Tear Jerker: The Muppet Christmas Carol
By general concensus, if you do not get teary at some point during this movie, you have no soul.
- The song "When Love Is Gone".
- Also a bit of a Scrappy, since some people didn't like this number, and the theatrical release doesn't have it.
- What does it for most people is when Present-Scrooge joins in and practically breaks down himself when he realizes that Belle is and was totally right.
- Then there's Scrooge's pleading, "Oh, please, spirit, do not show me that Christmas."
- Now, when The Love We Found kicks in at the end? Try keeping dry after that.
- Tiny Tim's death.
- When Kermit/Bob says he arranged for Tiny Tim to be buried on his favorite hilltop, he tries describing it to Miss Piggy/Emily: "It's...it's near the ducks on the river. Tiny Tim..." He's too broken to finish, so Emily quietly responds, "Tiny Tim loved watching the ducks on the river."
- "I think (Dad)'s walked a little slower these past two evenings." That line just sets the tragedy up so mercilessly. The entire scene is near impossible not to weep at.
- When Kermit/Bob's voice breaks on his son's name as he says, "Life is made up of meetings and partings; that is the way of it. I am sure we shall never forget Tiny Tim, or this first parting that there was among us." And then the score wistfully reprises "Bless Us All"...
- Not just Kermit either; Miss Piggy, Action Girl and Lovable Alpha Bitch extraordinaire, is every bit as broken as Kermit. Also, in this continuity, they're a Happily Married couple with children. Across all their various incarnations and hilarious Played for Laughs Masochism Tango moments interchanged with sweet Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other interactions, we are now seeing Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy all-too-realistically bereft at the loss of their child. Wow.
- It doesn't help with the Reality Subtext of Jim Henson's death.
- Not only that, but another beloved Muppeteer, Richard Hunt, had also died several months before production started. (Many of Richard's characters were since Demoted to Extra.)
- The whole scene becomes that much more moving after Jerry Nelson (Robin/Tiny Tim) passed in 2012 after suffering from emphysema for over a decade. The disease caused him to have an Incurable Cough of Death not unlike Tiny Tim's in the film.
- "The goose! The goose!... (coughs)"
- Sweet adorable little Robin is perfect for the part of Tiny Tim.
- And the way Scrooge's voice breaks as he pleads "not Tiny Tim".
- Right after Kermit/Bob finishes "One More Sleep Til Christmas", he scurries off camera, and the camera pans over to poor little Bean Bunny, the caroler Scrooge threw the wreath at earlier, who is spending his Christmas Eve huddled, shivering, in a pile of trash. It's such a little thing, but to see that not everybody can have a marvellous Christmas...
- The dedication to Jim Henson and Richard Hunt also invokes this on a meta level.
- The ending of "Bless Us All," especially when Tiny Tim (Robin) is singing, and coughs after the last note. The song is cheery but that cough is a reminder that the family, while together now, may not be complete in the future, and they try to move on to the dinner to keep up their spirits. You can see Scrooge looking moved, before he asks the Ghost of Christmas Present if Tiny Tim will live.
- Scrooge's reaction to hearing that he was the subject of Fred's mocking round of Yes And No.
- The revelation in the Christmas Yet To Come that Scrooge is going to die. Most versions make the tombstone with his name on it a shock with a Scare Chord, while others go as far as to have him being dragged to hell. Here, it's a slow, painful reveal with no frantic tone to keep him scared. It leaves more time to contemplate that the real tragedy isn't his mortality, but the fact that he won't get the chance to right all the wrongs he's seen during his journey, and that no one will miss him or mourn his death.
- Building on the above: most adaptations of A Christmas Carol have Scrooge totally surprised by his name appearing on the lonely tombstone in the cemetery. But Scrooge's tearful speech to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come right before he's forced to look at the grave—"These events can be changed...A life can be made right..."—coupled with the broken reaction when he sees the words "EBENEZER SCROOGE" suggest that he realized the identity of the reviled dead man early on during the Ghost's visit, and has been in deep denial about it. Seeing Scrooge confused by the events of the future is one thing; seeing him totally aware, and slowly forced to deal with the consequences, is heart-wrenching.
- "It's so quiet. Why is it so quiet, Spirit?" Remember that Scrooge was looking forward to visiting the Cratchit home, as the previous scene was so depressing that he needed the love to be found in that house. He knows that it's unnatural that this house should be quiet. But it is. There's no happiness here, and he won't get a respite from the gloom he has encountered thus far. Poor Scrooge.
- Kermit's line about never forgetting Tiny Tim's passing is especially poignant when you remember this was the first feature movie after Jim Henson's death, as well as the first to not feature Muppeteer Richard Hunt, who succumbed to AIDS shortly before production began.
It's all right, children. Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it. I'm sure we shall never forget Tiny Tim, or this first parting that there was among us.
- When Kermit and Ms. Piggy are playing Bob Crachit and Emily Crachit respectively and the film's already refused to pull its punches, you know there's going to be Manly Tears. Knowing what's coming doesn't help with the Crachits during Christmas Present sequence either.
- The Ghost of Christmas Present's death. More specifically, he ages and turns to dust, after Scrooge had just befriended him. Certainly more depressing when you think about Jerry's passing.