Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Tear Jerker / The Boondocks

Go To

    open/close all folders 

  • This strip, being one of the very few times we ever see Huey cry. Especially given how vocally negative Huey is in other strips about the very things that Caesar points out, the idea that he would happily accept them in order to see people he lost again is very poignant. And even more tragic, the strip is written in someone's memory, making it very clear that McGruder is using Huey to reflect his own feelings about a real life loss.
  • One Sunday strip features Jazmine crying while Huey is trying to read. How does he respond? By yelling at her to stop!
  • There are times when Huey can question his character and judgement, which can make us see how insecure he truly is. In one strip, he feels like he hasn't really made much of a difference in the world and actually feels useless, because he complains all the time.
  • During the April 2000 arc, Huey is in a particularly worse mood than usual (after nobody reads his paper on Santa Claus) and everyone tries to make him feel better, only for him to keep saying that he hates everyone. It is only when Caesar shows up, he seems to brighten up a bit.
  • Jazmine makes Huey a Valentine's Day card, but he just leaves her outside for hours and then tells her to go home.

    Season 1 
Guess Hoe's Coming To Dinner
  • Faced with strong opposition to Cristal's presence from Huey and Riley (because she's very obviously a lazy, slovenly, gold-digging ho), Robert sincerely confesses to them that Cristal makes him happy, and asks them why they want to take that away from him at his old age? Then at the end of the episode he tells Cristal that she can stay with them and make something of her life, but after promising she would she instead she runs back to A Pimp Named Slickback. Robert is left sitting at the kitchen table in the dark and waiting for her to return, keeping a candelabra lit so she won't think everyone is asleep when she does, refusing to face the fact that she never will.

The Real

  • Huey's Breaking Speech to Jazmine causing her to cry. While a Hard Truth Aesop? Is nonetheless heart wrenching.
    Huey: There ain't no such thing as the tooth fairy.
    Jazmine: Then who's leaving the money?
    Huey: Probably your parents, they have both the cash and the access to your room.
    Jazmine: Why did they lie to me?
    Huey: Because the truth hurts, Jazmine. The world is a hard and lonely place, and nobody gets anything for free, and you wanna know what else? One day, you and everyone you know is gonna die.

A Huey Freeman Christmas

  • Huey’s vision for the school Christmas play was turned down because of the entitled administration believing all of the play is written with misinformation, and changed it entirely. As Huey walks away from the situation, his teacher desperately tries to reassure him that it will still be a good play, but Huey just tells him not to credit him, since none of his vision will be put into it, and walks away saddened. While he was a bit too strict with the crew and the cast, Huey’s hurt feelings are valid. You honestly can’t help but feel bad for the kid.
    • Viewers can also interpret this as white supremacy, having more privilege in the world than people of color do. The administration, full of white people, reject Huey’s idea of making Jesus black. Even trying to convince the poor kid to write Jesus as any other color, rather than just going along with black Jesus.

Return of the King

Riley Wuz Here

  • Also a very heartwarming moment: Riley and his mad art teacher paint a mural of a happily married black couple, referenced from a picture of their wedding day. It moves Granddad to tears.note 
    • What makes it even more heart-wrenching/heartwarming is Riley's teacher's soft Meaningful Echo being heard. "Why don't we paint a picture of someone you love, someone who is no longer with us..." Doesn't help that the teacher was probably one of the few people Riley got to be good friends with and probably got arrested for it.
    • Even worse is that the episode points out how pretty much nobody (including Granddad) believes in Riley up until he reveals himself, and that beforehand he's essentially squandering his talents to get attention from people including Granddad.
    • And setting the tone is the song playing during the reveal: Today.


  • This episode is a rather harsh lesson about how things can change, as well as stay the same. "Sometimes, your friends aren't always as loyal as you want them to be."
    • Granddad goes to a funeral for Moe Jackson, a friend whom he never really liked; the guy constantly insulted him, almost got him shot out of the sky in WWII, and was just a terrible person overall.
    • Huey on the other hand reunites with Cairo, one of his former friends; who has already forgotten him, as he believes that Huey left him behind on purpose. Their arguing leads to a fight.
    • After both Granddad and Huey get the courage to be the better men and make amends, Moe (posthumously) sends a final disrespectful insult that he disguised as something nice to him; and Huey tries to apologize for the fight he started with Cairo, only to get rejected with a headbutt that gives him a bloody nose.
    • The Bittersweet Ending, which highlights that Huey still has Jazmine, his current best friend; and it implies that Granddad has actually forgiven Moe despite everything else, which lessens the blow.

The Block Is Hot

  • Huey tries as hard as he can to get Jazmine out of her contract with Ed Wuncler I, who is fiendishly profiting from a little girl's labor without rewarding her.
    • It's pretty minor, but when Jazmine snaps at him and tells him to go away, Huey actually seems genuinely sad. Despite his personality, he's still a 10-year-old boy who gets hurt when his friends get mad at him.

The Passion of Reverend Ruckus

  • So many of the main characters are pushed into awkward and hopeless situations, what with Granddad trying to stop Ruckus's racist religion with Tom getting lulled into it, and Huey trying as hard as he can to save an innocent man from getting executed. The situation is so large that it makes Huey cry and pray until a sudden miracle saves everyone.

