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Tear Jerker / Big Mouth

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Puberty is not only an awkward age, it's also an age full of heartbreak.

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     Season 1 
  • Jessi crying to her mom that she got her first period on her school trip (after her mom made her wear white shorts). While her Inelegant Blubbering is played somewhat as a joke, her all-too-familiar feeling of humiliation is definitely not.
  • Jay snapping at his older brothers after they ruin his sleepover, who continue to casually bully him until he runs off in tears. It's the first time we see Jay's more humble side and realize exactly why he can be so insufferable.
  • Jessi receiving unwanted attention after wearing a new bra under a tank top to school. A particularly uncomfortable compliment from Mr. Lizer and Lola snapping her bra strap sends her running into the bathroom in tears.
  • When talking to Ms. Benitez, Coach Steve reveals that no one has ever asked him "Are you okay?". That is a very sad thought, that no one before her had ever been concerned for him to even ask that.
  • Jay has cameras in Nick's house, but this time it's not because he's a massive perv. He just likes watching Nick's mom cook because his own mom is an abusive monster whose idea of making dinner is shredding open a bag of McDonald's and making the boys duke it out.
  • Jessi is angered when Nick tells her that her mom is cheating on her dad with a woman; and then he says he knows this because he and Andrew saw her do it while they were in the city. She gets even angrier because that trip was two weeks ago, and they said nothing. She storms off after calling Nick a bad friend.
  • "I Survived Jessi's Bat Mitzvah":
    • Andrew and Missy breaking up at Jessi's bat mitzvah. Afterwards, even Maurice is heartbroken and the two cry in each other's arms as Amason's cover of "I Wanna Know What Love Is" plays the episode out.
    • Jessi's flashbacks of her parents' marriage. It progresses from starting out very happy and affectionate when she was a baby, to showing signs of falling apart when she's a little kid, to the present day where it is now visibly unhappy and strained. The saddest part is that both of them clearly love her, but their own relationship makes it hard for them to show it.
  • Jessi tells Jay that her dad hired his dad to be his divorce lawyer. She also mentions that her dad now has to sleep in the basement and shower using the backyard hose.

     Season 2 
  • Missy hits a new low in self esteem and wears a hoodie to school, desperate to hide what she considers to be her shameful, ugly body. Her reflection also constantly shows up reminding her to hate herself.
  • Jessie's body-positive self esteem, which was just bolstered after the song number, is deflated when she runs into Cantor Dina at the spa and is furious to find that of all women, the one she had nothing but contempt for has a flawless naked figure. She hates Dina so much that she's resentful of something that's literally nobody's fault.
  • Greg breaking down in front of Jessi, tearfully confessing that he still loves Shannon and is well-aware of his own failures as a husband.
  • Lola's home life is terrible. Her condo is staged because her mom wants to sell it as soon as possible, and her mom apparently wishes that Devin was her daughter, not Lola.
  • After Andrew says that he wants to break up with her, Lola expresses just how lonely she is.
    Lola: You're like weak and boring and, like, a nobody! What does it mean that even you don't wanna be with me?
  • Greg is kicked out of the house because Jessi found and ate one of his edibles. Even worse, the Shame Wizard finally takes control over her and makes her feel even worse about breaking up the otherwise beautiful relationship of her parents and even finds a way for her to blame herself for Trump's election.
  • Gina being slut-shamed and harassed for her developing body. It comes to a head in "Dark Side of the Boob" when word leaks out that Nick touched one of her boobs, and it utterly ruins their relationship.
  • Missy locks herself in the bathroom to cry after her classmates catch her dry-humping her worm plushie.
  • Matthew discovering that even though his classmates seem accepting of him, they still view him as an outsider. Devin emasculates him by saying he isn't a 'real boy' and the other boys get in his face and tell him not to rape them. It quickly becomes apparent that his bitchy attitude is nothing but a defense mechanism and his only choices are keeping his guard up or getting bullied. The Shame Wizard eventually finds him sitting in a fetal position on his sleeping bag, calling him a 'lonely little queer'. Sadly Truth in Television for plenty of young gay people like Matthew.
  • While getting jealous of Andrew and Missy, Lola notes that the condo she lives in is under her name, likely because her mom doesn't want to own the place where Lola lives.
  • Even though the Shame Wizard is gone and everyone else is partying, Jessi is unhappy and tells Connie to get out of her life.
  • Connie is in tears after Jessi states that she wants to go with Depression Kitty.
  • The show's depiction of depression is painfully accurate. Instead of portraying it as sadness or despair, it's represented as living in a suffocating emotional fog, having Jessi sleep alone all day in a locked and padded room while the Depression Kitty curls up on her.
  • Andrew sees that the Shame Wizard has no friends among the other monsters.

     Season 3 
  • The once tightly-knit gang that started out the series planning to go to the school dance together spend less and less time with each other. By the finale, they've all gone their separate ways.
  • Missy cries when the girls call her a traitor for not dressing up in skimpy clothing like they are.
  • While Nick has his face buried in his phone, his mother tearfully informs him that his maternal grandmother is dying of cancer, but also suffers from Alzheimer's so even if someone tells her she's dying, she won't remember it. He's too distracted to care.
  • Jay is left to fend for himself after his family leaves for spring break and their house is fumigated. Luckily, the Birches let him stay with them, even after the Bilzerians come back.
  • After leaving the Bilzerian household and making a new home in the Birch's attic, Featuring Ludacris says: "I'm afraid that if I can't be happy here, then perhaps I'm the problem."
  • Ali telling Jay the real reason she had to change schools. It wasn't because she fingered a nun, as has been the rumor, but something far more grounded in reality: she told her best friend she was in love with her and her friend, in return, told everyone at school that Ali was a "lezbo."
    • In the same episode, while Jay doesn't come out in the most tactful way, he still shares a personal detail about himself that he's proud of himself for discovering, having been inspired by Ali's own self-confidence. However, his friend, including Matthew, who should know better, outright tell Jay that bisexuality doesn't exist and he's just in denial, largely thanks to Ali's misinformation. It's something plenty of real bisexual people have had to deal with.
  • Nick, Andrew and Jessi sitting alone while everyone else dances at the Devons' faux-wedding.
  • Because of the pressure Shannon puts on her and the consequences of her parents' divorce, Depression Kitty begins to stalk Jessi once again, to the point where Jessi refuses to get out of bed the morning of her exam and do nothing. Sadly Truth in Television: depression isn't like the flu or a cold, it's more like a chronic illness which can be tolerable some days and insufferable others.
  • "Super Mouth" has several, emphasizing the depressing nature of change:
    • Andrew is crestfallen when he finds out that Missy is falling for Nick. Their friendship is shaken and they get into a big fight that leads to Andrew dropping out of summer camp just because he wants time away from Nick. And then Nick breaks Missy's heart by being forced to admit that he doesn't love her back. A lifelong friendship was broken over nothing.
    • Jessie discovers that her superpower is getting people to reveal secrets when she touches them. Unfortunately, they're all secrets that have been kept from her, like how her father is dating another woman and her mother is moving them to the city against her will, or things she doesn't want to hear, like how Matthew is going to be too busy with his boyfriend to miss her when she leaves.
    • The Reveal that the entire "superhero" plot of the episode was just a metaphor for how chaotic the group's relationships have become, as realized by Caleb's drawings. It perfectly captures how interpersonal drama feels for those going through it verses those merely observing it: to the observer, a bunch of kids bickering in the rain is utterly pathetic. To the kids going through it, it's literally the end of the world.
      "Now we've got problems / And I don't think we can solve 'em / You made a really deep cut / And baby now we've got bad blood."

     Season 4 
  • People being insensitive and cruel to Natalie, just because she's transgender.
  • Nick throughout this season. This poor guy needs a hug.
    • First, he faces some downright cruel humiliation from Andrew and the other kids at his camp, as Andrew is still mad about him and Missy throughout the first three episodes.
      • When he runs into the woods, he is greeted by Tito the Anxiety Mosquito, who tells him that he'll likely die a sad virgin. Nick brokenly says that he doesn't want to end up that way and cries while Tito forms an Anxiety Mosquito swarm around him.
      • Then after running back in the woods after his disastrous performance in front of the campers, he lashes out and explodes at Jessi when the latter runs after him. The look of anger and hurt on his face is sobering.
    • Then, just when things seem to get better for him after reconciling with Andrew, he has a nightmare where he is alone and friendless, in a Crapsack World Bad Future.
      • This make him realize his feeling towards Jessi, which he then attempted to act on, to no avail.
    • He then develops a fear of intimacy as a result of everything he's been through, thinking that letting people close to him will just hurt him.
    • Finally, he has an out of body experience, and has his future self taking over his body as a result of his fears and self-loathing overpowering him.
  • Missy arguing with her parents after changing her hairstyle, ending with her tearfully going to her room and saying she just wanted to show them her hair.
  • Natalie has her first kiss with Seth, but he's embarrassed because she's trans, which understandably hurts her feelings pretty badly.
  • Jessi being plagued by the Depression Kitty and the Anxiety Mosquito as she struggles to cope in the city. The stress becomes so intense that she breaks and skips several days of school so she can just lay in bed.
  • The Code-Switchin' song, while humorous at times, can be pretty depressing for those who are African-American, as they feel pressured to "Code-Switch" in order to appeal to another race, or even those of their own race.
  • Coach Steve crying about what happened to the Twin Towers on his birthday, September 11, declaring that he never wants to celebrate his birthday again. His manchild antics are usually Played for Laughs, but in this case it makes his shock and sadness more painful. It's enough to make Matthew sympathize with Steve after taking advantage of his stupidity all episode.
  • Nick and Connie part on bad terms after Connie decides to stop being Nick's Hormone Monstress.
  • Jay is desperate enough for physical affection from his family that he welcomes Kurt punching him.
    "Worth it. Physical touch.. means you love me."
  • After Michael Angelo dumps her and Shannon finds out that she's been skipping school, Jessi can only hide under her sheets and cry herself to sleep.
  • Matthew's mother finds out he's gay and alienates him on the spot. While his father ends up accepting him as is, the last we see of Matthew for the season is him sitting alone on a swing set during Connie’s verse in “What You Gonna Do?”
  • Despite a very strong and fairly healthy relationship, Lola and Jay's relationship ends badly after Lola can't bring herself to return Jay's "I love you" because of how hurt she's been by other people in her life, which leads to Jay cheating on her with two of his pillows.

     Season 5 
  • Jay cries as he admits to Brad and Suzette that he misses Lola.
  • Matthew and Aiden break up after Matthew can't stop thinking about Jay.
    • Even worse, as Matthew couldn't work up the nerve to dump Aiden, he attempts to use Reverse Psychology to get Aiden to dump him instead. Aiden sees right through it, but he's hurt that Matthew doesn't even have the courage to dump him properly and leaves.
    • This ends up being All for Nothing, as Jay is currently Charles Lu's sidepiece and happy to be so.
  • Samira breaks up with Ali because she's jealous of how close she is to Jessi.
  • Jessi puts her foot down and tells Nick that she isn't interested in him because he doesn't make her horny.
  • On Thanksgiving, Featuring Ludacris asks himself why none of his kids have called him this year.
  • Just when Jessi gets her hopes up that her parents are getting back together, she learns that Greg and Kaitlyn are having a baby and starting a family.
  • Despite being happy about it before, Jay finds that he no longer enjoys being a sidepiece.
    "Yup! The sidepiece life is, pretty awesome. Heh heh. Waaay better than being recognized as a human being. Sidepiece Wolf. Woo."
  • Jessi has a brief panic attack after learning that Missy is DrPlainTalk and that Missy hates her. It isn't helped by the fact that Tito, the Depression Kitty, and the Shame Wizard torment her after this revelation.
  • Missy runs off in tears shouting that she hates Ali, Jessi, and the entire school after she gets in a fight with Ali.
  • Lola tells Rodney that her mom never reciprocates the love others feel for her.
  • Jay is barred from magic due to revealing how one trick works to Lola, who then spreads it around with her phone.
  • Lola's mom doesn't show up for Christmas. Lola's so lonely that she makes a snowman in her mother's image.
  • Jay is completely crushed after he becomes a disbarred magician.
    • When Lola asks if he wants to grovel to her, he says that he doesn't want to do anything with/to her anymore.
    • He throws away all his magic tricks and performs tricks for a thrown out futon.

