- The situation at the beginning of the movie is depressing. The family lost the old house in the tornado, Uncle Henry broke his leg and can't help out as much on the farm, and Dorothy can't sleep because of her memories of Oz, which no one else believes.
- The whole movie has a melancholy feel to it, even with the happy ending.
- The close up of Dorothy's eye as she lays in the twigs and mud saying goodbye to everyone.
- Dorothy telling Billina and Jack to be careful as they enter the ornament room.Billina: We're a long way from Kansas, Dorothy...
- The credits music.
- Dorothy weeping over the loss of the Scarecrow. The poor kid's been scared and confused the entire film, finally comes across somebody she knows, and he's suddenly taken away from her. Even the Nome King feels sorry for her.Now, now, don't cry. Poor, poor Dorothy Gale from Kansas...
- Jack Pumpkinhead's entire situation. He's little more than a young and innocent child, who misses his mother dearly and got his limbs torn off. Then he finds someone he can pretend is his mom even for just a few minutes, but then immediately gets swept up in events beyond his control that almost kills him.
- Just the simple, sincere way he asks, "Dorothy? May I call you 'Mom'? Even if it isn't so?" He knows Dorothy's not his mother, but he loves her anyway, and still wants to call her his mother, despite only having just met her. It's sweet, but also pretty damn sad.
- The Oz people ask Dorothy to stay and be their queen. She says that as much as she loves them, she has to go back, and they understand completely.
- Dorothy having to say goodbye to everyone again. The kicker is the last person she says goodbye to is the Scarecrow. At this point, she starts to lose her composure and grabs his hand, choking out "I love you so much!"
- Even though Dorothy can see Ozma and her friends in the mirror, she still has to hide it from her aunt and uncle.
- The novelization includes a scene of Dorothy remembering Toto, who hadn't crossed her mind during the adventure. She's then described as having her eyes "brim over with tears of guilt and grief, as she thought of him, pining for her, in lonely, distant Kansas." Ouch.
- The simple visual of the yellow brick road being torn to pieces. Such an icon of the original movie, to the point that 'follow the yellow brick road' has just become a common phrase, suddenly uprooted and broken apart, left as nothing more than a heap of dusty old pale-yellow bricks. Just compare the colour of the bricks alone to the those in the original film, they look completely different, almost bleached of their vibrancy, as if the very happiness they carried has been sucked away forever
Tear Jerker / Return to Oz