- From "Night of the Sentinels, pt. 2", the second episode of the very first season, the death of Morph. Morph yells at Wolverine and shoves him out of the way of the Sentinel's energy blast. There's a flash of light, and then a cut to the telepathic Jean Grey falls out of her seat at Cerebro, wailing in psychic pain. Later, we see the Blackbird land and all the other X-Men solemnly disembark except Ororo, who stares at an empty, shadowed passenger seat and breaks down in sobs. And then this exchange:Wolverine: Soldier boy here (Cyclops) left them behind! For all we know, Morph and Beast may still be alive!Jean: Beast is.Wolverine: What about Morph?[Jean cries into Scott's arms][Gambit, eyes welling up with tears, puts his hand on Logan's shoulder]Gambit: He's gone, mon ami.[Wolverine stalks off to vent his pain and rage on Cyclops' car]
Wolverine: (tears the roof off the car) Tell Cyclops I made him a convertible.
- The dialogue between Wolverine and Jean:
Jean: What happened wasn't his fault!
[Wolverine drives away in his jeep.]
Jean: Wolverine! (in tears) It wasn't your fault, either...
[Cyclops stands by the garage door in silence.]
- Professor X's face off with Magneto, and what Xavier is forced to do to halt his former friend's rampage. With the potential nuclear catastrophe Magneto could wreak, Charles is forced to basically mind rape Magnus, invading his mind and making him relive his most horrific childhood memory. The way Magneto pleads, like the child he was when it actually happened, is heartbreaking.Young Magneto: Mama! Papa! No!Adult Magneto: No! Don't make me see. Xavier, I can't! Stop it! Stop it!Professor X: No, Magneto, YOU will stop.Adult Magneto: No! No more! AAAHHHH!!!
- It was sad to see Rogue and Nightcrawler believe Mystique had died for them through Heroic Sacrifice, and later we see Mystique's still alive and runs away crying from her birth son and adoptive daughter.Mystique I don't deserve your...PRAYERS!
- About said daughter, having Jean go inside Rogue's mind and heart after she gets her memories of Mystique and Ms. Marvel, having her lock Marvel's psyche away so Rogue doesn't go mad, seeing Rogue cry and beg forgiveness to Marvel as Jean does so and later the visit to the hospital... "Her name's Carol Danvers... we once were friends. *snif*" SNIFFFFF.
- Xavier and Juggernaut's common backstory was also very sad and well-done. Especially when Xavier finds out the truth about his long-dead stepfather Kurt Marko by scanning Juggernaut's mind and then commenting that to Beast ("She did love him... He only wanted her money..."), to which Beast sadly says "A father's sins...".
- Perhaps what's worst of all is after the memories all play out, Xavier is still quite affected by them. "I thought I was over this, but I was so young and it hurt so much."
- It's even worse when you realise the reason Juggernaut is such a Jerkass is because of the abuse his father gave him. From then on, he decided to take it out on the young Charles, who he blames for his father's mistreatment of him, and proceeds to try and ruin his life by any means - starting with him outing Charles as a mutant to his peers. Even though Charles doesn't entirely blame him for how his life turned out, he still can't get Cain to look past his Misplaced Retribution and let go of his decades-long grudge - Cain almost seems completely ungrateful to Charles after he has the team retrieve the Crimson Gem of Cytorrak which would save his life.
- In "Nightcrawler," both Wolverine and Nightcrawler exchange their views on God. Viewers find that Wolverine used to believe, but lost his faith.Nightcrawler: We are alike, you and I, angry at the world, and ourselves. My pain drove me to seek God. Yours drove you away.Wolverine: I used to buy into all that. But I've lived too long. And I've done too much.Nightcrawler: Life will always be hard. I understand this better than most. Yet despite it all, people of every faith believe there is a God who loves them. Can so many be wrong? Open your heart, Herr Logan. Would it hurt so much to see the world through different eyes?Wolverine: Don't tell me about God! What kind of God would let men do THIS [snikt] to me?
Nightcrawler: Why? Why must they always hate me?
- Nightcrawler tries to reassure him, but later by himself, he falls over and laments the hatred directed at him because of how he looks.
- The scene where Rogue tears up after seeing Wolverine praying out loud in the chapel.
- The "Proteus" 2-part episode. Once you realize that this rendition of Kevin/Proteus is more of a deeply unhinged and love-starved Psychopathic Manchild who only wants his Disappeared Dad to love him, you view everything that happened in a very sad light.
- The episode with Magneto, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch discovering their fucked up familial bond, Pietro and Wanda Calling the Old Man Out before abandoning him, and Magneto's despair and sadness that neither Xavier nor Beast can help him with.
- Also, the cry of anguish that Magneto lets out when his wife's headstone is knocked over during the battle is very powerful and heartbreaking.
- Are you kidding? The season finale where Professer X almost dies. He has a heart wrenching final speech on his death bed and all the X men are there.Xavier: Hello, Magnus. Surely you have more impressing business than nursing an old friend.Magneto: Nothing more important.Xavier: Thank you. It seems I have quite an audience. Thank you all. I'm grateful to have the chance, to say goodbye.. [and your tears start there]
Jubilee: "Can he ever come back?"Xavier: "Perhaps not in body, my children, but my spirit will remain among you, where it was always meant to be."
- Special points to the series' final lines:
- In the episode "Repo-Man" Wolverine has a flashback of how he met Heather and James Hudson, recently escaped from the Weapon X complex he was a wild savage who Heather had to tranquillize before he could kill her husband, they took him to their home and when Wolverine woke up he saw Heather but he was still in a berserker rage and shredded his restraints then advanced on her with intention to kill her. She pleads to him to listen to her and this:Heather: We mean you no harm...we only want to help you, you've got to listen to me...please.[Wolverine snarls with his arm shaking before he retracts his claws, grabs his head and kneels]Wolverine: Why did they do this?[he sobs while Heather kneels next to him and embraces him]
- In the episode "The Final Decision" Gambit angrily protests the apparent suicide mission to rescue Senator Kelly from the sentinels base. An injured Magneto emerges from the infirmiry to remark on how foolish the professor and the team is for continuing to pursue the dream. The professor simply asks his team "is he right?" One by one the X-Men decide to depart. Jubilee, most enthusiastic remarks leading to this exchange with WolverineJubilee: What's anybody waiting for? He needs us!Wolverine: Sit down kid, you're not goin'.Jubilee: (in tears) I'm not a kid anymore! I'm one of you, one of the X-Men. And it means more to me than anything in the world!Wolverine: Yeah, that's what it means to me too.
- Jubilee is then allowed to join the mission in a foolish yet poignant decision. By now the music has gotten terribly tragic. Rogue walks to the rest of the team while staring daggers at Gambit who angrily gives in and joins them too. As their jet takes off, Magneto watches from the ground with one last remark. "You're all fools! Heroic fools. The brave are always, the first to die." The X-Men musical score was underrated because it was perfect for moments like this. Every single time. The whole scene can be viewed here.
- One of the closing scenes for "Weapon X, Lies and Videotape"...it's just Wolverine sounded so old and tired while he despaired about what happened at the Weapon X complex and with good reason, that place is full of painful memories for him and it tormented him endlessly throughout this episode as he found out that most of what he remembered before he broke out of the complex was faked.Wolverine: What does it mean Hank? I came here to find answers...now I know less than I did before...can't even trust my own memories
- However, the carving on the tree suggested that Wolverine and Silver Fox really were in love. But as she said, "that was another lifetime."
- Cyclops calling out Corsair. This happens when they find each other in the worst circumstances possible, as Corsair has been framed for a crime and Cyclops is among those tasked with capturing him. Complete with a heartfelt, heartbreaking Calling the Old Man Out moment where Cyclops bitterly lashes out at his father as he explains his Dark and Troubled Past, in an exchange is pretty gut wrenching for a kid's show:Corsair: Son, how can you believe—?Cyclops: Don't ever call me that. For twenty years, I dreamed about my father - a man to look up to, a hero that sacrificed everything for the good of his family. It was your family you sacrificed! You threw us away so you could go knock around the galaxy!Corsair: That's not what happened!Cyclops: Oh?! Did I imagine the orphanage or the foster homes where nobody wanted me?! Tell me, 'Dad,' am I making this up?!
- Additionally, there's the scene in which one of Corsair's allies manages to reach for Cyclops and explain what actually happened. Cyclops's "My God, What Have I Done?" reaction when it sinks in says a lot.
- The last five minutes of "Child Of Light". It's just so touching...
