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Tear Jerker / Bones

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  • So many in "The Man in the Fallout Shelter":
    • The team's brief visits with their families, separated by a glass wall, while they're quarantined in the Jeffersonian during Christmas, set to "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" sung by Tori Amos.
      • Dr. Goodman seeing his two young daughters. It's one particularly sweet because you mainly see Goodman as the administrator and occasional Deadpan Snarker who has to corral the team as best he can.
      • Hodgins seeing his main squeeze, who leaves lipstick marks all over the glass while he smiles.
      • Angela with the gentleman we later learn is her father.
      • Booth seeing Parker.
      • Bones standing off to the side, alone, in stark and painful contrast to Zack's large, loving family come to visit him.
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    • The end, where Bones is able to tell the fiancée of a man murdered in 1959 what really happened to him, and that he'd never abandoned her. And that he inadvertently left her a legacy
    • The final scene with Bones and the present... which her parents had left for her when they had disappeared around Christmas. She was so angry with them for abandoning her that she never opened it... but she still kept it. The look on her face when she opens it is almost painful to see.
    • "Don't you wish someone had told you that your parents were dead — just so you can finally stop wondering?" — "Yes."
  • "The Superhero in the Alley". The ending, when Angela completes the final page of the murder victim's semi-autobiographical comic book? Yeah.
  • "The Graft in the Girl". Amy, the teen daughter of Booth's boss, has cancer, which it turns out was caused by a bone graft from a bone with cancer. After further investigation it turns out there are more people with cancer from the same donor (whose bones were illegally harvested). In the end the murder is solved and, but Amy is still going to die.

  • The beginning of “The Woman in Limbo”. Brennan sees Angela’s latest facial reconstruction of a Jane Doe and flips out, repeatedly telling Angela that it’s a mistake and to do the facial reconstruction again, before storming out. She then rushes to look at the evidence found with the Jane Doe, and proceeds to break down when she finds a familiar necklace. Meanwhile, both Angela and Dr. Goodman are incredibly confused by Brennan’s outburst. That’s when Booth comes in and sees the facial reconstruction as well, and reveals the cause of Brennan’s reaction: the Jane Doe is her mother. She finally found out what happened to her in the worst way possible.
    • Made worse in the next scene. Brennan had been searching for years to find her mother. Turns out she was at her workplace the entire time... Brennan just didn't know it.
    • Also her breakdown at the pig farm. She says her name and what her job is, getting more tearful as she speaks, until she breaks down crying and Booth holds her. So much of what she thought she knew about herself was coming apart and she was clinging to things she knew to still be true.
    • A more minor part, but still worth mentioning. Booth seeks out Bones's estranged brother, who left her not long after their parents did. When she goes to call him out on it, we find out her brother wasn't much older than her, and genuinely thought she would have a better childhood in foster care than if he tried to raise her
  • "The Boy in the Shroud". The entire episode, but especially the end when 'Bring on the Wonder' plays.
  • From "Aliens in a Spaceship" Bones and Hodgins have been buried alive by the Gravedigger and convinced they are going to die despite their Plot Armour
    • Lots of Hodgins in this episode. Other notable moments include:
      • His admission to Angela at the end that he's too scared to sleep anymore.
      • His admission to Bones before she operates on him.
    Hodgins: I'm nuts about Angela. Over the moon, stupid in love with her.
    • Also, when they realize that one of the twin brothers had killed himself in hopes of giving the other brother enough air to survive.
      • Zack's inability to understand why he should tell the twins' father made it 50 times worse. The concept is heartbreaking for everyone — but for many real-life twins, it's downright TERRIFYING.
      • The FBI agent who advised against paying the Kent Twins ransom is no longer with the Bureau, mentions that he's an alcoholic now, and clearly views it as My Greatest Failure. Really all of the initial investigators involved in that case are shown to be affected by it, and the Gravedigger remaining at large for another two seasons, by which point she's killed two of them robs them of closure.
  • Brennan’s comment in “Judas On A Pole” as her dad leaves that she’s “one of those people who doesn’t get to have a family” is heartbreaking although it loses some sting when you know she does get a family later.
