- The part where Alan Parrish comes back out of the board game after being in an alternate jungle dimension for 26 years, and goes looking for his parents, only to discover they're dead and that his father, who he thought never loved him, gave up everything he had to try to find him.
Old Man: After a while, he stopped coming to work. He just quit caring.
- Especially since he's really so childlike in that scene. "Where's my mom and dad?" (sob)
- Not to mention that one of his first reactions after seeing Judy and Peter for the first time is to excitedly ask them if they're his younger brother and sister. Oh God...
- Worse, when Alan returns to the abandoned shoe factory, he learns that his father died of sorrow, and everything essentially was Alan's fault.
- And without Parrish Shoes in business as the town's main source of income, why the town has become a veritable ghost town by 1995. Not only did Alan's disappearance affect his family, their business and Sarah, but it basically destroyed the entire town.
Alan: Hey Carl...I know it doesn't mean much after 26 years...But I want you to know I'm sorry.
- Also on Alan's side, the careless accident where he left the sneaker on the conveyor belt in the factory, destroying his friend Carl's invention that would've unquestionably set him and the rest of the factory staff for life. Instead of taking responsibility for the mistake, he ducks out in a panic, leaving Carl to take the fall, all for Alan. For this, he is fired and forced to make a living many years later as a police officer long after the factory shutters, constantly lamenting how he lost the opportunity of a lifetime.
"Bentley spun around to get a closer look. A closer look at the man who had grown from the boy who had stolen his life."
- This excerpt from the junior novel drives home how bitter (and unforgiving) Carl feels towards Alan:
- On Alan's father's side, not only did he have to endure the Adult Fear of losing his son and the Parting Words Regret, but also he may have had to suffer the effects of the stories that popped up about Alan's disappearance. Specifically, the one about him having killed Alan, chopping him up and spreading his remains around the house...
- In the junior novel, we get this line from Alan upon seeing his parents' graves:
Alan: I wish this family didn't exist!
- Near the end of the film is another particularly heartrending moment; Judy dying in her little brother's arms from a plant's poisonous barb. Her last words that she gasps out? "I...wish that mom and dad were here."
- Alan comes out with a really sad song that relays just how hard his life was: "In the jungle you must wait, until the dice read five or eight."
- Although the sing-song tone he uses make it a little funny, it's also a look at how embittered he feels towards Sarah for not finishing the game and basically abandoning him to the game's jungle. He's had 26 years to roil in his grudge towards her.
- Judy and Peter being recently orphaned by the loss of their parents is subtle, but still very much sad. The junior novel delves deeper into the details of what it must've been like.
"Since their parents' deaths, Judy and Peter couldn't have possibly felt more rotten. Mom and Dad were supposed to have been gone only a week. A skiing trip in the Canadian Rockies. They'd called it their second honeymoon. Judy's biggest worry was that Dad might break his leg on the slope. But a fatal car wreck? No kid was ever prepared to hear that."
- Except for Judy (and later Alan and Sarah), Peter hasn't spoken to anyone since his parents died.
- Alan and Sam's reconciliation is this mixed with a Heartwarming moment.
- Just these lines of dialogue:
Sam: I thought you weren't going to talk to me ever again.
Alan: Dad... whatever I said earlier... I didn't mean it.
Sam: [looks a bit surprised, but hugs him back] Alan, I'm sorry too.
- Just these lines of dialogue:
- All that Sarah went through after Alan was sucked into the game. She was made the town laughing stock after trying to tell everyone what happened, and was sent to therapist after therapist for most of her life, who tried to convince her that she was crazy.
Sarah: I was a little girl, Alan. You disappeared, and a bunch of bats surrounded me and chased me down the street. I was afraid. I'm sorry, Alan. No one believed me. I was all alone.Alan: So was I. For 26 years, Sarah.Sarah: Me too.
- Even the part after she wakes up from her faint and leaves a message for her therapist is this, for while it's slightly Played for Laughs, she still has tears in her eyes and her voice breaks a little as she tells the doctor she "needs her dosage checked", that she was sitting in the living room of the boy she saw vanish, drinking lemonade, and that she'd "really like to know what you make of all this." It's enough to make you want to give her a hug.
- The junior novel only drives the point home of how sad it is for Alan to return basically a lost child, even after all his time in Jumanji:
"Alan Parrish stared back, his face lined with confusion. Judy figured him to be about Aunt Nora's age, maybe older, but she could see the the soul of a boy behind his confused eyes."
- Alan scolding Peter for trying to cheat at the game and his My God, What Have I Done? moment when he sees him cry.
Alan: Twenty-six years buried in the deepest, darkest jungle, and I still became my father.
- The ending, where Alan and Sarah meet Judy and Peter again (for the first time in the new timeline. It's implied shortly before that point that Alan and Sarah would forget a lot of their "old" adult life when they became teenagers again, but they not only remembered exactly what the kids looked like, they also sought them out to bring them and their parents to their town to be a part of their happy lives. Add in the panicked Big "NO!" when their parents mention they're planning a ski trip to the Canadian Rockies (presumably the trip they died on in the original timeline), it shows how strong a love they have for the kids, and how great a debt they owe them. Their memories of the kids survived magic amnesia and the memory fade of 26 years.
From the cartoon:
- The final episode has the biggest, yet most subtle tearjerker in the series. Alan is finally free from the game! However he's slow to celebrate as he realises All he had to do was pull the thorn from the paw of the lion he met in the first minute of playing the game. He spent nearly thirty years trapped in Jumanji, fighting for his life as he lost his childhood, his family and everything else, and now he realises he could have been free within five minutes of starting and had all of that.