Warning! All spoilers below are unmarked!
- Mikan managing to temporarily overcome her fears in the first trial, and providing key evidence when it seems like the group is about to vote the wrong murderer and get themselves killed.
- Ibuki is able to rattle off every word spoken during the blackout, and identifies every voice.
- Komaeda spends the majority of the first chapter seeming like a Naegi expy, but after he reveals his true nature in the middle of the first trial, he delivers a spine-chilling Callback line that tells the audience just how much they were terrifyingly mistaken.
Komaeda: You've got that wrong.
- During Chapter 2, when Monokuma tells them that the world has ended and there's a traitor in their midst, Gundham minces no words in his response.
Gundham: Monokuma...I shall listen to you spout nonsense all you want, while I puff cigar smoke at your lifeless body.
- Peko during her execution in Chapter 2. She was, technically, given a fighting chance against the samurai robots that would stab her to death. She managed to dispose several of them. No doubt she's the Ultimate Swordswoman.
- Fuyuhiko actually trying to intervene in her execution.
- Nagito gets one in Chapter 2's trial; having picked up on Fuyuhiko's reluctant behavior, he immediately pressures him to admit that Peko is his tool and that he's seriously willing to sacrifice everyone to escape. Fuyuhiki stays silent and Peko loses her cool for the first time in the trial. Nagito immediately notices this and remarks that it's unusual for a mere tool to panic, then flat out says that she's trying to protect Fuyuhiko of her own free will, which makes her human and not a tool. Both Peko and Fuyuhiko are rendered speechless, causing everyone else to lay into them too and finally make them admit that they mean something to each other. Of course, Monokuma basically admits later that he knew all that already and would have decided Peko was the blackened instead of Fuyuhiko, but it makes Nagito's skill at reading and playing people no less impressive.
- Gundham delivering a See You in Hell line before he dies.
- Also, during his execution, he performs some sort of ritual to try to save himself, making him one of the only, if not THE only culprit who actually had a chance to save himself. It doesn't manage to save him, sadly.
- His See You in Hell line becomes quite ironic considering it comes right after an inspirational speech on not giving up on life, and, even more amusingly, during his execution he is clearly lifted away to heaven by dead pets he cared for in the past.
- The glitched out segment during Chapter 6 seemingly shows all the dead characters' last thoughts if you inspect the cottage they once lived in. Some curse, or beg for forgiveness, or wonder what will happen to loved ones. Gundham's last thoughts?
- Makoto, Kyoko and Byakuya in their Big Damn Heroes arrival in the final act. Some of the biggest damn heroes in the whole series.
- Throughout the story, Chiaki Nanami is a ditzy and slightly isolationist girl whose talent is outright useless. When Monokuma outright declares you're in a game, she's already dead. As you get into an unwinnable situation, Chiaki then appears out of nowhere, and, well, Danganronpa 2, Meet the Ultimate Gamer. She wins.
- Hajime's Awakening. Even better, the Mastermind wasn't expecting this in the slightest. He then proceeds to snap out of his Heroic B.S.O.D. via Non-Stop Debate against his own despair.
- In a way, this is a personal triumph for Hajime on a scale he never managed before. Both his old personality and Izuru essentially sacrificed themselves for the sake of a cause (one for hope, the other for despair). They both gave up control of their futures to other people. They were both used, and both times it ended in disaster. The Hajime born in the game, with a little prodding from Chiaki, is the first 'version' of himself willing to forge his own path, take his own risks, and live his own life. Not just for his sake, but for the sake of all the people who died because of Junko and Izuru. "I'LL NEVER LET ANYONE CHOOSE AGAIN!"
- When Hajime begins to emerge from his Angst Coma, the others are about ready to give up, while Makoto, Kyoko, and Byakuya are trying to convince them to activate the shutdown sequence and Junko is taunting them. With his new resolve, Hajime blasts through every single statement with his Future truth bullet, finally awakening with a proud declaration of "NO, THAT'S WRONG!"
- Hajime and Chiaki destroying AI Junko's argument.
- Monomi standing up to Monokuma. It doesn't work in the end, but that doesn't undermine the sheer heroism of the act by one bit and proves her sincere devotion and willingness to stand up and fight for her "students" no matter what it takes.
- At the end of the second trial, she manages to get Monokuma to save Fuyuhiko, by appealing to his Rules Lawyer nature. Since Monokuma's own rules say that ONLY the killer will be executed if they're voted guilty, he's obliged to rescue Fuyuhiko. Forcing Monokuma to do something he hates, saving a life, by using his own rules against him is possibly one of the biggest "screw yous" the bear has ever received.
- Even better, she also outright CURBSTOMPS AI Junko Enoshima as Usami. It has to be seen to believed about how awesome it is.
- The fact that Nagito played Russian roulette with only 1/6 of a chance of coming out alive and still pulling it off was pretty awesome. Expect nothing less from the Ultimate Lucky Student.
- Chiaki manages to work out his entire plan to get everyone but the "traitor" (her) killed, which relied entirely on luck, then asks everyone to vote for her. As sad as it may be, she made good on her promise to protect everyone.
- The beginning of Chapter 3's trial, where Nagito immediately realizes that A. the entire trial will hinge on Hajime's testimony and B. when cornered, the culprit will inevitably attempt to cast doubt on him in order to save themselves. Nagito preemptively proves that Hajime couldn't have been the culprit before this even becomes a problem.
- Mahiru standing up to Fuyuhiko. Not only is this guy the Ultimate Yakuza, he'd spent the first two chapters of the game making it clear he has no qualms about killing, even threatening her life more than once. After finding out about the death of his sister, she does show him some sympathy, but also tells him straight to his face that murdering Sato out of revenge was wrong. While it did cost her her life, it's still impressive nonetheless.
- Gundam and Nekomaru both get a retroactive one with what we learn in the final trial. Inside the Neo World Program, if a person's avatar experiences death, their actual brains will stop functioning as well. If everyone had really died of starvation inside the funhouse, then Junko's plan to take control of their bodies would've been a complete success. So Gundam and Nekomaru not only saved everyone, but they saved the entire world without even knowing it!
- You can hate what he's done, but there is no doubt that Nagito's Thanatos Gambit was the most brilliant move made by any character in this game. Knowing that everyone except the traitor was part of Ultimate Despair, including himself, he engineers a plan to kill himself and everyone else - but he knew he couldn't kill the traitor as well, because his motive was never to kill everyone but to eradicate despair and let hope shine. To him, if everyone was already despair, then only the traitor symbolizes "hope". In order to make it such that the traitor will be the only survivor, he first fills a fire extinguisher with airborne poison ad mixes it with the rest of the "clean" fire extinguishes, and then he badly injures himself and lies on the ground of a warehouse that is rigged to burst into flames upon the next person's entrance. His plan works, and when the warehouse is on fire, the six remaining people rushed to get the fire extinguishers to rescue him, but one of them ended up spraying poison that killed him. He deliberately did this because he knew that whenever something bad happened to him, good luck will follow, so he hurt himself badly enough that his good luck will make it such that the traitor will be the one who threw the poisoned fire extinguisher. With that, even if everyone else knew what his plan was, nobody would know who was the actual killer. They would almost certainly vote wrongly, and everyone except the traitor will be executed by Monokuma.
- ...except that if his plan had of worked, the entire class would have had their personalities wiped and replaced with Junko Enoshimas', thus making everyone once more into Ultimate Despair. Not even the traitor would have been spared, as without a physical body Chiaki would have been stuck in the Neo World Program anyway. But, that didn't happen. Instead, his plan failed, leading eventually to Hajime and the other survivors defeating AI Junko and escaping the program, with (as Dangan Ronpa 3 reveals) the whole class (save Chiaki) surviving. So, a bit of good luck (the class being reunited in the real world) follows something bad happening to Nagito (His plan failing). Sound familiar?