In "Fame or Shame", Michael and Trevor interrupt Tracey's audition for Fame or Shame. Tracey responds with indignance, until she sees Trevor, and sounds genuinely overjoyed to see him back. She's the first person in the DeSanta family not to react in immediate fear to him. There's also Trevor hugging her back with one of the few genuine, nice smiles he gives off in the entire game.
There's also Trevor and Michael going Papa Wolf on Lazlow Jones for Tracey. Trevor sums it up best.
Trevor: When she was two years old, that little girl sat on my lap. That is when I swore to God I would rip the fucking skin off of anyone who fucking wronged her.
Trevor's interactions with Maude in his bounty hunting sidequest. He's nothing but polite and respectful, albeit a little sarcastic at the same time and she's nothing but polite, respectful and a little sarcastic right back and once the sidequest's over, he sincerely wishes her the best. If it were Michael or Franklin, it wouldn't mean much but since it's Trevor, it means heaps.
A lot of Reuniting the Family:
The heart to heart between Jimmy and Michael at the beginning of the mission.
Amanda agreeing to go the see a therapist with Michael to work out their issues.
Michael going Papa Wolf on Lazlow Jones (again)and ordering him to give Tracey a chance on his show, without her having to give him head.
The conversation between Michael, Jimmy and Tracey, on their way to therapy.
After a brutal argument in the therapist's office, Michael and Amanda calmly talk on the way home, and she asks Michael to not get himself or the family killed. He promises so.
Michael wears his wedding ring through the entire game, even when he separated from his wife. What is Amanda wearing when she and Michael meet back up? Her wedding ring.
The opening of "The Paleto Score", which is just the trio (plus one hired gun) driving from Trevor's meth lab to the bank and shooting the shit about their first jobs. Crosses over with CMOF when Franklin opens up about his first job, a bank heist that failed because the dye pack went off, and Trevor teasing him about it.
Trevor (while dropping Franklin off at the escape point): I'll bring a dye pack JUST for you!
After you complete the game, check out Michael's Life Invader page.
Lester Crest: "You can retire for real this time, old friend."
Also after the story is finished, Michael and his family clearly get on much better than before the game's events.
A minor one during one of Franklin's tow truck missions. In it, you save a man when his vehicle stalls on the train tracks just before the train hits. During the ride to deliver the car to an auto shop, he is sincerely expressing his gratitude to you, even pointing out that were you towing him in any other circumstance, he would be cussing you out.
There's a random encounter where someone will call out for help after their bike is stolen. If you choose to stop the thief and return the bike to its owner, the victim will thank you incredulously and ride away. Some time later, you'll get an email from the same man stating that he was a high-ranking official in an ecologically-friendly pet food company, and has promptly sent you $100,000 worth of his stock.
Borders on Papa Wolf in a few cases, such as during the Paleto bank heist, when the crew are fighting the police, Michael will yell for Franklin (the only one of the group not wearing heavy body armor) to stay behind him and let him soak up the brunt of enemy fire.
Franklin returning the favour and personally coming to Michael's rescue after he is taken hostage by Wei Sheng.
After the final mission, if he's still alive, Michael will send Franklin an e-mail that ends with the line "You're my friend for life. I hope you know that."
One theory is that he did it because he knew Michael couldn't bear to brutally torture and kill Mr. K, leading Trevor to do it himself. It's a small Pet The Dog moment that is very easy to miss.
There's a minor one in the game's opening mission when Michael is injured and Trevor refuses to leave him behind despite being heavily outnumbered by the police. Michael has to repeatedly beg Trevor to leave him before Trevor finally relents.
Right after this, there's a policeman who stays behind to comfort the farmer who was just taken hostage by Trevor. For a series that usually portrays police as Laughably Evil, this is a surprisingly nice little moment.
After the player character saves Antonia Bottino from being killed, she repays him quite a bit.
Michael can receive a phone call from Tracey when she's being tailed by a stalker. If you choose to help her and beat up the stalker, Tracey is at upset at first, but is eventually grateful to Michael for helping her.
A minor one, but after "Reuniting the Family", one of the slices of life you can get when switching back to Mike in the early morning is him getting out of bed with Amanda playfully wrapping her arm around him and the two sharing a quiet laugh and warm smile, showing how far they've come in fixing their relationship.
After this mission, switching back to Michael after a few days usually has him interacting more positively with his family in general. It includes playing a friendly and clean game of tennis with Amanda, watching TV with his kids, and even apologizing if you switch back to see Tracey yelling at him for something stupid he apparently did. Michael can even greet his family better with this gem if he greets Amanda, and from the tone, both are sincere about their dialogue.
Michael: Are we okay?
Amanda: I think we're gonna be just fine.
After Michael's family abandons him early in the game, he will occasionally receive emails and text messages from Tracey telling him that, even though she thinks he's a jerk, she still misses him. She will also comment "Please don't get a divorce."
Following "Reuniting the Family", you can cut to Michael walking by some prostitutes. The prostitutes will preposition Michael, and he politely declines by telling them "No more pros for me. My wife and I are going to counseling." He also mentions that he is Happily Married.
After the Golden Ending, Franklin receives a text from Michael thanking him for everything and calling him a friend for life. And when he hangs out with Trevor, the later reluctantly admits how proud he is of Franklin, and says it's good to have a real friend for once .
Trevor cries like a little boy when saying his farewells to Patricia (with "If You Leave Me Now" playing on the radio), Martin Madrazo's abused wife, whom he kidnapped after Madrazo refused to pay him and Michael for silencing Madrazo's cousin. Then Trevor warns Madrazo not to hurt Patricia again, or he will cut his remaining ear off.
From that same mission.
Trevor: (crying) For...for some... for some reason, everyone I love abandons me.
Patricia: But I'm not abandoning you Trevor; I'm going home.
If you switch to Michael after the mission "Reuniting the Family", you'll sometimes catch him playing video games with Jimmy before he Rage Quits. It's touching to see that the two are getting along so well, especially since Jimmy wouldn't even talk to Michel earlier in the game.
Same with Amanda. Before she wouldn't even look at him. After the mission, they actually seem like a couple, and it's pretty sweet.
If Michael takes Amanda out drinking after "Reuniting the Family", the two of them leave the bar drunkenly declaring their love for each other.
For all his big talk about gang banging, after the drug deal with the Ballas goes sour, Lamar reveals that his dream would be for him and Franklin to retire out in the suburbs. Not such a fatalist afterall?
Saving Taliana Martinezafter she's barely survived a car crash. Although the character that picks her up is initially skeptical of her ability (until she describes the heist), they offer to let her join the crew as a team driver. Seeing as she lost her entire crew escaping the police, and was barely saved from certain death, Taliana's 5% cut isn't really her being cheap so much as being her unspoken "I Owe You My Life".
If Michael and Trevor hang out together after completing the game, they finally reconcile after all the bitterness and anger between them for most of the storyline. Michael even goes as far as offering his entire share of the gold to Trevor as an apology for Brad's death, but Trevor turns it down, saying that pulling heists was never really about money for him.
Also, Trevor can explain to Franklin that - while his anger at Michael was still intense - he couldn't bring himself to kill the man when he had a family, especially when said family came back to him and was willing to trust him again.
After spending the whole game being bullied and pushed around by Trevor, Wade finally catches a break when Trevor takes over the Vanilla Unicorn and hires two strippers to lavish attention on Wade. Wade spends the rest of the game sitting in a booth at the Vanilla Unicorn with those two strippers fawning all over him.
Trevor: Hey, you two! You two! I want you to give this boy a good time... for a long time!
During the gunfight at the foundry in the Option C final mission, Trevor goes silent on the radio for a few minutes. Michael becomes genuinely distressed when he believes that Trevor might be dead, and is relieved when he finds Trevor is still alive. This scene is even more touching when you realize that just a few minutes earlier the two men were pointing guns at each other and shouting insults. Despite everything bad that happened between them near the end of the game, deep down they still considered each other friends.
Franklin helping out Tonya to keep her drugged out boyfriend JB from losing his job. He helps her out multiple times, even though he is not getting paid and is frequently insulted by Tonya. Franklin does it out of respect for the woman Tonya used to be before drugs took over her life. After completing all the jobs, Tonya will actually recommend Franklin to buy the Tow Company itself.
Franklin's friends in general are pretty hard to put up with. But Tonya will leave some really nice comments on her Lifeinvader page about Franklin after he helps her. She says that even if he's forgotten about the hood, he's still got her back.
The majority of the random events are full of this if you choose the helpful options. One example that's fairly easy to get has a construction worker getting caught in an accident, damaging the tanker truck he's in and leaving it threatening to explode while he's trapped inside. You can just leave him to his fate or you can work to free him. If you do, after the two of you clear the blast area, he repeatedly thanks you for saving his life. It's little surprisingly warm and fuzzy moments like that where you can show that even though your characters are criminals, they aren't monsters.
During the period where Michael and Trevor have been exiled to the desert, if you stop by Trevor's trailer while playing as Mike or Franklin, you'll sometimes see Trevor and Patricia standing outside Holding Hands. It's actually kind of cute.
Everything to do with Michael and Meltdown. Even aside from his obvious glee at meeting his idol, movie producer Solomon Richards, it becomes obvious over the course of the missions that making films is one of, if not the dream, for Michael. He's incredibly proud of his contribution to making the film happen, shows Jimmy around the studio in almost childlike awe that he's even there and describes making the film as him finally doing something worthwhile with his life.
This game gives you every opportunity to do things you could never possibly get away with in real life, which is the primary reason games like this are so controversial. But when you can have Franklin take Chop to the beach and just play fetch with him for a while (which is what this troper just did as of this writing), it offers one a sense of... peace and normalcy. It's a very literal Pet the Dog moment.
After "Lamar Down", Lamar and Franklin part after a bitter argument that seems to leave them quite pissed with each other. The next time Franklin calls Lamar, it's when he's in over his head in the "Deathwish" ending. Lamar first tells Franklin he'll help, and then asks what it's about. Whatever other flaws he might have, Lamar's comments about standing by his homies aren't hypocrisy.
At the start of "Bury the Hatchet", Trevor angrily states "No one gives a fuck about me!!" to which Michael boldly and sternly replies with "I do". Despite all their problems, it really does seem that Michael does care about Trevor.