Tear Jerker / Soul Music

  • When everything is over and Death asks, clearly expecting the answer to be "no", if she has a kiss for her granddad. Susan, borderline Emotionless Girl and Deadpan Snarker realizes that being what he is makes him more alone than any creature in the universe, actually gives him one, just before going back to her school dormitory and finally letting herself cry over the loss of her parents, who died at the beginning of the book.
    • There's also something of a Fridge Tear Jerker in the Quirm scenes, that may take several readings to spot: Susan's friends Gloria and Jade aren't treating her with particular care or compassion when they're chatting together. Even Jade's complaints about how she's being pressured to get married don't invite any concerned glances at Susan, when the troll princess mentions her own father. Susan is so closed-off emotionally, she never even told her best friends that her parents had been killed in a coach-crash.
  • In one line:
    "The music had poured over (the beggars). They ignored it. Music With Rocks In was the stuff of dreams, and there were no dreams under the bridge."
  • Susan going back to the night her parents were killed. Death's line from the opening scene ("Yes. I could have done something.") is revealed to be directed at her, as he explains that "There has to be a law" because he can't create life, and then tells her they died instantly without pain as a desperate attempt to make her feel better.
  • Buddy's innocence and fierce love of music (something he had from the very beginning) makes the music's takeover that much sadder and more sinister. What he loved destroyed him... and it thought it was giving him everything he could have wanted.
    • On stage, when he begs the guitar to let him play his harp again, just this one time, this last time. Understanding that it'll demand everything of him in return, and pleading with it in his own accent — pleads as Imp, not Buddy — to show he's not being controlled by it, then: that sharing "Sioni Bod Da" with the world really is that important to him.
    • The animated adaptation makes it an even bigger tear jerker because we actually get to hear the melody, and see the reactions of a few more characters, most notably Death.
  • The destruction of Imp's beloved harp, the more so in that it's such a stupid mistake that does it.
    • Try being a serious musician and reading that line. Every professional/semi-professional player has built some kind of emotional bond with their instrument.
  • One word from the animated version. One single word, in the middle of a hilarious scene of Death trying (and failing) to get drunk and right before one of the most hilarious bits of the animation. As Death laments his inability to forget anything, bemoans the fact that he will always recall absolutely everything and then utters one name:
  • "I remember everything. Everything. Doorknobs. The play of sunlight on hair. The sound of laughter. Footsteps. Every little detail. As if it only happened yesterday."