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Tearjerker / The Moomins

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  • Moomin's complete terror after being (temporarily) transformed by the Hobgoblin's hat. He's physically unrecognizable and his friends and family refuse to believe it's him, treating him like an imposter. He begins crying and when his mother shows up, he desperately pleads with her to recognize him. Mercifully, she does, and he changes back shortly thereafter.
  • The death of the squirrel in Moominland Midwinter. This scene is actually so upsetting that Tove Jansson added an author's note about how, if the reader begins crying, to take a peek towards the end of the book... where Moomin meets an identical-looking squirrel and wonders if it's the same squirrel who somehow survived anyway.
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  • The Lighthouse-Keeper's background story, as deduced by Moomin, in Moominpappa at Sea. After finding several long-dead birds on the ground, and discovering many small graves (which Little My confirms are the graves of birds), Moomintroll understands why the Lighthouse-keeper left: The birds flew towards the light and died when hitting the glass. The Lighthouse-Keeper buried them, but more birds would eventually fly into the light... eventually, the Lighthouse-keeper couldn't take it anymore and left.
  • Moominvalley in November is over all very melancholic, but special mention goes to the beginning, when several people arrive at the moominvalley hoping to find a friendly family and a warm house, but the family has left, and the house is cold and empty.
    • The book as a whole can be depressing - especially if you hoped for a happy ending. There isn't one. The book ends as Toft waits for Moominmama to come back home; but will she ever?.


1990 animated series: Tanoshii Moomin Ikka/Bouken Nikki

"Even you, who always tries to keep strong will have moments when you need to shed tears.
In those moments, just cry your heart out,
and then you will find that the sadness quickly disappears."
— Emiko Shiratori (Yume No Sekai He | Japanese opening song)
You should have told him, Snufkin.

  • When Snufkin in first time in the series heads to the south. Moomin didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.
  • The Girl With Birds, Bouken Nikki. Basically, Sniff falls in love and has his heart broken. It's hard to watch the poor guy sob his heart out on the front steps of the Moomin house and not once does anyone step up and hug him.
  • Another episode has Moominpapa run away with Mama to seek adventures. Moomin calling out their names at the top of the hill with the sad music playing in the background makes a real tearjerking scene.
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  • In yet another episode, Snork is awaken by a big explosion. He runs all the way to his hangar only to find it burning, which means his airship that he worked with for such a long time, is destroyed. He looks so upset you want to hug this guy.
  • In "The Secret Dish", Moominmama is left tacitly upset when the others get bored of her cooking and travels a great distance to find special ingredients. Snorkmaiden attempts to fill in as the group's cook, though the end result is such a disaster that Snorkmaiden is left sobbing uncontrollably with Moomintroll and Moominpapa trying in vain to comfort her.
  • In 8 August 2015, Susan Sheridan (the voice of Moomintroll) lost her fight against breast cancer.
  • In the final episode of Tanoshii Moomin Ikka, Snufkin is again leaving Moominvalley. But this time he gives Moomin his harmonica and says he can play it when he misses him. This may have been a hint that Snufkin is not coming back in next spring.
  • When Moominpappa escaped from orphange into a dark forest and he images that everything attacks at him. He is then seen hiding in a snag, crying.
  • A meta kind, whether if it's really in the music or a technical glitch. The way Snufkin's theme music get's dramatically cut off right before he ends his sentence could mean that something had happened to him.
    Snufkin: Goodbye, Moomin. I'll see you in the next spri -

Moominvalley (2019)

"You saw through me all this time.
I'd forgotten people are kind.
I was hurting and you knew.
So you showed me what to do."
— dodie (Ready Now | Episode 12 ending song)
Again. You REALLY should have told him, Snufkin.

  • While Little My acts as an aggressive person who (intentionally) mistreats Moomin for a reason, she does envy Moomintroll of having a room that he alone could have. Mostly because she had to cram herself with her siblings and find a space where she could have a time on her own.
  • When Sniff puts out Moominpappa's and Moominmamma's bonfire that it wouldn't attract Groke. Groke then sees that fire has gone out and she just sighs sadly.
  • Before the ghost bids farewell to Moomintroll, he asked the later if they're best friends. Moomintroll tearfully says yes.
  • Episode 12 itself. Ninny's story is adapted in the 2019 animation. When her aunt abused and neglected her, Ninny sent a note calling for help before she fades away completely. It goes worse when Moomintroll didn't listen and attempted to take Ninny back to her home. It obviously backfired. Nice going, Moomintroll.
    Ninny's aunt: I never wanted to look after her in the first place.
    • And just before the happy ending, Too-Ticky gave Moomintroll a merciful warning that Ninny isn't the only one who needs someone to listen to. Then cut to the open winter landscape of Moominvalley… followed by a shot of Snufkin walking in the forest is seen before the credits roll.
    Too-Ticky: I have some good friends Ninny can stay with. But I need you to keep listening for me, Moomintroll. There are other lost souls out there that need to be heard.
  • Snufkin's Nightmare Sequence. The episode shows Snufkin's characterization in the new series; while he is the same calm character, he also shows his flaws and fears. His nightmare involved returning to Moominvalley so he could reunite with Moomintroll. Even though there are obstacles along the way, like the roots and branches restraining Snufkin while having his treasured harmonica get snatched by an owl, he stays determined to see his friend again. When he arrived to Moomintroll's house, a voice mocked him that no one remembered Snufkin because he's been out for a long time. And when he tried to reach out to Moomintroll, he learned that his friend replaced him. The way Snufkin woke up in panic makes the viewer have sympathy for the traveler.
    Unknown voice: It's no use. No one will remember you here. You've been gone too long, Snufkin!


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