As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
Tear Jerkers for the book:
- Coraline calling the police and them not believing her when she says "My Other Mother has them". Normally Coraline is smart enough to avoid making such mistakes, but you can see how upset she is after seeing her parents trapped in the mirror.
- The story about the bees. When she was younger, Coraline's father would take her on walks around junk-laden fields. During one of these trips, he stopped dead and told her to run. She did as she was told, and he followed her later. Turned out he'd trodden on a bees nest and stayed still so that the bees would all go for him while Coraline got away.
- And then he went back to get his glasses, which he left behind, and he was twice as scared since this time he didn't have Coraline's safety to occupy his mind.
- The boy of the three children relating how he forgot almost everything about his life before the Beldam, from his governess's name to his own. He even mostly forgets his gender!
Tear Jerkers for the movie:
- Other Wybie's Heroic Sacrifice, where without words he shows Coraline that he can't go into the normal world — his hand turns into dust— and shoves her through the tunnel before the Other Mother can stop them.
- Coraline trying to get Other Wybie to come with her is also upsetting. It shows how fond she's grown of him and how she doesn't want any harm to come to her friend. That she believes for a few seconds that he can be safe in the real world, only to be shown he can't leave without turning into a pile of dust.
- Coraline happily arriving home after escaping from the Other Mother, only to realize her parents are missing. She calls her dad's cellphone after finding the car, and is scared when she only gets voicemail.
- The "pillow-parents" scene, is made even more depressing in the film than in the book, as book-Coraline sometimes comes across as more clinical and unemotional than her movie counterpart. It's still depressing in either version though.
- Good night Dad (smack) Good night, Mom.
- The music playing during that scene is even sadder. Halfway through the song, you can hear the singer sounding like he or she's about to cry.
- The pain and grief she's feeling is no different from what the parents of the Ghost Children must have felt.
- When Coraline discovers the remains of the other Wybie.
- The death of the Other Father. A being created by the Other Mother solely to love Coraline... and he did so to the end.
- What really kicks it in is how the Other Father furiously apologizes to Coraline, trying to tell her how sorry he is and how he doesn't want to hurt her, all while he's forced against his will to hack away at his "daughter". What's even sadder? He makes it into a Heroic Sacrifice by screaming "TAKE IT!" and tosses the first child's soul to her as he perishes. The way it was framed, Coraline might have easily done Take My Hand if he hadn't slipped into a Disney Villain Death.
- Earlier, there's a brief scene wherein Coraline meets the Other Father in a setting without the Other Mother. He's forlornly playing his piano and softly giving little subtle warnings ("her [the Beldam's] strength is our strength", "[the Other Wybie] pulled a long face, and Mother didn't like that...") only for the gloves from his piano to burst out and cover his mouth (and later it seems to just flat out attack him). The way he talks there seems to imply that he's not nearly as carefree and jolly as he is in the presence of his "wife".
- The look on the real mother's face after Coraline says 'That's what you always say.' They're not bad people, they're just busy, and they do try to make it up to Coraline.
- Made even sadder considering the Pillow Parents scene. Seeing as though that was the last thing she said to her own mother, before she and her father get kidnapped.
- The fates of the ghost children.
- "She claimed to be my other mama but I never saw my real mama again."
- "Don't remember our names, but I remember my true mommy."
- "She said that she loved us, but she locked us away and ate up our lives."
- Wybie's grandmother not letting children stay at the Pink Palace because of what happened to her sister. And she kept the doll as a Tragic Keepsake, not knowing it was spying on her and the other adults.
- Her overprotectiveness of Wybie becomes even more heartbreaking when you learn that he has a form of scoliosis and that if the Other Mother had gotten hungry enough, he could've been the next victim.
- On a meta example, a cut line where Coraline asks if Wybie's grandmother is black, which she is, and admits that she may have found the former's dead sister.
- The Other Bobinsky's fate. While he isn't as sympathetic as the Other Father, there's something tragic about the resigned tone in his voice before he reveals he is just a pile of rats.Coraline: "You're just a copy she made of the real Mr. B."Other Bobinksy: "Not even that... Anymore..."
- In a way, all of the denizens of the Other World who aren't the Beldam, being puppets for the spidery old witch with no will of their own. The Other Spink and Forcible start out as exuberant and dazzling actresses made solely to entertain Coraline...they die as shrieking madwomen made out of taffy whose bodies are eternally melding together.
- The scene where Coraline finds her parents trapped in the Other World through the mirror down the hall. Her expression..., made worse when she attempts to break the mirror to reach them only to break it and cut her hand in the process. The Cat approaching her to comfort and her response makes it even more depressing...
- Coraline: I have to go back, don't I?
- And when she sees them in the mirror, Mel writes the following message in the fogged up glass, before she and her husband huddle together in a mix of fear and cold...
- Finally, reuniting, the Cat and her see them in the snow-globe, freezing, and looking very relieved that Coraline has come to save them.