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Tear Jerker / Dragon's Den

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  • The Canadian version has an episode where a recent immigrant from Eastern Europe pitches a foam bath blanket. She wants to sell it in Europe, where hot water can be pricey; people would use the blanket to stay warm in the tub without having to add more hot water. One of the Dragons, Robert Herjavec, is initially interested in the idea due to his Croatian origins and rags-to-riches immigrant background. However, when the woman suggests a retail price in the $30-$40 range, his smile drops. Soon after, he starts telling an emotional story about how one day, when he was a child, a salesman talked his parents into buying a vacuum cleaner for $400. Since his family had arrived in Canada not long before with only $20 saved up, the purchase nearly ruined them. His voice breaking, he tells the woman to abandon this product and use her creativity to think of a better way to help poor families, because this idea will only have the opposite effect. The camera then reveals that the show's most abrasive and condescending Dragon, Kevin O'Leary, has tears streaming down his face.
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  • Robert Herjavec has another moment like this on Shark Tank, when recounting how his father (who had recently passed away) had considered his factory job to be his greatest achievement, despite all of the adversity he had faced.
  • On the Canadian version, three brothers shared their story of how they escaped their oppressive homeland, including having to hide in shipping containers and breathing through straws to survive. The Dragons teared up during their story, and when they're brought to squabbling over the best course of action for the brothers' story, are again stricken by how they've acted.
  • The Australian version of Shark Tank also had an episode involving two young women who had opened a family daycare centered around an inclusive approach (allowing children with various disabilities to participate in a daycare program that just simply encouraged play without making it feel like "therapy") and were pitching the idea of starting their own chain (a family daycare is run out of the house and is restricted to a certain number of kids, opening a chain in a suitable space would boost their numbers up to 45.) Their entire segment was just a massive tear jerker, resulting in some of the more abrasive Sharks at that point getting a bit teary and one of the few stoic sharks by that point investing (albeit with a couple of minor conditions)
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