Guts' very first appearance. It essentially spells out that he is someone you do not want to piss off.
When you read the manga's "Guardians of Desire" arc after seeing the anime first in its entirety, the moment when Femto is introduced gains a LOT of momentum and you practically yell"GRIFFIIIITH!!!" in unison with Guts.
Guts has the title of the "Hundred Man Slayer," which he earned by singlehandedly tearing apart the best part of the Blue Whale Knights, a company numbering more than a hundred men strong, in what was deemed at the time as a suicidal assault. And he survives the whole thing, cementing his reputation as a supreme Badass.
They were actually just a mercenary troop working for Adon - mooks. It was still awesome, though.
What's more is that aside from her injuries from the day before Casca hasn't got a scratch on her. Guts took on and beat a whole troop while preventing Casca from getting hurt any more
Fridge-awesome: Guts' first meeting with the Hawks was as an enemy: the castle he was supposed to take was being defended by the hawks and a group of knights. Instead of taking Guts and the mooks he's working with 5 hours it takes 5 days to take the castle. The whole reason Griffith wants Guts is because he saw first hand how unstoppable Guts is in battle. Once he has Guts the Hawks going from being an exceptional group to one where they can commit the most crazy but practical assault on the enemy and not loose a single man because Guts is holding the defensive line. Because they are on the side of Midland they turn the whole tide of the war and effectively end it.
Guts taking on The Legions of Hell during the Eclipse with nothing more than his Unstoppable Rage and a horn he snapped off a monster's head. Then when his arm gets caught in the mouth of one of those demons, he picks up a dull sword and hacks it off at the elbow, all to try and save the person he loved.
Griffith had already been established as a vicious Manipulative Bastard, but his one and only trip into Magnificent Bastard territory comes after he just single-handedly won the Hundred Year War; A group of disgruntled nobles led by the queen are planning to poison Griffith, then blame it on a rival kingdom that Griffith has just defeated. Griffith seemingly falls for it, but later, the conspirators find the castle they are in is burning. The queen rushes to a balcony to see what is going on, only to find Griffith, alive and well, standing outside the castle. Griffith calmly explains to the queen and her fellow conspirators that they are the losers, and death on the battlefield does not distinguish between nobility and commoners before the last of his enemies burn alive. Foss, a minister who had taken part in the conspiracy and had acted as Griffith's mole after Griffith kidnapped his daughter, finds himself shaking after the fact. Not because he's worried that he will be executed if anyone ever finds out, but because Griffith is just that scary. The aforementioned winning of a war that had gone on for the past century is also a Crowning Moment for Griffith, as he manages to defeat the opposing kingdoms strongest army with only five thousand men and a river at his back.
Guts' fight with Apostle Wyald. He's nearly dead, and yet still manages to almost kill the perverted Apostle and give him perhaps the ultimate cock-block in order to save Casca.
And then Zodd arrives and finishes the fight by ripping Wyald in half.
Wyald: L-Look, there's no way [Griffith] can be the King! He's going to die!
Zodd:Then you'll die first!
Casca defeating gigantic villain Adon Bocovich in two moves.
Post-Eclipse Casca killing 3 would-be rapists just before they have their way with her while Guts is away. As she stands there, naked and covered in their blood, you see her huffing with Blank White Eyes. Guts himself was surprised.
How about the time when the Midland army traps the Hawks two to one when Griffith gets arrested and the King charges them all with the count of high treason? Although weaponless and surrounded by hundreds of Midland soldier, Casca manages to break the Hawks through the barrier and leads them to safety, all the while with five arrows stuck in her. Daay-umn girl.
Even though this was overshadowed by horror, I thought it was pretty badass how Casca gave one last stand against the apostles after Judeau died. Even in the face of death (and worse), Casca did not give up.
It's made even sadder in that this is really Casca's last conscious action as the heroic female warrior that she was before the horrors that lead to the loss of her mind befall her.
"Did you just beat him with your own arm? That is hardcore! Seriously, kill me right now, that is the coolest thing that I will ever see!"
The declaration of war Guts delivers upon surviving The Eclipse is more Hot-Blooded and awesome than any Humongous Mecha show I will ever watch.
