- In the first novel, the Colonial Special Forces have to attack an enemy installation on a heavily defended planet. Therefore, they fly in on their starship, knowing full well that it will be blown up within a few minutes...planning to use that to cover up their jumping into the atmosphere like parachutists. The plan is completely successful. (They get a lot more of this in the sequels, too.)
- Maggie's death in Old Man's War, when she's been sucked out into space during a botched planetary landing operation. She's only got ten minutes of oxygen, she's falling from orbit, and she knows nobody can rescue her in time. So she spends her last minutes alive trying to shoot down an attacking enemy starship with her grenade launcher, actually inflicting some minor damage, and then makes one last tranmission to her friends before burning up on re-entry:
Then Maggie turned, faced the planet that would kill her, and like the good professor of Eastern religions that she used to be, she composed jisei, the death poem, in the haiku form.Do not mourn me, friends
I fall as a shooting star
Into the next life.
- In Zoe's Tale, Zoe vs. the Roanoke "werewolves" and Zoe in the scene with the Consu and the Obin.
- The series's defining moment of triumph, the ending of 'The Last Colony'. John Perry finally gets his revenge on the Colonial Union, fatally destabilising it and freeing humanity from its grasp with a well-placed trading convoy.
- The five Consu duels to confirm the help they gave the Rraey. Ending with Jane the Combat Pragmatist taking advantage of the Screaming Warrior nature of the Consu she's fighting - while he's bellowing a war cry, she throws her knife through the roof of his mouth and into his primary braincase.
- Jared Dirac weaponizing Smartblood.
- Plus his Dying Moment of Awesome with the Trojan Horse.
- Near the end of The Ghost Brigades, Harvey is left behind on an alien planet crawling with hostile Obin, with rescue days away. Jane asks him to retrieve some data from a nearby installation if he can. The next chapter, she gets it.
- An earlier moment in The Last Colony, in which General Gau is (unknowingly) about to be utterly outmaneuvered by the CDF. John Perry jeopardizes the success of the maneuver (which relies on total surprise) by offering Gau a chance to surrender - out of compassion for the unsuspecting crews of Gau's space armada.
- Throughout The Human Division, Equilibrium has been pirating ships, murdering their crews, and forcing the disembodied brains of their pilots to carry out suicide attacks. In the first episode of The End Of All Things, one escapes. It's amazing.
“You should be dead!” Aul yelled at the monitor. “You should be dead, your ship should be dead, you should all be dead! You magnificent shit-eater!”
- And in the next episode, Daquin performs a series of extremely difficult maneuvers to match velocities a tumbling, damaged ship — and then gets out unscathed when it blows up.
- Offering all the other captive brain-ships freedom in the finale counts too, but that's a different trope.