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Tear Jerker / Undertale

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Sans: you made papyrus cry like a baby.
Sans: what did you catch?
Papyrus: [crying] TEARS!!!

Bring tissues when you play Undertale, because you're gonna have a sad time.

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  • A monster's death has their body instantly turn into dust. Just imagine someone's best friend or loved one dying in their arms and then turning into dust, never to be held or touched in their final moments. Similar to people in real life, monsters spread the ashes of their fallen kin on the things they loved most when they were alive.
    • Alternatively: Imagine someone dying alone, and no one ever finds their body because there isn't a body to find. Your loved one goes out on an errand like any other day, or perhaps goes out on a job you know is risky. And you simply never see them again, alive or otherwise. Even if you go searching for them, all that remains is dust that can't indicate cause of death or possibly even identity, if you even notice any dust to begin with. It's unlikely you'll ever know for certain just what happened to your loved one.
      • This even gets somewhat lampshaded during some of the possible conversations in the Neutral Ending where Papyrus will question why Undyne/Alphys went "on vacation" without telling him or picking up the phone. A similar conversation happens with Mettaton explaining that he thoroughly looked for Alphys and couldn't find her.
      • Or Alphys killed herself because her primary love interest was slain and her Mettaton either joined her or went on to make the underground a living hell.
    • It really puts a few scenes in perspective should one remember this fact. The tutu armor found in Waterfall is explicitly mentioned by the description and Papyrus as being "dusty", implying that its former owner might have killed at least one monster before they met their fate. And in New Home, going into the child's room and looking into Asriel's toybox has only a two word descriptor: "Dusty toys."
      • In a No Mercy route, Papyrus specifically mentions that, among other creepy aspects of the Fallen Children's appearance, their hands are "Always covered in that dusty powder." For monsters, it's the equivalent of having blood from your victims perpetually dripping off your hands.
    • Also, when the monsters begin living alongside humanity in the Pacifist ending, it's completely unrealistic to assume that they'll never encounter any serial killers. And any serial killer who realizes the implications of monsters' bodies conveniently crumbling into dust is probably going to go on a killing spree.
  • Conversely, the player character's death on a Pacifist run can be this once you start imagining what would follow, the player character dies, and all the monsters they befriended up to their death would be heartbroken over it. To make matters worse, if it really is a Pacifist run, the monsters' only hope has been completely destroyed by their own hand. Ouch. Really the only saving grace is the player character's DETERMINATION.
  • The monsters waiting for their time of salvation to come. Some are still holding onto that hope that their king had given them while others have either gotten used to life in the underground or have plain just given up of ever escaping. It doesn't help that King Asgore had gotten cold feet and couldn't go through with his plan of obtaining 7 human souls to destroy the barrier after already obtaining 6 souls, which only prolonged the suffering of his people. In fact, the way some monsters react to the player character with fear and anger when said protagonist is trying to reach Asgore only further cements how desperate they are in wanting to be free from their eternal prison. In any variant of the neutral ending, the player character manages to escape from the underground, but the barrier remains intact and causes the monsters to remain trapped forever. Depending on what kind of neutral ending you get, the monster populace can be thrown into further despair knowing that they will never leave the underground.
  • The parallels between Home and New Home, with the matching layout, Home missing well-kept flowers and New Home having a trash can full of pie recipes, both sinks being full with white fur and both houses having a room "under renovations". Toriel and Asgore need each other more than they would dare to admit to each other, and each cannot bear to set foot in the other's old room.
    • There's one extremely subtle parallel that only becomes more heartbreaking when you realize the implication: in Home, searching one of the drawers reveals an old calendar with a date from the start of 201X circled on it, presumed by many fans to be the date that Chara fell into the Underground. In New Home, you find a calendar from the end of 201X, likely left there since Chara and Asriel died. In other words, it's entirely possible that Chara lived in the Underground for less than a year before pulling off their Thanatos Gambit. No matter how you interpret their intentions, it's heartbreaking to realize that, from Toriel, Asgore, and Asriel's perspective, the four of them only got to be a family for a tiny amount of time.
  • Flowey's entire existence is a tear jerker. Chara, Asriel's adopted sibling, coerced him to commit to a plan that involved them committing suicide by poisoning themself with buttercups so they could possess him and use his body to kill six innocent people. When he had second thoughts at the last minute (because who wouldn't, especially when they're so young), he ended up getting killed as well, only to be reanimated later by force without the ability to feel positive emotions. To add insult to injury, how is Asriel rewarded for his devotion and love for Chara? He's turned into a flower. Every time he looks at himself, he's reminded of his sibling's suicide and his own "weakness" for not going through with the plan.
  • What little information about Sans' backstory the player gets. For whatever reason, he's aware of what the player and Flowey are doing to the timeline, but lacks the ability to Save. Meaning he's lived through countless repeating timelines where his actions ultimately amount to nothing (even helping getting the monsters to the surface, only for all their hopes and dreams to get ripped away from them in another iteration of the "Groundhog Day" Loop). The reason he's so lazy is that he's simply given up trying, though he does admit that it could just be an excuse for his pre-existing laziness.
    • It's also implied (though never explicitly stated) that he might just know something about Gaster, and is the only one who still does — the reason he's so prone to napping is that he's trying to repair the mysterious 'broken machine' that might've had something to do with Gaster's disappearance, along with all the other people who were Dummied Out. He might very well be working harder than anyone else in the Underground, and no one knows it.
      • On that note, Toby has said on Twitter that "you've all seen the happiest outcome. Neither of them" — i.e., Sans and either Gaster or Alphys — "could fix the machine, no matter how hard they tried. No one can."
    • In the new update, the room with the machine now has a secret action when you check the photo album. The player discovers a card with a poorly drawn picture of three smiling people, two of them are likely Sans and Gaster but what seals it is the writing on the picture which is "don't forget", implied to be written by Sans, as a reminder to not forget Gaster.
      • One popular interpretation of the "poorly drawn picture" is that it's a child's drawing of their family, drawn by a young Sans or Papyrus.
    • Sans' secret sort-of theme, It's Raining Somewhere Else, which plays on his 'date' with you, and later a slowed down version plays in his secret room with the broken machine. The first part is a slow, sad piano piece over the soft sounds of rain and what sounds like the background noise of a city, whilst the latter part is a more emotional, melancholy version of 'sans.', his usual quirky, comical theme. It makes for one of the more heartwrenching pieces in the soundtrack. Alongside the photo album Frisk can find in Sans' lab with a picture of Sans and a bunch of people Frisk doesn't recognize, it makes for a very bittersweet, nostalgic atmosphere.
    • Also, note that the narration says Sans "looks happy". Sans already has a smile plastered on his face 24/7, but whatever facial expression he's making in the photo is his real happy face.
  • The tale of Dr. Gaster in general, when it isn't straight up horrifying. Imagine, if you will, that you're suddenly ripped from your world in such a way that absolutely no record of you exists anymore. Then imagine that you're still able to see that your world progresses on despite that, meaning that your life had no value. And as stated above, there's no way to bring him back permanently; the only way you can even know about him is by messing around in the files. Dr. Gaster has it bad. A slightly different but equally awful interpretation is that the hidden characters appear similar to canon characters, because they are fragments of those monsters which are split off by the incident. The person who is the rest of them recovered from their loss and grew into something new. They literally see the world go on the same without them, because their duplicates are living their lives and no one even realizes that they're missing. If a canon character is Dr. Gaster's other self, it's most likely Papyrus.
  • Asriel and Chara's backstory, revealed at the end of the Pacifist run if you backtrack. Specifically, why Chara (or Frisk, for that matter) climbed the mountain in the first place.
    "Was it foolishness? Was it fate? Or was it... Because you...?"He trails off, but he was probably going to say... 
    • And then Asriel says that he knows why Chara climbed the mountain, and it "wasn't for a very happy reason." Maybe it was foolishness. Maybe it was fate. But it sounds like Chara did want to "disappear".

    The Ruins 
  • Toriel remarks how happy she is to finally have some company and even prepared a lot of things to do with you. It makes your decision to leave more bitter, and even worse if you're on a No Mercy run.
  • Toriel's Boss Battle at the end of the ruins is a big Tear Jerker, regardless of which way you play it.
    • Toriel's attacks can be tricky to avoid. But if your HP gets low, any subsequent attacks have the bullets actively avoiding your soul, to the point that it's impossible for you to take any more damage. However, it is possible to kill yourself if you intentionally take enough hits before the current attack ends. The look of shock and horror on her face if you manage this will haunt your memories.
    • Killing Toriel in the "neutral" path has her Go Out with a Smile, telling you one more time to be good and how strong you've become. This is especially easy to do on accident, because unlike many previous enemies, you can't spare her when her HP is low enough; attacking when her HP decreases enough will suddenly do way more damage than usual and kill her. And if you feel guilty killing Toriel afterwards and you decide you want to restart and spare her, Flowey will call you out by saying this:
      Flowey: Clever. Verrrryyy clever. You think you're really smart, don't you? In this world, it's "kill or be killed". So you were able to play by your own rules. You spared the life of a single person. Hee hee hee... But don't act so cocky. I know what you did. You murdered her. And then you went back, because you regretted it.
    • If you insist on sparing Toriel, it'll take you a while before she can get over her loneliness, fear, and doubts to let you have your way. But not without a Final First Hug, after which she politely — but firmly — tells you not to come back, which can make a player feel horrible even on a Pacifist run, as she will just disappear and never even once pick up the phone until the Golden Ending where she gleefully enjoys sending you messages. Though the tearjerkiness kinda loses its impact if you find out that the annoying dog has her phone.
    • If you're going for the No Mercy route, it becomes a Single-Stroke Battle, and ends with Toriel gasping and saying "Y... you... really hate me that much...?"
      Toriel: Now I see who I was protecting by keeping you here. Not you… But them!!! Ha… ha…
    • You can add insult to injury for Toriel. Pick the MERCY option up until the very last text before she ends the fight, and kill her just as she is opening her heart to you. The shock of the betrayal causes her to snap, and she dies with a wicked smile on her face, remarking how "you're just like the others". It's somehow even worse than her death on a No Mercy run.
      Toriel: You... ... at my most vulnerable moment... To think I was worried you wouldn't fit in out there... Eheheheh!!! You really are no different than them! Ha... ha...
    • Toriel's battle theme is called "Heartache", and it fits perfectly since you broke her heart before the fight.note  This becomes doubly heart-wrenching when you discover near the end of the game that she lost both her own child and her adopted child at the same time many years ago, along with seeing potentially six other human children getting killed when they also tried to return home. It's no surprise, then, that she tests you so brutally to see if you are strong enough to survive on your own.

  • If the player has began a Genocide route, all of the monsters you encounter will make an attempt to fight back or will initiate a fight with you. And then when it's time to fight Papyrus, what's the first thing that happens?
    • To expand upon this, killing Papyrus can be a heartrending introduction to the full game's path of No Mercy. Instead of fighting, he offers to become friends, reasoning that you are simply alone. You kill him with one shot. After that… he still believes in you. His final words are his telling you he knows you can be good if you try, before finally turning to dust.
      • If you kill Papyrus on Neutral and go back into Snowdin, the NPCs will remark that the atmosphere of the town feels "off" all of a sudden. Arguably the worst part is that the patrons of Grillby's will wonder why Sans hasn't come in for lunch yet, and the bear at the gift tree will say that a box for Papyrus has gone missing. Bear in mind that Sans is the only one who knows what happened at this point.
      • It's even worse when you realize that Pacifist!Undyne spoke the literal truth when she said he'd get ripped into little smiling shreds.
      • Even worse is that when you're inside Grillby's, there's no music whatsoever. Keep in mind that even in the Genocide route, Sans' theme would always be playing when you're at Grillby's. As minor as this detail is, it really makes Sans' Heroic BSoD all the more effective.
  • If you kill all the dogs except for Doggo, when you find him at Grillby's, he's convinced that his friends are playing a trick on him by sitting still so he can't see them.
    "They must be here, playing a joke on me. I'll just wait until one of them admits it..."
    • If you kill all the dogs besides the Greater Dog, he will make this face instead when you talk to him.
    • Killing Dogaressa causes Dogamy to become depressed and pretty much lose the will to fight. The dog he uses in his attack patterns even becomes sad and launches a single half-hearted projectile that doesn't even reach your SOUL if you're standing still.
      • If you kill both of them, the bear at the tree will talk about the couple's Christmas tradition. One of them would give the other a bone and the other would act like it's the first gift they've ever received even though they get it every year. Papyrus would then come and demand his bone back. He'll then wonder where the two are…
    • Attacking the dogs causes them to whimper and whine like real dogs, which can quickly make one feel guilty and upset about their actions. Especially Lesser and Greater Dog, as they are the least anthropomorphized of the dogs.
  • Snowdrake's backstory. His remarks about his father when you laugh at his jokes are funny at first, but when you later talk to his father at the MTT resort, it becomes tragic. It's even worse when you encounter his fused, corrupted mother in the Pacifist route. Also you can apparently heckle him enough that he runs away crying. Luckily, he's reunited with his family at the end of the Pacifist route!
    • Even the first time around, his comments about his father are this in a "Hahaha— oooooh…" sort of way.
      Snowdrake: [if the player responds well to his jokes] See!? Laughs! Dad was wrong!
    • If you kill Snowdrake in a neutral run, his father's dialogue will change to him frantically asking where his son is.
    • Alternatively, on a No Mercy run, one of the battle texts for Chilldrake says that he's wondering where Snowy is. A subtle but heartbreaking moment, because by the time you have a chance to encounter Chilldrake, Snowy is already dead.
  • The note you can find in an abandoned store in the No Mercy route.
    "Please don't hurt my family."
  • A lighter Fridge Sadness than most things on here, but several dialogue lines from Papyrus make it clear that he's not just overconfident, he's lonely. He doesn't really have anyone other than Sans and Undyne (and you, later on) and the townspeople of Snowdin only vaguely know about him compared to his brother. The guy attempts to capture you and become popular but really he just wants friends.

  • Compared to the friendly Snowdin, with their friendly if not quirky residents, Waterfall is barely populated and the creatures that reside there are quite melancholy, surrounded by reminders of their sad history. Echo flowers tell you the conversations of monsters who wish to see the surface. There are no stars underground, so they wish on the sparkling walls. You may suddenly realize that you are a young child who has become trapped under a mountain, fearfully hiding in swathes of tall grass away from a silent, armor clad monster who wants nothing more than to kill you. The one friend you make during this whole segment realizes that you're a human, and asks you to insult them so they can hate you. Eventually you fall down into the dump, wading through waist-high trash-filled water and attacked by an intangible enemy bent on revenge.
  • Everything about Shyren:
    • She loves to sing, but refrains from doing so because she isn't very good at it (her description outright calls her 'tone-deaf'). She also hides herself in a corner due to her shame over her 'scary' face, and only turns around to give you a nervous smile once you hum to her. Her sister has "fallen down" and was injected with Determination, causing her to meld with an Aaron and a Moldbygg. On top of all that, she's apparently started taking singing lessons… only to potentially be killed by you.
    • Want to twist the blade when you kill Shyren? Do it right at the point where it says, "Shyren thinks about her future."
    • If you hum twice with Shyren after killing Papyrus, the normal event of Sans selling tickets is replaced with him watching from a distance, whether you're on a No Mercy run or not.
  • The backstory behind the statue that's involved with the piano puzzle. It's a memorial statue of Asriel, that used to be a part of the fountain at the MTT Resort, before being replaced by a statue of Mettaton. It's implied Mettaton was the one who got rid of Asriel's statue. When you give the statue an umbrella, shielding it from the rain, this song plays in a music box for that area.
  • Finding out about Mettaton's backstory makes the already pitiful Napstablook that much more tragic.
    "Sorry, Blooky. My dreams can't wait for anyone..."
  • You'd think that killing the Mad Dummy on a No Mercy run would be something to look forward to, right? Well, when you approach it, it will become corporeal — its lifelong dream — and instead be known as the Glad Dummy. It's so hard to kill it when it's finally become so happy.
  • If you backtrack in the vertical room filled with Echo Flowers, Flowey leaves a taunting message for you while imitating Toriel's voice, which differs depending on if you killed or spared her. While both are hard to listen to, the message he leaves if you spared her is incredibly heartbreaking given the context that Flowey is actually Toriel's deceased son. It comes across less like a taunt and more like him projecting his own issues and believing that his mother has forgotten him. It's just one of the many ways the game reminds you that, no matter how creepy or annoying he gets, Flowey is ultimately a young, unhappy, lonely child who will never get to grow up.
    (mimicking Toriel) "Where oh where could that child be…? I've been looking all over for them…" (in Flowey's shaky, crazed voice) ...Hee hee hee. THAT'S not true. She'll find another kid, and instantly forget about you. You'll NEVER see her again.
  • If you kill Papyrus, Undyne will call you out for it. On top of that, it's the only situation in which she doesn't engage in a Hot-Blooded fight intro. Note that as she says that final line, she smiles, clearly very eager to rip you apart after what you've done.
