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Tear Jerker / The Walking Dead TV Show

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"My flesh, my blood is standing right here."
"People are gonna die. I'm gonna die. Mom... There's no way you can ever be ready for it. I try to be, but I can't. Best we can do now is avoid it as long we can, keep one step ahead. I wish I had somethin' better to say - somethin' more profound. My father was good like that. But I'm tired, son."
Rick to Carl, "Better Angels"
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There's plenty of tears to be shed in the zombie apocalypse.

Spoilers Off applies to all Moments pages, so ALL spoilers are unmarked! Proceed with caution.


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    Season 1 
1 - Pilot
  • When Rick enters the Grimes household, he discovers that Lori and Carl are gone and collapses to the ground in catatonic grief, crouched in the fetal position as he cries out for his family (who he thinks are dead). Not to mention him smacking himself in the head in the futile hope that it's All Just a Dream and he'll wake up.
  • Rick walking back to find the "bicycle walker" and Mercy Kill her just before he leaves King County, and discovering that she has started to drag her legless body through a field. Rick's remark that "I'm sorry this happened to you" is poignant, considering that she's the first walker he's come across.
  • Morgan tearfully trying to work up the strength to shoot his zombified wife.
  • The horse getting Devoured by the Horde. Made even worse by the preceding few scenes, where Rick playfully talks to it and tells it there will be lots of other horses for it to meet in Atlanta.

3 - Tell It To The Frogs

  • Merle may have been a violent, racist douchebag, but when he was shown still handcuffed to the roof after everyone had to make a quick exit at the end of the previous episode, he broke down, figuring that he is being punished for being such a jerk. He seemed genuinely remorseful (at first, anyway) and it was hard not to feel bad for him and hearing beg Jesus to show him the way and help him while walkers bash in the door to the roof is a little bit disturbing and upsetting to say the least.
  • Watching Carol's abusive relationship with Ed. He beats her and slaps her, but when he's lying on the ground bleeding, she cries and apologizes over and over.

4 - Vatos

  • Andrea's anguished crying over her sister dying after the fish fry attack, which carries out into the night as Jim mournfully states that he remembers why he dug the holes...

5 - Wildfire

  • Glenn tearfully telling Daryl that they only burn "geeks" but they bury their own dead.
  • After Amy's death, her moment of waking up as a zombie is pretty heart wrenching. Andrea has sat beside her for hours since her death, and reacts to her awakening by stroking her and apologizing for "never having been there", to which Amy's zombified self strokes Andrea in a seemingly fond manner as well. At this moment, the others see what's happening and rush over to intervene. Andrea keeps holding onto her even as she moves in to bite her, when suddenly Andrea finishes her apology with "I love you" and blows a hole in Amy's head.
    • Likewise, Amy's funeral. Andrea has trouble putting the body in the grave, and Dale tries to help her by grabbing Amy's feet. Andrea pitifully calls out, "I can do it! I can do it..." as he gingerly holds onto the bottom of the bag as they lower the corpse into the ground.
  • Jim asking to be left behind and abandoned because the pain of his infection was too much for him to endure as they sought help or a cure, compounding his story (and subsequent Guilt Complex) about how he managed to get away while the zombies were killing his family.

6 - TS-19

  • Jenner explaining the self-destruct mechanism shows how much he's crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
    Jenner: It sets the air on fire. No pain. An end to sorrow, grief... regret. Everything.
  • Dale talking Andrea out of her attempted suicide by explosion by staying there in the CDC with her.
    Dale: Too bad! C-cause you don't get to do that. T-to come into somebody's life, make them care, and just... check out!
  • Jenner and Jacqui's final moments right before the explosion.

    Season 2 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wdtearjerker2_6.jpg
All for Nothing hammered home in the saddest way possible.
2 - Bloodletting
  • Carl getting shot. Luckily, it was an accident and none of the other survivors were out to get him, but the reactions of everyone involved are heartbreaking. Special note goes to Rick, who can't even get out a full sentence properly, and poor Otis, so wracked with guilt he's almost in tears when telling his family about it.

3 - Save the Last One

  • The death of Otis, especially once we learn the true circumstances behind it. Maggie, who's known him since she was a kid, sobs to Glenn afterwards and is also hugged by Lori. Rick helps Hershel break the news to Patricia only after the surgery to save Carl. We see Rick and Hershel go and comfort Patricia in the kitchen, and she breaks down while both men can do nothing but place a comforting hand on her back.

5 - Chupacabra

  • The flashback to the bombing of Atlanta. Hundreds of people were stranded on a road on the outskirts of the city, hoping to find refuge, and then are forced to watch the annihilation of Atlanta, proving that there is no safe harbor for them anymore. Shane, despite trying to be a rock for Lori and Carl to lean on and being a good leader in his own right, is clearly aghast and doesn't know what to do besides hold Lori. Shane's defeated gasp that they're dropping napalm in Atlanta just sells that there is no sanctuary anymore.
  • Maggie tearfully, angrily rants at Glenn that she's already lost so many of the most important people in her life, and she can't bear the thought of him dying too.

7 - Pretty Much Dead Already

  • Seeing Daryl flinch from Carol, the least harmful member of the group, revealing his Hates Being Touched tendencies and brings some insight into this abusive past.
    "JUST LEAVE ME BE! Stupid bitch..."
  • Sophia's death and eventual walker state. Hershel and his family in the same episode; the majority of the main characters had no qualms with cleansing the barn of walkers, but they were all stunned the moment Sophia stepped out, which put things in perspective knowing that Hershel was going through the same thing, only tenfold. Special mention goes to Daryl, who up until then had been dead set on finding her and reuniting her with her mother.
    • Even Shane stops his murderous rampages against the barn walkers, only standing there in shock.

8 - Nebraska

  • Hershel's Heroic BSoD after the barn massacre, getting drunk for the first time in years and lamenting what a fool he was to deny that his family and friends were dead, and not giving his daughters the chance to mourn their dead family.

11 - Judge, Jury, Executioner

  • Dale's breakdown over the group's near unanimous vote to execute Randall, after spending the entire episode trying to convince them otherwise.
    Dale: (to Daryl) You were right. This group IS broken.
  • Dale's death. It was so abrupt and unexpected, and it actually angered many viewers. Even Rick couldn't end his misery, despite almost choosing to execute Randall earlier. Instead, Daryl does the deed, via a bullet to the head. Silent Credits ensue after this gut-wrenching moment.
    Daryl: Sorry brother...

12 - Better Angels

  • The scene where Rick kills Shane is pretty saddening. The soundtrack played over it doesn't help either. He had it coming, but the tear jerker bit comes from the fact that Rick had to stab his oldest and best friend, and considers himself to be losing his humanity even more. Rick's wails after it happens are pretty depressing, too.
    Rick: DAMN YOU FOR MAKING ME DO THIS, SHANE! THIS WAS YOU, NOT ME! YOU DID THIS TO US!! THIS WAS YOU, NOT ME! NOT ME!
    • Carl seeing Rick stand over Shane's corpse. He had grown attached to him, what with everything the two had been through in Shane's absence, and after; it was Shane who comforted Carl when he revealed that he was responsible for Dale's death. The look on Carl's face when he realises what has happened and then having to kill Shane when he reanimated, to stop him from killing his father.
    • Even worse, Carl's gunshot ends up attracting an enormous herd of walkers, eventually leading to the group having to leave the farm in the next episode. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, indeed.
    • Instead of the traditional theme song in the credits, this haunting and melancholy piano tune plays. It emphasises how Rick and Carl will never be the same after killing Shane, an unstable, yet close friend.

13 - Beside the Dying Fire

  • Jimmy's and Patricia's deaths deserve mention. While they weren't major characters, Jimmy died saving Rick and Carl, while the last thing Patricia did was hold her daughter's hand before being eaten by walkers.
  • The look on Hershel's face as the group flees from the farm his family has owned for over a century, and he watches the barn burn down.
  • The group leaving Dale's RV behind, as it's overrun by walkers.
  • The brief shot of the note they'd left Sophia on the windshield of a car at the beginning of the season, the letters now runny and faded, acting as the folder image for this season.

    Season 3 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wdtearjerker3.JPG
*BANG*
  • Hershel getting his ankle bitten by a walker in the Season 3 premiere. While it hurts to watch at the time, it's somewhat of a retroactive aversion since Hershel survives the bite (due to Rick amputating his leg).
  • Lori begging Hershel not to hesitate to finish her off if she dies and reanimates in childbirth.
  • Maggie telling a sleeping Hershel that he doesn't have to live for her and Beth, that they'll manage without him after he's had his leg amputated when bitten by a walker.
  • Lori's failed attempt to reconcile with Rick in Season 3, Episode 2.
  • Lori's death in Season 3, Episode 4, "Killer Within". Fans were divided over how good a person she was, but her death, and Rick's subsequent breakdown over it at the end of the episode, is absolutely HEARTWRENCHING. To make things even worse, Carl is the one who has to put her down so she doesn't come back as a walker, his face blank as he tries to suppress his emotions.
    • Lori's last words:
    Lori: Goodnight, love.
  • T-Dog's Heroic Sacrifice so that Carol can escape. Knowing he's already bitten, he wrestles a pair of walkers into the wall and holds them there until Carol can escape.
  • Rick nearly killing Glenn in his maddened rage after Lori's death.
  • A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment when Daryl and Maggie search the abandoned house for baby formula: one of the walls is covered in stickers with children's names on it; Daryl stares for a second at a sticker that reads Sofie, then turns silently away. Does that name remind you of anyone Daryl cared about?
  • Carl suggesting names for his newborn sister, which consisted of listing all the women he's known who have died/ he thinks have died.
  • Daryl dwelling on Carol's empty grave and placing a Cherokee rose on it, thinking that's he's failed her again.
  • Rick finding where Lori died, as well as the walker that ate her body.
  • Rick discovering that the phone that's been calling him is in his head, and telling the imagined Lori on the other line that he loves her, and apologizes that he couldn't keep her safe.
  • Darryl's story of how his alcoholic mother accidentally burned down their house and killed herself.
  • The capture and torture of Glenn and Maggie. Glenn is badly beaten and has a zombie set on him while tied to a chair, while Maggie is psychologically tortured with sexual threats until she finally admits where their group lives when the Governor points a gun at Glenn.
  • Carol's reunion with the group is initially a heartwarming moment... Then Carol sees Judith, and that Lori is absent. She does the math, and cue another round of tears and grieving.
  • The Governor's reaction to his zombie daughter Penny being put down by Michonne. He just hugs her body and weeps uncontrollably.
    • And even beforehand, where he tearfully pleads to let Penny live and take him down, instead. He's a bad guy, but he's more sympathetic than his comic book counterpart.
  • When Glenn and Maggie escape and reunite with Rick, they profusely apologize for confessing the location of the prison, Glenn ashamed that they couldn't "hold out". Despite the horrors they've endured, they feel even worse having been forced to give The Governor their location.
  • Carol's reaction to finding out that Daryl has gone off with Merle, and isn't coming back to the prison.
  • Rick having a complete breakdown when he hallucinates a bloody Lori watching him as he decides whether to send away Tyreese's group. He just starts screaming at her to leave as she doesn't belong there while he's waving around a gun, and Hershel, who's been trying to hold things together in Rick's absence, clearly just doesn't know what to do.
  • Axel getting shot in the head.
  • Hallucinated Lori caressing Rick's face as he looks peaceful for the first time since 'The Killer Within'.
  • Merle seeing the scars on Daryl's back, and realising that their father abused him too once Merle ran away.
    • And then going back and rewatching older episodes with that knowledge in mind, and seeing the way Daryl shies away from any physical contact and flinches at raised voices.
    • Similarly Daryl choosing the group over Merle, and Merle realising that without his brother he's nothing.
  • Rick, Carl and Michonne run into Morgan, who has turned into a Crazy Survivalist. In his hideout, they find that not only did he keep the radio, but one Madness Mantra written over and over on the wall is Duane turned. He then attacks Rick, screaming that he's already dead, and when Rick pulls a gun on him he begs to be shot.
    • And then he proceeds to tell Rick that the reason his son was killed is because Morgan didn't shoot his zombified wife when he had the chance.
    • Which doubles as Fridge Brilliance when you listen to this story about Duane's fate. When Rick (and the viewers) first see the Madness Mantra it is assumed that it refers to Duane turning into a zombie. As he tells the story, he emphasizes the exact words about the physical act Duane does when faced with his mother, sealing his fate. He's not distraught over his son's undeath, but stuck in that exact moment of his death because he feels to blame for it; being too emotionally torn to kill his wife earlier and his son having the exact same "weakness" as him when faced with her.]
    • Not to mention Morgan telling Rick that he had turned on the radio every day to try and contact him, but never received an answer. He then returns the radio, telling Rick he doesn't need it anymore. The expression of betrayal on Morgan's face and Rick's regret are just heartbreaking.
    • Rick telling Morgan "You're not seeing things right" and trying to persuade him everything will turn out fine. He's clearly trying to tell himself that just as much as Morgan.
    • Morgan telling Rick that he's doomed to die, that there's no hope anywhere, and that he should leave him to rot.
  • In "Clear," Michonne, Rick, and Carl drive past a walking survivor (who's carrying a distinctively large, orange backpack) and ignore his pleads for help, with only Carl looking back troubled. During the return trip at the end of the episode, they drive past a large bloody smear on the road with an orange backpack sitting nearby, and they nonchalantly stop just to grab the pack. Compared to how he was in Season 1, Rick has become worryingly cold.
  • Rick, Carl, and Michonne pass a sign for a woman named Erin, telling her where the person who made the sign was going, ostensibly so she could see it, follow them, and meet up. A bit further down the road, they run into a zombie pack that includes Erin.
  • The Governor describing how he heard that his wife had been killed in an accident, and remembering how she left him a voicemail asking him to call her, but he never got the chance, and he still wonders what she wanted to talk about. He says it in a very stoic way, but it's the way anyone who has lost someone develops to cope. His voice just emphasizes how much it still hurts. It's one genuine moment between two mortal enemies and is what convinces Rick to accept The Governor's whiskey, and The Governor gives a faint smile that they were at least able to empathize with each other over what they have both lost.
  • Daryl and Martinez, and Hershel and Milton hanging out while the Governor and Rick talk. It's clear that these pairs could have become friends in the apocalypse, but the Governor's insanity makes it impossible.
  • Daryl finding the zombified Merle. As if the scene itself wasn't sad enough, the whole ordeal leaves Daryl openly bursting into tears.
    • What really hits home is that when he first sees Merle, there's just the briefest flicker of recognition in his eyes. Then he rises and starts walking, and Daryl can't even bring himself to cut him down at first. He just keeps pushing the undead Merle back several times, crying the whole time, before finally finishing the walker off.
    • Daryl shaking his head in denial and trying to avoid looking directly at Merle while slowly breaking into tears is arguably the most vulnerable image we see of him, and to see such a normally strong character just lose it projects said vulnerability on the audience.
    • Both this moment and when Merle starts beating Daryl up in Woodbury are horrible because normally, Daryl fights back against anything, but when faced with Merle, he physically curls in on himself, becoming an abused little boy again. It's like he completely regresses into a childlike state, confused why someone he loves is hurting him, and too afraid to fight back. Particularly poignant for anyone who has suffered abuse.
      • When Merle delivers the first punch at the fight in Woodbury, sending Daryl to the ground Daryl's gasping sounds an awful lot like a child fighting back tears...
  • Carl gunning down a surrendering member of Woodbury in front of Hershel and Beth. Hershel then has to explain to Rick how his son killed someone in cold blood. When Rick confronts Carl about this, Carl justifies it by bringing up occasions where Rick failing to make the same decision had lethal consequences, such as Andrew killing Lori and the Governor killing Merle. After the argument, Carl then throws his dad's sheriff star to the ground.
  • Milton's death, and his last attempts to help Andrea before he dies and turns.
  • Rick, Daryl, and Michonne finding Andrea. Michonne notices that she is burning up, and Andrea pulls her collar aside to reveal the bite mark on her neck. The characters all say their goodbyes, and Michonne, who's normally a Perpetual Frowner, is completely in tears. Special note also goes to Rick's words:
    Andrea: Judith...Carl...the rest of them—
    Rick: [puts his hand on her shoulder] Us. The rest of us.
    • The fact that Andrea shot herself in the head offscreen, with the audience only seeing Rick, Tyreese and Daryl standing solemnly near the door separating them from Michonne and Andrea. This is pictured above.
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    Season 4 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/twdtearjerker4.jpg
You can, and will lose the people you love in a world gone mad.
Infected
  • Tyresse's reaction to seeing Karen's burnt body. And he came to visit her with flowers.
  • Rick screaming after watching someone commit suicide. Even though said someone just tried to stab him. That scene really says that Rick has become more humane.
  • Rick, after realizing that he has to use live bait to pull the walkers away from the fence, is forced to take the piglets he had been raising and throw them one by one to the walkers. Those little squeals...
    • Hell, he even sheds a few tears over it, as not only is he killing animals he raised himself, but he's realising that he's been lying to himself about being able to be a peaceful farmer.
    • Doubly so when you remember him telling Carl not to name the piglets, they they aren't pets, they're food. Rick is clearly unable to practice what he preaches, and had grown attached to the piglets on some level.

Indifference

  • Michonne weeping as she holds Judith. The scene suggests that she lost her own child. We later find out that she had a young son who was killed in the initial outbreak.
    • In the comics, Michonne had two daughters, so this scene might be alluding to that.

Internment

  • Hershel breaking down after the plague is finally contained and after losing so many of his friends on his watch. He can't even find his usual solace in the Bible.

Live Bait

  • The Governor burning the photo of his family, after earlier folding the picture over so that it's just his daughter and wife.
  • The look on The Governor's face when he realizes that Meghan is now terrified of him, after she saw him kill her grandfather's walker.

Dead Weight

  • The walkers in the road. When the Governor first kills Martinez, he screams "I don't want it!" as he's pushing him into the walkers. Then he gathers up the Chamblers and tells them that things are going to get really bad soon if they don't clear out of there, and that he doesn't want to put them through that. The conclusion? The Governor didn't want to be the Governor again. He wanted to be Brian, a normal family man who could be happy patching roofs and playing with his surrogate daughter Meghan. But he knew that as long as they weren't safe under the camp's current leadership, he couldn't stop himself from a hostile takeover. He tries to pack up and leave before the situation gets that bad, and what's stopping them? A horde of walkers stuck in the mud, blocking off the road.

Too Far Gone

  • The Governor admits to Michonne that she was right, Penny had been dead all along. During their time as hostages, Hershel also desperately tries to reason with The Governor, and even though The Governor admits he's a good man, he coldly refutes his attempts to talk out a peace. Hershel seems to realize the hopelessness of their situation, and looks so despondent as he contemplates what ended up being his last hours.
  • Meghan's death. It doesn't help that she died right in front of Lilly, or that the Governor coldly shoots her in the head later on right in front of Lilly, like she was just an ordinary person who needed to be put down.
  • The Governor cutting Hershel's neck with Michonne's katana after Rick tries to convince the Governor and his people they could share the prison together. When Hershel survives and tries to crawl away, the Governor finishes him off by decapitating him.
    • What’s even MORE heartbreaking is that 5 years after this episode has aired, Scott Wilson, who played Hershel, had died in real life on October 2018.
  • Rick desperately pleading to the Governor to let Hershel and Michonne go is upsetting all on its own. Back in Season 3, he would've just walked up and started shooting at the guy, but now he tells the Governor that they can just walk in and be one of them, together and peaceful, even if it is difficult. Just knowing how much Rick has changed for the better, only to have the Governor snatch it all away from him, is just sad.
    "Look, I fought him before. And after, we took in his old friends. They've become leaders in what we have here. Now you put down your weapons, walk through those gates you're one of us. We let go of all of it, and nobody dies. Everyone who's alive right now. Everyone who's made it this far. We've all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive. But we can still come back. We're not too far gone. We get to come back. I know we all can change."
    • In that moment, Hershel even smiles at Rick's reasoning, being proud of how much Rick has changed during this season.
  • At the end of the episode, Rick and Carl find Judith's baby seat...full of blood. Their devastated reactions as they force themselves away from the destroyed prison are just brutal.
    • Carl's reaction to this moment. He grabs a shotgun, finds the nearest walker nearby, and begins expending all of its bullets into it. As Rick pulls Carl aside, that is when Carl begins crying.
  • Remember that chess piece Meghan colored so that it looked like it had an eye patch like the Governor? Enjoy watching a walker stomp it into the ground shortly after Lilly kills him.
  • Put simply, this episode was a Downer Ending for everybody. Lilly loses her daughter, Tara up and leaves in the middle of the battle at the prison, the Governor blows away his final chance at redemption and kills Hershel, the Governor dies, nearly everyone from the Governor's camp is dead, all of the survivors staying at the prison are forced to go their separate ways in different groups, Judith is missing and presumed dead, the prison is overrun by zombies, and Rick and Carl leave the prison in shame, alone and utterly broken.
  • The Governor himself. The episode title undoubtedly refers to him. Regardless of how genuine he appears with building a loving family and hoping to settle matters peacefully, he is in fact too far gone and unable accept a peaceful outcome to anything.
  • Maggie and Beth watching helplessly behind the fence, crying and unable to do anything, as their father is brutally decapitated right in front of their eyes.
    • In an interview segment on Talking Dead, Beth's actress Emily Kinney was in tears just talking about Hershel's death.

After

  • In the climax, Carl gives up on life when he thinks Rick has succumbed to his injuries and become a walker. At first, he points his father's pistol, then he tearfully throws it away and tells Rick to quickly eat him. Luckily, Rick was just finding it hard to breathe and crawl.
    • Also, Michonne's reaction when she's reunited with Rick and Carl. The look of utter relief on her face is particularly powerful, considering she's normally The Stoic.
    • Michonne returning to the prison and finding Herschel's zombified head. She decides to put it out of its misery.
  • When scavenging a house for supplies, Carl comes across an Xbox. He looks at it nostalgically and for a brief second, you can see that he's a kid again as he marvels at it. However, that moment quickly passes when Carl remembers the situation he's in, and the appeal lies now in having the cables from the console and the TV to brace the front door shut for safety. It hammers home how the Zombie Apocalypse forces children to grow up far faster than they should.
  • Carl's explosion at an unconscious Rick about halfway through the episode. He goes through a checklist of his Dad's failures, painfully acknowledging just how crappy the situation is. There's also a chance that Carl shares the burdens of these failures, having spent the past season and a half trying to show his independence and initiative. This would be especially so with Judith's supposed death.

Inmates

  • Glenn has to resort to scavenging inside the prison, having found himself on his own. While he roots through his friends' rooms for supplies, the only personal items he takes are Hershel's watch and the photo he took of Maggie.
  • Then later, he has to hear from Tara that Hershel was executed by the Governor.
  • Tara herself saw Lilly being ripped apart by walkers and has been sitting behind a fence, not moving or even reacting to the nearby walkers, for quite some time.

Still

  • This episode returns to Daryl and Beth, the latter of whom decides that she wants her first drink. This leads to two things:
  • They raid a country club, and Beth finds Peach Schnapps. Before she drinks, she begins to cry over the situation of losing the prison and not knowing where her family and friends are. Daryl immediately tells her that her first drink isn't gonna be Peace Schnapps, and takes her to go get moonshine, which leads to...
    • Daryl and Beth get drunk, and get into a shouting match, first about how Daryl didn't have the things that Beth had growing up and how he had to survive on his own as a result. Eventually, he breaks down and reveals that he regrets not being able to protect the prison or Herschel, and he and Beth cry together.
    • Later, the two reminisce about their fallen loved ones, which in and of itself is sad.

Alone

  • Daryl gets emotionally beaten down when some guy in a car makes off with Beth, who Daryl was just beginning to form a real bond with. Daryl first runs after the car for hours, then just sits at a crossroads looking totally broken, not even noticing when a scavenger group comes across him.
  • A flashback gives an insight into Bob's life before he was found by the prison group. He simply roamed through forests, never really sleeping, looking completely dead-eyed. One of his few moments of relative peace was when he found a safe-spot, then drank Nyquil while watching a walker trying to reach him. When Glenn and Daryl come across him, he immediately accepts their invitation to join them, not even caring what sort of group they are. He just can no longer stand being alone.

The Grove

  • Carol and Tyreese find Lizzie back at the house who has already killed her own sister, so that she would turn (and was even planning on killing Judith, if Tyreese and Carol had not returned in time) and they would be able to see that walkers are just "different" from the living. Carol, realizing that Lizzie can no longer be around other people, takes her out for a walk so they can talk. Lizzie gets upset, believing that Carol is angry with her, and Carol tries to calm her down by telling her to look at the flowers. Carol then takes out a gun, and shoots Lizzie from behind.
    • Then there's the preview for The Talking Dead immediately after the episode. Usually, the host is smiling, there's music, the crowd is cheering, and they're all excited to start talking. After this one, it's dead silent, the host is quiet and solemn, and all three guests are huddling on the couch holding each other, with special guest CM Punk still visibly crying.
    • "Look at the flowers, Lizzie."

A

  • Michonne finally revealing her full backstory and how she lost her son to Carl. It's nothing most viewers hadn't been able to guess by themselves, but the quiet pain on her face and in her voice is upsetting nonetheless.
  • Carl admitting his fears that he's "just another monster" and not the good man that Rick believes him to be.
  • Daryl telling Rick about escaping the prison with Beth and her eventual disappearance. He doesn't go into specifics, but the look on his face is utterly heartbroken and shows how much he came to care for her during their time together.

    Season 5 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wdtearjerker5.jpg
No Sanctuary
  • The cruel, anticlimactic death of Sam that's used to kick off the season.
  • We learn that the Terminus residents once genuinely did offer sanctuary to any survivors, but a group of men repaid their kindness in the worst way possible, locking them up in the train cars and raping their women. Among them is Mary, and her sons can only desperately try to console her when she's returned by the hostile leader. Another hostile survivor picks a teenage girl, who screams to not be picked again as she's dragged off. It's no wonder Terminus left the leader in a train car as a prisoner.

Strangers

  • Bob leaving the group after being bitten. He hides it until nightfall, and after having the first truly hopeful and happy night in a long time, he doesn't want to ruin it by saying anything. He forces a smile through dinner, gets a last kiss from Sasha, and walks outside when no one is looking. From the woods, he looks at the warm glow from the windows of the church and smiles because he knows they're going to do great things — then breaks down because he knows he won't be a part of it.

Four Walls And A Roof

  • Bob's death. He lies on Father Gabriel's sofa as the fever slowly burns him out, and Sasha stays by his side until the very end. After he passes, Tyreese comes and stabs him in the head to prevent him from coming back, so Sasha wouldn't have to do it.]]
  • "I miss Andrea. I miss Hershel. I don't miss what's behind. I don't miss that sword."

Self-Help

  • Abraham's backstory, gradually revealed over the course of the episode. After killing a group of people, apparently for the sake of his wife and two small children, his family is terrified of him and abandons him in the night. He finds them later...eaten by walkers. He seems almost Driven to Suicide until Eugene comes up, talking of a mission. Then, after all of it, the mission turns out to be a lie. And Rosita looks at him the same way his wife did.]]
  • After Eugene admits that he's not a scientist, Rosita reminds him in a rather somber tone, "People died to get you here"; Eugene is aware of this, and sadly lists off the people that have died during the mission, including Bob.

Consumed

  • We revisit Carol's abusive past and see how hard she is trying to let go of it. Then, at the end, a book about recovering from abusive childhoods falls out of Daryl's bag, showing that he still has issues to get past as well.

Coda

  • Beth's death at the end of the mid-season finale. Possibly the worst part was seeing Daryl sobbing while carrying her lifeless body outside. And then Maggie - who had been told she was alive — sees her and just collapses in grief, screaming. The entire cast pulled out very raw, very heartbreaking performances. Andrew Lincoln barely holds himself together during his final lines, Melissa McBride quickly tearing up, Chad Coleman trying to breathe, even Christian Serratos just putting her hand over her gaping mouth helps sell it... Then we get Lauren Cohan shrieking in grief seeing Daryl cradling her dead sister and collapsing to the ground.
    • It wasn't easy behind the scenes either. Before shooting the scene where Daryl carries Beth's dead body, Norman Reedus (Daryl) was sitting on an applebox crying his eyes out while the rest of the crew were walking around doing their jobs. He goes on to say that it was a really crazy day and it was disheartening for him to see a character he liked and cared about be killed off. You can see it here.
    • Lauren Cohan (Maggie) didn't take it easy either as she begins to break down in tears as she is describing the day when they shot Daryl carrying Beth's dead body.
    • On Talking Dead, Emily Kinney (Beth) recounts her experiences on Walking Dead and even begins to break down a couple of times throughout the episode, some of which even prompt a hug from host Chris Hardwick himself.

What's Happening And What's Going On

  • Tyreese's death. After spending the episode bitten, bleeding out, and haunted by bloody visions of all the people he's seen die gruesomely, the hallucinatory images/spirits of Bob, Beth, Mika, and Lizzie appear before him one last time, uninjured and smiling. They reassure him that it will be okay, and he passes away peacefully.
    • "It's okay now..."
    • The closing shot of Tyreese's signature beanie resting on his grave.

Them

  • 90% of this episode is about how depressed the group is and struggling to find a reason to continue. This is pictured in this folder.

Remember

  • The episode ends with Rick telling Carol and Daryl that if they don't like the way Alexandria is run, they'll just take it over. Rick has finally become what he claimed to be "Just a man looking for his wife and son". He's the Villain Protagonist. The good man he was may have been burned away.

Forget

  • Aaron having to shoot Buttons, the horse he's been trying to bring back to Alexandria, after it is partially Devoured by the Horde.

Spend

  • Noah's death. He had just begun to make plans to train as an architect and, afterwards, Eugene finds his notebook with "This is a new beginning" written in it.
    Noah: "Don't let go."
  • While his actual death takes Nightmare Fuel to a whole new level, the way it is spliced with Glenn's reaction on the other side of the glass, watching helplessly as his friend is literally torn apart, is just heartbreaking.
  • Eugene pre-emptively apologizing to an unconscious Tara for failing and killing her before he tries to rescue her from walkers.
  • Aiden asking the group to leave him, trying to make amends for how his earlier mistakes doomed the last group.

Try

  • Sasha tearfully admitting how guilty she feels for telling Noah that he wasn't going to make it back in "Them."
  • Rick's descent into insanity. He was the Big Good hero back in Season 1, but now he is Not So Different from Shane. His own group even believes that he's fallen too far. Michonne is forced to knock him out to save him from himself.

Conquer

  • Despite Gabriel's previously selfish actions towards Rick's group, he redeems himself, revealing his guilt for what he did to his flock by attempting to commit suicide by walker. The end of the episode features him making amends with the group by praying with a broken Sasha and Maggie.
  • Some fans were upset that Glenn spared Nicholas' life, but the moment where both of them break down and Glenn realizes that the two of them are Not So Different after all is gut-wrenching.
  • Reg's death at Pete's hands. He was one of the friendliest Alexandrians, and defended Rick to his more stubborn wife. Deanna's reactions of anguish and declarations of love for him sell the scene even more.

