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Episode 1 - Zer 0 Sum
- The twist at the end when Felix double-crosses the others for the 10 million dollars.
- If you manage to save Felix you learn of an even bigger Tear Jerker: Felix never planned to double cross you. He planned to stash most of the money in a drawer for Fiona and Sasha, while drawing Vallory's attention off of them. But chances are good that you chose to kill him anyway.
Episode 2 - Atlas Mugged
- The reveal that Vaughn made a deal with Vasquez to double cross Rhys. It's especially painful if you had Rhys turn down the same offer Vasquez made earlier. The look on Rhys face says it all.
- Sasha did not respond well to Felix's betrayal. She's brought close to tears in Atlas Mugged when she and Fiona find an ECHOcomm with him telling an apparent sob story about how he was trying to protect them from someone they'd never heard of.
Episode 3 - Catch a Ride
- Though he ends the conversation with venomous threats, Jack seems genuinely shocked and hurt if Rhys decides not to trust him, implying that his offer of partnership was a sincere one. On top of that, he makes it known that he's somehow very well aware of how much people hate him; he just hoped that it would be different with Rhys.
- From that same exchange, Jack tries to assure Rhys that he can be trusted. He tries to cite that Rhys "can even ask Athena" that he always looks out for his team, but his normal irreverent tone briefly cracks into a quiet stutter as if ashamed of how badly he burned that bridge considering that half of the "team" he's trying to use as an example is dead and the other half hates him.
- No matter which option you choose, it cuts to Rhys looking heart-broken and Fiona swallowing whatever snide comment she has to offer once she sees him. This implies that no matter what, Rhys may come to regret trusting or not trusting Jack.
- Fiona being unable to save Athena from Brick and Mordecai, especially since Athena had started to become a mentor and friend. The fact one of the eventual dialogue options is to tell Valory that you will kill her for this, says everything about how much Athena had really come to mean to her.
- After Vallory and her boys show up with Rhys and give Athena to the Vault Hunters, (which is a tearjerker in and of itself if you beg Vallory not to hurt Athena) Rhys has one question that doesn't get answered.
Rhys: Vaughn? Where's Vaughn?
Episode 4 - Escape Plan Bravo
- Scooter's death, and the option to trade hats with him as well as everything he says. And then you get the chance to honor him with all the epicness that he deserves. See you, Space Cowboy.
- Made worse is the heartbreaking Bait-and-Switch- his hand is stuck, and it looks like it's going to be another fakeout like Sasha's (the segment even gives Fiona the same dialogue prompts that Rhys had in that scene)... but his hand really is stuck, and you have no choice but to cut the engine.
- His last thoughts are of his mother and sister, Moxxi and Ellie, asking Fiona to tell them that it's ok, because he's done some awesome shit.
- The prompt that appears just before their death:
Scooter will never forget you.
- The fact that the game makes you pull the lever to send him on. And if you wait too long, the rocket explodes and kills everybody except Loader Bot and Gortys.
- It's possibly the one and only time where Scooter's catchphrase "Catch-a-Ride" isn't used to inject comedy into a situation. It's both an awesome moment and a huge tearjerker.
- The photograph of Angel in Jack's office. If you scan it, Jack just tells you to look at something else. Dialogue reveals that Jack doesn't know that Angel is dead and he temporarily glitches out after talking about her.
- Yvette sold you out and has been working with Vasquez since Rhys and Vaughn left for Pandora,something [[spoiler: a disguised Rhys comes to accept after unsuccessfully trying to find something redeemable in her words and actions. [[spoiler: Even if you believe her later when she says that she fully intended on getting you back and was playing Vasquez, it still hurts to hear her talk so callously about her "friends."
Yvette: They were dead the moment they set foot on Pandora. If I was going to lose them anyway, I might as well get something out of it.
- Rhys tries to reassure Vaughn that everything's going to be alright if you betray Vaughn's trust in most of the previous episodes:
Rhys: You know what this is? This just another story we can tell our kids when we're millionaires.
Vaughn: *angrily* I told you, I don't want kids!
*Cue Rhys's shocked expression*
- Springs' sadness after Athena is taken by Brick and Mordecai. Not only does she feel betrayed knowing that Athena had broken her promise of leaving her old life behind, but is also genuinely worried for her safety.
- Reject Hyperion ending can be just as much a Tear Jerker as it is Nightmare Fuel. Handsome Jack genuinely opens up, offering to give Rhys everything he wanted - and intends to follow through with it (in that moment) - and Rhys throws the offer back in his face. Its one more betrayal in a lifetime of allies-turning-traitors for Jack. As terrifying as he is in the reject ending, its a little sad too.
Episode 5 - The Vault Of The Traveler
- Loader Bot's Heroic Sacrifice to get Rhys into an escape pod at the opening of the episode only to get gunned down by Kroger like a Vault Hunter would any other Hyperion Loader as Rhys desperately bangs on the glass to save him. It gets revealed as a Disney Death in the same episode, but still.
- The "we both can't fit in that" option makes Loader Bot's sacrifice absolutely heartbreaking.
Rhys: Wait wait wait, stop, STOP! We both can't fit in that!
Rhys: No! Wait! Loader Bot, no!
(Loader Bot fistbumps the front of the pod)
(Kroger guns Loader Bot down)
- The song that plays in the beginning as Helios blows up in shambles in outer space as Rhys looks on in horror. It's rather dark and sad compared to the more previous songs. And as you listen to it, you can see the sadness and regret Rhys is suffering in the pod as he watches his home being ripped to shreds.
- The destruction of Helios itself can be sad for some. Even ignoring the catastrophic loss of human life it caused, and even ignoring the sadness caused by Loader Bot's apparent Heroic Sacrifice, Helios was a constant fixture in the sky for players of Borderlands 2 and you actually got to visit it in The Pre-Sequel. It's a little sad knowing that it's gone forever.
- Jack's final moments are appropriately pathetic. Going from murderously raving to earnestly begging, Jack comes across as desperate, sad, and very alone. And adding to that is Rhys, watching his former idol reveal his true nature as a broken loser among the burning wreckage of Helios.
- In short, everything about the intro sequence; Loader Bot is killed (seemingly, anyway), Helios is crashing down, killing who knows how many people, and to cap it all off, you're then forced to kill Gortys to stop the rampage of the Traveler.
- Hearing Gortys, the happy-go-lucky robot that is so rarely upset by anything, desperately beg you to kill her is heartrending.
- Scanning the Handsome Jack statue after crashing Helios will reveal that Butt Stallion went into a depression-fueled inactive state when she learned he died.
- While Jack is (apparently) dying after Helios crashes, he laments that even his own daughter betrayed him - Rhys can ask about this, where Jack tells him that he looked up what happened on the system, and proceeds to summarise the poor young woman's life - she killed her mother because she couldn't control her powers (though given this is Jack there may be more to it than that), his second wife bolted when she found out about Angel being locked up, and then she used the Vault Hunters to commit suicide to stop Jack's plans - Borderlands 2 players already knew most of this, but to have it out in the open and told by Jack of all people definitely adds a new layer of sadness to Angel's story.
- Although she gets better, Sasha's death scene is a big tearjerker. Especially when the player as Fiona has to choose how to say goodbye to her sister.
- One of the biggest factors to this is hearing Rhys cry. He legitimately sounds like he's about to start sobbing, and hearing him whimper is absolutely crushing.
- Sasha asks why he's crying over her, and he feebly says that maybe those stories about tears being able to heal people are true. She tenderly wipes his cheek and says that this isn't one of those stories.
- The tired heartbreak in the Stranger's voice as they finally tell their side of the story before The Reveal just oozes sadness. From his point of view during the entire sequence of events in-game he has been dedicated to the heroes beyond any other, has given them his all despite escalating damage to himself and saved their lives multiple times. The only time he had ever asked them for anything was to save and protect Gortys but instead, Loader Bot gets to drag his barely functional body to the site of the first opening of the Traveler's Vault in time to see Fiona and Sasha seemingly betray and kill her.
- August saves the sisters, but after siding with them to fight off Finch and Kroger, he gets shot in the gut and can't defend himself. When Fiona crash-lands onto Pandora, he's barely conscious and unable to move due to his wound. This results in August, unable to do anything, unable to run or move or shoot, only able to feebly shout as he watches his mother get crushed in front of him. Like him or not, it is horrendous to go through that.