    • Immediately afterwards, the episode features with a somber, haunting scene where Max burns the corpse of the man who tried to kill Brennan. as a warning to anyone else who might have the same idea as [['Awesome Music' Running Up that Hill]], plays, with close-ups of Max's face during lines like "And if I only could/ Make a deal with God/ And get him to swap our places" as he accepts that he may never see his daughter again because of what he's just had to do.
  • The victim's father talking about his daughter (and his dead wife) in "The Girl in the Gator" and the team's guilt about how their Saying Too Much causes him to get arrested for shooting the man who raped his daughter.
  • "The Priest in the Churchyard" has a sad scene where the killer talks with her priest and Parental Substitute father William. She meant well and was trying to kill Pedophile Priest's while he feels heartbroken both by how she's going to jail, and because it's all for nothing (one of the men she killed might not have been guilty and the other certainly wasn't). William is also clearly saddened to realize that it was his own hostility towards one of the victims (fortunately the one who survived) due to that man replacing him which caused the killer to trust his judgment and go after that man.
  • The sick and exhausted mother from “Stargazer in the Puddle”. She had a daughter who sadly suffered from a condition that left her with a myriad of health issues: unable to hit puberty while simultaneously rapidly aging in other ways, yet leaving the affected person with the mentality of a six-year-old child. The mother was under heavy medications, and one of those drugs was experimental. It left her feeling worse than before and her own mental health began to deteriorate. She knew no foster home would take her daughter, and ended up killing the child with an overdose of her old medication and alleges to have drowned her daughter. It was ultimately done out of mercy and love. In a stroke of cruel irony, her medication belatedly began to work right after her daughter’s death. The scene between Brennan and the distraught mother was so heartbreaking — the way the mother looked at the rock her daughter had written on and broke down crying: “I love you”.
  • Pretty much the entire last portion of the Season 3 finale.
    • Zack's tear-filled confession of the crimes and revealing the location of Gormogon..
    • Brennan going through the logical process that led Zack to do what he did... and then pointing out that he risked everything so that he wouldn't hurt Hodgins.
    • The gang looking in on Zack through the hospital window.
    • The fact that all of Zack's favorite things were items giving to him by his friends, including Brennan's acceptance letter for Zack's internship.
  • "The Finger in the Nest," in which Brennan decides to adopt Ripley, the fighting dog at the center of the case. However, since the dog has killed a person, the judge in the case orders it put down - which she doesn't find out until after she's already purchased toys, bedding and a personalized collar tag. Brennan's expression at the news, and then her halting attempt to say something over Ripley's grave, is heart-wrenching.
  • The victim's story in "The Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond". A germaphobic young man with OCD was working hard to overcome them and was even set to get married. However the victim was hacked to pieces by his own mother, who also suffered from OCD and had a mental break when she learned her son was going to leave. In the end it's revealed that she kept his head in a box buried in her garden after killing him.
  • And let's not forget to mention when Cam adopts Michelle in “The Doctor in the Den”, that one moment when she goes up to her room to get the salt shaker.
  • Booth and Brennan sharing "scars" from their childhoods in "Mayhem on a Cross" as a way to comfort Sweets after discovering whip scars on his back.
    • They're doozies too; Bones uncharacteristically starts the sharing unprompted by telling the story of the time her foster parents locked her in the trunk of a car for dropping a dish. She's brought to tears by the memory, and keeps trying to justify it wasn't her fault
    • Booth then, at a single look from Bones, tells them he would have killed himself as a child had it not been for his grandfather
  • In "The Plain in the Prodigy" Mrs. Yoder asks for the DMV picture of her son. Since the family was Amish, she probably didn't have any other picture of their son.
  • In "The Foot in the Foreclosure" Booth's grandfather, Hank, is introduced. He's a constant source of snarky remarks and awesomeness. Also, he accidentally burns down Booth's kitchen while making dinner. His speech to Booth after the firefighters leave is really emotional. You can hear in his voice that he knows that now the roles have switched and his grandson will have to take care of him. This hits a little too close to home for those who have seen their grandparents or parents needing help to do previously mundane things.
    • What's worse is that Ralph Waite (who played Hank) died in 2014.
    • Hank revealing to Brennan that he is the reason Booth's father left the family. Hank discovered his son beating Booth and told him to leave and never come back. It is clear he doesn't understand why his own son could do that but he knew he had to protect his grandchildren. He asks Brennan to one day tell Booth and to comfort him as he's afraid Booth will hate him for driving his dad away.
  • "The Goop on the Girl". The scene near the end where the radio broadcaster gives his final show about how it's really his fault that the man died, because of all the hate he's spreading. His words were so touching, you'd have to be inhuman to not tear up at that.
    "These will be the final words I broadcast. And I hope they're the words you remember the best. Peace on Earth."
    • Additionally, at one point Bones says she finds the idea of a woman burying her son "heart breaking". Booth tells her “You are the one who always says that the heart can’t break because it’s a muscle. It has to be crushed,” she replies “Well, isn’t it heart crushing?”
  • In "The Bones on the Blue Line", Sweets is sitting next to a guy who just a text saying he's now cancer free. He then proceeds to tell Sweets how he's going to travel the world and sleep with exotic women, things he'd been putting off because of his cancer. Seconds later, he’s thrown into a handpole on the subway when the train derails, killing him instantly.
  • Booth's anguished declaration of love to Bones in "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole". And her heartbreaking reply.
    Booth: Hear me out. Alright? You know when you talk to older couples who have been in love for thirty or forty or fifty years, it's always the guy who says I knew. I knew. Right from the beginning. I'm that guy, Bones. I'm that guy. I know.
  • The sixth season premiere, "The Mastadon in the Room", in a good way when Hodgins and Angela are talking about their baby.
  • In "The Shallow in the Deep" Cam reading out the names of the slaves who died in the sinking of the Amalia Rose as their portraits light up one by one behind her is incredibly moving, especially when she chokes up on reaching the one with her great-grandmother's name.
  • * Before that, the scene where Angela gives faces to all of the slave ship victims,
  • Cam talking to Sweets about Michelle in "The Babe In The Bar". She asks him why she should be going to him for advice about her adopted daughter when he doesn't even take care of a pet. As of "Mayhem on a Cross", we know that he was adopted by a loving couple when he was a child, and that he knows better than anyone why she should listen to him.
    • In a sad but also heartwarming way, the fact that he tells her she's doing great. Coming from Sweets who knows what it's like to be adopted, that's probably the highest praise he could give her, and she doesn't even know or understand.
  • Bones' breakdown in "The Doctor in the Photo".
    Bones: "I missed my chance."
    • Actually, just Bones during the episode. She becomes so consumed by the fact she and the titular doctor are alike that she starts hearing her talk, and ends up not sleeping for almost the entire episode. The whole team are worried about her and she doesn’t even seem to know why.
    • Another heartbreaker of a quote
    Bones: “How come I understand every word [you] say, always? I don’t have that with anybody else. Sometimes I just hear…noise.”
  • As a man who has already been on the tail end of a rejected marriage proposal what happens to Booth at the end of "The Daredevil in the Mold" is particularly jarring.
  • "The Blackout in the Blizzard". TJ Thyne can make the chemical composition of coins bring tears to your eyes.
    Hodgins: You hear that something has a one in a thousand chance or one in 10,000. *sobs* But I guess it's like the lottery, right? Someone always wins, you know?
    Angela: That sounds like good news.
    • Then he just can't even speak and just looks at her, tears streaming down his face, and Wendell quietly leaves the room.
  • "The Signs in the Silence" - a deaf mute runaway girl is found covered in blood. It turns out she had to kill a man who tried to kidnap her and take her back to her violently abusive parents, who it turns out in fact kidnapped her from her real parents when she was a toddler. It is an incredible Adult Fear episode for any parent, to imagine their defenceless three-year-old being taken and used so horrifically that she's unable to trust anyone, and her only happy memory is of a stuffed rabbit...
    • The episode is also a tearjerker in terms of the reaction it brings out in both Bones and Sweets, who both had firsthand experience with abuse in the foster care system. Sweets, usually very passive, is so upset by the girl's case that he gets angry at Bones and argues with her in the diner, something other characters note he's never done before
  • "The Hole In the Heart": The death of Vincent Nigel-Murray and the team's reaction to it, including Bones' breakdown.
    • " I don't wanna go. I love it here.... Please don't make me leave...."
      • What makes that dialogue even sadder? Bones thought he was talking to her.
      • Doubly worse because the pain of watching him die cracks her cold exterior and she keeps telling him he can stay as long as he wants and that he's her favorite intern to comfort him. Tears are streaming from her eyes the whole time and she scolds Booth when he stops applying pressure to his wound and does it herself, not wanting to believe he's dead.
  • In the season seven finale, Brennan takes Christine and goes on the run after being framed for a murder. Booth manages to just catch the car driving off and says in the most heartbreaking little voice "That's my family..."
    • From the same episode, Cam breaking down in tears while telling Hodgins that the hair recovered from Dr. Brennan's trunk matches the victim's.
  • Booth's eulogy for a homeless veteran who died rescuing three people from the Pentagon on 9/11 in “The Patriot in Pugatory”.
    • That entire episode. That entire fucking episode.
    • The most tearjerking fact of all is everyone ignored him because he just looked like a homeless victim of random violence, it took 12 years for someone to pay attention and discover he was a homeless veteran that died in a heroic sacrifice due to injuries sustained lifting the rubble. What they at first thought was his blood or his attackers' on his clothes was the blood of the people he saved.
    • Finn, Colin, Fisher, Arastoo & Wendell telling each other their memories of the day, and when they first learnt of the 9/11 attacks.
      • Arastoo couldn't pray, Clark left meat burning in the cafe where he was working, Finn was stabbed, Colin was caught stealing test answers and he and his teacher just watched, Wendell's fireman uncle never came home and Brennan was identifying bodies)
  • The entirety of "The Ghost in the Machine". It's told from the point of view from the victim - A fourteen-year-old boy. Just his age itself is sad, but when you hear what everyone has to say to him (Or his skull, rather) and realize that he hears it too... Hell, Brennan even cries for him. And she never cries over victims.
  • The killer from "The Couple in the Cave", while probably a bit too self-righteous about what he did, can tug at the heartstrings a bit talking about his motive, having his brother die, and then seeing his brother's child die and leave behdin a grieving murder while the man responsible -albeit- unintentionally got off with a slap on the wrist and talking about all of the pain involved in that.
    • From the same episode, the description of one victim crawling over to the body if his Innocent Bystander girlfriend before dying.
  • In "The Puzzler in the Pit" the victim being accidentally killed in a fight by His own illegitimate son, who'd tried to meet him and thought his father was blowing him off when really he had dementia and had just forgotten about the meeting they'd scheduled.
  • The part in "The Archaeologist in the Cocoon" where the team demonstrates the fate of the Neanderthal/Homo sapien remains from 25,000 years ago: It was a family murder scene - a homo sapien mother, a neanderthal father, and a hybrid daughter were killed by a homo sapien interloper. The mother and father both died killing the interloper, while the 3 year old daughter was left to starve to death because neither species would adopt her. Their only comfort was that the father crawled to and cradled the mother while he bled to death and she suffocated, and the daughter curled up with them at the end, so that they could all be together. Booth outright calls it The World's First Hate Crime.
    • On a lesser ote, the sadness of the victim's wife.
  • In “The Pathos in the Pathogen” when Arastoo is infected with a deadly disease and the only one who can help is the murderer, seeing the normally stoic Cam just utterly break down begging him to help is utterly heartwrenching.
  • From the season 8 finale, "The Secret in the Siege". Booth, who originally accepted Bones' marriage proposal, had to call it off due to Pelant threatening to kill innocent people if he didn't (or if he told Bones about it). Bones' reaction (once she gets out of Booth's view) is heartbreaking.
  • In "The Psychic and the Soup", the team mourning on what would have been Sweets' birthday if he hadn't been murdered. Hodgins gets the most heartbreaking line.
    Hodgins: He didn't even make it to thirty?
