- Yu-Gi-Oh! (first anime series)
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V
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- During the first night of Duelist Kingdom there is a scene where Yugi and Anzu are reminiscing about old times, and Yugi offers to have Dark Yuugi come out, convinced that he's who Anzu really wants to talk to. Anzu grabs Yugi's hand and tells him he doesn't have to. "You're just fine the way you are."
- Dark Yugi rescues Yugi's soul from a Chinese Shadow Game called Dragon Cards. The expression on his face when Yugi's soul returns is tender, and it's made even better by the fact that it looks like he's trying to hug Yugi's soul.
- In the Monster World arc, Bakura resists his Dark self in order to help Yugi and friends out. "I am Ryou Bakura. I won't let you kill my friends. I'll fight too."
- How Yugi gets transferred into his RPG figure. At this point, Jonouchi, Anzu, and Honda have all had their souls removed and only Yugi is left. He requests Dark Bakura to do so with him as well, for two reason: one, because he feels it's only right that if his friends are forced to risk themselves than he should as well, and two, so Dark Yugi's soul will take over and take his place. And remember, at this point Yugi has just finally become aware of his Other Self, and hasn't even had a conversation with him yet. That's how much Yugi has come to trust him now.
- There's a blink-and-you-miss-it example early in the Duelist Kingdom arc. The characters are just getting used to the idea that the other Yugi is a separate person instead of just Yugi acting weird (or, Yugi is getting used to it, and his friends are looking awkward). Yugi mentions that his other self is feeling sad, and Jonouchi leans in to the Millennium Puzzle and shouts "Cheer up, Other Yugi!" Later on, Jonouchi gets some bad news about his sister and gets angsty. Yugi looks like he wants to comfort his friend, there's a scene from behind Yugi's head as he approaches... and then the Other Yugi leans in and shouts "Cheer up, Jonouchi!" It's not much, until you consider that a few books ago, the Other Yugi was still setting people on fire for fun.
- The Kaiba brothers' reunion at the end of Duelist Kingdom is a very heartwarming scene in the anime but even more so in the manga. In the manga, their reunion marks the first time Mokuba sees his brother out of the coma Yugi's "Mind Crush" put him in months earlier, and it also marks the completion of Kaiba's shattered heart.
- Another big one for Yugi is during the final chapters of the Dragons, Dice & Dungeons arc before when the Puzzle has been stolen, chained to a game table, and broken into pieces and now the whole game store is on fire. Yugi refuses to abandon Dark Yugi and the Puzzle and stays in the burning building to complete the Puzzle and try to free it from the chains. Even when he passes out he still protectively clutches the Puzzle and refuses to let go.
- Likewise, Jonouchi was willing to stay by Yugi's side the whole time to make sure they all escaped the Black Crown alive.
- Kaiba telling Yugi that his duel with Jonouchi gave him 'the answer' as to what friendship really meant.
- Despite being rivals in the past, after Atem's death, the priest Seto wrote a eulogy on the tablet of the Pharaoh's memories, signing it as 'the Pharaoh's true friend' and asking for his guidance. Ishizu tells Kaiba it was written in hieratic, which is a more informal writing style than hieroglyphics- a kind of informal address used between friends.
- In the virtual pet chapter, it's mentioned that the virtual pets have a limited lifespan. By the end of the chapter, Yugi's pet's lifespan is going to run out in the morning, so he stays up all night with it. It's actually a bit weird how emotionally attached he is to a virtual pet, but somehow that's what makes it so cute.
- In the Egypt arc of the manga, one of the early chapters has Thief King Bakura burst into the throne room and is stomping on the mummified corpse of the previous pharaoh, Atem's father. Couples as a Crowning Moment of Awesome, Atem calmly walks up to Bakura and pushes him away, then holds his father's corpse, incapable of actually remembering his face, but recalling the love he had given his son while he was still alive.
- While it's not delved into much at all and only really seen in flashbacks, Yugi's friendship with Joey and Tristan and their Undying Loyalty to him (so strong they'll risk all kinds of death for his sake) is derived from Yugi standing up for them against a bully even they couldn't beat despite them having been tormenting him practically every day prior to that.
- And building on this? Their current day friendship is so strong that an American fan once wrote into Shonen Jump demanding to know why the hell a flashback showed Joey and Tristan beating up Yugi. From die hard bullies to die hard friends; not a bad trade.
- In episode three, Joey literally jumps off a boat to save Yugi's Exodia, and Yugi is not far behind also jumping off a boat to save Joey. Tea and Tristan lower a ladder to bring them back on board to safety, and Joey explains how he feels like he owes people and is always letting down his true friends and family, before mentioning his motivation to save his beloved sister's eyesight.
- While Tea and Tristan aren't sure if Joey can beat Rex by himself, tease him beforehand, and try to talk him out of dueling, once the duel starts they support him without question.
- In episode 11, Joey and Tristan are having a fight, which gets worse when they punch/shove one another and run off. Still sore about losing to Joey, Mai sics dinosaur duelist Rex Raptor on him, with the added condition that Yugi can't help him out of this one. Joey agrees, feeling that he doesn't need to be babied or rescued all the time and must rely on himself so he can teach Serenity how to rely on herself. Meanwhile, Yugi goes to see Tristan and convinces him that while Joey may not need help, he could still use their support. At the same time, Joey realizes that Tristan was always there for him not because he thought he needed help, but because he was a true friend.
- Yugi wins Joey's Red-Eyes Black Dragon back from the Rare Hunter and Joey tells him to keep it.
- After the Shadow Game with Yami Bakura, Yugi immediately checks on Ryou and is relieved to see he's okay.
- During Yugi's duel with Panik, Mai thinks that Yugi doesn't stand a chance, since a duelist like Panik is what a duelist should be. Ryou Bakura calls her out for her cynicism and says that she doesn't understand Yugi at all, saying there's much more to his friend than meets the eye.
- After Yugi's loss to Kaiba in Duelist Kingdom, Ryou Bakura spends the first 11 minutes of the following episode comforting him.
- Tea dueling Mai for Yugi's star chips to help him get back on his feet. Mai ends up surrendering after Tea takes down her Harpie Lady even though she could have won because she was moved at what Tea was doing.
- Tea, Tristan, and Bakura supporting Joey in his duel against Keith.
- Joey explaining to Bandit Keith why he's a lousy duelist and person, and won't win.
Keith: Yeah, you ain't nothin' but a speed bump on my way to duel Pegasus, and that goes double for that dweeby friend of yours, Yugi!
Joey: [calm] Yeah, right, Keith.
Keith: What'd you say!?
Joey: I got news for you, pal. Even if you beat me, which you won't, Yugi'd cream you. And you know why, hotshot? Cause you're a selfish sleazeball who's only in this tournament for your own greedy reasons!
Keith: Say what!?
Joey: People like you never win. Sure, your tricks may get you a little ways... but only 'til people with good intentions show up. Like me, and like Yugi, too!
- Mai giving Joey her admittance card so he can enter the duel after Bandit Keith stole his.
Mai: You dork. Of course we're friends.
- Yugi giving Joey the three million prize money for his sister's operation after finally defeating Pegasus.
- Yugi's friends block Pegasus's mind reading, after Yugi collapses. You can see Tea's spirit holding Yugi's in her arms.
- Before his duel with Arkana, Yami Yugi talks about how sometimes a card can choose a duelist rather than the other way around. The Dark Magician has chosen him, and in turn he gives him his complete trust. While heartwarming enough on its own, it's even more heartwarming after you watch the Ancient Egypt arc and realize he has subconscious memories of placing complete trust in Mahad.
- After Yami Yugi defeats Arkana, Yugi sees him completely shattered over the loss and Marik's lies and asks if there's anything he can do to help. He was willing to help the guy that just tried to cut his legs off/banish him to the Shadow Realm.
- Mako's sullen acceptance of his loss to Jounouchi (and by association, his father's disappearance), where he just barely holds back from crying and smiles, congratulating Jounouchi on his win.
- Yugi resolving to switch with Yami Yugi and bring Joey back from Marik's control.
Yugi: I feel in my heart that if there's anyone in the whole world that can get through to Joey right now, it's me. I'm ready to go in there and do whatever I have to do. Joey's my best friend, and I know that he would do the exact same thing for me. ...This isn't just something I want to do, this is something I feel I have to do.
Yami Yugi: If you feel that strongly... then go. And know I will be right here should you need me.
- The end of Yugi's duel with the possessed Joey at the pier. There have been plenty of heartwarming moments in the series history, but only one was so heartwarming that LittleKuriboh was unable to make fun of it.
- Yugi tells Marik point-blank that he will lose this duel because Joey's willpower is just that strong.
- And Serenity too, particularly at the end of the duel when she leaps into the water after her brother and swim down to save him (bearing in mind she's recently had major eye surgery and her bandages only came off about twenty seconds ago. She held back because she wanted the first thing she saw to be her brother).
