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Tear Jerker / Love Live!

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Everybody Cries in this scene, especially the audience.
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Love Live! is a series about a group of girls trying to save their school from closing down by forming an idol group in hopes of attracting new students. Unfortunately, the road to that success is not easy, and there are many tear-ridden mishaps along the way.

WARNING: As a Moments page, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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    Anime 
  • The first major one was in Episode 3; After spending countless hours training for their first concert, even spending half the episode passing out flyers for the event, Honoka, Umi, and Kotori are finally ready. And then they are greeted to an empty auditorium room thanks to Eli shutting the whole thing down. Even Honoka is holding back tears, feeling that all their efforts were wasted. Luckily, it turned out alright.
  • Nico's backstory, and why she's so critical of the group. She's always wanted to be an idol, and even formed a group with some other students in her first year, but everyone else quit, leaving her alone. No wonder she's so harsh on them, since they're gathering members, fans, and going from strength to strength. After she joins the group, she gives them orders during practice, and then tears up as she watches them begin to work.
  • Throughout the first seven episodes, Eli is exceptionally antagonistic to μ's, moreso than any other character. Whereas Nico is critical of the group's performances and efforts but, as a fellow aspiring idol herself, wants them to improve, Eli wants μ's to straight up quit. It's pretty disheartening watching her consciously try to crush the hopes and dreams of a group of girls who just want to save their school from closing down in a way that brings joy and entertainment to others. Though we soon learn that her resentment of idols comes from a failed ballerina career (a Tear Jerker in and of itself) and she later warms up to and joins the group.
  • Episode 11. Everyone, even Umi, makes it a point that Honoka is overexerting herself and getting way too serious with her training, but she ignores them, believing that she has to work her absolute hardest for the culture festival. She even goes as far as to go jogging on the night before the festival, in rain, while she's showing clear signs of a cold. The result: She wakes up on the day of the festival late, barely able to walk to the other side of her bedroom, and arrives late at school. She manages a Heroic Second Wind long enough to perform with everyone...but right at the end of their first song, she collapses on stage to the horror of the rest of the group and the audience.
  • Episode 12 may as well be called Tear Jerker: The Episode. To elaborate:
    • Eli explains that after speaking with Director Minami, µ's entry into the Love Live was revoked.
    • Yukiho goes to check up on Honoka to see if she's fine, only to find her cooped up on her bed, sobbing into the screen of her netbook, seeing that µ's has dropped out of the Love Live rankings; everything she had worked hard for is falling apart fast at this point.
    • That idol goods store that was carrying µ's merch a few episodes back? A store employee there places an A-Rise flyer over a group shot of µ's.
    • It seems like things are starting to get better—Honoka has recovered and can practice again, the rest of the group has forgiven her for fainting during the concert (though to be fair, they also admit to being indirectly responsible for it), and they intend to hold another performance at some point even if they can't compete in the Love Live, and best of all, the large number of applicants has ensured that Otonokizaka will remain open for at least another year. And then, during a party amongst µ's to celebrate the latter, Umi finally reveals to everyone that Kotori intends to leave Japan to study fashion abroad, sending the entire mood of the party crashing and burning, with Honoka being the most heartbroken about it.
    • And finally, the ultimate Tear Jerker Wham Line of the first season, spoken by Honoka. While her citation of no longer needing to perform to keep the school open as a major reason for it may come off as childish especially from the perspective of the other girls (especially Nico), keep in mind everything else bad that's happened so far in this episode; that last bit is simply what finally breaks her:
    • Umi delivering an off-screen slap to Honoka, with the rest of the group sans Kotori watching, after the above Wham Line. And then the usual ending theme rolls.
  • The last episode of season 1: All nine members of µ's are back together on stage. And in a scene similar to that of episode 3 the group starts their performance of Start:Dash. Except instead of them standing for an empty theater, the room has a full audience, showing how big µ's has become as an idol group over the season.
  • Season 2 episode 5 focuses on Rin and shows that behind her usually bright smile she actually has quite the complex about her tomboy image to the point that she genuinely can't see herself as pretty due in no small part to the teasing she used to receive as a child whenever she wore a skirt. This resulted in her flat-out refusal to wear a beautiful dress and star as the center for the fashion show because she thinks she'd drag μ's down. What really sells it is that, after convincing her best friend Hanayo to wear the dress instead, she's shown looking longingly at it and later own while at home looks at herself with another dress and determines that it wouldn't look good on her. Fortunately, the other girls make sure that Rin realizes she really is pretty and convince her to wear the dress by the episode's end.
  • Episode 10 of the second season has a fairly minor one for A-RISE. Tsubasa talks to Honoka privately to discuss something that has been bothering her. When they are alone, Tsubasa mentions how despite the effort they spent, A-RISE ultimately lost to μ's in the final round of the preliminaries, thus eliminating them from the Love Live competition. A short scene to emphasize that is a flashback of the three A-RISE members walking away after seeing the results of the competition and as they do, the lights of an A-RISE billboard go off. Anyone who has been on a competition would surely know the pain of falling short of what you set out to achieve, despite your best efforts.
  • Episode 11 of the second season is this in its entirety. Holy shit, the scene where the first and second years announced that μ's will retire after Love Live. HOLY SHIT.
  • After their Love Live performance in episode 12, the audience asks for an encore. What song do they decide to perform? The opening song of the first season, for extra epicness.
  • Episode 13 of season 2 has its share of emotions as well as Eli, Nico, and Nozomi graduate and get ready to move on with their lives. And then there's the scene where Honoka uses a mop to "paint" the μ's symbol on the school rooftop - where they usually trained. As the members leave the rooftop one by one, the symbol slowly fades away, accompanied with flashbacks of their training sessions and happy moments, clearly signifying that yes, μ's is no more. The rest of the episode is equally heart-wrenching...at least until Hanayo gets a text message.

     The School Idol Movie 
  • Like in the anime's ending, Honoka is ready to disband the group, when suddenly everyone wanted µ's to goes on. This really upsets Honoka when they're having fun in New York, even causing her to get lost (among other things).
  • When µ's successfully gathers all school idol groups in Japan, she uses this opportunity to announce µ's disbanding for all to hear. That's it, SUNNY DAY SONG is µ's final performance...
    • Except this is not. After all that, the group is still performing at Akiba Dome for the 3rd Love Live! finals, when they perform Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari, which is µ's farewell song.
  • The ending sequence of The School Idol Movie, especially their clothes on the ground seen in the credits, which makes a strong impression of them being eventually vanished from existence.
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    Others 
  • Some of the lyrics to the songs are this, or at least a Fridge Tearjerker. Loveless World and Mermaid Festa vol. 1 are two good examples.
  • The announcement of the Final Live, for longtime fans of µ's.
    • The Final Live itself; their final encore is appropriately "Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari"note , the song played over the movie's end credits. On both days, when the off vocal version of that song played right as µ's left the stage, the audience in Tokyo Dome (and the ones watching worldwide via official livestream) started singing. Ima ga saikou!note , indeed. In the second day, the last µ's performance, even the voice actresses are crying when they finally say their goodbye.
  • Love Live Sunshine can produce happy tears in the second episode, when it's stated that the group is regarded as legendary. They definitely came a long way from those curtains opening to reveal an empty auditorium.
  • Rina Tennoji's backstory, with her having shown her emotions before, but due to her parents not being there for her most of the time due to their jobs, Rina lost her emotions, and that is why she uses the Rina-chan Board in the first place.
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