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Heartwarming: Literature
The average novel is two hundred pages long or so. Sometimes there's one page in the mix that makes your heart melt.

Examples:

Anita Blake Vampire Hunter
  • From Blue Moon: when Anita has a Heroic BSOD for torturing and killing a man who knew where Richard and his family were being held hostage and Jason snaps her out of it by explaining that it doesn't matter if she sees herself as a monster because she is what she is and she is able to save people because of it. He even points out that he'd kill to save the people he loves and the whole scene concludes on a really awesome True Companions sort of level.
  • In that same vein, the end of the novel has Richard's mother finding out that Richard was a werewolf and that he lied because he was worried she'd think he was a monster. Her reaction? "Silly ass."
  • Another comes from "Obsidian Butterfly" where Edward gets badly injured saving the family he'd been pretending to be a part of and faints as he tells Anita to save them. There was also a smaller one where just before Anita goes to sleep in a hospital bed, Edward kisses her forehead. However, they never reveal if he really did that or if she dreamed that part. (But it's still sweet anyway.)

Around the World in Eighty Days
  • The penulimate chapter of Around the World in Eighty Days when Fogg believes he has lost his wager and is ruined. Aouda, for whom Fogg sacrificed travel time to rescue from certain death and then invited her along on his trip home, feels profoundly guilty that she may have cost him his bet, which Fogg thoroughly denies. Regardless, Aouda, already in love with Fogg, offers to marry him in part to help him live through his difficult future. At this, Fogg's Stiff Upper Lip caves in at last and accepts declaring his love for this gracious lady. Even better, when Passpartout goes to make arrangements for the wedding, he discovers that there is actually still time to arrive at the Reform Club to win the bet and that Fogg is able to arrive Justin Time to do so.

Avielle Of Rhia
  • Avielle of Rhia has Avielle, aka Vianna, a hated Silverskin, who's lost her whole family, her identity, and now the woman that took her in, the first to see her for herself, and she doesn't know what to do, when the people of Postern street call her a friend, and give her gifts- the first gifts she's ever gotten, and promise to take care of her. when she asks why, they all respond with, "because we love you". Princess Avi's own MOTHER believe her incapable of love-or of being loved.

The Book Thief
  • In The Book Thief when it is revealed that Max Vanderburg survived the concentration camps and found Liesel in Frau Hermann's house.Frau Hermann taking Liesel into her house also counts as one.
    • More than that...words cannot describe it. Discworld's is not the only Death who can manage a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. He's talking about the bombings, and it seems almost heartless... and then he says "It was only the children I carried in my arms." And to sum it all up:
"Even death has a heart."
  • When Death finally meets the girl he's spent so much time thinking about, and watching get left behind.
  • There's also "The Standover Man" and "The Word Shaker", the stories Max writes for Liesel.

Bridge of Birds
  • The ending to Barry Hughart's wonderful fantasy novel Bridge of Birds. If you haven't read it, it's too utterly beautiful to spoil. Read the book. Please. It will make the world a better place if you experience the Grand Finale for yourself.

Carl Sagan

China Miéville
  • The ending of China Miéville's The Scar, when Doul orders his men to release the Brucolac, who has been tied to the top of a mast for days. Being a vampire, he's been slowly dying of exposure to sunlight, but the first thing that Doul does when his former master leaves is to free him. This has been compounded with the fact that Doul and the Brucolac have had a relationship of respect and almost friendship even while being enemies throughout most of the novel.
    "Cut him down. Cut him down and take him home."

Chronicles of Narnia
  • In Prince Caspian, after a very tiring two-day trek across the wilderness, a lot of stress, and several arguments over whether or not Lucy really saw Aslan, the Pevensies finally meet him at Aslan's How. Peter goes down on one knee before him, takes his paw in both hands, and brings it to his face, and apologizes to Aslan for not having led them all better.
  • Later in the book, during Peter's duel with Miraz, Caspian frets that Peter will allow the jeering of the Telmarines to goad him into acting foolishly. Edmund calmly declares his faith in his brother: "Not he. You don't know him."
  • Reepicheep's people revealing just how devoted they are to their leader.
  • Aslan healing the woman on her deathbed, who turns out to be Caspian's childhood nurse.
  • The Horse and his Boy: When Aslan walks along the mountainside into Narnia with Shasta and reveals all the times he's watched over him his entire life, from his Moses in the Bullrushes incident to protecting him from jackals at the Tombs of the Ancient Kings.
  • In the same book, Hwin (who has spent the entire book being bossed around by Aravis and Bree) proves she has more figurative balls than either of them when she takes one look at Aslan and offers herself up as his meal.

The Doomspell Trilogy
  • In The Doomspell Trilogy' final installment The Wizard's Promise: The Good Witches come to take back their lost sisters.
    • Also when Eric asks for the name of the Witch Jarius who just pulled a Heel-Face Turn for their cause.
      Eric: I dn't even know your name...
      Witch: ...Jarius.
      Eric: Jarius... thank you, Jarius.
    • Also in the Doomspell Series... Yemi. Just... Yemi.

Dragaera
  • There are a couple in the Taltos books.
  • One is at the end of Orca when the female security officer discovers that Vlad has been trying to win back the cottage of a widowed medicine woman as payment for her helping the mentally damaged Savn (for which damage Vlad holds himself responsible). As an honorable defender of the law, she develops enormous respect for him, something particularly touching because of all of the Fantastic Racism in the series.
  • Issola has a good moment where Vlad thinks about how he is dedicated to saving Aliera and Morollan even though they are in his words "enormous jerks". This is particularly touching as it shows how much he's changed from the beginning of the series when he thought of all Dragaerans as scum. Being Vlad, though, he says he just wants to embarrass the Persons Of Mass Destruction.
  • And in Phoenix, Loiosh, who we mostly see wisecracking and running minor errands for Vlad, flies all the way back to the mainland to get the cavalry to get Vlad out of prison. It's probably his most selfless act in the whole series.

Edward Lear
  • The ending of Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat, after the titular characters get married:
    And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
    They danced by the light of the moon,
    The moon,
    The moon,
    They danced by the light of the moon.

Eye of the Wolf
  • The ending of Eye of the Wolf. Africa (the boy), having journeyed through Africa (the continent), is reunited with all the animals he met on his journey, in the zoo where his adoptive uncle works.
Faery Rebels
  • In the Faery Rebels, Mark gives up his chance to be healed so that Knife can be human, and they can be together.it's the first time that Knife sees truly how much humans can care.

The Fire Within
  • Chris D'Lacey's book The Fire Within is a Crowning Book Of Heartwarming. Especially the ending. "Wuzzled off." Cue tears, especially at how sweetly and gently it was handled. Even though they weren't truly able to save the squirrel's life, they managed to find happiness in what they did do for him.

Gemma Doyle
  • In The Sweet Far Thing, Pippa goes completely batshit insane, tries to kill her friends, and ends up trapped in a building that was pulled under the ground by extremely vicious weeds. After everything is said and done, Gemma tells Felicity that she believed that Pippa was uncorrupted for so long because of Pippa's love for Felicity, and visa versa, and that such love is probably the strongest magic Gemma had ever seen.
  • Gemma, Ann and Felicity watch their friend Pippa, lost to The Dark Side, get swallowed up in her own pride and vanity and a monsterous house. Felicity, the Schoolgirl Lesbian girlfriend, weeps, and Gemma consols her by saying that the love between Pippa and Felicity was probably what kept Pippa from going evil for so long, and is the most pure, powerful, and wonderful magic of all.

The Giver
  • The Giver: At the end, when Jonas steals Gabriel, saving him from being released
    • "There could be love."

The Graveyard Book
  • The entire last chapter of The Graveyard Book. Especially Bod's last conversation with Silas.
    "Um. Silas. If you're ever in trouble, call me. I'll come and help."
    "I," said Silas, "do not get into trouble."
    "No. I don't suppose you do. But still."
    It was dark in the crypt, and it smelled of mildew and damp and old stones, and it seemed, for the first time, very small.
    Bod said, "I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want," he said, and then he paused and he thought. "I want everything."
    "Good," said Silas. Then he put up his hand as if he were brushing away the hair from his eyes - a most uncharacteristic gesture. He said, "If ever it transpires that I am in trouble, I shall indeed send for you."
    "Even though you don't get into trouble?"
    "As you say."

Gregory Maguire
  • Somewhere in the second half of "Son Of A Witch", when Liir is imagining what stories the scraped faces would say of their lives. The stories come one after the other, with no apparent connection, and then one of them goes, "I loved it when I was alive". The next story is just:
    "I loved it when I was alive too."

Halo
  • Even the Halo novels have their share of HMs. One is in The Flood, the novelization of the first Halo game. The ODST commander speaks with Captain Keyes regarding the Master Chief, and voices his opinion that the SPARTANs are a failure and that they shouldn't rely on him, because real honest to god marines are what will win the day. Keyes takes his time to reply, and when he does, he gives a stirring and heartfelt defense of the Master Chief, not just for his useful abilities, but because of who he is and what he's struggled through.
    • Or in Ghosts of Onyx, when Kurt, in his last moments, sees every deceased Spartan, including his students and Sam, giving him thumbs up, right before he detonates the nuke.

Harry Turtledove
  • The end of the tenth chapter in the second book of Harry Turtledove's Alternate History World War series. Mordecai Anielewicz, a Jewish partisan, is wandering the Polish countryside posing as a Catholic Pole after escaping from Lizard-occupied Warsaw when he is offered food and lodging for the night by a Polish peasant family. When he leaves the next morning, the patriarch of the family tells him that he figured out that he was Jewish, but offered hospitality anyway, since Mordecai "looked like a man who needed taking in." The chapter ends with:
    "At times, it seemed like the entire country hated his people. Being reminded that it wasn't so left Mordecai with a good feeling for the rest of the day."
    • Another work by Turtledove is In the Presence of my Enemies set in a world where the Nazis won World War II and the few remaining Jews are in hiding in small groups of only a few families. One family is close to being caught and under the heels of the SS. Only for the SS investigator to subtly inform them they are free to go and implies he and many members of his organization are also hidden Jews and more than anyone knows survived...

Hercule Poirot
  • The Hercule Poirot mysteries aren't really known for this, but a good moment was found in Lord Edgware Dies. Even though the dowtrodden Captain Hastings and Poirot aren't much for showing affection, Poirot tells Hastings over breakfast what great affection he actually does have for him, along with a speech about how much he has helped with cases. The latter part is exactly what Hastings needs to hear after all they've been through. Hastings is so pleased that he can hardly help but brush it off.
    "You are beautifully and perfectly balanced. In you sanity is personified. Do you realize what that means to me? When the criminal sets out to do a crime, his first effort is to deceive. Whom does he seek to deceive? The image in his mind is that of the normal man. There is probably no such thing actually - it is a mathematical abstraction. But you come as near to realizing it as is possible...how does this profit me? Simply in this way. As in a mirror I see reflected in your mind exactly what the criminal wishes me to believe. That is terrifically helpful and suggestive."

Hope Spot
  • Jack Vincennes' Hope Spot in LA Confidential: after confessing his terrible past mistakes while jacked up on drugs, he comes home to a note from his wife saying she's booked them for a ten day vacation in Hawaii to salvage their relationship. Then, "PS: I know you're wondering, so I'll tell you. When you were at the hospital you talked in your sleep. I know the worst I can possibly know and I don't care. We never have to discuss it. Capt. Exley heard you and I don't think he cares either. (He's not as bad as you said he was.)"
  • When he's not being seriously scary (such as lifting a man by the neck with one hand), Bud White is probably having one of these.
  • "Scary Captain Ed" doesn't get many of these, but one of them is at the end, saying goodbye to Bud and Lynn:
    Ed: (to Bud) Thanks for the push . . . you were my redemption.
    Lynn: We should go now.
    Ed: Was I ever in the running?
    Lynn: Some men get the world, some men get ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona.

House of Leaves
  • House of Leaves, oddly enough: after the horrifying events of Expedition #4, Will's twin brother Tom reverts to alcoholism, and at one point Will finds him lying on the floor drunk. He picks him up and puts his arm around him, and Tom says "At least when you're drunk, you've always got the floor for your best friend. Know why?" Will completes the saying with "It's always there for you," and Tom returns "That's right, just like you." Aw. In retrospect, this probably should have made it clear that Tom was going to die less then ten pages later—as it turned out, he couldn't count on the floor. Also, the little vignette about the locket and what turns out to be in it.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy
  • This passage, found near the end of The Illuminatus! Trilogy:
    We have never sought power. We have sought to disperse power; to set men and women free. That is to say, to help them discover that they are already free. Everybody's free. The slave is free. The ultimate weapon isn't that plague out in Vegas, or any new super H-bomb. The ultimate weapon has always existed. Every man, every women and every child owns it. It is the abillity to say No and take the consequences. Fear is failure; the fear of death is the beginning of slavery. Thou hast no right but to do thy will. The goose can break the bottle at any second. Socrates took the hemlock to prove it. Jesus went to the cross to prove it. It's in all history, all myth, all poetry. It's been right out in the open all this time. [...] All I'm doing — all we've ever tried to do — is communicate with people in spite of their biases and fears. Not to rule them. And what we're trying to communicate — the ultimate secret, the philosophers stone, the elixer of life — is just the power of the word No.

Isaac Asimov
  • The end of Isaac Asimov's Positronic Man. Andrew Martin has spent the past 200 years trying to be recognized as a human being. He has become closer and closer as time went by; his heart, his lungs, his stomach, every portion of his anatomy is indistinguishable from those used by humans, especially since they're the same prosthetics so many humans are using in the book. Until, at the end, his case comes before a trial of the world who says, effectively, that the only difference between Andrew Martin, robot, and any human you care to name is that Andrew's immortal, and humans are fundamentally mortal. Andrew accepts this, and decides that he wants to be human, and be accepted as human, more than he wants to live. A matter of days before he finally dies, Andrew Martin is accepted as a human being, as the "Bicentennial Man". Manly tears, dammit.
    • There's another, more subtle one, shortly afterward; he's on his deathbed, surrounded by friends, and is within minutes of dying. He sees his old mistress, 170 years dead, welcoming him into "heaven", and dies a free human.
  • The moment when Andrew is accepted as a free robot, who owns himself. That always gets me.

John C. Wright
  • Chronicles of Chaos: In the last book of the trilogy, when Vanity is horribly injured, the normally-stoic warlock Quentin babbles frantically in the background, begging deities he doesn't even believe in to spare her life.
  • War of the Dreaming: Raven's story of how he met his wife; Peter's speech to his son; Wendy's reunion with her parents; Varovitch drawing pictures to remind himself of the future; Oberon welcoming Varovitch to his realm...
  • The Golden Oecumene: Phaethon's Love Epiphany—even more effective than most because it happened to somebody else.

John Dies at the End
  • John Dies at the End: "Here is everything you need to know about John. John never once referred to you as 'the girl with the missing hand'."

Johnny and the Bomb
  • Johnny and the Bomb has one at the very end, as Kirsty runs to Johnny's house in the rain just to let him know she remembers their adventure (unlike everyone else). It makes it clear exactly who Kirsty is to Johnny: the one person who can actually share in all the weirdness that surrounds him.

Jon Berkeley
  • In the Palace of Laughter, Miles and Little( a song Angel) have come all this way so Little can return home, and as she's about to leave, the Null attacks. Miles tries to fend him off, but it's clear that he can't, so Little does the only thing she can- she sings her own, true name, which can never be spoken or sung aloud, lest the angel be doomed to a life as human. She doesn't have to think about it- she cares more about her friend than her whole existence.*sniff*

J. R. R. Tolkien
  • And from The Silmarillion, Beren and Lúthien, for Eru's sake! "...[Beren] woke again...and he heard beneath the leaves singing soft and slow beside him Lúthien Tinúviel. And it was spring again."
  • "...Maglor took pity upon Elros and Elrond, and he cherished them, and love grew after between them, as little might be thought."
  • Eärendil and Elwing. 'Nuff said.

Kushiel's Legacy
  • From the (otherwise spectacularly dark) Kushiel's Legacy 3rd book, the boys, eunuchs and women of the zenana cooperating to break into the garden and steal sight of the sun. Then Erich, the Skaldi prisoner there, defending Phedre with the line
    Her name is Phèdre nó Delaunay, and she walked across a war into torture and sure death to save her country. From my people.
  • After she had spent many hours singing him nursery songs in his own tongue, and essentially been his only friend in a harsh environment. And finally, the climax of the trilogy, when Phèdre speaks the Name of God to banish an angel and save her childhood best friend {It Makes Sense in Context) from an immortality of tortured existence. The Name is a word which cannot be pronounced or understood (it's all a bit magical), but everyone who was present heard it in their own languages. The Name of God? Love. Doubles as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • From the first book in the Imriel trilogy, the scene where Imriel tells his new friend Eamonn about the horrors he survived as the prisoner/plaything of the Mahrkagir, opening up about things he's never told anyone, and Eamonn just shrugs it off, reminds Imriel that he's not vile even if vile things were done to him, and says that he wishes the Mahrkagir was still alive so he could avenge Imri properly.
  • From Kushiel's Justice, after Imri's wife Dorelei has been brutally murdered along with their unborn child, her bodyguard Urist reveals that she had charged him to deliver Imriel safely home to his true love Sidonie if anything happened to her in an especially moving I Want My Beloved to Be Happy moment. /spoiler.

The Last Dragon
  • The end of Silviana de Mari's "The Last Dragon/ The Last Elf" when after they ragtag orphans have made it to their new land, which they name after a fallen friend who saved them, they start to make laws. and it's just so touching, because after they've got several fair laws, one little child says " it isn't forbidden to be an Elf" and Yorsh just nods and writes it down, but he knows that he'll never, ever have to hide or run away again, for the first time in his life.
    • and also when Robi is about to tell Yorsh that She's the one in the Prophecy, who he's supposed to marry, but she's afraid, because she thinks that he'll only marry her because of the prophecy. And he looks at her, and says that she's beautiful, and he loves her name before she can say a word. and for the first time since we've met her, Robi smiles.

The Light Of Other Days
  • The Light of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, gives one to (drumroll please) Jesus. Thanks to advanced technology letting people look into the past, they discover that most of The Bible is either wrong or distorted; for example, he was the illegitimate son of a Roman centurion. The Catholic cardinals get into a deep argument about what to do next. And then someone points out that Joseph still raised the kid, knowing it wasn't his; that the kid grew up to preach mercy and love off his own bat; and that when he faced execution by Pontius Pilate for political reasons, he could easily have rejected his words, and didn't. And then went to his death with zero chance of revival.
    • It gets better: the tech they're using produces a minute wormhole, which generates infinitesmal ripples in time-space. You'd need billions of wormholes for anyone to notice. The Catholic Church decide to find out Jesus' last words on the cross... and they can't. So many people are looking at this one spot that the whole area goes fuzzy when you look at it. Billions of people in the future still care about the guy, even though they heard he was completely normal.

The Little Prince
  • "One sees clearly only with the heart."
  • When the little prince leaves the fox after taming him:
    Little Prince: But you're going to weep?
    Fox: Yes, of course.
    Little Prince: Then you get nothing out of it?
    Fox: I get something because of the color of the wheat.

Masters of Rome
  • Book two of the Masters of Rome series, The Grass Crown, has Gaius Marius' trip to watch the new consul elections with the young Julius Caesar. After a second stroke that forced him away from the battlefield, the legendary commander refuses to leave his house for months so the people don't see him in his ruined, half-paralyzed state. Finally his wife and Caesar persuade him to watch the election, and the whole way there everyone cheers as he walks past, looking past the man as they remember the greatness of his many victories both on the battlefield and in the Senate House, and give him the plaudits he deserves.

Mars Needs Moms
  • Berkeley Breathed's Mars Needs Moms had the protagonist going from complaining bitterly of all the 'awful' things his mother makes him do, such as eating his vegetables, to realizing how significant and important she is in life after she sacrifices herself and gives her space helmet to her son to prevent him from dying from Mars exposure after his helmet breaks.

M.T. Anderson
  • In The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen by M.T. Anderson, the moment Katie realizes that, as a fictional character she will never age, never go to college, never get married, and eventually become just as much an anachronism as her friend Jasper Dash, a Tom Swift style character, as her friend Lily leaves her behind. Then again, a few short pages later she decides that it really isn't that bad: She has friends and she gets to do what she does best.

Northern Lights
  • When Lyra gives Tony Markorios a makeshift funeral, saying, "I hope it'll do if I provide for you like a Jordan scholar." And the moment ("What was her name?") when Pantalaimon realizes what she has in mind.
  • And then in The Amber Spyglass: Lyra and Will, having been forced into an agonizing separation from their daemons, essentially losing part of their souls, find their daemons again during the epic final battle, and due to suddenly having to grab at the two similar looking animals, each ends up holding the one belonging to the other. Usually touching another person's daemon is the worst kind of invasive taboo, but almost without realizing it Lyra and Will have fallen so deeply in love that this is simply the final confirmation of their intimacy. Honestly, it sounds like terrible fantasy hokum, but somehow it completely works.
  • The dialogue between Lee Scoresby and Hester during their death scene in The Subtle Knife, particularly:
    " Hester, don't you go before I do."
    " Lee, I couldn't abide to be anywhere away from you for a single second."

Out of My Mind
  • In Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind, the protagonist, Melody, can't speak because of cerebral palsy. When she gets a "Medi-Talker" she spends an afternoon practicing with it with her mentor and caretaker, Mrs. V. What Melody has to say to her parents when they come to pick her and her sister up is touching.
    Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. I am so happy... I love you.

Peter Pan in Scarlet
  • Peter Pan in Scarlet, the sequel to Peter Pan, has at least four, potentially crossing over into Tear Jerker:
  • Curly choosing to grow up and become a doctor because Peter is sick, even though he knows that Peter won't accept him once he's well again. 'Ask me, Ravello.'
  • Wendy tending to Captain Hook as he dies. 'Goodnight, James.'
  • 'Those ladies there are the Heartbroken! There's none other would make a voyage like that. They do what they have to. Instinct, see. Can't help theirselves. They'd do anything, Mothers would.'
  • 'You didn't take this, my darling, when you went missing.'
  • And what about Tootles' father recognising his son immediately, even though his son was at that point a little girl.

The Pickwick Papers
  • The Pickwick Papers is full of scenes that could qualify, but the one where Job Trotter tells Sam how Mr Pickwick saved him and Jingle (bringing about their Heel-Face Turn) stands out.
    "...Mr Weller," said Job, with real tears in his eyes for once, "I could serve that gentleman till I fell down dead at his feet."
    "I say!" said Sam. "I'll trouble you, my friend! None o' that!"
    Job Trotter looked amazed.
    "None o' that, I say, young feller," repeated Sam firmly. "No man serves him but me."

The Powerless Of This World
  • Boris Strugatsky's The Powerless of This World has a rather dark, depressing plot, for the most part. From the very beginning of the novel, the main character, Vadim, is hounded and assailed by a major crime boss and his mooks, becomes a nervous wreck from the experience, while getting no support whatsoever from a Jerkass of a "friend" and some fairly cryptic advice from his Trickster Mentor. He does get some concern, sympathy and emotional support from the rest of his old friends, but nobody seems willing or able to actually help him solve his problem. Unbeknownst to him, however, some of his friends (including at least one major Jerk with a Heart of Gold, or at least with a sense of solidarity) did already begin working on a plan to get the crime boss off his back. This culminates in a Big Damn Heroes moment, which works out perfectly and is followed up by male bonding as the friends reunite. The fact that it was by then made quite redundant doesn't really reduce the heartwarming factor of the scene.

The Railway Children

Redwall
  • Redwall: Blaggut. Nothing specifically that he did, just Blaggut's existence is the entire series' CMOH. He starts out as the typical Ugly Cute Punch Clock Villain rat, patiently enduring his boss Slipp's abuse, then starts to get second thoughts when Slipp is contemptuous of his being nice to the lost baby mouse and mole they find. Then he cries his eyes out for hours when Slipp kills the badger mother. Slipp gets angry and starts to beat him up again, and Blaggut gets a Crowning Moment Of Awesome / The Dog Bites Back moment by killing him and going back to the Abbey to face the music. And they exonerate him of all blame and he gets to be one of only two vermin in twenty books whose Mook-Face Turn actually worked out. Awwwwwwwwwwww.

A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events actually turns out to be a one in its entirety. Beatrice is actually the Baudelaires' mother. Lemony wrote the series partly to protect the children he never had, to honor his lost love's memory, and to expose the wrongness in VFD's constant bickering, how no one is right in the matter.
    • There was also a much smaller one in the eleventh book, where Fiona is reunited with her long-lost brother, Fernald.

Shannon Hale
  • the end of Shannon Hale's " Book of a Thousand Days. I think the line that sums it up best is this,
    " More than a thousand days i've know her, more than a thousand songs i've sung...but only now does Saren truly begin to heal'.
  • If Dashti's entry about finding My Lord( the cat), who has been thought dead for the past hundred pages, doesn't make you grin...nothing will.
    • Shannon Hale is full of these. In Goose girl, for example, any time Enna is around and Isi/ Ani is sad, there is going to be a moment. any time.

Shel Silverstein
  • Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. A young boy spends every day with his favorite tree, climbing her trunk, swinging from her branches, eating her apples. When he becomes a young man, he's sad because he has no money, so the tree gives him her apples to sell. When he becomes older, he wants a house so he can have a wife and family, so the tree gives him her branches to build a house. Later, he wants to sail away and forget his troubles, so she gives him her trunk to build a boat. When he returns, many years later, the tree is sad because she has nothing left to give to him. He tells her that he's very tired ... all he wants is a place to sit and rest, and the tree, who is by now nothing but a stump, offers him a place to sit and rest.

Sherman Alexie
  • The short story "Saint Junior," by Sherman Alexie. The story follows a middle-aged man and his wife as they wake up on a snowy morning and watch a rerun of a Michael Jordan press confrence while they reminesce about how they met and courted in college. Firstly, there's the husband thinking about how people choose the ones they love—and how he and his wife, every single day, continue to choose each other. And then, finally, they go out into the snow, both of them chubby and out of shape, and play basketball. In the short story collection it's in, it's also placed right after the two most depressing stories in the book, just to make it all the more obvious.

A Single Shard
  • Linda Sue Park's A Single Shard combines Death by Newbery Medal (" "Wherever you are on your journey, Crane-man, I hope you are traveling on two good legs") with Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Min: "How are you to help me if you do not have a wheel of your own?" and Ajima: "Be home in time for supper."

Star Trek Expanded Universe
  • The Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Ghost Ship: Every time Geordi and Data talk to each other. Every time they look at each other, or look at someone else in regards to each other, you know there's an aww moment coming.
    • Culminating when Data tells Geordi that he considers him his best friend before pulling off Geordi's communicator, dumping him on top of a stack of storage equipment that's too high for him to get down easily, locking him in the storage room and going off to risk his hide in an attempt to save the crew from a Giant Life Sucking entity.
  • In the Star Trek Online novel The Needs of the Many, Jake Sisko tells the holographic 1962 lounge singer Vic about the ongoing fight for holographic persons' rights, and how it has advanced very far, but isn't quite official legislation yet. Vic dismisses it, saying that his programming isn't advanced enough to handle freedom from his program or holosuite. Then, just as Jake is leaving, Vic and his holographic audience all start singing We Shall Overcome.
  • The frame story of the Star Trek: The Original Series novel Final Frontier is Kirk trying to deal with the death of Edith Keeler. Near the end of the novel, Spock tells him this:
    Spock: Your presence in the past was not wasted. You made a difference for her. In the unchanged past, she lived and she died. That is all. In the altered time, she was loved before she died.

Star Wars Expanded Universe
  • Complain about the rest of Legacy of the Force all you like, but [[The Starscream}} I]] say you have no soul if you didn't feel mushy during the two heart-to-heart scenes between Ben and Mara in Sacrifice, especially the second one. Not only do they demonstrate why Mara is such a Mama Bear (scared of losing her closest family, the two who gave her renewed faith in life), but it also makes me feel much less guilty for reading WAFF fanfic. It's also partially why I (and a lot of other fangirls) raged so hard at Mara's death near the end of the book, because it meant there'd be no more such moments in later books. I'll let this brilliant quote speak for itself:
    Mara: "Ben, you're probably going to see a side of me soon that isn't good old Mom. But I want you to know that whatever I do, however much of a stranger you think I become, I love you, and you're my heart, every fiber of it. Nothing matters to me more than you."
  • Also part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, in the X-Wing Series, after Dia shoots Castin and undergoes a Heroic BSOD, Face takes her in his arms and keeps her from killing herself. Later he asks about the last time she really enjoyed herself, and then the last time she felt safe in someone else's company.
    Dia: "It was when I was at my worst. When I had shot Castin, when I'd desecrated the corpse of a brave man and pretended to do it with glee. When I tried to kill myself and you would not let me. Just before I fell asleep, I knew that you would not let anyone hurt me. You would not even let me hurt myself. And in that moment I knew myself safe, for the first time since I was a child. [...] That's what I wanted to say to you, what I didn't know how to say before. That I know you feel you failed Ton Phanan. But you did not fail me."
  • How Mara Jade got Luke to say "I love you": when he put her in a Jedi trace, she told him to wake her with that phrase, while wondering if he could actually do it. This is in Vision of the Future, and comes right after a now or never moment.
    Luke: "Mara...will you marry me?"
    Luke: "I mean regardless."
    Mara: "...Yes. I will."
  • Anakin and Tahiri trapped in an oxygenated closet in an oxygen-less space station and just beginning to explore their feelings for each other in the second book of the Edge of Victory duology. Although a certain event in the very next book turns this more into a Tear Jerker in hindsight.
  • Going along with the previous example, the birth of Ben Skywalker later on in the same book.
  • The biggest Crowning Moment of Heartwarming (also a Crowning Moment Of Awesome) in that book and perhaps the entire New Jedi Order series would have to be Jacen channeling his father's Big Damn Heroes moment in the very first movie. Jacen, still in his straw pacifist stage, has threatened to leave the Falcon because he doesn't want to participate in his father's raids on collaborators' ships. Leia visits Jacen, telling him that Han still needs him, and is desperately afraid of losing his bond with Jacen because Jacen is a Jedi, dealing with so many things Han could never understand. This is how it breaks down:
    Jacen: This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
    Leia: You're still going?
    Jacen: I decided to stay with you guys two days ago.
  • Luke saying "I love you" to Mara, Ben asking Luke "Dad, what's kriffing mean?", Luke witnessing R2's memories of Padme, and Han winning a planet in a sabacc game as a courting gift for Leia.
  • Commander Thrawn telling Jorj Car'das not to tell Ferasi what he did to Outbound Flight, because there are too few true, honest idealists in the galaxy and he wouldn't want to be responsible for crushing even one of them. Followed by Thrawn using Car'das's first name for the first time. You'd think that causing the deaths of fifty thousand innocents would have put Thrawn well over the Moral Event Horizon, but—well, that was not his intention, and if C'baoth hadn't started choking him and Doriana hadn't hit the button, then probably none of that would have happened.
  • In Survivors Quest, the pilot Chak Fel, commanding the four Aurek Seven stormtroopers and fighting alongside General Drask, who doesn't like him but does have experience in ground fights, painfully gives command over to Drask, because his pride isn't as important as the need to fight effectively and preserve their objectives. Drask then tells him that since Fel knows the layout of Outbound Flight and Drask does not, it will be a joint command. Usually dueling egos and conflicting orders make those into disasters, but Fel knows that it won't this time, since he'll restrict himself to advising. And Drask knew he would do that. So it's not a joint command at all - it's a concession Drask is making to Fel, letting him preserve face and status, in a sign of respect.
    • Everything involving Dean Jinzler overcoming his old anger towards his Jedi sister and their parents.
  • Allegiance. The Hand of Judgment. Mara Jade saving them.
  • Dark Rendezvous is roughly a fifty-fifty split between Moments of Awesome from Yoda the Bad Ass Jedi Warrior, and Moments of Heartwarming from Yoda the wise and gentle teacher. The crowner has to be Yoda's little speech to Scout, a Jedi student having a crisis of confidence:
    Too few Jedi I have already. But even had I a crop of thousands, small one, I would not let you go without a fight. Spirit and determination you have. Between the stars, so much darkness there is. Why would I throw away one who burns so bright?
    • Another one comes during an Apprentice/Padawan tournament. Since Scout is incredibly weak in the Force, though exceptional in all other areas of training, she has to resort to a clever deception against a kid who's a Force prodigy. Instead of being angry that he was beaten, especially by a duplicitous move, he smiles and says this.
      Tallisabeth, being a Jedi is about being resourceful, keeping your eyes open, and never, ever giving up. You taught me a lot about being a Jedi today.
    • The mere fact that Scout survives the Jedi purge is kind of heartwarming—she'd been through so much hardship her whole life that it's good to know it didn't end in horror.
  • A very subtle one in Betrayal in the form of a callback to the Wraith Squadron books - even though they don't appear, knowing Donos and Lara end up together makes the whole ending brighter.
  • As unpopular as the prequel trilogy is, the novelization of Revenge of the Sith is nearly a masterpiece. So much so that Matthew Stover turns the NOOOOO! scene into what it was actually intended to be. Anyway, the novel ends with this small piece:
    The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins—but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.

Stephen King
  • The Running Man, in the later chapters. Its slightly subverted with the hollow death-threat. Amellia could have had this random, scruffy man whom kidnapped her killed, by simply saying he diden't have a bomb, but, even though he woulden't have time to kill her under fire from the hunters, she cooperates. Then, at the end, he returns this by giving her the parachute. Following this, it doubles as a Tear Jerker as Ben crashes the plane into the goverment building, destroying the totalatarian monsters that rule the country. Why? They had his wife murdered.

The Sword The Ring And The Chalice
  • Throughout the trilogy The Sword, The Ring And The Chalice, it was quite clear that Alexeika was quite infatuated with the uncrowned King Faldain. But unfortunately, Dain was in love with another girl, Pheresa. When we see Alexeika's point of view, we see that that she desperately tried to catch his attention - from showing her excellent fighting skills to unbraiding her hair - and growing increasingly envious of Pheresa. Interestingly, from Dain's point of view, we see that he never acted with anything more than friendship and a leader-to-soldier relationship towards Alexeika. After the war was over, Dain was finally reunited with Pheresa but he realized, over the course of the last book, that he didn't love her anymore. When he met up with Alexeika later on, he found that he had fallen in love with the tough, fierce, swearing female warrior. He even mentioned that a boy's infatuation was a far cry from a man's love. As a little twist, Alexeika was so shocked that Dain had gently turned down Pheresa, she argued with him that he was well suited with Pheresa. However, Dain told her that he was happy with what he had here.
    Dain: (running after Alexeika, laughing) " You little she-cat. Don't you understand anything? I love you."
    Alexeika: You can't. You don't."
    Dain: "Ah, but I do." (pulls her into a hug)
    Alexeika: (gruffly) " I'm a knight. A comrade-in-arms. A horse thief. A warrior-maid."
    Dain: " All those things. Although you promise to stop theiving horses. I cannot permit my queen to do that."
    Alexeika: (stunned) " Your queen?"
    Dain: " My queen. To rule at my side. To give me dispute rather than gentle compliance. To have courage equal to my own. Alexeika, I would rather love a woman who has the passion to make mistakes, just as I make them and the honesty to admit them afterwards, as I hope I will always do, than to spend my life with someone docile and dull."

