Skip To Content

    18 TV And Movie Death Scenes That Are The Dictionary Definition Of "Tragic"

    "Finnick Odair went through so much only to die right as he was on the brink of getting the happy ending he deserved."

    There are some fictional characters who die in ways that seem scientifically designed to ruin days, provoke tears, and cause audiences to run out of movie theaters to scream at the unfeeling heavens. So there were plenty of responses when Redditor u/DonutGold4210 asked the folks of AskReddit, "What’s the saddest fictional character death, in your opinion?" Here are 18 of the characters whose demises make people sniffle, "I know they're not real, but still!"

    Responses may have been edited for length and/or clarity. Also, there are almost certainly spoilers ahead. 

    1. "Without commenting on any other aspect of the show, the fact that Hodor's entire life was taken from him because his future was already written (or however that whole continuity should be interpreted). And then he dies a horrific death, while whatever was left of his consciousness was presumably tugged away in a remote corner of his soul only able to watch what his body was doing. No. That is a level of unfair no one deserves, least of all that sweet giant."

    kid on the ground saying, hold the door hold the door hodor hodor

    2. "Bobby Singer from Supernatural. I never realized how much that character meant to me until he died."

    man in a hospital bed while two men visit

    3. "Bridge to Terabithia crushed me as a kid."

    kid's parents telling him his friend died from drowning while cop cars are outside the friend's house

    4. "Finnick Odair's death was the first fictional death that actually genuinely upset me. He went through so much, only to die right as he was on the brink of getting the happy ending he deserved."

    woman screaming for Finnick and Finnick calling for Katniss before he dies

    5. "Artax, the horse from The NeverEnding Story. And yes, I know he comes back in the end. But try being a kid and not making it out of the swamp scene with a dry eye."

    kid telling the horse, Artax, you have to you're sinking you have to try, move or you'll die, as the kid tries pulling the horse out of the swamp

    6. "Ruth in Ozark. Dammit, she was about to break the Langmore curse. I wanted her to succeed so bad."

    Ruth on the ground dead

    7. "The Tenth Doctor, while in most of Doctor Who, regeneration is seen as healing and rebirth. But the Tenth Doctor saw it as death, he describes a burning sensation as every cell in his body dies and is reformed, and when it’s over, it’s no longer him, it’s someone else with his memories. This is likely kinda true because each Doctor has their own distinct personality. He fought regenerating for so long, even doing it only halfway so he could heal without changing. When he finally was at death’s doorstep and couldn’t hold it in anymore, he looks almost directly into the camera, tears in his eyes, and says, 'I don’t want to go!'"

    man saying i don't wanna go as his body starts to change

    8. "Lu Ten from Avatar: The Last Airbender. You don't see it, but that episode with Iroh in Ba Sing Sei, man, you feel that pain."

    man looking at a photo saying, happy birthday my son if only i could have helped you

    9. "Buffy’s mom Joyce, obviously. That episode was so Lynchian and heartbreaking. It was one of the most successfully upsetting episodes of TV I’ve ever seen."

    woman saying she doesn't understand how joyce was once there and now gone and she'll never have eggs or yawn or brush her hair

    10. "It's probably not the saddest, but Tony Stark gets me every time. It's symbolic of the end of an era."

    tony dying as pepper tells him, we're gonna be ok you can rest now

    11. "Ellie from Up. Pixar pulled more emotion out in those five minutes than they have in the last five years."

    sequence of memories from when ellie was alive

    12. "Gotta say I'd probably go Ben from Scrubs or Leslie from Bridge to Terabithia overall, but one that needs to be mentioned is Thomas J. from the movie My Girl. Very much in the same vein as Bridge to Terabithia in that it's incredibly random and the aftermath is brutal. The 'he can't see without his glasses' scene is heartbreaking."

    girl looking at her friend in the coffin saying, where are his glasses, he cnt see without his glasses, put his glasses on

    13. "I’m such a softie, I teared up when Tom Hanks' volleyball 'died' in Cast Away. There was something brilliant about that scene."

    man in the sea looking for wilson and calling out for him while saying sorry

    14. "Sirius Black. I'm not even a big Harry Potter fan but his death makes me cry every time. Doesn't matter if it's the book or the movie."

    15. "Rue dying in The Hunger Games was the only time I've cried over a book."

    rue asking someone if they can sing and tat person singing a song as rue dies

    16. "Tadashi from Big Hero 6. He was in his early 20s and he had friends and a loving family. And his death was for nothing in the end since it was the guy he was attempting to save who set the fire to cover up the theft of Hiro's tech. (His plan was also stupid, so it was unnecessary to set the fire in the first place)."

    Tadashi saying someone has to help before dying in the fire

    17. "Bob from Stranger Things. He was the most beautiful soul on Earth."

    bob dying as a woman cries out and has to be dragged from the scene

    18. And finally: "Bing Bong from Inside Out. As a 36-year-old man watching it for the first time, it killed me."

    bing bong knowing their about to die saying, take her to the moon for me ok and someone responds, i'll try bing bong i promise

    What fictional character's death scene never fails to bring a tear to your eye? Tell us about it in the comments!