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Tear Jerker / Music in Media

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Since other works of media generally have a soundtrack, it would only be natural for songs that can make you cry to show up there.

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  • Tori no Uta by Lia. It's the opening theme of Air.
    • "Farewell Song".
    • Perhaps, the most simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking track would have to be Natsukage. Few musical scores, live action or anime, manages to capture the innocence, purity and transient briefness that is childhood as well as this one.
    • Aozora.
  • One can get teary-eyed upon listening to Hime murasaki by Nana Mizuki. It doesn't help it's the ending song for a VERY tragic anime series, Basilisk: Koga Ninpu Chuu.
  • "World of Midnight" from Black Lagoon Sung by Gretel during Hansel's death, played as the ending theme that shows both of them being Together in Death, and finally played again during Balalaika's Start of Darkness flashback in the Tokyo Yakuza arc.
  • While the song itself isn't at all melancholic, "Dango Daikazoku" can be almost enough to bring some people to tears for CLANNAD (which it's end theme to) — and the character it's connected to.
    • The place where wishes come true is amazing
  • "Blue" from the end of Cowboy Bebop. Obviously has a lot of emotional impact as a part of the events, but the song is fairly tear jerking on its own.
    • "Call Me Call Me" from the soundtrack to Cowboy Bebop — because a) the song itself just has that quality, and b) in the context of the anime it comes in at a sad parting and turning point.
    • The same could be said for "Space Lion", which played at the end of the first half of the show.
    • "No reply" also fits in with these Yoko Kanno pieces, as well as many others.
    • There's also "Is it real?" from the soundtrack of The Movie. What's worse is that it belongs to the villain.
    • Not to mention "Elm" from the melancholy chase scene in episode 10.
    • Kanno's version of Ave Maria from Session 5 is incredibly moving.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura had a good one in the season 2 finale (the end of the Clow arc). We hear Yoru no Uta being sung by Tomoyo early in the series, and it's not particularly moving then... but when you hear it sung by the Song card, with no accompaniment and no words, in the middle of Sakura's Darkest Hour... oh man.
  • "Lilium", the opening theme from Elfen Lied, begins with a tear falling from Lucy's eye, and we all cry with her.
  • "Komm, süsser Tod" from End of Evangelion. It may seem over the top in the film, but try listening to it on its own.
  • As one of the reigning Tear Jerkers, Grave of the Fireflies has a fittingly tear-jerking song in the Really Dead Montage for Setsuko - Home Sweet Home.
  • Most of the songs from the Gundam 00 soundtrack, including "Friends", "Love Today", "Prototype", "Trust You" and "Tomorrow".
    • "Eternal Winds" by Hiroko Moriguchi, the ending of Gundam F91.
  • From Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, try listening to Kokia's "Memorial Days" without tearing up from remembering Yurin's horrible death. You will fail.
  • Although many of the songs on its soundtrack may belong on the Awesome Music page, Gurren Lagann has a few heartbreakingly sad pieces as well. A couple notable ones include "Love Conservative" and "With Your XXX..." (???XXX?...). The latter may not seem like a tearjerker, but look at it in context and it's both heartwarming and beautifully sad.
  • "Michishirube" by Yuumao, the end theme of Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl especially after re-watching certain heart wrenching episodes of the anime.
  • "Sadness and Sorrow" in the original Naruto series (you'll remember it from Haku's death and the flashbacks to Naruto or Gaara's neglected childhoods); it actually gets brought back, re-orchestrated as "To Reach A Person", for Obito's final moments towards the end of Shippuuden. There's also the dramatic rendition of Sasori/Chiyo's theme in Shippuuden (their background flashbacks and death scenes).
    • Also, "Burial", played during Asuma's death, is enough to bring the reaction to the already-heartwrenching scene from "subdued Manly Tears" to "inconsolate sobbing".
    • Sign by Flow is an amazing piece.
  • The song "Duvet" by Boa is a melodic, driving pop-rock tune which gets counterbalanced by the lyrics and the singer's immensely melancholic, beaten tone — which makes it a great choice as the opening tune to Serial Experiments Lain.
    • Also by Boa, "Passport" is deliciously depressing.
  • For a joyful, awesome version of this, it's the main theme to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, "Soiraro Days" when it plays in the final battle between Team Dai-Gurren and the Anti-Spirals. Especially during the part where Simon says the dreams of those who have died and will come after are his strength and his declaration his drill is the drill that pierces the heavens!
    • Same with "Pierce the Heavens with your XXX".
  • "Gravity" and "Tell Me What the Rain Knows" by Maaya Sakamoto, both from Wolf's Rain. Especially if you've actually seen the last few episodes.
    • From the same anime, "Heaven's Not Enough".
    • "Shiro, Long Tails" is sad without any lyrics or even knowing its context.
    • Further to the above, many of Yoko Kanno's contributions to the soundtrack fit here, including Rakuen, Beyond Me, and Trace.
    • And let's not forget her final track Go to Rakuen, especially if you have watched the final episode.
    • "Sold your soul" is just heartbreaking.
  • You may laugh now, but the version of "The Time Has Come (Pikachu's Goodbye)" on the album Pokémon: 2 B A Master will bring you to tears. It's when you realize it's about someone having to leave their best friend in the entire world. It's pretty moving.
  • The ending song (Michiyuki) to the anime series Loveless can make one clutch a pillow and sob, and the english translation doesn't dry up any eyes.
  • To Destination's "Eden", the OP for Descendants of Darkness. Doesn't help that the lead singer's voice sounds VERY similar to the one of HYDE from L'Arc En Ciel, a group with other heartwretching songs like "Niji" or "Pieces".
  • The 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist: "Wakare No Kyoku," or "Song of Parting" by Chopin. There is the piano solo one and the orchestral one. Both versions of this piece were total tear jerkers. This played as Envy and Edward crossed the gate and entered our post WWI Europe. Even Chopin said: "In all my life I have never again been able to find such a beautiful melody. Oh, my homeland."
    • The series music has to count as well:
      • Bratja. The literal translation is "Brothers" can makes one think of the bond that Edward and Alphonse had throughout the entire series and the whole ordeal that they went through. For a double heaping of melancholy, Vic Mignogna, Edward Elric's dubbed voice actor, sang it in English.
      • Nukumori. Also doubles as music of heartwarming.
      • The Atonement. Poor Nina and Alexander
    • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood with "The Requiem of the Brigadier General", played during Hughes' funeral. Also, "Happiness: Requiem of the Blind Alchemist". It's basically a different version of the Brigadier General song, but that doesn't make it any less poignant, especially the back story behind the Blind Alchemist failed human transmutation and resulting blindness.
  • Darker Than Black: Despite the content, a lot of the series' music is jazzy and overall lighthearted. Except this one, Tentai Kansoku.
  • "Ai no Melody" by Kokia, from Origin: Spirit of the Past, is already borderline tear-jerker, especially if you read the lyrics. But then you watch the video. And then halfway through, you realise exactly what the song is about and that the reason that she's packing up the stuff isn't because he broke up with her.
  • "Mello's Theme" from Death Note. Without even knowing the show, or the character, the instrumental can bring tears to one's eyes — but when one finds out that the song was used during the scene of Mello and Matt's death...
    • Something about the soft piano music that plays right after L and Light come in from the rain in episode 25 can get to some people.
    • Two songs, one called "Coda" which played in the credits of the last episode, and "Light Lights up Light for Piano". Both very heartwrenching...
  • Ringo Mogire Beam, the opening to Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, can induce some tears. The lyrics are sad to begin with, but the singer singing it with so much emotion is what can really push it into tear jerker territory.
  • One can get that strange, "happy-depressed" feeling after listening to "World End" by FLOW (The second opening theme to Code Geass R2). Part of it is that you see all the main characters flying past in the intro, and it's like they're saying, "even though this is the end of Code Geass, we're all together and we'll still be here forever". Of course, around the time of episode 19, the opening really turns into a Tear Jerker because of the Soundtrack Dissonance involved with such an upbeat song playing while it shows all those smiling people who don't have much to smile about within the show.
    • Also, Masquerade by Hitomi Kuroishi. This song was playing in the background of episode 14 (season one), starting the moment Lelouch embraces Shirley, and continuing until the end of the episode, when they go their separate ways as strangers. The lyrics are very appropriate.
    • And now that we do know how it all went down, "Continued Story" and "One More Chance!" have joined the ranks.
    • "Boku wa, Tori ni Naru". Especially given the context it's played in.
    • Also, Innocent Days.
  • Thanks to Naruto Shippuden, we get the second opening, Distance by Long Shot Party, which is about the Sai arc and how he is accepted.
    • Followed by "Blue Bird" by Ikimono Gakari. "Aoi aoi ano sora..."
    • Then Closer by Joe Inoue.
    • Ikimono Gakari returns for Hotaru no Hikari.
    • "Long Kiss Good Bye" by halcali.
    • "Shinkokyu" by Super Braver as the 9th ending followed the filler arc of the Three Tails. The Aesop of said arc was "Where someone thinks of you, that is a place to return to."
  • It doesn't matter how bad Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and/or Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny might have been. one can still tear up upon listening to either "Find the Way" by Mika Nakashima or "Shinkai no kodoku" by Houko Kuwashima. Especially the latter, which also happens to be Stella Loussier's image song that even plays as Shinn lays her to rest.
    • Shizuka na Yoru Ni is another one. Curse you Rie Tanaka, your vocals are so beautiful and tragic in this song...
    • Fiction Junction's "Akatsuki no Kuruma". Especially the placement in two particular scenes during the anime.
  • "Flying Without Wings" during the end credits of Pokemon: the Movie 2000 can be another one.
  • After watching episode 20 of Macross Frontier, it may be hard to listen to Sheryl's "Diamond Crevasse" without tearing up.
  • Vampire Knight. "Still Doll". Even if you don't know the in-universe "history" of this song, the the way she is singing it... God damn. You can listen to it here.
  • "Encounter", the ending song to the original Gundam movie trilogy.
  • The ending theme to Violinist of Hameln's Direct-to-Video half-hour movie, Ame no Chi Hareruya (a linguistic pun that can both mean "After the rain, hallellujah" and "After the rain the sky clears"). The movie itself is a majorly plotless funny sidequest (as opposed to the Wangsty and overly serious TV series), but the ending tune is just about perfect and true to the manga's spirit, talking about how people should have fun even in rainy days, and in every painful moment, they should hold hands and sing. Then the pre-chorus really kicks it in by going "See, the faraway sky is getting brighter..." Anyone who has read as far as the 15 volume will break down, and the rest of the series only adds to it.
  • "Again" from Lost Universe. the English translation.
  • From Axis Powers Hetalia, China's character song "Aiyaah, 4000 years", which is about China and Japan's relationship and how Japan had betrayed China. The music and lyrics make it even worse.
    "Even if our countries are different
    If our words are different
    If our characters are different
    I always want to... gaze at the same moon as you."
  • Porco Rosso gives us Les Temps des Cerises, the French song Gina sings in her first appearance. Aside from being absolutely beautiful, when the lyrics are translated they give a deep, painful insight to her life when you take into account that none of her husbands have come back from war.
  • Good Bye My Master from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Especially powerful when you watch the scene and realize that the Tachikoma who are sacrificing themselves for Batou in a futile battle were scrapped earlier in the series for not being serious enough. And then the Major realizes that they must have grown souls.
  • "Ailes Grises" from Haibane Renmei. The entire soundtrack is extremely effective at highlighting the really emotional points of the series, but "Ailes Grises" stands out in particular, making the Tear Jerker moments especially powerful.
  • "Through the Years and Far Away" from the soundtrack to Voices of a Distant Star. It can be hard not to think about is the final words from the OVA and cry like a little bitch. Watching the OVA just makes it worse.
  • ""Ashitaka and San", the last piece of music that plays in Princess Mononoke, is another one.
  • "Planetes Affettuoso", from Planetes. It pops up multiple times during the series, but is easily most effective during Hachimaki's proposal to Tanabe.
  • Shine On, an unused song for the (then planned) Saint Seiya's final story arc adaptation. It sounds so melancholic and beautiful, as a perfect closing theme for the entire series. Made even more heartwrenching by a farewell speech by Masami Kurumada himself.
  • Fate/stay night's anime adaption gives us the La Sola ending theme. "Are you dreaming now, King Arthur ? Are you still dreaming the same dream?".
  • Bokurano's "Uninstall" is a depressingly beautiful song. The refrain says it best: "Right now I can't even comprehend that I'm just one of the countless lives on this planet. All that I can do is pretend that I'm a warrior that knows no fear".
  • Sagitta Lumis, also known as Madokami's theme, from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of the most beautiful tunes in the entire series.
    • Sayaka's theme, Decretum, is a solemn piece that nicely captures the tragedy of the character, and is particularly effective when playing during the scene in which Sayaka crosses the Despair Event Horizon and becomes a Witch.
    • "Inevitabilis", a slow, mournful piano tune that conveys some of the loneliness and sorrow Homura has endured.
    • The Rebellion movie adds "This Is My Despair", which plays during the most heartbreaking scene in the entire film, when all the heartbreak and pain Homura has held in throughout her journey breaks free and she falls into despair, becoming a Witch. "Madoka, thank you for coming all this way. I'm sorry I couldn't say goodbye to you in the end."
  • Always be With Me in Mind from the first Bleach movie is pretty rough on its own but when you see what happens at the end of the movie? Yeah, tears will be shed.
  • Sage Music, played in the English dub of Dragon Ball Z when Goku has to inform the others - including Chichi, Videl, and Bulma - that Gohan and Vegeta were both killed by Majin Buu.
    • Death of a Hero, played in the English dub of Dragon Ball Z when Goku makes the choice to sacrifice himself in a last-ditch effort to kill Cell. This will definitely move you to tears.
    • Gohan's rage played in the dub of Dragon Ball Z when Gohan witnesses his friends being tortured by Cell in an attempt to get him to fight and basically entails Gohan's mental and emotional turmoil as he breaks down and becomes a ruthless fighter...the kind his father wanted him to be...

