Neal and Mozzie's entire friendship is pretty much summed up by their conversation in Mozzie's very first scene in the pilot episode.
Neal: Thanks for coming.
Mozzie: What was I gonna do? Not come?
This same sentiment is echoed in episode five, The Portrait, when Neal is waiting to meet up with Kate at Grand Central Station. Mozzie, worried that it might be a trap, shows up to help.
Neal: Forbidden romantic meetings are kind of a personal thing, Moz.
Mozzie: Yeah, like I was gonna let you come alone. What if the guy with the ring planted that note?
These are just two examples that set the stage for the rest of the series, which features many, many examples of Mozzie's intense loyalty to Neal.
Peter's entire conversation with Kate about Neal in Hard Sell.
Peter referring to Neal as his friend, which is a pretty big deal in the first season.
All of Peter's coworkers coming in to help him investigate, even though Peter himself is under investigation. Awwwww!
In Vital Signs, "Out of all the people in my life...Mozzie, Kate...you're the only one. .... You're the only person in my life I trust."
And then Peter justifies that trust immediately and beautifully: honorable, straight-arrow Agent Burke steals the surveillance tapes of Neal's break-in so he isn't sent back to jail.
Although it's the first season's funny episode, Vital Signs in general is one big CMOH if you really think about it. Everything Neal does in this episode—everything he risks—is because he's trying to help save a child's life by getting her back on the donor list.
In the first season finale, when Neal explains why he said goodbye to all his friends except Peter.
Neal: Because you're the only one who can change my mind!
Peter: Did I?
In the first few episodes of season two: everyone trying, in their own ways, to help Neal cope with Kate's death. From Peter and Mozzie's willingness to work together to help Neal through it, to Diana telling Neal about her bodyguard, Charlie, who died saving her life. It's just so sweet to see these characters that don't always get along with each other banding together because they all care about Neal.
This conversation from By the Book:
Neal: You think Tommy's the kind of guy who would stick around for a girl?
Mozzie: All I know is, Gina's the kind of girl worth sticking around for.
From In the Red when Ollie is reunited with his adoptive mother. C'mon, everyone who watched that episode went "aawwwwww" at that moment.
For this troper, it's the scene at the beginning where Neal holds up the toy truck and shouts "No guns!" I have no idea why I find that heartwarming, I just do.
Neal seems to have a soft spot for children. And animals—especially dogs. If either are in his vicinity, it's bound to be a heartwarming moment.
When Neal goes to rescue Peter in Company Man without a second thought, despite the fact the Mozzie just told him Peter has the music box And the look on his face throughout that entire scene also makes this a Tear Jerker.
Peter calmly talking Neal down when Neal is about to shoot Fowler in Point Blank.
Peter: Neal, do not do this.
Neal: I know he killed her. He killed Kate.
Peter: Listen to me. If you pull that trigger, you will regret it for the rest of your life, Neal. You're not a killer.
Neal: I want him to know how it felt. How she felt.
Peter: Look at me. Look at me, Neal. Neal, look at me, Neal. Come on. (Neal looks at him) This isn't who you are.
(Neal lowers the gun.)
Peter's firm, gentle, fatherly tone combined with a believable amount of fear over what Neal is about to do is what makes this scene so powerful.
At the start of Burke's Seven, in a blink and you miss it moment, just before talking to Neal, Peter lightly touches Mozzie's leg and gives the comatose crook a small smile and nod. A huge difference from the start of the series where Peter barely even trusted Mozzie.
Similarly, in the same episode, Neal's gotten basically the entire fake-I.D. crowd together to help with investigating Mozzie's shooting. Seeing as how, well, it's Neal, they are all quite cold and suspicious of him, until he tells them it's for Mozzie. There's this moment of silence...then they all heartily go along with the plan.
It gets better. A few episodes earlier, in By the Book, Mozzie says Devlin doesn't like him. And then Devlin sells him out to Jones, who's posing as a mobster. Who's the first person to step forward and agree to help in Burke's Seven? Yep, Devlin.
Also, in the very next scene, when Mozzie comes to in the hospital, there's a brief shot of Neal slouched in a chair, asleep with an open book on his chest. Awwww.
In What Happens in Burma, Neal reveals that his father was a dirty cop, and says that criminal behavior runs in his blood. Peter insists that it's not true and encourages Neal to be his own man.
The heartwarming part comes when you realize that this is after Neal has served time as a convicted bond forger, and that Peter was the one who caught him, twice! Even after all that, Peter still believes in him and still wants Neal to realize that his choices are his own, and that it's not too late to get his act together.
Neal dancing with June at the end of Countermeasures.
In Payback, Neal tells Mozzie that he's going to pay Peter's ransom with a very valuable ring—a ring he was going to use to propose to Kate. He says he had been holding onto it in the hope that she might somehow still be alive. Mozzie asks if he's really willing to give that up for Peter's sake.
Neal: Keeping Peter alive is more important than holding a candle for someone who isn't.
