Some movies are sad, it’s just inevitable. But viewers are typically prepped for the emotional strain of those films before walking into the theater or turning on a streaming service. What people aren’t ready for are the heartbreaking moments they never see coming, like the surprise deaths or even a monologue that seemed very out of sorts for a character.
Sad moments in movies have a way of tugging on our heartstrings. Warning: the upcoming list may contain tear-inducing spoilers.
E.T. Leaving His Friends And Going Back Home
Considering E.T. is a creepy little alien puppet, it’s strange to think people got emotional over his departure back to his, you know, actual home. But we did, and we’re not sorry for shedding a few tears when he left in a spaceship, leaving his best friend behind.
We know, we know, if E.T. stayed then he and Elliott would have been experimented on by weird government agencies. But that doesn’t mean we have to like the fact that he up and left after an epic bike ride back to the hilltop where his alien friends were waiting.
When Tod Is Abandoned In Fox And The Hound
This might be one of those sad movie moments that you stored in the far corners of your mind because it is devastating. After saving, pampering, and treating Tod like a member of the family, how could Widow Tweed go and release him into the wild?
We know, Amos Slade was making threats and playing the role of big bad hunter. But that doesn’t mean she should have just left her precious little fox! Tod was more of a house pet than anything, by that point. When Widow Tweed goes and takes off his cute little collar, it’s heartbreaking. And to add insult to injury, the other animals were mean!
Lee Abbott Signing “I Have Always Loved You” To His Daughter
When a film has no speaking in it, such as A Quiet Place, it might seem hard to connect with the characters emotionally. Well, in this case, director and star John Krasinski decided to turn everyone into a puddle of tears when his character Lee Abbott said goodbye to his daughter.
Sorry, when he signed goodbye to his daughter. Honestly, the absence of verbal communication made the scene so much more dramatic. Here we have a father and daughter who were at odds with one another throughout the entire film. And now, we have to watch as Lee signs, “I have always loved you” before sacrificing himself to save her.
Karen Realizing Her Husband Was A Cheater In Love Actually
When watching a Christmas-themed romantic-comedy, people don’t go into it thinking they’re going to get too emotionally invested. It’s a rom-com, after all. Viewers typically watch this genre for the light-hearted nature of the storyline. So, when the plot twist of all rom-com plot twists went down in Love Actually, people weren’t sure if they should cry, scream, or throw popcorn at the screen.
Yes, we are talking about when Karen finds out her husband, Harry, is cheating on her with his secretary. Talk about being a stereotype, Harry. But we will give props to Karen for having a much-deserved breakdown and then pulling herself together for her kids.
Ian Lightfoot Giving Up A Chance To See His Dad Again
Once again, Pixar takes an idea and runs with it until we are a blubbering mess, curled up on the couch in a tight little ball. Onward was supposed to be an adventure movie, showing two brothers traveling to find a way to see their dad for one more day.
It wasn’t supposed to end like it did, with Ian taking one for the team and fighting off a foe while his older brother gets to speak with their dad one more time. It was heartbreaking, knowing Ian would never get the chance again. And when Barley told Ian that their dad was proud of him, we lost it.
Young Jojo Finding His Mother In The Public Square
With all of the satirical comedy in Jojo Rabbit, it’s hard to imagine something actually horrible happening, like the young boy finding his mother in the square. And all because a poor little Jewish girl says the incorrect fake birthday and blows her cover.
We’re not sure about you, but we really thought Klenzendorf had a change of heart when he didn’t arrest Elsa. Now we know that he wanted to make an example out of Jojo’s mother. And it wasn’t the execution that really got us; it was the matter of Jojo seeing his mother in the square for everyone to see that had us tearing up.
Leslie Swinging On The Rope To Terabithia And Not Making It
This is one of those movies that even years after the final time we watched, it still cuts us deep. Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke only wanted to escape their school bullies, so they built and imaginary world across a creek in the woods. The movie is lighthearted, giddy, and has you smiling at the innocence of the two children.
Then that all comes crashing down when Leslie swings on the rope to get to their magical land but never makes it across. We’re sorry, but the kids were in full-on best-friends-forever mode, and then one of them goes and dies because the rope snaps?! Just no.
No One Was Ready For Peter Parker To Snap Out Of Existence
When some of the Avengers started turning into dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, no one was really prepared to see the youngest member blip out of existence. Not only is Peter Parker only a kid, but he just had to run into Tony Stark’s arms and tell him that he wasn’t feeling too good.
We’re not sure what was more tear-worthy during that scene, watching Peter disappear or looking at Tony’s face once he realized that he had no idea how to fix the problem. And when it comes to Tony, there is no problem he can’t fix. Ugh!
Maggie Breaking Her Neck During A Fight In Million Dollar Baby
When it comes to under-dog sports dramas, people typically go into it knowing some emotional event is going to happen at some point in time. For Rudy, it was the team banding together, for Coach Carter, it was Timo begging to be let back onto the team. On the other hand, Million Dollar Baby is a whole other level of sad.
After training with cranky former boxer Frankie Dunn, Maggie is ready to prove herself in the ring. Viewers are amped, after watching her hard work throughout the movie, so no one expected to watch her get clocked and break her neck on a stool that fell over.
The Opening Sequence In Up
Nothing prepared viewers for the middle and end of the scenes in the first sequence in Up. With nothing but some happy-turned-sad music involved, audience members went from loving Ellie and Carl to wanting to strangle Pixar screenplay writers.
How could they show the characters adventure-filled childhood, blissfully happy marriage, and painting a nursery, just to turn it around? They had to go and have Ellie lose the baby, collapse, and ultimately pass away before she and Carl could journey to South America? If you didn’t cry, you don’t deserve to know what an Adventure Book is. Personally, we’re probably never going to get over this sad moment.
I Am Legend…Enough Said
Sorry, but a pooch dying in a movie is never okay, and when it’s their human who does the killing, it’s that much worse. Obviously, Will Smith’s character in I Am Legend didn’t necessarily have a choice, considering his loyal companion was turning into a zombie, but that doesn’t make it okay!
If your dog gets bitten by a contagious zombie, work harder at finding a cure! Yes, we know that’s not “practical,” but we really don’t care all that much. Just don’t make us cry during a zombie apocalypse movie because that is a complete oxymoron.
Simba Crawling Under Mufasa’s Paw In The Lion King
Everything was fine in well in The Lion King, aside from Scar being a major piece of work. That is until Disney decided to throw a wrench in the whole father-son dynamic by giving Mufasa a brutal death. And if that wasn’t enough, they just had to go and add insult to injury.
Why in the world did they make it so Simba thought it was his fault? Not cool! Oh, precious little lion cub, allow us to cry along with you as you crawl under your father’s giant paw and curl up beside him one last time.
Peter Parker Saying Goodbye To Tony Stark In Endgame
Superheroes aren’t supposed to die in their own movies. So when not one but two main Avengers don’t make it out of Endgame, fans didn’t really know how to control their emotions, us included. The fact that one of those two characters is Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, made it that much worse.
What was more heartbreaking than watching Tony save the world only to die was Peter Parker not really knowing how to take not having Mr. Stark around. Tony was Peter’s father-figure and mentor, and watching him slowly drift off in front of the youngest Avenger was devastating.
No One Was Ready For The Furnace Scene In Toy Story 3
If Pixar is good at one thing, it’s pulling at the audience’s heart-strings. After two movies of fun Woody and Buzz adventures, which included a move and a mean man in a chicken suit, no one foresaw the emotional abuse the Pixar team was about to throw on us with Toy Story 3.
Not only do we see our favorite toys depressed because their human is leaving for college, but they just had to throw in the furnace scene at the end. And while the toys ultimately make it out alive, it still left a scar. The toys holding hands as they accept their fate is too much.
Tom Blake Doing The Right Thing And Paying With His Life
Sam Mendes’ World War I film 1917 has a lot of tense moments, considering its about two young men trying to get a message to the front lines. But those tense moments didn’t prepare the audience for the unexpected death of Tom Blake, one of the two young men running through the war zone.
We don’t know about you, but we really thought the character was a goner when he and Will triggered that trap in the bunker. When they both came away unscathed, it was a moment of “oh, maybe they’ll both survive this!” Then, wham! Blake’s stabbed by the enemy after helping him out of a burning plane.
When Wolverine’s Immortality Wore Off
Through multiple wars, time travel, and stopping the apocalypse, Wolverine has always been there with the rest of the X-Men. But there comes a time in every hero’s life, we guess, where its time to hang up the super-suit and move on. But when we say that we didn’t mean for Logan to lose his immortality!
We also didn’t mean for him to make an emotional connection with a young girl during “retirement” only to die in her arms. Of course, once a hero, always a hero, and Logan wasn’t going to sit back and watch young kids be turned into weapons. Still, dying in Laura’s arms was a lot.
Chuck Noland Screaming “WILSON!”
If there were ever a time to cry during a movie, it’s when Tom Hanks’ Chuck Nolan starts screaming “WILSON” when the volleyball falls off his makeshift raft and begins floating with the current. We know Wilson’s an inanimate object, but that doesn’t make him any less of a character.
Think about it; that volleyball was all Chuck had with him on that island. Obviously, talking to Wilson made him stay as sane as possible. So, we felt it when Chuck started screaming his head off, trying to get his only friend that understands what he went through back on the island. Excuse us while we go get some tissues.
Kat’s Poem In 10 Things I Hate About You
Considering Kat really had no feelings apart from that of understanding the sacred language of sarcasm, it was surprising to see her break down in front of a bunch of her classmates. In her room, sure, but crying over a guy in the middle of class is so out of character that it broke our hearts.
The fact that Patrick, the guy the poem’s about, is sitting in the class makes it so much worse. He just sits there, thinking about all of the things he did wrong, and Kat’s standing at the front of class spilling her guts out. For a teenager, that takes some major courage.
Bing Bong Not Being Able To Take Riley To The Moon
Pixar, Pixar, Pixar. If this studio is good at one thing, it’s bringing the saddest moments no one is expecting to the silver screen. We’re sorry, but it should be illegal to have a childhood imaginary friend disappear because he helped an emotion get out of a pit of lost dreams.
Like, come on, who evens comes up with things like that? And the fact that we thought Bing Bond was a villain at the beginning makes it that much worse! Don’t worry, you cotton candy multi-animal being, we’ll make sure Riley gets to the moon somehow.
Miguel Singing “Remember Me” To His Grandmother Coco
There are a few key components that typically have people tearing up in the movie theater. One is animals, and the other is romantic monologues — Marley & Me or The Notebook, anyone? But when it comes to Pixar (again), the sad moment is in the form of Miguel trying to get his Grandma Coco to remember her own father.
If you haven’t heard the song “Remember Me,” it’s enough to have you sniffling over the lyrics. It’s not that we weren’t expecting the song, it’s that we weren’t expecting Coco to sing along with her grandson. The little duet is what really pulled at our heartstrings.