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. For those who do like it, though, it's a heartbreaker.
    • 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.
    • Before the song starts, there's the conversation between the young Scrooge and Belle. He insists he's putting off their wedding because he loves her. Belle calmly (but no less heart breaking) replies "you did once".
    • Same goes for Rizzo, who is sobbing his eyes out as Gonzo tries to console him.
    • Then there's Scrooge's pleading at the beginning of the scene, "Oh, please, spirit, do not show me that Christmas."
    • At the end, after Scrooge tells the spirit to leave him, there's a quietly heartbreaking instrumental reprise of the song as Scrooge finds himself back in his bedroom and sits crying on his bed.
  • Now, when The Love We Found kicks in at the end? Try keeping dry after that.
  • Something you won't really notice until you're told, but notice that Rowlf is reduced to a cameo as the pianist at the Fozziwig Christmas party, despite being a major supporting character in earlier films and shows. This is because of Jim Henson's death and the Muppet crew at the time felt that they didn't have a performer who could do that character justice. He wouldn't start to speak again until the late 1990's, when Bill Barretta took over the role.
  • Tiny Tim's death.
    • First of all, there's the foreshadowing, when Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Present if Tim will live, which results in the Ghost taunting Scrooge with a line the latter said earlier about the poor "If he's going to die, he'd better do it and decrease the surplus population!" No doubt when Scrooge sees the family mourning Tim's death with the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come, that cruel remark is running through his mind.
    • "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.
    • For extra emphasis, the movie uses a beautiful Bait-and-Switch. When we see the Cratchets during Christmas Present, Piggy is hunched over the stove, stealing chestnuts. During Christmas Yet To Come, she's in the exact same position, until you realize that she's bent over the stove crying. This is made worse by Scrooge's reaction: with his voice breaking as he pleads "not Tiny Tim".
    • "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 says he arranged for Tiny Tim to be buried on his favorite hilltop, he tries describing it to Miss Piggy/Emily: "It would do you good to see how green the place is. 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."
    • 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.
    • 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." This is followed by a slow pan to Tim's empty chair and ownerless crutch, to the swell of a French horn wistfully reprising "Bless Us All"...
    • Kermit's speech is especially poignant when you remember this was the first feature film after Jim Henson's death, as well as the first to not feature Muppeteer Richard Hunt, who succumbed to AIDS shortly before production began. (Many of Richard's characters were since Demoted to Extra.) And the whole scene became that much more moving after Jerry Nelson (Robin/Tiny Tim) died 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. Not only that, Jerry had a daughter (Christine) who died of cystic fibrosis...a symptom of which is a cough.
    • Most of the beginning of the scene echoes the Christmas Present scene- Piggy at the stove, Peter turning the spit, the girls talking to Piggy, but their reactions are so subdued that you know immediately what happened. For example, when Kermit enters, the kids go to greet him- but while they cheered and practically ran him over in the Christmas Present version, they just say "Daddy" and give him a quiet hug. And as mentioned above, instead of cheerfully bustling around and stealing chestnuts, Piggy is crying.
  • Sweet adorable little Robin is perfect for the part of Tiny Tim, which makes the above scene that much worse. Knowing what's coming doesn't help with the Crachits during Christmas Present sequence either. Especially when we hear Tim's Incurable Cough of Death, first when he gets excited about the dinner ("The goose! The goose!... (coughs)"), and then at the end of "Bless Us All," when he coughs after singing 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.
    • After he first sees Tiny Tim with Bob, Scrooge can only say "a remarkable child". You can see him realising that this is what Bob comes home to.
    • Scrooge suffers a massive Heel Realization during this scene, lamenting that he pays Bob so little and also clearly sorry for how small the Christmas dinner is as a result.
  • The dedication to Jim Henson and Richard Hunt also invokes this on a meta level.
  • Scrooge's reaction to hearing that he was the subject of Fred's mocking round of Yes And No is heartbreaking. In the book and other versions, Scrooge is too caught up in the party's merriment to mind the joking at his expense, but in this version, when he realises the group is laughing about him he just looks completely broken and sad. It's a testament to Caine's skills that he manages to convey it so powerfully in just a few seconds.
  • 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.
    • And in this scene, Scrooge's tears are clearly him realising that he is the reason for Tiny Tim's death.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present's death. More specifically, he ages and turns to glittering dust, after Scrooge has just befriended him and begs him not to leave him. Certainly more depressing when you think about Jerry's passing. Still, it's a reminder that he may only get one day, but it's the most blessed day of Christmas when all are peaceful and loving, and if we could only live for one day, perhaps all of us would choose that.
  • The regret in Scrooge's face and voice when he sees his boyhood self all alone in school at Christmas. It gets worse when he remarks that it'd be pointless for Christmas Past to show him another of his childhood Christmases: they were all the same and he was always lonely.
    • In the same scene, there's something horribly sad of Scrooge watching his childhood pass before him in a flash, realizing just how quickly his youth disappeared and how little he was able to enjoy it.
  • "One More Sleep 'Til Christmas" is very heartwarming; everybody's so excited and happy because it's Christmas time, Kermit smiles at the stars and heads home... and then the shot scrolls on a few sad notes to a shivering little Bean Bunny, curled up in newspapers and trying to keep warm, all alone on Christmas Eve. A sad little reminder of why we need to be charitable and think of others at Christmas.
  • The song 'Bless Us All'. Robin is by far the sweetest of the Muppets and anyone with even a passing knowledge of A Christmas Carol knows what happens to Tiny Tim. Just the fact that this little terminally-sick child is praying for nothing more than for his family to be happy... And it doesn't help that the camera keeps cutting to Scrooge who looks as though he's ready to burst into tears at any moment as he's watching.
  • In general, this is by far the most dark and somber of the Muppet films. The overall melancholic feeling that runs through the majority of the story anyway is present here, even though they try to keep things as light as they can (being the Muppets). But since you can't escape from the fact that this was the first Muppet movie produced without Jim Henson, there is a lot of sadness running through the film, even when it's not immediately obvious. Almost every lighthearted moment is countered with a sad one.
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