  • Yasashii Boukyaku (Tender Oblivion), from Haruhi Suzumiya (specifically, The Movie) of all things.
    "I stand in the doorway
    And bid your chosen future farewell
    Even if your wish is granted
    Please don't forget...please don't forget."
  • From Heart Catch Pretty Cure, "A Tragic Memory", played during Dark Precure's death scene, as she fades away in her father's arms.
  • Many melodies from Saint Seiya are Tear jerkers on themselves, making the emotional moments of the series even sadder. Some examples are Inside a Dream, Asgard´s Brothers and Sisters, For the Lovely Earth and Athena Revived
  • Although it's mostly Awesome Music, Ihojin no Yaiba, the final Triumphant Reprise of Sword of the Stranger's main theme, has the additional benefit of being fantastically powerful.
  • Anyone can tell you the songs from the Record of Lodoss War OV As are hardly happy, dancey numbers, but the knife gets driven in hard with "Kaze to Tori to Sora" (wind, birds and sky).

  • A very Mood Whiplash-y song from comedy musician Mitch Benn, famous for brilliant comedy songs like "How To Tell The Millibands Apart", "Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now" and "Glam On A Budget" is "A Minute's Noise For John", in memory of the late John Peel.
  • It's by Robin Williams and it's a song.. kinda. It's only on his "Live 2002" CD. It's called "The Grim Rapper". It starts off with Robin saying that maybe we're not taken away by the Grim Reaper but the Grim Rapper, and he does a little rap about souls being taken away. Then he does a whole routine detailing various stages in a man's life as he starts to realize he's not so invincible (some parts taken from Robin's own life), mixed with the chorus of "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin. This description doesn't do it justice, it's very profound and haunting.
  • A surprising example from Trevor Moore (of the Whitest Kids U Know) called The Ballad of Billy John. The song starts out hilarious, but takes a turn for the melancholy towards the end. The final lyrics are actually heartwrenching:
    ''And the world lost a Billy John
    And it gained more of the same.''

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Randy Edelman's "Dragon's Heartbeat" motif for Dragon The Bruce Lee Story. Though the tears you cry would be the "tears of hope" variety.
  • "In Heaven", from Eraserhead...
  • Schindler's List has a well-deserved mention on the Film page — but it deserves a second here as the musical piece, "Theme Itzhak Perlman", takes it across the line from sad to utterly horrifying.
  • "107 Steps" from the movie Dancer in the Dark."I've seen it all" is heartbreaking too.
  • It might be hard to imagine crying during TRON: Legacy... until "Adagio for Tron" starts to play. This song expresses the tragic history of the ISO population so well, you could do absolutely nothing but tear up.
  • It cannot be possible to watch this song from the movie version of Where the Red Fern Grows without crying.
  • Try not to cry when you listen to Michael Giacchino's Labor Of Love for the opening scene of Star Trek (2009). You will fail miserably.
  • But Brian Tyler's "Battle Adagio" brought a sad, tender humanity and a sense of hope to the finale of Rambo IV that shod many manly tears from the audiences at various theatres.
  • Frigging John Williams and his frigging "Across the Stars" from Attack of the Clones]]. Forget that it's the Leitmotif for the Romantic Plot Tumor — this is the music to what the love story should have been. Particularly coming in at full blast after the glorious rendition of the Imperial March. It's telling that the most evocative sequences in the Romantic Plot Tumor are those with no dialogue... just lovely, lovely music.
    • A fan mixer named Eji did a mash up called "The Courtship of Lady Revan" using "Across the Stars" and snippets of Carth's dialogue from both Knights of the Old Republic games. It hits hard. Say what you like about Carth, but Sbarge's talent comes through.
    • Also, the soft viola version of the Imperial March subtly underscoring Darth Vader's death in Return of the Jedi. A beautiful reversal of what is essentially the iconic "Bad Guy Theme".
    • "Anakin's Betrayal", the hauntingly sad music that played in the Order 66 sequence.
    • "Battle of the Heroes", played during the Obi-Wan/Anakin duel. A rare case of Ominous Latin Chanting that depresses.
    • The track "Immolation Scene" in Revenge of the Sith
    • The music played during Yoda's death scene in Return of the Jedi. It's (aptly) called "Yoda's Death", and most of the song is bits of Yoda's Theme and the Force Theme — which are both pretty sad tracks in the right context. However, the part that plays just as Yoda fades away is downright mournful.
    • And the version of the Force Theme played during Anakin/Vader's cremation.
    • "Binary Sunset" from the Star Wars Episode IV soundtrack. The horn solo can really do it.
    • "Victory Celebration" from Return of the Jedi is two parts triumphant, one part tragic, and as a whole one of the most moving pieces in the original trilogy.
    • Suffice it to say, if John Williams wants you to cry, you cry. The end.
    • The film about friggin' dinosaurs may quite possibly have a sadder soundtrack than Schindler's List.
    • John Williams' score for Born on the Fourth of July.
  • "Ashokan Farewell", a 1980s slow waltz, was used to heartbreaking effect in the Ken Burn's documentary Civil War numerous times, most notably over the infamous Sullivan Ballou letter.
  • As mentioned in The Lord of the Rings example, Annie Lennox's "Into the West." It is made even better (worse?) when you see its documentary: While they were writing the song the production company discovered a teenaged filmmaker and were impressed by his skills; unfortunately he was dying of cancer. He managed to make several short films (or long trailers) before he died, and parts of his funeral are shown (complete with his mates doing a haka at his graveside).
    • "The Steward of Gondor".
    • "Breaking of the Fellowship".
    • "The Gray Havens".
    • "The White Tree" is both Tear Jerker and completely awesome at the same time.
    • On an odder note, "Gollum's Song". The Singer's voice takes some getting used to, But then Fridge Brilliance kicks in and you realise that It's absolutely perfect for this desolate, hopeless creature.
    • "Evenstar"
    • "Amon Hen"
    • "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm".
    • The Shire's theme. Especially the snippet of it at the end of "May It Be" by Enya
    • "In Dreams" from the end of the first film, especially the line 'and in dreams/we will meet again'.
  • "Where Is Your Heart?", a.k.a. "The Song from Moulin Rouge". It makes a Theme Tune Cameo in the film itself as Jane Avril's song. It can make one tear up every time, especially when considering the huge Downer Ending of the film.
  • The "Forrest Gump Suite".
  • According to the "Making Off" special of The Princess Diaries 2, when Julie Andrews agreed to sing a song for the movie, several tattooed, Perma Stubbled, bald-shaven production crew members openly wept at getting to hear her sing in person.
  • Akira Ifukube's "Requiem" from Godzilla VS Destoroyah must be mentioned. Damn.... Regardless of your opinion on the Godzilla films and others of their ilk, only a freakin' cyborg could hear that piece of music and not cry. The fact that it plays while GODZILLA IS DYING doesn't help matters. Ifukube's "Prayer for Peace" from the original Gojira is pretty powerful as well.
  • "The Last Waltz" by Jo Yeong-Wook, the end credits theme from Oldboy (2003). It could be described simply as "music to cry to". An anthem for sadness itself.
  • "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill. From Pearl Harbor.
  • "Arrival To Earth", from the Transformers Film Series. Something about the incredibly awe-inspiring choir in the background as the Autobots find a new home rarely fails to produce tears in fans.
  • Even if you don't like The Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore's music manages to be incredibly tear-inducing at times.
  • "Gabriel's Oboe" from The Mission. It's an extremely powerful song... especially when you realize that Ennio Morricone took the random on-screen oboe-pantomiming of Jeremy Irons and turned it into such a beautiful piece.
    • Someone apparently sung the piece into something called "Nella Fantasia". It basically doubles the tear-jerking and heartwarming factor.
      • It gets worse for Costa Rican audiences where the beginning of the song is used to accompany obituaries on TV
  • The sad, wondrous theme that plays in Superman Returns when Superman takes Lois flying. It's coupled with Jor El talking, or the part just when they're flying under the bridge...
  • "We Have All The Time In the World", also by Louis Armstrong, especially in the context that it was the backing to James Bond's and Tracy's happy moments together in On Her Majesty's Secret Service... until...
  • James Horner has brought people to the brink of tears at two particular times. The closing score/opening score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and Braveheart. That man is a talent.
  • Say what you will about Titanic (1997), and it's overplayed Love Theme — but you can't deny the soundtrack itself is quite beautiful, and (yes) a Tear Jerker at times. Most notably tracks such as "Hymn to the Sea" and "A Building Panic", as well as any point where the human voice (that most versatile of instruments) enters the haunting, wordless chorus. Most particularly, the end of the film (which can give happy tears due to seeing Rose reunited with all those who had died).
  • Something about James Horner's "Casper's Lullaby" from the Casper movie can really do it. Just a nice little song and when you remember that the whole premise of Casper is the fact that this is a young boy who is stuck living as a ghost it adds an even deeper layer of sadness.
  • The main score from Pixar's Up. If you've seen the film, there is no way you'll be able to hear this breezy little tune again without getting all teary.
  • "God Help The Outcasts" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame can make one sob, especially people who themselves struggle with loneliness.
  • "Tomorrow Is Another Day" from the Disney film The Rescuers can really do it.
    • Anything Shelby Flint has ever sung for any animated movie, ever.
  • "Wherever You Are" from "Winnie the Pooh: Pooh's Grand Adventure". It's just heartbreaking to see Winnie the Pooh all sad and alone and scared...
  • "You'll Be In My Heart" from Tarzan. A few lyrics from the full version of 'Two Worlds' is heart wrenching as well. Though considering it's right after a mother sees her baby EATEN, this isn't much of a surprise.
  • Bright Eyes, From the film of Watership Down.
  • "Baby Mine" from Dumbo. The first lines are "Baby mine, don't you cry" and it doesn't help.
  • Jerry Goldsmith's soundtrack for The Wind And The Lion has some heartbreaking passages
  • "The Rainbow Connection", by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie.
  • "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins, the bridge passage. Not only are the lyrics themselves tear-inducing enough, but the second time the bridge is played it is only a wordless, haunting chorus sung as the camera pans back out from the snow globe.
    "All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
    Look down as she sells her wares
    Although you can't see it, you know they are smiling
    Each time someone shows that he cares."
    • Then the following (click the tiny frowny face) will make you absolutely bawl.
  • The soundtrack of Brokeback Mountain, especially the beautiful instrumental tracks and "A Love That Will Never Grow Old", sung by Emmylou Harris. It was sad when the film originally came out, but it's even more heartbreaking now because film is a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
    • It should be said that "If Today Was Your Last Day" by Nickelback not only makes you appreciate being alive, but brings upon you the perspective of those that don't have very long.
  • "Smile", from Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times. If the actual movie version doesn't get you, Nat King Cole's rendition ought to.
  • "Together We Will Live Forever" by Clint Mansell from The Fountain, especially when paired with this video.
  • Kick-Ass, surprisingly. The song that plays when Hit-Girl saves Big Daddy and Kick-Ass pretty much makes the scene. Even more so if you listen to it knowing that Big Daddy dies.
  • The instrumental version of "A Day in the Life" that plays in Across the Universe when Jude goes back to Liverpool. The song can make some people cry anyway, but with the raw sadness shown in that part of the movie...
  • "When She Loved Me" from the Toy Story 2 soundtrack. Never mind that it's a sad Sarah McLachlan song, but the montage that goes with it can make one go home from the theater and hug her old teddy bear.
  • The theme to Brian's Song, especially considering the story.
  • Depending on your mood (and your awareness of the story), "A Place For Us" from the Bridge To Terabithia soundtrack can be an excellent example of this.
  • Judy Garland singing "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz has brought countless people to tears.
    • And that's just the regular song! One scene that was cut from the film had her singing it while imprisoned in the Wicked Witch's castle, but she couldn't do a take without sobbing legitimately.
  • "When Love is Gone" from The Muppet Christmas Carol was apparently so heart-wrenching that it was cut from the theatrical version and some versions of the DVD.
  • "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge! can makes some people cry no matter how many times they've listened to it since the movie came out in 2001. It can makes one start bawling within seconds.
  • Stanley Myers' "Cavatina", better known as the theme from The Deer Hunter. Already a rather melancholy piece, the story it's now associated with makes it absolutely devastating.
  • What about "Mad World" at the end of Donnie Darko?
  • The Dubliners' "On Raglan Road" set to Ken's suicide in In Bruges.
  • The theme from To Kill a Mockingbird..... To Kill A Mockinbird.
  • A short segment of music from the documentary "Empress of Ireland: Lost Not Forgotten" can do it gets him going most times. The imagery, along with the music and the knowledge of what happened that night can brings a lump to the throat of many people.
  • Even a staunch atheist can be consistently reduced to tears by the end of the first stanza of "God Help the Outcasts" from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, particularly the line, "Still I see your face and wonder, were you once an outcast too?" addressed to a statue of Mary and Jesus.
  • Time by Hans Zimmer in Inception. Rarely will you hear a piece so beautiful and uplifting at the same time. Hans Zimmer, you are a genius!
    • Old Souls and a couple of other tracks from the film's album also count.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Manic Street Preachers' version of the M*A*S*H theme, "Suicide Is Painless", is... words fail. Although, just the original version is sad enough.
  • "Admiral and Commander" by Bear McCreary, from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack, especially at the end when the drums kick in.
    • Similarly, Something Dark Is Coming, off the Season 2 soundtrack can be heartbreaking.
    • "Gaeta's Lament" shows Alessandro Juliani's amazing voice in an in-and-out-of-universe tearjerking song.
  • From Kamen Rider Kiva (which happens to have pretty much a Crowning Soundtrack Of Awesome), Rainy Rose by TETRA-FANG. The video makes it even more of a tearjerker than it already is. ><
  • Long Long Ago 20th Century, Kamen Rider BLACK's ending theme is a real tearjerker, especially when it plays during the final struggle between Kotaro/BLACK and Nobuhiko(his own brother)/Shadowmoon.
  • In Stargate SG-1, the music related to Daniel Jackson's ascension is beautiful. Just a few simple piano keys, but that's all it needs. One of the best examples was when Dan Castellaneta appeared as a guest character who had learned of Daniel's "death" and his reaction is synched to this tune. Even though it sounds like Homer Simpson is crying for Daniel Jackson, it does not sound even remotely funny — but genuinely touching.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Never thought the plight of a Dalek would choke you up? Thanks to Murray Gold's heartbreaking "The Lone Dalek", from the Doctor Who soundtrack, you've been proven wrong.
    • "Doomsday".
    • That music that plays in "Logopolis" when the Doctor falls off a giant telescope and has to regenerate.
    • "Madame de Pompadour", "Father's Day" and "This is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, Our Home". Murray Gold is honest to god aiming for this trope.
    • "The Dream of a Normal Death".
    • "Vale Decem". The lyrics (which, granted, have fairly loose translations, but those can be heartbreaking by themselves) are bad enough, but combined with the circumstances, it all adds up to one of the series' most tearjerking moments.
    • The hymns from "Gridlock". Especially the version of Abide with Me that plays in the background as the Doctor is describing Gallifrey to Martha.
    • "The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble" belongs here, especially with its reminiscence of "Doomsday"
    • More tears of joy, but "Song of Freedom".
    • Every track from "Vincent and the Doctor", especially "With Love, Vincent".
    • "The Long Song" and its instrumental arrangement "Infinite Potential". Both initially play in "The Rings of Akhaten", and the Eleventh Doctor ultimately regenerates to the tune of the latter in "The Time of the Doctor".
  • On Sesame Street, Ernie's song "I Don't Want To Live on the Moon" is one.
  • "The Lonely Man" from The Incredible Hulk.
  • "The Moment I Said It" at the end of "Seven Seconds" — an episode of Criminal Minds that's pretty tear jerking to start with. At first the song sounds like a mismatch for the episode, but listen to the chorus. Just imagine a little girl saying, "Please don't ..." and "You're scaring me" over and over again with the same haunted tone as Imogene Heap, and think about what Katie's evil aunt and uncle did to her — and that song playing over the ending becomes a combination of this trope and Nightmare Fuel.
  • Scrubs How To Save A Life by The Fray before Dr Cox's Heroic BSOD. Rips you to shreds.
  • "Inama Nushif" from Children of Dune.
  • The score piece "Sacrifice" from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 5 finale.
  • Sarah Mclachlan's Full of Grace at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2.
  • How can no one mention the theme song to Dawson's Creek. That's a tearjerker if ever there was one. Just take one listen to [[ the song]].
  • "Gee, I'm Glad It's Raining" from ErnestGoesToCamp.
  • Any and every song used for Turner Classic Movies's ''TCM Remembers'' montage. To name a few:
  • For that matter, any song used in an award show's "In Memoriam" reel. Since the late 2000's they've been getting known performers such as Céline Dion to sing nostalgic songs.

  • Half the songs towards the end of Wicked, in particular "For Good" — especially if you lost someone that you loved.
  • The reprise of "I'll Cover You" from RENT is one of the most heartbreaking songs in the musical due to its Dark Reprise status. If you aren't visibly devastated by the time Collins sings When your heart has expired, you do not deserve to call yourself human. Almost everyone who watches RENT admits that this song has shaken them up horribly — the emotional impact triples when you remember the happiness of the original song.
    • "Will I" is another one. The crescendo of the male and female voices for this song is so beautiful.
    • RENT's "Halloween" is all about Mark's fear of ending up alone and have all of his friends, especially Roger, dying on him.
  • The entire second half of Lou Reed's Rock Opera Berlin, where in the space of three songs, a woman falls into a drug habit to cope with her husband's abuse to her "friends'" chilling indifference, finally runs away, falls into prostitution, loses her children, and finally kills herself, all while the narrator (a bitter ex) essentially tells her she has only herself to blame. The finale, called "Sad Song," may actually be the most cheerful song on the side.
  • "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Misérables, especially since September 11th.
    • The finale to Les Misérables is another one... Specifically, the moment's pause just after the perfect three part harmony of Eponine, Fantine and Valjean's "To love another person is to see the face of God..." And then that soft ghost reprise of "Do You Hear The People Sing?" starts....
    • "Do You Hear the People Sing?" is depressing not in the song itself, but if you know what happens after this optimistic anthem...
    • "Turning" is a horribly depressing song, especially the line:
    "They were schoolboys, never held a gun
    Fighting for a new world that would rise up like the sun
    Where's that new world, now the fighting's done?"
    • "Drink with Me" is another one, especially Grantaire's solo illustrating the futility of it all:
    "Drink with me to days gone by
    Can it be you fear to die
    Will the world remember you when you fall
    Could it be your death means nothing at all
    Is your life just one more lie..."
    • In certain productions, the parts of this can be directed at Grantaire's idol, Enjolras, as if Granaire is despairing at his lack of self-preservation. (Remember when we were friends? How can you throw yourself away like this?)
    • Then there are "A Little Fall of Rain":
    "You would live a hundred years if I could show you how..."
    • What makes it ten billion times worse is the final line between the two of them, Eponine doesn't finish, and Marius just gives a defeated 'grow', and then the oboe comes in... So sad.
    • As well as "Bring Him Home".
    "If I die, let me die - let him live!"
    • "Javert's song Suicide is another one. Sure, he's the antagonist, but you have to feel sorry for him with lyrics like
    "I am reaching, but I fall
    And the stars are black and cold
    As I stare into the void
    Of a world that cannot hold
    I'll escape now from that world, from the world of Jean Valjean
    There is nowhere I can turn, there is no way to go on..."
    • "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" is, from time to time, the page quote for survivor guilt.
    "There's a grief that can't be spoken. There's a pain goes on and on: Empty chairs at empty tables, now my friends are dead and gone."
    • Let's not forget "On My Own" and "I Dreamed a Dream," the former if you have a painful unrequited love, the latter if you've had to let go of something or someone you really cherished.
  • "Everything You Ever" from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Furthermore, listening to the song without visual input may just intensify the effect. Towards the end of the song, the music is building up to this sinister crescendo, but then — that crescendo is aborted and Billy (Neil Patrick Harris) sings the last lyrics a capella in a perfectly emotionless tone.
  • An oldie but a goodie: "Try to Remember", from The Fantasticks.
    • Another one: Near the end of the show, during act 2, Matt re-appears, battered and bruised, singing a Dark Reprise of the intro to "I Can See It" - except while El Gallo tells Luisa of the world's grandness, he sings about what the world is really like to the audience (an inversion of their roles in the song's original appearance), after being beaten by Mortimer and Henry earlier in the show, during "Round and Round" as a metaphor for the world hurting him. It's really awful considering how excited he was to go out and see the world on his own, earlier in the show. Luisa then returns to the stage, after leaving to pack her things, and sees that El Gallo has left her, and begins to cry, while Matt goes over to comfort her. El Gallo then appears behind the central action, and recites a poem about how he had to hurt Matt and Luisa to make them realize what love is, and how he hurt himself in the process, and the two realize that everything they wanted was each other, leading into the song "They Were You". Matt and Luisa then sing a reprise of "Metaphor", with a deeper understanding of life. The Fathers then return and are about to tear down the wall, when El Gallo reminds them that the Wall must stay, as a way of telling them just to leave things as they are, concluding with a reprise of the final verse of "Try to Remember".
