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Tear Jerker / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

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An ode to a father.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

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    Season 1 

  • Splinter's backstory from the first episode. People familiar with previous versions would know the details, but to make it worse, in this universe, Splinter also had a daughter.
    • To make things even sadder for poor Splinter, it turns out that Shredder has a hold of her. She never really died, per se; Shredder just raised her into a fighting machine that hates Splinter with her very core. Folks, say hello to this universe's version of Karai.
    • When Donnie pleads Splinter to save April, he looks at a picture of him and his previous family and suddenly we hear a fire, wooding creaking and falling, and finally Splinter screaming in pain, all while he's thinking in the present. Splinter's first Darkest Hour has never truly left his mind.
  • In "Turtle Temper", we have Splinter's fear of Raph ending up walking down Splinter's path if he doesn't watch his temper. The fact that this has to do with the aforementioned incident with Oroku Saki doesn't help.
    Raph: But it wasn't your fault. Shredder insulted you. You had no choice.
    Splinter: "No choice?" I could have chosen to ignore him. I could have chosen to let his words wash over me, like a river over stone. But I let him anger me. It was I who made his words into weapons. (walks over to Raph) That was the choice I made. (puts a hand on his shoulder) What choice will you make?
  • Mikey is geuinely devastated upon finding out that he was being used by Bradford in "New Friend, Old Enemy". He so badly wanted to prove he could be friends with a human, but instead ends up captured by the Foot for all it's worth.
  • In "Monkey Brains", we're introduced to Rockwell; he didn't ask to be mutated and have Falco take away his life.
  • The Turtles' first real battle with the Shredder in "The Gauntlet" ends with all of them getting horribly outmatched. All four of them were subject to injuries they wouldn't dream of getting in a normal battle. Raph even got electrocuted.
  • Splinter's nightmare in "Panic in the Sewers", where the Turtles are all killed by the Shredder.
  • In "It Came From the Depths", poor Leatherhead is unable to control his freak-outs and ends up hurting Mikey, the only person who believes he's good. When Splinter tells him to leave, he does so without any hesitation...
  • In "I, Monster", Splinter realizing that everything he had is gone- his family, his ninja clan, and even his humanity.
    • Not just that, but what sends Splinter over the edge—what makes him really lose it— is the thought of his children no longer needing him. He's watched his wife die, and lost his daughter, but the idea of losing his sons is what makes him give up hope. And the worst part is, the boys ARE going to grow up. Them not needing Splinter could very well become a reality one day. You can hear the crack and despair in his voice as he says this soliloquy.
    • The Rat King using Splinter's memory of the night he lost everything.
—- Splinter: No, I am a man. I am Hamato Yoshi!
  • In "New Girl in Town", there's something sad about Le feeling weighed down by The Chains of Commanding, and the only people who give him any kind of real sympathy are Mikey and Karai. Even his father says that leadership is about responsibility and that he should just tough it out.
  • From "The Alien Agenda":
    Leo: I trusted you!
    Karai: I know! That's messed up, right?
  • In "TCRI", we have Leatherhead's Heroic Sacrifice. To say the Turtles did not take it well would be an understatement.
  • "Enemy of my Enemy": Karai looks genuinely upset and betrayed when the Turtles go back on their word and attack Shredder.
  • From "Karai's Vendetta":
    • April complaining about her life during her fight with Karai. She's failing trigonometry, her friends are mutants, aliens are holding her dad hostage, and she lost her mother.
      • What really takes the cake was that Karai was caught off guard when April mentioned her mother, implying that she has some troubles with her own Missing Mom. This becomes Harsher in Hindsight when we find out that she's actually Splinter and Tang Shen's daughter.
    • Also at the very end of the episode: April has to go into hiding as both the Kraang and Shredder are now after her. Forced out of her old life because of forces beyond her control or will. Living that kind of life would make anyone else give up hope.
  • Remember the Pulverizer from way back when? Well, in "Pulverizer Returns", his obsession with becoming a hero like the Turtles takes a more dramatic turn when he intentionally exposes himself to the mutagen. However, instead of turning into a humanoid animal, the mutagen painfully turns him into a blob monster who mindlessly lashes out at his surroundings until the Turtles can trap him. Yes, he was an idiot and it was his own fault, but he didn't deserve that! Things like that shouldn't happen to comic relief!

  • "Showdown" was full of this:
    • April finding out that the Foot have brainwashed her father.
    • Splinter's mission against the Shredder is chalk full of these. Perhaps the biggest one of all being that his own daughter considers him her worst enemy because she thinks he killed her mother. The look of pain on his face is easily palpable as he flees.
      • Also, his look of shock when the Shredder tells him about how he stole his daughter away.
      • The worst part for one moment Karai almost recognized her birth name when Splinter says Miwa, but then tells Splinter her name is Karai.
      • And to add salt to the wound, Shredder is laughing at pain he is causing, at what could be the second worst night of Hamato Yoshi's life.
      • Not to mention the pain and anger in Karai's voice when Splinter retreats and she yells "Why won't you fight?! COWARD!" Her Missing Mom situation has really affected her emotionally. One can only imagine her reaction inside her mind when finds out the truth, realizes that she's been lied to her entire life, and that she tried to kill her real father.
    • There's something inherently sad about seeing Splinter embrace his inner rat to defeat Shredder. Half a season ago, his turtle sons brought him back by reminding him of his humanity away from rats. And now, in a moment of rage, he embraced the rat just so he could survive.
      • On the other hand, it can also be seen as a Moment of Awesome. Instead of fearing the rat, he's achieved synthesis. See Tigatron.
      • But on that point a small part of Hamato Yoshi died when he decided to stop fighting like a Man and fight like a rat.
      • The music playing during Splinter's Heroic Second Wind is not triumphant, but tragic. This was no good vs. evil battle; this was a man who lost everything and is now fighting to kill the former friend and ally who decided to destroy both their lives in a fit of petty jealousy.
    • Leo's Heroic Sacrifice to stop Kraang Prime. The way Raph calls Leo full name as the escape pod he's in drifts away is just heartbreaking.
      Raph: I gave him nothing but a hard time. If I had it to do over again, I'd definitely be nicer...

    Season 2 

2X1 "The Mutation Situation"

  • Kirby O Neil getting transformed into a bat monster and April trying in vain to talk to him.
    • Then April getting angry at the turtles (for being indirectly responsible for Kirby becoming a monster) and saying she never wants to see them again.
  • After he's been transformed and gone feral he attacks April who's forced to hit her own father in self-defense and he stops. His human side briefly regains control, and you can see in his eyes that he can't believe he just attacked his own daughter.

2x3 "Follow The Leader"

  • Raph's reaction to Leo getting captured.
  • Leo's insecurities about whether or not he's a good leader are once again brought up.
  • Anything to do with Yoshi and Miwa this episode.

2x4 "Mutagen Man Unleashed"

  • Pulverizer's Sanity Slippage and Leo acknowledging it.
    Leo: Donnie, whatever, Pulverizer...Timothy, was, is gone now.
    • All segments with him in general this episode. After hearing Donnie lamenting how he misses April, he breaks free and tries to go find her. But the attacks from The Police, Casey, and The Turtles only made him go more crazy.
    • Donnie's final words to him in the episode.
      Donnie: Don't worry my friend. One day, I'll find a cure.
    • Pulverizer/Mutagen Man's final words are heartbreaking. Donnie manages to finally take him down with a sort of petrifying goop that was disguised as mutagen, and as he freezes, he seems to regain some of his sanity.
      Pulverizer: Donnie, there's something wrong...!
  • April still being upset at the turtles and even refusing herself to help them fight Mutagen Man.
  • Every scene in which Donnie deals with April meeting Casey, especially the first time he sees them together and we see an Imagine Spot of his whole body shattering, and later during the fight with Mutagen Man when Leo casually refers to Casey as April's boyfriend, making Donnie wince. It's painful to watch, especially for anyone who was ever the geeky awkward friend that had to watch his unrequited crush meet someone else.

2x6 "Target: April O'Neil"

  • Casey's story of how he lost his best friend due to accidentally hitting him in the face with a hockey stick.

2x7 "Slash and Destroy"

  • Slash falling off the building with Raph's anguished Say My Name. Later, it turns out he survived the fall and disappeared. Then we see Raph holding a leaf he fed Spike in sorrow. The look on his face shows how heartbroken he is that his pet turned into a savage beast and left him.
    • You want to know how this can be even sadder? Some owners see their pets as their kids. In a way, Raph lost his child when he lost Spike.
    • The fact that he lost Spike by having him turn against him parallel to Splinter with Karai.
    • Splinter's advice to Raph reveals that he still feels the pain of losing his family.
    • Most of this episode is also a tearjerker if one looks at it from Slash's perspective. It's clear that his actions make him come off more as a Well-Intentioned Extremist. However, after Raph calls him out on what he did to Donnie and Mikey, there is a slight pause before he lets out a monstrous roar signifying a prime of example of Then Let Me Be Evil as Slash only did what he did for Raph's sake and is hurt that the person that treated him as a friend for so many years essentially called him a monster.

2x11 "Metalhead Rewired"

  • Metalhead's Shoot the Shaggy Dog-ness in the episode overall. Metalhead has finally been upgraded with intelligence in order to work alongside the Turtles, only for them to not trust him due to how much of a 3rd wheel he winds up becoming. Realizing this, Metalhead leaves on his own to take care of the mission by himself to show the turtles he was on their side the whole time, not only rescuing ALL the mutants and the turtles, but also destroying himself in order to ensure the Kraang would not find another way to get back to Earth. The ending implies that Donnie will fix him again, but it really makes the viewers feel for Metalhead's loyalty to his team and creator.

2x13 & 14 "The Manhattan Project"

  • Splinter's interactions with Karai in this episode. He tries so hard to tell her that Shredder is really responsible for all that's happened, but she won't believe him.
  • Sure everyone makes it out okay, but the Turtles having to see Splinter have an unfair rematch against the Shredder in his weakest state is hard to watch.

2x15 "Mazes and Mutants "

  • In spite of the episode's comedy, one can not help but feel sorry for Sir Malachi. All he wanted was someone to play with him.
  • Also, in the turtles' fight with the dragon, Mikey actually thought Leatherhead was back, and his attempts to make "Leatherhead" snap out of his rage is just heartbreaking.

2x16 "The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman"

  • Baxter's reaction to his mutation.
    Baxter: What am I? I'm nothing anymore. I'm a freak. I'll never be taken seriously as a scientist.

2x19 "The Wrath of Tiger Claw"

  • That whole episode is one for Karai. She learns that basically her whole life has been a lie. Not only is the man whom she believed to be her father responsible for her mother's death, he also kidnapped her and fueled her hatred against her real father. Her shock and facial expressions upon learning the truth are just heartbreaking.
    • And it doesn't stop there. At the end of the episode Tiger Claw manages to defeat Karai, takes her hostage and brings her back to Shredder. Still somewhat hoping it was all just a lie, she asks him if Splinter really is her father. What does Shredder do? He bluntly says "Yes" and orders Tiger Claw to take her away. The episode ends with Karai getting thrown into a cell, left alone and begging to be let out. Even with all her nasty behaviour in previous episodes considered, it's very hard not to feel sorry for the poor girl.
  • Mikey's condition after the battle with Tiger Claw. He is badly beaten up, has bruises all over his body, many scratches in his plastron and is barely conscious anymore.
  • There's a brief moment in Tiger Claw's flashback where we see him actually defeating the 1987 Ninja Turtles. We've seen them go through a lot AND they even took on the Shredder from the 2003 series and managed to help defeat him as well. To see that Tiger Claw had defeated all four turtles really badly before his return is very sad to think of.

2x22 "Vengeance is Mine"

  • We learn that Shredder's clan was wiped out, but was taken in and raised by Splinter's father. Also, Shredder learned about his origins when his jealousy for Tang Shen was boiling.
  • Karai's mutation. Everyone knew Splinter wouldn't react well, but the fact that even Shredder was distraught made it even worse.
    • Even Karai's scream as she falls into the mutagen is heartwrenching...
    • This line from Splinter made it even worse just by the tone in his voice as he holds the mutated Miwa in his arms. It's as though the moment we had seen previously between a reunited father and daughter had been snatched away and was now the last time Splinter would ever see his true daughter.
      Splinter: My child...
    • To make it even worse, Splinter has now lost not only his wife, but seemingly his daughter twice now. Once when believing she had died when she was a baby in the fire, and now again both times due to the Shredder.
  • The fact Shredder actually shows grief he redirects at Splinter is both this and Nightmare Fuel. The one thing Shredder has shown love towards that seemed at all genuine is lost to him in a way that is entirely his own fault...and instead of going My God, What Have I Done?, his thirst for revenge has consumed him so thoroughly, that the idea this isn't Splinter's fault is impossible for him to grasp. It shows just how much of Shredder's humanity his thirst for revenge has consumed. Rather than take responsibility for his actions, he can only think to blame the one who he's spent his entire life blaming for his misfortunes. It's both sad and terrifying to see someone so consumed by a grudge as to be incapable of grasping the concept a misfortune of theirs isn't the fault of their enemy.

2x24 "Into Dimension X"

  • Mikey really wants to rescue Leatherhead and is eager to go to Dimension X, but Leo tells him he can't come along because "he's been messing up too much lately". With a really sad expression, he calls his name and remembers how they became friends, one of the flashbacks even showing them sleeping cuddled up together.
  • Imagine just what Leatherhead had to go through. He spent decades in Dimension X, completely alone without anyone whom he could trust, always having to spy on the Kraang and being careful not to get caught and when they do imprison him he gets tortured. Even after he returns to Earth he's still an old 'man' now, having lost much of his lifetime to the Kraang and probably never going to get it back.
    Leatherhead: Thank you... my friends... I feared... that you would never come.

2x25 & 26 "The Invasion"

  • The beginning, where Shredder reminisces about Karai, as well as The Reveal in the conversation with Tiger Claw afterwards that he doesn't care for the human race.
  • The destruction of the lair.
    • Beforehand, everyone except Leo and Splinter heads back to the aforementioned lair to take one meaningful thing with them. There's no music for a while, and seeing April flashback to memories of her with the turtles and Splinter over the past year or two was pretty sad to watch as well.
    • The one thing Raph takes before leaving: an old photograph of Spike.
  • Raph's Unstoppable Rage when Shredder wounds and seemingly kills Splinter.
    • Even worse - or better - Mikey manages to stop him from completely losing it by hugging him. Mikey, of all turtles!
      • That's not really a surprise. Mikey is The Heart of the team, after all.
  • The whole episode was pretty much an adaptation of the comic arc where Leo got ambushed, their home destroyed, and being forced to leave New York.
  • Kirby being mutated again.
  • Casey sadly revealing that he was unable to find his father and his sister, and the possibility that he may never see his family again can hit you right in the gut.
    • Even without a father or a parental figure, the turtles can at least survive on their own. But April and Casey are still really just kids. With no families left after the Kraang invasion, they're very much on their own now.

    Season 3 
3x01 "Within the Woods"
  • Leo's state after the attack in the Season 2 finale. He's been practically comatose for three months, and is shown to still be in pain. Even following THAT, he's shown to be physically weak and vomits from stomach pains.
    • The in-universe explanation for Leo having a different voice. note  Shredder dealt heavy damage to his throat when he beat him, so much that his throat and vocal cords will never be the same.
    • When everyone heads out into the woods to search for Raph, Leo stays behind at the house and tries to force himself to stand up and resume training and he goes the extra mile of giving himself some... tough love talk.
      Leo: (to himself) Stop whining, and just do it!
  • The way Raph as a dog-like plant monster cowers like an abused child when The Creep walks into the shed is pretty upsetting.
    • Him getting absorbed was pretty hard to watch as well.
      • Hell, the fact that he didn't even recognize his family while in that state is upsetting in itself.
  • April's journal includes a drawing of Donnie, Raph, and Mikey sadly watching over a catatonic Leo.
  • When April gets captured by the Creep, Leo tries to save her, but can barely move enough to hobble near her.
  • April venting her frustrations towards Casey over everything they've lost.

3x02 "A Foot Too Big"

  • Bigfoot overhearing the comments Leo and Casey make at its expense. The following scene with Mikey calling them out on it is mildly heartwarming.
  • Really, you can't help but feel for Donnie in this episode. After chasing after April since the first episode, he realizes that she doesn't feel the same way. In particular, in the scene where Raph tells him that Donnie "chases after April like a lovestruck puppy" (inexact words), Donnie is angrily about to snap back... before quietly deciding not to.
    • Worse: one scene has Donnie complaining about how BIGFOOT is always chasing after HIM, before Raph points out, "Now you know how April feels." Donnie's reaction is to sadly realize that Raph was right.
    • Also, the scene where he gives April the music box is pretty disappointing. That's literally the sweetest thing Donnie's ever done for her and April doesn't even try to conceal how much she doesn't like it.
  • Near the end of the episode, Donnie more or less admits to April that being on the wrong end of Bigfoot's Abhorrent Admirer qualities has made him realize he's no better when it comes to him and April. You can really sense the despondency and bitterness in Donnie's word as he resigns himself to believe he and April could never be...
    Donnie: I get it now… Donnie is to April as Bigfoot was to Donnie. I'm just… a mutant.

3x03 "Buried Secrets"

  • The ending with April feeling like she has lost her family all over again due to her mom really being a monster and she doesn't know if her real mom is still out there.

3x4 "The Croaking"

  • After Mikey trashes the living room, the others, (minus April) start yelling at him, especially Raph, who then yells at him, "You're just a big screw-up!". Mikey is so hurt at this that he decides to run away. Poor guy.
    Mikey: I'm not gonna stay where I'm not wanted.
  • The look on Raph's face when April accuses him of being inconsiderate towards Mikey when he thought he was just being a Reasonable Authority Figure.

3x5 "Dream Beavers"

  • Leo frustration over his injuries.

3x9 "Return to New York"

  • Splinter losing his mind and reverting to acting like a feral rat due to the events of the season finale, especially when his sons try to calm him down and remind him that they're his sons. Thankfully, he got better by the end.

3x10 "Serpent Hunt"

  • Karai begging the turtles to help her, knowing she's feeling a sense of helplessness is terrible...

3x11 "The Pig and the Rhino"

  • Karai accepting that her mind is going in her mutated form, and that she only told the Turtles where to find her so that she can say goodbye to them, April, and Casey. As the jumps into the sea, the gang just watches in despair, with Leo vowing to figure out a way to help her.
    • Mikey's reaction is easily the saddest. The poor guy just cries when Karai leaves, and solemnly leads his team back home. Raph's expression to this says volumes.
  • You may find it funny at first when Zeck yells at the others to not call him Bebop. Then he breaks down crying and it becomes clear: He's trying to hold on to whatever he's got left of his humanity. You have to feel sorry for the guy.

3x12 & 13 "Battle For New York"

  • The team goes back to Dimension X, where Mikey feels like he can be the smart one and the leader and the fighter. It's obvious that he's just looking for approval from his brothers, but his overbearing attitude and edging in on their roles quickly pushes their buttons. As much as they tell him off for slacking and goofing around, they really like him best that way. The problem is Mikey himself doesn't always like him best that way. It's difficult to grow in a team without stepping on anyone's toes, and Mikey going from excitedly showing off his skills to his brothers to dejectedly floating in the background can attest to that.

3x18 "The Deadly Venom"

  • The chances for the Turtles to recover Karai have decreased drastically now that she was given the mind control worm. Furthermore, it was via her ear-canal, so it cannot be simply coughed out.
    • Given what we saw when Raph and the mutanimals were being controlled, she was probably fully aware of the things the brainworm made her do, but was powerless to stop it.
    • A subtle one, but when Splinter manages to heal April and Kirby embraces her, Splinter's face seems to be rather downtrodden, despite his success. We then remember that this was caused by his own daughter, who is once more under the control of his worst enemy and perhaps the sight reminded that he may never be able to do the same.

3x20 "Tale of the Yokai"

  • The Bittersweet Ending and the revelation of this episode is a heavy one: The Turtles have been left in Japan after the events of the prior episode, right when Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki were friends and with Tang Shen alive. It's pretty much revealed the Turtles were partly responsible for causing the violent feud between Splinter and Shredder. The worst part was that they pretty much had to. It was something inevitable, as part of a Stable Time Loop (the Time Scepter sent them there to ensure Yoshi would go to New York, become Splinter and raise the turtles). However, the turtles look utterly devastated as they realize their part in it all.
    • And when Yoshi when he realizes that he has lost Shen, as well as everything else in his life, the poor guy just bursts into tears. That's pretty much understandable because his daughter got stolen from him, his clansman had betrayed him, and said betrayal was led by his brother, effectively ending the Hamato Clan until he adopted the turtles.

3x23 "The Fourfold Trap"

  • Splinter saves Karai, but she falls down a sewer drain. He tries to jump for her, but April grabs him and Splinter can only let out a Big "NO!" as he is helpless to help his daughter, almost losing hope in ever seeing her again due to it.

3x25-26 "Annihilation Earth!"

    Season 4 

4x1 "Beyond the Known Universe"

  • The episode starts off with a recap of what happened in the previous episode, with the events drawn in "comic" style. When Leo mentions how they lost everything, including Master Splinter, a shot of the turtles mourning their father appears. It's much more emotional than what happened in Annihilation Earth, with Leo, Donnie, and Mikey hugging his body while Raph is shown screaming in sorrow. While Mikey was the only one who cried in the actual episode, it now shows all four turtles bawling. Thankfully, Fugitoid takes the team six months in the past, so everyone on Earth is safe...for now.

4x9 "The Cosmic Ocean"

  • Leo talking to a psychic simulation of Master Splinter is this. Beyond showing the effect of The Chains of Commanding, especially when there is one opportunity to save the Earth, it shows how much the team misses Splinter, especially Leo, who has always been pretty close to his father and considered to be the oldest of his brothers. Makes you wanna give him a hug.

4x14 "Earth's Last Stand"

  • Fugitoid's sacrifice.
    Fugitoid: It has to be this way, my friends. If you knew my intent, you would have surely tried to stop me, and for that... I thank you. Let it be known that you are my friends... and I love you all.

4x20 "Broken Foot"

  • Leo's concern and remorse over Donnie for most of the episode. He literally stops in his tracks when he sees Raph and Mikey carrying an unconscious Donnie away (they weren't even supposed to be there), promptly leaves Karai and Shinigami to be with his brothers, and even comments that he might not be fit to be their leader. Leo had put his own desire for vengeance ahead of his brothers, one of them got seriously hurt as a result, and Leo is clearly wracked with guilt over it.

4x22 "The Power Inside Her"

  • April (under Za-Naron's influence) killing Donnie by dissolving him into molecules. Not only the very fact is tear-inducing, but April's own reaction soon after that, when she temporarily regains control of herself.

4x25 "Requiem"

  • In the scene where Leo gives Karai CPR, all the others, even April, look genuinely worried for Karai., meaning they all consider her family and want her to be alright. This also makes this heartwarming as thanks to Leo, she's okay... but badly hurt.
  • Splinter's death. Enough said.
    • When Shredder lands the finishing blow, Raph and April respectively cry out "Father!" and "Splinter!" in anguish.
    • The turtles' final moments with their father is heartbreaking, especially for Nickelodeon standards. Leo holds Splinter's body while saying "No! Please!", Mikey only says a meek "Papa...", and all the turtles weep while memories with Splinter flash on the screen. They then carry the body like pallbearers and drive away.
    • And since they don't have Fugitoid or Renet around anymore to help them, it's unlikely he'll be coming back to life.

4x26 "Owari"

  • Splinter's funeral. The turtles, along with Shinigami, April, Casey, the Mighty Mutanimals, Chompy, Ice Cream Kitty, and even Kirby O' Neil and Dr. Cluckingsworth (who had never even met Splinter before) all attend. Since Karai was injured in the hospital, she couldn't be there.
    • Made all the more powerful by the fact that there's no spoken dialogue. No sobbing (though April can be seen crying next to Casey), no eulogies - just a montage of the Hamato Clan and its allies gathering around Splinter's grave. Then, one by one, everyone, but the turtles, walks away, with the four brothers being the last to go.
  • Afterwards, Leo sets off alone by himself, questioning whether he's ready to step into Splinter's role as the Big Good. You can tell the poor guy's got some big shoes to fill, and he doubts he can measure up.
  • Karai figures out that Splinter is dead because she had a dream about it when the turtles visit her in the hospital. The fact that she knows she'll never see her father again is heartbreaking.
  • Throughout the climactic final battle, Leo vents out his frustration, grief and anger at Splinter's murder with a scathing tirade. As he berates Shredder throughout their duel, you can hear the vengeful fury in his choked-up voice.
    Leo: You killed him! He was your brother, and you KILLED HIM! He was your BROTHER, Saki! YOUR BEST FRIEND! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?!
    • And on the tail end of that, Super Shredder hesitates as Leo points out that he's turned into a monster. For just a moment, Oroku Saki's last remnants of sanity seem to emerge, as if he's aware of what he's become. And then Leo attacks while Shredder's distracted, and whatever was left of the Foot Clan leader's conscience is lost as he furiously retaliates.
      Super Shredder: No... I... I...
  • Maybe a minor one, but seeing Splinter in the opening credits after his death and funeral reminds you how important he was to the turtles, April, and everyone else. The scene of the turtles' mutation is shown before Splinter gives the turtles their masks, with the following lyrics taking on a whole new meaning...

    Season 5 

5x04 "End Times"

  • Karai and Splinter hugging, would be heartwarming if not for the fact that it would be for the last time.
  • Also, Karai reaching out to Splinter as he departs, it's clear she doesn't want him to go.

5x08 "Oshoroshi No Tabi"

  • In the end It Was All A Dream, but when Leo comes across dead Mikey in that dream, it's absolutely heartwrenching. For a minute, all he can do is cling to his brother's body and weep. Even when he proceeds to pursue Jei in an Unstoppable Rage, he isn't strong enough to defeat him.

5x17 "Raphael Mutant Apocalypse"

  • Where to begin? The premise is that some sort of mega mutagen-bomb destroyed humanity and the story takes place 50 years in the future. The world is largely in ruins, the moon has pieces floating out and Raph and Don only have each other. Even in an alternate future, it's brutal.
    • Just the utter fact that despite our turtles' best efforts, they were unable to save the world or humanity. One must wonder how they took it in the immediate aftermath.
    • Leo's expression said it all in a flashback. He was plainly tearing as he pushed his brothers off so they would be safe from the M-Bomb. There's no doubt that this desperate move was the fact that he knew that if they couldn't save humanity, he could at least try and save his brothers.
  • The fact that Raph forgot about Master Splinter, even if temporarily.
  • The broken artifacts all around symbolizing what's left of the Turtles' dearest allies. April's tessen, Casey's mask and skull, and Karai's motorcycle and helmet. It's clear that they're no longer with them, but in spirit.
    • Thankfully, since this arc is considered officially non-canon as per Nickelodeon, they are all canonically still alive, as the mutagen bomb apocalypse canonically didn't happen.
  • The fate of Leo in this reality: He became Maximus Kong, a Shout-Out to Lord Humongous. It's a shock to see the noblest turtle having gone completely mad from his second mutation and becoming a tyrant. Though it's mitigated when Raph snaps him back to himself.
  • The Bittersweet Ending. After enduring the loss of their world twice, the death of all of their loved ones, and the past fifty years separated, the Turtles and their remaining allies find the Oasis and live out the rest of their lives in peace.
  • The fact that this is the final set of episodes produced. Non-canonicity aside, it means the show has finished its good run.
  • A Freeze-Frame Bonus below the battle arena shows Mutagen Man's empty canister, heavily implying that he is dead and thus, Timothy is gone forever. One can only imagine how this impacted Donnie.
  • Raph's sheer desperation to get Leo to recognize him. Raph had been hoping against hope that Leo was alive as soon as they realized Mikey was. Once he realized Kong was Leo - through decades of separation, a secondary mutation drastically altering Leo's appearance, Raph's memory problems, and Leo's own amnesia - the emotion of it is palpable. At one point he screams "We're brothers!" and you can hear his voice cracking.