Dragon Ball/Tear Jerker

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Yes, Power Levels go Over Nine Thousand, defeated villains are Easily Forgiven, and all kinds of other ridiculous stuff goes on in Dragon Ball. But that doesn't mean it can't make you cry.

  • The end of Mystical Adventure. When Upa gets the courage (from Goku) to ask Shenron to revive his father. More of a so happy it's sad moment really. What really makes this scene is the song Dragon Ball Densetsu playing over it.
  • When the Masked Fighter is revealed to be Gohan Sr. in Dragon Ball. Goku begins to cry as he hugs his grandfather. Bulma even says "Gosh, even Son's crying!" A rare occasion indeed.
    • This is even sadder when Goku thinks he'll be reunited with his grandfather again, but realizes that Grandpa Gohan can't and has to return to the afterlife.
      • It gets even worse when adult Goku sees Vegeta transform into a Great Ape and makes the connection about what happened to his grandfather. He realizes that HE was the Great Ape that accidentally killed Grandpa Gohan, and says that if he loses the fight and dies, that he'll personally apologize to him in the afterlife.
  • Vegeta breaking down and crying Manly Tears as he lays dying, his heart punctured by Freeza, telling Goku the story of how their race was murdered by the tyrant.

"Defeat Freeza... I beg of you... Freeza must die... by... A Saiyan's... Hands..."


Frieza: It seems our game is over, Vegeta. Now that we're done here, its time to send you crying home to mommy.
Vegeta: My mother's dead.
Frieza: I know.


"Kakarot... Listen. Destroy... Frieza. He made me what I am... Don't let him do it to anyone else... Whatever it takes... Stop him... Please"

    • The fact Vegeta is reaching out to Goku with blurred vision from tears makes this all the more poignant. This is directly after he's told Goku that Freeza took him when he was just a child and used the threat of killing his father to keep Vegeta under his thumb and then did so anyway.
    • In both examples, the true Tear Jerker moments of the scene are that Vegeta even when dying does not ask for Goku's pity, but simply for his vengeance as he reveals the evil the Saiyans did under the manipulation of Freeza making the viewers realize that they were loyal to him, but Freeza killed him to protect his own megalomaniacal agenda.
    • This scene is made even more powerful considering what Goku said right after Vegeta's death:

Goku: "Goodbye, Vegeta. You weren't as cold-hearted as you thought you were. A heart of stone couldn't have shed tears like that. You must have been holding them back your entire life. (Sadly) I'm the only one left. [creates a grave] Now I see. You weren't grieving for your own death, or the death of our home planet, you were grieving because he (Frieza) made you what he wanted you to be! You never had a chance to decide for yourself! [lays Vegeta to rest] Well I still respect you. You may have made a lot of mistakes, but now I see that they weren't all your fault. You had the fiery will of a Saiyan. Please share that with me now, because I need it. Thank you for saving my son's life and buying time for me to recuperate. I will do all that I can to carry out your wish. (To Frieza) Vegeta's right, you have no honor! For him, and for everyone else you've destroyed, I am going to finish you!"

    • The original version is even more moving, as it is a pivotal point in Goku coming to respect and take pride in his Saiyajin heritage.

Goku:"To think that a man as yourself would shed tears... and to beg... what you endured must be unimaginably frustrating. I understand... moreso than having your entire race murdered; it is to have your free will and pride ground under his feet; a pain I cannot start to imagine. I hated you so much, but I've always respected you for proudly defending your race's honor.... Now lend me some of that pride, for I am a Saiyajin who grew up on Earth!! (Turns to Freeza) For the Saiyajin race you exterminated, and for all the Namek-Jin you murdered, I shall defeat you!!"


"Pathetic... to think that the Demon King Piccolo should fall protecting a child... I have been... contaminated by the decency... of both you and your father... Gohan... though I have been... cruel towards you... you remain the... only person who has ever spoken to me... with kindness... These last few months with you were not that bad... Please don't die... Gohan..."

    • It's even sadder in English (Ocean dub, kept by Funimation until Kai) version, especially one of Piccolo's last lines:

Piccolo (while shedding tears): "Gohan, you're like the son I never had."

  • Gohan's death in the Trunks special. Enough said.
    • Skyward Scream in Japanese, Big No in English
      • This is what triggered his Super Saiyan transformation; what makes it worse is that despite this, he's still no match for them and they allow him to live to satisfy their own sadistic pleasures. Trunks had just gotten stronger, but it was completely pointless.
    • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Making it more satisfying when he after training to beat Cell, had become much stronger than the Androids and gives exactly what's coming to them; made even more awesome when he beats Cell in his first form, the form that arguably had suffered the least humiliating damages compared to his higher forms, ridiculously easy.
  • Android 16's dying speech to Gohan

"Son Gohan... it is not a sin to wage violence for a righteous cause... some people simply cannot be reasoned with. Let your feelings flow free, and unleash your power. I understand your pain, but there is no need to hold back any longer... The forests and animals that I love so dearly... Please protect them for me... I'm counting on you."

  • Goku's second death. His Heroic Sacrifice might not get you, but Gohan's anguish afterwards certainly will ("It's all MY FAULT!!!!"). The episode is aptly named Gohan's Pain.


    • The punch to the gut comes in if you catch the fact that Gohan, by this point in the series, had started to call Goku "Dad" or the more formal and mature "Father." He's still in SSJ2 mode, he just literally kicked the shit out of Cell and caused him to have a Villainous Breakdown. But, just for that one moment, he snaps back and becomes the scared little kid from the first few episodes of the series.
    • Goku's Last Words on Earth: considering how infamous Goku is for being gone a lot of the time, and the whole Arranged Marriage thing, there are always people skeptical about how much Goku cares about his wife, and sometimes even his son. But after saying goodbye to his friends, and getting ready to teleport...

Goku: You've worked hard up to now, Gohan. You were amazing!

Gohan: D-dad...

Goku: Tell your mother I'm sorry. *disappears*

    • Although the fact that the next thing we see him do is nervously trying to explain himself to King Kai killed whatever drama that moment had.
  • Everything leading up to Vegeta's death against Fat Buu. EVERYTHING

Trunks... Papa has not hugged you once... not since you were born. Please let Papa hug you."

    • What really drives this one home is Trunks' reaction. On the one hand, he's much too cool to let his best friend see his papa hug him, but it's a very happy kind of embarrassed.
      • Not to mention Goten's reaction of looking innocent and sucking his thumb.
    • And his last words especially.

Vegeta: Trunks...Bulma.. I do this for you. And yes, even for you, Kakarott.

    • This is exactly why so many people were so upset that this ended up being a Senseless Sacrifice.
    • The others' reaction to learning of his and Gohan's deaths. Especially Bulma and Videl.
  • The moment leading to Tenshinhan's Heroic Sacrifice in the Saiyan Saga certainly fits in. As the battle gets intense against Nappa, an injured Tenshinhan sees his friend Chiaotzu, who has already died, saying sorry for not being strong enough, and then fades away. Then he regains the strength to stand on his feet:

Tien: Chiaotzu, I won't let your sacrifice be in vain, I promise! This Saiyan goes down right now... or I'll be...with you again soon!

    • A montage is then shown of the times they had together, and it ends with Tenshinhan firing his last one-armed Kikoho at Nappa, which only damaged parts of his armor, and a few scars, before the triclops passes away.
    • The Abridged Series still manages to keep this Tear Jerker intact.

Nappa: (to Piccolo and Krillin) At least you didn't uselessly self destruct like that Pokemon.

'Tenshinhan: You stupid... ugly... Son of a bitch. His name was Chiaotzu! KIKOHO!"

      • This can of course induce Mood Whiplash if you're a pokemon fan. Having seen self destruct fail for various reasons will do that.
  • Tenshinhan's death made even Krillin cry. And he cried out for Goku to arrive soon, to prevent more Senseless Sacrifices. Unfortunately, It Got Worse:

Krillin: (Teary-eved) Poor Tien, he used up his life and that attack didn't even faze him! Goku!! Please hurry!!

  • And before that... Yamcha's death. Especially since Krillin actually goes over and confirms he's dead. You see his little partner crying agsinst the TV, calling out to him... and then the POV switches to a shivering, pale, almost BSOD-ing Bulma. Her scream of despair as she breaks down in Roshi's arms is tear jerking.
  • Watching warrior after brave warrior that we have come to love during Dragon Ball being slaughtered by Nappa during the Saiyan Saga. Particularly heartwrenching is the Senseless Sacrifice of Chiaotzu, whose Superpower Meltdown did not even scratch the Saiyan brute, much less hurt him. It was a wise narrative choice on Toriyama's part for Vegeta to not have personally killed any of the heroes, allowing the possibility of redemption in the audience's eyes for the Warrior Prince.
    • This is even more moving in Dragon Ball Kai considering that Chiaotzu knew that he couldn't defeat Nappa and that he had been revived with the Dragon Balls once, and wouldn't be able to be revived again, but the real moving moment is what Chiaotzu says right before he dies:

Chiaotzu: Tien, just....just don't let him kill you.

    • The real heartbreaker is watching Chiaotzu knowingly sacrifice himself in an attempt to prevent Tien from dying, but shortly afterwards, seeing Tien using the last of his energy to try to avenge Chiaotzu's death, and dying in the process.
  • After the Saiyan saga, watching everyone mourning the loss of the fallen Z-fighters and moving the coffins with their bodies onto the ship. This scene is made even more powerful with the beautiful song playing in the background of Dragon Ball Kai.
  • Surprisingly enough, one of the most powerful ones in the franchise happens during Dragon Ball GT. Because the Black Star Dragon Balls have not been returned to Earth, the planet is set to explode. Though the team has managed to evacuate everyone to the nearby Tuffle planet, Piccolo decides to remain on earth - the Black Star Dragon Balls are too dangerous, and if he dies they will turn to stone, ensuring that nothing like this ever happens again. If Goku's reaction doesn't get the waterworks flowing, then either Piccolo and Gohan's last talk (which Piccolo concluded with "Take care, my son") and Gohan's anguished "PICCOLO-SAAAAAAN!" - surrounded by a completely oblivious crowd, no less - will.
    • In the English dub, Piccolo's final words to Gohan are "Goodbye...my friend...", which were the exact same words he said to Gohan, when he sacrificed himself to save Gohan against Nappa. Thinking about those two scenes will leave anyone in tears.
  • How about the entire final scene of "Bardock: Father of Goku"?
    • Oh God, YES. Or even earlier, when Bardock assists the dying Tohma in his last moments and then starts using the cloth he used to clean up Tohma's blood from his face as a Tragic Keepsake headband.
    • When Bardock and Grown up Goku meet and talk to each other. It's very brief but still tearjerking. Especially the part when Bardock reached out to Goku.
      • Goku telling his father it's not too late to have a change of heart and make a difference. While he didn't save himself or his homeplanet, Bardock managed to repent.
    • This is even more moving because of Bardock's last words:

Bardock: "My....son....lives....on."

  • Every single time Krillin dies.
    • From the original series: Krillin's first death, and Goku getting to him too late. Heartbreaking.
    • "Death 1.5", where he's gored by Freeza's first transformation, but is barely saved by Dende. Especially with how long it took him to expire.
    • His second death. Quick and senseless, but still just as wrenching.
    • His third death... not so much. Not quite as dramatically effective when you're turned into candy and eaten.
      • Although, it was a Heroic Sacrifice as he acted as a decoy to protect his family which definitely has some emotional merit. It gets really sad when you realize this ends up being a Senseless Sacrifice since his wife 18 and his daughter Marron were the VERY NEXT victims of Super Buu shortly afterwards.
    • His fourth death, in GT when 17 is trying to get 18 to come back to him. Krillin (An aged man at this point, daughter marron beside him) is telling him he has no control over her anymore, she's not a part of him, and she can make her own descisions. 17 doesn't like this. So he blows a hole through Krillin's chest, blowing him back and killing him. What sets it off is Marron and 18's reactions. Marron's shaking his limp body crying "Wake up Daddy...wake up!" while 18 is begging for him not to leave him, crying while a montage of scenes between the two are shown. She sheds a few tears and whispers a soft "I love you" before Bum rushing 17
  • The murder of Bora by Tao Pai Pai. This was the first (onscreen) death of the entire series. Watching Upa run to this dead father while crying, and Goku charging at Tao Pai Pai choked me up.
  • No idea why, but watching Majin Buu [[spoiler: watch Mr Satan almost die got me really choked up. Maybe it's the fact that Majin Buu is such an innocent little monster, or maybe it's the fact that he's screaming in horror and sadness the entire time, even while he's healing his almost-dead best friend that makes it so painful to watch.
    • When Buu is screaming at him to take the dog and leave, he knows what's happening, he knows he can't stop it, and he's desperately trying to keep his friends from getting hurt, It's just heartbreaking.

Majin Buu: Go away. Take Bee and go. Run.
(Mr. Satan seems shocked, then bemused)
Mr. Satan: What do ya mean, Buu? I'm your friend!
(Walks up to Buu, to reach out his hand, but Buu swats it away)
(Steam explodes out of Buu's head) Majin Buu: GO NOOOOOOW!
(Mr. Satan scared out of his wits)Mr. Satan: R-r-right! Okay!

    • And later:

(Mr. Satan runs out of Buu's house with Bee in his arms)
Mr. Satan: Buu! Please, let me try to help you-
Majin Buu: GO-OOOOOO!

  • Also, Muten Roshi's failure to re-seal Piccolo Daimao leading to his eventual death.
  • From "The History of Trunks": The reactions of everyone at the beginning as they try to come to grips with the fact that Goku is truly and irrevocably dead. Yes, even Vegeta.
    • Also Gohan's death and Trunks's first SSJ transformation.
      • Eric Vale's brilliant performance makes that scene incredibly powerful, which makes the moment truly unforgettable.
  • Goku leaving during the Buu saga. He's managed to pass on the fusion technique and now his time on earth is up and he has to go back to the next world. So we see Goten speechless, and giving him one last hug, and trying so hard not to cry, and it's all set to ridiculously relaxing music. GOD JUST RIP MY HEART OUT WHY DON'T YOU.
  • What happens to Bee, Buu's dog. That was before Buu managed to heal the dog, of course. The scene is what led me to hate guns.
    • Same here. The worst part of the whole ordeal was seeing Majin Buu's devastated expression of shock and trauma as he saw his dog Bee get shot. It's the first time his eyes were open when he WASN'T responsible for a violence act, which made this scene both a literal and figurative eye-opener for the reformed Majin Buu.
  • The end of the episode "End Of Earth" where Kid Buu uses his Planet Burst attack to destroy the world and Goku and Vegeta who are holding Hercule, Dende, Bee and Majin Buu, look behind them and see Buu's attack swallow Piccolo, Gohan, Goten, and Trunks while they are powerless to save them from being destroyed along with the Earth before they escape to the Kai's planet.
  • Definite example is the final episode of the whole series: "Farewell, Goku. Until We Meet Again.", being forced to leave Earth after saving it for the umpteenth time ... and after all that effort against that arc's Big Bad, with the majority of the cast not even aware that he has to leave them for a good century was really depressing.
    • This sequence is even more moving when you see the last scene, and the old woman Pan sees Goku, but he fades away walking through the crowd of people revealing that he was a spirit and had truly passed on for good.
      • Not so much. She simply lost him in the crowd. He left the scene at the end on Kintoun/Nimbus.
    • Oh, god yes. That was basically 20 minutes of tears for me.
  • A scene in GT: It's right after Goku becomes a super saiyan 4 for the first time and goes to confront Baby. He finds Bulma with him and calls out to her. Unfortunately, she's already been turned into a Tuffle and shouts at Goku not to speak to her, calls him her enemy, and tells him that he will soon be killed, all the while with this distorted evil grin on her face. Yes, it's all the result of brainwashing, but when you think about it and realize how far back Goku and Bulma's friendship goes (I mean, the whole series started with just them), it really is very sad to watch. The scene in question can be found here and starts at 5:22.
  • The Namekian grand elder's (a/k/a Guru) second death. Despite the happy ending (living just long enough to appoint a new elder, most of the Namekians coming safely out of the struggle on their home planet, etc.) the reactions of his family (and the few Earthlings involved) surrounding him just adds that extra touch of emotion.
    • The first death of Guru was particularly moving, especially with the Bruce Falcouner music playing as you saw Dende crying and Guru's lifeless body sitting in the chair.
  • The sweet, innocent Dende's death by Frieza on Namek. It was sad enough watching his brother Cargo killed by Dodoria earlier, but this took it to a whole new level.
  • The scene where Goku first transforms into a Super Saiyan in Dragon Ball Kai: It's not enough that Krillin gets launched up into the air and then blown up - worse if you notice the blink-and-you-miss-it frame of Krillin's chest heaving as the energy ball expands to blow him up from the inside. Poor Gohan, who just lost an Honorary Uncle, is standing over the unconscious body of his mentor looking like a deer in headlights while Frieza threatens his life next. Goku is off to the side with his back turned, shaking with rage, and the only words he can get out of his mouth are You ruthless...heartless...bastard...I WILL MAKE YOU SUFFER! As if the impact of hearing those words coming from Goku of all people didn't do it, as soon as he transforms, he turns to address not Frieza, but Gohan, telling him to leave. Previously, it had seemed to mean, "get out of here, kid, the fight's about to get really ugly." But the Dragon Ball Kai version drops this line:

Goku: Do as I tell you! Right now - before I LOSE WHAT LITTLE SENSE OF REASON I HAVE LEFT!!

    • And it's that moment that you realize that Goku has no idea what is happening to him and doesn't trust himself around his own son.
  • Mr. Satan tearing up when he finds Fat Buu after Kid Buu spits him out. "Please, wake up...you're the only friend I have!"
    • And that line really puts Mr. Satan's entire character into perspective. Although his Fake Ultimate Hero status has made him essentially the most famous man on Earth, other than Buu, he has no friends.
  • Vegeta's Unstoppable Rage after Cell kills future Trunks.
  • In one scene during the Cell saga, Cell returns and Gohan is fighting him. As his Kamehameha wave is being overpowered by Cell's, we see Goku speaking to Gohan and telling him how much he believes in him.
  • The last thing Buu says to Mr. Satan before his Heroic Sacrifice in GT:

Buu: "You're Buu's best friend... forever and ever."

  • Bruce Faulconer helps to create a particularly heartbreaking one with one of Hercule's conversations with Super Buu. In it, Super Buu has completely forgotten who Hercule was and has been consumed by the evil that's taken hold on him. Hercule is desperately trying to get Super Buu to remember who he once was by reminding him of his promise to not kill anymore, as well as how much he loved Bee, only for Super Buu to maniacally laugh in his face. Sad in both versions, but it was Bruce's music that really drives home how completely and utterly destroyed Buu's kindly side has become, as well as the sense of loss and desolation throughout the whole conversation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm X Ft Z-jvzE
  • Goku's Heroic Sacrifice against Raditz was the very first Tear Jerker in Z that showed just how Darker and Edgier Z was and considering how dark the Piccolo Daimao arc was that's saying something.
  • Eighteen's reaction after Seventeen killed Krillin had me bawling.

#18 (in tears, to a dying Krillin): I love you.

  • When Goku is fighting Kid Buu in the last few episodes. Throughout all of Dragon Ball Goku never ever stopped fighting, never gave up, and wouldn't stop. This was the one time it was too much. Goku could NOT win. Pretty much the strongest anime character of all time is getting his ass handed to him by a LITTLE PINK BUBBLEGUM KID. Goku stomped a planet destroying tyrant into the floor. Avenged his entire race, done pretty much everything, and he finally is bested by Buu.... I cried harder than ever.
  • The speech Goku gives when trying to get Vegeta to fuse with him:

Goku: Wake up! Majin Buu's eaten everyone we care about! Everyone is gone! Even Bulma! They've become part of Buu! They can't even die! I just thought the least we could do is put our old differences aside, just this once, and really work together! We owe that to our teammates! Our families, Vegeta! Our friends! Look, you've always talked about our Saiyan race, how we're the last of a mighty people. Well, it's time we accept we're starting a new race, one that can be just as strong, just as proud! But not if we're caught up in so much of our old birthrights to see what we have right in front of us! We've lost our old race, Vegeta! Let's not lose this one too!

  • In Path To Power, Eighter's death.

Eighter: Hi Goku, are you okay?
Goku: Y-yeah...
Eighter: I'm... So... Glad...

    • And in the wake of his death, Goku's so overwhelmed with grief that all he can do is continuously belt out screams of pure, unadulterated rage and despair. And they are absolutely heartbreaking.
  • In Cooler's Revenge, seeing Goku, him and his friends utterly defeated, cupping in his hands a bird which died in the battle between Goku and Cooler, sobbing about how it didn't even do anything wrong.
  • Filler it may be, but in the episode 'Krillin's Proposal', the final minutes are wrenching: watching Krillin realizing that Maron would have agreed to marry him and then running off with another guy moments later is bad enough, but the final scene where he tries to laugh it off with his friends but the audience (and perhaps Gohan as well) can see the tears hidden behind the sunglasses is just heartbreaking.
  • King Vegeta's death: the guy is trying to rescue his son from the clutches of an Omnicidal Maniac like Freiza and dies trying.
    • What makes it worse is that Vegeta dosen't even know how awesomelly brave his dad was when he died. He probably thinks his father was on the planet when it happened.
  • Ever since he was four, Gohan's childhood has been nothing but struggle. Unlike his father, Gohan never wanted to be a fighter, he was just constantly pressured with the responsibility to do what no one else could.