Borderlands is known for its zany and irreverent humor, and the recently released third numbered entry stays true to this reputation. Most of the main quest and side missions are filled with dark jokes dealing with hostile corporate takeovers, murder, and all manner of violence.
Despite its nonchalance towards typically morbid themes, it occasionally tugs on the heart strings when least expected. To that end, here are ten surprising tear jerking moments from Borderlands 3. Of course, not everybody was crying when these transpired; they just had something in their eye. And it should go without saying, but spoilers are abundant below.
10 Lilith Losing Her Powers
Just a few hours into the story, Troy and Tyreen Calypso steal Lilith's Siren abilities. Her markings disappear and she is no more powerful than any other human being off the street. For all the games prior she is one of the strongest characters and most of her identity is linked to her being a Siren.
With one touch the Calypsos destroyed her defining characteristic. The pain is two fold when it is a point of pride and source of strength. It's like a piano player permanently injuring his hands or a singer damaging their vocal chords.
9 Typhon Deleon Dying
Meeting the first Vault Hunter face to face was a massive surprise. Things got even crazier when Tyreen reveals their familial connection. Unfortunately, the reunion is short lived and ends with the Calypso fatally wounding her estranged father. Typhon must have been going through a lot seeing his child again after so long. He knew the duo became monsters and feels partially responsible for their chaos.
8 Maya's Death
As the playable Siren from Borderlands 2, it was a treat to see Maya return for the third game. Because the playable characters are largely silent, they get more characterization when they show up as NPCs. Sadly, her time in the game was not for long. After opening the Vault on Promethea, the Calypsos attack and the Siren gets into a standoff with the two. Troy then absorbs her powers and takes her life. She seems immediately resolved to her fate, which almost makes it worse to see.
Leda was the love of Typhon Deleon's life and the antagonists' mother. She helped the first Vault Hunter on his journey and the two crash landed on Nekrotafeyo together. Typhon is not shy about their carnal endeavors and the variety of places in which they performed them, but hearing those private tales isn't why she makes the list.
Leda passed away while giving birth to the two children, leaving Typhon to raise them alone on the untouched planet. They were deeply in love and her loss clearly took a toll on Typhon.
6 Ava's Grief
Maya passing on is sad enough, but seeing how it affects her apprentice, Ava, adds a whole other layer of tragedy. The young teenager's life had been marred enough by hardship, and she found a maternal figure who protected and believed in her. To see her vaporized was traumatic. On top of that, she feels at fault for the Siren's death. Maya was rescuing her after Ava had gone against her direct order to stay on Sanctuary. By the end of the game, Ava is in a more mature place, but is still in a lot of pain from the loss.
5 Lilith's Sacrifice
Tyreen manages to merge with The Destroyer, but the Vault Hunter puts her down before she attains godhood. After the battle, Lilith regains her Siren powers. The celebration is short lived, however, as the Vault Key, which happens to be Pandora's moon, is still opening and threatens to destroy the planet.
Like the true hero she is, Lilith spreads her wings and flies towards the Key to deactivate it, but disappears in the process. She leaves a permanent mark on the moon, and while most are sure of her continued existence, no one knows exactly what happened to the beloved character.
4 Life of The Party Side Quest
In this side quest, Mordecai asks the player to attend a little girl's birthday party. Upon arrival, the Vault Hunter from the first game learns of Gracey's passing. Her father still set up a party, though, and asks the player and Mordecai to stay and celebrate. The game play involves several minigames which players can purposefully fail in order to make the father feel better about her daughter's established records. Of course, the player can also choose to break the deceased child's scores if they are monsters.
3 Invasion Of Privacy Quest
After boarding Sanctuary, Ava requests that the Vault Hunter collect her belongings on Athenas. When they transport down to the planet, Maliwan has already rummaged through her belongings, and a Maliwan soldier named Private Beans reads her secret diary.
Beans sees it as comedic, but the details of the secret notebook are tragic. Before meeting Maya, Ava felt truly alone, having lost her family. The teenager is notably upset during this quest, but tries to play off the writing like it's made up and not an expression of her true feelings.
2 Fire In The Sky Quest
The Fire In The Sky quest reveals Typhon's final message for his two trusty robots, Grouse and Sparrow. Funnily enough, the emotionless Grouse claims to have no interest in hearing the last words, but the auto play forces him to listen.
In it, he advises Grouse to liven up a bit and dance. This prompts the characteristically grouchy robot to break down into sobs. The end is bittersweet as Grouse heeds the advice and boogies like there's no tomorrow.
1 Childhood's End
Handsome Jack has nothing to do with Borderlands 3's main campaign, but the Childhood's End quest deals with the relationship between him and his daughter, Angel. In the quest, the Vault Hunter interacts with objects that hold the Siren's memories. They recall when Jack discovered his daughter's abilities, when she accidentally killed her mother, and when her father restrained her to a chair and connected her to Hyperion's network. Angel is one of the series' most tragic characters, and being reminded of her dour origins was almost too much to bear.