At face value, Naruto looks like your typical shonen anime series. It has your typical male protagonist who wants to be the very best and goes on a journey to become more powerful, meeting new friends and allies along the way. The show takes place in a brightly colored world that has ninjas wearing green jumpsuits and doing hand jutsu special attacks.
However, a shinobi’s life in Naruto isn’t what you would expect. Naruto deals with countless real-world problems (war, bullying, and death) in a fictional realm where war has affected people for multiple generations, and the cycle of war continues with our main protagonists having to grapple with the repercussions of his parents' death, as well as cope with the damages in the present.
Characters live in war zones, are used as pawns by the powerful, and often die tragically for a good cause. Naruto is rollercoaster of feelings.
We cried when we learned about Itachi’s real goal and when Tsunade broke the news about Rock Lee’s odds of surviving. Even Naruto’s parents' death scene was hard to watch without bawling. Grab a box of tissues, because we’re looking over the times that Naruto has ruined our lives with the feels.
With that said, here are the 15 Times Naruto Completely Ruined Fans' Lives.
15 Jiraiya's Death
Mentors always seem to the get the short end of the stick in Naruto. They often appear in the background, dying off-screen-- and Jiraiya was no expection.
The old sage quickly became a favorite among fans-- he was more than just a teacher to Naruto. Instead, Jiraiya was like a second father to him, teaching Naruto valuable life lessons.
When the Akatsuki started to influence the Amegakure civil war, Jiraiya decided to infiltrate the village and learn about the organization’s whereabouts. Jiraiya never wanted to be the hero of the story and didn't necessarily want to confront the Akatsuki. Instead, he felt that he needed to, knowing that there was a good chance that he wouldn't make it out alive.
Naruto lost some mentors before this, but Jiraiya’s death struck a chord with him (and many fans). Jiraiya promised that he would be there when Naruto bcame the next Hokage. Ultimately, this was a promise that he couldn't keep.
It took the strength of both Iruka and Shikamaru to bring Naruto back to his normal self.
It broke our hearts when Kushina turned to her child, telling baby Naruto to be a good kid, eat lots of food, and make a few close friends who could look out for him. In the scene, both Minato and Kushina cry because there were so many more things that they wanted to say before their untimely deaths.
14 The Destruction Of The Original Akatsuki
The Akatsuki is the infamous group led by Nagato. However, the original Akatsuki was formed before Nagato took the lead, and fought for a good cause.
Yahiko founded the first Akatsuki, creating a UN-like organization that went around convincing others to stop fighting, believing that peace was the answer. Many ninja from Amegakure joined their ranks. The original group quickly became popular and was loved by the villagers in Ame.
However, Hanzo saw this as a threat to his rule, and decided to lure Yahiko and Nagato out into the open by baiting Konan. Yahiko was killed by Hanzo, and the original Akatsuki was slaughtered by Hanzo’s men.
Yahiko wanted what was best for the village and tried to change the world through non-violent means. Nagato and Konan managed to survive the attack. Nagato decided to lead a new Akatsuki, now believing that violence was needed in order to achieve peace.
13 Haku Saves Momochi
Haku and Momochi were the first tragic characters in the series that made us cry. They were encountered during Team 7’s first major mission.
The two characters challenged Team 7's perceptions of war and their belief that no other people were as kind or caring as those in Konoha. In the episode, we learn about Haku and Momochi’s story. They were two outcasts from their respective villages who were caught in the cycle of war.
In the Water village, the locals ostracized Haku because of his powers. Meanwhile, Momochi left the Anbu, as he had become jaded from all of the conflict. Together, they worked together and carried out freelance work.
The arc concluded with both of them dying. Haku protects Momochi from the bandits, which motivates Momochi to attack them. The two are then killed. Their tragic death showed that not everything could be solved easily. Naruto finally discovers that the world can be a dark place.
12 Naruto Parents' Death Scene
The scene of Naruto's parents was perhaps the hardest scene to watch in in the series. We already knew that Naruto was an orphan and that his parents saved him from Kurama, so when the anime showed Kushina and Minato’s backstory, it instantly made fans bawl their eyes out, as they were forced to watch the parents sacrifice themselves for their son.
If it wasn’t for Obito, Minato and Kushina would have been the best parents in the show. Kushina would have been the spunky mom, while Minato would have been the cool dad that Naruto would have looked up to. Naruto would have grown up to be a very different person, never feeling isolated or alone.
11 Hiruzen’s Death
When Sarutobi Hiruzen faced dangerous odds, having to stop the very student whom he believed would surpass him, he never expected Orochimaru to resort to hurting his villagers.
To the citizens of Konoha, Hiruzen was the old grandpa who watched over the village. When Minato, the previous Hokage, died, Hiruzen had to once again lead the village and become the Hokage, this time bearing a greater responsibility. Not only did he have to keep Danzo from plotting a takeover, but he also had to make sure that Naruto, the child of Minato, lived a normal life.
Hiruzen was like the Albus Dumbledore of Naruto-- he watched over the kids and tried to prevent them from making the same mistakes that his ancestors did.
Therefore, when Orochimaru came to destroy Konoha, Hiruzen stepped up, using all of his powers to stop both Orochimaru, the First Hokage, and Second Hokage. Hiruzen died protecting Konoha, and his death would bring the village into a time of turbulence.
10 Hidan Kills Asuma in Front of Shikamaru
Shikamaru was heartbroken when Asuma was killed right in front of him. During the Shippuden arc, Team 10 confronted Hidan and Kakuzu and were forced to face them head-on. Asuma was the first major death in the Shippuden series.
Shikamaru watched Hidan impale himself in front of him, which caused Asuma to die. The worst part wasn’t just the death itself, however, but the fact that Shikamaru and his teammates desperately tried to heal Asuma. Unfortunately, not even Ino could save him.
All of them had to watch their teacher slowly die in front of them, and there was nothing that they could have done. Trying to console his students, Asuma requests one more smoke, but is unable to even finish it.
It’s Hiruzen all over again, but what’s more tragic is that Asuma has a family-- he has a baby on the way.
9 Gaara Looses the Bijuu Beast
Everybody remembered Gaara as as Jinjuriki, and like Naruto, the community shunned him because of he was different from them. Gaara was unique because of his sand justu, which made it impossible for him to feel pain, but that didn't mean that he didn't feel pain in his heart.
Instead of seeking attention, Gaara isolated himself, building up walls around him. However, once it’s revealed that Gaara’s childhood was filled with tragedy, Naruto empathizes with Gaara and decides to befriend him.
When Sasuke’s team extracted the bijuu beast inside of him, they knew that the host would die. Despite the villages’ antipathy towards him, Gaara shielded the villagers from Deidara's explosive attacks and protected them from the Akatsuki. The villagers then began to realize that Gaara wanted to protect the village and even went so far as to sacrifice himself for it.
Gaara died in front of them, but fortunately, Chiyo came to the rescue and was able to revive him.
8 Nagato Revives Everyone
When the series introduced Pain as the leader of the Akatsuki, the shinobis felt incredibly intimidated. Nagato showed no mercy to his foes, believing that people would come together and fight for peace only through pain and destruction.
The wars he’d launched devastated Konoha, taking the lives of many villagers. So when Naruto finally showed up to defeat him, we were expecting an epic smackdown. Instead, Naruto managed to talk to Nagato, which in turn allowed Nagato to realize that the only answer was not war. He then revived all of the people he killed in the village.
After listening to Naruto, Nagato chose to believe in peace. Nagato followed the Six Paths of Pain, so for him to undo everything and put his faith in Naruto was not an easy task.
This scene was particularly heartfelt, since it showed how angry and closed off people can be when they are forced to live in violent conditions. It also showed that these same people were still capable of changing for the better.
7 Operation Recover Sasuke Is A Failure
Naruto is a captivating show since it's characters are constantly met with challenges. On missions, we often expect the hero to win and for everyone to live happily ever after, but sadly, this isn't always the case.
Rather, the show depicts failure firsthand. It is more realistic than other anime, showing that, even with the help of all of your teammates, there is still a chance that you may fail and that those around you may fall in battle.
Operation Recover Sasuke ended up as a failure, for example. Not only did Naruto fail to keep his promise to Sakura, but his new friends also couldn’t stop Sasuke. Orochimaru turned out to be even harder to defeat, and Rock Lee was critically hurt because of the mission.
The hardest thing to see was Naruto, who was forced to accept that Sasuke chose vengeance over their friendship. It was the first mission that separated Team 7 and caused a rift in between each member. It was hard to watch the trio split up, but they also became stronger because of this.
6 Sai’s Childhood
Because Operation Sasuke failed, Team 7 would move on and focus on training, still hoping that they could persuade Sasuke to come back to the team. Sai was introduced during this arc. At the beginning, Sai seemed stand-offish and kept himself separate from the rest of Team 7.
