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Anime And Manga
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Seto Kaiba's obsession with the Blue Eyes White Dragon card, which the series portrays as a combination of Kaiba's preoccupation with power and therefore his reliance on a power deck filled with powerful monster cards; and a strange, inexplicable, almost mystical emotional connection with said cards; is eventually revealed to be the result of subconscious Past-Life Memories: Pegasus, the creator of the Duel Monsters game, based the Blue Eyes White Dragon card on an Ancient Egyptian engraving of a priest directing a spirit-like white dragon with blue eyes in battle - said engraving was a recording of the events of Pharaoh Atem's reign, when Kaiba's past incarnation was a royal High Priest named Set who fell in love with a woman named Kisara who had a hyper-powerful personal spirit animal of a white dragon with blue eyes, and when she died, the dragon lived on, continuing to fight with and defend Set in battle. Kaiba's inexplicable adoration of the supposedly-fictional monster is an echo of his forgotten love for Kisara. This became an intentional example, but in the very first appearance of both Kaiba and the Blue Eyes White Dragon, long before the full connection was conceived of and when Kaiba was intended to only be a one-shot character, he gasps in enraptured amazement when he sees the card and tells Yugi "I'm in love with that card!" It's supposed to show how egotistically obsessed he is with what seems to be a simple trading card, but on re-reads it comes off as much deeper than that.
- At the end of Speed Grapher, Saiga lost his sight but still remained an excellent photographer. And some years later, a real life blind photographer, Tara Miller, won an award for photography.
- In Ouran High School Host Club, Maaya Sakamoto's character Haruhi has a male Unwanted Harem. Included in this harem are the twins Kaoru and Hikaru, the second of which is voiced by Kenichi Suzumura. Some years later, Maaya and Kenichi... got married.
- Before that, in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn and Lunamaria fans were up in arms when they hooked up with no buildup whatsoever after he (Shinn) seemingly killed Athrun and Lunamaria's sister, Meyrin. Making it more confusing is when Mitsuo Fukuda, in a post-show interview, said that Shinn and Lunamaria were "the only true couple" in the series. Now it turns out that their seiyuu did fall in love and did get married!
- While it's listed in Hilarious in Hindsight, it could be an example of this as well: in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, when discussing the logistics of Combining Mecha, Kamina decides that a combination of 16 mechs at once would be a stupid thing to do, since a true combination would require everyone involved to be deeply connected to each other in spirit. In The Movie, not only do they pull that off, but the resulting Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is none other than Kamina reincarnated. And it works.
- In One Piece, Luffy asking Jimbei to join his crew in the Fishmen arc becomes even more heartwarming when you remember that Jimbei was there to pull Luffy out of his Heroic B.S.O.D. after Ace's death. Hence, Luffy already had a Straw Hat with him when the rest of his crew couldn't be there for him.
- A missable one in Fate/Zero Just before the end of Rider's and Archer's fight Rider asks his master Waver if he would become his retainer. Waver agrees. Rewind back to the first use of Rider summoning his retainers with Ionian Hetaroi and you can clearly see a retainer whom looks like an older version of Waver.
- MEGANEBU! is a madcap comedy about Akira Souma and his perverted fellows in the Glasses Club trying to construct X-Ray glasses to see through women's clothes. Then come the last few minutes of episode 12, where it's revealed that's a lie, and he's trying to construct a pair of glasses that can make his blind brother see again. Really produces the warm-fuzzies when you look back at the previous episodes.
- At the start of Rurouni Kenshin Kaoru's implicit acceptance of Kenshin's life as a Manslayer ten years before when she says she doesn't care about his past, while sweet, is largely brushed over. It is only later when Kenshin says goodbye before leaving for Kyoto that it becomes apparent how much that simple statement meant to him and changed his life.
- Although it's a Filler episode, in episode 159 of Naruto the title character and Hinata, a girl who has a secret crush on him, have a cute moment when he eats one of her rice balls and compliments her by telling her she's going to make a good wife someday. Almost nine years after that episode aired the manga ends with an epilogue revealing that the two did get married and started a family.
- Chrono promising Nanoha that he'll personally make sure that Fate isn't punished too harshly for her actions at the end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha becomes a lot sweeter at the end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's since, due to her adoption, it retroactively changes to him looking after his little sister.
Reinforce: (To Nanoha) You will understand someday, when you meet someone who you love as deeply as the sea, and want to protect their happiness.
- Likewise, Reinforce explaining to Nanoha why she's willing to perform a Heroic Sacrifice for Hayate's sake in A's becomes this when Nanoha adopts Vivio in StrikerS.
[Ten Years later]
Nanoha: (To Vivio) As long as you're smiling and happy, I'll always be smiling and happy, too.
- The wizards of Fairy Tail have a tweaked "Number One!" sign as a gesture to denote guild solidarity, and first appearing after the Bar Brawl in the second episode. At the end of the Fantasia arc, we discover that Laxus was the one to come up with it when he was a young boy so he could signal to his grandpa during his first Fantasia parade, a full 46 episodes later.
Makarov: You'll hold up your hand?
Young!Laxus: It's a message! When you see me holding up my hand like this, it means even if I can't see you, I'm looking your way!
- The episode "Noodles; Roamin' Off!", Meowth discovers his Fury Swipes are intricate enough to make him a talented cook and is offered a Friend or Idol Decision to leave Team Rocket for a successful noodle business. He ultimately stays with the team, though said skill remains a Chekhov's Skill throughout many of Jessie's coordinator escapades, even winning contests and showcases. A talent that nearly had him abandon his teammates for business ventures instead helps one of them with their own.
- In a sense, nearly all of the Team Rocket trio's idolising and yearning for Giovanni's respect becomes heartwarming when they finally achieve success in Best Wishes and become respected agents, even managing to save Giovanni's life at one point.
- Pretty much any rare praise or encouragement Ash got at the start of the series about his potential to become a good trainer becomes heartwarming by the later periods of the anime, especially by XY where he verges as The Ace for his current team.
- One that was mentioned in Linkara's review of Action Comics #1: Superman rescuing Lois for the first time and bounding away with her in his arms does indeed become even more adorable now that they're married.
- A large part of Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man dealt with the idea of fiction and how fictional characters "exist" in those stories. At one point the book shows a purgatory where all the forgotten and unused comic characters exist in limbo, and one of the characters that is shown is Mr. Freeze, questioning whether or not he'll ever get out of that place. It took about a decade later, but his revival in Batman: The Animated Series cemented him as a major member of Batman's Rogues Gallery.
- Also in Comic Book limbo is the Space Canine Patrol Agents, which were though to be there permanently, as no one would care about them. Then in Krypto the Superdog, they returned as the Dog Star Patrol.
- After the Motherfucker's defeat in Kick-Ass Volume 2, he promises to never bother Dave again if he lets him live. Volume 3 shows that he very well kept his promise.
- Black Crayons series: In Summer Vacation, Sam Witwicky gets nervous about the thought of marriage. In a later installment in the series, A Child's Innocence, he proposes to his girlfriend, Mikaela Banes.
- In the Katawa Shoujo fanfic, "From Shizune's Perspective," which was released before the full version of the visual novel, Shizune becomes depressed after finding out that Hisao and Misha (the latter of whom she confessed to, but was rejected by) are in a Secret Relationship, but after some time to think and talk with Emi, she realizes that Misha would never sleep with Hisao just to hurt her. A similar event happens in canon in Shizune's route, with Misha essentially in the same position as Shizune.
Film — Animation
- Kung Fu Panda had Master Oogway choosing Po to be the Dragon Warrior after the latter accidentally landed in front of him and, despite everyone's worrys, having full-on confidence in him and believes that Po landing in front of him wasn't an accident. This becomes more heartwarming after Kung Fu Panda 3 revealed that Oogway's life was once saved by Pandas, which gives a new perspective of his attitude towards Po.
Film — Live-Action
- In This Is Spinal Tap, the experience of making this film actually helped Tony Hendra, who played the manager, get over his suicidal depression.
- Space Jam: The producers built Michael Jordan (then retired from basketball) a custom court so he could practice his moves to look good for the movie. He credits this with helping him make his comeback when he un-retired.
- In the British film Victim, released in 1961, Dirk Bogarde plays a homosexual barrister who decides to fight criminals blackmailing gay men (blackmailing homosexuals with threats of revealing their true inclination was common in the era when homosexuality was still a crime). Bogarde, who at the time was a major star in British cinema, took a big risk by accepting the lead role in this pro-gay movie, since in Britain in 1961 homosexuality was illegal and carried a significant social stigma. It wasn't common knowledge at the time, but it's been later revealed that Bogarde himself was gay. Seeing Victim with this knowledge, knowing how personally Bogarde must have felt his role, certainly adds an extra level of heartwarming to the movie.
- In The Producers (1968 version), there was a scene where Leo agrees with Max to partake in the "creative accounting" idea which was done at night along the Lincoln Fountain (the last scene to be filmed). This is a bit of a send-up of movie cliches Leo says that he wants what happens in the movies followed by the fountain suddenly going off. It's funny and kind of heartwarming, but what makes it even more heartwarming is learning that this was the scene that convinced Gene Wilder to stick with acting.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman says to Commissioner Gordon that anyone can be a hero, even doing something as simple putting a coat around a boy's arms and assuring him that it's not the end of the world. In the film, it was a Call Back to Batman Begins to the flashback where Gordon put a coat on young Bruce and tries to comfort him after his parents were murdered and it was used to tell Gordon who Batman was.
- It became even more heartwarming after the tragic Aurora, Colorado theater shooting (where the theater was playing that film), when Christian Bale visited the victims unannounced on his own money and time.
- Thirteen years before Man of Steel was released, Henry Cavill worked as an extra in the film Proof of Life, which Russell Crowe starred in. During the filming of the movie, Cavill asked Crowe for advice about acting, since he had aspirations of pursuing a full-time career as an actor. A few days after their conversation, he received a box of goodies from Crowe that included a signed picture of him in Gladiator with the words, "Dear Henry: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" written on it. Fast-forward to 2013: Henry Cavill is playing Superman opposite Russell Crowe, who's playing his father and mentor, Jor-El. In fact, Man of Steel is also the first time they've seen each other since that first meeting.
- In Men in Black, the reason why K so quickly recruits J into the MIB as well as acting like a surrogate father makes more sense when it's revealed in Men In Black III that K pretty much does consider himself J's surrogate father to make up for accidentally getting J's real father killed.
- Star Wars:
- Luke Skywalker and C-3PO's bond throughout the original trilogy becomes heartwarming when it's revealed in The Phantom Menace that C-3PO was originally built by Luke's father Anakin, making them brothers in a manner of speaking.
