- Many Heartwarming Moments. Especially the True Ending.
- Pretty much any post-Shadow scene has some of this, with the characters both accepting themselves and being accepted by the Investigation Team.
- The final scene for any of the Social Links easily qualifies. Heck, there's generally several throughout any given S. Link.
- Basically: whenever SMILE starts playing.
- It's not the final scene of his S. Link, but Yosuke's monologue in his penultimate Link is a fitting conclusion to his character development in its own right.
Yosuke: I want to tell Saki-Senpai something. That what's important... Isn't where you are. This town I hated so much? Now, I love it. There's still nothing here, but I have family and friends... and you. The important things are never far off... They're all around you. I always wanted to be 'special'. I thought my life'd finally have meaning if I was special to someone. That's why I was really excited when I got my Persona. But I really didn't need it... It's not what you have or what you can do... Just being born, living your life... Before you know it, you're already special to someone.''
- "Yeah... Like you... You're special to me, you know?"
Yosuke: I said that you're special, but... I wonder if I really am an equal match for you...Yukiko: ...... I don't mean to change the subject to myself, but... I feel like... friendship isn't only fun and games. You might think awful things about them... But your love for them is stronger than those things. That's why you're friends. I don't know what you're going through Yosuke-kun... but if Protagonist-kun is important to you, aren't you friends?Yosuke: Yukiko... Thanks.
- It's possible to speak to team members who aren't in your party by encountering them in dungeon rooms during raids, two at a time. If you elect to 'Talk' to them, they'll make reference to the last social link event you spent with them, while the other person in the room will react to their conversation in some way. Most of these are funny, but there's a particularly touching one if you talk to Yosuke after this event while Yukiko is also in the room:
- The penultimate rank of the Drama Club (Sun) Social Link also deserves a mention, when things turn emotional and not the regular "dramatic scene" music Reverie starts playing, but the epic I'll Face Myself, a song that is usually reserved for party members who accept their shadows. It makes an already great scene even better.
- The follow-up to the end of Izanami's fight, the final boss in the true ending, is also quite heartwarming.
Izanami: Children of man... WELL DONE!
- The Christmas Eve scene with a girl, any girl. Naoto's is a personal favorite.
Yukiko: I've been wondering why I like you. At first I was interested in you. When I realized that, I was already going after you. It's tough that you'll be leaving, but I have to accept the truth.
- For this troper's shipper heart, Christmas Eve Yukiko's will always remain in his top five.
- This line in particular will always be the most heart-meltingly sweet line in the history of JRPGs during the scene:
- Christmas Eve with anyone, really. Special note that if you don't have a girlfriend (or decide not to spend any times with any of the girls), Yosuke, Kanji, and Teddie will decide to have a bros party with you. Christmas eve with the dudes especially because it also doubles as one of the game's MANY Crowning Moment of Funny, and coitus does not ensue.
- When Nanako comes back to life, if you choose to spare Namatame. Also when MC checks his phone afterwards, and his inbox is flooded with messages from all of his friends, offering support. Subverted if the player hasn't maxed out any non-party school social links by the time this event comes around. In fact, getting the narrator's "There are no new messages" is actually kind of heartbreaking.
- The fact that Dojima still considers Adachi as his partner despite the things he did. Even moreso if you consider this may be at least part of the reason Adachi not only fully cooperates with getting himself convicted but even helps you find the true ending.
- All of Kanji's social link is adorable. But when the little kid vouches for his innocence with the police officers, you just want to give your Playstation a hug.
- When the player first formally meets Kanji's mom, she reveals just how much Kanji appreciates his friendship with the protagonist.
Kanji: "You're a hero, dude, and my best bud!"
- Later in his social link
- The five words that codified Video-Game Caring Potential: "I love you, big bro!"
- Throughout the game, if you score highest in the exams, Nanako gives you some very useful homemade accessories. After the final exam of the game while Nanako's in the hospital, if you check the cushion she usually sits on you'll find a writing assignment by Nanako talking about how her big bro is the greatest guy in the world, as well as the final accessory.
- And one could say the Heroic Sacrifice of everyone during said Izanami fight was incredibly heartwarming (and slightly heartbreaking).
- And the trumpet that plays when Yosuke knocks the player out of the way of the Thousand Curses this video also deserves some mention, as it plays in almost heroic tune as Yosuke is struck by Thousand Curses.
- All of the S. Link people offering their support to the main character to get him to stand back up and fight Izanami was particularly heartwarming.
Nanako: Hey... Big bro... Are you going to leave me behind...? I'll be a good girl... So don't go... I don't want you to go... Big bro...
- Which, later, was followed by Nanako telling the Protagonist this:
- Kanji's admission that he looks up to the MC was also quite touching.
- Chie's Social Link, my favourite being the romantic route, always makes me fangirl inside.
- Teddie's resolution to come back after realizing he's a shadow. And Yukiko finally laughs for the first time to a Teddie joke.
- Ms. Kashiwagi's surprising friendship with Hanako, especially after the beauty contest. Yukiko later says that: "They often come here [to the Amagi Inn]."
- Max out the Hermit S. Link and visit the shrine at the end of the game. You see that the Fox has a trio of adorable children.
- In the Tower S. Link, you can celebrate Shu's birthday by inviting guests (which basically means all the members of the Investigation Team available at the time), who are not only incredibly sporting about being called at the last minute, but also quickly befriend the boy. For a kid with a Disappeared Dad and no friends to speak of, whose entire life has been spent desperately working hard to please his Education Mama, this simple and sincere gesture may bring a tear to a player's eyes.
- When the protagonist is inflicted with fear status in battle, occasionally Rise will say, in a very sincere voice, "No, don't be scared, I'm with you!" Especially heartwarming when she says it and you manage to get over the status the next round.
- It tends to be overlooked since she was only mentioned in passing but Elizabeth, left the Velvet Room to find a way to free the Persona 3 Protagonist from his Barrier Maiden fate.
- If you refuse to date Ai in rank 6 of her social link you get a heartwarming moment in rank 9 in which Ai jumps in front of you to receive a slap that was meant for you (remember, Ai's life goal was being pretty). She then says that you've done so much for her that she felt like doing something in return.
- After defeating Mitsuo, the Investigation Team has a party where the girls (and you) make omelets for Nanako. The girls' turn out... predictably, but Nanako says that all of them (even Chie's, whose came out the worst) are good.
- Added in Persona 4 Golden:
Yosuke: "Dude, Seriously?"
- Any girl that you are in a relationship with will now call the Protagonist up to ask if he'd like to go to the summer festival with her, to make up for Teddie's antics the previous day. Doing so, and then commenting "You're right, it was totally different" following the fireworks display at the end of the festival & Yosuke lamenting that Teddie kinda ruined the festival for them, leads to the girl blushing & nervously fidgeting as the rest of the group slowly puts two & two together.
Marie: I love you. I love you so much. *kiss*
- Your date will invite you on a date to the shrine on New Years day, And if you draw from the shrine with impure thoughts you'll get Great Blessing for both you and your Girlfriend... Only if you are dating just her. or else you'll get "CURSED!!!"
- The Ski Trip, You get to spend time with whichever girl in your party member and you two will end up alone in the cabin. However, you can choose "The guys".
- Valentine's Day, you get to choose one lucky lady to spend time with at the beach. Assuming you don't decide to reject them and get called out on it by all of your girlfriends. Still, the girl you do choose is very happy, even if she's... done something unique to the chocolate she makes for you. Special mention goes to Marie if you max her social link: she'll be there at the Dojima residence towards the end of the day to give you chocolate whether you romance her or not even if you've romanced another girl. And if you did romance Marie, she'll take it further by ending the scene with:
Man you're so cruel.
- Rise's Valentines Day is also sweet enough to give you diabetes. While her chocolate is... lacking, she certainly put a lot of thought and effort into it. And of course comes the romantic resting on the beach where she talks about the future, marrying her ideal man and having a perfect life with him and then follows up by saying that the man she wants to marry is the Player Character. It's really sweet to know that despite how difficult her career might make their future, she still wants to be with you and have a long and happy future.
- After the protagonist decides to get his motorcycle license with Yosuke, Dojima decides to give his old scooter to the Protagonist to use whenever he wants. You run into him at the gas station right after you passed the exam. Turns out he just had his scooter repaired and let Adachi put some gas in it. He hands it over to you right there and then. Best uncle ever.
- The shrine visit on New Years with whichever girl you're dating. Unless you're dating more than one girl, then not so much as drawing a fortune with impure thoughts results in the Protagonist drawing a curse, advising him to stick to one girl, and the date obliviously commenting that the fortune must be wrong. Special note to Chie, Yukiko & Rise's events, as the three of them arrive glammed up & in kimonos, something outside of Chie & Rise's comfort zones. In fact, it's so different to how Chie normally is, that she comments that her family were teasing her about it, so she just decided to tell them about her boyfriend.
- Originally, when the game progressed from Christmas Day to the Protagonist's final day in Inaba, it merely went down the calendar rapidly. In Golden, the Protagonist meets Yosuke, Chie & Yukiko outside school the day after Valentine's, and upon reflecting that it's nearly spring, they promise to use the little time they have left creating great memories, before heading into school... As the music from the title screen begins playing whilst cutting to the calendar; except this time, the calendar quickly fades to black & the player is instead treated to a slideshow of sepia toned pictures of that final month, ending on the Investigation Team taking the photograph the Protagonist looks at in the original version of the True Ending.
- With The new Adachi S. Link He'll cheer for you during the fight with Izanami in his own special way
You make me take responsibility for my sins, but you're gonna let this bitch take you down like this?
Haha... That's hilarious.
...Get up. You're not like me, right?
Adachi: When I'm here, I think of Dojima-san, Nanako-chan, and you. A lot. Though my time with you didn't seem like that much fun before... it's strange. Despite it all, I'm grateful to you. Thank you.
- The epilogue which features the protagonist returning to Inaba in the summer following the True Ending. Namatame's become The Atoner and, inspired by the Investigation Team, is running for political office so he can help change Inaba for the better; the business owners have moved past their resentment towards Junes, and both the local businesses and Junes are working together to revitalize the town; the rest of the Investigation Team are hiding from the protagonist as they're in the midst of throwing him a surprise party to make up for him not being able to relax when he visited in May; all seven of the protagonist's teammates have matured in appearance, showing that they've long since accepted their Shadows; Dojima found a lead in his wife's hit-and-run case, and credits it to the protagonist's influence on him; Nanako has taken after her mother and begun playing the piano; and the Dojimas and the Investigation Team throw a "Welcome Home" party for the protagonist. It's genuinely heartwarming to see the Investigation Team and the Dojimas in a much better place than when they were first met, and the final scene of the game is of the protagonist happily smiling with his friends and family around him.
- A line in Adachi's letter from prison.
- Every single third-tier Persona scene. Basically, each party member caps off their development with a heartfelt thanks to you and a resolve to continue to grow further and support you and their other loved ones. Kanji's in particular is adorable, where he enlists the protagonist to help him create a gift to show his appreciation for his mother.
- Marie in the extended True Ending of Golden. She's become a weather forecaster, except that she controls the weather instead of predicting it. She declares that she's going to make it sunny all the time while the Protagonist is visiting, because it shouldn't rain while he's in town. This is a pretty sweet gesture, considering how he probably feels about the rain after everything that's happened. Also a CMOF, since she declares this on the air, while talking to a fellow newscaster who probably has no idea that her colleague can control the weather.
- A minor example of Heartwarming in Hindsight, at least in Golden. When you walk around the shopping district for a few minutes on your first day in town, you'll notice two kids bickering outside a store. Looking closely, it's actually Saki and Naoki. There's just something oddly nice about seeing the two of them together, only having a carefree squabble, given that it's the only time they're seen together before she dies.
- After you successfully convince a very angry (especially Yosuke) Investigation Team to "calm the hell down" and not throw Namatame into the TV, Yosuke wonders out loud how the hell you're able to stay so calm unlike everyone else...then remarks that your calmness is the reason you're their leader in the first place.
- Just the surprise in Nanako's voice when, during Golden Week, Chie comes over and invites her, along with the protagonist, to spend some time at Junes. After Dojima had to cancel their trip, she had probably resigned herself to spending her free days in front of the TV, but instead she got to spend two days (should you accept Yosuke's offer the following day) with her Big Bro and his friends at Junes, quite possibly her favorite place in the universe.
- With the exception of having difficulties with Marie's disappearance, the entire months of January and February in Golden are pretty heartwarming, especially if you've maxed all/most of your Social Links. The killer has long been arrested, all your friends are much happier with their lives, the Dojimas are out of the hospital and (assuming you maxed their links) are closer than before, even with you. Now there's nothing left to do but chill and make memories with your friends until March, when you have to leave. The new background music really emphasizes this. The MC has done a good job.
- Chie Satonaka's romance line is really sweet, especially in Golden, where a romance gets so many more scenes. It really emphasizes Chie's girlier side and she is surprisingly adorkable during her romance scenes. The Valentine's Day scene, where she talks about how she still can't believe the player would pick her over the likes of Yukiko, Rise or Naoto, describes herself as feeling like she's in a dream she doesn't want to wake up from, and makes some very romantic statements about what it feels like to sit on the beach with the player, is perhaps the crowner. If you romance her, and talk to her on the second last day, she even explicitly states she wants to become a police officer so she can protect the player.
- An extra additional heartwarming moment occurs during Valentine's day if Chie is the only girl that you romanced in the game. The scene leading up to it will change to show that both Yukiko and Yosuke are supportive of the relationship and decides to give them their space.
- Rank 8 of Dojima's Social Link, which has Dojima thanking you for bringing the warmth back to the house. Even if you call him a coward for running away from his problems, he will simply laugh, call you a punk and say you're completely right. The scene ends with Dojima saying to the protagonist (paraphrased): "screw it, we're gonna drink. Pass out before me and you're under arrest." Who would've thought you would end up spending the night drinking with your slightly intimidating uncle when you first initiated his Social Link?
- Even some of the nameless NPC's get their own uplifting story arcs. These are often just small and insignificant lines of dialogue in the grand scheme of things, but if you've been talking to them all throughout the year, it's nice to see some of their stories end on a positive note.
- The young twin sisters. One is always over at the riverbed while her slightly older twin sister is at the store district. The oldest of the two wants them to be the same, the youngest wants to be different. You can talk to them throughout the game and complete quests for them, until they regretfully inform you that they are going to move away from Inaba. Helping them out one last time has them finally recognizing, both in their own way, that they are not the same person even though they're twins. After that, they're still sad they have to move, but at least they won't be alone, as they still have each other and they have a lot more fun as sisters now.
- Errand Boy and Spacey Girl who become friends over the course of the year. Both starting out on their own, the boy quickly takes an interest in her (though he makes it clear that it's not like he likes her or anything) and they start spending most of their free time together. The boy even gets them fitting gasmasks, when Inaba gets covered in fog, late in the game. It might not sound like much, but really, they're pretty adorable together.
- There's this girl at school who always talks about love, but only about other people. As you continue to talk to her over the course of the game, it becomes clear that she mostly does it (talk about others, that is) because she thinks nobody would be interested in a girl like her anyway. As Christmas is coming up, she tells you a boy asked her out twice, but she panicked and turned him down. Until the day before Christmas, when she finally mustered the courage to say yes and it looks like she won't be spending Christmas alone.
- Even the drunk boss and drunk subordinate duo. The first few times you meet them, the subordinate is legitimately annoyed with his boss, who's dragging him from bar to bar to go drinking. Talk to them, or the one that remains on certain days, as time passes and you'll start to understand that even though it pisses him off, the subordinate is having fun. Whatever's between them, he goes out of his way to ask his boss to go drinking with him, and seems both surprised and annoyed (hurt?) that he got a no. By the end of the game, the two are merrier than ever, with the subordinate being the one to push the drinking.
- The kind old man at Samegawa River Bank. He asks you to get him a lamp early in the game so he can go out for a walk in the evening, and late in the game he asks you for another, though he doesn't say what it's for. Find one for him, and he seems genuinely touched by your effort to find him that lamp. Turns out he wants to place it at his late wife's grave, because he thought she could use some light, what with the fog and all.
- Kanji teaching Naoto to ski in Golden, and her falling on top of him.
- A beautiful one in the True Ending. After Izanami is defeated, the fog is finally cleared away and we get to see what the TV World truly looks like: A vast landscape of green trees, mountains, and sparkling water. Even earlier in the game, Ameno-Sagiri mentions that humans long for peace. In a game about reaching out and searching for the truth, we learn the truth about the world that exists within human hearts, and that, despite all of our flaws and the few who wish for things like self-deception, nihilists like the true killer are wrong: As a whole, Humans Are Good.
- Relatively minor, but, does Chie ever make anything edible, much less good? Oh yes. If you romance her, then talk to her in a dungeon, for one time only she'll give you a muffin she made. Not only is it described as delicious, but it refills all of your SP! And she made it just for you.
- Daisuke proves that he really does care about Kou;
Daisuke: Er.. I don't know how to say this, but... take care of Kou, okay?
- Despite their differences in the past, Yosuke is the first one to help Dojima when he staggers into Nanako's hospital room, when it looks like she might die. He keeps supporting him through the rest of the scene.
- The good ending credits theme, "Never More". The song isn't as sad as the title suggests - it's about how "never more" will the narrator (presumably, the protagonist) have to worry about sadness or loneliness, as they'll always have their friends to guide them. The song reflects on, even as the protagonist has to leave Inaba and the adventures of the Investigation Team are coming to a close, they'll always have the memories of the last year. Even happier is the "Reincarnation" remix (also used as the credits theme for Golden's epilogue), where the chorus is sung with an entire choir. The final lines, translated to English:
Even now I remember
Those nights when I was only with you
Those are wonderful memories for me
I will always remember you