Skip To Content

    25 Movie Endings That Never Fail To Make People Cry

    You're lying if you say you didn't ugly cry at the end of Toy Story 3.

    Recently, u/despresso30 asked Reddit users, "What is a movie ending that makes you cry, no matter how many times you've watched it before?"

    MTV / Via

    And because I was in need of a good, cathartic sob, I decided to read through the replies. Here are the best ones which had me reaching for the box of tissues I keep on my desk.

    🚨 Warning: Spoilers ahead! 🚨

    1. In The Iron Giant, when The Giant sacrificed himself to save Hogarth and the town of Rockwell by flying into the path of an oncoming missile.

    A collage of The Iron Giant flying into the path of the missile; it is captioned: Hogarth: "You are who you choose to be" and The Giant says "Superman"
    Warner Bros

    2. In Monsters, Inc., when we finally got that shot of Sully joyfully reuniting with Boo.

    A collage of Boo opening and peeking through a door; it is captioned "Boo?" "Kitty!"
    Disney / Pixar

    "That final shot always makes me tear up. It's such a great ending!"


    3. In The Fox And The Hound, when Cooper positioned himself in front of Tod to prevent Slade from shooting him, which resulted in their long-gone friendship finally being restored.

    A collage of Cooper protecting Todd by standing in front of him while Slade points a gun at the both of them

    "I convinced my BF to watch it with me since it used to be one of my absolute favourites as a kid and I hadn't watched it in forever. I ugly cried like I've never ugly cried before. My BF actually sincerely asked if I was gonna be okay."


    4. In Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King when Aragorn was crowned King Of Gondor and told the Hobbits, "My friends, you bow to no one."

    A collage of the Hobbits looking at Aragorn and bowing in; in response, Aragorn says "My friends, you bow to no one"
    New Line Cinema

    5. In Schindler's List, when Oskar was presented with a ring engraved with a Talmudic quotation, which resulted in him sobbing about not being able to save more people.

    A collage of Oskar breaking down after being presented with the ring; in response the workers tell him that there are eleven hundred people who are alive because of him
    Universal Pictures

    6. In The Green Mile, when John Coffey was executed on rape and murder charges, despite Paul Edgecomb confirming that he was innocent.

    John Coffey with a tearful and scared expression on his face as he awaits execution
    Universal Pictures

    "I don’t think I’ve ever sobbed harder at a movie than The Green Mile. It’s a hugely emotionally draining movie to watch."


    7. In Big Fish, when Will narrated an imagined story of his father's last moments, which involved laying him down in the nearby river and transforming into a catfish.

    A collage of Will talking to his father in the hospital and imagining the dream sequence of taking him to the river
    Sony Pictures

    "When I first watched Big Fish, I cried so hard in the theatre during that ending that I accidentally stayed through the credits 'til the lights came on for the cleanup crew."


    8. In Coco, when Miguel sang "Remember Me" to Mama Coco so that she could remember her father.

    Miguel playing his guitar while looking at Mama Coco
    Disney / Pixar

    "The end of Coco reminds me of my grandma, who passed away in 2018. She had Alzheimer's, but when I would play or sing her favourite songs that were familiar to her, she would always perk up.

    She was a Holocaust survivor and close to the end, the last thing she would say over and over before she lost the ability to speak was 'I want to go home' — even though she was technically in her home. So, I love to imagine her reuniting with her lost parents and siblings in the world to come. I hope she finally made it home."


    9. In Forrest Gump, when Forrest saw his son off on his first day of school.

    Forrest telling his son that he loves him as he heads towards the school bus
    Paramount Pictures

    "Dunno why, but every time I watch the ending to Forrest Gump, I burst into tears."


    10. In Saving Private Ryan, when James saw Captain Miller's grave and asked his wife if he was worthy of the sacrifices made to save him.

    A collage of James asking his wife if he's lead a good life and if he's a good man; in response, his wife says "Yes you are"
    Paramount Pictures

    "This scene always gets me. I’m usually on the verge of tears — and then when he turns and asks his wife that question, I lose it.


    11. In Hachi: A Dog's Tale, when Hachi passed away and was finally reunited with Parker after 10 long years of waiting.

    A collage of Haichi laying down in the snow with his eyes closed and him jumping into the arms of Parker
    Stage 6 Films

    "My wife introduced me to this movie. I cried so hard, my eyes hurt. Five years later, we watched it again and I thought I could handle it. Nope — I cried like a baby. It's hard to even type this and not get a little misty."


    12. In About Time, when Tim realised that the birth of his daughter meant that he wouldn't be able to see his father again. So, they travelled back in time to relive one last memory from Tim's childhood together.

    A collage of Tim kissing his father on the cheek and them walking down towards the beach in a childhood memory of Tim's
    Universal Pictures

    "This movie makes me weep every time, without fail. I wish everyone had a father like Bill Nighy’s character."


