- The look in Teana's eyes after one of her shots almost hits Subaru in episode 7. When we see her at the end of the episode, she's crying Tears of Remorse.
- It gets worse in episode 8 during "The White Devil Incident" when she realizes that she ended up making the same mistake again.
- Speaking of that, Teana's breakdown at the end of episode 8, when we see just how deeply scarred she is by the death of her big brother (the only family she had left) and the horrible things that were then said about him and their family name. After pushing herself to dangerous levels in training, the plan she and Subaru came up with and worked so hard on is foiled by Nanoha with little effort. Then, when Nanoha tries to lecture her, the poor girl finally breaks and tries to open fire on Nanoha. As she's charging up her attack, she's screaming and sobbing that she needs to get stronger, no matter the cost to herself, because she can't take losing anyone else she cares about.
- Nanoha's Near-Death Experience in the flashback from episode 9. Made even more heart-wrenching when they focus on Nanoha as she tries to expedite her own recovery: struggling to stand, then falling face-first onto the floor and trying desperately to crawl while in obvious agony... then Shamal says that at the time, they thought her injuries might end her career and possibly even cripple her for life.
- In chapter 2 of the manga, Vita has a flashback to the incident. It's not pretty.
- Liberally interspersed with Nightmare Fuel and Shocking Moments in Episode 17.
- Subaru's Heroic BSoD after she fails to prevent her sister's kidnapping and her Unstoppable Rage wears off. Her devices destroyed, her barrier jacket shredded, her body heavily damaged (to reveal her cybernetic components), she collapses on the ground in wails of inconsolable grief. It's heartbreaking, and all the more so because this is the most preternaturally sweet and bubbly character in the series that we're seeing utterly broken.
- The flashback where Erio is told that who he thought were his family, weren't and is taken away from them.
- Caro crying over the injured and unconscious bodies of Erio and Fried while, overhead, a fleet of gadget drones is destroying Riot Force 6 HQ. Then she unleashes her true power for the first time while sobbing "please don't destroy our home!". Remember that Caro was banished from her tribe as a small child, and spent much of her life moving around from one place to another, constantly rejected and unwanted. Riot Force 6 is one of the only true homes, with friends and family around her, that she's ever known... and now they're being destroyed in front of her eyes.
- When Vivio is kidnapped, Nanoha continues to perform her duties, but after a conversation with Teana, she sees the stuffed bunny that she gave Vivio on the ground. One could feel Nanoha's pain upon seeing the look on her face when she's suddenly reminded of Vivio. Once she finishes and no longer has anything to keep her mind off it, she breaks down crying in Fate's arms. It has even more impact when you remember that this is the only time in the entire franchise that Nanoha is this emotionally broken.
- And then it cuts to Vivio Strapped to an Operating Table, desperately struggling, and screaming for Nanoha to save her while Jail talks about how he's going to make her his masterpiece. The last thing we hear before the episode ends is her crying "Mama!".
- And speaking of Vivio, her scene where she's tortured by Quattro in Episode 18 is both chilling and depressing.
- Near the end of episode 19, when Jail broadcasts footage of what's happening to Vivio, leaving Nanoha in absolute horror. Counts also count as Nightmare Fuel.
- In episode 20, where Nanoha and Vita give a speech about the upcoming battle to the Forwards.
- Four words: "You're not my mama!" Nanoha is clearly on the edge of tears after hearing it.
- Vita collapsing after she seemingly fails to destroy the Saint Cradle's engine. Although it quickly turns into an incredibly heartwarming and awesome moment when it's revealed that she succeeded.Vita: It's no good. I couldn't protect them. Hayate, everyone, I'm sorry.
- Hayate, while holding a near-dead, bloody Vita with a shattered device right afterwards:
- The scene in episode 25 with Signum and Zest.
- Nanoha's entire scene with Vivio from episode 25. The one where Vivio is on the verge of despair and Nanoha has to bring her back from the brink.Vivio: All my sadness, my pain, they were fake, created things. I can't be allowed to live!
- Notably, when she refers to Nanoha and Fate during all this, she uses the honorific "san" instead of "mama". Not because she doesn't love them, but because she doesn't view herself as being human.
- That one moment at the end where Vivio tells Nanoha to stay away from her. Fortunately, it was because she wanted to stand up on her own and make Nanoha-mama proud of her.
- In the third Sound Stage for this season, Reinforce Zwei finds a recording left behind by Reinforce Eins that shows her living with the Yagami family, then a message saying that this is what she gave up when she sacrificed herself, and while Eins knew it was the right decision, she regrets not being able to be with Hayate.
- That one part in the second opening where Nanoha is running towards Vivio as they both desperately try to reach one another, but their hands fail to touch by a few inches.
- In the second ending sequence you see Nanoha juxtaposed with her younger self. There's a certain melancholy to seeing the optimistic little girl grabbing her older self's hand before fading away.
Tear Jerker / Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS