- The Guitar Guy's Dark and Troubled Past that the Nerd forced upon him is pretty sad, considering the Nerd wasn't willing to give him a life beyond behind the couch and felt no remorse for his wrongdoing. He didn't even feel any sorrow for when the Guitar Guy starved to death repeatedly.
AVGN: Well, look, you can't just sit here while I do the review!Kyle: Wh-why can't I — why can't I do the review with you?AVGN: Oh, uh, BECAUSE THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS! IT'S LIKE, I PLAY THE GAME, AND YOU, GET YOUR ASS BACK BEHIND THE FUCKING COUCH!(Kyle is fighting back his tears)Kyle: I don't ever get to do anything! You don't even use my song that much anymore!AVGN: WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS BEHIND MY DAMN COUCH ANYWAY?!Kyle: THERE ARE NO OTHER COUCHES TO GO BEHIND!
- He actually wrote a song about this called "I Live Behind the Couch". The lyrics talk about how the Nerd has ignored him so much, how bitter he has grown as a result, and how much he wants to see the world beyond the back of the couch.
- This gets tackled even more with this heart-wrenching argument from the Battletoads episode:
- What follows is a montage of the Guitar Guy hiding behind the couch during the Nerd's rants from some of his oldest episodes. You can see the helplessness on his face.
- The ending of the Swordquest review, where the Nerd encourages gamers to try and unearth the mystery to what happened to the lost prizes for the games contest, is rather sad to watch now in light of knowledge that three of the prizes, the sword, medallion and even the Philosopher's Stone that someone won, were melted down for money. The only prize that is absolutely certain to still exist is the Chalice—it's believed that the crown might still exist after it was revealed that a secret contest was held for it, but absolutely nobody knows who the winner is or where he and the crown are, meaning it may remain lost to the ages.
- The ending of the review is unusually melancholy for an AVGN review as well, when the Nerd explains how the last contests for the games were abruptly cancelled due to Atari bleeding money from the 1983 game crash, and that because of this, the third game was given an extremely limited release, and the fourth game in the Swordquest series, Airworld, is just that--air.
- The Desert Bus episode, where the Nerd suffers a Heroic BSoD and almost goes through the Despair Event Horizon, after seeing that all of the work he's done to warn people about shitty games isn't working.AVGN: I've finally hit the bottom of the barrel! The fact that a game like this could come into existence and that people have played it and suffered through it and even adapted it into an Atari 2600 game means...that I've failed. I've done everything I can. It's time to retire.
- After he says the above, there is a black-and-white montage of the Nerd through the years, set to a somber piano reprise of the Nerd theme. Any long-time fans will find this especially heartrending, considering it really seems like he's going to end the show.
- What made it so much worse is that the Nerd would've ended the show on its 10th anniversary.
- The Nerd's big rant when he criticized the Tiger Games, the way he spoke and how he'd be out of words seems genuine...
- His Polybius review for the 2017 Halloween special is as tearjerking as it is terrifying. As the game slowly claims his sanity, the Nerd desperately cries out for help, tries to fight his increasing addiction to the game, and several times he tries to reveal where he's being held but the game won't let him. When he finally figures out how to escape the warehouse, the game cruelly yanks away freedom one last time, forcing him to expose his entire audience to the game that nearly drove him insane.
The Nerd, crying harder than he ever has: THE ONLY WAY IT'LL LET ME GO IS IF I SHOW THE GAME! I can't take this anymore, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm sorry! Just don't look! DON'T LOOK, TURN THE VIDEO OFF RIGHT NOW! Once you see it, it's in you forever...
- Even worse is his breakdown when he realizes he's got no choice.
- At one point in his EarthBound review, the Nerd finds Ness's younger self in Magicant and points out the surprising relevance in young Ness's disdain at his older self being too busy to enjoy the activities he loved back in the day. Fast forward a bit to the Nerd's trip in his own personal Magicant, and he finds himself at odds with his own child self, now jaded towards the games he once enjoyed. While downplayed to the point of nonchalance, the combination of these two moments hit hard for older audiences, with many commenters in the review's YouTube upload describing how close to home they were.
- Macaulay Culkin's breakdown during the Home Alone games Christmas episode, as the experience playing the atrocious Home Alone games with the Nerd made him lament how he always wanted as a child to get a game where he was the main protagonist, only to be featured in shitty games of the movie franchise that made him famous.
- The "Pepsi-TV Game" guy's backstory. His life, which was full of wholesome and healthy foods, all changed when he encountered Pepsiman. Turns out, those cans of Pepsi that he was drinking are made of his wife, children, and dog after they were turned into Pepsi. He had to sell the scraps of the can just to pay for their funerals. Mike Butters' acting really sells it.
- James's cat, Boo, who appeared in several videos, most notably his Atari Jaguar review, passed away from cancer on April 27, 2020.
- On August 20, 2020, James announced that Meredith, another cat who belonged to his mother, has died. He also noted that Meredith managed to live up to the rather impressive age of 19 years old.
- Mike Matei leaving Cinemassacre in December 2020. It seems that the situation surrounding COVID-19 was a major catalyst, but he wished to focus full time on his streaming. While he reportedly left on good terms, with he and James remaining close friends, it is quite sad to see that one of the major parts of show's long historynote has now left.
Tear Jerker / The Angry Video Game Nerd