Whatever your feelings about casting someone who's danced for years, Jennifer Grey's emotional first waltz of the season - and Bruno's subsequent declaration that Patrick Swayze, Grey's Dancing co-star, would be proud of her - is nothing but this. Also qualifies as a Tear Jerker, as it moved Carrie Ann to tears.
Jerry Springer, of all people. He said that all he wanted was to make it far enough in the competition to learn the waltz for his daughter's wedding. He did.
Kelly Osbourne, whom not many thought would do well before the competition began, performs an exceptional Viennese Waltz on her first night, and before getting her score, runs to the audience to hug and kiss her parents, Ozzy and Sharon, who looked so happy and proud of her, with Sharon just pouring tears.
Kelly Osbourne was just one big, long heartwarming moment, period.
Combining this with a Tear Jerker moment was Chris Jericho's rumba on Week 3 of Season 12. The theme was for the contestant to pick a personal song that told a story about them. Chris picked "Let it Be" by the Beatles because it reminds him of his mother. As wrestling fans know, Chris's mother was in a serious car accident when he was just beginning his career. He was ready to give up wrestling, but his mother told him to stay with it. She died in 2005 and loved dancing - he's said many times she would have loved seeing him on DWTS more than anything.
It was the first time in his 20-year professional career he's ever been billed as "Chris Irvine".
Jonathan and Anna dancing in a tribute to Julia Ivleva, a professional dancer who has been battling stage IV lung cancer for close to a year.
Bill Engvall declares his partner Emma Slater to be like a second daughter to him. And she feels the same way. Awwwww...
Every interaction between Maks and his Season 18 partner, Meryl. At the conclusion of that season, Maks said that he knew now why he had never won it all before; it's because he was meant to win it with Meryl.
Speaking of Meryl, her interactions with castmate and partner of 17 years, Charlie White, fall into this category as well: their frequent background interactions, hugs, and their own special dance on the finale. Overall, the categorical refusal of these lifelong best friends to let the show turn them into competitors, instead supporting each other all the way to the moment when Charlie hoists her onto his shoulders for her victory celebration.
Also in season 18, Amy Purdy's contemporary. Both of them.
Season 16's Alexandra Raisman and her contemporary. The storyline of the dance is about not giving up after so many failures along the way. It helps that her song is "Titanium" by David Guetta.
Season 17's Jack Osbourne. Just, Jack Osbourne.
Season 14 Katherine Jenkins' waltz tribute to her late father. A few tears had been shed in that ballroom. Slightly dampened by Len Goodman's rather insensitive critique about a technicality.
Season 16's Jacoby Jones and his foxtrot.
Season 8's Steve-O, who came to Dancing fresh out of rehab and the mental institution. He repeatedly mentioned wanting to use the show to prove himself, and upon receiving mediocre scores every week became incredibly stressed out over the belief that he was letting fans down...yet, despite getting some of the worst scores of the season, he made it all the way to Week 6 based solely off of fans' support.
While winning is always a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the first place couple, Melissa Rycroft and Tony winning the All-Star season doubled as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when the entire cast came running out to embrace and congratulate them before the hosts even had a chance to present them with the mirror ball. Considering they came in third before, absolutely no one was sour about their win that they more than earned.
Dorothy Hamilton, who had to withdraw from the competition in week 2, not only getting to dance again in the final but getting to do so with Kristi Yamaguchi who she earlier noted she looked forward to watching every Monday during season 6. She had been battling cancer at the time and saw Kristi as a huge inspiration.
In season 19, Lea Thompson's contemporary dance to "Dance with My Father," dedicated to her father. Carrie Ann bawled, and at least some of the audience was also close to tears. Lea, also, was crying near the end before bursting into massive sobs after the dance was over. Obviously, this doubles as a Tear Jerker.
Peta Murgatroyd in tears after dancing the quickstep with Tommy Chong.
Mark Ballas in tears during the season 19 finale; say what you will about the guy, but his caring and partnership with Sadie Robertson is clearly genuine.