- Lee and Lampkin's entire off-beat relationship really could count as this trope. After being assigned to a position as bodyguard to Lampkin, an intensely unpopular man, it takes Lee less than one episode to form an almost obsessive emotional attachment to his charge; this, in turn, results in Lee's willing resignation of his entire career in favor of joining Lampkin in the task of legally defending the most hated human being in existence. Later, upon the realization that Lee is the best candidate for president of the Colonies and driven to despair by the killing of his beloved cat, Romo threatens to kill Lee, declaring that his assumption of the presidency would be a beacon of hope to an undeserving race ( see, they killed his cat). He was bluffing, to convince Lee to take the job. Lee reacts by making his first presidential act the acquisition of a dog for Lampkin, which then appears with or is mentioned by him in each of his later appearances. Aww.]
- Tyrol's first meeting with Eight-Athena. He visits her in her cell, thinking that she might be Boomer. Although Athena does have positive memories of Tyrol, her reaction to his presence is more of platonic affection. Still, she gladly embraces him.
- Just about any scene where Bill and Lee have a heart-to-heart. Or, if you're into Manly Tears, Apollo's farewell ceremony. As Athena's preparing to fly him off of Galactica, to his new job on the Quorum, the Admiral does no less than assemble the ship's crew in the hangar deck to see him off. Most awesome of all, though, is that he got Bear McCreary to arrange Wander, My Friends to play him off.
- "Unfinished Business" (a particularly heartbreaking and cathartic kind of heartwarming, considering it involves Lee Adama and Kara Thrace beating the crap out of each other in public after nearly a year and a half of estrangement before admitting this):
Kara: "I missed you."Lee: "I missed you too."
- It's a brief moment, but in "Flight of the Phoenix", when Gaeta hands Sharon (aka Athena) the cable that'll let her interface with Galactica, he says "Here you go, Sharon." This is the first time anybody on Galactica's crew has referred to her—the Cylon agent who is a dead ringer to the dead traitor who shot Bill Adama—by name, much less as a person. The expression on Sharon's face as she gratefully accepts the cable from him says it all.
Athena: "How do you know you can trust me?"Adama: "I don't. That's what trust is. Good hunting, Lieutenant."
- Honestly, just about any time someone is nice to Athena counts, especially when it's someone who used to hate her. "Lay Down Your Burdens: Part 1" features the briefing for the rescue mission to Caprica. When it's revealed that Athena is going to help the Raptors interface with the navcom from a captured Cylon Heavy Raider, the pilots all react with undisguised fear and suspicion, until Starbuck tells them all to sit down and shut up.
- Also, the exchange between Admiral Adama and Athena from "Exodus: Part 1", when he sends her down to New Caprica to help organize the evacuation.
- Helo getting Athena her new callsign. Many of the same pilots who used to hate and distrust her suggest such gems as "Chrome Dome", "Titania", and "Toaster Babe" - this time, the nicknames are good-natured ribbing, not mockery. Doubles as a Funny Moment.
- "Goodbye, Kara...you won't be forgotten."
- At the end of "33," after the fleet has been forced to shoot down a ship (possibly) containing fleeing refugees, President Laura Roslin is informed by her aide that, during the multiple jumps through space to avoid the Cylons, a single baby was born in the fleet. Roslin goes to update the running list of survivors by a single digit, and breaks down in equal parts of sadness and joy.
- In "You Can't Go Home Again." Commander Adama kisses Kara Thrace on the head after she makes it back from the planet that she crashed on at the end of the previous episode, and tells her that she "did good," all while she's struggling not to cry.
- In that same episode, after an unsure Lee questions his father whether they would have gone to the same lengths to search for their missing pilot had it been him in Starbuck's place. Adama gives him a look like he's crazy, and tells him that if it were him down there, "we would never leave".
- Similarly, in "The Hand of God," when Lee is having trouble sleeping the night before the battle and is sitting by his Viper in the hangar, and his father comes to reassure him.
Commander William Adama: Got something for you. [hands Lee a lighter] It belonged to your grandfather. My mother bought it for him when he was in law school. See the engraving on it?Captain Lee Adama: [reading the name "Joseph Adama"] Yes I...can barely make it out...William Adama: He was a better father than I was. Dad used to carry that into court cases. He claimed he never lost unless he left it behind.Lee Adama: So you're worried too.William Adama: About what?Lee Adama: Sometimes it feels like the whole ship thinks...Starbuck...would do better.William Adama: I don't.Lee Adama: How can you be so sure?William Adama: Because you're my son.Lee Adama: (as the commander is walking up the ladder to leave the hangar) Dad, I-I'll bring it back.William Adama: You better, or I'll kick your ass. It's a good lighter.[Lee smiles.]
- The end of "Flight of the Phoenix", and the reveal to Roslin that the newly created Blackbird has been christened Laura in her honor, nearly bringing the president to tears.
- Followed by a Crowing Momentof Funny when she attempts to christan it with the champagne bottle, which would have broke off part. She then reveals she knew and was only kidding.
- "Resurrection Ship, Part I" has a surprisingly touching moment when the Six in Baltar's mind—normally an ominous, manipulative jezebel—tells a sweet story about going to pyramid games back on Caprica, and saving a seat to imagine he was there with her.
- And later in that episode, Baltar tells the same story to comfort the abused Six from the Pegasus.
- A double case of this occurs at the end of "Resurrection Ship, Part II". Helo finally reunites with Sharon after being held for accidentally killing a Pegasus crewman to stop him raping her. She breaks down when she sees him, and asks, "Where do we go from here?" as they look at each other through the bars of her cage. At the same time, Commander Adama meets with the President on her ship, and is promoted to Admiral. He helps her stand up so that she can leave, and then puts his hand on her chin and kisses her (in an unscripted moment between actors Edward Olmos and Mary McDonnell). She smiles at him, almost with tears in her eyes, and walks away, as Adama looks at his new rank in disbelief.
- Starbuck's toast to the dead pilots she's known in "Scar", particularly at the point where she gets so emotional she can't go on, and Apollo completes the toast for her.
- Almost at the end of the Season Three opener, Precipice. We've just seen all the characters going through hell and back - torture, betrayals, violence and despair - and the rebels on the ground finally receive a message from Galactica. "Have Hope. We're coming for you." Hot Tears, every time.
- Multiple times in "Exodus, Part II":
- After the Pegasus arrives to help Galactica when they are being pounded by Basestar fire, Adama growls, "Damn you, Lee! Keep working on those FTL's and get them online! Cylons will redeploy as soon as they recover! (waits a moment) Thank you, Lee."
- A conversation between Apollo and Dualla:
Apollo: Did I ever tell you how proud I am to serve with you, Lieutenant?
Dualla: Not in so many words.
Apollo: Well I am proud to serve with you, Lieutenant. And to call you my wife.
- The gatherers on Galactica's flight deck lifting Admiral Adama up on their shoulders and chanting his name, while Tigh, Starbuck and Gaeta look on in despair. A simultaneous crowning moment of heartwarming AND sadness.
- Adama shaving his mustache off as the refrain from "Wander My Friends" plays, then walking out to the corridor outside his room, where he realizes that the ship is bristling with activity for the first time in over a year. He smiles to himself, then walks towards CIC.
- "Crossroads Pt. 2". Saul Tigh, just after he's shown up drunk on the witness stand at Baltar's trial and confessed to murdering his wife for collaborating with the Cylons, professing how much of a frak-up he is while being tucked into bed by Bill Adama. Bill tells him that "You're my best friend, Saul. You never embarrass me."
- "The Hub."
Roslin: I love you.
Adama: About time.
- Also, the end of "Revelations," where they all finally find Earth. Beautiful until it turns out to be post-apocalyptic.
- And while the following episode was probably one of the bleakest of the series what with the whole Dee killing herself thing, it did offer us one truely heartwarming moment: Helo and Athena, immediately after witnessing the desolation of post-apocalyptic earth, return to Galactica and play with their daughter. It's becomes one of those final memories that Dee enjoys.
- Adama and Roslin's reunion at the end of "Blood on the Scales".
- The first three minutes (count 'em) of the episode in which Galactica first contacts the Pegasus is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming all on its own. (The rest of the next two episodes, not so much.) Those two minutes are capped off by about the only uplifting, hopeful music in the whole series, and by Lee Adama's happy, astounded comment: "Galactica... you're not going to believe this." Cut to his Viper, cruising in ... on a Pegasus that's just as massive as Galactica, and a lot shinier and better armed.
- Seelix getting promoted and sent to flight school at the end of "Dirty Hands." Her giddy look is so sweet.
- The episode "Deadlock" contains a particularly (for this troper at least) heartwarming moment between Saul Tigh and Ellen. Which is then brutally trampled upon by the death of Caprica-Six's baby a second later. Also, the same episode contains a scene between Saul Tigh and Adama that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. When two grizzled badasses cry, you know it's okay for you to cry too.
- "I feel it. For her, for you, for Liam. I shouldn't need to spout the words. I feel it less with words. Just let me godsdamn feel it and I'll fill the frakkin' room."
- At the end of "Deadlock", the rebel Cylons putting up photos of their lost comrades in the Memorial Hallway along with the human photos. Made all the more heartwarming/awesome by Roslin and Adama discovering this after seeing a Six do it.
- Look closer and you'll see one photo each of a Leoben, a Sharon, and a Six, all the rebel models, all in a row.
- The moment in "Islanded In A Stream of Stars" after Starbuck is publicly outed as Dead All Along when Lee Adama finds her brooding in the memorial hallway and tells her he doesn't care what she is, whether she's alive or dead, only that she's here, he's here and "this is all that matters". The look on Kara's face when she hears that says everything.
- It's made more poignant by the fact that when she first found her corpse on ruined Earth, he was the first person she wanted to tell about it - she only didn't because she noticed he was in shock and he then told her about Dee's death.
- Not to mention Adama telling Starbuck just one episode after this that he knows what she is:
William Adama: "You're my daughter. Don't forget it."
- The final moments of the show balanced this with Tear Jerker giving all the characters their well deserved send offs. Some highlights were Kara giving Sam her dogtags again, Lee and Kara's final goodbyes, Saul and Ellen in a Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moment, the Agathon family walking off and joking about hunting, Baltar and Six ending up together and, of course, "It's almost heavenly. Reminds me of you."
- In a flashback scene, Six, before the discovery that she's a cylon, sends Baltar's old father off to a nursing home where he could do his own farming and gardening, having Baltar understand that his father simply needs a place to do his own gardening.
- Roslin thanking Cottle.
- What makes this all the more heartwarming is how this is one of the few times anyone thanks him for his compassion, and he is totally taken aback by this, making it the one time the Deadpan Snarker has nothing to say.
- "The Last Frakkin' Special" has a montage of the actors talking about how much they're going to miss the show, the highlight how with Bodie Olmos (better known as Hotdog) saying how grateful he was to be working with his dad. Also, Olmos the elder calling the show "The frakkin' best job I've ever had."
- In "Six of One", Starbuck has been back for one whole episode and telling people that she has seen Earth. Everyone thinks that she's insane and after she threatens the president, she's locked in the brig. Eventually she's brought into the hanger, to Admiral Adama, and she assumes that he's about to space her. He makes it clear that he's choosing to believe her and giving her a ship to find what she saw before, because he knows that she will not give up and would die before doing so, and seeing her as like a daughter, he doesn't want to lose her.
Starbuck: So you think I'm right?Adama: Maybe. Maybe not. But I know she is. The president. She's been right all along. I'm tired of losing. I'm tired of turning away from the things I want to believe in, and I believe you when you say, that you'll die before you stop trying. And I won't lose you again.
- The end of "Hand of God," with everyone completely overjoyed at their success. The best has to be Starbuck spontaneously hugging Roslin and then apologizing, followed by Roslin warmly hugging her back.
- The moment in which Baltar goes to see Gaeta in sickbay following the amputation of his leg in "Guess What's Coming To Dinner?", hears him singing in agony, and backs quietly and sadly away. It's rare to see Baltar do the decent thing at his own expense, but to do it for Gaeta, whom he's hurt so badly...it's simply sweet and sincere.
- Boomer bonding with Hera when she enters Boomer's projection of her dream house.
- In the finale, after the final battle the sheer look of joy on Lee's face when he says "I wanna explore" is touching, as it's one of the few times he's ever expressed interests without any ulterior motives or military/political need, it's him finally standing down from the military and trying to enjoy whatever life he has ahead of him. Though, it does make Starbuck's disappearance during his speech even more Heartbreaking
- When a vision of Number Six, clad in white, takes him to see a vision of their metaphorical daughter. The look on Baltar's face is absolutely joyous when he looks into the cradle. He even states that he would liked to hold her, "more than anything."