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Tear Jerker / Static Shock

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  • "Flashback", a Time-Travel Episode in which Virgil/Static goes back to meet his deceased mother, Jean, on the night she died in a gang riot as a paramedic caught in the crossfire. Virgil reveals his Secret Identity to her and begs her to stay out of harm's way. Although he doesn't explicitly mention her death, he gravely says that she will be hurt and insinuates her tragedy. It's clear that Jean understands that she will die that night doing her paramedic duties. Nonetheless, Jean's desire to help people drives her back onto the streets even though it's implied she knows what will happen to her. Virgil's panic as he sees Jean with her ambulance crew among the fracas as he is stuck in the time bubble that returns him to the present is heartbreaking as he yells for her. It is made even worse when he runs home with the faint hope that she survived, only to discover that Jean still died despite his efforts to save her.
    • Adding to that (and crossing over with heartwarming) is the reveal of what did change: On the night she died, Jean told everyone how her son was a superhero and that she was proud of him. Thus, giving him the closure he needed to heal from her death.
  • The Christmas Episode "Frozen Out" and everything involving Permafrost's simply tragic and heartbreaking backstory. Even adult fans admitted to crying over it.
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  • In "Consequences", Virgil's showboating during a fight with Puff and Onyx lands his friend, Daisy, in a temporary coma. He feels like it was partially his fault (after getting called out by Rubberband Man). It's sad to see a hero have this sort of problem, potentially harming someone close to them.
  • "Jimmy" involves the titular character, a depressed kid who gets bullied a lot. It gets worse when he brings a gun to the Community Center and aims it at his bully, Nick. Richie and Frieda try to talk him down, and the boy is crying. And as he's trying to put the gun down, Nick's goons tackle him, causing him to accidentally shoot Richie in the leg. This shocks Jimmy into curling up on the floor and utterly sobbing.
    • When the bullies shove Jimmy into a locker, the poor kid is screaming and begging for them to let him out. He looks and sounds terrified, implying that he might be claustrophobic. When Virgil opens it, Jimmy falls out with tears streaming down his face.
    • There are two other really hard-to-watch scenes tied to the above:
      • Virgil ranting to the school counselor about how upset he is about the events: 1) He's mad at the bullies for starting the whole thing, 2) He's mad at Jimmy for shooting Richie in the first place (even if it was just an accident), and 3) He's mad at himself for not telling his father about the gun stored in Jimmy's house and for not doing more to stop the bullying.
      • The exchange when Virgil is signing Richie's cast. While it is somewhat Played for Laughs, Richie remarking about if the bullet had hit just a little higher and Virgil very firmly telling him not to go there is hard to hear.
      • Later, the two express hopes that the incident will put a stop to bullying... only to see another kid get pushed around by a pair of thugs the way Jimmy had been. While it is mitigated by the fact that Virgil steps in to help the kid, it shows how tragedies don't automatically solve societal problems.
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  • When Static and Hotstreak are chained together, they learn they're in a medical facility. Hotstreak totally flips out, eventually revealing that, when he was a kid, he ended up having to spend two years in a hospital. This reveals a somewhat poignant side to his usual thuggish portrayal.
  • Virgil finding out about Mr. Foley's racism. It's blatantly clear that Virgil is deeply hurt (and not entirely on his own behalf; he admits to being stunned how a good guy like Richie can have a bigoted dad) and that Richie is devastated when his best friend leaves.
    • Then the exchange where Richie snaps at his father about how his father got what he wanted and that his best friend's gone before snarling "I hate you!", running away from home, and disappearing into the streets to ultimately get captured and held hostage by Ebon.
    Richie: Well, you got what you wanted, Dad! My best friend is gone because of you and your stupid racism! I HATE YOU!
  • In the Season 1 finale "Tantrum", Virgil's family is planning a memorial service for his deceased mother, Jean. As much as Virgil misses her, at this point in the series, he still hasn't fully come to terms with her death. Hence, he doesn't want to take part in it because it would hurt too much. Later on, he and Richie are watching an old home video of when Virgil was a baby, which Richie's intentions of making fun of him. But when Jean appears in the video and easily calms baby Virgil down, Richie finally understands why Virgil did not want to see it.
    Richie: Now I see why you didn't want to look at this. She was so great, and now she's... gone.
    Virgil: She really knew what made me tick.


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