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Tear Jerker / Death Battle

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Not everybody faces death with dignity. Thankfully, Kirby was able to turn the tables.
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    In General 
  • In general, any episode where your preferred character dies will be this to at least a few people. Similarly, any episode featuring two characters who would probably get along quite well under any other circumstance would qualify as this trope as well.
  • Also in general, thinking about how those close to the losers would take their deaths also qualifies, such as family members, close friends, significant others... In short, it's a very good thing these are just What If? scenarios.
  • Pretty much any episode where the match is between two heroic characters would fall under this, regardless of who wins, a great person still dies.
    • It's especially saddening if both characters would have gotten along if they met under better circumstances.
    • To say nothing of any episode between a hero and villain, and the villain comes out victorious...

    Season 1 
  • Especially to those familiar with their canon relationship, seeing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles viciously murdering one another in cold blood is heartbreaking. The lingering pause on Leonardo's face when he collapses after finishing off Raphael is not the look of a winner; it is the face of horrible realization.
  • Goku vs Superman
    • Many whose childhoods went to Goku becomes this somewhere. Especially heartbreaking is the expression on his face and his Death Cry Echo as he's vaporised.
    • Their battle ended up completely destroying the planet Earth. Doubly so for Superman as he ended up destroying what he was sent to protect. His expression and the utter silence at the end of it all really hammers it home.
    • What's worse is just how petty it is. Superman never wanted the fight at all and Goku just wanted a good fight (and to stop what he thought was a possible alien threat), but unfortunately he and Goku just kept getting pushed to the point where they couldn't hold back anymore.

    Season 2 
  • Fox McCloud vs. Bucky O'Hare is probably one of the most depressing match-ups to date. Fox loses one of his closest friends, Wiz and Boomstick see one of their favorite characters get blasted to smithereens, and Bucky loses just about everything. It's hard to say anyone actually won that fight.
  • Luigi vs. Tails: Although the episode has plenty of Funny Moments, it doesn't change the fact that it's a battle to the death between gaming's biggest Butt-Monkey who lost and an innocent kid no older than 11 who won. The worst part is that this all happened right after the Year of Luigi. Right after Luigi finally gets his time in the limelight, he gets defeated in a Death Battle.
    Boomstick: [Sadly] There goes The Year of Luigi.
  • The expression of sheer terror on Venusaur's face as it burns up in Charizard's flames.
    • The Pokemon were leveled up by rare candy instead of being already fully grown. Three kids just fought to the death.
  • Kirby is quite clearly devastated after his Star Rod is destroyed. It's even worse after Buu launches his Planet Buster and Kirby looks up from crying with tears still in his eyes. He knows that he had to dig deep in a VERY short period of time to counter this. If one of the most powerful weapons in his canon and last moves, his Hypernova form, is thwarted by Buu, then his entire home will be vaporized in return. Really, the whole battle was a big tearjerker for poor Kirby and for anyone who cares about him. The levels of physical and mental pain he was exposed to, while basically being a blobby version of an innocent Kid Hero, is nothing to laugh about. We're basically seeing a young kid getting the tar beaten out him, seeing his home threatened and being brought down to his knees as he faces a Cruel and Unusual Death. Sure, he won in the end, but it's still pretty harsh in hindsight.
  • Guts' backstory is a combination of this and Nightmare Fuel. From being born from a woman hung from a tree during a massacre, to watching his surrogate mother — the whore of a mercenary band — die at age three, to being abused physically, emotionally, and sexually. And when he finally finds friends and a girlfriend, his best friend summons an army of demons who rip apart his friends while being force to watch said best friend — now transfigured into a bird demon — raped his girlfriend, and then it turns out Casca was pregnant with his child, which was horrifically mutated by the rape. The poor guy just can't hope to catch a break.
  • Goku vs. Superman 2 ends with Superman softly, sincerely saying "I'm sorry" right before killing Goku quickly and painlessly with a heat vision bolt through the skull when Goku makes clear he's never going to stop fighting, even though he's clearly overpowered. The whole thing ends with Superman carrying Goku's body rather than letting him fall. Also, just like the first time, despite Death Battle's tendency of not caring about the heroes' no-kill policy, Superman was an exception; he tried to stop the fight non-lethally more than once, but was ultimately forced to kill Goku so he would not destroy the planet, noting how he was "too strong for his own good". At one point, Goku yelled to Superman, "Get off my planet!" meaning he still thought Superman was an alien invader.
  • Hercule Satan VS Dan Hibiki. Poor, poor Dan. The guy's father was killed, nothing ever seems to go right for him, and he's just so pathetic that it's natural to pity him. In his fight with Hercule, he sheds tears when he's about to lose, and he can only whimper "Ohhh mannn" before he suddenly gets killed by a jukebox suddenly exploding out from inside him- which was apparently unintentional on Mr. Satan's part. His death is pretty sad if you can get past the absurdity of it. To top it all off, when he's reunited with his father, he's disappointed in him. That's right- even in death, Dan can't do anything right. To add salt to the wound the crowd is explicitly cheering against Dan during the entirety of the fight. Dude was The Chew Toy through and through.
  • Hawkeye's backstory is one traumatic moment after another. He and his brother were frequently beaten by their abusive drunk of a father, and were both orphaned when their parents died in a car crash. The man who adopted them was even worse than their biological parent, and tried to run them over in his truck. They were rescued by a pair of circus performers who took the Barton brothers under their wing and brought them to live and train at the Carson Carnival of Traveling Wonders... only for the two performers to turn out to be supervillains who were training Hawkeye's brother Barney to be a criminal as well. The deciding blow of the Green Arrow vs Hawkeye fight can be this if you know the significance of GA's diamond tipped arrow. He used it to free members of the Justice League in a move that got him accepted into the team. Then years later he would place the diamond on the engagement ring he would use to propose to his long time girlfriend Black Canary. It is shattered by Hawkeye's Adamantium-tip arrow before it kills him. And then Dinah is shown posing alongside Hawkeye.
  • Pokemon vs Digimon.
    • The death of Red and Charizard. Wargreymon rips Mega Charizard X apart with his Dramon Killers while Tai beats the hell out of Red. Mega Charizard X falls on top of Red, accidentally breaking his legs. Then Wargreymon nukes them with Terra Force. Even worse, despite having his legs broken, being horribly roughed up, and about to be utterly incinerated, Red's final thoughts are of Charizard, not his own fate. While the bond between the two is mentioned to be one of master and pet rather than as equals in the analysis, it can't be said that Red didn't love Charizard.
    • Chad's initial idea was even worse. Mega Charizard X is on the floor while Wargreymon charges Terra Force. Red runs over to Mega Charizard X, hugs him in an attempt to protect him, and sheds a Single Tear while saying "I'm sorry" as he shares his Pokemon's fate.
    • Red thought they were having a friendly Pokémon battle and didn't learn that Tai and Greymon were willing to kill them until it was too late.
    • Just the final shot can send many Pokemon fans crying like kids again: the sight of Red and Mega Charizard X being reduced to ashes. Even worse was seeing Charizard try his hardest to resist but ultimately falling.
    • This battle can be jarring to those who grew up watching either show since they had a massive Fandom Rivalry back then. Just seeing the mon and trainer you saw grow and become stronger end up dying can leave a hole in your heart. This rivals Goku vs. Superman in that department.
      Boomstick: Ow... my childhood...
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    Season 3 
  • Bayonetta vs Dante
    • The source of Bayonetta's powers is a contract she made with a demon named Madama Butterfly. In exchange for her powers, her soul is now forever condemned to eternal torture in Inferno from the moment she dies...which is exactly what happens after her gruesome death at Dante's hands. Madama Butterfly herself ends up having her leg sliced off before being nonchalantly decapitated by Dante. Bayonetta's voice cracks when she realizes her sponsor and the only friendly demon she knew has just been killed.
  • Flash vs Quicksilver: When the battle is over, Magneto appears to mourn his son's death.
  • Meta VS Carolina: In Season 13 of Red vs Blue Carolina explicitly states that she treated the other Freelancers as family and their deaths were the reason she didn't want to lose the Reds and Blues. Now she has to not only fight Maine but also try to kill him, which she actually does. However, listen closely to the lyrics of the music for the fight. "Grant the souls I send your way final peace and rest at last". Given the circumstances, it's safe to say Carolina is not only upset for having to try to kill him, but sees killing him as some sort of Mercy Kill given the Meta's unstable mental state. With that in mind, her execution of the Meta takes on a much more somber tone.
  • Cammy VS Sonya: Just the way Cammy thrashes in a desperate attempt to escape death— and similarly, in how despite being heroic in her intentions, what with trying to apprehend Kano without killing him and engaging Sonya on the basis that she used excessive force (by killing him when she was trying to arrest him alive), she's brutally murdered by Sonya as well without an inkling of remorse or humility.
  • Amy Rose vs Ramona Flowers: After being knocked out cold to the prelude to the fight, Scott regains consciousness just in time to see Ramona unconscious and bloodied, and is understandably distraught. Mere seconds later, Amy then pancakes her with an arcade cabinet, leaving him borderline catatonic with grief.
  • Hulk vs Doomsday:
    • Boomstick saying his imaginary friend's name was Dad. Wiz himself had no reply, and instead just moved on with the rundowns.

    Season 4 
  • Venom vs. Bane
    • The look on Batman's face when he sees Bane's headless body. You can practically hear Kevin Conroy's horrified "No..." seeing one of his greatest adversaries murdered so easily.
    • As Boomstick notes, life has not been kind to Eddie Brock. Eddie spent his entire life trying to gain approval from his father who blamed him for Eddie's mother dying in childbirth. However during his big break, where he revealed the identity of the serial killer known as Sin Eater, Spider-Man caught the "real" killer (when Carnage is inverted it is revealed that Eddie was right) which resulted in him getting publicly humiliated, fired, divorced from his wife and disowned by his father. Eddie would then go on to learn that he had cancer and went to church to apologize to God because he was about to commit suicide, only for him to bond with the Venom symbiote instead. It was an experience so traumatic that he cries whenever a symbiote starts to bond to him again. Unlike Bane, Eddie does not do any villainous acts besides trying to kill Spider-Man and after forming a truce with Spider-Man, he would go on to become an anti-hero.
  • Android 18 vs. Captain Marvel
    • Boomstick opens up a cold one for Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel, upon his death.
  • Smokey Bear vs. McGruff the Crime Dog
    • Smokey's backstory has a tragic overlap with the real world. Only a few years after Smokey was originally created as a mascot, a particularly vicious wildfire broke out in New Mexico, where thousands of forest creatures either lost their home or died. Among them was a small American Black Bear cub, who was found clinging with burnt paws to a smoldering tree, having lost his parents in the blaze. This cub was rescued by firefighters, eventually named Smokey after the mascot, and became the real-world incarnation of everything the cartoon bear stood for. While it's a triumphant ending to a heartbreaking tragedy, the hosts are understandably somber while they share the story.
    • While discussing that McGruff doesn't actually hold a rank in the police force, Boomstick takes a moment to remember a dog that actually held an official rank — Thailand's Air Chief Marshall, Fufu.
      Boomstick: Rest in peace, buddy.
    • McGruff's last words really do tug the heartstrings—
      Remember, kids... (voice cracks) ...remember me.
    • It's sadder if he meant it as "Remember me and carry my lessons on" — and even more so with how he can briefly be seen flinching and heard yelping right as giant Smokey crushes his monster truck with him still inside it. He's evidently terrified, but admirably still trying to put a brave face on for his supporters to the end.
  • Naruto vs. Ichigo
  • Sephiroth vs. Vergil
    • Vergil's final moments. He manages to use Yamato to cut through dimensions and escape Sephiroth's Supernova but is severely damaged. When he gets out, he sounds relieved, but is then abruptly killed by Sephiroth.
      Vergil: I'm... free...
      Sephiroth: (impales Vergil on Masamune from behind, causing him to drop Yamato) Hm. So you are.
      (swings Masamune, slashing Vergil in half)

    Season 5 
  • Raven vs. Twilight Sparkle:
    • The fight between Raven and Twilight winds up setting the Golden Oak Library on fire. Twilight's horrified reaction is what drives the point home:
      Twilight: Oh no... not again!
    • The good news is that Rainbow Dash is seen putting the fire out after the fight. The bad news is that Twilight's (probably) not going to be around to see it.
    • After the fight, Raven is seen destroying her Twilight Sparkle doll, clearly having lost her respect for the Princess of Friendship.
      • It gets worse when you think about it: During the fight, Twilight made Raven inadvertently enter her Dark Raven form which she hates so much. Is it any wonder that the pedestal is broken?
  • Jotaro vs. Kenshiro:
    • Joseph happens to be present when the fight breaks out... and as a result, he's forced to watch his grandson die horrifically. The post-fight animation has him crying over what's left of Jotaro.
  • Crash Bandicoot vs. Spyro the Dragon
    • The reason these two are even fighting? Crash squashed Spyro's adoptive brother Sparx, assuming him to be an average annoying insect. Spyro's horror as he realizes what the Bandicoot has done really sells it:
  • Doctor Strange vs. Doctor Fate
    • During Fate's analysis, when talking about how Nabu ended up serving as a father figure to Kent after killing his real father, Boomstick mentions that he would have taken any Dad if given the chance. While his lack of a good father figure has been a Running Gag before this, the way that he mentions it during this episode shows how much of a sore spot it is for him.
    • Doctor Strange has his soul completely destroyed by the combined power of Nabu, Kent, and Inza. While the last combatant to go out this way was a dyed-in-the-wool villain, there's something heartbreaking about seeing it happen to a hero.
  • Carnage vs. Lucy
  • Optimus Prime vs. RX-78-2 Gundam
    • Boomstick actually starts bawling at the mentioning of Optimus Prime's death in his preview, leaving Wiz confused and baffled.
    • One can hear the anguish, pain, and distress in Optimus' voice when he shouts "No... NO!" after Amuro fires his Gundam's Beam Rifle at the Ark and destroys it, presumably along with several other Autobots inside.

    Season 6 
  • Mega Man Battle Royale
  • In Ben 10 vs Green Lantern, this is combined with Nightmare Fuel after Wiz said Alien X recreated the universe when it was destroyed, with Boomstick pointing out the Fridge Horror:
    Boomstick: Since he just made a copy universe, that technically means that all those characters we watched through the whole show are still dead. Damn dude, throw somebody a bone or something.
  • Weiss vs Mitsuru:
  • Aang vs Edward Elric:
    • Much like Superman's second win against Goku, Aang isn't celebrating his win. Given both his usual pacifism and the downbeat tone of his voice in the end after obliterating Edward, Aang takes no pleasure in the victory and is only sad that he had to kill a fellow teenager to survive.
    • Even earlier, when Aang originally thought he had blown off Ed's head, he had a freakout and apologized, sounding absolutely horrified by what he thought he had done.
    • The fact that Aang unsuccessfully tries to apologize mid-fight for accidentally offending Ed really makes it feel like he has no desire to fight. But Edward just keeps on coming and coming, eventually to the point where neither of them can afford to hold back anymore.
    • In context, the fact that Alphonse will never regain his body back after his brother died, and that Edwards family and military friends will never know what became of him, as not even a trace of his body remains.
    • Out of context, it may be sad for an FMA fan to see that Ed is basically the villain of the piece, with even the tropes on the various fight pages showing more sympathy for the winner of the fight than the loser.
  • Dragonzord vs Mechagodzilla:
    • At the end of the Mechagodzilla preview, Wiz goes to the lab to do a cyber-necromancy experiment. An experiment to reanimate his father, which he's tried multiple times.
      Boomstick: Oh, Wiz, c'mon, it never goes well. Let your father rest in peace.
      Wiz: I'll bring him back! I swear it! I just want him to say he's proud of me...
      Boomstick: And you guys thought I had father issues.
    • Akane gets shot down during the fight and begs Kiryu to keep fighting before impact.
    • Godzilla's ghost then takes over, and rather heartwarmingly, he is absolutely furious when he believes Akane was killed.
    • As a meta example, this episode can be rather sobering for a Power Rangers fan, making it the first franchise to suffer a 0-3 losing streak with no wins at all.
