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The Books:

  • Rue's death. Even though it was inevitable, since Katniss had to win the Games since she was the Protagonist, it still made me cry when I read it.
    • Even worse, Katniss realizing the muttations are the former tributes, especially who the smallest one is.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the movie. After placing flowers on Rue's body, Katniss makes a farewell salute to those living in District 11. Needless to say, seeing the district return the salute and watching Katniss, of all characters, break down opened my floodgates.
    • This troper was ready for it. She knew it was coming, but the audience she sat with in the darkness had to let out small yet loud gasps the moment the camera panned to Rue pulling the spear out of her chest and Katniss catching the dying Rue destroyed all of this troper's attempts at steeling herself. There was silence as Rue died, and cheers when Thresh killed Clove for mocking Rue's death.
  • The very premise of Catching Fire. Katniss and Peeta won the Hunger Games! They both survived, and from District 12, no less! They're safe now, and they've got all that food, right? No, they're both going back into the area, which is not supposed to happen. They won, they're supposed to be safe, and now...
    • Even the jaded citzens of the Capitol, and Katniss' Prep Team, are upset. The last time Katniss sees her Prep Team, all but one of them are so broken up that they have to be excused, and Venia, the last of them, nearly makes her cry with her farewell: "We would all like you to know what a... privilege it has been to make you look your best."
    • This becomes huge Fridge Sadness when you think about what this might have been like for some of the other Victors. Think having to fight strangers (with a maximum of one person you have even a chance of knowing) to the death is bad? These people are in a position to watch plenty of people they know, who might even be friends or neighbors, fight and die right in front of them, possibly after turning on their own friends in a desperate attempt to live. Even though some of them were planning an escape, it doesn't get much worse than that.
    • And don't forget, Katniss says in the first book, when she meets Cinna, that most of the stylists are familiar faces, that they stay constant over the years. Presumably, they thought when she won that they'd be seeing her again over the years, now that she'd be a mentor, maybe even they'd even "get a better district" after the success of the Girl on Fire dress, and now suddenly, she's going back in to the arena...
  • Haymitch. Haymitch, Haymitch, Haymitch...okay, imagine you've won the Hunger Games, you've survived, you've defeated the other Tributes and won. However, you had to watch the girl you loved get brutally murdered. Furthermore, for the stunt you pulled just to survive the Hunger Games, your entire family is executed. Then you have to train other Tributes from your District (as the only other survivor of the Games from that District), teach them as much as you can, sharpen them up, and then watch them get slaughtered in all manner of horrific and nightmarish ways. Over, and over, and over again. That very idea is just...tragic. There are other words for it (horrifying, nightmarish, heartbreaking) but tragic suits it the most. Haymitch is so haunted by everything that's happened to him that he sleeps with a knife in his hand, as if he's afraid he'll wake up back in the Games or that someone will just come for him. He isolates himself completely from the rest of the District, who don't respect him. Haymitch's story up until the books, up until the reaping of Katniss Everdeen, is deeply tragic.
  • Cinna! The last time we see him, he's with Katniss, just as she's about to enter the arena for the second time... and then a bunch of soldiers come barging in, knock him unconscious, and drag him out of the room before Katniss' eyes, with her trapped and unable to do anything about it.
  • For This Tropette, the opening scene in Mockingjay where Katniss is wandering the burned-out ruins of District 12 really hit home for me. Even though I live in Southern California (where District 12 wouldn't be), I live in an almost-wooded area that would pass itself off as District 12 almost flawlessly. Add to that, that same area where I live is prone to wildfires pretty much year-round. So, yes, it means that my own neighborhood could be burned to ashes like District 12.
  • In Mockingjay, Katniss and Buttercup both breaking down and crying together after Prim's death.
    • The cat made it all the way home from District 13, but it doesn't matter. Prim is dead.
  • The Victor's Purge where the non-rebel victors were tortured and murdered by the Capitol makes This Tropette sad just by thinking about it.
  • How Johanna was tortured in the Capitol. Basically the Peacekeepers drowned her in water and then electrocuted her.
  • Finnick's death. It's just so sudden and shocking, and then you learn that Annie is pregnant.
  • The book that Katniss and Peeta make at the end to honor the fallen. Gets this troper every time.
  • Prim's death. A few sentences, and the entire series suddenly feels pointless.
    • This troper was incapacitated for the week he finished this section. Needless to say it is a criminal understatement to say it broke his heart, made all the worse by the implication that it was Gale's invention or Coin's order that did it.
  • "I'm sorry, Mags. I can't do it." The fact that Mags committed suicide just to save Peeta made this tropette bawl.
    • Made even worse when you realise that Mags was Finnick's mentor, and that she volunteered so that Annie wouldn't have to do it.
  • Finnick and Annie reuniting in District 13, particularly if you reread the book. Knowing that they're so happy, but Finnick's going to die makes me tear up every time.
  • Katniss giving Johanna the pine needles in Mockingjay. "Smells like home."
  • Katniss and Peeta's conversation about colors in Mockingjay. Oh God.
  • Finnick's confession. He's been used as a sex slave for ten years because the Capitol will kill his friends and family if he doesn't go along with it. Nothing else is needed to make it a Tearjerker.
  • The ending of the book series. It is truly a Bittersweet Ending taken Up to Eleven. After reading the epilogue, This Tropette hugged her copy of Mockingjay to her chest and cried her eyes out.
  • Okay, just to put this out there, possibly the ENTIRE PREMISE of the series could count as a tear jerker! I mean, think about it, every tribute in the Games has been taken from their homes and forced to kill others for entertainment. It makes for good literature but, Heavens above, it's a horrible HORRIBLE situation! Especially for the careers, who have pretty much been conditioned to kill for the sake of entertaining the people of the Capitol. I know I'm repeating myself but, oh, sweet's an absolutely awful and equally chilling's just...ugh...

