- The good ending of 'I Remember Me'.
Talitha: Will I have bad dreams?
Shepard: You'll dream of a warm place. And when you wake up, you'll be in it.
- Hugging her is perhaps the sweetest thing Colonist!Shepard will ever do.
- If your player character is female, it's incredibly evocative of Newt asking the same question of Ripley in Aliens.
- And then for extra warm fuzzies, if you saved Talitha in ME1, in ME2 she will send you a message telling you that she is mentally healing. The message is clear and lucid, showing that yes, you did help her. Saving the galaxy is good and all, but it's the personal stuff that really hits home.
- You get the same message if you took the "Tough Love" Renegade route. Even when Shepard's not sweetness and light, s/he's just as good at saving people.
- Just goes to show that even Renegade Shep has a heart too.
Talitha: Will I have bad dreams?
Shepard: I'm not going to lie to you. I just don't know. But I know you are strong enough to face it.
- Just goes to show that even Renegade Shep has a heart too.
- After Samesh Bhatia asks you to get his wife's body returned to him, after you convince the government official to release her, when you return to the man to tell him his wife is coming home, even Renegade Shepard has a gentle tone of voice and is truly sorry for the man. It's small things like that that show that even when going straight renegade, Renegade Shep still does care, deep down.
- A Paragon Shep can feed her/his Renegade thirst a little and push the official around, and Rene!Shep threatens to storm in and take the body, willing to gun down anyone s/he needs to if that's what it takes. Between the number of ways Shepard can be a Jerk Ass or evil it says a lot.
- Knocking out instead of killing the people of Zhu's Hope after the Thorian commands them to kill you. Yes, it's frustrating. Yes, you'll probably have to resort to Save Scumming. Yes, nothing will beat the Warm And Fuzzy Feeling you get when you see the 32 Paragon points you get for doing so.
- For more warm fuzzies, if you also romance Tali in ME2, she lists this as one of the reasons she loves Shepard.
- Can double as a Crowning Moment of Funny if you know that there's a back-up if you run out of nerve gas grenades. If you choose not to use any at all, you can get those 32 paragon points and the colonists' thanks for punching them all in the face!
- Benezia's final words to Liara, telling her she's always been proud of her, which also serves as a Tear Jerker.
- The romance path for Kaidan is very moving, particularly his speech to Shepard in its final scene: "I think about losing you and I can't stand it. The galaxy will just keep going. Everything, even the Reapers, will come around again. But you and I—we—are important right now. This is what will never happen again. Us."
- Equally the other romances—Ash ends on a note of combining CMoF/CMoH as she challenges Shepard to return alive in order to hear her declaration of love. On the other hand, Liara wants nothing more than to spend possibly the last night of her life with Shepard. She insists on it.
- If you get enough Paragon points over the course of the game, Admiral Hackett calls you up to neutralize a hostage situation involving biotic terrorists. Perform the mission the Paragon way, and when he calls you up again, there's this exchange.
Hackett: I didn't think it could be done, Commander. You managed to secure the base and neutralize the biotics without a single civilian casualty.
Shepard: Just doing my job, Admiral. I couldn't let innocent lives be lost.
Hackett: I wish every soldier had your definition of "just doing your job". You're a credit to the uniform, Shepard.
- A man and a woman are having a heated argument about her unborn baby. The man (Michael), her late husband's brother, is insisting that she gets gene therapy to prevent the heart condition that killed his brother, the woman (Rebekah) is terrified that the therapy could have unforeseen complications on the baby. A combination CMoH and a Tear Jerker occurs when you convince Michael to respect her decision and he breaks down and says that this baby is all he has left of his brother, and he's terrified of losing it.
- Anyone who's read the first Mass Effect book, Revelation, before Mass Effect knew Saren was absolute scum, even more so than portrayed in the game. Choosing the Paragon path and convincing Saren to kill himself, as himself is pretty heartwarming, because it convinced a cynical, violent, Machiavellian creep to do the right thing. His "Thank you" to Shepard, knowing how virulently anti-human he is, makes it doubly satisfying.
- Tali and Shepard talking about her pilgrimage and her need to return to the Fleet:
Tali: The only thing I can offer in return is what you already have: My solemn promise to stay with you until Saren and his Geth armies are defeated.
Shepard: I'm going to miss you when you go back to your own people, Tali.
Tali: That won't happen for a while yet. I'll be right here any time you need me.
Shepard: I never wanted anything more.
- If you took the Relationship Upgrade in the second or third games, this exchange takes on some interesting subtext.
- There's lots of stuff in the first game that becomes Harsher in Hindsight or Hilarious in Hindsight, and of course plenty of "Funny Aneurysm" Moments. But there's also a bit of Heartwarming in Hindsight with Tali. In a few conversations, she mentions that she's under a lot of pressure because there are high expectations for an Admiral's daughter, and she doubts she'll ever be able to live up to her father's example. She also states that her people's greatest desire is to get their home world back. Playing this again after Mass Effect 3, in which she not only becomes an Admiral but can also play an instrumental role in winning back her homeworld, most certainly doing her late father proud in the process, is absolutely heartwarming. I'm so glad I could make your dreams come true, Tali.
- She's also instrumental to allow for the possibility of a Geth/Quarian peace, which, if pulled off, kickstarts the Quarians into rebuilding their homeworld and improving their immune systems decades ahead of schedule. She not only gets the homeworld, but allows for many who would not live to see it fully realized see it fully realized.
- Releasing the Rachni Queen. There's just something beautifully uplifting about the fact that you saved an entire species from extinction through a simple act of kindness.
Rachni Queen: We will sing of your forgiveness to our children.
- A heartwarming moment that doesn't really occur to you at first. For fifty thousand years, Vigil stood by, waiting to give the information to the people of the next cycle, knowing that there was a good chance that no one would ever connect the dots to a point where they'd make it to Ilos in time. He speaks of how he'd had to shut down portions of the facility over that time to save power, and, indeed, by the next game, he's gone completely offline, perhaps even not long after you spoke to him. In just speaking to him, you made his existence mean something and worth it all.
- When Ashley asks a Shepard with a Spacer background if they joined the Alliance because of their parents and to uphold the family tradition, one of the responses has Shepard admit with complete sincerity, "Humanity's future is out here. There's so much we have yet to see." When you remember that Spacer Shepard was literally born in Space and grew up on starships, they've come to literally see being amongst the stars as being home.
- A lot of Ashley's romance with Shepard really falls into this. Unlike every other romance in the series, it's Shepard who's potentially the Adorkable one, with Ashley laughing at a lot of his cheesy lines. Just the same, that seems to be what she's attracted to.
- Talking down Wrex using the Paragon direction. You're doing something that he to his very bones thinks is wrong (destroying the genophage cure), but he tells you that you've done more for him than anyone ever has, including his family, and he'll follow you on blind faith. (Thankfully, Mass Effect 2 and 3 get you to reward Wrex for that faith.)
- It's a very small detail, but in the embassy section of the Presidium there is a side office that houses both the Volus and Elcor ambassadors. The Volus, Din Korlack, is curt and unfriendly, but the Elcor Ambassador Calyn is quite the opposite, delighted to welcome Shepard to his office and answer questions about his species. Everything he says is extremely warm-hearted and friendly, not only to Shepard personally but to Humanity in general, and the translator that automatically tells you his tone of voice shows you that it is sincere. Amongst all the anti-human fear, suspicion and occasional outright racism, it's really nice to meet someone who is genuinely happy to have humans around, and who doesn't try to maneuver for some sort of concession with the same breath. And if you finish the sidequest involving the Elcor diplomat Xeltan, Calyn will congratulate you on doing so, and when Din inevitably claims you're only doing this for money, Calyn will tell you it was a good thing you did regardless.
Heartwarming / Mass Effect 1
Heartwarming moments from Mass Effect 1: