It's usually a silly (and potentially offensive) series poking fun at National Stereotypes, but occasionally (if not almost as frequently), Hetalia Axis Powers offers its share of tear jerkers.
Warning: Spoilers Off applies to Tear Jerker pages. Proceed at your own risk.
- The Chibitalia chapter ends with the Holy Roman Empire (rumored to be a younger Germany) leaving Chibitalia aka Italy, kissing him and saying that he's "loved Italy since the 900s and will keep loving him no matter how many hundreds of years pass."If you're familiar with European history, you can guess how well that ends. If the HRE=Germany theory is true, they meet again as adults, but of course Germany has forgotten all about it by now. He may have started to recover his memories in the Valentines Special, but it's not clear.
- Rather small in comparison to the Tear Jerker the entire chapter was more or less built around, but the look on Austria's face when he acknowledges that the Holy Roman Empire has left - especially when compared to his earlier (rather harsh) portrayal.
- The fact that the until-then always happy Hungary is just standing by his door, looking sadly at him and whispering "... Mr. Austria...", really doesn't help.
- Also the "Cleaning Out the Storage" chapter, when America remembers how England helped raise him... only to nearly kill the rebellious America during The American Revolution and break down in tears when he can't bring himself to do so. ("You used to be... so big...".)
- The Drama CD made it even worse. One phrase: "For all you've done for me, England... Thank you." Until then, I was "meh" on Katsuyuki Konishi's voice acting, but that CD drama is what sold me in.
- The Drama CD most definitely made it worse. After England sinks to the ground, he says "Why did you do this, damn it... I thought we would always be together" The confrontation is also more heartbreaking.
- On the subject of America and England... after it was decided America will live with England, we get a scene where England is walking with the toddler in hand, telling him a story, and in his thoughts vowing to protect him and raise him right. America stiry awake, jumps out of England's arms, runs to a herd of bison and lifts one spinning it around like a ragdoll. England's reaction after the shock of the little guy having ridiculous super strength, boils down to "o...oh... guess you don't really need me huh."
- Early in their acquaintance, Chibi!America asks England if he can call England brother. England immediately gets a flashback to his own brothers chasing him off with stones and arrows when he was America's "age", so he answers "J—-just England will be fine."
- "England and Japanese Folklore" ends on a slightly somber note that bemoans the loss of Japanese traditions.
- Despite its brevity, Make A British Food was rather sad with America reminiscing about England and his (bad) food.
- Russia's Start of Darkness, also known as the Bloody Sunday Massacre of 1905. "Hey, Lithuania... We don't want children who can't play nice, right?" To detail: a large number of people gather in front of the Tsar's palace in Saint Petersburg, protesting due to various grievances (the mood is so volatile one even cries "the country has gone mad!"), but the tsar escaped, leaving the palace guards and Russia himself to deal with the situation. Russia doesn't know what to do and states he did his best for his people... then, as the guards prepare to open fire, he picks up a gun too, and, in tears, turns to Lithuania with the above sentence before shooting into the crowd.
- Lithuania's dream(s). And Russia's reaction. FULL STOP.
- "There's a side of Lithuania... I don't know". SEVERE Mood Whiplash there, since that part was Played for Laughs until Lithuania gets into a a bath tub and we see his scar-crossed back..
- Given that the series is a comedy, Lithuania sections all have some aspect of this trope, even when Played for Laughs.
- Much milder than the other examples here, but Korea's reaction to seeing what his adored older brother China really thinks of him with the super-powered binoculars. "These are broken... so Korea didn't make them..."
- The manga version of how Switzerland found Liechtenstein and barely rescued her from Dying Alone was pretty sad. The animated rendition made it simply heartbreaking. Having poor little Liech slump against a wall in the rain and lose almost all hope of survival, wondering what would happen to her and how she wished she was a country "just a little bit longer..."
- America's face in the last panel here. It projects how, even though America bugs England constantly, when he sees that England is happier around his, ahem, 'imaginary friends' (how much America knows about them is uncertain as though he grew up around England and can see the supernatural on Halloween he fervently denies its existence and is terrified of it) than America, America's a little heart broken. The last time he saw England so happy was probably back before the revolution.
- On the flipside, this is the first time we see England genuinely happy since the Revolutionary War as he was only this happy when America was little. It's heartwarming his magical friends can still make him glad but it's crushing to think that nobody else can.
- Did anyone else start feeling bad for Romano and just want to give him a hug while telling him it'll be alright after watching that face he made when he saw his brother draw
- Russia's relationships with his family. He really does care for Belarus as a sister, he just gets scared whenever she starts being yandere at him and tries to get him to marry her.
