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Tear Jerker / Tangled: The Series

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Before Ever After, The Movie

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  • While Rapunzel is now with her parents, Eugene, and Cassandra, she feels stifled from her busier life.
  • King Frederic's actions during the film; he's basically Not So Different from, yet simultaneously Not So Similar to Gothel — keeping Rapunzel locked away in Corona for her own safety. Does he have good intentions unlike Gothel? Yes. Are his actions sympathetic given how his only child was kidnapped as a baby? Yes. Is his over-protectiveness putting Rapunzel in the same predicament she had for her whole life? Yes.
    • His flashback to her kidnapping is also pretty tearjerking, especially since you can hear him desperately calling for help as his daughter is taken away.
  • Eugene confessing to Rapunzel, who's actually Pascal in disguise in this scene, after she rejected his proposal. Even though most of it was played for laughs, this part wasn't at all.
    Eugene: Growing up poor and alone...I got used to having nothing, but now with you, I finally have something. We have something, something that is amazing and I guess tonight I was just trying to keep it that way and I thought that's what you wanted, too...but I guess I was wrong.
  • Lady Caine's father was a petty thief the king locked up when he went to town on Corona's criminal element after Rapunzel's disappearance. It makes her actions somewhat understandable.
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  • Rapunzel running off in tears after her father commands her to never leave the walls of Corona again.
  • Frederic doesn't find it an easy decision either, given the expression on his face, but he would rather have his daughter safe than happy.

Season 1

What The Hair?!
  • Varian is a teenage Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds. He means well with his inventions, and he even has a reputation of The Dreaded wizard in town, but his devices are downright dangerous. Given what his father says, Varian causes damage on a regular basis.
  • What finally makes Rapunzel tell Eugene about her hair: he stays with her when she's strapped to Varian's analysis machine and his boiler threatens to bury them alive. She decides there will be no more secrets between them.

Rapunzel's Enemy

  • Rapunzel being unable to handle being booed.
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Challenge of the Brave

  • Even though it made her The Scrappy for some, Cassandra's predicament during "Battle of the Brave". She's been training so hard to be a good fighter so people will finally take her seriously and see her as more than just a pretty handmaiden, and Rapunzel just waltzes in and steals the show without any effort even though she doesn't have any stake in winning the event. Admittedly, she handled it really poorly and would have avoided a lot of grief if she'd just explained her feelings to Rapunzel in the first place, since Rapunzel would have backed down if she had known, but she doesn't seem the type to admit her feelings easily.

Cassandra V. Eugene

  • Eugene admits to Cassandra that as a young orphan, he used to console himself with a daydream that his parents were treasure hunters, and they would come to call on him the moment they struck it rich. As we all know, that dream never came true.

The Return of Strongbow

  • Eugene's regret when he ends up hurting Rapunzel with a ring that he stole from her mother, long before they met. She forgives him, as does Arianna, but he tells her that hurting her is the last thing he would ever want to do.
  • The theft of the Queen's ring and how traumatic it was for her. Taken by itself, it means nothing, but looking at the bigger picture, it really takes a whole new meaning: Arianna was still going through the loss of her daughter, the ring had sentimental value, so losing something of that value only added to the trauma of having her daughter stolen as a baby.
  • Strongbow donating stolen treasure to the orphanage long before Eugene would have heard of the deed.

Pascal's Story

  • Dear lord. The beginning shows us that Pascal, not unlike Rapunzel, had a Dark and Troubled Past. The then young chameleon is carried off by his mother as they are pursued by a hungry snake. When they reach a dead-end, Pascal is nuzzled by his mother one last time before being sent down a river on a lilypad...just in time to watch helplessly as the snake delivers the finishing blow.
  • Alone, tired and depressed, the poor chameleon eventually finds hope in Rapunzel's tower. Unfortunately, it turns out the snake followed him there and injects him with venom. Yes, Pascal died. Thankfully, Rapunzel manages to ward off the snake (via frying pan) and resurrect Pascal with her magical hair.
  • Rapunzel returning to the tower where she was imprisoned. She visibly flinches at it and struggles to even enter it, implying she has PTSD from her time there. To a lesser extent, Eugene lets Rapunzel scale it alone, heavily implying that his death there left its own mental scars.

Queen For A Day

  • This episode - the darkest and most tragic yet - is a long series of sad moments for everyone involved, but for starters, basically everything that happens to Varian:
    • At the start of the episode, the spikes have all but completely overrun his village, but his father pledges to go to the king and fight for a solution. Varian comes along, thinking he can help, only for his father to completely ignore his contributions and then turn out to be planning to lie to the king and get more land, so the villagers can abandon the town instead of fixing it. Varian is both furious and disillusioned with his father, outright saying that he doesn't think he can trust him any more and that the only person he can confide in any more is Rapunzel.
    • Varian tries to fix the problem himself, believing his father doesn't care. However, his alchemy has a more severe reaction to the spikes than he thought, causing the spikes to grow rather than shrink. His father realizes what is happening before Varian does and shoves him out of the way, only to be slowly enveloped by them himself. As if this essentially being his own fault wasn't enough, his father realizes there's no use in trying to stop it, but Varian refuses to believe it and runs away to desperately find help.
    • His song, which has him both bitter than his father never understood or showed pride in him, and hope that by saving him and the village his father will finally see him for who he is. All while unaware that he has already failed: we see his father be covered in the spikes just before the song even begins.
    • Varian runs to the castle through a snowstorm to beg for Rapunzel's aid. Instead, he finds Corona in a state of emergency and Rapunzel too busy trying to save it to help him. When he insists, he is instead seized by the guards and dragged out of Corona, screaming to no avail that Rapunzel promised to help him. When he returns home, he finds his father is completely encased with no way out, and we leave him sobbing on the floor. Both the animation and the acting really sell the moment - he sounds completely broken, and looks like the terrified child he really is.
      • On Rapunzel's end, this becomes even worse when you remember the movie: Rapunzel never breaks a promise. Ever. And now she has to for the first time, when a friend needs her the most. She's very guilt-ridden realizing she went back on a promise and has a lot to make up for it.
    • The result of all this. Varian's problem is the only one that isn't fixed in the end. Instead, we find that losing his father and being turned away from Rapunzel has turned him bitter and obsessed with fixing the problem at any cost, making anyone who stood in his way "pay." Optimistic, Adorkable Varian has just had his Start of Darkness.
  • Rapunzel, as per the episode title, is made acting Queen while her parents go on vacation. At first she's very excited about this, until she has to deal with the mob of people wanting her to fix their problems, and the fact that every solution she tries to give just makes the problems worse. By the end of the day, she's gone from confident to depressed and believing she's not good enough to be Queen. And this doesn't go away even after everything is said and done and she saves the day.
  • The King and Queen's carriage falls off a cliff, leaving them stranded. There's a sad scene where, fully believing that they're about to die, Frederick laments how he won't be able to do everything he wants for the kingdom.
  • Early in the episode, Cassandra mocks Eugene for being acting King but not really doing anything important. Later, when Eugene decides to lead a team to rescue the King and Queen from the blizzard - which everyone thinks is suicide - he reveals that her words inspired him to do it. For once, Cassandra looks regretful at the idea that she may have inadvertently sent Eugene to die.
  • Pascal sacrifices himself to get the machine working again and save Corona, his last tearful look to Rapunzel and her tears after he's gone are heart-wrenching. Thankfully he survives but still.
  • By the end of the episode, Rapunzel is completely saddened over what she did over the course of the special (turning away from Varian when he desperately needed help, sending Eugene to face possible death, then doing the same to Pascal), she considers this the most difficult day of her life and doubts at ever becoming queen in the future. Thankfully Eugene reasons with her.

Painter's Block

  • Rapunzel's plot in the episode: she's so traumatized by the events of "Queen for a Day" that she becomes paralyzed with indecision whenever she has to make any serious choices, which becomes so bad that it robs her of her ability to paint - the thing she loves doing most in the world - as her friends become more and more concerned. Even taking a class in (what she believes is) a safe space doesn't really help. And when Eugene attempts to cheer her up and empathize with her, she explodes on him for the first time in the entire series.
    • The fact that Rapunzel is so depressed over the choices she made that, until the sorceress threatened her friends, she was easy prey for her mind control simply through the promise of a life without such terrible decisions.

The Quest For Varian

  • The tower gets destroyed. You would think Rapunzel would be happy to see her 18 year long prison fall, but instead the sight of its destruction leaves her in tears. Yes, she lived in it with the woman who abused her from childhood, but she made a lot of good memories too, and could only salvage the slab of her taking a look at the lanterns she would see every year on her birthday.
    • Seeing the tower crumble in and of itself is a tearjerker simply due to the fact that it's been there since the beginning. Seeing such an iconic landmark crumble into nothing makes it feel like a part of Rapunzel just...died.

Secret of the Sundrop

  • In "Ready As I'll Ever Be", Varian is clearly still a scared kid deep down. He knows he's made his lot in life worse and miserable by seeking vengeance, but feels he has chosen his path and there is no turning back.
  • When Rapunzel tries to talk Varian down, he proclaims that he won't stop until she's felt all the agony that he's felt. But when you think about it, Rapunzel has felt agony in her life. Just one year before, she not only found out that the woman she lived with and believed was her mother for 18 years never cared about her at all, but she was Forced to Watch as said woman murdered the love of her life right in front of her. And now, here's another person who was after her hair's power, and who is once again blaming her for his problems. Even if Rapunzel still feels sympathy for Varian, that had to have struck a nerve.
    • Everything about Varian is made worse when you watch Tangled Ever After. He's not at Rapunzel's wedding, meaning he's still probably in prison - Eugene says (and Rapunzel doesn't correct that bit) that it was "years and years of asking and asking and asking". This means Varian is so broken that he's not been able to recover for many years. Then again, Cassandra's not in the wedding scenes either, so this may be jumping the gun... Or at least, until Destinies Collide.

Season 2

The Return of Quaid

  • Where to begin? There's just something about Vardaros that makes Gotham City look like sunshine and rainbows. The town has had years of corruption and being ruled by outlaws and thieves, and the people's spirits are far broken that hope has become a foreign concept to them. They've been driven to the point where survival is their only option. Vex especially can't even remember a time when people were happy and thinks that is but a dream.

Happiness Is...

  • At one point, Rapunzel momentarily hallucinates that Varian is going to essentially poison her captured father. It's not just fear that her father could die or get hurt whilst she's away: she's still very guilt-ridden and afraid that the promise she broke led, or could lead, Varian further down a road where he may never be redeemed.
  • Rapunzel reading a past letter from her father, and it adds more context to flying lanterns every year on her birthday—King Fredric knew she was alive, and he wasn't just releasing them hoping she would see them and return; he likely placed messages in several of them, hoping she would get one of them, and now we know why she never did.

Rapunzel and the Great Tree

  • Cass accidentally burning her hand on Rapunzel while the latter recites the reverse incantation. She intended to stop Rapunzel from using the incantation so they could find another way, but one can see how well that went.
    • Signifying Cass's emotional state, she starts wearing armor from here on out, as though representing that she's hardening herself so she'll Never Be Hurt Again.

Rapunzel: Day One

You're Kidding Me!

  • The sobering thought that sweet little kid Lance came to grow up to be a dishonest thief, if one who still has a soft center deep down.
  • Kid Cassandra dismissing Rapunzel's attempts at being a nurturing parent and saying that Eugene was right — she really is a Pushover Parent and she'd hate to see how horrendous of a trainwreck the two would be as actual parents. Rapunzel's face afterwards says all.

Rapunzeltopia

  • In Rapunzel's dream, the world outside Corona's walls is a wasteland. Although it's supposed to establish Rapunzel having a perfectly good reason to stay within the safety of Corona's walls, it's surprisingly bleak to imagine such a limited world with nothing more to see or do.
  • Rapunzel telling her subconscious self why she refuses to return to reality. It sums up everything that's gone wrong with her reality, from her friendship with Cass being scarred to all the difficult choices and problems that have come her way.
    Rapunzel: (to herself) Even if what you say is true, why would I leave all of this? Cass is fine, all my friends are safe, nobody is asking me to make some huge life decision. (...) Everything is perfect here, so why would I come with you?
    Subconscious Self: If you don't, it could literally mean the end of the world.
    Rapunzel: Well maybe I don't want that responsibility. Maybe I just want to be happy. Is that too much to ask?
  • Cassandra reaction to Rapunzel after she escapes the Inn of Yesterday's Tomorrow. Not only is she colder and more isolated than ever before, but when she and Rapunzel reunite, the joy of the reunion is one-sided: Cassandra flinches from Rapunzel as though she were made of poison. Whatever happened in there may have changed her for the worse. Cassandra may have escaped the Inn, but it feels as though the best friend she once was died in there.
    • This is proven to be true in the season finale, when Cassandra steals the Moonstone and bonds with its power.
    • Worse, in Rapunzel's dream version of Corona, Cass has remained the same friend she was in the first episode and never hardened herself, much less hurt her hand. In the dream world, she's so upbeat and simply happy to be Rapunzel's best friend. Just seeing the real Cass react to Rapunzel like a pariah is a jarring contrast from the Cassandra she once was and could've been.

Lost and Found

  • Eugene gets an ominous message from Demanitus that someone in their party will turn on Rapunzel. Eugene pays careful attention to everyone, and notices Cassandra is rather distant, with a sinister glare. Eugene can hardly believe that she will betray them all, but it means Cassandra cannot be trusted and he's at a loss as to how he will tell Rapunzel.

Destinies Collide

  • Eugene stopping Rapunzel from entering the castle to get the Moonstone, telling her, "I'm sorry, Rapunzel...but I won't let you in." King Edmund breaks the chain that was opening the door, forcing it to close with Eugene still inside the castle. Rapunzel desperately pounds against the door, begging Eugene to let her in, before she gives up and bows her head against the door. The other side of the door reveals Eugene looking just as torn up as Rapunzel by what he had to do. He didn't want to betray her like this, but he did it for her own safety.
    • And if this wasn't enough, it's followed up with this song from Eugene.
  • The final two minutes are heartbreaking for Rapunzel and the group. Throughout the episode, Eugene and Rapunzel have been wary of Cassandra after Eugene tells Rapunzel of Demantius' premonition of someone in the group betraying her. Multiple times in the episode, Eugene and Rapunzel don't know whether to trust Cassandra, but she ultimately proves herself trustworthy. It seems that the prophecy comes true when Eugene sides with King Edmund, revealed to be his father, about refusing to let Rapunzel get the Moonstone, for fear of her life. However, things seem well when Eugene comes to his senses and sides with Rapunzel, and King Edmund himself relents. However, just as Rapunzel is about to fulfill her destiny by taking the Moonstone, Cassandra decides to fulfill her own destiny and takes the Moonstone herself, bonding with its power and changing her appearance, the power of the moon coursing through her. It's especially heartbreaking because we were led to believe throughout the entire episode that Cassandra was trustworthy, and Rapunzel herself found no reason or possible way for Cassandra not to be trusted. Cassandra herself reminds her of this after she has taken the Moonstone, saying that she had warned Rapunzel who she could trust. The final shot, of Rapunzel seeing the absolute fall from grace her best friend has taken, tops this moment off as, most likely, the series' bleakest moment.
  • A Fridge Tear Jerker: How is The Captain going to feel when the gang returns to Corona, without his daughter, and one of them has to break the news to him that she betrayed them all?

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