Film/NS/Tear Jerker

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
< Film‎ | NS

MOD: Please do not add more entries to this page. Instead, cut out the middleman and add them to Tear Jerker subpages for the individual films.

N (empty)


  • Offside, the movie about the Iranian women trying to sneak into the World Cup qualifying match, when the First Girl tells everyone on the bus why she was at the football match. And then they light the sparklers.
  • All of Okuribito (Departures); it's about a guy who learns how to clean, dress, and make up bodies for burial, in front of their families. Naturally, the biggest tear jerker comes at the end when Daigo claims the body of his long-Disappeared Dad and finally remembers his face.
  • Om Natten (At Night), a short Danish film nominated for the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film: It depicts the lives of three young women living with cancer. One of them is about to undergo a risky procedure that will either save her or kill her. She breaks down in front of her father, saying she doesn't want to go through with it, and she's sorry she can't be stronger or brave like he wants her to.


  • Pay It Forward
    • when the kid dies.
    • The candles.
  • Penny Serenade (1941) with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.
  • At the end of the 2003 version of Peter Pan with Aunt Millicent. "Then I... am your mother".
    • Then there's Mr. Darling trying to contain his immense relief that his children are okay in the end and tries to act formal, only shaking John's hand... which backfires in them hugging each other in tears.
  • The ending of Philadelphia, the Tom Hanks movie about a man dying of AIDS. If that sounds like a tear jerking combination on its own, the movie ends with home movies of the just-dead guy as a kid. Ouch...
  • The Pianist. This movie is visually stunning, and hits home several times.
  • The Piano. The scene with the axe.
  • The BBC documentary "The Pink Floyd And Syd Barrett Story", of all movies. When they played "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond" at the end they very nearly had me in tears...
  • The final church scene in Places in the Heart.
  • The Plague Dogs. Just the entire freaking film. It was made for people who want to commit suicide but just lack the courage to pull the trigger.
  • The Polar Express
    • The scene where the boy tries to believe so he can hear the beautiful bell's sound, where he finally sees Santa Claus, when he gets chosen to receive the first gift of Christmas, when he loses the bell and subsequently regains it, and when the epilogue reveals that only he can hear the bell's "sweet, sweet sound", as can those who truly believe.
    • Five words: When Christmas Comes To Town.
  • Prayers for Bobby: No matter what your opinion on the film's controversial theme, the Griffith family's heart-wrenching devastation to the news that Bobby committed suicide has got to have a lasting impact for any viewer.
  • The Prestige... the People Jars, Borden's adorable daughter who looks like something out of an American Girl doll catalogue, the awkward brotherly moments, Borden ready to be hanged, the deaths of the two guys' respective wives... 'Which knot did you tie?'... BUT MOST OF ALL, THE BIRDS. They make very clear that when they look like they've just crushed a poor innocent canary? They have.
  • "Today-ay-ay I consider myself-elf-elf the luckiest man-an-an on the face of the earth-rth-rth." --Lou Gehrig, Pride Of The Yankees.
  • The ending of Leon/The Professional. Leon's far from a good man, given his job, and there's a certain grim satisfaction in seeing the villain brought low, but Leon getting shot after thinking he killed the villain, and having to kill both of them with grenades to finish the job, leaving poor Matilda all alone as well was pretty harsh.
    • "This is for Matilda." Cue tears.
  • A documentary called Promises. It was about a group of Palestinian and Israeli children, who are brought together and become friends through the film. Many of them change their entire views on the whole situation. At the end, the filmmakers bring them back together many years later, as young adults. One of the Israeli boys was in the military and wasn't allowed to participate. A few other children from different sides refused. One girl expressed interest in becoming a suicide bomber. Many of them think it was all a mistake. There's a scene where one kid, who really misses having been friends with the others, dissolves into tears. Many of my classmates did, too.
  • Both of the scenes in The Proposition that involve Sam singing "Peggy Gordon", an old Irish drinking song. The first time is intercut with a scene of Mikey, a mentally-handicapped teenager, being brutally flogged. The second time he sings it, he's raping Emily Watson's character. There's also something sad about watching Arthur die, even if he deserves it.
  • Pump Up the Volume: Particularly the scene when the suicidal nerd calls up Christian Slater live on his radio show. But there's a good moment as Christian Slater commences his final broadcast: he's playing the depressing song "Everybody Knows", but it's a triumphant, major-key, full-power march version of the song.
  • The Pursuit of Happyness: The scene in which Gardner himself is told that he has successfully made it through his training and is now officially a broker with Dean Witter. His face goes blank with shock and relief and then the tears well up in his eyes as he realizes that he and his son are no longer going to be homeless.

Q (empty)


  • Rabbit Proof Fence: Molly and Daisy finally make it home but Gracie didn't. Molly apologizing to her grandmother for having lost her is so heartbreaking.
  • Rambo
    • Rambo's outpour of repressed grief in the finale of First Blood is said by David Morell, the author of the original novel, to have saved the marriages of many emotionally broken Vietnam War Veterans, who finally learnt how to cry again.
    • The massacre of the Karen Villagers in the fourth Rambo film, as well as the bittersweet finale when the titular old warrior looks over the carnage he has caused. The music climaxes when Sarah finally finds Michael, symbolizing that Rambo and the others had done their jobs ("This is what we do. Who we are."). Yet it immediately becomes somber and mournful, with Sarah staring tearfully at Rambo and the others, who all remain silent and stoic. She's crying because she realizes that it's her fault that they had to go through this. They had to risk their lives, kill countless others, and will endure nightmares for the rest of their lives (as Rambo does early in the movie). Yet, they don't even ask for a simple "Thank you". That in itself is a Tear Jerker (doubly so because many - particularly the critics - just don't get it. This is a movie about soldiers, nothing more and nothing less).
  • Rango has one in Rango's Heroic BSOD, after Rattlesnake Jake calls him out on his tall tales and runs him out of town. He wanders alone across the desert night with a lost and forlorn look on his face, until he gets to the highway. Rango finds his imaginary friends, then sits there watching the traffic for a bit before finally saying to himself "Who am I? ...I'm nobody."
  • The scene in Ray where Ray is in rehab, going into withdrawal.
  • Red Dawn was a Narmful movie in some places, but Erica's death scene, where she asks Jed to kill her so she won't be interrogated, and he breaks down and when the mortally-wounded Jed sits on an old swing set and holds his likewise-dying brother, telling him, "Daddy'll be here soon, Matty" always get me.
  • Reign Over Me, featuring an amazing dramatic performance by Adam Sandler
    • When the lawyer showed Charlie the photo of his dead family. It felt really good when the judge (Donald Sutherland) tells him point-blank to shut up.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera
    • "Didn't Know I'd Love You So Much".
    • "Cromaggia". It may have been Blind Mag's Awesome Moment, but it's a gut-wrenching one.
  • Requiem for a Dream is a film about failure and despair. It may not make you cry, or even tear up at all. But chances are that something inside of you will die watching it, and it may be a while before it grows back.
  • Reservoir Dogs. It doesn't really incite tears, but the sadness at the tragic conclusion lingers for days. There are also scenes earlier in the film showcasing Mr Orange's agony and terror and Mr White's attempts to comfort him that really tug at the heartstrings.
  • Return of the Living Dead has the scene where Frank, upon realizing that his time was coming because of Trioxin, walks to a burning oven, kisses his wedding ring, hangs it on a switch, offers a final prayer to the Lord for forgiveness for what he's about to do, climbs into the oven, and shuts himself in. The scene makes even the background music (titled "Burn the Flames", for those wondering) sound poignant.
  • Return to Paradise has you root for one character's salvation throughout the whole movie, just to see him get hanged in the end. It is a very emotional, brutal and intense scene, that makes my waterworks overflow by just thinking of it.
  • The ending of Ring 0: Birthday. As a prequel, you know it's coming, but that doesn't make the ending any less powerful and gut-wrenching.
  • Road to Perdition
    • When Sullivan dies.
    • When the Father has to go on the killing spree in the rain. It's only sad if you realize he's given up his 1 shot at redemption to ensure they don't come after his son. But realized sadness still counts!
      • "I'm glad it's you." Holy crap...
      • Not only is Sullivan giving up his chance at redemption, but he is gunning down the man that he loves like a father. The most heartbreaking part is when the camera shows his face close up moments before he guns down Rooney, and it's twisted in pain and he is clearly holding back the tears.
    • Also, to an almost greater degree, the end of the film version of Lone Wolf and Cub, which inspired it.
  • The Robe has a pretty sad ending. The film is about a Roman who buys Jesus' robes after his crucifixion. The main character and his wife/girlfriend are executed at the end. However, this is represented by the couple walking out of the courtroom while the background fades into Fluffy Cloud Heaven behind them. Needless to say, it's a real Tear Jerker.
  • The Nazi propaganda cartoon, from the Rocketeer, counts as both this trope and nightmare fuel. Particularly the scenes of invading America. Expressed by a burning American flag falling to the ground and the American eagle being replaced by the Nazi one. Here it is.
    • When the mobster fully admits to being a criminal, but would still rather die than work for a Nazi.
  • The death of Mickey in Rocky III and later Apollo Creed in Rocky IV.
    • Admit it, you at least teared up when, upon against incredible odds, winning by a margin of one second the Heavyweight Title from Apollo Creed, Rocky gives a shout-out to his wife watching at home: "Yo Adrian! I DID IT!!"
    • This troper couldn't feel anything for the Rocky-sequels, but teared up at the end of the first one. All he wanted all along was to "go the distance" and not get KO'd. So he doesn't even want to know if he has won. When the points are read all he does is search for "ADRIAAAAN!"
  • For me there's a real tearjerker scene towards the end of Ronja the Robber's Daughter. After Mattis has repeated "I have no child" as a mantra during the summer and he is finally reunited with Ronja, he holds her in his arms and cries: "I have my child!"
  • Richie's suicide attempt in The Royal Tenenbaums always leads to tears. Beautifully shot, and especially painful considering the haunting Elliott Smith song (and the implications that go along with it).
    • Oh my god yes. And also Royal's death, with Chas holding his hand in his final moments, after they have finally bonded.
  • The Rugrats Movie: Near the end of the movie, Tommy Pickles had practically lost it all: he's lost in the middle of the woods with his brother, Dil, and his friends have abandoned him because he wanted to protect his brother over sticking with them. When Tommy tries to take care of Dil during the storm, Dil's newborn greediness kicks in, drinking the last bottle of milk down, then hogs a blanket Tommy was trying to share. When the two rip it and Dil finds it funny, Tommy snaps, tossing away his "'Sponsertility" (a pocket watch Stu Pickles gave him), then dragging Dil out into the rain blaming him for everything wrong that's happened since they got lost. Tommy plans to dump a jar of banana baby food for the circus monkeys to come in and take Dil away, but before he does, Dil looks up at Tommy in pity and fear: his big brother was scaring him! When Tommy sees himself in a puddle, he realizes what he's become and embraces Dil, apologizing for what he was going to do. Tommy, then, takes them back to their little shelter, retrieves the pocket watch and falls asleep with Dil, singing a small version of a lullaby Stu and Didi were singing in the beginning.

"Dil wants the monkeys, and the monkeys want the nanners, everybody gets what they want!"

  • In Rumble Fish the final showdown between The Motorcycle Boy and the police, followed by Rusty James letting the titular fish free into the river... where they stop fighting, just like his big brother promised.
    • The book is even sadder--Rusty James is arrested before he can release the fighting fish, and they die on the floor amid the broken glass and the shallow puddles of water.
  • Russian Ark is the first full-length single-continuous-shot movie (they got it in one take -- surely that counts as a Awesome Moment for everyone involved) whose plot consists of an unnamed Russian guy falling through a hole in time to wander through the halls of the Hermitage -- the Winter Palace of St. Petersburg -- observing chronologically disjointed moments in the palace's history, like a series of psychic impressions. Along the way he meets a fellow Chrono-Displaced Person in the guise of a cynical European, who claims to have done this sort of thing before. In any case, the entire movie can make you cry if you're really into art, architecture or history (there are tons of cameos, from Catherine the Great to Pushkin), but two stand out. One was right near the end, when the European decides to stay with the beautiful Last Ball instead of moving on with the hero. And the other happens at about the mid-point; the European chases a group of little girls down a hallway, pretending to be a ghost, until one of them gets called to have breakfast. We follow her to the dining room, where she says good morning and apologizes for being late, and it's just a cute little happy family scene until you check their clothes and realize that they're from the second decade of the 20th century, which leads you to realize who they must be and what's going to happen to them.


  • A Sad Movie is rather mean in that, at first, it makes you think the movie will be tragic (just look at the name!). But then the movie turns out to be a romantic comedy focusing the relationships between four pairs of people. The Tear Jerking comes at the very, very end when every single one of those four relationships end, at best, bittersweetly. And the movie does this to you just when you think it's all going to be a happy ending for everyone.
  • Salinui Chueok. The whole damn thing, mixed with a confusing dose of intentional Narm: (don't try to say that you didn't giggle nervously when Kwang Ho ran onto the train tracks and died.
  • Saw has a lot of them, but John and Jill's relationship takes the cake. You see how he loved her before the death of Gideon, their unborn son and John's transition to Jigsaw. Just try watching Jill's miscarrage or the tape to Gideon without crying.
    • Here's one that hit close to home for me and haunted me for a long time: Corbett Denlon asking for her mom in Saw V. Dear god...
    • The death of Josh on the Carousel. He KNOWS he's gonna die since his boss's wasted his second choice of survivor before he could even get a shot so he is finally honest with his employer, also forcing him to look him in the eyes and realize that his death, and all of the others who died up to that point is all his fault, and calling him out on his misandrist bias. Doubles as a Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    • Scott is on the bus after breaking up with Knives, and then the song Teenage Dream (by T-Rex, not Kate Perry) starts playing.
    • Scott comes across Knives after defeating the Katayanagi Twins and the song Anthems for a 17-Year-Old Girl briefly plays in the background as Knives says to him, "I just came to see your show..."
    • Both the regular and alternate ending will make you cry, no matter which girl, Ramona or Knives, you wished Scott would get engaged with, seeing the other one depart alone will still be heart-braking.
  • In the 1970s musical Scrooge, Bob visiting Tim's grave, as the beautiful song Tim sung earlier eerily plays in the background, is enough to make the strongest man tear up.
  • Secondhand Lions. Most of the second half of the movie is a massive Tear Jerking Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, but the most heartbreaking part is the speech that Uncle Hub (played by an always-terrific Robert Duvall) gives to the protagonist.

Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.

"Dearest children - since we've been abroad we have missed you all so much. Certain events have compelled us to extend our travels. One day, when you're older, you will learn all about the people we have befriended and the dangers we have faced. At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey. We hope to have you back in our arms soon, darlings, but in case this letter arrives before our return, know that we love you. It fills us with pride to know that no matter what happens in this life, that you three will take care of each other, with kindness and bravery and selflessness, as you always have. And remember one thing, my darlings, and never forget it: that no matter where we are, know that as long as you have each other, you have your family. And you are home."

  • Big Bird, painted blue and forced to sing for a crowd, in Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird. Surprisingly for a "Sesame Street" film, the whole movie is a colossal downer, what with Big Bird being forced to leave the family he's known his whole life to "be with other birds" (essentially, it's "Losing Isaiah" - for preschoolers.) The Blue Bird of Happiness scene itself is by far one of the most traumatic non-Nightmare Fuel moments for '80s kids.
    • The "One Little Star" song. "One little star, in the darkening blue, do you long for another, just the way that I do?"
  • The ending to Seven Pounds. While the movie was pretty emotional overall, the saddest part was at the end when Will Smith's character kills himself so that his love interest can have his heart and live.
  • Shakespeare in Love, particularly during the end of Romeo and Juliet. And again, when the Queen forbade William and Viola from being together. And AGAIN, when it is shown that Will's next play would be a tragedy, mirroring Viola's shipwreck on the way to America. Their play should be renamed "William and Viola".
  • Shaun of the Dead
    • When Shaun's mother reveals that she's been bitten and begins dying slowly, inevitably forcing Shaun to have to kill her. The movie turns pretty melancholy after that point.
    • The climax, when Ed volunteers to be left behind to die so he won't slow Shaun and Liz down. Especially the reprise of the joke from earlier - "I'll stop doing it when you stop laughing" / "I'm not laughing" -- and you realise he's really not laughing: he's crying.
    • Shaun says to Liz, "You don't want to die single, do you?". The look on his face, covered in blood and trying valiantly to smile through his tears...
    • The entirety of the basement scene was like this. So many tears.
    • Philip tells Shaun he always loved him, actually. Shaun's tears.
    • David tries to apologize to Shaun but get dismembered by zombies before he can do so. Prior to this he almost but not quite becomes The Woobie when his feelings for Liz are revealed. He never had any chance to really sort his issues out.
    • Mary. Something about that girl in the backyard evokes a sense of utter sadness, particularly when Shaun and Ed describe her as drunk. This gets even worse if you read the tie-in comic "There's Something About Mary", which reveals how she became a zombie. Turns out in life she was a shy, lonely young woman with an unrequited and unnoticed crush on Shaun.
  • The Shawshank Redemption
    • Brook's final monologue and death. It particularly strikes hard after he hangs himself and the camera pans over his carved message on the ceiling which simply reads "Brooks was here" while the old man's limp body hangs below.

Brooks: I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time... I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up any fuss... not for an old crook like me.

