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First season

  • Shirley's character song, sung by her voice actress. Listen to it at your own risk. Considering her tragic fate...
  • Code Geass got one in the very first episode from a minor character - it could be found really sad: Nakata sadly looks at a photograph of his family, and says his last words: '...Nippon...banzai!'. Cue explosion. *sniff*
  • The episode about Kallen and her mother was really sad. Especially when Kallen realizes that her mother stayed not because it would be easy to be a Britannian slave, but because she wanted to stay with Kallen.
    • That episode marks the first and probably last time you could cry over a hot dog vendor.

  C.C.: "Lying tears hurt others; lying smiles... hurt only oneself"

      • And the end of the episode... damn. Having Kallen speak to the still BSOD-ing Mrs. Kouzuki and tell her she's gonna change the world so they can live happily, and even when she's still in her Lotus Eater Machine, Kouzuki touches Kallen's hand and tell her to do her best? Excuse me, I've something in my eyes waaaaaaaahh!
  • "C.C... I don't know why snow is white... But I do find such white snow beautiful." The delivery was so soft... yet so powerful...

 C.C.: "Lelouch, do you know why snow is white? Because it's forgotten what color it's supposed to be."

  • The Wham! Episode and the aftermath near the end of Code Geass's first season. Especially seeing poor Princess Euphemia slowly dying next to her bodyguard/boyfriend Suzaku intercut with scenes of the people she was trying to help cursing her name... Goddamn you, Diabolus. Goddamn you to the deepest pits of Discontinuity Hell.
    • Hearing Suzaku lying to Euphemia that it was a huge success and everyone is so happy now... bawww...
    • Seconded. The sequence on the Avalon seems designed to punch you in the gut. It's actually worse than just having Euphie die, because it shows all of the desperate, anxious struggle to keep someone alive, and then shows it failing. This troper was barely holding it together during that sequence, and when Suzaku started his Let Them Die Happy conversation, I started bawling.
    • And in the still image montage the moment after Euphie dies, the images of Suzaku getting dragged out and a close up of him screaming for Euphie while everybody is chanting for Zero are arrows to your heart.
    • Innocent Days. Manly tears are now shed at the mere SOUND of that piece.
    • When Nunally called Lelouch to ask if Euphie could come to the school festival with them. Mostly because, imagine how Lulu was feeling about that...
    • The whole thing is saddening. You had to kill off Euphemia? Fine. But did you HAVE to do it in such a senseless and cruel way? Not only is she dead, but she will always be remembered as a Complete Monster who massacred Japanese, which pretty much renders her entire life absolutely meaningless.
      • Thankfully, Lelouch's "confession" being heard by Ougi and the truth being learnt by Nunnally, Schneizel and Cornelia mean that her status in history will be changed to reflect who she truly was. On the flip side, it's Lelouch who goes down in history as a Complete Monster who mind-controlled the martyred Euphie to do his bidding, and who himself ultimately dies while everyone cheers for Zero, with nobody knowing of his true intentions. A case of self-inflicted karma.
    • The worst part was her being forced to commit such a horrific act. Killing her outright would have been bad but this... this is a nightmare...
      • No more of a nightmare than it was for Euphie herself. Remember, when most people are compelled by a Geass, they do it without batting an eyelid - even if it's an order to shoot themselves in the neck. But Euphemia? The command is so utterly against her nature that she actually fights it off for several seconds before the inexorable power of the Geass forcibly rewires her mind... she spent the last few seconds of her non-mind-controlled life in sheer abject horror of what she was about to commit. Ichirō Ōkouchi, you heartless bastard.
      • Worse yet... Euphemia's order is to "Kill all the Japanese". She walks right past the unconscious Suzaku. Even though Suzaku is clearly Japanese, and lying right outside of the room she was in, she managed to convince herself not to.
      • In one scene, Lelouch as Zero is confronted by a mortally wounded old woman who begs him to help them as Zero is their hero before dying while Lelouch can only stand there in shock, knowing that he's responsible for the whole massacre.
      • In a non-canon example, there is a doujinshi that has the geassed Euphemia force herself onto Suzaku... and once she's "become his bride", she reasons that it makes her Japanese as well... and commits suicide to stop herself. It's absolutely horrifying.
    • Then it happens in Super Robot Wars Z 2: Hakai-Hen, despite so many fans hoping for a less violent conclusion. At least Euphie is shown to live through it in Saisei-Hen.
  • Episode 13 where Lelouch, Kallen, and Suzaku are all questioning the missions they take part in and the killings that happen. Watching this episode on my second run through of the series, it's quite sad how they all decide the best thing to do is to keep going and knowing how many hard times are still coming for them.
  • Shirley. Oh God, Shirley. When Lelouch shows up late for his date with Shirley and finds her standing in the rain outside the opera house, and Lelouch learns that Zero killed her father in the Narita battle. Made even sadder by the fact that Lelouch is Zero. Then there's the matter of how Mao took advantage of this situation, and what Lelouch did to ease Shirley's suffering...
    • Shirley's anguished scream while Lelouch uses his Geass on her.
      • There's also Shirley's mother's reaction to the undertakers starting to bury her husband. She gets on her knees and begs them not to bury him again.
  • Two of the picture dramas near the end of the first season are quite sad. The first, 22.25, is quite heartwarming until Nunnally drops her half of her mother's commemorative plate, a memento of Euphemia, just as the radio cuts off at the start of the Euphinator incident. The second one offers a powerful look at Suzaku's despair, especially his belief that killing his father set everything into motion and the implied realization that he will have to face Lelouch.
  • Mao's death is actually pretty moving, if you consider the fact that everything he did was because of his love for C.C. and desire to save her from her death wish and that his insanity was never truly his fault in the first place. So he's been soundly beaten, in even worse shape than he was at the beginning of the story, and can't even talk anymore, but he's still just so happy to see C.C. and then she comforts him before shooting him. The straightest-played Mercy Kill in the series.
  • The end of season one, where we find how far apart Lelouch and Suzaku have grown and how much they now hate each other. Suzaku finally corners Zero, without the Gawain or any contingency plan. Suzaku walks up, and in the ensuing scene they both aim straight at each other's weak points. At the very end, a gunshot is heard, and all goes black.
    • It's even more sad when Kallen and Suzaku finally found out Lelouch is Zero, and let's just say they didn't take it well.
  • This is nothing compared to most of the other examples on this page, but This Troper couldn't help but feel for Cornelia when Lelouch revealed his identity as Zero to her. Especially when she brings up Clovis and Euphy. I was still rooting for Lelouch all the way but still...

Second season

  • Rather striking is a scene in episode five of the second season, where Lelouch is pleasantly interacting with his fellow students and the notices the check marks on a wall, which he had geassed one of the female students to make daily as a way to test the duration of his power. While nothing is said, the look on his face when he sees the wall and when he sees Shirley conveys how much he realizes that he's screwed up people's lives through his activities. It's even more depressing in retrospect, since instead of a positive development happening, things just get worse as the series progresses.
    • Speaking of which, the fate of Carve-tan, by Word of God, isn't a pretty one: Since she was evacuated from Area 11, she was taken away from Ashford Academy and that wall she must carve. After that, every night she would escape from her home to head to Ashford, which resulted in a nervous breakdown. She had to be confined so she wouldn't escape again, but they say she's doing better.
      • *reads this* *BAWLS*
  • It Gets Worse in R2 Episode 13. When after regaining all her memories and going through a period of having no idea who she could trust, Shirley accepts that whatever evils Lelouch has committed to further his schemes, she'll always be loyal to him, even when she still isn't sure what's going on. She makes the understandable mistake of assuming that if she's on Lelouch's side and Rolo's on Lelouch's side, Rolo must be trustworthy. The price she pays for this mistake is bleeding to death in Lelouch's arms.
    • The real heart-wrenching part of that scene is when Lelouch begs for her not to die, and even tried using his Geass to keep her alive, repeatedly, but to no avail.
      • I'm sorry, you're crazy. This is the part where I lost it:

 Shirley: No matter how many times I'm reborn... I'm sure I'll... fall in love with you again, Lulu...

    • And Lelouch's scream of anguish when Shirley dies? Excuse me, Ihavesomethinginmyeye!
      • It gets even worse. The next episode, during Shirley's funeral, Shirley's mom crying throughout makes the entire scene even more painful to watch.
    • Also a bit of a Tear Jerker is, in the fourth ending that debuted after R2 13, one shot showed Shirley as an angel.
    • Lelouch frantically re-casting his Geass on her, screaming all the while "Shirley! Don't die! I ORDER YOU NOT TO DIE!!!"
    • And Jeremiah himself in Episode 13.
    • This troper couldn't stand it when Rolo walks in and explains what he did to Lelouch and Lelouch turns aound and acts pleased and happy. The thought of what Lelouch must really be feeling . . . that just hurt.
  • Episode 15 of R2: C.C. has apparently decided to die, giving her life up to the Emperor, and sends Lelouch into her memories so he won't have to watch. Instead, Lelouch learns that C.C.'s real "heart's desire" is just to be loved, honestly and truthfully. Lelouch races back to her and convinces her not to give up, in a scene that makes it look like the two of them might finally stop playing Dueling Tsunderes and admit to liking each other...but then it's revealed that instead of dying, C.C. lost her immortality and all her memories prior to the Geass, reducing her to the level of a ten-year-old slave-girl from the Dark Ages. When she mistakes Lelouch for her new master and, trembling with fear, rattles off her skills ("I can cook and clean and sew, I can handle sheep and cows, I can read a little and I know numbers up to twenty, and I've handled dead bodies before..."), even Lelouch looks like he's about to start crying.
    • From the same episode Orange Boy's eulogy of General Bartley, where he admitted even though he hated him for turning him into a cyborg, he was also just as loyal to the royal family and would have probably changed sides if he knew the truth, probably brought tears to some peoples eyes.
    • Nunnally's "death", made even worse because technically, Lelouch indirectly killed her thanks to his "live" Geass on Suzaku. And if that doesn't get you, Lelouch's final line will... "Don't lie to me!!... Come on, Rolo... just a little... let me speak... with Nunnally..."
  • Believe it or not, Rolo's death scene has had people weeping for him. Even some haters.
    • And Lelouch frantically yelling at Rolo to stop over-using his Geass was pretty painful to watch. Especially because it was repeatedly cutoff by Rolo's Geass and Rolo's speech about not wanting to be used anymore. Excuse me . . . I think I have something in my eye.
    • And that song that played through it...that damn song... the same music played when Lelouch screamed that he hated Rolo and wanted to kill him.

  Rolo: "It was a lie... right? What you said about wanting to kill me... That you... hated me and all of that..."

    • Not to mention the picture drama 19.02.
  • This troper, though at the moment could only stare in shock until Rolo's swan-dance was over, broke down at the end of the episode, when "Kallen, you must live on," came crashing down in full.
  • See this scene from Episode 18: and tell me you don't want to cry. Lelouch begging Rolo to see Nunally is heart-wrenching. Most people agree that he lost it in Episode 18. Made much worse by what comes in the later episodes.
    • This troper found it especially sad when Gilford sacrificed his own life to save Lelouch's, yelling "Princess! Please live on!"
  • Should I mention what comes worst after episode 18? The Black Knights betray Zero. Schneizel has told them that their leader is an ex-Britannian prince and that his miracles are just tricks. What's worse is that Ohgi, along with Viletta, takes his word for it. When they're convinced thanks to Schneizel with a recording of Lelouch admitting to Suzaku of Geassing Euphemia, list of his Geassed victims, and notifying the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead, it's angst for them. Next, they manipulate Kallen into bringing him in to them, leading them to an ambush where the Black Knights point their guns at them and call out Lelouch for his actions. It really hurts for them, even Kallen trying to reason with them fails as they suspect she's under Lelouch's control with his Geass. Realizing there's no way out, Lelouch acts like the Magnificent Bastard he is by admitting he's using them all, including Kallen. Before the inevitable, he whispers to her "you have to live" just before Rolo saves his ass in the last minute. Even so, it's still sad. So it's goodbye for Lelouch to be with his former team;(
    • The WORST part about it? The Black Knights NEVER BOTHERED to find the reason WHY Lelouch was AGAINST BRITANNIA. Had they DID their research, there would be NO BETRAYAL. It was no wonder why this event was the final nail for setting up Zero Requiem.
  • In episode 20 of R2 there's a scene when Lelouch is on the phone to Rivalz and tells him "Could you tell Milly that I don't think I'll be able to come back and shoot fireworks with anyone anymore?" and then monologues about defeating the emperor even at the cost of himself. Majorly depressing moment.
    • Rivalz asks Lelouch where Rolo is, to which he responds "He's here with me."
  • In R2 episode 21, after Lelouch geasses God, causing Charles and Marianne to disappear from existence, he then tells them the meaning behind Nunnally's smile and that she knew that, because of her being blind and crippled, there was nothing in the world she could do on her own. So her smile was the only way for her to show her gratitude. That whole speech, along with the fact that their own parents abandoned them, believing that it was for the best but making everything So Much Worse brought tears to this troper's eyes. Even though those tears became worthless the next episode...
  • Kallen's attempt to reach Lelouch in R2 episode 22. It starts off all nostalgic, but once Kallen starts talking Lelouch just shuts down. As she talks, they keep zooming in on Lelouch's face, making it clear he's forcing himself not to say a word. Then she gets desperate and kisses him, and for a single, brief moment, it seems as if she got through. But no. He closes up again and crushes her heart, so she barely manages to bottle up her urge to cry and marches off with a simple "goodbye." Then it focuses on Lelouch, with his eyes hidden from view, and he sorrowfully repeats the same line.
  • And finally, in the Grand Finale: Lelouch, having made himself the most despised man in the world with control over every country, allows his friend Suzaku, now having fakedT his own death and taken up the mantle of Zero, to publicly assassinate him, this is known as Zero Requiem. As flashbacks explain their plan, the scene cuts to show the people who knew Lelouch best - C.C., Kallen, and even Suzaku - begin crying as the sword pierces his chest and comes out of his back. After Suzaku removes the sword, Lelouch falls down next to Nunnally, who finally realizes his intentions were noble all along and, as he rapidly bleeds to death, begs him not to leave her and tells him that she loves him no matter what. And just to cap it all off, after Lelouch has finally died, Nunnally desperately cries and screams for him, and her inarticulate grief is drowned out by the crowd cheering for the man who murdered him. The Music didn't help.
    • Madder Sky is powerful enough to be listed again here. Again, one of those pieces where simply listening to it will evoke ... feelings.
    • To quote Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Although this is probably more apt than the original use; it was Lelouch's crowning achievement, but Nunnally's broken sobbing over the body of her brother, while the people cheered his own alter ego for killing him, is quite the reverse. Odi et amo. I hate it and I love it.
    • Really, entire psychology theses could be written on the multifarious dimensions of Tear Jerker in that finale. One More Chance!, Kallen's post-finale Image Song (Thank you for your love/All those people I've met until today that supported me./Thank you for your love/I won't forget you, a person with a strong and beautiful heart./One more chance/Please watch over me./So that I can continue down the path of my belief./Yes, one more chance, just one more./I will try to live on, for you too./Even though the war was ended./I cannot let my tears fall, yet/Until I can ascend one step/On the staircase of our promise) made this C.C./Lelouch-shipping troper who doesn't even like Kallen AT ALL break down and cry hysterically. The fact that it is possibly the most upbeat, poppy tune ever associated with the show does not help.
    • Speaking of Nunnally and Lelouch? "Nunnally, you are already leading a way of life with your own set of admirable principles. That is why I can walk my own path now. Thank you. I love you, Nunnally." (And that "I love you" is actually aishiteru, GDIY). It certainly doesn't help that he says this right before a complete Kick the Dog moment, and is made even worse by Nunnally insulting her brother afterwards and the expression he has on his face when she's not looking.
      • Lelouch says "the path I must take to my destiny" in the dub, which makes it clearer that he knows he's going to die and can do so knowing that she can make her own decisions.
    • What made Lelouch's death even worse was the flashing to the face off the Black Knights, who were screaming at Zero, or turning away. Shinichirō actually looked like he was about to cry, poor little Tianzi actually looked away in tears, Kaguya and Ougi were shell-shocked... And also the flash to Cornelia and co in the building attempting to rush outside. All in all this made it a lot more emotional for this troper.
    • To drive the point even further? This little exchange after Suzaku/Zero kills Lelouch:

 Tohdoh: This... this is...?

Kallen: That's Zero. Yes, it's Zero!

      • Unfortunately, the side materials somewhat ruin that idea. Kallen was the only one to understand what was going on. Tohdoh and Kaguya may have a piece of the picture, but that's it. The rest simply did not understand what they saw. As for their reactions, I always took their flashes, aside from Kallen, as mere surprise, or rabid surprise in Tamaki's case.
      • Actually, not so much. Kaguya's own post-series character theme clearly indicates that she loves him, grieves him, thanks him, and wishes he would come back. She may not understand everything, she may not realize Suzaku is still alive... but she certainly gets the point. Indeed, this song is a tear jerker in itself.

 Kaguya: Why did my precious one

Kaguya: Only leave me a dream behind and suddenly vanish?

Kaguya: If my wish can be answered

Kaguya: Please, come back here

    • You know what one of the worst parts of it was? After all of that trouble, Lelouch and Nunnally are once again separated, this time on a permanent basis. The last time they had any quality time together was before Lelouch left for his business at the SAZ, which of course preceded the Black Rebellion, and the subsequent time-skip and estrangement from Nunnally. Every one of his attempts to get back to her ended in failure due to Suzaku's interference, especially including the latter's accidental FLEIJAing of the settlement, which rendered her apparently dead. When she reappeared alive and well, it was too late for him to turn back from his Suicide by Cop plan, Zero Requiem, and when they are finally in each other's presence, no longer as adversaries, as Nunnally has just learned his plan, Lelouch is already bleeding to death, the deed already done. Not just a Tear Jerker, to be sure, especially since Villetta and Ohgi, the two arguably responsible for screwing up the meeting between the Black Knights and Schneizel once and for all, resulting in Lelouch violently forced out and past the Despair Event Horizon, got the happy ending instead.
    • The look on Lelouch's face just before Suzaku runs him through with the sword. It just drove home the fact that Lelouch planned all this, and he faces death with a triumphant grin... BAAW!
      • Not a grin, per se. More of a quiet, satisfied little smile - which works every bit as well.
  • For this troper, the thing that unlocked the tears was the final words exchanged between Suzaku and Lelouch. Just the way Lelouch held him while he whispered his final wish, both a condemnation and a mantle of honor to Suzaku, made me burst into tears. And then Suzaku's, "This geass I gladly accept," with tears running from his eyes was just...*sobs* The way Lelouch almost symbolically smeared his own blood purposefully across Zerozaku's mask as he fell was also a punch in the gut.
      • Three words: Lelouch's Last Words. After all the Magnificent Bastard moves he pulled throughout the series, it both broke and warmed this troper's heart that he died proudly yet still with his trademark arrogance. "I will destroy the world...and make it...anew." With his life on flash-forward in the background, it truly drives home how complex and amazing a person Lelouch really was, and what end he had always wanted in his heart.
      • But he didn't get it. What did it for this troper was that Nunnally's idea of a good world was one where she can live in peace with her brother- who died in order to create what he saw as a better world for her.
      • For this troper what made all of this even worse was that, just as Lelouch planned, he died with virtually the entire world celebrating his death and remembering him as an evil tyrant, rather than what he really was...
  • One of the biggest tear jerkers for this troper? Arthur the cat in front of Suzaku's "grave".
    • Could be a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, a Crowning Moment of Awesome, a Tear Jerker, or all three at once and more. It just... even Arthur doesn't get a happy ending!
    • Considering that as Suzaku is being remembered as a dedicated follower of Emperor Lelouch, he won't likely get many other visitors in his grave, and will likely be remembered as almost as much of a villain as Lelouch was. The whole thing is made worse when you consider the "Live" geass is still active and Lelouch's Last Request is to live on while sacrficing his identity and any chance of pursuing happiness.
    • I made it all the way down to here on unshed teas and sniffles. Then I read that line and started sobbing. Poor, poor Arthur!
  • The last picture drama of the series, which dealt with Lelouch's promise of fireworks among other things, was such a Tear Jerker that you only needed to understand one word of Japanese, "yakusoku," to start sobbing hysterically.
  • Okay, so, it seems logical to assume that the Word of God is correct, and Lelouch is dead. Fair enough, except...doesn't that mean that he let C.C. down by never fullfilling his promise to her? I feel rather sad about that; their relationship deserved a better ending...C.C. deserved a better ending; he promised her one! Of course, there's the possibility that The Word of God is trying to fool us and Lelouch accepted her Code, thus becoming immortal, surviving the sword through his chest (or, well, died from it, but came alive again later on). It seems like his plan could so easily have incorporated such a thing that it's a downright betrayal of C.C. not to release her from her immortality. (Not to mention just how utterly unsatisfying it is that the entire plot thread about his geass in return for her wish is left dangling in this fashion). If there really is a third series in the works, this could all get solved of course; I'm hoping for that.
    • C.C. learned to accept her immortality, and no longer consider it a curse. By far a better option than to pass on something you hate to someone you care about, certainly. What's a better way to defeat the curse of immortality, than to turn it into a gift?
    • All in all, Lelouch not being dead is probably a Fate Worse Than Death. He has to abandon his friends (minus C.C.), family (aka Nunally), accomplishments and even his name (like C.C.). He also has to remember, for the rest of time, all of the terrible things he did, including giving his best friend and (arguably) sister fates worse than death. And he has no way to die other than to break the system which he sacrificed to make. All in all, not quite as cheerful of a fate as it would seem.
    • Also consider that C.C. has never been seen talking to anyone who was dead, even telepathically. The only apparent exception, Marianne, was still alive (although inside Anya). Oh, and the Cart Driver has black hair and no visible face. "Lelouch is dead" could be a That Man Is Dead situation as well.
      • Not much of an argument. It's a common trope to show people talking to the dead like that, especially when a main character dies.
  • A rather sad one involving Shirley: when she and Lelouch are shopping for gifts for their teacher, the still mind-wiped Shirley sees some railcars, and mentions to Lelouch that she's always wanted to take a ride in one of them. Lelouch then recalls his showdown with Mao and is momentarily stunned.
  • Lelouch's Mind Rape scene in R2. As Suzaku holds him down and covers his left eye so that he can't Geass anyone, the Emperor is happily preparing to put false memories into his mind. Considering that he loves Nunnally more than anything else in the world...forgetting her must be a Fate Worse Than Death.

  Lelouch: "You made me forget my mother, now you're making me forget Nunnally?"

 Kallen: That idiot... Now I can't forget you even though I want to.

Nina: Now I remember, Shirley. There was something I wanted to tell you. Thanks for being my friend.

Nunnally: Rolo, we would have been good friends. After all, we both loved big brother Lelouch.

Suzaku: Lelouch, I won't thank you. Your sins are that grave. But, just for today... Happy Birthday, Lelouch.

  • The Fuji memorial. One candle for every person killed in the Euphinator incident. There are a lot of candles.
  • One of biggest Tear Jerker scenes in the series was when Nunally fired FLEIJA, and she cried at every shot. It was heartwrenching to see a little girl firing a weapon of mass destruction.
  • I know I'm the only one, but I cried when Schneizel got Geassed. I know he was killing people, but so was Lelouch. He honestly wanted to bring peace to the world, and now he's been rendered a mindless puppet, doomed to obey Zero till the day he dies. He didn't deserve that. He deserved to die or make a Heel Face Turn (An intentional one!) It's especially bad now that I understand the nature of Schneizel's personality. He goes along with the best idea. He has a goal, but the methods by which he gets there have to be formulated by someone else. If Lelouch had explained his plan, then I reckon he would have joined him. I'll miss you, White Prince :(

Nightmare of Nunnally

  • In the part where Nunnally rejects instrumentality, causing her parents to vanish is perhaps even more of a Tear Jerker when you see Charles and Marianne vanishing from existence, largely because they accept it quite peacefully compared to the anime, and their love for their children is more genuine in this version. Nunnally tears up at this point; while she wanted to stop their plan, she didn't necessarily want them to die.
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