- The death at the end combines the music of "Somewhere, there's a place for us, somehow, someday, somewhere," and Maria's rhapsodic affirmation of her love: "I have a love, and it's all that I have."
- "One Hand, One Heart"''Make of our lives one life
Day after day, one life.
Now it begins, now we start
One hand, one heart,
Even death won't part us now.
- "One Hand, One Heart"
- "I didn't believe hard enough."
- In addition: "Yes... We can... We will..."
- "Te adoro, Anton."
- Word of God reveals that the original ending had Maria committing suicide in keeping with the Romeo and Juliet parallels. While the final version averts this, a common interpretation is that she's dead inside.
- At the ending, the Jets all go to lift up Tony and carry him, but stumble under his weight. So a few Sharks run over to help without even thinking about it. They pause, staring at one another and contemplating, then the two groups all exit together, carrying Tony.
- Meanwhile, Maria just sits, devastated, all alone next to where Tony's body used to be. Before he leaves, Baby John pauses to place a shawl around her shoulders.
- "DON'T YOU TOUCH HIM!!" The way Maria just shout/cries that line is devastating.
- And Shrank finally displaying a shred of decency and respect by stepping back.
- A meta example when you find out that Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the movie, was raped as a child, and while filming the Near-Rape Experience scene between Anita and the Jets, she had a panic attack and began crying because it triggered the memories. It turns into a bittersweet Heartwarming Moment, however, when you find out that the actors playing the Jets all immediately stopped the scene and comforted her, all while pointing out to her that the moviegoers were going to hate them for what they were doing.
- Poor Anita might be the one person aside from Maria and Tony who has the worst in the whole musical. She starts out just as idealistic and happy as Maria, believing America is so much better than Puerto Rico, thinking the feud between the Sharks and the Jets is silly, and is (reluctantly) supportive of Maria and Tony's relationship. Over the course of one night, she loses Bernardo, finds out his sister and her best friend is planning to run off with his killer, changes her mind to help Maria but is nearly gang raped when she tries. Her last scene has her declaring that if she saw any of the Jets lying down in the street, bleeding, that she would "Walk by and SPIT ON YOU!" There might be hope for Maria to move on, but Anita gets no closure.
- A bit of Mood Whiplash Maria having found out from Chino about her brother and her lover, runs to her room feverishly praying to Santa Maria, to make it not be true, when Tony badly beaten climbs through her window, to which a furious Maria runs at him, pounding his chest and screaming "KILLER, KILLER, KILLER!" before collapsing in his arms. The two make up and agree to run away to a place where they can be together, which in the stage version leads to an extended fantasy ballet in which they imagine both the Sharks and the Jets living in harmony and peace together, as, usually, a child soloist sings the beautiful "Somewhere". In the film the ballet is cut and the song becomes a duet for Tony and Maria, but the Heartwarming and Tear Jerking effect is still there.
- Graziella wailing over Riff's death in the film. We haven't seen much of their relationship, but her reaction is enough to reveal that she loved him very much.
- The final scene. After Tony's body is carried out, the rest of the Jets and Sharks just start walking away, very saddened by what's happened, but unable to do anything.
- Tears of Joy for "Tonight." Even though it ends very, very badly, Tony and Maria are so in love, and so sincere in every romantic, fanciful thing they say to and about each other, it's impossible not to be moved by it.
Tear Jerker / West Side Story