Heartwarming: It's A Wonderful Life

  • The very beginning where you hear the prayers of the town, proving that the movie is one long heartwarming parade from beginning to end:
    Mr. Gower: I owe everything to George Bailey. Help him, dear Father.
    Martini: Joseph, Jesus, and Mary, help my friend Mr. Bailey.
    Ma Bailey: Help my son George tonight.
    Bert: He never thinks about himself, God, that's why he's in trouble.
    Ernie: George is a good guy - give him a break, God.
    Mary: I love him, dear Lord — watch over him tonight.
    Zuzu: Please, God. Something's wrong with daddy. Please bring Daddy home.
    • Plus the fact that God not only hears those prayers, but is already working on the problem.
  • Mary, seeing her husband trying to keep a group of desperate customers from selling out to Potter (and only moments ago having begged him to let things be and continue to their honeymoon), is the one to first offer their honeymoon fund as loan capital to help the customers survive until the bank re-opens.
    • And the distribution of the funds had a follow up moment. Except for the Jerk Ass who went first demanding his full amount, most of them accepted twenty dollars a piece. And then one lady says "Can I just have $17.50?"
    • If you noticed, when George started using his honeymoon money to cover the run on the B&L, Uncle Billy and the two cousins start to open their wallets as well. Just George and Mary's money wouldn't have covered it.
    • Tom, the Jerk Ass who demanded all the money in his account, turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. At the end, he's one of the first people in making a donation, and he jokes to George, "What is this? Another run on the bank?!"
  • George's and Mary's honeymoon.
    Mary: Remember the night we broke the windows in this old house? This is what I wished for.
    • What makes this even more touching is the setting. The happy couple are in a leaky old house with a record playing, when they had planned to take a deluxe honeymoon out of town. But Mary is happy... because she's with the man she loves.
    • In the same scene, you see that Mary isn't the only person helping set up this honeymoon. Ernie and Bert are there, too. And once the record stops playing, Ernie and Bert stand out in the rain, singing through the window, to keep up the mood. It really shows how important George is to everyone, and how far people in the tower are willing to go to help him.
  • The denouement when George Bailey finally realizes that he has gained far more than he lost for staying in Bedford Falls, especially when seemingly the entire town comes to help him after Mr. Potter claimed that they would hate him for losing their money.
  • Last time I watched this, I noticed something I'd overlooked before. When George is on the bridge crying out, "I want to live again," pay attention to what happens. He's calling out to Clarence, his guardian angel, and nothing happens. Then he breaks and mutters, "Please, God," and it starts to snow again, showing that things have finally changed back to the way they're supposed to be.
  • Am I weird to think the scene where George is getting drunk in the bar and Mr. Welch punches him out, and Martini and Nick are so nice and concerned about him is heartwarming?
    • You are not alone in thinking that. It seems so out of character of George to act this way so Nick and Martini are moved by the sight of their poor friend.
    • It's not just Martini and Nick. When George is punched, almost the entire bar gets up to make sure he's alright.
    • Fridge Brilliance: That was the answer to his prayer: he had just begged God to show him the way out of his predicament, and immediately his friends show up to offer help and concern. George was just too depressed to notice.
  • For me, it's the scene where George is at the dinner table with his dad. Especially with what happens later that night. In a lot of fiction, if a character is killed off, the main character sometimes gets into a huge argument ("The last thing I said to him/her was that I wished I wasn't his son"), but George's comment? "Y'know, Dad, I think you're a really great guy." Just a brief moment of peace between father and son.
    • And then George's oldest son is named Peter, after his dad. Their relationship wasn't onscreen much, but it's clear just how much they loved each other.
    • Earlier in the scene, George and Harry carry their mother in and deposit her in her husband's lap, telling their father they have a present for him, and the senior Baileys hug and otherwise display the kind of comfortable affection any couple would want to have after so long together.
  • Mary and the children are watching George flip out in ways that terrify them. But when they recover their ability to speak, their first thought is, "We'd better pray for Daddy right away, so he'll feel better." Heartwarming for this troper.
  • It's very easy to miss at first, but Mister Gower manages to come back from his drunken despair and becomes a much better man and a dear friend to George. It's a stark contrast to both how he was in the start of the movie and in the Pottersville reality.
  • As awful as Pottersville is, there is something nice about the fact that Bert the cop and Ernie the cab driver are still friends, regardless.
  • The entire ending.
    George: I wanna live again! I wanna live again! I wanna live again... please God... let me live again."
    • George runs to the stairs to look for Mary. The wooden ball on the top of the post comes off again, just like every time anyone's used it for over ten years. George is so overjoyed that he has his life back that he kisses it before putting it back.
    • "Didn't ask any questions, all I had to say was that George was in trouble — 'Count me in!' "
    • Watch George while Mary is preparing to welcome the townsfolk: he just can't keep stop kissing her even when she's not paying attention.
    • Later:
    Harry: To my big brother George — the richest man in town.
    • Clarence's inscription:
    "Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."
    • After George reads said inscription:
    Mary: What's that?
    George: It's a Chrismas present from a very dear friend of mine.
    A bell on the Christmas tree rings
    Zuzu: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.
    George: That's right, that's right. Attaboy, Clarence.