- Vitaly's backstory. It's no wonder why he's a Broken Ace.
- His PTSD, and especially his lonely moment in his train car when he looks at the hoops and flashes back to the fire he now fears is particularly heart-wrenching.
- The London performance is this mixed with Heartwarming. It's just so beautiful, it brings tears to your eyes.
- The Third-Act Misunderstanding where the circus animals learn the truth about the Zoosters, particularly Stefano's comment about his tears being real but "you are not". What could have been Narmful is instead quite painful, and the sheer betrayal in Gia's voice, and on both her face and Vitaly's, is even more so.
- The Zoosters' return to the zoo, only to realize that they were happier with the circus and free after all while the primary trio of the circus realize that despite the earlier deception, they still dearly love their zoo friends, feel incomplete without them, and are ready to forgive them.Gloria: Well... we're here.
Alex: Huh. My rock looks smaller than I remember it.
Marty: Look at the mural. Doesn't actually capture the real thing, does it?
- On a related note to the Gloria/Melman plot from the second movie:Gloria: I forgot about that wall in between us, Melman. Was that always there?
- The Dark Reprise of "Alex the Lion" back at the Central Park Zoo.
- Alex's desperate attempt to fix the plane after it broke the second time, only to come to face the fact that it's broken beyond repair. Him saying that the gang will never make it to New York really sells it, though.
- The fight between Sonya and Julien. Quite the Tear Jerker, even though Sonya isn't a Funny Animal like the rest of the cast and only "speaks" in growls and grunts.Julien: It's obvious that I'm just an emotional whoopee cushion for you to sit on. When you look for where I am, I won't be there! (sobbing)
Tear Jerker / Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted