By Christopher Rosa
The Fault in Our Stars hits theaters this weekend, and we’re ready to wallow in tears as we watch two teenagers (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort)— who meet in a cancer support group— fall in love. In fact, the thought of it is causing our eyes to swell. While we’re in this crying mood, we decided to do some digging and unearth 10 of the weepiest music videos in existence. Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Rowland and even Johnny Cash will make you feel all of the feels.
The feels defies genres, people, so boo-hoo clips are aplenty across the entire music sphere. It’s like Terms of Endearment set to a pop chorus. Yikes!
Here’s what we came up with. Let us know your top tear-jerkers in the comments below. And grab some tissues—you’ll need ‘em.
10. “We Exist” by Arcade Fire
While the ending to this video—starring The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield as a youth struggling with gender identity—is pretty euphoric, the journey there is sad, sad, sad. We open with a tearful Garfield shaving her hair off, changing into female clothes and going to a bar, where she’s harassed by ignorant jerks. However, Garfield gets the last laugh when she appears on stage with Arcade Fire (actually filmed at this year’s Coachella festival) and declares that she, indeed, does exist. Cue goosebumps. Cue tears. This is video is everything.
9. “I Know You Care” by Ellie Goulding
Dakota Fanning stars in this touching clip about a girl struggling to cope with her cancer. It’s quite subtle, but packs a powerful punch.
8. “Everytime” by Britney Spears
Perhaps Spears’ most honest and vulnerable track ever, “Everytime” was first seen as a response to ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” video, where a Britney look-a-like cheats on him. However, the video was something completely different: Spears gets in a fight with her on-camera man and drowns in a bathtub, only to be reincarnated in the end as a –gasp!—newborn baby. (But she emerges from the tub as a smiling Britney, so was it all a dream? The humanity!) We lose it when Spears sinks under water—a world without Britney is no world at all.
7. “All About Us” by He is We feat. Owl City
In this clip, a young guy has to cope when he finds out his girlfriend has cancer. It’s both heartbreaking and warming, hitting a tear-inducing peak when the boy proposes to the wheelchair-bound girl atop a sunny cliff.
6. “When You’re Gone” by Avril Lavigne
Lavigne trades in her punk-pop kitsch for Kleenex in this clip, where we watch several people deal with losing loved ones. In one scene, an older man buries his face in his late wife’s clothes. Can’t. Stop. The. Feels.
5. “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day
This. Video. Actress Evan Rachel Wood plays the girlfriend of a young man who signs up for the Marines without telling her. The scene where she finds out he is leaving is pretty rough, and the flow of our tears while watching it was so real.
4. “Confessions of a Broken Heart” by Lindsay Lohan
“Daddy issues” is an understatement when it comes to this melodramatic—and we admit, effective—clip. Lohan’s family is on display (literally through a store window) as her abusive father berates her mother. Is art imitating life here? Lohan’s real-life family has endured some high-profile ups and downs throughout the years. The jury’s out, but this video makes you want to give Lohan a long, long hug.
3. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash (Covering Nine Inch Nails)
Seen by many as Cash’s swan song, “Hurt” trades in the frills and froth of stereotypical music videos for a look into the hard—and at times, devastating—life of one of the most iconic musicians ever. The barrage of images at the end, including Jesus’ crucifixion, will leave you feeling all kinds of ways.
2. “Untitled” by Simple Plan
In this video, lead singer Pierre Bouvier croons over a piano-heavy ballad, “How could this happen to me?” as we see a drunk driver crash into an unsuspecting teenage girl. The kicker? When the girl is impacted by the car, we see her family members at home get physically thrown around as if they were there with her. It’s a doozy.
1. “Stole,” by Kelly Rowland
Rowland goes straight for the heart in “Stole,” depicting an outcast high school boy committing suicide and then the shooting of a young athlete. It’s doesn’t get much sadder than that.
[Photo Credits: RCA, Casablanca/Universal, Lava, American Recordings/Universal Music Group]