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Tear Jerker / Land of the Lustrous

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

  • Diamond and Bort's slowly crumbling relationship. Even if Diamond denies it, one can tell from body language and chosen words alone how much resentment is building up towards Bort within the gem's painted smile.
  • Very early on, Diamond laments to Snail!Phos (actually Ventricosus) that they cannot be more than the pretty yet fragile mineral they are, mirroring Phos' own problem of being a do-nothing-good "three and a half" gem.
  • The end of the Winter Arc.
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    • In the anime in particular, Episode 8 ends with Sensei holding Phos's mangled body as the two of them watch Antarticite and the Lunarians disappear, transitioning not into the show's usual ending sequence but a timelapse shot of the tub where Antarticite stayed in during the warmer months while a somber song by Tomoyo Kurosawa (the voice actor for Phos) plays.
      Your smile that I had known
      Your pieces, too
      And your considerate voice
      They've gone away to the moon
      Quid faciamnote 
      Odi et amonote 
      Winter is over.
  • Basically everything about Padparadscha—both the character and the chapter.
  • The ending to the Season 1 finale, which parallels the beginning of the first episode with Goshenite and Morganite telling Phos that Sensei has summoned them. Phos stoically passes by a pond they had previously used as a mirror to check on their hair before seeing Sensei, and reacts without curiosity as Sensei is about to debrief them on their mission.
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  • At the end of Chapter 30, Yellow Diamond goes to speak to Padparadscha's unconscious body after seeing Zircon and Bort getting along. Yellow admits that the partnership is for the better, to being tired of losing partners, and to being just tired of everything in general.
    Yellow: Can I sleep there next to you?
    Yellow: (smiles) Just kidding.
  • Phos' gold/platinuum components trying to crush their head during their breakdown about Antarticite, after Cairngorn calls them out on essentially getting Ghost Quartz killed because of Phos' selfishness again. We already know the gem's been suffering long with the thought of their lost partners, but when the guilt literally consumes them, we see it try to destroy what's left of Phos.
    • What's even more heartbreaking is that the gems, being essentially immortal, have no concept of death, and yet in that moment Phos wanted to die.
  • Ghost Quartz sacrificing themself in order to protect Phos and buy the group a bit of time before reinforcements come in. The conversation they have with their "inner" Gem is rather bittersweet, ending with Ghost asking the other to continue protecting Phos from then on. The frantic tone the newly emerged Cairngorm has when they realize Ghost isn't there anymore really cements the scene.
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  • The Gems that get taken by Lunarians? According to the Prince, they never come back. Ever. All the pieces that do appear to return are artificial shards made by the Lunarians, while the real bodies are taken and questioned for cooperation. Most break on their own and destroy themselves, others aren't so lucky. Whatever the case, the bodies are ground into a fine dust and scattered across the surface of the Moon. It's the closest thing the Gems have to Death, and it's terrifyingly tragic.
  • The Gems' reactions to seeing their elders' dust on the Moon. Especially poor Yellow and Alex—after losing their partners, to learn that this was their final fate must have taken a toll on them.
    New!Goshe: Is this... all of our elders?
    • The Volume 9 inside cover makes it much worse; it features the defector Gems together on the surface of the Moon, with Yellow Diamond sitting wistfully holding up the Moon dust.
  • You think the Gems over there had it bad? Wait till you see what happened to their partners. A lot of them jumped the Despair Event Horizon after seeing their fellow Gems leave for the moon, "searching" for them underwater. Red Beryl straight up throws themselves off a cliff looking and even Bort is shaken up by the mass departure.
    • Rutile straight up shatters upon seeing that Phos took Padparadscha with them.
  • The entire night raid. Padparascha clearly doesn't want to be fighting Rutile and looks on with pity while the latter tries to break the filled holes, Yellow is emotionally torn in two, Phos ends up protected by Pad only for the latter to take a full blast of Cinnabar's mercury, and even after all of that, Phos is brought back to the Moon, broken, scarred, and more alone than ever.
    • Euclase coming over to Phos and telling them the words that they've always wanted to hear, feeling more pity than victory:
    "Our future needs you."
    Phos' gold alloy leaks out of their eyes as they hear this.
  • Chapter 71 is lighthearted, but the second half of the chapter shows that Phos is still having no picnic, with their shock and sorrow contrasting the happy flirtatious laughter of Aechmea and Cairngorm.
    • The followup chapter is worse; when Phos wakes up, they're told that they are going to be the hope and savior of the humans, to which the gem immediately cites their failure in the night raid and then promptly crushes their own head again. Phos does not think highly of themself, and it's getting worse by the day.
