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Tear Jerker / Divergent

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As a Tear Jerker page, all spoilers are left unmarked.

The Books:

  • Al committing suicide out of fear of his low test scores and guilt over attacking Tris. When she hears the news, she wonders if she was too hard on him, considering that in their last conversation, she threatened to kill him if he ever got close to her again.
  • Tris having to kill Will in self-defense. For bonus points, it keeps coming back over and over again.
  • Tris and Caleb losing their parents within hours of each other. Natalie gets shot while escorting Tris to the Abnegation safe house. Later, Andrew leads a one-man charge against the Erudite guards securing Jeanine's lab and is mortally wounded in the process.



  • Tori dying while the group are escaping towards the fringes while under factionless fire. Several pages later, we learn that her brother, George, who was stated to have died years ago, is actually still alive and well, living in the Bureau. Meaning, the siblings could have reunited and Tori's years-long feelings of anger over her brother's death meant absolutely nothing in the end.
  • Tobias' reaction when he learns that even as a Divergent, he is still not considered genetically pure, because not all Divergents are equal.
  • The bomb that Nita sets off against the Bureau gravely injures Uriah and sends him to a vegetative coma. He never recovers and, by the end of the book, his friends and family choose to take off his life support.
  • Tris' death, especially the Hope Spot that happens before it. To release the memory serum, she has to brace herself against the death serum. She barely survives it, right as David appears and shoots her in the chest. In her last breaths, she hallucinates seeing her mother embracing her.
    • "Can I be forgiven for all I've done to get here? I want to be. I can. I believe it."
    • The group learning about Tris' death. Christina screams her lungs out, with Cara only managing to give her a hug while visibly crying herself. While Tobias just stands dazedly.
    • Chapter 52-54. They consist of Tobias reminiscing about all the things he had done with Tris, who's now dead. Not a single one of them lasts half a page.
    • Tobias's somber reflection after he comes to terms with Tris's death: "I suppose a fire that burns that bright is not meant to last."
    • Even worse regarding Tris's death is that there was a moment where Christina and Tris have a conversation in which they both agree that they'll always have each other, no matter what. And then, pages later, Tris dies.
  • Tobias attempting to inject himself with the memory serum to release him from the grief of Tris' death, before Christina makes him reconsider.
  • Poor Christina. By the end of the series, she literally doesn't have any Dauntless friends of her generation left; Al committed suicide, her boyfriend Will died during the attack on Abnegation, Marlene was mind controlled to take her life, Lynn died during the attack on Erudite compound, Tris sacrificed herself to protect Chicago, and Uriah's life support was plugged off at the request of his family. The only known Dauntless from her generation still alive is Peter, who can be considered a Friendly Enemy at best.

The Films:

  • The fact that Caleb is willing to completely throw his former identity as an Abnegation, when he writes them off as selfish, right in front of his sister. It foreshadows the fact that he's so easily swayed by Jeanine, he's willing to betray his only living family and leads her to her death. It's even worse in the movie, with Tris visibly crying when Caleb forces her to go.
    Tris: (crying softly) Faction before blood, huh? Got it.
  • Tris's rejection of Al is even sadder when you can see it happening. Al is obviously so full of remorse and it's clear in his face that he doesn't think he'll be forgiven (or possibly that he deserves it) but is holding out hope that maybe Tris will understand. As for Tris herself, while she's angry, Shailene Woodley plays it as though she finds this just as painful as he does. She conveys so many feelings of betrayal, disbelief, sadness and fury in that one moment.
  • Tris killing Will and the aftermath depicted, with Tris' mother comforting her.
  • The death of Tris' mother, full stop. Probably Shailene Woodley's best acting to date - try to hold in the waterworks as this heartbreaking scene unfolds.
    • What makes it even worse is that while Tris is cradling her mother's body, gunfire is going off around her. She screams at them to stop, but is forced to just leave the body there, unable to properly say goodbye to her mother.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent

  • During the trial in Candor, Tris is forced to confess to killing Will under the truth serum. She desperately tries to fight revealing this. There are plenty of shots of Christina's reaction, which is even worse than in the books. In there she at least knew Will was dead. She still believes he's alive and just off somewhere else until the trial.
  • There's also the death of Marlene. Forced to fall to her death because Tris and Tori couldn't get to her in time. The following scene is subtle but effective.
    Evelyn: We took this from the body of the suicide.
    Lynn: Marlene! Her name was Marlene.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant

  • The sudden and shocking death of Tori just as the others are getting over the wall. Tris tries to check on her and help her, but she has to be dragged away because Evelyn's troops are still firing.
    • Even worse, when Tris's group reaches the wall, Tris tells Tori that they have made it, all while Tori smiles at this realisation. Cue the sudden gunshot.
  • In the scene where Four participates in a 'rescue' of the Fringe, during a scuffle, a young boy's father is killed by a soldier when he is locked in an altercation. The boy later appears with his memories wiped from having a memory gas administered in him, meaning he will never remember his father and how he died at all.
    • Although possibly the father would consider that amnesia less Tear Jerker and more a mercy.