- Shrek explaining to Donkey why he is the way he is:
Shrek: It's the world that seems to have the problem with me! People take one look at me and go, "Ahh! Help! Run! A big, stupid, ugly ogre..." [depressed] They judge me before they even know me. That's why I'm better off alone.
- There is also Fiona's expression behind the door after she overhears this line. She's clearly regretful of how she misjudged Shrek, and as such becomes softer towards him the next morning.
- And don't forget the scene after Shrek and Fiona split up, and everything's going as planned for Fiona and Lord Farquaad's wedding, but both are completely miserable. What really pushes it into tearjerker territory is the heartbreaking Hallelujah by John Cale playing in the background.
- The misunderstanding where Shrek overhears Fiona saying, "Who could ever love a beast so hideous and ugly?" is painfully hard to watch. Extra points for being depressing both from Fiona's side and Shrek's side of the conversation.
- "I live alone! My swamp! Me! Nobody else, understand?! Nobody! Especially useless, pathetic, annoying talking donkeys!" Just...that. During the whole line, he's obviously trying not to cry, and for once in his life he's let himself have a friend, let himself fall in love, and he thinks it can't be and is trying to shove Donkey out of his life. To make it worse, there's Donkey's clearly-hurt expression and
Donkey: But...I thought—Shrek: Yeah, well you know what? You thought wrong!
- The scene when Shrek once again sees his reflection after he returned to the swamp. In the beginning of the film, Shrek seemed proud of his appearance but after being seemingly rejected by his love Fiona, he is utterly disgusted with himself.
- Lord Farquaad's attempt at a breaking speech towards Shrek begins with "It's rude enough being alive when no one wants you!" Evil or not, that was just uncalled for.
- The Twist Ending-
Fiona: [In her ogre form] I'm supposed to be beautiful...Shrek: But you are beautiful.
- In the Broadway musical, there is the closing number of the first act "Who I'd Be" where Shrek is talking to Donkey about the things he would do if he weren't an ogre. The real clincher is Shrek's line, which delivers just how alone and isolated he feels:
Shrek: An ogre always hides / An ogre's fate is known / An ogre always stays in the dark and all alone.
Shrek: What a fool to think she might love me / I opened my heart and let her walk through / She wanted Prince Charming / I wanted my home back / How lucky! Both our wishes came true!
- The musical in general is considerably more emotional than the film. One moment that stands out is this line in "Build A Wall"
- Shrek then says how is going to build a wall and never allow himself to have friends or fall in love again.