The critical node (CN), which is the transition from the plateau phase to the rapid decreasing phase of seed ageing, is extremely important for seed conservation. Although numerous studies have investigated the oxidative stress during seed ageing, information on the changes in protein abundance at the CN is limited. In this study, we aimed to investigate the abundance and carbonylation patterns of proteins at the CN of seed ageing in rice. The results showed that the germination rate of seeds decreased by less than 20% at the CN; however, the abundance of 112 proteins and the carbonylation levels of 68 proteins markedly changed, indicating oxidative damage. The abundance and activity of mitochondrial, glycolytic, and pentose phosphate pathway proteins were reduced; consequently, this negatively affected energy production and germination. Proteins related to defense, including antioxidant system and heat shock proteins, also reduced in abundance. Overall, energy metabolism was reduced at the CN, leading to a decrease in the antioxidant capacity, whereas seed storage proteins were up-regulated and carbonylated, indicating that the seed had a lower ability to utilize seed storage proteins for germination. Thus, the significant decrease in metabolic activities at the CN might accelerate the loss of seed viability.