- Spock's Heroic Sacrifice.
McCoy: Jim.... I think you'd better get down here.
- The moment when Kirk notices Spock's chair is empty and runs down to Engineering, suspecting the worst.
- Kirk tries to save Spock, far too late to do anything to help him. Bones and Scotty tell him he can't enter the room, and that there is no hope.
- They don't just tell him; they have to physically restrain Kirk from opening a door holding back unholy levels of radiation in his attempt to get to Spock.
McCoy: NO!, you'll flood the whole compartment!!
- Kirk calling for Spock, even though they're Separated by the Wall. Spock, who's lying there and dying of the radiation, pulls himself up and painfully stumbles over to Kirk. Even dying at the end, Spock will never ignore his captain and his friend.
- The whole of their final exchange.
- "I never took the Kobayashi Maru test... until now. What do you think... of my solution?"
- "I have been, and always shall be, your friend. Live long... and prosper."
- Kirk giving the eulogy at Spock's funeral. "Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels ... his was the most ... human."
- The eulogy deserves to be reproduced in full. Warning: will cause many Manly Tears.
"We are gathered here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted, in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human."
- For those familiar with A Tale of Two Cities: 'It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before...' (*sniff*)
- If you're trying to get through this scene with a dry eye, James Horner's soundtrack is not your friend. The end of the cue "Genesis Countdown" is Kirk's reaction to Spock's sacrifice. Unreleased on the soundtrack, but prominent in the movie, is Scotty on the bagpipes at Spock's funeral; his rendition of "Amazing Grace" swells into a full orchestra as the torpedo is fired toward the Genesis Planet, just as the sun rises over it. Cue Manly Tears, a lot of them.
- The lingering shot of Spock's coffin as it comes to rest on the planet and pans out, showing the miracle the Genesis device has created ... and then Leonard Nimoy's voiceover reciting the famous Opening Monologue.
Spock: Space: the final frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: To explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.
- Poor, overshadowed Preston. Scotty brings the boy to the bridge in his own arms. (Even Saavik sucks in her breath in shock, and Spock closes his eyes in a look of pain not all that restrained.) After Preston dies, Scotty tearfully states, "He stayed at his post... when the trainees ran."
Peter: Is the word given, Admiral?
- Made even worse when you learn that a scene deleted from the theatrical version but put back in the Directors Cut showed that Preston was Scotty's nephew. "My sister's youngest, Admiral. Crazy to get to space!"
- Combines a little with Fridge Horror when you stop and think about the Inferred Holocaust that goes along with Khan's attack; it hits hard to think how many of the trainees, even among those who ran, didn't make it out alive.
- In the novelization, Saavik had been tutoring Peter Preston. The night before the funeral, she keeps a vigil over the coffins of both Preston and Spock, "the only two people she had ever cared about in the universe."
- "...And also that I'm proud ... very proud ... to be your son."
- For some reason, the death of Khan himself gets me every time. First, he and his people lost everything in their "comfortable" exile, and then Khan himself sees all the rest of his people die in the pursuit of his vengeance, and finally goes down quoting Captain Ahab from Moby Dick: From the heart of hell, I stab at thee..."