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Tear Jerker / The Powerpuff Girls

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Per site policy, Spoilers Off applies to all Tear Jerker pages, so all spoilers here are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

So once again, the audience has been left in tears, thanks to... The Powerpuff Girls.

The Powerpuff Girls Movie has its own page.

For the 2016 series, see here.


  • Any time Bubbles cries. Seeing such an adorable and likable character upset is always a huge gut-punch, the most notable instances being "Octi Evil" and "All Chalked Up". However, you may become desensitized by it due to the fact that Bubbles cries a lot.
  • Whenever Professor Utonium gets put through Adult Fear is pretty sad.
  • Buttercup, full-stop, if you think about it long enough. First of all, the professor had no good reason officially to name her Buttercup other than that it begins with "B". Second, she has no unique power (and tongue-rolling doesn't count). Finally, nobody really pays her any attention, and even when they do, it's usually when she's in trouble. Even some fans never seemed to care much, instead opting to exploit her misery and attitude for kicks and giggles. Especially since she tends to be remembered as "the bitchy one".
    • In addition to all of that, Buttercup tends to be the victim of Disproportionate Retribution, despite that most of her misbehavior is typical of children her and her sisters' age.
  • While it's never outright stated, it's heavily implied that the members of the Gangreen Gang are all homeless, as they're usually seen sleeping or hanging out in random places, like the junkyard or even the playground at the Powerpuffs' school, and their families are never seen or mentioned (at least, not these versions of the characters). Keep in mind that they are all teenagers, the youngest member being 14 years old. Depending on how sympathetic you are, this knowledge may paint their actions in an entirely different light....
    • Take into consideration Aspirations, and how they're prominent foe of Buttercup amidst the PPG. Buttercup in canon/fanon is stated often to feel underestimated compared to her sisters, and she lashes out often to bring some attention to herself; you could say the GGG act like rotten teens also due to that. And in "Aspirations", Ace outright states "Mommy loves us!" once Sedusa rejects them. You can infer a lot about them possibly being orphans or runaway teens with lots of baggage on their shoulders.
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  • Whenever the girls are ostracized by the citizens of Townsville can be pretty sad. It makes you wonder why they even bother saving them given the amount of times that it's happened.

Specific episodes:

  • The episode "Twisted Sister" is utterly heart-wrenching. The girls try to make a fourth Powerpuff Girl, and because they substitute some ingredients, their new sister Bunny turns out a little... special. She tries very hard to fight crime, but never gets it right... until the end, where she saves her sisters and then she explodes. The other three girls feel horrible, because the last thing they told her was "Bunny do bad!" and that she wasn't cut out to be a Powerpuff Girl. Even The Narrator cried as he was closing the show, complete with a heartrendingly sad version of the Powerpuff Girls outro playing in the background.
    Bubbles: She was good after all. [voice shaking] We were the ones who were bad.
    • Worse still is that because of their shoddy effort at the formula, Bunny was likely doomed to an untimely end from the start. The fact that she dies before they finally came to appreciate her for who she was is what makes her short existence so tragic.
    • This particular tear-jerker was so potent that it was even used in Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi as part of Blossom's Dark and Troubled Past.
    • Also one of two examples of Killed Off for Real (along with "Knock It Off," mentioned below).note 
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    • It's made even worse with the death of Bunny's voice actress, Christine Cavanaugh, in 2014.
    • Most explosions in this series are loud. Not Bunny's, though. It's very heartbreakingly silent.
    • The mere fact that she is the one who appears in the "Thanks for saving the day" closing. That part of the episode serves as the highest seat of honor in the show, usually reserved for the Powerpuff Girls. It's a mix between sad and sweet that the show itself sent her off with nothing short of its highest praise.
  • The ending of the episode "Knock It Off". The Professor bursts into Dick's factory as he's slowly killing the girls by draining their Chemical X. He desperately pleads for the lives of his daughters, but Dick just decides to kill all of them! As his army of grotesque, monstrous clones take the Professor away, he tearfully tells the girls that he loves them, and they weakly manage to say, "We love you too..." before dying. After seeing this heart-wrenching goodbye, the clones turn on Dick, release the girls, and tell the Professor to run before the factory burns down. He escapes as the factory explodes in the background, killing all of the deformed clones, and cries over the apparently dead bodies of his daughters before they come around.
  • In "Tough Love", when Him replaces the town's love for the girls with hate. When the girls (who were then unaware) came to see the Professor, well...let's say it wasn't pretty.
    • The entire episode is hard to watch, actually. Seeing the city, which normally is incredibly friendly despite all that it goes through, torment the girls is heartbreaking. It's especially bad when The Narrator, who is probably one of the nicest, happiest characters on the show, snaps at them. The horror and shock on the girls is all too evident.
      The Narrator: "Oh, for crying out loud, would you three shut up for once!? Always crying and moaning about something... sheesh, you give me a headache!"
  • There’s something hard hitting about the start of “Imaginary Fiend” where Mike is too shy to talk to anyone and sits alone. Anyone with shyness can sympathize with the boy.
  • There's one moment in "Octi Evil" when Blossom and Buttercup are arguing and it slowly pans over to Bubbles crying alone in their room.
    Bubbles: Oh, I don't like arguing. Why can't we all just get along, instead of just fighting and arguing? [cries Ocular Gushers]
    • Blossom and Buttercup being driven to physically attack each other under Him's influence is also quite upsetting - the girls argue often but usually fights never turn so serious.
  • "Helter Shelter", when Bubbles says goodbye to the baby whale. Thankfully, she gets over it pretty quick, knowing that the whale will be with its family again.
    Bubbles: I now understand this wasn't meant to be. (sniffling and hugging the whale) But I'm sure gonna miss you anyway.
  • "Little Miss Interprets": Upon thinking the Professor wants to replace the girls with new ones, we see Blossom and Bubbles crying. However, seeing tough-as-nails Buttercup shed a Single Tear after fighting the urge to break down really sells it.
    Blossom:[sobbing] Bubbles was right. He is making new girls.
    Bubbles: [also weeping] Why doesn't he love us anymore?
    Buttercup: [voice cracking] You heard him. He doesn't think we're perfect anymore. [turns head away and a Single Tear is shed]
    • The following line from Bubbles:
      Bubbles: (to the Professor) But...I love you...DAD!
  • "The City Of Frownsville" has an In-Universe and out example of all of the city crying after Lou Gubrious sets his sadness ray on them.
  • The beginning of "Mommy Fearest" which shows that the Professor, much as he loves his girls, is a very lonely man.
    • And later when the Professor reluctantly grounds the girls. You can just feel the tremor in his voice. You can't help but feel sorry for him too.
  • "Speed Demon". The moment it kicks in for the girls that Townsville being in ruins was ultimately THEIR fault for being gone so long...
    Buttercup: No...NOOO!
    Bubbles: (grabbing both of her pigtails and crying) WHYYYYY???!!!
    Blossom: (sounding absolutely heartbroken) Wh-what have we done?
    • Especially as the citizens' chant, "It's all your fault!" over and over again in a Creepy Monotone.
    • The state the citizens are in isn't any prettier.
      • Professor Utonium is desperately trying to recreate the girls and when he sees them right in front of him, he mistakes them for hallucinations, implying that he regularly hallucinates that his missing daughters have returned to him.
      • Ms. Bellum is crying in the ruins of town hall, holding the Mayor's hat and sash and recounting over and over how she begged him to call the Girls during HIM's takeover. It's implied that the Mayor was murdered (presumably right in front of Ms. Bellum) by HIM. At this point, she's so far gone that she doesn't even recognize the Girls and demands that they stay away from the Mayor's remains, screaming that the Mayor is "hers and hers alone".
      • Ms. Keane is left standing where she stood when the girls left, chanting "I was just standing there waving goodbye and they raced off..." over and over and over again...before ending it with "...for fifty years...fifty years...fifty years..."
  • The girls' Disney Death in "The Rowdyruff Boys", arguably peaking when even the narrator can't believe it.
    Narrator: No... no... say it isn't so... say it isn't true... say anything, girls... (voice breaking) But please don't say goodbye...
    • This also didn't help that in their defeat, there was the silent explosion from the above mentioned "Twisted Sister". That is the Darkest Hour of the episode.
    • The girls coming back to life and telling everyone that they're no longer fit to be heroes because they failed to stop the Rowdyruff Boys and decide that they have no choice but to leave Townsville. Fortunately, Ms. Bellum convinces them to stay.
  • A scene from "Neighbor Hood" where Blossom and Buttercup reveal to Bubbles that her favorite TV show is nothing but a set and actors.
    • The music in that scene comes from "Twisted Sister" where the girls are mourning Bunny's death.
  • In "The Boys Are Back in Town", the Rowdyruff Boys are revived by HIM. Now immune to the Powerpuff Girls' kisses, they proceed to beat the crap out of them until they're in too much pain to move. The Rowdyruff Boys then go one step too far and put a giant slug down Bubble's dress. After they did that, Bubbles was clearly suffering and tried to keep from crying, which was really sad. On the bright side, this is what motivated Buttercup to find the Rowdyruff Boys' new weakness.
  • The episode "Buttercrush". It's a little hard not to feel bad for Buttercup when she realizes Ace was toying with her feelings all along. Even during her No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to them, you can tell she's truly heartbroken.
    • Even worse, the ONLY thing she says in the ENTIRE episode is "I'm sorry." And that's at the very end to Bubbles and Blossom.
  • Did anybody wanna hug all three girls in "Sweet 'N Sour" when the Fluffy Bunch managed to turn all of Townsville against them with their "adorable" crimes, since the girls were the only ones who saw through the animals' cute exterior?
  • The ending of "Candy is Dandy"; the girls' addiction to candy has become so extreme that they pummel Mojo Jojo worse than they'd even beaten him before, to the point where even Mojo was crying and whimpering in terror for his life! Cue a MASSIVE My God, What Have I Done? realization from the Girls.
  • In "All Chalked Up" when Buttercup destroys the chalk, Bubbles's reaction is super tragic and horrifying. Her loud, scary sounding Inelegant Blubbering sounds NOTHING like it normally does. It sounds like real actual crying. A lot of fans did not take that well. Try watching it without feeling bad for Bubbles. The scene is pictured above, by the way.
    • What really makes it so depressing is that at first Bubbles's blubbering is extremely loud and at first, but later her sobs get much quieter as she hides in the forest, which is really how real crying sounds like. Tara Strong, you really can act....
    • You also can't see Bubbles's face at all during the aforementioned "bursts into tears" scene. One can't help but wonder that she may not have been just sobbing wretchedly, but also may have looked pretty unpleasant too.....
    • If you look in the background, all the kids plus Blossom look completely shocked at what just happened, except for Buttercup, who has a smug grin on her face.
    • Here's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment of Bubbles's sad face right before she breaks down crying.
    • Bubbles's Heroic BSoD after she sees the destruction caused by the monster drawings she made.
  • In "Ploys R Us' when the Professor seemingly dies after being shot. The girls' reaction to this is so sad!
    Girls: (sobbing) It's our fault! It's all our fault!
    Mayor: And just what is that supposed to mean?
    Blossom: [trembling voice] We knew it was the Professor.
    Bubbles: But the toys!
    Buttercup: And we couldn't stop.
    Bubbles: And all the toys!!
    Blossom: And now he's....he's...gone!
  • In "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey", the Girls are fighting all of the villains. They get easily defeated by them. So when The Powerpuff Girls sing this really sad song called "Rain". Also, it's a little difficult to notice at first because of the rain, but if you look closely at the Girls during the song, you'll notice that they are crying.
    • It becomes even worse when you find out that Townsville is hardly ever peaceful for long, and the Girls just need a break from this madness.
  • The special "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!" has the scene where Mojo Jojo gives up on trying to conquer the world and chooses to shut down his volcano lair and move out of Townsville while we hear him singing the Tears for Fears song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". It's pretty depressing to see Mojo feel so defeated and hopeless.
  • The girls getting a pet called Beebo in "Pet Feud", but the Professor warns them to only feed him once. The girls misunderstand and each of them feed him separately. Beebo gets bigger and bigger and out of control until he eats too much and explodes. The girls say a very sad, "Beebo went boom..." Thankfully, it's revealed that if Beebo explodes, clones of him appear and everyone in Townsville gets their own Beebo.
  • The episode "Super Friends." Watching Robin in all of her loneliness as the Powerpuff Girls ditch her to save the day is enough to bring a tear to your eye, especially if you were a kid who had been abandoned by friends before. Even worse is that the montage of this is being played with the heroic sounding "Signal in the Sky" which was about how the girls are going to be called into action. Now it's being played in Robin's perspective, as it shows how the girls' heroics means there's less time for them to hang out.
  • A small one, but when the judge starts sentencing the Powerpuff Girls to one million years in Townsville Correctional Facility for bank robbery in the What a Cartoon! short "Crime 101", he is visibly distraught when the girls sadly plead guilty and confirm that they really did rob the bank (which they only did to teach the Amoeba Boys how to do so properly) and clearly wishes he didn't have to punish the girls for their crime. Fortunately, the Amoeba Boys end up taking the blame.
  • In "Beat Your Greens", when all the adults have passed out from the aliens' spell because the families only ate meat and no vegetables is both sad and horrifying, especially with all of their children finding their parents like that. Arguably, the worst scene is with the Mom who's passed out on the kitchen floor in front of her little boy and his older sister as they're holding each other while sobbing and having no idea what to do. Fortunately, after the children ate the vegetable aliens, they broke the spell and both revived and happily reunited with their parents, but still.
  • "The Mane Event":
  • Blossom's Heroic BSoD in "Not So Awesome Blossom". Even more sad, Blossom runs away.
  • The Professor admitting to the Girls that he may be unable to save Bullet the squirrel in "Stray Bullet". Thankfully, Bullet gets better.
    Bubbles: But Professor, I don't want to have saved her just to lose her...[begins to cry]
  • Seeing Blossom get laughed at after her Humiliation Conga in "A Made Up Story" is a bit sad.
  • "Cover Up" is a huge Buttercup torture porn.
  • The scene in "Bought And Scold" when Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are quietly sobbing over Princess making crime legal.
  • The entire outcome of "Fallen Arches", where Blossom convinces the girls to talk two elderly superheroes - Captain Righteous and Lefty - to fight the Ministry of Pain in their place, as Blossom refuses to attack a bunch of elderly villains out of respect for the fact that they are old. The two heroes accept the call, but Captain Righteous refuses to work with his old sidekick as he feels he was a glory hound, while Lefty thinks his boss constantly treated him as dead weight. It's quite a shame to see two old friends drift apart so completely over such petty disagreements.
    • The real kicker though is that Blossom's plan backfires spectacularly when the two superheroes confront the villains, clearly out of shape and no longer fit to fight. When they start to squabble with each other, Lefty is injured and Captain Righteous, horrified at this scene, performs a Heroic Sacrifice and slams into the Ministry of Pain, leading to all five being rushed to the hospital. They ultimately pull through, but the press are especially unforgiving and say none of it would've happened if the Girls had just saved the day themselves.
    • Needless to say, Blossom is quite ashamed of herself when Bubbles and Buttercup glare at her as the aforementioned news is broken to them, and she quietly slinks out of view without another word.
  • The entirety of "A Very Special Blossom". Highlights include:
  • "Meet the Beat Alls" may be a hilarious Beatles homage, but it still consists of the Powerpuff Girls suffering crushing defeat after crushing defeat (literally) against them time and time again as they get away with their ill-gotten gains. It gets to a point where the girls wonder if they can ever save the day again. We don't even want to think about what would have happened if it hadn't been for the Professor's magical mystery tricksnote .
  • "Aspirations" manages to be one for the Gangreen Gang, of all people. The episode's plot focuses on Sedusa manipulating the boys into doing her dirty work by showing them affection and promising to "reward" them for it, but once she gets the artifacts she wanted and becomes more powerful than ever, she outright admits to her manipulation and demands they get lost. The gang is left absolutely devastated, and even Ace is left crying when Sedusa begs for them to come back. In fact, the delivery of his lines near the end of this episode are pretty painful to listen to.
    Ace: But, Mommy loves us! She loves us...
    Ace: Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me twice? No thanks! *kicks the plank, knocking Sedusa into the mud*
    • Makes it even sadder/interesting to think about considering Ace was hurt in the exact same manner he hurt Buttercup: playing with her feelings, toying with the promise of love. Now he knows how much it can actually hurt.
  • The beginning of "Powerprof" shows the Professor and the girls making several attempts at family time, only to have every one of them interrupted as the girls need to save the day. It ends with the Professor coming home alone from a movie, dropping his keys on the floor and trudging miserably to his chair, not even closing the door behind him.
  • In "Power-noia", we learn each of the girls' deepest fears and Him curses them with nightmares about said fears. Blossom's nightmare is as much of a tear jerker as it is nightmare fuel. Bubbles and Buttercup have fears that are normal and natural for five-year-old children, but Blossom believes her only value is her intelligence and no one would love her if she weren't the brainiac she is. It's normal for young children to want to please those around them, but an excessive fear of failure is very abnormal for a small child.


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