Tearjerker / Hercules


The Disney Film:

  • Zeus and Hera losing Hercules. You're not given as much time to feel bad thanks to happy adoptive parents and Pain and Panic getting the crap beaten out of them, but it's still pretty sad.
    • It's bad enough when Zeus howls in rage; all Hera does is scream, then collapse into tears.
    Muses: But Zeus and Hera wept, for they knew their son could never come home. They had to watch their precious baby grow up from afar...
  • Meg's death. On-screen, no less, we watch her suffering and clearly in pain even as Herc rushes back to see her, and then she dies. And it's no cliché Died in Your Arms Tonight moment - Herc doesn't get to tell her he's won, or say sorry, or that he loves her. No, he can only cradle her limp, cooling body in his arms and sob Manly Tears.
    • Tate Donovan's voice acting is just amazing for this. And even PHIL is crying during this scene and he hated Meg up until she came to tell him Hercules was in trouble.
      Phil: I'm sorry, kid. There are some things you just can't change.
      Hercules: (looking up, determined) Yes I can.
    • The music is even more heart-wrenching. When Meg is first crushed, a few bars from "I Won't Say I'm In Love" play in a slightly bitter tone... and then as we watch her die, "I Can Go The Distance" - a song full of joy and hope - plays in a tragic refrain as Herc cradles her body. If you didn't cry before... Who really went the distance? It was Meg...
  • Herc being bullied by everyone else in the town he grew up in. Herc is REALLY good at looking like a kicked puppy.
  • The first part of Herc's number "Go The Distance", where he sings about how he feels like he doesn't belong. For anyone who was a loner as a teenager, it's too relateable.
    • Herc leaving Amphitryon and Alcmene to go find the Temple of Zeus.
    • Amphitryon finally accepting that he has to tell his son the truth.
    Amphitryon: Hercules there's... something your mother and I have been... meaning to tell you...
    Hercules: *some time later* ...but, if you found me, then where did I come from? Why was I left there?
    Alcmene: This... was around your neck *gives Hercules the medallion Zeus gave him* It's the symbol of the Gods...
    Hercules: This is it! Don't you see?! Maybe they have the answers! I'll go to the Temple of Zeus, and-and... *looks to his parents* Mom...pop... you're the greatest parents a boy could have but... I gotta know...
    *cut to the next morning as Amphitryon and Alcmene sees off their son on his journey, with Alcemene giving him a cloak against the weather*
  • Meg's story. She sold her soul to Hades to save her boyfriend, and he thanks her how? By running off with another woman! Meg's face when Hades brings this up says it all.
  • This exchange. Listen to Meg. We already know she's a Broken Bird, and here it is taken Up to Eleven.
    Hercules: You know, when I was a kid, I would've given anything to be exactly like everybody else.
    Meg: You wanted to be petty and dishonest?
    Hercules: Everybody's not like that
    Meg: Yes, they are...
    Hercules: You're not like that.
    Meg: How do you know what I'm like?
    Hercules: All I know is you're the most amazing person with... weak ankles I've ever met. Meg... when I'm with you, I don't feel so... alone.
    Meg: Sometimes it's better to be alone.
    Hercules: What do you mean?
    Meg: Nobody can hurt you.
    • Tying in to both of the above is Meg's furious attempts to keep from admitting she's in love with Hercules. She's been burned before and doesn't want to even entertain the possibility, just go with the idea that Herc is a mark and once she gets what Hades wants out of him, she can get her soul back and leave. 'I Won't Say I'm In Love' is Meg refusing to admit, not to the muses, but to HERSELF that she's fallen for Hercules.
  • When Phil discovers that Meg is (reluctantly) working with Hades and attempts to warn Herc, Herc just goes into complete denial, leading him to hit Phil in a blind rage. The look of hurt on Phil's face right after this shows just how much this has affected him emotionally.
    "I thought you were gonna be the all time champ...not the all time chump."
    • Then Herc looks back him as he leaves, either overheard what he just said or feeling guilty for hitting him.
    • Even worse, Herc looks horrified at what he did.
  • After Hercules loses his strength, Hades, Pain, and Panic humiliate him in front of Meg, causing her to cry. Hades even gleefully reveals that Meg was under his employ the entire time and mocks that Hercules gave up his strength for a lie. Cue Hercules screaming out that Hades is lying.
  • Hercules loses his super strength after fully realizing his betrayal by Meg and his betrayal of Phil. Cyclops is yelling for him to come fight, and he goes.
    Megara: What are you doing? Without your strength you'll be killed!
    Hercules: (dully) There are worse things.
  • Hercules's Big "NO!" when he sees that Meg's been crushed after pushing him out of the way of a falling column. Sadly the mood does not improve as Herc gets his powers back and gets it off her.
    Meg: Hades' deal is broken, he promised I wouldn't get hurt.
  • Meg's death. You get a lot of focus on her dying in pain with Phil beside her - and adults will realize she must be in agony. And then Herc's rushing back to try and see her before she dies (even though there's not a whole lot he could've done), while the Fates prepare to snip her thread. And she doesn't die in his arms. She dies and she doesn't even get to see him. Phil could only helplessly hold her hand, before he felt it go limp once the Fates cut her thread. And Herc arrives to see her lying there clearly dead, and pale, and limp. Herc holds her and starts sobbing manly tears, and she's just lying limp in his arms. You hardly ever see somebody actually dead on screen in anything below a PG-13. But here you're given a good thirty seconds to take in this heart-wrenching moment. You must cry. You must.
    • If that won't yank the heartstrings, then Tate Donovan's voice acting will.
    • Even when you know that Meg's going to get better, you still cry a little bit at the way Hercules is sobbing over her pale body and the way he's cradling her corpse in his arms.
    • Even PHIL is upset during this scene and he hated Meg up until she came to tell him Hercules was in trouble.
      Phil: I'm sorry, kid. There are some things you just can't change.
  • The end. When a constellation is created for Hercules, his trainer, Philoctetes is awed. Someone points out the constellation, saying, "That's Phil's boy!", and Phil sheds a tear of joy, having just realized his life's ambition.
  • Phil after it seems like Hercules dies along with the hydra.
    Phil: There goes another one, just like Achilles...
  • Megara is thrilled and bragging that Hercules will beat Hades, facing away from him. But then she turns toward him and he informs her of what she's just done:
    Megara: You can't beat him! He has no weaknesses! He's going to...
    Hades: I think he does, Meg. I truly think he does. (He burns the flower that Hercules gave Meg to a cinder just to prove the point)
  • While talking with his proud dad about his heroic deeds, he's convinced that he's finally gonna come home. But Zeus tells him he is proud but he's not yet proven himself a "true hero", being rich and famous doesn't count. Herc asks what more is there, Zeus could only say that he has to discover that for himself. After Zeus leaves, Herc slams his fists on the floor in anger and confusion, feeling that he still isn't good enough.
    Hercules: (to Phil) This stuff doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere.