- Whatever the reason that Ursula stopped being Shiny Chariot. Every time it is brought up, she shows a face of regret and pain. Doesn't help that most of the magical community (sans Akko) considers Shiny a joke.
- The tragic falling out of Chariot and Croix, two witches who had once been utterly inseparable and resolved to work together to return magic to the world. In the present, all of their interactions are tinged with bitterness (and from Croix's side, downright resentment). Yet despite everything, its implied that neither have been able to completely let go of the bond they once shared. By the end of the show though, it's left without a doubt that in spite of all the hurt they caused each other, they ultimately still love each other to the point of being willing to sacrifice their lives to protect the other. Thankfully, the finale indicates that their relationship is beginning to mend.
- A lot of the characters have some pretty sad backstories.
- Though she wasn't aware of it, it's still really sad how Akko had her magic crippled at the Chariot show. If that didn't happen, she probably wouldn't be the laughingstock of Luna Nova she is today.
- Diana lost her parents at a young age and was forced to grow up quickly due to being the only legitimate Cavendish heir. It also didn't help that she had her magic drained from the Dream Fuel Spirit and had to restart from scratch to become the skilled and powerful witch she is today. It's also implied that she was ostracized by her nonmagical peers for being a witch.
- Lotte was bullied for being half-witch and was generally treated like a freak by the other kids.
- Sucy was abandoned as a baby in front of an orphanage with nothing but a bottle of poison as a hint of whom her parents are. She has also kept said bottle of poison to this day and is trying to trace its origins at Luna Nova in order to find her birth parents.note
- Amanda was sent to Luna Nova to learn fortune telling in order to ensure her family's massive, wealthy business empire prospers. Obviously, she's not happy at being treated like that by her family, and this is why she's so rebellious and constantly trying to get kicked out of Luna Nova.note
- Jasminka is possessed by a gluttony demon that will escape her body and destroy everything if she does not constantly eat to keep it satiated.note
- Akkos visit to the Fountain of Polaris. She goes in expecting to have her magical talents With Her All Along, but instead, she gets a flashback of a young Shiny Chariot struggling as much as she did. It finally hits home to Akko shes not in a Legacy of the Chosen story, shes in a To Be a Master story. And in those, there are no Instant Experts. She doesnt take it well.
- Though it's not touched upon further, during Diana and Andrew's Snark-to-Snark Combat, he mentions that during their childhood, some of the children "kept their distance" from Diana due to her magical lineage.
- Professor Finneran's constant Kick the Dog to Akko for most of the episode. She outright tells Akko that she senses no magical potential within her and even attempted to get the young witch expelled. She may have had some points in regards to some of the mischief Akko causes (usually by accident), but she took it too far. This becomes even sadder after the reveal in Episode 22 which indicates most of Akko's difficulties aren't her own fault.
- And when you actually take the reveal from Episode 22 into account, it's especially heart-wrenching because it's very similar to real life students with disabilities and how they are often mistreated by their peers and looked down on by less savory teachers.
- Both Lotte and Akko turn out to have pretty low self esteem when it comes to their attractiveness. Sucy tries to mock Akko for it being the 'first and last' time she'll ever be considered desirable, and is clearly thrown a bit when Akko simply agrees. Lotte on the other hand doesn't seem remotely surprised when her suitors quickly dismiss her the moment the love effect wears off... which warps back into Heartwarming when one sticks around.
- When Akko is determined to become the next Moonlit Witch like her idol, Shiny Chariot, her friends just tell her that it will probably be Diana. Granted, they weren't trying to be mean, but they weren't taking into account how their words would effect Akko's sense of self-confidence. At that very moment, Akko realized that even her closest friends may not believe in her.
- By sheer bad luck, Akko and her team gets picked to be part of a sacrifice ritual that would humiliate them. The other students just mocked and laughed at this. After all those nights of hard work that Akko did, they had been wasted for that.
- Diana, who one of the few people who respects Akko turns on her and gives "The Reason You Suck" Speech for fooling around even though it wasn't Akko's fault. After Akko left in anger, Diana shows concern and may have regretted saying those things to her.
- At the end, Akko confides in Professor Ursula about how aware she is of her shortcomings as a witch in comparison to someone like Diana.
- Vajarois herself has a tragic story. She loves her friends dearly to the point when they died, she went into despair and became a ghost but unable to pass on. The Witches having no knowledge what she really was use her as part of a foolish tradition and made her to inflict harm on others and she spent hundreds of years doing this. No wonder the ghost is upset.
- Lotte and Sucy were just walking down the halls and accidentally overheard Hannah and Barbara mocking Akko and that she and her friends are freaks and losers. This upsets the two girls with Lotte just lowers her head in shame and Sucy cracks her neck in fury. Do note that Sucy's favorite hobby is to get eaten but even she starts to doubt herself that she wants to. Lotte and Sucy just wanted to fulfill their dreams but its because of these bullies that their lifes in Luna Nova were so hard.
- The episode ends on bittersweet note — Akko, Lotte, and Sucy put on an amazing performance. Varajois's spirit can rest in peace. And Akko has learned the third word from the Shiny Rod. But even so, Akko and her friends are disqualified from the competition because they broke the rules. Diana's reaction when she learns of this is heartbreaking.
- Lotte breaking into tears when she sees her parents have succumbed to the curse.
- The short interaction between the chef and Constanze is quite sad. Even after having the energy crisis resolved, the workers are still bitter at the Witches for how they poorly treated them. Thankfully, Akko is the exception.
- The Cavendish Family situation, especially if you're looking at it from Diana's perspective. You're part of an ancient, renowned family of witches, but your name is getting dragged through the mud because of your meddling aunt's superficial greed. Furthermore, your aunt is selling off priceless family heirlooms like antique store knick-knacks, even though they were left behind by your ancestors in order to remember why you're such a prominent family. And because all of this is happening, you're forced to drop out of your dream school—leaving behind your friends, teachers, and everything else—in order to settle this matter. Oh, and let's not forget that you're just a teenage girl and already you have to deal with this much responsibility and pressure largely by yourself. It's no wonder she's so serious all the time. She has to be in order to deal with all of this.
- For that matter, Diana's life has been pretty hard. Besides the above mentioned family drama, she also lost her parents at a young age.
- After Akko's first failed attempt to talk Diana out of leaving, Diana sheds a few tears while departing.
- When Akko confronts Barbara and Hannah why they are crying, they both sound incredibly hoarse. Meaning that they've been crying for a long time. Also meaning? They are truly devastated over Diana leaving the school.
- The Hope Spot of Akko seemingly resisting the snakes' poison thanks to being subjected to Sucy's experiments...only to end up getting infected anyway and going catatonic. For a brief moment, it genuinely seemed like she was going to die, and only Diana's quick thinking ends up saving her life.
- And how does Diana save Akko's life? By willingly stopping the ritual that would have made her the head of House Cavendish, leaving the family in the oppressive hands of her Evil Aunt.
- Chariot and Croix's past is brought up again.
- Going by the subtle changes in their demeanor and facial expressions when just mentioning Sixth's Word, it's obvious the memory of that incident stings both of them.
- Ursula staring at her and Croix's old picture together, and Croix yelling at Ursula to wake up when she thinks Ursula is about to fall to her death. Despite being so bitter towards one another in the present, neither has quite let go of their childhood friendship.
- Croix invoking Poor Communication Kills on Akko's faith in Ursula. The minute Croix brings it up that Ursula's hiding something, Akko's eyes go wide with fear, and she fires off one flimsy excuse after another. Throughout the episode, she's left with a terrible mood, and when Ursula comes back, Akko's downright terrified of her.
- What happens after that is Akko revealing why she's risking everything to go climb a tree that would strip her of her magic. She wanted to see Chariot again. Ursula's reaction to it is devastating.
- The entire episode was where Akko and Ursula's relationship is put to the test.
- Akko finally learns the truth: Ursula is Shiny Chariot. Instead of this making her happy, she also finds out her idol, the one who inspired her to be a witch in the first place, at the very show that inspired her, stole her ability to fly and crippled her magical abilities. Akko also learns that Croix is up to no good and the evil cubes she's been encountering are Croix's Magitek. With both of the professors she looked up to — the only ones who ever treated her as someone worthy to teach — up to underhanded shenanigans, Akko is utterly shattered by this revelation. Worse, this breaks one of the most Heartwarming things about this series: Akko and Ursula's student-teacher bond.
- This also makes an already sad realization from a few episodes prior even harsher. Remember how Diana used to have massive troubles learning to use magic at a young age and only pulled through because of hard work and diligence? A sad fact in and of itself, but then you remember that she too were at that fateful magic show, just as Akko was. That's right, Diana, as well as Akko, had her magic significantly crippled by Chariot during that show.
- To say nothing of all the other potential witches that were present as well. When it comes down to it, Chariot put on a magnificent show, inspiring many (including Akko) to follow in her footsteps...while taking away their ability to do just that. And, as we find out in the following episode, Chariot didn't even know that the Dream Fuel Spirit would have this effect. The same shows that she used to make people see magic as wonderful also stole the magic from those who might have been most inspired by her, all thanks to advice from a person that she thought of as a friend.
- The summary is this. Akko has gone through a Heroic BSoD and ran far away from the school as Lotte, Sucy and Diana have lost hope and want to find her. Meanwhile Ursula is trying to fight Croix knowing it's basically suicide at this point as she's lost her will to live. It's as sad as it is disturbing.
- Lotte crying and seeing both Sucy and Diana worried as they look for Akko is truly disheartening.
- This makes it even sadder that the fortune Diana read in Episode 7 regarding Akko leaving Luna Nova coming true. While it wasn't under the circumstances anyone expected, it came true one way or another which is just sad.
- Not to mention when Akko is finally found by Diana, she is in a desolate stale, her eyes dull and void of lively spirit.
- The circumstances behind Shiny Chariot's rise and fall. She enjoyed great success for a time, but audiences began to grow bored with her routines. That was when her old friend Croix approached her, offering a means of boosting her magic. With the feats she was able to pull off with the Dream Fuel Spirit, Chariot's fame reaches new heights. This led her to being emotionally crushed when she found out that not only did Croix only give her the Dream Fuel Spirit as part of her own agenda, but that she was inadvertently crippling the magic of everyone who went to one of her shows. She stopped using the Dream Fuel Spirit but without the power boost it gave her, audiences got bored with her shows again. Eventually, she got so frustrated that her last-ditch effort to use the power of the Shiny Rod ended up blowing a cross-shaped crater in the moon and costing her connection to the Shiny Rod. After that, she retired and gave up her very identity. On top of this, Chariot was still in school when her career as Shiny Chariot both began and just out of it when it ended - she was still a teenager.
- As much of a Jerkass she was and still is, one can't help but feel bad for Croix. She was the star student of Luna Nova and a naturally gifted witch, and yet a powerful magical artifact chose her best friend over her, who ended up largely using said artifact for entertainment instead of its actual purpose. On top of that, she also lost her ability to fly, if the flashbacks of her and Chariot at Wagandea are any indication. It doesn't justify her actions and crimes, but from Croix's perspective, it's understandable why she would be so frustrated and allow her bitterness to fester and grow.
- After last episode, Ursula spends her time in her room staring at the moon she scarred long ago. Then, comes in Diana who informs her that Akko has not returned. Ursula is shocked to hear this and knew that it was her fault why this happened. As Ursula asks that she wasn't in the mood to talk to Diana, she looks ready to tear up that her student was gone.
- Despite Diana having every right to yell at Chariot, it is just too painful to do it. She became a talented student because of Chariot. To see how far she had fallen when she abandoned Akko, Diana's image of Chariot was crushed just as Akko had.
- Everyone learning about Akko's loss of magic. You could hear and tell that they are so utterly ashamed of themselves for not realizing that Akko was crippled. Throughout the entire series, they were friends with a disabled girl and they were unable to help her recover.
- Ursula knew she would never see Akko again but before heading off to confront Croix, her last words were...Ursula: Please take care of Akko.
- This episode is where the first Quest truly ends and all members pay the price for it.
- Woodward leaves her students in severe disappointment to their fate, with her legacy and the future of magic looking flimsier than ever.
- Croix has finally seized the Grand Triskellion, but she is unable to use its world-altering magic because it cannot be brute-forced in the way she attempted. This causes her to despair as she realizes all her efforts were absolutely for nothing.
- It was because of this very quest that Chariot lost her dream, her friends, and her ability to fly. She's then almost killed protecting Croix from the Noir Rod before she has a chance to make things right with Akko.
- Though it can be argued that she had it coming, Croix's Villainous Breakdown is definitely hard to watch, especially when you learn that a lot of what did was to seek Professor Woodward's approval, and that her intentions had originally come from a genuine desire to revitalize the world's magic.
- Chariot's utter refusal to leave Croix alone and unmoving will to protect her when the cube dragon emerges. Her reasons for such are not just because she cares about Croix, but also because she still feels like she hasn't done enough to atone for "stealing" Croix's dream and Akko's magic.
- Croix's desperate cries and pleas for Chariot to run away from the cube dragon.
- A small one, but nonetheless still counts. Croix confirms to the audience that Chariot did indeed lose her ability to fly from Wagandea's pollen.
- The Shiny Rod disappearing into the stars after serving its purpose. Akko trying hard not to cry just makes it all the more poignant. Especially when you realise it's meant to be a parallel to Senketsu's death.
- Though it counts as a Heartwarming Moment, too, Croix leaving to find a cure for Wagandea's pollen is also quite sad. She vows to not return until she does so (and it's also implied that she'll be serving time in prison for her crimes), meaning she won't be seeing her best friend that she recently made up with for a while.
- Chariot calling out to her (and quietly saying it to herself a second time) makes it really hard not to cry.
- Akko's attachment to her golem, Lemmy. Despite the fact that maintaining his existence was draining Akko of magical energy to dangerous levels and her friends (including Diana) attempts to dissuade her, she still refuses to destroy him due to the love and care she put in creating him.
- Akko destroying Lemmy when he goes on a rampage and attempts to bring harm to Diana, Hannah and Barbara. It is later implied that Lemmy was sentient enough to recognise his master's dilemma and purposely went berserk to force Akko's hand.Akko: "LEMMY YOU DUMMY!!"
- The scene of Akko bawling her eyes out after looking at the picture Lemmy drew for her following his destruction.