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Tear Jerker / Carrie

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    Carrie in general 
  • Watching Carrie endure Margaret's abusive behavior, especially when you realize that despite everything, Carrie still loves Margaret and wants nothing more than for them to have a healthy mother-daughter relationship. (See how she seeks out Margaret for comfort and security after her rampage.) The worst part of all of it is that Margaret genuinely wants what's best for Carrie, but her idea of "what's best" is warped far beyond anything that could be called "good parenting". Kinda makes you wonder what kind of parents she had growing up.
    • Actually, Margaret's parents, at least in the book, were nice, normal people. It's never really explained where Margaret's psychotic fanaticism came from. She hated her stepfather, who called her "truck face" and was at least emotionally abusive. She likely suffered from mental illness and found a like-minded religious fervor in her husband Ralph. After he died, she just got crazier.
      • Her insanity, like many people's, evolved from extreme fear. Margaret's grandmother used to terrify her with her TK ability coupled with dementia. She was "senile to the point of idiocy" relatively young, but used to light the fireplace remotely and do TK stunts at the dinner table, while laughing wildly and drooling or panting "like a dog on a hot day" and doing the Evil Eye hand signnote . She even seemed to have Glowing Eyes of Doom. Margaret seems to have turned to religion because she perceived her grandmother as having sold out to the Devil. When she saw Carrie floating her baby bottle soon after Gram died, she may even have thought Gram was influencing her from hell.
  • The fact that after everything that happened, someone went out of their way to put "Carrie White Burns In Hell" on Carrie's grave marker. It's all part of a dream sequence in the 1976 version, but it's real in the 2013 version. Margaret may have jumped off the religious deep end, but she had a point about one thing: This town suffered from a serious lack of common decency.
    • Even in the dream it's a sad image, and the fact that it was on a real estate sign, not even on her actual grave, makes it arguably more petty and desperate for the last word against her. Also, even if it's in a dream, there's nothing saying that it couldn't also be real and that Sue is seeing it in her dream because she saw it in real life.
      • In the book it was real, and it said "Carrie White is burning for her sins. Jesus never fails."
  • Just think about the story for a moment. Carrie was just a sweet, shy girl who never wanted anything more than to be liked and cared for by people and to feel like someone, anyone, would love her in the way that her horrible mother never did. Carrie went through her whole life never harming a soul but being made to feel like something was inherently wrong with her and that she didn't deserve to be loved in the way that other people were. Then she finally meets people who actually want her to be happy and feels for just a moment that she has been accepted only to have it all ripped away in the cruelest manner imaginable. All Carrie ever wanted was to feel like she deserved to be happy and all she ever got was cruelty and suffering until it just became too much for her to bear. The most heartbreaking fact of all is that there are thousands, millions even, of people like that in real life who will someday snap because the world never gave them the kind of care that they needed.
    • It should be noted that King did know two girls in high school who were bullied horribly. By the time he started to write this novel, both of them were dead, one from suicide. It's extremely likely this message is exactly what he was going for on at least some level.
  • The ending shot of the words "Carrie White Burns in Hell" spray-painted on her grave (or on the For Sale sign where her house used to be). She can't be free from the insults and the mocking even when she's dead!
  • Realizing that Bullying like this DOES exist. While people may not be dropping ground-up pig on people (hopefully!), the fact that people can be this cruel in real life is hard to wrap one's mind around.
    • Related to that, realizing that some people, when constantly bullied and ridiculed, do end up snapping and killing numerous people, which makes the whole situation a vicious cycle of pain.
      • When you realized that Carrie endured a nonstop cycle of vicious abuse for 16 YEARS...
  • The foreword to the 2004 audiobook where Stephen King talks about the creation of the novel, and that Carrie is a composite character of two girls he knew in school; Tina White and Sandra Erving (pseudonyms to protect the names of the real girls). Tina had been a quiet, pudgy girl who came from a "peculiar" (in King's own words) family and always wore the same outfit, which the other students relentlessly bullied her for. One Christmas, Tina came to school in a brand new outfit, and King recalls how happy she had been... and how shocked she was when it only made the bullying worse. This was the final straw, and Tina hung herself in the family's basement. King, who was 14 at the time, didn't participate in the bullying, but he also didn't have the courage to try and stop it, something he regrets. Sandra came from a strict, religious family and suffered from epileptic seizures which she was also bullied for, as well as her old-fashioned clothes. The seizures eventually killed her.
