with a heart-wrenched "Jackie."
    Bill: Oh my God... Tony?
    Tony: You... left. Me. BURIED.
    Bill: I thought you were dead...
    Tony: No... Didn't. Want. Partner!
    Bill: That's not true! There was nothing I could do for you, nothing!

2x03 — Joyride

2x04 — Lost Soul

2x05 — Hidden Agenda

  • Though the scene where Max officially becomes Terry's ally is a mix of heartwarming and funny, her genuine confusion when Terry dubs her his "Alfred" is a kick in the gut to anyone who loves the Batfamily's Battle Butler.

2x06 — Blood Sport

2x07 — Once Burned...

  • Melanie's hurt reaction to finding out that everything she went through was just her parents pretending to be in danger to test her loyalty. On the bright side however, it does cement her Heel–Face Turn.

2x08 — Hooked Up

  • The kids who fall victim to Spellbinder's VR chambers. Especially the sweet and innocent Jessie. Unlike Donny, whose fantasy is rather predictable for a kid his age, Jessie's "perfect" life seems almost ordinary by comparison. The one thing that would make her most happy? Going on a romantic date with Wendell, the geeky-looking but adorable manager of the fast food restaurant where she works, ending with him proposing to her.
    • Max's fantasy is just as innocent. Her whole family is together (instead of her parents being divorced and absent) and they're all praising her and going out of their way to make time for her.
    • Donny's family is pretty much the reason he went to Spellbinder to begin with. His father was abusive toward him and his mother, and when he became a troublemaker, basically gave up on him. No wonder Donny would rather stay in his addictive fantasy.
  • The whole episode doesn't shy away from the devastating effects of addiction on not just the addict but for loved ones of addicts. Terry's guilt at more or less leading Max into the mess she's in ring home for those who have loved ones battling addiction.

2x09 — Rats!

  • Terry and Dana's temporary break up.

2x10 — Mind Games

  • A lost girl named Tamara frantically calls Terry for help using her Psychic Powers. He's forced to use every ounce of his (and Bruce's) detective abilities to find her and every ounce of his combat abilities to fight the psychics who abducted her, all while comforting her to the best of his ability.
  • Terry and Bruce flip through pictures of missing children to see if Terry recognizes one of them. Many pictures appear onscreen, only of young girls. Terry is obviously shaken by it.
    • It gets worse. Since Terry probably told Bruce that he was being 'haunted' by a young girl, Bruce probably narrowed the search down to ONLY young girls. Terry's just shaken by how MANY there are, and that's just one group.

2x11 — Revenant

  • Matt says he wants to hold a seance because he's forgetting what his dad looked like. Terry and Mary exchange a look of despair, then Mary tells her younger son that ghosts aren't real.

2x12 — Babel

2x13 — Terry's Friend Dates a Robot

2x14 — Eyewitness

2x15 — Final Cut

2x16 — The Last Resort

  • When Chelsea first arrives at the Ranch, she notices a friend of hers, Adam Stepnik, who was an amazing artist who loved to paint, but was sent to the Ranch for painting on other people's walls. When Chelsea tries to talk to him, he's completely unresponsive, reduced to "painting" with a dry brush over a clean canvas because of the many ISO treatments he underwent.
  • When Terry infiltrates the Ranch and finds Chelsea, the bags under her eyes are his first clue that something is very wrong. Chelsea describes what "ISO" is: total sensory deprivation (no light, no sound, no company, nothing), and when she starts to describe its effects on her, her voice cracks, the tears start, and all she can do is beg Terry to get her out of there. Seeing the bubbly Chelsea reduced to this is shocking as well as heartbreaking, and makes her refusal to immediately forgive her father for sending her to the Ranch much more understandable.
  • Sean Miller's Redemption Rejection at the end after helping to liberate his wrongly-treated fellow detainees. Rather than let Dr. Wheeler get hauled off to jail with his staff and be a hero, Sean tries to murder him in revenge by throwing him off a high wall, forcing Batman to save him and dooming Sean's chances at a normal life and future.

2x17 — Armory

  • Seeing Jim get laid off and becoming desperate enough to turn to villainy.

2x18 — Sneak Peek

2x19 — The Eggbaby

2x20 — Zeta

2x21 — Plague

2x22 — April Moon

  • The Reveal that April had betrayed Dr. Corso and was cheating on him with Bullwhip and helping him blackmail her husband.

2x23 — Sentries of the Last Cosmos

2x24 — Payback

  • The Reveal of Payback's identity as Kenny Stanton, Dr. Stanton's son who thought that getting rid of his father's patients' tormentors would allow his father to spend more time with him.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold taking in the destruction of his prized sculptures wrecked during a fight caused by Batman thinking he was Payback.

2x25 — Where's Terry?