  • More of a tearjerker for the show. Nick Cramer, long time writer of Death Battle (though he had left the Death Battle team in the months leading up to this) and regular guest of the Death Battle Cast, was among the 13% of Rooster Teeth employees that were let go as of September 12th, 2019. When Ben confirmed that Nick had been laid off during the Death Battle Cast the following week, the normally chaotic atmosphere of the show turned very somber, and Ben seemed to be on the verge of tears.
  • Mob vs. Tatsumaki:
  • Deadpool VS The Mask:
    • In this episode, not only do Wiz and Boomstick seem sick of Deadpool's constant reappearances, but Deadpool himself does too. The Regenerating Degenerate isn't helped by the fact that Wiz and Boomstick choose to constantly belittle and downplay him during his rundown, and are actively rooting for his opposition to win.
    • Wade's face after the Mask decapitates him. He actually seemed kinda sad, least before Mask caught him. Plus his reaction to Mask's "I'm already wearing it!", Deadpool was no longer making jokes, he's left speechless, realizing how out of his league he is in this one. He even sheds a tear.
    • There's the Voice Over Letter that Deadpool leaves to Wiz and Boomstick. It's a letter of heartfelt reconciliation and gratitude for helping him find his true self after he got lost in his internet meme fame. They read this after his death, which they deliberately caused.
    • At the end of the analysis, Boomstick interrupts the results, cutting off Wiz. The two have a Heel Realization, realizing that, despite them both having to be impartial judges of the fight, they instead spitefully pit Deadpool against an opponent they both knew he would lose against. Both Wiz and Boomstick begin to mourn their fallen adversary... until he comes back thanks to the Continuity Stone.
  • All Might VS Might Guy:
    • In the end, what started as a friendly arm wrestling match, ended with two powerful heroes dead. All Might falls to Might Guy, technically making him the winner... but paying the ultimate price to do so, as Guy opened the Eighth Gate of Death to finish All Might off, sealing his own fate as his body will soon deteriorate into ashes. A fitting, yet somber end to two proud warriors.
    • What really stings about this particular ending is that usually, there's some kind of emotional distance between the two characters that makes it easier to buy that they'd kill each other without a second thought, even when they're squeaky-clean heroes who otherwise act in-character. However, in this case, Guy and Toshinori are warm and friendly to each other right from the get-go and maintain that jovial spirit of competition right up until All Might gets frustrated and plunges his fist through Guy's chest, and even then, Guy gives him a congratulatory thumbs-up before activating the Eighth Gate just to show him what he's like at his mightiest. It's never a good feeling to see a budding friendship collapse in such a disastrous way. Even Guy's Famous Last Words before collapsing twist the knife, as he asks for a rematch with his fallen rival shortly before joining him in death:
      Might Guy: Good fight... Let's do it... again...
    • While the fight track, "Mighty", is a triumphant, hopeful anthem that perfectly encapsulates the personality of both heroes, the second verse is surprisingly poignant, acknowledging that they both will eventually have to have to pass the torch and alluding to how they both suffered career ending wounds in their home canon. It's especially tragic in that, due to Death Battle basing him at the time where he was at his full potential, All Might's death means that he never got to transfer One For All to Izuku (while left to the viewers' imagination, the nature of Might Guy's training of Rock Lee means it's possible, though by no means a certainty, that he taught him by the time the fight takes place), meaning that his metaphorical torch is snuffed out.
      There's an era approaching when I'll/When I'll have to pass on the torch
      When you'll follow in these steps/On the path that I've scorched
    • The worst part is that this was perhaps the first Death Battle that fans didn't want anyone to lose. Might Guy and All Might are so beloved and their interactions made it really clear that outside of Death Battle, they could have been really good friends - most of the episode's most up voted comments are how nobody wanted either of them to die. And they both ended up dying.

    Season 7 
  • Miles Morales VS Static:
    • The fight essentially happens due to an unseen misunderstanding, as Miles apparently attack Virgil first. It doesn't help that he implied that Virgil was another Electric Psychopath. It ends terribly for Miles as he is blasted into smithereens by Static's blast, even beforehand, he realizes how screwed he is and his painful scream only solidifies the fact that he's still a teenager.
    • While Boomstick comments on how season 7 is starting off great, he still comments that he feels sorry for Miles.