    • For tears of joy, try everything after Andy's escape from Shawshank. When he escapes from Shawshank is enough to get the eyes watering: he's just crawled through just under half a mile of raw sewage, he gets to his feet in the middle of the pouring rain, he's stumbling, dragging his pack behind him ... and then there's that fanfare of trumpets and strings as he removes his shirt and stands, arms raised, laughing, in the rain.
    • When Red's letter started to repeat the same speech as Brooks', just in anticipation that he might maybe meet the same end?
    • The last bit: "Get busy living ... or get busy dying. That's goddamn right." Pan up. SO WAS RED.
    • When Tommy is murdered by Hadley and Norton. You see it coming a split-second before it happens, but it's still a shock. Tommy was dumb, surly, and a habitual criminal...and also friendly, outgoing, had a baby girl and was trying really hard to turn his life around for her sake and for his mentor, Andy's, and was going to provide evidence that Andy was innocent after all...and he was murdered for it.
  • The montage from She's Having a Baby. It has tearjerker written all over it. Kevin Bacon sitting in the hospital waiting room, crying to himself as he thinks back to his time together with his wife.. John Hughes really knew how to tug at someone's heartsrings.
  • In She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, when Capt. Brittles goes to inspect his troop for the last time due to his retirement and all the men are in their best uniforms and when they present him with the watch that they all chipped in to buy and Brittles puts on his glasses to read the sentiment "Lest We Forget."
  • The end of Shiri: Hee's death is tear jerking, but the clincher is when Yu went to meet the real Myung-hyun in the mental institution. The beginning of the movie was no emotional picnic either.
  • John Cameron Mitchel's Shortbus may be famous for featuring explicit, non-simulated sex but good god it's an incredible emotional release. The entire ending sequence is a Heartwarming Moment, Awesome Music, and pure catharsis are rolled into one. They're happy tears, to be sure, but oh there's always a lot of them.
  • The segment in Short Circuit 2 where the villains brutally attack Johnny 5 while he pleads for his life. Follow that up with a showing of Johnny's desperate attempts at survival (including stealing a car battery as an alternate power source and breaking into a Radio Shack so he and recovering Jerkass Fred would have the tools needed to repair him), and you've got yourself a segment that threatens to make you have a heart attack at how agonizing it is.
  • Sin City. Specifically "The Hard Goodbye". Frank Miller's work is often criticized for a lack of humanity, of being filled with lousy people in a lousy town, and Sin City is built around that. However, the story of Marv fighting to avenge the death of the one woman named Goldie who gave him some love is very touching. Over the course of the story, Marv kills countless people, tortures many of them and kills one of the most powerful men in town. And he enjoys it. Given his violent tendencies and the comment that he'd be right at home on an ancient battlefield killing people, its possible to think that he's simply using Goldie's death to have some fun. But then, he is almost killed and is sentenced to death. Hours before his execution, he gets his only visitor in 18 months. It's Goldie's twin sister, Wendy, who aided Marv in the killings. But Marv has a mental illness and he gets confused. So when Wendy walks in the door, he thinks it's Goldie, and he says "I got them for you good, didn't I Goldie?". We are instantly reminded that he gave his life to avenge this one woman who he only knew for a couple hours. Cue the Manly Tears. Then he apologizes and says "Sorry, I got confused again." What does Wendy say? "You can call me Goldie." She spends the night with him. Two Tearjerkers in 30 seconds at the very end of the first story of what's seen as one of the most nihilistic, violent and heartless mainstream comics around.
    • The ending of That Yellow Bastard. "An old man dies. A young woman lives. A fair trade. I love you, Nancy." BANG!
  • The 2005 version of War of the Worlds. The characters are making their way through a valley, along with a few hundred other refugees. A fairly substantial group of soldiers trying to hold back the tripods tripods closing in on them while the refugees pass, despite the fact that their weapons do nothing. So they CHARGE.
  • The end of Sky Blue. Poor Jay...
  • The entirety of Snoopy Come Home. Case in childhood trauma point. The cold cereal is the clincher. It's one those Schulz touches that's too irrevocably human to bear.
  • In Snow Cake, when Alex breaks down feeling guilty about Vivienne's death. Made even worse when you realise that it's not the first time he lost a would-be friend in a car crash. His son was killed before he could even meet him. That time, he was so angry, he went to the driver's home and hit him. And accidentally killed him.
  • The end of Snow Dogs: Not the very end... but the bit that starts with the reporter and ends with the dogs racing over the snow-covered hill...
  • This scene from The Social Network.
    • The last scene, with Mark Zuckerberg sitting alone, refreshing the page while waiting for his ex-girlfriend to accept his friend request. The song playing over the scene made it worse -- baby, you're a rich man, but what else do you have?
    • The hallway scene in the house in Palo Alto. That one line. Jesse Eisenberg was robbed.

"I- I want– I need you. Out here. Please don't tell him I said that."

  • Sophie's Choice. Watching Meryl Streep shove her daughter into the soldiers' arms and then burst into tears as her daughter screams while being carried to her death is one of the most haunting, horrific scenes in cinematic history. That Oscar was well-deserved.
  • The scene where Sol "goes home" in Soylent Green is this on many levels. When Sol realizes what he must to do expose the terrible secret of Soylent Green, Thorn tries to stop him but finds out too late so all he can do is watch as his closest and best friend dies. Sol is also one of the few characters old enough to remember the Earth when it was still full of natural beauty. The beautiful nature footage he is shown before his death, set to classical music, deeply moves both characters (Sol: "I told you." Thorn: "How could I know? How could I ever imagine?") and drives home the film's environmental message. Finally there's the Reality Subtext that Edward G. Robinson (Sol) was dying in real life and the only other person on the film who knew was Charlton Heston (Thorn), who cried real tears during that scene.
  • The end of Spartacus is a Tearjerker, a Crowning Moment of Awesome, and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming all rolled into one. Spartacus' large army of slaves is captured by the Roman army, who declare that they all face crucifixion unless anyone will identify which of them is Spartacus. Spartacus starts to stand up to give himself up and spare his people, when the two people to either side of him stand and both declare that they are Spartacus. Following that, every single person stands up one by one and shouts "I'm Spartacus!" A single tear falls down Spartacus' cheek as he sees just how devoted to him his men are.
    • "He will know who his father is. Because I'll tell him!" (You know it's a good movie when a Yaoi Fangirl cries for the straight couple).
  • Toward the end of Speak (the Film of the Book), when Melinda shows Mr. Freeman all of the tree paintings/projects she's done in the old janitor's closet.
  • In Speed Racer, after Taejo reveals that the file he had offered didn't exist, Speed goes on an angsty dive around Thunderhead. Racer X follows him and gives him the most moving pep talk EVER. Speed asks if X is actually Rex and X says no. Which is a lie. Then he says, "I'm sure if he were here, he'd be immensely proud of you."
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. "Sound the Bugle". That is all.
  • In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, when Spongebob and Patrick end up dying in the Shell City Giftshop.
  • Stage Door. The impetus for Katharine Hepburn's magnificent performance in the play.
  • Stand by Me. All their backgrounds were depressing, and Chris's death at the end was the most heart-wrenching scene. Why do people grow apart?
  • Stargate: The Ark of Truth. Daniel, lying on the floor of his cell in agony from recent torture, begs Morgan to help them, practically breaking down.
  • The Star Trek movies have more than a few:
    • The scene between Data and Picard near the end of Star Trek: Nemesis as Data says goodbye and makes his Heroic Sacrifice.
      • When Riker recalled the first time he and Data had met: in a holodeck, with Data trying in vain to whistle. The heartbreaking bit, though, was that Riker just couldn't remember what song it was Data had been humming... The audience knew, and several of them started whistling it right then and there.
      • And just to make it worse: B4, trying to sing "Blue Skies" - with some help from Picard. (Brent Spiner is a freaking genius.)
    • Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan. Spock's Heroic Sacrifice, his moving farewell to Kirk, Kirk's eulogy at the funeral, Scotty playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes...James T. Kirk struggling to keep it together will do that to a man:

Kirk: Of all the souls I encountered over the years, his was the most... * voice cracks* ...human.

      • Kirk racing desperately through the Enterprise to get to his friend -- and then McCoy, Scotty, and someone else having to use all their strength to keep him from going in there himself.
    • Or The Search for Spock. "My God, Bones, what have I done?"
      • McCoy's response could probably count as this, a CMOA and a CMOH all wrapped into one.

McCoy: What you had to do. What you always do: turn death into a fighting chance to live.

    • Kirk and Klingon Chancellor Azetbur's reconciliation at the end of The Undiscovered Country:

Azetbur: You've restored my father's faith.
Kirk: And you've restored my son's.

      • The last scenes are also very sad, and much more so to those who have watched the entire original series and the rest of the films. Enterprise is about to be decommissioned, meaning that it is the final voyage of Kirk and his crew, and the end of an era. The fact that they also decide to 'take their time' in getting back to Earth also makes this a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
    • Star Trek Insurrection features an interstellar dispute over a Fountain of Youth planet. Geordi La Forge, blind since birth, suddenly generates the ability to see without the aide of his visor while on the planet. Captain Picard finds him on a hill asking, before they leave, to watch a sunrise for the first time. Then you see the sunrise itself. Then you see the tears welling up.
    • The first ten minutes of the new Star Trek movie, where new daddy Kirk makes an epic Heroic Sacrifice to save his wife and the rest of the escaping Kelvin crew.
      • Kirk and old Spock were in the cave talking about the existence where Spock came from and where Kirk knew his father.
      • Spock introducing himself with: "I have been, and always shall be, your friend."
      • Papa Kirk's last words and the delivery thereof: "I love you so much... I love you-"
      • A short shot in this scene from Papa Kirk's perspective, showing red "Systems Failed" messages across the Kelvin's screen while explosions and destruction goes on around. All this being set to a piece of music that is a tear jerker all on its own.
      • And the opening scene comes back later to gut-punch you with the line:

Pike: Your father was captain of a starship for twelve minutes. He saved 800 lives, including yours and your mother's. I dare you to do better.

    • And then later on, when Vulcan is being destroyed and Chekov is beaming up the elders that Spock has gathered, his mother among them, and the ground collapses under Spock's mother, and she screams for her son--especially Chekov's frantic repetition of "I'm losing her! I'm losing her!" and then his shell-shocked face after the remaining Vulcans appear on the pad, with Spock's arm stretched out, reaching at nothing.
    • In a crossover with both Heartwarming Moments and an Awesome Moment, Leonard Nimoy's voiceover of the famed TOS narration, which then segues into a grand orchestral recapitulation of Alexander Courage's original theme, is wrenching.
    • "I have been, and always shall be, your friend."
    • Spock Prime: As he was helpless to save his planet, I would be helpless to save mine. *shot of him staring up into the sky with heart-broken expression* Billions of lives lost, because of me, Jim. Because, I failed.
    • Kirk's death in Star Trek Generations. In a film which missed so many chances to be one of the best Star Trek films ever, Kirk's death, set to a beautiful and touching piece of music is heartbreaking.

Kirk: It was the least I could do... for the captain of the Enterprise. It was... fun. Oh my...

  • The ending of Straight Story - two brothers finally meet. The viewer cries..
  • Stranger Than Fiction - for much of the movie, the driving action involves Harold Crick learning that he is a character in a book. After meeting the author and getting to read a copy of the book, he returns to her and calmly accepts his own impending death because the book is just that wonderful.
    • The fact that he accepts this after the entire movie had built up his growing appreciation of life outside numbers and his job, including falling in love for what was probably the first time in his life, doesn't help. Emma Thompson's character being completely unable to write the sentence and having a complete breakdown over it fits in here too.
  • Sunset Boulevard makes you feel really horrible for Norma. And it was a true story, since that was what had happened to Gloria Swanson, who played the role.
    • She got ditched by the industry, yes, but happily she didn't go nuts over it.
  • Sunshine
    • When Capa ends up in the Payload chamber heading for the sun, Capa finds Cassie slumped on the floor. There's this beautiful, gentle moment between them where he tells her they're flying into the sun.
    • When Capa blasts across the void of space to reach the door to the payload. The music, accompanied by the close-up of Capa screaming, and the visual itself, is tear jerking.
    • Just before that scene, the bit where Capa is in the space suit trying to get to the payload chamber and he falls over in the suit. He's struggling to get up and you can tell how frustrated and angry with himself he is. Always gets me
    • When Searle is left on Icarus I and as Icarus II is flying away, you just see Searle sitting in the observation room, waiting for his death, and you hear Cassie say "Searle, we're leaving now. We love you."
      • Mace's death. Don't know why, but that scene really got to me.
  • Super 8: Joe's mother locket flies, he grabs it as the thing shows the picture inside (she with baby Joe)... and decides to let go. The locket is absorbed by an alien ship, it takes off slowly, the end. (the only thing that makes it less sad is "The Case" playing afterwards)
  • In the DVD of the original 1978 Superman, there's a restored scene where Superman talks to his dad (or rather his hologram) following his first outing as a hero. Jor-El tells him to be wary of the thrill of being a hero..

And further, do not punish yourself for your feelings of vanity; simply learn to control it. It's an affliction common to all. Even on Krypton. Our destruction could've been avoided but for the vanity of some who considered ourselves indestructible. (Jor-El hesitates) Why...if it wasn't for vanity...right now..I could embrace you with my own arms. My son.

