Tear Jerker / ParaNorman

  • The film has a very accurate depiction of bullying.
  • Norman yelling at his friends (out of frustration) to get out when searching for Agatha's records.
  • Norman's vision of Agatha being sentenced to death.
    • Everything about Agatha's story is just depressing and sad, but actually seeing an eleven year old girl crying as she's sentenced to death — by hanging, no less — by a group of stoic faced adults makes the scene completely heart breaking.
      • Made somehow even worse when you consider that methods of hanging that are intended to break the victim's neck weren't developed until over a hundred years after the setting of the film.
  • The look of remorse on the Judge's face as Norman yells at him and the rest of the zombies over what they did to Agatha.
    Norman: Why did you do it?
    Judge Hopkins: We were scared.
    Norman: Of what?
    Judge Hopkins: Of her. I believed we where doing what was right; I was wrong. We thought we knew our way in life, but in death... We are lost.
  • Pretty much the entire climax, with Norman trying to get through Agatha's three centuries of built-up rage over an unjust death — which eventually turned her into the very thing the 18th century Blithe Hollow residents thought they were protecting themselves against in the first place — and finally getting through to the person underneath... A scared little girl that just wanted to be back with her beloved mother. The book of fairy tales his uncle read to Agatha every year? It contained the one her mother always read to her to put her to sleep. The tear jerking reaches full capacity as Norman tries to reach Aggie by telling her the story of her life, which then begins to converge and sound like his life too. Then she falls asleep on his shoulder and passes into the next life.
    Norman: ...Sleep tight.
    • What really gets viewers about that scene is the way Agatha is driven nearly to the breaking point trying to block out what Norman is trying to get through to her. You can see the utter horror on her face at the prospect of facing the truth, and her face even warps and distorts itself as she screams in furious self-loathing. She even tries to block out his words with a disturbing singsong mantra. For anyone who's suffered from mental illnesses, especially as a result of bullying or abuse, this can hit unsettlingly close to home. Notably, during the denouement, Agatha scares herself by accidentally incinerating a butterfly when she experiences a flash of anger.
    • Even the Junior Novelization does a good job at describing the scene and its emotions.
      • And, of course, the conversation that ensues right after the climax.
        Norman: You think just because there's bad people out there, that there's no good ones either? I thought the same thing for a while, but there's always someone out there for you, somewhere.
        Aggie: ...I just want my mommy.
        Norman: I'm sorry, Aggie. She's gone.
  • When Aggie is finally at rest, and it cuts to all the zombies crumbling away, just look at the expressions of the freed souls before they fade. They don't seem happy, they look scared and regretful, and it's the last we ever see of them. Then you realize it's most likely because, as Puritans, they probably believed that in passing on to the next life they were going to Hell for sentencing Aggie to death for a naturally occurring gift she couldn't control.
    • Really, their expressions seem more regretful than anything, which definitely doesn't make the tear jerking aspect of the scene go away. They could very easily be disturbed by the idea of confronting the reality of what they did when they spend eternity with the now-forgiving Agatha, which might be more painful for them than any Fire and Brimstone Hell, even if they're glad to see her happy again. She's forgiven them for what they did, but there's no reason to think that they've forgiven themselves.
  • The fact that Agatha's mother went out to her grave and read her her favorite story, every year until she passed away, is also quite sad.
  • The fact that Mr. Prenderghast, was given the same hate the town gave Norman, but to the point where his own family seemed to disown him (As Norman's parents forbid him from ever talking to him,) he ended up not only dying alone, but it never showed anyone even coming to clean up his corpse. Even after Norman went home, after meeting his ghost at school, later on Mr. Prenderghast's body is still in his house. If Norman did remember to tell his parents (or anybody,) it seems no-one gave enough of a crap. (Though one could justify for plot convenience, that his ghost outright stated that his corpse was holding the McGuffin book. If Norman told officials, then police would have arrived before Norman, and sealed off the house, preventing him from getting the book in time, not to mention they would be curious how Norman knew that he was dead, and would be brought in for questioning which would waste the beyond valuable time he barely had)
  • The fact that Norman's locker apparently gets vandalized so often, he just keeps a rag and spray cleaner in his locker, as does Neil.
  • After the school play, where Norman has a vision and talks about the dead coming and talking trees, his father grounds him and forbids him to mention ghosts or anything similar. Norman's mom tries to explain this as just fear. Norman's response? "He's my dad. He shouldn't be afraid of me." Not made better that her claim ("He's not afraid of you, he's afraid for you...") is clearly one Norman doubts.