     Season 6 
  • An understated moment occurs in the season premiere, when Jessi, wanting to make a move on Judd, knocks on his door only to have it be answered by a girl (presumably a girlfriend/hookup). Jessi is understandably devastated and humiliated, especially when she finds out that the girl knows that she stole Judd's shirt.
    Girl: Oh my God. Is this klepto-baby?
  • Jay believes that coming out to his family means they won't be able to neglect him.
    Matthew: Oh honey, your logic his heartbreaking.
  • Lola grieves after she executes the Knights of St. Joseph.
  • Caitlin is saddened after learning that she'll need to get a C-section instead of going with a natural birth like she wanted.
  • The whole subplot where Andrew's parents reach the breaking point in their marriage. The sight of Barbara finally walking out on Marty when he accuses her of cheating on him with the rabbi hits Andrew like a bullet and he takes the wrong message from all of it.
    • Realizing that Bernie could leave him as easily as his mother left his father, Andrew desperately tries to keep tabs on her, only to push Bernie into the arms of her better-looking friend.
  • Lola singing a song about how it sucks to be her since her mom is never around and she never knew who her father was.
  • "Daddy Dia!" starts off with Lola winning her Hot Pocket case. Then three men show up, claiming that her mother was a groupie in their band "Bros 4 Life" and that one of them could potentially be her dad. They all spend the day together singing songs and shopping, but Rodney thinks it's all a set-up, to which Lola doesn't believe him, telling him to get out. At the Daddy-Daughter dance, Lola tells the men that she used up all the money on a lifetime supply of Hot Pockets. The three men show their true colors by telling her that they were only hanging with her to get the money for their comeback tour. They also claim that neither of them slept with her mom and that all those songs they sang with her were bullshit. They then sang one last time about setting up Lola before vanishing away, leaving Lola heartbroken. Even if you don't like Lola and given all the terrible things she's done throughout the series, you just want to give her a hug after how she got conned.
    • The revelation is even sadder when you think about it; Lola's mother was never really part of her life, given Lola's implications about her and Lola clearly has no idea who her biological father is. She put a lot of value and love into her three "fathers," only to find out they were just using her.
  • Matthew eventually realizes that he and Jay don't have enough in common, despite Jay pleading that he'll change his entire identity just to keep Matthew.
  • The main kids hitting their low points in the penultimate episode of the season as their problems become too much for them.
    Andrew: I wish my dad wasn't such an asshole.
    Nick: I wish I had my parents back.
    Missy: I wish I was irresistible.
    Jessi: I wish my dad loved me the way he loves that stupid baby.
    Jay: I wish I wasn'

  • "My Furry Valentine":
    • Andrew's increasingly douchey behaviour is hard to watch. He goes from trying to win back Missy with confidence to trying to win her back with desperation. When that doesn't work, he shouts at her that they're meant to be together, frightening the poor girl (oblivious to the fact that his overbearing attention towards her was what made her break up with him during Jessie's bat miztvah). When he sees Nick's nipples have swollen, instead of showing his usual empathy he and Jay start agitating them in a public place, which causes Nick to start crying uncontrollably. Andrew then spoils Lola's party by destroying a television, pushing Missy even further away and trying to convince everyone that Lars was faking his disability (which Maurice repeatedly tried to talk him out of).
    • Jay's attempts at polyamory take a physical toll on him and he tearfully breaks up with his fuck-buddies. The fact that they left through a disappearing act just sells the finality of it.
    • One of the extras is a pair of incestuous conjoined twins who break up at the restaurant. When Elliot begins the incision to separate the two, his hand twitches and one of the brothers flatlines.
    • Amid an already bleak episode, Coach Steve casually mentions having suicidal thoughts ever since he lost his job. His only real coping mechanism is a makeshift girlfriend that spouts pre-recorded lovey-dovey lines.
    • Connie's emotional, full-throated rendition of "Changes" will absolutely shake you.