- After Yami Yugi defeats Yami Bakura with Slifer, everyone crowds around Ryou to make sure he's safe. What really sells it is the dialogue.
Ryou: Hey... so.... where am I?
Yami Yugi: You're with your friends now, Bakura.
- Odion in general. His Undying Loyalty to the Ishtar family and his troubled little brother is a wonder to see, and utterly tragic when Marik is being an Ungrateful Bastard. It gets more heartwarming when Marik's spirit, suppressed by his darker side and slowly fading away in his Shadow Game against Yugi, uses what he thinks are his last moments to go apologize and pay respects to his comatose big brother. And then Odion is able to wake up and help Marik defeat his evil side once and for all! And the Ishtars are properly rid of him and properly reunited.
- Yami Yugi's final turn against Noah has him collapsed on the ground, ready to give up, but Yugi and visions of all his friends—including Kaiba—encourage him to not give up. he goes on to win the duel.
- Joey's "death" (close enough) in Mai's arms during the "Waking the Dragons" arc.
- Kisara's death, not only for obvious reasons but because that whole arc gives a whole new perspective to Kaiba's connection to his Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
- Then there's the episode in which Jounouchi brings himself out of a coma so he can watch Yugi duel. Especially since earlier, Honda had him by the neck and was shaking him, almost in tears, telling him he had to wake up to go watch the duel.
- Episode 52, when Dark Yugi tells Yugi that he has no memories of who he used to be. Yugi starts getting a little freaked out about it all, until Dark Yugi tells him that he doesn't care who he was -he just wants to stay with Yugi.
Yugi: Me too. Forever. I will give you all of my memories.
Yugi: But what if I... fail again? (near tears) How do I know I won't lose you?
- Just as heartwarming in the dub too.
(silence; Yami holds Yugi's hands)
Yami: I believe in you, Yugi.
- Another big one for Yugi is the episode before when the Puzzle has been stolen, chained to a wall, and broken into pieces and now the whole building is on fire. Yugi refuses to abandon Yami and the Puzzle and stays in the burning building to complete the Puzzle and try to free it from the chains. Even when he passes out he still protectively clutches the Puzzle and refuses to let go.
- Granted he had selfish reasons for doing so, but Kaiba giving Yami a pep talk at the end of episode 66 when it seems like he's defeated.
- Kaiba's smile at the end of his duel with Noa as his brother rushes to him, now free from Noa's Mind Control.
- Also, when he's trying to break Mokuba's mind control, Kaiba's expression whenever he draws cards from his deck, hoping that it will be the Blue-Eyes is heart wrenching. It's probably the only time he trembles in fear and desperation. Kaiba, the same guy who has in the past done anything to win and not given a damn what he does to achieve his win, really does love his little brother.
- Upon arrival in Ancient Egypt Yami is deeply confused. He still has no memories of his former life, and wonders if the people around him are his friends or merely his servants. Immediately afterward Mahaad comes up because he was concerned about Yami's safety, and leds him away. Not a minute later, Yami is full-on glomped by Mana. As Yami watches the two argue, the look on his face says that his question's been very thoroughly answered.
- Yami immediately remembers Mana. Given that she is probably allowed to get away with being less formal around him, it certainly shows that he values close friendships over custom, as she is one of the only characters he is able to recall information about independently. Also applies to the manga, although they get less dialogue together.
- Any scene where Yugi and his other self interact. The devotion they have for each other is truly d'awww inducing.
- During the Virtual Nightmare Arc, as Yugi's running to find Anzu, he can hear her calling his name for help, and thinks he's not really the one she's calling, that he knows very well that she wants his other self. But when he finds her and she regains consciousness in his arms, she throws her arms around him and cries that she knew he would come to save her. She was thinking of him all along!
- After Joey nearly defeats Yami Marik, Kaiba acknowledges his skill as a duelist.
- During his duel with Kaiba in Battle City, Joey calls Kaiba out on not having fun with dueling and asks if winning is all that matters to him. While Joey loses, he acknowledges that there will be other times and what matters is that he gave it his all.
- In the duel against Dartz, Dartz reduces Yami's lifepoints to zero, but he saves himself with Relay Soul. He summons Dark Magician Girl, and cannot lose until she is destroyed. Yami says that their lives are now connected, and he will protect her. His speech sounds like a love confession.
- It's even more heartwarming when you realise/learn just ''who'' Dark Magician Girl was-Even after over three millennia and amnesia, Atem still cares deeply for his friend Mana.
- Another from the duel against Dartz. When Kaiba's lifepoints are reduced to zero and his soul is about to be claimed, his final act is to activate "Wish of Final Effort", transferring all his Mirror Force Dragon's strength to Yami's lifepoints, giving him enough to go on alone. Coming from Kaiba, it's an incredible act of faith and trust, so much so that his sacrifice is the driving force that helps break Yami free of the Orichalchos' control.
- After Yugi defeats Raphael's Dreadscythe, at first it seems like Raphael is still consumed by darkness, as he goes right back to dueling. But then, he gives up all of his Life Points to bring back the monsters he had sacrificed to give Dreadscythe power. He was willing to give up his own soul to the Oricalchos to save his monsters. Then, instead of having his soul taken, the ghosts of Raphael's family appear, along with Guardian Eatos, and let him know that they never left him, and never gave up on him.
- And then, Raphael smiles, and it is just so sweet because this is the first time that he's actually felt happiness after losing his family.
- Raphael's gratitude when Yami tried to help him after the duel, even going as far as grabbing and throwing him to safety when one of the buildings begins to collapse. This from someone who professed nothing but hatred for the Pharaoh episodes before.
- And then, Raphael smiles, and it is just so sweet because this is the first time that he's actually felt happiness after losing his family.
- The fourth anime ending shows Yugi chasing after a bus that's already taken off. It looks like he's going to have to walk to school alone and be late for class, but then you see his friends right behind him and all of a sudden it doesn't seem so bad.
- At the start of the KC Grand Prix arc, Yugi and his friends want to stay and relax for a few days, but Yugi is uncertain if it's okay with the Pharaoh. Yami Yugi tells him that since he's waited this long to find out about his past, a few more days couldn't hurt.
- During the KC Grand Prix arc, Yugi, Joey, and Rebecca give advice and a magic card to a kid named Rick who stocked his deck with nothing but dragon monsters. When Rick's trapped fighting the duelist computer's highest setting, Yami Yugi uses Rick's deck to pull off a win, giving him renewed confidence and leading several kids to trade cards with him.
- In a flashback to Ancient Egypt, Mahaad gets bitten by a snake. Atem immediately rushes to him and tries to suck the venom out. Mahaad is shocked and asks him to stop, as it is improper for the Prince to be doing such a thing for a servant. Atem replies that he doesn't care about such things, he has been bitten by a snake and he's going to save him. Mahaad was amazed by his kindness and swore to always protect him, realizing he would make a most worthy pharaoh.
- It's even better in Japanese. Atem says they bleed just the same, and someday will live together without boundaries of class.
- Also, the flashbacks to the young Atem interacting with his father. Straight after the flashbacks, Atem wakes up in a cave (he had fallen/ended up there after a fight scene). He leaves to find himself by the Nile river...only to see a father and son fishing. His wistful look shows some of the downside to getting your memory back.
- Anime only, when Atem tries to appease the vengeful spirits of Kul Elna, they attempt to take his soul. And what do we see in his soul? Atem as a child, fearfully holding on to the remnant of his father's spirit. On some level his badass-ness might just be a very convincing facade.
- When the Ishtar family is reunited after Battle City. At this point, Rishid, the adopted brother who was never accepted by their father as one of them, begins to tear up. Sob.
Marik: Can our family still live? Can it live... out of the dark...?
Ishizu: Yes! The three of us are Tomb Guardians! No matter where we live, that will not change! We are family! As long as we have that bond, we can overcome any obstacle.
- After learning about Yugi's defeat to Raphael, we see Kaiba state that this has given him yet another reason to take down Doma. He and Yugi may not be friends, but it says something about the level of respect he has for his rival to take Yugi's defeat so personally.
- Also, when he actually expresses respect and gratitude to the other Yugi at the end of the Legendary Heroes arc back in the first season.
- In the final arc of the anime, with everybody else down, and Zorc approaching the city, who steps up, putting himself between the Pharaoh, Priest Seto, the capital, and an oncoming God of Evil? Our Seto Kaiba and his Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon. Seeing Kaiba, who has for so long refused to accept his connection to the past, or give a damn about anybody other than himself and his little brother putting his life on the line to save thousands of people he has never met is a Crowning Moment of Awesome & Heartwarming.
- And what spurs him into action? Seeing two small children running away from Zorc, the younger struggling to keep up. Kaiba jumps off a building to put himself between them and Zorc.
