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Heartwarming: Criminal Minds
  • Any time the team relaxes together.
  • Almost every Morgan/Garcia scene is guaranteed to be either a CMOF or this.
    • There is a popular internet meme that makes the rounds regularly, reading "Every man should talk to his girl the way Derek Morgan talks to Penelope Garcia."
  • Any moment where Hotch shows concern or affection - or even amused affection - for one of his team. He has some particularly sweet moments with Garcia.
  • Any and every moment that Hotch has with his son.

Season One

  • When Reid (who is around 22 at the time) is surprised that he doesn't feel more upset after shooting someone for the first time in his life.
    Gideon: It'll hit later. When it does, I want you to remember three things. One: that you did the right thing. Two: that a lot of people are alive because of what you did.
    Reid: What's the third thing?
    Gideon: That I'm proud of you.
  • It's a small thing, but in "LDSK", when the shots ring out in the park, it's sort of sweet that Gideon's first reaction is to push JJ down and shield her with his own body.
    • A bit of Fridge Brilliance, but for the same episode, Reid and Hotch understand each other so much, that when they're taken hostage, Reid instantly understands Hotch's plan when he moves the civilians out of the line of fire. Reid teasing Hotch about his kicking afterwards was adorable as well.
  • In the middle of "What Fresh Hell?", Garcia asks Gideon if the large number of photos in his office are of his family. He says yeah, sort of. At the end of the episode, he adds a photo of the rescued girl, and the audience suddenly realises that the photos are of everyone he's saved.
    • It gets even sweeter in an Freeze-Frame Bonus way when you notice that one of the pictures is of the twins from "Broken Mirror", and another looks like it could be of one of the hostages from "Derailed"
  • Near the end of "Riding The Lightning", Gideon gets the warden to take Sarah Jean out of her cell for five minutes so Gideon can search it. The warden doesn't get someone to interview her or anything like that, he takes her outside so she can see the full moon like she asked to.
  • At the end of "The Popular Kids", Gideon tells Reid about the time they rescued a kidnapped girl before any harm came to her. That girl is now grown up with a family, and she writes to the B.A.U every year to let them know how she's doing. It's a powerful reminder that for all the horror the team faces, the people they save make it all worthwhile.

Season Two

  • Reid reading to his mom on the plane at the end of "The Fisher King."
  • In "P911", the mother reuniting with her son for the first time in years. The fact that the boy named his toy soldier who always protects him Jack while not knowing his mother's name was Jackie was simply adorable.
  • When they finally find Reid at the end of "Revelations". Hotch immedietely helps him to his feet and pulls him into a huge hug with JJ following soon after.
    Reid: I knew you'd understand.
    • From the same episode:
    Tobias Henkel: Do you think I'll get to see my mother again?
    • Gideon holding Garcia's hand as they're watching the live feed of Reid being tortured.
  • Gideon gently cradling the dying Unsub telling him it's going to be all right in "Open Season". Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
  • Morgan flirting a homeless lady into going into a shelter for safety in "Legacy." He says something along the lines of "the world needs all its beautiful ladies, and that includes you".
    • The ending of the episode qualifies too, from the last minute rescue to the team having fun together watching a Chaplin's movie.
  • Morgan and his sisters singing Happy Birthday to their mother in "Profiler, Profiled", as well as their good-natured sibling-y bickering.
  • The detective from episode 22. He went all the way to the FBI just to report about the homeless people in his jurisdiction being missing. It wasn't even official that the people were missing. It was just a theory of his. And he even checked all of the databases before heading to the FBI. He also lied to the FBI when he told them that he hadn't told anyone else (his boss knew.). This could have gotten him out of a job and/or some serious consequences. And his reason for pretty much lying to the FBI was because he thought that they wouldn't have come if they knew his boss had dismissed his theory. and his reason for coming to the FBI team I the first place?
    Detective McGee: It's my job to take care of them ( the bums, prostitutes and vagrants).
  • The end of "Profiler, Profiled", where Morgan, his family, and Damien's family all pay their respects to Damien and the other unidentified boys Bluford murdered. Even Gordinski and Rodney Harris show up! Though that last one becomes Harsher in Hindsight when Harris reappears as an UnSub in season 7.
  • In "Empty World," when the bomber has placed a bomb under a professor's car. The team is too late to prevent the woman from getting into the car, but Morgan refuses to walk away from the woman inside, even though it puts him in danger. He holds her hand the entire time the bomb is being defused and flatly rejects a direct order from Hotch... all to comfort a woman he has only just met.

