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Fictional Character Deaths, Clearly, Never Leave Us


Tony Stark, Ellie, Mama Coco, and Mufasa

Fictional characters can have a lasting impression on us. Whether it’s from reading about them as kids or watching movies that just hit in a particularly trying time in our lives, their stories mean the world to us—and sometimes, those characters die. Because the world is dark and wants us to suffer (or teach us all the value of life, but mainly to suffer).

So now, apparently, we’re all in the mood for some tears, because we’ve taken to Twitter to talk about which fictional death (out of a specific four) hit the hardest. And look, I’m talking about just these four because that’s the way the question was posed. Sirius Black is not part of this conversation, and if he was, that would be an entirely different story.

A simple question was posed: Which death hit you the hardest?

Let’s explore—mainly because I, apparently, want to cry.


As children, we unknowingly went into The Lion King and were ready to just explore these lions living their best lives. Then, all the sudden, Mufasa tried to save his son and was murdered by his brother, and most of us sat there sobbing for hours on end. I’m nearly thirty years old, and it’s still emotional because he was betrayed by his own brother and we were children.

Look, I get it. The Lion King is based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but that does not mean we had to watch Mufasa die? Couldn’t Scar just, like, hide him and have Simba think he’s dead? This has haunted us for years.


The first few minutes of Up are the saddest montage and don’t really have much to do with the overall story other than letting us know a bit about Carl and why he wanted to go on a journey in his balloon house. The movie focuses on Carl and Russell going to meet an adventurer that Carl’s wife Ellie was obsessed with (alongside Carl).

But the pain comes from a montage of their lives together, learning that they could not have children, and then Ellie getting sick and dying all before the twenty-minute mark. Why did they decide to hurt us like this? Well, because it’s Pixar. That’s why. They just like to make us all sob in front of children, so then they’ll mock us for years to come. (Trust me. I know that from experience.)

Mama Coco

I saw Coco at a time when my own grandmother was dying from brain cancer and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I even cried over that Olaf short before the movie that everyone else hated, but there is a heart-breaking moment when Mama Coco finally hears the song and remembers her father before dying that still brings tears to my eyes even just thinking about it.

A lot of Coco pulls at our hearts because that’s the way the movie is formatted, but then also, who doesn’t listen to “Remember Me” and start crying? WHO, I SAY!?

Tony Stark

The death of Tony Stark truly hit me like a runaway truck, and I did not expect it—just casually minding my own business, convinced that Steve Rogers was going to die, and then I watched as Tony had a whole family and brought Peter Parker back and muttered “oh no” to myself before crying.

To this day, I cannot watch his final speech without crying, and yes, that means I cried over it in front of my father, who probably questioned every aspect of my life. But it’s a death that has hit me and refused to loosen its grip on me.

So which death hurt me the most? Honestly, all of them. Right now, it’s Tony Stark because I cannot watch Avengers: Endgame without losing it but I think part of that is because we’ve lived with Tony for the last decade. Still, they’re all emotional, they’re all painful, and they all remind us that emotions are real and hurt.

Which death hurt you the most? Let us know in the comments below!

(image: Marvel Entertainment/Pixar/Disney)

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.