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Tear Jerker / Western Animation

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"Oh, Ferdie... (sobs)... he was the only friend I ever had, in my whole life..."
"Well, what did you expect in an opera? A happy ending?"

Moments that belong to animated films are listed here.

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Individual examples:

Specific Networks:

  • KaBlam!! of all shows, had one of these. When Henry left the show and June was really sad, was really heart-wrenching. It's hard to see the duo away from each other.
    • Not an intended tear jerker, but when H&J said the pledge of Blam-leigiance (in the pilot, "Your Real Best Friend"). And when they say, "...And jet-packs for all". Why? Because the show is cancelled, not on VHS or DVD (this was viewed on Nick and Nicktoons during the original run, and then on Retrojunk), and it just brings back childhood memories. There will never be any other lines like this in any TV show. * sniff*
    • "Loopy and the Snow-Lady" from the Life with Loopy shorts. Seeing loopy's departure from Snow Lady was so tear-jerking. A bit odd coming from the Loopy shorts, as usually they're silly, gross, scary, or even just cute.
    • "Trouble with Inflation" from the Life with Loopy shorts. Loopy notices her dad gets upset whenever bills come in the mail, and tries (without success) to prevent bills from being delivered to the house. At the end, Loopy's dad grimaces as he looks through the latest delivery of bills, but sees and reads a heartfelt letter from Loopy, making him smile. The fact that no silly music was playing just made the scene more special.


  • There's one of the Casper the Friendly Ghost shorts, "There's Good Boos Tonight", which provides the page image. A classic tear jerker, the short has Casper befriending a baby fox named Ferdie, who winds up being chased by a hunter. As you can tell from the image, the hunter succeeds in killing Ferdie, and Casper is too nice to return the favor so he lets him off with a scare, and promptly breaks down once he discovers Ferdie's corpse. But Casper gets his Happy Endingsort of—for Ferdie returns as a ghost, allowing them to live—er, exist happily ever after.
  • From Columbia Cartoons, there's the 1937 short "The Little Match Girl". Here, we are presented the Dying Dream of a lonely orphan girl, mocked and ignored by the world around her, cold, ragged and starving, with only her matches to keep her warm—and her dreams of happiness. Not long in the short, we get a dose of Sweet Dreams Fuel, showing the girl prancing around in a Heaven-like setting, where she finally finds good clothes and happiness through a doll the cherubs gave her as a present. But like the match that was keeping her warm in real life, the dream comes crumbling down in a gut-wrenching sequence where the utopian setting is torn apart by a strong wind, quickly snapping the girl back to reality, where she desperately crawls to the burning match—only to freeze to death. But fear not, for the girl finally gets her happy ending, when an angel descends and carries her soul off to Heaven, leaving us with ringing bells and a starry night sky. This cartoon is hands down one of the most emotionally powerful cartoons ever made during The Golden Age of Animation. But you know what's even sadder? This cartoon lost the 1937 Academy Award to Disney's technically superior but nowhere near as powerful Silly Symphonies short "The Old Mill".
  • FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: in the first episode of season five, a continuity error is fixed in the most heartbreaking way possible. Ruff reveals the the last thing his mother made for him before her disappearance along with his father was a homemade rope bone. Blossom is confused, saying that a “Good Luck from Mom” balloon and note were seen in the pilot episode of Fetch (which is true; it’s seen in the first scene of the pilot). Ruff discloses miserably to a shocked and saddened Blossom that he forged his mother’s “Good luck” note out of grief that she and his father couldn’t celebrate his first big break with him.
  • Bruno Bozzetto's Life in a Tin (1967); it condenses the harsh realities of life into a six-minute cartoon, and it's a brutally honest, melancholy watch.
  • The very first Afterschool Special, 1972's The Last Of The Curlews, created a generation concerned about endangered species and other green issues.
  • There's a scene in the episode "The Pinballs" when the man in charge of the group home takes one of the kids to the hospital to visit his aunts and he tells the boy (while tearing up) about his mom who was strict and emotionally distant throughout his childhood and when she was on her death bed asking her son to tell her that he loves her he is unable to do it because of the way he was brought up.