- Also, after the battle Kaiba actually admits that there might be truth to his connection to the ancient past and all the magic he's witnessed. He immediately tries to backtrack when Joey calls him on it, but it's pretty clear his views have changed.
- When Yugi is in a funk after Yami nearly killed Kaiba before the Duelist Kingdom finals, he's too distracted to duel Mai. She takes on a tough love approach. When Joey thinks she's trying to psyche him out, Mai points out that she is not: The reason Joey was able to make it to the finals at all was because he had the courage to stand up and fight with everything she had. Deep down, Mai was scared, and relied on mind-games and psyche-outs because she was afraid to admit to herself she wasn't all that. And when she did, she became better. Then, she turns to Yugi.
Mai: How about you, Yugi? Have you faced your fears?
- At the end of the Battle City arc, Mai is about to leave town, Joey catches up to her and tries to, very awkwardly say goodbye. Mai points out that he doesn't have to say anything mushy. What he did protecting her from Ra said enough and made all the difference.
- Leon Wilson or rather, von Schroder, when confronted by his brother giving him an illegal card and hacking it in play, goes through a minor Heroic B.S.O.D., and immediately tries to destroy the card to play an honorable duel. When that doesn't work, he tries to forfeit. He wanted to fight Yugi, but never to cheat.
- In the Grand Prix Arc, Rebecca is dueling Leon and is sad because Yugi and the others aren't there to cheer her on (unbeknowst to her, they are off searching for his grandfather who disappeared despite having a bad back) and then a few of her fans in the crowd begin to cheer her on, telling her that she won't give up.
- They arrive a bit later, but Rebecca still loses the duel and she has a Cry Cute moment, crying into Yugi's chest and he's hugging her in comfort.
- When Yugi battles Yami Bakura in the Memory World arc, who's currently possessing Tristan, Tea and Joey are worried—not that he'd lose the duel, but because winning the duel might harm Tristan.
- The final duel of the series, in the anime, has a moment from Seto Kaiba. After choking Yugi to the point of leaving him gasping for air when he wanted to duel the Pharaoh, and almost walking out on the duel when he was losing, Kaiba is left completely stunned when Yugi destroys the Egyptian God Cards after spending an episode repelling them.
Kaiba: Yugi may have fewer Life Points, but he managed to come up with an unprecedented strategy to defeat the Egyptian God Cards. I've never seen anything like that before. I can see now that I was wrong, Mokuba. He is the King of Games.
- In the final arc, Joey explains to Bakura and Tea that every duel Yugi and the Pharaoh ever fought was leading up to them facing each other, and Yugi's having the time of his life proving himself.
- The ending and last goodbye speeches. Compare with the Movie, when Tristan comments to Yugi, 'It looks like the duel's not going too well for your friend the Pharaoh', implying he didn't know him all that well or consider him a friend yet. But by the series end, when the Pharaoh is about to step into the light, ALL Yugi's friends call out to him, most breaking down in tears.
- Also, the fact that the Pharaoh can't articulate his feelings to his friends in words; the best he can do is give them the 'thumbs up' to reassure them it's all OK.
- When Atem is about to walk into the afterlife, his friends attempt to talk him out of it. Tristan says Atem can't come in, change their lives forever and then just walk away; Yugi doesn't want to say goodbye and Téa says it's not fair Atem has to leave just when he and his friends learned who he really is and what he was meant to do. Joey, showing far he has come, tells them they don't have to understand what's going on, they just have to accept it. As happy as they are that Atem is fulfilling his destiny, it doesn't make it any less painful to see him go.
- Yugi's favorite monster, the Dark Magician, happens to have been his best friend, Mahad.
- When Honda is carrying an unconscious Jounouchi over his shoulder, he gets startled and Jounouchi starts to fall. It's then Kaiba who reaches out and stops Jounounchi from falling the entire way, and keeps supporting him until Honda is able to steady him once again.
Yu-Gi-Oh! card game
- In July of 2011, Dan Green was in Pittsburgh for a tournament event for the card game. He ditched that event to go across town to a smaller anime convention— paying for a general attendance badge. He signed autographs and generally acted like a featured guest at that convention, one that the organizers didn't even know was there until two days after the con.
- Tyler the Great Warrior: A one-of-a-kind, custom card given to a 14-year-old boy who could've died of embryonal sarcoma if not for a skilled doctor. Even better, he got a VIP tour of the 4Kids Yu-Gi-Oh facility.
- "My Body as a Shield", the card's name speaks for itself. It has a picture of the "Marauding Captain" selflessly protecting "Gagagigo" from an incoming attack.