- Operation: Z.E.R.O.
"Tell the Kids Next Door we miss them!"
- Numbuh One having a Heroic BSoD after he believes himself to be responsible for Grandfather's return.
- When, after getting to know the real Sector Z, they reverted back into their Delightful form.
Mr. Uno: I say, old bean! What are you up to? Making some more 2x4 technobob thingies?Numbuh One: (hugs him, who hugs him back) No, Dad. I was just playing with an old friend.
- Or later on, when we see Numbuh Zero once again as Numbuh One's Bumbling Dad, with no memories of being a KND operative.
- Every time Mr. Uno is saddened whenever Numbuh One angrily snaps and rejects a chance to spend time becomes Harsher in Hindsight when one realizes Nigel's father is Numbuh Zero. You see in his days, Numbuh Zero and his brother didn't have such a happy childhood and lived under the (literally) tyrannical rule of Grandfather. In other words, Nigel doesn't know how good he has it, growing up with a kindly, supportive father like Monty.
Numbuh Zero: "I'd love to stay and have lots more adventures with the super cool Numbuh One and his team, but... I'm just not a kid anymore. I'm an adult. And I need to complete the most important mission of my life — being a good father to my son.
- Father's failed, rather deflated attempt at confronting Grandfather, if for no other reason than the fact that it's eerily reminiscent of Real Life abuse victims attempting to confront their abusers.
- Numbuh One being forced to fight his former teammates. Fortunately, Numbuh Two's birthday suits help turn them back to normal.
- Numbuh Five's heroic sacrifice.
- Numbuh Zero's final message to Numbuh One via the broken recommissioning module at the end of Operation Z.E.R.O. is both heartfelt and heartbreaking, saying that while he might not remember what he did, he wants to go on his greatest mission: being a father to his son.
- Zero and his wife do get recommissioned one last time, in the series finale... to say goodbye to his son, as Numbuh One leaves for the Galactic Kids Next Door.
- In earlier episodes, the whole process of decommissioning is glossed over. Then in the opening of "Operation: M.A.U.R.I.C.E.", we're introduced to an operative, Numbuh Nine, who's a good friend of Sector V. It's his thirteenth birthday and he's willingly going to be decommissioned. The combination of his speech, his screams while getting his memories wiped and walking out as a sullen teenager with no memories is pretty damn depressing even if it was all an act. And the Crowning Music of Sadness makes things even more emotional.
Numbuh Five: My sister's a teen! The greatest Kids Next Door operative I ever knew is a teen! And just look at me, I'm practically a teen now!
- Decommissioning itself is a gloomy process. Imagine losing most of your memories from your childhood. Imagine forgetting your crushes and your best friends, and acting like they never existed.
- Numbuh Five's Growing Up Sucks speech from that episode.
- It's also rather sad to see a flashback of Cree working with the Kids Next Door and seeing what a loyal member she was, before she became a teenager.
- Vin Moosk's Heroic Sacrifice at the end of "Operation: K.N.O.T.":Numbuh Two: Who was that guy?
Numbuh One: ... A comrade.
- "Operation: F.O.U.N.T.A.I.N.". It's pretty sad when they begin to contemplate what will happen to Leona when 300 years of suppressed aging will catch up to her. Even after they save her, and she double crosses them, and they save her again, as 1-4 year olds. Waving goodbye to her fountain, watching it crumble to the ground. Her finding a different one and laughing made up for it, a little.Baby!Numbah Four: I thought we came here to save Weona.Baby!Numbah Five: Change of plans! She's an adult and a jerk!
- Also that near the end it seemed Leona was going to pass away from old age.
- Let's not forget the earlier scene: Throughout the episode, Numbah Four showed frustration over trying to help Leona from the Delightful Children since they don't know her at all. Numbah Five, sick of Four's attitude, tells him in a rare sense of fury and anger, that the last time she didn't help a kid from the Delightful Children, they did something to him that he would "never forget", which lead to her stepping down as Sector V's leader. When Four asks what was so bad, Numbah 1 quietly says "They made me bald".
- Operation K.A.S.T.L.E.: King Sandy torturing Rainbow Monkeys...and giving Numbuh 3 a Scarpia Ultimatum where he'll dip Rainbow Monkeys in nacho sauce if she doesn't agree to marry him.
