Follow TV Tropes

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


Tear Jerker / Nicholas Nickleby

Go To

  • Smike's death. The 2001 version has this exchange before he dies that makes it even sadder:
    Smike: Always... remember... you... made me... happy.
    Nicholas: And you me.
    • And the 2001 version also ends with a picture of his tombstone, that says "Smike Nickleby [...] He lived and was happy".
  • The 1980 version also had the death of Smike as a major Tear Jerker. This scene made a Call-Back to the Romeo and Juliet sequence, with Smike and Nicholas reprising the Shakespeare dialogue. The fact that Kate was written in (she does not appear in this part of the original novel), makes it even sadder, considering that Smike reaches out to her with I Want My Beloved to Be Happy invocation: "Nothing can be ill if she be well". And when he finally dies, Nicholas tells Kate what Smike's last words were - that he loved her. The sight of Kate's breakdown could drive anyone to tears.
  • Advertisement:
  • Lord Frederick Verisopht's death. He redeems himself in the process, but the lead in is a haunting description of how the knowledge of his impending death has made him realize just how much he has wasted his life and how little he appreciated the world while he had the chance.
  • Ralph Nickleby's death could also count as this (particularly in the 1980 stage production). Yes, he was a total and utter bastard, but his breakdown upon learning that Smike (who he had been deliberately tormenting in order to hurt Nicholas) was his son and the fact that he is Driven to Suicide over his actions (as well as various hints throughout the story that he may not have been a fundamentally awful human being) can have this effect.
    • In the 2002 film, as Nicholas reveals to Ralph that Smike is his son, his tone sounds almost surprisingly sympathetic when he tells him that Smike has died as his best friend and is buried by his father.
      Nicholas: That boy, whose loving cheerfulness and sweetness of heart could have been the life saving comfort you need, as all your fortunes fall away, that boy now sleeps in the ground... by my father.
  • The 2002 film has a scene where Nicholas reaches for a book next to Smike, and Smike jumps away as if he expects to be beaten.


Example of: