Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Tear Jerker / Gotham Season One

Go To

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.

    open/close all folders 

Season 1

     1x 01 Pilot 
  • Let's face it. We've seen a dozen interpretations or more of the same scene where Bruce's parents are killed. But this one still packs a punch.
    • Part of what sells it so well is Bruce's scream of anguish over his parents' bodies, a sound that's equal parts Nightmare Fuel and Tear Jerker.
      • It's also high-pitched enough to seem just a little bat-like.
    • Special mention goes to when Gordon tried to ask Bruce what happened and the poor kid just breaks down sobbing.
    • Gordon putting a coat on Bruce's shoulders and telling him "there will be light," calling to mind the moment in The Dark Knight Rises where Batman tells older Commissioner Gordon that "a hero can be anyone," even doing "something as simple as putting a coat on a little boy's shoulders and telling him the world hasn't ended."
    • Thomas living just long enough to lock eyes with his terrified son, but expiring before he can manage to say anything.
  • The way Alfred, long known as Batman's rock - the one he can depend on no matter what for strength and certainty - sounds just so very hopeless when talking to Gordon. Not in a despairing, emotional way, but just being so worn down by life and Gotham that he has no illusions that the murder of his employers is anything other than another cold case in waiting.
    Gordon: We're going to find who did this, sir.
  • Ivy trying to convince Jim (or, to her, just a police officer) to leave the house while they're looking for her father because "[Mario's] mean."

     1x 02 Selina Kyle 
  • Nearly every street kid in Gotham is being sent upstate to juvie, without a trial.
  • The boy crying on the bus that's about to take him to juvie.
  • Selina's insistence her mom is not dead, that's she's missing somewhere.
  • Selina begging with an officer not to send her back to juvie.

     1x 03 The Balloonman 
  • The reason the Balloonman went over the edge and started targeting all the high-profile and corrupt leaders of Gotham: He, like Jim, was one of the few good people in the system and genuinely cared for the homeless children as part of Child Services. And when the Mayor rounded up all of them to be sent upstate in the last episode, he completely lost it.
  • Jim's slow realization that the corruption in Gotham City runs deeper and fouler than he imagined, and that maybe one man alone isn't enough to change it from the inside.
  • After discovering that Bruce has the police file of his parent's murder—complete with pictures of their dead bodies!—as well as refusing to eat, Alfred is deeply concerned about Bruce's obsession over his parents murder and tendency towards self-harm. Not helped that Bruce refuses to go to a therapist.

     1x 04 Arkham 
  • Bruce watching his parents' dream for Arkham die as the mayor takes the coward's way out and lets both crime lords have their way.
  • Jim and Barbara breaking up, because of his staunch refusal to tell her the truth about Cobblepot.

     1x 05 Viper 
  • Bruce knowing that there is something going on in his parent's company and is unable to do anything about it... yet.
  • The backstory of the inventor of Viper. Like the Balloonman in episode 1.03, the atrocities he'd committed were an attempt to expose the horrific practices of his employer WellZyn. When that fails, he bitterly states in a live feed that the only way the truth would come out is if he exposes the drug to the 'important' people in Gotham, AKA the only ones who matter. And just like the Balloonman, his actions ultimately meant nothing as the corrupt Powers That Be bury everything he'd done.

     1x 06 Spirit of the Goat 
  • While discussing the Goat with Alfred, he and Bruce note that the Goat is taking children from the richest people in Gotham, and Alfred states that Bruce could be a target. Bruce responds that he'll be fine, because there is nobody to take him from. The look on Alfred's face is heartbreaking. You can see him thinking, "They could take you from me."
  • Realizing that Bullock was once a good, idealistic cop like Jim until all the corruption and vice in Gotham finally wore him down and turned him into the cynic we know today.

     1x 07 Penguin's Umbrella 
  • When Gordon visits Bruce before going on his mission, Bruce deduces that Gordon intends to die. They have a short, intense talk before Bruce fiercely hugs Gordon. It's the first time we've really seen him lose his admirable composure since his parents died, and seeing the poor kid being faced with the possibility of losing another important person to him - someone who has been offering him support, kindness, and who has earned his trust - is heartbreaking. Even more so since in most media, it's implied Batman sees Gordon as a surrogate father.

     1 X 09 Harvey Dent 
  • When Selina is telling stories of her mother, who is believed to be dead, but she insists is alive. She tells Bruce of how she's traveling in show business, but it's a cover for her being a secret agent on a dangerous mission. Bruce knows she's lying (mostly to herself) but says nothing to interrupt her, and instead, just goes with it.

     1 X 10 Lovecraft 
  • Ivy's expression after Selina rushes away with Bruce. Even though she's "creepy," she's still a kid who's lost her home and her parents, and no one seemingly wants to be her friend. It's no wonder that she'll become a severe misanthropist by the time she's an adult.
    • As an add-on, even though it was delivered in a pretty creepy way, learning what became of her home life after her dad was accused of the Wayne murders: he was killed by the police and, in hopelessness and grief, her mother committed suicide by slitting her wrists. Ivy's now all alone on the streets without anyone to guide her (yet).
  • The aftermath of the episode: Selina is forced to go into hiding, meaning that the case being built against the Waynes' killers - which hinged on her testimony - is dead in the water, and Jim gets transferred to Arkham in the fall-out of Lovecraft's murder.

     1 X 12 What The Little Bird Told Him 
  • Liza getting choked to death by Don Falcone after he realizes that Oswald had told him the truth about her. At her core, she was just a young girl who got mixed up in Fish's power play, and had even grown fond of Falcone, and paid the price for it. The worst part is that she even began to grow a conscience and wanted out of Fish's schemes.
    • Falcone's expression as he kills her. The flashback at the beginning of the episode to his father's funeral shows that Liza is pretty much a carbon copy of his sainted mother. He's basically choking his mother to death.
    • Fish gets a mention here. Though she saw Liza as a weapon to bring about Falcone's downfall, it's made obvious that she cares about Liza in her own twisted way. Her reaction to seeing Liza get strangled is to rush towards her. She's held back by Gilzean and can only watch.

     1x 13 Welcome Back Jim Gordon 
  • Selina torpedoing her Toy Ship with Bruce, claiming (truthfully or not?) that she lied just to stay out of juvie and she never got a good look at his parents' killer's face. When we next see Bruce he's sitting on the floor crying, with the shattered remains of the snow globe he meant to give Selina as a gift in the fireplace. And then, after some Tough Love from Alfred, he gets back up and heads to his Wall Of Data, determined to find another lead. Arguably, this is the moment when Bruce Wayne the young innocent child dies, and the cold implacable detective that will one day call himself "Batman" is born.
  • Jim uses his connection with Oswald to get the evidence needed to arrest a crooked cop for murdering the sole witness of another crime. After publicly arresting the cop, he goes outside and is confronted by another detective who knew about the murder. The man then goes on his knees, practically sobbing and swearing that he won't tell anyone and pleads for his wife and children to be left alone by Oswald's thugs. You can see the horror in Jim's face as he realizes that his determination to get his man put innocent lives in danger, making him no better than any other cop in the city.
  • Edward writes a cute poem to Miss Kringle, and is subsequently humiliated when it's read out loud for everyone's amusement. Even Miss Kringle - who thinks Edward is creepy at best - feels bad and goes to apologize to him later on.
  • Fish in the aftermath of the episode - before her Last Kiss with Bullock, she promises that she'll back ready to kill Penguin, but actually admits she has to leave Gotham and lay low. Just as Bullock leaves, she's visibly broken over losing everything. Granted, due to Fish's schemes she brought it on herself, but in the process not only did she lose her resources, she lost both Liza and Butch, two people she genuinely cared for. It was at that point when Fish realized she was truly on her own.
    • Her unwillingness to leave Butch when he stayed behind to hold off Zsasz's assassins also had set in stone that she deeply appreciated Butch and deemed as a friend. She's repeatedly protesting as Butch shoves her out of the windows, which could've been her fearing of being alone without any allies and/or just overall losing Butch.

     1x 14 The Fearsome Dr. Crane 
  • Bullock's admission of fear at the support group is rather sad, the more so considering what happened to his previous partner. If his greatest fear is getting wounded like his old buddy, and having no one come to help him, then his alarm every time Gordon goes charging ahead and leaves him on his own becomes a lot more meaningful: Harvey doesn't want himself or Jim to end up that way because they got separated.

