Top 10 Saddest Fictional Deaths

Please note that this list contains serious *SPOILERS* if you have not read the book or seen the movie you may not want to read this list.  I have compiled a list of what I believe to be the saddest fictional deaths in books, TV or movies.

#10 Ruth – The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible is a book by bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver released in 1998.  The story follows a missionary family, The Prices.  In 1959 Baptist minister Nathan Price drags his wife and four daughters from their home in Georgia home to a small village deep in the heart of Belgium Congo. Ruth May is five years old at the time.  During their time in the Congo Ruth May falls ill with malaria and is never quite the same.  The family has trouble with snakes at their house and Ruth gets bitten by a green mamba and dies. This is an extremely sad section of the book for readers.

#9 Sam – Ghost

Ghost is a romantic movie that was released in 1990 and stars Patrick Swayze as Sam and Demi Moore as Molly.  I think what makes this movie really sad is that you have to say goodbye to Sam, not once but twice.  Sam and Molly are a very happy couple and deeply in love. One night the two encounter a thief in their apartment and Sam is murdered.  Sam finds himself trapped as a ghost and realizes his death was not an accident and he needs to help Molly. After Sam avengers his death by killing his murderer Molly gets to hear Sam one last time and then he departs to the afterlife.

#8 Charlotte – Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is a children’s  novel published in 1952 and written by E.B. White. A live-action movie was released in 2006. The story takes place on a family farm. Wilbur, the pig, befriends a spider named Charlotte. We get to know and love Charlotte and her gentle nature.  She comes up with a plan to save Wilbur from ending up on the dinner table at the end of the season. However Wilbur  is crestfallen when the spider notifies him of her impending death and mentions that she is to pass away before long. Heartbroken, Wilbur guards Charlotte’s egg sac, and is saddened further when the new spiders hatch and depart shortly after their birth, but three spiderlings too young to leave stay behind. Wilbur is pleased with finding new friends.

#7 Bubba – Forrest Gump

Forest Gump is an epic Academy Award winning film released in 1994. The main character is Forest Gump who is portrayed by Tom Hanks.  After graduating Forest enlists in the United States Army, there he befriends Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue, portrayed by Mykelti Williamson.  They agree to go into the shrimping business together when they get out the army. The two are sent to fight in Vietnam in 1965, their platoon is ambushed. Forest saves many men in his platoon and receives a Medal of Honor but Bubba is killed. After Forest is discharged from the military he buys a shrimping boat and after struggling in the business he becomes a success and calls the company Bubba Shrimp Company in honor of his wartime friend.

#6 Lori Grimes – The Walking Dead

Lori Grimes was a fictional character is the award winning zombie TV series The Walking Dead.  We grew to know and love Lori each week while watching the series and thought of her as family. She was portrayed by Sarah Wayne Callies in the series. During the third season Lori goes into labor while being chased by Zombies.  Due to complications she must give birth via c-section in the boiler room with the help of friend Maggie. Lori passes out and dies of shock.  Her young teen son, Carl, is present and must shoot Lori in the head to avoid her becoming a ‘walker’.  The baby survives.

#5 Jack – The Titanic

Titanic is a James Cameron epic released in 1997. Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) is from ‘the wrong side of the tracks’. Rose (Kate Winslet) is a rich kid with a pompous boyfriend.  Jack and Rose meet on the Titanic and fall in love against all odds.  But when the boats sinks they find themselves plunged into the icy water clinging to a plank of wood. Rose gets on the board and holds Jacks hand. He eventually dies of hypothermia and Rose lets go his hand as he sinks to the depths of the ocean.  Very sad and there are many who still think she could of made room on the board for him!

#4 John Coffey – The Green Mile

The Green Mile is a novel series written by Stephen King and released in 1996.It was made into a movie in 1999, starring Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey.  It tells the story of death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe’s encounter with John Coffey, an unusual inmate who displays inexplicable healing and empathetic abilities. Coffey is accused of the murder and rape and two girls. It is soon revealed that Coffey was trying to save the girls not hurt them. But there is no actual evidence and Coffey dies in the electric chair.  What makes this death so sad is that we really get to know the gentle giant John Coffey and he crawls into our hearts with his gentle nature.

#3 Marley – Marley and Me

Marley and Me is a movie released in 2008 based on the true story by John Grogan. The story follows the life and antics of a Labrador Retriever called “Marley”.  John and Jenny Grogan adopt Marley as a puppy.  As the Grogan’s mature and have two kids Marley continues to test their patience with his lack of discipline. Aging Marley show signs of arthritis and deafness.  Eventually Marley is euthanized with John at his side.  The family pay their last respects to the beloved family pet and he is buried beneath a tree in the back yard, a very sad time for the family and viewers alike.

#2 Thomas J. – My Girl

My Girl is a movie released in 1991 starring Macaulay Culkin as Thomas J. and Anna Chlumsky as Vada. Thomas J. and Vada meet one Summer and become best friends. Thomas is allergic to everything but the two are inseparable. They even share their first kiss. Vada looses her mood ring and some time later Thomas J. goes into the woods to find it, he gets stung by bees and dies. Vada is devastated and the funeral scene is very sad. Vada looks at Thomas J. in the coffin and shouts, “Where are his glasses? He can’t see without his glasses.”

#1 Flynn – The Champ

I think most people cried during the last three minutes of this movie.  This classic movie was released in 1979 and stars  Ricky Shroder as T.J and Jon Voight as his father. The story follows ex-boxing champion Bill Flynn who has custody of his young son T.J.  Flynn runs into financial troubles and works on a comeback as a boxing champ.  In the saddest part of the movie  T.J.” sees his father win in his comeback fight only to witness his death in the dressing room afterwards. Grief-stricken “T.J.” is inconsolable tugging his father’s body while crying out “Champ, wake up. Please wake up, Champ.”


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