  • "Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night Music.
  • Thunderchild from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. It may be hard not to shed at least one tear at "Farewell Thunderchild!"
    "There were ships of shapes and sizes
    Scattered out along the bay
    And I thought I heard her calling
    As the steamer pulled away
    The Invaders must have seen them
    As across the coast they filed
    Standing firm between them, there lay...
    • Then there is this part:
    "...the smoke of battle clearing
    Over graves in waves defiled..."
  • "Not a Day Goes By" from Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along is an incredible kick to the gut tear-jerker. It can be hard to listen to it without being made utterly useless for several minutes afterwards.
  • "You'll Never Walk Alone" is another one. It's sad enough in the end of Carousel, but sung by thousands of people during football matches can really be bad.
    • Hell, Jerry Lewis could never get through more than the first couple lines without breaking down while singing this at the end of his annual MDA telethon.
    • Speaking of Carousel, the reprise of "If I Loved You" is highly tearjerking as well.
  • Vanities: Cute Boys with Short Haircuts, Friendship Isn't what it Used to Be, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Looking Good.
  • Just watch the last sequence of Yentl. Particuarly when your grandmother used to be a stage singer — and could then rival Striesand with this song.
    "Papa I can hear you, papa I can see you, papa I can feel you. Papa watch me fly."
  • The finale of Funny Girl can do it.
  • A Christmas Carol: The Musical has "A Place Called Home", first sung as a Distant Duet between young Scrooge and Fan, who later died in childbirth, and then by the apprentice Scrooge and his soon to be jilted fiancee Emily (Belle). More tear-jerking than the aforementioned "When Love is Gone".
  • "Once Upon a Time", a classic from the otherwise-obscure 1962 musical All American.

    Video Games 
  • The Dead Man's Gun song from Red Dead Redemption and the music that sounds once you go back to your family.
  • The bittersweet yet inspirationally heroic musical theme of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
    • The even more beautiful version from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater— especially in context.
    • Even more so than in Metal Gear Solid 3, Metal Gear Solid 4's "Here's to You", given the context in which it was playing, can be enough to make one break down and bawl. Hard.
    • There's a moment at the end of MGS4, where Snake and Liquid are fighting. First using music from MGS1, then 2, then 3. Then, at the end of the fist-fight, when both are utterly exhausted and barely alive, yet still fighting, the music switches to The Theme of Old Snake. Wow. Floodgates.
    • Then there is "Father and Son," the theme played during Big Boss' death.
    • "Calling to the Night" from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Also featured in MGS4 as a track on your I-Pod and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and it can really make one cry.
    • "Heavens Divide" from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. This song, especially when it plays after Peace Walker's mammal pod makes a Heroic Sacrifice (It Makes Sense in Context), is absolutely heart-breaking.
  • Two songs from the EarthBound series: "Pollyanna," but that's kinda only teary if you know the lyrics — and "The Eight Melodies". Seriously, it's a really sad tune.
    • Mother 3's "Love Theme".
    • It Is Finished. The simple context in which this song is inserted will make you very, very depressed.
    • Mustin's vocal version of Flying Man in Bound Together can really do it. Magicant and the Flying Men are magnificent tearjerkers just in the game, and the Flying Man genuinely thanking Ness for making him understand what life is worth even as he's about to wink out of existence forever set to song is just too much to bear.
    • The original game's "All That I Needed (Was You)".
    • "Bon Voyage, Amigo", making you cry for recruiting a party member.
    • This fanvideo for Eight Melodies can really do it. Especially at the part where Claus and Lucas reunite OH GOD.
  • Hyadain's song "My first friend", set to Dr. Mario's music, can do it. The video doesn't make things better. The video has English subtitles.
    • Also from Hyadain, "Bubble Man, I'm Bubble Man!", set to Bubble Man's stage theme from Mega Man 2. So what if it's about Bubble Man having unrequited love for Mega Man, the song still manages to make it completely heartrending. The video makes the whole thing even more heartbreaking then the song already is, especially the final scene... This video has English subtitles.
    • Then there's the sequel, My First Friend~the answer, that is in the dog's POV. A subbed version can be found here. The boy was the dog's first friend too.
    • Fever is, yet, another one..
    • Also Feelings for Cynthia.
    • Hyadain's remix of the Final Fantasy Main Theme is an absolute tearjerker for anyone who holds fond memories of saving the world one game at a time.
  • Lots of people out there really hate Yoshi's Story - but, for those who liked it, then "Love Is in the Air" from its soundtrack can do it. It's the combination of melancholy cellos and nostalgia.
    • One can tear up at the opening theme. Not to mention the between-level storybook segments' "Eee-yaay-yo" thing.
  • Adagio For Strings (Homeworld) is another one. That recording can really do it, even without the scene it plays during.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days — Xion's battle theme, "Vector to the Heavens", turning from sorrow and sadness to confusion and rage. The beautiful sense of inner struggle in the music and the reason behind it can really do it.
  • "Cradle of the Ivory Moon" from the Soul Nomad & the World Eaters soundtrack. Not helped by the fact that it's the credits theme to one of the saddest endings in any Nippon Ichi game. (And that's saying a lot.)
  • The songs "Icaro", "Moon Love Flower" and "Alice" from Shadow Hearts: Covenant. The most surprising thing is these are from a game that's for the most part a rather silly romp through Ho Yay, Fanservice, Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot, Large Hamminess and historical inaccuracy.
  • Gears of War 2 has "With Sympathy", played during the cutscene where Dom finds Maria, and steadily breaks down as he realizes the only thing he can do for her now is end her suffering. The third game then has another Dom moment made even more heart-wrenching than it already is by choice of background music: When Dom sacrifices himself to save the others, a slow, mournful piano tune plays - an instrumental of Gary Jules' "Mad World".
  • The "To Zanarkand" segment of "Ending Theme" from Final Fantasy X. Part of it has to be the oboe ostinato or something because in any version it's left out the effect is just not the same.
    • This harp/violin duet is terribly, terribly lovely. And it's a charity concert for a hospital.
    • Another one is Eyes On Me from Final Fantasy VIII.
    • "Theme of Elfe" from Before Crisis. The motive behind the tears is unclear, but it may just be the sheer beauty.
    • Then there is Aeris' theme.
    • The main theme of Final Fantasy VII is a tear jerker, especially when fully orchestrated.
    • Also from Final Fantasy, VI's "Terra" (which is both a theme for said character, and the Overworld theme for World of Balance).
      • Also from Final Fantasy VI, Celes' theme.
      • Even the final part of Dancing Mad counts. After three grand, magnificent, and dramatically rising movements, it starts off reprising the opening theme of Final Fantasy VI to signal impending doom. A crazed, frantic tune follows, but suddenly, upon reaching a high note, the music breaks down, as if in despair. The chords become slow and solemn and the melody rings out a sad lament of the futility of everything.
    • "1000 Words" and the accompanying animation (namely Lenne and Shuyin's death) from Final Fantasy X-2 can inspire tears to some.
    • "My Hands", the international theme song from Final Fantasy XIII can become one of these once you start paying attention to the lyrics.
  • "Farewell to Sue" a music piece from Noroyuki Iwadare for the JRPG Grandia can really do it, even when not thinking about the heartbreaking scene to which it played.
  • The Virtual-ON ending theme "Burned By The Fire" to be one of the most tragic sounding 1:34 of soundtrack from any game. The fact that it plays over the wreckage of your chosen Virtuaroid as it drifts through space doesn't help.
  • Watching a music video for the Filk Song Okkusenman that included translated subtitles can bring one to tears. The words themselves are rather melancholic and an interesting juxtaposition to the music.
  • The Torvus Bog music from Metroid Prime 2 can be really depressing, but the metal version kinda reduces it.
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica. "There was a friendly but naive king..."
  • The theme music for Lemuria of Golden Sun is generally melancholy in-game, but the this rendition on piano may be even more heart-wrenching.
  • The Japanese Pikmin song "Ai No Uta".
  • Halo:
    • Halo 2's Volume 2. Specifically, "Unforgotten." It starts off low and sad, but then the pianos hit, and then tears.
    • Halo 3 has "Wake Me When You Need Me". Maybe won't have the same effect if you haven't seen the cutscene in game... but oh man, if you saw it... It's even worse if you didn't get the "good" (Legendary) ending.
    • Also "Never Forget", the Halo 3 remix of "Unforgotten", although it's not used in the game (the version played on the title screen is the original).
    • "Greatest Journey" from Halo 3 can be very heart wrenching.
    • Other Halo songs include: Halo: Combat Evolved — "Lament for Pvt. Jenkins", "Dust and Echoes". Halo 2 — "Ghosts of Reach", and "Heavy Price Paid". Halo 3 — "The Covenant: Heroes Also Fall", and "Cortana: Keep What You Steal".
    • Halo: Reach: "Before the Fire", "Ashes", et al.
    • Also, "Heroes Also Fall", when Miranda dies. It's what is sometimes called "tragedy choir".
    • And "Keep What You Steal".
    • And "Wake Me when you Need Me". Part of it was also in the first game as "Dust and Echoes", but it wasn't as much of a tearjerker then.
      • That one's way, way worse if you didn't get the "good" ending.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The "Last Day" music, which plays when there's only six hours until doomsday.
  • The Protoss background music from StarCraft I, each track of which seems to be about two parts dirge to one part march.
  • "Lullaby for You" from TWEWY may not seem so sad if you listen to it out of context. However, if you listen to it in-game, right after The Reveal...oh God. "You Are Not Alone..."
  • The song "Hikari no Naka ni", or "Within the Light", from Ar Tonelico 3 can be a tearjerker on a musical level — but try listening to it while reading the lyrics.
    • By that same coin, EXEC_FLIP_FUSIONSPHERE. It's more heartrending once you know the situation behind the singer, Finnel.
    • Possibly one of the most heart-rending and utterly terrifying songs from a video game is the song of the world itself, "Xaaaci".
  • From the Half-Life 2 soundtrack, "Triage At Dawn". Comes in both original and remix for extra tear-jerking.
  • The sequel to Cirno's Perfect Math Class from Touhou can really do it.
    "There is no meaning in work.
    Frustration is ruining my body."
    • The Touhou fan game Concealed the Conclusion takes the series through a rather dark and tragic turn, and the music reflects it. That final stage music, "Blue Sea of 53 Minutes" proves, as one reviewer put it, that "it's hard to dodge danmaku while crying." For the last boss, you get to experience the main character and her dying best friend having one final duel before the end of the world, set to the simultaneously epic and heartbreaking "G Free ~ Final Dream". And after that, you get "The Purest Sky and Sea" for credits music.
  • Silent Hill: Tear-jerking musics include "Only You", "Not Tomorrow", "Promise Reprise", "Magdelene", "True", "Theme of Laura Reprise", "Dance with Night Wind", "Please Love Me Once More", and "Room of Angel".
    • "Tears of Pain", the Good+ Ending theme from the original, is ironically the most tear-jerking of that game's ending musics.
      • And the closing (usually) song - "Acceptance" - from Shattered Memories.
  • Doom has a few very sad pieces that really fit the game's namesake. "Sign of Evil" (from e1m8) is probably the most doomed of them all.
  • Similarly, Wolfenstein 3D. Also, "Pounding Headake" (from e2m4) is indeed like a crusher.
  • From Persona 4: "Heaven".
  • Near the end of Pokémon Black and White we have N's Farewell, which, coincidentally, has a few bars from "Mother 3's Love Theme" at the beginning.
    • Earlier in the game, we get the equally heart-wrenching Emotion.
  • Many tracks from Baten Kaitos could qualify, but standing out in particular is "Tears of Compassion" from Origins.
  • From Shenmue, "Daily Agony".
  • "A Still Time" from Ys I and II.
  • "The People Left Behind", from the soundtrack to Chrono Cross. It's the song that plays when you fight Miguel, Leena's father, trapped forever in the Dead Sea unless you kill him and unfreeze it, as well as the Bonus Boss fight against Riddel's possessed lover Dario. The song itself is an extremely melancholy melody that emphasizes how hopeless the situation is.
    • Composer Yasunori Mitsuda has reportedly said that he himself was brought to tears upon seeing exactly how the piece was used, particularly in the Dead Sea sequence and the associated nostalgic imagery from Chrono Trigger.
    • Speaking of Chrono Trigger, the closing credits song, "To Far Away Times"/"Outskirts of Time" can also do it.
      • Then try this version, remixed for piano and voice, done by two of OC Remix's best. Even worse when you know the pianist died in a boating accident.
      • Wait, Reuben Kee... uh.
    • "To Good Friends". It's bad enough with its music box melody...but when used at the climax of someone's marriage proposal, it results in happy tears.
    • The vocal version of "Merkabah" can cause some people to cry. Always.
    • The game over theme, known as "The Day the World Revived", can some people to tears — especially after losing someone they loved.
    • Cross's "Leaving the Body", played over Dario's grave, is quite poignant...and made all the better for foreshadowing its powered-up heroic remix, "Dragon Rider."
  • This performance of the song "Eight Melodies" from the Mother video game certainly applies. And, yes, those are supposed to be the voices of the characters in the game. Made even sadder when you realize that's Giygas singing mournfully at the end.
  • "A Memory of Childhood" from the first SaGa Frontier, which plays at the end of T260G's quest. T260G's ending where it rebooted from permanent shutdown so it could keep its promise to Thyme and Rose combined with this music playing over said scene can really make one bawl.