    "...Forget it. Look. Papyrus didn't come to his meeting today.
    Say what you want about him. He's weird, he's naive, he's self-absorbed... But Papyrus has NEVER missed a meeting. And no matter what time you call him on the phone... Night, day, afternoon, morning... He ALWAYS answers within the first two rings.
    But now he's gone. And his brother isn't around, either.
    …what did you do to him? What did you DO TO HIM?
    Papyrus, who I have trained every day... even though I KNOW he's too goofy to ever hurt anyone...
    Go ahead. Prepare however you want. But when you step forward... (smiles viciously) I will KILL you."
  • If you do not kill Papyrus, Undyne will instead call you out specifically for Snowdrake, Shyren, and any of the dogs, should you have killed any of them. She even has a specific message if you killed all the dogs.
  • Everything about Undyne is even worse if you're going for a No Mercy run. She takes an attack meant for the Monster Kid, and is mortally wounded… but her Heroic Willpower and desire to protect her friends and the rest of the world from you brings her back as Undyne the Undying. The song "Battle Against a True Hero" plays throughout the fight, conveying the feeling of hope. Although she's much more difficult to beat in a No Mercy run, it isn't impossible to kill her, and you will probably feel bad for doing so:
    Before transforming and fighting you: This isn't just about monsters anymore, is it? If you get past me, you'll... you'll destroy them all, won't you?
    Flavor text at the beginning of the battle: *The heroine appears.
    As she's dying: If you... If you think I'm gonna give up hope, you're wrong. (smiles triumphantly as she's dying) 'Cause I've... Got my friends behind me.
  • At least Undyne on a No Mercy run goes down swinging and grinning triumphantly, confident that she's bought time for her friends to prepare to stop you. Undyne on a neutral run continues to fight even after her HP bar has been emptied, but each turn, her body continues to deteriorate and her attacks slow down until they reach a pitiful crawl. And oh lord, the music. If you've finished any neutral run, you've heard this song before: it's a clipped version of 'An Ending', the dreary song that plays during the phone-call epilogue. And if you've fought her in a Genocide run, you realize it's a slow piano version of Battle Against a True Hero, her once triumphant theme. She goes out desperately clinging to life, after reflecting on how she never confessed her feelings to Alphys. Many people agree that her death in the Neutral route is the sadder of the two, especially since you don't need to be playing as evil to get it — you might have felt justified in fighting her since she was trying to kill you, or you might have been stumped on how to get past her. The kicker is that, at this point, there is no longer any way to Spare her or Flee from her — you killed her, now you have to face what you've done.
    • One bit of Fridge Horror that makes her neutral death worse: Her body melts throughout her final moments, meaning she's generating Determination just as she did in the No Mercy run. The difference between the two? Since you haven't gone completely Genocidal, there's still some doubt in her heart as to whether or not you truly deserve to die — you could have killed out of naiveté or self-defense and could still be a good person at heart. Considering that, on a Pacifist Run, deciding that "You're a wimpy loser with a big heart" is enough to get her to stop trying to kill you for good, and that even on a Pacifist Run, her pre-fight dialogue sounds like she's grasping for reasons to try and kill you, the idea that you're not 100% bad could very likely be enough to keep her from going full Undyne the Undying. You may have dealt the last physical blow, but what ultimately killed her was her own internal conflict.
  • If you knock on Undyne's door after killing her, no one is home. And you get the feeling no one ever will be. If Papyrus is alive, he will note that Undyne isn't there as usual and that she hasn't answered her calls. Papyrus is unaware that Undyne is dead, and he will keep waiting as long as he has to, for her to hang out with you two when she eventually comes.

  • While every area in the Genocide Route after the Ruins has slowed down music which goes well with the lack of NPCs to create a decidedly terrifying atmosphere, after killing Undyne the Undying, the heroine of the monsters, it starts becoming less creepy and more tragic. The songs for both the main Hotland and the CORE are hauntingly beautiful.
    • Another huge factor in this is that a lot of the monsters in Hotland have very different reasons for attacking you on the Genocide Route. The Royal Guards, for instance, attack you not nonchalantly out of orders, but to avenge their captain, the mercenaries in the CORE are there not to kill you because it's their job, but as a last-ditch effort to stop your killing spree (the fact that the CORE's depressing theme plays for encounters in the area while you effortlessly slaughter them does not help), and Mettaton now attacks you not just out of his desire to protect the humans he wishes to be a star for, but because there are those he wants to protect despite him knowing full-well he can't defeat you.
    Youtube Commenter: (regarding CORE's Genocide version) To be honest, I find this one's not really so much creepy like the other Genocide tracks — Empty House, But Nobody Came, Bonetrousle, and Waterfall, for example — as it is haunting and tragic, especially with the slow, empty piano in the background. Just like Another Medium in that regard; by this point, the game's given up trying to convince you not to continue down the Genocide Route. It's now simply waiting for the end, mourning all the people the player murdered along the way.
  • Tsunderplane, of all things, gets a special death animation if you kill it.
    "B-but I never got to...!" *BOOM*
  • Alphys's backstory, revealed once you get to the True Lab. Apparently she was under so much pressure to get her Determination experiments right that she turned the bodies of dead monsters into living abominations fused together in agony. She had to lie to the families of these monsters and became so depressed over the situation that she shut herself in, lived in garbage, and was on the verge of suicide before meeting Undyne.
  • Also in the True Labs you discover Video Tapes of Asgore and Toriel being excited for Toriel's pregnancy, The fallen child (who likely has a name you chose to represent yourself) and Asriel bonding like siblings, Asriel talking about how they accidentally poisoned their father with buttercups before the fallen child tells to turn off the camera, Asriel being extremely uncomfortable with "the plan" but going through with it for the fallen child's sake, and finally the fallen child on their death bed from self-inflicted buttercup poisoning. Alphys's (or Gaster's...?) notes add to the tears on the nearby console as it sounds like she's (he's) protecting Asgore.
    Entry 4 : I've been researching humans to see if I can find out any info about their SOULS. I ended up snooping around the castle... And found these weird tapes. I don't feel like ASGORE's watched them… I don't think he should.
  • If you kill Mettaton on a Neutral run, his almost constant smile disappears and he concedes that you are indeed strong enough to defeat Asgore. He then tells you not to worry, that even though it looks like he's dying he's merely running out of batteries, and that Alphys can fix him. The saddest moment comes afterwards, where he tells you that although he might not have what it takes to be a star, he still got to perform for one human and thanks you with a sad smile on his face. When the game returns to the overworld, Mettaton's previously invincible rectangular body lies on its side, completely busted.
    • To make it even worse, the dialogue for the employees at the resort change if you do this. Most of them are worried that Mettaton hasn't shown up, with some having no idea what to do without him.
  • Alphys insisting that even if you had killed (or did kill) Mettaton, she could always rebuild him, becomes this once you know that she literally couldn't — she could only rebuild the shell that houses Mettaton, who is actually Napstablook's cousin and apparently an old friend of hers.
    • Napstablook is the one to call at the end of the fight, complimenting their cousin on the show. Mettaton realizes this and tries to tell them to wait, saying "Wait, Bl..." before the shy ghost hangs up, struggling to keep his cousin's call anonymous when referring to them afterwards.
    • After finding out Alphys was tricking you the whole time, it's easy to feel a sting of betrayal, but seeing her initial shock at the state Mettaton is in, and how worried she was that this ploy could have left Mettaton hurt or dead, is incredibly touching. You can't help feeling for her at that point.
  • Also, the encounter with Mettaton NEO on a No Mercy run. Mettaton has to know perfectly well that he's no match for you, and if you've played the normal route you know that the power consumption for that form is so high that he couldn't survive a serious fight anyway. But he fights you anyway and pretends to be strong to try and bluff you into faltering, because as he says, there are people he wants to protect.
  • If you call Papyrus (before befriending Undyne) while approaching the Core, he'll be visibly upset that you're so close to leaving the Underground for good. It's one of the few times his sunny disposition falters. If you call him after befriending Undyne, she will feel depressed.
    Undyne: What!? No, we just became friends!! You can't already be that close...
  • When you arrive at the Hotel, you can meet Sans out front and he'll take you to dinner. During the meal, Sans pokes jabs into your reason for wanting to go home, pointing out how the Underground has everything a person could want — food, friends, etc. He tells you he's rooting for you anyway, but one can't help but get the feeling Sans was telling you he was going to miss you, in his own way.
    • And the whole time, the song "It's Raining Somewhere Else" is playing, giving the conversation a calm, but melancholic mood, perfectly matching the serious conversation you're having with Sans, and alluding to Sans' true nature underneath the ever-grinning mask he always has on.
  • In the True Lab, one of the Amalgamations — the one who hides in the form of a fridge — can be identified as the Snowdrake enemy's mother, at least as the primary consciousness. It can barely make an effort to attack you. Joking with it causes her to remember a part of herself, and should you 'Laugh' at the joke you told afterwards, you get this bit of dialogue.
    It's so cold.
    • When you first see her "snowy" mumblings, you may assume that she's talking about her home, Snowdin. However, speaking to a green Snowdrake on Snowdin road reveals that he and his friends live in the forest and eat the lunches their parents bring them, but mentions that they share their lunches with "Snowy" since his parents aren't around. In the midst of losing her mind to the sixteen other monsters, she still has enough consciousness to remember her son without having to be reminded of him, unlike the other amalgamates.
    • The Snowdrake amalgamate also has their own unique battle music, which is a broken version of the Snowdin Road theme that's been sporadically slowed down and sped up in random places. It fits the monster very well.
    • The resulting text from attempting to laugh is an indication that you aren't in full control of the human's actions at that point as they refuse to laugh. They're so sympathetic for the poor amalgamation that they refuse to do anything that might hut their feelings.
  • Another one of the Amalgamations, Lemon Bread, becomes this if you buy the 'Mystery Key' from Catty and Bratty and enter Napstablook's cousin's house. Its primary consciousness is Shyren's sister, who had "fallen down" and contributed to Shyren's timid personality. When it speaks, the words fill up the screen in many separate text boxes, saying things like "Welcome to my special hell" and "But nobody came". It can hardly move, and you spare it by singing Shyren's song, reminding her of her sister.
  • Rounding out the Amalgamates is Endogeny. If you're at all a dog person, this one's going to hurt. The only way to end the encounter is to try to comfort and play with the bounding, blob-like dog monster. The fact that ending the encounter plays a slower version of the cheerful Dogsong, proving that there's still a dollop of delightful doggo in Endogeny, makes it hurt even more. What's more, the somewhat off-kilter tempo of Dogsong, which ordinarily lends it a goofy, jovial tone, makes it actually sound a little sad when slowed down — it ends up emphasizing that this big, weird, blobby dog is most likely in constant pain, but smiling through it all.
  • So Sorry's self-deprecation and death can be depressing. The Reality Subtext is even sadder: the character managed to get into the game because the owner of the character bought a $1,000 Kickstarter goal because he wanted to support Toby's game. Toby arranged that So Sorry be a secret character because Toby wanted to avoid controversy with the character… but, once Undertale's popularity exploded, his appearance became wide open. A lot of controversy happened because of the "furry fetish" character being in the game to the point of rumours forming that So Sorry can be killed without gaining EXP or ruining a Pacifist run. Add how the owner actually has depression and was bullied in his life, and…
  • Killing Muffet. After she dies, a tiny spider wanders to where she was, before scuttling off screen. It then comes back holding a rose, and slowly and gently places it down on the spot where she died before leaving the screen. It's as heartbreaking as it sounds.
    • Oh, but it gets worse. If you kill Muffet, you know what you get? Exactly the amount of Gold you paid her during the fight (which can easily be zero). Muffet was telling the truth all along. She really did need that money…
  • If you want to be really monstrous, you can let the two Royal Guards get together during the fight, and then kill them. Watching the survivor's reaction after the first one dies will make you feel completely awful.
    • Killing 01 first only results in 02 saying "...! You!" but if you kill 02 first...
      "02... I never told him..."
"01 holds his head in his hands."
  • Alphys' journal entries say that she doesn't want to finish building Mettaton's body because she's worried that if she does, he won't hang out with her anymore. It's pretty depressing by itself, but given that she hardly has any friends to start with…

    New Home 
  • Walking through Asgore's home. It looks exactly like Toriel's. Heartbreakingly beautiful music plays, occasionally monsters will appear to tell you of his history. In his kitchen, there's a trashcan full of Butterscotch-cinnamon pie recipes. In Asgore's room, you can find a Santa outfit in his closet, and he has a trophy in the corner — Number 1 nose-nuzzle champs '98!. Also, you can find macaroni art for "King Dad" and a cup that parodies #1 Dad cups. If you've been playing a Pacifist run, you can find a locket in a room with the description "Best Friends Forever" and checking the mirror gives the description "Despite everything, it's still you."
    • As you wander through the house in the end of a Neutral run, you begin to encounter monsters. They begin to tell you about how long ago, a human fell down and was adopted by the king and queen, and raised as their own alongside their real son. One day, the human child fell sick and died, their last request being to see the yellow flowers in their village again. The monster child absorbed their soul and took them back… only to be attacked by the humans in the village. He refused to fight back, and walked back home, still holding his sibling, and died as soon as he got to the throne room. The king, in his wild grief, declared war on humans and would destroy the barrier, murdering any human that came through. The monsters then describe how Asgore has given them hope again, and with the fact that a human is passing through the Underground, it won't be long before they're free again.
      Pyrope: You should be smiling, too.
      Vulkin: Aren't you excited? Aren't you happy?
      Froggit: You're going to be free.
      • The last line from Froggit in particular is heartwrenching. These monsters are people you have already met and helped. You've grown to know them, they are your friends. Froggit in particular is the first monster you meet in the game aside from Flowey and Toriel. They are truly excited to get outside and enjoy freedom, and they want you to be a part of it... But you can't. Because their freedom means your death.
    • It gets worse after a True Pacifist run: that's not what really happened. The "sickness" and dying wasn't an accident. It was planned by the Fallen Child. They deliberately poisoned themself so they could cross the barrier with Asriel, and it's not clear whether they really just wanted to free the monsters underground, destroy all the humans in their village, or wipe out humanity. All Asriel will say is that Chara "wasn't really the greatest person".
    • In an odd way, the No Mercy version of this trip also qualifies. Flowey himself actually opens up to you directly about his experiences with turning into a flower and how distraught he was that he couldn't feel affection for Asgore, or anyone. His desire for love caused him to be Driven to Suicide, in which he learned how to SAVE. At first, he used it for good, then got bored with the world never changing, so he decided to kill everyone. But even that got boring to him until he met the protagonist, who was unpredictable enough to keep things interesting. At this point, he compliments you for being the only one that understands him, for sharing his merciless "kill or be killed" philosophy… until he realizes that meant he too wasn't safe from you. It says a lot that the only person he could relate to was an Omnicidal Maniac, and hearing his backstory straight from his own mouth is depressing in a distinct way from only hearing it second-hand in the other paths.
    • Going through New Home on a No Mercy run has Chara personally recognize a lot of their childhood items. When you check the family photo, they have nothing to say, "...".
    • Instead of the track "Undertale", a slowed down version of "Small Shock" plays when you walk through Asgore's home. Like "Another Medium" and "CORE" before, this track is surprisingly beautiful despite having only four notes: it sounds like Chara has taken Frisk over and, between two murders, starts feeling nostalgic about their adoptive family.
  • It's hard not to feel bad about Asgore once you learn everything that happened to him. He lost his two children in the same night and on a grief-driven fit of anger declared war on humanity and that he'd use their souls to break the barrier and kill them all... then he calms down and finds out he actually doesn't have the heart to bring his plans to come to fruition, and Toriel leaves him. He can't even back out of his plan because it's the only thing that keeps his people hopeful that one day their torment will end, but when you get him close to death, he accepts it, even begging you to do what you need to do.
    Asgore: I just wanted everyone to have hope... But...
    Asgore: I cannot take this any longer.
    Asgore: I just want to see my wife.
    Asgore: I just want to see my child.
  • Talking with Sans in the neutral route after you've killed Papyrus can also be massively heart-wrenching. Regardless of how you answer his question, it's still painful.
    Sans: if you have some sort of special power... isn't it your responsibility to do the right thing?
    Answer yes: ah. i see. ... Then why'd you kill my brother?
    Answer no: heh. well, that's your viewpoint. i won't judge you for it. ... You dirty brother killer.
    • An oft-overlooked but crucial detail that makes it hit even harder: Papyrus' fight is specifically designed so that you can't kill him on accident. Even with the best equipment and the highest LOVE you can get on a Neutral Run up until that point, it's impossible to reduce his HP to 0 before he offers to spare you. If you killed him, you have to have done it deliberately.
    • To make matters worse, there's nothing stopping you from refusing to reset the timeline at the end of a Neutral run by no longer playing the game (similar to what you're encouraged to do after a True Pacifist run, only much less unambiguously positive). Meaning that it's entirely possible for Papyrus to be Killed Off for Real and Sans to be forced to move on without him.
