Fictional Characters
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The Most Emotional Cartoon Deaths

Updated January 17, 2020 34.6k votes 5.1k voters 319.7k views30 items

List RulesVote up the deaths of animated characters that left you scarred for life (emotionally).

Cartoon death scenes are quite common, even though animation is often thought to be kid's stuff. Animated characters die in movies and on TV with surprising regularity and poignance. The finality and sadness of death is a powerful and emotional thing, and as it turns out, not even cartoon characters are safe from death's cold, inevitable grip. From the parents of protagonists to long-term companions and loyal pets, cartoons have shattered dreams with the demises of some of the most beloved animated characters.

Have a box of tissues ready and prepare to vote up the most devastating and emotional cartoon deaths in TV and movie history.

  • Video: YouTube
    Not all cartoon deaths are entirely depressing. The Iron Giant's demise as he rockets skyward to stop an incoming nuclear missile from destroying Hogarth's town is a beautiful sacrifice. As he flies toward his impending fate, a smile creeps across the Giant's face as he relishes the opportunity to live up to the example set by his idol, "Superman." It's aspirational and sort of happy, since the film ends with the promise of his resurrection by reassembly.
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  • 6

    Tadashi Hamada

    Video: YouTube
    In Big Hero 6, Tadashi Hamada's tragic fate is the result of a true act of heroism. After congratulating his little brother Hiro on his award-winning science fair project and subsequent acceptance into San Fransokyo Tech, a fire breaks out in the school, and brave Tadashi rushes inside to rescue Professor Callaghan. Moments later, however, the building explodes, leaving Hiro - already an orphan - an only child.
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  • 7

    Philip J. Fry II

    Video: YouTube
    In the Futurama episode "Luck of the Fryrish," Fry happens across a statue that he believes to be of his brother Yancy. The inscription reads: "Philip J. Fry - The Original Martian." Fry is furious, believing Yancy stole his name. After some research, Fry and the Planet Express crew hunt down the grave site of this supposed "Philip J. Fry" where Fry learns the truth by reading the tombstone's inscription: "Here lies Philip J. Fry, named for his uncle, to carry on his spirit." The Philip J. Fry he found wasn't his brother, but his nephew, whom Yancy named after him to honor his lost sibling.
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  • Video: YouTube

    Perhaps the quintessential cartoon death, in one of Disney's earliest animated classics, the sad truth of man versus nature became evident to children everywhere as they witnessed the death of Bambi's mother.

    While fleeing from a hunter, a gunshot rings out, leaving Bambi scampering into the woods alone. When the young fawn returns to his mother's side, he finds her laying in a pool of her own blood, and curls up next to her one last time.
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