Guts: "Destiny...destiny...destiny...destiny...SHUT THE HELL UP! How 'bout you save your high and mighty crap for after I've been haunted to death, skullface? Sacrifice? Offering? Destiny? Quit spoutin' out a bunch of cryptic explanations! The point is, this is war! It ain't different from any other war! The last one standing wins! Listen here! I'm beatin' all a' you back down to Hell! Tell those ugly pale-faced bastards for me! If I get hit, I will hit back! Tell 'em leavin' me half-eaten is gonna be the end of you! I'll hunt and kill all those wretched monsters...and all of you...DOWN TO THE LAST ONE! THIS IS...MY DECLARATION OF WAR!"
The finale of the battle between Guts and Rosine. She flies up in the air in a pained rage, with him riding her (via the BFS he impaled her with), whips him off, and charges toward him, intending on running him through with her lance-like proboscis. She succeeds; it goes through one of his cheeks and out the other, and he BITES DOWN ON IT, using the new-found leverage (and her sudden fearful paralysis) to strike, mortally wounding her, and sending them both plummeting to the ground!
Jumping into fire to kill a swarm of insect-like faux-Elves, dousing himself in blood and entrails to keep from burning to death, intentionally getting his arm impaled on the proboscis earlier in order to get a clean shot with the Arm Cannon...this entire battle is one CMOA after another.
Let's just give up and concede that any time Guts fights an apostle, there's going to be a minimum five crowning moments. To wit: the below-mentioned Guts-Zodd teamup, the first time we see the arm cannon in action against the Baron, the clever feint that helped him beat the Count, using the Berserk armor to put Grunbeld-who's probably about as powerful as Zodd-completely against the ropes, and then proceeding to slaughter lesser apostles like so much Mook fodder — and lest we forget, the VERY FIRST PAGE of the manga is Guts banging an apostle then BLOWING HER HEAD OFF.
Farnese gets hers when she attacks a giant tiger demon at a royal ball with only a silver candelabra. While she may be little more than The Load most of the time, this shows that traveling with Guts has put her that bit above the rest of the inhabitants of Midland.
She's recently gotten another one during the Fantasia arc with her very first spell, a ward of protection around the ship Guts and company are taking. Schierke's not the only witch among Guts' True Companions anymore.
Pretty much the entire battle in the city against the sea monsters, Daiba and Ganishka, which is just one awesome moment after another from Guts, Schierke, Serpico and Zodd. Schierke especially gets points for being able to keep Guts in control of himself while she's trapped in the Berserker Armor with Guts and being able to call on the fire magic that helped the crew against the Kushan demons (see above) while still in astral mode in order to help Guts against the Kundalini and Daiba, essentially turning the Dragon Slayer into a Flaming Sword.
Sonia making a Rousing Speech and leading the human members of the new Band of Hawks to aid their fellow demon members fighting Emperor Ganishka's monsters.
Guts's second swordfight with Nosferatu Zodd, about four years after the first - where he's gone from just barely managing to not die, to matching him blow for blow — and forces him to up the ante and go apostle. All without using any magical items, arrows, or even the arm cannon.
Whenever the Skull Knight shows up, things are going to get awesome.
He is like the personification of this trope, seriously. Wearing wicked skull armour and riding an armoured horse with a massive naked chick made of of metal on the front, I mean come ON.
One moment in particular was the fight at the spirit tree, where Griffith sent his apostles to go kill Flora. And then Skull Knight comes and says, "the fuck that I'll let that happen." Skull Knight might be all mysterious and cynical and junk, and though he has saved countless people, it's here that we see that Skull Knight truly valued Flora as a friend.
Guts giving the berserker armor a try...and going completely apeshit! The resulting carnage was so awesome Zodd and the skull knight completely forgot they were supposed to fight each other and could only watch in awe how Guts cut loose at Grunbelt, nearly beating him.
No love for Serpico? The guy seriously deserves at least that much for having the spine to stand up to Guts, the brains to pick a location where he has multiple distinct tactical advantages, and then impressing Guts enough to let him live after his last minute escape. The fact that he lasted as long as he did, WITHOUT his Magic Cloak or Wind Sword, is a testament to his tactics and capabilities. Of course, Guts gets one as well for winning anyway.
Serpico displays the same tactical genius in their next duel, but what makes it really awesome is that afterwards Guts admits that he wasn't holding back. That's right, Serpico fought Guts full on and came out with nothing more than a scratch and wounded pride.
Worth noting: Serpico places Guts in a room full of pillars, which makes the Dragon Slayer almost worthless. Without resorting to any of his other weapons, Guts still beats Serpico down - to the point that Serpico is forced to admit to himself that Guts scares him. (Incidentally, how'd Guts deal with the pillars? Smashing through them with his sword. Even when the arena is designed to stop him using that weapon, he still made it work.)