Temeraire
  • The Temeraire series gets one early, near the beginning of His Majesty's Dragon, and as the series progresses and you see the depth of their friendship it only becomes more poignant. During a discussion of how dragons like hoarding and how Laurence is not particularly wealthy, Temeraire says, offhand, how he would rather have Laurence than any heap of gold.
    He said it quite normally, not in the least as though he meant to deliver a compliment, and immediately went back to looking at clouds; Laurence was left gazing after him in a sensation of mingled amazement and extraordinary pleasure. He could scarcely imagine a similar feeling; the only parallel he could conceive from his old life would be if the Reliant had spoken to say she liked to have him for her captain: both praise and affection, from the highest source imaginable, and it filled him with fresh determination to prove worth of the encomium.
  • The ending of His Majesty's Dragon's first part: Essentially, the aviators tried to separate Laurence and Temeraire, but Temeraire wasn't having any. Being a dragon, he pitches an impressive hissy fit, bringing Laurence running back. Then...
    "If you would like to have your ship back," Temeraire said, "I will let someone else ride me. Not him, because he says things that are not true; but I will not make you stay."
    Laurence stood motionless for a moment, his hands still on Temeraire's head, with the dragon's warm breath curling around him. "No, my dear," he said at last, softly, knowing it was only the truth. "I would rather have you than any ship in the Navy."
  • There's also the bit at the end of His Majesty's Dragon, when Laurence and Temeraire go to what they think will be their deaths, for duty and to try and save their friends. Then Temeraire gets his Crowning Moment Of Awesome and all bets are off...
  • Laurence and Temeraire's reunion in Victory of Eagles.

Thursday Next
  • In Lost In a Good Book, Thursday loses her husband when he gets erased from time by the Goliath Corporation in order to blackmail her. The rest of history gets rewritten, except that she's still pregnant with his child. When she finally realizes it, there's pure glee.
    • From the climax of the same book, Thursday's father deciding to sacrifice himself to safe all of life on earth.
  • Granny Next giving Thursday the strength to fight mnemnomorph Aornis Hades in her dreams and remember her erased husband.
  • From First Among Sequels, we see a sweet Pet the Dog moment: the Goliath Corporation sends a crew to get the McGuffin from a disaster poem. When Thursday gets there, she finds that the poem's characters and the Goliath crew have all frozen to death, except for a little girl, wearing a Goliath thermal jacket.

Tad Williams
  • Let's just say that if you've read all the way through Tad Williams' Otherland Doorstopper Cyber Punk series, you've been wondering what Olga Pirovsky has to do with J Corp, the Other, and all the other mysterious nastiness that's been going on. Certainly there have been clues seeded throughout the novels, but it isn't until the climactic reveal that we learn the truth (SUPER SPOILER WARNING): the Other is her son, stolen from her at birth and imprisoned in a satellite as the "brain" of Otherland's operating system. And his name is Daniel.

The Tomorrow Series
  • In The Other Side of Dawn, when the ferals are about to be evacced to New Zealand...and Ellie realizes for the first time how much she's come to care for them:
    • "How had this happened? How had I become so caught up in the lives of these little tackers? One moment they'd been a hopeless nuisance, marching off on their own, getting lost, causing Darina's death; the next, they had wound fifty metres of baling twine around my heart and pulled it so tight that I wasn't sure I could survive the pain of losing them."
  • At the end of The Other Side of Dawn, when the Kevin, Fi, Homer and Lee arrive back at Wirrawee, but even more so, when they and Ellie finally get together at Homer's place and they're all just so... happy.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Walk Two Moons
  • Walk Two Moons, after Sal's grandmother dies.
    • This ain't my marriage bed...but it will do.
    • At the end of the two page chapter "Souls", Ben and Sal both draw the same symbol representing their soul; an oak leaf within a circle.

Watership Down
  • Towards the end of Watership Down, months after their adventures, Hazel happens upon a mother rabbit telling her kits a story ostensibly starring the rabbit's legendary hero El-ahrairah. It gradually dawns on him that the tale is really his story; the tale of his True Companions' escape from Sandleford and journey to Watership Down. Many tears of joy ensue.
    • Also the bit where Bigwig is fighting Woundwort and tells him that he will defend that run until he's dead. And this from the rabbit who, in the beginning, was objecting to Hazel's leadership.
    Bigwig: My Chief Rabbit has told me to defend this run and until he says otherwise I shall stay here.
    • At the end, when an old and weary Hazel suddenly starts feeling better than he ever had in his whole life... then turns and sees his own dead body laying in the grass. He feels just a fleeting moment of regret, then happily bounds off to join all those who've gone before.

The Wheel of Time
  • The Gathering Storm has one in the form of Verin's final moments. After revealing herself as a Reverse Mole and giving Egwene 70 years' worth of research on the Black Ajah, something that can only be done at the hour of a Black's death, she lies back, preparing to die with "the soul of a Brown." Egwene's response:
    Egwene: "Your soul is not Brown. I can see it...Your soul is of a pure white, Verin. Like the Light itself." Sob.
    • Rand gets an amazing one as well in the climax of The Gathering Storm. In the height of his madness, atop the mountain that serves as a tomb for his past incarnation, trying to find a reason why he shouldn't take the Godlike mass of Power he's channeling and obliterate the world to just end the misery of the cycle of reincarnation and rebirth, and what does he come up with? "Because each time we live, we get to love again."

Wicked Lovely
  • In Stopping Time, when Niall forgives Irial and asks him to come home. And at the end of Radiant Shadows when Iri does his 'wish I hadn't been king when we met' thing... most scenes with Irial and Niall provided they aren't either fighting, Irial needling a rather depressive Niall, or about the rape. No, sometimes even then.

Witness In Palestine
  • One every third page in Anna Baltzer's Witness in Palestine, an autobiographical account of an American Jew working with peace organizations in the Occupied Territories. Let's just say that in complete contradiction of American and Israeli myth and being given copious reason to the contrary by Israeli authorities, the Palestinians' attitude towards Anna and towards Americans and Israelis in general are overwhelmingly positive. (Considering the state Israel and the Occupied Territories have been in the past 60+ years, it should come as no surprise that there are an equal number of Tear Jerkers.

Young Wizards
  • In High Wizardry, the moment that the Lone Power finally gives in and admits its errors.
    • "It fell down, a great disastrous fall like a lightning-stricken tower's, and wept darkness with desire for the Light."
    • And another in Wizards at War, when Nita and Kit visit their Wizard Seniors,Tom and Carl, after they win the big battle. The last time Nita had visited them, neither remembered the fact that they were wizards, because they had both lost their magic. The kids knock on the door, and wait anxiously. After a few moments:
    The inside door opened. Tom and Carl were standing there looking at them.
    "Uh, hi," Nita said.
    The silence lasted for a few moments. Then Tom said, "We are on errantry...and boy, do we ever greet you."
    He held the screen door open for them. Nita tackled Tom, and the hug went on for some time.

Other
  • One of the oldest Irish poems in recorded history, 'Pangur Ban', was written by a young monk about his pet kitten, Pangur Ban, chasing mice. Yes, even in the eighth century, they had Kindhearted Cat Lovers. Go Awww.
  • Every single story in every single Chicken Soup for the Soul book ever is either this trope, a Tear Jerker, or both.
  • The ending of the short story Dandelion Girl. *Sniff*. You'll have to excuse me, there seems to be something in my eye... tears. The story's too good to explain why, even under spoiler tags (those things are Schmuck Bait anyway).
  • SO many things in Book 10 of The 39 Clues. Just... you have to read it, there's too many to list.
  • The Once and Future King. Most of the book, really. When "Wart," all his life treated well but missing a place in the world, is crowned king, and Merlyn is the first person to refer to him as King Arthur. The first scene Guenever and Lancelot have in "The Candle in the Wind." The third and final time Lancelot saves Guenever from being burned at the stake, when Arthur — despite years of betrayal on their part, which he's only discovered recently — cheers him on. Oh, and the ending. The ending.
  • Summer of the Monkeys. A boy with a gang of monkeys he somehow obtained from a zoo. At the end, he sells the monkeys for money to help pay for his little sister's operation (she's a cripple and this is to help her walk.) The book ended with the two of them running like mad across a field...together...*sniff*
  • Make Ways For Dragons by Thorarinn Gunnarsson is about a fey-like good dragon named Dalvenjah FoxFire who followed a monstrous evil dragon to Earth to fight. She meets human Allan, and they get along very, very well and she even teaches him magic. But he can't keep the magic, because the only way would be to keep the magic Name he would have; which being Dragon magic, would transform him into a dragon. She defeats the evil dragon, and she and her daughter are about to go....when she asks if she'll come with him as a dragon and he accepts.
  • In Alison Goodman's "Eon: The Last Dragoneye", Ryko, probably Eon/Eona's most faithful friend, spends all of about a chapter hating her after finding out the truth. Then she stays to save him instead of running after her former friend Dillon, who has stolen the black folio, which they were trying to keep away from him and his master.
    Ryko: "You should have run after him. You should have run after him. But I'm glad you stayed."
  • The Time Traveler's Wife is constructed of these - but the most poignant scene was Henry's "meeting" of Alba in the museum - and her joy at seeing him since he has been dead for several years
  • The end of Ptolemy's Gate, when Nathaniel's heroic sacrifice is just like Ptolemy's.
  • Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn pulls one of these off at the end when Rachel the Dragon is reunited with Simon.
  • The Mouse and His Child, in the end, where Manny finally lets himself become a true part of the family. The bit with the wedding, or where the seal becomes part of the mouse family. The WHOLE ENDING is full of those.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five has a lovely desciption of a war film that Billy watches backwards: bombers undamage German cities by pulling bombs back into their planes, the bombs get shipped to factories to be disassembled, and the minerals get sent back to specialists, who "put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so that they would never hurt anybody ever again."
  • The poem Invictus by W.E Henley is a wonderful tribute to the human spirit overcoming all obstacles. I'll quote just the last verse:
    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.
    • Inverted by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy Mc Veigh, who used it as his final statement before being executed.
  • The end of Rock of Ages by Walter Jon Williams, where Maijstral comes to the realization that he might not be such a coward after all. Because of Ronny Romper.
  • The scene which includes following from Lord of Light:
    "You may not have this man, oh Death," said the Master of the North, "For he belongs to the world, and we of the world will defend him." There are a few very specific reasons for this, other than the fact that the world itself seems to be rejecting Yama's attempt to destroy the false Buddha, Sam. Namely, where it takes place, hinting at Yama's coming Heel-Face Turn.
  • The Gods of War, fourth book in Conn Iggulden's Emperor series, has one following the Battle of Pharsalus. Caesar orders that no one may kill the traitor Brutus if he is found, and when he finds him himself he grants him forgiveness in a rather heartwarming scene (two scenes, to be picky).
  • The ending to It's Kind of a Funny Story. In spades.
  • In the 9th The Saga of Darren Shan book, Killers of the Dawn when Mr.Crepsley dies. Paticularly how Darren mentions how he was his greatest friend...
  • In Pilgrimage: The Book of the People, when Peter asks if he and his sister will be sent away because they are different. Valancy says, "Oh my people, my people! Of course not! As if there were any question.
  • In This House of Brede has a powerful scene in which a nun must go to sleep, even though she wants to stay awake to pray for a dangerously ill friend. As she's leaving the chapel, two other nuns who have never really liked her come in to pray in her place.
  • In Then There Were Five, when Mr. Melendy is bidding against the villainous Mr. Crown for a pair of horses.
  • Siobhan Parkinson's "The Moon King" where the troublesome foster child Ricky has gone missing. One of the other children Rosheen has been acting as a surrogate sister to him since he arrived and she is incredibly worried by his disappearance. The narration then says "and she supposed she loved him".

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