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Tear Jerker / Critical Role

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Because yes, voice actors playing D&D can make us get emotional.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

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One-Shots:

    Special Episode: To The Poop! 
  • Overall, it is a very funny episode that doesn't take itself seriously. However, the climax is unexpectedly sad and grim. The town of Sandpoint is enjoying a festival, and Matt describes the jovial atmosphere. Then the five Two-Tooth goblins show up, burn down a tavern, damage a newly built cathedral and kill five adventurers over a rock, and not a particularly special rock. The horror in Matt's face and voice as he roleplays the adventurers is quite depressing, not even Black Comedy. The Bard is so traumatized by the heads of his friends flying into him that he can't perform, and then Matt judges that this lowers his AC enough for him to be killed as well. Grief for his friends killed him; that is tragic.

    Special Episode: The Screw Job 
  • Even though it's a one-shot and the cast are all playing horrible people, seeing a PC die for good, on-screen, is still painful. Laura Bailey's character, Devan, is knocked unconscious twice and is brutally finished off by Tarvis, in front of her lover Dren. While the audience knows Devan never really loved Dren and was planning to kill her, it still hurts to see an actual, on-screen, party-inflicted death. Dren follows not long after.
  • Dren's Famous Last Words managed to be both this and funny at the same time.
    Though I die today,
    at least with my love I go,
    fuck all you bastards!
  • While it's a questionably-canon oneshot, this is the first Critical Role story so far to end in a Total Party Kill.
    Special Episode: Liam's Quest: Full Circle 
    Undeadwood 
  • Arabella uncovers the possibility of resurrecting her dead sister, but she and the others face off against her zombie (and that of an undead Wild Bill Hickock). Thanks to how the dice rolls went Arabella ends up being the one to put her sister down.
  • A failed spell roll made Aloysius temporarily lose his emotional connections to all but his oldest memories. He is told by Swearingen that fellow party member Clayton was the bounty that he was sent to collect. The two end up facing off in a gun duel, to the horror of the rest of their party (and that of the players).
  • Clayton doesn't try to throw the duel exactly, but he keeps trying to shoot the gun out of Aloysius' hand. Aloysius ends up killing him.
  • You can see the exact moment when Travis realized that his goading Khary into trying the healing spell caused all of this to happen.
  • Anjali wanted to have Miriam try and intervene to prevent the duel, but Brian did not allow it. Probably the right call, but it still hurt her, and him, and the audience.
  • Aloysius closes Clayton's eyes as a sign of respect and staggers off, leaving a distraught Miriam to weep over the body while a teary Arabella and Reverend Mason try to comfort her.
  • To top it all off, the epilogue reveals that Clayton was in fact innocent of the crimes that made him an outlaw. He had to do hard things during his time on the run, but nothing like what he had been framed for.
  • The Stinger gave us some of the cast decompressing in the immediate aftermath of the ending. The sequence ends with Marisha and Khary pointing out that Aloysius is going to be very upset in 6 days when his emotional connections return.
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    The Adventures of the Darrington Brigade 
  • Buddy the ogre is a very large and intimidating figure, but as Mac states, "[he] is a very special ogre." Buddy is so simple minded, he's often confused as to why people are attacking him, when he just wants to be friends. The entire cast love him to pieces and want to protect him, even though he's the party tank.
  • The possibility of Tary replacing Doty thanks to Hazel's audio recordings leads to a very worried, "Tary?" from the automaton.
  • Things have not been going so well for Tary and the dreams he had for the Darrington Brigade: he's cash poor, the family estate is crumbling, and no one wants to help him in his mission of founding a "non-profit" adventuring guild.

Other:

  • Liam mentions in a Q&A session that he took a vine of the very moment Pike died. It's...actually pretty hard to watch. Travis and Laura are both screaming off-camera, and Taliesin gives a complete deadpan "Oh hell no." Not to mention Ashley's expression.
  • Orion left the show permanently after Episode 29, after being absent for Episodes 28 & 29. Thankfully, the fans have been very understanding, Matt reassured everyone that the players and Orion are still friends, and everyone wishes him well.
    • Unfortunately not entirely, Orion has visibly had a hard time since leaving the show, and is no longer considered a part of the Critter Community.
  • How Vex'ahlia and Trinket first met.
  • When a character is dead at the start of an episode or a break, their player is missing from the table unless they're needed for something like a post-death vision of the Raven Queen. Talk about putting a literal hole in the viewers' hearts...
  • One of Campaign 2's episodes of Talks Machina has Laura discussing the fate of Trinket, and one of the crew looks up the average lifespan of a bear. It's only 10 to 20 years, 30 in very rare cases, meaning that Trinket might have died during the Time Skip between campaigns. Laura is devastated, though she argues that his exposure to magic and time inside the Raven's Slumber necklace might have extended his life.
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    • Fortunately, someone remembered to look up the effect that being an animal companion to a Ranger has; Trinket will live as long as Vex lives, barring unfortunate circumstances. Laura was ecstatic!
  • Red Nose Day 2019 features Special Guest Stephen Colbert as a fan-created character, Capo the half-elf bard, with a bee for a familiar with a measly 1 hit point. When the confrontation with the undead necromancer Big Bad begins, Stephen has the bee attack the necromancer, then reads out "he has 1 hit point" like he just remembered the fact - and the necromancer counters with 21 necrotic damage. Which translates into the bee scoring a sting into the necromancer's neck, then looking Stephen in the eye and giving a thumbs up before being splattered with a single slap - oddly reminiscent of a certain scene from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. Stephen looks visibly shaken as the impact of the Heroic Sacrifice sets in. And then triggers the electronic sound from his LOTR Deluxe Cave Troll figure.
  • All Work No Play: Unplugged. Liam and Sam are catching up in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine over video chat, and the stress is clearly wearing on the both of them. Even with the occasional moments of comedy, Liam spends the entire first episode looking about 2 seconds away from bursting into tears.
    • The episode with Khary Payton will shake you to your core when he begins talking about how he's been brought to tears over how humanizing it feels to finally feel heard and not ignored after what's transpired over the murder of George Floyd.
  • While the Narrative Telephone stories are usually hilarious, and this one is no exception once the rest of the cast get to it, Liam's is particularly sobering once he revealed on Twitter that the three children represent Eodwulf, Astrid and Caleb and the story is an allegory for how the Empire corrupted them.
    • Laura's second story too has a sobering moment: Santa Claus's Expy, who just saw the Mighty Nein ruin his hard work with food, decorations and presents because of their distrust, asks them why they are acting like anyone ever did something nice for them. As we know, most of the Mighty Nein came from a Dark and Troubled Past and some of them never experienced unconditional kindness until they found each other.
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