7 Saddest Movie Scenes Ever Made

Movies can make audiences laugh, they can be thought-provoking, they can inspire change, and sometimes, they can simply make you want to walk out of the theater due to sheer boredom.

Then, there are those special films that get to moviegoers. These movies leave audiences helpless in those overly comfortable theater lounge chairs as they ugly cry in their popcorn and root beer.

A solid crying session is good for the soul. There is no better way to evoke this emotion than watching a sad movie scene.

So, grab that tissue box, favorite blanket, and some aspirin for the headache afterward. Below is the best of the best when it comes to sad movie scenes.

7. The Pursuit of Happyness – Sleeping in the Subway Bathroom

The Pursuit of Happyness is an emotional rollercoaster ride from the get-go. This 2006 Will Smith flick follows entrepreneur Christopher Gardner’s struggles with homelessness. Adding some extra emotion to the mix is the fact that Smith’s real-life son Jayden being cast in the role of Gardner’s son.


While viewers cried at various points of the film, the moment when Gardner plays “pretend” with his son, where they sleep in a subway bathroom, is most definitely the hardest part of the film to watch. As Gardner starts to sob quietly, tears start to stream down the face of any viewer.

Anisa Tse / YouTube

6. My Girl – Thomas J’s Funeral

Any coming of age flick can really tug at those heartstrings and My Girl is no exception. This 1991 movie about an 11-year-old dealing with some tremendous ups and downs offers plenty of laughs, tender moments, and some tears along the way.

Picture it: Madison, Pennsylvania, summer of 1972, where a young Vada is the only child to widower Harry. She’s a death-obsessed hypochondriac that doesn’t get too much attention from dad. Juggling many issues, her only true friend in the world is Thomas J.

Unfortunately, Thomas J dies in the middle of the movie when the two are off in the woods enjoying a childhood adventure. Thomas gets attacked by a swarm of bees, dying from an allergic reaction. If you aren’t crying from the fact that an 11-year-old’s sole friend passes on, then the scene where Vada walks up to Thomas J’s casket during his funeral and starts yelling that he needs his glasses on to see will literally tear even the coldest heart in two.

Movieclips / YouTube

5. Up – The Intro

The beauty of Pixar — and most Disney movies — is that they are truly something that the entire family can enjoy. The animation keeps the little ones fascinated, while the story and dialogue keep parents intrigued. Having said that, these movies are also known for providing some emotional-charged scenes. From mommy clownfish being eaten by a barracuda in Finding Nemo to Andy giving away his toys in Toy Story 3, it’s hard not to cry during these scenes.

Then, there are those first five minutes of Up that gets everybody sobbing. It spotlights the sweet relationship of Carl and Ellie from its very beginning to its unfortunate end.

Shumy miles / YouTube

4. The Shawshank Redemption – Brooksy Leaves Prison

The Shawshank Redemption follows Andy Dufresne, a banker sentenced to life for murdering his wife and her lover. Despite claiming his innocence, Dufresne is sent to the Shawshank State Penitentiary.

While the movie portrays a raw view of prison life, that will not prepare viewers for the heartbreak to come. One of the most difficult scenes to watch is when Brooks “Brooksy” Hatlen returns to “normal” life after completing his 50-year sentence. Hatlen succumbs to his loneliness and unhappiness, ultimately hanging himself.

Screen Themes / YouTube

3. Marley & Me – Goodbye Marley

With the star power of Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson, one would think that 2008’s Marley & Me was an instant box office success. However, one would be very wrong to think that.

So, the movie didn’t shatter any records and wasn’t really all that great. Despite that, every pet owner can relate to the emotion of watching their furry baby grow until the daunting day arrives when you have to say goodbye. Watching the ailing and aging dog pass on as Wilson whispers how great of a pup Marley was will make any pet owner ugly cry.

Movieclips / YouTube

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part IThe Death of Dobby

The story and franchise of Harry Potter continue to reach audiences both young and old, even years after the books and movies were released. New fans are drawn to the series annually.

While most of the movie franchises leave audiences amazed and wowed, the scene where Dobby dies in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I is a real tear-jerker. More heartbreaking than that are Harry’s pleas as Dobby sits in the youngster’s arms.

DeadlyKarouli / YouTube

1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – Saying Goodbye

Goodbyes are never easy in movies, but this one was especially hard. There is never a dry eye in any house, theater, or minivan when the scene arrives where E.T. finally gets to go home. After all, he’d been barking about it the entire movie!

All joking aside. When Elliot begs E.T. to stay and live with them forever and E.T. replies, “I’ll be right here”, the tears start to flow — and flow hard.

Movieclips / YouTube

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