The movie deaths that hit us the hardest aren't always the lead character - sometimes, it's even sadder when a loveable sidekick meets an undeserving fate. It's a testament to the filmmakers if they can get us to shed a tear (or several) for a secondary character, especially if they're not even human; we've all had our moments screaming at the screen over the loss of an owl or a volleyball. Often, the sidekick has to be sacrificed to advance the protagonist's storyline and strengthen their character, but that doesn't make it any easier for us, the poor, sad audience.
Here are the saddest sidekick deaths in movie history.
There's a great moment when you're watching a film and you realize that you liked a character more than you thought you did. That's what happened when Yondu sacrificed his life for Peter Quill at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Yondu appeared in both Guardians films, but he really got a chance to shine in the sequel, exiting with a tragic but beautiful moment. Vol. 2 did a great job of instilling the themes of "biological family" vs "chosen family," summed up by one of the most unexpectedly poignant quotes that ever included the word "daddy": "He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy," Yondu says.
Yondu was given a beautiful space funeral, set to Cat Stevens's "Father and Son," that may or may not have made all of us cry in the theater. (Spoiler: many tears were shed.)23048Farewell, bud?
"We are Groot." - Groot
Groot's sacrifice at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy was undoubtedly one of the saddest moments in the MCU. His end set up the biggest theme of the Guardians franchise: Family. For a franchise about ragtag, wisecracking aliens set to retro jams, these films still do manage to open the tear ducts. Director James Gunn managed to not only get us invested in a talking "tree" but forced us to care about him and mourn his final act. We even felt horribly for his partner, a literal raccoon.
On the bright side, if Groot never perished saving the Guardians, we would have never gotten Baby Groot. We love Baby Groot.22850Farewell, bud?
Bubba: 'Forrest Gump'Photo: Paramount Pictures
It's always sad watching a beloved character perish in another character's arms. This seems to be a common theme in war films, especially watching the injured party call out for their mothers or beg to "go home" in their final moments. Bubba did just that before he slowly passed in Forrest's arms, leaving us teary-eyed from seeing Forrest lose his best friend in such a horrific way. At least we got to see Forrest Gump fulfill Bubba's last wish of going into the shrimping business and turning Bubba Gump Shrimp into a massive success (that spilled over into real life).
Every time we pass by a real-life Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant, we remember Bubba and his short but powerful arc in Forrest Gump.21242Farewell, bud?
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
There's a feeling of helplessness when it comes to watching Goose die in Top Gun. Not only does it play on our worst fears of being the passengers of a plane that's plummeting toward the earth, but even when he opts for his lone escape and ejects from the plane, his head hits the canopy, snapping his neck and sending his lifeless body parachuting into the ocean.
Watching Maverick cradle his best friend's body will always be heartbreaking. The movie certainly rubs it in a bit, too, showing Goose brimming with joy when his wife and son visit in a scene right before this tragedy.21547Farewell, bud?