- The whole damn special is one big collective tearjerker, but let's try to narrow it down to a few moments:
- Gohan's final stand before his death is one big tearjerker. He knows he will most likely die, but goes out to fight the androids one last time anyway. It is especially tragic since Gohan can go toe-to-toe with one of the androids, but not both, which is probably why the androids chose to kill him this time. It is even more tragic when you consider that Gohan has the potential to become powerful enough to destroy the androids if only his father had lived long enough to train him like his counterpart in the main timeline. Not only did Gohan die without killing even one of the androids, but his endless potential was also lost forever.
- Skyward Scream in Japanese, Big "NO!" in English. This is what triggered Trunks' Super Saiyan transformation. Eric Vale's brilliant performance in the English version makes that scene incredibly powerful, which makes the moment truly unforgettable. What makes it worse is that despite this, he's still no match for them and they allow him to live to satisfy their own sadistic pleasures. Trunks had just gotten stronger, but it was completely pointless.
- Much like his mentor before him who turned Super Saiyan after witnessing his own friends' deaths, but was still powerless to avenge them for years before dying a dog's death.
- The reactions of everyone at the beginning as they try to come to grips with the fact that Goku is truly and irrevocably dead. Yes, even Vegeta.
- The Manga chapter is perhaps more depressing, if only because all the fights takes place off-panel, really selling the futility of trying to defeat the androids. This is especially the case with Gohan who, despite losing an arm, thought all his near-death experiences would eventually allow him to surpass the Androids in strength. 17 then reveals that they had been holding back the entire time and Gohan starts to lose his resolve. When the story cuts back to the scene, Gohan is lying dead in a pool of his own blood.
- When you watch the special after reading the Stealth Prequel manga Jaco the Galactic Patrolman you realize there's another reason to cry: sooner or later Jaco will come to check on his friend Bulma, who repaired his spaceship when he first came to Earth, and discover she built a time machine knowing it's against galactic law, and will have to arrest her. Even if Bulma chooses to follow Jaco and accept her punishment, you can't help but cry.
- Jaco's going to have quite a hard time upon coming to visit Earth. Not only will it be a complete wreck, but everyone he befriended is dead. Omori, Katayude, An, and Tights...all gone, and he didn't even know. On top of that, if we take Dragon Ball Super into account, then not only is the future in even worse shape now than it currently is, but Future Bulma was straight up murdered by Goku Black. And that's saying nothing of what'll happen if Black comes across the poor patrolman
- Which all becomes moot because in Super this entire timeline is destroyed.
Tear Jerker / Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks