In his first comic adventure, Popeye takes 16 gunshot bullets before succumbing to his injuries. Then he rubs the magic whiffle hen enough to where it not only heals him and rejuvenates his strength, it makes him invincible—when his foe tries to shoot him again, Popeye merely walks towards him, completely unfazed by the bullet, and delivers a devastatingly powerful punch right to his face.
Popeye's fight with Bluto. Unlike the cartoons, where Bluto keeps winning up until Popeye munches on some spinach, this fight went on for several strips. And Popeye won not by eating his Trademark Favorite Food, but with his Twisker Punch.
Whenever Popeye eats the spinach, awesomeness has got to come out of it. Bonus point of "Yankee Doodle" or "Stars and Stripes Forever" is playing.
Any time someone other than Popeye eats the spinach has got to be awesome.
In the pilot short, Popeye halts an oncoming train by punching it.
Before that, Bluto tried to stop Popeye from chasing him by cutting down a rope bridge across a large chasm. How does Popeye work around it? He grabs the bridge rope, and lassoes it around a tree on the other side. But that's not the awesome part—he doesn't swing across with it, he pulls the entire cliff all the way over to his side. And this was without his spinach!
The entirety of "Can You Take It?" is one big CMOA. Basically Popeye wants to join Bluto's tough guys club and he decides to try to kill him through various "initiation" tests. Among them is getting shoved into an iron maiden, which Popeye manages to break all the nails on. Oh yeah, did I mention he beats them all WITHOUT dipping into his spinach?
From "Hospitaliky", Popeye's method of getting medical attention from Nurse Olive: force-feeding Bluto the spinach and allowing him to beat him up.
In that same short, the thieves try to feed Popeye to a shark, but Popeye takes it out with two hits that seals its mouth closed with its own fangs. What really puts this above his usual badassery is that HE HADNT EATEN HIS SPINACH YET!
Popeye taking down an entire enemy fleet in "The Mighty Navy".
Olive whacking Bluto with an entire log in "Axe Me Another".
In "Seeing Red, White, and Blue"... POPEYE AND BLUTO ACTUALLY FOUGHT JAPANESE SPIES TOGETHER! Who'd a thought that Bluto may be a big bearded bully, but he's an AMERICAN big bearded bully?
Olive Oyl actually gets one in Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, when she will have none of Sinbads sleazy attempts at wooing her, and attempt to smack the beard right off his face. It doesnt do much, due to how strong Sinbad is, but Olive definetly puts up a fight against him.
On that topic, Sinbad himself, altough he is the villain, he lives on an island full of monsters he has subdued with his bare hands, including a two headed giant that acts mean as hell, but cowers in fear just from having Sinbad raise his voice to them.
And of course, Popeye, who takes out both Sinbads Roc bird and the two headed giant, before even having dipped into his spinach.
Olive gets a moment of awesome in the second episode "I Yam What I Yam"; when an onslaught of savage indians is attacking her cabin, she's able to hold them off for a bit by blocking both of the doors by propping her legs between them, and when they do break in, she still manages to put up an impressive fight against all of them.
"A Dream Walking" and "Paneless Window Washer" could be considered this for the studio, with their complicated perspective gags and the very precise timing and attention to detail required for the sequences to work.
Sweepea gets his own moment in "Lost and Foundry"; when Popeye and Olive are in danger of being crushed to death, Sweepea, who was indirectly the cause of their situation, eats Popeye's lost can of spinach and pulls a stunning rescue of them from the machine! He then carries them both out of the factory while singing Popeye's song!
Popeye's fist firing out of the water to sock Bluto.
Popeye shoving the much-hated tax collector into the ocean is both this and a Crowning Moment of Funny. The entire town comes out to cheer Popeye on for doing it!