How many times have we fallen for this?
There we are, happily engrossed in Disney’s newest movie. We’re in love with the main characters, we’re in love with the supporting characters, we’re in love with loving it all.
Then, it happens.
We’re almost at the end, when BOOM.
Someone central to the plot dies. Or so we think. We’re not really sure.
Our throats get lumpy, our eyes well up and we ugly cry into the shoulder closest to us. Sometimes it even belongs to someone we know.
Two seconds later it turns out the character is alive and well, and it was all just the ultimate fakeout.
Well played, Disney. Well played.
Nothing like that final moment of drama. Here’s 12 of the best character death fakeouts that really had us going.
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101 Dalmations 2 of 13It's a classic, old-fashioned scene. Perdita is in labor, and as Roger and Pongo pace the room and puff their pipes waiting for the baby news, we find out one sweet little boy didn't make it.
Lucky is a goner.
That is, until Roger gets all magic fingers and meka leka hiney ho's the life back into him.
Lady and the Tramp 3 of 13Picture it: Dark London streets, a dogcatcher's wagon holding Lady's love hostage, and two four-legged heroes nipping at MONSTER horses' heels in an effort to free Tramp.
Jock makes it out ok, but Trusty? Where is Trusty? Why does a hush fall? Why is Jock howling?
Oh look! There he is! Just a broken leg is all. No big.
Monsters Inc. 4 of 13I couldn't bring myself to use the movie still where Randall is actually strangling Sulley.
But you know the scene. It's the one where we're all yelling, "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THIS WORLD, FIGURE IT OUT FASTER, MIKE!"
Finding Nemo 5 of 13Oh Dory.
You just had to touch the jellyfish. And then try to race Marlin through them.
We're left thinking all is lost when she's laying there, charred, on Crush's back.
Then, surprise! She's just playing with Squirt and his friends.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 6 of 13Worst. Death. Ever.
Food poisoning is no laughing matter, and apparently, no one ever told Snow not to take produce from strangers.
At least the Prince's magic lips lifted the spell, which is what happens when you use Penicillin as chapstick.
The two waltz away into a rosy-colored sunset covered in gold foil and glitter, while we're left white knuckling our couch cushions.
Tangled 7 of 13Oh man. This one's heavy.
Flynn, the charming rogue, has been shanked by the nefarious Mother Gothel.
It's gory and bad and we're not sure he's going to make it, especially once he slices Rapunzel's golden tresses clean off, thereby nixing his chance at miraculous hair healery.
In an slow moving instant, his eyes close, he looks like he's going to take a permanent nap, and the room suddenly fills with thousands of ninjas cutting onions with their nunchuks as Rapunzel cries.
Then, he gets all Beauty and the Beastified and our eyeballs literally fall out of our faces and roll across the floor in happy disbelief.
Beauty and the Beast 8 of 13Not sure how Prince Adam managed to get out of this one.
He does the right thing and saves Gaston - well, initially - only to be shivved in the side.
The enchanted rose wilts, Belle whispers "I love you," and a few minutes later, whammo. Back to life, fully healed and significantly less hairy.
Apparently, his curse had a lot of escape clauses. And wasn't much of a stickler for how long you have to wait after the last petal falls.
As for Belle not immediately recognizing who he is post transformation? COME ON.
The Jungle Book 9 of 13Confession: Though I've seen it at least eleventy bazillion times, this is not one of my favorite Disney flicks.
Baloo lying in a sad, gloomy rain puddle, lifeless and hulking, as Mowgli begs him to wake up was always just too much.
Especially since he's fine about two seconds later.
It's just mean. Happy, but mean.
Wall-E 10 of 13Eve tries to fix Wall-E and it isn't working.
She's frantic. He's unbearably small and saucer-eyed.
But it's ok though. Eventually she reboots him and we let the waves of tech-geek cute overtake us.
Wreck-It Ralph 11 of 13Just a 9-ft. man and some Mentos trying to do the right thing.
I was pretty sure Stinkbrain was never going to make it out of that one.
Thank goodness for glitches.
Brave 12 of 13Ok, so this one isn't a traditional death. It's more of a figurative one.
Still though. When Queen Elinor's eyes cloud over and are lost to the bear-ness?
You were crying as hard as Merida, weren't you.
Pinocchio 13 of 13I couldn't bring myself to post the movie still where Pinocchio is face down in the water after the whole Monstruo ordeal.
And yes, we all know the Blue Fairy comes, turns Pinocchio into a real boy and makes Gepetto's tears of devastation and grief flow seamlessly into tears of unabashed joy. Still though. Couldn't she have showed up just a tad sooner?
Photo credits: Walt Disney Pictures and Disney | Pixar
Photo edits: All me.