    King: I was afraid, both of visiting the world of teenage girls, a world I had never been part of, and of revisiting something I hadn't had the wit or the moral courage to stop.

     The novel 
  • Regarding the prank, Norma writes that it was a situation where one either laughs or cries and that, after so many years of bullying, no one could cry for Carrie. Think about it. Even when someone dropped blood on her (which could never be taken as an innocent joke) no one could find in themselves to have sympathy.
  • It perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise that a common premise for Carrie fanfic is the Fix Fic in which the prom disaster never happens.
  • While implied in every other version, Carrie reminisces about how she has tried so hard to fit in and go along with others. A lot of this is very upsetting, like laughing off being dunked until she nearly drowns.
  • She also seems to be in genuine despair and confusion that no-one likes her even after she defies Margaret over and over.
  • Carrie breaking the news to Margaret about being invited to the prom. Even when Margaret is trying to stop her, Carrie says that Tommy has offered to come in and meet her beforehand. Although she hates her mother for all the abuse, on some level she was hoping she'd be happy for her.
  • In her autobiography, Sue describes an interaction between Carrie and Tommy that took place right before the prom.
    Carrie went to see Tommy the day before the prom. She was waiting outside one of his classes and he said she looked really wretched as if she thought he'd yell at her to stop hanging around and stop bugging him.
    She said she had to be in by eleven-thirty at the latest, or her momma would be worried. She said she wasn't going to spoil his time or anything, but it wouldn't be fair to worry her momma.
    Tommy suggested they stop at the Kelly Fruit after and grab a root beer and a burger. All the other kids would be going to Westover or Lewiston, and they would have the place to themselves. Carrie's face lit up, he said. She told him that would be fine. Just fine.
    This is the girl they keep calling a monster. I want you to keep that firmly in mind. The girl who could be satisfied with a hamburger and a dime root beer after her only school dance so her momma wouldn't be worried...
  • The epilogue reveals that Carrie's rampage effectively destroyed the town. With most of their teenaged children dead, along with a handful of the adults, the survivors note that something vital seems to have been lost as well, and people are just... drifting off. Even the local plant, which is normally the lifeblood of a small town, has been laying people off not because they're closing, but because they don't have enough workers to operate full-time because they've all left. Many of the people who died deserved it, but not ALL of them and certainly not the whole town.
  • After the prom incident, it's said that Miss Desjardin resigned from Ewen High school, entirely out of guilt that she wasn't able to help Carrie.
  • The whole scene with Cora and her neighbour, recounted over on Nightmare Fuel, counts, but it gets even worse when you remember that Cora's daughter, Rhonda, was one of the first confirmed casualties of the Black Prom, as she burned up from being electrocuted. Cora even talks about meeting some of the survivors from the prom moments after and hearing the news that way. It's said they need to take a short recess because she became too distressed to talk.
    • Cora mentions that her husband was away on a business trip that night. Imagine having to call your spouse up and tell them the daughter you love has suddenly died in a horrific disaster.
  • The epilogue goes into detail about the resulting weeks and months after the prom. First was a graduation ceremony which could not be a celebration at all - with half the class dead or missing, and the student giving a speech bursting into tears midway through. All in all, it takes four months to have all the funerals.
  • There's something a little sad about Chris's Break the Haughty right before she's killed. Billy pretty much rapes her after the blood is poured, and he hits her multiple times as well. As she hears just what's happened to the town, she realises her whole life is crashing down around her, and she's even reduced to begging the boy who just hit her to take her to California with him if they have to flee. Billy says he will but immediately thinks he won't really. And you get to see her last thoughts before Carrie throws the car into the wall - where she thinks that she didn't want Carrie dead as Billy is running her down.
  • Thanks to the Mind Rape Carrie does to Sue when they meet in the roadhouse parking lot, Sue can feel Carrie dying inside her own head. Carrie's last thoughts are for her mother.
  • A student called Vic Mooney is said to end up in an asylum from all the trauma of surviving the Black Prom.

     The 1976 film and its sequel, The Rage: Carrie 2 
  • The ending, with Sue's dream of visiting Carrie's burned-down house to leave flowers... at least, before she gets grabbed by Carrie's arm. Also, the scene immediately afterward, which has Sue screaming and thrashing about uncontrollably as her mother attempts to calm her down.
    • Just think about what the dream implies. Sue really had tried to give Carrie a nice time in her life, to make up for mocking her earlier, and the whole thing goes horribly. In the dream, Sue is still trying to be nice to Carrie, leaving flowers on her grave, only for Carrie to try to attack her. In her traumatized mind, Sue probably imagines there's no way she could ever be forgiven by Carrie. And when Sue dies some day... Carrie will be waiting for her.
    • And in the sequel, Carrie's half-sister finishes her off.
  • How about the sequence of Carrie walking to the stage after being elected prom queen? It's so heartwarming and sad because we know what's going to happen and this is the happiest moment of her life and is about to be ruined.
    • The look on Carrie's face when after she's drenched in pig's blood. She is so cruelly front of the entire school.
    • Right before Carrie's breakdown, Tommy's reaction after the prank has been pulled and Carrie's drenched in blood. He is at first shocked like everyone else but then very quickly gets pissed, looking around the room as if trying to sight who did this horrible thing to Carrie...and then the bucket swings down from the rope and hits him on the back of the head, knocking him out. Which turns out to be his last conscious moment in the film. He really did come to care about Carrie but ended up unable to do anything to help her when she needed it most.
  • The scene just before the prank is pulled off makes it even more tragic. Sue visits the prom to see Tommy and Carrie, spots the cord that will dump the pig blood, and tries to warn Miss Collins... who throws her out of the prom just seconds before Chris pulls the cord. The whole thing could have been prevented.
  • A humanising moment from Chris and Billy. Unlike in the book and other adaptations, where they run off and don't hear about the massacre until later, they see everything from the outside of the gym. And when Miss Collins is crushed by the falling basketball hoop, Chris looks horrified. The way Nancy Allen plays it, you almost wonder if she's realising how much trouble she's caused.
  • Carrie getting stabbed by her mother. We have Carrie, who just calmed down from her Roaring Rampage of Revenge, washing the blood off of her body before redressing herself. At her most sad and scared, she seeks her mother for comfort. Margaret seems to actually have felt sympathy for her for the first time and gets her to share a prayer with her. It seems like a heartwarming moment, but then, while Carrie's busy hugging her during the prayer, Margaret stabs her in the back with a butcher knife she kept hidden. Carrie is bleeding to death and when she struggles to go down the stairs and escape from her mother, her mother even takes her sweet time to walk down, knowing Carrie can't go too far because of the stab wound. The music itself adds both a mix of terror and sadness. Even after Carrie kills her, she feels guilty about it. To make matters even worse, her powers overdo it and cause the house to collapse. The last thing she does before succumbing to her fatal injuries is drag her mother into the prayer closet with her so she wouldn't die alone.
  • The Fridge Horror implications that Carrie actually brought down the house on herself out of shame, guilt and desperation.
  • When Carrie cries to her mother about how the other girls laughed at her and threw things at her during the shower incident. It's so sad that after all the years of horrible abuse they hurled at her, she still wanted them to like her.
  • Carrie's massacre is kinda sadder if you believe the theory that nobody was actually laughing except for maybe Chris's friends.
  • In the climax The Rage: Carrie 2 Rachel uses the last of her powers to save Jesse's life.
    • Later Jesse has a dream about Rachel visiting him and they kiss, before she explodes into dust. Doubles as Nightmare Fuel.
    • Lisa's suicide. A nice friendly girl who was humiliated by a boy she liked. Sadly it was Ripped from the Headlines.

     The musical 
  • The ending
  • "Evening Prayers." In this version, Margaret genuinely loves Carrie, and is much more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist than the other versions, though she's still the antagonist. She sincerely apologizes to Carrie for causing her so much pain and assures her that she will always love her. It's heartbreaking, especially if you know what happens in the end.
    • In a similar vein, "Carrie (Reprise)," sung by Margaret after the prom disaster, singing a lullaby to comfort Carrie just before she stabs her. Made even more heartbreaking that Margaret doesn't want to kill her daughter, but feels it's her Biblical duty. Jesus.
    Carrie: I love you, Momma.
    Margaret: I love you, Carrie. Baby, don't cry now...
    • These two lyrics, from "Evening Prayers" and "When There's No One," both sung by Margaret, and sung to the exact same notes.
      • First, in "Evening Prayers:"
    I never wanted to cause you such pain,
    but there are times when my life is so frightening.
    Maybe I do things that I can't explain,
    but my feelings for you will never change.
    • Then, in "When There's No One."
    Was I so foolish to think I can pray,
    when there's only one chance I can save you?
    I gave you life, I can take it away
    let the shadows descend like a knife.
    • The Act I ending song "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" adds a whole new disturbing wrinkle to Margaret's whole characterization, implying that Carrie is the product of rape while she was in high school, and she was a perfectly normal girl before then.
  • The very end of the song "Epilogue." After Sue sings the last lyric, it fades into a soft reprise of Carrie's Leitmotif, which we've heard multiple times throughout the show. At first, the song is triumphant, then it's terrifying on prom night, and at the end, as Carrie lays dead, it's just heartbreaking.
  • From the titular song, Carrie's soft and resigned, "I will not cry. I'm okay."
  • The song, "You Shine", becomes Harsher in Hindsight near the end, along with a tearful reprise of the chorus. Bear in mind, this is the last time she ever sees him.
    "I Love You." He's never said that before! That's what I remember most about that day.
  • As melodramatic and bizarre as the original 1988 musical production could be, it's hard not to be moved to tears by the final scene, as Carrie breaks down completely following her mother's death. She half crawls, half drags herself down the highschool steps on her hands and knees, sobbing like a frightened child as a distraught Sue takes her into her arms. The last image before the curtain falls is Carrie reaching out towards the audience as she dies, almost as if she's still begging for help.

     The 2002 film 
  • The detective visiting the ruined and abandoned White residence and rummages through a pile of belongings which included Carrie's yearbook. He turns to the "Signatures" part of the book only to see that they're completely blank. It's a very poignant moment that implied Carrie's sheer Friendless Background.
  • Shortly after the shower incident, where Carrie finds 'plug it up!' spray-painted on her locker. She knows there's probably something inside but she needs her books, so she walks tentatively up to the locker — and you can see her praying that the graffiti is all there is. It turns out Chris and Tina filled it up with tampons — which spill out onto the floor in front of everyone. Chris of course then leads the surrounding students in laughing cruelly. Not only is it horrible to think of happening to anyone — but think of someone who was raised to be as modest as Carrie.
    • It's later revealed that she didn't know what tampons were used for (Sue stops her from using one to wipe off lipstick). So presumably at the time, she thought the prank was a shot at her for being ugly. And then sometime later she probably also realised the meaning.
  • The flashback to the stones raining on the house. The way Carrie just sadly runs back to her mother, obediently waiting to be punished for simply talking to a neighbour.
  • Carrie's attempt at standing up to her mother for the first time after the shower incident — "you sinned! You didn't tell me". Carrie is trying to appeal to Margaret that what she just experienced could have all been avoided if her mother had just acted like a proper parent and educated her daughter.
  • The death of Helen Shyres after she completed her Heel–Face Turn — befriending Carrie at the prom, trying to stop the blood being poured, slapping Kenny for laughing at her, and trying to get Tommy to safety. She showed that she was more than just a Beta Bitch like Tina, and she got killed in Carrie's collateral damage.
    • She and her date Roy are last seen running through the carnage holding hands, trying to stay together. When the scoreboard electrocutes everyone, they die holding hands.
  • Miss Desjardin sounds so shaken in her police interview when talking about the deaths:
    "Half of them were kids I saw every day."
    • In the book Miss Desjardin made it out before things got worse. Here she was left hanging from an air vent for dear life, watching hundreds of other people all drop dead in front of her.
  • During the prom, Norma has completely broken down and is running around in a daze screaming for help.
    • Beforehand, she was on the stage when the blood was poured - and she got splashed with some of it. There are several shots where she looks horrified and disgusted - as if she can't believe anyone would do such a thing. She's also shown to be passionate about school spirit, so it's probably an extra blow for her that someone would go out of their way to ruin the prom.
  • As she's Spared by the Adaptation, this Carrie now has to live with what she did for the rest of her life. And here it's portrayed as a blackout that she had no control over (rather than the pre-meditated revenge it was in the book and other films). When Sue revives her, it's implied she knew something happened but didn't know the full extent.
    "What happened? What did I do?"
  • There is something very bittersweet about how Sue tells Tommy to take Carrie to the prom. It perfectly conveys why Sue wants Carrie to have one good memory from high school.
    "Take her and hold her hand."