    Season 6 
First Time Again
  • Having been injured and unconscious since "Spend," Tara doesn't know that Noah didn't make it out of the warehouse. She asks for him to come see her when she wakes up.
  • Maggie talking to Tara about "the worst day of her life" — the day she saw her father die and the last time she saw her sister alive.
    • Though also a Heartwarming Moment, since she is saying that, while Tara was with the Governor that day, she is now one of the most important people in Maggie's life.

JSS

  • Enid's backstory. Watching your parents get Eaten Alive is enough to drive anyone crazy.
  • A teary Carol weeping as she holds onto a pack of cigarettes belonging to the now deceased Shelly.
  • After failing to save the life of a dying Alexandrian, Denise orders everyone to leave the room. Despite finding the courage to finally perform surgery, her first patient dies. The expression on her face highlights just how disappointed she is. This especially hits hard for audiences who work as a doctor and had similar experience, or at least is in medical school while watching the scene.

Thank You

  • The petstore the survivors decide holed themselves in are filled with the mummified corpses of trapped animals that were abandoned during the apocalypse, all of them clearly died from starvation.
  • Glenn's (presumed) death, after his redemption of Nicholas, they fail to complete their objective, cornered with no hope of escape Nicholas crosses the Despair Event Horizon, kills himself, and unintentionally causes Glenn to be trapped under a dumpster, surrounded by walkers for a few days, unable to tell his wife that he's still okay.
  • At the end of the episode, alone and surrounded, Rick silently breaks down.

Here's Not Here

  • Eastman's backstory. He was a forensic psychiatrist at a local prison where he interviewed criminals to decide whether or not they were suited to be in society again. He met one man who was, in his opinion, the only truly evil person he'd ever met out of more than 800 interviews. When the guy realizes that Eastman sees right through his act, he beats the hell out of him. He still manages to fool people, though, and is paroled, after which he goes directly to Eastman's house and murders his wife, daughter, and son before turning himself in. Even then, after having deliberately destroyed Eastman's life, he's still allowed outside the prison to work on the side of the road.
    Eastman: I have come to believe that all life is precious.
    Morgan: Even to a man like that? Who did that to you?

Now

  • Denise's dilemma on how to save her patient may bites hard on anyone who is in medical school, or already becomes a doctor and had similar experience in failing to save their patients. She's a psychiatrist, not a surgeon. Yet, she's expected to do things she isn't fully capable of. She attempted to settle her incapability by reading medical books, which she thrown away in frustration after she read it for some time. Fortunately, it becomes heartwarming when she gains courage later on and does manage to save her patient. It is possibly the first time she successfully saved her patient through surgery.
  • Maggie tearfully telling Aaron that she's pregnant, and Glenn is still unaccounted for. The two had tried to sneak out of Alexandria to look for him, but found their way blocked, at which point she and Aaron are essentially forced to admit defeat.

Start to Finish

  • Deanna's death, especially as she manages to Face Death with Dignity throughout the episode.
  • Glenn finally makes it back to Alexandria, looks over the wall... and sees Maggie fighting for her life upon a wavering platform surrounded by walkers. The look on his face....

No Way Out

  • The death of the Andersons. Sam is eaten alive while his mother screams, only to be devoured as well. Then Michonne impales Ron for trying to shoot Rick.
    • It's notable how differently Jessie reacts compared to the comics. In the comic, she still begs Rick to try and save both of them and he chops her hand off to save Carl. In the show, she resigns herself and Rick hesitates to chop her arm off.
  • Carl getting shot.
  • Basically, the whole episode is emotional hell for Rick: he, to save Carl, has to kill Jessie who he was fond of, and then sees Carl get shot despite that. The end of the episode is Rick tearfully pleading for Carl to pull through because he wants, more than anything else, to help make a new, better world for him and Judith.
    Rick: I was wrong. I thought after living behind these walls for so long that... maybe they couldn't learn. But today... I saw what they could do, what 'we' could do, if we work together. We'll rebuild the walls. We'll expand the walls. There will be more. There's gotta be more. Everything Deanna was talking about... is possible. It's all possible. I see that now. When I was out there... with them... when it was over... when I knew we had this place again... I had this feeling. It took me a while to remember what it was... because I haven't felt it since before I woke up in that hospital bed. (begins to cry) I want to show you the new world, Carl. I want to make it a reality for you. Please, Carl... let me show you.
  • Maggie on the rickety platform, knowing it's going to topple any minute, and watching her husband's desperate attempt to lead the milling walkers away single-handedly. And realizing that Glenn is cornered, and screaming for the walkers to come back and menace her instead, because the alternative is watching the man she loves get eaten alive.

The Next World

  • Spencer has been sneaking out of Alexandria for weeks looking for his undead mother. After losing his entire family, he tells Michonne that he can't bare to just leave her out there. When Carl leads an undead Deanna through the forest and back to Spencer, he finally gets the chance to Mercy Kill his mother, anguished and crying over her corpse.

Knots Untie

  • Rosita has no idea that Abraham is seriously considering leaving her for Sasha, and seeing her smiling at him in bed as he ponders another woman is hard to watch.
    • She even made him a necklace, which is last seen lying in the dirt where Abraham fell.
  • Carl decides not to go to the Hilltop, as he thinks a kid with a "messed up face" won't make the best impression, implying he's understandably self-conscious about his Eye Scream.
  • The look on Jesus' face when he says that Negan beat a 16-year-old boy to death in front of everyone in the Hilltop community. All just to prove a point. Rick's whole group is visibly horrified to hear this, especially since some of their loved ones, like Carl and Enid, are about the same age.

Not Tomorrow Yet

  • Abraham breaks up with Rosita with one of the most heartbreaking lines on the show. She doesn't even know what to say afterwards, and just breaks down.
    Abraham: I thought you were the only woman left in the world. And you're not.
  • After six seasons of having never killed another living being, Glenn finally ends ups committing his first kill, stabbing one of the Saviors in the face as he sleeps. Glenn is clearly devastated by the act of killing a sleeping stranger, but proceeds to take the knife from the similarly reluctant Heath and kills the other Savior to protect Heath's conscience.
    • Glenn's gesture doesn't even matter as they both have to gun down a small group of Saviors. If it were Rick, Michonne, Abraham or virtually anyone else who did it, they wouldn't have even flinched but Glenn and Heath are horrified.
  • As the main group infiltrates the Saviors' complex, Maggie follows Carol on patrol. Carol gets angry at her for putting herself and her unborn child at risk and screams, "You're supposed to be someone else!" According to her actress, Carol didn't mean that literally; she meant that Maggie wasn't supposed to be in a situation where she either had to put herself in danger or let her husband risk his life alone. In a better world, she would have been married and safe and happy to be expecting her first child, but that's not the world they live in...
  • The hug between Glenn and Tara becomes this in hindsight once you've seen the Season 7 premiere and realize it's the last time she'll ever see him alive.

The Same Boat

  • Maggie and Carol are both clearly traumatized after they escape the Saviors. Maggie collapses into Glenn's arms, saying "I can't anymore," and when Daryl asks Carol if she's good, she replies with a simple, "No."
    • Rick killing Primo didn't excatly help.

Twice As Far

  • Denise getting killed by Dwight. She spends the episode giving a Rousing Speech to Daryl and Rosita about how brave and strong they are, Took a Level in Badass by taking down a walker just to prove she could, led the group to an apothecary full of precious medical supplies, and admits that she's finally ready to tell Tara how much she loves her. The fact that Dwight wasn't even aiming for her, makes this even more of a Tear Jerker.

Last Day on Earth

  • The group is completely cowed into submission by Negan and reduced to panting, sobbing and pleading for mercy. This was the group that did the same to a group of gluttonous cannibals, fought off a madman with a tank, survived almost two whole days without food or water, and banded together to battle a hundreds-strong herd. And now they're on their knees at Negan's mercy.
    • When Negan considers killing Maggie, Glenn bursts forward and tries to stop him, begging for her life. Negan only grins and says that if that happens again, they all die. Glenn is just a dirty, sobbing heap on the ground by this point.
    • Look at Rick during this scene. Look at his eyes. That's fear.
  • Eugene prepares to make his last stand in the RV to give the others a chance to escape to Hilltop. It doesn't work, and he's next shown beaten up and bloody.
  • We've lost another main character. And just to twist the knife even more, we don't know who it is yet. And we won't find out until next season.
  • A meta example: numerous fans are simply devastated that the episode ends in a cliffhanger. Diehard fans are hurt that one of the most iconic scenes of the comic, and it's adaptation which had been hyped up since Jeffrey Dean Morgan was cast, was ruined and several fans have declared they've lost faith in the show. The show runners' nonchalance about the fan backlash just seems to twist the knife in deeper.

    Season 7 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_walking_dead_season_7_the_day_will_come_when_you_wont_be_sunday_dinner_1.jpg
The Day Will Come When You Won't Be
  • The brutal death of Abraham at Negan's hands and Rosita, Sasha, and Eugene's reactions to it. After several hits, Sasha can be seen barely restraining herself from asking Negan to stop, since Abe is now long dead.
    • Even worse, look at what Abraham is doing, seconds before he is killed. His left hand changes into a two-fingered salute, directed at Sasha. As that symbol has been exchanged back and forth between the two in previous occasions, She is in tears when she sees it.
      • And just to rub more salt in the wound, Sasha is the last and only member of the group that Abraham bids farewell to, as she is the person he cares about the most. While it's not like he had time to say goodbye to everyone, Rosita still has to live with the fact that Abraham died without even trying to acknowledge her, proving she'd really fallen from his orbit.
    • An alternate take was leaked where Maggie was the victim. After the decision sinks in for a moment, Glenn has a Little "No" at first, but then completely loses his shit and begins screaming for Negan to pick him instead, and has to be knocked out by a Savior, meaning Maggie is going to die without her husband there. As Negan prepares to kill Maggie, Abraham next to her just slowly bows his head and closes his eyes, devastated that he didn't succeed in getting picked as the victim. Sasha's crying, which in the final cut is for Abraham, is also equally heart-wrenching in this context. You can just feel the utter despair of All for Nothing setting in on the group.
    Glenn: No-NO NO PICK ME!! PICK ME- *gets knocked out*
  • But it gets worse when Daryl lashes out at Negan, who, in turn, decides to beat Glenn so badly that he probably doesn't even know where he is anymore, but as he gets a blessing in having the self-awareness to know he's dying, he makes what he knows will be his last words count - because he still knows who he cares about.
    • You can hear Glenn mumbling "Mmm" after taking his first few hits, making clear he's trying his hardest to speak to Maggie one last time.
  • During Glenn's death, Maggie lets out a horrific wail of despair as she watches her husband writhe in agony. Despite what's happening, she can barely bring herself to look at her husband because the sight of him mutilated and suffering is still so extreme. When Glenn finally gets out his last words, Maggie finally brings herself to look at him for more than a few seconds as she realizes what he's saying.
  • When Negan finishes his prostrating and begins outright killing Glenn, he swings at him again, and this time Glenn doesn't get back up, and is seen convulsing and writhing in agony on the ground, his face quickly becoming unrecognizable. And this is the last time we see Glenn alive.
  • Daryl's reaction to watching Glenn die, as you perfectly see that this is the mother of all My God What Have I Dones as he watches his friend die a horrible death because of him. He just gapes in horror, flinches with each hit to Glenn, and begins sobbing. At the end of the episode, he's then corralled into a Savior's van like an animal, cowering as Dwight points his own crossbow at him.
    • Another take on this is how Daryl put them in that situation in the first place. Two episodes ago in "East," Daryl went out to find Dwight to get revenge for him killing Denise. Glenn, Rosita, and Michonne went after him and Glenn tried to convince Daryl to come home. Daryl refused and it eventually led to all four of them being captured and put in the line up for Negan with the others. Not only did the last conversation Daryl ever had with Glenn end with him refusing his help, he put him and others in danger and got his friend killed. Daryl is going to feel devastated about this for a very long time.
  • Rick's breakdowns throughout the episode, culminating in the final scene where he drives off in the RV, his wide-eyed, unblinking, frightened stare (pictured) as he seems almost too in shock to deal with the massive trauma he just went through. And then he sees a walker in the rearview mirror preparing to feast on the blood and brains left behind by one of Rick's own friends. The show has always made it clear that Humans Are the Real Monsters, but here they're just a mere afterthought to the unequaled cruelty of what Rick just experienced.
    • Especially when he's almost forced to chop Carl's hand off or Negan would kill the entire group. He's reduced to blubbering and hyperventilating.
    • For a moment, you even see Rick snotting all over. It's easy to tell that he wasn't just acting his horror and panic.
  • Carl doesn't even flinch when it seems like he's going to lose his hand, but when Glenn is killed, he finally breaks and cries. Rick can barely stand to look and just sobs as the boy who became a man right in front of him, starting when he saved him from the tank, is brutally executed.
  • The group merely stays on the ground after the Saviors leave, sitting around the remains of Glenn and Abraham. Then Maggie gets up, despite barely being able to stand, and begins moving towards Glenn's body as the others try to help her. Maggie insists the group strike back against the Saviors, but Rick mumbles that "it won't help him."
  • Rick envisioning his group enjoying a nice meal outside with Glenn holding his and Maggie's baby, and Sasha sitting next to Abraham with a noticeable baby bump. The very dream that Negan mocks Rick for throughout the episode.
    Negan: Bet ya thought you were all going to grow old together, sitting around the table at Sunday dinner in the happily ever after. No... doesn't work like that, Rick. Not anymore.
    • If you didn't cry for the whole episode, the very final shot of the dream sequence where Abraham and Glenn turn and smile to each other will.
  • Eugene's reaction to Abraham's death. He completely breaks down, shaking his head violently in horror, and when Glenn is being killed, he buries his face in his hands, weeping and unable to watch. Later in the episode, after the Saviors have left, we can see him sitting in the background with his face in his hands, crying over the loss of his friends. This makes Eugene and Abraham's final moment together, where they share a long hug before Eugene attempts to pull a Heroic Sacrifice to allow the group to get to the Hilltop, all the more heartbreaking.

The Well

  • Though it's brief, yet another horse falls victim to a herd of walkers. They just can't catch a break.
  • It's sad to see Ezekiel, who is a jovial Large Ham the entire episode, so somber when giving payment to the Saviors. Leadership truly is a burden.
  • In a meta sense, Carol and Morgan have no idea about what happened to their friends after they left...

The Cell

  • Dwight and Sherry smoking together and unconvincingly stating that whatever happened to them is better than being dead. Specifically, Sherry becoming one of Negan's concubines in order to save Dwight's life, and the latter being burned with an iron and now just another one of Negan's goons.
    • Tina's death in "Always Accountable" seems more harsh once we find out that she ran away to avoid becoming Negan's wife, after her diabetes started interfering with her ability to work.
    • Sherry's admission to Daryl that he was right last season - she is sorry.
  • Dwight reminding Daryl that he was the reason Glenn was killed before giving him the Polaroid of Glenn's corpse. The sad Roy Orbison ballad he plays to torture him is enough to put Daryl, who had been emotionless the whole episode, over the edge, and he starts to weep as he looks at his friend's destroyed body.

Service

  • Alexandria faces its' first tribute to the Saviors, who gleefully plunder their things from their firearms to their mattresses, the latter of which they end up burning just to spite Alexandria.
  • Enid pleads with a Savior (who is lustfully stroking her cheek) to let her keep the last green balloons, to keep them as a tribute to the late Glenn.
  • We see the graves of Glenn and Abraham. Maggie has had a grave dug for her too, and its still upsetting to see her fake grave next to his. Daryl, who is unable to talk to Rick and learn the truth, now thinks that Maggie has died as well.
  • Rick has to sorrowfully explain to Alexandria in an emergency town meeting that there is no way out of this, and that Negan is in charge now. Everyone from Tobin to Eric to Michonne is aghast that the man who led them into battle against a hundreds-strong herd is now laid so low.
  • Rick and Michonne aren't on great terms, as Michonne is still defiant of the Saviors and isn't happy with Rick being cowed. Rick then tells Michonne a story we know all too well - the story of Shane and his affair with Lori, and the revelation that Shane is indeed Judith's biological father. Michonne visibly crumbles hearing the story of Rick's ex-wife, Shane, and how much like herself, Rick is not Judith's biological parent.
  • Negan and Dwight taunting the Alexandrians, but in particular when the former callously jokes about killing a "ginger" with Lucille and the latter spending a good few minutes tormenting Rosita and how she pronounces her name.
  • Negan orders Rick to carry Lucille around whilst he and the rest of the Saviours raid Alexandria. When Michonne sees him holding it, she looks horrified.

Go Getters

  • This is the first episode to really address the grief of those Abraham and Glenn left behind who will miss them the most: Sasha and Maggie. It is appropriately tear jerking throughout.
    • Sasha tries hard to be The Stoic during the episode, having had a few days to deal with the grief while Maggie was unconscious, but she visibly crumbles when Jesus gives her Abraham's necklace.
    • Enid leaves green balloons on Glenn's grave (though she actually places them on Abraham's, not knowing which was which.)
    • Maggie fares better than many anticipated. The episode starts off with a notably not tear jerking moment when she finds out that her baby is fine, and she seems to gain strength from that all during the episode. Still, it is hard to watch her sit at Glenn's grave and lay his (and Hershel's) watch there in memory of him.

Swear

  • At the very end of the episode, Tara makes it back to Alexandria. Eugene is the one who tells her everything that happened since she was gone. The look on his face says it all.
    • Tara is preparing for a (marginally) triumphant return, even though she didn't find the supplies she and Heath went out looking for, she's finally come back home after a long ordeal. She's smiling and happy, ready to catch up with all her friends. . . then Eugene meets her at the gate with an utterly heartbroken look on his face, and Tara knows instantly that shit just went seriously sideways. The next shot, of her curled up against a desk in Denise's office, shows that she's almost broken with grief over the losses while she was away.

Sing Me a Song

  • The fight between Rosita and Eugene is gut wrenching. Eugene is struggling to maintain composure when Rosita takes him back to the warehouse he last visited with Abraham, and even outright says that it's hard for him to be there. He tries to turn Rosita off her suicide mission, not wanting to lose the last member of his group that he has, and Rosita turns all her grief into anger directed at him, yelling at him for being useless and only being alive because he lied and because Abraham protected him. Both of them have tears in their eyes. Later, when she apologizes to him for her words, he refuses to forgive her.
  • When it's not being disturbing, much of the Carl's visit to Sanctuary is this. Special mention goes to:
    • All the looks that Carl gives Daryl while he's there, seeing his friend suffering and unable to do anything to stop it.
    • Sherry breaking down after Negan once again rubs their relationship in Dwight's face, in addition to her being prodded into selling out Mark and Amber. Her conversation with Dwight later suggests that she's also harboring severe guilt for all the people she ends up hurting due to her actions.
    • Negan making Carl cry by going on and on about how disgusting his eye wound is. Even he realizes he crossed a line.
    Negan: I didn't mean to hurt your feelings or anything, I...I was just screwing around.
    • Carl telling Negan about how he had to put down his mother, shortly after being forced to sing a song that she taught to him as punishment for killing two Saviors.
  • When Olivia tells Negan that Alexandria is about to starve thanks to low rations and supplies, Negan cruelly jokes that she doesn't seem to be starving. It causes her to break down and bawl, and given her crumbling makes it likely that she suffered similarly nasty jokes about her weight before the apocalypse. Afterward, Negan has the nerve to come on to her.

Hearts Still Beating

  • When Negan finds out that Eugene is capable of making bullets, he takes him back to the Saviour's camp. As they leave, Rosita pleads for Negan to take her instead, collapsing to her knees in despair as she watches her friend get taken away. This is made worse by how cruel she was to him in the previous episode.
    • Made worse still by Eugene's warning to Rosita in the previous episode that, even if she was taking the risk, she might not be the one taking the punishment. He was right. He and Olivia face the consequences of Rosita's actions.
  • Spencer's death in a way is this. While he was a prick to the end his shocked reaction on Negan realizing that he's planning to betray Rick is noticeable and his death by being gutted and disemboweled in public is horrible.
    • Even Rick is still distraught by his death even when Negan told his true intentions.
  • Aaron nearly dying to walkers at the lake and Rick fearfully calling out his name.
    • Then there is him getting beaten to a pulp by two members of the Saviors.