- By all accounts, France is a Handsome Lech, but he has his moment to be pitied. At the end of the first volume, there is a sketch of a much younger France with a girl with short hair and wearing armor. And she tells him, "I'm fighting for you, you know!" Yeah, she's Joan of Arc. We know how that ended. To think of France, hedonistic and arrogant, startled and then drawn to this one girl, only to lose her- it makes you feel for him at least a little, right?
- That's not counting the French Revolution, the Terror...on second thought, those pretty much explain (along with Jeanne's death) why France became the way he is.
- It's somehow worse when you realise her tragic fate: the Burgundians (Les Collaborateurs) captured her and sold her to the English saying, "Do what you will with her," and England was the one who killed her. Yeah, it's not like they hate each other for no reason.
- For that matter, England himself hasn't gotten it easy either. In Europe, he's ruthlessly picked on by his brothers and has little to no friends. Then he finds America and is genuinely happy for once. Only for The American Revolution to happen and break his heart.
- When you think about it, the reason England has a crush on America is probably because America was really the first person to show him any sort of affection. Then America got angry over England's parenting style (and while it wasn't the best, it's pretty plain that England did the best he could) and had a war with him. Not to mention that nowadays America shoots England down hard whenever he momentarily cools down and tries to be friendly, see the part where he musters up the strength and courage and goes to America's birthday party instead of just sending a present and when he admits to feeling terrible which from England must have taken a lot, he gets that America in contrast not only feels peachy, but is absolutely happy remembering the wretched look England made back in the rain.
- Let's not completely demonize America, though. The beginning of "Cleaning Up the Storage" and his words in the flashback when England breaks down shows that, even if he doesn't show it, he does love and care for England in his own way, and he's kept every single memento of their relationship (whatever you want to call it). The toy soldiers England made him, the suit he brought him, the weapons they pointed at each other... and at the last one, America himself (who had acted rather normal, if a little sentimental) almost cries. Both sides have suffered, and War Is Hell.
- If you read the side notes in The Battle for America, it states that England granted America much more freedom than there was in England at that time. And tax was the main reason America wanted independence, but what he probably didn't know was that at that time, the tax in England was actually much heavier than it was in the colonies. So it was pretty obvious England cared for America's happiness a great deal.
- And while we haven't actually seen much of England's siblings, they're likely nowhere near as mean as some fans would believe, and are hints they really do love their brother.
- In fact, if we go by the history, and how the countries have interacted, England has probably been much worse to his brothers than they have been to him. England has always been a larger country than the rest of the British isles both in landmass and population, so England has exerted its force on the other countries for centuries. It's likely England's brothers will never appear, and their mistreatment by him could be a reason why they don't appear.
- It is unclear when in the timeline the arrows and stones incident happened. England has been said to have actually been a lightweight or even punching bag when he looked the age of Chibi!America (see when he tried to grow out his hair - France is twice his height, looking almost 10-12, whereas England seems to be about 5).note If it was very early, that would make his later mistreatment of his brothers a case of From Nobody to Nightmare in comparison to them.
- Back to the Revolutionary War, how much does it hurt England? Enough for him to feel wretched each year for the week before the 4th of July. He admits this on America's birthday as the explanation of why he didn't come to any of his birthdays before (despite giving him a unicorn for his bicentennial), and America's reaction is to laugh and make a rather tasteless joke saying that he, America, is not only always looking forward to that day but has visions of England's pathetic crying face for a week before the date which cheers him up. He apologizes afterwards, but still.
- The strip where Russia is asking for advice from France's radio show given Russia's enormous desire of making friends. Specially when every time the subject is wring up he mentions that his bosses advice him to use force and his constant failures at it (specially with the Italy Brothers) are just heartbreaking.
- The movie can get downright painful. How about the very end, where the countries, save Italy, are finally overwhelmed by the Pict and in the process of transforming into Pict themselves. With the last of his strength, Germany tells a horrified Italy to "smile." *Sniff*.
- The look on England's face when Sealand is overtaken and his bewildered sounding reaction: "But... I told him not to go" is another moment. Made worse by the fact that until then he had been acting in his typical brusque manner with his brother.
- How does England get transformed? During the battle, he sees America, who was getting good use of his superstrength before, was hit in the foot by the transformation ray and England calls out to him - that one moment of distraction earns him a transformation ray to the face.
