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Tear Jerker / Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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This show's focus on gradual Character Development and Story Arcs, as opposed to more of a "problem of the week" formula of Trek shows past, tend to give the more poignant moments that much more impact. Suffice it to say that if Star Trek: Deep Space Nine wants you to cry, you will cry.

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

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    Season 1 
  • The first episode starts with a Tear Jerker as Sisko is dragged kicking and screaming from his wife's half-buried body out of his quarters. His broken voice is haunting, especially at the end where he seems to suddenly realize he is going to never be with her again, with nothing left to mourn.
    Sisko: We can't leave her here.
    Lieutenant: We've got to go now, sir!
    Sisko: Dammit, we just can't leave her here! Oh no!
    • Even before that, we get to see The Battle of Wolf 359, the battle that left 39 starships destroyed and 11,000 men and women killed or assimilated. On TNG, we got to see the aftermath. Here, we get to witness not only the ships being mercilessly blown to bits in a vain attempt at destroying the cube, but some of those 11,000 as they died, all the while the audience knowing that it was all in vain thanks to Locutus out-thinking the entire fleet thanks to Picard's knowledge and experience.
    • With Jake holding his hand, Sisko slumps down, and can only have a bitter Thousand-Yard Stare as the Saratoga is destroyed.
    • And later when Sisko meets the Prophets and has to confront his own refusal to move on because he doesn't know how to live without Jennifer. His eyes are flowing with Manly Tears the whole time.
      Jennifer Prophet: You exist here.
      Sisko: I exist here. I don't know if you can understand. I see her like this every time I close my eyes. In the darkness, in the blink of an eye, I see her like this.
      Jennifer Prophet: None of your past experiences helped prepare you for this consequence.
      Sisko: And I have never figured out how to live without her.
      Jennifer Prophet: So you choose to exist here. It is not linear.
      Sisko: No. It's not linear.
    • Before that, when the realization hits him, the simple, devastating line: "I never left this ship."
    • And then, two years later, during "The Search," he has to drag Dr. Bashir away from (the fake) Garak's body, an act which in the novelization he explicitly compares to having to be dragged away from Jennifer. Yikes.
    • Sisko and Picard’s first meeting, from both sides. Sisko is still angry and grieving over the Borg attack that killed his wife, and Picard is thrown considerably off-kilter by the other man’s lashing out at him.
      • It’s very clear that Picard still suffers from the experience as he barely touches on the matter and instead chooses to skip straight to the subject which brought Sisko to the Enterprise
  • Sisko’s worry when Jake becomes infected in “Babel”, telling him Sisko refuses to lose him, the death of his wife still clearly on his mind.
  • In "Captive Pursuit", the Tosk is a sentient creature from the Gamma Quadrant which has been genetically engineered to be the perfect prey for an entertaining hunt, and indoctrinated to desire no other life. Offered asylum by the Federation, it refuses even in the face of being returned as a living captive, in dishonor, subverting the My Species Doth Protest Too Much Star Trek fans would've expected in such a plot. Its speech is a Crowning Moment of Tear Jerker:
    Tosk: (proud) "I am Tosk... the Hunted! I live to outwit the hunters for another day, to survive - until I die with honor... but that will not be my fate. But I will not deny my existence as Tosk! Thank you, O'Brien, but I cannot request asylum." (sits down, sad and ashamed at being captured)
    • At least Tosk gets its way, as far as that goes: released back into the Gamma Quadrant, to be hunted to an honorable death (that's the most respectful good-bye it knows to share with its only friend, O'Brien: "Die with honor".)
  • In "Move Along Home," despite being early in s1 and before a great deal of bonding and Character Development, Quark breaks down sobbing when faced with the prospect of having to choose one of the station's senior officers to sacrifice. A self-professed cynic, he actually gets to his knees and screams his pleas for mercy on their behalf, even promising to never cheat again in exchange for mercy.
    Quark: Anything but this! Anything but this! Please! PLEASE!
  • Kira breaking down and sobbing at the death of Kai Opaka. Until this point, Kira has been angry and determined, but this? This BREAKS her. As Kai, Opaka is the center of the Bajoran faith, it's through her strength that many Bajorans felt they could get through the Occupation. And she dies here, in an accidental crash on a forgotten moon, seventy thousand light years from Bajor.
    • Later, after Opaka has been resurrected by alien microbes, she breaks down again in the Kai's arms, as she admits how she has known only violence, and doesn't know how to let go of it, or how to forgive herself.
  • The ending of "Progress", where Kira finally burns Mullibok's home and forces him to abandon the land he had tamed. Yes, it's for a indisputably good cause and to save his life, but it's still incredibly harsh. Also her sad realization that, after years of fighting the authority, Kira's now the one wearing the uniform and having to do nasty things for her government.
  • The Cruel Twist Ending from "Duet."
    • Or even before that, this episode is just plain grisly. It's the first episode to really go into detail of how horrific the Cardassian occupation of Bajor was. Kira nearly breaks into sobs just giving Sisko the Cliff's Notes version.
      Kira: Commander, if you'd been there twelve years ago when we liberated that camp, if you'd seen the things I saw. All those Bajoran bodies starved, brutalized. Do you know what Cardassian policy was?! Oh, I'm not even talking about the murder, murder was just the end of the fun for them! First came the humiliation! Mothers raped in front of their children, husbands beaten till their wives couldn't recognize them, old people buried alive because they couldn't work anymore!
      • And remember, Kira's only in her late twenties at this point - twelve years ago? She was a teenager. And she was part of the Resistance cell who liberated Gallitep, and witnessed all of this firsthand.
    • And then there's Marritza's heartbreaking confession when he can't maintain the masquerade* any longer. Even Kira begins to tear up.
      Kira: You're Marritza, aren't you?
      Marritza: You mistake me for that bug? That whimpering nothing? Oh, you stupid Bajoran girl. Don't you know who I am? I'm your nemesis. I'm your nightmare. I'm the Butcher of Gallitep.
      Kira: The Butcher of Gallitep died six years ago. You're Aamin Marritza, his filing clerk.
      Marritza: That's not true. I am alive. I will always be alive! It's Marritza who is dead. Marritza, who was good for nothing but cowering under his bunk and weeping like a woman. Who, every night, covered his ears because he couldn't bear to hear the screaming... for mercy... of the Bajorans... [collapses into helpless sobbing] ... I covered my ears every night, but... I couldn't bear to hear those horrible screams. You have no idea what it's like to be a coward. To see these horrors, and do nothing. Marritza's dead. He deserves to be dead.
      [Kira stares at him silently, then reaches out and shuts off the force field on his cell]
      Marritza: What are you doing?
      Kira: ... I'm letting you go.
      Marritza: ... Security! Security, get in here!
      Kira: [Kira steps into Marritza's cell] You didn't commit those crimes, and you couldn't stop them. You were only one man.
      Marritza: No, don't you see? I have to be punished! We all have to be punished! Major, you have to go out there and tell them I'm Gul Darhe'el! It's the only way!
      Kira: [tearing up] Why are you doing this?!
      Marritza: For Cardassia! The only way Cardassia will survive is if it stands before Bajor and admits the truth! My trial will force Cardassia to acknowledge its guilt, and we're guilty, all of us! My death is necessary.
      Kira: What you're asking for is another murder. Enough good people have already died. I won't help kill another one.
    • And then the reveal that it was all for nothing. Another Bajoran kills Marritza in cold blood... because he was just another Cardassian. Kira can only kneel before the dead man who just wanted to make right his own cowardice and see what her own hatred has created: her people just as hateful and bigoted as their oppressors.
  • During "In the Hands of the Prophets," Keiko's school is bombed as O'Brien and Odo discuss the murder of one of O'Brien's engineering crew on the Promenade. They run to the school, and Odo has to physically restrain O'Brien from racing into the plume of fire that is the school, fearing the worst, screaming out her name. Mercifully, moments later, Keiko runs up herself, having not been in the school at the time, but O'Brien's fear is palpable and heartwrenching.
    Season 2 
  • In "Invasive Procedures", a Trill tries to steal Dax's symbiont. He ends up with it in him and Jadzia (the host) lying on a bed in the Infirmary dying and feeling "empty". It leaves Sisko, O'Brien, Bashir and Kira understandably sad and angry at the other Trill. Thankfully, there's a Happy Ending.
    • Happy in the sense that Jadzia gets Dax back, at least. Verad is mentally and emotionally shattered by bonding with and then losing the symbiont. He's going to be an invalid for the rest of his life, with the woman who loves him having to take care of him. Oh, and later in the show ("Equilibrium") we learn that there's a good chance the Symbiosis Evaluation Board lied to him when they told him he was unsuitable for bonding, since the Trill government is hiding the fact that roughly half of Trill are compatible with symbionts rather than one in a thousand as popularly thought.
  • During "Cardassians," Garak has brought Bashir to an orphanage on Bajor, seeking the file of Rugal, a Cardassian boy who was left behind, whose father turns out to be a political rival of Dukat, who has set about trying to bring the boy back to Cardassia. Garak wanders around the orphanage smuggly, as he knows the Bajoran who runs the facility has no reason to offer any Cardassian any sympathy, so he gives her exactly what she expects. But as he and Bashir prepare to leave with the files, he's brought up short as a young Cardassian girl leads several other Cardassian children out to see him, and gently asks if he's there to bring them back to Cardassia. All of Garak's facade crumbles as he looks at her pleading face.
    Garak: I'm afraid not, child.
    • And, as we later learn, both in a subsequent scene and in later episodes, while Cardassians claim to prize and value their families, when a child is orphaned, they have lost all their connections to their family as a result, and Garak is correct in saying that these children have no place in Cardassian society. Which means that they will never have a place in Cardassian society.
  • The ending of "Necessary Evil" , when Odo realizes that Kira not only committed a murder he thought her innocent of, but kept the truth from him for years. Kira, near tears, confesses she wanted to tell him, but didn't want to lower his opinion of her - what he thinks of her is very important. The last line of the episode is gut-wrenching:
    Kira: (brokenly) Will you ever be able to trust me the same way again?
    Odo: [Looks up at her in a way that breaks your heart in pieces. He can't answer.]
  • The episode "Whispers" ends with a replicant of Miles O'Brien dying. It's bad enough for the viewer, who knows that the one who died never knew he was a fake—he thought he was the real Miles O'Brien—but one wonders how the Starfleet officers felt after they listened to the log entries that person left on the runabout...
    Replicant O'Brien: Tell Keiko... I love...
  • While "Playing God" mainly averts tearjerking, there is a sad Flashback that reveals that before symbiosis, Dax went through a period where she cried herself to sleep every night.
  • "Blood Oath": The deaths of two of Trek's greatest and most well-known (as well as popular) Klingons, Kang and Koloth. In the end, Jadzia sums it up best.
    "It's never a good day to lose a friend."
    • Kor's singing somehow makes it even more heartwrenching.
    • Kira and Sisko, who tried to stop her from going on the quest for vengeance, just look disappointed when she comes back. None of them exchange a word, and she quietly returns to duty with a piece of her innocence gone.
  • "Tribunal" has Miles O'Brien being tried in court for a crime he didn't commit. Before sending him to jail, they torture him, taking off his clothes by force and anaesthetizing him. Especially sad is Keiko (who he was supposed to be on a romantic vacation with) being understandably in tears at the thought of her husband being tortured and being threatened to be executed. And apparently, Cardassians let family members attend trials and executions because they like to hear them weep. Yeesh! Thankfully, the loyalty of Odo, Sisko, Dax, Kira and Bashir makes it better.
    Season 3 
  • Really think about what "The Search, Part II" means for Odo. After looking for his own kind his whole life, he finds them, and it's a happy homecoming... at first. Then it's revealed that they're the mysterious Founders of the Dominion. His people are cruel, oppressive fascists, and he can't see a place for himself with them in light of that.
  • "Meridian" ends with Dax sitting on the floor looking sad.
  • "Fascination" begins with Jake Sisko complaining that because Marta broke up with him, he has nothing to be grateful for and will have no fun.
    • In the same episode, O'Brien and Keiko are arguing, and Keiko is sulking while O'Brien is complaining that he needs several scrolls to write down his problems.
      • All the O'Briens seemed to be having a bad time in that episode as it began with Molly being nauseous and throwing up from having too much candy.
    • A minor one, but Dax implies Morn has a lot of problems.
  • The episode "Life Support" forces Major Kira to deal with slowly losing the man she loves as he sacrifices himself to complete an important and symbolic peace treaty. He keeps insisting on riskier and experimental medical treatments in order to continue his work, supported by both Kira and the Kai. When the treaty is signed and all the costs and consequences catch up to him, Kira is left with only a last chance to say goodbye and tell him how much she loved him, but it's already too late for him to be able to hear or understand her.
    • Also, the way that he was reduced to little more than a tool for Winn, so that she could claim credit for finishing the negotiations after he was incapacitated. After the negotiations finish, Winn is almost too enthusiastic about pulling the plug and letting him die, now that she has taken credit for his most important and lasting achievement. Not only that, but Bareil himself accepts his impending death, having finished his service to Bajor and not wanting to survive as a shell of himself.