    • The opening: A stage curtain parts to reveal not Superman, or a busy city, or an operatic space utopia, but a boy reading a comic. It's a really great way of saying that this mythology, for all its success and influence, started as a humble little funnybook for kids.
    • The most tearjerking moment from the first Superman movie was definitely Pa Kent's death. After he tells his adopted son that he is on Earth for a special reason even if he doesn't know what that might be. Glenn Ford's acting was amazing when he just clutched his left arm and saying softly "Oh no..." and his collapse in a long shot. Then his funeral with John Williams' music plays as young Clark Kent tells his mother that even will all his powers he couldn't save his own father.
    • Superman getting stabbed with Kryptonite then thrown off into the water in Superman Returns.
      • The scene towards the end where, after hurtling Lex's kryptonite-continent into space, Supes plummets back to Earth, apparently dead. The scene hit full-force, no pun intended, with that soul-crushing THUD at the end of his descent.
    • The part where he flies above the Earth after watching Lois and family and he hears his father say "For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them only son", with heartbreakingly beautiful music. Then when he flies with Lois, there's even more heartbreakingly beautiful music. And this is all before he even dies!
    • The scene in the original movie where Brando (proving why he was worth his hefty paycheque) bids farewell to his infant son Kal-el before Krypton's destruction, along with those gentle lines "The son becomes the father, and the father ... the son."
    • Tear Jerker and Crowning Moment of Awesome: the end of the Fortress of Solitude sequence which features the strongest images of Jor-El as "God", John Williams' wonderful music, and the hopeful, uplifting monologue: "They can be a great people, Kal-El -- they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. It is for this reason above all, their capacity for good, that I have sent them you ... my only son." Then Jor-El's smiling face becomes a mask, which slips onto Superman's face -- the son becoming the father. And then John Williams finishes it off with a triumphant clarion call on horns to Superman's theme: DAAAA-DA-DA-DA-DAAAAAAAAHHH ... DAAAH DAAAH DAAAH ... as Superman flies for the first time in the costume.
    • In the Richard Donner cut of Superman II, when Kal-El returns to the Fortress of Solitude powerless and encounters the image of his father -- who had predicted his choice to become human. The subsequent sacrifice of the final remaining essence of Jor-El (thus fulfilling the prophecy "The father becomes the son; and the son, the father") is wrenching.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The whole movie is a colossal downer, from Sweeney scream-singing about taking his revenge on humanity and abruptly swinging into "and I'll never see Johanna/no, I'll never hug my girl to me," and "and my Lucy/lies in ashes/and I'll never see my girl again," to Mrs. Lovett locking Toby in the bakehouse, realizing what has to be done. But the absolute crowning moment is the ending, with Sweeney cradling the wife he longed for all those years in Australia, whose memory drove him to homicidal madness and rage... the wife he killed in a moment of blindness, the death from his own slit throat dripping onto her face. It gets even worse, as Mrs. Lovett is smoldering in her own oven; and Toby has returned to an urchin's life in Victorian England, the only mother figure in his life killed by the man he suspected all along. But at least Johanna and Anthony got away...we hope.
    • They didn't. "No, Anthony, they never go away."
    • It's very easy to read Sweeney's movements while Toby is sneaking up behind him as baring his throat for the blade; which is worse; that he is killed after murdering the wife he has lived through hell to see again, or that he is so completely crushed he wants it?
    • The most saddening part of the scene was Mrs. Lovett desperately and tearfully trying to explain her deception to Todd, who is barely even listening to her. Todd then turns to a clearly distraught and terrified Lovett to calm and reassure her before tossing her into the oven and quietly watching the slow, burning death of the only chance he has to be loved again, before slowly closing the door of the oven, making sure that the last thing she sees is his contemptuous look, and his last words to her being "Life is for the alive, my dear", which she had said to him before, imploring him to move on. It is made all the more poignant by the fact that the final song draws lyrics and music from the triumphant "My Friends" and the cheerful "A Little Priest", which is also probably the only song where Todd and Lovett are on quite the same page.
    • The moment when Sweeney began to tell Anthony about the barber and his wife. Between the pain in his voice and the despairing music, it weights heavily on the heart -- especially as the visuals flash back to the day Benjamin Barker was hauled away from his wife and child. (Tim Burton has said shooting that flashback left him in tears.)
    • Also, Sweeney's part in the song "Johanna," if one can ignore the blood, and focus on the words, is a crushingly depressing song about Todd accepting that his daughter's gone for good, and that seeing would only hurt worse because she'd look like his wife.
    • "Not While I'm Around" . The look on Mrs. Lovett's face as Toby sings to her is heartbreaking.
  • The whole ending scene in Swing Kids.
  • Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, when miss Geum-Ja starts scoffing cake. This does not sound like a tear jerking moment, but with that plot, and that shot, and that music... Oh dear.
    • While we're talking of Park Chan-Wook's films, the final scene in Im A Cyborg.
  • The ending to Synecdoche New York.

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