Follow TV Tropes

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


Tear Jerker / Universe Falls

Go To

To prevent page clutter, please limit tearjerking moments to those that are unique to the story, and do not originate from Steven Universe and Gravity Falls.

    Arc One 

    Arc Two 
  • In "Summerween", after Dipper loses the candy stash needed to appease the Summerween Trickster, Pearl loses her temper and says she always knew Summerween was a waste of time. Steven doesn't take this well, throwing his spaceman helmet to the ground and calling Pearl out.
    “I thought you were finally giving this a chance!” the young Gem exclaimed, tears streaming down his face. “That you were giving me a chance! This wasn’t just about trick-or-treating! This was about us spending time together! About us having fun together! You never wanna do regular human stuff with me! But… I think I get it now…”

    Arc Three 
  • Centipeetle sacrificing itself to save Steven and his friends from the baby pterodactyl in "The Land Before Swine".
  • There's a melancholy moment in "Straight to Video" when Wendy admits her mother died in a car accident, and Steven commiserates with her over his own Missing Mom.
  • In "Dreamscaperers", in contrast to Soos and Mabel's strange and silly nightmares, Steven's is much more hard-hitting: Bill conjures up images of the Crystal Gems scolding Steven for losing his Gem (which was stolen by Bill when Steven entered the dreamscape) and saying that he's not good enough to be a Crystal Gem.
  • The scene were the twins supposedly have to leave Gravity Falls is even sadder in the UF version of "Gideon Rises", especially with how torn up Steven, Connie, and the Gems are about having to say goodbye to them.

    Arc Four 
  • Steven and Dipper get into a pretty intense argument with Pearl in "Marble Madness". You can tell both boys had enough of people refusing to take them seriously or listen to them.
  • As if Amethyst wasn't going through enough angst in "Into the Bunker" (which throws in plot elements from "Reformed"), the Shapeshifter manages to demoralize Amethyst by taking on the form of Rose Quartz, driving the Gem to tears before delivering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • It's rather heart-breaking in "Together Forever" to see the normally-cheerful Maven nearly break down after some serious teasing from Pacifica. Even Pacifica feels like she's gone too far and curtly apologizes.
  • Near the end of "Together Forever", poor Maven has a Freak Out! and runs off into the woods when they can't bring themselves to de-fuse before Steven and Mabel's personalities fade away completely, because they're afraid that they might never get the chance to form again.
  • "Forever Alone" has Stepper finally de-fusing after a heated argument between Dipper (who Steven accuses of pushing everyone away) and Steven (who Dipper accuses of trying to force their fusion without considering Dipper's feelings) that leaves both boys full of regret.
    • Heck, even Stepper arguing with himself prior to the defusing is sad and cringeworthy, even if your first instinct is to laugh at it. At first it seems like a harmless quirk, but when you get down to it, he's basically a chronic introvert who has undergone the ultimate personal space invasion as well as a well-meaning extrovert who's just trying to get the former to come out of his shell. These conflicting priorities stuffed into the same headspace is a volatile and arguably toxic combination that turn Stepper into an unstable wreck.
  • The reveals in "Rose's Scabbard" are made more heartbreaking when Pearl learns how much Rose apparently confided in the Author of the Journals. Her reaction reads like someone who found out that their now-deceased loved one was cheating on her behind her back.
    “Who was he? Why didn’t I know him? Why did he matter so much to her that she would trust him… over me?”
  • In "Dipper and Lapis", Lapis's guilt over being forced to leave the human captured on Homeworld that she befriended behind when their escape attempt went south.
  • In "The Return", Manly Dan has to convince Wendy to evacuate with him, saying he doesn't want to lose her like he lost her mother.
  • Lapis formally meeting Stan, and apparently mistaking him for Ford AKA the human friend she had to leave behind.
  • Lapis forming Malachite in order to trap Jasper is even more heartbreaking than in canon, because she's not just trying to protect Steven, she's trying to protect Dipper, with whom she's formed an incredibly close bond of friendship just a few short chapters ago.

