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Tear Jerker / Ladybird

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lady_bird_crying_hug.png

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  • Father Leviatch checking himself into a mental hospital, still grieving over his son. Suddenly the "crying exercise" scene in the drama room isn't so funny anymore.
    • What's even sadder is he apologises for crying and tearfully asks Marion not to tell Lady Bird.
  • Marion dropping Lady Bird off at the airport, where she's about to leave for New York to go to college. Marion is still incredibly angry right up until Lady Bird leaves, but after Lady Bird's gone, she's overcome with remorse and starts bawling in Larry's arms.
    • For that matter, when Marion first learns Lady Bird got into college in New York in the first place, and that her husband helped her to do it. The scene where she gives Lady Bird the Silent Treatment is painful to watch. And given Lady Bird's comments, Marion refused to talk to her for months. It's implied Marion didn't even speak to Lady Bird on her eighteenth birthday.
  • Basically, if you've ever had a tumultuous relationship with your mom, there's a lot in this movie that's gonna hit home. Especially the scene where Lady Bird and Marion are in the thrift store for prom dresses, and Lady Bird points out that Marion loves her... but she doesn't like her. Tellingly, Marion won't answer that.
    Marion: I just want you to be the best version of yourself.
    Lady Bird: What if this is the best version?
    • During one particularly nasty fight, Marion points out that the cost of raising Lady Bird every day is astronomical. Lady Bird demands that Marion "give her a number," and says that once she's found a job that will make her rich, she'll pay her mother back so she never has to speak to her again. To further twist the knife, Marion immediately comes back with a comment about how Lady Bird will be unable to get that kind of job.
      • Some of these scenes double as Fridge Horror when you realize that Marion's own mother was likely just as bad or worse to Marion than she is to Lady Bird in the movie: Marion is turning into her own mother, without the alcoholism. She seems to realize it at the end of the film, which is likely the reason she breaks down at the end.
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  • Danny breaking down and sobbing when he's forced to confront his homosexuality. All Lady Bird can do is hold him.
  • The Christmas scene, where Lady Bird, Miguel, and Shelley get socks as presents. You can tell that, despite Marion's brave face and the kids being genuinely thankful, it's painful for everyone involved.
  • An example of happy tears—Lady Bird and Julie attending the prom together after Lady Bird ditches Kyle, having renewed their friendship. It's a very sweet scene.
    • Some sad tears come later when the two girls go for an all-night walk, discussing their plans for the future. Given that Lady Bird is moving to New York while Julie stays in California, they might not see each other again for months. And remember, this is 2003: Facebook, Skype, unlimited cellular data plans (Lady Bird is specifically told that the phone she's given is strictly for emergencies), and other inexpensive ways to stay in touch face-to-face or voice-to-voice haven't been invented yet. It's implied that they'll stay close, but it's going to be a lot harder when there's a whole country between them.
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  • The scene after Lady Bird and Kyle have sex, and Kyle, who barely seems interested in talking at all, casually mentions that he can't even remember how many girls he's been with, despite earlier saying he was a virgin. This was Lady Bird's first time, and she built it up to be something wonderful and special in her head—and now she's been lied to, used, and thrown away.
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