- The constant teasing and belittling Mike goes through by being told he will never be scary or fit in with his peers. Kids, jocks, Sulley, and even Dean Hardscrabble tell Mike that he wasn't meant to become a scarer.
- It gets even worse when Mike has to find out the hard way that they were all right.
- After Mike and Sulley are expelled, they share a touching moment with each other and Dean Hardscrabble before parting ways. The BGM playing when Mike was on the bus really tugged on heartstrings because he had just lost his lifelong dream.
- "You said you believed in me." The fact that Sulley lied when he said it hurt Mike a lot more than finding out about the cheating itself.
Sulley: What was I supposed to do? Let the whole team down because you don't have it!?
- You know what makes that moment worse? Mikey was doing an homage to the Scarer he saw when he was little, the one who inspired him to become a Scarer in the first place. When he performed the winning scare, thinking he was a full scarer and then knowing that Sulley rigged the testing device was salt in the wound.
- And this line
- The way Mike does not respond at all when Sulley first finds him at the lake. The guy never stops talking, so for him to fall completely silent like that is a huge deal.
Mike: Don't say that, please don't say that. You do NOT know how I feel.
- Eventually, Mike snaps.
Sulley: I act scary, but most of the time... I'm terrified.Mike: How come you never told me this before?Sulley: Because we weren't friends before.
- And then there's how guilty and upset Sulley himself sounds when trying to get through to him, his arrogant fašade now broken, and finally admitting to why he acted that way.
- Oozma Kappa when they find out Sulley cheated in the final event of the Scare Games.
- The fleeting look on Mike's face when he finds his prized hat damaged after escaping the human world. The audience knows that this represents Mike's loss of a lifetime dream.
- Dean Hardscrabble confronting Sulley over whether or not he thinks Mike is scary. He tries dodging it a few times and argues how Mike's hard working and very intelligent, but the question is repeated twice before he sadly falls silent, because they both know the answer.