- Al Pacino utterly discombobulating Hank Azaria's character (and Hank Azaria himself, as this was an ad-lib) with:
Vincent: 'Cause she's got a...GREAT ASS!! And you've got your head all the way up it!
- The famous coffee scene. Not only is it a Crowning Moment for the movie and cinema in a meta sense (as it's the first time Al Pacino and Robert De Niro ever shared the screen in the same scene in a movie), but also for the characters in the movie; in a film which isn't without its bombastic and grand moments of awesome, it's strangely fitting that its most compelling moment should be a simple, quiet scene where two protagonists share a coffee, have a pleasant conversation and discovering that, despite the fact that they work on polar opposite sides of the law, they're two similar guys who actually kind of like each other.
- People hunt down the eatery just to sit in that booth.
- The bank robbery sequence. The most believable, most intense cops-and-robbers shootout committed to film. When a real bank robbery in L.A. happened a few years later, nearby citizenry thought someone was filming a Heat sequel.
- The armored car robbery is also just as much as Crowning Moment of Awesome as it is an Establishing Character Moment for each member of the crew.