- Hikaru's face in episode 2, "Presea, the Master Smith in the Forest of Silence" when she has only a piece of her favorite candy to offer as payment for weapons becomes this and a heartwarming moment.
- Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu explaining why the vision they see in the Spring of Eterna are the ones most precious to them; Hikaru saw her dog, Hikari, Umi saw her parents, and Fuu saw herself in episode 5 "Escudo, the Legendary Ore".Hikaru: He's one of my best friends! He was always right by my side whenever I had to cry! When I hurt myself he'd be there to comfort me. He can't speak to me in words, but we can understand each other just fine! He's one of my closest friends in the whole world!Umi: These are my loving parents! They sheltered me with their love every day when i was growing up and I saved it up in my heart all this time! And I'm going to return all of it by taking care of them when they need me and grow old! I haven't had the chance to repay any of their kindness yet; there's no way I'd ever hurt my mother and father!Fuu: I am extremely important to myself! If something were to happen to me, my father, my mother, my sister... everyone who loves me would feel the pain! I am still young yet, and have done nothing for those who love me, so at least I need to tell them I appreciate their love! That is all I can do at this point. That's why I am important to myself!
- Presea's death in the anime also counts, regardless of which language it's presented in.
- Ascot's reactions to the deaths of his summons may count. That he sheds those tears can't be faked.
- The circumstance that causes Hikaru's weapon to evolve in episode 8 of the anime when she's forced to kill her new pet. Even the usual music used for the Theme Music Powerup takes on new meaning during that same scene.
- You know what makes it worse? The beast actually hesitated because she had been so nice to it, but Ascot pushed it into trying to kill her anyway.
- Hikaru has already been established as missing her dog in several episodes, so the moment she sees this thing, she latches onto it as a Replacement Goldfish, even giving it her dog's name. Even when it violently turns on her, she refuses to attack it. Eventually, she's forced to choose between Hikari and her friends and every other creature in the forest...and must kill the animal that represents her own dog. From an audience point of view, it doesn't help that Hikari looks and sounds like a proto-Eevee.
- Episode 9, "The Magic Knights' Greatest Crisis" has Alcyone tricking Ascot into killing one of his monster friends, then freezing him solid.
- Umi's weapon evolves in episode 9 when she breaks through the Lotus-Eater Machine and accepts that she's got to become a Magic Knight. She makes it back just in time to save Hikaru and Fuu from Alcyone.
- Hikaru's flashbacks in episode 14 as she chases the monster that abducted Umi and Fuu.
- Zagato and Emeraude's reaction to Inova's death in episode 17, "The Truth About Inova, and the Return of Memories".
- Ferio's backstory and why he intentionally had his memories of being Emeraude's brother sealed.
- The end of the first manga series/first season of the anime is heartwrenching. The girls are forced to kill Princess Emeraude, and she summoned them there to do exactly that. They can't take a third option.
Zagato: Emeraude, please, be free.
- It's worse in the manga. In the anime, the season ends with Hikaru giving a dramatic speech about how she wants to protect the land that Princess Emeraude loved so much. In the manga, the shot simply cuts to the girls clinging to each other and weeping, with Hikaru screaming "It's not fair!" over and over.
- It makes the prelude to it a tearjerker upon re-reading, or watching. Seeing the girls' joy and excitement after killing Zagato, thinking that they've completed their task and saved the world, and knowing what's about to happen is gutwrenching.
- There's also the fact that this was the intended, final ending until enough fans complained.
- Zagato's last words just before he dies.
All she did was love someone! I don't understand it! Why does she have to die for that!?
- The second season's own finale is even worse. Voice actors for all versions (including the original Japanese version) were reputedly driven to tears. If it can affect the cast like that, think about what it could do to the viewers...
- Super Robot Wars T recreates the entire thing. And it's still just as sad as it was, even more so as Zagato is one of the hardest bosses of the game and you can feel how desperate he is at trying to save Emeraude, and he also got a dose of Adaptational Heroism, trying to make space for fellow people of Cephiro to live in Earth after Cephiro eventually crumbles. Oh and if you think you could save them in this game just like the other games that the franchise did to spare characters who die? Much like their previous takes on tragic deaths with Kamina and Lockon Stratos I, there is no way out of this. Really, this extra line from Hikaru says just how tragic this situation is:
- The change in the ending theme really hammers it home. The version of the ending theme Asu he no Yuuki (Courage Toward Tomorrow in english) played in previous episodes is a soft rock style with a cheerful beat that seems to carry the message just keep trying when things are hard and you'll overcome it. But when the season one finale changes to an acoustic version with a slower beat, it seems to change the message to be brave when facing tragedy and do your best to get through.
- While she didn't have many redeeming qualities in either the manga or anime, Alcyone's ultimate fate in the anime really makes a person feel sorry for her. First, she survives what happened in the first season only to be yet again rejected by Zagato, and then being both Brainwashed and Crazy and used as a puppet by Debonair. Then once she's "freed" of Debonair, her mind is so worn-out from all the abuse that she keeps mistaking Lantis for Zagato. Then to top it all off, she gets killed by Debonair once she's recovered enough to try a HeelFace Turn, and she does so almost happily as she still voices out loud her undying love for Zagato. Wow, powerful Jerkass Woobie vibes there.
- The girls meet at Tokyo Tower at the start of Rayearth II to try and make sense of killing Emeraude and Zagato. Hikaru clenches her fist so hard that her hand starts bleeding.Umi: Stop it, Hikaru!
Fuu: Please don't hurt yourself, Hikaru. This isn't Cephiro... I can't heal you.
- When the girls learn that Ferio is the prince of Cephiro in episode 23, Fuu immediately realizes that it means she killed his sister and starts crying. He reassures her that her last moments were happy because she could finally be with the one she loved, and Clef adds that the last words he heard from her was a "thank you" to the Magic Knights.
- Lafarga's harsh attitude towards Lantis, while understandable, is still rather sad.
- Hikaru's apology to Lantis for killing his older brother Zagato in episode 24. Her guilt is bad enough, but she doesn't ask for forgiveness. Instead she gives him permission to hit her. She even pleads with him not to be angry with Umi and Fuu.
- In Rayearth II episode 34, Nova exploiting Hikaru's fear of Lantis rejecting her love for him.
- The heartbroken look in Hikaru's eye's when Fake!Lantis says he could never have feelings for the person who killed his brother.
- When Lantis is fighting Nova in episode 45, he learns that he can't hurt her because he might hurt Hikaru also. During their duel, Nova tricks him by creating the illusion that she is Hikaru. Attacking and injuring Lantis while his guard is down. Despite Lantis fighting Nova in a alternate dimension Nova created, Hikaru is able to sense something terrible has happened to Lantis.
- The following battle between the Magic Knights and Nova is also heartbreaking due to the fact that throughout the whole fight, Nova was continuously using Lantis as a hostage, and if she were to get hurt, so would he.
- Near the end of episode 48, just after Lantis is rescued from Nova, Debonair appears and destroys the FTO, brutally killing Eagle in the process. Both Hikaru and Lantis are devastated. Then not long afterwards, Hikaru is sent into a vicious rage.
- Debonair destroying Nova's Regalia, then coldly telling Nova that she has no more need for her and that she can just die along with the Magic Knights.
- True Nova had been nothing but a monster up to that point, but she saw Debonair as her own mother. Not to mention she was pleading with her for help, only to be callously told to die.
Tear Jerker / Magic Knight Rayearth