2x26 — Ace in the Hole

  • Ace's backstory, being abused and raised to fight, will be very upsetting to watch for you dog lovers out there.
  • Bruce's efforts to keep up appearances while Ace is missing.
    Bruce: [standing alone in Wayne Manor and looking at Ace's bowl] Don't worry, boy. I won't ever let anyone hurt you ever again.

    Season 3 
3x01 — King's Ransom

3x02 — Untouchable

3x03 — Inqueling

  • Ink being betrayed and nearly killed by her own daughter, and to some extent said daughters resentment coming from feeling abandoned and unloved by her for so long.

3x04 — Big Time

  • The downfall of Terry's old friend Charlie, aka Big Time, is really sad, especially if you've ever had a friend that keeps getting themselves into trouble. When Terry got put in juvie hall over petty crimes he and Charlie committed, he took it as a wake-up call, and eventually became Batman so he could be The Atoner. On the other hand, Charlie, who served three years in jail, believes he's beyond saving and can't help himself, so he gets right back into crime. Under the guise of working at Wayne-Powers thanks to Terry pulling strings, Charlie does a job under a thuggish crime lord to steal dangerous chemicals from the company. For his troubles, Charlie gets belittled and verbally abused by the guy, but even worse - he's doused in some of that chemical by accident during a skirmish with Batman, and becomes horribly deformed and misshapen. Terry, as Batman, eventually has to capture the monster that was once Charlie, and by the end, Terry is just overcome with guilt that there was nothing he could do to save his old friend.

3x05 — Out of the Past

  • After storming out of the musical, Bruce looks over some pictures of his more notable relationships: Selina, Lois, Zatanna, and Barbara. It's sad because he realizes how much time has gone by and just how alone he is.
    • Made worse by the earlier scene with the musical: Bruce's grumpy reaction seems to be Played for Laughs until you realize the first two scenes feature Robin, Two-Face, Catwoman, and Jim Gordon—people Bruce cared for who are either dead or long gone from his life.
  • The final line:
    Bruce: [after looking at a picture of himself and Talia on a date and then shutting off the Batcomputer] Rest well, beloved.

3x06 — Speak No Evil

  • This exchange:
    Fingers: You want to put me in a cage again?
    Batman: Well, yeah.
    Fingers: You're all alike—you, the doctors, Van Dyle.
    Batman: Who's Van Dyle?
    Fingers: You have a mother?
    Batman: Yeah.
    Fingers: I don't because of Van Dyle.
  • Fingers confronting Van Dyle about his mother's death, and Van Dyle's response about how But for Me, It Was Tuesday, but unusually for that trope, it's not said with spite, just resignation. Van Dyle is a bit of a scumbag, but he's just a hunter, not a sociopathic supervillain. He just never thought of his prey as living beings with their own feelings.
    Fingers: She was my mother!!
    Van Dyle: She was just another gorilla to me...

3x07/08 — The Call, Parts 1 & 2

  • In Part 2, Starro, who'd been portrayed since his original creation as a flat universal conqueror, is simply the disgruntled victim of Superman's old foe The Preserver. As Superman himself states, he never asked for what happened to him; he just let his resentment cloud his judgment.

3x09 — Betrayal

  • The whole episode is pretty depressing, with Terry feeling responsible for his old friend Charlie turning into the mutant Big Time and returning to a life of crime. He tries to convince Charlie to leave his gang and turn himself in. It looks like Terry has finally gotten through to his friend, but when the gang gets taken down by the police, Charlie reveals that he has no intention of turning himself in or getting cured, and was only using Terry to get rid of the gang so he could start his own criminal empire. Then, to top it off, he tries to kill Terry in spite of everything he's done to try and help him and, after a fight on the bridge, Charlie ends up falling to his apparent death. Terry just stares sadly and Bruce tries to comfort him, relating his own fallout with Dick Grayson and/or Harvey Dent/Two-Face.
    Bruce: I'm sorry. I know how hard it is to go against a friend.
    Terry: I outgrew him, that's all.