  • Amongst The Dead from Medal of Honor: Underground, fittingly played on the level after Jacques' death. It is also Nightmare Fuel with its ghostly Ethereal Choir. After The Drop and Arnhem from Frontline also use melancholy boy's choir, which add an element of Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • Sonic Adventure has a cutscene song entitled Sadness which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, particularly since it sounds so childlike and innocent. Also from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, there's the introspective E-102 Gamma theme, the remorseful Slightly Hero ending theme of Shadow the Hedgehog, and also I Am... The Story Is Over from the same game.
  • "Pink Rose" from Keyboard Mania and various other BEMANI games.
  • From the Professor Layton series, there is the ending themes to both Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box ("Iris") and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future ("Time Travel"). Especially after you hear the first in a simple, music box-like version that plays while Anton is reading Sophia's last letter to him and the latter when you hear it right after Claire departs from Layton to go back to the time she died and Layton, to the shock of many players, cries and takes off his hat.
  • From Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Reminiscence ~ DL-6 Case.
  • From Myst III: Exile, "He Sees Hope". "Kadish Vaultnote " and "The Fall of D'ni" from Uru as well.
  • The Summit, by Ramin Djawadi is the piece that plays when Adams and Patterson, after finding AFO operatives Preacher and Voodoo, start going up a mountain filled with Chechens and Talibans to rescue Mother and a bleedign to death Rabbit in Medal of Honor. Its soft yet powerful tones tug a bit at the soul, specially considering the 4 men are risking their lives just to save a comrade.
  • Painful History, Hanako's Leitmotif from Katawa Shoujo.
  • Fallout 3: "I don't want to set the world on fire..." Also a Shout-Out to Dr. Strangelove.
  • Civilization has "Missing in Action". The song plays both during both war and peace in V, and is oddly powerful. The lone trumpet, the strings, and the snare drum all make for a piece that is tragically beautiful whenever it appears. The song lives up to its name in its ability to recall losses in the game.
  • The appropriately named Tears off of the Max Payne 3 soundtrack manages to be both incredibly epic and a tear jerker at the same time. The song itself is moody and atmospheric, and plays while Max is engaged is what is basically a suicide charge through an airport filled with enemies. Yet the real heartbreaking part is that when analyzing the lyrics of the song, it could be interpreted as a plea from the spirits of Max's family to let go and move on with his life rather than continue to punish himself for not being able to protect them...

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama's infamous use of Connie Francis' I Will Wait For You in its sci-fi re-telling of the story of Hachiko.
  • The song "When Somebody Loved Me" is easily one of the most heart-wrenching songs of all time. Although it's from the Toy Story 2 soundtrack, you needn't have seen the movie to be affected by it. You might still need tissues. It's worse, when you think of how it's basically about how Jessie's owner grew up and didn't play with her toys anymore. It can make you want to dig all your toys out and just hug them all. Especially your old childhood stuffed animals and/or dolls. Sarah McLachlan really has a way with the song.
    So the years went by,
    I stayed the same;
    But she began to drift away.
    Still I waited for the day
    When she'd say, "I will always love you..."
    "When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful.
    Every hour we spent together lives within my heart."
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Clayface's Leitmotif. Just a simple set of descending chords, but so tragic. Particularly when it was used after Clayface's death in Mudslide
    • Mr. Freeze's Leitmotif from "Heart of Ice" is a particularly beautiful and heartrending piece.
  • The "Potatoes and Molasses" song from Over the Garden Wall, the one that established the cheerful and innocent personality of the deuteragonist (Gregory), comes back at the series finale with a darker, melancholic tone as the character suffocates to death.
  • "Little Soldier Boy" from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • "The last Agni Kai" Played in the final battle between siblings Zuko and Azula [1]
    • Part of the conclusion of "Endgame" from The Legend of Korra, Amon/Noatak and Tarlok are escaping in a boat. A sad, lonely violin plays, With Noatak talking about how now that they're together again they can do anything in an optimistic sense, all in all it's a rather poignant scene of family reuniting and the music reflects that. Then you see Tarlok grab a stun glove and unscrew the gas cap.
  • "Everywhere I go" by Lissie from the Dollhouse's final episode the song just tugs on the heart strings.
  • The use of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac at the end of the South Park episodes "You're Getting Old" and "Ass Burgers" is just... Gut wrenching.
  • "When Christmas Comes to Town" from The Polar Express can really do it.
  • "Once Upon a Time With Me" by Florence Warner Jones, from the Once Upon a Forest soundtrack.
  • "Somewhere Out There" from An American Tail gets a lot of people in tears, and is also the Trope Codifier for the Award-Bait Song.
  • Despite its origins, "Don't Look Down" from The Powerpuff Girls promotional CD/rock opera Heroes and Villains is surprisingly touching. It has a bright, happy bubblegum surf tune, but deals with Professor Untonium's fears about his girls. The chorus ("Please be strong / Wave goodbye / And don't look down") can easily bring on tears when you stop to consider that the Professor is probably not speaking to the girls so much as himself, and telling himself to be strong and supportive for their sake.
  • Nothing Lasts Forever from the PB&J Otter episode "Hope Castle" has been known to cause fans to break down.
  • "It Changes", from the Peanuts movie Snoopy, Come Home, after Charlie Brown has an early morning Heroic BSoD after Snoopy leaves him (permanently, it seems) to stay with his first owner, Lila.
  • It sounds unbelievable at first, but "The Branding of the Gear" from Metalocalypse; notable in that it isn't a sad song at all, but a loyalty anthem (face it, if you've ever dedicated yourself to someone who pays no attention to you, this is the song you wish they'd play for you). Also doubles as Awesome Music for the scene in the show it plays in. Plus, it's metal.
    "You're here because
    You're one of us..."
  • Rick and Morty: The infamous use of "Look On Down From The Bridge" at the end of "Rick Potion #9". The whole scene is heartbreaking and very fucked up at the same time. Also, the end of "Auto Erotic Assimilation" with "Do You Feel It" from Chaos Chaos blasting in the background.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Find a Way" from Magical Mystery Cure; easily the most tear-jerking song in the series.
      • From the same episode, "Celestia's Ballad".
      • Considering what it's about, it's even more of one if you heard it for the first time while finishing a phase in your life like College or High School and getting ready to move on.
    • Rarity's Dark Reprise of "Generosity" from Rarity Takes Manehattan.
    • The first half of "Pinkie's Lament" from Pinkie Pride.
    • Twilight's segment from You'll Play Your Part, especially if you've ever had a time in your life when you had no idea what you're meant to do and where you belong.
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Rose's Fountain" plays as Steven is first happy, then laments to Connie that he fears he'll never be good enough in the Gem's eyes compared with his mother. The tune itself is lovely.
    • Lapis Lazuli's nostalgic and depressing themes in "Mirror Gem" and Ocean Gem", "Mirror Gem", "I am Lapis Lazuli", and "Lapis' Tower". From the same episode, we also have "Love Like You/The Ocean Returns, though in this case it's more of happy tears as things turned out okay for everyone, but it would be the start of the mournful credits reprises featured throughout the show.


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