Heartwarming / Old Man's War

  • In Zoe's Tale, the Consu have provided 100 convicts to fight against 100 Obin, and if the Obin win, the Consu will provide Zoe with a gamebreaking piece of kit. The Consu offers Zoe an alternative: Command all the Obin to kill themselves and skip the effort of a battle they'll lose, and she gets the MacGuffin. Zoe, distraught because one of her friends Dickory is among the combatants, goes and tells the Obin that they don't owe her anything and she releases them from any obligation they have to her. And then Dickory steps forward, addresses her by name, and tells her that he is volunteering to fight for her because it's his choice. Then another Obin steps forward. And another. And another. And at the end of it, one hundred Obin have told Zoe their names, and why they choose to fight for her. And the best part? Against all expectations, they curbstomp the Consu.
    • To elaborate, Zoe was sick of being the Obin's Crystal Dragon Jesus and didn't want any of them to sacrifice their lives out of a near-religious devotion to her for being the daughter of the man who gave them consciousness. After releasing them from their supposed obligation, each individual Obin came up to her and reaffirmed their intention to fight - not because of what Zoe meant to their species, but because they considered her a friend.
  • The story behind Ruiz's Willie Wheelie tattoo in Old Man's War. Prior to his career in the CDF, Ruiz was stuck in a horrible marriage, and was actively considering suicide when he noticed an ad with the character. The slogan - "Sometimes you just gotta hit the road" - gave him what he calls a Moment of Clarity, prompting him to divorce his wife and get his life back together.