3x10/11 — The Curse of the Kobra, Parts 1 & 2

3x12 — Countdown

3x13 — Unmasked

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Comic Book

  • In the "10,000 Clowns" arc of the digital first comic, Bruce is trying to re-establish his relationships with Barbara, Tim, and Dick. He's doing his best to develop a working relationship with Commissioner Gordon; he bribes Tim to work at Wayne-Powers by doubling his current salary and promising to put his kids through college; and the previously-mentioned appeal to get Dick just to talk to him. But Dick does not, and after Terry guilt-trips Tim into going down into the Batcave and helping him stop Joker Night, Tim is so upset by the experience that he quits the job. A year later, Terry is working with Dick instead of Bruce, and Bruce is apparently entirely alone again, with just Ace.
  • In Batman Beyond 2.0, Terry is (seemingly) killed by Lord Superman in the middle of telling his Alternate Self to tell his version of their family he loved them and Alternate!Dick is the one ordered to make sure his corpse is strung up to send a message.
  • Again in Batman Beyond 2.0, it's revealed why the Bat-Family, especially Bruce and Dick, are not on good terms. Barbara was still seeing Dick and likely having an affair with Bruce, hence the picture on the Batcomputer in "Out of the Past." Later, Dick is planning to propose to her and Barbara, likely feeling guilty, goes to the Batcave to tell Bruce that she's seven weeks pregnant. Bruce congratulates her and Dick, but she reveals that the unborn child is his.
    Barbara: I'm seven weeks pregnant.
    Bruce: I'll have to congratulate Dick.
    [Beat]
    Barbara: He's only been back for three.
  • After Higgins' Batman Beyond 2.0 has jumped forward one year, the fate of Vigilante/Jake Chill is left unknown... until the "Mark of the Phantasm" arc goes back one year and reveals his fate: Chill unknowingly reveals his secret to Terry, who had responded to an S.O.S. following an attack on Chill by the Phantasm. Affected by the Phantasm's fear toxin, Terry begins to beat up Chill for the murder of his father, forcing him to go into hiding. Despite Bruce's warning, Terry goes after Chill, who had been incapacitated by Ghoul's Jokerz gang. He becomes the first test subject of Ghoul's attempts at recreating the original Joker Toxin, which proves so effective it soon kills Chill after Terry appears to confront him. This new strain is so effective it can't even be cured by Terry's antidote, and Chill dies apologizing for harm he didn't intend on causing under the influence of the toxin.
  • Terry forgets to turn off the recording of his time in the Justice Lords' timeline, allowing Dick to see that that timeline's version of himself had married Barbara and that they have a son together. Hurts even more when Dick and Barbara getting married almost became a possibility, if only Bruce hadn't gotten Barbara pregnant, which they both learned three weeks after Dick returned, when he was preparing to propose.
  • Pretty much everything that happens to Wonder Woman in the Justice Lords' timeline. She chooses to stay because she can't fathom leaving that world in shambles, even though this means she may never be able to return home. She ends up in a relationship with Lord Batman, something that the main-universe Batman wouldn't let himself do out of fear for what his enemies might do to her if they knew he had a weak spot... a fear that turns out to be well-founded when Lord Wonder Woman disguises herself as her main universe counterpart to catch Lord Batman off-guard and kill him. Diana arrives at the scene a minute too late and, upon seeing what happened, she goes berserk and kills her Lord counterpart by strangling her with the Lasso of Truth. And because the Lasso of Truth was not meant for killing, it disintegrates because Diana has become unworthy.
    • Lord Wonder Woman has no qualms killing Lord Batman and even sadistically smirks as she catches him off-guard and breaks his neck, meaning that Diana and Bruce must not have been as close as they were in the main universe.
    • Lord Superman and Lord Wonder Woman were in a relationship before her death, meaning that Superman's relationship with Lois went from dangling to being completely crumbled. Lois is never mentioned in the Lords universe, meaning that either Superman alienated her so much that she exited his life or she died and Superman had come to hate her so much that he considered her an unperson.
  • In the Justice Lords' universe, when Superman and Wonder Woman tried to take over the world again and ended up causing a civil war, J'onn, John, and Shayera choose to leave Earth, tired of all the bloodshed. Their fates are unknown.
  • Dick seemingly dies stopping Rewire in the 39th issue. Fortunately, he wakes up a few minutes later.
  • In a cross-media example, Superman/Batman Annual #4 is a continuation of "The Call", which has Superman dealing with everything that happened while he was under Starro's control, including Lois' death.
  • While it flagrantly contradicts Return of the Joker, the ending of the Hush Beyond comic. Hush is defeated, and Bruce starts talking much more than he normally would, inviting Dick to come back to Wayne Manor with Terry, even saying that while he knows things can't ever be the same again, maybe this is just a chance for them to speak again...only for Terry to reveal Dick had already walked away and wasn't listening.
  • We get a look at Inque's origin story, and whether it's canon or not, it's not pretty. She came from an impoverished family who immigrated to America for a better life, but upon reaching the country, she was ripped from her family and trafficked. At one point, she escaped, but not before getting pregnant with her daughter Deanna. She allowed herself to become a guinea pig, but quickly became disillusioned with how the scientists viewed her as less than human. Afterwards, she ran away to a shelter, where she gave birth to Deanna. She wishes she could've given them both a happy life, but that was short-lived when she saw signs that the experimentation from earlier was catching up with her. Believing she would die, she gave up Deanna for adoption, and the rest was history.
    • As for the future? Well, because Inque had been pregnant with Deanna when she was experimented on, Deanna eventually began to die from genetic mutations she inherited. While Deanna was lying comatose in the hospital, Inque visited her one last time. Instead of relishing in her vengeance maliciously, Inque puts her daughter out of her misery and poisons her IV tube with some of her ink, coldly pitying that she couldn't provide the better life she promised both herself and her daughter.

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