  • The fact that Asgore has left all of his family's items exactly as they were, despite the fact that there's no longer anyone around to use them, is possibly one of the saddest details of the game. There's still a reading chair by the fireplace, three extra chairs at the table (two of them child-sized), clothes and toys and neatly-made beds in the children's bedroom… and it's all been left untouched for years.
  • When Asgore first turns around to see you in a Neutral/Pacifist run, he is shocked at the sight of you and backs away for a moment. While it is possible that he is frightened at the last human appearing and the notion of having to make good on his declaration of war, some fans believe that like Flowey does, he might have momentarily mistaken you for his dead human child, Chara. He does admit in one ending to being reminded of Chara when he looks in your eyes, so perhaps he can't bring himself to look at you in the ensuing fight for more reasons than shame…

    Genocide Final Boss and Ending 
  • The battle with Sans on the Genocide path. After a long, hard, grueling battle, Sans realizes that he can't beat you, so he simply does nothing but never use his turn. But if you wait long enough, he falls asleep from exhaustion — the Player can then move the entire box over to the Fight menu to finish him off. Sans dodges, beginning to boast — and then he is struck with a fatal slash across the chest. He then coughs up blood (or ketchup?) and very slowly saunters away; asking his deceased brother if he would like anything to eat before dying off-screen. guess that's it, huh? ...just... don't say i didn't warn you.
    ...welp. i'm going to grillby's.
    papyrus, do you want anything?
    • What makes this battle even more heartbreaking is that, while Sans's trademark smile never falters, you can clearly see the anguish and exhaustion in his eyes, even before the fight begins. Reach the end of the fight, and he'll refuse to end his turn, knowing that as soon as he does, he's done for... so the only way to save everyone is to stall long enough for you to get bored.
      • The most depressing thing of all, though, is how his sprite looks as you kill him. When you finally hit him, he looks as shocked as you might expect him to, his smile slipping elaboration  — and then he falls down, Symbolic Blood starts coming out of his wound and mouth as he clutches his chest in pain, and the way he looks at you and at his wound with that expression is absolutely heartbreaking. The fact he's still smiling as he stares at you with such anguish in his eyes that it looks like he's about to cry, will make you feel absolutely awful regardless of how many times you cursed him beforehand for how many times he screwed you over.
    • Immediately after "dunking" you, Sans also reveals his true bitterness and disappointment:
      Sans: if we're really won't come back.
    • This line:
      Sans: you can't understand how this feels. knowing that one day, without any warning... it's all going to be reset.
      • To elaborate, Sans is the only person other than the human child who is aware of the resetting timelines. He simply reasoned it out between his research and reading your expressions. That means that he knows that there is a happy ending, and that it can, has been, and will be, snatched away. In the same way, he has seen Genocide. He knows it can, has, and will happen. No wonder he has to force a smile. No wonder he's given up.
    • Sans's attacks are beefed up versions of Papyrus' attacks — not a surprise, given their relationship. What is saddening is what can be extrapolated from them: the game states that a monster's thoughts can affect the form of their magic attacks. Check out the first proper attack of the battle — it's Papyrus' small bone rush attack, but paired with taller bones. We already know Papyrus' small bone rush shows up in his battle when he's thinking about his brother, which by extension means that the first thing that the boss is thinking about here is his brother and himself. The next attack after that is a sped-up version of Papyrus' tall light-blue bone/short white bone attack. Some fans have taken to calling the light blue attacks that can be avoided by non-movement 'ghost' attacks, which means that now Sans is thinking about Papyrus and himself again… except this time the tall bone is a 'ghost.' No wonder this battle is all Tranquil Fury and Video Game Cruelty Punishment.
    • Think about why Sans uses Papyrus's attacks. Even though Sans is older than Papyrus, he looked up to him and loved him dearly. Papyrus was also the one of them with proper fighting training. Not only had Sans most likely no idea how to fight without referring to what he knew from Papyrus, but by using Papyrus' attacks against you, he wants to punish you double by reminding you that the coolest person in the world is dead, that it is your fault, and that you will die with the ironic fate of being killed by the very attacks of one of your victims.
  • After dying and restarting his fight a certain number of times, what he says when you choose to attack after he once again offers to spare you is nothing but tragic.
    Sans: woah, you look REALLY pissed off. heheheh... did i getcha? well, if you came back anyway... i guess that means we never really WERE friends, huh? heh. don't tell that to the other sans-es, ok?
  • One more note on the fight, Sans at the midpoint will say that somewhere, inside the player character, is the "memory of someone who wanted to do the right thing"… and pleads for them to remember him and abandon this. He knows about the "anomaly" (IE you), and he can see Chara/The Fallen Child in front of him. He's not talking about either of you. He's calling out to Frisk.
    "please, if you're listening... let's forget all this, ok?"
  • Everything Sans reveals about himself during the final battle with him is a pure, unadulterated marriage between Fridge Horror and Tear Jerker: imagine having to live with the knowledge that the universe you exist in can be manipulated on a whim by a God-like, all-powerful being who treats you like their toy. Imagine this being has the ability to either bless you with the perfect happy ending or brutally kill you and everything you love, not out of any desire for good or evil, but just because they're bored. Now imagine that being has the ability to reset the timeline you live in and erase all but the faintest memories of both these things; you know you're missing something, but can never fully grasp what it is, just that it was taken from you as easily as it was given. Imagine gradually losing hope at trying to fight this power, until eventually you've been run into such a state of nihilism you have no choice but to force a joke and a smile everywhere you go just to make it through the day. Imagine never being able to confide in anybody about this because doing so would either mean burdening them with the same existential nightmare, or being treated as if you've lost your mind. Imagine living with the knowledge that your beloved little brother, the one thing in your life that truly makes you happy anymore, is at the mercy of this being every time the world is reset. Imagine not even being able to fully numb yourself to the repeated anguish of his death, because you can never quite remember enough each time it happens. Now, as a cherry on top of all this misery, imagine that your only possible means of escape are entirely in the hands of this hedonistic god. If they don't feel like letting you keep your happy ending, nothing can let you leave, not even the cold embrace of death. Every time your heart stops beating, you suddenly find yourself thrust back to the beginning of it all, struggling to remember whatever it was that just happened. Sans' life is a living Hell, and if he never manages to get out of it, there's nobody to blame but you.
  • There's also the fact that Sans boss fight is a Hopeless Boss Fight; not for you, but for him, and in more ways than one. Even if he kills you (and he most certainly will the first few times, if not several), you can always just reset and try again. Even if you don't reset; nay, even if you couldn't reset anymore, what exactly does he have left to look forward to? Everyone he ever called a friend is now dead (except Alphys, and possibly Asgore, but even then it's ambiguous what sort of relationship the two may have had), any hopes of returning to the surface have been stripped away, and he is left practically all alone with no one left to help him. Being Sans in the No Mercy run sucks!
  • Chara becomes a victim too if you hold to the theory that they weren't actually a bad person. In a Neutral/Pacifist run, their narration can be enthusiastic, snarky, and even warm and loving. However flawed they may have been in life, they weren't a demon until you corrupted them into becoming one.
    • It gets worse when you think about the Genocide Route from Chara's perspective. Imagine waking up after getting brutally murdered by the same humans you tried to get away from, in an attack that killed your adoptive brother and best friend, because of a plan you came up with. The plan that failed, meaning that you and your brother died for nothing. Now imagine being forced to follow this human as they indiscriminately slaughter everyone in their path, including your adoptive parents, your personal hero, and finally, your adoptive brother and best friend. With all the LOVE they gained and the horrors they saw, it's no wonder they chose to destroy the world. They have literally nothing left to live for.
    • Even the interpretation that Chara, not Frisk, was responsible for the automated attacks on Asgore and Flowey becomes this if you believe that they loved (and perhaps still love) their family. Chara's corrupted narration has them start reacting coldly and dismissively early in the Genocide Route, yet they still go quiet when checking the family photo next to their bed and they seem happy to be reunited with the Locket implied to have been given to them by Asriel. Consider that at the time, they are strongly implied to be soulless and also are at LV 19, just one level away from the max — but they fall silent over the family photo of happier times where "everyone is smiling." They're so far gone by the time you get them to LV 20 and lead them to Asgore that they'll attack him automatically, but even at LV 20, they seem to falter at Flowey crying with Asriel's face and voice, and you have to step in again and choose to deal the first blow, leaving Flowey in shock and pain but still alive, before Chara suddenly jumps back in to finish him off. At this point, perhaps that's the only "mercy" they can give him.
