- Tiz is kept up at night due to nightmares resulting from the destruction of Norende and the loss of his brother Til due to the same incident. His looking out for Egil because the latter reminds him of Til just makes it more heartrending.
- Edea, being a Defector from Decadence, ends up having to fight many people she was very close to, including Einheria, who was like a sister to her, Kamiizumi, her mentor and teacher, and her own father. The fights with all three lead to some incredibly tragic interactions. It doesn't help that all of them are some of the more morally decent members of the Eternian forces. Also not helping is how, after Olivia dies, Agnès accuses Edea of being a traitor.
- Mephilia initially seems like a sadistic monster out to defile all beauty in the world purely For the Evulz. But after you defeat her, you can read her memos in D's Journal, where you learn she used to be a perfectly nice girl, who even had a loving boyfriend, until she herself was driven insane by the very fairy wings she ended up using to corrupt others. You later find out her boyfriend died on a sea voyage to prove his love to her. The contrast between her first few journal entries and her last is both nightmarish and tragic.
- You learn the name of her boyfriend from Barbarossa, who was actually a close friend of his. Suleiman wanted to find Susano-o for Mephilia, since it's the final summon she needed. He sailed to the Sea of Corsairs to find it. His captain's log states that he spent "two years and [his] promise to Mephilia went unfulfilled." The log revealed how he died: He fell ill and started coughing up blood. Some time later, Barbarossa found his ship and saw Suleiman's ghost, shocked that he didn't tell him what happened. However, instead of staying angry, he takes the ship and sails off to continue searching for Susano-o to help put his late friend to rest.
- Talking of the Venus Sisters, the youngest one, Artemia, has one backstory that explains her Hulk Speak and feral behavior. As Einheria and Mephilia went to train their abilities, Artemia waited and waited for her sisters to come but they never did so she ran away from home. She got lost and was raised by Frostis, a kind of floating ball-shaped cat creatures. Artemia was found a year later turned into a feral child. When Mephilia found out she got really angry with Einheria.
- Really, the death of nearly any Job Master.
- Of particular note are Barras and Holly. In the second world and onward, defeating one of them in their fight will cause the other to openly lament their loss.
- Someone can feel sorry for the Jackal even if he is a Jerkass Woobie due to Parental Abandonment and dying out of thirst. He considered the band of thieves he joined in his family but all he learned was robbing people and committing other crimes, not warm love and care if you don't count the third world with the two orphaned children he takes care of. They cried out that they may have lost their foster father, only for the Jackal being unconscious.
- Kamiizumi's death. If you fight him after beating Braev and the very potent What the Hell, Hero? speech he gives Edea.Kamiizumi: You have already set foot on the path of carnage. No wonder I could not stop you... forgive me Braev... your daughter cannot be stopped.
- Ringabel, once you realize exactly who he is and why he has amnesia. To explain further - Falls into lava after the girl he loves attacks him over a misunderstanding. Ends up getting tortured by an irredeemable monster under the guise of healing him, then gets healed for real and back on his feet just in time to make the final confrontation with the main characters. Only to arrive too late to witness them all being slaughtered by an Eldritch Abomination that they originally trusted. And then he falls from a pillar of light into another world entirely.
- Despite how early it happens, Owen's death is very sad. Not only by itself, but also due to his father's reaction: he tries to put up a good front and not show much of his sadness to the party, but it's nonetheless obvious that the poor man is devastated, to the point that he ends up bedridden sometime after Agnès and her friends leave. Only after Egil starts to live in Caldisla does he start to recover.
- Speaking of deaths, Olivia's is cruel as well. It happens literally minutes after she and Agnès finally find each other again. It even acts as a temporary Cynicism Catalyst for Agnès, who becomes a lot more bitter afterwards. Thankfully, it doesn't stick, but it's still sad.
- While nowhere near as sad as the previous examples, one particular death is worthy of mentioning: the little girls in the Summoner sidequest, who were pretty much Mind Raped into killing each other with their bare hands over fairies' wings. Because it happens in a sidequest, it's relatively minor, but it can still serve as an effective Player Punch, partially because of how unexpected it can be to certain players and because it averts a well-known trope.
- When the party arrives at the home village of Edea's parents, it's almost empty, filled with graves of the victims of the Great Plague and two kind old men still living there. One of them acts as Mr. Exposition of how the village was a nice place before the Plague hit Eternia. If you cancel or finish the conversations the elder will grieve how lonely he feels.
- The Matriach of Florem mentions that a promising vestaling who could have replaced Olivia was abandoned years ago by the Orthodoxy due to her illness. This is the same chapter where it is clarified that Victoria hates the Orthodoxy because they abandoned her as a child. The strong implication being that she was the water vestaling.
- Every time Tiz visits his brother's grave in the alternate worlds. It goes from Tiz being the one who died instead of his little brother or the entire village.
- It can be very sobering to see Praline a la Mode performing only at night in the dingy bar aboard the Grandship in Chapter Five after you defeat her and terrify her into retiring. A fallen pop idol forced to perform in a seedy gig with a drunken and potentially abusive audience. On the other hand, it's not all bad; she pulls the bartender out of his funk.
- In the normal ending, Agnès outright pleads with Airy to go back to how she used to be, and is genuinely hopeful when it looks like Airy might just be a victim of Demonic Possession. No matter what Airy's doing or how monstrous she's become, Agnès still wanted to believe there was a chance they could be friends again...
- In the True Ending, Tiz suddenly collapsing after 6 months of peace, right as Agnes and Edea stop by for a visit. It turns out Ouroboros was telling the truth about a Celestial possessing Tiz's body. When the Celestial decides that it's time to return what it borrowed, Tiz immediately falls to the ground, implying that the Celestial's presence was the only thing keeping him alive and awake after he fell into the Norende Ravine at the start of the game. This is further complicated in the Special Movie added in the Updated Re-release: Good news: Tiz was unconscious, but alive, and seemed to have been put in a healing chamber to recover. Bad news: It's some time far in the future, and a new danger seems to have arisen.
- In either of the endings, the main characters are given the opportunity to choose which world to return to. Ringabel chooses his home world — i.e., the one where Tiz, Agnes, and Edea likely killed his entire surrogate family while awakening crystals, and then were themselves killed by Airy while he could do nothing but stand there and watch. In the normal ending, he places a flower at the spot where they were killed in mourning. The true ending, on the other hand, turns this into a Moment of Awesome for him since he is somehow sent back in time to just before they were killed, allowing him to make up for his original failure by joining in the fight as Alternis.
Tear Jerker / Bravely Default