    Season 2 
Attack of the Killer Kung-Fu Wolf Bitch
  • Luna's flashback. She grew up with an abusive father which caused her to run away from home, only to date a series of abusive boyfriends. All of this trauma is why she distrusts men so much.

Home Alone

  • Huey and Riley's relationship hits rock bottom in this episode. It's actually heart-rending to see how low the brothers' respect for each other gets, in particular Huey treating Riley like a prisoner (complete with orange jumpsuit and solitary confinement) and blaming him for Granddad leaving.

The Story of Gangstalicious Part 2

  • After being outed as gay in a tell-all book by his ex, Gangstalicious is rejected by the Hip-hop community, his fans are shocked at the news and Lethal Injection crew cancel their plans to collaborate with him. He then calls his manager, says that no one will want to work with him now, and believes that his career is over.
  • Riley coming to terms with the possibility of being gay after spending most of his life being fiercely homophobic can hit very close to home to people who actually spent most of their lives in the closet, especially those who were similarly homophobic as a defense mechanism. The fact that Riley is a child is also very tragic as many children, particularly African-American children, grow up not knowing how to handle their sexual orientation and might even be taught that they are wrong, much like Riley. The cherry on top is Robert's comforting of his grandson, even after he spent a good portion of the episode trying to cure his gay.

The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show

    Season 3 
Bitches to Rags
  • Seeing the entirety of Thugnificent's mansion in a decrepit state compared to what it was in "The Story of Thugnificent" and "Shinin'"; it's a depressing indicator of how bad things have gotten for Thugnificent.
  • Thugnificent's look of dejection when Riley laughs at his dance after the former complained about Sergant Gudda's dance; he probably thought that even Riley stopped liking him and almost came to the realization that maybe his Rapping career really was over. If not for Riley indirectly catching onto the fact that his insecurities was beginning to get to him and still reassuring his support of him, he would have given up then and there.
  • Everyone in the Lethal Interjection crew abandoned Thugnificent (justified in Flonominal's case since he already accepted that the crew was finished), except Leonard...and he still gets mistreated by Thugnificent despite being the only one who stuck around with him.
  • Given that Sergant Gudda looked up to Thugnificent prior to being trashed on the radio, imagine the feeling of betrayal he felt when his idol of all people was berating him.
  • This entire exchange between Robert Freeman and Thugnificent
    Robert: Boy what on Earth are you doing?! You trying to get yourself killed?
    Thugnificent: (looking defeated) I don't know what to do...
    Robert: Well get a job!
    Thugnificent: I tried that...
    Robert: (Sincerely) Well try again!
    Thugnificent: (dejected) You don't understand, pops; I always wanted to do this rap thing...and then, yknow by some miracle, I actually pulled it off! I just thought...I just thought it would last longer...
  • The entire premise of the episode; Thugnificent's rapping career is essentially on its last legs and he's practically doing everything he can to keep it going but just keeps making things for himself and everyone else worse when he tries to keep it afloat...his fanbase and people in general grew tired of his music and old-school rappers like him, his record label abandoned him, he lost Flonominal as a friend, and after a failed music deal with Steve thanks to Ed Wuncler III's greed? He's lying on the sidewalk unconscious, and essentially comes to terms that everything he ever worked for has gone down the drain.

A Date with the Booty Warrior

  • The ending, during which the prisoner confesses to Huey his guilt for the crimes that landed him in prison, and wishes things could have been different. He knows he's ruined his life, and all he can do is rape other inmates for the rest of his life.

The Color Ruckus

  • Uncle Ruckus reveals that he was raised by a cruel and abusive father, Mister Ruckus. Mister had an extremely short temper and would beat around his own little son for little or no reason. Eventually Mister threw Uncle out of the house, much to the protests of Mister's wife and younger sons. Uncle was so traumatized by the ordeal that it's the reason why he hates his own race so much. Not helped by how his mother Babs gaslit him into thinking he was white and to hate black people. His childhood was so horrific that even Riley feels bad for him.

It's Goin' Down

    Season 4 
Good Times
  • The entirety of this episode deals with the issue of debt foreclosure. Robert Freeman owes millions of dollars on the house mortgage, and throughout the episode the Freeman family has to endure one humiliation after another as Eddie Wuncler, a competent sociopath, repeatedly harasses the family for the money.
    • Robert has to literally sell himself into slavery to keep the house. The show reflects how brutal the housing market has become, how easy it is fall into debt with no safety net, and the lengths homeowners will debase themselves in order to keep a roof over their head for themselves and their family.

Granddad Dates a Kardashian

  • After the frankly hilarious reason for Kardashia's hospitalization (her butt exploded, mortally wounding her), there's something rather sad about her last moments, dying as everyone else discovers she wasn't a real Kardashian to begin with. Doubles as Nightmare Fuel considering the lengths some people will go to for even a fleeting moment of fame:
    Kardashia: ...I just wanted to be on TV...


  • Expanding on the terrible events from "Good Times", Ed Wuncler II and Uncle Ruckus force the Freeman family and countless other people onto a plantation-themed amusement park, to drive home the point that they are (quite literally) slaves to Wuncler. The Freemans are forced to endure all kinds of abuse and humiliation. But fortunately, they put a stop to this by rioting and burning down the park.