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Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

When I saw E.T. in theaters, I could not hold it together.


I bawled with Elliott when he thought his best friend was dead. But when I recovered from that scene after learning E.T. was very much alive, I was hit with another emotional gut punch duing the goodbye scene.

Although none of the major characters perished in that masterpiece of a movie by Steven Spielberg, I couldn't believe how I was so emotionally attached to a fictional character, and to an alien at that.

Whether they are characters from books, film, or TV, the death of a major character can scar us for life.

Curious to hear from strangers on the internet, Redditor Strawberry_Bunnyyy asked:

"Which fictional character's death made you cry the most?"

Animation

"It's just a cartoon," you say. Until you find yourself reaching for that box of tissues while watching said cartoon.

The Iron Giant

"I am not a gun."

LeicaM6guy

"you stay, i go. no following."i

DubSak

Remember Me

"Mama Coco in Coco. I'm 31 and I tear up uncontrollably when her grandson runs up to her and starts singing 'Remember Me' just so she doesn't forget her father."

S1ick_R34p3r

Wartime Tragedy

"The two siblings from Grave of the Fireflies."

Prissy_Hobbit

"I watched a lot of the studio ghibli movies with my ex wife when we were together. We thought it was going to be another cute animated story like the rest. Oh how wrong we were. Cried so hard. The best movie ive ever seen that i will never watch again."

Zymotic9172

isao takahata love GIF by Maudit Giphy

Damnit, Pixar!

"Ellie in 'Up.'"

littleonesoyousay

"That moment made me cry way more."

"Her death was haunting at first for me. I thought it was unfair. So much sacrificed just to die before getting to live that one adventure. It made me question the whole idea of living & dying."

"Then the reveal...she lived so many adventures with Carl and that was all she really wanted from her life. She doesn't regret she didn't have that one adventure because her life with Carl was the greatest adventure of all. She didn't die without closure. She lived the life she always wanted and wouldn't change a second of it....now she wants Carl to move forward to his next adventure. That was beautiful."

TimeX13

Literary Deaths

Reading about a major character's death in books is sometimes more of a visceral experience than watching any movie.

Lord Of The Rings

"Not really cry but Theoden's death in the Return of the King film gets me emotional. The dialogue between him and Eowyn is really powerful and the scene is acted out perfectly."

"I go to my fathers, in whose mighty company, I shall not now be ashamed."

"Nothing greater than complete redemption."

jordaine6

Going Out With A Whimper

"Those f'king dogs from Where the Red Fern Grows."

"it's been over twenty years and i'm still scarred"

elanhilation

A Steinbeck Classic

"And I can ten' the rabbits—"

yyz2112yyz

"I've taught this book every year for almost 20 and I can still barely hold it together when we get to this bit."

Antsinthecarpet

When Mom's Die

Enough said. Don't get me started.

Land Before Time

"Littlefoot's mom. I'm now at an age where I can imagine my mom dying. Back when I was a kid it didn't affect me because it was unimaginable."

Rabidleopard

"I'm in my 30s and still can't watch it without crying like a baby. My daughter wanted to watch it recently and I was a total mess."

zelda_slayer

the land before time dinosaur GIF Giphy

A Slayer's Mother

"buffys mom"

SamimeFanimeIfAnime

"Mommy?"

"Killed me. I thought of my own mom and lost it."

FrankaBob

TV Show Deaths

Even deaths happening on the small screen gets us every time.

Whatever Happened To Ben Sullivan?

"Brendan Fraser's Character in Scrubs."

"The whole episodes builds up like everything is fine and then J.D drops the 'where do you think we are?.'"

"Gets me everytime..

IAmPont

Leaving The West Wing

"Mrs. Landingham"

Sjdiver2001

Goodbye, Hank

"Hank in Breaking Bad. Was completely expecting something to pop up at the last minute that allowed him to gtfo."

TheWarmLynx

When A Father Dies

"Marshall's dad in HIMYM. His passing brings memories of my dad passing, who was way too young as well, and missed out meeting grandchildren and great grandchildren. I miss him every day and the 10 year anniversary of his passing is coming soon."

rubalki

The emotional connection we have with fictional characters is a testament to the writer's talent and imagination.

We follow these fictional heroes' journeys, ​forcing us to become invested in their hopes and dreams. And when their lives are inevitably taken from us, we feel the loss and grieve as if they were real people.

And then we curse the writer for having the audacity to rip our make-believe friends from us.

How very dare they.

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