In the 2019 anime remake, the ending song shows a scene of a younger Kyo, Haru, Kagura and Momiji playfully walking with each other past Yuki's room as he longingly watches them through the window. Then the Mabudachi Trio as teens appears with Ayame hesitating for just a moment as he stops in his tracks to look at Yuki staring out at him, before Hatori taps his shoulder and he turns away to catch up with the others. No one else paid attention to or even noticed Yuki, but it's so much sadder that it's his older brother who was the only one to pause, but still give him the cold shoulder and leave his little brother behind.
The last TV episode, and also the part with Momiji talking about his mother, which they later topped with his sister Momo — whose plea to get to know Momiji even made Tohru bawl. Hatori's backstory has also managed this on many people.
Hatori wiping Kana and Momiji's mother's memory.
The tears cried over Hatori's flashback in episode 8 of the anime completely sold Fruits Basket as a quality series.
And what makes it even more heartrending is the instrumental version of the opening theme song playing in the background.
Then there's the Fridge Horror of the effects of Akito mind raping Kana. Allegedly, after the ordeal, she spent all of her time sobbing and blaming herself for Hatori's eye injury, no matter what Hatori or Mayu said to her. Don't get it yet? Kana was driven to clinical depression.
The 2019 anime made Hatori's backstory even more of a tearjerker with the Adaptation Expansion of the scene in general.
When Tohru sat by her mother in the hospital. Of course, this scene shortly flashed during Momiji's painful flashback.
Also, the fact that most of the family Tohru has seems to hate her, except for her grandfather.
Katsuya's death. Got even worse when all his relatives started badmouthing Kyoko.
Then we have Kyoko plowing through the Despair Event Horizon after Katsuya's death, seriously thinking of killing herself... and when she's about to throw herself into the sea, she sees a mom and her kid, and remembers that Tohru is still at home. And when she returns, it turns out little!Tohru was waiting for her return, innocently unaware of what had been going on Kyoko's heart.
And especially in retrospect, when you realize just how extraordinarily unfair the Cat's lot has been since then.
Kyo's master taking off Kyo's bracelet to reveal the cat's true form as a monstrous foul-smelling creature. Tohru is in shock, and almost completely inconsolable.
The Sohma family look on in sadness, and (in the anime), her friends try to help her help Kyo.
It does not get any better when Akito beats down Tohru in the forest with his words, saying that she could never help Kyo, and that she was stupid to even try, all with a horrible smirk on his face.
Kyo himself is completely distraught at the fact that Tohru saw his true form, thinking that she will never love someone like him, and goes deep into the forest.
Tohru finds Kyo, and begs him to come home, so they can do everything together like before, and to confide in her, while she is crying.
When Kyo hugged Tohru, feeling better, and turning back into a human and then a regular cat, before Tohru carries him out of the forest and back home.
When Momiji's father tells him he has to stop violin lessons because Momo wants to learn and they can't risk the two meeting. It's possible that that's the moment when Momiji finally gives up. You said you would still love me as much as ever, but you know what? You've chosen her over me every single time you had to make that choice. And I'm done with this.
This also hints that, despite the love he has for his mother, the longing he has to be near her and the brave front he puts on for Tohru, at some level Momiji also deeply resents her for always coming first in everyone's concerns and dictating how he can live his life.
And then when his curse breaks... More specifically, when Kyou confronts him about it and Momiji turns back to look at him, all hunched over, with that tortured smile on his face...
Yuki's flashback to his childhood, late in the series. It's terrible to see his childish confusion turn to dismay, then despair, as he realizes just how alone he is. Everyone he reaches out to rejects him, with apathy or anger or cruelty. No wonder he was so reserved at the start of the series.
The first ending of the 2019 anime foreshadows this with a sequence of little Yuki watching his fellow Zodiac members run by. Ayame stops for a moment, but he is convinced to keep going.
Akito beating up Momiji during the first beach chapters. He does his best to protect Tohru, but Akito gets angry and starts punching him. Once Akito leaves with Kureno, Momiji starts crying. Tohru immediately runs up to him and hugs him, trying to comfort the poor boy.
And before that, we have Hiro taking a jab at Tohru over the fact that she always brings up her mother and even claims that she has over-attachment issues. For once, Tohru's Stepford Smiler facade cracks just long enough that Kisa realizes it and gets upset by Hiro's comments. Tohru tries to brush past it until she's alone that night, when it's very evident that she's hurting.