    • Not to mention Cairngorm dismissing all of their time with the Earth gems as all Ghost's doing. That the gem is able to go this far in distancing themselves from their old actions and identity, even saying that they never wanted to be partners with Lapis or Phos (while Phos is in earshot), is just sad to see.
    • Their talk following the raid cuts, and not in a good way.
  • Any picture of Phos from the beginning of the story, knowing how the Gem is going to end up broken, a repeated failure, and no closer to the Gems than when they started. Chapter 76 illustrates this well; the mere thought of simpler times and Sensei's kindness makes Phos crumple up into a ball and cry.
  • As of chapter 77, Phos has become the universe's Chew Toy, hated and vilified by the Lustrous, used and blackmailed by the Lunarians, ignored by the gems which did joined Phos' side in the conflict, forced to carry to burden of the entire Admirabilis race on their conscience, thrown away by their closest friends on both sides and greeted with violence and indifference wherever they turn. They are even denied even the slightest comfort for all of their misery when given the chance and forced to face the reality that none of their actual friends will ever return even if they succeed and that they have brought this whole mess on themselves in the end.
  • The state of Rutile and Phos' relationship over the course of the series. Rutile was one of the few people Phos talked to on a regular basis, and it's clear that the former cared about the latter in their scenes together. Which makes it more heartbreaking when Phos breaks the Lustrous' trust by gathering up willing Gems to take to the Moon, including the unconscious Padparascha— every time Rutile is shown afterwards, the Gem is full of rage and is barely sane, and when coming into contact with Phos again is the first to dismiss them, genuinely wanting to throw Phos' pieces in the ocean.
  • Chapter 79: Phos' suffering hits absolute rock-bottom as they, after being shattered for 220 years, finally get reassembled, only to learn that nobody, nobody, sans Adamant who reassembled them, no longer have even the slightest shrapnel of memory left about the gem, making them the Un-person of the Lustrous. At this point, Phos has become so broken, figuratively and literally, that they can only beg Adamant to pray just to end Phos' suffering at that point, all while crying gold in the process. And when Sensei can't, for the first time in the series, Phos snaps and forces their hand on their former mentor.
    Phos: 'Grant me mercy. I cannot find the will to go on.'
    • The next chapter makes it worse: Phos cries out "If you weren't here..." to Adamant. Phos still blames him for the plight of the Gems, and still sees him as just a machine going rogue.
    • At the beginning of the chapter itself, we're treated to the sight of Yellow throwing themself out of a window. After which we learn that Yellow has convinced themselves that they're a Lunarian (they wanted to 'fly' like one) to the point where they become despondent and prone to suicidal tendencies when reminded that they're a gem. And their symptoms are only growing worse as the years go by...
  • Chapter 80 reveals what many fans had feared: praying will lead to not just the Lunarians, but every race being dissolved, and Sensei was holding off on it because his gaining sentience and affection for the Lustrous was his main malfunction in accomplishing that.
    • Cairngorm actually looks horrified and distraught by this revelation, and looks guilty when they see Adamant on the screen. Despite what they said in earlier chapters, they still care about Phos and Adamant, and are afraid of what will happen once Adamant's praying comes into effect. Of course whatever surprise Cairngorm felt at the time subsided now that they know they're going to be prayed away with the Lunarians, but for a moment it looked like they were really concerned.
  • The volume 10 cast photo has everyone more or less interacting happily...except for Phos, who stares out into space, and Rutile, who's far from everybody sulking in the corner while Zircon checks on them. While they still could be pissed off over Padparascha, it could just as easily be the Gem upset and showing some rare genuine vulnerability.
  • In a moment that crosses over with Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, Padparadscha's first thought is for Phosphophyllite, and when Sensei's prayer fails they immediately set off for the Earth, despite being so weak they need help from nuGoshe to even stand. When they see Rutile about to smash Phos, they rip out a piece of their own chest to distract Rutile long enough for Cicada to rescue Phos.
  • Chapter 82: Phos is so distraught with living, they snap and proclaim that they will turn every gem into dust and prepares to destroy every Gem there if they try to get in Phos's way.
    • "He still loves me." —It also crosses over with Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, but the way Phos's grotesque form cries while saying those words, without a hint of doubt, is just heartrending...
  • Chapter 83: Phos has a nightmare where they see all the gems (including Antarc) calling them useless and pathetic. Worse, Phos now seems to blame themselves for their own suffering, and wishes they never existed.
    Antarc: If only you were never here.
    • Also from chapter 83: Rutile's cameo has them holed up in a lightless room, staring at the filling and Pads as if they'd both disappear if Rutile ever took their eyes off of them. While most Earth gems were able to heal, Rutile did not and looks like they won't for a very long time.

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