  • "Heart of Stone" is the first episode in which Odo reveals that he has been secretly in love with Kira for years. He confesses this to her when it seems like she's trapped in a deadly situation and she's trying to persuade him to leave her behind. She tells him, "I love you too" and that she felt the same way for some time. This is the crucial mistake that tips Odo off that's an impostor Kira, he knows the real Kira sees him only as a friend and wouldn't be the type of person to lie about it in order to comfort him. Later, when Kira asks how he figured out it wasn't her, he explains that the impostor "said something she would never say."
    • The way Kira is slowly being crushed by the crystal around her, her voice getting more and more choked and panicky, and her heartbreaking attempts to make light of the situation and then, when resigned to death, get Odo to leave her. Odo is completely powerless to help the woman he loves and he looks like his whole world is ending. It's really distressing to watch, even if you know "Kira" is an imposter.
    • Also, there's the off-handed way he says to Kira that the impostor said something she wouldn't - he has already accepted that Kira would never love him and is able to say that so casually like it was a statement of having enjoyed some food that Kira is deathly allergic to or something, rather than 'I'm in love with you too.'
  • One of the most startling moments of Character Development on the show is Nog's true reasons for wanting to join Starfleet.
    Nog: Because I don't want to end up like my father!!!
    • The look on Captain Sisko's face throughout made it even worse; he looked ashamed of himself. From the start, he'd never considered Nog's request to join Starfleet as anything other than some devious Ferengi scheme for profit and in this scene he virtually bullies Nog into explaining himself, even physically grabbing and shaking him. Then he finds out that Nog's reasons are heartbreakingly personal and tragic, and he realizes he's forced the young man to admit that his own father (whom Nog still loves dearly) is a failure because of his people's cultural and racial prejudices. Fortunately, he does make it up to Nog.
    • It's also Hilarious in Hindsight, considering that Nog's failure of a father becomes the Grand Nagus and leads a successful top-down revolution of the way Ferengi do business. But only because Rom began doing the same thing that Nog was doing - not blindly following cultural rules. Both became extremely successful, holding titles of great import: first Ferengi in Starfleet, and Grand Nagus, but only by realizing that continuing what they were doing, simply following what they thought society expected, was not sufficient. If that's not a cause for Manly Tears, what is?
      • How about the fact that this is the event that causes Rom to break the mold and sets him on that path? Nog's decision to join Starfleet changed both their lives, and the entirety of Ferengi society.
    • Even before Sisko realizes that Nog is serious, there's the moment that Jake, Nog's best friend, walks into Quark's and compliments Nog on his "joke," and the utter devastation and anguish in Nog's voice as he demands that Jake go back and tell his father that Nog wasn't joking. It's the moment that the audience realizes that this means more than just some comedic B-plot to the episode, and it's a little heartbreaking to consider it from Nog's perspective, that his best friend could only assume that his intent to join Starfleet was no more than a prank.
  • In "The Die is Cast", Garak, having been brought back into the Cardassians' fold, interrogates Odo by using a quantum stasis device to prevent him from reverting to a liquid state. Changelings need to revert approximately every 16 hours; by the time Garak gets the information he needs, Odo has been forced to maintain his solid form for so long that his body looks like it's falling apart, and he is in such excruciating pain that it's hard to watch.
  • Another heart-wrenching detail is how Garak ends up breaking before Odo. He literally begs Odo to talk, even lie if he must, just to see it end, because he can't stand seeing a man he respects go through so much agony. Worse, Garak succeeds in prying Odo's Dark Secret out of him, and it's not tactically useful or strategically important — it's the simple fact that after everything, Odo still misses his people and wants to go home to them.
  • When Odo breaks and says he wants to go back to the Founders, Garak's tone is angry, believing that Odo has been loyal to the Dominion after all. But when Odo says that he wants to go back and be with his people, no matter how hard he's tried to forget, Garak's expression changes to one of pain because he's just tortured Odo into confessing what he himself has been feeling ever since his own, far less voluntary exile.
  • In "Family Business" Quark and Rom have their only truly serious fight when their mother Ishka is accused of making profit (illegal for Ferengi females). After Quark and Ishka argue (where Ishka scathingly points out that Quark and Rom's father Keldar was a business failure) Rom confronts Quark and tells him their mother is right and their father was a failure, provoking Quark to attack him. The two brothers brawl around the room, knocking things over until their mother separates them, reassuring Rom she'll be fine and telling Quark to do what he wants before breaking down in tears once her boys have left the room. It's jarringly upsetting seeing Quark and especially Rom being so violent with each other, made even worse when you see how badly they upset their mother.
  • Everyone (except Odo who was not present and Bashir himself who was expecting it) facepalming when Bashir didn't win the prize he might have won in "Prophet Motive", and before that, Bashir doubting himself and feeling that he was too young to win.
  • Everything about Tekeny Ghemor in "Second Skin". He had a daughter Iliana he clearly loved, to the point he agreed to let her join the Obsidian Order instead of becoming an artist. She went deeply undercover as a Bajoran, and he had no news about her for ten years. Then the Order claims they found her but she has memory problems, so she's hostile towards Ghemor who's nothing but patient and supportive. Then he learns "Iliana" isn't his daughter at all but Kira Nerys, and it was a sting to unveil his dissident sympathies. When the episode ends, Ghemor has to go back to waiting for his daughter.
    • Wanna know the worst thing? They're never reunited. Ghemor dies without ever seeing Iliana again, Kira being at his bedside instead — because she's the best substitute he can find.
    Season 4 
  • "The Way of the Warrior" features Worf stoically (as if he'd do it any other way) sacrificing his family's position in Klingon society in the name of honoring his oath to Starfleet and the Federation. The quest to regain and restore his family's honor was a major ongoing plot on Star Trek: The Next Generation. And yet, here Worf is, giving it all up, yet again, because to do so would be to betray his own personal honor. And this time, Worf isn't merely discommodated - the House of Mogh is dissolved entirely, his family's lands are seized, their titles stripped, his brother is ejected from the High Council, and Worf himself will no longer be welcome in Klingon space.
    Gowron: You will have NOTHING!
    Worf: Except my honor.
    Gowron: So be it.
  • "The Visitor" is possibly the saddest thing on television that doesn't involve Fry's dog.
    Jake: Read the dedication.
    Sisko: "To my father, who's coming home."
    • It actually isn't that bad the first time through. The second time, however, all bets are off.
    • For context, the episode features an alternate future where Jake, now an old man and reclusive former writer, tells a young student his life story, which diverged after Captain Sisko was seemingly killed in an engineering accident. He moves on to some degree, but every several years his father reappears in reality for a few minutes each time. When Jake realizes what is happening and why, he quits his successful writing career and lets his marriage collapse in order to go back to school and become the foremost expert on the physics causing his dad's condition. Even when, after an attempt to save him fails and Sisko begs his son to move on with his life, Jake is unable to do so. Finally, he figures it out; through some kind of space magic, Benjamin is tethered to Jake, and the only way to save him is to break the link while Ben is in normal space. Now an old man, he waits for his father to reappear so he can kill himself and break the cycle. The hardest part to see is Ben Sisko trying to help, seeing his son, who is older than he is, willing to give up everything just to be with his dad again.
    • The immediate aftermath of Jake's attempt to pull his father out of subspace on the Defiant failing is heartwrenching; Jake is kneeling on the floor, weeping, Dax trying to comfort him.
  • At the end of "Hippocratic Oath" O'Brien and Bashir offer to take the Jem'Hadar commander with them. He elects to stay behind as he's responsible for getting his men into this situation and can't abandon them.
    • Goran'Agar is perhaps the most honorable and tragic Jem'Hadar ever seen (with only Remata'Klan coming close). Having become inexplicably free of his dependence on Ketracel-White, he brings his men to the planet in the hopes that the environment is key. It's not; he remains the only free Jem-Hadar while having to watch his men physically and mentally fall apart. He also seems to realize the flaws of the Founder-worship that the Jem-Hadar have ingrained into themselves.
      "To us, they are almost a myth. But everyone in the Dominion, even the Vorta, serve the Founders. I have fought against races that believe in mythical beings who guide their destinies and await them after death. They call them gods. The Founders are like gods to the Jem'Hadar, but our gods never talk to us and they don't wait for us after death. They only want us to fight for them and to die for them."
  • The end of Rejoined - Jadzia Dax is willing to throw away immortality and endure permanent exile from her home civilization to be with her once and hopefully future love. The ending, after the passionate argument asking her former wife not to leave... they lock gazes across the Promenade... and Dax's lover leaves forever, unwilling to make the sacrifice. Dax has simply the most heartbreaking expression...
  • A subplot in "Starship Down" has Sisko lying on the floor of the Defiant with a brain injury and Kira telling him stories and apologizing for worshiping him in her religion. Especially sad is her voice when she's apologizing and uses Prayer Is a Last Resort when she thinks he's about to die.
    Kira: (tearfully) So the three brothers started arguing about how to divide the money for the kava root. The oldest said that he should get more because it was his idea to sell it in the city, and the youngest objected, saying he was the one to till the—This can't happen! You can't die! You're the Emissary! There's still so much for you to do! I don't know if this is the right thing to do or not but I'm going to give you a stimulant. Captain, I know my beliefs make you uncomfortable around me sometimes, and that maybe that's why you keep me at arm's length. But I don't care about that right now and I am going to pray, because I don't know what else to do. I'm losing you and I can't let that happen.
  • "The Sword of Kahless" has a scene where Kor tells Dax and Worf of his fondest dream, where they present the titular sword to the Emperor by the statues of Kang and Koloth, which proceed to come to life and share in the glory. For all that he's still questing after honor and glory, Kor's fondest dream is to just have his two best friends back.
  • "Homefront" has a very harrowing scene. Sisko returns to Earth to approve measures to prevent Dominion changelings infiltrating Starfleet, including blood tests for all personnel and their families. Ben's father, Joseph, refuses to undergo a test, causing a ruckus at his restaurant; he doesn't see any reason to cave into paranoia and doesn't believe the tests would be effective anyway. While cutting ingredients, Joseph accidentally cuts himself. Ben sees the blood on Joseph's knife and breathes a sigh of relief when he sees that the blood doesn't revert to a changeling's fluid, upsetting Joseph so much that he suffers a minor stroke! Thankfully, Joseph recovers, but being so heartbroken that it requires EMS is frightening and heartrending.
  • Oh god, "Crossfire." All of it. Even if you ship Kira/Shakaar, it's still sad.
    • For context, Odo was in a bad mood in that episode and got distracted so he didn't do his job properly. The saddest scene is when he gets inexplicably angry and breaks everything in his quarters. Yes, Odo, who, just a few episodes ago was calling moving furniture a few centimeters away from its usual place chaos.
      • To top that off, there's a little bit of Throw It In! done on set - a lock of Odo's hair had come loose. Remember, Odo's hair is just part of the assumed shape he takes in humanoid form. Every bit of his appearance is just part of the shape he chooses to assume, and yet here, that carefully crafted image is literally coming apart.
    • Odo having to sit and take Sisko's lecture after his distraction almost kills Shakaar and Kira. He has no excuse because Sisko is right. Anyone who's ever let their personal issues interfere with their work can sympathize.
  • The scene in "Accession" when Kira reveals that following her d'jarra would mean resigning her post. Both she and Sisko are on the verge of tears, a far cry from the depressed Starfleet officer who wanted nothing to do with Bajor and the hotheaded Bajoran who wanted nothing to do with Starfleet.
  • "Hard Time": O'Brien is implanted with the memories of a 20-year prison sentence, during which he was kept sane only with the help of a fellow prisoner, Ee'char. After he's "released" and returns to Deep Space Nine, the prisoner appears as a hallucination to help him get over the experience and regain his humanity. The scene where Bashir attempts to talk O'Brien out of suicide, and the true story of Ee'char is revealed, is heart-wrenching.
    Ee'char: Be well, Miles.
  • The end of "Shattered Mirror" will get you every time. The episode has its light moments: Jake is so happy to reconnect with his "mother", the Mirror Jennifer, Captain Sisko is essentially having fun commanding the mirror Defiant. The last scene where she dies is essentially reliving the moments of Wolf 359 all over again. This time however, an older Jake is there with his father to relive that pain. Rewatching this scene does not lessen the impact of the moment.
    Jake: [after Mirror Jennifer expires] Dad.
    Sisko: [embracing his son, sobbing] Let's go home.
  • In "For the Cause," Sisko has learned that Kasidy is smuggling for the Maquis. Right before she ships out on a rendezvous, he intends to follow her in the Defiant to catch her and the Maquis in the act, and he goes down to speak to her, practically pleading with her to join him and drop everything and take a runabout to Risa, just so that she'll be out of the line of fire. He is desperately trying to get her to let him help her out of this, to not be implicated, but he can't say it directly without tipping her off. It's so devastating watching him trying to offer her this chance without actually saying so, and then the look on his face when he realizes that he can't talk her out of it...
    • And then there's Kasidy's feelings, realizing that Sisko has almost certainly figured her out, but instead of turning her in he's doing his best to save her without revealing the fact that he knows. And yet, her commitment to duty rivals his and makes her reject his offer. When she describes it as "tempting," she's not kidding.
  • Also, "The Quickening". Bashir is trying to find a cure to a seemingly incurable disease which is present in a dormant state in all the people on the planet until the day it "quickens" and leads to their death. Shortly after distributing an antigen he thinks will cure the disease, his volunteers' conditions abruptly worsen and Bashir realizes that the EM fields from his instruments have severely hastened the progress of the disease. All around him are screaming patients in horrendous pain who beg for euthanasia to end their suffering. They all die except Bashir's first volunteer, who is heavily pregnant, but she has quickened, which means her death is soon to come. Bashir stays with her and tries to keep her alive long enough to give birth. She lives just long enough to learn that her baby does not have the disease because the antigen crossed through the placenta and gave the baby immunity.
    • Consider that Bashir, at the start, is confident—even cocky—that modern Federation medicine and his own brilliance will be able to overcome this disease. Consider also that he seems to have forgotten he's overlooked that he's trying to beat a Founder-devised and -engineered disease, and the Founders seemed to have mastered genetic engineering beyond anyone else in the entire galaxy back when Earth was still having mere Eugenics Wars. In the end, he does win, which in context is actually something of a moment of awesome for him, but oh, the price they pay for it. Now flash forward to the Female Changeling's intended last stand in season 7. Isn't that just like the Founders?
    • To be entirely fair to Bashir, it's not entirely unreasonable for him to assume that Federation Medical Science could cure these people, as similar "miracle cures" for sick populations had been whipped up by the medical crews of the various Enterprise ships. The end of the episode highlights Bashir's instructions, despite commendations from Sisko, he is still trying (and failing) to come up with a way to cure the rest of the populace.
    • This episode particularly hits hard to those in medical science. It conveys so well how dearly researchers want to help people, and how heartbreaking setbacks can be because we know that we can't rush science, but there are real people suffering and dying while they wait on cures.
    • At the end of the episode, when the first child born free of the blight is presented, the Teplans begin to celebrate. But Bashir wants nothing to do with the celebration, instead preferring to stand off to the side. This is in reference to Jonas Salk, the man who created the first polio vaccine, he refused to take any credit for his work and said that it was done not for himself, but for the people.
    • Even though the people are overjoyed to learn that their babies from now on will not have the Blight, a baby born the day before Bashir discovered the vaccine is shit out of luck. And the children will still have to grow up knowing their parents could die at any time.
    • The end is just depressing. At this point all he can do to find a cure is tell the computer to shuffle the variables in a hypothetical cure and test to see if it works. We know he'll eventually find the answer, but until that day we know he'll ask the computer to shuffle things again. And again. And again. Talk about a depressing way to spend several minutes every day and always have a cloud looming over your head.
    • The scene where Bashir hands the newborn, healthy baby boy to his mother... only for the mother to die.
    Season 5 
  • "The Ship", courtesy of Muñiz. Bad enough that he dies, but instead of an Instant Death Bullet followed by He's Dead, Jim, like with any other Red Shirt, he slowly bleeds out from his phaser wound.
  • "Nor The Battle To The Strong." Most of the episode, really. Jake Sisko, stuck on Ajilon Prime with Dr. Bashir, gets a closer look into the horrors of war than he ever really wanted, and he finds himself surrounded by death and destruction, capped off by an embittered soldier who dies right in front of him. Long before the episode is over, you just wanna hug the poor kid.
  • "The Begotten". Any Death of a Child is going to be a Tear Jerker, but this one is made worse by how happy the baby Changeling made Odo.
    Odo: Please, don't die. I was going to teach you how to turn into a Tarkalean hawk, remember?
    • The number of Heartwarming Moments in this episode for Odo, Dr. Mora and Kira, only make the ending that much more bittersweet and painful. The fact that the baby Changeling was reaching out to Odo in such a way and the connection he had with it only makes it more so.
  • The death of Enabran Tain, who was not only Garak's mentor but also Garak's father as well, in "In Purgatory's Shadow".
  • "Doctor Bashir, I Presume". It's revealed that Bashir was mentally impaired as a child, which led to his parents genetically altering him to be much smarter. He's spent his entire medical career holding back, in the fear that if he was just a little too smart he'd be caught, kicked out of medicine, and made a pariah for something he has absolutely no control over. His confrontation with his parents, however, is the worst.
    Bashir: You used to be my father. Now, you're my architect. A man who designed a better son to replace the defective one he was given.
    • It's even worse if you have a child with mental impairment. His mother's description of her anguish about watching him struggle and falling further behind really hits home. Thankfully there's a happy tearjerker when mother and father fess up about what they did to the authorities and apologize to Julian, ensuring that they will bear the punishment for their actions and saving both his Starfleet and medical careers.
    • Watching with a mental disability can also be pretty hard. Knowing your parents could have potentially changed a key aspect of who you are because you don’t process things the same way as others can hit pretty close to home.
    • And then there's the fact that Mirror!Bashir is apparently intelligent enough, even though he was a slave and wouldn't have had access to genetic engineering. Which implies that there was nothing wrong with him in the first place. It may be that his learning problems were exaggerated from him being a little slower than his peers, but his parents, as many parents in real life do, panicked because they thought it was a predictor of his performance in life.note  (Of course, Mirror!Vic wasn't even a hologram so one shouldn't assume that mirror universe counterparts are genetically identical in every way.)
    • In past episodes, Julian talked about his fondness for Tennis and how he considered going pro when he was younger. It's possible he abandoned that idea because athletes are more rigorously tested for enhancements than normal people, and he couldn't risk it. He handily beats O'Brien at darts after the reveal, so Julian still has some athleticism he's never gotten to use.
  • There's also "Ties of Blood and Water" and the death of Tekeny Ghemor. Becomes bittersweet when Kira, after initially refusing to speak to him after discovering that he took part in an attack during the Cardassian Occupation (he was nineteen years old and was told that the people he killed were smuggling weapons), chooses to forgive the man who has come to think of her as a daughter and buries him on Bajor beside her real father (whose dying moments she had been unable to face, choosing instead to go out and hunt down the Cardassians who had killed him). She found the strength to stay by Tekeny's side and her description of his final, struggling breaths is heart-wrenching.
    Major Kira: He got so quiet... toward the end. I-I could hear him whispering things — his wife's name, Iliana's, even mine. Then the pain just got too much for him and he just lay there, breathing. And at the end of every exhale... there was this pause, and I thought, "That's it. It's over." Then he'd force another breath. And another... I started counting them. One hundred... two hundred... three hundred... He fought for every last second. I don't think he even knew that I was there.
    Doctor Bashir: He knew. You gave him what he needed. He didn't die alone.
    Kira: Maybe he gave me something I needed, too. I missed my father's death by less than an hour. Did you know that? Less than an hour! I always told myself that it was... bad luck, bad timing — will of the Prophets. But the truth is...I didn't have to go when I did. I could have stayed a while longer. I saw my chance to get out and I took it. I saw so much death during the Occupation, I felt so much pain. But my father...he was my strength. And I...I couldn't stand to see that strength slipping away. So I ran.
    Bashir: Just like you tried to run from Ghemor.
    Kira: He reminded me so much of my father... Going through it again, I...I just couldn't face it.
    Bashir: But in the end, you did. You were there for Ghemor.
    Kira: I owed it to him. I owed it to my father - to get it right this time.
    • The episode is also intercut with flashbacks to the Occupation and the death of Kira's father. As he was dying, Kira went out to avenge him on some Cardassians. While the mission was a success, her father died before she returned. His last words were calling for her. Worse for Kira (and the audience) is that she doesn't even have time to mourn - it's right back to work of fighting to remove the Cardassians from Bajor.
  • "Children of Time". The last ten minutes.
    • For context, Kira, Sisko, Bashir, Worf, Dax, O'Brien, Odo and 42 redshirts crash the Defiant on a planet on which live their alternate-universe descendants, where they learn that in their attempt to take off, there was an accident that sent them 200 years into the past, where they founded a colony, hence being greeted by their descendants. There is angst about how if they get back to Deep Space 9, these people would have never existed, but if they don't, Major Kira will die. There's also a few emotions regarding Alternate Odo, who's either in love or infatuated (it's hard to tell) with Kira. Kira, despite knowing it means her death, is the first to say she's willing to do it so the colonists can live. O'Brien, who most vehemently opposes this considering he has his wife and family to get back to, finally relents after spending time with a little girl who's one of his descendants, and convinces Sisko to recreate the accident that strands them 200 years in the past. They're all set to do it, but Alternate Odo hijacked the autopilot to prevent it, and they just stand there in horror as the sensors report there's no sign of the settlement or its people.
  • The ending of "A Simple Investigation". Odo falls in love with Arissa, a woman trying to escape the clutches of a crime syndicate, only to learn that she was a deep-cover agent with a false identity and false implanted memories. At the end of the episode, now restored to her true self, the agent visits Odo one last time, to say goodbye on Arissa's behalf. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment, but it's also a Tear Jerker because Odo still loves Arissa, but Arissa effectively no longer exists, and the person who carries her memories is leaving and he'll probably never see her again.
  • The ending of "Empok Nor" is a very bitter one. The mission does succeed, but it has clearly traumatized Garak. Even though he was drugged into paranoid insanity against his will. Garak still clearly blames himself for Amaro's death and knows he will be living with the guilt of what happened to him for a long time.
    Season 6 
  • Remata'Klan's Honor Before Reason death at the end of "Rocks and Shoals":
    Sisko: Do you really want to give up your life for "the order of things"?
    Remata'Klan: It is not my life to give up, Captain...and it never was.
    • Even Garak looks unhappy at the senseless slaughter.
  • At the very end of "Sacrifice of Angels", when Garak learns of Ziyal's death. It seems subdued, especially compared to Dukat's anguish, but it's also lacking in his usual theatrics; for once, you get the impression that the practiced liar isn't putting on a show.
    Kira: She loved you.
    Garak: I could never figure out why...
    (Garak tenderly touches her cheek)
    Garak: ... I guess I never will.
    • When Ziyal is shot by Damar, a devastated Dukat refuses Damar's urging to flee and cradles his daughter in his arms, telling her he forgives her and wailing in grief and agony as she dies.
      • The ending scene is even worse. Love him or hate him, it's hard to watch the once mighty leader of Cardassia curled up on the floor of a holding cell, speaking to his dead daughter before breaking down in tears. By the time Odo helps him to his feet, it's clear the man is completely and utterly broken;
      Dukat: We'll go back to Cardassia, Ziyal. We'll be safe there. You'll live with me... father and daughter... everything will be fine...
  • The ending of "Resurrection", when Mirror Bareil decides to take the Intendent back with him to the Mirror Universe. He reveals to Kira that he doesn't want too. Rather it's because even after being tempted by the happy future he saw in his Orb vision, of himself and Kira settling down. He thinks that he's not good enough for her and will ruin their relationship. The poor man is convinced he can never be anything better than a thief.
    • Before that, while sulking and Drowning My Sorrows at Quark's after his experience with the Orb. Mirror Bareil finally snaps at the curious Bajoran's gawking at him, thanks to his resemblance to the deceased Vedek Bareil.
    Mirror Bareil: What are you two staring at? Same goes for the rest of you! I am not Vedek Bareil! I just want to be left alone.
  • The fate of the Jack Pack in "Statistical Probabilities". Patrick forever stunted with a child's mentality, Lauren's obsession with sex, and Sarina trapped in her own mind. Even Jack's a tragic character in his own way; when looking at him you can only think of what Captain Kirk said about Gary Mitchell: he didn't ask for what happened to him. And, except for Sarina, there's no real fix for them. They have to be locked away either for their own safety or for the safety of others.
  • "Far Beyond the Stars". He may or may not have just been a figment of Sisko's imagination, but still. Poor Benny...
    Benny: You can deny me all you want but you can't deny Ben Sisko. He exists! That future, that space station, all those people, they exist in here! In my mind. I created it. And every one of you knew it, you read it. It's here. Do you hear what I'm telling you? You can pulp a story but you cannot destroy an idea! Don't you understand? That's ancient knowledge, you cannot destroy an idea. That future – I created it, and it's real! Don't you understand? It is real. I created it. And it's real! It's REAL!
  • The final monologue to "In the Pale Moonlight" sprung tears, perhaps Manly Tears.
    Sisko: So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would. Garak was right about one thing, a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it. I can live with it...
  • "The Reckoning". Sisko sees Jake in Sick Bay after Jake's been taken over by a Pah-Wraith and almost killed in the ensuing chaos. Sisko tries to explain what happened... but just bursts into tears, horrified at what he almost let happen to his own son.
  • The ending of "Valiant". Watters' downright suicidal overconfidence leads to the destruction of the Valiant and the deaths of his entire Red Squad crew - all of whom were little more than cadets - save for Dorian. It also hits hard for Nog, who idolized Red Squad and joined them with the enthusiasm of a kid who got to play with his heroes, only for that pedestal to collapse into rubble.
    Nog: He may have been a hero. He may even have been a great man. But in the end, he was a bad captain.
  • "Time's Orphan." 8-year old girl stranded, alone, 300 years in the past. Brought back as a feral girl 10 years (relative to her) later. Eventually, her parents have to send her BACK as her only shot at being happy. Sorry, Chief, looks like being The Woobie runs in the family.
    • This one ends up inverted though. Feral-Molly ends up arriving in the past mere minutes after her younger self and ends up performing a Heroic Sacrifice to send the little girl home, choosing to negate her own existence in the process. So it's a happy ending, but still tearjerking on behalf of Feral Molly.
    Feral!Molly: Molly home.
    • Even the Kirayoshi subplot becomes a Tear Jerker in hindsight once you realize that it inspired Jadzia and Worf to have a baby of their own, only for Jadzia to be killed by a possessed Dukat as she's praying to the Prophets for help with her fertility.
  • The end of "The Sound Of Her Voice." The crew did all they could to save Captain Cusak, but were doomed from the start because of the timeshifted signals. Sisko laments that it isn't right for her to stay alone in this cave; she deserves to be with her friends.
    • Also from the episode, O'Brien confessing that this war is hitting him harder than the Cardassian War he fought in before. He's having trouble connecting with people because any of them could be dead tomorrow. And you realize that this same thing is happening for thousands of people all over the Alpha Quadrant. How many people are out there, trying to cope with their fears without telling their friends or being analyzed by a counselor?
  • Jadzia's death in "Tears of the Prophets" was easily one of the saddest sequences in Trek's history. And poor Worf. Even he can't keep a stiff upper-lip about this. His roar at the end is concentrated tear-jerker-ness. (Sure, it's Klingon ritual to warn the dead another warrior is coming, but be honest: Worf just screamed because the woman he loved is dead in his arms, he wasn't there to help her, and he couldn't do anything to save her), and then his sobbing prayer over her body.
    • The actual ritual involved holding open the dead's eyes and roaring but Worf forgoes that part because he can't even bear to look at her.
    • Worse, this is the second time this has happened to Worf.
    • And in the next two episodes, his ongoing grief (smashing up Vic's place after demanding he sing Jadzia's favorite song, and Vic indicating that it was far from the first time) over her death, culminating in tears of joy as he accomplishes his goal of honoring her death in a great battle and assuring her entrance to Sto-Vo-Kor.
    • Sisko breaking down over her coffin, telling Jadzia that he doesn't know what to do and that he still needs her help. He's so shaken that when he goes on leave, he takes his prized baseball with him, which Kira recognizes as a sign that he's not sure he'll ever come back.
    • A little thing that's heartbreaking all on its own — the Defiant returns to DS9 after the victory at Chin'toka, and Worf RACES to the infirmary. Seeing him running, almost panicked is a jarring moment all on its own, and really hits home that this is happening, that Jadzia is dying.
    • In Real Life, Jadzia's death in Sickbay was Terry Farrell's last scene to ever film for the show and by the time they wrapped for the day she had to go home genuinely heartbroken in the middle of the night.

    Season 7 
  • "Afterimage": Ezri Dax tries to settle in at Deep Space Nine, but besides Sisko and Quark, everybody, especially Worf, is uncomfortable having her there. Then, while she's trying to help Garak with his claustrophobia, he delivers a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech that utterly crushes her spirit, leaving her so devastated that she heads to the Bajoran chapel where Jadzia was killed and cries.
    • The sheer relief on Worf's face when Ezri tells him that Jadzia loved him as much as he did her, at hearing that just one more time, from the only person who would know for certain, speaks to how much that little fear in the back of his mind had been gnawing at him. It's like he lets out a breath he'd held since Jadzia had died.
  • The death of one of the greatest Klingon warriors the galaxy has ever known: Kor, who first appeared for the franchise three decades earlier on TOS. Both "Blood Oath" and "Once More Unto The Breach" become this way with the passing of all three of the Klingon trio. What really makes this one sad? Kor's big Heroic Sacrifice comes at the heels of him trying to have one last battle, just like his Glory Days, but he's old, past his prime, and, as it turns out, suffering from dementia - he nearly gets the crew all killed when he starts hallucinating at a key moment in battle. A bitter Martok and some of the crew taunt him mercilessly, while Kor looks absolutely ashamed of the shell of a man he's become. It's almost a relief when he gets the opportunity to die in battle so the crew can escape. Not to mention a few scenes later. Martok is recounting what he said to Worf and realizes that the revenge he has waited decades for against Kor has done nothing but make him feel ashamed of himself for doing it.
  • The battle in "The Siege of AR-558." The haunting, mournful music playing over the phaser fire and screams of battle makes it even harder to watch dry-eyed as the away team and the Starfleet officers who have been slowly dying, both physically and psychologically, fight a brutal and ugly battle for the sake of a hunk of technology and many of the episode's characters are killed. The director called on his experience from the Vietnam War and it shows.
    • One of the soldiers recounts to Bashir how his arm was bandaged by a guy he despised for being a Motor Mouth. By the time the soldier finishes the story and proclaims that the man finally shut up after having a hole shot into his chest, he's practically shouting at Bashir and sobbing.
    • One of the most harrowing parts is what happens to Nog: he is ambushed by Jem'Hadar and hit in the leg by a blaster, the damage requiring amputation. It is absolutely heartwrenching when he falls to the ground and cries out in pain.
      • Quark spends the whole episode admonishing humans for their war-mongering ways. Then he shoots an attacking soldier on instinct when he tries to go for Nog. The horror on Quark's face is palpable.
    • The worst part of this comes later on when the Dominion and Breen manage to retake the Chin'toka system in "The Changing Face of Evil". All the Starfleet personnel who died during the siege died for nothing because in the end, AR-558 and the comm hub end up back in enemy hands. Talk about Shooting the Shaggy Dog.
  • "It's Only A Paper Moon," and Nog's crying fit to Vic Fontaine. He honestly thought he was untouchable, until he lost a leg two episodes earlier. Now he's truly afraid, for the first time. It hits harder since all this time we've watched him grow from a rascal running around on the station with Jake, into a model Starfleet officer, and we're reminded all too suddenly that in the grand scheme of things, Nog's still only young, and he's in the middle of a war. Poor little guy.
    Nog: I'm scared, okay? I'm scared! [starts sobbing] When the war began, I wasn't happy or anything, but I was eager! I wanted to test myself. I wanted to prove I had what it took to be a soldier. And I saw a lot of combat. I saw a lot of people get hurt. I saw a lot of people die. But I didn't think anything was going to happen to me. And then suddenly Doctor Bashir is telling me he has to cut my leg off. I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it! If I can get shot, if I can lose my leg, anything could happen to me, Vic! I could die tomorrow! I don't know if I'm ready to face that. If I stay here, at least I know what the future is going to be like.
    Vic: You stay here, you're going to die. Not all at once, but little by little. Eventually you'll become as hollow as I am.
    Nog: You don't seem hollow to me.
    Vic: Compared to you, I'm hollow as a snare drum. Look, kid, I don't know what's going to happen to you out there. All I can tell you is that you've got to play the cards life deals you. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but at least you're in the game.
    • At one point, Rom and Leeta come into the program to check on Nog. He ditches them for some computer-generated high-rollers, and they're left at a table, holding hands and looking miserable.
    • The moment Vic tells Nog it's time to end the program is a double Tear Jerker. For Nog because he's desperate to hold on to his safe fantasy world, and for Vic because his speech really shows how cruel it is to create a self-aware sentient hologram (that doesn't have a mobile emitter) probably better than Moriarty or The Doctor ever did.
      Vic: I’m a hologram Nog. I’m not a person. Till you came along I’ve never been on for more than 6 or 7 hours straight.
      Nog: I know, and now you’re running all the time. Isn’t it great?
      Vic: It’s incredible. Since you’ve been here I’ve slept in a bed every night, gone to work every day, had time to read the paper, play cards with the boys. I’ve had a life. And I have to tell you, it’s a precious thing. I had no idea how much it means to just live. And now I’m going to return the favor, and give you your life back.
      Nog: But I don’t want that life anymore Vic. I’m perfectly happy here.
      Vic: What here? There is no here. Don’t you get it, this is nowhere. It’s an illusion and so am I. In fact, the only thing in this entire program that’s not an illusion is you.
      Nog: Okay you’re right, but I’m not ready to go back yet. I need more time. So let’s just sleep on it and talk about it tomorrow.
      Vic: Kid. I hate to do this to you, but you’re not giving me any choice. Computer: END PROGRAM.
  • The villain of "Field of Fire" is a demonstration of what happens to Vulcans when they become a Shell-Shocked Veteran: they snap. Chu'lak was an officer on a Starfleet ship that suffered immense casualties, as in him being one of a handful of survivors. Being a Vulcan, Chu'lak attempted to suppress his feelings and was unable to do so leading to him go on a murderous rampage. Seeing a member of one of Star Trek's most revered alien races fall so low is rather heartbreaking.
    Ezri: Tell me, why did you do it?
    Chu'lak: Because logic demanded it.
  • The episode "Extreme Measures", where Bashir and O'Brien enter the brain of a dying Sloan to retrieve the cure for the disease Section 31 created to kill Odo. While in there, they see Sloan have an imaginary goodbye to his family, saying he regrets that his life of secrecy in the name of preserving the Federation kept him from being closer to them. Even worse, because Sloan is actively trying to distract Bashir and O'Brien from finding the cure, we don't know if this is real regret on his part or another ruse. Either way, the implications are depressing.
  • The sequence of memories from "What You Leave Behind" as O'Brien, Worf, Quark and Sisko reminisce about the past seven years before going their separate ways. Try watching that without tearing up.
    • The goodbye party at Vic's, with him singing Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" to the crew.
    • Odo rejoining The Great Link, saying goodbye to Kira in the tuxedo.
    • The final moment with Jake; Kira comforting him as he looks out into space, wondering when/if he'll ever see his father again. Only emphasized by the final, slow, majestic iteration of the main theme song, while the camera does a long, slow pan-out from Deep Space Nine that only underscores how small the station really is in the scheme of things...and how small and alone Jake feels.
  • Weyoun... poor, poor Weyoun. Not just his death(s), but his entire existence, really. Particularly the "defective" one who died in Odo's arms after a Heroic Sacrifice. But even the look on one of the regular Weyouns' face when one of his Gods (who would throw away his life in a heartbeat, if she had a heart at all) refers to him as a trustworthy and loyal servant.
    • The look on his face when the Female Changeling calls him the only solid she ever trusted. He looks so pleased to hear that, you get the feeling that he lived his entire life, the lives of every Weyoun that came before him, to hear these words. And he probably has, as well.
      • Soon after this, Garak kills him. Is the Female Changeling overcome with grief? Ha ha, no. In a tone of mild disappointment, as if Garak had simply inconvenienced her, she says, "I wish you hadn't done that. That was Weyoun's last clone."
    • That moment when the Female Changeling orders Weyoun to have the Vorta doctors working on a cure replaced by their clones (making it somewhat ambiguous if she wants them executed or ordered to commit suicide). We knew she was ruthless, but these are her own loyal servants who are working day and night to cure her people that she's ordering destroyed for not getting it done fast enough for her liking. The worst part is, judging by Weyoun and the other Vorta, if they were asked to commit suicide, they probably did it without hesitation, not feeling betrayed by their god, but feeling as though they deserved it because they failed her.
  • "Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended... we have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no going back. We must move forward to preserve in peace what we've won in war". Doubly sad as these words also closed out the Second World War.
  • The brief arc revolving around Worf and Ezri as captives of first the Breen, then the Dominion. Caught up in the mess of unresolved emotions from Jadzia's death, the love that Jadzia had for Worf now echoing in Ezri's head, the utter pain and grief and anguish that Worf carries because after Jadzia's death, made worse by the fact that someone with her memories walks around the station beside him... Even before getting to the fact that she hadn't come to terms with her own attraction to not Worf but Julian, leading to her calling out his name after a session of Breen torture, it's all just a car crash that, in all honestly, probably had to happen, but it still guts you. Particularly Worf's reaction to hearing Ezri call for Julian - it's clear that, on some level, he was forgetting that Ezri wasn't Jadzia, and that he had the woman he loved back, only for the painful crash into reality that explicitly says to him again, no, Jadzia is dead, and no matter what, Ezri Dax will never be her.
  • Mila's casual and dismissive death at the hands of the Jem'Hadar, particularly given that the house Kira, Garak, and Damar have been hiding out in is about to be bombarded by the Dominion, reducing the building to rubble and likely wiping out her remains in the process, meaning her body can't even be given a proper burial.
    • It’s taken up to eleven if you accept the beta canon that Mila wasn’t just a beloved housekeeper to Garak - she was his mother.
  • He doesn't even get enough development to become a Scrappy, but Legate Broca's pleas to the Founder to not be executed after the Cardassian fleet has turned on the Dominion, leading to the Founder ordering the extermination of the Cardassians entirely, beginning with him, are pitiful to hear - as bad as it is to be a loyal supporter of the Dominion, that's exactly what he was.
  • Garak reacting to the Cardassian death toll in the finale, especially his last scene with Bashir. Moral relativism and compulsive lying aside, one thing about Garak was never ambiguous: how much he loved Cardassia and her people, and it’s obvious from his brutally, bitterly honest summation of the situation how deeply he’s been affected by the senseless destruction.
  • Right up until she turns around and accepts them, Winn is sympathetic in her horror about the Pah-Wraiths speaking to her - these are, effectively, the devils of her faith, asking her to believe in them and to give up the love of the Prophets. Of course, that still ends up going out the airlock once she realizes that the only way to turn away from the Pah-Wraiths is to give up her position as Kai, but up to the point she makes her choice, you legitimately do feel sympathy for her in her crisis of faith.
    • Associated is the genuine disappointment that can be heard in Kira's voice when she realizes that Kai Winn will not step down; that Winn, the Kai of Bajor and spiritual leader of the Bajoran people, is refusing to accept that the Prophets' path for her is to give up power.