- Considering she's most likely the only party member that has Garu at the time, and her bow attacks knock them down, the entire first boss fight is one for Yukari from a gameplay perspective.
- Mitsuru Kirijo, the merciless and downright terrifying Badass Bookworm of the game, defiantly tries to shout down an Eldritch Abomination in the final battle. While said Eldritch Abomination is on the verge of bringing about The End of the World as We Know It and everybody else including the Main Character has been stomped flat by its power. That sort of thing takes guts.
Mitsuru: We have come this far...! I WILL NOT SUBMIT!
- Likewise, in the true last battle of the game, the Main Character having completed the tarot journey, stands up against the Anthropomorphic Personification of death itself, alone — as everyone else is being crushed by the raw power emanating from the boss. The attack is coming from the moon, so s/he calmly levitates into outer space with the sheer power of his/her psyche. Facing the thing behind the end of the world, s/he gets blasted with an attack designed to wipe out life on Earth itself — it does 9999 HP damage in a game with a 3 digit HP cap — repeatedly. Each time s/he stands back up. His/her friends, including one who died during the game (or is barely clinging to life whilst in a coma if you maxed his social link as FeMC), cheer him/her on, their cheers healing his/her wounds as s/he goes from barely surviving the attacks, to dodging the attacks, to outright ignoring the attacks. In the end, fully healed, s/he reaches out and wipes the entire thing and him/herself out of the sky (by pointing at it with one finger no less). Cue the panic as they think s/he's dead, only for him/her to come back a few minutes later. Of course, this being a game by the Shin Megami Tensei team, this is mercilessly subverted, as Persona 3 FES explains.
- The death of the MC is still awesome in its own way: s/he gave up their life (casting the Great Seal uses up all your HP) to seal away Death itself and save the entire world. And they managed to hang on for over a month before the 'dying' part of their sacrifice actually kicked in. Bad. Ass.
- And prior to this, if you've leveled up the Main Character enough, you can get his/her ultimate persona, the Messiah. Yes, the Messiah. He can be created to use instant-kill light and dark magic, comes with one of the most powerful physical attacks (Hand of God, no less), plenty of resistances, and can learn the full-party perfect healing spell and - in tasty irony - become immune to piercing attacks. Holy shit.
- Shinjiro Aragaki is nothing but CMOA. Sacrificing yourself to save the kid who has been planning to kill you for two years. Gameplay evidence of how awesome Shinjiro is: his critical hit animation involves a headbutt. This is true regardless of the opponent, meaning that it's possible to see Shinji fearlessly headbutt a Shadow tank. Not to mention that he could still walk after he was shot twice by the most powerful production handgun in the world.
- The moment Aigis shouts "Palladion!" and Unavoidable Battle starts playing as her showdown with Ryoji truly begins. Everything about that cut scene is just brilliant, crowning perfection. The way his voice changes from a frightened, confused kid into grim understanding and confidence, the way the animation flashes back and forth between the past and present battle to show how history's repeating itself, and Aigis's tone of voice, both emotionless and pure 200-proof determinator at the same time, for the following line...
"A machine is created for a purpose. Mine is to defeat you."
- To elaborate on this, the last time that she fought him, he was only one-thirteenth as powerful and still Aigis was unable to defeat him, instead having to seal him away. This time, he's at full power, meaning Aigis has no chance of even making a dent in him...and she attacks anyway because it's her mission.
- Akihiko gets one after Shinji's death. Realizing his mistakes and his reckless obsession with becoming stronger after losing his sister, he finally decides to let go of his guilt. This resolve awakens his Persona's true power.
- Even Fuuka gets one when she first awakens her persona.
"I know." Cue Eyed Screen
- Koromaru gets one when he stops Ikutsuki from using Aigis to kill the members of SEES on top of the observatory Especially awesome when you realize he had to run straight through the building to get to Ikutsuki. Someone get that dog some steak.
- During the later ranks of Mitsuru's social link she tells him/her how important the main character is to her, only to be confronted by her jerkass fiance. He proceeds to berate the main character with insults and telling Mitsuru that she's only to be his obedient wife. Mitsuru decides she's had enough of that crap and delivers a delightfully awesome speech to her fiance and causes him to run away in terror. (In Portable, this happens whether you play as the male character or the female character.)
- In the penultimate rank of the Hermit Social Link in the female protagonist's route, the PC gets fed up with the way everyone is treating Saori and encourages her to clear things up - by hijacking the school's PA to share her thoughts with the whole school. While Saori is making her announcement, the PC guards the door and refuses to let Mr. Ekoda to get in to stop the broadcast. Then Ms. Toriumi and Ms. Ounishi show up and proceed to completely stonewall Ekoda, clearly enjoying every minute of it. After sending him on his way, they cheerfully admit that they see nothing wrong with the stunt and have no intentions of punishing the girls for it. It's a small thing compared to facing down an Eldritch Abomination, but damn if it's not incredibly satisfying all the way around.
- This isn't quite on the same scale as the others, but when Fuuka disappears, Mitsuru discovers that Mr. Ekoda knew something had happened to her and covered it up. Mitsuru gives him holy hell about this:
Mitsuru: For the sake of your job, you ignored your responsibility as a teacher!
- Junpei Iori and his epic jump from fail to awesome. After Chidori, a member of Strega, tries to kill him, he's still believing in her until the very end, promising to protect her until the end. Then Takaya shoots him once, killing him instantly - at which point Chidori sacrifices herself to bring him back (in itself a CMOA for Chidori). As Takaya taunts SEES for Chidori's sacrifice, Junpei has finally had enough. His Hermes fuses with Chidori's Medea to form his Ultimate Persona Trismegistus, and then...
Junpei: BURN IN HELL! (he hurls a fireball at them hard enough to nearly kill them, even with Jin's resistance to fire)
- Bring Akihiko to either of Takaya's boss fights and watch him critical the crap out of his best friend's killer. Double points if he says "Damn you!" and triple if he prompts an All-Out Attack where he says "I've been waiting for this!" because he probably has. Of course, he says that no matter who you're fighting, so YMMV.
- To a slightly lesser extent, bringing Junpei or Ken to Takaya and/or Jin's fights counts, too. As Unintentionally Unsympathetic as Ken may seem he does show plenty of remorse over Shinjiro's death, so pitting him against Takaya might bring a whole new meaning for him.
- For bonus points, bring a Persona that can nullify/absorb/reflect piercing damage and wait until he decides to fire his gun at you. Watch as it does absolutely nothing to you, which is oh so sweet after watching that same gun kill Shinjiro and nearly Junpei.
- Some of the Fusion Spells you can perform are pretty amazing:
- Scarlet Havoc fills the entire battlefield with gigantic circular saws.
- Ardhanari creates a giant flamethrower.
- Best Friends instantly boosts a single party member's attack, defense, and hit/evasion rate. Use it on someone who can exploit the enemy's weakness for a series of One-Hit KO's.
- Last Judgment summons a giant gavel from the sky that deals a massive amount of almighty damage.
- Infinity makes the entire party completely invincible for one turn.
- Armageddon calls down a flurry of lightning bolts, dealing 9999 damage.