Total Nerd

13 Cartoon Characters That Did Not Live Happily Ever After 

Cynthia Griffith
Updated April 13, 2020 16.5k votes 4k voters 237.9k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the saddest, most depressing endings.

People tend to think that all Disney animated movies, from best to worst, are a plethora of happily ever afters. But if you stop to think about it, lots of these movies feature sad cartoon endings that people perceive as happy because they only put themselves in the shoes of the main character.

All cartoon flicks, not just Disney, almost always end well for the main character, but they tend to end terribly for almost everybody else in the film. There are even instances where the main character is faced with what looks like a good fate but is actually an unhappy one.

People turn to cartoon movies with high expectations, with a comfortable notion that the ending will be full of hope and bright promises for the future. But what's often ignored is the fact that there's sad moments in what only appears to be happy films - heck, it's often missed that there are some racist Disney movies, like Peter Pan and Aladdin

Read on to catch a fresh take on these classic tales by seeing the outcomes as they actually are. From broken toys and child donkeys to ruined planets and uncaring husbands, here’s a look at happy cartoon films with endings that aren't as peachy as they first seem.

1
Bing Bong Got Banished From Existence In Inside Out
Bing Bong Got Banished F... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 13 Cartoon Characters That Did Not Live Happily Ever After
Photo:  Inside Out/Disney

Seriously, what did this pink fellow in Inside Out do to deserve such a bleak and horrific future? In animated “happy ending” tales, creatures created by imaginative children seem to always get the short end of the magical wand. While there are some fan theories that suggest that Bing Bong left and lived on in another dimension, such an event was never really implied in the movie.

This is one of the saddest moments in Disney movie history, with this noble goofball sacrificing himself for Joy and basically vanishing into oblivion. His famous last words, "Take her to the moon for me," paint a vivid picture of one imaginary friend who is most certainly not going to the moon. And while his sacrifice helped Joy reach her goal, there’s no denying that Bing-Bong’s end is a tearjerker.

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2
The Six Year Olds Who Turned Into Donkeys Suffered Terrible Endings In Pinnochio
The Six Year Olds Who Tu... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 13 Cartoon Characters That Did Not Live Happily Ever After
Photo:  Pinocchio/Disney

Remember the young boys who were misled in Pinnochio's Pleasure Island sequence? They were turned into donkeys and forced into slave labor. They were never rescued and are probably still toiling away at the circus, missing their mommies to this very day. Their voices breaking into braying moans was one of the most heart-wrenching moments in all of cinema history. 

And what of the one little boy who looked like a donkey but sounded like a human? He was placed in a different section of the auction and our imaginations were left to wonder what horrifying fate awaited him. He didn't want to be a donkey anymore and his tears still echo out in our nightmares. How is that a happy ending? 

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3
Those Poor Little ‘80s Kitchen Gadgets In The Brave Little Toaster Have The Worst Lives And Deaths
Those Poor Little ‘80s K... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 13 Cartoon Characters That Did Not Live Happily Ever After
Photo:  The Brave Little Toaster/Disney

In the land of Happy Endings, inanimate objects are deemed as expendable and unimaginably tormented all the time. This is true in many animated films, but The Brave Little Toaster drives the point home. These kitchen gadget “beings” have thoughts and feelings, but no freedom whatsoever.

Almost all of them meet a dark and horrifying end throughout the film. For example, there are the broken-down cars in the junkyard being stored on top of one another and crushed down to spare parts. And don't forget the main character, the little toaster himself. He makes a failed attempt at suicide only to be put back together again so he can do what? Become a prince? Find true love? Retire on a sunny beach somewhere? No. He’s put back together again so he can - drumroll, please - continue to be a toaster.

Along the way, people see a flower die, meet a miserable air conditioner who spends his entire life trapped in a wall, and watch a blender get massacred in ways that would inspire the maniac in Saw

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4
Toy Story Was Totally Grim For The Mutant Toys, And Probably For Sid, Too
Toy Story Was Totally Gr... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 13 Cartoon Characters That Did Not Live Happily Ever After
Photo:  Toy Story/Disney

Sid, from the first movie Toy Story series, is clearly a psychopath who takes all his daddy issues out on his toys. The films create a pretty deep metaphor about how sick environments are created. Things end badly for the painfully mutated toys who look like they were put together by a mad scientist, but the sadder part of this scenario is that Sid’s pretty sick in the head. His father is absent for reasons unexplained.

There are some pretty believable theories that suggest that Sid’s father is a deadbeat who left the family stranded. But instead of dwelling on the sad kid next door who’s so broken by his dad’s disappearance that he’s taking his emotions out on inanimate objects, Toy Story highlights a happy ending for only Woody and Buzz. 

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