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Tear Jerker / The Incredibles

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"I'm sorry. I've been a lousy father, blind to what I have."

Tear Jerker moments in The Incredibles.

  • The realistic "parent fighting" scene. The looks on Dash and Violet's faces after their parents know that their kids heard them. It's especially hard to watch for those who grew up witnessing parental arguments.
  • "Does this mean we have to move again?" is teary to the eyes for anyone who had to move a lot as a kid.
  • Mr. Incredible in his room pondering whether or not to take the mission, and seeing all the memorabilia of things he has accomplished throughout his superheroic career just makes your heart drop at how much he's done.
  • When Helen listens in on the phone call between Bob and Mirage and assumes them to be having an affair, the look on her face when she says "I love you, so much," is heartbreaking.
    • Even more so when you take in Bob's casual attitude towards her as he goes off to "work"— from her perspective, he's brushing her off because he's got someone new, but from his perspective, everything is just hunky-dory as usual.
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    • For a brief second after he hears Helen's "I love you", Bob just kind of stops in confusion. He can tell something is off, but doesn't know why, especially since to him, everything is going perfectly. Including and especially his relationship with Helen. She thinks he's having an affair, but he thinks he's actually giving his family the life they've deserved for the first time in more than a decade - doing a version of what he loves, no less.
    • You can also imagine how Helen feels after this scene. She had obviously been enjoying the last two months with her and Bob having a more active sex life and Bob finally bonding with their children as well as the new cars and him getting in shape. Then she thinks the reason Bob has been so happy is that he has fallen for another woman. No doubt she feels betrayed by all this.
      • This gives a new perspective to the scene where Helen sees her weight gain in her new supersuit and is obviously upset. It's played for laughs but it's quite heartbreaking if you think of the context of how she believes Bob is cheating on her. She probably is thinking how she's lost her figure after 15 years of retirement and three children and it has caused Bob to no longer be attracted to her as a result.
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    • The scene where Helen punches out Mirage (believing she and Bob are having an affair) and then Bob pulls her in by her still extended arm, she angrily tries to break from his grasp and calls him a "lousy, lying, unfaithful creep". You can hear the obvious pain in her voice, thinking her fears have come true and that she's been betrayed by the man she loved and counted on for so long as well as the father of her children. Fortunately, they're able to clear the air while running outside to rescue the kids, with Bob saying that he should have admitted that he was fired and he's just happy that she and their children are alive.
      • She punches Mirage out after she calls her "Mrs. Incredible". This seems to be Helen feeling like this woman is rubbing salt into her wounds since not only has she been having an affair with Bob, she did this while already knowing he was married.
  • When Mr. Incredible learns the totality of Syndrome's plan via computer, especially when you remember that all the supers who died perfecting the Omnidroid weren't just allies of Mr. Incredible; they were his friends. Several of them had been at his wedding, and he recognized Gazerbeam instantly upon seeing the picture of his secret identity in the paper. Also remember that each of the supers had gotten the exact same message as Mr. Incredible, reminding them of their Glory Days, asking them to come back and make a difference one last time... and leading them to be unceremoniously slaughtered to perfect a machine that will be used to discredit supers once and for all. Really, how could anyone see Syndrome as a sympathetic character after that?
    • In all likelihood, this means that Bob's wedding - the happiest day of his life - was the last day he saw some of his best friends alive.
    • Look at his face when he sees that Helen's whereabouts are listed as unknown. That is some serious "Oh thank God, she's safe, they don't know where she is, she's safe..." And then he sees that Frozone, who is in the same city, has his location verified.
    • It's even worse when you saw the second disk of the DVD and saw the superhero files. If you do that, then rewatch the scene, you start recognizing those pictures. You've read their dossiers, listened to their recordings, probably learned everything about them. Those faces will have names, stories, personalities. Who doesn't experience the same shock that Bob does?
    • The kicker? The reason he is shocked isn't just because most of his friends and peers are dead. It is that the reason they are dead in the first place was because he inadvertently created Syndrome with his rejection and was one of the biggest factors in supers having to go into hiding in the first place, meaning that he just has as much, if not more blame for all their deaths.
  • The scene on the plane when Helen realizes that Syndrome's missiles are going to hit them and they cannot be stopped, all the while frantically yelling "Abort, abort, abort! There are children onboard!" into the radio. Her face shows pure terror. She then unhesitatingly leaps into the back of the plane at the last second, fully prepared to die for her son and daughter.
    • "Put a field around us NOW!" and Violet's face as she tries in vain to.
      • And later, when Helen leaves Dash and Violet in the cave, Violet runs out after her and apologizes for this.
    • And Bob, being forced to listen.
      • The way Bob just broke down and begged for their lives. He is a strong hero who usually will beat up someone who causes him problems. But he cannot do so due to being chained by Syndrome. He sounds so desperate as he listens to the love of his life and his children in the crash. Plus the defeated look on his face when Mirage confirms the plane was destroyed.
    • Mirage's expression of pure horror upon hearing "There are children on board!" from the receiver signifies one thing: Her boss has deliberately sent missiles to shoot down a plane which has now just been discovered to have children on board, and even with this new information he still doesn't call them off. A mother and her children are going to die and Bob and Mirage are unable to do anything but listen to the inevitable explosion.
  • Bob initially believes his family has been killed. Syndrome's Kick the Dog line about working alone only makes things worse. You can even hear him weeping bitterly in the background as Syndrome walks away, it's heartbreaking.
    • And just look at him afterward when Mirage comes in to free him. For a few seconds, he's so broken that his first instinct is to strangle her.
  • It's all but confirmed that Mirage and Syndrome are in a relationship. She says that they're both attracted to power, and he's her weakness. Despite the fact that Syndrome shot down a plane with children, Mirage still pushed him out of the way when Incredible attacked. Then when Incredible threatened to snap her neck unless he was freed, Syndrome dared him to do it. You can see the heartbreak on her face that Syndrome doesn't care about her the way she does for him.
  • Later, Mirage makes no bare-bones about her disappointment and anger in her boss-boyfriend: "He's not weak. Valuing life is not a weakness. And disregarding it is not a strength." Syndrome tries to explain that he was calling Incredible's bluff that the man wouldn't be able to take a life, but Mirage doesn't buy it, nor should she. She tells him bitterly to gamble his own life next time and storms away from him.
  • Helen explaining the difference between Saturday Morning Cartoon villains and the mooks who Would Hurt a Child. She really doesn't want to shatter her kids' expectations like that, but they have to know. Sure, the kids are resourceful and they will make it out alive, but Helen's line still gives us the possibility that they might not.
  • And when Bob reveals to Helen just why he'd prefer to take on the Omnidroid alone, as a direct result of the above.
    Bob: I CAN'T LOSE YOU AGAIN! ...I can't. Not again. I'm not... strong enough.
    Helen: If we work together, you won't have to be.
    • The commentary from the scene that the above dialogue comes from.
    • The look on Helen's face when he says it implies that he's never shown this kind of fear before— but of course he hasn't. He's the Superman of his world, the strongest hero who ever lived. He can act cocky because a part of him knows that he'll always be able to save everyone. And then he got beaten down like a helpless child by a weaker version of the monster his family is about to confront. He no longer has the confidence that he'll be able to protect them.
    • This is also the moment where it dawns on her that Bob was listening in to the air traffic radio when the missiles were chasing her plane, and why he was so relieved and acquiescent to her confrontational and argumentative stance when they were escaping Syndrome's complex the first time. She just realized to her horror that he thought she and their kids were dead for a period of time.
  • Syndrome's Motive Rant. It just sounded so much like he was still that disillusioned kid, and who doesn't remember how much those kinds of disillusions hurt? While the later revelation of his true plans and actions will definitely put a damper on the sympathy, it's not hard to feel for him in that very moment.
  • It's very brief but during the fight with the Omnidroid, Dash tells his father to throw Syndrome's remote, and Bob does. While he's running for the remote, we can see Helen. The look on her face is heart-wrenching; just imagine having to watch one of your children, who's only about 9 or 10, being attacked by a machine whose purpose is to kill people like you and your child. And the way she reaches out her arms to her son, but he's too fast....No parent should have to go through that.
  • Syndrome's attempted kidnapping of Jack-Jack. He freezes all of them so that they're helpless to stop him gloating about how he's taking away their future, then blows a hole through their roof to escape. After he takes off, Jack-Jack wakes up and immediately starts crying in terror. It's made even worse by the terror on all their frozen faces, and when they try stopping him from getting away they can't, for fear that they'll kill their baby son.
    • The sheer desperation in Helen's voice as she screams "Bob, throw me!!"
    • Note Violet's reaction: it was her idea to get a babysitter to watch Jack-Jack while she and Dash helped their mother. You can see the guilt on her face that the "replacement" was less than ideal.
  • Do you remember Thunderhead? Tall, storm powers? Accidentally got his cape hooked onto a missile and strangled to death? In the "superhero profile" special features on the DVD, it's revealed that he left behind a "roommate" and their adopted kids.
    • Worse yet, we also learn through the DVD extras that Thunderhead wasn't simply dim but notably mentally disabled; he didn't graduate school, could barely read, had severe problems focusing, and even more, difficulty expressing himself. He was a kind man and an incredibly powerful superhero, let down by a society that had no idea how to help people like him, especially since going by the setting he was probably in school sometime between 1930 and 1940 (having perished in 1958).
  • Stratogale was still in high school when she got sucked into that airplane engine.
    • A bird can cause the airplane engine to malfunction; Stratogale was a Flying Brick. Those kids she was waving at and everyone else on the plane are either dead or went through what likely were the two most psychologically scarring events of their lives in one go.
    • It gets worse. Look closely, and you'll see that smoke is coming out of the plane engine before Stratogale gets caught in it. That means that she was in the middle of saving that plane from crashing (or rendering assistance to help it land safely). It's very likely that her body getting sliced up by the turbines just made the damage worse. Wanna know what makes the scene even worse? An alarm can briefly be heard after she gets sucked in, most likely coming from the plane's instrument panel, meaning that the already damaged engine was compromised completely. In fact, with the exception of Thunderhead, who successfully redirected the missile's flight path, most of the supers who died because of their capes never got to save anyone calling for help.
    • Her cause of death is listed as suit malfunction. That hilarious "no capes" rant suddenly becomes the most depressing thing in the world.
      • On that note, how do you think Edna feels about all this? She designed those outfits. All of them. And all of them led to the wearers dying (or in Splashdown's case, going missing). This causes her vehement refusal to give Bob a cape and her statement that she "never looks back" to take on a much darker meaning.
      • Edna remembered every single date that those heroes died because of a cape malfunction. Being a superhero is a life-or-death situation, so Edna takes her work very seriously. To know that multiple heroes died because of faulty designs on her part must be unbearable.
  • Bob's work at his job - being stuck at an insurance company that refuses to insure people who desperately need (and legally deserve) the money, topped off by a cruel, selfish boss who yells at Bob for doing his job. There's also the implication that he doesn't discuss this with Helen at all, as she's under the impression that he "helps people" for a living. Kudos to him that he doesn't give up, whispering for customers on how to find loopholes and ordering them to cry loudly when they leave.
    • Bob's job woes can hit the viewer right in the gut because how many of us in our lives have tried to do good at our jobs, only to be held back by some jerk manager? Bob just looks completely broken and tired when he gets called into the meeting, barely mustering the strength to speak. This is one of the greatest superheroes who ever lived, and all it took was a crappy 9-to-5 to break him. It's summed up perfectly (and somewhat humorously) in his exchange after he's fired.
      Bob: (notices Rusty as he gets out of his car) Well, what are you waiting for?!
      Rusty: (shrugs) I don't know. Something amazing, I guess...
      Bob: (sighs dejectedly) Me too, kid...
    • The scene where Bob is getting yelled at by said boss. He happens to look to the left where he sees a man being attacked in an alley. Every part of him just wants to burst out of the building and save him as a normal hero would. However, his boss's callous reaction and threat to fire him forces him to stay and watch the attacker walk away. For a superhero, that must have killed him, knowing that he could have saved someone, but couldn't.
    • The movie opened up with an interview with Mr. Incredible in his prime. He talks about how he'd like to one day retire and get a regular job. Obviously, he was planning to help people as a regular guy, but instead, he's strangled by the red tape and expected to slam the door in the faces of people who need his help the most.
  • Think about the story from Violet's point of view. All her life, she's had to hide her powers from the world, is it any wonder she's such a Shrinking Violet for most of the film?
  • There's a deleted/unfinished scene where Violet rants to her mom about how much she hates herself (which can be seen in the "Vowellet" special feature).
    Helen: Don't be silly. You're beautiful.
    Violet: I'm gangly.
    Helen: You're growing.
    Violet: I'm gangly, and growing ganglier. I'm ugly, I have no curves, my friends are dorkier than I am, I don't talk, but my brain won't shut up!
  • The footage of Mr. Incredible getting tangled up in a lawsuit over stopping a man from committing suicide but giving him whiplash. After being painted as the bad guy he loses his cool and yells at the man he just saved for being ungrateful.
  • It is sad seeing Buddy Pine go from a sweet kid to a murderous supervillain. Seeing a cute kid grow into such a monster is heartbreaking. He went from an aspiring sidekick to a serial killer of superheroes. While he probably deserved it for all the crimes he committed, it's easy to mourn the child he used to be when he ends up getting killed in the end.
    • What's worse is that Bob is actually quite reasonable. He points out that he's been giving the kid a lot of merchandise as thanks for his support, but can't take him on for superhero work. Why? Because it is dangerous. It's only when Buddy endangers his life, as well as that of innocent passerby, that Mr. Incredible tells the police he needs to go home to his parents. Yet Buddy couldn't comprehend that he was gambling lives, and decided to become a villain to "prove" he was better than his hero. He had the potential for good but had his ego leading him for all his life.
  • Hearing the interviews at the beginning of the film as well as listening to the NSA profiles on the DVD extra, it makes it all the sadder about the fact Bob and Helen had to give up a career they were so good at. Sure, Bob made a huge mistake with his handling of Oliver Sansweet as well as the train incident, but again, this was not on purpose. They and so many other superheroes had so much potential and did so much good for their communities, it was sad they had to quit when they still had a lot in them.
  • Deleted scenes (only storyboarded)
    • Helen actually confronts Bob about the hair on his business suit, that is platinum-blond. He tries to lie that it was the dry-cleaner woman's, but she asks bluntly: is he having an affair? Bob says no, of course not! But he can't tell her why he's going on these trips all of a sudden. He leaves her in the closet, where she starts to cry. This was cut to keep the film family-friendly, but even in character, it doesn't make sense, since the minute Bob realizes what Helen was fearing after she punched Mirage in the face, he quickly came clean to her.
    • As Helen fears that Bob may be cheating on her, she falls asleep on the couch and has a strange dream of Bob as Mr. Incredibles philandering with dozens of beautiful blonde women by a pool while she is a maid, appearing older than she is and Bob ignoring her entirely. When she gets fed up with her husband's infidelity, she angrily throws down the laundry basket and rushes to confront him, only to be pulled into the pool by a rope made from clothes and pulled into a washing machine. As she attempts to scream for help, Bob just ignores her in favor of the women at the pool. She then wakes up gasping, looks around the room, and holds her face in her hands. The writers stated this scene was one of the first to go as it would not be appropriate for a Disney film.
    • The guy Helen gets the plane from actually goes with the family. When Syndrome blows them up, he doesn't survive. Snug braves the missiles that attack the plane while shouting for them to abort because there is a "woman and children on board!". When Violet can't summon a shield big enough, Snug's face braces for the inevitable explosion. Helen has to make a Sadistic Choice between saving him or her kids and chooses the kids. When they end up in the water, later on, Snug's cap rises from the wreckage of the plane. Helen has a My God, What Have I Done? expression as she surfaces, and the kids are somberly quiet when she wordlessly tells them Snug didn't make it. Note this wasn't a Super; Snug was an ordinary guy and a trusted family friend. Mercifully, while Brad Bird fought to keep Snug in, he admitted that the character had to mostly be cut, since building enough of his character to make his death impactful would eat up too much of the movie's time.