     1x 15 The Scarecrow 
  • Gerald Crane's backstory all together is pretty tragic. The death of his wife in a housefire is bad enough, but what takes him right to pitiable is what he sees under the effects of his fear-inducing formula: his wife descending the stairs in a trail of fire and burning to death before his eyes. And he tells the phobia support group his fear is "failure." For whatever reason, Gerald blames himself and his own fear for not being able to save his wife's life, and it's clearly driven him over the deep end.

     1x 17 Red Hood 
  • Alfred getting stabbed by his friend Reggie, and Bruce's frantic, desperate pleas for him to stay alive when he finds him in the office.
    • Later in the hospital, Bruce's voice cracking as he tells Jim that he can't lose Alfred because he's the only family he has left, before he breaks down in heart-wrenching sobs.
    • Reggie is a pretty tragic character in his own way. It's clear that he didn't want to hurt Alfred, and he cares enough about Bruce that he even begs the chairwoman of Wayne Enterprises to leave the boy alone, but his circumstances have forced him to do things that he probably wouldn't do if he had a choice.

     1x 18 Everyone Has a Cobblepot 
  • Nygma attempting to ask Miss Kringle out to dinner with a bouquet of flowers, only to discover that she already has plans...with her new boyfriend. Seeing him angrily throw away the flowers is quite heartbreaking, but it's also quite unsettling when you realize that he's slowly starting to lose his cool.
  • Harvey's speech to Jim after he gives him his file: "...You think 'I'll do this one bad thing, and then the good things I'll do later will make up for it.' But it doesn't."
    • To give this context: Jim negotiated Bullock's file from Loeb and Loeb's recommendation for him to be President of the Union, in exchange for Jim keeping quiet about Loeb's daughter's involvement with his wife's murder. It's a dirty play he made, and even Loeb had to admit that Jim is 'colder' than he thought.

     1x 20 Under the Knife 
  • The strain between Cobblepot and his mother, Gertrud. Up until this point, Gertrud had always believed that her son was a successful nightclub owner, and couldn't be any prouder of him. However, Maroni drops by unexpectedly and exposes Cobblepot's true nature as a cold-blooded killer. As he begins shove the ugly truth down her throat, Oswald demands that he leave her alone (on the verge of tears, no less), and the scene ends with him holding his traumatized mother in his arms.
    • In a later scene, we see Oswald do something that he's never done on the show before: he begins to cry. His genuine love and concern for his mother may very well be his only redeeming quality.
  • After Edward stabs and kills Miss Kringle's abusive boyfriend, he begins to have an emotional breakdown, nervously muttering "Oh dear, oh dear..." as he slowly begins to realize what he had just done. He's absolutely traumatized by the fact that he had just murdered someone in cold blood.

     1x 21 The Anvil or the Hammer 
  • The Ogre threatens to kill Barbara unless she chooses a victim for him. So who does she pick? Her own parents. He then breaks into their home and slaughters them, leaving their corpses to sit on a couch with their arms casually placed around each other's shoulders. When Gordon approaches the crime scene, the look on his face is rather heartbreaking. It is implied that he knew her parents, or was at least acquainted with them.
    • Made all the more worse when it's revealed that Barbara murdered her own parents because she claims that they never loved her. Their scared reaction is justified when we realize that the Ogre was really holding them down so Barbara could execute them.
  • Bruce finding out that his father was complicit in Wayne Enterprises' corruption, and adding his picture to the board.

     1x 22 All Happy Families Are Alike 
  • This episode will really have you crying for Butch. When he and Fish reunite, it's almost like watching a mother reconcile with her young child.
    Butch: Fish? Is it's really you?
    Fish: It's me, Butch. I'm home.
    • During Fish and Penguin's big fight, an armed Butch intervenes, only to face a major conflict when both bosses demand that he shoot the other person. Emotionally distressed, Butch can't bring himself to kill either one, and ultimately decides to shoot them both in the waist instead, stopping the fight and sparing their lives. As he begins to cry like a lost child, he and Fish share one final moment together, right before Penguin pushes Fish into the river below.
    • What's make the moment even more tragic is Fish knows and reminds Butch of his conditioning, begging him to help her because she's "his girl", and even after being shot, she forgives him wholeheartedly without the least amount of contempt.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: