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Tear Jerker / The Super Mario Bros. Movie

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As a Tear Jerker page, all spoilers are unmarked as per wiki policy. You Have Been Warned!
For the first time in Mario's life, it really does seem like Game Over. With no continues.

While The Super Mario Bros. Movie is no doubt a fun adventure for the whole family, don't drop your guard into thinking that moments where the waterworks can be turned on won't be present in the movie.

  • The Penguins. While their moments are generally Played for Laughs, it can be painful to see the Penguin King's look of despair when he sees Bowser successfully toppling his kingdom and him finding the Super Star. The poor guy is basically Forced to Watch as everything he and his penguin followers built and worked so hard for was just casually destroyed by a psychopathic megalomaniac in a snap.
  • After his father and uncles mock the brothers’ plumbing business, especially after his father accuses him of dragging Luigi in his reckless decisions and deeming him a disappointment, Mario barely hides how hurt and upset he is as he storms off to his room; along with everyone (even the uncles) giving the father a Disapproving Look for hurting Mario's feelings. When Luigi joins him and brings up his plate of dinner for him, Mario tells his little brother that he wishes he didn’t always feel so small. The game Mario is seen playing before Luigi comes in adds to the emotion, with him getting a Game Over and the screen saying "I'M FINISHED!". Even more so because Charles Martinet is using a voice that is a mix of his normal speaking voice and his Wario voice for the role.
    Mario & Luigi's Father: I think you're nuts. You don't leave a steady job for some crazy dream. And the worst part? You're bringing your brother down with you.
    (Mario quietly leaves the dinner table as everyone glares at the father in disappointment for his insensitive words)
    Mario & Luigi's Father: ...what did I say?
    • When Luigi comes up to his brother's room, brings him his left-behind pasta — with all the mushrooms removed for him — and attempts to cheer him up, a despondent Mario has this to say in response:
      Luigi: (reassuringly) You're not bringing me down. You know what? What do they know, huh?
      Mario: It's not just (our family). Our whole lives, everyone's been telling us, 'You can't do this', 'You can't do that'. I'm sick and tired of feeling so small.
  • When Mario and Luigi are in the Warp Pipe stream, he grabs onto Luigi as he tries to calm his brother down and then says that nothing can hurt them as long as they're together which Luigi responds with a genuine smile... only for the brothers to be forcefully pulled away from each other and separated as they both scream each other's names in distress. Seeing Mario attempt to cheer up Luigi by telling him that they'll be OK as long as they got each other's backs only for them to be tragically separated is just heart-breaking.
    • What really twists the knife is that Mario always helped get Luigi out of a jam for the longest (from when they were li'l ones until recently), but that scene with the Shy Guys and the Dark Lands was the one time Mario couldn't be there. And it was through sheer bad luck on top of it.
  • In a solemn Show, Don't Tell scene, as Luigi is being kidnapped by the Shy Guys he reminisces about how when he had his toy castle destroyed by a bully as a baby, Mario helped and protected him. He then looks at the ropes binding his wrists together, and out over the Darklands as the Shy Guys take him to Bowser. Since the scene does not have a single word of dialogue, one can only imagine what Luigi must be thinking.
  • During the Fire Flower fields scene, Peach asks Mario if he's still thinking about his brother. Mario simply and sadly responds with the fact that they haven't been apart for as long as they were up to this point in the film. You gotta feel bad for poor Mario given that he knows that his brother is probably terrified and alone without him and he really can't do anything about it. This also goes to show just how much Mario and Luigi love being with each other and that once separated, they both very likely feel half-empty. It leads to a heartwarming moment when Peach reassures him that they will save Luigi, which brightens Mario up considerably, making this clear that her words meant the whole world to him.
  • While the captured and imprisoned Luma, Lumalee, and his nihilism and extreme longing of wanting to be dead is played for Black Comedy, you can't help but feel sad and depressed that this once very likely Cheerful Child has been reduced to this nihilistic state possible thanks to many months of being imprisoned in a cage over a pit of lava.
  • In general, the climax of the Rainbow Road battle is when the movie goes from a jolly adventure to probably one of the lowest forms of Darkest Hour in the franchise. But Peach and Cranky Kong's reaction to Mario and DK getting hit by the Blue Shell certainly qualifies as the apex of the heartbreak.
    • Peach and Toad can only stare in disbelief, crushed that Mario is gone. They've only known him for a few days at best, but they really grew close to him, especially Peach, who even lamented to her Toad council that not only did they lose the Kong army, meaning that her plan to get allies against Bowser has failed, but as far as she knows, Mario is dead, leaving her with only one option: ordering her people to evacuate Toad Town while she and Toad attempt to buy time against Bowser.
    • Also, remember when Peach and Mario were about to set off on their adventure and a Toad in the crowd asked who Mario was? She responded with "He's not important!" Obviously, that scene was a funny moment, but you can't help but wonder if she regrets saying that when she mentions that Mario is gone.
    • Cranky Kong’s despair when he thinks Donkey Kong perished with Mario after the Koopa General sends them plummeting off Rainbow Road. This shows that despite being irritated by his showboating, Cranky loves his son regardless and doesn't want anything bad to happen to him.
      Peach: NO! No, Mario!
      Cranky: (gasps) No! NO!
  • When Peach rejects Bowser's marriage proposal, the Koopa King decides to coerce her into changing her mind by ordering Kamek to torture Toad right in front of her. It works. Upon seeing her friend writhing in agony, Peach panics and quickly agrees to marry Bowser whilst pleading for him not to hurt her people. Though she eventually turns the tables on her captors, Peach's expression as she surrenders is one of helplessness and despair, in what might be the closest she gets to her typical portrayal as a Damsel in Distress.
    Peach: (on the verge of breaking down) PLEASE STOP! I-I-I'll marry you! Just don't hurt my Toads!
    • Remember that Peach and Toad only concoct a plan to sabotage the wedding off-screen after their capture. At the moment, Peach has seemingly resigned herself to becoming Bowser's bride and is willing to sacrifice her own happiness for the safety of her people.
    • The forced wedding is bad enough (despite a plan to turn the tables in Peach's favor), but the cherry on top is when Bowser decides to drop Luigi, Cranky Kong's army, and the penguins into lava, claiming that it's being done in Peach's honor when even he has to know it's the last thing she'd want him to do.
    • Hell, even Bowser is somewhat pitiable in this moment. Peach approaching the altar and rejecting him was a serious hope crusher, if his quivering lip is anything to go by. When she pulls out an ice flower and prepares to fight him, Bowser's Puppy-Dog Eyes contract into his glowing rage eyes. It's as if he's realized then and there that despite wanting things to have gone differently, Peach can only be his enemy, with Bowser's only recourse being to lash out at the reminder of his delusions.
  • When Kamek announces to Luigi and the rest of the prisoners that they will all be invited to the wedding as ritualistic sacrifices, all of the prisoners (minus Lumalee) very understandably freak the hell out, but all Luigi does in response is just mutter to himself a very scared and quiet "Mario..." clearly just wanting to see his brother again and have him save him more than anything. Poor guy just can't catch a break...
  • When stuck in the Maw-Ray, Mario and DK both reveal that they want their fathers to be proud of them. It seems like they're about to bond... and then DK angrily snaps that Mario's dad was right to consider him a failure, which leads Mario to call him a "smash monkey". This is let go after they discover a way out almost immediately after, but still.
  • When Mario finally saves and reunites with Luigi, he sounds like he's about to cry his eyes out. And he did cry in front of him: look carefully in the middle of the hug and a single tear streak is visible on his left cheek, right next to his nose. His entire journey was about saving him, and he nearly witnessed his little brother's demise. He's practically overcome with joy and relief that he made it just in time to rescue him. In the Chinese dub, he even says: "I'm sorry I lost you...", and this hits harder because it shows, like many fans thought, that Mario felt very guilty for the fact that he wasn't able to keep his grip on Luigi's hands when they got separated in the pipes.
  • Bowser's fury towards Mario destroying his plans during the final battle. Even if it's really hard to genuinely feel sorry for him given all the horrific stuff he's done throughout the film and his extremely evil and psychopathic personality, Bowser only did what he did out of an extremely misguided hope that it would make Peach love him.
    Bowser: YOU RUINED MY WEDDING! I was finally gonna be happy! Now you will suffer, LIKE ME!
    • The "finally going to be happy" bit also sheds a mixture of Fridge Horror and Fridge Sadness. What elements in Bowser's youth made him so bitter and unhappy to the point that he believes a marriage with Peach would make him genuinely happy?
  • When Bowser inflicts a vicious pummelling on Mario and he's thrown through the window of the Punch-Out Pizzeria, he hides behind a seating booth; exhausted, beaten-down, and on the edge of giving up entirely. It takes viewing his and Luigi’s plumbing commercial again on a nearby broken television — which skips on the line "Save Brooklyn!" with the image of the Mario Bros. hugging — to reinvigorate his spirits. While he does successfully get back in the fight (and with the help of his brother, ultimately wins), seeing Mario of all people looking that defeated is disheartening.
  • Luigi has saved Mario from Bowser’s fire breath, and together they make a mad dash for the Super Star, reaching it just as the fire engulfs them. Peach then belts out a Big "NO!". From her perspective, the brothers were too late, and now nothing and nobody is in the way of Bowser using the power-up to destroy not only the Mushroom Kingdom but probably Earth too. Despite everything, the Koopa King has won, and she lost Mario, whom she’s bonded with, and Luigi, who was so important to Mario that he was willing to help her. And then the smoke clears to reveal Mario and Luigi unharmed and invincible.
  • While Mario and Luigi's dad complimenting his oldest son, Mario, for saving Brooklyn is mainly a heartwarming moment, Mario having a very shocked expression in response can come across as sad due to just how surprised Mario is to see his dad actually complimenting him and being proud of him implying that this is a very rare moment for the two of them.
    • Really, the whole scene with Mario and Luigi's dad congratulating and being proud of the brothers for their heroism becomes a lot more sad in hindsight with the news regarding Charles Martinet, longtime voice of Mario and Luigi in the games and voice of Mario and Luigi's father in this movie, officially retiring from voicing Mario and Luigi to become a Mario ambassador four months after the movie's release, making this a true Passing the Torch to the new actors for Mario and Luigi both for the movies and for the video games. It truly is the start of a new era for the franchise.
  • The ending credits contain a very special mention at the end to a very special man who very sadly passed away all the way back in 2015. Doubles as a heartwarming moment.