Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Tear Jerker / Forrest Gump

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/forrestgump342_7.jpg
I miss you Jenny.
Advertisement:
  • Every single death scene.
    • The death of Bubba (now used as one of the biggest examples of Black Dude Dies First) in Vietnam. Especially his dying words.
      Forrest: (narrating) Then, Bubba said something I won't ever forget.
      Bubba: I wanna go home.
    • Forrest's monologue after Bubba's last words as well.
      Forrest: Bubba was my best good friend. And even I know that ain't something you can just find around the corner. Bubba was gonna be a shrimpin' boat captain... but instead he died by that river in Vietnam. And... that's all I got to say about that.
    • Forrest's letters to Jenny. He gets all of them back, unopened, and stamped with return to sender.
    • Forrest's simple speech about his mother's death. He doesn't go into too much detail, but the little hitch in his voice conveys just how affected he was and is still saddened by losing her. And the woman he's speaking to has to wipe away tears.
      Forrest: She had gotten the Cancer, and died on a Tuesday. I bought her a new hat with little flowers on it. And that's all I have to say about that.
    • Advertisement:
    • "You died on a Saturday morning..."
      • When Forrest leaves the letter at Jenny's grave. The pain and emotion in Tom Hanks' performance in the scene is absolutely amazing. He just sounds so broken, like he doesn't know how to keep going, but knows that he can't give up either.
  • This:
    Young Forrest: Momma, what's vacation?
    Ms. Gump: Vacation?
    Young Forrest: Where daddy went.
    Ms. Gump: (beat) Vacation is where you go someplace far away...and you don't ever come back...
    • This implies that Mr. Gump either died or abandoned his wife and son, which is probably the more likely case given Ms. Gump's response to it all.
  • The first time Forrest meets Jenny on the bus to school.
    Forrest (narrating): You know, it's funny what a young man recollects. 'Cause I don't remember being born. I, I don't recall what I got for my first Christmas and I don't know when I went on my first outdoor picnic. But, I do remember the first time I heard the sweetest voice in the wide world.
    Jenny: You can sit here if you want.
    Forrest (narrating): I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. She was like an angel.
  • Advertisement:
  • When she was a child, Jenny and Forrest runs into the corn field to hide from her dad. They pray.
    Jenny: Dear God, make me a bird so that I could fly far. Far, far away from here.
  • Forrest's mother telling him to come home safely before he's sent to Vietnam. The way Forrest leans against her shows even he realizes he may not be returning home alive.
  • Seeing Lieutenant Dan broken and legless after Forrest saves him, after pulling Forrest from his hospital bed to the floor, angrily saying Forrest cheated him out of his "destiny":
    Lt. Dan: I was supposed to die on the field! With honor! It was my destiny, and you... cheated me out of it! I was Lieutenant... Dan Taylor...
    • Forrest's reply was pretty moving and poignant in it's simplicity.
      Forrest: You're still Lieutenant Dan.
      • It gets worse with Lt. Dan's response, after he pulls himself up into a sitting position:
        Lt. Dan: Look at me... What am I gonna do now?
  • Forrest & Jenny reunited at the Lincoln Memorial.
    • His speech right before is an in-universe example. We never get to hear it thanks to some conveniently-timed microphone sabotage but those around him, including Abby Hoffman, are moved to tears by what they hear.
    • According to Hanks, this was what Forrest said to the crowd.
    Forrest: Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That's all I have to say about that.
  • For any fan of The Beatles or his solo work, Forrest telling the story of his encounter with John Lennon is sure to come across as a sad moment, especially when Forrest recollects the circumstances of his murder years later. It's particularly poignant in the way that it ignores the celebrity and mystique of Lennon and paints the picture of an ordinary man coming home to his son, and the tragedy and senselessness of his death is conveyed perfectly by Hanks' voiceover.
    Forrest (narrating): Some years later, that nice young man from England was on his way home to see his little boy and was signing some autographs, and for no particular reason at all, somebody shot him.
    • And to add to the sadness of the moment, as Forrest narrates the line above, the camera focuses on Lennon, who seems to stare off in silent contemplation of something before the screen suddenly starts going staticy at the end of the narration, obscuring and eventually swallowing up Lennon's face to the viewer.
    • He narrates the death of John F. Kennedy in a similar way, mirroring just how tragic and sudden that a good man and great president like JFK had to go so soon. He also mentions the senseless and tragic murder of Robert F. Kennedy, concluding the tragic reality of how being related to the President can be just as dangerous as being President.
      Forrest (narrating): Then one day, someone shot that nice man when he riding in his motorcade. And some years later, someone shot his little brother, too, only he was in his hotel kitchen. It must be hard, being the President's brother. I wouldn't know.
  • Jenny, after years spent being abused by her father, running away and experimenting with drugs and giving her body to men who didn't care about her... returns to Forrest's home in simple clothes and with a purse, politely greets him... and then runs desperately into his arms, hugging him close.
  • Jenny's breakdown when she starts throwing rocks at her childhood home can also count, too. Even though Forrest has it bulldozed later, he never truly understood why she hated it as much as she did, but he did realize that she did not have good memories of the place.
    Forrest (narrating): "Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks."
  • This line:
    Forrest: Why don't you love me, Jenny? I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is.
  • When Forrest meets his young son and he asks if the boy is "smart or is he..." and can't bring himself to finish. The real clincher is that while Forrest can't say it, he does gesture towards himself.
    • Peter Scolari, Tom Hanks' co-star on Bosom Buddies, mentioned in an interview that this was the moment that did it for him. Forrest is at least smart enough to know how he is, and is smart enough to fear passing that trait on.
  • Lt. Dan at the wedding, walking on new legs, having found love and financial security, finally at peace. Gary Sinise has since turned his entire character in a CMOH because of his work for the VA and USO, especially suicide prevention hotlines.
    • Even better, his fiancée is implied to be Vietnamese, mirroring real life attempts between American and Vietnamese veterans of the war to heal and make peace with one another.
  • Close to the end of the movie when Forrest is seeing Lil' Forrest off to school. He tells Lil' Forrest he loves him and says he'll be sitting there when Lil' Forrest gets home... and he actually does.


Top