  • The end of The Snowman. The boy runs outside first thing in the morning after his adventure with the snowman the previous night... only to find the snowman has melted. Wondering if the previous night's adventure was a dream, he finds the scarf Father Christmas gave him in the pocket of his dressing gown, and is left staring forlornly at the pile of melted snow at his feet as a solemn piano rendition of "Walking in the Air" plays on the soundtrack.
  • Surprisingly, Woody Woodpecker, of all series, has one-Born To Peck is a surprisingly chilling short, which shows an elderly, possibly dying Woody, who is so weak and frail that his beak crumples if he even tries to make a simple peck or two on a tree and can barely move—all while this is juxtaposed with him reminiscing of his childhood when he was hyper fast and able to rip through trees like a drill. It reaches the point where Woody finally decides to throw himself off a cliff in despair. And the cartoon plays this completely serious. And the scary part is that IT WORKS. This alone makes it certainly stand out from the typical Golden Age cartoon in general, let alone a Woody Woodpecker cartoon. But he gets a happy ending-when he jumps to his death, the animator hastily draws in a Fountain of Youth at the bottom to rejuvenate Woody back to his youthful self.
  • A clay-animated short accompanied by the Carly Simon song "I Get Along Without You Very Well." It dealt with a dog reminiscing about his former owner.
  • The short film Kiwi! starts off with what you think is a whimsical animated comedy, but it's guaranteed that the ending will shock you to tears.
    • The music video that sets it to Mad World is even better.
  • The Gravedale High episode "Good-Bye Gravedale".
  • The ending bumper of Toonami:
    Tom: Bang...
    • Back when Tom was a guy in a space-suit, watching Reboot and Ronin Warriors — Goddamn it, CN, even weird alien-robot Tom was still Tom!
    • It's probably not just because of Tom but of what he had represented. For some he was part of their childhood, others he WAS their childhood. When Toonami left it wasn't just a series of programs that left, it was our childhood that left.
    • TOM 1's death by drowning/digestion by alien parasite. Made even worse because immediately after, while you might still hope he's fine, there was the commercial for the next segment, beginning with the announcer booming "TOM IS DEAD!"
  • The final episode of The World of David the Gnome has two tear-jerking moments. The first is when David finally has to separate with his fox friend Swift and tell him not to follow him up the mountain. Swift disobeys this and follows anyway to witness the second tear jerker, where he watches helplessly as David and his dying wife Lisa morph into a pair of trees, forever at each other's sides. As if it can get any worse, you can then see their "spirits" dancing happily and you know from that moment that's the last time you'll ever see them again. Most depressing kid's show ending ever... At least we get a Bittersweet Ending when Swift makes friends with a younger gnome.
  • A British example, the film Granpa (directed by Dianne Jackson, who also directed the animated adaption of The Snowman). It chronicles the relationship between a young girl called Emily and her grandfather, who tells her stories and looks after her. Throughout the 35 minute film his health declines. Near the end, Emily runs through the house calling out for her granpa, and comes across his empty chair, the one he's always sat in...
    • And then there's the following line, where deep down in your heart you just know are his final words...
    I'm just not quite quick enough... anymore...
  • The Puff the Magic Dragon specials have a powerful moment each:
    • Puff The Magic Dragon: When the final lines of the song are sung with Puff in despair at the devastated Honna-Lee after he told Jackie Paper to leave, only to have Jackie immediately return right after the song finishes with help to restore the island.
    • Puff The Magic Dragon and the Land of the Living Lies: The climax when the girl who seems to be a pathological liar confesses that the real reason for her lying is as a shelter from the "truth": she believes that she is responsible for her parents' divorce. Thus the girl is revealed not to be a brat, but a deeply troubled child who is all too hard on herself for something out of her control and needs Puff's wisdom to realize the real truth.
    • Puff the Magic Dragon and the Incredible Mr. Nobody: While Puff and a boy named Terry look for an imaginary friend, the boy encounters copies of the kids who verbally abused him for his talents. When the boy pleads with Puff to send them away, Puff instead shows the truth behind the abuse, a petty envy that marks Terry as superior to them.
  • The 1980 animated movie The King and the Mockingbird manages to be both scary and a Tear Jerker. The end, when the giant robot frees the bird, then crushes its cage.
  • Overtime, a graduate thesis film by French director Damien Ferrie. The film depicts an army of cute, froglike hand puppets finding their human creator slumped over at his workbench, dead. Being puppets, and not fully grasping what's happened, they attempt to bring him back to life the same way he brought them to life — by attaching rods and wires to his body and manipulating him as if he were alive. They prop him up in a chair so he can watch them play, watch home movies of him performing with them, and prepare and serve a huge banquet. This is all pretty melancholy in itself, but the dam breaks when one of the puppets catapults a grape at the puppeteer, expecting him to catch it. It hits the corpse in the head, and he falls face-first onto the table. The puppets hang their heads in unison as they realize their best friend is never coming back. Not surprisingly, this film is a tribute to Jim Henson.
  • The Large Family episode "Baby Chilly". Like The Snowman ending, only with elephants — and the snow elephant doesn't actually come back to life, but baby Lucy loved him.
  • Ōban Star-Racers has several of these:
    • When the heroine, who balances between Plucky Girl and Wangsty teenaged brat, dreams about her dead mother encouraging her and telling her everything will be all right. It'd be okay if when she woke up she didn't have a deja-vu moment and a full five seconds of disbelieving hope that turns out to be nothing but perfectly mundane.
    • When the Big Brother Mentor, who was the only one ready to believe in the heroine, had his career ruined due to an accident that resulted in the heroine replacing him, discovered her true identity and kept the secret, gets his memories partially erased by the Big Bad, is Put on a Bus and leaves the series. Cue disbelieving tears.
    • When the father of the heroine, who was presented for most of the series as an undeserving, misogynistic Jerk, gets his own Character Development.
    • The Bittersweet Ending. Sure, the Big Bad was vanquished and Eva is reconciled with her father, but the Dogged Nice Guy who was hopelessly in love with her is stranded in a place where he'll never see her again, and the last time we see him he's crying as the spatial ship taking her away leaves.
    • Molly's race with Aikka. The end of it... she had no control over the situation, but he thought she did, and the feeling of utter betrayal was evident. Painfully evident.
  • Jean Sibelius' "Valse Triste" is bad enough on its own, but the treatment it gets in Allegro non Troppo (briefly: Cynical Italian Fantasia) makes it that much worse.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men (2009): The different way Rover says "Destroy" the only word he knows, while Marrow hangs around him, to show whether he's happy or sad or scared. His obvious fear when the Sentinels are approaching. Marrow hugging him, not wanting him to be part of the attack on the detention centre. His last word being "Run" the only time he's shown to be able to say anything but "Destroy" thanks to his ruined vocal circuitry.
  • The animated film When the Wind Blows, a film based on the equally depressing book by Raymond Briggs (author of another tearjerker, The Snowman) about a naive elderly couple dealing with the after effects of a nuclear bomb. Suffice to say, Surprisingly Realistic Outcome follows.
  • Redwall, when Rose died at the end of Martin the Warrior.
  • Ziggy's Gift, where Ziggy, the ultimate Butt-Monkey, refuses to be bitter and is steadfastly determined to do some good in a grimy, cynical city with some unexpected magic to do what seems impossible, but you want to believe in it so badly.
  • Annabelle's Wish:
    • The ending where Annabelle is on her last Christmas and she leaves the barn to see Santa Claus for the last time. Santa then grants her wish which she gave up when she was little, to become one of his reindeer; with implied immortality, and restoring her long-lost ability to speak. It sounds ridiculously cheesy, but it genuinely isn't; especially as Billy, her human friend from childhood, narrates what happens, before coming out to see her leave forever.
    • Annabelle's dream where she flies (complete with an arrangement of The World From Way Up Here that really helps turn on the waterworks), and her sacrificing her ability to speak forever, so that Billy will be able to talk for the rest of his life. As it turns out, that was her real wish; for all the kindness he'd shown her all their lives.
    Billy's Grandpa: To hear you talk, that was Annabelle's Wish.
  • The Christmas episode of Pound Puppies (1980s). Dogs barking "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".
  • Of all the places, you would never expect Aqua Teen Hunger Force to drive anyone to tears. But lo and behold, the episode where Frylock is revealed to have Melanoma. As Frylock rests in his room, Meatwad asks what they're going to do if Frylock dies. Shake tells him to be quiet, that they need to be strong for Frylock, so he doesn't have to worry about them. Carl, Meatwad, and Shake all hug each other.
  • Vuk AKA The Little Fox. His FAMILY gets killed by hunters and later, his adoptive father Karak gets killed by hunters as well which is much, much worse than what Bambi had to endure.
  • A good deal of the episode Flashback, from Static Shock was so heartbreaking.
  • Home Movies —the one where Brendon accidentally lets the neighbour's cat outside, only for it to get rabies. There's just something about the poor doomed cat, the owners' reaction, and Brendon's guilt.
  • The ending of that one Care Bears movie is pretty sad when Christy gets hit in the crossfire of Dark-Heart's tantrum, then with the last of her strength, frees the care bears and then is seen lying motionless...and she doesn't Disney Death without some help.
    • The ending credits themselves were a pretty big tearjerker. The nostalgic images of the Care Bears remembering their childhood itself is could be a Tear Jerker on its own, but coupled with the suprisingly ambiguous lyrics of Forever Young makes it one of the most inexplicably sad things ever.
  • Huntik: Secrets and Seekers: Episodes 25-26. Dante's Heroic BSOD, Zhalia holding him in her arms and crying when they're surrounded and she thinks that it's the end, and Sabriel's Killed Off For Real death. The Professor vaporizes her, with no ceremony or final goodbye for Sophie.
  • The Adventures of Mark Twain: In the end of the "The Diary of Adam and Eve" segment, Adam and Eve, now both old and frail, write in their respective diaries how they both wish they'll be the first one to die, since neither of them wants to be alone in the world. Eve dies first, leaving Adam mourning.
    Adam: Wherever she was, there was Eden.
  • The Christmas episode of 'The Magic School Bus' after everyone had worked together to make Wanda her new Nutcracker, and then Arnold is on a train...
  • The song "My Mother" from The Chipmunk Adventure, sung by the Chipettes after they rescue a baby penguin and decide to return it to its mother, but the obvious paralells to the girls' own situation as orphans and being far away from their adoptive mother.
    • The Chipettes were Tear Jerker material in the original series too. Their past in an Australian Orphanage of Fear made them Woobies of the highest caliber, and the episode where they become Miss Beatrice Miller's wards brought more tears.
    • The Chipmunks's encounter with their Missing Mom, Winnie. Winnie explaining that she really wanted to keep them but truly had no choice, Alvin trying to call them out he felt her absence the most and then running away with his brothers on tow, the Chipmunks being attacked by a wild moose and, after Winnie saves them, thinking she's dead.
    • The episode "Cookie Chomper III" where the Chipmunks adopt a kitten and he gets hit by a truck. It was also very depressing seeing how realistically the Chipmunks reacted to this situation. Naturally, Theodore is all upset and at first in denial. Simon refuses to do the fun stuff he usually likes to do. And Alvin... Dear God, ALVIN IS ACTUALLY CRYING. He even insists all live plants be removed from the house to prevent it from happening again. It can easily cause your eyes to water up, seeing the one Chipmunk that is usually a troublemaker and thinks he is the greatest actually being upset over losing the poor kitten. Then at the end, after accepting it and for the most part getting over the grief, Simon at first thinks it's cruel when they go and adopt a new puppy, but once the puppy plays with Simon's glasses and she licks his face, Simon grows to love her. Additionally, the episode was based off a real-life experience, when Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and his wife Janice Kraman's dog Tiger Lily was killed by a car. The Chipmunks' new puppy Lily was named after her.
  • The song "I'm All Alone in the World" from Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Eep.
  • Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol is a mostly straight retelling of the story (which can come as a shock to someone seeing it for the first time, expecting typical Magoo slapstick...uh UH) and, in many respects, one of the best. It's full of heartbreaking scenes, and music is one of the most powerful emotional triggers.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures: The final fate of the Living Laser. After realizing that Iron Man honestly has been trying to help him, he finally finds a purpose by sacrificing his life to save Iron Man, just...fading out in a flicker of sparks.
  • "Sebastian's Voodoo" and "Reach"...
  • Ruby-Spears' Mega Man cartoon has a couple.
    • Near the end of "Bro Bots", Mega Man saves Proto Man's life during their fight, despite the latter betraying him and his family after pretending to be good. After a corny line, Proto Man grows serious and asks if he's getting sentimental. Mega responds that he owed Proto for telling him about the scrambler chip he'd placed on him, and now they were even. Then sad music starts playing as Proto Man leaves to rejoin Wily. Protoman punches through a glass window as he makes his escape. The shards become embedded in the now-cooling molten metal, and you saw Mega Man in their reflection. Not moving to stop Proto Man. Just sitting there, staring at where his brother left...
      Proto Man: Until next time, bro.
      Mega Man: (bitterly) Yeah. Until next time... bro.
    • Another was in the episode "Mega-Pinocchio". After believing he was turned into a human, Mega Man failed to stop Guts Man and Cut Man, taking the blame for letting them get away. It was really Wily toying with his mind that made him hesitate, but Mega was unaware of this. He ended up talking to Dr. Light about it, which resulted in the following lines.
      Light: Don't be upset, Mega. Failure is a human quality. But we humans learn from our mistakes.
      Mega Man: ...Am I one of your mistakes?
  • MegaMan NT Warrior got much darker during the Axess season, and the episode "Mariko to Yuriko/Ms. Yuri's Mission". Though the Heroic Sacrifice at the ending is fairly predictable, what makes it all the sadder is that throughout the episodes, Yuriko is receiving messages from Nebula that she will never be accepted by society again—and they're probably right. She spent the series seemingly as a monster, trying to kill civilians in many terrifying ways.
    • Another (probably the most famous tearjerker of the NT Warrior series) moment would be when Lan is given the Sadistic Choice of ether using a Dark Chip on Megaman, or not and letting himself and everyone with him die. Megaman says he's okay with turning into a virus-infected Navi if it saves his friends. Chad and Protoman take the chip and use it themselves.
  • The Cybersix episode, "Terra". When the Blob Monster Monster of the Week gains emotions and a conscience, you know things could only end in tears.
    Cybersix: Please come back... my friend.
  • Bunny. A strange tale, but the ending...
  • HBO's Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child - A child-friendly series trying to promote diversity by retelling famous classic fairy tales in different ethnic backgrounds. Most episodes are just like their anvilicious, Disneyfied fairy tale counterparts (but with more jazz....and black people!), but the episode "The Happy Prince" based on a story by Oscar Wilde was a stand out.
  • The HBO Family series HBO Storybook Musicals had one episode that was a musical version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. There's a very sad song Peter sings when he starts missing home after having trouble finding his way out of Mr Mcgregor's Garden.
  • Don Hertzfeldt's The Meaning of Life (be sure to watch both parts) is definitely an example of this overlapping with CMOH. Near the end two alien creatures (presumably) from Earth's far future are standing on a beach and the smaller (presumably) asks the bigger what the meaning of life is. The bigger scoffs and (again, presumably) explains why it's a stupid question, crushing the smaller one's curiosity. Then the bigger one leaves, the sun sets and the smaller one looks up at the night sky and cracks a Mona Lisa Smile (presumably) in understanding.
    • His Bill movies, especially I am so proud of you. The film is an emotional rollercoaster, but the ending where Bill's death is contrasted with his birth and early childhood is just too much.
  • Any one of the three Raggedy Ann shorts from the 1940s, especially Raggedy Ann's song from "Suddenly It's Spring" and the absolutely heart-wrenching scene that lead up to it.
    • That's to say nothing of the short "Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy". The whole second half is one tear jerker right after the other, though it does end in tears of joy. It's a shame there's no record of the voice actors from any of these cartoons. They deserve props for their roles in these cartoons.
    • A Halloween cartoon back in The '70s: a sad pumpkin left all alone in the pumpkin patch on Halloween night, crying because he wasn't "perfect" enough to be a Jack 'o Lantern, and so no one had picked him. "Maybe I could be a pie, or something."
    • "Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile". Let it be known that happy tears soon arrive, as the leads come across him in time to hear his lamenting, and cry out joyfully "We want you! We want you!"
    • "The Enchanted Square", in which Raggedy Ann befriends a little blind girl and teaches her to see through her imagination. The song "You Can See With Your Heart" and the ending are especially moving.
  • Galaxy Rangers had many a Bittersweet Ending, but one of the most heart-breaking was at the end of Tom DeHaven's "Galaxy Stranger." The scene could have been pure Narm had the voice actors been at anything less than their best, or the setup been any less tragic.
    • The final line in "Psychocrypt": "We'll free her one day, I know it." It's a sucker punch when you realize they never will.
  • Wakfu. Almost the entirety of episodes 25 and 26, but two moments in particular: Sadlygrove's death (in Eva's arms, no less), and Nox's Villainous Breakdown. What Do You Mean, It's for Kids??
    "I'm not dying, Evangelyne. I'm entering the legend." Cue Manly Tears all over the world.
  • "The Little Match Girl" is a sweet tale about a homeless little girl selling matches. As she lights the matches to try and stay warm, she has visions of happier times. When she lights all the matches she has left, she has flashbacks to times with her grandmother and quietly dies in the snow.
  • The Plague Dogs!: The ending. Also, when one of the dogs meets a friendly hunter and accidentally paws the trigger to his rifle, shooting said hunter in the head.
  • The reprise to "We'll Be Together" in the Timeless Tales from Hallmark episode "Rapunzel".
  • Surprisingly, even Superfriends had one of these. Unsurprisingly, it happened in the somewhat Darker and Edgier last season (Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians)... as the first animated rendition of Bruce Wayne's loss of his parents.
  • The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "Heloise, Schmeloise", where Heloise is ripping up her Stalker Shrine to Jimmy in a Breakup Bonfire after he falls in love with her Robot Me. Seeing such a usually strong character so broken can really get to you.
  • I Am Weasel. My Friend The Smart Banana. Oh my god. It starts off funny with IM Weasel befriending a talking banana but turns completely sad once the banana starts getting sick. IM Weasel has tears dripping down his muzzle like a leaky faucet as he holds the dying banana's hand in the hospital and he's probably crying because he knows how completely helpless he is and despite being a genius, there's nothing he can do to stop his banana friend from dying. *sniff*
  • The Secret of Kells:
    • Old Abbot Cellach in the Distant Finale. His spirit was broken after the Vikings broke through the defenses that he'd been working on for so long and hundreds, if not thousands people died because the wall was the only thing he concentrated on, rather then supports for the stairs to the safest building (which broke under the weight of so many people, dropping them to their deaths). Plus, he had locked Brendan, his own nephew and last surviving family member, in the scriptorium as punishment for working on something other than the wall. Said scriptorium was destroyed by the Vikings and Cellach was lead to believe for years that he had caused Brendan's death.
    • Aisling's Song. It is possibly the most beautiful song in an animated film, or in any film, period. The beauty is juxtaposed later on when the audience finds out Aisling does not get along well with Crom Cruach. Just listen to the words: " must go where I cannot..." At least Crom Cruach was one of her own.
  • Song Of The Birds
    • In Max Fleischer's original version a boy goes too trigger-happy to the point that he actually shoots a baby robin learning how to fly. His mother and father try to revive him via giving him water from the fountain. The birds stage a funeral for the poor birdie, and the boy tearfully watches the action, pleading for mercy and forgiveness. But when it rains, the baby bird woke up alive and well.
    • If you are to watch the remake with Little Audrey, better grab a lot of Kleenex. Seriously. The makers of the 'toon are not responsible for any eye redness due to crying or high therapy bills caused by it.
      • The part when all the forest animals hold a funeral for the baby bluebird is more elaborate. Director Bill Tytla goes to extremes by adding scenes of birds hanging a black ribbon on the nest, hummingbirds flying in "missing man" formation, and a flock of birds making a wreath of flowers in the air. NOW THAT'S TOO MUCH! Even the flowers are crying for him.
      • One YouTube commentator was so touched by the part when the rabbit hugs her child during the funeral procession that she hugs and kisses her dog whenever she sees an animal abuse commercial.
      • That particular part is supposed to be a bit of comic relief, as shown by the baby rabbit being confused by his mother's actions. It's not - she's doing it because she knows it could have been her child's funeral instead of the bird's and she's grateful it isn't. Also kinda heartwarming.
      • The poor moon and sky - they are crying so much that the clouds rain tears over the corpse of the poor birdie. They cry so much, only to have the bird awakened by them.
    Little Audrey: I... I didn't mean to do it... I didn't mean to do it... the little birdie's... so sad...
    • The ending will make you cry tears of a happy sort - Audrey destroys her gun and scatters bird seed around, only for the birds to refuse to come near as they are still scared of her. Then the little bird she shot, seeing how sad she is, flies over to her, and the other birds, seeing him forgive the person who nearly killed him, join him.
  • The Flintstones has a few.
    • The Flintstones' neighbors and best friends, Betty and Barney Rubble, clearly wish to have a baby, but unfortunately, it is strongly implied that they are unable to have a child of their own. In "Little Bamm-Bamm", Fred Flintstone gets fed up with them visiting every night to see his daughter (and their goddaughter), Pebbles, and carelessly orders them to leave his house. He even goes so far as to say, "Get your own baby and leave mine alone!" Seeing poor Betty break down into tears later is a pretty heartbreaking scene. Thankfully, his wife, Wilma, tells him off for his behavior and he apologizes. What's more, the Rubbles get their own child the very next day.
    • In Hop Happy Fred scold Barney that they can't invite the Rubbles' new pet Hoppy to the picnic but can invite the Flintstones' pet Dino. Barney decline that if Hoppy can't go, Dino shouldn't be able to go either. Then after the argument, Fred finally agrees and regrets to tell Dino that Hoppy is not invited to this picnic so he has to stay home too. Dino whines like a sad dog.
    Fred: OKAY, OKAY! (to Dino) Sorry, Dino. Hoppy can't go, so you'll have to stay home too. (He leaves poor Dino howling like a sad dog)
  • G.I. Joe: "There's No Place Like Springfield" starts with Shipwreck getting knocked out and waking up in the hospital, where he finds that he's supposedly six years in the future. He's married to his beloved Mara, whose life-threatening condition was cured, and they have an adorable daughter named Althea. Cobra has been defeated, and most of the Joes have become civilians. The first tear comes when Althea asks her daddy why he can't remember her. Later, he meets Flint, who's with an attractive stranger, and asks where's Lady Jaye, only to be beaten up. His friends "remind" him that Lady Jaye died, and he's of course saddened. Then all his friends turn on him, and when he fights back, they melt into goo, even Scarlett, as he screams in terror and grief. Then it turns out that the whole thing is a Faked Rip Van Winkle plot by Cobra to try to trick him into spilling top secret info, and everybody is either a Cobra Agent or a synthoid. The synthoid of Doc takes pity on Shipwreck, and is terminated for treason. Shipwreck figures out the plot and manages to blow up the fake town, but tries to get Mara and Althea to safety. They turn on him, Althea pulling a bazooka on him and proclaiming, "Daddy, you're a real drip." Polly saves him, but the girls are revealed to be synthoids and melt, sending him into a Heroic BSoD as he escapes. The real Flint and Lady Jaye arrive, and we have this:
    Lady Jaye: Shipwreck, what’s wrong? Was there something important in that house?
    Shipwreck: Nah, nothing important. Just a dream or two. Come on, let’s go home.
  • In the Donkey Kong Country episode Kong For A Day, Donkey Kong is banished to the White Mountains after King K. Rool frames him for various misdeeds. When he gets there, he sings this song.
    I don't know what's happening to me/I'm getting all the blame for things I didn't do/Can anybody tell me just what I did wrong?/I'm all alone and I'm so confused/I don't know what everyone wants me to be/I only know just how to be me/Once I was the ape of the hour/They think I'm a coward/An absolute zero/I'm nobody's hero/An absolute zero/I'm nobody's hero/I'm nobody's hero...
    • The majority of the episode "Klump's Lumps" qualify for this in spades.
  • In the Polish Ark, there's a virus wiping out mankind, forcing them to go aboard large ships (dubbed Arks) to search for uncontaminated land. The main character discovers he has the illness, pulls out a gun, and... stops. He then goes up to the top of the ship, seeing land right there, only for his gaze to drop to the deck below him... and the scattered corpses of others in his situation. He falls to his knees as tears stream down his face, putting the gun to his temple and is stopped by a nurse slapping his cheek, taking away the gun (revealed to be a door handle), and escorting him back into the convalescent home.
  • This song from the first sequel to Dot and the Kangaroo, Around the World with Dot: A Circus is a Prison
  • The German animated film Laura's Star is positively adorable and usually pretty heartwarming...and then the audience notices Star is losing losing its light and turning gray, while Laura is unwilling to accept what's going on. Star's dying; this is what losing light and turning gray means for a star. And then in the climax of the film, Star and Laura are both caught in a sudden rainstorm that knocks Laura into a dumpster and sends Star splashing into the river. Laura manages to fish her friend out, but the last of Star's light fades out as she holds it in her arms. And then there's the scene right after, when her neighbor Max finds her sitting under the footbridge, sobbing and telling him to go away.
  • An animated short from Spain titled Cuerdas (Ropes), is about a little girl named Maria from an orphanage who befriends a mute and wheelchair-bound boy. Maria is determined to help and spend time with the boy, teaching him to play soccer and read, and hoping to travel around the world with him when they grow up. The two form a cute bond that lasts until one day, when Maria overhears the orphanage's principal and discovers that the boy died in his sleep the night before. This unexpected situation, as well as Maria's reaction is a big tearjerker, although the short's ending turns into a heartwarming moment when it's shown that twenty years later, with the orphanage now turned into a school for children with special needs, Maria has become a teacher and still wears a little piece of rope on her wrist that belonged to the boy as a memory of him. Watch it here.
  • "Gribet" from My Little Pony Tales has the "Off You Go" song, which is about having to let go of a pet frog because it belongs in the wild. Heck, Sweetheart, the pony that has to let the frog go, is shown crying herself, as is Spot, the frog.
  • The X-Men: The Animated Series episode "Bloodlines": Mystique comes out to Nightcrawler, pleading for understanding if not forgiveness, Kurt promises to pray that she will find the strength to forgive herself, and then Raven does the ONLY UNSELFISH THING IN HER ENTIRE LIFE when her other son Graydon turns up and tries to shoot them both; she shields Kurt and takes both bullets herself, and Kurt cries out "MOTHER!"; and the ending when Mystique watches Kurt and Rogue walking away, and cries.
  • In the animated version of Harold and the Purple Crayon, the episode "I Remember Goldie" is pretty depressing. Harold learns that his fish died. He doesn't know about the concept of death and thinks that it was something he did to make her go away. Harold meets a mermaid who tells him that it's not his fault and that death is a natural part of life. At the end of the episode, Harold draws a picture of Goldie, then says his only line in the episode: "Goodbye Goldie..."
  • Godzilla: The Series gives us Future Shock. An episode that sends most of the gang from HEAT to an alternate, Bad Future version of the year 2028, where humanity is on the run from a race of genetically engineered monsters called the Dragmas. The show intimates that every intelligent Kaiju on Monster Island was unleashed to fight them, and they all failed. Then Nick asks what happened to Godzilla. We're then shown a memorial statue, where Mendel tells us that Godzilla took a Last Stand against the Dragmas to protect the last few million or so humans from them. He SUCCEEDED. Proving to be utterly Defiant to the End, it's further implied he killed at least a few of them before he went down. Godzilla was very much a Hero with Bad Publicity in the regular timeline and more or less remains so even after this timeline is averted. So to see him memorialized this way was both a Heartwarming Moment, as well as a heartbreaking gut punch to know that this is what it took for him to go from being a barely tolerated monster to a genuine hero in the eyes of mankind.
  • The Magic Pudding: The vision Bunyip has of his mother singing halfway through the film is so hauntingly sad that it brings the tears right from your heart.
  • Kitbull, a new (February 2019) release from Pixar. Fierce homeless kitten + abused pit bull = several boxes of tissues.
  • Animal Behaviour will strike a chord with anyone who's been to therapy, especially Victor the gorilla's breakdown near the end.