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Pretty Sad Deaths In Otherwise Quirky Comedies

Updated January 21, 2020 6.6k votes 1.1k voters 28.6k views14 items

List RulesVote up the losses that make comedies feel like tragedies.

We watch comedies because we want to laugh and feel good, but sometimes we come out of the theater sobbing. It’s not uncommon for some of the goofiest, most lighthearted movies - and even cartoons - to have some of the saddest, most unexpected deaths. It always seems to be a beloved character, or someone we were simply rooting for the entire time. This list itemizes some of the biggest punches to the gut in films that we initially perceived as sweet and harmless family fun.

  • In perhaps the franchise's most touching turn of events, Yondu makes the ultimate sacrifice. He rescues Peter Quill from Ego's planet, knowing there's two of them and only one spacesuit left. Yondu gives his life for Quill, and in his final moments he says, "I'm sorry I didn't do none of it right, but I'm damn proud you're my boy." 

    Quill finally realizes that while Yondu may not have been his biological father, he was the best (and only) father figure he ever had. Sadly, he realizes it too late.

    Legit tragic?

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  • Take her to the moon for me, okay?

    In the most gutwrenching part of Pixar's Inside Out, Riley's imaginary friend, the cheerful and sweet Bing Bong, falls into the Memory Dump with Joy. He knows he's on the verge of being forgotten forever, but he sacrifices himself to save Joy. The second Joy realizes what Bing Bong has done, he asks her if she could "take Riley to the moon" for him, and calmly waves as he fades into oblivion, forgotten by Riley forever.

    As if this wasn't heartbreaking and traumatizing enough, the scene was originally 40 seconds longer and, according to voice actor Richard Kind, somehow "even sadder."

    Legit tragic?

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  • During WWII, Jojo's mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is a high-spirited woman who fights for her beliefs. In addition to distributing “free Germany” handbills around the city, Rosie helps hide a young Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in their home in order to keep her safe from the Third Reich. Ten-year-old Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) doesn't understand why his mother would act against the Germans, and spends most of the movie angry and confused. After the Gestapo comes to inspect their home, Jojo stumbles upon his mother hanging in the town square.

    The revelation of the scene packs a punch as the mood shifts suddenly from Jojo chasing a butterfly to a camera pan of his mother's distinct spectator shoes dangling from above.

    Legit tragic?

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  • After Phil (Bill Murray) finds himself trapped in a continous time loop, he spends his time bedding women and robbing banks before he begins to use it wisely. He learns how to sculpt ice, speak Italian, play piano, and even how to properly communicate with women on an intimate, emotional level. The one thing he can't do, however, is save a life.

    Over and over, Phil attempts to save the life of a sickly homeless man, but each time, the man dies. Phil learns that, continuous loop or not, death is an inescapable part of life. Before his final end, Phil makes sure the man is warm, clothed, and fed. It's an act of compassion that marks a turning point in Phil's character.

    Legit tragic?

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