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Tear Jerker / Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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    Season 1 
Episode 11: Minotaur Maze
  • Throughout the episode, Leo is seen feeling like The Load to his brothers. He's the only one who still can't control the power of his weapon correctly and became desperate to prove himself by becoming 'champion' in the Minotaur Maze. It's just hard not to feel sorry for him.
    • When the brothers try to have Leo create a portal to escape the mess Leo got themselves in, Leo is unable to do it and he remarks that he's useless.
    • Leo tries to ask his brothers to tell him that he's a champion, as encouragement to open a portal, but frustrated with his antics, they just try to get him to open a portal. With no encouragement from his brothers, Leo then quietly encourages himself by telling himself he's a champion before trying again.
  • Leo tries to pull a Heroic Sacrifice with his brothers, by offering himself instead to take the punishment instead of his brothers, calling them champions, but his brothers comically tell the angry minotaur manager to just punish him.
  • The saddest part about this episode is that it sorta ends with Leo not really becoming a champion or overcoming his insecurities about being useless and a burden (though to be fair, Mikey does lift Leo's hand in the photo for the Cheater's Wall, implying that his brothers do see him as sort of a champion, but not explicably said).

Episode 12: Bug Busters

  • Right before he engages into combat with Big Mama, Donnie mentions that he takes great offense that Big Mama was the first person to ever give him positive reinforcement from a parent-aged adult. For a brilliant genius for Donnie, that's quite sad to know that he has never been really encouraged to do his amazing work.
    • The Dutch version takes it a step further by having Donnie say that he yearns for compliments and the positive validation from a mother figure.

Episode 16: Mrs. Cuddles

  • As the episode is ending and the group caught by Mrs. Cuddles are calling out to Raph for help, Donnie, who is tied up alongside Mikey, Leo, and April, mentions that he is afraid of togetherness.

Episode 17: Stuck on You

  • Watching Raph try so hard to be a leader, but not having it work out is heartbreaking. Raph may not have the natural talent for leadership like Leo has shown to have, but the big guy makes it up in hard work and effort. He is doing his best as the leader, but with the seeming future shift of the role from Raph to Leo makes it all the the more heartbreaking.

Episode 19: The Purple Jacket

  • When Donnie arrives at April's school, he gushes about how lucky April is to go to school. This implication implies that Donnie always wanted to go to school and learn, but is unable to as a mutant turtle. Think about it, Donnie had to learn all he knows on his own, there's no one to teach him about the stuff he wants to know. No wonder Donnie wanted the acceptance and appreciation from the Purple Dragons or other older adult figures.
    • It's also sad to think also that Donnie just has so much potential as a genius inventor, but is unable to fully utilize his knowledge in society much due to being different.

Episode 23: The League Of Evil Mutants

  • The boys try to seek help from Splinter, who refuses to train them anymore than watching Lou Jitsu videos. Frustrated with Splinter's lack of hands-on training, the turtles tell him off and try to leave. This causes Splinter to lose his temper and ground them, even having them relinquish their weapons. The face he makes after his sons leave is nothing short of heartbreaking.
    • What caused Splinter to lose his temper exactly? When they called him "just a rat". This becomes harsher to look at since we later learn that Splinter is the same guy who stars in all those action films they've been watching.
    • At the end of the episode, Splinter tries to apologize to his sons about losing his temper. Even though he may not be the best dad or be raising them properly, he really truly loves them and seems to want to try his best.

Episode 29: Portal Jacked!


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