Top 10 Movie Musical Moments That Made Us Happy Cry



Top 10 Movie Musical Moments That Made Us Happy Cry

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
The best movie musicals make us happy cry at least once. For this list, we'll be looking at the best scenes, songs, or overall instances from our favorite film musicals that always make us weep with joy. Our countdown includes "Annie," "The Prom," "West Side Story," and more!

Top 10 Happy Cry Moments in Movie Musicals

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Happy Cry Moments in Movie Musicals

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best scenes, songs, or overall instances from our favorite film musicals that always make us weep with joy. However, we’ll be excluding animated movies, as those deserve a list of their own. Some of these moments involve pivotal plot points, so beware of potential spoilers!

What movie musical do you watch when you want a good happy cry? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Slipping Through My Fingers”
“Mamma Mia!” (2008)

While helping Sophie get ready for her impending nuptials, Donna remembers the time she’s spent with her daughter throughout the years. It feels amazingly genuine, likely because the actresses were reportedly given free reign to improvise their actions. The song’s lyrics, combined with the characters’ sweet interactions, make it impossible not to get emotional. After all, the scene captures a lifetime of love between the mother-daughter duo through a bittersweet and relatable lens. It’s one of the most tender moments in the movie that’s bound to leave all parents a blubbering mess. At least we had ten years to recover before getting all choked up again during “My Love, My Life”.

#9: “No One Is Alone”
“Into the Woods” (2014)

Playing toward the end of the movie, this moment sees the protagonists reflecting on the events that led them to this moment. The song’s significance really resonated with director Rob Marshall, and is a big part of why he ultimately brought Sondheim’s musical to life on the silver screen. Indeed, he was drawn to its heartfelt moral that no matter how dark things might seem, there’s always someone who cares for you. It’s also during this number that the unconventional fairytale characters realize that they have a responsibility to others as well. It’s a strong and timeless message that will stick with you long after your happy tears have dried up.

#8: “Sunrise, Sunset”
“Fiddler on the Roof” (1971)

As Tevye and Golde watch their daughter Tzeitel tie the knot, they reflect upon how quickly their little girl has grown up. This is a sentiment we imagine is shared by many parents as they watch their child walk down the aisle. The emotional scene, beautiful melody, and touching lyrics transcend culture or religion, uniting the audience through an array of emotions. As you might imagine, “Sunrise, Sunset” has actually become a rather popular alternative to the “Wedding March.” And when minister Joshua Ellis asked that the song get an LGBTQ+ inclusive tweak, lyricist Sheldon Harnick was only too happy to comply.

#7: Mr. Warbucks & Annie’s Happy Ending
“Annie” (1982)

This 1982 film about a glass-half-full red-headed orphan who gets to experience how the other half lives is a classic. Annie’s sweet nature and optimism win over almost everyone, including the hardhearted Mr. Oliver Warbucks. So it was heart-wrenching to see her turn him down after he told her of his plans to adopt her. It’s only after he rescues her from her abductors that she accepts his offer. The film is capped off with a huge party celebrating their reunion and, of course, Annie’s adoption. The whole sequence of events is sure to get you feeling teary. But the way the titular character reacts to the new locket Oliver gives her [1]? Well, that’s guaranteed to get those tears flowing.

#6: “You Will Be Found”
“Dear Evan Hansen” (2021)

You’d find it hard to come by a single soul who can’t relate to this song in some way. In the movie, it shows us Evan’s unexpected journey to viral fame. Watching the scene as a plethora of characters connect with its lyrics is insanely powerful. And it surpasses the film’s context to deliver a universal message to its audience. Even if you’re struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, there’s hope, because you’re never truly alone. The number reaches out to anyone who’s ever felt lost and alone, serving as a reminder that it will get better, and that you will be found.

#5: “My Man, Your Boy”
“Everybody's Talking About Jamie” (2021)

Jamie heads down an angry drunk spiral when he learns that his mom Margaret has been lying to him. However, after a rough night, he realizes that she was only looking out for him. This leads to a heartfelt duet between mother and son as they apologize and express their love and appreciation for one another. Not only is the melody stunning, but the lyrics are also immensely moving. Jamie tells his mom just how grateful he is to have her, and she responds that she just wants to see him happy. It’s so beautiful that you’ll instantly want to share the love with your nearest and dearest, too.

#4: “This Is Me”
“The Greatest Showman” (2017)

After Barnum turns his back on his troupe, they come back fighting with a refusal to be ostracized anymore. An anthem for the underdog, this song is as empowering as it is catchy. With a message of holding your head up high and loving yourself for who you are, it’s hardly surprising that it spoke to so many people. You can’t help but feel uplifted by the powerful celebration of self-acceptance and the way the troupe shuts out the haters. It takes an actual fire for Barnum to finally realize that these people are his family. But, with their encouragement, he ultimately vows to be a better man “From Now On”.

#3: Alyssa Comes Out to Her Mom
“The Prom” (2020)

Popular cheerleader Alyssa Greene struggles with the pressures placed upon her by her controlling mother and closed-minded small town. The expectations weigh so heavily on her that she allows it to affect her relationship with Emma. However, when her mom tries to prevent the inclusive prom, she finally finds the courage to stand up to her and tell her the truth. We’re cheering her on through our tears as she finally gives herself permission to openly be who she is. But even though her mom walks out, don’t put those tissues away quite yet. You’ll need them for when the duo reconcile later on.

#2: “One Hand, One Heart”
“West Side Story” (1961)

Arranging the store mannequins to resemble a wedding party, Tony and Maria transport us to a fantasy world where their love can overcome anything. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the entire movie, focusing only on the love that these two share. The duo’s imagined wedding primes our feelings, but then they begin the song. The stunning harmonies symbolize their longing for togetherness, while the number’s quiet yet deep essence creates a captivating atmosphere. It’s really hard not to get caught up in the moment and forget that it’s all just make-believe. It’s so pure and innocent that it momentarily distracts us from the tragic reality that these star-crossed lovers must face.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Mr. Banks Joyfully Leaves His Job, “Mary Poppins” (1964)
His Kids Are Worth Far More

Little Inez Wins Miss Teenage Hairspray, “Hairspray” (2007)
Nobody Was More Deserving of the Title

“Finale”, “In The Heights” (2021)
Usnavi Learns That Home Is Where the Heart Is

“Dreamgirls (Finale)”, “Dreamgirls” (2006)
Effie Reunites With the Dreams for One Last Performance

Maria & Captain von Trapp Get Married, “The Sound of Music” (1965)
Who Doesn’t Cry at Weddings?

#1: “Finale B”
“Rent” (2005)

After a year of highs and heartbreak, the friends fear that they’re about to lose another member of their group. But Angel comes through one last time, proving to truly be their guardian. After Mimi comes to, they celebrate their friendship and express gratitude for what they have in this stirring song. The fact that Mark proceeds to play his documentary as they do makes the moment that much more touching. You can try not to get swept up in all that emotion, but it’s no easy feat. The alternate ending is just as likely to get those tear ducts welling up, as it features Angel powerfully joining the group on stage.