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Tear Jerker / Avatar

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Moments pages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.
  • The opening scenes. The audience watches Jake's brother, Tom, being cremated while his position and avatar are being left to Jake. The narration explaining that the poor guy died in a mugging and the cheap feel of the cremation process definitely sell the idea of Earth being a grim ruin at this point in the future.
  • Quaritch makes a speech about safety on Pandora, starting off heartwarming with a promise to try to bring everybody home alive. Then it turns into a tearjerker when he confesses that he will not succeed.
  • Just before the attack on Hometree, when Jake confesses he was originally sent to learn the Na'vi's ways on Quaritch's orders, before coming to respect and fall in love with their culture. Neytiri's expression shifts between heartbreak and fury as she clearly believes Jake only tried to gain her affections to make that task easier. Jake is desperately trying to plead with her that his feelings for her are genuine, but she doesn't want to hear it. Made even sadder by the fact that unlike other Liar Revealed moments, he was not confronted by the tribe at all and decided to tell them the truth when he found out about the attack.
    Neytiri: [close to tears] I trusted you. I TRUSTED YOU!
    Jake: Trust me now. Please...
    Neytiri: [shoves him away and screams at him in her own language] YOU WILL NEVER BE ONE OF THE PEOPLE!
  • Jake's look of despair when the Omaticaya disregard his warning and prepare for battle. It's clear he knows they're doomed and he's failed to save them.
  • The destruction of Hometree, and Neytiri's father's death. The Na'vi desperately fleeing Hometree the humans bombards it by missiles and crashes down amidst smoke and flame. By itself, we've seen the likes of this before...but then you see the faces of all the personnel back at the base who seem to be having a collective My God, What Have I Done? moment...
    • The entire scene is so devastating: watching the incredibly gorgeous and enormous tree being blown up, all the Na'vi running in terror, the humans in their airships laughing at the mass destruction they were causing, Trudy refusing to do so and turning her ship around, proclaiming, "I didn't sign up for this shit", the faces of all the humans at the base who watch in horror (even Selfridge), Neytiri's father, the fire and smoke and ashes and screams, everything slowing down, Grace and Jake being ejected from their Avatars and Grace struggling as she was taken away, punching a man in the face and screaming, "you murderer" at Parker, and the slow fade to black as you realize the full extent of what just happened, of what humans have done and are capable of doing...
    • Bilingual Bonus for Eytukan's death. Throughout the film, Neytiri calls him "Sempul", which means "father". But in this scene, she says "Sempu". Neytiri, the hardened warrior, has been so broken by the whole series of events that she's reduced to crying for her daddy.
    • Especially tearjerking for the hundreds of Na'vi breaking down crying.
    • The massive Does This Remind You of Anything? moment. Imagine the visual imagery of 9/11, combined with the context of American Natives' genocide at the hands of colonizers, and we got this scene.
    • Selfridge finally realizing that he made a mistake while watching the destruction of Hometree. But it's too late.
  • When Jake is formally adopted into the Omaticaya, we see Grace looking on, doing her damnedest not to cry.
  • Jake running. You know the scene.
  • Tsu'tey's death, especially in the extended cut. "[Jake] was my last shadow."
  • Quaritch's death, even with him being the bad guy. At the end of the day, he wasn't all evil: he did care about his men and the fate of humanity, even if his means were less than noble.
  • Trudy's gunship going down, presumably killing her.
  • In the Extended Cut, The Na'vi school. We first see it being used as storage after being abandoned, and after Jake sees some bullet holes in a blackboard and asks Grace, she snappily changes the subject. Later on, after Jake and Grace have grown closer, she tells him exactly what happened. Sylwanin (Neytiri's sister) and a group of young hunters attacked an RDA bulldozer and ran to the school. When the troopers arrived, they not only killed Sylwanin right in front of Neytiri, but also many of the students. Grace's "I got most of the children out" line really drives it home.
  • The death of Neytiri's Ikran, Seze. Given that they form lifelong bonds with their riders, this must have hurt a lot more for Neytiri, who is seen solemnly mourning her animal companion.
  • And later again, when the Thanator that offers itself to be her mount is brutally stabbed to death by Quaritch, who sadistically twists the knife into its throat, enjoying the poor creature's agony.
  • The final battle before Eywa steps in, as T'sutey's Crowning Moment of Awesome is also his Dying Moment of Awesome/Heroic Sacrifice. Trudy is blown to pieces, but not before apologizing to Jake for failing, Norm is shot and is possibly seriously injured, and Neytiri watches as her people are all dying around her, with that striking image of the direhorse galloping for its life while its entire backside is on fire...
    • ...followed by tears of joy as Eywa saves them all and the creatures of the forest help them.
  • Neytiri holding human Jake when she saved him from suffocating.
  • The entire scene at the Tree of Voices:
    • First, Grace's death, and her final words.
    • Then Jake permanently enters his Avatar body.
  • An unconventional one, but a quick line by Jake at the end: "The aliens went back to their dying world." Suddenly, you remember that, while Jake and Neytiri are happy, tens of billions of humans, the vast majority of whom have done nothing wrong, have nothing to look forward to except misery, starvation, disease and finally death, and the same for their children, and their children's children, until however many generations down the road humanity finally goes extinct.