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Tear Jerker / Ninjago

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The Titanium Ninja

  • "Tick Tock" is basically this. Mainly Zane's creator dying right in front of him. Really, it was equal parts Tearjerker, awesome, funny and heartwarming. If the beard hadn't sprouted before this episode, it's definitely come in now.
    • The clincher: Despite being a robot, and therefore logically being Unable to Cry, Zane still sheds a Single Tear after it all comes back to him.
    • Right after Dr. Julien turns off his memory, the blank expression on Zane's face, especially since his father dies literally seconds after, makes it even sadder.
    • In the episode "Home" Zane states that he never gets a letter from his parents. Well, now we know why...
    • Sensei Wu as a child, and his confused, frightened expression as he watches his brother become consumed by evil.
  • Garmodon is evil and he can't even control it. He is forced into doing bad things while he really doesn't want it that way.
  • Because he is the prophesied Green Ninja, Lloyd will one day have to fight his father. It's clear that neither of them want this to happen, but the increasing control of the Overlord over his father made it inevitable.
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  • The Lloyd Garmadon's Blog is incredibly sad, despite its cheerful tones. The scene when he tries to steal the candy at the Jamanakai Village in the episode "Rise of the Snakes" was Played for Laughs, but when we get to read his point of view, the way he was treated at the school for Bad Boys and his reasons to steal the candy...No wonder why poor Lloyd escaped from the school several times.
    Lloyd: "Before I knew it, people were throwing rotten vegetables at me, and those Ninja tied me up to a sign. This was just like Finn all over again. I felt a single tear fall on my cheek, but then I thought that Finn might be right about one thing – evil geniuses don’t cry!"
  • After Lord Garmadon takes over the Serpentine, one of the Mooks suggests killing Lloyd. The look on Garmodon's face is heart-wrenching, as you can practically see him struggling to control the evil inside of him.
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  • Lloyd giving up his childhood to save his friends. A very literal example of Growing Up Sucks.
  • After witnessing that Lloyd has become drastically older in "Wrong Place, Wrong Time", Lord Garmadon appears to be on the verge of a Villainous Breakdown, he looks completely heart-broken!
  • Lloyd refusing to speak to his mother after meeting her for the first time in his life in "The Stone Army."
    Misako: Careful, son. That sinkhole has no bottom. It's where I found the Stone Warrior.
    Lloyd: Son? You've been gone my whole life! There's nothing you can say.
  • In episode 25, the ninja are talking about their final battle together. It just seems so final, and they've been through a lot, making it just sad to listen to.
  • All of the Ninja except Lloyd and Kai being forcefully being turned evil, then telling Lloyd to leave and save himself. They fortunately get turned back to normal in the end.
  • After the Overlord's defeat, Ninjago City rebuilt itself to become a technological marvel, only for it to fall under the Overlord's grip once more with its technology acting as its arms and legs.
  • Lloyd being helpless to save his father after being captured by Pythor and the Overlord.
    • The shot of Garmadon sinking through the water does not help.
    • Lloyd's face. Lloyd's face.
  • Apparently, part of the Serpentine's reason for going underground was due to humans thinking that THEY were the enemy when they were just warning them of the evil Golden master. No wonder they're so bitter about the sealing bit.
  • Really, just the entirety of the last seven minutes of "The Titanium Ninja": Zane pulls a Heroic Sacrifice (during which the viewer is shown his last memories, including his father telling him he was "built to protect those who cannot protect themselves") and is seemingly Killed Off for Real until the very last scene after his memorial shows he's still alive, just in Borg's systems.
    • Zane's falcon perching on the statue and the snow that follows. If you weren't already crying, you are now.
    • Then when Zane's voice asks P.I.X.A.L "Are we compatible?", a line P.I.X.A.L herself said when it looked like she would die earlier in the season, and the awestruck look on her face as she sees him again, and the swelling music with the light female vocals that send a chill up your spine... This whole scene may be full of Tears of Joy, but they are ripped from you like almost nothing else prior in the series.
  • The first half of "The Invitation" is this, as it shows how the ninja are dealing with Zane's "death". All of them except Lloyd have given up on being ninja at all, and nearly decide to just end the team altogether.
  • From "Versus", Zane finding out P.I.X.A.L.'s body was torn apart by Chen, leaving behind only her neural drive in a computer, and her insistence that he go on without her. This line just makes it sadder:
    P.I.X.A.L.: I will always be a part of you.
    • Jay and Cole's feuding reaches an all time high. As they both practice on dummies that have a picture of the other on them before their match, they each destroy their respective dummy. At first they both look satisfied. That is until the dust clears and they realize what their feud is doing to their friendship.
  • When Chen reveals the secret of Garmadon's letter to Misako. Worst of all there wasn't any really practical reason for it. He even admitted he did it just to mess with Garmadon.
    • Wu seemed to actually hate his brother for the first time in his life. It's subtle, but there's a scene where he gives Misako some tea, and Garmadon the cold shoulder. Wu does manage to forgive him for this when Garmado is banished to the Cursed Realm.
  • This line:
    Kai (to Skylor): Was it his idea to make me fall for you, or yours?
  • The climax of the season 4 finale, when Garmadon is about to be banished to the Cursed Realm. Lloyd's reaction and the Really Dead Montage seal the deal.
  • Keep in mind, LLOYD was the one who banished Garmadon to the Cursed Realm. The kid hardly knew either of his parents very well, and was forced to banish one of them to what was more or less a place worse than hell. No wonder the kid was off on his own for a while in Shadow of Ronin.
  • In the first episode of season 5, Lloyd is possessed by Wu's bitter ex-student Morro who was released from the Cursed Realm when Lloyd had to banish Garmadon. In the ensuing battle with Kai, Lloyd briefly surfaces and begs Kai to help him. Poor kid.
    • Not to mention Kai begging to go back for him when the others quite literally drag him away from Lloyd.
  • Wu honestly liked Morro and his betrayal came of the whole Green Ninja deal that Kai and the others went through. Wu may have seen a repeat of his first student.
  • Cole sacrificing his life to get the Airjitzu Scroll and becoming a ghost as penance. Not only is he technically dead, he also lost the ability to, quote, "feel anything". Watching Cole cope and struggle with being bodiless deceased spirit is heartbreaking. Knowing that he will probably be a ghost forever makes it all the more worst.
    • When the Ninja rescue Lloyd and return back to get their equipment for the upcoming battle, they meet up again with an old friend. However when he remarks on how they have all changed, when he mentions that Cole is now a ghost, Cole looks clearly distraught.
  • The ninja defeat Morro, the Preeminant and all the ghosts, but Garmadon is now gone forever, and Cole is still a ghost. In addition, Wu's grief over losing Morro is quite sad.
    • Morro's death in particular is quite sad because of his final words:
    Morro: You can only save those who want to be saved. Goodbye, Sensei.
  • Yes, Nadakhan is a pirate and a Jackass Genie but think about it: He lost the love of his life, and his home realm, Djinjago, gets destroyed because of the destruction of its sister realm, the Cursed Realm. You can't help but sympathize with the guy on those accounts.
  • The way Nadakhan made P.I.X.A.L. disappear when twisting the words of poor Zane's second wish.
  • While Nadakhan is hit with the Tiger Widow Venom to slow him down, the Ninja see to their horror that Nya ended up getting hit with it as well. What happens because of this can easily qualify as one of the saddest moments of the series alone, even if Nya's death didn't stick. It hits even harder for Jay, who literally had to watch Nya die in his arms. The fact that Jay had gone through Character Development throughout the whole season as well as become closer to Nya makes this all the while tragic. Their last conversation together before Nya dies is truly enough to wrench a few tears.
    Nya: You have to make your last wish! You're the only one who can stop him.
    Jay: No! Not if that means losing you!
    Nya: I never wanted to be a part of your... "boy's club", anyway...
    Jay: No, Nya! Don't say that!
    Nya: Guess it's true... the greatest love stories... do always end in tragedy... (dies)
    • Kai's reaction is much worse. He buries his head in his hands. From Kai's perspective, this moment shows that all of his attempts to protect his own sister throughout the whole series have now been rendered futile.
  • The TV Special, Day of the Departed focuses on Cole as he makes his final stand since he is fading from existence. It holds many emotional moments.
    • When Cole starts to fade, his friends walk right through him; unaware of his existence. After this moment, Cole began to struggle with the idea that he is forgotten and possibly destined to be a lonely ghost.
    • In his final battle with Yang, Yang taunts Cole, telling him that his friends and master had abandoned him. Although Cole refuses to back down at first, he is wore down by constant barrage of battles, which is unarguably against his favor, he eventually gives up and almost fades away for good; becoming so transparent, only a trained eye can see him and. Thank goodness they got there in time.
    • A short moment, kinda played for laughs but Jay begins to cry when he realizes that Cole might be gone for good, but thankfully this isn't the case.
  • Kai and Nya's parents, at some point, betrayed the Elemental Masters. And to make matters worse, this was to protect their kids; no parent should have to make that kind of choice. It's revealed by the end of the season that they didn't betray them willingly, but we're forced to by the Time Twins for the safety of their children.
  • At one point, Lloyd's mother muses that she should have chosen Master Wu instead of Garmadon. Not only is this sad because Garmadon didn't ask for the reason she's reconsidering her choice since he was forced into evil, hating every second of it but in a roundabout way, she's wishing Lloyd had never been born because the person he became, for good or ill, was because who his father was and if Wu had been his father, it's entirely probable that there would be nothing of the Lloyd we know and love in the child who would have resulted.
  • Cole saying "S- so we don't have a Master anymore??" after finding out that Wu had been lost to time.
  • "Game of Masks". Hoo boy, where to begin? The episode starts with a flashback of Harumi's Start of Darkness. It is revealed that her biological parents died during the Great Devourer's rampage and was adopted into the Royal Family and endured what is implied to be a stern education as well as having to spend most of her time locked in the palace and she blames the Ninja for their "failed efforts" to stop the creature and Lloyd for realizing the Serpentine who went on to release the Great Devourer.
    • Harumi showing her true colors, revealing to Lloyd that she was using him all along, and cruelly mocking his feelings for her, telling him there was never anything between them. Ouch...
    • To make it worse when Harumi reveals to Lloyd that he was responsible for the Great Devourer's attack and getting her parents killed Lloyd doesn't seem to care at all and his only concern seems to be that the girl he liked was using him.
  • Lloyd's entire battle with Lord Garmadon in "True Potential". Throughout their fight, Lloyd tries to reason with his resurrected father. But he doesn't listen and continues to fight Lloyd with ease. To sum it all home, Lord Garmadon declares that he has no son. After Lloyd loses, his photo of him and Garmadon gets blown away. The green ninja just can't catch a break.
    Lloyd: You wouldn't hurt me. ... Your son.
    Lord Garmadon: I have no son.
  • Lloyd being forced to watch as Garmadon "kills" his friends by ordering the Colossi to crush the Destiny Bounty with them still inside it, even though the ninja and Wu survived, Lloyd has no idea of that and, from his point of view, witnessed his friends getting killed by his father right in front of him, if the previous episodes and seasons weren't enough of a Trauma Conga Line for the poor kid, this seals the deal; even if he promises to defeat Harumi one day in spite of all that he's lost
  • When Kai, Jay, and Zane are brought to the Iron Baron, Kai notices that the throne the Iron Baron's sitting in is familiar, because it's made out of the Ultra Dragon's Corpse with the 4 heads being used as decorations for the chair, meaning that the Ultra Dragon (who accompanied the ninja for the first 2 seasons and in the pilot and bonded with them) was Killed Offscreen by the Dragon Hunters.
    • To make it even worse, Word of God confirms that they don't even realize it's the Ultra Dragon and never find out. Kai developed a hatred for Iron Baron just from seeing the throne. Imagine how the Ninja would have reacted had they found out.
  • Harumi's death in "Saving Faith". Lord Garmadon (who just recently adopted her as his daughter) then cries out in sorrow. He then sicks the Colossi on Lloyd out of anger.
  • In "Green Destiny" we get Emperor Garmadon ordering Lloyd to finish him off. Considering the fact that he seemed hesitant to actually kill Lloyd in previous episodes, adopted Harumi simply so that he could pretend that Lloyd wasn't his son, and saved him from certain death a couple of times when they fought (under the pretense of wanting to kill him himself) it can be interpreted as if Garmadon's guilt over hurting his son emotionally and physically has driven him to suicide. Luckily Lloyd refuses to do so and merely has him arrested.
  • In the episode "The Fall", Cole seemingly falls to his death after Nya accidentally put the Destiny's Bounty in reverse. The subsequent aftermath of the tragedy sent ripples throughout the entire team and then some.
    • Jay having the front row seats to seeing his best friend fall to his apparent death. He can do nothing but desperately call his name as he himself has to hold on to prevent himself from falling off too.
    • During the scene, Kai is seen barreling his way through everyone in an effort to turn the Bounty around so they could save Cole, who disappeared into the darkness, even though it seemed fruitless to do so. Zane is the one who has to step up to Kai that they're too late and they had to go, less they face the wrath of the darkness themselves. Kai breaking down in tears and Nya's guilt stricken face says it all.
    • When the team was in danger of losing Llyod and Pixel, Nya determinedly says that they 'won't lose anyone else'.
    • When Llyod and Pixal were saved, literally everyone in the team rush to check on Pixal and Llyod, asking if their okay. They seem a little more desperate than usual to make sure their friends are okay. It only makes sense, they just lost Cole.
    • Llyod's reaction to realizing something was wrong by looking at the other ninja and learning of Cole's apparent demise is absolutely heartbreaking. Just hearing Llyod literally begging the other ninjas to tell him about Cole's whereabouts while they all wordlessly give him a broken stare.
    Llyod: (Looks at the other Ninja, and see's their broken expressions). What? What is it?
    (Nya, Jay, Kai, and Zane say nothing, only giving Llyod a sad expression)
    Llyod: (Realizing someone is missing) Where's Cole?
    (More silence. Jay and Kai avert their gazes while Nya's lips start to quiver).
    Llyod: (Panicking, approaches Kai and shakes him) Somebody say something. (Looks at Nya, becoming desperate) Where's Cole?
    Zane: (Touching Llyod on the shoulder, turning him around) He...h-he's gone.
    Llyod: ...What do you mean "gone"?
    • When Lord Garmadon tactlessly goads the team to move on and to carry on their mission, Llyod blows up in his former Father's face, heartbroken and furious about how heartless he was. Llyod's outburst really shows how much he really cared for Cole.
    Llyod: Cole was our friend. He was more than a friend, he was family. But you don't understand that, do you? What's the point? You're never gonna get it. Because you don't care about anyone, but yourself!
    Garmadon: Every moment you delay risks our survival!
    Llyod: (Screaming) There's more to life than SURVIVING!! AGH!! (Storms off in anger)
    • After the above conversation, Garmadon asks Zane about the next logical course of action, claiming that out of everyone that he should be the one with the most logical thought. Zane angrily responds that in a time like this, even he is incapable of logical thought, before also stomping off angrily, followed by a sadden Pixel.
      • Kai later mentions in his conversation with Nya that she's the only brains they had left because Zane is too grief stricken to think properly. And he's a Nindroid.
    • After outbursts by both Llyod and Zane, Lord Garamdon is seen looking at the photos of the ninjas together, having fun, focusing particularly on Cole, while soft distant laughter is heard in the air. Even though he's lost his humanity, Lord Garmadon still tries to smile, copying the photos. His subsequent conversation with Vinny drive the whole scene home.
    • Nya is so guilty about what she's done, she's crying quietly by herself at the back of the bounty, looking out into the open skies. She and Kai share a quiet moment together, lamenting about Cole and that they had to continue on because that's what he would've wanted.
    • Worst part about this? At the end of the episode, it's revealed that Cole miraculously survived the fall. And the team had no idea and by leaving him, they are basically condemning him to his fate.
  • Watching Cole struggle to escape the city after being left behind after he was deemed dead by his teammates in Endings. Watching him struggle to get his car remote working and then almost giving up when it doesn't show up is just hard to watch.
  • More of Cole's loss is felt in Endings.
    • Master Wu is devastated to hear the news about his student and sorrowfully mourns his death quietly while Misako wordlessly comforts him.
    • The team's expression when Kai reforges the Scythe of Quakes. Kai's voice cracks as they lament that it had belonged to Cole. Kai then gives the weapon to Nya, telling her that Cole would've wanted her to have it. Nya does faithfully continue to use the weapon in the final battle despite not being the Master of Earth.
    • Thankfully, Cole is alive and manages to return to the team. Heartwarming as it is tearjerking to see the ninja's reunion. Llyod, who had been the most vocally distressed about his loss, is practically speechless, unable to form a coherent sentence, while Jay, rushes up to him and calls Cole a jerk because they thought they lost him.
  • In "Endings", the death of Lloyd, whose death impacted Lord Garmadon that he backed away from the group mourning for him. He turned out to be alive after a few seconds, but still...
    • Also, Garmadon leaving for who knows where without a word in which no one but Wu saw him.
    Wu: Goodbye, brother.
  • In The Traveler's Tree has plenty of sad moments.
    • Cole's nightmare. In his nightmare, Cole is forced to make a choice by the dream version of his friends, who tell him that he needs to get the Traveler's Tea in the tipping Bounty, risking death, or they won't be his friend anymore. What does Cole choose? To go back for the tea. Cole rather risk death and die than have his friends abandon him. How desperate is Cole to keep his friendship?
      • The Nightmare itself is a huge callback to what happened to him in "The Fall" in Season 10. In the nightmare, fearfully hopes that he won't fall. While he did survive the fall that almost took his life, it turns out that he didn't leave the incident without scars..
    • Cole later gets angry at himself for getting angry at Jay and Kai and then messing up Nya's practice. He refers to it as another "Cole mistake". Then he decides the only way to make up for his mistakes is to risk his life and climb the mountain to get to the Traveler's Tree, alone.

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