- It's probably highly mockable, but when Grizabella sings Memory in Cats, numerous people bawl every single time. Although the whole "rising to a higher plane" symbolism staging helps, the song alone can make you cry.
- During the song she lays down on the ground seemingly intent on giving up on life and dying there and then when suddenly Jemima, the youngest of the kittens looking on, begins to sing. Her voice sung by Helen Massie is so beautiful it can move anyone to tears.
- Even with the horrendous reception the 2019 film's trailer got, Jennifer Hudson's rendition of the song is up there with Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream."
- Old Deuteronomy reaching out to Grizabella after her first "Memory".
- The 'Gus the Theater Cat' number in the 1998 movie version is very emotional when Gus attempts to repeat his last lines and can't because it makes him so emotional. It's made even more sad by the fact that the man who played Gus, Sir John Mills, is now dead.
- Just how tired and confused Mills' portrayal of Gus is.
- It would be so easy to mock him, but the other cats are so caring of him. One could argue that if not Grizabella, then Gus might have been chosen for the Heavenside Layer.
- Especially the line:There's nothing to equal, from what I hear tell, that moment of mystery when I made history . . .
- The looks on all the cats' faces at the end, when Grizabella is finally accepted. Your heart. It will be warm.
- The scene right after Munkustrap's battle with Macavity, meeting Demeter in front of the spotlight. He was thrown to the ground and didn't get up, but after the lights go out, he stirs and crawls slowly towards his mate. Demeter hurries over to him, and they share arguably the most tender and poignant moment in the entire musical. Happy tears. Definitely happy tears.
- The song "Beautiful Ghosts," especially the version recorded by Taylor Swift (who wrote it). It has enough genuine emotion and uncertainty behind it that, even with the knowledge of what movie it was written for, it's still sincerely moving.All that I wanted was to be wanted,
too young to wander London streets, alone and haunted.
Born into nothing,
at least you have something, something to cling to,
visions of dazzling rooms I'll never get let into...
And the memories were lost long ago.
But at least you have beautiful ghosts.
Tear Jerker / Cats