- The Croods' life situation at the beginning. They have to risk their lives to get one egg to feed the entire family for a week, with Eep feeling stifled and repressed by her father's rules but understanding that they don't know any other way. It especially hits home when Guy's trap brings down a giant bird for them to eat, and they devour the flesh ravenously. Eep tells him that they don't know what leftovers are because they usually don't have that much food.
- When the Croods break the first shell-horn Guy gives to Eep. It's passed over pretty quickly, but there's a noticeable break in Eep's voice when she yells, "It was beautiful!"
- Guy's story to the family. Once upon a time, there was a girl who kept getting too close to the edge of a cliff. Her parents warned her it was dangerous, but she wanted to follow the sun. One day she got too close to the edge of the cliff, fell off...and FLEW.
- The reveal that Guy's family died in a tar pit incident when he was a child.
- Taken a little bit further when you realize that Guy has been counting himself as the lucky survivor from that incident, and taking every opportunity to live life to the full...only to seemingly end up stuck in the same ending he thought he had avoided. When that thought hits him, he seems to completely give up, as if he's submitting to fate. As he says to Grug, "There's no getting out of this."
- The heartbroken look that Belt gives Guy when they both realize the situation. The more so, in that Belt is not trapped in the tar, but doesn't even climb any higher on Guy's body to avoid getting stuck, he just hugs his human friend all the closer. Had Guy and Grug gone down in the tar for keeps, you can tell Guy would've had to force Belt to leave him.
- The entire sequence when Grug paints his family after he's separated from them at the chasm. No dialog, but both this and a Heartwarming Moment.
- Grug in general. He seems to be Adult Fear Incarnate. It's mostly played for laughs, yet his desperate need to protect those he loves is palpable and sometimes uncomfortable to watch.
- Grug and Eep's hug before he throws her to safety and leaves himself trapped.
- Grug gets to say that he loves her...but he throws Eep before she can say it back. When she lands on the other side, she can't let go of the idea that she never told her father she loved him.
- After when Grug makes it through to the other side with his own methods, Eep is the first one to run up to him and tells him "I love you too!"
- Grug's words of reassurance to Thunk before he throws him, and his touching embrace with Ugga before sending her and Sandy across, are pretty heartrending too.
- When Grug first says that his strength would be all they needed to survive, you can see Eep's confusion, and there's a sudden look of alarm on Ugga's face...and on Gran's. For all that she gives him grief, Gran is fully aware that she and her daughter owe their lives to Grug many times over, and the idea of him not being there scared her as much as it did anyone else. It's an easily-missed but powerful moment.
- When Eep and Guy first meet: Eep follows the light of his torch out of her cave, and eventually catches up to him. She has never seen fire before, and keeps trying to touch it and explore it, and ends up almost putting it out. Guy tries to get her to stop, but she is way too strong for him. When she has almost put it out, he desperately BEGS her to stop, crying "I don't like the dark!" Also part heartwarming, in that their desire for light is the thing that draws them to each other.
- The Croods get split up in a rock-maze on their way to the mountain. For the first time, Thunk is left on his own. Guy and Grug shout conflicting advice to him about what to do. For the first time in the movie, Thunk looks VERY nine years old, and VERY scared. Think of a small child getting lost in the grocery store, and multiply that by several degrees of DEATH.
Thunk: You're not coming....are you?
- He makes it out just fine, and finds a new pet. But Grug stays stuck in that maze for a long time. He's the only one who has to use the shell-horn to call for help. His wife does go back to get him, but soon after they have a fight, culminating in him staying on the ground and subsequently is the only one who misses out on the sight of the starry night sky.
- Thunk is arguably the emotionally weakest of the Croods, and whenever he shows any vulnerability, it's funny but also heart-wrenching. When Grug is the only one that doesn't jump over the chasm on the last part of their trek, Thunk cries the most and is close to collapsing and giving up.
Grug: When you make it, I make it.
- When Grug and Guy are trapped in the tar pit together and Grug comes to the realization that he's been so busy trying to keep his family alive he never really let his daughter know how much he cares about her, it's a stark realization that many a father can sympathize with
- Eep finally blows up at her Dad for his way of keeping them alive.
- Eep: That. Wasn't. Living! That was just...not...dying! There's a difference!
- Just look at Grug's face when Eep screams "WE WOULD BE DEAD IF WE LISTENED TO YOU!". Poor guy...
- ANY time Grug seems to feel his inadequacies. He does his best, but his stubborn nature and temper only irritate his daughter. When Eep makes a careless comment about them never having had enough for food leftovers, Grug is visible ashamed.
- Gran's account of her forbidden hunter/gatherer love affair is Played for Laughs, but becomes rather heartbreaking if you think about it: her father either beat senseless or killed the fellow his daughter was in love with, then sold her to another man. Small wonder that she's so tetchy and cynical.
- Eep calling for her father on the horn over the chasm, hoping somehow that he'll make it. The entire family then joins in when Gran doesn't have the heart to dissuade her. The minute Grug lands on the other side, and asks where the danger is, Eep wraps his arms around him and says, "I LOVE YOU TOO!" Realization hits his face as the danger wasn't of his family not surviving, but the danger of losing him.
Tear Jerker / The Croods