When we were young, we weren’t ashamed to be totally heartbroken over the fate of our favorite cartoon characters. Now, as adults, we’re still heartbroken but just a little ashamed about it.
We were so unprepared to deal with the wave of emotions these 11 scenes brought on. And let’s be honest, we probably always will be. Grab a tissue!
1. The Iron Giant
Knowing that Vin Diesel is the voice behind this 50-foot-tall metal robot from outer space just makes it even more strange when we get all sad and weepy about him at the end of the movie. Seeing the big guy make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his friends turns this fun family movie into a true heartbreaking classic.
“You stay…I go….No following.”
Of course you saw this one coming. Two decades after James Cameron’s epic disaster movie left theaters full of people in tears, we’re still not over Jack’s death. Even Kate Winslet can’t forgive herself for breaking her promise to never let him go. Don’t even start playing that tin whistle tune because I will flip out right away…
3. My Girl
Can someone explain to me why Anna Chlumsky didn’t win an Oscar for this movie? The story of a young girl growing up in a funeral home was already sad enough, but the infamous “Where is his glasses?” scene traumatized kids everywhere.
And, of course, we’re going to make you watch it again. Sorry.
4. Romeo + Juliet
How do you make one of the saddest stories ever written even more heartbreaking? Cast Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star-crossed lovers. This movie turned a almost 500-year-old play into a romantic tragedy that modern teenagers fell in love with.
And they all had tears in their eyes during this scene.
5. Edward Scissorhands
If you first watched this movie as a kid, your main takeaway was probably being creeped out by Tim Burton’s dark and moody style. But as an adult, you can appreciate the movie’s dark sense of humor.
Until the very end, of course, when the movie just rips your heart out and snips it into confetti.
6. Toy Story 2
By now, Pixar has developed a reputation for adding an unreasonably sad scene into each of their otherwise kid-friendly movies. But in 1999 no one was prepared for a surprise sob-fest over a toy cowgirl. There should be some kind of law against using a Sarah McLachlan soundtrack to torture kids like this.
7. Homeward Bound
Yes, the pets manage to find their way home (as the title suggests) and there’s a happy reunion at the end. But as kids we were absolutely heartbroken every single time Shadow fell into that muddy pit. It always seemed like he would never get out (no matter how many times we saw the movie).
I’ll be honest, it’s still a little tense.
8. The Lion King
Boy, it got really dusty in here all of a sudden. Look, I’m as excited as the next person for the CGI remake of The Lion King. But if we have to watch a whole new cast recreate Mufasa’s death in stunning high definition, I might have to walk right out of the theater.
9. A Walk to Remember
It’s not like there are many “happy movie moments” in this story about a doomed teenage romance, but this scene checks all the boxes to start the waterworks.
The fact that Landon built the telescope just for Jamie, the proposal, the music, it’s all perfectly designed to leave you in tears every time you watch it.
Lots of parents mistakenly picked this movie up from Blockbuster, hoping it would help their kids understand why they were splitting up. Instead, they wound up traumatizing us with a movie about kids saying goodbye to their dying mom.
Warning: this scene only gets sadder the older you are.
11. Forrest Gump
The first time you saw this movie, you probably had this reaction:
Ugh, why are my parents making me watch this boring movie. Oh, this is actually pretty funny. Wow, Vietnam is scary. What, why is Jenny dead? This isn’t fair, they were supposed to be together forever!
And then you sob straight through the last 10 minutes of the movie.
Did we leave out your favorite (or least favorite) scene?