- Corsair explaining to Cyclops what happened to his mother in "The Starjammers." Thing is, at this time, neither knows the truth, so Corsair isn't being delicate. Later on, he mentions his children, "I remember my oldest boy. He had his mother's eyes."
- Corsair is willing to risk everything in order to avenge his wife.Cyclops: Is one woman's life important enough to risk the fate of an entire galaxy?
Corsair: It was to me.
- There's a cruel irony in Cyclops' question, as he himself understood his father's dilemma when the Shi'ar declare Jean as the Phoenix to be a threat to the galaxy, and try to execute her.
- Corsair is willing to risk everything in order to avenge his wife.
- "The Fate of Phoenix." Once it becomes clear that she can't contain the Dark Phoenix forever, Jean begs Cyclops to finish her:Cyclops: Fight it, Jean! Use the powers of your mind!Jean: I can't fight it, Scott - never every second of every day, never slipping, not even for an instant! Scott, please, do it! (Jean begins to cry)Cyclops: I... can't!
The part of me that is woman wants to comfort him with every breath I take, but an empress must be made of steel even at the cost of her heart.
- Seeing that Scott was unwilling to finish her, Jean then sees no choice but to make a Heroic Sacrifice by energizing the Shi'ar Imperial ship's Wave-Motion Gun, and runs from Scott before blasting him away, as the weapon is fired at her, ending her life.Jean: I love you, Scott. Part of me will always be with you.
- Xavier senses that Jean had perished, and sorrowfully tells Lilandra "You've won.", but it's clear that no-one took any joy over what happened, and even Lilandra was in tears.
- Earlier in the same episode Xavier is having a Heroic BSoD over the defeat of his X-Men. Lilandra's adviser asks why she doesn't go to him and she replies:
- At the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga, as Lilandra departs, Professor X notices that their psychic bond has weakened somewhat. He asks her why, and the answer is heartbreaking:Professor X: Lilandra. Part of your mind is blocked from me. You've never hidden yourself from me before - why now?Lilandra: As empress, there will always be a part of me that will forever be alone. Goodbye, Charles.
- Seeing that Scott was unwilling to finish her, Jean then sees no choice but to make a Heroic Sacrifice by energizing the Shi'ar Imperial ship's Wave-Motion Gun, and runs from Scott before blasting him away, as the weapon is fired at her, ending her life.
- "Beauty & The Beast." Poor Beast. He falls in love with a normal human, Carly, and vice-versa. But her father is bigoted against mutants. This episode hammers home how hard Beast has it, as he laments his mutancy endangering his family and now Carly. He is unfortunately proven correct when the Friends Of Humanity abduct her. Though Carly is saved and her father's views changed, Beast still sacrifices his happiness.
- One instance in the episode has Beast in his room looking at his old family photos while Jean walks inside having made sandwiches for him. Beast acts descends into uncharacteristic rage by throwing the photobook away, then holding another book, and throwing into the mirror, breaking it. He then cries to himself, with Jean trying to comfort him:Jean: It's Carly, isn't it?Jean: We must think of how our gifts can benefit the world.Beast: Gifts? I can't be close to any human. I can't take the chance of endangering them - My parents, my brothers and sisters. And now...Now, the woman I love.Jean: Hank...I had no idea she meant that much to you.Beast: It was so much easier when I was consumed with my work. I could pretend that what other people thought of me didn't matter.
- Just how heartbroken Carly sounds after Hank says he's unable to be there for her operation, thankfully mitigated a bit by Hank going Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! and showing up anyways.Carly: [in tears] ...it was you I wanted to see...
- One instance in the episode has Beast in his room looking at his old family photos while Jean walks inside having made sandwiches for him. Beast acts descends into uncharacteristic rage by throwing the photobook away, then holding another book, and throwing into the mirror, breaking it. He then cries to himself, with Jean trying to comfort him:
- Gambit in "X-Ternally Yours" after having to deal with his past back home. "I am not assassin or thief. I am an X-Man, and I'm never comin' back."
- Anything related to Morph. Specially the episode dealing with his PTSD.
- Also, anything related to Proteus. Yeah, his backstory and powers were all bowdlerized, but it's still damn powerful stuff.
- The series's rendition of the Phoenix Saga. Where do we start?
- The one featuring Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Magneto. Even Beast and the Professor can't help feeling like shit for Magnus.
- The Bad Future in the episode "Days of the Future Past" when Wolverine past the graves of his fallen comrades. The camera angle zooms towards Jubilee hits him the hardest.
- Made even worse by the fact that, given their date of death, it's implied that Jubilee—the youngest of the X-Men—was the first to be killed by the Sentinels.
- When Bishop accuses Gambit of being the traitor that caused his Bad Future, the X-Men begin to question Gambit, making him feeling alienated. Even Rogue is unsure what to think in light of these accusations. Gambit storms off after realising that his own teammates won't stick up for him in front of this mysterious, gun-toting stranger:Gambit: Don't nobody trust Gambit?!(Gambit looks towards Rogue, who lowers her head and cloes her eyes in response)Gambit:...Then Gambit don't need nobody. (Walks out of the War Room)
- The episode that revealed some of Rogue's origin, and showed how she gained her super strength and ability to fly: By absorbing too much of Ms. Marvel's powers she accidentally absorbed Carol Danvers' mind. For years Carol was trapped inside Rogue, becoming warped and twisted over Rogue stealing her life while her body lay comatose in an hospital. Combined with Rogue's guilt over this is that Professor X could only offer the option of sealing Carol away until they could figure out what to do, so that way Rogue wouldn't be driven insane by Carol nor be haunted by her guilt. (And as she takes it, Rogue is crying in Jean's arms and begging Carol to forgive her.) What's worse, the second time Carol has to be sealed involves Rogue being forced to take an active hand in the process. Though the end of the episode seems to imply that Rogue was able to transfer Carol's mind back into her comatose body."Her name is Carol Danvers. We were very close."
- That final scene between Rogue and Mystique was pretty rough, too.Mystique: Xavier's gone! Only I can help you. Only I could ever help you.
Rogue: (crying) You never loved me. You only cared about my powers. You made me worse than a killer!
Mystique: How can you say that? I raised you like my own!
Rogue: I ain't your daughter, Mystique. Not anymore!
- This is more poignant when Rogue was paraphrasing what her father said to her when he found out she was a mutant.
- That final scene between Rogue and Mystique was pretty rough, too.
- In the episode of "Storm Front", Storm discovers that the ruler of an alien world, Arkon, who she fell in love with, isn't as noble as he made himself out to be, and is actually an oppressive tyrant who enslaves people to build the tower to control the atmosphere. Storm flies off in a rage angry at Arkon's deception and nearly destroys the capital. It's only Jubilee's words that calm her down and bring her to her senses. After freeing the slaves, the Arkon and his homeworld, destroying her statue and the tower (which also controls the slaves) before returning to Earth. The final scenes of the episode show she was clearly heartbroken over everything that occurred.
- "Bloodlines" sees Nightcrawler finally encounter Mystique. She's Brutally Honest about how his birth outed her as a mutant, but the conversation doesn't go as she expects.Mystique: You were inconvenient. I suppose you hate me for that.
Nightcrawler: No, but I am sad for you.
Mystique: Sad? You want to talk about sad? I am a shape-shifter, an outcast even among mutants trusted by no one! I don't have a life of my own; I just steal little bits from other people's lives, but that's how I survive. So, there's your truth, "Son": I didn't want you! Still sad for me?
Nightcrawler: I will beg God to bestow His grace on me so that I may learn to forgive you. Then I will ask Him to bestow His grace on you so that you might learn to forgive yourself.
- Mystique is presumed dead at the end of the episode, but viewers see her alive.Nightcrawler: Why did she sacrifice herself for me?
Rogue: I don't know. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, preacher. This faith of yours has an effect on people. Maybe you got through to her.
[Mystique walks away, crying]
- Despite being a stark-raving mad genocidal racist, Graydon's inner turmoil over being related to and abused by Mystique and Sabertooth as the normal son of two of some of the most villainous mutants in history is heartbreaking. Their horrible treatment of him kicked off his entire descent in mutant prejudice. Especially when he breaks out in angry tears as Nightcrawler tries to talk him out of his hatred when he tried to kill Mystique.Nightcrawler: Stop this! She is our mother! She gave you life!
Graydon Creed: She is a mutant! She gave me misery and shame! She has to suffer, all mutants must suffer! (weeping)
- Mystique is presumed dead at the end of the episode, but viewers see her alive.
- The two-parter "One Man's Worth" feature Bishop and Shard chasing two rogue mutants ordered by Master Mold to kill Charles Xavier in the past in order to alter the future. We see the "present" being changed due to the professor's assassination, with mutants freedom fighters fighting the Sentinels and Magneto as the leader of the mutants. Among the mutants are Storm and Wolverine who, in this timeline, are married, and we do see that despite the hardships, the two are in love with one another. When Bishop confronts them (as he is familiar with them being X-Men) to prevent Charles' assassination in order to set the timeline back, the two are willing at first but then realize that this will change their relationship. Wolverine relents, not wanting to lose his married life. Storm asks him if he's willing to sacrifice a peaceful world, Wolverine sheds a tear and says that he will sacrifice anyone for her, before finally agreeing. Considering how much the two have been through in the real timeline, finally seeing them happy but having to give their happiness up for the greater good is heart-wrenching.Wolverine: If we save this Xavier clown, we'll end up working together, not being together. [holds hands with Storm as their engagement rings shine]Storm: Darling, will you condemn the whole world just to keep our love?Wolverine: You bet I would. I don't care about anything else.[the two kiss but with sadness on their faces]
- As much of a Complete Monster that Sabretooth is, seeing his memory of being trapped in a basement and the implication of being beaten and tortured by his father to "get the wickedness" out of" him is equal parts horrifying and heartbreaking, and it serves as a direct allegory for abusive conversion therapy. The comics reveal that said treatment included forcibly and painfully removing young Creed's fangs, only for his healing factor to make them grow back. It's no wonder he turned into the violent psychopath Sabretooth, who would inflict the same treatment on his own son, Graydon. Seeing the normally sociopathic mutant just breakdown like a scared little kid is both jarring and sad. Even Wolverine pities him.Jebediah Creed: (wielding a wooden club) He's no son of mine. He's some kind of animal. He's full of wickedness. That's what is is... but don't you worry boy. Jebediah Creed knows how to get the wickedness out of you!Younger Creed: (cowering) No, please, please pa! Not again! I'll be good...Sabretooth: (on the verge of tears) I'll be good...
- The episode "The Lotus and the Steel", Jubilee is choking up while begging Logan not to leave the X-Men. And he has to tell her that in his current state, he's not fit to be one of the X-Men.
- In "The Cure", we're introduced to Warren Worthington aka Angel, who's spending the night with someone named Gisela in a cabin, but feels he can't get close to her because because of the shame of being a mutant. Just then, Cable breaks in, presumably having being tipped off of Dr. Adler's location, and a fight breaks out between him and Angel. Admist the chaos, Cable escapes but a frightened Gisela accidentally shoots Warren, thinking it was the former. Warren survives, yet flies off - exposed as a mutant, and too ashamed to return.(A blinded Gisela points the gun at Warren)Warren: No, dont!(Gisela fires, knocking Warren out of the balcony)Gisela: No! I didn't mean to..!(Gisela runs to the balcony to search for Warren, but sees him flying off)Gisela: I'm sorry...
- In "Obsession", Rogue's Big "NO!" when Gambit gets trapped behind the walls of Apocalypse's ship, and both of them trying to futilely destroy the extremely thick metallic wall between them. Gambit had been trying to talk Rogue out of this mission the entire episode, followed her there anyway, and now looked like he might get killed for his trouble, and Rogue knew it.
- The last few minutes of the episode when the entire team manages to barely escape with their lives, but at the cost of the AI system on the ship with which Beast had bonded. Beast is inconsolable, Rogue is full of remorse, the rest of the team is angry with both Rogue and Archangel for dragging them into such a pointless and dangerous situation, and Archangel's obsession hasn't abated in the slightest.
- Gambit's Anguished Declaration of Love to Rogue in Reunion, Part 2, and their Big Damn Kiss, is a Heartwarming Moment as well as this. It's heartwarming to see them acknowledge their feelings for each other, but it's a TearJerker in the context that it's happening: both of them depowered, Rogue terrified and about to be taken away by the Nasty Boys, Gambit unable to help or protect her, and neither of them sure if they'll survive this mission. All Gambit can do is tell her loves her and at least use their lack of powers to kiss her before she's taken away.
- Later on, when their powers are restored, Gambit looks particularly pissed off and venomous - possibly because of all this.
Tear Jerker / X-Men: The Animated Series