      • The encounter with Asgore is also saddening because in other routes, Frisk clearly reminds him greatly of Chara — he admits it before trying to give Frisk his SOUL to let them escape so they can free the Underground, before that spends his fight avoiding eye contact with them, and staring into his eyes causes him to remember Chara and helps save him as a Lost SOUL — but here, Chara has become so deeply corrupted from the person they'd once been that their own father doesn't recognize them as human anymore, much less as Chara.
    • Really, the absolute cruelest thing about the Genocide Route might just be how deeply you fuck up Chara with it. You take this kid the Underground had cherished, this child who had hope shining in their eyes and finds hope again if you don't kill anyone, who likes silly jokes and chocolate and playing in the mud with their brother and eating pies with their bare hands, who once killed themself to give their family and their people a shot at sunlight... and you turn them into THE villain of Undertale, an unfeeling, nihilistic, power-hungry Omnicidal Maniac even Flowey is terrified of who's witnessed you hunt down and slaughter their family and their people, who's learned from you that people are nothing but ways to increase their stats, who's so far gone they actually thank you for what you did to them and call you their friend, and who can't be saved or turned back to who they werenote . You think Asriel's fall from grace into becoming Flowey was tragic? Congratulations, you forced that on another kid.
  • In Sans's penultimate attack, at the very end, right before he uses his special one, he absolutely loses it, and desperately slams you into the sides of the Bullet Board over and over again, his eye flashing with blue rage. He completely abandons the cold precision of his prior attacks. He has nothing left. No more patterns. No more Blasters. No more strength. No more strategy. No more Mercy. His only hope of survival is to mindlessly slam you again and again into the walls in a last-ditch attempt to end it before it's too late. But to no avail. Once you manage to survive that, it's over. You know it, and he knows it. His "special attack" will only stall you. It's the end for him.
    • Worst of all, the penultimate attack actually cannot kill you, even if your life is already at 1. No matter how hard Sans tries now, he has no chance of actually winning once he whips that out.
  • The No Mercy Path ending. Where to start?... After killing every possible enemy and Boss in the game, including the aforementioned and ultra-difficult Sans battle, Asgore is seen talking to a crying Flowey before greeting you. You're so far gone at this point, Asgore's own brain doesn't even register you as human. You immediately start a fight with him, despite him wanting to resolve things peacefully, and cut him down before Flowey finishes him off out of desperation to please you. Once he sees you're unimpressed, he tearfully begs for his life before being brutally hacked to pieces. Chara then turns towards you, congratulating you for your hard work, before erasing the entire game world, leaving an empty void where there used to be The Friendly RPG Where No One Has to Die.
    • Even the last-second stop of No Mercy is a bit heartwrenching. You try to avoid killing Mettaton NEO, and in his last moments, he realizes you were motivated either by fear of monsters or simply didn't have enough hatred to be utterly evil. This one good-ish action results in Dr. Alphys surviving to become the new Queen… and she's in a complete Heroic BSoD, cursing her cowardice for not killing you when she had the chance and mourning her friends.
    • Flowey's brutal death is even worse if you know his true identity. In fact, when Flowey tearfully begs you not to kill him, Flowey's Voice Grunting and face changes to Asriel's right before you kill him. If you're doing a No Mercy run after having completed a Pacifist run, where Asriel's character is explained, expect to feel nothing but misery.
    • During the final cutscene of the run, the Fallen Child takes control and kills Asgore and Flowey on their own, with no input from you, which can be Nightmare Fuel... but there's a single moment of reprieve from it. When Flowey reverts to Asriel's face and voice, and begs not to be killed, the Fallen Child falters. You have to push the button to prod them into finishing the job and brutally murdering their adoptive brother.
  • Once you've gone through the No Mercy ending, you will never be able to get the Golden Ending again. Ever. If you try for either one, the Fallen Child will simply remind you that they're in possession of Frisk's soul, and thus can destroy their happy ending at any time. Not even an uninstall and reinstall will reverse this; and it's your curiosity and pursuit of 100% Completion that caused all of this. You can do a little trickery on the computer versions to undo this, but no such exploits for the PS4, Vita, Switch, or Xbox One versions exist, meaning that your happy ending truly is FUBAR if you go No Mercy on those ports.

    Neutral Final Boss and Endings 
  • The fight with Asgore in the Neutral path. He starts by offering you tea, with a sad smile and saying it was nice to meet you. Then he averts his gaze and destroys the Mercy option so that you cannot spare him. Throughout the fight, he refuses to make eye contact with you. However, you can still talk to him, and he will react to it, ultimately lowering his attack and defense, which shows that he actually doesn't want to harm you, but feels that there's no other way. If you bring Toriel's pie all the way to this fight and use it, the smell will remind him of Toriel, further reducing his attack and defense. The theme music that plays during the fight, "ASGORE", combines powerful orchestral segments with parts that sound melancholic and desperate, adding to the tragic atmosphere of the scene. And when you finally defeat Asgore, the Mercy command gets rebuilt, and choosing it makes Asgore talk about how you could all be happy together, giving a glimmer of hope… Which is immediately and mercilessly stomped on by Flowey, who attacks Asgore by surprise, either killing him and destroying his soul or destroying what's left of him if you don't choose mercy.
    • Possibly even worse if this is another playthrough, and in the last one you killed Flowey (or if you spared him and got him to promise not to kill Asgore). He'll still give that same glimmer of hope… but he'll dismiss it, saying it's just impossible at this point. And then he'll force you to take his soul by killing himself. And then Flowey destroys his soul.
    • The lead-up to that fight as well, Asgore is nervous and heartbroken at the prospect of having to kill a child on his own. He spends the entire walk up to the final area doing his best to comfort a child on their way to their own execution (even making awkward small talk), trying to help the child cope with impending death in terms they can understand like being nervous about going to the dentist. At the end, he patiently waits until you are ready to get it over with. After the fight itself, he outright states that he doesn't care at all about power or revenge — he just wants his wife and son back.
    • One of the least noticed but most powerful details of the fight: no matter how low your HP is, Asgore's attacks will NEVER kill you unless you have 1 HP left. On top of that, with 80 ATK and DEF, if he put his all into it, he could probably one-shot a low level Frisk with EASE, but he only does a little bit more damage than the average monster. He stalls as much as physically possible, holding back as much as he can, and only kills you when he has literally no other options.
      Asgore: ...I so badly want to say, "would you like a cup of tea?" But... You know how it is.
      Are you ready? If you are not, I understand. I am not ready either.
    • "You tell ASGORE that he's killed you [X number of times]. He nods sadly."
      • Then as you keep restarting the fight, the last sentence will change to "He nods grievously." and finally "He nods pitifully."
    • "You tell ASGORE that you don't want to fight him. His breathing gets funny for a moment."
    • Say you want to go back when he offers you the last chance to turn back. "I see. Anything you want to do is important enough. Even something as small as reading a book, or taking a walk... Please take your time." Asgore really, really does not want to fight you.
      • This makes a depressing amount of sense that is even more tear jerking when you realize that Asgore is working up the courage to kill a child who is the spitting image of his own adopted child who committed suicide.
    • Before the fight, there's a save point in every single room, even though they're completely unnecessary as nothing really happens until the final showdown. It's possible that the Fallen Child really doesn't want to fight either and has to work up a ton of determination in order to confront their adoptive father. If the hand-knit sweater reading "Mr. Dad Guy" is any indication, Chara likely had a strong bond to Asgore in life. Note that these save points do not appear on the Genocide path.
      • Heck, at this point, put yourself in Chara's place. You cared for the one family implied to show you any kindness, tried to free them and everyone they cared about through killing yourself to cross the barrier and free them while getting revenge on humanity at the same time. Your plan failed horribly, and now you and this human you're stuck with have to kill your adoptive father, and you can think of no other way for you to get out of this situation. There's no advice you can give or want to give, and all you can do is watch on silently while this human makes the decision to kill or die to one of the monsters who showed you love.
    • This theory has several saddening interpretations of Chara, but perhaps what hits hardest is their speculation on why Asgore might choose to kill himself and try to give Frisk his SOUL, especially with the gut-punch at the end about how it compares to him encountering Chara in the Genocide run:
      "During Asgore’s suicide scene, he offers us up his soul, rather than let us spare him and let him live. Why does he do this? Partially, he believes that we are the angel who has seen the surface, that will one day lead the Underground to freedom, and that with his soul we may one day free them. But where does this faith come from? He says that he sees a hope in our eyes, a hope he saw in a human who fell down here long ago.
      But he killed, or ordered killed, all the humans that came to the underground, right? He would not have such positive memories of them. Except for ... Oh. Chara. He straight up TELLS US here that we remind him of Chara. And when you select >stare during the final battle with Asriel, it says that he sees the gaze of humans past out of our eyes. He trusts us because we remind him of Chara. (*)
      Let’s think about that for a moment. He would trust his soul to this child, who vaguely reminds him of Chara. Think about that, think about the kind of person Chara must have been, to make that trust happen even second-hand. Think about Chara, with a bright hope shining behind their eyes. Picture the sort of kid Chara may have been, when they were not caught up in the darkness of their hatred, that their presence helped to bring hope to the ENTIRE Underground. That even now, perhaps a century later, Asgore is willing to hand the future of his people into the hands of a stranger because they remind him of Chara, because maybe some part of him can see behind Frisk’s eyes and knows that Chara IS there, somewhere.
      Wow, they must have been a reaaaaaal demon, that Chara, let me tell you.
      (If you want to feel really sad about what the Kill-All run does to Chara, remember that when Asgore turns around and sees you, he doesn’t even recognize you as human. They have been rendered unrecognizable to one of the people most close to them by how deeply you have corrupted them)"
  • After you've defeated Photoshop Flowey and if you decide to spare the little flower, he repeatedly tells you that he hasn't changed or learned anything, and he'll keep coming back and keep killing. If you continue to spare him, his Nightmare Face fades away as he starts to break down and cry:
    Flowey: ... why? ... why are you being... ... so nice to me? I can't understand. I can't understand! I just can't understand...
    • This moment becomes even sadder after you learn exactly what Flowey is. As a creature with no soul, he is literally unable to understand compassion and love, and he's self-aware about it. In the No Mercy run, he even tells the player that he tried in several other timelines to love again, but he was incapable every time. His breakdown becomes even harsher in hindsight with that information.
    • He has a smaller breakdown after he reloads back to full health, though it's easy to miss until you learn his backstory:
      Flowey: Call for help. I dare you. Cry into the darkness! "Mommy! Daddy!" "Somebody help!" See what good it does you!
    • Flowey's screaming Villainous Breakdown as the SOULs betray him is a tearjerker, as his dialogue resembles a temper tantrum. It's a cold reminder that, despite everything, deep down, Flowey is still a child.
  • After you finish a neutral run, Sans calls you on your cell phone to tell you how the underground is doing. The contents of this call change depending on who you've killed during the game (if anyone). The worse endings can make you feel guilty. Even the better endings have some bittersweet element. The music that plays during this phone call is rather melancholic; it can make certain endings more heartwrenching.
    • If you befriend Papyrus, Undyne, and Alphys, you will get the best possible neutral ending. Everyone is getting along and holding onto hope, thanks to you. However, Flowey tells you that, despite everything, your happy ending did not come, then offers you a chance to go back, as your journey is still not over. This heavily implies that Frisk dies in this ending; the Underground is a better place thanks to Frisk, but Frisk will never get to see the fruit of their sacrifice.
    • If you spare all the major bosses but fail to befriend Undyne, she loses her job and her house and has to live with Sans and Papyrus. Because she hasn't gotten to really know you, she blames you for the disappearance of Asgore.
      • She will see you as a terrible person if you killed less than ten monsters, and she will seek revenge. It's the worst ending you can get as a Pacifist, as it implies you're no better than someone who actually killed.
      • If you kill only Mettaton, Undyne is heavily implied to hit the Despair Event Horizon, since Alphys has also disappeared. Even when Papyrus suggests that they could plot revenge on you (just so he can see you again), it only prompts her to reply that it "won't bring anybody back." Remember, it's Undyne, of all people who said that! Papyrus then pleads that you bring Undyne's friends back for her sake.
      • If you kill anyone (besides Mettaton) after befriending Undyne, she feels so hurt and betrayed and wonders why she ever let herself become friends with you. Papyrus delivers quite possibly his most heart-wrenching line in the entire game. He even appears as if he's about to cry-
    • If you killed Papyrus, Undyne, or more than ten monsters, Toriel tries to rule and enact a policy which humans that end up in the Underground are treated as friends. Nobody is in favor of this, and she ends up having to return to the Ruins. Fortunately, Sans keeps her company.
      • If you spared Undyne, she spearheads the rebellion and banishes Toriel back to the Ruins before assuming the throne herself, more driven to destroy humanity than Asgore was. If you killed Undyne, Toriel resigns from her position to stop a coup d'état, and returns to the Ruins while the Underground falls into anarchy.
      • If you killed Papyrus, Sans mentions that Toriel still wants to see you again, but Sans doesn't have the heart to tell her that, because she protected you, you went on to murder his brother. He finishes up by curtly informing you that you're not welcome in the underground again and that you should never come back.
    • If you kill Toriel but spare Undyne, Sans mentions that Toriel hasn't answered him. If you also killed Papyrus, Sans addresses the possibility that you killed Toriel.
      Sans: or maybe she's not feeling anything at all...? you'd better watch yourself, kid. things are lookin real bad for you.
    • If you killed Toriel and Undyne, Mettaton takes the throne. Though his dialogue is mostly lighthearted, he starts to break character when he mentions some of the kingdom's problems. He regrets how he treated Alphys and laments not being able to find her to apologize and ask her to rule with him. He creates a statue of her in her memory. Also, if you spared Papyrus, Mettaton lets him talk to you. Papyrus mentions that Undyne went missing, notes that people who don't like Mettaton's show tend to disappear, and seems to believe that Mettaton is responsible for Undyne's disappearance. Papyrus has no idea that you killed Undyne.
    • If you kill every boss except Papyrus, he leads the underground since there is nobody else left to lead, but he laments that he misses his friends. Papyrus is innocent enough to believe that Undyne and the others were on an extremely long vacation. An alternative interpretation is that he is fully aware of what happened them, but he has resorted to denial in order to cope.
    • If you kill all the bosses and at least one other monster (without carrying a No Mercy run into Hotland), Sans' call is very creepy. The Underground falls into chaos as everyone gives up hope. To make things even worse, Sans himself clearly feels a touch of guilt over what happened, as he says that things like this happen when people like him take it easy.
      Sans: hey, at least things are less crowded. 'cause of all the people you killed. hope that was a good experience for you. ...just kidding. i don't really hope that. go to hell.
    • Just the fact that in the endings where the player has killed Undyne and/or Mettaton, Alphys disappears, with the strong underlying implication that the loss of them has resulted in her being Driven to Suicide. Just let that sink in.
      • Should Mettaton become King at the end of a neutral run, he spends most of the call gloating about how his television show seems to have become popular across the whole Underground (that was almost devastated by your actions), but when he brings up Alphys, he seems genuinely upset about not having known where she had gone. It's also heavily implied that his decision to turn the Underground into a massive Egopolis is just to cover his pain and misery he gained from finding out the truth.
    • If you fail a Genocide Run at the Core, forcing it back into a Neutral Run with almost everyone dead, Alphys takes the throne. The first thing she says to you over the phone? "I just called to tell you. I hate you.". Not only is it so jarring to see from a normally very friendly Shrinking Violet like her, it gets even worse when she mourns all of her deceased friends and fellow monsters whom you killed: hoping that eventually, you would get her as well before Undyne's dying words (stated by her to be told in "crazed desperation") made her realise that she had to evacuate the survivors to the True Lab and protect them, even if it meant them learning the truth about her. She closes by musing ironically on the whole situation, that she could have saved everyone simply by killing you when she had the chance.
    Alphys: God... I miss everyone. Now that they're gone, it... It feels so clear what I should have done. What I should have said.

    Pacifist Final Boss and Ending 
  • The final boss battle... the TRUE final boss battle. Once you understand Flowey's true nature.
    • The Wham Line is this, after you've learned exactly who the final boss was in the True Lab.
    • It's clear that Asriel's form is based entirely on his idea of the Rule of Cool... which means that what he loves is rainbows, stars, and his mom. Even after everything he's been through, he's still just a little kid.
      • It also represents Asriel's mental status as an adult, possibly even older than his parents, as well as the total control he has over the SOULs and his power.
    • Falling in battle. ...But it refused. Death Is a Slap on the Wrist indeed.
    • To weaken the boss, you call out to and SAVE all of your friends, who don't remember you and attack you. When they realize who you are, they start cheering you on and promise to remain friends forever.
    • The saddest part of the above is that most of your friends simply revert to the negative feelings they had over the course of the game - Alphys talks about how nobody'd like her, Papyrus talks about needing to capture a human so he can be famous, etc... Then there's Sans, who instead begins saying things like "just give up, i did" and "why even try", in shaky text, devoid of his usual goofy Comic Sans MS font. It comes completely out of the blue and is one of the only major hints to Sans's existential depression in a non-No Mercy run. The fact Sans is the only lost soul whose text shakes like this gives the impression that he's showing a lot more emotion than any of the others, which considering both what we do know of his issues and the fact that... well, it's Sans, really drives home how much pain he must be in.
