Follow TV Tropes

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


Tear Jerker / The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Go To

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked. You have been warned.

  • In the first book, there's Arthur's (admitedly delayed) reaction to the Earth being destroyed. Almost crosses into Bathos territory when the thing that finally breaks him is the fact that McDonalds no longer exists.
    Visions of it swam sickeningly through his nauseated mind. There was no way his imagination could feel the impact of the whole Earth having gone, it was too big. He prodded his feelings by thinking that his parents and sister had gone. No reaction. He thought of all the people he had been close to. No reaction. Then he thought of a complete stranger he had been standing behind in the queue at the supermarket two days before and felt a sudden stab - the super market was gone, everyone in it was gone. Nelson's Column had gone! Nelson's Column had gone and there would be no outcry, because there was no one left to make an outcry. From now on Nelson's Column only existed in his mind. England only existed in his mind - his mind, stuck here in this dank smelly steel-lined spaceship. A wave of claustrophobia closed in on him... He passed out. When he came around a second later he found he was sobbing for his mother.
  • Advertisement:
  • At the end of the Quandary Phase when Fenchurch disappears during the hyperspace jump.
  • Marvin's death. He's finally happy, for the first time in his entire life (which in case you forget, is eight times older than the universe), and now he's dead. Maybe that's why he's happy.
    • And then in the radio version of Mostly Harmless... he's been brought back to life because his warranty hadn't run out. And is miserable again.
  • The song "Marvin, I Love You", released by Stephen Moore in-character as Marvin, details a surprisingly touching story about Marvin discovering an old tape in his databank, recorded by some sort of A.I. who is programmed to be in love with him ("Remember, I'm programmed for you/I know we're worlds apart/Still you could break my heart"). Marvin doesn't comprehend these words or know where they came from, but he apparently keeps the tape and can play it whenever he wants.
  • The end of Mostly Harmless. Shortly before The End of Every Single Earth in Any Dimension as It Has Ever Been Known, Arthur realises what is going to happen, and has been so thoroughly broken by the events of the series that he can't bring himself to do anything, and reacts in almost exactly the same fashion as Marvin did to his death. This may even have been deliberate, as Arthur previously described Marvin as "the clearest thinker I know".
  • Advertisement:
  • Poor, poor Agrajag. His entire existence is built around dying, reincarnating, and dying again, only having enough time to think; "Oh no, not again" before life is taken from him again. Every time he dies, it's at the hands of Arthur Dent, directly or indirectly (Agrajag was the bowl of petunias that Arthur conjured into existence on accident, and a rabbit that Arthur turned into a purse on prehistoric Earth). Agrajag has eventually come to consider Arthur an Eldritch Abomination, and has devoted his entire existence to hunting down and killing Arthur so he can finally get his rest.
  • A peculiarly bittersweet one in the records, when Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillian are being shot at by the cops on Magrathea and the computer bank they're standing next to is about to explode, Ford and Zaphod take each other's hands and start singing a really weird song.
    Trillian: What are you doing?
    Ford: It's an ancient Betelgeusian death anthem.
    Zaphod: Singing it makes us feel good in times of stress.
    [Ford and Zaphod resume singing.]
    Arthur: Well, if you're going to be like that about it, [sings] "Land of hope and glory, mother of the free..."
    Trillian: Oh, well... [sings] "I read the news today, oh boy, about a lucky man-"
    [Massive explosion. Silence.]
  • Trillian zapping Zaphod with the Point of View Gun in the film. Watch her face during it. Followed by Zaphod's sad, apologetic, "Oh, babydoll..."
    • Just to add an extra layer, it almost seems like she's not just calling Zaphod on his own stupidity, she almost seems to be calling herself out for going along with it.
  • The ending to the television version. Arthur and Ford, stranded in prehistoric Earth, just walk off. "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong plays over the end credits. And the thanks to the series being Cut Short, we never find out what happened to Zaphod and Trillian. Quite a Bittersweet Ending.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: