20 of The Most Emotionally Scarring Deaths in Movies

Readers have likely seen these types of lists about which movies had scenes that would scar a person no matter what age they were, and it’s likely that among all of them that a lot of truly traumatic moments have been caught. But it’s easy to think that we still remember the trauma this caused us if we saw each scene when we were younger, especially since some of the characters were those we were highly invested in. Some folks have managed to get over these scenes over the years, but the tears will still keep flowing and you’ll be reminded all over again whenever they play, because, in all honesty, these scenes were enough to rip one’s heart from their chest, metaphorically speaking, each and every time they sat down to witness it. Revisiting each moment is a kind of masochistic that people still do from time to time for some reason. 

Here are some of the most emotionally-scarring deaths in the history of cinema. 

20. Rufio – Hook

Going up against the most skilled pirate on the ship wasn’t exactly the best idea, especially when it was established that with the Pan back, Rufio was relegated to second-best again. But still, the adventure of it all was hard to deny, right up until Hook’s blade sank into Rufio’s chest. 

19. Thomas – My Girl

This just wasn’t expected and it wasn’t fair because Thomas had so much to live for, or so we told ourselves since he was a nice kid and didn’t deserve to be stung to death. If anything, this death left a lot of us numb since kids have never been immune to death or damage in movies, but sometimes it feels as though they should be from certain moments. 

18. Bing Bong – Inside Out

Don’t deny crying at this one, especially if you had your own imaginary friend growing up that you had to let go of eventually. Those friendly creations are what get us through sometimes, and letting them go is essentially like losing a part of yourself. 

17. Spock – Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan

No, not Spock. That was the general feeling of this since he was a cornerstone of the series, someone that couldn’t possibly be taken out in such a manner. It was thought that we might lose Chekov, but somehow that wasn’t considered as bad as losing Spock. 

16. Han Solo – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The fact that some overeager fan decided to ruin this after the movie opened was bad enough, but having to see it firsthand on the screen was still horrendous since Han Solo had survived so many encounters by that point that he shouldn’t have survived that he felt untouchable. It was even worse to hear that Harrison Ford didn’t even want to come back. 

15. Captain Miller – Saving Private Ryan

We’re definitely conditioned to think that soldiers could very well die in battle, but this was still one that gutted a lot of people since they were hoping that more of the unit would make it out.

14. Hillary Whitney – Beaches

However one feels about Bette Midler this was still a great movie since it showed how a friendship can last for so long and then end abruptly because life has a way of saying ‘okay, times up’ when we’re least ready for it. 

13. John Coffey – The Green Mile

If ever there were a person that didn’t deserve the hatred and bile that the other characters foisted upon him it was this man. The idea of being unable to prove your case and not being able to rely on an unbiased investigation is horrifying, especially when such a miracle has to be sacrificed. 

12. Shelby – Steel Magnolias

Shelby did put it accurately when she said that she would rather have a little bit of something rather than a whole lot of nothing. Obviously those weren’t her words, but it was along the same lines. Sometimes having something for a short period of time is far more beautiful than having nothing for a lifetime. 

11. Bubba Blue – Forrest Gump

Going to war would be horrifying enough, and has been, for many people. But not being able to fully comprehend what’s happening or why has to be that much worse. 

10. Brooks – The Shawshank Redemption

This is saddening largely because Brooks was never that far away from the outside world, but it still passed him by all the same. 

9. Maggie Fitzgerald – Million Dollar Baby

There’s a little more pride than sadness in this death since Maggie was allowed to go out as she wanted, but it didn’t make things any less tragic. 

8. Logan – Logan

So much of his reputation was built around being indestructible since he would just heal. But when your own skeleton is poisoning you it’s hard to keep up with that after so many years of continual damage. 

7. Old Yeller – Old Yeller

I’m not crying, you’re crying! That’s the general feeling with this movie since only those who are comfortable with themselves will admit to crying during this movie. 

6. Ellie – Up

The fact that the movie started like this was so unbelievably sad that one could only imagine that it had to get better somehow, even if we didn’t know how. 

5. Littlefoot’s mother – The Land Before Time

Admit it, this kind of wrecked the movie for a lot of us until we finally started getting into the rest of it. And yes, some of us even cheered when the Sharptooth was finally dealt with. 

4. Tony Stark – Avengers: Endgame

After all he’d been through, all he’d done, and everything that had been accomplished, he had to be the one to end it in this manner. It’s fitting but still traumatic. 

3. Artax – The NeverEnding Story

Go on and just admit that this tore the heart right out of you since it didn’t matter that Artax and Atreyu showed up at the end, fine and dandy and galloping across the plains. It was still a hard end to watch. 

2. Mufasa – The Lion King

Some people are still traumatized by this and will admit as much. 

1. Bambi’s mother – Bambi

Every childhood trauma from the movies has a beginning, and this is one of the most notable

You’re wiping your eyes right now, aren’t you?

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