How could nobody have mentioned the time when Goku finally comes back after being killed by Cell, and walks into the room Gohan and Krillin are in. AWWWWW!!
Goku: Hi Krillin!
Krillin: Goku!! (tackles Goku while crying)
The intro to the latest Dragon Ball Z TV special is one, taking Opening Shout Outs and combining them with happy glimpses into the lives of all the main characters, with a V-Formation Team Shot at the end. And then there's the rest of the special...
The ending is just as heartwarming, showing how Goku's family grows over the years.
Also from DBZ, after Goku throws the Spirit Bomb and kills Buu, he floats down slowly to the face-in-the-mud Vegeta, holding out a thumbs up, saying "we make a pretty good team after all, don't we?" Vegeta's head slowly lifts, smirks, and he returns the thumbs up.
In the English dub, they even have a good laugh together.
Also the little speech Goku gives about hoping Kid Buu returns as a good person is a heart-warmer, showing just how forgiving Goku can be, especially since unlike Freeza and Cell who were intelligent and chose to be evil, Buu was just a psychotic child who didn't know any better.
Goku's proposal is also adorable. As a stupid little kid, he mistook marriage for a kind of food (understandable, given thisisGoku...), but when he's grown, he nearly breaks Chi-Chi's heart when he tells her so, and then turns around and proposes for real.
Goku: Sometimes my brain doesn't know what my mouth is saying. Good thing my heart does. Will you marry me?
It's a miracle he could disengage his arm from her embrace to fight Ma Junior. Or Tien, for that matter.
For this troper, it was Vegeta, preparing to sacrifice himself to kill Buu, finally revealing that he has a heart and embracing his son Trunks for the first time... topping it all off with a "You've made me proud." After spending the entirety of the previous major arc not even giving his family a second thought, this was a true indication of just how far the Saiyan Prince had come. It would've been even more heartwarming if Buu hadn't survived and Vegeta hadn't brought back to life the next day.
He earns double bonus badass-Heartwarmer points when he asks if he will see Kakrot in the afterlife. Piccolo, never one to parse words, point blank explains that while Goku was rewarded for all the good deeds he's done, Vegeta's history is too brutal, and he will ultimately be sentenced to Hell. Vegeta only smiles, with his "of course" face and tells Piccolo to run.
Climax probably arrives during the explosion, when two things happen. First, Piccolo, the person who's consistently liked Vegeta least (next to Yamcha perhaps) tries to go back and save him (he's of course stopped), and at least in the dub version, there is a moment where the blast radius reaches it apex that underneath Vegeta's theme, his screams are cut off, at which point no one can claim it's not a Tear Jerker
Goten was so moved by this scene, he sucked his thumb briefly.
Pretty much any time the incredibly emotionally stunted Vegeta and #18 show that they care, especially #18 - at least with Vegeta you get the constant idea that Earth has been slowly growing on him through the series; with #18 you get a while before she shows, however briefly, that she actually cares about anyone - until then you get the idea that she's just hanging around everyone out of habit rather than friendship. Her yelling out to Krillin before his Heroic Sacrifice against Super Buu was a nice "awww, she does care" moment, even if she and everyone elsediddie immediately afterward.
We even see that Vegeta cares for Gohan and Goten, as well; when everyone believes that Buu killed Gohan, Vegeta is enraged and mentions this as one of his main reasons for wanting to kill Buu. Later on, after Earth is destroyed, Vegeta snaps at Goku, not that he let his son die, but that he let their sons die.
All of the reunion scenes after everyone is wished back to life in the Buu saga, some of which you have to watch the anime to see. Special mentions go out to Krillin's family — when his daughter runs up to him for a hug, and he looks up to see 18 coming out of the shadows, smiling and waving, and Gohan landing behind Videl and tapping her on the shoulder... and she turns around, is shocked to see him, and starts crying and beating him on the chest. And he just looks adorably confused.
Vegeta dies fighting Majin Buu. Yamcha wishes for Shenron to bring everyone who isn't evil back to life, and Vegeta stays dead. Flash forward about a day and a massive epic fight, in which Uranai Baba briefly brought Vegeta back from the dead because Goku needed a distraction help. Dende wishes for Porunga to bring everyone who isn't evil back to life, and this time? Vegeta is reincarnated along with everyone else. The look on his face is just amazing.
The first part is justified- Shenron can't revive someone who already died and was brought back once (Vegeta was killed and revived already in the battle with Freeza) meaning that reguardless whether Vegeta was a good guy at the time he couldn't be brought back. Porunga on the other hand, can revive the same person multiple times.
Goku: And guess what else, the evil people weren't wished back. The verdict's in, you're a good guy!
Pretty much any scene of Gohan and Piccolo will have an "aaaawwwww" factor to it, but Piccolo's Heroic Sacrifice in the Saiyan Saga is an obvious one to cite. A more subtle one is Gohan's rock-steady, not-taking-no-for-an-answer insistence (even going so far as to yell at his mother to be quiet when she protests) on climbing aboard a centuries-old spaceshuttle and visiting an alien planet so that he could be the one to personally wish Piccolo back to life. Consider that, prior to this point, Gohan was a sweet, shy crybaby who rarely raised his voice. He's five, by the way!
Especially changing out of his "school clothes" on the ship into a Piccolo-style outfit in his honor. Now THAT was awesome. He'd wear it until trading it in for Freeza armor after the battle with the Ginyu Force. But he would continue to wear Piccolo-style outfits for the most part throughout his childhood, culminating with a full outfit, complete with weighted shoulder wear and turban, at the Cell Games. He'd even wear a turban occasionally as the Great Saiyaman.
This realization makes me view the Great Saiyaman as less Narm and more "awww". But only a little...
Think of it this way: it's Narm with the helmet, it's Awww with the bandana.
Everything about the episodes where Hercule and Majin Buu become friends. Best example; earlier on, Hercule tricks Buu into lying down so he can take a picture of himself standing triumphantly over Buu as "proof" that he "defeated" Buu. But after he and Buu have actually become friends (and had helped save a puppy from a fatal wound), Hercule remembers the picture and, realizing how wrong it was to take advatage of Buu's naivete, tears it up and throws it away. Such a far cry from when he was willing to take undeserved credit in the previous saga.
Let's not forget Buu's healing the blind kid earlier. It showed to the audience that Buu could be a good person once he got past his serious lack of knowledge about right and wrong — something that Hercule was quite willing to fix upon learning this himself.
However this quickly turned into terrifying when Buu flies off to get some milk for the blind boy. He finds an innocent man simply unloading from a truck, then proceeds to turn this man into a carton of milk. Milk that he then gives to the child. IT'S PEOPLE.
In addition to showing that Buu could be a good person, the meeting with the boy is a red herring to those who think that Buu is going to turn over a new leaf BECAUSE of his meeting with the boy. Well, if turning a man into milk doesn't convince you that he's still not a good guy yet, check out what he does right after he leaves the boy.
Goten and Goku's first meeting (anime only). Goten is six years old and has never met his father before; he hides behind Chi-chi's skirt for several seconds, staring in silence... then abruptly screams "Daddy!" and rushes into his arms. Even Piccolo was smiling.
Android 16's interaction with Dr. Briefs's cat, Tama.
A particular scene comes to mind from the last Z film "Wrath of the Dragon." Early on in the film features a scene with many of the main character's enjoying an evening barbecue. Trunks and Goten's hands are shown sneaking up from underneath the grill grabbing skewer after skewer of shish kabobs, intending to give the food to Tapion. Goku notices them and breaks into a very warm smile and silently moves the last skewer over on the grill towards Trunks' hand.
Another scene from Wrath has Vegeta, who had entered the fight with Hirudegarn with his typical self-centered reasons (his first day off in a month and some monster attacks his home) and is smashed into a crowded office building. Hirudegarn prepares a fire breath attack and Vegeta glances at the people near him and expends all of his energy creating a barrier that shields everyone from the attack. Its a small moment but it shows just how much he's changed from the Axe Crazy planet killer he was in the beginning. To cap it off, we later see the very same people he had saved helping him up.
The entire Red Ribbon Army saga is the ultimate heart-warming story of Dragon Ball. It completely embodies the spirit of the original series. It's just Goku as a child wandering the world searching for his lost 4-star Dragon Ball and meeting a lot of new friends and enemies along the way. He rescues #8 and the village elder from General White, he gives away his own heirloom just to resurrect Upa's father, and moved to tears, he meets his grandfather while fighting at Baba's palace.
The climax of the 22nd Tenka'ichi Budokai in the anime, which led to the fight been taken a few miles outside the arena but ended in Tenshinhan (while completely unconscious) barely winning the match because Goku was unfortunate to land first (he flew a van), the entire audience vacates the arena and runs towards the two combatants to applaud them. Later, a large man offers to hold Tenshinhan on his shoulders, claiming he must be exhausted from the fight. Keep in mind just hours before, Tenshinhan was very much the biggest Heel seen in a Tenka'ichi Budokai thus far and only changed his ways during the fight with Goku. The same is almost done with Goku, and the two are brought closer together to congratulate each other, and they just smile at each other. Even Krillin was getting teary-eyed.
I always liked this one scene from the Frieza Saga with Vegeta and Krillin. It starts out with Vegeta telling Krillin that he has to hurt him badly in order for Dende to heal him and make him stronger. There's only one problem, Krillin can't bring himself to hurt Vegeta! It was sweet to see that Krillin had started taking Vegeta's presence on the good-guy's side for granted. Not to mention this is coming from the man who, just a few months ago had argued that Vegeta should be killed. He actually wanted to deliver the blow HIMSELF! Vegeta's reaction to Krillin's blubbering was fun to watch too. You could tell he really had no clue why Krillin was hesitating, though his reaction is more like a Crowning Moment of Funny.
The Ginyu Force exist because Toriyama used to watch Super Sentai with his son. This is cute enough, but reaches CMOH levels because Toriyama mentions in his intros in the tankobon that he was often too busy with the manga to spend time with his family.
The development of Gohan and Videl's relationship throughout Z in its entirety.
This troper just gushed at this instance when I saw it in the DBZ anime (not sure if it's in the manga or Kai, haven't gotten that far in either yet). But after Goku had been deathly ill from the heart disease, he remarks to Chi-Chi and Master Roshi that he's going back out to fight the androids. Chi-chi of course is against it at first, nearly loosing her husband already with the heart disease (seeing her watch over Goku when he was sick made this troper smile and cry). But the two eventually come to an agreement, knowing she can't stop her husband from going back out there, with the promise that he'll save the earth from the androids. Then...one of the RAREST things I've ever seen. While it's out of focus, we only see up to Chi-chi and Goku's shoulders. But from the look on Master Roshi's face, and the way Goku's hand tenderly squeezed Chi-chi's shoulder-leaning a bit closer to her body...it's easy to assume that Gokuactually gave his wife a good bye kiss! This was such a rare moment to see between the two this troper teared up in happiness! The whole scene was screaming Aww, look they really do love each other!
This troper has never considered Dragon Ball GT canon except for one moment- a flashback to a family & friends day out on the beach, before Goku went off to train Uub. Goku, the guy who's always leaving his family behind to fight or train or both, said something that made me almost tear up.
Chichi: It’s days like this that make all of the hard times we’ve been through seem worth it.
Goku: Well, I have to admit, I do miss all the fighting. *turns to look at Chichi, smiling* But here, I get to be with you guys!
When Krillin has the opportunity to deactivate Android 18 but can't bring himself to do it. This could even double as a Tear Jerker
Krillin: I can't do it. I love her.
After becoming Mystic, Gohan has a heartfelt goodbye with his father before going off to face Majin Buu, with Goku believing this is the last time he'll see Gohan until his eventual death. It wasn't but still, incredibly touching.
Goku: Okay, go be a hero.
The ending of episode Save the World where Gohan has just defeated Cell and the Z Fighters (including Vegeta) all gathered with smiles on their faces around an exhausted but smiling Gohan after his victory.
The thoughts of the warriors as they come to Gohan's aid, knowing that they are completely outmatched against Cell, but still can't leave themselves to let Gohan fight him alone. Really, that entire episode is a combination Tear Jerker, Crowning Moment of Awesome, and Crowning Moment of Heart Warming for almost all the Z Warriors. Picolo, Tien, Yamcha, and Krillin note how much having Goku and Gohan in their lives has changed them, spuring them to put it on the line to help Gohan after Goku's sacrifice. Even Vegeta finally gets moved, by Goku's Death, Gohan's Fight, and the Z-Warrior's Struggle, to finally finish breaking that shell he has around himself. This moment marks his biggest character development, as he fights to help former enemies and rivals he's only held at arms length. The moment when you see his Big Bang Attack mark the absolute end of the fight by giving Gohan the chance to finish Cell, for all of these reasons, will give you Goosebumps.
When Future Trunks first came to the present timeline, the first two to really trust him and accept the offered drinks are Bulma and Gohan, his future mother and mentor/best friend respectively. Trunks has this little smile on as he watches the younger counterparts of the two people most important to him.
Also, while waiting for Goku, Trunks keeps stealing glances at Vegeta and again, has this little smile on as he meets his father for the first time.
In a filler episode as Goku is relaxing with Krillin before the Cell Games, he admits to Krillin that he isn't sure that if they are strong enough to defeat Cell, but he doesn't want Chi Chi or Gohan to worry and he wants to spend as much time with his family should anything happen.
Goku: These are precious times, Krillin. Being together is everything. That's all that really matters to me right now.
Another minor "Aw Look Vegeta Does Have A Heart" moment, but when Vegeta accidentally hits Trunks while they were training together and making him cry, he looks horrified and regretful for having hurt his son. Also given the general sense of the way Saiyans were raised, it says a lot that Vegeta regrets hurting his son while they were training together!
Vegeta's relationship with his son in general, really. With Future Trunks he was in full “Well Done Son” Guy mode, but seven years later with his "real" son it's clear that he loves Trunks even if he isn't always explicit about it.
During the three years before the androids' arrival, Piccolo is invited to train with Goku and Gohan. In one of the fillers, it's even revealed that Piccolo became a regular guest of the Son family. If ever his transition from a lonely Anti-Hero to a full-on True Companion is cemented, it's by this arc.
As Goku is resting after a particularly harsh fight and having a heart failure due to not having taken the medicine for his heart, Future Trunks and Chi-chi are watching over him. Future Trunks is wondering if coming to the past and giving him said meds was worth it or not, since he may have changed the future for the worst. Then Chi-chi smiles gently and comforts the kid, telling him (paraphrased)...
After Cell kills Future Trunks (or at least VERY badly wounds him), it's a wonder Vegeta didn't go Super Saiyan 2 himself. The reason? The look on his face says it all: whatever jealousy he felt towards Trunks, whatever annoyances he had with him, Trunks is HIS SON. He'd called Trunks as such before, but in that single moment, the words "my son" finally hit him like a ton of bricks. The unbelievable rage he unleashes on Cell just solidifies this.
Better yet, before Future Trunks leaves, he waves/salutes goodbye - this is as close to Vegeta saying "Good job, son" as he'd ever allow.
Whenever we saw Master Roshi filled with joy because of how far his students have come. Special mention to the last Tournament arc of Dragon Basll where he's filled with pride seeing how far Krillin has come.
One of the manga very last page, before the start of the finale, there is one page doubled with a tearjeker, on the page there is the picture of the first meeting between Goku and Bulma, where you see that it really put into perspective all the times that have past since them, all the way they have walk on, never miss to bring me to tear.
This story began with a chance encounter long ago...and now we come at last to the present. From now on, you'll have to see into their world with your own eyes...but maybe that will be even more fun!
The fact that the Pilaf Gang stick together even in their old age is rather heart warming. One has to think that they stuck around because they formed a genuine friendship over the years.