- Realizing that your parents are highly dangerous crooks who give absolutely no shits about you and are going to exploit the hell out of out you simply for their own gain is hard to take. Then becoming runaways and having no idea how to survive on your own (even with having jobs, it'd still be hard to make ends meet since people aren't looking for teens to have full-time jobs, excepting of course some...shadier jobs).
- Even worse, their parents do care about them... which is the entire reason they continue with their plan to help the Gibborim destroy the world. So their kids can inherit it. And later, the Yorkes parents are willing to blow up a chunk off New York in the past, after learning that Gert died.
- In the vampire arc, we witness Karolina's deep self-hatred and hidden Death Seeker attitude (she's willing to risk dying to save her friends because she doesn't want to be in the same world with monsters like their parents or risk becoming like them), the romantic tensions between Alex, Nico, Karolina and Topher, as well as Topher's deep cynicism.
- The Pride being executed by the Gibborim at the end of the first arc. Horrible people, yes, but they genuinely did love their kids.
Tina: Nico, get out of here! Your father and I will hold them off!'''Nico: No! I won't let them butcher you too! I don't care what you've done I-'''Tina: I am still your mother, and you will do as I say!'''
- The Minorus' final act is to fight back at the monsters with all their power so the Runaways can escape.
Dale: So this is what we're reduced to, eh, mother?'''Stacey: Yes, Love. Empty nesters.'''
- The Wilders watch as their son is incinerated for standing up for them. Geoffrey spends his last few moments screaming in grief.
- Right before the kids take off in the Leapfrog, we see the Yorkeses calmly and solemnly standing by as the base collapses, making no attempt to follow. It's quite likely that Dale and Stacey accepted that Gertrude could never forgive them for their atrocities, and that she'd be better off without them.
- Alex may have been a traitor, but Nico still didn't feel he deserved to die. She even tried a Resurrection spell to bring him back but it didn't work.
- Victor loses his mom shortly after he finds out he's the son of Ultron, so not only did he have the experience of finding out he was related to a villain and was programmed to be one in the future, but he loses the only other family he has.
- At the end of Issue 13 of Volume 2, Molly falls asleep on a bench just outside of the team's current base and dreams about her parents telling her that they're going to Disneyland. It's clear from the dream that even though she knows that her parents were evil, Molly still misses them.Molly: (Dreaming) You're home.
- Gert's death in Issue 18 of Volume 2.
- Made worse for Chase since he saw her future-self die in the 1st Issue of Volume 2 and was working to prevent that. Instead, she died even earlier.
- And then there's Old Lace's sudden cruel death in the "Homeschooling" arc, and Chase's subsequent Heroic BSoD where he's doubled over on the floor."Gert. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. Come back. Please come back."
- Volume 3, Issue Six ends with Xavin giving themselves up, masquerading as Karolina, so Karolina will be able to stay on Earth with the other Runaways. Xavin willingly went with the Majesdanians in place of Karolina. The flashback shown makes it even more heartbreaking, Karolina doesn't want Xavin to go and they share one last kiss. Made worse because Xavin has never been seen since (and Volume 3 was released in 2009.)
- The third series had a hell of a Downer Ending: Chase is critically wounded, Old Lace is dead, and Nico has decided to flip off the only person with any interest in helping them. Klara points out how dire their situation is, and all Nico can do is offer halfhearted platitudes about how things will get better; the next page shows Klara curled up in a little ball of misery, suggesting that such platitudes did not work, and the very last page shows Chase on life support...
- Just seeing Nico alone and struggling to light a stove to cook noodles is a far cry from someone who had been part of two hero teams, both of which cared about her.
- And then they have to explain to Gert how their group broke apart.
Chase: It was you all along, Gert. When we lost you, that's when everything started to fall apart.
- The events of Avengers Arena and Avengers Undercover caused Nico to leave the group and not come back.
- Victor got drawn in by the Avengers and was killed during The Vision (2015). Chase points out they don't even know how he died.
- If that wasn't bad enough, they sent Chase a box of Victor's personal effects, only for Chase to open it and find his head.
- Then the state came and took Klara, no doubt because Chase probably wasn't qualified to look after her after the above incidents.
- Molly was taken in by her grandmother.
- Karolina went off on her own since she had nothing left.
- Gert herself is floored because she thought that they would always be a family, and that she considered herself the expendable member. Chase points out that wasn't the case:
- Issue 3: Nico mentions that the others keep her grounded, keep her from feeling like she's become a bad person. So once all of them were gone, she felt herself falling into despair, so she'll go with Chase and Gert no matter what since she has nothing left.
- Karolina starts the day happy. By the end she's curled up and sad as she tells her friends that she won't come with them.
- Gert feels out of place. Her friends grew up and left her behind, so she's not only younger than them but to her it seems like Chase is just a grown man who ate her boyfriend yesterday. She can't bring herself to be with him since he's too old for her now, in her eyes.Gert: You came back for me. But you didn't wait for me. (...) We aren't... anything now. We can't be. But just yesterday, in my time, you were my...
- Issue 5: Victor complains about being revived by stating that he didn't ask for it after how he died, showing he still felt guilt over what he did to his nephew.
- Issue 6: Molly is constantly torn between her grandmother and her friends during the conflict, not wanting either side to harm the other. She clearly doesn't want to really leave her grandmother, but then she finds out that her her grandmother cloned her mother and that she intended to bring her father back too. It becomes too much for Molly to take so she simply jumps out of the window with Gert and leaves the other behind while she cries.
- For her Grandmother's part, she simply wanted her children and grandchildren back so she was going to an extreme end to get them back. You can see how she still blames the pride children for sending them to their deaths, an accusation that manages to get to them since they still did love their parents even if they were evil. They ultimately make a decision to have the Avengers take her in because she'd keep coming after Molly and she was cloning super-villains.
- Issue 10: She may have deserved it and had decades to take the antidote, but the knowledge that Abigail is going to outlive her parents and likely be forever alone thereafter is sad.
- Issue 10: Karolina's break up with Julie.
- Issue 11: Somewhat mixed with Heartwarming Moments where the team finally tried to find Klara and bring her back, only to find out she's happy with her new foster dads and doesn't want to leave them. It's bittersweet because even though Klara's in a better place than everyone feared, she's not coming back because she felt she had no stability with the team and was in constant fear of getting killed all the time. The group decides to respect her decision, but Molly has the most heartbroken expression on her face as they leave. To make it even sadder, Klara's the only one out of everyone who's managed to find two adults that want to help her and hasn't succumbed to the belief all adults are potential supervillains.
- Alex's return and everyone's reactions to it, especially Chase and Nico, who absolutely do not trust him and want him gone. And it soon becomes clear he never really grew beyond age sixteen and desperately wants his parents back so he can be a kid again.
- Over the course of the 2017 series, Molly has seen her grandmother get arrested, become an outcast at school, lost Klara because of the Runaways' no-parents rule, and had Alex shoot down her hopes of busting her cloned mother out of prison. As of issue #20, she's become so depressed that she doesn't even want to get out of bed.
- Chase finds out that Victor and Gert are together and is heartbroken. Of course he didn't expect to resume their relationship right away because of the age gap they have now, with him being 20 and her being 16, but he always assumed that in a couple years they'd pick up where they left off. So seeing her with someone else at the moment just hurts.
- In issue #25, as it becomes clear that the team is going to have to abandon the Hostel, Karolina and Molly break down crying, with an utterly defeated Molly burying her head in Karolina's shoulder. They've both sacrificed their last hopes of normal lives for the team, and now they fear they're never going to get another chance at getting away.
- In issue #29, Gert's increasing unease at the group subbing as the J-Team reaches a head when she finds out more about all the deaths in the previous groups. Matthew takes offense to Gert's snide remarks and asks if she's really worried about her friends or if she's jealous at being put on the sidelines since she has no powers or training. While sitting down to dinner with Victor and the others post-mission, Gert imagines seeing many of the past J-Team heroes (Blue-J, Mr. Swift, Princess Justice I-III, etc.) hovering over Victor, Chase, and everyone else, and Gert is horrified. Yes, she genuinely is scared her friends are going to die.
- In issue #32, the team returns to the Hostel, but it's far from a happy occasion. Karolina is depowered, Nico is even closer to the point where she'll have to choose between retirement or losing her soul, and everyone else is pretty badly demoralized. Even Gert can't really enjoy being right again, because this time, it's come at such a bad cost for everyone else.
- In issue #33, Karolina remains depowered, and does not seem to be getting better, with Nico having to use even more of her remaining magic to keep Karolina strong enough to get through the day.
- Gert and Victor's relationship is hitting a rough patch, as Victor falls into the same trap he did during his relationship with Nico, trying too hard to be indispensable to her and instead coming off as clingy. Meanwhile, Gert is deeply regretting going back to school, as she's out of touch with what high school is like; she's astounded when one of her classmates explains "shelter-in-place" drills.
- In issue #35, Nico finally comes clean to Karolina about her deal with the One, and Karolina is understandably pissed, as once again, she's ended up in a relationship with someone who made a big decision without even talking to her. Worse, Nico refuses to simply give up magic, insisting that she can find a way to trick the One into releasing her from her contract.
- In issue #36, Gert and Victor find out about Future Gert, and the implications are bad. For Gert, the existence of an older version of herself who goes back to Chase means that Chase never really gets over her. For Victor, it raises the possibility that Current Gert will eventually leave him. Adding to the pain and confusion, after Current Gert runs off, distraught, Future Gert embraces Victor before running off herself.