Top 10 Saddest Movie Deaths

Script written by Niki Neptune. We know they’re just characters in a movie, but when they passed, it hurt. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 saddest movie deaths. For this list, we’re taking a look at the most traumatizing, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching character deaths in major motion pictures. We weren’t really expecting some of these characters to bite the big one, which is what made their deaths that much more traumatizing. And it may be obvious but, SPOILER ALERT. Special thanks to our users Willem Garnier, k_flip, Kyle Cooke, Nicole Calleja, Kevin Rasmussen, JMash97, Phildon Stapleton, Dylan DeWitt, Yoni Krotenberg, Sjdillon10, Philip Folta, joei1977, Andrew A. Dennison, Jordan Bowden, sarahjessicaparkerth, dizzyarcher, Josh3000, Emma Martin, Alysia Victoria Parker, Mattwoott, codster9, aldqbigsquare and Alex Williams for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Saddest Movie Deaths


We know they’re just characters in a movie, but when they passed, it hurt. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 saddest movie deaths.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the most traumatizing, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching character deaths in major motion pictures. We weren’t really expecting some of these characters to bite the big one, which is what made their deaths that much more traumatizing. And it may be obvious but, SPOILER ALERT.

#10: Trevor McKinney
“Pay It Forward” (2000)

He was the epitome of a good kid: he had a big ol’ heart and just wanted to spread some good in the world. Unfortunately, the world is a rough place, even for 11-year-olds. While trying to follow his own advice by saving his friend from bullies, Trevor ends up facing the business end of a switchblade. Yes, all his good deeds got him was a knife in the gut. But with his death, Trevor brought people together, making his poignant demise even more meaningful.

#9: Spock
“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982)

After decades as the rational crewmember, Spock made the logical choice to sacrifice himself for the survival of his crew by exposing himself to radiation to repair the ship’s warp drive. Fans of the iconic sci-fi series may’ve been devastated to witness the death of one of their favorite characters, but no one was more wrecked than his long time bud. Of course, the Enterprise crew gives him a funeral befitting a loyal commanding officer: his coffin is jettisoned into orbit.

#8: Maggie Fitzgerald
“Million Dollar Baby” (2004)

Everyone knows boxing can be dangerous. It can be even more dangerous when there are errant corner stools around to break your neck in a fall. And if the fall doesn’t kill you, well then, maybe it’ll be the gripping depression. In the end, for Maggie, it turns out to be a lethal dose of adrenaline injected by her loving coach that ends this once enthusiastic boxer’s life. It’s a truly tragic scene that makes it incredibly difficult to mask sobs.

#7: Thomas J. Sennett
“My Girl” (1991)

If movies teach us anything, it’s that being a preteen is extremely hazardous. At any moment, you could be looking for your friend’s mood ring when you’re stung to death by a band of angry hornets. Or, that’s what happens to Macaulay Culkin’s character in this surprisingly upsetting film. Just when you think he and Vada will start their budding romance, he’s felled by vicious insects. But it does bring her closer to her dad, so Thomas J. did not die in vain.

#6: Ricky Baker
“Boyz n the Hood” (1991)

John Singleton’s portrayal of urban life gave audiences a glimpse into an oftentimes bleak, but occasionally warm existence. As one of the boys who grew up in the hood, Ricky was poised to make it to college on an athletic scholarship – against all odds. But, living where he does with the friends he has, he gets caught between the Crips and the Bloods; and when confronted by vengeful gang members, his life is cut short. It’s overwhelmingly sad, particularly considering he’d found a way out.

#5: Billy Flynn
“The Champ” (1979)

It’s one of those scenes where you’re not even ashamed of the tears flooding your face – in fact; scientists have apparently proven it’s the saddest scene ever. In this ‘70s weep-fest, Jon Voight plays a down-on-his-luck former champ who finally fights his way back to the limelight, only to die after winning his final match. The scene with his young son tugging and pleading with his lifeless body is one that will immediately fill you with pathos.

#4: Dobby
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010)

Poor guy. He’d finally made a life for himself as a free elf, only to be cut down in his prime. He didn’t want much other than friendship, and it was in service to his friends that he was struck down by the flying blade of the villainous Bellatrix Lestrange. We’re sure he knew the risks, since being a friend of Harry Potter’s can prove hazardous to your health, but his death on the beach is truly heartbreaking.

#3: Jenny Curran
“Forrest Gump” (1994)

Despite his upbeat attitude, it wasn’t a cheerful ride for Forrest, losing his mother and his buddy Bubba. But his saddest loss might be his childhood friend Jenny: she was one of the few characters who got Forrest from the beginning. And though her life was fraught with problems, she always found her way back to him. It seemed like their story would end happily; but Jenny sadly succumbs to AIDS, leaving Forrest without the love of his life but with a son to share his time.

#2: E.T.
“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)

Sometimes, when aliens land on Earth, they go on a murderous rampage. Other times, they go on adorable journeys with human children while searching for a way home. Elliott and E.T. form a bond that cannot be explained, so when the ugly alien falls ill, his earthling counterpart gets sick too. Seeing as how he was the extra-terrestrial bud many kids wished for, it’s no surprise his death left emotional scars for generations to come. Of course, he doesn’t stay dead, but the damage was already done.

Before we say goodbye to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Jack Dawson “Titanic” (1997)
- Andrew Beckett “Philadelphia” (1993)
- Emma Greenway Horton “Terms of Endearment” (1983)
- Rue “The Hunger Games” (2012)
- Mickey Goldmill “Rocky III” (1982)

#1: John Coffey
“The Green Mile” (1999)

This character epitomized the notion of the “gentle giant.” John Coffey had healing powers, but unfortunately for him, he was falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to death. We’ve seen movies with the falsely accused before, but this particular character’s death struck a bitter chord with use due to the fierce injustice of it all. Pair that with his kindness, grace and resignation to his fate, and you’re not wondering why you can’t stop bawling.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think was the saddest movie death? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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