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Tear Jerker / Ward

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Unmarked spoilers below.

  • In Flare 2.4, Victoria comes across one of the broken triggers and tries to help her, but in the end, the most she can do is give her a hug before her trigger kills her.
  • The entirety of Interlude 4b, when it isn't pure Nightmare Fuel. Brutally highlighting Rain's seemingly hopeless situation and how unhappy his life in the Fallen community is.
    • Made even worse when he finds Erin crying in his workshop after a traumatic encounter with a Fallen higher up. Rain seeing one of the few good people in his life, a person he has strong feelings for, reduced to tears is heartbreaking.
  • Interlude 5d, the fourth of Rain's Interludes, is capped off with a scene that can only be described as soul crushing. The one good thing about Rain's connection to the Fallen has been Erin, and Rain has repeatedly been shown having romantic feelings he wished she reciprocated. Then, to reward him for acting as a sort of spy for the Fallen and co, Erin is forced into proposing to Rain, who knows how accepting would destroy Erin. His one wish is poisoned by the toxic influence of the Fallen and turned into a sadistic choice, which leads to...
    • The tragic fight between Rain and Erin, where Erin begs Rain to stay and accept the proposal she didn't want to give, knowing that if he doesn't she is doomed to be married off to a much more vile member of the Fallen. At the same time Rain is forced to refuse the one thing he always wanted because he knows accepting would ultimately ruin Erin, and neither of them would be able to escape the grip of the Fallen if he did.
  • Interlude 7.x is one massive tear jerker from start to finish, revealing just how fucked up Kenzie's life has been due to bullying as well as physical and mental abuse.
  • Any scene where Kenzie smiles is this trope, thanks to the reveal that she only smiles when she's explicitly not happy. In Blinding 11.2, after the reveal about Chris, she laughs and giggles, which is even worse.
    • Say nothing about Rain's visceral reaction. He flips a table after being told what kind of a person Lab Rat was, and the implications of someone like that seemingly being a close friend. When Natalie tries to offer to clean the mess, Rain simply states that he's promised long ago that he'll clean up his own messes and take the burden of them. At least Tristan pulls him into a hug at the end.
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  • Vista's noble, albeit fabricated end in Heavens 12.all. A hero to the last, she orders Carytid to leave, save her own life, and take care of her teammates when it becomes clear that the fight is unwinnable. Spouting defiance even when impaled on March's rapier, her last words are "Fuck you". When March's power seemingly explodes her chest, knocking her out, the fighting temporarily stops as everyone is stunned that it happened.
  • Swansong's death. While attempting to take out Ingenue, she ends up facing off against Spawner, a clone hybrid of Crawler and Breed. Swansong repeatedly condescends to the Humanoid Abomination to the extent he's actively wishing that she was more afraid. Even Ingenue taking away her Required Secondary Powers doesn't stop Swansong, she doesn't hesitate to use her blasts even as they literally rip her apart. Even after members of the Flock come to finish Spawner, Swansong adamantly refuses to become Valkyrie's thrall. Having completed her mission, she dies with no regrets. One of the last things Ashley says before passing is that she's glad, if only because Kenzie will be safe.
    • Kenzie's breakdown at seeing her favorite person, who promised never to leave her, die while she can't do a thing to help. For the first time, even her Stepford Smiler response fails, as Kenzie she can't do anything but sob until Tattletale gives her a Cooldown Hug.
  • From Within 16.12 includes a scene where Tattletale's power is used to generate visions. One such vision is of Riley attacking Dr. Yamada with a knife and being strangled by Yamada in response. The chapter notes that Yamada quit being a therapist and that Riley never came back after everyone went missing. Either Riley suffered a relapse and Yamada killed her in self-defense or Yamada was Evil All Along and murdered Riley, who tried and failed to defend herself. Either would be tragic.
    • Sundown 17.6 clarifies that Yamada grew concerned over how secretive Riley was being about something in her makeshift lab and, with the knowledge that contact had been lost with other people who'd been stranded, Yamada assumed the worse and insisted on being shown what Riley was up to. Yamada claims not to remember if she grabbed Riley first or if Riley lashed out first, but it escalated to violence. Riley turned out to be innocent, just defensive about some sensitive equipment. She elected to stay behind in the other world, with Valkyre visiting periodically, out of a combination of guilt at hurting Yamada and, Yamada assumes, feelings of betrayal.
  • Tristain's Heroic Suicide. After a series of emotional setbacks when his mom and old boyfriend reject him, he's already a prime target for turning into a Titan. Regardless, he still teams up with the remnants of Reach to keep fighting, even as Breakthrough warns him not to. When he miscalculates Byron's response time, the latter's new ability ends up getting Tribute killed. Tristain is so overwhelmed with guilt that he's seconds away from turning. To save his old friends from being killed and his brother from being trapped inside him again, Tristain uses his Dishing Out Dirt powers to kill himself.
    • Even worse is how guilty Byron must feel. Remember, his head injury prevents him from remaining conscious while swapped out. So the last thing he'd remember before finding out his brother is dead would be their teammates begging him to change while he's frozen in shock, followed by Tribute's body being frozen/breaking apart.