"I will not... ask for water!... ach, I wish I had a beer to wet my throat... I will not ask for food! ...if only... I had some... wurst..." *collapses*
- Though it's still unfinished, Austria and Hungary's relationship is bound to become this, especially once history is considered. Their "falling out" in 1848 to be followed by a reconciliation that leads to them finally getting officially married (1867 Compromise)...only for World War I to end it.
- There's also Prussia's loneliness and somewhat one-sided affection towards Hungary. Hell, the Frying Pangle pairings have moments even in history showing this trope.
- The whole Valentines day Issue. Germany being happy for once and actually proposing to Italy. With a custom 'tomato'shaped ring no less Since Italy is such a ditz he doesn't really understand what's going on. Germany also stays up all night reading relationship books for advice. Seeing such a stoic trying to understand all his conflicting emotions, sniff. That issue is just full of Germany being a woobie.
- It looks as if whenever a strip is about France and his relationship with his citizens is a mix of this and Heartwarming Moments:
I showed you an album as you were younger, right? The picture is small but it's without a doubt the same face as fifty years before. Isn't it cruel, how short the life we humans lead really is. Being forever young, for him it surely feels like living in eternity. We who are trying so hard to live look stupid compared to that. If I only could have stayed young forever, wouldn't it be wonderful.
Don't you think...
Are you sure you want that? It means to go on with your life and spend time with a different tempo than everybody else Even though we would laugh together, even though we would lead the same life. Had children that would grow up. Even when my hand would grow all wrinkled and I wouldn't respond to your voice. Even when I would die.
And after I wouldn't be here anymore, you would watch over so many people. Something like that, a normal human being would never withstand. No matter how many people you would fall in love with, they would always leave you behind. And like that, you would be always alone. If you would have to bare such fate, it would be so cruel, I couldn't stand it! To live forever isn't such a good thing after all.
- Read that strip. Then read Volume 4. Cry harder.
- With that in mind, the existence of the personified nations themselves is a doomed one. It says something about the strength of mentality of the characters (or lack thereof...see Russia) to watch and apparently feel their people and the state of the country through the ages and events.
- There's nothing overtly sad about "Ren Ren Renaissance"; it's just a bouncy, syrupy sweet duet between Grandpa Rome and Chibitalia about how much they love each other. And then you remember what happened to Rome...
- And the fact that Grandpa Rome has a second grandson, who carries an inferiority complex literally the size of a country. Or at least half of it.
- Poland is shown to have had a very rough time over the past few centuries: His once-mighty Commonwealth gone. The land split between Russia, Prussia and Austria...then watching Russia take Lithuania away from him. And that's not even getting to what happens to him in World War II. Really, there's a good reason why he keeps "rising like a phoenix."
- And then there was the strip in the manga where both England and France continuously try to get Poland to take their side in WWII, but he keeps bringing up stupid stuff like painting his house pink and buying a pony. So after realizing they'll never get through to him, France and England finally agree for the first time on something and give up, with a very sad resigned sigh even eyes tightly shut with tears, they say, Goodbye Poland! As we all know, their concerns were valid...
- Also how loyal Lithuania still is to him and tries to warn Poland of Russia's plans for invasion even at great personal risk despite mostly being used by Poland all those years ago and not even sticking up for him when Russia carried him off. But although Poland might be pretty...well no, VERY dense... Lithuania has another flashback about Poland where he says, "It totally doesn't change that I like you...even if you like, hate me and dreams of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Flag. Finally, Lithuania realizes protecting his friend from Russia is worth it.
- In the manga, Spain captures North Italy from Austria and prepares to fight a duel with him with his intimidating battle axe. Austria tries to dissuade him, "Never thought I'd face you on a battlefield, so be kind and give Italy back." It's especially saddening for Austria seeing as how all his former friends and now even his former "husband" turned against him (they were married under the House of Hapsburg). But Spain refuses saying that now he has a French king so France is kind of his boss now and that since everyone's turning against Austria, he doesn't think Austria is capable of taking care of Italy anymore. Plus, he wants to reunite the brothers since he already has South Italy. Soon, North Italy begs his "Big Brother" Spain not to attack Austria and to untie him. Spain then imagines a happy life together with the two Italies, "When this is over, you can be with me forever! We'll be together day and night...Oh, it'll be heaven!" But as soon as North Italy's untied, he goes running to an equally confused Austria. And cue Spain's Heroic BSoD. Fortunately though...he snaps out of it, smiles, and decides to let Italy go back with Austria wishing them a happy life together. And the most heartwrenching of all is the last panel when Austria and Italy are looking at the night sky and they remember Spain and Austria thinks, "Took me three days to forget that joyous face of yours..." right until "Nice Bananas" and in the epilogue we see Spain back home with South Italy crying.
- The fact that although England and America's relationship are brought up as are: Japan and China's, Lithuania and Poland's, Poland and Germany's, Russia and Lithuania's, but...even in the darker manga we never hear of Spain's relationship to Latin America and in fact the only one who's ever seen is Cuba and even then he only interacts with America (in hatred) and Canada (in friendship). And yet we see such countries as Australia, Hong Kong, Camaroon, India, the Sychelles, and even freaking SEALAND... but no Latin America. One must wonder why the author chose to leave out Latin America...even as far as avoiding any mention of what happened there. (Spain's dominance as one of the strongest countries was by default equally glossed over inexplicably) This problem was lampshaded twice in the Hetalia Bloodbath 2011 first, when the Sychelles (I think) seems to forget what part of the world Cuba is from and says, "We show a lot of cleavage in the West and Africa, but they don't really wear open-chested clothes in Asia. Huh, Mr. Cuba? Huh?" To which Cuba smiles uncharacteriscally and responds, "Why are you asking me this?" The second time...goes like this: (and no, Cuba doesn't call Spain "dad" or even "big brother" and they never bring up Cuba's missing siblings)
Cuba: Just lay off the ridiculous questions, alright?
Germany: (peeking cautiously through one eye) It's OK to just answer as much as you want to answer. Ahem! Your question is: "What would happen if Cuba and Spain talked to each other?"
Cuba: Aw, is that all? Hey, Spain!
Spain: Hm? What's up?
Cuba: We gotta question that says what would happen if you and I talk?
Spain: Really? I just gotta talk to you right, Cuba? (A little later)
- Davie. Who knew something consisting of only two words and Pictorial Speech Bubbles could be so heartbreaking? To sum up in case the link does not open: Little America meets and befriends a boy living in the Colonies, who introduces himself as Davie. Davie or his dad has a book about flowers and plants which Davie likes, and Davie points out a particular blue flower. They set off searching for it but have to break off the search because the day ends. America keeps searching, with no luck. He even meets an older Davie, who is embarrassed by the only slightly older child. When America mentions the flower to England, England says the flower doesn't grow at America's home, yet, but it is common to England's, and he promises to bring some. He does, and America runs off with the flowers and meets a very sad boy, who takes him to a church, where a funeral is being held. Davie's funeral. America at first doesn't even recognize or realize that the boy, who is the spitting image of Davie, is actually Davie's grandson.
- "Nations can get very busy with diplomatic talks, fights and being commanded around by their bosses, and so it can be very hard for them to get close to anybody outside of the battlefield or politics." This was always a topic that was hinted at but never truly shown... until now. The fact that they used chibi!America to demonstrate makes it worse.
- "Private Concert", which may be one of Hetalia's few Wham Episodes. Prussia plays the flute for Germany at random, which Germany admits is actually pretty good. Prussia then insists on Germany playing it with him, which Germany doesn't think he can do. Then he notices that a dog had bitten Prussia's hand. He scolds the dog and assures Prussia that it'll just heal itself...but then the dog thinks the following to himself...
- We went this long without talking about China? He's 4000 years old and has seen many come and go. He's raised several of the other Asian countries only for them to betray or leave him. There's one strip where he recalls finding little Japan and when Japan later slashed him in the back, and in present times he's still torn up about it. And his song "Aiyaa Four Thousand Years" hints that that time has likely taken a toll on his mind, and certain lyrics are definitely directed towards Japan.
- The Hetalia World Stars serialization from Shounen Jump has a few new strips about England during the Revolutionary War. Of particular note is when England, who caught The Netherlands dodging the blockade and Russia simply smashing through it, tries to convince The Netherlands to just trade with England and fight on his side. The Netherlands replies: "I'll do you a favour, because you let me trade at your place, and give you a piece of advice. Look. Around." When England does, he sees himself surrounded by foes on all sides, and France even snickering. His thoughts? "H... have I handled things so poorly I have nothing but enemies now?" It may be in part self-inflicted, but does come as a punch to the gut, and Canada arriving to fight on the British side is somewhat of a relief.
- Another noteworthy entry in this topic is a picture from shortly after the Revolutionary War. England is bedridden and whimpering, with a cold pack on his head, and Canada is standing by his bedside, worried for him. The text even says the reason England's physical and mental health deteriorated so much was because of the war and the situation in Europe.