10 Movie Character Deaths So Powerful We’re Still Thinking About Them Today

My Girl
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.
You know a movie is good when you become so invested in the characters you care about them as if they’re real people. When one of those characters dies, it’s a literal gut punch. When asked about which fictional movie deaths affected them the most, commenters on an online forum came through with some of the most heartbreaking losses ever. Warning: Spoiler Alerts!

1 – Thomas J., My Girl (1991)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.
The death of Thomas J. from fatal bee stings is one of the saddest movie deaths ever. His funeral was heartbreaking when his best friend Vada insisted he needed his glasses.

2 – John Coffey, The Green Mile (1999)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.
John Coffey, a gentle giant with magical healing powers, was sent to death row for a crime he didn’t commit. For one moviegoer, Coffey’s final words before his execution are haunting: “It was a kindness you done. I know you’re hurting and worrying. I can feel it on you. But you ought to quit on it now. I want it to be over and done with. I do.”

3 – Emma Greenway Horton, Terms Of Endearment (1983)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.
When a married mom of three, Emma, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, viewers root for her to recover, but it isn’t to be. The scenes when she says her final goodbyes to her children and her mother is there when she passes away are genuine tearjerker moments.

4 – Billy Costigan, The Departed (2006)

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.
For most of the film, viewers watched undercover state trooper Billy Costigan work overtime to find the identity of corrupt state trooper Colin Sullivan. Just as he’s about to expose Sullivan, Costigan is murdered. This is one of the more brutal death scenes in cinema.

5 – Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.
One of the most revered characters in television and film, Spock sacrifices himself to save the crew of the starship Enterprise. One commenter on the thread confesses they “cried for a while” in response to the death of Spock.

6 – Mufasa, The Lion King (1994)

Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.
When King Mufasa is pushed from a cliff to his death by his envious brother Scar, the hearts of children and adults alike are broken. Nearly thirty years after its theatrical release, Mufasa’s death scene continues to be trauma-inducing.

7 – Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator (2000)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.
Audiences watch Maximus encounter numerous hardships, such as being wrongfully detained, having his beloved wife and son murdered, and being forced to compete in fights to the death at the hands of the evil emperor Commodus. At the movie’s end, he defeats his nemesis only to die himself soon after.

8 – Llewelyn, No Country For Old Men (2007)

Image Credit: Paramount Vantage.
After finding $2 million in illicit money and taking it for himself, Llewelyn finds himself on the run from a cold-blooded assassin and a drug gang who want the money. Despite his best efforts to outrun his fate, he ends up being murdered by the gang. His death ended any and all hope of this film having a happy ending.

9 – Dr. Malcolm Crowe, The Sixth Sense (1999)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.
The legendary twist at the end of this movie took everyone by surprise during its theatrical release: Dr. Crowe was, in fact, one of the ghosts that young Cole Sear had been haunted by throughout the entire film, except he didn’t know he was dead because ghosts only see what they want to see.

10 – Apollo Creed, Rocky 4 (1985)

Image Credit: United International Pictures.
What was supposed to be an exhibition boxing match of the United States versus the Soviet Union quickly turned lethal when Ivan Drago beat Apollo Creed to death in the ring. Rocky Balboa avenged his late friend by beating Drago in an unsanctioned match, but it did little to take away from the shock and horror of Apollo’s death.

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Image Credit: Dreamworks.

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Written by Stephanie Allen

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