  • This version plays up the imbalance between Chris and Billy - where the latter is clearly as much of a sociopath as he is in the books (in the 1976 film they're both more bumbling comic relief, in the 2013 film it's Chris who's easily the more evil of the two). At some points, she seems scared of Billy - like when he threatens to kill her if she gets caught and mentions his name. And when he sees Carrie on the road, he prepares to run her down. Unlike in the other two film versions (Chris drives the car in the 1976 film, and she cheers him on in the 2013 version) she screams for him to stop. Her last words before Carrie crushes the car are "Billy, what are you doing? Billy, stop! Stop!"

     The 2013 film 
  • In the trailer, there are a number of interviews playing over the action apparently after her rampage. It's the last one in particular that really underlines the tragedy of this entire debacle:
    Witness: There's one thing no one seems to understand. She wasn't some monster — she was just... a girl.
  • From a trailer, the song Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow ? is playing. Especially sad if you know what's coming.
  • The death of Tommy. He's shown as being genuinely nice to Carrie, not simply because Sue asked him to. After the bucket falls on his head and kills him, Carrie cradles his head on her lap and weeps when she realizes he's dead.
    • The fact that Tommy's death is what causes Carrie snap in this version, had Tommy survived it's very likely Carrie would have left angry and hurt but ultimately peacefully is what makes it all the more tragic.
  • Carrie after killing her mother. Her regret along with her saying she wants her mom back just adds to the depressing situation.
  • "It's a girl."
  • When Carrie walks into her house, crying out "Mama?" It's at that point when she becomes a scared little girl and just wants to be safe and loved.
  • The scene where Carrie killed the student who helped her understand YouTube. Considering he was trying to help her and not be cruel like all the other students. Carrie probably didn't even know it was him considering she had, at that point, become a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • The death of Chris. Not because it wasn't deserved, but because seeing the look of fear on Chris's face actually makes Carrie come to her senses and hesitant to kill her. Then Chris tries to take advantage of this pause to run Carrie over but crashes to her death instead, and the look of horror and sorrow on Carrie's face at this is just devastating.
  • A few scenes after Tommy asks Carrie to the prom, she's seen crying in the girls' locker room. Desjardin walks in and assumes Chris was bullying her again. Carrie tearfully tells her that she was asked to the prom by Tommy — And she seriously asks why someone like him would ever want to go with someone like her. Just in case you needed more proof that the girl's self-esteem is pretty much nonexistent.
    • It's a version of a scene in the original, where Carrie tells the teacher that she's certain they're playing a trick on her, another way to show that Carrie has no self-esteem at all.
      • In the book, she quietly and reservedly tells Tommy himself that she knows it is a trick and she refuses to fall for it.
  • Sue arrives at Carrie's house and sees her crying over Margaret's body. Carrie, believing that everything that happened was because of Sue, uses her powers and attempts to strangle her. When Sue begs for Carrie not to hurt her, Carrie's only response is a tearful "Why not? I've been hurt my whole life."
    • Sue's last line (said as she gives testimony to the hearing into the Black Prom) really drives this point home as she blames the tragedy on everyone (including herself), stating that Carrie wasn't a monster, but the constant torment she suffered day after day finally pushed her too far.
    Sue Snell: We pushed her, and you can only push someone so far before they break.
  • The scene with Sue tearfully putting away her prom dress can be a little upsetting. It's more than obvious that she was really looking forward to one of the best nights of her life, and to completely miss out on it (for the better, at least) is an enormous sacrifice for her. And something similar happens to Chris right before this scene; just look at her face when she enters the empty, decorated gym. She's visibly heartbroken.
  • Although they were awful to Carrie, it's quite upsetting seeing the death of Nicki and Lizzy Watson, especially for a twin. As Carrie holds them down and they're both panicking, one of the girls reaches out and grabs her sister's hand.
  • In this version, Sue gets to see Tommy's death first hand, and we see her frantically trying to open the locked gym doors to help.
  • After the massacre is over, you see a traumatised Miss Desjardin knowing just what mess she caused by throwing Sue out. In contrast to the confident authority figure she was before, she is sobbing over the deaths she just witnessed and the realization that she was partly responsible.
    • Sue also shoots her a look that makes more sense in a deleted scene; Tommy's body was wheeled out on a stretcher and she was silently telling the teacher he didn't survive.

Alternative Title(s): Carrie 1976


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