      • What's more, when he's saved, he doesn't even really take it back like the others do, simply saying he's "rooting for you". Every other lost soul's dialogue is about problems and issues you've gotten to learn about and help them through - seeing perhaps the most consistent ally throughout a true pacifist route talk about problems he's never mentioned combined with how inconclusive it is is a pretty jarring reminder that even when you save all the other lost souls, you don't ever get to help Sans, and you never truly will. Ouch.
      • Sans also says "you'll never see 'em again" which probably means not only does he remember Frisk, but he believes they can't defeat Asriel. Or, alternatively, it's connected to the photo in his secret lab and the implications that Sans has been trying to get back, or get back to, a person or people he's seemingly never going to be able to see again. Ouch.
    • The final sequence as Frisk reaches out to SAVE Asriel over and over, despite Asriel's protests and confusion. As the fight progresses, Asriel begs you to let him win so you never leave, and he doesn't have to be alone.
      "Huh? What are you doing...!? Wh... What did you do...? What's this feeling...? What's happening to me? No! NO! I don't need ANYONE! STOP IT! Get away from me! Do you hear me!? I'll tear you apart!
      ... Chara... Do you know why I'm doing this...? Why I keep fighting to keep you around...? I'm doing this... Because you're special, Chara. You're the only one that understands me. You're the only one who's any fun to play with anymore.
      ... No... That's not JUST it. I... I... I'm doing this because I care about you, Chara! I care about you more than anybody else! I'm not ready for this to end. I'm not ready for you to leave. I'm not ready to say goodbye to someone like you again...
      So, please... STOP doing this... AND JUST LET ME WIN!!! STOP IT!! STOP IT NOW!!!
      ... Chara... I'm so alone, Chara... I'm so afraid, Chara... Chara, I... I..."
    • The Call-Back to the first boss as Asriel's attacks start avoiding you, just like Toriel's. Even when he begins screaming and firing an unavoidable attack, he lowers your health to a miniscule fraction but can't bring himself to kill you.
    • Asriel saying that when he releases everyone's SOULs, he'll go back to being Flowey. And he does it anyways. This is doubly heart wrenching since he says that he doesn't want his parents to see him as he is now since it would break their hearts once more. He insists going back as Flowey without his parents knowing is better that way.
    • Asriel breaking down and crying, and being comforted by Frisk.
      Asriel: Frisk...I have to go now. Without the power of everyone's souls...I can't keep maintaining this form. In a little while...I'll turn back into a flower. I'll stop being "myself." I'll stop being able to feel love again. So... Frisk. It's best if you just forget about me, OK? Just go be with the people who love you.
      Comfort him
      Do not
      (Frisk walks over to Asriel and hugs him. Asriel hugs back, while Frisk rubs his back)
      Asriel: Ha... ha... I don't want to let go...
      • An interpretation that is possibly even sadder is how Asriel's character sprite cannot be seen while talking, implying that the person who said how they didn't want to let go was Chara.
    • And what does Asriel ask Frisk before he leaves? To take care of his parents. As if Asriel wasn't already a tragic figure, at a young age.
      • It's hard to say what's more rare: finding a Let's Play where someone picks "Do Not" or finding one that doesn't get choked up at the aforementioned Final First Hug...
  • Fridge Sadness sets in if you believe the theory that Chara is the narrator. First they find out their best friend and brother assumed dead and gone is back, and they seem excited to play with him again in his God of Hyperdeath form - at least until you call out to "Someone else" and he starts having his Villainous Breakdown, essentially giving them an Anguished Declaration of Love and talking about how lonely he is and how much he misses them, at which point the excited narration stops dead as though overwhelmed by emotion as well. Asriel then finally accepts that they're gone, when they're right there but unable to be seen or heard by him. Backtrack all the way to where you started the game and Asriel is standing in front of what's implied in other runs to be Chara's grave. Talking to him enough has him say Chara "wasn't really the greatest person" while Frisk is "the type of friend I wish I always had." Fans have interpreted these lines differently, typically believing either Chara was a Jerkass in life (and perhaps worse) or that Asriel is admitting they were flawed and no longer over-idealizing them, but it would probably still sting Chara all the same. Chara's final fate in Pacifist is not clear, but what are the three likeliest scenarios? They remain dead and remain in the Underground with Flowey forever as a ghost unseen and unheard by anyone, they remain dead and move on to the afterlife without ever getting their life back to reunite with their loved ones, make amends, or grow up together, or they still remain dead and continue as Frisk's narrator, only seen and heard by Frisk while forced to watch Frisk lead a happy life with their old family and now burdened with the knowledge of the lasting damage their plan did to their best friend and their family. Ouch.
  • For the True Pacifist Ending, all the monsters begging Frisk to wake up, with Asgore and Toriel reliving the Fallen Child's death. Asgore is trying to revive them with their words. When Frisk wakes up, Sans reveals that Papyrus was crying like a baby. Papyrus tries to deny it, but reveals that he had tears in his eyes. The thought that Papyrus would be sad about the human's death.
  • The final walk on the True Ending. Seeing everyone be happy and eager to explore the surface at long last.
    • If you take the time to backtrack... You meet Asriel where you originally fell down. He's remorseful, but happy you took the time to come visit him.
    • If you did have a last talk with Asriel, he'll warn you not that he'll soon transform back into Flowey. And so, once you open the game again, Flowey greets you. What does he have to say? He begs you and the Fallen Child to leave everyone in peace and not reset the timeline, that's what. And if you do want to, he asks to at least make it so even he wouldn't remember everything that happened.
      Flowey: So, please. Just let them go. Let Frisk be happy. Let Frisk live their life.
    • An easily missed bit of fluff, but speaking to Gerson has him reveal that Asgore and Toriel are a special type of monster that can't grow old unless they have a child. When the player character asks if they would work as a surrogate child, the shopkeeper scoffs and assures them "If you were Asgore's child, he'd certainly outlive you." It puts a sobering twist on what seemed like a perfect ending.
    • Throughout the game, the major characters you meet and befriend start to appear on your save screen whenever you start up the game, as the theme gets more instruments the further into the game you are. And then the True Ending completely empties them all out and replaces the theme with a low, more hollow and ambient tone. Your hope and determination let all the monsters leave the underground, but now it's a dull void, almost as if trying to scratch your itch to reset everyone's happiness so you can play through one more time.
      • If you do continue after the true ending, you can see everyone...except Asriel. He'll be gone.
    • As excited as everyone is, the Monster Kid still won't forgive you if you let them fall off the bridge.
      "Yo... Uh... Don't talk to me."
    • That entire walk, if you already know that you are really, truly never going to reset, never going to play the game again, so everyone can keep their happy ending. You both want to thank and strangle Toby Fox for giving you the chance to walk through the Underground one last time and say goodbye.
  • In the True Pacifist ending, if you go back to the place where you started, you'll meet Asriel in his true, child, form. He knows very well the atrocities he committed as Flowey and that he'll eventually regress into that form again. The worst thing about it is when he talks he can't even meet his mother and father, Toriel and Asgore, because he doesn't want them to suffer more.
    • The most tragic and heartrending fact, however, is that you cannot save Asriel. He is the only one which you cannot save from his fate. You are not even given the option to offer your own soul to grant Asriel a happy ending.
    • Easy to gloss over but this is the only conversation that acknowledges the fact that the mountain serving as the entrance to the Underworld is known by humans as a place of no return... and this is the only character who bothers to ask what you were even doing in a place like this to begin with.
  • After a True Pacifist run, loading the game again gives you Flowey, begging you not to ruin everyone's happiness by resetting, and the title screen is empty, with all the characters having left for the surface. The file select music still plays, but it's been slowed down to a dreary crawl, emphasizing the loneliness of the moment. Ultimately, the player and Asriel share the same awful fate: utterly isolated from all the friends they've made in the Underground, with no chance of ever meeting them again... unless they give into the hideous, selfish temptation of resetting the game and ruining everyone's happiness, just so they can have one more day, even if that day is the same day, over and over, forever. The accusation is that you're bored, or you're striving for 100% completion and you're willing to destroy these characters to get it, but it's a very lovable game full of very lovable characters. Undertale brings "if you love someone, let them go" into the real world in a way that games rarely do.
  • In the true Golden Ending (if you don't go down the Genocide Route beforehand), no matter what route you take -staying with Toriel or going places-, the words "THE END" will appear after the post-credits scene... followed by the very same music for the music box inside the statue in Waterfall... we're not crying, YOU ARE.

"You laugh, and keep laughing. It's SO funny, you can't stop. Tears run down your face."