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Tear Jerker / Spider-Man 2

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"I'm Spider-Man... no more."

  • After his birthday party, Peter wakes Aunt May up from a nap, and before she raises her head and realizes what's going on, she asks Ben what he wants.
    • Right after that, Peter notices some bills spread around the table, but May tells him it's nothing to be concerned about, then gives Peter some money as a birthday gift. Peter is about to politely decline when May suddenly raises her voice, ordering her nephew to just take it even though it's all she can offer him. Then she breaks down, apologizing for yelling at Peter, and admits it's been really hard since she lost her husband. Peter could only comfort May with a hug, as he still blames himself for Ben's death.
    • Soon after she mistook Peter for Ben, she asks, "Everybody's gone, aren't they? Did they have a good time?" While she's referring to the party, it could also be that she's asking about how everyone in her life is gone.
    • Judging by Peter's melancholy smile as he says, "I'm sure they did", and then bringing up his worry over her being alone, you can tell he's thinking the same thing.
  • Rosie Octavius's gruesome and tragic death.
    • Pay close attention to her husband's reaction when he finds out he caused her death: he was heartbroken. His desperate cry of her name, all his attention diverted to her, is crushing. Rosie was the only thing Otto had left after the experiment went awry and tarnished his image, and then she was gone, too. Just try not to feel bad for Mr. Octavius.
  • When Peter's glasses start to blur his vision again, considering what was motivating his powers to come back.
  • Peter daydreaming that he's talking to Uncle Ben, trapped in a white-void memory of their conversation just before they go their separate ways prior to the wrestling match in the first film. When Peter tells Ben that he's retiring as Spider-Man, Ben looks so defeated and heartbroken. Imagine being able to talk one last time to a loved one who died, and having to tell them their death was for nothing.
    • In the novelization, Peter has visions of Ben whenever he wavers in his commitment to heroism and believes he failed, just like that fateful night. It's clear his guilt over his uncle's death hasn't waned.
    • The music cue for this scene makes it all the more potent. It's like the very concept of responsibility is lamenting Peter's decision.
  • Robbie Robertson's reaction upon realizing that Spider-Man has quit. While Jameson laughs triumphantly over Spider-Man's retirement, Robbie silently stands there with a look of pure heartbreak on his face as he holds Spider-Man's discarded mask in his hands.
    • It's even sadder when you consider the dialogue earlier that might hint that he knows Peter is Spider-Man.
  • May and Peter visiting Ben's grave on the second anniversary of his death, with May saying, "It wasn't fair for him to go like that. And it was all my doing."
  • When Peter returns home with May after visiting Ben's grave, he finally decides to confess to May his involvement in Ben's death, and how he was with Ben in his final moments.
    Peter: Uncle Ben was killed that night... for being the only one who did the right thing. I... I held his hand when he died. I've tried to tell you so many times...
    • Right after his confession, May pulls her hand away from Peter and looks at him with a mixture of shock, anger, and heartbreak. She then silently gets up and walks upstairs to her room, leaving Peter to wonder if she'll ever be able to forgive him.
    • Peter David's novelization makes it worse. Peter tries to follow May, but May yells at him to "GO!"
  • Peter with no powers has a bit of a triumphant moment when he saves a child from a burning building. But then he hears from one of the firefighters that one person was trapped on the fourth floor and never made it out. This causes him to once again go through a big case of Heroic BSoD and wonder if he really had made the wrong choice in quitting.
    Peter: Am I not supposed to have what I want? What I need? What am I supposed to do?
  • Jameson's Heel Realization just before Spider-Man returns, taking his costume back.
    Jameson: It's All My Fault. I drove Spider-Man away. [...] Spider-Man was a hero. I just couldn't see it...
  • The bit where Peter collapses after stopping the train.
    "He's just a...kid. No older than my son." Overlaps with heartwarming.
  • The planetarium scene. Peter is forced to watch the girl he loves become engaged to another man, facing the fact that he keeps disappointing her. Then his best friend lays into him and slaps him in public in a drunk depression. While his accusations against Peter are false, Harry is visibly teary-eyed and it’s obvious he’s unraveling. Peter looks heartbroken that his relationship with his best friend is falling apart and he can't be honest with him.
  • After he captures Spider-Man, Doc Ock delivers him to Harry. Harry prepares to slay his helpless victim with pure hatred and bloodlust in his eyes, but when he removes the mask and sees who's underneath, he drops the dagger in shock and horror and stumbles back, unable to process that Peter is who he believes to be the killer of his father. It shows that, while Harry may not be the greatest friend (he did angrily berate and hit Peter for sticking up for Spider-Man, after all), he does care for Peter.
  • The climax, where Doctor Octopus takes apart the reactor, stares up at it, and vows, "I will not die a monster." Doesn't help that one of the next shots is the reactor floating to the bottom of the sea, Doc Ock drifting slowly with it.
    • As a matter of fact, Doc Ock goes through hell for most of the movie.
      Otto: My Rosie's dead. My dream is dead. And these monstrous things should be at the bottom of the river. Along with me.
    • The broken, almost childlike, way Otto says, "It was my dream" when Peter tells him to destroy the reactor, to which Peter responds, "Sometimes, to do what's right, we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams."
    • Watching the almost superhuman level of effort he exerts to force back control from the tentacles is sad enough, but then the last look he shares with Peter as they both realize Otto won't survive his sacrifice...
  • Following the climax, Peter, with his identity now having been exposed to Mary Jane, sits up with her in a huge spider web and tells her the true reason why they can't be together, while expressing a sense of both melancholy and relief now that he doesn't have to hide anything from her. Mary Jane, while understanding, is visibly conflicted and heartbroken as Peter lowers her back down to the ground.
  • The scene in the denouement where Harry’s hallucination of Norman berates him for being weak and not killing Peter. Harry's tearful protests and devastated "NO!" as his father demands his son avenge him perfectly encapsulate his inner struggle; should he honor his father's memory or stand by his best friend?
    • Since this is (probably) in his own head, it suggests Harry struggles with deep-seated self-esteem issues. Despite who Norman really was and what he thought of his son, Harry still wants to make him proud because at the end of the day, the man was his father. Harry's Start of Darkness is cemented when he is led to the Green Goblin's secret lair, setting him up to follow in Norman's footsteps in the worst way possible.
      • This is sadder when you recall that Norman's last words were to implore Peter to not tell his son about his Dark Secret. In this film, Peter's efforts to honor Norman's wishes only served to hurt Harry further and drive him towards the Goblin mantle anyway, a legacy Norman didn't want for him and likely doesn't even care about anymore. One can only imagine how Norman would feel at not only failing to be there for Harry, but his memory corrupting his son into adopting his father's worst principles.
    • If Norman's spirit is somehow speaking to Harry, it means his desire for power and vengeance ultimately outweighed any of his humanity or love for his son.
  • John Jameson, in contrast to his father, is a pretty sweet, down-to-Earth Nice Guy who seems genuinely supportive of MJ throughout their engagement. Though he's technically Peter's romantic rival, and thus we're rooting against him, it's still a bummer that this perfectly innocent person got dumped, and with a note at the altar, no less. The novelization at least mitigates this by showing he ultimately understands MJ's decision because of his own doubts, and potentially setting him up to date her friend, Louise Wood.
  • Think about the 'missing the play' sequence from MJ's perspective. Her best friend makes a promise to her, after taking forever to even see the play in the first place, and he doesn't turn up. The novelization even clarifies that she reserved a prime seat for Peter and her first thought when she can't find him is that there was an emergency. She can't work out why he would seemingly go out of his way to let her down like that, especially when he can't give a good excuse.