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Tear Jerker / Warrior Cats

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"Moonflower...? Moonflower, it's me! Bluepaw!" (to Pinestar) "Why won't she get up?"
Bluepaw, Bluestar's Prophecy

Bet you never expected these cats to break your heart so much.

For examples from Dawn of the Clans, see here.

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     The Original Series 

Into the Wild

  • The death of the great warrior Lionheart, one of the noblest and pure members of ThunderClan.

Fire and Ice

  • Cinderpelt's lament of, "I'm never going to be a warrior, am I?"

Forest of Secrets

  • Forest of Secrets has Silverstream's death, which is made even worse by the ending where Graystripe leaves ThunderClan.
  • Silverstream and Graystripe's subplot is incredibly sad, mostly because it ends with the eternally cheerful Graystripe completely broken.
  • Bluestar revealing to Fireheart how she became leader: during a hard leaf-bare (winter), she had to give up her kits to RiverClan to become ThunderClan's deputy instead of her fellow warrior Thistleclaw, a violent War Hawk who would have caused needless bloodshed had he become leader. During the journey to RiverClan with her kits, a snowstorm was raging, and one of her kits froze to death in the cold winter. The other two, Mistyfoot and Stonefur, survived and grew up to become RiverClan warriors, but they never knew that Bluestar was their mother. She eventually overcame her grief to become deputy and then leader, but the pain of losing them always remained with her, and she never stopped wondering if her sacrifice had been worth it.
  • Graystripe giving up his kits to RiverClan because he doesn't want to cause any more bloodshed over them, not after everything else that's happened. As he's taking them to the river with Fireheart, he decides he can't abandon his kits...because he's leaving ThunderClan to be with them in RiverClan. Fireheart is heartbroken, but the two old friends share a final goodbye before Graystripe leaves for good.
    • Goldenflower's farewell to the kits also hits hard. When they were in ThunderClan, she loved them and cared for them as if they were her own, fully prepared to raise them and watch them grow up alongside her own kits...and then she has to say goodbye to them forever, knowing they likely won't remember her as they grow up in RiverClan.

Rising Storm

  • Bluestar's mental breakdown after Forest of Secrets.
  • Runningwind's death. Just when he was getting more screen time and looking important, he's suddenly dead.
  • Yellowfang's death. Especially when she tells Fireheart that she wishes he was her son, instead of Brokentail.

A Dangerous Path

  • Snowkit, a tiny deaf kitten, was carried away by a hawk, all the while crying for help, with no hope of being rescued.
    • It's made even more heartbreaking when Brackenfur immediately takes off in pursuit, despite the others sadly remarking it's a useless gesture.
  • Brightheart's mauling and name-change can hit pretty hard, especially because she was such an innocent and sweet character.
  • Bluestar's death in A Dangerous Path.

The Darkest Hour

  • Stonefur's death.
  • Whitestorm's death at the end of The Darkest Hour turns many readers into a blubbering pile of snotty goo.
  • Hell, Darkstripe's death scene. Sure, he was a traitorous piece of scum that poisoned a kit, but him dying on the ground, saying that "It's all black... There's nothing left..." was just.... Sad. Then, of course, Graystripe ruins it by saying, "Well, that's one less traitor in the forest."

     The New Prophecy 
  • Feathertail's death in Moonrise.
  • At the end of Twilight, Cinderpelt dies. Yes, their whole character arc of being hit by a car and never being able to be a warrior, yet managing to be a good medicine cat despite this, all while watching the cat she loves having kits with another she-cat, and remaining supportive of him despite this ends with them lying dead in ThunderClan territory.
    • The ending of Twilight in general is set up as one giant Tear Jerker. Leafpool leaves the Clan to be with Crowfeather, realizes that the badgers are going to attack ThunderClan, and breaks up with him, leaving both bereft of love and happiness. (especially Crowfeather) During the badger attack, Cinderpelt is killed while trying to protect Sorreltail and most of the camp is destroyed, leaving the Clan to have to rebuild it all. Stormfur and Brook return and Sorreltail gives birth to a kit named Cinderkit in memory of Cinderpelt. Pretty depressing ending.
      • Don't forget that the kits being born are her brothers'. Yeah...
  • The very idea of the Clans leaving the forest which they had lived in for generations.
  • Crowfeather realizing that Leafpool loves her Clan over him.
Crowfeather: "Your heart lies here. Not with me. It was never truly with me."

     Power Of Three 
  • Honeyfern's death, just after a tender moment with Berrynose.
  • When Ashfur died, despite his unfortunate total psychotic breakdown.

     Omen Of The Stars 
  • Longtail's death in Fading Echoes. Briarlight being crippled, too.
  • Everything about Briarlight. What should be the happiest day of her life turns into one long nightmare because she tried to save a cat, who died anyway.
    • Her breakdown in Night Whispers, where she confesses to Jayfeather that she feels utterly useless to the Clan and shouldn't be looked after because she's dead weight.
    Briarlight: I don't hunt. I don't fight. I don't do anything! ...So I don't deserve to eat.
    • Earlier in Night Whispers, Millie cracks under the stress and implies that she thinks Briarlight would be better off dead. Briarlight hears every word of this. This line in particular sticks out:
  • That last line in Sign of the Moon, "I will wait for you forever, Jay's Wing!"
  • Firestar's death at the very end of The Last Hope.
  • Hollyleaf's death, which is stretched out long enough for one goodbye with Leafpool.
  • Like her or not, Spottedleaf's second death. She died protecting Sandstorm, the mate of a cat she loved, and what else? She's gone for good now.
  • Mousefur's death. She and Longtail reunite in a Moment of Awesome, and then a Dark Forest warrior kills her. Longtail's reaction cinches it.

     A Vision of Shadows 
  • Alderheart and Sandstorm had a really sweet bond. Then Sandstorm's death came along. The scene itself was tearjerking, but when you think of all she'd been through...
  • Poor, poor Needletail. She spends the entirety of Shattered Sky in a perpetual state of misery due to all of the crap she goes through, and is brutally killed off only after starving half to death in a humiliating fashion and nearly drowning. The worst part? All of this happened due to her own actions.
  • Twigpaw's imaginings of her potential father guiding and encouraging her are absolutely heartbreaking.
  • Alderheart's reaction to Twigpaw's Never Found the Body Disney Death is heart wrenching to read, even if she's revealed to be alive.
  • Purdy's death, especially for longtime fans.
  • Briarlight's death, dear Star Clan, Briarlight's death. It was so sad that there were two whole chapters detailing her death itself and her vigil, and the atmosphere of it all is just so heartbreaking. If you somehow made it through the whole thing without at least tearing up, you have no soul.


