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Tear Jerker / Other Media

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Asian Animation

  • Happy Heroes has an episode, Season 7 episode 50, that's well-known due to featuring a heartbreaking scene that is usually uncharacteristic of a light-hearted series like it. Kalo, a Military Superhero of Planet Adeli, bids farewell to the Supermen before he sacrifices himself to save Planet Xing from an army of oncoming invaders, creating an explosion that destroys the army's spaceships. Careful S., whom Kalo often assists in battle, is normally emotionless, but even he's broken to tears at the sight of this along with the other Supermen.
  • The Chinese 2009 short animated film, Miss Daizi, is about an anthropromorphic plastic bag. During use and after being discarded by humans, she established a romantic relationship with a cup. After a period of time in the snow, the cup dies and dissolves, but not the bag, because she can't biodegrade. When Earth is being trashed and when the plastic bag realized that she harmed the environment, she attempts to commit suicide but fails and later in the future, she's hopeless. It ends with the Earth landfilled and the protagonist in solitude forever.

Manhwa and Manhua

  • Chapter 28 and 29 (the comic has very short chapters) of Orange Marmalade has Ma-ri, a vampire, have to deal and cope with all the racism around her, coming from all the friends she had been trying so hard to make. It's so heart-breaking when she has to make racist jokes about herself and her family to stop her cover from being blown.

Music Videos

  • The Daft Punk Rock Opera Interstella 5555, specifically Shep's death. How what is basically a extended music video with no dialogue can make you care about one of the characters enough to get choked up when they die is a mystery but somehow they manage it. Reinforced by the next segment, where the band drives out into the countryside to bury Shep. The juxtaposition of the beautiful day, cheery families, and the solemnity of the band in their van drives Shep's sacrifice home.

Mythology and Religion

  • Norse Mythology:
    • Ragnarok, where a string of tragedies climaxes in the apocalyptic war that slays everything except for a small handful of the gods (two of which have to be resurrected from Hel) and two humans. Given how furiously determined the gods are/were to do the whole "End of the World" thing properly, it's also a Moment of Awesome. An unusual pairing, but one that makes perfect sense when viewed through the particular lens of Norse culture.
    • Loki goes from the prankster to the one who brings about Ragnarok, probably partially due to being chained with his own son's intestines with caustic poison down on his face for who-knows-how long. In the original version, he apparently wasn't even the one who didn't cry for Baldur — he was punished for something else. Before that, his lips were sewn shut after wriggling out of a bet with some dwarves. Yes, he wasn't exactly morally upstanding, but did he really deserve all the gods laughing at him, and then being tortured constantly?
    • Reading earlier stories about, say, Loki helping Thor disguise himself as Freya in a bridal gown make it feel like they were almost... well, friends. There's just something tragic about how it all ended... and something beautiful about how the world will all begin again, eventually.

This Site

  • Determinator and its example sections are often tearjerkers, both when it pays off and when it doesn't for different reasons.
  • The Loners Are Freaks trope? Calling someone a freak and outcasting them just because they prefer to keep to themselves? At least just plain sad.
  • If you thought Chip leaving in Sonic Unleashed was sad, the WMG theory about him actually DYING is even worse.
  • The All of the Other Reindeer page. Ostracizing someone from society and their peers is too cruel, depressing, and sad.
  • The Woobie trope. We all know that one person who desperately needs a hug and support since they suffer oh so much in this cruel world.
  • Driven to Suicide, especialy if you knew someone that killed themselves or attempted/contemplating to do so


    • The online serials. The body count just keeps getting higher: There's Botar, Ancient, possibly Lewa, and several Matoran. The death of a troop of Ta-Matoran who attempted to find refuge on the island of Mata Nui, not realizing that the "island" is actually the massive robot's face, and that face is, along with the rest of the robot, currently flying through the vacuum of space.
    • The epilogue of the book Time Trap, as Vakama and his fellow Turaga, along with the entire population of Mata Nui return to Metru Nui's shores and are greeted by friends (and Turaga Dume, their former governor) they haven't seen for over a thousand years.
  • While it's not as much of a tearjerker, the normally-happy Lalaloopsy put out a couple of dolls called "Sir Battlescarred" and "Lady Stillwaiting." Since the dolls gained the personality from the fabric that created them, there's probably a very sad story surrounding them (since their names even suggests this).
  • The Lost 'n Found dolls. Plush toys from 1989 that are based around orphaned baby animals that require care and cry upon being fed water with their bottle. Try to watch the commercial without tearing up.



  • The Children of Dune miniseries: The end of part 1, and the section in part 3 where Leto meets his father.
  • Neil Gaiman's current (January 2010) journal entries about the last days of his cancer-stricken blind cat Zoe are enough to melt a heart of stone.
  • A logo gag of MTM was played during the finale of St. Elsewhere in 1988, of the mascot kitten, Mimsie, being hooked up to life support (kind of makes sense, the show was hospital-related). At the end of the credits, as the MTM logo appears, we hear the long, high beep of the machine, meaning that Mimsie didn't make it. Even sadder when you find out that 1988 was the year the real Mimsie died at age 18.
  • Part 6 of Seven Ages Of Rock, which focuses on American alternative rock such as R.E.M. and Nirvana. It mentions Kurt Cobain's life, and in a couple of his interviews, he sounded kind of sad. You can't blame him; he's been through a spiraling depression that not even good friend Michael Stipe can get him out of.
  • 'From the bottom of Heart', a Visual Novel, is one in and for itself. 'Let's go to an amusement park together!'
  • As funny as Christopher Titus's stand-up routines are, there are some bits that hit hard. For instance, when he talks about his dad.
    Titus: What did he tell me my entire life? "You’re gonna need grandpa around to raise that kid. Grandpa’s gonna turn that kid into an adult." What else did you stuff up my ass all my life? “Step up, or step aside." Isn't that right? "Step up, or step aside.” AND WHAT HAPPENED?! THE WORLD IS FALLING APART, I’VE GOT TWO LITTLE KIDS and you’re not here.
  • There's a very well acted Documentary about the French Revolution, and they showed the part about Madame Du Barry. Supposedly, it was Enforced Method Acting, and the actress playing Madame Du Barry must have really been a good actress... because the people playing the extras looked shocked as the actress struggled and screamed as she was lead to the scaffold, managing to break away several times only to be caught and dragged back before collapsing and shouting, "You're going to hurt me! Why?!" and then they showed the scene of forcing her into the (obviously fake) guillotine, with the really nervous looking extras. It also didn't help that the narrator said it took several people to bring her there, and that her screams could be heard from across Seine.
  • PBS once showed a documentary on parrots, and near the end it showed a segment on what would happen if they're not given proper stimuli. It shows the poor birds in what is basically a parrot equivalent of a mental hospital, with the parrots painfully squawking and plucking their own feathers out because they didn't have anything or anyone to interact with in their previous homes. Never adopt only one parakeet, cockatiel or parrot, or any other bird in the psittaform family. This is an intensely social bird, and it is not true that "they'll never learn to talk" if you have more than one. The more attention you give them the more they'll all learn to talk. Get at least two, unless you are prepared to spend all your time with a solo bird because you will be its flock.
  • Amiga Power's review of Kick Off 96, in its farewell issue, was terribly depressing. Longtime reviewer Stuart Campbell debates a Kangaroo Court over who bears more responsibility for the Amiga platform's demise: publishers who shoveled out broken games with no playtesting, or him for refusing to grade them on a Four-Point Scale. He is found guilty of killing the Amiga, and executed by firing squad.
  • This Comic. It's really heartbreaking that genuine interest in a culture is dismissed as childish.
  • Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concerts:
    • While most of the concerts tend toward warm and fuzzy, they do sneak a Tear Jerker in every now and then. One notable occasion was their 2002 concert, where they portrayed the story of the World War I Christmas truce, narrated by Walter Cronkite.
    • The 2004 concert, called A Christmas Bell for Anya. It tells the story of a Russian village renowned for their bell makers, and their traditional bell ringing by 12 young girls around the village's scene of the Christ child, and Anya is having her own bell crafted for her by her father. The bell is completed three days before Christmas and Anya eagerly awaits the day. The day before, a band of marauders roaming the country in the chaos of the Russian Revolution come to the town. When the dust settles, Anya's father is found cradling her body. As Christmas approaches he suddenly has the sense that she is near and asking that he ring her bell on Christmas.
  • Educational videos:
    • One video showcases several instances of the consequences of drunk driving, and although the video has a very somber tone overall, one woman in particular stands out. She was very young, and pretty, and had been hit by a drunk driver. It didn't kill her, but she was completely immobilized and mentally handicapped. She spent the rest of her life rotting away in a bed. Her parents came to visit her, and you could tell she recognized them, but all she could do was stare at them, and her dad held her hand while he was there. Her hand was so tiny, and weak looking, and limp, and just kind of lay there, and she just looked so helpless.
    • A "home movie" drunk driving promo shows happy, healthy kids doing something and then "Killed by a drunk driver" and the date. One video features a teenage girl who was mostly paralyzed, being taken gently through some physical therapy. It was clear she'd never walk again or have any kind of normal life. "Jesselyn Rose was hit by a drunk driver and died... Eleven years later."
    • A video features a couple dancing and laughing at their wedding, with the date of death being the day after.
  • The back of a package of card sleeves manages to pull this off, since card sleeve company Dragon Shield started putting small stories about the dragons depicted on their packaging. The "Petrol"-colored sleeves (an oily blue) depict a lumbering, swamplike dragon covered in sludge and with massive horns named Abigan. The story of this dragon? She and her twin sister were abandoned as dragonlings, but adopted by a human family who loved them as their own daughters. When their human parents died, Abigan entered a depressive spiral and now spends her days doing little more than eating and sleeping as she has no energy to do anything else. It hits pretty close to home for a packaging blurb.
  • Don't be ashamed if you're fully grown are still known to cry at a Nursery Rhyme:
    • While "Clementine" is meant to be satirical, with things like her big feet, the slow pace still makes it seem genuinely sad. It's a miner with his daughter (who could be a young woman, or a little girl) who falls into a pond and drowns. In each chorus, the miner sings about how he's "dreadful sorry" that his daughter is now "lost and gone forever".
    • The Downer Ending to "The Little White Duck" that's left out of some versions. Basically, the red snake scares away the frog and the duck, leaving the singer crying because there are no animals at the pond anymore.
    • Some versions of "Five Little Ducks" have the mother duck described as sad just before the ducklings all come back. Depending on which version you're listening to, the music may slow down at that point, making it even sadder.
  • This description of the radar girls from the Battle of Britain monument in London: "His moves are being followed; his frantic speech passes directly from the air into the ears of the young girls at the plotting tables who will him on to victory and home to safety, who may even share his last moments of agony."

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