The Movie Deaths That Break Your Heart Over & Over Again

Photo: Courtesy of Disney.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Mufasa. Bambi’s mother. Noah and Allie Calhoun. These are just a few of the fictional characters whose passings bring tears to our eyes every time they even cross our minds. Yes, death is a part of life. Still, there was just no way to ready ourselves for the ways in which these beloved characters were taken.

With that in mind, get those tissues ready and cue up the Sarah McLachlan. It’s time to get our collective cry on as we remember the movie deaths that break our hearts without fail. Be sure you leave yourself enough time to pull yourself together, because another tearjerker will always be headed our way.

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Han Solo, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Han Solo and Princess Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), did the unthinkable: He joined the Dark Side. Han tries reaching out and connecting emotionally with his whiny son while on a large suspension bridge. Bad idea. Ren stabs him with a light saber.

The loss of fictional Han Solo is made all the more tragic by the loss of real-life Princess Leia. Carrie Fisher died in December 2016, altogether too soon.

Rue, The Hunger Games
[Whistles and holds up three fingers in salute.]

Mufasa, The Lion King
Trampled to death while saving his son in a stampede machinated by his own brother…but enough about this CHILDREN’S MOVIE.

John Coffey, The Green Mile
He is “rightly tired of the pain.” It still hurts like hell to watch.

William Wallace, Braveheart
“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”

Beth March, Little Women
The hardest truth for Joey Tribbiani to swallow. Why would Rachel even say such a thing?

Bambi’s mother, Bambi
That sound at 0:24? It was all of our collective innocence being lost.

Maggie, Million Dollar Baby
A wrongly placed stool is the beginning of the end, and I really don’t want to talk about what happens after that.

Jack Dawson, Titanic
She says she’ll never let go — but couldn’t Rose also scooch over just a little to make room for Jack on that piece of door, so the man’s heart could go on, you know, pumping blood throughout his body and giving him life?

Ellie Fredricksen, Up
If the first five minutes of this movie don’t reduce you to a quivering ball of raw human emotion, I just can’t help you.

Jenny Gump, Forrest Gump
At least she gave him Little Forrest.

Hillary Whitney, Beaches
Cue “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Jenny Cavalleri, Love Story
“Love means never having to say you’re sorry” — and also tragic losses.

Thomas J. Sennett, My Girl
And then they try to bury him without his glasses. He can’t see without his glasses!

Fred Weasley, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Even J.K. Rowling regrets this one.

Artax, The NeverEnding Story
The Swamp of Sadness really lives up to its name. All Atreyu can do is watch.

Littlefoot’s mother, The Land Before Time
BRB, going to look at some tree stars and text my mother a heart emoji.

Emma Horton, Terms of Endearment
Nothing to see here, just a loving mother saying goodbye to her children. Move along.

Angel Dumott Schunard, Rent
This might be cheating because Rent was first and foremost a stage musical, and purists will argue that the film adaptation was crap. I’ll take any excuse I can to talk about Jonathan Larson’s Alphabet City-set adaptation of La Bohème, though, so here it is on this list. “Live in my house, I’ll be your shelter…”

Marley, Marley & Me
He was a menace of a dog who brought the family closer together and, is someone cutting onions in here?

Jack Twist, Brokeback Mountain
Jack, I swear.

Andrew Beckett, Philadelphia
A fighter until the end.

Guido, Life Is Beautiful
He keeps the game going for his son even as he marches to his death.

Sergeant Elias, Platoon
When Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” starts playing louder than gunshots, it’s never a good sign.

Satine, Moulin Rouge
The darker side of la vie bohème.

Leslie Burke, Bridge to Terabithia
Yet another children’s movie that just takes your heart and stomps all over it.

Everyone, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
We are all just like that clock, powerless against the rush of time.

Hachi, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
Even after his owner passes away, Hachi faithfully waits for his train every single day until he, too, dies.

The Iron Giant, The Iron Giant
He sacrifices himself to save the people of Earth.

Mei, House of Flying Daggers
After a battle that wages on through multiple seasons, the movie’s lovers are ultimately separated by — wait for it — a flying dagger.

Sam Wheat, Ghost
Unchained Melody ” on repeat.

Fantine, Les Misérables
At least she’s able to give her daughter Cosette a better life, though.

Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars
Why do we live in a world where we have to discuss August Waters’ untimely passing? Why, John Green?

Charlotte, Charlotte’s Web
If you need a little cheering up amidst all this doom and gloom, though, please do read the comments questioning if Charlotte was really old enough to die beneath this YouTube video. What is an average barnyard spider’s lifespan, anyway?

Noah & Allie, The Notebook
Their love is so powerful, it takes them away together.

[Drifts off on a river of tears.]

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