- "Operation: S.L.U.M.B.E.R.", where Numbuh 86 has to invent a super-secret, girls-only mission to get people to come to her slumber party.Numbuh 86: I know it's unusual, but my mom is forcing me to throw a slumber party and... I had to invite someone.
Numbuh Three: Why didn't you invite some of your own friends?
(Numbuh 86 hangs her head)
Numbuh Three: Oh.
- It makes the moment at the end, where Numbuh Three insists that she's 86's friend, all the more heartwarming.
- This episode is rather hard on Numbuh 86. She always puts up a rude and aggressive front, but with The Reveal that she's secretly lonely and wishes she had friends (but doesn't know how to make them), that has to hurt. She's genuinely heartbroken when Numbuh 12, who she thought was her friend, betrays her and the KND. When Numbuh 3 tries to reassure her by saying "We're your friends!" everyone else present just whistles, coughs, or looks away, even Numbuh 4 and Numbuh 23, who had enjoyed her company at the slumber party. To really rub it in, the episode ends with everyone but Numbuh 3 laughing at her Embarrassing First Name—it's more depressing than funny.
- Lizzie's breakup with Nigel is unexpectedly serious. She recognizes that Nigel's duty to the Kids Next Door will never give her the boyfriend she wants and decides that breaking it off would be for the best. Might not drive someone to tears but it is a well-handled moment of drama that can inspire some empathy from the viewer.
- And at the very end, Numbuh 362 attempts to comfort Nigel by subtly asking him out, but he turns her down. Rachel is understanding, but you can clearly see the sadness and disappointment on her face as she leaves.
- "Operation: M.A.T.A.D.O.R.": Numbuh Four is having fun in his time as a "bully fighter", playing matador to caffeinated adults who act like bulls. The heavy stuff comes when at the championship, his next adult to fight is his father (whose face is shown for the first time). Also, when he learns the dark side to the fights: adults are lured, captured and thrown into pens and force-fed enough caffeine to make them confused, angry and crazy enough to charge at anything, even their own kids. Numbuh Four's Dad got roped into the whole mess because he believed he was going to a seminar... on being a better dad. OUCH.
- In Operation C.A.R.A.M.E.L, we learn why Heinrich holds ill will towards Numbuh 5. 5 years, 5 months, and 5 days earlier an incident happened that gave Heinrich delicious caramel unknowingly at the cost of what he valued most. Turns out he used to be a female and she had lost what she had valued most, her beauty. Assuming Heinrich is 10 like Numbuh 5, this means Heinrich lost what he had valued most when he was only 4 or 5. At such a young age losing something that important to you would do severe psychological damage.
- Anyone else feel bad for the Chief Safety Bot in Operation S.A.F.E.T.Y.? Well-Intentioned Extremist, yes, but it only wanted to make a world safe for kids. When it realized it had in fact hurt a child (thus paradoxically violating its programming), it realized since it was in fact a threat it must neutralize itself. After spiraling out of control, it pauses and says only "please get home safely" before it wraps everyone in bubble wrap and proceeds to blow up the space station, destroying itself and sending everyone back to earth unharmed.
- Right before that, we have Numbuh 4 freaking out and crying upon seeing his baby brother Joey injured. Joey actually faked it using ketchup, but it can still strike a chord for some.
- "Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y." has Chad and Nigel's mentor and pupil relationship. After seeing the sweet flashback at the beginning, seeing Nigel's forlorn expression as he remembers their friendship, and how the two attempt to kill each other in the second half of the episode, makes one want to weep for their deteriorated relationship.
- For the entire episode, the two are at each other's throats. While Chad's reason for his belligerence isn't exactly clear until the finale, Nigel's reason is obvious: he wants to understand why one of his closest friends, a boy who had been mentor and ally to him, betrayed him and the KND — a question Chad refuses to answer until his life is literally hanging in the balance. What doesn't help is that it seems Chad didn't care about all the people he hurt with his actions. Even learning the truth changes nothing, in the end. While Chad wasn't a traitor, all of his genuine negative qualities have eroded whatever was left of Nigel's ideal image of him (especially since said qualities were the reason he (Chad) tried to kill him), and their relationship truly is unsalvageable.