Season Three

  • Morgan telling Garcia "goon squad or no goon squad", he's staying with her, and that he loves her, in "Penelope".
  • From "A Higher Power", after saving the last unsub's target (who had fallen into depression after her daughter's death), Prentiss talks to her:
    Prentiss: A mother isn't supposed to outlive her children.
    Laurie Ann: Yeah.
    Prentiss: But she's gone. Allie's dead...
    Laurie Ann: Please, I don't care anymore.
    Prentiss: But your son does. Don't leave him as well.
  • In the Flashback episode, "Tabula Rasa" we see Morgan and Garcia's first meeting.
    Morgan: Hey, what's that new tech girl's name?
    Reid: Uh, Gomez, I think.
    Morgan: (To Garcia) Excuse me, Gomez. (Beat) Hey, babygirl.
    Garica: (turns to faces Morgan) Babygirl?
    Morgan: Forgive me, I just didn't know the real-
    Garcia: I've been called worse. (Smiles) What can I do for you?
  • in "About Face", the team passing out candy to the kids at the end of the episode.
  • Garcia figuring out something was wrong with Rossi in "Damaged", and Morgan, Prentiss, and JJ going to Chicago to track him down and help solve the Galen case.
  • The team finding the missing girl in "Seven Seconds" The look on her parents' faces just says it all.

Season Four

  • JJ asking Reid to be Henry's godfather at the end of "Memoriam." (The bit about colleges directly following is also a Crowning Moment of Funny.)
    • Also, Rossi and Morgan stepping up when it becomes clear that Reid is having too much trouble getting the words out to ask for his father. That whole scene, really — both of them setting aside their doubts and playing big, bad, scary FBI enforcers so that Reid can have his moment of Calling the Old Man Out on his own terms. That scene would have played out so differently if Reid hadn't had people on his side.
  • The end of the case in "Normal" is a Downer Ending, though the actual episode ending is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, with JJ showing off her new son.
    • Also from that episode, a slightly odd retroactive example: Reid mentions that he remembers his father's favourite writer is Isaac Asimov. In the previous season, he got excited about having the Foundation Trilogy on tape. It's almost sweet that Reid has something in common with his father, without even realising it.
  • Hotch sitting with the prostitute UnSub from "Pleasure is My Business" after she's overdosed, and holding her hand as she dies painfully, simply because she asked him to.
    • Their whole relationship, really, especially when we figure out that her interest in him isn't romantic. Yes, she's a killer, but it's also clear that she desperately wants a father figure in her life — and who better to do it than the resident Team Dad, who she identifies as "the only man I ever met who didn't let me down."
  • Rossi during much of "Demonology", especially the way he listens to Prentiss talk about her abortion and doesn't pass judgment. Hotch, too, when he and Rossi agree to piss off the Italian consulate on Prentiss's say-so.
  • This exchange from "52 Pickup"
    Garcia: Sir, does this guy stuff actually work on real, breathing girls?
    Hotchner: (confused) Why are you asking me?
    Garcia: I abhor the whole chicks-dig-jerks thing.
    Hotchner: Well, fortunately, Garcia, you are one of the exceptions.
    Garcia: Be still my bespectacled heart. So are you, sir.
    Hotchner: (smiling) Thanks.

  • At the end of "House on Fire" Garcia is depressed from having to dig into the personal lives of people in the town the team is in. Afterward, she confronts Hotch on it:
    Garcia: You guys choose this; turning people over like rocks, and looking at all their creepy-crawly things underneath. And I get it, I do. It's the only way to catch them, but I want to see the good in people. I choose to see the good in people, and getting into someone's mind and trying to find the god-awful thing that happened to them that made them do the god-awful thing to somebody else has seriously impaired my ability to giggle, and it makes my brain all wonky and I don't like it.
    Hotch: Garcia.
    Garcia: Yes, sir.
    Hotch: I just wanted to thank you for your excellent work on this case. And I understand that what you did was, for you, very difficult, but your contributions are essential to the success of this team.
    Garcia: Thank you, sir.
    Hotch: I know you see the good in people, Penelope, always. And I would never want you to change that.

Season Five

  • "The Eyes Have It", when Morgan is made their temporary unit chief and it turns out that Garcia has put together a new office for him, complete with a "secret fun zone" in a drawer with brightly colored, light up stuff, a robot dog, fuzzy pens, and a picture of her.
  • In "100", Hotch finding Jack safe inside the box he told him to hide in, using their code of "working the case". When Hotch opens the lid, Jack says "I worked the case for you, Daddy".
    • Every single member of the team going to bat for Hotch in the ensuing investigation, each in their own way.
  • Reid giving the unsub's dolls back in "The Uncanny Valley" — all she really wanted was the dolls her abusive father took away from her.
    • Plus the part where the diabetic victim's husband shows up at her side as the paramedics prepare to load her up. You can tell she's trying very, very hard to smile as the drugs wear off.
  • Two from "Public Enemy" - JJ playing tea party with the young daughter of a victim, and the entire team sending a card and a $500 check to the daughter when she makes her first communion.
    • Also, the end shows the community returning to the various location where the UnSub killed and resuming activities there (attending church, the laundromat is open). The UnSUb tried to destroy important parts of the community, and the community healed.
  • Just a teeny tiny thing, but in "A Thousand Words", after Garcia says that she wishes that the case could be over, Rossi responds with, 'We've got a long way to go, kitten.' Garcia's nicknaming rubbing off on the team, perhaps?
  • Morgan reassuring Garcia she isn't getting jaded at the end of "Exit Wounds".
  • "Faceless, Nameless": The Foyet scenes are mostly pure creepy, and Hotch says very little. But the one thing that he does say?
    My team . . .
  • Charlie being reunited with his parents after several years.
  • At the end of "Haunted", the UnSub, the son of a serial killer who suffered a psychotic break after he began remembering his traumatic past, seems to have regained at least some of his sanity after killing his father. The final scene is him comforting the man who he had saved from being a victim of his father 30 years ago, telling him that it was because of him he gained the strength to no longer fear and eventually confront his father.

  • "Cradle to Grave" has two despite being a rather nightmare fuel inducing episode. First the woman who had just given birth gets her baby back. Back at headquarters JJ has been trying to see if she can get an older couple(the parents of one of the unsub's victims)custordy of the their grandaughter. The adoptive parents refuse but say they would like for the grandparents to be in the girl's life. They agree to this and then find out that their daughter had given birth once before while in captivity,to a little boy and since they are his next of kin they get custordy of him.

Season Six

  • The end of "JJ" with the goodbye between Garcia and JJ.
  • The end of "Compromising Positions" between Hotch and Garcia. He tells her that she did a good job of doing both her's and JJ's job, but to stick to her job.
    Hotch: Garcia, when you applied for this job you did so on homemade pink stationary. I realized then that you are ... unique. And I wouldn't want you to change that.
  • Jack Hotchner's Halloween costume in "Devil's Night":
    Hotch: That doesn't look like Spider-Man.
    Jack: Spider-Man's not a real superhero.
    Hotch: Okay, I give up.
    Jack: (wearing a suit, white shirt, and one of Hotch's ties) I'm you, Daddy.
  • From "Coda," Reid and Sammy, the autistic child of the unsub's victims, playing the piano together after Reid figures out how to communicate with him through music. Just a nice, sweet, quiet little moment amidst the usual urgency of a case.
    • Another from Coda: Sammy's father is dead, but his mother's been rescued and is on her knees crying in front of him. And Sammy, confused little autistic Sammy who doesn't like to be touched and has no idea what's going on, reaches out and starts patting her shoulder because he's picked up somewhere that that's what you do when people are upset, and lets her hug him. A CMOH and Tear Jerker rolled into one.
  • The exchanges between Garcia and Prentiss in "Valhalla" and "Lauren".
  • Hotch and Rossi coaching Jack's kids' league soccer game together at the end of "Out of the Light."
  • In "Sense Memory," Reid calls Prentiss to invite her to see an incredibly long science-fiction movie in Russian, and is happily and innocently chattering away about it while she searches her apartment for intruders, gun drawn, but unwilling to tell her teammates that she is in danger and why. Prentiss turns down the invitation as she concludes that there are no burglars, but the conversation ends with the following exchange:
    Prentiss: Thank you.
    Reid: For what?
    Prentiss: For being you.
    Reid: Aw, thanks. I don't know how to be anyone else.
  • Morgan and Prentiss at the climax of "Lauren," especially since, up to now, Morgan has been nursing a heavy sense of confusion and betrayal about her hidden past.
    Prentiss: Let me go.
    Morgan: No. No, I am not letting you go....Listen to me, I know why you did all of this. I know what you did for Declan. I am so proud of you. Do you understand that? I am proud of you because you are my friend and you are my partner.
  • Garcia's defense for looking into Seaver's "hidden background."
    Garcia: I am not going to let some strange new person travel with my family and not find out who they are!
  • The ending of "Into The Woods". Despite this being one of the creepier episodes,the scene of the both the children reunited with their parents as Rossi looks on and remarks that even though the unsub got away this is still a happy ending just gives me the warm fuzzies every time I see it.

