Come what may, it's our town.
- The "Our Town" sequence. Especially the part where Luigi pushes up the sign that says 'We're still open'. It's the "When Somebody Loved Me" of Cars.
- Indeed. Pixar + James Taylor = sobbing. And the aftermath of the press finding Lightning again didn't exactly help either. It may not have drawn tears, but still...watch. Think about it.
- That scene was like a more painful version of the "Our Town" song, because it essentially shows Radiator Springs coming back to life, and then dying again when Doc Hudson finally gets rid of the press and McQueen. The neon lights shutting off at that exact moment is good symbolism.
- Doc's "they quit on me" speech. Remember that Cars was the last film for Paul Newman (Doc's voice actor) before he died. He even took a break from retirement when Disney/Pixar summoned him to have a role in it. The line "There was a lot left in me. I never got a chance to show them," becomes even more heartbreaking.
- How about the credits? And it's not just the use of that absolute Tear Jerker of a song - 'Find Yourself' by Brad Paisley. Those lyrics are bad enough, but at around the same time they begin (when the Hilarious outtakes have ended), the screen just has to display the words 'Dedicated to Joe Ranft 1960-2005'. For those who don't know, Ranft was an actor and close friend of the Pixar crew, who died in a car accident. Made more sad by them showing clips, next to the dedication, of the Pixar characters he played: Heimlich (from 'A Bug's Life'), Lenny (from 'Toy Story 1&2') and Wheezy (from 'Toy Story 2'). Made even worse for anyone who watched Toy Story 3 and was wondering where Lenny and Wheezy were ... and it might be bad for anyone who hoped for a sequel to A Bug's Life, as well. So ... heartwarming song, dedication to lost friend, clips of characters we may never see again ...
- The scene where Sally is explaining to McQueen about the glory days of Route 66 and the pleasure of driving not just to get place to place as fast and as efficiently as one can, but to see and explore and have fun on the journey.
- The scene where McQueen goes back and pushes the wrecked King over the finish line, giving up his victory, but giving The King some final dignity.
- Speaking of that, The King being so destroyed that it resembled not only Doc Hudson's crash but also happened in real life (See Mood Whiplash and any trope involving the King's voice actor)
- Them talking about Doc in the second movie.
- Then you remember his "they quit on me" speech, and realize that after Doc's comeback as a pit crew chief, the Piston Cup finally acknowledged him!
- This can be particularly damaging to some viewers if they were looking forward to seeing how he and Lightning got along.
- Mater's goodbye letter to Lightning, telling how he doesn't wish to be a burden to him and that it's best for everyone if he went home.
- Mater's Heroic BSOD in the climax of the sequel, realizing how much of a nuisance he was to McQueen. That and his realization that McMissile actually thought he was being a moron on purpose instead of just being Mater.
- Especially his dream sequence. "Bang the gong, Get it on!"
- This culminates with Mater, wracked with guilt, finally admitting that he isn't a spy. Seeing Mater in such despair can be truly devastating.
- Mater trying to get away from Lightning towards the end. Lightning is spilling out his heart and trying to make up with his best friend and Mater is going at full speed to save Lightning's life even if it could mean being blown up himself by the bomb attached to his hood. Talk about loyalty.
- Likely to be unintentional, but seeing all the race cars race around Doc Hudson's little racing valley—with Doc not there—there was a pang there.