- It doesn't matter that you know full well that he'll get better, but watching Batman utterly beaten by Bane and tossed like trash into a pit while his city is ransacked, to see the Badass Normal superhero defeated in such a way, is harrowing.
- Of course, this does nicely set up the Manly Tears when Bruce climbs out the pit, returns to Gotham, and once again dons the cape and cowl as if nothing had happened. Batman's sheer resilience is an inspiration to all.
- Every line out of Alfred's mouth. All of them.
- Special mention goes to his speech to Bruce about how if Bruce takes up the cowl again, Alfred will leave, because that's the only thing he can possibly do to get Bruce to listen to him, and to him tearfully apologizing to Martha and Thomas Wayne's graves for failing to save Bruce.Alfred: I'm so sorry. I failed you. You trusted me, and I failed you.
- Arguably the worst moment was when Alfred realizes Bruce failed to move on after Rachel's death because he falsely believed she chose him over Harvey Dent. Alfred's attempt to spare Bruce that pain is what put him into a Heroic BSoD for eight years. Alfred's horror when he figures that out is plain on his face. Even worse is Bruce's cold fury when Alfred finally tells him the truth.Alfred: I won't bury you. I've buried enough members of the Wayne family.
- And then, at the very end of the scene...Bruce: [is silent for a moment] ...Goodbye, Alfred.
- Special mention goes to his speech to Bruce about how if Bruce takes up the cowl again, Alfred will leave, because that's the only thing he can possibly do to get Bruce to listen to him, and to him tearfully apologizing to Martha and Thomas Wayne's graves for failing to save Bruce.
- Bane and Talia's Backstory. Despite the horrific things they've done in the present, you can't help but feel for them when learning their past.
- Bane whispering "Goodbye" to Talia just before she leaps to freedom and he's torn apart. For extra gut-punch power, it's the only time you get to see his face, and the look on it is raw.
- Bane's stoic tears as Talia tells their backstory is what seals the deal, particularly the part of how Ra's al Ghul's prejudice against Bane marred what they had.Talia: My father could not accept Bane; he saw only a monster whose very existence was a reminder of the hell he'd left his wife to die in. He excommunicated Bane from the League of Shadows. His only crime...was that he loved me.
- "Innocence cannot flower underground. It has to be stamped out."
- Also their Pre-Sacrifice Final Goodbye: Before departing with her minions to ensure the bomb detonates, Talia gently places a hand on Bane's face and sadly says "Goodbye, my friend". As she leaves, Bane again whispers "Goodbye" under his breath and turns his head away to hide the tears.
- Bane says this in an even quieter whisper than when he saves Talia, since before, he thought death would surely take him in the Pit, but Talia eventually came back to free him. But here, when Gotham is in chaos and is mere minutes away from exploding...he now understands that luck doesn't happen twice, and that this would be the moment where he truly dies, along with the rest of Gotham. He doesn't fear death. He welcomes it.
- Even with what happens later, Miranda asking Bruce to run away with her, only for him to leave to fight Bane, definitely counts. He gets a moment of happiness for the first time in years, and soon after receives a brutal beat-down from Bane, and gets separated from her and Gotham.
- Selina's expressions when watching Bane relentlessly break Batman and realizing that she caused it to happen by tricking Batman into trusting her.
- Also, when Batman has escaped from the prison and gives Selina the Bat Pod so she can get through the blocked tunnel, she pleads for him to come away with her. She says it's because there's nothing worth saving anymore, but you can tell she doesn't want him to get hurt again. The fact Batman is going through with it anyway, and that he still has faith in Selina despite what she did to him, no doubt contributed to her Big Damn Heroes moment.
- The following exchange is especially poignant.Selina: You don't owe these people any more. You've already given them everything.Batman: Not everything. Not yet.
- Talia's death. As Batman's Evil Counterpart, she was so obsessed with her goal that she went to her death without any concern, just like how Alfred feared Bruce would destroy himself as Batman.
- The Reveal that Commissioner Gordon's family left him after the events of The Dark Knight and his obvious anger at himself over having to honor the madman who nearly killed his son (mentioned in his resignation speech taken by Bane).
- The morphine-addicted doctor in Bane's prison joining in the chanting from his cell when Bruce makes his final attempt to climb out. When he hears the inmates cheer after Bruce's successful leap to safety, he's in tears.
- Blake's reaction after the skittish cop blew the bridge, nearly killed Blake and pretty much ruined any chance of anyone to get out of the city safely, simply because he wouldn't listen to Blake or what he had to say. It's basically the reason he may or may not have taken the mantle of the Bat up and definitely the reason why he quit the force.
- Right after that, he coaxes the children back onto the bus, promising that they'll definitely be shielded from the blast and everything will be just fine. The man who was helping him protests that there is nowhere left to run and what he's doing is stupid because the bomb is nuclear. Blake, furious, tells him that he refuses to allow the children to die unhappy and hopeless. It crosses over a little with heartwarming, and shows us exactly the kind of person Blake is.
- Bruce Wayne's fake funeral.
- Gordon quoting select lines from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities simply caps the heart-wrenching moment, a fitting tribute to Batman's decades of efforts and sacrifice. Sure, he didn't die, but it's all merited.Gordon: "I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come... I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy... I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence... It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." Sydney Carton, A Tale of Two Cities
- Gordon quoting select lines from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities simply caps the heart-wrenching moment, a fitting tribute to Batman's decades of efforts and sacrifice. Sure, he didn't die, but it's all merited.
- A subtle one, but the point where Bane is reading out Gordon's speech and he calls Harvey Dent "that madman who tried to kill my boy." It's understandable as Dent did go off the deep end and try to kill Gordon's son and they had to cover his other murders for ten years. But the fact that the man who did so much good before he went insane will only be remembered as a madman is really depressing.
- Admit it, when you realized that despite every good soul suffering, they get some sort of lovely consolation (Gordon getting a peaceful Gotham to police, Lucius and Alfred learning that Bruce survives; Bruce and Selina having a happy time together; and John Blake bequeathed the Batcave), you must have felt that swelling in your eyes and inside your chest...a fitting end for an expansive saga.
- Batman revealing his identity to Gordon definitely counts.Batman: A hero can be anyone, even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat on a young boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended.
- Just the fact that an iconic character like Batman would tell an average Joe like Gordon that he considers him to be his idea of a hero is worth getting all teary for.
- Lucius questioning the engineers in the ending montage about how he could have fixed the Bat's autopilot. He clearly feels responsible for Bruce's death.Lucius: Please, I just need to know what I could have done to fix it.
- Batman's faked death. Knowing that Gotham's hero, a mere man who turned tragedy into strength and had become a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation, had died metaphorically certainly brought out more than a few tears. Plus for those who've grown up and loved Batman, this hurt even more to see your hero die.
- When Batman realizes he's been beaten and betrayed by someone he thought he could depend on, he's so saddened by this he actually drops the Bat-voice and talks with his real voice, begging for mercy even though he knows he'll get none.
- In a way. The fact Bane is so anti-climactically killed off.
Tear Jerker / The Dark Knight Rises
WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.