Bask in the Misery of Other Couples with the 8 Best Movie Breakup Scenes Ever

Look, love may not be in the air for everyone. Tired of being in the middle of everyone else’s happiness? We’ve got just the thing. Whether you’ve kicked your bugaboo to the curb or you’re just simply not the lovey-dovey type, sometimes being witness to someone else’s misery makes you feel slightly better about life.

So here are eight movie breakup scenes to remind you just how torrid love is, no matter the circumstances.

Waiting to Exhale

The infamous closet scene from Waiting to Exhale is a perfect example of the wrath of a woman scorned. When Bernadine Harris (Angela Bassett) finds out that her husband of 11 years is leaving her for his secretary, she does her ex a solid by doing a little spring cleaning in his closet — and burning all his crap in a fancy car. 

Cruel Intentions

Sebastian’s (Ryan Phillippe) bet with his stepsister Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) to bed the virginal Annette (Reese Witherspoon) gets tricky when he actually falls in love with her. Kathryn vows to ruin Annette’s reputation if Sebastian doesn’t break up with her. In this scene, it’s painfully obvious how much Sebastian doesn’t want to end things with her. Watching him trying to call it quits is just so heartbreaking.

Love & Basketball

Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) grew up together and ultimately fell in love not only with each other, but with basketball. But when Quincy feels like he’s not getting enough attention from Monica, he acts out by going out with another girl. Monica seems open to making things work, but Quincy doesn’t seem to be in a good place about it. He gives the age-old, “I got a lot going on” (mmhmm) excuse for the breakup, which is a line we’ve all heard at least once.


This classic scene proves that sometimes when you love someone, you’ve got to let them go. Especially if that someone is Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and she’s actually married to Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). In this scene, Ilsa’s former lover Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) helps her escape Casablanca with her husband, but not before a teary goodbye.

Fatal Attraction

Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) confronts Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) to let her know once and for all that it’s over between them because she’s basically been stalking him since they started their affair. Obviously, Alex doesn’t take this too well. “I’m not going to be ignored, Dan,” she says with that crazy look in her eye. 


Call this one a double-breakup. Effie White (Jennifer Hudson) is kicked out of a fictional girl band, and at the same time her boo Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx) also gives her the boot. But Effie isn’t about to go down — at least not without an epic display of vocal acrobatics. The song may not have worked on Curtis, but it definitely had an impact on us. We love you Effie, even if Curtis doesn’t!

The Notebook

Is The Notebook one of the greatest love stories ever told? We knew all along they would find their way back together, but we couldn’t help but get a little misty at the thought of Allie and Noah breaking up. Look how much it kills them. They were made for each other!

Gone with the Wind

No breakup scene list is complete without this classic. When Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) makes a last-ditch attempt to keep her beau Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) from kicking her to the curb, he gives her a piece of his mind in what is one of the most famous movie breakup lines ever.