Emperor Ganishka resisting Griffith's attempts to bring him under control like the rest of the apostles was seriously awesome in This Troper's book.
Ganishka in general is one of those characters who is so utterly and totally evil, that he crosses the line into awesome. From the hammy speeches to the soul-devouring rawness of villainy, he is essentially Darkseid in a turban.
Griffith/Femto just got another, when he uses Skull Knight's surprise attack that was meant to kill him to split the abomination that Ganishka had become open and merge all layers of the world! And in the wake of that, his castle, his city of Falconia, rises from the earth, marking both the beginning of his reign and the Age of Darkness.
Azan's reappearance in Vritannis is both this and a Crowning Moment of Funny. When the pirate captain Isidro is fighting steps on him, as he is sleeping, he grabs his foot and throws him into the water. He then proceeds to beat up the rest of the pirates to save the captured children, adding in a speech of what it means to be a knight beforehand.
Gut's fight against Mozgus where he yells just before killing him
It might be before Miura found his voice, some say Dork Age, but the first 2 3/4 volumes are full of this.
The aforementioned first few pages. The first chronological use of the Dragon Slayer and later the true reveal of the arm cannon. Guts shattering Zondark's war hammer with enough force that it also breaks his helmet and sends pieces of the hammer into his face. Guts' second fight with Zondark where he its shown that he's not just an unskilled and powerful brute but a master swordsman. During the battle with the Count he picks up his BFS WITH HIS TEETH, rests it on his iron arm, and then dives in and cuts off the Count's head! The end of the (chronological) first meeting with the God Hand has Guts quickly reloading his arm cannon and firing it at Femto all the while he's in the sky and phantoms are trying to pull him into Hell!
Guts is traveling with a priest and his daughter when they come across an old battlefield. Due to Guts' tendency to attract violent spirits, the skeletons reanimate and kill the girl. Guts starts smashing them apart, but it's hard to kill something that's already dead and Puck desperately tries to get him to run.
Puck: "Why are you staying? It's impossible! There's too many of them...you'll be killed for sure!"
Charlotte gets one in the manga when she completely pulverizes her father's face with her feet after he tries to rape her. Not as awesome as the other examples on this page, but still pretty impressive for someone who's a Distressed Damsel most of the time.
Griffith and the new Band of the Hawk versus Vishnu/Ganishka and its massive horde of Apostle spawn. Sure, he's the villain, but still! Under his command, regular, human soldiers start fighting alongside the monstrous, demonic Apostles. It really gives you an idea of why everybody considers him to be a Messianic Archetype.
The pirates encountered in Vritannis decide to try their luck and attack Roderick's ship, which Guts and his companions are traveling on. Cue Roderick utterly humiliating them in a naval Curb-Stomp Battle.
Guts gets (another) one when the pirates come back for a rematch after being possessed by the Sea God. They come in the form of ravenous sea cucumbers that do immense damage to the ship and put Roderick's men on the run. So Guts casually marches up from below deck, quietly appraises the threat...and drives off the demons singlehandedly in a Curb-Stomp Battle, snarking with boredom the entire time. Points added for this effectively doubling as a He's Back moment, with Guts recovering very nicely from the injuries he sustained in Vritannis.
Isidro might not be my top favorite character, but he truly did amaze me when he saved Casca from being burned at the stake in the nick of time in due to his Indy Ploy in volume 21.
Heck, even Puck had a rather badass moment around the same time, when he momentarily blinded two of Mozgus' henchmen so that Isidro could throw rocks at them and have Jerome finish them off when the crashed down. Now that was some teamwork there!
At the end of the Retribution arc, Guts and his allies are attacked by the Bakirakas. While the men(And Isidro) manage to defend themselves, Casca, Farnese, Luca and Nina are captured by them and threatened unless they surrender. Out of absolutely nowhere, Azan appears behind the one who held them hostage, announcing his presence, before smashing in his head with his metal quarterstaff. A true knight, indeed.
The chapters "Creation" and "Fantasia". Without a single word until the very end, Miura portrays the transformation of the series's universe from Low Fantasy to High Fantasy. And it is glorious.
Guts' first use of the Berserker armour: he gets eaten whole by an Apostle who runs outside screaming from the pain he's in, cleaves the apostle in two from the inside, the armour reshapes itself to match Guts and then he proceeds to curb-stomp every apostle he can get his hands on
Every other use of the Berserker armour is a mix of awesome and terrifying because they all know that Guts is killing himself by using it and is one step away from killing them too