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Legitimately Touching Moments In Otherwise Silly Comedies

July 16, 2020 1.1k votes 218 voters 18.5k views16 items

List RulesVote up the comedic film moments that are surprisingly poignant.

As much as audiences enjoy watching comedies in order to laugh, stupid comedies with heartwarming moments can be even more enjoyable. Laughing is great, but laughing while actually feeling something deeper can be even better. There are many lighthearted movies with dark moments, but some movies take feelings a step further to tug at viewers' heartstrings. While this can involve tragedy, it's often just a touching moment between two characters or a reveal that causes audiences to feel a deeper connection, thus turning a silly comedy into something bigger.

Touching moments in comedies don't even have to play a major role in the film's plot. While they may happen at any point in a movie's runtime, heartwarming scenes often propel the characters forward, whether they're making new discoveries that force them to take action or realizing new information about others that deepens their relationships. Touching moments sometimes appear at the end of a film, sending audiences out of the theater with a smile on their faces. Comedies hold special places in many hearts, regardless of how silly they may be. These particular films, however, added something heartwarming to all the silliness and created some legitimately touching moments.

  • When comedy meets religion, there are bound to be some touching moments, and Bruce Almighty is no exception. After Bruce (Jim Carrey) misses out on a promotion, loses his job, and wrecks his car, he complains to God. God (Morgan Freeman) responds by bestowing Bruce with His powers as a test, to see if he can do a better job. Bruce uses the powers to improve his own life but constantly hears prayers in his head, and sets up an automated computer system to say yes to them all.

    When his girlfriend Grace (Jennifer Aniston) catches Bruce kissing another woman at a work party, Bruce discovers he can't stop her from breaking up with him since he has no power over free will. Devastated, he doesn't know what to do until he checks his computer system and discovers a bounty of prayers from Grace - all requests about Bruce's health and happiness. Another prayer from Grace arrives and Bruce uses his God powers to travel to her house and watch through the window as Grace prays to help her not love Bruce anymore. Bruce tearfully realizes that not even possessing the power of God can make him happy if he's hurt the woman he loves so badly.

    Surprisingly touching?
  • Although the sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest has plenty of funny moments, a darkly serious reality lurks underneath. Actor Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) starred in a popular Star Trek-like television show that inspired numerous cast appearances and conventions after it ended, and he half-heartedly agrees to attend what he believes to be another promotional appearance. However, he is unknowingly taken into space by Thermians; assuming he's simply playing along, Nesmith orders them to strike their enemy. Because of his actions, the entire Galaxy Quest cast must travel to space to defeat the Thermians' foes, but without revealing they're merely actors.

    They learn the Thermians' lives, knowledge, and technology are based entirely around the premise of the television show -  or what the Thermians call "historical documents." When the Thermians are bombarded and captured by their enemy, Nesmith has to explain they aren't really space heroes. Even worse, he must use simple terms like "we pretended" so the innocent Thermians can understand. As the Thermians react in anguish at learning their entire lives were based on a lie, it becomes clear the Galaxy Quest crew can play at being space heroes, but for the Thermians, it is real life with serious, and potentially deadly, consequences.

    Surprisingly touching?
  • The comedic brilliance of Shaun of the Dead, which compares modern humans to hordes of zombies, gives it a top position in many comedy fans' list of favorites. Underneath the laughter and slaying of the undead, however, is a story about growing up and taking charge of one's life. Before discovering the world has become overrun with the mindless undead, Shaun (Simon Pegg) lives a directionless life, devoid of any passion - essentially a zombie himself.

    Once they realize what's going on, Shaun and his best friend Ed (Nick Frost) put together a plan to deal with the increasingly dangerous zombie situation by rescuing Shaun's mom and attempting to reconcile with Shaun's ex-girlfriend. After much action and adventure, Shaun, Ed, Shaun's mom, and the rest of the group get themselves trapped in their favorite pub. Although they appear to be safe for the time being, Shaun is horrified to learn a zombie bit his mom, and she soon will become one of them. There are genuine tears as Shaun is forced to make the decision to truly grow up by ending his mother's life. As a zombie movie, Shaun contains plenty of carnage, but when it gets personal, the movie takes a genuinely touching turn.

    Surprisingly touching?
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles' mixture of buddy comedy and holiday film creates an abundance of laughs with a heartfelt layer underneath. Neal (Steve Martin) hopes to make it home to Chicago from a business trip in New York before Thanksgiving and meets Del (John Candy) during his trip. Both are on the same plane when it's grounded due to weather conditions, and the two men are forced to stay in a motel together because everything else is booked. Neal and Del continue their journey facing a number of setbacks, including having their money swiped, a train breaking down, and their rental car starting on fire.

    Throughout the trip, Neal continually grows angry and annoyed with Del's jolly friendliness and blames him for many of their problems along the way. Eventually, after spending so much time together, they start to bond. After finally making it to Chicago, they part as friends. During the last leg of his journey alone, however, Neal reminisces about things Del told him and suddenly realizes Del has nowhere to go and will be spending Thanksgiving alone. Despite all the suffering and annoyance that meeting Del caused, Neal feels genuinely bad for him - and guilty about the often abrasive way he treated him - and resolves to share the Thanksgiving spirit by making Del's holiday a special one.

    Surprisingly touching?