- Both Ruby and her sister Yang have a lot of emotional baggage. It gets clearer as time goes on and their Stepford Smiler characteristics start to crack.
- Weiss' backstory. She was physically and emotionally abused by her father and neglected by both of her parents. This led to her mental illness, poor self-esteem, and hard time interacting with others.
- After Summer died, Yang had to take over as Ruby's primary caretaker despite being a young child herself. She ended up Fight Clubbing to make money.
- The backstory episode for Roman and Neo is tragic. Roman was an optimistic teen similar to Ruby, but he was beaten and kicked out of Beacon after he received a False Rape Accusation from a Faunus woman he saved; she was too scared to tell who the real attempted rapist was. Roman fell into a life of crime but reunited with a teammate and married her. They had Neo together, but their relationship was argumentative and Eon had a mixed relationship with her daughter. Eon was killed on a mission when Neo was young. Neo herself was bullied for being a Faunus and when she was older a peer raped her. Roman and Neo eventually got revenge, but they had to go into hiding. They reluctantly joined Cinder when Cinder threatened to harm Neo.
- Penny's death and especially her girlfriend Ruby's reaction to it. Ruby cradles her dismembered head right before leaving.
- Coco and Fox's deaths. Coco's girlfriend Velvet keeps her hat as a Tragic Keepsake afterwards and begins taking on a few characteristics of Coco's.
- Jaune's death. It's especially sad because it's unexpected and so different from in canon. Pyrrha takes it especially hard and hardens over the death.
- After Weiss is sent back home she breaks down. She barely eats, relapses her Self-Harm, and barely interacts with others. It gets to the point where she's Driven to Suicide. Only her her mother appearing at the right time saves her.
- Penny sends Ruby an early birthday video but tells her not to watch it until after her birthday. Penny is then killed before then. Later on, Ruby uses the video as inspiration to go on. Pyrrha catches her listening to it and starts tearing up as she's momentarily broken out of her stoicism. It's sad both because Penny's dead and because Pyrrha is reminded of her Accidental Murder.
- The STRQ backstory chapter has some sad twists, such as the relevation that Raven never loved Taiyang back and that Yang was a drunken One Night Stand Pregnacy. It's also revealed that Qrow is Ruby's biological father and he did a Family Relationship Switcheroo with Taiyang. This makes Qrow killing Summer all the more tragic.
- Willow is stuck in a loveless marriage with an abuser. She has been an alcoholic for over 30 years to help deal with it and her undiagnosed schizophrenia. Willow loves her kids, but she's neglected them most of their lives. They resent her for not being there for them. Winter especially so dislikes her mother because Willow tried to strangle her as a child, but Willow doesn't remember the incident because it was a schizophrenic hallucination to her.
- The Belladonna's reaction to Sienna Khan's death. Kali and Sienna are sisters, so it's personal to Kali.
- Ruby breaking down in front of Weiss after being a Stepford Smiler since Penny died and Beacon fell.
Tear Jerker / RWBY: Scars