Rock in the Road

  • Ezekiel is clearly torn on whether to join the rebellion against Negan, knowing that his troops and supplies will provide the rebels with a fighting chance, but that many people will die on both sides in such a conflict. He ultimately refuses and is clearly hurt when Daryl says he's not acting like a king.
  • Morgan has to be told of the deaths of Abraham, Glenn, Spencer, and Olivia. Though he never seemed that close to any of them, he's still distraught and apologizes to Rosita.
  • Sasha tells Rosita how disappointed she is in Ezekiel, but Rosita coldly tells her that they're not friends because they both slept with the same dead guy. Rosita may still regard Sasha as an ally, but she's unwilling to give her a chance at being friends even after all that's happened.

New Best Friends

  • Carol is so emotionally traumatized by what has happened and what she has done that Daryl chooses not to tell her about Glenn and Abraham's deaths. She breaks down while asking him if everyone is safe.
  • Daryl breaks away from Carol's hug to tell her how he found her, then his voice cracks as he asks, "Why'd you go?" He's so happy to see his best friend, but really hurt that she left.

Hostilities and Camalities

  • Knowing that Dwight was a decent man and loving husband before the apocalypse and joining the Saviors is pretty sad. It really establishes him as Tragic Villain. No wonder Sherry left him once he's no longer a nice guy he was.

Bury Me Here

  • Benjamin's death, shot by Jared after coming up short on the tribute and bleeding out as his friends try to save him. Morgan ends up almost having another breakdown from it, being reminded of what happened to Duane (he even calls Benjamin Duane when talking to Ezekiel about it later). The worst thing about it is that it didn't have to happen—in addition to Gavin's reactions to finding out Ben was the one shot and later hearing he died suggesting that he wasn't the target they had in mind for their punishment of Ezekiel's group, Morgan discovers that Richard orchestrated their tribute being light in the hope that he would be shot for it and convince Ezekiel the Saviors couldn't be trusted to remain peaceful. Morgan ends up breaking his code a second time and killing him.
  • Morgan breaking down after Ben's death. As his newly-found moral code shatters, so does he. He even attempts suicide before stopping himself. Whilst his pacifism might've annoyed people, this shows he needed it to stay sane.
  • Afterwards, Morgan returns to Carol's house to tell her the truth about what really happened to Rick's group after she left. After reacting with a Flat "What", she's predictably devastated.

The Other Side

  • Daryl and Maggie are hiding in Barrington House's cellar alone together, and Maggie asks to talk about what happened to Glenn with him. It's then revealed that Daryl hasn't even spoken to Maggie since that terrible night, and he quickly begins losing his composure and starts outright sobbing. Daryl can barely choke out a tearful apology as he weeps. Maggie naturally grows tearful as well, but she tells him that he has nothing to apologize for, as it wasn't his fault. Daryl tries to insist that it is, but Maggie refuses and says that Daryl is one of the few good things left in the world, and implies that Glenn would think so too and wouldn't blame him for what happened. Maggie brings in Daryl for a much-needed Cooldown Hug.

Something They Need

  • Cyndie is hurt that Tara has returned to Oceanside with the rest of their group after the risks she took to help Tara escape to safety from her community.
  • Natania takes Tara by gunpoint, but it doesn't work, as both Rick and Tara accept that she may have to die for things to move forward. Natania realizes that it won't work and that the group will kill her anyway, and tearfully insists that the Oceanside women need to watch her die to remember what it was like when the Saviors attacked.
  • Sasha begs Eugene for something to kill herself with, knowing that Negan will use her to hurt her friends. Even though it's largely an act to get Eugene to give her a weapon to attack Negan with, nothing she says about what Negan will do is wrong. When Eugene grants her request, he slips her the poison pills he brewed up, and Sasha is devastated. Not only will she have nothing to attack Negan with... she really will have to die.

The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

  • The dying Sasha has flashbacks to her last hours with Abraham. We learn that she had a nightmare about him dying before they joined the fateful mission to Hilltop to help Maggie, and despite Sasha's tearful pleas for him to stay, Abraham nevertheless joined the mission for the sake of Maggie and her baby. This makes Sasha's reaction to Abraham's death even worse, as we now know that her worst nightmare indeed came true.
  • Tara angrily demands that Daryl kill Dwight for killing Denise, and has to take five when Daryl doesn't go through with it.
  • Morgan is no better off than he was when we last saw him. He admits he feels stuck despite his new resolve to wipe out the Saviors, and admits his lone wolf approach isn't working.
  • Negan captures Rick and Carl and announces he will kill the latter and destroy the former's hands as punishment. Rick defiantly threatens Negan yet again, as does Carl. Negan takes a pause, then agrees to go ahead and kill Carl. As he takes off Carl's hat and prepares his swing, Carl sadly accepts his fate, closes his eyes and prepares for the end. Thankfully, Shiva has something to say about that...
  • After the battle, Jesus and Maggie search for and find the reanimated Sasha in the woods. Jesus puts her down, and Maggie cries as she remembers their friendship.

    Season 8 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/twdtearjerker8.png
Here's Negan... but not as you think. At all.
Mercy
  • Rick angrily silencing Eugene when he attempts to talk Rick out of the fight. Even though Eugene is on the wrong side, it's really sad to think that Rick no longer even cares about him.

The Damned

  • Eric being shot in the stomach. Poor Aaron is understandably shocked and is last seen dragging him to safety.
  • Rick kills a Savior that jumped him and enters a room he thinks they keep their guns in. Instead he finds a baby sleeping in a crib. Rick realizes the Savior he killed was a father trying to protect his infant daughter, just like Rick would do for Judith.
  • The reveal that Morales (a character from Season 1 who was friends with Rick) is now a member of the Saviors. One can only imagine the journey he had to go through.
    • The fact that his family isn't seen with him implies that they died, either by walkers or other humans.
    • When Rick realises this, tears are clearly visible on his face. To realise that a long-lost friend has now decided to betray him, all for the sake of survival, must really hit him hard.

Monsters

  • Eric does die from his gunshot wound stated above, and Aaron is forced to let him bleed out at a tree while he rejoins the fight. Even worse, when Aaron returns to that tree, there is only a giant blood stain on it. This causes Aaron to look for Eric, and he does... reanimated as a walker and walking towards a nearby zombie herd. And Aaron can't even put his lover down due to this.
    • Their last conversation also counts as well, as they also share a Last Kiss.
  • In a way, Morales' death. Rick even cries out a heartbreaking "No!" when Daryl kills him. The group's last outside link to the Atlanta camp is gone leaving Rick, Carl, Daryl, Carol and Morgan as the original surviving members of Atlanta left, and what's worse, he spat on the graves of all his old friends that had perished.
    • Before that, it's revealed that Morales' family also died, which makes it even sadder.
  • Rick apologizes to Morales for the death of his family, telling him all the people he's lost. Lori, Shane, Andrea... Glenn. Rick's voice shakes with not just grief and shame, but also rage when he says Glenn's name, and retells the horrific circumstances of Glenn's death to Morales. It's telling that of everything Rick tells Morales, the news that Negan killed Glenn and is now targeting his pregnant widow is what actually breaks through to him and moves him, if only for a little while.

Some Guy

  • The loss of dozens of the Kingdom's soldiers at the hands of some Saviors with a large machine gun.
  • Shiva's Heroic Sacrifice. She risks her life to save an emotionally and physically wounded Ezekiel from a group of walkers, and they descend upon and eat her right in front of Ezekiel, Jerry, and Carol. Even worse is that at the end of the day, Ezekiel is supposed to be her caretaker and protector.
  • Ezekiel throughout the episode. He witnesses all of his soldiers die, gets wounded in the leg, is chased around by his undead soldiers, witnesses one of his surviving soldiers Alvaro get shot dead by a lone Savior who proceeds to take him hostage while constantly torturing him, and to top it all off he loses his beloved tiger Shiva. By the end of the episode he's unable to even talk to the remaining members of the Kingdom and limps home in silence clearly a broken man.
    • Ezekiel saying the episodes title. "I'm not a king. I'm just some guy"

The Big Scary U

  • The scene of Negan confessing about his wife to Gaberial. As he's showing his true self. Not the showpony he puts on for the saviors.

How It's Gotta Be

  • Carl revealing that he's been bitten. One of the two characters everyone had assumed was safe, whether it was during the Negan line-up, his surgery at Hershel's farm, or anywhere in between. This was a character people had joked about that he was going to survive everything thrown at him. And at the end of the day, it was a simple walker bite that finally took his life. Furthermore, he was bitten doing what he believed was the right thing, just as his dying mother ordered him to do years ago. Carl's last stand in this episode saw him emerge as the leader of Alexandria, evacuating his people underground with flying colors and even buying them time by facing a vengeful Negan in person. Carl is also seen crying at the beginning of the episode as he tries to write a note to his parents in case he dies before they come back.
    • Since Carl is slated to die in the mid-season premiere, this now leaves Rick, Daryl, Carol and Morgan as the last surviving members from Atlanta.
  • The Hilltop convoy is stopped in their tracks by a brigade led by Simon. Jesus is naive enough to believe that the blockade, a fallen tree, just happened naturally, but Maggie begins to grow afraid, because she knows exactly what is happening. The last time she was in a car and encountered such a blockade, it was the day both Abraham and her husband died. Especially when Simon arrives and begins tormenting the defenseless group, reveals a captured Jerry and eventually kills a Hilltop member, Maggie is clearly reliving the trauma of that horrific night all over again.

Honor

  • The look on Carl’s face in the bathroom after discovering he’s been bit.
  • Rick’s reaction to Carl’s bite. He’s in such disbelief Carl has to tell him his fate multiple times.
    • Michonne's reaction to it as well.
  • Carl killing himself. The reactions of Rick and Michonne (who were standing outside when Carl dies) makes it worse. They then proceed to bury him.
    • Rick is now the last surviving member of the Grimes family, one of three surviving members from the original Atlanta group (the other two being Daryl and Carol), and one of two surviving members from the pilot episode (the other being Morgan). Additionally, Andrew Lincoln is the only series regular from Season 1 that is left.
  • Siddiq tearfully deciding to carry on Carl's legacy. He probably realized that he's the reason Carl is dying and now that he's dead he will likely never get over it.
  • Gavin throughout the episode really doesn't want Ezekiel to die. This is especially apparent when he and the others take refuge at the Kingdom theatre.
    • Him getting stalked by a murderous Morgan. He's injured, all alone and utterly terrified and just when he thinks he's safe he's killed by Henry. Sure he's a Saviour but considering he was reasonable, approachable, sympathetic and arguably nicer then other Saviour members and the fact that he really didn't want Ezekiel to die it's hard not to feel a little sorry for him.
  • In a way, Carl's flashforwards throughout the episode. While they're certainly heartwarming, considering the fact that Carl is now dead and with how the war between Alexandria and company against the Saviors has been and is currently going, it probably won't happen the way he wanted it to.

The Lost and the Plunderers

  • Jadis mourning and being forced to kill her entire reanimated group after Simon murders them all. Despite her status as The Scrappy, Pollyanna McIntosh's good acting made Jadis look absolutely sympathetic and relatable.
  • Rick informing Negan that Carl is dead. Despite chewing Rick a new one, Negan is genuinely heartbroken, asks remorsefully if he was killed by the Saviors' bombardment of Alexandria, and even apologizes to Rick for his loss. To make things worse Negan blames Rick for Carl and his other friends dying which while harsh is true because since Season 1 most (if not all) of Rick's decisions as a leader/father lead to most (if not all) of the members from the previous seasons dying.
  • The fact that Rick is utterly defying Carl's last wish which was to make peace with Negan and the Saviors so that everyone can live in peace. While it is understandable from Rick's point of view considering how terrifying Negan is and the actions he and his group committed it's still heartbreaking that Rick is so desperate to end the war and kill Negan that he'll openly defy his dead son's last request in the process.

Dead or Alive Or

  • Throughout the episode, Gabriel and Carson are constantly gifted miracle after miracle, bonding over the experience. Then they're recaptured by the Saviors. Carson, thinking he can make a break for it, grabs for the gun on one of the Saviors' hips. And then he gets shot dead.
    • Gabriel completely breaks down, having been deprived of what he thought was his purpose. To top it off he's forced to work in Eugene's outpost.
  • Enid's reaction to finding out that Carl is now dead after the Alexandrians arrive at Hilltop. Poor girl.
    • Siddiq's remorseful reaction afterwards makes this worse. He may not have been around when Carl and Enid were in a relationship but once he saw her reaction, he most likely figured it out.

The Key

  • Enid is still understandably broken by Carl's death throughout the episode.
  • Rick upon arriving at Hilltop with Michonne after recently losing his son Carl visits the graves of Abraham and Glenn. When Daryl talks to him and asks him if he's okay Rick says that he will be even though he clearly isn't.

Do Not Send Us Astray

  • Siddiq being heckled by the Kingdom doctor for almost no reason. As if he didn't have enough problems already.
  • Rick is revealed to still be pissed off at Siddiq despite the fact that he wasn't responsible for Carl's death and despite the fact that not only is he competent at killing walkers but he's helped out numerous times at Hilltop.
  • Poor Maggie has to deal with numerous tasks which includes the Savior attack, burying the victims of said attack, tending to the people who were wounded, the situation at the Savior pen, and the walker outbreak caused by said Savior attack which ends with her and the rest of Hilltop burying more of their own people.
  • It is revealed that Tobin and several other Hilltop citizens succumbed to the infected weapons used by the Saviors. After Tobin turns, he and some other walkers tear a swath through Hilltop. In the end, Carol is forced to Mercy Kill yet another loved one.

Still Gotta Mean Something

Worth

  • The opening minutes can qualify, where Rick reads Carl's letter to him.
    I remember my eighth birthday at KCC with that giant cake and Aunt Evie showing up on leave and surprising all of us. I remember Mom. I remember Codger. I remember school and going to the movies and Friday night pizza. Cartoons. And grandma and grandpa and church, those summer BBQs and the kiddie pool you got me. Could have used that at the prison.
    You told me about the walks we'd take when I was three. You holding my hand around the neighbourhood, all the way to Ross' farm. I didn't know that I remembered them, but I do. Because I see the Sun, and the corn, and that cow that walked up to the fence and looked me in the eye.
    And you told me about all that stuff, but it isn't just that stuff. It's how I felt. Holding your hand, I felt happy and special. I felt safe.
    I thought growing up was about getting a job and maybe a family, being an adult. But... growing up is making yourself and the people you love safe. As safe as you can, because things happen.
    They happened before. You were shot before things went bad. Kind of felt like things went bad because you were shot.
    I want to make you feel safe, dad. I want you to feel just like I felt when you held my hand. Just to feel that way for five minutes. I'd give anything to make you feel that way now.
    I wanted to kill Negan. I wish I did, maybe it would have been done. I don't think it's done now. You went out there again, but I don't think they surrendered. I don't think they will surrender.
    There are workers in there, dad. They're just regular people. Old people, young people, families. You don't want them to die, dad.
    We're so close to starting everything over, and we have friends now. It's that bigger world Jesus talked about. The Kingdom, the Hilltop... there's got to be more places. More people out there. A chance for everything to change and keep changing.
    Everyone giving everyone the opportunity to have a life. A real life.
    So if they won't end it, you have to. You have to give them a way out. You have to find peace with Negan. Find a way forward somehow.
    We don't have to forget what happened, but you can make it so that it won't happen again. That nobody has to live this way. That every life is worth something.
    Start everything over. Show everyone that they can be safe again without killing. They can feel safe again. That it can go back to being birthdays and school and jobs and even Friday night pizza, somehow. And walks with a dad and a three-year-old holding hands.
    Make that come back, dad. And go on those walks with Judith. She'll remember them.
    I love you.
    Carl.
  • Aaron being so desperate in recruiting the Oceansiders to join the AHK resistance that he stays outside the community presumably for days with no food or water leaving him utterly starving and struggling to kill a few invading walkers.
  • Eugene treating Gabriel like shit. Again. Even when Gabriel starts coughing from his sickness, crying, and even admits that he doesn't want to lose his friends Eugene still doesn't gave a damn.

Wrath

  • This image released will have everyone bawling, considering the events of "Honor".
  • This saddening exchange during Rick's and Negan's fight.
    Negan: It's just you and me, Rick. And you... you are torn open. I am bigger, I am badder, and I got a bat.
    Rick: We can have a future.
    Negan: I know I will.
    Rick: Just give me... Give me 10 seconds so I can... I can tell you how.
    Negan: No.
    Rick: Just give me 10 seconds for Carl.
    Negan: Ten... nine...
    Rick: Carl said it doesn't have to be... it doesn't have to be a fight anymore.
    Negan: He was wrong. Eight...
    Rick: No, no. He was right.
    [Negan can only silently look at Rick, with tears in his eyes and having an expression that screams My God, What Have I Done?.]
    • This face Negan makes, which is the folder picture, must be elaborated upon. Negan is basically about to finish the war as the victor, ready to pound in Rick's head with Lucille. And then, Rick tells him about Carl, and this realization hits Negan: only now did he have to take his leadership of the Saviors and his brutal dictatorship into consideration and consider if triumphing over Rick and killing him is what he really wants. As a result, he has to reflect on everything that had led up to the war that he himself started. From what the viewers can see on his face: he's actually saddened and conflicted on his actions. He was so caught up in the war's politics and handling of his group of survivors, that he never once had the time to contemplate what he's become to survive, and from the events afterward, at a wrong, crucial time, due to Rick using this window of opportunity to give Negan a Slashed Throat with a shard of glass. Despite his Large Ham and Sir Swears-a-Lot tendencies, we can still see what is essentially a Tragic Villain.
    • After Rick slices Negan's throat, all Negan can say is this harrowing line:
    "Look what you did. Carl didn't know a damn thing."
    • Even though the war ends when Rick critically wounds Negan instead of killing him, Maggie is beside herself at Rick's decision and Michonne had to hold her back. Both characters' motivations are sympathetic: Rick wants to honor Carl's wishes for a peaceful world, while Maggie wants justice for Glenn.
  • When Daryl drives Dwight out to the middle of nowhere, Dwight fully expects Daryl is going to kill him and breaks down crying, apologizing for what he did to Denise. Instead Daryl gives him the keys and tells him to never come back or he'll kill him. Even after everything Dwight did to help the AHK alliance, he still isn't fully forgiven. It's also a much worse fate than what he got in the comics, where he became the leader of the Saviors after the war and helped keep the peace between them and the other communities as a trusted friend.
    • Somewhat mitigated by the fact that Daryl sends him off for the purpose of reuniting with Sherry, who left him a note in their special cabin.
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    Season 9 
  • Hershel's actor, Scott Wilson, passed away the day before the season premiere.
  • Somehow, the opening credit feels like this along with a little dose of heartwarming for those who've watched the show since the beginning. It shows how the world is now mostly dead and the surviving civilizations are reduced to using things like horses, bikes, and windmill farmhouses to make a living. It shows how far we've come and how long the show has been going.

A New Beginning

  • Rick mounted the piece of porch with Carl and Judith's hand prints on the wall - probably the closest thing to a photo of his children that he'll ever get.
The Bridge
  • Aaron's arm getting trapped under a log while him and his crew are being intruded by a walker herd. This eventually leads to Enid amputating his arm. His cries are heartbreaking to hear.
What Comes After
  • Rick reunites with three of his fallen friends - Shane, the friend turned enemy that he was forced to kill; Hershel, the man who he came to see as a father and mentor; and Sasha, a soldier who was largely defined by what she lost and ultimately sacrificed herself to give the others a fighting chance.
    • Shane praises Rick for being able to harden up and kill enemies like Joe and Gareth, but ultimately, one of Shane's vows came to pass - though it was a freak accident nobody saw coming, Carl ultimately did die and Rick was unable to protect him. Considering Rick said in Season 4's "After" that he thinks about Shane everyday, it's not unlikely that since Carl's death, Rick has considered this and blamed himself further.
    • Rick hugs Hershel, sobbing, having missed his father figure, and apologizes for being unable to save him, Beth and Glenn. After all these years, Rick still hates himself for failing to protect the members of his group that he's lost, especially three that he'd come to see as his own blood. Hershel assures Rick that he doesn't blame him for what happened to him, his daughter, or his son-in-law, and tells him that his grandson has made Maggie even stronger. It's even sadder since Hershel died long before his grandson was even conceived.
      • Again, Since Scott Wilson left this world in October 2018, it’s really impossible to watch the episode without crying. One of the saddest and heartwrenching examples of Author Existence Failure.
      • Honestly, probably any scene involving Hershel is incredibly heartbreaking.
    • Rick meets Sasha in a field of the corpses of his friends and family.
  • Maggie arrives at Alexandria where Michonne immediately puts herself between her and Negan. Michonne tries to scold her into submission and declares she'll have to go through her to get to Negan. Maggie's responses are harsh and scathing, as she sharply criticizes Michonne for trying to force her to get over Glenn's murder and for causing her so much pain since she and Rick spared Negan. Maggie also says that if Michonne had to be the one to raise a child alone, Negan would've been dead a long time ago. And tragically, it works. Michonne loses her bluster and seems to realize just how much Maggie has been tormented the last year and a half, and it's half because of her. Michonne can only cry and surrender the key to Negan's cell.
    Maggie: You were there, Michonne. You saw what Negan did.
    Michonne: You think Glenn would want this, for you to go through me to get to him?
    Maggie: I don't know what he'd want. I don't know, because I never got to say goodbye
    Michonne: He wouldn't want it, Maggie. Your father, wouldn't want this, you know this—
    Maggie: The only thing I had, [voice breaks] the one thing I had, was getting to see Glenn's murderer die. And you took it from me. So I'm taking it back.
    Michonne: So what the hell's taking it back gonna do?
    Maggie: It's gonna start things over—
    Michonne: No. It's gonna start something else.
    Maggie: If he'd butchered Rick in front of you, instead of Glenn—
    Michonne: Maggie—
    Maggie:if you had a child to raise alone because of him, he would've been dead a long time ago and you know it. So stop acting like this is a choice. Stop acting like I can just turn it off. Because it's been a year and a half, and I can't.
    Michonne: You're gonna have to find a way.
    Maggie: Tell me how. If there's something else I can do, Michonne. Because I can't keep living like this. I can't.
  • Maggie finally confronts Negan, who begins rubbing in her face the horrific memories of the night he killed Glenn. However, he ends up losing his composure when Maggie orders him to step into the light, and when she finally does get him in the light, he begins openly sobbing and begs to be killed. When asked why, he cries that he wants to be with his late wife, Lucille. Maggie realizes that the torment Negan is enduring right now is worse than death, and forces him back into his cell. Negan can only mope and cry as he goes back to his cell like a crying child.
    • Hell, just the idea that Negan is so broken down, that he begs to be killed.
  • Rick's apparent death is this. After seeing his new family one last time, Rick shoots a stick of dynamite on the bridge, sacrificing himself to prevent the herd reaching the other settlements. An absolutely distraught Michonne has to be held back and everyone else, including Daryl, is in tears at Rick's death. Mitigated somewhat when he is later found alive by Anne and taken by helicopter, but given that this is Andrew Lincoln's last appearance on the show, his friends will likely never come to realize this.
    "I found them."

Who Are You Now?

  • The second Time Skip hasn't been particularly kind to our heroes.
    • Michonne is still grieving and speaks to the absent Rick, and is raising Judith and their new son, RJ, alone. She has also severely hardened due to her grief and has implemented a strict system of isolationism for Alexandria.
    • Much of what Rick hoped to achieve before his departure ultimately fell apart. The Sanctuary fell, with its' survivors either joining other communities or becoming roaming bandits led by Jed. The bridge was never repaired, and the communities are more distant from each other than ever.
    • Daryl never returned to the other communities and lived by himself in the woods for the entire Time Skip. Only Carol knew exactly where to find him, but even she couldn't see him that often.
  • Judith telling Michonne that she's starting to forget what Rick and Carl's voices sound like. One heart-breaking statement which really rams home that Judith is growing up without having gotten to know her father and brother.
Stradivarius
  • The reveal that Maggie has taken Hershel with her to a distant community that Georgie is trying to build up, and didn't bother to try saying goodbye to Michonne. It's unknown what transpired between the two women after their confrontation in "What Comes After", but it's clear that they did not last see each other on good terms.
Evolution
  • This episode really sells just how fragmented the group has become during the second Time Skip. Carol tries to plead with Michonne to consider joining Ezekiel's fair, but Michonne coldly refuses, claiming she needs to put Alexandria first above the other communities. Six years ago, she'd been pushing others to join together, but now, she's so broken by Rick's death that she can't practice what she once tried to preach.
  • Henry admits (though he's not telling the whole story) that one of the reasons he decided to get drunk was because he was overwhelmed seeing his tough-as-nails adopted mother cry as she left him at Hilltop.
  • Jesus is stabbed by surprise by a Whisperer. He was likely the most skilled character in all of the communities, and he ultimately dies taken by complete surprise.
    • Aaron's reaction to his death is heartbreaking.

Scars

  • The way Michonne pleads to Jocelyn's kids not to force her to kill them. It's especially heartbreaking since she's pregnant and forced to kill those kids to save Judith and other the Alexandrian children. No wonder she's become so cynical and severely hardened in the present.

The Calm Before

  • Michonne, Daryl, Carol and Yumiko finding a bloodied and badly injured Siddiq tied to a tree who after being freed leads them to the Whisper territory border where they find 10 of their own (Ozzy and another Highwaymen member, former Savior members DJ & Frankie, Tammy Rose, Addy, Rodney, Enid, Tara and Henry) beheaded and set on pikes. All five of them break down instantly.
    • The death of Ozzy and the other Highwayman member, Alek, are worse because not only were they developed so little but also because, despite their intimidating introduction, they were legitimately good people to the very end who tried to save everyone that were held hostage by the Whisperers. Not to mention that Ozzy will never get to see his movies.
    • Tara's death not only means the group lost another friend but Hilltop lost yet another leader. It’s entirely possible she died feeing she failed miserably as leader despite throwing her all into it to try to be there for her people. Worse, she died without getting to say goodbye to her longtime best friends Eugene and Rosita, who were some of the last surviving members of GREATM and Rick’s group as she joined it back in Season 5.
    • Tammy's death means that Earl lost both his son and now his wife leaving him to raise the adopted Whisperer baby by himself.
    • DJ was closely integrated with Michonne, Siddiq and other top members of Alexandria and was a willing ally after the fall of the Saviors so seeing him die after so much positive change was a shock.
    • Enid's death means that Alden not only loses his girlfriend but Hilltop loses their medic and her mentor (Siddiq) noticeably breaks down hard after seeing her head (which considering he was her mentor and was heartbroken to see her reaction to Carl's death is utterly soulcrushing).
      • On the same day, Hilltop loses both their leader AND their medic.
    • Frankie finally settled in to Alexandria after the end of the Saviors and even ended up being a mother only to die a horrible death alongside 9 of her other people.
    • And then the final head seen is Henry. Sure, he made a lot of idiotic decisions, but he certainly did not deserve to die this way. Made worse because he genuinely changed Lydia into a better person and was finally reunited with Carol and Ezekiel.
    • Even Rodney, who bullied Lydia, was just a kid in the end, and left this world too soon. He’s last seen cowering behind Tammy, understandably too afraid to fight back.
    • Addy was just a lovesick teenager who wanted and failed to get a chance with Henry. The same day she learned the object of her affections was with another girl, it’s all too likely that she had to watch him die, provided she didn’t go first. She and Rodney also mentioned that they got to live pretty safe childhoods behind Hilltop’s walls, meaning they never imagined their lives would be cut short in such a horrible way.
  • Later Daryl brings Lydia to the pike where Henry's head was and sadly leaves her Hilltop necklace he made for her behind.
  • The flashback to the Last Stand shows the hostages before Ozzy, Alek, and DJ arrived to try to rescue them. They’re all huddled, on their knees, bound, and gagged, their eyes wide with fear as they can do nothing but await the inevitable. Had Ozzy’s team not arrived when they did, this would’ve likely been how they died, alone, hopeless, and afraid.
  • Siddiq's speech of the pikes towards the fair attendees is both heartwarming and tear-inducing.

The Storm

  • Lydia feels so guilty about the pike deaths, believing that it's all her fault, that she actually believes that she doesn't deserve to live. She tries to end it all twice. First was when she moved her arm to the mouth of a walker that's stuck in some ice, hoping that it will bite her, and the second time was when she tries to convince Carol, who is still grieving over Henry's death, to kill her by placing Carol's spear right at her heart.
  • Both Carol and Ezekiel are broken throughout the episode. Ezekiel is forced to abandon the place he called home and is so paranoid over losing Carol that he presumably thinks Daryl will steal her away from him. Meanwhile Carol has a heart to heart talk with Daryl and tearfully admits that she has no idea who she is anymore.
    • They both end up separating with Carol returning with Michonne, Aaron and the others to Alexandria and giving back her wedding ring to Ezekiel who decides to stay at Hilltop.

    Season 10 
  • It's kinda hard not to feel bad for Frances despite being a member of the Whisperers. It's revealed that she was the one who had to reluctantly abandon her baby at Hilltop. She tries to move on but is constantly reminded of the incident which nearly gets her killed by walkers on one occasion. She's saved by Beta only for him to throw her to the ground at their camp where she's nearly killed by another Whisperer. When Alpha finds out, she orders Frances to meet her alone where she's utterly terrified but is ultimately given another chance by her leader. She promises her sister Gamma that she'll behave better. However, the next day while the group is out gathering more walkers she spots one with a strapped baby carrier causing her to have flashbacks about the baby incident at Hilltop. Enraged she attacks Alpha, (attracting nearby walkers in the process) only to be killed by her sister who pulls her off of Alpha and throws her to the ground where she's ultimately devoured.
  • Carol's terrifying hallucinations also show that not only has she not gotten over the recent death of her adopted son Henry, but also the deaths of her actual daughter Sophia and all the other children she came in contact with in the previous seasons.
  • Negan telling Aaron it's his own fault that Eric is dead. Aaron follows up by telling Negan that he's also to blame for the death of his wife Lucille.
  • Ezekiel contemplating suicide on the ledge. Thankfully Michonne talks him out of it.
  • Lydia getting bullied by Gage and two members of the Highwaymen followed by them severely beating her late at night.
    • To make it worse, when Negan arrives to save her he's genuinely trying to comfort her who is crying utterly terrified only for him and everyone else to realize that he accidentally killed one of the Highwaymen in the process. The look on his face and in his eyes says it all.
    • Also, while all of this is happening Siddiq's PTSD from his experience with the Whisperers reaches its peak and he ends up burying his in a sink full of water visibly screaming.
  • Negan's constant discomfort whenever Brandon brings up his past actions as the leader of the Saviors. Especially when he brings up Carl.
  • Ezekiel revealing that he has thyroid cancer meaning that with modern medicine no longer existing, he's more than likely a goner.
  • A horrified Negan finding out that Brandon returned and killed the mother and child he saved and bonded with.
  • Poor Siddiq being strangled to death by Dante after finding out that he's a Whisperer. Made even more tragic as Carl's last heroic act was bringing Siddiq to Alexandria in the first place, only for Siddiq to meet an untimely death himself several years later.

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