Also in Payback, when Neal tells Mozzie that Peter has been kidnapped, Mozzie's reaction is a panicked, "W-wait, what?!" And later, he shows up with an arsenal of hammers when Neal only asked for one, just to make sure that they could get Peter back. D'awww.
Mozzie refers to Neal as his brother several times throughout the series. Never in those exact words, but he calls him mon frere, which is French for "my brother." Also, in the above mentioned episode, Payback, when Neal reveals that he used to imagine having kids with Kate, Mozzie says that the name "Uncle Mozzie" has a nice ring to it.
In On Guard, Neal burns his and Mozzie's perfect getaway to save Jones's life, without any hesitation.
Is this a conversation between Peter and Elizabeth? Then it's a moment.
Especially every time they call each other 'hon'. It's their code word for 'I love you'.
The Dentist of Detroit delves into Mozzie's past, and now we know why he calls himself that. And he still has his teddy bear.
Near the end of that episode, Mozzie risks his life confronting a mobster rather than leaving it to the FBI...because he wants to protect Peter. That's Peter Burke, FBI agent and living symbol of the system Mozzie fears and hates, and apparently also a trusted friend.
Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome: As soon as Mozzie finds out that he's being sent to an FBI safehouse, he starts demanding a very precise list of things he'll need, including silk pajamas and his electric toothbrush. He ends up using the requested items to sneak out of the safehouse so he can meet up with Deluca. This means that Mozzie concocted his entire escape plan in about five seconds.
Four in Veiled Threat.
1) Peter finds out that he has to go undercover as a single gentleman at a bachelor's auction... and tells Elizabeth as soon as they get home.
2) Elizabeth not only being involved in the dating stuff, she actually teaches Peter to tango in case it comes up.
3) During the investigation, Peter finds out that Elizabeth would have preferred a MUCH smaller wedding then she got. At the end of the episode they renew their vows in a wedding that is only them, a priest (Mozzie), and a witness (Neal).
Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny. Their platonic date happens to be in the van, while they're listening in on Peter's "date" with Selina. Their reactions to realizing that Peter can tango are just priceless. Also, Diana refers to Sara as "Insurance Investigator Barbie." The whole scene is just hilarious and adorable.
A subtle one from Taking Account: When Neal and Sara take control of the thief's bank account, Neal writes down new information for Sara to put in, including two security questions and their answers. One of the questions was "What is your mother's maiden name?" The name Neal writes for Sara to use is Mitchell. Seems pretty random, until a few episodes later; in Pulling Strings, we learn Elizabeth's maiden name: Mitchell. Neal thinks of Elizabeth as his mother.
Several in As You Were:
So far this season, every time Neal has gone to visit a friend or coworker, he had some agenda of his own—trying to find out what they knew about the treasure. So Neal suddenly turning up at Jones' place with a bottle of beer and a willingness to listen is incredibly sweet, because he had no ulterior motive in doing it. He simply came because he could tell that Jones needed a friend.
While Neal sneaks into Peter & Elizabeth's house to get the Manifest, the screen pans on a framed photo of everyone at the bureau.
Peter calls Neal and tells him that if he wants to talk about his breakup with Sara, he's willing to listen.
In Countdown, when Peter admits to being friends with Neal in front of his mentor, smiling when he says it.
Checkmate has several.
After Elizabeth is kidnapped, Neal has to get ahold of Mozzie, who's gone completely to ground after he and Neal had a falling out. The only way to contact him is through Mozzie's carrier pigeon, Estelle. The pigeon handler initially refuses to let Neal use Estelle, because Mozzie had told him that Neal might show up, and had said to send him away. Neal convinces the handler otherwise by recounting the story of Cher Ami, the carrier pigeon who flew through heavy enemy fire in World War I and successfully delivered his message, saving two hundred lives.
Neal: 'Cher Ami' means 'Dear friend'. Now Mozzie's dear friend needs him. He doesn't know it, but another life needs to be saved.
Mozzie gets quite a few, not least of which was all but outright stating he cares about Peter.
When Peter, Neal and Mozzie first meet with Keller, it's Mozzie who puts a hand on Peter's shoulder to hold him back.
For this troper, it's Tim DeKay's amazing acting that makes Checkmate so powerful. He delivers the sheer anger and raw emotion of a man whose wife is in danger to absolute perfection. The way his voice shakes when he talks to El on the phone, the hatred in his eyes and barely contained self-restraint when he meets up with Keller...all of it is so beautifully done.
Near the end of this episode, Neal tells Mozzie that he's planning to confess to everything, knowing it means he'll go back to prison, and probably for a lot longer than four years, because that's what it will take to keep Keller off the street and away from his friends. He points out that Mozzie will have a twelve-hour head start if he leaves that night, and Mozzie strongly implies that he's gonna do just that. This is heartwarming for a couple of reasons.
1. Neal didn't steal the treasure. Mozzie did. Had the truth come out in court, Neal probably would've only been charged as an accessory to the robbery. Neal's decision to confess to stealing the treasure wasn't just a way to make sure Keller got locked up for a long time. He was willing to take the blame so Mozzie could remain a free man.
