While Thomas the Tank Engine isn't necessarily animation, it probably fits best under here. One particular example that stands out is A Close Shave. Pretty much all of it, but there's one part that always gets this troper, after Duck stopped the freight cars from hurting passengers by crashing into a barber shop, and the barber yells at him without knowing the scenario:
Barber: I'm sorry. I didn't know you were being a brave engine. Duck: That's alright, sir. I didn't know that either.
Along with Duck being told that he can come home, he rolls into the shed, greeted by whistles of all the other engines.
Edward's Exploit falls under this as well, with Edward, often mocked for being the oldest engine, uses everything in him to pull a train after a serious breakdown. He shows up late at the station, but the passengers are so proud of him that they give him a round of applause.
A short, but memorable moment, was when Thomas returned from being mended during the Daisy arc.
The Deputation's end definitely qualifies. The Fat Controller has been contemplating whether to send Donald or Douglas home.
Fat Controller: Donald, Douglas, I heard your work in the snow was good. You shall have a new coat of paint. Donald: Thank ye, sir! Fat Controller: But your names will be painted on you, so there will be no more mistakes. Douglas: Does this mean that the both of us...? Fat Controller: It means - Narrator: But the rest of his speech was drowned by a delighted chorus of cheers and whistles. The twins were here to stay.
The ending of Henry's Forest, doubles as a Tear Jerker
In Four Litle Engines, Skarloey, who was long overdue for repairs at that point, pulled a passenger train for Sir Handel after he fails. But that's not all, one of his springs give way and he struggles on to the station, and makes it. He earns a respectful silence from James, and we get this nice exchange at the end of the episode.
Skarloey:Old engines can't pull trains like the young ones can... Skarloey's driver:They can if they're mended, Old Faithful. You deserve it.
The end of All at Sea
Narrator:Duck still wonders about the lands beyond the horizon, but he enjoys being with friends most of all, and I think he knows that sometimes, the best travels are those we can only dream about ** All of this accompanied by heartwarming music and a beautiful shot of the engines looking out of the sunset.
In "Harvey To The Rescue", Thomas and the Fat Controller cheer up a dejected Harvey after he hears about his bad first impressions from the other engines. He later proves his worth and gets a much different reception:
Harvey: The other engines don't like me. I'm too different.
Fat Controller: Different is what makes you special.
"Trust Thomas" sets Thomas up for a Break the Cutie moment, after starting the day exceptionally cheerful, he gets grumbled at by Bertie due to his broken road, is tricked by James into taking his trucks, which then push him into a river. However following the crash, he discovers the missing tar wagon for the road. James is genuinely remorseful for getting Thomas in trouble, while a joyous Bertie takes back everything he said before, with Thomas' optimism paying off.
Thomas' first meeting with the Fat Controller in "Thomas And The Trucks/Trouble For Thomas". After his mishap with some mischievous trucks, the Fat Controller bluntly asks what he's doing in the yard. An intimidated Thomas whimpers his problem. The Fat Controller decides Thomas needs experience and puts him to work with trucks for the next few days. Come the next episode, he is cheerfully encouraging Thomas, who is now much more confident and competent in handling trucks (which would come in handy later on).
The ending to "Happy Birthday Sir", in which Thomas and Winston find and restore Sir Topham Hatt's old riding carriage from his younger days. His reaction is nearly overwhelmed.
In "Edward the Great", while racing Spencer, Edward starts to get tired and considers stopping at a station. However, some workers, who had caught word of the race, start to cheer Edward on, giving Edward the strength to continue. Just goes to show you what a little encouragement can do.
As does Gordon, despite his disgust at Edward being elected to race beforehand, taking pity on Edward while passing by and complimenting him.
In "Twin Trouble", after getting into an argument with Douglas, Donald has an accident. Compared to most instances where a bickering engine has to be goaded into resentfully helping the other, Duck barely has time to complete the sentence "Donald's in trouble" before Douglas frantically pulls off to help him.
In "Down The Mine", Thomas and Gordon "formed an alliance" after Gordon helped Thomas from the mine accident. This is quite intriguing considering that the two had quarreled in the first episode.
This is brought back up in "Paint Pots and Queens" (which takes place directly after "Down the Mine" chronologically) in which the two vouch for each other to the Fat Controller (Gordon asks if Thomas can run his branch line again, Thomas is cut off, but in the books he requests Gordon can push coaches again).
"Edward The Hero" makes up for previous Character Derailment concerning Edward, and spotlights him delaying his time as Rescue Engine to help others while passing by (cheering up Charlie, retrieving Dowager Hatt's luggage and gently returning a lost Katie to Farmer Mc Coll).
While Toby and Edward's Not so Above It All moments tend to earn the ire of many fans, they can be Heartwarming In Hindsight when you consider that most of the time it is Thomas and Percy, the two younger engines they previously mentored, that usually end up helping them out, and usually with the same level of patience and sympathy as they gave them, at least giving them an opportunity to return their kind treatment from before. This is especially evident in episodes the older engines are embarrassed about admitting their weaknesses to the younger idolizing ones (eg. "Edward And The Mail", "Toby And The Whistling Woods").
In The Missing Christmas Decorations, Percy goes out of his way to make sure Sidney gets a set of new wheels, after he's been left alone at the Dieselworks for two years. The other engines are shocked Percy would give a diesel a gift, especially after the diesels stole and ruined their sheds' Christmas decorations, but Percy firmly believes Christmas is a time for being kind to others.
Prior to that, Diesel 10 was firmly convinced the Fat Controller didn't care about his diesels and so gets Paxton to steal Tidmouth Shed's decorations. Eventually Paxton feels guilty and draws the line, instead setting about the order the Fat Controller gave him earlier. As the steamies confront Diesel 10 over his theft, Paxton enters with his special; trucks of Christmas decorations the Fat Controller ordered for the Dieselworks.
The ending of "Thomas, Percy, and the Coal/Double Trouble" shows Thomas and Percy making up for their quarrel for their eventful coal incidents, which is unlike of how said episode ended in the novels where Percy vows to pay back Thomas for laughing at him. This actually proves that the two will continue to be friends through the good and the bad.
Arguably Thomas saving Diesel in "Misty Island Rescue". Despite the recurring Fantastic Racism between the two rivals, Thomas is genuinely horrified when Diesel nearly falls over the unfinished bridge, and vehemently pulls him to safety. Diesel rather earnestly thanks him afterwards.