The 5 Most Heartbreaking Scenes In Movies

According to science, the death scene from The Champ is the saddest movie scene ever. Is science joking? Is it kidding us? We haven’t seen the whole movie, but after watching this we didn’t cry so much as we just cracked jokes like “who’s gonnaplace the bets now, huh?” And then we cackled with laughter like harpies. We bet we could find something sadder. Oh, here’s that clip:

And then we watched some of these and the tears just streamed down our faces.


Have you seen this movie? OH MY GOD. I had not seen this movie until right now and I don’t think I will ever see the entire thing. Not because the opening scene already RIPPED MY HEART OUT but because my eyes are so swollen from tears that I’ll never see anything again ever.

The Land Before Time

I asked why I don’t find this emotionally manipulative at all and Ashley replied “because he’s a baby dinosaur who thinks he’s going to a better place with his mother whom he loves.” So, that, probably.

The Shawshank Redemption

But he kept all the birds and the birds LOVED HIM.

Forest Gump

I think the part where he doesn’t read the letter is the part where I cry the hardest.

The Never Ending Story

Ashley would like to note “Oh, god. Artex. I liked horses as a little girl because I was original. Anyway, this scene gutted me, despite its terrible synth music. I mean, you’re basically watching a boy’s only family die. Of sadness. In front of him.”

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    • Jun

      Shit I cried watching that Up video. I’M AT WORK. SHIT.

      • JayEm

        That movie KILLED me.

    • Mel

      Oh my gosh, Neverending Story. My mom taped that movie for me off tv and actually sat there and stopped taping at the horse scene and starting taping again afterwards because I would bawl every time I saw him die. It was so sad!

    • Cassieleigh

      To this day, I still cannot watch the scene when Simba sees Mufasa dead in the canyon after the stampede. Cry. Baby.

      • Eileen


      • Stephanie

        Oh god. I cry just thinking about it. And when he’s in the field with the stars. That damn Disney music.

    • Kat

      The scene that always makes me bawl is the scene from Bridges of Madison County where Francesca is sitting in the truck waiting for her husband and Robert is just standing there in the rain crying.

    • Tania

      I’ve watched UP multiple times, and I cry like a baby every. Single. Time.

      I cry at the ending, too. The whole thing is just a big amazingly awesome sobfest. GOD I love UP!

    • ALS

      UP is horrible! My husband and I both sobbed like little babies because their relationship was so similar to ours. The Notebook is another one that gets me in the end.

    • nunyadb

      The last part of How to Train your Dragon, where Hiccup lost his foot, and now he matches his dragon Toothless, and OH.MY.GOD. I cry every single time.

    • Tb

      Do NOT watch Up with PMS, terrible idea.

      • M

        I learned that one the hard way too. And not only was I ragingly hormonal, my boyfriend had JUST left to go back to school 14 hours away. The beginning kills everyone, but the part where he’s freaking out because all the little things from their lives together are falling off the walls and breaking also gets me every time. And when he starts to lighten the house later. Oh god I’m crying now WHY.

        I will still eventually make my boyfriend watch Up with me, but I have to do it when I’m thick-skinned enough to a) cry less, and b) not care when I actually do. Though he will definitely also cry, which will make me feel better. He even cried the very first time he ever saw ten minutes of a Glee episode.

    • August S.

      The Land Before Time! The movie that taught me the correct name for brontosaurus– no, not apatosaurus, you silly paleontologist! Longnecks!
      The death of Little Foot’s mom was the worst– WAY worse than Bambi’s mother. I mean, did Bambi have pull himself together afterwards to deal with an extinction event known by scientists (a group not known for hyperbole) as “The Great Dying?” No? Thought so. Suck it, Bambi.

      (The Land Before Time even has real-life tragedy because of what happened to the girl who voiced Ducky, which is legitimately terrible in a non-nostalgic sense.)

    • Lisa H

      The saddest scene in Neverending Story isn’t Artex dying, it’s the Rock Giant waiting for The Nothing to take him because he couldn’t hold on to his friends when The Nothing took them. “They look like good, strong hands don’t they?” Kills me every time.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        Oh god. You are right.

      • Alice

        Damnit, SO true

    • Lauren

      Great now I’m hysterically sobbing in bed. This is a post I should have waited to read/watch until next week when I wasn’t crazy with PMS.

      I never saw UP but I don’t know if I can ever handle it now!

      • Lisa

        Lauren, Up was surprising good I was very impressed…..but yes the beginning is a baller. The dog, boy and old man are a riot though.

      • Venus in Furs

        Up is beautiful, and even though the part that made you cry is sad, the rest of the movie isn’t like that. Watch it!!!

    • Leah

      So I was reading through these and going through the comments thinking “yeah sad, but… Eh” Until I got to the comment about the Lion King. It doesn’t matter how old I get or the fact that it’s a cartoon, I’ll never be able to remember the scene where Simba finds his dad dead without welling up. So sad!!!

    • Nat

      Yes yes yes. The Land Before Time was my favourite movie for a long time – until it got a bit embarrasing to tell people it was my favourite.

    • Domi

      What is it about children’s movies? Is there some kind of requirement that if they don’t make everybody watching them bawl like a newborn, they can’t be distributed?

    • woo

      Final scene from Midnight Cowboy.

      Take that, science.

    • Somnilee

      I was “ordered” by an ex-boyfriend not to watch Up as he knew it would make me bawl like a baby/break my heart. So a couple of months ago I started getting the idea that I’d watch it anyway, I was tough enough, yada yada. Then I saw that clip (a snippet of the one you posted) on a TV programme about the magic of Pixar and CRIED. Full on CRIED. In front of my father.
      I’m still going to watch it someday, though.

    • porkchop

      If you love crying, watch “Feed the Kitty.” It’s a warner bros. cartoon from the 50s, featuring Marc Antony the bulldog and Pussyfoot.

      Also, Artax scarred me for life!!

    • Stephanie

      Another embarrassing movie that made my *very short* list of “Things that Made Me Cry”… Toy Story 3. Twice. Once when they were all holding on together and were about to get chopped to bits or on fire or whatever. Second time, I think, was when Andy was reunited with Woody and all. That time was from joy though. Toy Story 3 was. So. Good.

      • Venus in Furs

        Don’t be embarrassed! My hubby & I both cried through the end of that movie (particularly during the scene you described when the toys thought they were done for in the incinerator). *sniff* Such a great movie.

    • Venus in Furs

      Why did you guys post this? Don’t you know I l0ok at The Gloss while I’m at work? Now I’m crying just thinking about those sad scenes. And all the other sad scenes in movies I love (like when Marianne gets the breakup letter from that bastard Willoughby in Sense & Sensibility).

      Please do a 5 funniest to make up for making us all cry. Thanks.

    • Kait

      To this day I still cannot watch the entire “Fox and the Hound” movie because as soon as the old woman releases her pet fox into the wild, I lose it.

      Shit, here I am at work tearing up just thinking about it. Damn you, Disney.

    • Emily

      The UP scene and little foot mother scene are the sadest scenes ever.
      Ugh </3 such good movies.
      I'll refer to these next time I need a good cry.

    • Emily

      this should be included.
      The Notebook

    • Stacy

      2 for me:

      I know its a terribly hokey film, but the scene in Titanic where the people are just waiting for death. The old couple. The mom and her 2 kids. It just kills me.

      And when King Tritan gives up Ariel to be with her love. KNowing he’ll barely get to see her again. SOB.

      • Steve O’Rourke

        Those two scenes are the ONLY ones in Titanic that affected me – the rest of the film was a sap-o-rama.

    • Lainey

      How can you forget the scene in “Stopmother” when she has to give her children the last Christmas gift she will ever give them.

      • Leah

        Oh my god I can’t believe I forgot Stepmom! Saddest movie in the world. I think I cried through that entire thing.

    • Bette

      I think the one that made me cry the most….and every time I watch it, Cher in the scene from Mask when she finds her son dead.

    • Cara

      I’ve watched a few movies a thousand times, but I always bawl whenever I watch them.
      1. Forrest Gump
      2. Fireproof
      3. Toy Story 3
      4. Bambi
      5. Titanic
      6. Romeo and Juliet
      7. The Green Mile
      8. The Shining (that’s mainly out of fear though)
      9.Marley & Me
      10.My Sister’s Keeper

    • Viki

      How could you ever forget the end of Pay It Forward!!! Ive watched it half a dozen times and sob every time.

    • Fae

      I’ll agree that Neverending makes me cry.

      However, I am not a typical lady so the movies that move me to tears are:

      1.) The Wrath of Khan (Yes I cry when Spock dies! I’m a long time Trekkie and proud of it.)
      2.) Armageddon (When Harry gives up his life for everyone… I cry)
      3.) The Green Mile (Lots of scenes… but the execution of John Coffey is the most hard hitting.)
      4.) Neverending Story (Many scenes)
      5.)LoTR Return of the King (The scene where Frodo tells Sam he can’t remember the Shire and again when he leaves the Shire with the elves.)

      There are more; but these 5 and those scenes I avoid like the plague unless I need/want to cry.

    • Saskia

      The last unicorn!! I always cry at the end. Although she´s not the last anymore, she´s the lonliest of all because she´s the only one that can love. kills me

      • Ashley Cardiff


    • Candy Lawrence

      Wow, have none of you guys ever seen ‘Julia’? The rather old movie with Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave? If you want a cry, just you wait for the scene at the end where you suddenly realise she’s not going to find the baby…. And you can read the short story it was taken from, in ‘Pentimento’ by Lillian Hellman, for extra bawling. Worse… it’s a true story.

    • Kim

      How could you forget The Iron Giant? That scene where the Giant crashes with the missile and goes “SUPERMAN” is absolutely heartbreaking.

      • Magda

        Oh! My! God! I just watched that movie like last week for the first time ever with my god-daughter… Shes four so to her it was just entertaining… I was literally trying to hide my tears from her at the end. Like I even did one of those, “I’m choking on a sob but I’m going to try to make it into a cough so you wont look at me” things..

    • Magda

      I still remember the first time I watched Beauty and the Beast as a semi-adult. And I started sobbing when he lets her go see her father when he’s sick. My mom walked in and was like, “What the flip is wrong with you?” And I just kept muttering through the tears, “He loved her enough to let her go!!!!!!”

    • BJ

      Dumbo visits his mother at the prison car. If that doesn’t break your heart, check yourself for a pulse.

    • ValkyrieBird

      The Fox & the Hound. I start crying at the beginning of the movie because I know what is going to happen. What twisted bastard at Disney ever thought that this was appropriate for a kid?

    • ender

      You can’t judge a movie by just one scene, so don’t judge the champ by just one scene before knowing the context and watching the whole movie. Otherwise good list, everyone seems to forget neverending story. I would also include the cinema paradiso ending, and–believe it or not–the ending of jack frost.