We later learn about Sai’s childhood and that he used to be a member of the Anbu’s elite young squad called the Root. The Root kids went through rigorous training and hardships. They were given no names, were not allowed to have their own personalities, and were trained to become Konoha's second secret shinobi should the Anbu fail or fall.
Sai’s backstory further solidifies Danzo’s place as a villain, providing us with more information about who he is and what his goals are.
5 Kakashi's ‘Death’
Kakashi has led a pretty depressing life. Even his childhood was tough, as his father committed suicide. Two of his best friends also chose to sacrifice themselves in order to save others.
It’s no wonder that Kakashi became jaded and hard by the time he taught Team 7. Despite all of this, though, Kakashi still sought to protect and fight for Konoha. The man who knows over 100 jutsu couldn’t possibly die, right?
Nagato came along and proved this wrong. Kakashi was killed by Nagato, but it wasn’t because he was weaker. Kakashi used the last of his powers to save his friends, which made the scene even sadder, as we see him left completely alone when he dies.
As tragic as it was, Kakashi got a chance to meet with his father in the afterlife and the two even managed to reconcile. Seeing the two broken characters bond was enough to make anyone cry.
4 Neiji Sacrifices Himself
Neiji at first appeared to be a bully to his cousin, sometimes belittling her because of how weak she was in Ninjutsu. He was ashamed that Hinata was in line to become the leader of his clan, and was thus angry that the clan leader was chosen based on blood, and not talent or strength.
His resentment stemmed from the fact that he was born into the clan leader's extended family, knowing that he could never lead the clan despite his raw talent and power.
After his fight with Naruto during the Chunin exams, Neji realized that this didn't have to be his fate-- there was more to life than leading his clan. Instead, he chose to use his talents and protect his friends and Konoha. Neji became closer to his cousin and acted as a protective big brother, eventually sacrificing himself to save her.
3 Rock Lee Almost Dies
While we saw countless characters die across the series, we also witnessed scenes where deaths were drawn out across episodes-- where characters were so close to death that we doubted whether or not they would make it.
For example, Rock Lee almost died in one arc. As a kid, Lee had no talent in ninjutsu or genjutsu, the staples of shinobi. The other kids mocked him because of this, but instead of letting it get him down, he trained in taijutsu with the guideance Mighty Guy.
After the Chunin exams, Rock Lee was seriously hurt from his battle with Gaara. Not only were his spirits hurt, but the extent of his injuries also affected his spine. The injuries even halted his ninja career.
Tsunade broke the news, explaining that he needed an operation in order to recover. However, this operation was dangerous-- he could possibly die. Lee felt like the odds were against him, but thanks to Guy’s pep talk, he decided to go for the operation and take his chances.
2 Naruto Can't Control The Nine-Tails Fox
One of the main stories in Naruto focused on the titular character learning how to control the Nine-tailed fox inside of him. While Nine-tails initially despised Naruto, they soon learned how to work together and even went on to become best friends during the Fourth Shinobi War.
This close bond between the two took a lot of work. Throughout the series, Naruto would often lose control of the Nine-tails when his friends or allies were hurt and his emotions were able to run wild.
For example, this happened when he believed that Nagato had killed Hinata. Naruto unleashed his sixth tail and was nearly consumed by his rage. This also happened when he angrily pursued Sasuke.
There were times when he tried to contain it, and when that didn’t work, his parents were occasionally there to guide him in the right path. While it was hard to watch, Naruto was eventually able to overcome this challenge and befriend the demon inside him.
1 Itachi Kills His Clan To Save Sasuke
Itachi was introduced as the traitor of the Uchiha clan and to Konoha. According to Sasuke, Itachi was a cold-blooded murderer who had to be stopped at all costs.
When Sasuke finally confronts and kills Itachi, though, Itachi tells him the real story, and we couldn't help but cry. Itachi tells Sasuke that he killed the Uchiha clan in order to save him.
He was under the assumption that Danzo and the rest of Konoha wanted his whole clan dead and would stop at nothing to do this. Therefore he did what he could to save the person he cared the most about: his brother.
It wasn't until after the massacre that Itachi learned that Hiruzen had not planned this genocide at all. Itachi then asks Hiruzen to protect his little brother. We also learn that Itachi has a terminal illness and will likely die a few years. Itachi’s story is just one sad moment after the next.
In the end, Itachi intended to let Sasuke kill him.
Are there any other moments in Naruto that ruined your life? Let us know in the comments!