  • Season 9's episode "The Spark in the Park". The victim's father is the physics-professor version of Dr. Brennan, extremely intelligent but with few apparent social graces. At the end, Brennan comes back to check on him, and he is writing vector calculus equations. Bones realizes and the professor explains that each one represents a different phase of his daughter's life, starting with "At rest in her crib", going through crawling, walking, somersaults, ice skating, her gymnastics career... and finally again, at rest. Bones tearfully remarks that this is "the most beautiful thing I've ever seen...more beautiful than a speech, more beautiful than a photograph"...
  • Learning that Clark's girlfriend of eight years broke up with him in 'The Ghost in the Killer,' leading him to be crashing at the Jeffersonian. Seeing the normally straight-laced and confident squintern hitting his lowest point and this lost is hard to see.
  • Season 9 episode "Big in the Phillipines," where we find out that Wendell has Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Brennan's reaction and struggle to tell Wendell is also more of a Tear Jerker when you think about what happened to Zack and Vincent, two other interns Brennan valued the most. Another Tear Jerker (which triples up as it is both a Moment of Awesome and a Moment of Heartwarming) is when Wendell says he doesn't think he wants to seek treatment until Booth tells him that he still has a life ahead of him with a wife and kids.
  • In 9x15, "The Heiress in the Hill", Hodgins learns about his estranged brother, hidden away in a full-time psychiatric care facility by his parents before he was born. He goes to visit him and they're having a nice conversation, when Jeffrey has a psychotic break and starts ranting about his delusions. The look on Hodgins's face is ...
  • The pain in Brennan's voice when Booth tells her to take Christine and go to Max's, because the operatives behind the conspiracy are coming after them.
    Booth: I love you.
    Brennan: Don't you die.
  • Sweets being brutally killed in the last minutes of the season 10 premiere.
    • The following episode takes it Up to Eleven. Note that prior to the last between-seasons Time Skip, Christine still wasn't speaking yet (a season 9 episode's B-plot actually had Bones worried about how long it was taking for her to start speaking), so these are the first complete sentences the viewers get to hear her speak.
    Christine: I'm ready!
    Bones: Ready for what?
    Christine: Uncle Sweets and Daisy said they'd take me to the park today.
    ** Cue Bones and Booth looking uncomfortably at each other, trying to figure out how to explain that Sweets is dead
    • Then there’s the scene where Daisy looks at Sweets’ bones and just the idea that they had to de-flesh them at all. And then the funeral...
  • Seeing Booth relapse on his gambling addiction in season ten is heartbreaking for anyone who has had loved ones go through similar relapses.
  • Hodgins getting stuck in a wheelchair after the event of “The Doom in the Boom” is bad enough on its own but seeing him taking out his anger at this turn of events on the team to the point of verbal abuse, culminating with him telling Angela that she should leave if she can't take it, is heart-wrenching.
  • In "The Movie in the Making", the tribute scenes to Zack, Vincent and Sweets will definitely tug at your heartstrings.
    • Additionally, the devastation of the victim's estranged father is tear jerking.
  • The Reveal that the Puppet Master is Zack Addy. Adorable Zach is now a serial killer, who wants to kill his pseudo-family that was his Jeffersonian colleagues. The fact that official interviews hint that there's a chance that Zach is only crazy, not a serial killer isn't enough to remove the heartbreak at the moment.
    • It was revealed that Zack isn't the Puppet Master but was instead framed by his doctor. Despite this, Booth nearly shoots him and his desperation to prove his innocence is heartbreaking.
    • Hodgins spends the first half of the episode hating Zach and then when he is ready to rekindle their relationship, he is told that none of the progress he's been experiencing with his legs is real, meaning he's going to be in that chair for the rest of his life.
  • After a vengeance killer who wants revenge for Booth killing his father attacks Max and the kids, Max dies in front of Bones, who takes the entire next episode to be truly herself again.
  • The following episode The Grief and The Girl beautifully captures Brennan's mourning, especially while investigating a victim who'd been dealing with grief of her own after losing her grandmother, and the victim's pregnant sister tearfully asking Brennan why she feels like she's lost everyone, despite still having a husband and child.
  • Hodgins manages to find evidence that could prove Zach didn't commit the lobbyist murder he confessed to and eagerly goes to show it to Cam...who proceeds to accuse him of evidence tampering. He snaps that she should just throw it out if she doesn't trust him and storms out.

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