2. In the next episode, Mozzie is still there. No one makes a big deal out of it. It's not mentioned at all. He's just...still there, once again proving his loyalty to Neal.
In Upper West Side Story, Peter is posing as a man enrolling his son in a prep school as part of an undercover assignment. Someone at the school asks Peter about his son. Peter describes Neal.
"He's very intelligent, but impulsive. His moves tend to land him in trouble...Well, I wanna give him the best shot at life. I know it's gonna cost me."
The whole episode is full of moments like that. It takes place very soon (as in weeks) after Checkmate, and it's obvious that Neal and Peter both want to get things back to normal, but Peter is still shaken up over everything that happened. We're not seeing the FBI agent keeping his criminal on a tight leash, we're seeing Peter acting very much like a father who's proud of his son for finally doing the right thing, but at the same time, he's having to practice tough love, trying to make Neal understand that there are consequences for his actions.
Near the end of Pulling Strings: There's just something sweet about Diana telling Neal that he's earned the right to handcuff a bad guy. Must've been a great feeling for Neal, to be on the other side of a pair of cuffs.
Although it's never really a big point of contention between them, the jabs they occasionally take at each other make it obvious that Peter doesn't really get Neal's passion for unusual art, and Neal doesn't understand Peter's love of baseball. Stealing Home ties the two things together beautifully with a scene that this troper has taken to calling "The Reconciliation of Art and Baseball."
Peter:(In the museum at Yankee Stadium) Oh man, what I'd pay to have that bat in my collection.
Neal: That's a lot of money for that piece of wood.
Peter: Piece of wood?
Neal: Yeah, I mean, take away the fact that DiMaggio swung it, it's just a bat.
Peter: But some guy named Pollock can splatter paint on a canvas, and you think it's worth millions of dollars.
Neal: Splatter paint on a canvas? You stand in front of one of Pollock's works, the chaos fades away and you see the discipline, the balance of...restraint and abandon.
Peter: Like when DiMaggio stepped up to the plate.
Neal: Great art has a broader meaning. It captures a time, a place, an emotion.
Peter: This bat was used to set the all-time hit street record the same year Hirohito bombed Pearl Harbor. For four...five at-bats a day, Joltin' Joe let Americans forget that we were goin' to war.
Neal: Time, a place, an emotion.
Peter: This bat, those balls, these pennants...got this country through some tough times. They still do. Gives us somethin' to root for. And if you work hard, swing for the fences.....oh, anything's possible.
Neal: That's how you feel about baseball?
Peter: That's how a lot of people feel about baseball.
It's subtle, but possibly one of the best things about this exchange is the fact that Peter seems to switch gears when he gets to the "work hard and swing for the fences" part. It feels almost like he's not just talking about baseball anymore, but also Neal's upcoming commutation.
The episode ends with Neal and Peter throwing a baseball back and forth in an empty Yankee Stadium. It's heartwarming for both of them, for different reasons. For Peter, it's because he's getting to play ball in the one place he's always dreamed of playing. And Neal...well, he's playing baseball with the one person in his life who could be considered a father figure, something he missed out on as a kid.
The music that plays as the camera zooms out for a wide overhead shot just makes the whole scene.
Kramer tries some weird blackmail/bribery on Diana, implying that she could be giving up a great career in Washington to help Neal. She immediately reports this to Peter.
Peter: I thought Christie hated DC?
Diana:(smiles) She does, and I work for you.
In the Season 3 finale, Judgment Day, Peter speaks in favor of Neal's commutation, giving a very heartfelt and convincing argument for why Neal should be set free. Too bad Neal had to ruin it by running. The heartbreaking part is that while he's making the speech, Peter knows Neal is running.
Ruin it? You say it like he had a choice. Peter all but told Neal to run.
In Wanted, Neal learns that an FBI bloodhound is chasing him and prepares to go on the run again, just after he and Mozzie have settled down. He tells Mozzie that the FBI's after him and Mozzie doesn't need to come along. Mozzie isn't having any of it.
"You run, I run."
When Neal and Peter are reunited near the end of the episode.
At the end of Most Wanted, Peter asks Mozzie to return to New York with them. Mozzie refuses, choosing instead to stay in Cape Verde and continue living the island paradise dream. In Diminishing Returns, Neal walks into his apartment and finds...Mozzie, playing an obscure card game with a group of odd-looking foreigners. When Neal asks why he came back, Mozzie sort of dances around the answer, but the reason is obvious: he came back because he missed Neal, proving once again that when it comes down to it, Mozzie will always choose Neal over the treasure.
Mozzie's shadow puppet show in Identity Crisis. Starts off adorable, then quickly moves into Tear Jerker territory when he breaks down (the only time we ever see him cry).
But the best part of this scene has got to be Neal, as it shows what a good friend he is to Mozzie. He insists on seeing the shadow puppet show, sits attentively through the whole thing, and then comforts him when Mozzie becomes upset after dredging up those old memories.
When Diana finally accepts Mozzie as family in Out of the Frying Pan.
For that matter, Mozzie coming back for Diana after almost abandoning her when she goes into labor in one of his safehouses.