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Tear Jerker / Gargoyles

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How would you feel after just hearing the possible death of your close friend over a live communication line?

As one of Disney's more dramatic television outings, this show contains its fair share of heartbreaking moments.

  • The Wyvern Massacre. The tears start coming when Goliath returns to the castle and sees the devastation. When he lands next to what he thinks is Demona, you can basically see by his shaking and heartbroken expression that he's struggling to keep it together as he scoops up the remains, chokes out 'My... angel of the night...' and then lets out the most heartbroken wail...
    • Goliath pretty much sums up his day with the line; "I've been denied everything! EVEN MY REVENGE!!!"
      • Upon getting the angst out of his system with the above line, Goliath just slumps down onto his knees, as if he really has no idea what he can do now.
      • And THEN he comes back to see the remainder of his clan cursed in stone sleep.
        Goliath: Now I am truly alone.
  • How paranoid Goliath is when he first meets Elisa. He's constantly questioning her motives, cautious to meet her somewhere away from the castle, and desperately trying to hide that they turn into stone during the day. Of course, Goliath's reasons for doing so are painfully obvious and understandable, but it's still heartbreaking in hindsight when you think about how he's acting towards Elisa, of all people.
    Elisa: Tomorrow's my day off, I'll meet you in the afternoon at-
    Goliath: After dark.
    Elisa: Heh. Why am I not surprised? Okay, here after dark.
    Goliath: No. Not here. [points at far away building] Over there, on that rooftop.
    Elisa: Why there?
    Goliath: Why were you sneaking into the castle?
    Elisa: A good detective trusts no one.
    Goliath: That's one thing we have in common.
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  • Goliath asks the Magus to cast his spell one last time, to turn Goliath to stone alongside the rest of his clan, to wait for the day when they might wake up. On initial viewings, this might be seen as a heartwarming moment. But Word of God states that it isn't — Goliath's grief is so great, he's essentially committing suicide. At that point, there is no way for the spell to ever be broken, because the technology that eventually makes it possible would have been unimaginable in that time. Goliath is choosing oblivion rather than to be alone.
  • The relationship between Goliath and Demona. When flashbacks show their younger selves, it is very obvious that they were in love and were enjoying the happiest days of their lives. However, as the flashbacks progress and the couple ages, one can see how the relationship is slowly crumbling apart due to Goliath and Demona's conflicting views about humanity. By the time the flashbacks end, one can see that the two of them are no longer the same idealistic gargoyles that loved each other. Instead, they are each other's worst enemy. Demona doesn't hesitate in attacking Goliath, trying to kill him, enslaving him with magic, or trying to ruin his life. Similarly, Goliath treats her with greater hostility than most of his other antagonists, showing that even he knows that there is no reasoning with her.
    • Perhaps the most tragic example is in "Vows," where Xanatos convinces Goliath to attend his wedding, because it reminded the latter of how he and Demona made their own vows of eternal love. He goes to the wedding, probably intending to reconcile with her. Things go downhill when he brings the half of an amulet that Demona gave him when they made their vows, as the completed amulet can make the user travel in time. Demona uses this occasion to warn her younger self about the destruction of her clan, but ends up disgusting her thanks to her new personality. By the time Demona is restrained, Goliath attempts to give her past self advice to comfort her over the horrible future ahead of her. Once Goliath returns, Demona awakens and reveals that she remembered the advice that he gave her past self but doesn't care. The end of the episode has Goliath reminiscing about the love he and Demona shared but can never have again.
      • The differences between Demona's feelings for Goliath can be seen when she and her past self interact with each other. For example, when both versions of Demona travel in time with Goliath, they both have opposite reactions when they see him on the ground: Past!Demona wants to help him but Demona runs to the recovering Goliath...and kicks him right in the face, knocking him unconscious. It borders on Nightmare Fuel for Past!Demona. Imagine watching your significant other be callously hurt by none other than yourself. Poor Goliath barely lifted his head before Demona's foot caught him on the chin rather than have her extend her hand to help him.
      • The Stable Time Loop nature of the use of the Phoenix Gate to travel through time makes it all the worse - one can easily imagine that young Demona, on the awareness of what her future self showed her, the destruction of their clan, led to her making the bargain to get the humans out of the castle, and thus unwittingly bringing about the very destruction that she set out to prevent, to an even greater degree than we had already known.
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    • Their interactions in the present contain heartbreaking echoes of their former love. Goliath can never forget what he felt for her. Demona, meanwhile, sometimes tries to enslave him or brainwash him to make him "see the light" and hate humans. Not to mention her insane jealousy toward Elisa. Neither has entirely let go of the hope that they could be together again.
    • Immediately after Goliath is put under the sleeping curse, Demona awakes to find her mate stone at night. She sobs, and touches her fingers to his lips before leaving Castle Wyvern behind forever. It's one of the few moments of genuine tenderness she shows him, and he wasn't even awake to see it.
      Demona: My love...what have I - what have they done to you?!
    • Frankly, it's tragic that, despite finally being reunited with her mate and a small handful of her clan after centuries of being alone, Demona is so consumed with hatred and a need for revenge that she isn't at all satisfied or thankful for it. Demona could have at least been honest about what happened in her life and either made a new start with them or tried to get them on her side the honest way, but instead, she uses Goliath and the clan as pawns and tries disposing of them when things don't go her way.
  • Near the end of "Reawakening", Coldstone not only has a change of heart, saving Goliath from the frigid New York waters, but is seemingly killed shielding his rookery brother from his own rookery sister. Thankfully, he shows up alive later, if "alive" is the appropriate word...
  • Near the end of "The Price," "Macbeth" blasts the fake Hudson's statue. Understandably, Goliath freaks out and later grieves for his oldest friend. Thankfully, this becomes a happy tearjerker when the real Hudson arrives alive and well.
    • Hudson on Who Wants to Live Forever?:
      "Listen to me, Xanatos. What you seek demands a heavy price. I have been alive for over 1,100 years. Most of my clan is dead and dust, and I'm a stranger in a strange land. Demona and MacBeth are immortal. Has it brought them happiness?"
  • Goliath and Thailog's first meeting in "Double Jeopardy". After realizing that he has a responsibility to his 'son', Goliath reaches out to Thailog, only for the twisted clone to reject his 'father' and his idealistic views.
    Goliath: (pleading) Join us, join your clan.
    Goliath: Life for a gargoyle isn't about profit. It's about protecting those you care for.
    Thailog: I considered caring about you. It took some effort, but I arranged for you to join this party because I planned to share the money with you. But our little family reunion disappointed me, Father. So I've decided to hate you, too.
    • There's another way to look at it: Thailog already knew of Goliath's altruistic views, hence knowing how to manipulate him, eagerly wanting to meet the one "father" who never exploited him. He was even going to share his profits with him, a considerable show of care given Thailog's values. The way he first introduced himself to Goliath, you can really feel it in his voice that he wanted acceptance. Unfortunately, Goliath's shock and (understandable but misplaced) anger at discovering his clone shattered Thailog's hopes, who now felt rejected and hated simply for existing note . Goliath's subsequent decision to release him was done stating Xanatos was to blame, meaning he still thought of Thailog as a mistake. By the time Goliath approached Thailog to repair things, it was far too late for the composed but vindictive Thailog to see it the same way.
      Xanatos: Well, I should have known no copy could live up to the original.
      Goliath: That copy was a living being...and we all failed him.
  • The four-parter "City of Stone," with the flashbacks to Demona and Macbeth's origins and interactions.
    • The flashback scene in which MacBeth must leave his family and country forever. It gets even worse when later on, it shows that his leaving did no good whatsoever and his family was still murdered.
    • The moments between Macbeth and Gruoch, his wife, as she goes from shock and horror at his resurrection, to happiness at his survival, to sadness that he's got to leave forever. Between the actors and the animation, it's gloriously heart-wrenching.
  • Demona gets a tear-jerker at the end of "City of Stone" as well. "The access code is...'alone'."
    • Averted as she immediately went back into her Never My Fault mentality. This goes more to Goliath as the whole thing was nothing more than a Hope Spot for him, believing Demona may have a revelation after being shown the truth of things, but he could only shake his head in absolute disappointment that she learned absolutely nothing and continues to act like a self-entitled Spoiled Brat.
      • Demona's deep denial over her part in what happened to the gargoyles practically counts as a tearjerker in itself, especially considering how borderline hysterical she gets when confronted about it.
        Goliath: Don't you see? None of this would have happened if it weren't for you.
        Demona: DON'T SAY THAT!
  • Derek Maza. Pick an episode featuring him anywhere from Metamorphosis to the first half of Season Two. Any episode within that time.
    • The first episode is a total Downer Ending. Brooklyn has a crush on Maggie and prevails on the others to offer Maggie sanctuary with the clan. She still sees him as a monster and violently rejects him. He is heartbroken at the end of the episode. Derek basically pulls a That Man Is Dead on his sister Elisa and she spends the end of the episode just crying her heart out.
      • Not to mention Derek trying desperately to hide his true identity from Elisa, establishing the ongoing subplot. He slips almost immediately, and she realizes exactly who he is.
  • The Magus's entire sub-plot in "Avalon." He watched the girl he loved slowly fall for a somewhat younger man (who is pretty much the Magus' surrogate little brother), and pretended to be happy for them in a classic I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. He mentions (to Elisa, an outsider) that without his magic he has nothing to offer her, but that's not his true reason. It's because of the guilt he felt over cursing the Manhattan clan to remain stone for a thousand years. He's actually punishing himself for a crime that has been forgiven and forgotten long ago. The arc culminates with his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Tom being separated from his mother in that same story arc.
    • Goliath's subtle sadness upon seeing that Angela and the other hatchlings have been named, especially when Angela blithely remarks "how else would we tell each other apart?" While's he's overjoyed that the descendants of his clan have survived, a part of their culture has been lost.
  • Seeing what happened to the Captain in "Shadows of the Past". It becomes a Heartwarming Moment when he finally redeems himself and gets to ascend to the afterlife.
    Captain: Thank ye, Goliath.
  • The entire plot of "Grief", Emir, a grieving father, wants Anubis to bring back his son from the dead, but is told that it's impossible. When Jackal steals the power of Death and goes on a rampage, Emir realizes his mistake and takes the power from him, and takes the entire pyramid down with him. When Elisa wonders what has happened to Emir, Goliath hopefully says.
    Goliath: If there is any justice, he is with his son in peace.
  • The episode where Broadway is playing with Elisa's firearm, accidentally shoots her, and his resulting freak out. Broadway's guilty sobbing lasts longer than the scene itself, implying it was originally longer and more painful.
  • The Gargoyles are revealed to the world at large... and thought to be a menace. Especially Angela's reaction.
  • Angela's reaction to learning what kind of person her mother is.
  • Pretty much the entirety of "Future Tense" genuinely hurts. All Just a Dream or not, it doesn't matter.
    • Broadway being blinded by what must have been a horrific off-screen mutilation, shedding hopeful tears from empty eye sockets at Goliath's return, being shot in the back protecting Goliath, then MUSING ABOUT THE SUNRISE before dying in Goliath's arms is flat-out HEARTBREAKING. This stands out in "Future Tense," an episode so dark that Goliath being struck by lightning is one of the least disturbing moments.
    • Seeing Lexington so utterly damaged and fucked-up, to the point where he hurtles off the Moral Event Horizon, betrays everyone he once loved including, indirectly, baby Alex, and essentially damns the entire world - all starting ostensibly because of Goliath's devastating "abandonment" of him and the clan...
    • Maria Chavez's daughter living in rags and seeing the only thing left of her mother being destroyed. She is left sobbing miserably on the streets.
  • When Fox's mother Anastasia reveals her true nature as Titania, Queen of the Third Race and wife of Oberon, and is describing her relationship with Fox's father, Halcyon Renard ... and dismissively states he was unable to hold her interest. "Truthfully, no one can, save Oberon." After we've already seen (earlier that episode) how dismayed he was to hear she had remarried. What makes it worse? It's the first time we've ever seen Fox crying!
  • The Goliath Chronicles might not be canon, who didn't shed a tear at the ending to "Genesis Undone"?
    Goliath: Thailog, I wanted to tell you...
    Thailog: I know, I know. So much to say, so little time. Before I go, I have a something for you Goliath. Courtesy of the good doctor. How I, how I did enjoy... causing you grief...
    • Moments later Goliath pulls off a roar that hasn't been heard since the very beginning of the series, when he first saw the remains of his clan in the pilot.
    • Then there is Sevarius' reaction to the death of his 'son' all the while trying to appear reassuring and optimistic for him in his last moments. In the words of Hudson, "He almost makes me feel sorry for him."
    • Early in the episode, while debating whether or not to help the clones. Lexington argues that while the clones are stuck dealing with Sevarius, they have a choice to opt out. But one look at the poor state of the clones is enough to make all the gargoyles decide to take the risk.
    • That and all the Gargoyles coming across each of the clones, as they (permanently?) turn to stone.
  • While the animation was poor, the Goliath Chronicles episode "For It May Come True" stood out as one of the darkest and most heartwrenching episodes of the season. It's enough to bring genuine tears, both happy and sad.
    • Goliath finally gets his wish to be human, and be with Elisa... and everything goes downhill from there. While it was thankfully All Just a Dream created by Titania, seeing Goliath so utterly helpless. Watching helplessly as Xanatos crosses the Moral Event Horizon, killing everyone Goliath loves including Elisa.
    • This exchange between the now human Goliath and Hudson, after Hudson fails to recognize him.
      Hudson: Go home to your family, human!
      Goliath: You are my family!
    • Goliath also realizes a horrible fact about this reality.
      Goliath: Where's Angela!?
      Brooklyn: Who's Angela?
    • Goliath's confession to Titania about how good it felt to be a human. To be accepted by human society and with the woman he loves.
  • Quite a few moments in the Bad Guys spinoff:
    • Sora telling Yama that he is lost to her, because he will not allow her to be shamed by accompanying him on his quest for honor.
    • The dramatic irony of the reader of the comics knowing that Oldcastle, who acted as Dingo's only parent for much of his childhood, actually murdered Dingo's mum. The comic never mentions if or how Dingo found out the truth.
    • Jason and Robyn Canmore's estrangement from their little brother.
    • Tasha's suicide. What really makes it awful is the sight of Thug comforting Erin... and Benny (the woodlouse/roly-poly/pillbug) curled up into a ball, trying to shield himself from what was presumably a traumatic thing to witness.
  • Obviously, the destruction of the clock tower is one of the most tragic moments of the series. Hudson getting hurt makes it worse.
    Hudson: Leave me lads, the next attack...
  • Angela in "The Journey" when she laments about the racism towards Gargoyles. She was in tears as to why the people hate them all so much, which was a far cry from her upbringing on Avalon, where she was raised by humans.
  • Mentioned before, but the Goliath Chronicles did have its saving graces when it came to emotion. Hudson in particular.
    Hudson: Hudson, face the facts you old fool. You're going blind.
    • He sounds like he's on the verge of sobbing before the sun rises on him.
  • When Goliath fails to rescue Elisa near the end of the "Hunter's Moon" arc. The scene plays out like a twisted version of when they first met, only with Goliath failing catch her this time.
    • Everyone's reaction to her loss, poor Angela just sat down and cried.
    • Elisa's presumed death nearly put Goliath on the same level as Demona. Which she herself hinted at when the two briefly teamed up to attack the Hunters for nearly killing their daughter.
  • In "Ransom", seeing Fox worrying over her and David's son, Alex after he is kidnapped until a gargoyle is presented.
    • The scene gets more heartbreaking when she breaks down in tears. In her son's room. While holding his panda bear.
  • Your heart has to break for Gruoch, MacBeth's wife. She witnesses Canmore killing her husband and her son, Luach, taking on the crown of king of Scotland, MacBeth rises from the dead before her, and then must leave Scotland, and her, forever, as he's declared dead and his son is now king. Worse still is that historically, a year later, Luach dies in battle. According to Greg Weisman, Gruoch commits suicide after this. Trauma Conga Line doesn't begin to describe it.
  • "Deadly Force," when Broadway finds a thug threatening someone with a particle-beam emitter: "What's this?! A new kind of gun?!?! A new way to kill people?!?!" Bill Fagerbakke's voice acting did a great job conveying Broadway's grief for Elisa in that scene in particular.
    • The single, maybe two-second shot of Broadway crying his eyes out after accidentally shooting Elisa. It's such a small thing, but so effective. The Gargoyles crew were wonderful at this.
  • "The Mirror" ends with the characters returned to normal, but the clan's final scene has some major Mood Whiplash.
    Goliath: Elisa, I—
    Elisa: I know. You're relieved as I am that things are back to normal.
    Goliath: That's not what I was going to say. [turns to stone]
    Elisa: [placing her hand on his face] I know, but that's the way it is.
  • In "Generations", Angela was the only one willing to give Demona a chance to prove herself when the rest of the Clan refused to trust her, for GOOD reason. When Goliath gets captured by a stealth hunter, Demona leads a charge to rescue him. However, at the climax, he revealed the truth; he was actually HIRED by Demona to set the whole scene up in order to get in good with the Clan at the expense of Goliath's life. Angela was was shocked, hurt, and angry with Demona's betrayal of her trust, especially with her lame excuse of why she did it, which was to "save her from Goliath". Angela could only cry in anger and disappointment at how she was used by her own mother and that her efforts to reconnect with her were all for naught.
    Angela: You USED me!
    Demona: (caresses Angela's face) It... started out that way... But now... I wouldn't hurt you for the world.
    Angela: (angrily slaps away Demona's hand while crying angry tears) Save it for your next performance, Demona! (Walks away betrayed and crying in disappointment)
    • Demona was just too dissatisfied and shortsighted; despite already having Angela’s care and affection, she wanted her absolute loyalty, too. In a sense, it felt more like Demona wanted Angela as an ally rather than as a daughter. The episode ends with Demona so ashamed, she is no longer able to do anything except watch Angela from afar, tearfully regretting how she foolishly threw away the love and trust her daughter had so openly given her.
  • Peter reconciling with his father, posthumously, at his father's grave.