"I have no redeeming features." Girl needs a hug.
Isuzu Rin had a happy childhood, but noticed that her mother and father never seemed upset about anything. She innocently asked why that was, since she knew that most people had something that made them sad or angry. Even though she was just asking as a curious child, her parents break down and scream at her to "give [them] a break", at which point she learns that they never loved her and only pretended to. This marks the start of Rin seriously repressing her emotions, which lasts for most of her life, as she believes that if she's good and quiet, her parents will go back to being the way they used to be. Of course, all this does lead to her being an emotional trainwreck as a teenager, with the added "bonus" of everyone thinking that she's simply cold and unfeeling. This is not the case, of course. She actually feels sorry for innocent people, and very much wants to see them go on living innocently. But it's impossible for her to express this sentiment, because of how messed up she is. She also becomes an Ill Girl who eventually needs to be hospitalized, at which point her mother informs her that she can live elsewhere, because Rin's own parents have no idea how to love her anymore. Then she starts dating Haru, who is basically the only person to ever make her feel wanted or needed, only to find out that they were caught by Akito. She lies that she started it all, and is shoved out a window for that (but not before Akito takes time to tell her how useless and unneeded she is). This leads to her distancing herself from Haru, even trying to convince him she no longer loves him, and trying find a way to break the curse. She gets so desperate to do this that she offers herself to Shigure for whatever he wants (implicitly sex) if he tells her and eventually runs herself so ragged that she has an emotional breakdown, gets sick, and starts going to such lengths that Hiro actually believes she'll die if she keeps it up. To top the whole thing off, she finally finds Akito's mother, who promises to tell her how to break the curse if Rin steals a box from Akito's room. When Rin tries to do this, Akito locks her up with the threat of gouging out Haru's eyes if she escapes, at which point Rin basically gives up and stops eating. Oh, and Ren had no clue how to break the curse, and laughed about how useless Rin has always been. The girl deserves many, many hugs!
Then there's Kyo's backstory. His mother pretended to love him only to end up committing suicide because she couldn't deal with her child being the Cat. And then Kyo's father blames and hates Kyo for it.
Kyo:(speaking about his mother's suicide.) Are you saying it's my fault?
Kyo's Father: Yes, that's right! You better admit that you killed your mother!
How about this?
Kyo's Father: You've ruined my life! All because Kyo's mother brought you into this world! Because you were born!
The Zodiac curse breaking at the very end. They're all crying, and the narration combined with those images... complete bawlfest.
Especially as Akito looks on, monologuing about how scared and lonely she feels about facing the future. She's going through the thing she's most afraid of, and she just wants someone to let her cry and hug her.
Uotani's backstory. Her mother left her family, her father became an alcoholic, and feeling completely abandoned, Uotani joined a gang. Only when she met Tohru and Kyoko she managed to get better.
As if that wasn't sad enough, later when Uotani gets rejected by Kureno.
Machi's backstory. She was pushed to perfection to the point that she barely managed to develop a life or any interests of her own. The real kicker is when her mother (who pushed her to be perfect) basically tossed her aside as soon as her son was born, then had the nerve to get offended when Machi called her out on calling her dull when she never gave her the chance to spread her wings as an individual. Then Machi's parents kick her out on the insane assumption that Machi was trying to smother her brother, when all she was trying to do was give him a blanket to stay warm.
The entirety of Chapter 121, and 122 after that. Kyo tells Tohru about how he feels responsible for her mother's death, about his Mother's suicide, about the hat incident and how he felt when he first met Tohru. Then Tohru runs off, feeling rejected. As if all of that weren't bad enough, Tohru runs into Akito, Tohru finally understands why Akito is the way she is, tries to befriend her, and then is pushed away by Akito. As if that weren't horrid enough, when it seems that Akito may be this close to think of her offer again and accept her offer... Tohru then falls off the cliff where the series started and nearly dies.
Even though Tohru lost her mother and her dad at a young age and was left alone she decided to live on her own in a tent so as to not burden others and manages to have hope. THAT alone is a tearjerker.
Also the fact that none of her family wanted to take her in, except her grandfather, and even then she's bullied out by cousins that treat her like trash.
And let's not forget chapter 122 of the manga, which is this from the beginning to the end. Right after Tohru's biggest CMOA aka witnessing and withstanding Akito's Villainous Breakdown... she falls off a cliff. When she was telling Akito "You Are Not Alone" and offering her friendship. Not only that seals Akito's HeelFace Turn (with her actually screaming for help for Tohru instead of gloating, and then collapsing in tears in Shigure's arms, but it's followed by Kyo's own Anguished Declaration of Love as Tohru lays injured on the ground, a briefly conscious Tohru telling him not to cry and grieve... and at the end, their sort-of "first kiss." This might be one of the most powerful chapters in shoujo manga in years, period.
When Kyoko comes home after contemplating suicide, and finds Tohru waiting for her, just like Katsuya. What really makes it tragic, though, is that Tohru was imitating Katsuya on purpose, because she wanted to help her mom out of her debilitating depression and didn't know what else to do. She wasn't nearly as oblivious as Kyoko thought.
Kyo's whole relationship with Kyoko. She was like a mother figure to him and that whole relationship went sour just when he was a child. Then it went even worse when he was there at her death and believed it was his fault. Those two were great friends and could have had a wonderful relationship. It had to be very meaningful for Kyoko, as well, who was struggling alone without family support or a husband, raising a daughter, to find a kindred spirit in this sweet young boy. The whole thing is Tragedy.
Kazuma's flashback of the time how coldly he treated the previous Cat, his grandfather, which he clearly regrets afterwards. His grandfather never blamed Kazuma and all he said was "It's okay"
Ritsu's introduction starts out funny...then he reveals (while smiling) just why he apologizes so much. Because he feels like there's no good he can do in the world. Yeah even the comic relief character is a giant woobie.
You have to feel bad that Kagura is one of the few people who ends up alone in the series... she deserved someone to love her just as much as everyone else.
The fact that the majority of characters, especially the Sohma family, have so many issues to deal with and will likely need (for some, YEARS of) therapy to truly recover and be healthy, can be one in of itself.
Poor Kyo's mother. She loved her son but was also terrified of his monster form, which led to her becoming overprotective and trying to pretend that she wasn't scared of him. In the meantime, she was bullied and abused by her husband for giving birth to the Cat to the point that she killed herself. And then her husband decided to pin the cause of her death on the son she wanted to protect rather than himself.
The whole culmination of Tohru and Kyo's relationship itself is tragic and a heavy case of Earn Your Happy Ending. Kyo has his Love Epiphany as Akito slanders Tohru to get a rise out of him. Instead of getting mad like always, he breaks down crying and asks why he would say such terrible things about her. Being in love with her hurts him because Kyoko's final words still haunt him and he's cursed to spend the rest of his life in the Cat Room. He decides to never confess his feelings to Tohru because he figures that he's undeserving of love. And then we have Tohru, who spends the final leg of the series in an uncharacteristic panic and desperately trying to find a way to end the curse, because she's in love with Kyo and never wants him to leave her like Kyoko did.
In Fruits Basket Another, Sawa met her old elementary school friend who saw her smiling and talking to Shiki, and revealed to her that Sawa's mother had been controlling her social life right behind her back, essentially trapping her in a Friendless Background for years. Then Sawa's mother attempts to do the same when she found out Sawa has been befriending the Sohma's when she rushed back home. Only she didn't go through with it because of work and forgot about it. When Mutsuki and Hajime found her in front of their house later, she end up crying herself to sleep when they brought her to the Sohma's home as they assure her that it wasn't Sawa's fault, with this as her inner monologue, crying to get back all that her mother had taken away from her.
Sawa: Give it back. Give them all back to me.
To make it worse? Her neighbors are all unaware about this, because Sawa's mother kept the image of a caring single mother around them. The ending of Another implies that things will get better for her, now that Sawa decided that she won't put up with her mother's bullshit any longer, but it'll take time for her to leave the house and heal from it.
In the reboot's dub, one subtle detail makes Momiji's Wham Line hit harder — when his mom and Momo run into him and Tohru, Momiji drops his German accent. This is both to not tip his mom off that he's her son and a hint that he chooses to play up his accent to feel closer to his mutti, as he barely has a choice in anything else in his life.