  • Genos VS War Machine:
    • This fight came about due to a combination of unfortunate misunderstanding and a hot blooded impulse. Had cooler heads prevailed, this fight could have avoided tragedy, but Genos crusade against supposed evil cyborgs and War Machine's self-defense, neither had the chance to explain. Rhodes didn't even seem like he was trying to kill Genos, more or less trying to subdue him. In the end, after Genos attempt to take out Rhodes with him failed, all Rhodes can do is apologize for what he had to do.
    • War Machine refers to Genos as a kid, knowing full well he might (and unfortunately will) have to stop someone as young as Genos if he wants to live.
  • Gray VS Esdeath:
    • While it is arguable, regardless of whether or not Gray being successful with taking Esdeath out with Lost Ice Shell would be this, since he failed to kill Esdeath with it before she took advantage of his vulnerability, if the rest of the Fairy Tail Guild learn of Gray's death this will be a morale drop for them, especially Juvia, but if he was successful with Lost Ice Shell, he would have died shortly after with no-one to remember him and his sacrifice
  • Goro VS Machamp:
    • Poor Boomstick this episode. We get a little more insight into his wedding relationships. Turns out that his ex-wife left him for a guy with four arms, and they didn't even get past the reception before she filed for divorce. It's clear that, despite all his jokes about how much he hates his ex-wife and how she's a terrible person, he really was hurt by the divorce, and the guy's confidence clearly took a hit this episode.
      Boomstick: I mean, how am I supposed to keep up with that?! He's got two more hands than me!
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi VS Kakashi:
    • When Wiz and Boomstick talk about Kakashi's backstory, and how the shinobi's father committed a great mistake, leading him to commit seppuku, Boomstick's reminded of his own dad.
      Wiz: What was his "great mistake"?
      Boomstick: He called it Boomstick.
      Wiz: Oh.
    • During the battle, Kakashi manages to use a Genjutsu on Old Ben, trapping him within an illusion. What does the general see? His former pupil, Anakin Skywalker; now clad in the black armor and cloak of Darth Vader, partially lit by the glow from his red lightsaber and lunging at him from the darkness and fog. From Obi-Wan's expression alone, it's made painfully clear that the scars of failing his student still run deep, and he only just manages to get it together and see through before the shinobi can capitalize on his shock.
  • Danny Phantom VS Jake Long:
    • A bit of a meta example, but a good majority of the comments on the preview videos for both combatants amount to this: “It doesn’t matter who wins the fight, either way our childhoods lose.”
  • Beerus VS Sailor Galaxia:
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    Death Race 
  • Batmobile BATTLE!
    • Boomstick foolishly decided to use civilians as an obstacle, thinking that since the racers are all Batman, they wouldn't think of bringing harm to the people they have all sworn to protect. He didn't even get to finish his sentence before the remaining Batmen fired missiles at and killed the civilians. In the end, both Wiz and Boomstick are pretty ashamed that they are practically responsible for the deaths of innocent bystanders.
  • Optimus Prime VS Thomas the Tank Engine?
    • One of the participants in this race is the Flying Car from Harry Potter... With Ron and Harry driving it. All you really hear from them is screams of terror, and who could blame them? They are racing to the death, and we can only assume that they are young children. At the end, they meet a firey end when Thomas The Tank Engine's Skyrim mod was activated and set them on fire. Their dying breath was them screaming. Wiz and Boomstick's commentary didn't help much, as even they are sadden by their deaths.
      Boomstick: Ooh, guess they won't get to see their parents.
      Wiz: One of them will.
    • Optimus Prime is the victor of the race, but since he felt that he had to cheat to win, like brutally killing Thomas and indirectly killing Lightning McQueen, he felt that he dishonored himself and quite literally drove himself to suicide. Sure, it's played for extremely dark laughs like every other death in the episode, but seeing such a brave and honest leader lose his will to live and end his own life puts a pretty bad taste in one's mouth, even when it's used as a punchline. Even Wiz is solemn, while Boomstick is flat-out reduced to tears (just like in Optimus' main Death Battle, where he ran off to cuddle his truck after Optimus died in the movie). The only person who's not mourning the noble Autobot's suicide? Ringmaster.
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