Season Seven

  • Prentiss explaining to the Senate Committee, at length, why her team is awesome, thereby saving the entire unit's jobs.
  • Rossi teaching the team how to cook at the end of "Proof", and Reid showing up despite his resentment toward JJ.
  • In "Painless," Hotch asks Prentiss what kept her going when she was hiding from Doyle in Paris. She reveals that she played a lot of online Scrabble with "some girl named 'Cheeto Breath.'" They both look at JJ, who is at the other end of the plane innocuously munching on Cheetos.
  • Little Jack Hotchner is being bullied by a kid in his class. Jack's solution, in Hotch's words, is "to invite him over and be friends with him". Aww, Jack.
    • Also, Jack and Hotch talking to Haley:
    Hotch: Mom, please keep Jack safe.
    Jack: And Dad too.
    Hotch: (Surprised and touched) Oh, of course. Dad too.
  • Reid's birthday party at the end of "True Genius", especially considering how upset he'd been for most of the episode, doubting himself and his life choices.
  • The plane and ending scene of "A Family Affair".
  • Any time Angel Suarez smiles, especially when JJ figures out his name and Morgan teaches him coin tricks.
  • The ending of "Run". So warm I won't need heat this winter.
  • Morgan reuniting his presumed dead cousin, Cindi, with her family after eight years. The scene at the end and Morgan tearing up is the clincher.
  • The ending of "The Company" where Derek rescues his cousin, meets his nephew and unites them with their mother.
    Garcia: There's my hero.

Season Eight

  • Garcia professing her love to her BAU "family", even Alex ("It's a new love..."), and their reaction.
  • Henry going as his favourite profiler for Halloween, Reid. And Reid's utterly adorable reaction to it. This troper is still smiling at it.
  • When Reid asks the BAU to help him find Maeve, none of them object using their free time to do it.
  • Everything about the team's concern for Reid, and their attempts to help him through his grief, in Magnum Opus. The moment that particularly struck this troper was a conversation between Hotch and Rossi; Rossi, thinking back on his own loss,says that he's thankful he had time to say goodbye to his ex-wife, and can't really imagine what it must be like for Reid. He trails off at a glance from Hotch—a silent reminder that Hotch absolutely can imagine it. The parallel is further drawn later in the episode, when Reid asks Hotch how much time it takes to deal with such loss.

Season Nine

  • The scene where Hotch wakes up after his operation. Garcia gets up to call Jessica and Jack, and plants a kiss on Hotch's forehead before she can stop herself.
    Hotch: Garcia? Thank you for staying.
    Garcia: (choked up) Wild horses, Sir. Just... wild horses.
  • The end of 'Gatekeeper', for so many reasons. Firstly, the shot of Reid handing the baby he delivered to its mother, and his being named Spencer in Reid's honour. Also, the throwaway knowledge that Reid memorized the delivery manuals when JJ was pregnant with Henry, and the final scene of the team singing (very bad) karaoke, while Hotch stands by and records it with the face-splitting, proud grin he only uses for Jack or the team.
  • The near-end of "To Bear Witness." Sam, who has been unable to utter a single word throughout his stay at the hospital, is reunited with Dana. He manages to choke out her name, nearly in tears. What makes this moment is him reaching up and grabbing her hand, and Dana begins to cry.
    Morgan: Hey Dana, I'm Derek. Sam here is very happy to see you.
    Sam: (Struggling) D-...Dana...
  • If the end of "200" doesn't belong here, I don't know what does. The team, reunited, Prentiss included, gathered together, drinking, laughing, and generally just enjoying each others' company as Sarah Darling's cover of "Blackbird" plays in the background.
  • At the end of "Fatal" where Hotch does a career day presentation for Jack's class at the BAU by profiling four kids to find out who had a stapler in their box. It's adorable.
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