- Re-watching the movie makes the beginning this, since we know all Tom gave up. Piecing together what had happened to him in the years since can be heartbreaking.
- Especially the Tranquil Fury of Ranse's reaction to discovering that the late Tom isn't wearing his boots, spurs, or gun belt in the coffin.
- The ending of the movie, starting from when Tom tells Ransom the truth. Watching the movie a second time after knowing the twist can turn the entire movie into this.
Doniphon: Think back, pilgrim.
- The reaction of Ransom and Hallie when the train conductor remarks, "Nothing's too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance!"
- Tom's reaction to Ranse saying Tom had saved his life.
Doniphon: I wish I hadn't.
- Earlier before that, Tom comes upon Ranse getting patched up by Hallie, says an apology to Hallie for not being there sooner, and then gets himself so drunk that he becomes outright rude to the people in the bar (deservedly so for Liberty's mooks), and sets his own house on fire. The implication is that Tom knew that he no longer had a shot at marrying Hallie by letting Ranse get the credit for killing Liberty, and didn't care if he lived or died because of that realization. His speech to Ranse, especially that one line, emphasizes how much he gave up to give Ranse his shot at doing something good, and how much it tore him inside to be the unsung hero of Ranse's story.