    Arc Five 
  • "Full Disclosure" pulls no punches, as it's all about the Mystery Kids struggling to come to terms with the events of the Arc Four finale:
    • Mabel tries to join Amethyst in celebrating and cheer up Dipper, who's still reeling from the climax of "Jailbreak" and Lapis Lazuli's Heroic Sacrifice.
      Mabel: Did you hear? We won!
      Dipper: What?
      Mabel: I, uh... I said we won, bro-bro! As in… everything’s ok now, just like it’s supposed to be!
      Dipper: No, it’s not... we didn't win.
    • Poor Steven is even more guilty about the events of "The Return"/"Jailbreak" than in canon, because Dipper and Mabel got hurt trying to help him.
    • Dipper and Mabel thinking about how Stan and their parents would react to the events that just occured.
    • Dipper heads down to the lakeside, trying not to think about how he feels like he's to blame for Lapis's predicament... and then his hat washes up on the lake shore, as if Lapis was trying to return it to him despite being trapped in a fusion with Jasper at the bottom of Lake Gravity Falls.
    • The chapter includes new lyrics for Steven's "Full Disclosure" song, with him worrying about Dipper and Mabel as well as Connie.
    How am I going to save you?
    My problems shouldn’t be yours anymore.
    I know you just want to help me
    But this is more than everything we’ve faced before.
    • Stan tries to throw a little party to cheer up Mabel, even making home-made treats with Soos's help. But he just makes Mabel feel so guilty, she bursts into tears and confesses to everything that happened in the last two chapters that she and Dipper were keeping secret from Stan.
  • Dipper in “Joy Ride” has let his depression over Lapis briefly consume him, and Mabel ships Robbie and Tambry so hard in part because she wants to distract herself from the events.
  • In "Sock Opera", Dipper's concern for Lapis Lazuli and hopes that the laptop might contain information that he can use to help her are a source of much angst, from Bill Cipher using it to help guilt-trip him into making a deal (and eventually succeeding) to Dipper having a nightmare about Lapis and Jasper.
    • Dipper and Mabel's argument over the puppet show is even more heated, and more heartbreaking when Mabel says that helping Lapis isn't more important than her "sock opera" and immediately regrets it.
    • At the end of Part 1, after Bill possesses Dipper's body and destroys the laptop, just to rub salt in the wound he also tears up Dipper's pictures of his brief time with Lapis, which as far as Dipper knows is all he has left to remember Lapis by.
    • In this version, Steven is present for the deal, and witnesses the above actions.
    • In Part two, Steven is so disturbed by Bill's actions in Dipper's body that he makes a deal not to tell anyone about it in an attempt to get him to stop his Self-Harm.
    • When Bill harms Dipper's body as punishment for Steven trying to hint that something's up, Steven tries to heal him and fails.
    • A distraught Steven is on his knees calling out to Dipper, not sure to believe Bill about him being a ghost, that he's sorry he was too late to stop him from making a deal with Bill and breaks into tears. Dipper float besides Steven wishing he can talk to him right then and there it's not his fault.
    • Mabel finding what is implied to be the UF version of the note Bill left in the canon Sock Opera.
    • Dipper, out of shame at his failed deal with Bill, refuses to let Steven treat his injuries, despite how severe they are (including broken ribs, a twisted ankle, and a stab wound in his shoulder).
    • Dipper feeling out of place in his own body after regaining control, and at the end of the chapter, the full weight of the grief from the Malachite situation and his failure to save Lapis despite making the deal with Bill hits him, and the last scene is him crying on the floor of his room.
  • In "Do it For Them", we learn that ever since Sock Opera, Dipper has been suffering from Bad Dreams, implied to be sent by the real Bill, mainly about Lapis.
    • Mabel feels a bit of sadness when she sees Steven and Connie being Jam Buds, probably because she wishes it was her.
    • Steven and Mabel's guilt about pushing Connie and Dipper to learn swordsmanship so badly, and their worries when things start going too far.
      • Steven tries to call Connie to talk to her about it, but she's so focused on training that she doesn't even hear him, and he can't say it again and just hangs up the phone.
      • Mabel feels guilty not just for the sword fighting thing, especially since Dipper still isn't healed from his wounds yet, feeling that she pushed him into the deal with Bill. Stan saying that he supports Dipper learning how to fight, unaware of the context, only makes things worse.
    • When Mabel finds Dipper pushing himself despite his injuries (which Pearl knows about) and finds out about his Tears of Blood as a result of Bill's possession, she shows him the note Bill left in a last-ditch attempt to get him to see reason. All this does is get Dipper to notice how Bill apparently planned to kill Mabel after killing his body and gets him even more focused.
    • Dipper revealing that part of the reason he was pushing himself so hard was that he hated how helpless he felt when Bill stole his body and all he could do while Steven, Mabel, and Connie fought was watch from the sidelines, and he wanted to make sure he'd never go through anything like that again.
  • "Society of the Blind Eye":
    • Mabel trying to deal with her feelings for Steven, or at least confess them to him, even if she knows he likes Connie.
    • Steven trying to convince Dipper to let him erase his Bill memories.
    • Connie sees Steven with the memory gun, so Dipper covers for him.
    • Just how much hate the Society has for the Gems, and their reactions to seeing it, especially the x's through the pictures of Rose.
    • Amethyst openly wondering if Rose would really have told them what was going on about their memories.
  • In "Northwest Mansion Nightmare", Pacifica is overcome with self-doubt and flees, ready to leave the party guests to their doom rather than open the gates to the mansion and risk her parents' wrath. It's only a timely talk with Connie that convinces Pacifica to face her fears and save the day.
  • In "Not What He Seems", Amethyst is the one hit hardest by all the secrets Stan was keeping, as she had always considered him her closest friend. Even so, she still struggles to keep her trust in Stan, going so far as to fight Garnet and Pearl to stop them from hitting the override button.
    • Garnet's increasing horror when she realizes her future vision is failing her. For the first time in her existence, she has no idea what could happen next.
    • The Gems are horrified when the realize they have vague memories of the hidden basement beneath the Mystery Shack, and even more so when they see replicas of their gems decorating the perimeter of Stan's device, implying their erased memories had something to do with a possible doomsday device.
    • Poor Steven is dragged into the fight to shut down the machine when he turns out to be stuck next to a secondary override switch that can only be activated by his shield. He's so torn on what to do that he's essentially frozen in place.
  • "A Tale of Two Stans":
    • Ford and their Ma Pines attempted to stand up to Filbrick when he tossed Stan out, but Filbrick cowed them.
    • Ford's reaction to finding out that not only do the Gems not remember him, but Rose is gone too, so he never got to repair their friendship.
    • The Gems' fearful reactions to Stan insinuating that Rose had something to do with the Gems losing their memories.
    • During the entire time that they knew each other, Ford never mentioned Stan to the Gems.
    • Stan telling Ford not to treat Steven as a Replacement Goldfish for Rose.
    • Unlike the more bittersweet ending of the episode, here when Mabel asked Dipper if they'll end up like Stan and Ford, Dipper only reassures her in an indifferent tone. As he's still angry at her and Steven for choosing to trust Stan over Dipper, leaving Mabel more depressed and fearful for the future.

     Arc Six 
  • "Lost and Found" is full of moments, as it's all about everyone coming to grips with the events of "Not What He Seems" and "A Tale of Two Stans", and trying to get to the bottom of the Crystal Gems' missing memories:
    • The story opens with Steven mysteriously having a flashback of his mother Rose Quartz writing a message to Stanford, knowing there was little chance of him ever getting it, apologizing for everything that happened between them.
    • There's a lot of tension all around... between Stan and his brother, between Stan and the Gems (especially Amethyst), between Dipper and Mabel...
    • Greg and Stanford's conversation about Rose, and how much she missed Stanford and blamed herself for what happened to him. And though he tries to hide it, Stanford is deeply moved when he finally gets Rose's letter.
    • Dipper's big argument with Mabel and Steven over choosing to trust Stan over him. Especially when Dipper dismisses Mabel's claims she'd do just what Stan did if Dipper was lost in another dimension; the irony is extra-cruel to fans of the "Relativity Falls" AU, where Mabel and Dipper take on the roles of Stanley and Stanford respectively.
    • The Gems' reactions to their lost memories. Garnet is dumb-struck, and Pearl is horrified by recalling how the Gems were "tricked" by someone (And given that she whispered only two words into Ford's ear, that someone is likely Bill). Amethyst takes it the worst, as she's furious that the only reason she could see Rose Quartz taking such drastic measures is to "fix one of her mistakes".
  • "Cry For Help", as could be predicted, has a lot of moments like this as well, some leading off of the previous episode.
    • The Gems are all still clearly upset by what happened in the last episode, but trying to pretend that they aren't.
    • Stan is worried about Amethyst, especially since she didn't come to him to complain about Sardonyx.
    • Steven blaming himself for everything Rose did to the Gems and Stan. Luckily Stan snaps him out of it.
    • Amethyst having a self-deprecatory outburst due to the combined angst and guilt of the mess with the portal and her memories and Sugilite.
  • Dipper breaking down in grief when talking to Ford about Malachite.
  • Pearl is so depressed about what happened in the previous chapter that she doesn't feel that she deserves to be happy playing with Dipper and Ford.
  • The mad math wizard destroying Dipper's sword.
  • When captured by Probabilator and told what he plans to do to her Gemstone, Pearl honestly can't decide if she'd rather be there or at home with Garnet, with how tense things are between them, and seems honestly a bit unsure if Garnet would actually come to rescue her.
  • Ruby and Sapphire's argument in "Evergreen Inn" is expanded on, enough said. Even worse, Stan makes some comments on how their relationship must not be that strong after all if they're fighting like they are.
  • Amethyst is still mad at Stan in "The Stanchurian Candidate", and even uses the tie to humiliate him.
    • Why didn't Stan tell Amethyst about Ford? He didn't want to put the same weight that he had on his shoulders on hers.
  • As is Pearl's canon angst in "Friend Ship" wasn't bad enough, we also have the stuff about the erased memories and Ford's own feelings.
    • Peridot also makes a crack about how only a Pearl would have fallen for her hologram trick, and it clearly bugs Pearl.
  • In "Chille Tid, Part 1", when Dipper learns Steven can communicate with Lapis, he desperately begs Steven to try and convince her to break up Malachite and come back.
    • When Steven tries, Lapis refuses to listen to reason, shouting "Just let me do this for you, Dipper!"
  • It's hard enough in "Chille Tid, Part 2" to see Rose having to fight agains Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl (all of whom have been possessed by Bill Cipher), but afterwards Ruby, Sapphire, Pearl, and Amethyst are all traumatized in various ways from their possession. It's the real reason why Rose Quartz erased their memories of Bill and everything related to him, including the portal and Stanford; they were in such a state she wasn't sure they could recover on their own.
    • According to Garnet's story, Bill tricked the other Crystal Gems into their "deals" by revealing Rose was going to have a half-Gem child with Greg. Steven immediately (but thankfully briefly) becomes convinced that the Gems wouldn't have gotten into that mess if it wasn't for him, and he wasn't even born yet!
  • Rose tries an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight with Pearl when Bill is controlling her. It seems to be working, but then Bill takes control again. Then Pearl tries to turn her spear on herself before Rose stops her.
  • In "The Last Mabelcorn", a guilty Dipper has a nervous breakdown after he attacks Ford, thinking him possessed by Bill. Fortunately, Steven is there to reassure Dipper that it'll be okay.
  • Rose was once told by a certain unicorn that she wasn't "pure of heart", and Pearl still seems bothered by it.
  • When Bill fuses with Peridot into Pyrite, he wastes no time insulting the Gems.
  • When Mabel hugs Peridot, who was frantic at the thought of Bill being around, Peridot doesn't even know what a hug is.

     Arc Seven 
  • The plan to reconcile Stan and Ford with the campout actually works, with both reminiscing about their childhood adventures, but then Ford says something about how they can't stay out there forever, and Stan gets the idea to try and extend the trip...
  • Peridot unwitting hurts Amethyst's feelings by revealing her "defective" nature, like in canon, and Stan is furious at her for it. After expressing his feelings on how Amethyst is the best out of all the Gems he's met, he consolidates with the Quartz because he's also used to being a defective screw-up.
  • Ford's guilt over what happened to his old friend Fiddleford after their argument over the portal, blaming himself for what happened as a result of his traumas.
  • Things between Ford and McGucket quickly devolve when Fiddleford accuses Ford of letting the portal project go too far because of his pride, to which Ford retorts that Fiddleford just washed his hands of the whole thing and buried his head in the sand instead of trying to help stop whatever damage it caused, when even Rose came back to lend a hand after she quit.
  • When Ford is thrown out of his and Pearl's robot due to McGucket pushing forward on it with anger, he lands hard, and McGucket is horrified but what happened.
  • In "The Answer", Steven's canon worries about discovering that he hasn't visibly aged in years is only made worse by remembering what Bill said to him earlier.
  • Pacifica nearly has a breakdown in the Titan's Ore mine, where she despairs and feels that she'll never be better than her parents. Luckily, Dipper is there to comfort her.
  • Steven and Mabel are both rather hurt by Peridot's apparent betrayal, despite all the trust and friendship that they showed her. Even Dipper, who never trusted Peridot as much as they did, does his best to reassure them instead of pulling an I Warned You.

    Side Materials (Unmarked Spoilers
  • The Pink Twins AUnote , where Dipper and Mabel end up dying and being brought back to life by Steven, turning pink a la Lion or Lars. The sheer amount of times the twins almost die means there's a stunning amount of possibilities for how things can go down and how it affects those around them.
  • Another angsty AU that sprung up due to fan discussion and "what if?"-ing is one where Dipper gets captured by Homeworld forces and Yellow Diamond turns him into a ruthless cyborg assassin known as "the Stonemason", who is sent to eliminate his former friends and family, not unlike the Winter Soldier or the Masked Man from MOTHER 3. And because she loves angst so much, Minijenn is considering including it as a plot arc in the sequel.
    • Apparently Lapis's reaction to Stonemason being Dipper is going to be just as bad (or even worse) than that of Dipper and the other kids to Malachite.
  • What happened to Dipper in the Crystal Falls AU. Abducted by Earth loyalists, struck blind, and kept captive for seven years, with no company except some Geodites. And when he's finally set free, he's furious at Mabel, Stanley, and Stanford for giving up on him. But then he proves he still loves his family by agreeing to be possessed by Bill Cipher, then seizing control of "Bipper" and trapping himself in an abandoned Kindergarten.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: