- In general, how the relationship between Elinor and Merida is. The beginning shows that they were very close to each. But as Merida grew older, she became more and more of something her mother didn't approve of, while Merida only sees Elinor as a major Control Freak. They can hardly have a proper conversation without getting into an argument.
- In what is often cited as the best part of the whole movie, during a huge argument, Elinor throws Merida's treasured bow into the fire. That's what finally drives Merida away. Then, after Merida's already gone, Elinor suddenly turns and sees the bow in the fireplace...and frantically tries to dig it out but it's too late, the bow's already too burnt. Elinor starts crying hysterically because she feels so guilty.
- The argument itself was pretty heartbreaking. Merida and Elinor tried to work things out with each other and to get one another to see from their point of view, but they're both too stubborn to see the other's side. There's so much negativity stewing between them that all that's left of their once happy relationship is them screaming each other down and running off.
- During the fight Merida screams, "I would rather die than be like you." to her mother. Words said thoughtlessly in anger? Yes. Teenage emotions coupled with the adolescent propensity to say cruel or harsh things melodramatically? Yes. It doesn't make the expression on Elinor's face any less wrenching.
- Merida tearfully apologizes to her mother after she doesn't immediately turn human after the second sunrise. Becomes heartwarming when she actually does.
"I want you back, Mummy..."
- What really clinches it is the reprise of "Noble Maiden Fair" being sung softly in the background.
- If you look closely, the Lords and their sons, who have so far been around solely for comic relief purposes and acted mostly like brutes, are also clearly tearing up, as are their sons. Especially when Merida whispers, "I love you..." to Elinor.
- The focus is on Merida and Elinor, but there's also a shot of Fergus just looking sadly down at the triplets. Merida's actions didn't just put Elinor in danger, they almost destroyed three small boys' futures, and tore apart the entire family. Just imagine how things almost turned out.
- Merida desperately trying to get out of the tower, only to sink into the ground in despair. It was temporary, but it was horrible to see Merida so broken.
- Merida and Elinor's first night in the witch's ruined cottage, where the flashback to her mother singing her a song and holding her close to comfort her not only reminds Merida of all she will lose if she doesn't break the spell, but that far from manipulating her or trying to unfairly control her life, everything Elinor had done was out of love for her. Which Elinor herself had said earlier, albeit not to Merida as she should have.
- From the scene mentioned above: "I'm right here. I'll always be right here." Here come the water works.
- Fergus' reaction to finding what seems to be the remains of a bear attacking his wife. Regardless of the fact that it was actually his wife transforming into said bear, you can see the horror and pain on his face when he thinks his wife is dead and it's just heart breaking.
- Later, Bear!Elinor, when she starts acting like a real bear again, accidentally hurts not only Merida but also Fergus and snaps out of it and looks horrified when she sees what she's done.
- Bear!Elinor's reactions to her transformation. The sheer panic and fear that she was going through. But what made it worse was after Merida and her visit the witch's (now empty) house, where Merida breaks down and admits what she wanted and why she did it. One can see the shock in Elinor's eyes, and its obvious that she's thinking along the lines of; "My own daughter did this to me..." as well as potential confusion as to "why?" she did it.
- The sad part is that scene, especially with Bear!Elinor stumbling around in panic was treated as comedic effect.
- Bear!Elinor's big sad, frightened eyes as she realizes she's about to be killed by her own husband. Possibly those eyes are getting to Fergus - along with his daughter's desperate defense of the bear - but the sight of three identical bear cubs is what finally convinces him most of his family has been magically turned into bears.