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Tear Jerker / A League of Their Own

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  • "I'm sorry, Betty."
    • This only gets worse the more you think about it; it would be bad enough in any time period, but during the WWII era, the husband was seen as the breadwinner of the family while the wife stayed at home and filled the traditional role of the housewife, dependent on her husband to provide. Betty now faces a very uncertain future.
  • Everyone's reaction when the telegram guy shows up. The ones who are married are terrified that it's about their husband, and the ones that aren't are upset because they know what it means.
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  • And Dottie in the scene immediately after. Having not heard from her husband in weeks, and that fresh in her mind, she breaks down fearing the worst. But then...
  • Though Doris spends most of the film as Fat Comic Relief, she has a small moment when she discusses a previous relationship that she had with a man who was verbally abusive to her, saying that she was too masculine to be a woman. Even worse, it's suggested that this was still better than how other guys treated her because of her baseball skills.
    Doris: He’s stupid, he’s out of work, and he treats me bad.
    Kit: Then why....?
    Doris: Why? Why do you think? Because, you know… None of the other boys never, uh… [they] always made me feel like I was wrong, you know? Like I was some sort of a weird girl, or strange girl, or not even a girl, just ’cause I could play. I believed them, too, but not anymore, you know. I mean, lookit. There’s a lot of us. I think we’re all all right.
    • Edges into CMOH/CMOA territory when she snatches up the man's picture, tears into pieces and tosses them out the window.
  • When Ernie refuses to let Marla join the team, despite her amazing batting skills, because she is too plain-looking, her father delivers a heartfelt speech, begging Ernie to reconsider and blaming himself for raising Marla as a single father.
    • Similarly, Marla's saying goodbye to her father. Most of the other girls are eager to join the team, but Marla is clearly reluctant and anxious about the situation.
  • The Reality Subtext of Harvey's plan to end the league once the war ends. As Ira points out, all women who finally got to enter new areas of the workforce are going to get kicked out once the men get home. While the league survives in the end, other women weren't so lucky.
  • The epilogue is full of these moments, including Dottie looking at Jimmy's death dates in Cooperstown and telling the other women that Bob has died. But the saddest moment comes when she encounters a grown-up Stillwell:
    Stillwell: Hi, Dottie. You remember? (In a nasally voice) "You're gonna lose..."
    Dottie: Stillwell Angel! My goodness. Where's your mom?
    Stillwelll: ...Mom died. Couple years ago...when I heard about this, I just felt I owed it to her to be here. She always said it was the best time of her life.
    • Later, Stillwell takes a picture in front of a full-sized display of his mother, and while he smiles, he's clearly near tears.
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    • In a similar vein, Dottie seeing Jimmy's Cooperstown exhibit - along with his date of death. Especially when you consider that they probably never saw each other again after she retired.
    • Despite being played for laughs in one scene, Mae's desperation for the League to continue so she doesn't have to go back to dancing is heart-wrenching.

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