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the world through the eyes of sweet melancholy. about the arts, science, and personal affairs.
8106 › saddest moments in fiction
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welcome to my list of
the saddest moments in history of fiction.

first of all: this list contains major spoilers! so if you by chance read a title that you still don’t know or wanted to review in the near future, i recommend you to SKIP the passage.

if you know me, you may be aware of the fact that i love emotions in all kinds of media – may it be movies, books, tv series, music, photography… you name it. everything deep and melancholic allures me, and i easily get drafted into the current media. maybe i too often get too much attracted to those things, what may result in some sort of over-interpretation, i give you that. but, heyh, then please have a look at this list and fucking TELL me if i did this at some point… >_<

so, the point of this blog entry is to list the things and moments i found to be the saddest ever happened. from all sorts of media. i tried not to focus on a specific medium, but as you will see live action movies and series took way more places. i guess they simply can attract me better than others, maybe because they have sound and visible emotions. and games haven’t yet accomplished an adequate relevance to it. yet.
unnecessary to say that i can only list things that i have actually seen. there have to be somany things i missed on this list, but don’t mind them. what you SHOULD mind are the things i clearly missed – things i have seen/read/played, but forgot to list. sorry for that.

anyway, here is how i did this ranking:
i devided the whole thing into 3 sections.
first is the established honor list. there you can find things that were sad at some point, and clearly mention-worthy, but not as much as the rest of the list does.
second is something i called the adequate list. there i listed the things i found really sad. to most of them even i shared one or the other tear with. but they are too undefined and ‘blurry’ when it comes to a comparision. i simply could not put them in any logical order, mainly because every was TOO dependent on the viewers mood and personality, and even i never have the same feeling when watching/seen/reading it again.
third one is the real deal: the top list. it is (rarely enough with me) a real ranked listing. top six saddest things ever. their order is, in MY oppinion, untouchable.

honor list

Enemy Mine was a movie that really touched me when i first saw it as a child. at least the first half of it. the position the main characters found themself in were just TOO fucking bad-case’d, you had to pity them somehow.
Harold & Maude may had a funny overtone, but that did not change the fact that it had some major sad moments in it.
Benny & Joon – same thing.
Garden State, like with EVERYthing Zach Braff has had his fingers on, had this melancholic undertone throughout the whole movie. mainly because all the shit that happened to the main character… poor guy.
Clockwork Orange. yeah, really, i mean that. but especially the book version of it. when you completely understand the dualistics of the story’s structure and thus the unsolvable problems Alex has to deal with, it’s a really sad thing. basically what this book tells is that the world’s fucked up as shit, everythings bad and ugly, deal with it. if that is not the worst message a medium can transport i don’t know.
Mad About You – season four finale. yeah, that may be only me, but the last four episodes of season four have been really sad. at this point i got so into the characters, that i felt bad for every little thing that happened. i cried several times (not much tho (because i am a man *g*)). EDIT: i finished watching the series and had to say the series finale has been quite sad, too. not as much as i expected it to be, but at least more than the season four finale was.


adequate list

District 9

the ending. Wikus and his flower he made for his wife. not only this movie had a rather bad ending (or lets say, neutral), but also it choosed to throw this unexpected and EXTREMELY melancholic theme at us at the end – right after 25 minutes of nonesense sci-fi action.

• What’s eating Gilbert Grape

the whole movie. i think it was the combination of Leonardo Di Caprios BEST ROLE ever, Johnny Depps most warmth character and a story with smooth tense all the way through the end. but it really got me, i love this movie. it’s sort of the same with Garden State, but even more intense: melancholic touch and shit’s happening to the main character, who is lovely. end of case.

• My Girl

the story apex. to be honest i haven’t seen this movie in like 10 years, but i sure remember the sorta surprising fact when the boy died had a huge impact on me. as far as i remember the next 20 minutes or so were just about the girl dealing with her pain, and i found it horribly sad. not much more to say.

• Lolita

the three endings. and by this i mean all the endings: from the book, the first film and its remake. sure, every one of them had a different approach on how to end the topic, and i thing that – of course! – the book did the best, because this was the only instance in this list of media that had the TIME to fully describe the situation Humbert Humbert got into. thus the reader could really understand what actually happened (in the head of Humbert) during the whole ending sequences. poor guy.

• Léon – The Professional

the ending and additional scenes. well, what was actually happening in the movie wasn’t even rometly sad as i found the main character, Léon. such a lonely and also kind of pathetic guy, finding him in this situation he simply not had the capability of handling with, driving him as much into it, that, in the end, he is even WILLING to sacrifice his own LIFE for Mathilda. wow, now THAT’S sad, isn’t it?

• Dancer in the Dark

the movie climax. the story itself is so cruel, introducing a really lovely and warm-hearted character, which Björk played extraordinary well, and putting her into a situation that went so out of hand, that she actually gets killed for a not-so-bad thing, that wasn’t even her own fault in its entirety. first taking like one hour to show how innocent she is, just to kill her off in the second hour. that – is – just – plain – cruel.

• Neon Genesis Evangelion

The End of Evangelion. the approach was alike Dancer in the Dark: introducing likeable characters, just to kill them off brutally in the last instance. not much to say there, NGE was simply EXTREMELY DEEP. every single character found themself in some sort of downward spiral, and every one of them dealing with it differently. but the alternative ending EoE showed to us was above everything the viewers expected: everyone had to die. everyone. yeah, that’s epic. escpecially with Bach’s Air and Pachelbel’s Kanon in D-Dur as a soundtrack. that had such a great impact on me, i could not possibly describe it in words. so i won’t ; )

• Scrubs

nearly every episode’s climax. well, bite me! Scrubs kinda invented the drama in modern comedy, and the impact alone this had on every other modern media is worth enough putting it into this list. but can you seriously blame me? try to watch a a few continuous seasons and NOT to cry at SOME point… ‘nough said

• Silent Hill

the whole series. well, maybe except for the movie. because what makes the SH series so special and different from all the other horror franchises is, that it is all about the character’s own inner evil. it’s a PSYCHOLOGICAL horror game series, fuck yeah, that even sounds awesome. and come on, it is special. just think about how nearly everything you see and experience in this movie is about the inner fights of the characters. everything is about symbolics. you see a strange enemy – yeah, that’s the characters GUILT trying to kill him. there, a monster raping another monster – that’s the characters rage and hatred against his beloved wife. and, as far as i can recall, every aspect is about negative personalities and charactistika. that is what is improving the melancholic feel of SH so much.

• Mass Effect

part 1 and 2. and i bet also part 3, but let me play it first, when i comes out next yeah, haha. well, also not much to say: best PC RPG ever. a whole bunch of deep characters, a whole bunch of shit to happen, and everything comes down to you. all in your responsibility, and you could and WILL mess up a lot of shit. sad happenings everywere. people you love will die.

• Shadow Star

the more the story evolves... yeah, the kind the story goes on and on reminds me of NGE, because it has this downward spiral feel to it: it starts as a nice and friendly tale, with likeable characters, but gets more and more harsh and brutal and deep, in a psychological way, just ending up in a killing spree. adult content put into nice family-friendly look – that totally works with me.

• Pita-Ten

the seventh volume. wait, what? YES, Pitari Tenchi. that actually IS a girly/kiddie manga, but hell, if you never read it, you can’t think of the impact that the seventh (of eight) volume has, when one of the three MAIN characters actually DIES. totally unexpected, and suddenly everything is sad and gloomy. until the series stops with the eighth volume. hell, what an intense feeling that gave me. but it’s the surprise factor that does that with Pita-Ten.

• She, The Ultimate Weapon

the whole thing. yeah, not only the animé series and the live action film – but ESPECIALLY the manga is INTENSE as fuck! my favorite manga by the way. it’s just one hell of a ride, all the way through. everything’s so brutal, but still it is a love story to the bones. hard to accomplish that, but Saikano did.


top list

6) Kane & Lynch – Dead Men


“You should have let me talk to them!! You should– have let– me talk to them!!”

the whole game was one of those rare REALLY cinematic games, which – along with, for example Call of Duty – had the ability of sucking the player into it, so he just wants to go on further and further within the storyline, just to see what happens next. it’s like with actual movies, which also also would not pause like 10 times and watch it throughout the next two weeks. no, K&L you HAD to play. i personally finished my first walkthrough within only two sessions of gameplay. i couldn’t stop.
and the best and most emotional part of the game was when Kane’s wife died. you, the player, and he, Kane, have put so much effort saving her, but it wasn’t possible. and his sudden outburst of emotion was so intense that i got the creeps. it was one of these moments for me, that just hit you, emotionally, into the face (or heart?), leaving you sit on your chair, not knowing what to think or feel, because it’s just so annoyingly sad. and you were powerless. especially in games this is a rare happening, as you are used to get what you want if you try hard enough – what normally isn’t that much of a accomplishment nowadays. plus Kane’s emotional burst was really frightening at this point. he always is so cool and calm, always master of his feelings and surroundings. but this was a special case that BROKE this man, and hell you could see it. he was dying inside, right in front of you. while you felt alike, but on a completely different level, for completely different reasons.
hence the impact of this particular moment.

5) Futurama


yes, i am serious.
well this still is a comedy series and rarely has any serious moments at all (like once a season, at best), but if it had it was intense. still don’t agree with me? well, have a look at the three scenes i have in mind that leaded me to my decision of putting Futurama into this spot:
1. Jurassic Bark
remember Fry’s dog, Seymour? the episode when we got introduced to him there was this flashback of him and what he did after Fry’s time travel. wow, what did we get here… A DYING DOG. in fucking time lapse. seriously, don’t tell me you did not at LEAST got wet eyes when first seeing this.
2. Paradise Lost
Fry’s love to Leela has been the most serious thing of the serious, but sadly enough was only an undertone for most of the series, only having this few, rare scenes, like the ending of episode 34. you know, the Holophonor episode. in the last scene Fry plays his poor and lonely attempt of playing Holophonor once more, without his abilities of the devil to play it best. and he played bad, like a child, and creating a holograph looking like a child’s drawing. considering what happened before and what scene he produces, i personally find this event extremely sad. because this was the purest moment of Fry showing his love. this was devotion – and not even blind, but willingly and straight forward. an honest moment, up to the bones. really touching.
3. The Luck of the Fryish
maybe it was the Breakfast Club soundtrack of this episode. but the last scene, when Fry finds out that his spirit and goals were accomplished in his own honor by his own nephew, well that was touching as hell, wasn’t it? just a whole episode of build up anger and jealously, released through one moment of awareness. maybe the worst example of the three, and definitely wouldn’t have worked without the Simple Minds song, but appropriate nether the less.

4) Up


the first 10 minutes

have you see it?? i bet you did!
yeah, not arguable at all, is it? the prologue to this movie was just extraordinary touching, and what it made to have such a great impact was its unexpected-ness. i mean, Pixar has always had the capability to be really emotional heart-breaking, IF they wanted to. but somehow it always seems they went soft with the kids, that happened to be their audience. but not this time, and i think nobody really expected this to happen – a kids movie that started out so extremely sad.
i mean, introducing a really likeable and fun character, seeing her growing old, and… dying – what the hell. in a kids movie this hasn’t happened before, especially not as an intro.
and didn’t you also felt really weird, sitting there in the theater seats, crying like a girl, and the movie didn’t even started yet…

3) Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door


the ending.

best german movie ever. Til Schweiger’s best role so far. i love that movie.
the ending wasn’t really anything but foreseeable – maybe even too logical to could have ended other ways. but still it was intense. really intense. same with the Breakfast Club ending of the one Futurama episode, the ending of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door couldn’t have worked without the title theme, played by Selig. but it did, and boy did it work well. i still cry every time i see it.
what was so special about this scene was the effort the whole movie took to get to this point. the whole movie through the characters did what wanted to do, and you, as a good audience, want them to gain  all their goals – but did you really expect them to reach EVERY one of them?? i don’t think so. and the movie did not make a secret out of the final goal of seeing the sea. so you knew, if they would reach all their goals, the sea would be their journeys end. and so i happened.
it was like an ghost who still had one task to solve on earth in order to get to heaven. the ghost finally did, and finally could be in peace with all of reality. that was like a big FULL STOP to a person’s life. harsh. and sad. and absolute.

2) Grave of the Fireflies


this is, without a question, by FAR the MOST SADDEST movie EVER produced. seriously.
basically what you get from it is a story of two kids dying. and that is all. the premise alone sounds sad enough to be able to reach that high level i just claimed it actually did, right?
well it’s hard to describe what actually is sad about it, because, let’s be honest… EVERYTHING in it is pure sadness. and i don’t even mean melancholic or something to cry for, no, i mean really, brutally, heart-breaking, honest SADNESS. so that it hurts, and no less. not even the film shows us two innocent kids in the worst situation possibly imaginable – you wouldn’t even Hitler’s infantine alter ego wish to be in this position. then showing them on a continuous downfall, slowly dying, while nobody really is even able to help them. killing of the little girl first, and if that wouldn’t be enough, taking another 20 minutes of showing the boy dealing with it.
this movie is a burning needle right into your heart. you should not take it lightfully, and i don’t really have to explain anything here if you have seen it. the position is absolutely justified.
[only thing i find a little bit distressing at this point is, that it’s not entirely fiction, but sort of semi-biographical… but hell, i don’t care at this point, because it’s just too fitting here]

1) Six Feet Under


the last 5 minutes / series finale

and that’s the real deal. seriously.
Six Feet Under is my favorite drama tv series, and is overall quite the melancholic thing. there are so many moments were you just get PULLED into it, producing big feelings, crying every now and then – the whole concept. it’s deep, psychological, metaphorical, sad and touching as hell.
but it would not be on the top list if not for the very last 5 minutes of the very last episode of the series.
to be honest, i never ever cried as much in my life as i did after watching the series’ finale. like, never. and i am softy to the bones, so that accounts much, people! i have gone through so much shit in my life and cried over a lot of shit, but 6fu really threw me against a wall there, creating a sudden – and i mean SUDDEN – outburst of emotions that put me out of use for like half an hour. and that only for the main burst. couldn’t sleep that night.
so, what did the series do, and why was it that intense?
everything right, that’s what i start with. it had a shitload of deep characters and dozens of realistic problems, only slightly too implausible to happen in reality. so you could really relate to them and their happenings. the series spend most of its timing explaining the inner functions of its characters, and at some point you understand like ALL of them. you feel with them, you fear, you anger, you decide. you see them growing and evolving, and you understand what you see. just like in real life. everything about this aspect was just so fucking realistic, that was the major point why this series COULD have that much of an impact to the viewer: it was understandable, logic and realistic. your tears were comprehensible for everyone.
so, what we learned so far is that the worst thing that could happen is killing off a character you care about. and great as 6fu was, it accomplished that with EVERY of its characters. so when Nate died unto the end it put you into the right mood for an worthy approaching end of the series. but the series tried something different at that point and DELAYED the expected. and they really stretched it to its limit. throughout the whole last episode – you already were satisfied by Nates death and were already okay with if the series would end right there – you nether the less expected something to happen that would put an worthy end to the series. but nothing would really happen. 20 minutes to go, nothing yet. 15. not. 10 minutes. still nothing… it did not even feel like a end, and you kinda gave up with waiting for the big bang to happen anymore. but hell, you loved that series, the “main” character died, so what.
and then it happened. the last 5 minutes.
as calm as it was the 45 minutes before that, SUDDENLY the series decided to go apeshit and speed up. time lapse. the future. your characters. their life. your characters. dying.
holy crap, were did this come from?!
this series just teased you to hell, just to backfire all the accumulated feeling and emotion at ONCE, in a sudden OUTBURST OF HAPPENINGS. and not even this, but KILLING them all off. wow, that’s extreme. and hell of a great accomplishment. i mean seriously, if this wasn’t the best scripting ever, i don’t know what else. the series just CRASHED into a wall with a 180 miles per hour. and you were the co-driver.


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last modified: 2010-Nov-29, 19:49:00
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  1. pingback: 8106 › my favorite drama series (plural)

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