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The Saddest Movie Goodbyes Ever

Updated October 2, 2019 4.7k votes 867 voters 30.2k views19 items

List RulesVote up the saddest movie goodbyes where you sobbed uncontrollably.

There comes that inevitable moment when it’s time to say goodbye. It happens all the time in life, and because movies are reflections of life, it happens all the time in movies. Whether a character is dying, going somewhere else, or breaking up with someone, saying farewell is really, really difficult. Here are the 19 saddest movie goodbyes.

There’s nothing wrong if a movie makes you cry. In fact, there’s nothing wrong if a movie makes you sob so uncontrollably you choke on your tears. It means the filmmakers are doing something right, because great art is supposed to make you feel all the feels. And these sad movie goodbyes have been known to do exactly that. You know that ugly cry you get from sad goodbye scenes. You can’t hide it when Hubbell and Katie say farewell for good at the end of The Way We Were, or when ET is finally able to go home in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.

So grab a box of tissues and get ready to bawl your eyes out. And after you wipe the tears away, be sure to vote on your favorite sad goodbye scenes from movies.

Needless to say, SPOILERS ahead. 

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  • Video: YouTube

    Is it okay for an adult to cry at a kid's movie? Yes, when it's Toy Story 3, and Andy is all grown up and going off to college. Andy says a teary "thanks" to his old toy pals and drives away. Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the gang are left on the porch. Sure, Bonnie will get to play with the toys now, but it's not the same. In fact, nothing will ever be the same again.

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    Sophie is faced with the hardest decision imaginable at the end of Sophie's Choice: she must decide which one of her two children to hand over to a Nazi soldier, and which one gets to live. If she doesn't choose, both children will die. Watching the young daughter part from her mother is painful in every conceivable way.

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    In order to save the world, Harry Stamper makes the ultimate sacrifice. Before he rides off into the eternal sunset, he says farewell to his daughter, Grace. Michael Bay's Armageddon certainly has its flaws as a (disaster) movie. However, this tear-jerker of a goodbye scene is powerful enough to make even the darkest heart reach for a tissue.

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    Terms of Endearment (1983) is a classic weepy that has every audience member with a heart reaching for the Kleenex. Perhaps the most tear-filled scene comes in the hospital, when Emma, a mother in her 30s, is dying from cancer and explains to her two young sons she's not going to be around in the future. She's had a troubled relationship with one of them, Tommy, and lets him know that she knows how much he loves her, even if he can't bring himself to say it.  

    "And you're gonna realize that you love me. And maybe you're gonna feel badly, because you never told me. But don't - I know that you love me. So don't ever do that to yourself, all right?"

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