This particular troper was fond of the very last scene from Borneo, the only occasion where the winner got a final confessional after the vote. Richard Hatch is shown sitting alone in Tribal Council, holding the vote that made him the winner, and then footage was put together of him, clean-shaven, leaving the airport back in America and getting into his new car, really selling the idea of only one Survivor that was lost in the normal format of announcing the votes months later at the reunion. All of it is set to a confessional of a clearly shocked Rich explaining that he was proud of his game, that he hadn't lost who he was as a person, and that a million dollars would really change his life.
Doubly heartwarming when you realize, for all of his rough edges and flaws, Richard Hatch was integral in changing the way America viewed gay people and how they were portrayed.
Russell Swan protesting being evacuated from Samoa despite that even Jeff was fearing for Russell's life. (His heart rate dropped to 42 beats per minute... within a few minutes.)
Michael Skupin's evacuation in Australia. It is one of the few episodes of Survivor that actually makes you feel that the show is really dangerous and not for novices.
Also from Australia, the instant messaging scene where as Rodger points out all the men that are left are far more emotionally affected than than the women. Especially Colby completely collapsing into tears by his mother simply writing "Hi baby."
The sweet, platonical friendship between Rodger and Elisabeth reached its crescendo when he gave her a heart-shaped rock to give to her boyfriend back home. Notable for being one of the only heart-wrenching moments that wasn't needlessly overdramatised (not to say they're any less heartwrenching than the rest of the examples).
Dan's son in Nicaragua, repeatedly kissing his father's head and acting completely confused at Jeff's surprise at it. "He's my dad!"
Also from Nicaragua, Holly stepping out of a reward challenge (The only one she won!) so that the rest of the camp could have enough rice to last for the end of the game.
Pretty much every instance of castaways reuniting with loved ones after four weeks of being cut off from civilization. Particularly heartwrenching is Sandra explaining why her uncle is visiting in Heroes vs Villains.
From the same season, the ultimate conclusion to the Jerri/Colby rivalry - when he's voted out, Jerri hugs him and cries. Supposedly, there may have been a story in that season about Jerri and Colby reconciling after all this time, but since it didn't fit into the whole "Russell needs to be taken down" theme of the season, we'll never know...
Shane reuniting with his son Boston during the Panama season has the unique distinction of being genuinely heartwarming and sweet(Shane obviously loves his son very much) and laugh out loud funny(due to Shane's over the top bawling at just seeing him and the fact that, due to Shane being an Man Child, Boston coming off as more mature than his dad).
Sean reuniting with his dad aboard the cruise ship in Borneo, which came as a complete and pleasant surprise to Sean since it was the first season and the "Loved One's Visit" hadn't been set in stone as a tradition yet. Also, when Sean's dad came back to camp the next day, he was carrying care packages from everyone's families with him.
Also from Borneo is Jenna, desperately missing her two kids, is informed that while the others received video tapes from their loved ones as part of a reward challenge, her family never sent one out. Later in the episode, while Greg and the tribe were watching his home video, Jenna was out alone in the rain, drearily shooting arrows at the target used in the Reward Challenge. At one point, she makes the bullseye and sighs. A masterfully done scene.
Rob's reaction to Amber being swapped over to the new Chapera tribe in All-Stars ("I don't care that they're in our camp...I don't even care that they have all our food...but they've got my girl."), and his joyous reaction when he sees that she wasn't voted out in the following episode. Even Jenna starts crying when she sees her.
Rupert's interview when he reads the personal letter from his wife and daughter (which itself is tie-dye, just like his shirt).
"They think I'm the meanest, toughest son of a bitch...even though I'm not. That gives me inner strength."
The end of the auction in Tocantins definitely counts. Jeff introduces the last item available to bid on; the chance for one person to watch a video message from their loved ones. Being incredibly homesick, especially for the newborn baby she left at home, Taj starts to tear up. Jeff opens the bidding, and everyone hands their money to Taj so that she can see her family. Even Jeff comments on the tribe's generosity, especially in such a cutthroat game.
Thailand of all seasons has a lot of them.
On the day Helen missed her twentieth wedding anniversary so she could compete on the show, her tribe secretly made her a tiara and threw a party for her to make up for it. Helen had thought the entire time that the run around she got all day meant her tribe was intending to vote her off.
In Episode 6, after a quarrel over a misunderstanding, Ken takes Robb under his wing and becomes a sort of Big Brother Mentor to him, teaching how to better relate to his tribe. This calmed down the normally very unpredictable Robb into having an epiphany about himself and suddenly becoming much nicer to his tribe mates.
Later on in the season, Helen's husband was the lucky person who got to hang out with the tribe for twenty-four hours. He immediately sees Brian as the guy who is really running things, and tries to convince Helen to vote him out. She doesn't listen to him, but at least he tried.
One World had quite a few towards the end:
Christina wanting to make her father proud because he only had a few years left to live, and making it all the way to the final 4.
Alicia and Colton apologizing for their behaviour on the show at the reunion.
Kat's jury speech, all about how short life was and seizing the day.
Tarzan and his wife, Terri's relationship - he was so desperate to see her that he ended up making deals that only brought him to the loved ones visit, just so he could see her.
No fan expected that the most sympathetic and heartwarming contestant of the entire season of Heroes vs. Villain would have been Jerri, the Trope Codifier of the female villain. Let's recap:
Played a much nicer, less malicious and angry game than her first two seasons
Respected the Heroes after the merge, in contrast to Russel and Parvati, who both made fun of them constantly. In fact, supposedly, Jerri and Colby's reconciliation after ten years was going on, and was left on the cutting room floor.
She was much stronger in challenges, even winning an Individual Immunity
The best, though, was in the reunion. As oppose to her first two where she was heavily booed (to the point of leaving early in the one for All-Stars), as soon as Jeff brings her up and asks her a question, the entire audience cheered and applauded her for her season.
Rupert thanking Sandra for trying to save the Heroes in Heroes Vs. Villains during his jury speech and apologizing for not believing her about Russell. He then goes on to tell Parvati, who is clearly emotional and has been getting put down for her alliance with Russell throughout the final Tribal Council, that even though she did not align with the right person, she worked for and deserved her spot in the Final Three.
Malcolm getting the merged tribe named after his mom in Caramoan. Apparently he went back home to watch that episode and his mom threw a big party, and when she found out he named the tribe after her, she went running out to fix her eye makeup.
In the first few minutes of Blood vs. Water, Rupert's wife Laura was voted out of her tribe. Then Jeff starts making a deal.
Jeff: Rupert, you're a chivalrous guy. You love your wife. What if I said you could swap places with her?
Rupert began moving to take her place at "if".
And in the second episode, after Rupert loses the Redemption Island duel, Jeff asked Rupert if he regretted taking Laura's place. His response?
Rupert: I love Survivor, but I love my wife more.
In the third episode, Tyson's interaction with his girlfriend Rachel after she lost the Redemption Island duel, asking if she had fun while she was in the game. Also, his confessional about it afterwards where he tears up.