- "Operation: O.O.M.P.P.A.H" Numbuh 1's father takes him on a fishing trip to bond. After a day of boredom and annoyance, Numbuh 1 snaps at his father and the camera pans up show his face (notable, as prior to this, it had been obscured, so showing it swiftly shifts the mood) and he just looks heartbroken.Monty Uno: I'm sorry, Nigel. I just wanted to be your friend.
- Then there's Nigel's reaction to his father's response. You can tell that he realized how horrible and ungrateful he must have sounded. It gets even worse when his father is kidnapped and he never got a chance to apologize. Just imagine the guilt he was feeling.
- The ending of "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S." Adding extra weight to it? It's the audience's goodbye as well. It's been a great six season run, and seeing it come to an end is just heartbreaking.Numbuh One: Just promise me one thing — that you'll never grow up! Even if you're a hundred-years-old and don't remember a thing about our times together, you'll still be a kid at heart, okay?
- The last image◊ from the series is enough to make anyone bawl.
- In a blog post, Tom Warburton describes how he eventually came to write the farewells scene, and basically wrote himself to tears, saying goodbye to the Kids Next Door like they were his own children.
- This fanmade image I'm not gonna cry.. I'm not gonna cry....
- The recent teaser is full of this and Nightmare Fuel: Numbuh 1 is about to unleash something on Earth, which he says is infested with adults while Chad pleads with him not to, protesting that their families and friends are down there.
- Nigel is willing to put everyone he loves, including Sector V, in massive danger if it means getting rid of the virus that is adults. The fact that Chad of all people is pleading with Nigel not to do it says so much. We have watched one of our childhood heroes fall. Think about how Nigel's parents will feel if they ever get recommissioned. Think about how heartbroken the rest of Sector V is going to feel.
- After the arguments between the various aliens is silenced by whomever is in charge, they say it is his decision to make, one that is not to be made lightly. After a moment of hesitation, he makes a salute while stoically shedding a single tear and proceeding to activate the device.
- The only thing that makes Nigel pause and hesitate in the GKND teaser is Chad telling him that Abby would never let him do what he is doing. Nigel looks like he is going to change his mind for a split second, before the aliens in the GKND come in and ruin everything. The fact that he didn't even pause when Chad first mentioned Sector V's names says that he is already resigned to what is going to happen to them if he makes this choice.
- At the end, the watcher hears this from Abby, Nigel Uno... what have you done?. It is clear that she is heartbroken. And we haven't even seen the reactions of Wally, Kuki, or Hoagie yet.
- In a meta example, the ultimate reveal that despite global fan response and even some positive prospects among CN executives, G:KND failed to be greenlit for production. Although the successful revival of Samurai Jack means that hope is not lost.
- Surprisingly, "Operation: A.F.L.O.A.T." manages to become a tad upsetting as it takes a turn towards Jaws-level territory as Sector V winds up being picked off one by one (except Number 4, who drowned in the asparagus sea), with it being played as seriously as possible given that the Jaws equivalent is a great white asparagus monster. And this is despite Stickybeard saving the day in the end.
- "Operation G.H.O.S.T." opens with the funeral of Chubbo, one of the KND's hamsters. Numbuh 3 is so heartbroken, and anyone who's lost a pet can relate."Goodbye, Chubbo. I love you."
- "Operation S.P.A.C.E", Mushi delivers a rather heartwarming speech about her sister when seeing Numbuh 5 and Cree fighting. Both look at each other for a moment.Numbuh 5: W-What happened to us, Cree?
Cree: I-I-I... I-I don't know. I got older... Things change...
Numbuh 5: You know, when you were in the Kids Next Door, I wanted to be just like you. You were the best, and I was so proud to be your sister.
- Granted Numbuh 5 was just tricking Cree and Mushi did it on purpose, but it still hits home to anyone who feels stranded from their siblings despite having been close when they were kids.
- Somehow, Cree's insistence that she was going to do the same and Abigail was just faster sounds as if it's a lie and she was being sincere when lamenting that she isn't close to her sister anymore.
- In Operation S.N.O.W.I.N.G, Numbuh 1 ends up sick when it happens to be a snow day. The first time he is seen in the episode is him sadly looking out the window and whining about how unfair it. The fact he sounds close to crying just makes it all the more upsetting.
Tear Jerker / Codename: Kids Next Door
Codename: Kids Next Door may be a kids show, but it can still be sad!