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Tear Jerker / Knives Out

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"Do as I say and everything will be just fine. I promise."

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  • Marta panicking tearfully while trying to find the Naxolone to reverse Harlan’s supposed overdose.
    • The entire sequence that follows is utterly heartbreaking. After Harlan knocks Marta to the floor to stop her from calling an ambulance, Joni comes up to see what's going on. While Harlan calmly and cheerfully tells Joni that everything's just fine and sends her off to bed, Marta keeps her back to the door... so Joni won't see that she's sobbing over the fact that her friend is about to die. She genuinely doesn't care if she goes to jail over it, and only agrees to Harlan's plan after he reminds her that, if Marta went to jail, the authorities would likely find out her mother is undocumented, and her mother would be deported.
    • Soon after, we find out Marta saw Harlan slit his throat, right after he assured her that if she just stuck to the plan, everything would be okay.
      • The closeup of her shocked, grief-filled face as she sits on the stairs and weeps right after witnessing it is truly heartbreaking.
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    • The Reveal that Marta gave Harlan the right dose despite the bottles being switched, meaning he would have been fine had they just called an ambulance as she wanted, making his killing himself to protect Marta a Senseless Sacrifice, meaning that everything Harlan and Marta did truly was All for Nothing.
  • The Running Gag of Marta not being invited to Harlan's funeral is as heartbreaking as it is darkly humorous. Marta was Harlan's only friend and the two genuinely cared for each other. The fact that she wasn't invited to his funeral and couldn't pay her respects because his racist, classist relatives refused to consider her family must have been devastating to her.
  • Fran wasn't invited either, and the movie later establishes that she loved Harlan like a grandparent. In fact, the family made her do housework during the funeral, and she was gathering laundry when seeing Ransom go up the stairs to the study. This little detail told her Ransom had something to do with Harlan's death, but she felt she couldn't trust anyone, not even the police, with what she saw.
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  • Walt and Linda share a touching moment mourning their father's death and Linda still is feeling wrong that he had died, and that this might be some trick of his. The pair end up hugging and consoling each other.
  • Walt may be just as bad as the rest of the Thrombeys, but he's absolutely heartbroken when Harlan relieves him of running his publishing company. Harlan may've had a good reason (hoping Walt would realize his full potential once freed from helping him), but in the end Walt didn't do anything wrong and was essentially let go just doing his job.
    (Near tears) "Dad...are you firing me...?"
  • Great Nana spends much of the film ignored by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, leaving herself alone to mourn her son's death. Only Blanc ever comes by to offer his condolences.
  • Fran's death becomes this with hindsight. She and Marta were good friends, with Marta patiently listening to her murder mystery fascination and Fran sharing her joints. Marta thinks that Fran knew about her overdosing Harlan accident when finding her prone body in the abandoned laundromat, given Ransom passing on the blackmail letter he received and planning to frame Marta for Fran's death. It turns out that Fran was saying, "Hugh did this," referring to Ransom, not "You did this," because the hired help was told to call Ransom by his first name. Fran's overdose didn't help with her pronunciation either, given she was fighting for her life. While Marta uses her death to extort a confession out of Ransom, she's horrified on realizing that Fran never hated or plan to blackmail her.
  • In the final scenes, Linda reads her father's final letter to her. Rather than a huge bombshell to shift the will as she expected, it's a solemn and heartfelt delivery of necessary bad news, delivered by a man who clearly loves his daughter.
    My Heart- It's time to let the deadbeat go. He's cheating on you. I have proof. I know you don't need to see it. Untether yourself. It's time. Love, Dad.
    • Linda's face, when she looks at Richard, is absolutely heartbreaking.
    • It is at least lightened somewhat the next time we see Richard after this point, sporting what's shaping up to be quite the shiner. No doubt a divorce promise came with that punch in the face, and unlike Richard, Linda can afford a decent lawyer since she actually has a career.
  • While Ransom is being arrested, there's a Meaningful Background Event of Meg talking to Lt. Elliot; he looks solemn and she's crying. It's very easy to assume he just broke the news to her about what Ransom did. No matter how much she hated him, finding out her cousin was willing to murder their grandfather (and did murder a family employee Meg was on good terms with, and also tried to kill her friend Marta) would still be a hell of a nasty shock. It's evident that while the entire family was well aware that Ransom is a piece of shit, none of them thought he was capable of this sort of evil.
    • On that note, it must be especially devastating for Linda to learn that her own son tried to murder her father, who she loved more than anyone, just because of money.
  • In the flashback to his last conversation with Marta, Harlan seems to have the most regret of all reserved for how Ransom turned out, realizing how similar they are and that he enabled him to become what he is. For all his theatrics, Harlan really did cut Ransom out of the will as a form of Tough Love, and hoped it would get him to clean up his act and be better. Little did he know that his grandson had no love for him in return, and was perfectly willing to kill him and two innocent women, all for the sake of money.
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