     Expanded Universe 
  • In Code of the Clans, the death of Badgerpaw and his warrior name request to his mentor is quite sad.
  • Mosskit's death in Secrets of the Clans.
  • Bluestar's Prophecy: From Bad to Worse
    • Bluestar's Prophecy gives us the deaths of Mosskit, Moonflower, and Snowfur. The first's death is especially heartwrenching.
    • Bluestar's Prophecy as a whole is pretty much just one giant Tear Jerker.
      • "I'll sleep out here now, with you." ARGH. Why, Vicky, why!? Just goes to show even the most courageous warriors in the clan start out as innocent kits.
  • Scourge (then called Tiny) leaving home because he thinks that he is unwanted. "Goodbye Mama"... in The Rise of Scourge.
  • The Star-Crossed Lovers Ryewhisker and Cloudberry in Code of the Clans. One moment, you're pregnant and all's well, but the next your Love Interest dies at the paws of his own clanmate, all just to protect you, driving an even bigger wedge between both of your clans.
  • Crookedstar's speech to Mapleshade at the end of Crookedstar's Promise. Also counts as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome and a Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming.
    Mapleshade: "Your punishment is complete now, Crookedstar. You have lost everything."
    Crookedstar: "No, Mapleshade. You're wrong. I still have a clan that I love and am proud to lead. And now... everything precious to me is here, in StarClan. My family is waiting here for me, when my ninth life has passed. It's you who have lost. You have no power over me anymore."
    Mapleshade: "I have destroyed you!"
    Crookedstar: "No, Mapleshade. I still have the cats that I loved. You have nothing and no one."
  • Crookedstar's life as Crookedkit was heartwrenching. The whole scene where he is conscious of his twisted jaw and is trying (painfully) to eat outside of the medicine den for the first time but is wracked with shame and embarassment is almost too much to take. Then toss in the total agonizing descriptions of his mother's rejection of him due to his accident and it's a sobfest.
  • And another one from Crookedstar's Promise after Crookedstar and Oakheart fight over how Crookedstar should treat Silverkit.
    Crookedstar: How can I love her, when everyone I love dies?
  • Crookedstar staying with Minnowkit and Willowkit after Willowbreeze dies and the kits are pretty much left to die from their greencough. It only gets sadder when he wakes up, the kits tumble away from his body limply, he pulls them back into the nest and Mudfur has to tell him that they've died in the night.
  • Yellowfang getting banished from ShadowClan in Yellowfang's Secret. There's also when Yellowfang says goodbye to her apprentice Runningnose.
    Runningnose: I'm so sorry! I'll prove it was a fox! You'll be back soon! Come to the next half-moon Gathering!
    Yellowfang: Runningnose, you have been a dear and loyal friend, but I cannot stay here. Not as long as Brokenstar rules. This is not the ShadowClan I pledged to serve. They are lucky to have you. May StarClan light your path, always.
    Runningnose: But, Yellowfang-!
  • Cloudstar's Journey as a whole is just one massive Tear Jerker where we see how Cloudstar went from an idealistic cat with great faith in StarClan to the bitter broken cat he is in Firestar's Quest.
  • Tallstar's Revenge gives us the deaths of Sandgorse and Shrewclaw.
  • From Bramblestar's Storm:
    Bramblestar: I miss Hollyleaf.
    Squirrelflight: So do I.
  • In Bramblestar's Storm, Bramblestar notices that one of the kittypets, Frankie, has been sneaking off for long periods of time. He follows him to find out why, and it turns out that Frankie is looking for his brother, who he was separated from when the flood came. Bramblestar agrees to help him, and after a bit of searching he finds the body of a drowned cat matching Frankie's description.
  • Another Bramblestar's Storm one: Seedpaw drowning while trying to receive the Memorial Stick. Lilypaw is inconsolable, Bramblestar is blaming himself, and Seedpaw's father Brackenfur reacts with this resigned, weary sort of sorrow when he hears the news, as though so much has been taken he doesn't have the energy to really be sad anymore.

  • Dovewing's Silence pretty much builds its foundation on tear jerking scenes including:
    • Opening to Thunder Clan sitting vigil for all of the fallen warriors. Special points go to Sandstorm and Dustpelt, both of whom are inconsolable at the losses of their mates, as well as Leafpool, Jayfeather, Bramblestar and Squirrelflight who have no time to mourn despite the fact that they all lost immediate family. Leafpool is too busy tending to the wounded, Jayfeather and Bramblestar are on their way to the Moonpool and Squirrelflight is too busy running the camp.
    • Brackenfur discovering Sorreltail's body in the nursery. Lilykit and Seedkit explain that they've been trying to wake her, maybe she's too tired from the fighting? Brackenfur's completely dissonant, "Tired..." makes it even worse as he clearly doesn't know what he'd supposed to do. Dovewing rushes the kits out of the nursery and notices they're covered in their mother's blood. And she barely manages to get them out before Brackenfur starts screaming, "Sorreltail, please don't leave me!" loud enough that everyone in the clearing hears him.
    • Purdy having to wake everyone up after the vigil and ask for help to bury the dead because he's the only elder left and he can't do it on his own.
    • Birchfall wanting to help carry his mother's body but being yelled at by his father that his betrayal of his Clan has lost him any right to her. Dovewing wanting to console her father but being told by Ivypool to leave it alone and then explaining the hostility they along with the others have gotten since the Clan discovered they were training with the Dark Forest is particularly heart wrenching.
    • Ivypool telling Dovewing that she feels she (Ivypool) deserves to die for serving in the Dark Forest. Especially if it meant that Hollyleaf would have lived.
    • Dovewing, throughout the novel, notices that Jayfeather is upset and she assumes it has to do with them losing their powers. When she goes to talk to him about it she finds him trying to treat Foxleap's wounds. Foxleap who is so injured that he's been put into a poppy-seed-induced coma. Jayfeather literally tells her that he does not care about their powers, tells her to leave him alone and let him do his job. She leaves and then at the end of the chapter comes back just in time to hear Jayfeather screaming about how he did everything he could for Foxleap and asks Star Clan why they won't let him save his Clanmates.
  • The reveal that Ravenpaw died offscreen? Very sad. Hearing him talk about how much he misses Barley, still watches him in their old home, and looks forward to the day the two are reunited? Tissues, please.
    • It gets even sadder when you read Vicky's statement that Barley will not go to Star Clan. Mercifully, this ends up not proving true in the actual series. In Ravenpaw's Farewell, a dying Ravenpaw is offered a place in StarClan, but declines on the grounds that he wants to stay with Barley. He's assured that there's a place waiting for both of them.
  • Dustpelt's personality in Bramblestar's Storm after his mate Ferncloud and his children Foxleap and Icecloud die. That means that he outlived his mate and five of his seven children.
  • Despite how horrible Mapleshade is, her backstory in Mapleshade's Vengeance is extremely tragic. She was once a ThunderClan cat who fell in love with a cat from a different Clan, Appledusk of RiverClan, and bore him three kits. She planned to raise them as ThunderClan kits, but the medicine cat, Ravenwing, discovered her secret and told her Clanmates what she had done. Her entire Clan turned against her and threw her out along with her kits. She tried to take them to RiverClan by crossing the river, but a flood swept them away and they drowned. Appledusk and RiverClan blamed her for their deaths, and Appledusk took a new mate. Now completely alone without a Clan to go to, or her kits to care for, the only thing left for Mapleshade was a desire for revenge on the cats who had wronged her. She successfully blinded Frecklewish and killed Ravenwing, but died in a Mutual Kill with Appledusk (after finding out about his new mate), with her last words being that her desire for vengeance would never sleep. Even in death, she would never know peace or see her kits again—she was banished to the Dark Forest for her crimes, and spent her afterlife continuing to plot her revenge. She could have been a great hero and loyal warrior like Bluestar or Sandstorm, but she was twisted into a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds by horrific tragedy and chose to bring death and destruction upon countless innocent cats.
    • Mapleshade's revenge consists of killing three cats who had played parts in getting her and her kits exiled from her Clan, one for each kit: Ravenwing, who exposed her secret, Frecklewish, who openly denounced her, and Appledusk, who rejected her. After she kills them all, she expects her kits to appear and thank her for avenging them...but she hears nothing.
    • The usually-noble ThunderClan's horrific treatment of Mapleshade's kits when they're revealed to be half-RiverClan. Ravenwing immediately exposes the truth of their heritage to the Clan, despite knowing what it will mean for them. Oakstar sentences them to exile along with their mother. Mapleshade's former mentor Bloomheart coldly agrees that they don't belong in ThunderClan. Frecklewish screeches at them, calling them "half-Clan creatures" and shouting for them to be driven out (especially jarring, considering how much she loved them when she thought they were her brother's kits). Not one cat speaks up for them or their mother. Not one cat stops to realize that they're just kits, that they shouldn't be held responsible for what their parents did. No matter what Mapleshade did, her kits never deserved to be punished in such a cruel way.
    • Mapleshade's subtle realization that despite promising to love only her, Appledusk was seeing both her and Reedshine at the same time.


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