    13. In My Girl, when Vada had trouble accepting the reality of her best friend's death during the funeral scene.

    Vada looking at Thomas J's face as he lays in the coffin, saying "Where are his glasses? He can't see without his glasses. Put his glasses on"
    Columbia Pictures

    14. In Interstellar, when Coop was embracing a now elderly Murphy, who admitted that she knew he was coming back one day because "my dad promised me."

    An elderly Murphy laying in a hospital bed while her father Coop holds her hand and looks at her
    Warner Bros

    15. In Up, when Carl stepped in during Russell's award ceremony to award him his "Assisting The Elderly" badge, as well as a special Ellie badge.

    Carl awarding Russell the "Assisting The Elderly" and the "Ellie" badge
    Disney / Pixar

    "See, for me, I was prepared for the beginning of Up. I was warned. Everyone talked about it. I powered through it. The ending though...his father didn't show, but you know who did. You know how much that meant to the kid. But then, if that wasn't already tear jerking enough, this man gives him the highest honour of a badge he can give that the love of his life gave him.

    It's way too much emotion. I take 20 minutes to calm down after seeing that scene. Full on ugly cry, uncontrollable mess."


    16. In Marley & Me, when John had to say goodbye to Marley before he was euthanised.

    John patting Marley, who is lying down on blanket in a veterinary examination room; John is telling Marley that even though he said he was a pain, he "couldn't find a better dog"
    20th Century Fox

    "This movie hits me really hard, especially when I hear Owen Wilson's character say 'Thank you for being a part of our family' as his beloved dog falls asleep. It'll forever rip my heart out."


    17. In Philadelphia, when home movies of Andy Beckett as a happy child were shown following his funeral.

    A collage of screenshots from the home movies, showing Beckett as a child
    TriStar Pictures

    "I was already emotional, but then the home GOD. I completely lost it."


    18. In Edward Scissorhands, when Edward was left to live out the rest of his years, completely alone in his tower.

    A collage showing Edward Scissorhands trimming hedges and carving ice sculptures in his tower
    20th Century Fox

    19. In Toy Story 3, when Andy made the decision to pass on all of his toys, including his beloved Woody, to Bonnie.

    A collage of Andy passing on his toys, including Woody, to Bonnie
    Disney / Pixar

    "I was moving away from my home with my parents and in with my fiancée around the time Toy Story 3 came out. I was watching with my mum and I also grew up with Woody (I had a Woody doll with my name written on his boot). It was the first time we had spent some time together and it was quite the emotional trip for both of us."


    20. In The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, when the prisoners — including Bruno and Shmuel — were packed into a gas chamber and killed.

    A collage showing Bruno, with a worried expression on his face; his father is screaming his name and others are sobbing when they realise what has happened; the last photo is of the gas chamber with the door closed
    Miramax Films

    "OMG, I got to the end of this movie and LOST it. It's the most I have ever cried over a movie ending. It took a good 15 minutes for me to calm down."


    21. In Grave Of The Fireflies, when the spirits of Seita and Setsuko — who are now happy and healthy — were reunited after the hard life they experienced.

    A collage showing Seita and Setsuko when they were alive and after they've reunited as spirits, surrounded by fireflies
    Studio Ghibli

    "Ugh, I can't ever watch this movie again. I have a daughter who is about the same age as Setsuko. The scene at the end, after she dies and there's a ghostly montage of her playing and being a regular little kid just guts me. I felt horrible for days after because it reminded me of how my daughter runs around and plays and how full of joy she is."


    22. In Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, when Joel and Clem decided to continue their relationship, despite knowing that they've previously broken up in the past.

    A collage of Joel and Clem debating getting back together; after telling Joel that he'll stop liking her and she'll get bored, Joel says "Okay"; in response, Clem says "Okay" too
    Focus Features

    "Oof, I saw this one for the first time after a bad breakup. I cried for hours after the credits ended. I remember just laying there in the darkness of the room, with tears streaming down my face, wishing I could erase my memory too."


    23. In Bridge To Terabithia, when Jess decided to honour the memory of Leslie by building a bridge across the river and introducing his sister, May Belle, as the new ruler of Terabithia.

    Jess and May Belle walking across the newly built bridge into Terabithia

    "Bridge To Terabithia is such a beautiful movie about friendship, imagination and not judging people for what they look like on the outside. But, that ending gets me every time, even though I know it's coming."


    24. In Mulan, when she presented her father with gifts to honour the Fa Family, but he tossed them aside and embraced his daughter instead.

    A collage of the conversation between Mulan and her father; after tossing the gifts aside, he says "The greatest gift and honour is having you for a daughter"

    "For me, it's Mulan and this scene. I don't know how many hours in my life I have spent wishing to hear that my dad is proud of me, so to see a dad say something like that to his daughter is just...ow the feels."


    25. And finally in Inside Out, when Riley was reunited with her parents and tearfully confessed that she missed her old life, which resulted in them all comforting each other and new memories being formed.

    A collage of Riley crying, her parents looking on and them embracing one another in a hug
    Disney / Pixar

    Note: Some Reddit responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Phew, that was an emotional rollercoaster! Let's talk it out in the comments below and feel free to add other movie endings that never fail to make you tear up.