The Movie:

  • When Prim's name is called at the Reaping, she begins the walk up to the stage, horrified but still strong enough to tuck in her shirt as she goes, just like Katniss had told her to a little earlier. Actually, almost all the scenes that involved Prim were tearjerkers of some sort.
  • After Katniss has covered Rue in flowers, she makes the three-finger-salute. We get to see District 11, where they return the salute, and a man in the crowd (most likely Rue's father) attacks the Peacekeepers, and soon everyone starts fighting. It's heartbreaking.
    • When Katniss is still singing to Rue while she dies, the camera cuts to Rue's perspective, showing us a shot of the trees above her. Then, slowly, it gets quieter and quieter until everything is silent. The screen fades to white and you know that the little girl is dead, even if you haven't read the book.
  • Cato just before his death. In the book, he's portrayed as a psycho who gets enjoyment out of the death of another tribute right down to when he dies. In the movie, he's pretty much the same... until he's about to die. We then learn that his motives were to bring honor and respect for him and his District. He was also a career tribute, meaning that he was trained to kill from a very young age, and likely had no choice in the matter. Killing was all he knew. Combining all of these, plus his behavior at the end, implies that he was craving respect and recognition from people, which, in turn, implies that he was abused, neglected, unappreciated, ignored, or possibly all of the above. This may show that he feels the only way to be loved is to win. What's even sadder is, that assumption may have been true.
    • All the kids' deaths are sad, really, with the exception of Marvel and Clove. Examples include Glimmer, who dies a painful, stinging death by wasps while screaming in terror; the District 3 boy, who gets his neck snapped by Cato for failing him; Foxface, who wasn't remotely bad and died a really random death by eating poison berries; and Thresh, who is killed by the mutant wolves.
  • It's small, but Peeta's version of the bread scene in the movie. Katniss has always interpreted it as an act of kindness, but Peeta's angry at himself because he didn't do enough. He's been berating himself for five years for not doing more, like actually handing it to her. This is the guy who deliberately took a beating from his abusive mother in order to feed a girl he didn't know well in person, and he thinks he didn't do enough.
  • Haymitch seeing the Capitol citizens give one of their children a toy sword. If you needed any more reason to hate the Capitol and how it makes something incredibly brutal seem fun and exciting, that was it.
  • Watching Katniss trying to nurse her burn wound. She obviously doesn't know how to deal with it, and watching her bite down on the collar of her jacket to silence her screams as she dabs on it makes you tear up a bit.