- Also the involvement of Luke and Leia in the Galactic Civil War in the original trilogy takes on this considering that Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi placed them in hiding in Revenge of the Sith in the hope that in the future, they would be willing to help fight the Empire. When you think of the usual clip montage of the siblings fighting Emperor Palpatine's force with everything they have to the tune of John Williams' score, there's something cheering that how they stepped willingly forward to become that New Hope for the galaxy.
- When Luke almost gives in to his anger in Return of the Jedi and tries to strike down Palpatine, Darth Vader intercepts the lightsaber blow in the nick of time. At the time, we think that this is just Vader/Anakin protecting his master, but with all the events of the prequel trilogy played out, we see what that gesture truly meant; Anakin didn't want his son to make the same mistake he did!
- Leia is horrified to find out that, by being Luke's sister, Darth Vader is her father, too. By the time of The Force Awakens, Leia recounts that she sought Luke's help when her son Ben, the future Kylo Ren showed signs of darkness which were similar to Anakin Skywalker's, which suggests that she's since accepted his redemption and the truth about his good past prior to his downfall.
- Deleted scenes from Revenge of the Sith delve into the origins of the Rebel Alliance, showing that Padme was a founding member. This casts a new light on Luke redeeming Vader and the subsequent defeat of the Emperor. Luke's journey began out of a desire to follow in his father's footsteps. It ended with him following in his mother's.
- X-Men Film Series:
- X-Men: Professor X tells Logan, "I give you my word that I will use all my power to help you piece together what you've lost, and what you're looking for." Wolverine doesn't know it yet, but what he's truly looking for is right in front of him. As X-Men: Days of Future Past demonstrates, Xavier is the person who gives meaning to Logan's existence; the "master" to his "samurai," so to speak. This is especially true in the Alternate Timeline, where Wolverine has settled down as a history teacher at Charles' school, and is genuinely happy—probably the happiest we've seen him in the entire film franchise. Days of Future Past makes it clear that it's Xavier—and not Jean Grey, as The Wolverine might have you believe—who is the most significant figure in Logan's life during his post-amnesia years.
- X2: X-Men United: An imprisoned Magneto warmly greets Professor X with, "Charles Xavier, have you come to rescue me?" As it turns out, Charles did indeed rescue Erik Lehnsherr from drowning in X-Men: First Class, and this is how their friendship began. Despite the danger Erik was in 1962, both men still look back on the memory with some fondness.
- X-Men: The Last Stand: Professor X reassuring Beast that "You are always welcome here. You are a part of this place" becomes that much sweeter when you take into account their close relationship in X-Men: Days of Future Past. In between 1963 and 1973, Charles and Hank were each other's Only Friend after the former was forced to close his newly budding school due to The Vietnam War draft. Xavier then fell into a deep depression that was further worsened by his alcoholism, and McCoy did his best to try to take care of his former mentor. They eventually became Heterosexual Life-Partners, so Beast isn't just a good friend to the Professor; he's family. Hank also mentions to Logan that both he and Charles had built the school and the labs, so McCoy is just as essential as Xavier in the formation of the X-Men.
- X-Men: First Class: Raven angrily tells her brother, "You know, Charles, I used to think it was gonna be you and me against the world. But no matter how bad the world gets, you don't wanna be against it, do you? You want to be a part of it." By the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, they are both members of the X-Men, and they're facing the world's threats together. Foster siblings for the win!
- X-Men: Days of Future Past:
- McCoy asks Charles near the end, "Are you sure you should've let them [Magneto and Mystique] go?", and Xavier's reply is, "I have hope for them. There's going to be a time, Hank, when we're all together." He's half-right, because Raven does come home to him in X-Men: Apocalypse as his team's Number Two. Although Erik doesn't stay after he helps Jean to rebuild the school, he and Charles do reconcile, and Lehnsherr's farewell hints that he'll return to visit some day.
- The farewell scene between Xavier and Peter turned out to be very important in retrospect because Quicksilver becomes Professor X's protégé after the Final Battle of X-Men: Apocalypse. In 1973, it was Charles (and not Erik, who was the subject of the prison break) who had thanked Maximoff for his help, gave the teen a task which required some responsibility (i.e. returning the rental car), and offered him a paternal-sounding "Take it slow" as a goodbye, which made Peter grin. That small gesture ended up carrying a lot of meaning because Quicksilver chooses Xavier as his Parental Substitute over his own father a decade later.
- The older Professor X reassures his younger self that empathy is "...the greatest gift we have: to bear their pain without breaking." That must have sounded like a bold statement to his 1973 self because at the time, he regarded his psychic nature as a grave weakness, but his elderly self is proven right in X-Men: Apocalypse. Xavier shoulders the burden of Jean Grey's distress over her telepathy, and this forges a strong father-daughter-like connection between them. Through The Power of Love, he helps her to conquer her fears during the climax, and she is able to use the Phoenix Force to save his life and the world.
- Star Trek: Leonard Nimoy reprising the role of Spock Prime, Passing the Torch to the new cast, has gotten more heartwarming since he was the next TOS castmember to pass on in 2015.
McCoy: He's really not dead, as long as we remember him.
- On a related note, from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, McCoy's line after Spock's funeral is especially poignant.
- In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hawkeye's absence since The Avengers is explained away with the reveal that he's Happily Married with two children and a third on the way.
- The final scene in Dead Poets Society, where Keating's students giving him a touching send-off, showing their appreciation for everything he's taught them, now feels like a send-off to Robin Williams himself after his death in 2014.
- The People Vs Larry Flynt features Courtney Love as the drug addict wife of the title character, but director Milos Forman only accepted to cast her if she went sober. She did, even going through various drug tests while filming, and this helped her to a career renaissance spearheaded by Hole's Celebrity Skin album. Her life went awry during the following decade (including a reminiscence to cocaine and prescription drugs), but Love is still away from illegal substances.
- Ghost: Sam's farewell to Molly towards the end has gotten more poignant since Patrick Swayze's actual passing in 2009.
Sam: It's amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you. See ya.Molly: See ya. Bye.
- The premise of the film Fanboys, a film about a group of Star Wars fans trying to get a copy of The Phantom Menace from Skywalker Ranch to show their friend before he dies of terminal cancer (the film is set in 1999), became this when JJ Abrams screened a copy of The Force Awakens for a real-life fan before his death of terminal cancer in 2015.
- Lotte Verbeek giving the kids a tour of the Anne Frank House in The Fault in Our Stars can make one smile if they've seen her in Agent Carter where she plays a Holocaust survivor - who is also an Iron Woobie like Hazel and Gus.
- In Problem Child, John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck play husband and wife. A few years later they would be married in Real Life, continuing until Ritter died in 2003.
- Captain Werner Von Ebrennac in the French novel Le Silence de la Mer, which was written during the Nazi occupation, is a polite Francophile who often expresses his hope that World War II will be the last war between France and Germany, and that the two countries may forge a lasting alliance which will be the foundation of a new, peaceful Europe. This is depicted as evidence of his hopeless naivety, but fast forward a few decades...
- In the last book of the Protector of the Small quartet, Keladry disobeys direct orders and chooses to rescue her refugees from a vile necromancer in Scanra; several friends also disobey their orders to help her. Apart from the physical dangers of the quest alone, Keladry assumes that she'll be put to death on Traitor's Hill even if she succeeds. Fast-forward a few years and the Provost's Dog trilogy describes how people die on Traitor's Hill in the Tortall Universe—let's just say that if you're beheaded, you got off easy. That Keladry didn't even hesitate to save her people in the face of such a death speaks volumes.
- Over the course of the X-Wing Series Wraith novels, a relationship develops between two members of the squad, Myn Donos and Lara Notsil — which is slightly complicated by the revelation in Solo Command that Lara used to be an Imperial Intelligence agent. At the end of the novel, she is believed KIA, but sends a message to the heroes which Wedge and Han Solo end up watching, where she reaches out to Donos again. Wedge orders that the message get forwarded to Donos and all other copies deleted, but we never see if he opens it or replies since it's the last of the Wraith books. This remains unresolved until the X-Wing continuation novel, Mercy Kill (released a decade later) makes it clear that they reunited, started a business together, married, and had four kids.
- The Dresden Files: in Dead Beat, Harry is about to be killed by former Denarian Cassius when Waldo Butters appears and saves him in the nick of time. Harry feels some regret in that it was not a Knight of the Cross, and he believes it might have been caused by some of his earlier bad choices. Eight books later, Butters becomes the newest Knight of the Cross, and Uriel confirms to Harry that, yes, they sent Butters (an incipient Knight) to help him against Cassius (a former Denarian).
- The epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007) shows that Harry named his son, Albus Severus Potter, after late Hogwarts headmasters Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape. It's become more heartwarming after Alan Rickman, who played Snape in the Harry Potter films, passed away in 2016.
Live Action TV
- Game of Thrones: Just like with the novels, one must pay close attention to the small details on the show to fully realize how much Lord Renly Baratheon and Ser Loras Tyrell loved each other, as it goes beyond what was presented in their two intimate scenes together. Even the most die-hard Renly/Loras shipper didn't recognize the significance of the green brocade cloak Renly wore at the jousting match in Season 1 until Loras talks about his dream of marrying a bride in green and gold brocade since he was very young in Season 3—Renly is clearly the "bride" in his imagination. (This makes perfect sense because Loras became Renly's squire in his late childhoood or early adolescence, and he obviously developed feelings for the young Storm Lord during this period, hoping all the while that he could somehow make his wish come true.) It should be noted that Loras pictures Renly as his "wife" at his ideal wedding because not only is it a sly reference to Loras being the partner who "wears the pants" in their relationship, but it more importantly reflects Loras' profound desire to see Renly become a Tyrell and be dressed in the green and gold of his family's sigil. Loras must have shared his fantasy with Renly, and as a romantic gesture, Renly would wear the green cloak to show his love and support for Loras at public events where they cannot openly express their feelings. In Season 2, Renly then takes it up a notch by merging his own stag sigil with Highgarden's colours—Margaery may be his official spouse, but Renly himself now "belongs" to Loras. And as if to make up for the lack of gold embroidery on his green cape, King Renly's crown and armour are made out of gold.
- In Volume 1 of Heroes, Lindermann ends up healing Heidi Petrelli of the paralysis that his men caused in an assassination attempt on Nathan. At first glance, it seems like a ploy to get her to trust him. However, after the events of Volume 3, especially the flashback to the event as well as Lindermann's reaction to the event and his role in "killing" Arthur Petrelli, it seemed to be doing it out of genuine guilt.
- An episode of Full House features DJ and Stephanie recounting memories of their mom. Danny tells them that it's very important for them to remember these stories so they can tell them to Michelle someday, since she has no memories of their mom, who died when Michelle was a baby. The scene is heartwarming enough on its own. But now Bob Saget is providing the voice of Future Ted on How I Met Your Mother (albeit uncredited), which makes a big deal about preserving memories so you can pass the stories on to your loved ones someday.
- At the end of the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Errand of Mercy", which marked the very first appearance of the Klingons, the Organians speculate to Kirk that someday, the Federation and Klingons will become allies. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, we see this indeed came true, and how it happened is explored in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
- In "The One With the Girl who Hits Joey" Chandler goes overboard and proposes at Monica at the end, even though he isn't ready. They're in the same location and positions they are when the real proposal happens.
- A flashback reveals Chandler and Monica almost have sex when he calls her "the most beautiful woman I've ever known [in real life]." In season 5 when they have sex for real what does he say that sparks it? "You're the most beautiful woman in most rooms". Clearly that line works on her.
- In Season 1 Chandler offers to get together with Monica and raise a family together if they're both still single at forty. Turns out he doesn't wait until they're forty.
- In "The One Where Heckles Dies" Chandler freaks out that his committment phobia will prevent him from finding the one, and he'll be left alone when the others settle down. Flash forward to later seasons, and he has found the one, (she was living across the hall the whole time), and he and Monica are the first to get married (and stay married) and start a family.
- "The One With All the Flashbacks" when pre-series Chandler comforts Monica over not having a boyfriend and tells her she'll find someone. Of course, she does find someone: him.
- Chandler and Monica's conversation at Ross's wedding in the Season 4 finale. Monica confides her fears that she's "never going to get married" and Chandler responds with: "Who wouldn't want you?". That night they sleep together for the first time and three seasons later, the finale is all about their wedding.
- The Doctor Who episode "The Waters of Mars", set in 2059, has a scene in which one of the first Astronauts on Mars, a Russian, video-chats with his brother about said brother's husband's spending habits, with the implication that the same-sex marriage is no big deal in Russia. Given the repression of Gay Rights in Russia we've seen in 2013, it makes the episode's overall theme of humanity rising beyond its' early 21st century crisis and making it to faraway Mars all the more powerful.
- In The X-Files season 4 episode "Home", Mulder and Scully discuss genetics and parenthood after investigating the death of a newborn with several genetic disorders. Mulder points out that it's not too late, that all Scully needed to do was find someone with a "spotless genetic make-up and a really high tolerance for being second-guessed" and start having babies. Scully shoots back by asking about his family. Mulder jokes that aside from needing glasses and getting abducted by aliens involved in government conspiracies, the Mulder family "passes genetic muster." Three years later, Scully would ask Mulder to be the father of her child in an IVF attempt (which ultimately failed), and they would go on to have Baby William (assumed naturally).
- This conversation can also be seen as Harsher in Hindsight, since it takes place right before Scully learns that she is barren as the result of her abduction in season two, and a year before she loses a child that was conceived from the eggs stolen during the abduction.
- The season 2 finale of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has Hilda and Zelda grumpily realising that Vesta is their mother's favourite daughter. An episode in Season 4 reveals that Vesta was once jealous of Hilda and Zelda, thinking of herself as The Unfavourite - and turned their parents into pigs. The girls had to be put up for adoption as a result, and when the parents were turned back, they adopted the girls back immediately. So their mother really did love them after all.
- Sabrina passes a test in season 1 to see if what she feels for Harvey is true love. Even though they split up in season 4, they remain Amicable Exes until the finale where Sabrina ultimately chooses Harvey.
- Cheers once opened with Woody's parents ordering him to come home because his uncle told them Boston was a dangerous place. They change their minds when Al sends them a letter saying "Let your song pick his own path and it will all come back to you." Just before the Grand Finale, Woody gets elected to the city council. Unfortunately, Al doesn't live to see he was right.
- Liv and Maddie, the Disney series featuring identical twins with different personalities both played by Dove Cameron, can be seen - at least in terms of its casting of the lead roles - as a Spiritual Successor to The Patty Duke Show, which featured the then-teenaged Duke as identical cousins with different personalities. Patty's final role before her death from sepsis in March 2016 was the Liv and Maddie episode "Grandma-A-Rooney", playing the girls' grandmother and her identical twin sister, bringing her illustrious career full circle. (As an additional note, many shout outs to Duke's 1960s series were scattered through Liv and Maddie, and Duke and Cameron became very close friends during the filming of the episode.)
- "Speechless", by Lady Gaga, is a pretty sad song. However, the knowledge that it did persuade her dad to give up drinking and get the heart surgery he needed makes it this.
- Similarly, Martika's "Toy Soldiers" goes from tear jerker to heartwarming once you learn that not only it was written for a friend who was knee deep into drugs... but that said friend actually went into rehab and got better.
- P!nk's "Family Portrait" is a song about how parents constantly fighting affects the children. The song encouraged many kids in troubled homes to speak up to their parents about their feelings.
- Joni Mitchell's song "Little Green" is about a daughter she gave up for adoption. It's very sad, but Mitchell later reconnected with her as an adult.
- Tupac Shakur's declaration in 1995 that "Though it seems heaven sent, we ain't ready to have a black president". Thirteen years later... yes, we were.
- Both Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood covered the Bob Dylan song "To Make You Feel My Love" for the 1998 movie Hope Floats. They also recorded "In Another's Eyes" together. They are now married.
- Brooks' solo recording "We Shall Be Free" contains the line "We're free to love anyone we choose". At the time, the line was controversial because it seemed to promote homosexuality. Now that gay marriage is legal in all of North America, it becomes this trope.
- The song "Wir Sind Wir" by Paul van Dyk recaps Germany's post-war rebuilding and the reunification (with it's betrayal of social ideals and disappointment of hopes in the minds of many East Germans), in an effort to remind the listener that the German people have been through and rose above a lot worse than the economic recession / harsh austerity measures at the time of the song's release. There are lines like "Divided, defeated, and yet - at least we're still alive" and "We won't be subdued just like that. (We've got) no time for being bitter."note The song ends on the line "This is just a bad run (of luck). We won't give up just like that, will we?" ...Fast forward 10 years, and Germany has transformed from "the sick man of Europe" to "Europe's economic powerhouse" with an unemployment rate as low as it hasn't been in decades, the Energiewendenote working as a national project that inspires the people (similarly to the US Apollo project, except most people can actively participate) and which gains international praisenote , and the Head of State is determined to take the moral high road when it comes to the Syrian refugee crisis, compared to most other European countries, a decision that was welcomed by the majority of citizens.note Bear in mind that in Germany, the whole concept of pride in one's country and people is considered suspect and dangerous, especially by politically left-leaning / progressive people - an attitude that's only recently, slowly changing. Which is partly why Paul van Dyk made that song, as a kind of therapy for the "national soul".note Apparently, it worked.
- Back in 2008, a bumper for Toonami proudly proclaimed "11 years and counting!" Sadly, that year was the year it was cancelled... at first. Toonami was resurrected in 2012 following a Twitter campaign. Looks like we're still counting.
- Not one day after announcing his "leave of presence" to watch and review movies he liked in early April 2013, Roger Ebert was overcome by his cancer and went to the big cinema in the sky to watch and review movies he likes for all eternity. It's mainly the tone of his "leave of presence" announcement that makes it fall into this; he may be gone, but he's in a better place, and his presence will still be felt by moviegoers everywhere, with his influence extending to numerous younger critics.
- A similar scenario happened in Washington, D.C. where radio host Ed Walker found out that he had cancer and had to retire from his The Big Broadcast show to focus on his treatment. His last show (which was recorded in the hospital) had a rather heavy air to it because of this. Only a few hours after it aired, Ed left the earth on October 26, 2015 to join many of his favorite radio stars that he had showcased on Broadcast, making his last show fit this trope. This article could have been a great obituary for him, but it was also published before he died.
- Platypus Comix ended their article about Ronald Reagan's 1981 inaugural with a mention of the extravagant Charles/Diana wedding that happened the same year, quoting a newcaster's comment that "We've just witnessed something we will not be seeing for a very, very long time," and then stating, "Not anytime soon." The article was published in 2005. Seven years later Charles and Diana's son William marries Kate Middleton, and it's just as much of a fairytale spectacle as the wedding from thirty years prior.
- David Arquette winning the WCW World title. Why? Because he donated all the money WCW paid him to the families of Brian Pillman and Droz.
- The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family - the Tear Jerker part where Saraya/Paige says goodbye to her parents at the airport to leave for WWE becomes this with the knowledge that Paige became very popular after she debuted in FCW and was pushed as a star on NXT. Now you know leaving her family was all worth it. Ditto for Tenille: The Wrestler where Tenille Tayla bursts into tears as the full force of admitting she hadn't expected to get a WWE contract hits her. She is now Emma on NXT and enjoyed a nice surge in popularity in 2013. It's especially poignant for both women because the two of them were chosen to compete in the match to crown the first NXT Women's Champion (Paige won).
- The sad vignette WWE aired during Breast Cancer Awareness month where Layla talks about her mother's passing. It becomes a little more heartwarming with the knowledge that in 2013, Layla would be reunited with her father after nearly 30 years apart.
- When Bayley recruited Becky Lynch to fend off Charlotte and Sasha Banks, she dubbed her a "Bayley Friend Forever". Of course Becky ended up turning on her, just like Charlotte had. But by 2015 both women had undergone a Heel–Face Turn and were in the front row cheering her for getting to main event a PPV. So it seems they really were Bayley Friends Forever.
- This article published in 2015 describes Jacqueline as "will surely be in the Hall of Fame one day". Jacqueline would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame only a few months later.
- Several of the people who participated in the making of the Broadway version of The Lion King were black South Africans who had left their country due to persecution. In the musical's original playbill, they expressed their sympathy with Simba, who, like them, was exiled but eventually able to return to his homeland.
- In a meta sense, the "Popular" number in Wicked was prophetic. Elphaba is quite popular among fans of the play.
- In BIONICLE, Mata Nui has the following line:
Mata Nui: It is said that some endings are really beginnings waiting to be born.
- The end of the Bionicle line was announced a few months later. The creators had no idea it was coming when they wrote that line.
- Then, nine months after that, Greg Farshtey (the head writer), announced that his wife had given birth to a beautiful baby girl. Turns out Mata Nui was right after all!
- Back in the 1980's, when the idea of same-sex marriage was virtually unheard of, a My Little Pony porcelain figure of the long-forgotten G1 mares Glory and Moondancer depicted them as getting married.
- In Street Fighter, one of Guile's most popular post-battle lines is "Go home and be a family man." In later installations of the game, Guile is voiced by actor Travis Willingham... who then married fellow VA Laura Bailey (who now voices Chun-Li, who's a close friend of Guile in-story). The meme has mutated accordingly: "Travis Willingham is a family man!"
- In Mass Effect 3, after a mission in which Primarch Victus' son sacrifices his life to disable a bomb, Tali will speak with Ashley afterward, saying it reminded her of Virmirenote . Tali asks how Ashley could accept a teammate dying for her, to which Ashley responds by asking her if she would make the sacrifice herself, then saying that one day it will be her turn and those who sacrificed themselves for her will be watching. This not only showcases Ashley's Character Development after her initial Survivor Guilt, but also is quite comforting to Tali, who suffered the loss of many of her comrades on Freedom's Progress and Haestrom.
- In BioShock Infinite when Booker was revived by Elizabeth from drowning, he was calling Anna to Elizabeth, what he doesn't realize is he was referring to Elizabeth to her original name Anna DeWitt.
- In Batman: Arkham Origins; the general feel is the Nolan movies. Grim, nobody trusts Batman, the police are corrupt; the game ends on what would be a generic Hope Spot but we know that it will become better. The police like Batman in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, it's revealed that Nobodies can grow new hearts over time, and it may be possible for others with no hearts to grow one as well (eg: puppets, programs). It's mainly a Harsher in Hindsight for most cases, but it does make the goodbye scene with Tron, a program, near the end of Kingdom Hearts II more heartwarming, considering just before, he suddenly gained emotions, implying a heart.
- In Fire Emblem Fates, Nintendo announced that there would be a Gay Option for the Avatar. Within a day or two of this announcement, the Supreme Court ruled that Gay Marriage was legal nationwide in the United States.
- Fi's dialog that she'll meet Link again in another life in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, retroactively made every single time Link gains the Master Sword in any of the games a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- In Final Fantasy V, Gilgamesh gives one of the most inspiring speeches in the series before sacrificing himself to kill Necrophobe, telling Bartz that he has 'admirable companions' and even mentioning that he envies him for that. Fast-forward to 2015: Not only is he playable in a whole new adventure, but he can fight alongside heroes and adventurers taken from the whole series... including those from FFV. Whether or not the player decides to place him on a team consisting of his old rivals, or a couple of new faces, it looks like he's finally gained admirable companions of his own.
- Likewise, the marriage of Maaya Sakamoto and Kenichi Suzumura (as seen in the Anime/Manga section) will usually lessen the tragedy about Aerith Gainsborough and Zack Fair, both of them who died tragically in spite of loving each other, not only they are Together in Death, they are now further bound together with voice marriage.
- For Starcraft II, Stukov manages to complete his original objectives without hurting any innocents after all. He may have missed Mengsk the first time when Raynor helped him escape through Aiur, but Stukov later helps Kerrigan chase Mengsk into a corner. By being infested in the first place and with Kerrigan's Character Development, the Zerg have been effectively controlled. And with Amon dead and the Protoss tribes no longer having a reason to wage war anymore, the Protoss are as close to being pacified as it's going to be. Dugalle would have been proud.
- Back in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U, Chrom (from Fire Emblem Awakening) was left muttering dejectedly that he would supposedly get his chance "another day" - before being reduced to a brooding clown everywhere by the fans and even in-game. After a year or so passed, he would actually show up as a playable quest character in another massive crossover, Project x Zone 2.
- Malcolm being called "FenTech's finest creation" in Unreal Tournament. In the next installments of the Unreal franchise, he becomes both the nine-time champion of the Liandri Grand Tournament (thus, the game itself in hindsight represents his ascension to fame, to the point that it's even implied that he was the one to break Xan's winning streak) and the Series Mascot for the franchise. He is, indeed, their finest creation.
- Late in Lilly's route in Katawa Shoujo, as she is preparing to go to Scotland permanently, she tells Hanako about how they became friends. Lilly says she did not befriend Hanako out of pity, but out of a desire to know more about her, and she considers her a strong person at heart who will be able to take charge of her own life even after Lilly is gone. Lilly's statement becomes even more powerful when you consider that in Hanako's route, Hanako believes that Lilly and Hisao pity her.
- Also on Lilly's route, Hisao openly refers to Shizune as his friend on two occasions, once to Lilly, no less. Once you play Shizune's route and see how desperately she has tried to make friends, you can see that this comment has more weight.
- In the Key/Visual Arts novel AIR, Kano Kirishima always wanted magical powers; later, in the doujin Fighting Game Eternal Fighter Zero, she fights with a fantasy role-playing staff, and is able to cast spells tiered to Fire, Ice, Lightning; in short, her wish became true.
- In the first Thanksgiving of Sluggy Freelance, Sam expresses gratitude for his freedom, a surprisingly deep observation for him. In 2001, the panel is repeated, followed by an edited panel of Torg and Zoe expressing approval and agreement.
- Pocket Princesses is about the Disney Princesses living together. While it's not canon, the Princesses are appearing in their own official comic now- drawn by Amy Mebberson, creator of Pocket Princesses.
- In their failure date, The Nostalgia Critic breaking down and asking The Nostalgia Chick if she cares about him. She doesn't answer and they both run off by the end of the episode, but by this point we know he's basically the only guy who she unselfishly cares for.
- The Nostalgia Critic released an episode on his review of Scooby-Doo. The episode ended with The Critic playing poker with Rob, 80s Dan, and The Ghost of Christmas Future. While this in itself is a touching moment, it becomes even more heartwarming with Doug's announcement that this was the final regular episode of the show (until it resumed in Febuary of 2013). The Critic also gets a very touching send-off in To Boldly Flee.
- Take a look at SadPanda's tribute to Spoony, "Long Live the Spoony One". With the chain of recent events that led to Spoony leaving Channel Awesome, the last verse becomes less like continued praise of Spoony and more like the singer putting his confidence in Spoony for the future.
''Spoony, don't worry, you'll always be funny.
You can turn heel or face and never be in disgrace.
I'm a fan, I won't lie.
And the Spoony One will never die.
Keep providing the fun,
And for now I think I'm done.
- In Spoony's Vlog of Paranormal Activity 2, Spoony starts gushing over the dog in the movie and how much of a good actor it is. Spoony then briefly wishes he had an emotive dog like that, which he would later get a few years later with Oreo.
- In the Game Grumps' playthrough of Magic Sword, Jon asks Arin if he's ever had thoughts about marrying a random girl on the street. He replies by saying that he hasn't in public, but in his house, referring to his then-fiance Suzy. Later, they got married for real.
- In the ending of the How It Should Have Ended video for The Amazing Spiderman 2, one of the newspaper articles was Spider-Man being included in the Avengers because Disney and Sony worked out a deal. On Febuary 9th, 2015, 5 months after the HISHE parody was put online, Sony DID work out a deal between themselves and Disney and Marvel Studios, which allows Spider-Man to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a 2016 film MCU film before his next standalone film the year after that.
- After Anton Yelchin's death in June 2016, only 1 month before the release of Star Trek Beyond, a Star Trek fan paid tribute to him by creating a drawing of Anton being welcomed in the afterlife by Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley and James Doohan, captioned with "For Anton". When Beyond was released, its In Memoriam dedication to Yelchin was also "For Anton".
- In the DVD Commentary for the Futurama episode "Anthology of Interest II", when it was still uncertain if the show would stay on, one of the guys talking asked "What if we had a fifth season?"
- Similarly, in the commentary for "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" (the last episode before it was cancelled for the first time), one of the commentators jokes at the end "See you on the next DVD!"
- The episode dealing with Robosexuality seemed like wishful thinking (for some at least), in that this analogy for gay marriage becomes legal, but now New York state allows gay marriage in real life.
- "New Kidney in Town", an episode of Family Guy, involved Chris plagiarizing a speech about hope from Meg, and getting an interview for it with a local anchor (because the essay won a contest to introduce Barack Obama when he came to town at the end of the episode). Chris says, rather plainly, that he got the essay from an angel. He was speaking more in a religious sense, but think for a second about from where, or rather who, it actually came.
- Also another episode, where Stewie goes back in time to the episode where Brian does the "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" dance for Peter, and does it for him instead of Brian. At first Peter is cheered up because you think Stewie did it better. Then you realize that this was the episode where Peter was upset because Stewie was mad at him, so seeing him do that would've cheered Peter up.
- In the Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode "It's Way Ed," the Eds kept falling behind on the latest fads. Edd tries cheering Eddy up by saying fads come in a cycle and that they'd be back in style in ten years. Ten years after that episode aired The Movie ended with the Eds being accepted by the kids of the Cul-De-Sac.
- Optimus Primal of Beast Wars said as Dinobot's eulogy "May his spark join the Matrix, the greatest of Cybertron" for his Heroic Sacrifice in Code Of Hero. Years later, when they had the Transformers Hall Of Fame and would induct memorable Cybertronians based on fan votes, with the rest being preselected, Dinobot was one of the choices, and beat out G1 veterans such as Soundwave, Grimlock, Jazz and Shockwave, truly joining the Greatest of Cybertron.
- To add to this, he was the first fan-inductee and a massive underdog candidate. The Greatest of Cybertron will be joining him, as well.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "The Wall" have Alvin, Simon, and Theodore supposedly pull down the Berlin Wall during a concert through the Power of Rock/ Power of Love. Alvin then wakes up, sees the wall still standing, and sadly notes, "It was all just a dream... but it doesn't have to be." And eleven months later, it wasn't.
- Any jokes or misunderstandings of Tommy getting a brother or Chuckie getting a mommy in early episodes of Rugrats.
- Drew Barrymore was the voice of Olive the Other Reindeer. Her first born daughter's name is Olive.
- In the Recess episode "Buried Treasure" we hear Principal Prickly on the phone with a friend from school. After the events of the movie where we learn how much Prickly misses his childhood, it becomes incredibly heartwarming that he is still in touch with his best friend forty years later.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, an early episode called "Griffon the Brush Off" involved Pinkie Pie throwing a party for a Jerkass griffon, hoping to "turn that frown upside-down". Fast-forward to season two where Pinkie sings a song about how much she honestly and completely loves making people smile and brightening up their days with parties and play.
- Even later in season five, the very same griffon's genuine friendship with Rainbow Dash is easier to see when she flashes back to the day they first befriended each other, especially their Junior Speedster's chant, begrudgingly as it was. "Only for you, Dash." It becomes even more heartwarming when you see the friendship that ended between Rainbow Dash and Gilda in "Griffon the Brush Off" rebuilt in season five.
- In the first Equestria Girls movie, Alpha Bitch Diamond Tiara and her Beta Bitch Silver Spoon are seen uncharacteristically getting into the spirit of "Help Twilight Win The Crown" and appear to be nicer in the human world than they are in Equestria. Fast forward to season 5 where Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon get redeemed for real.
- Additionally the Cutie Mark Crusaders get formed when they meet at Diamond Tiara's celebration of receiving her cutie mark. In season five they all receive theirs after helping redeem Diamond Tiara.
- In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Tim Drake's blond wife is a nod to Stephanie "The Spoiler" Brown, who was then dating Tim's comics counterpart. Considering what Stephanie's been through since note , it's heartwarming to see at least one continuity where their counterparts settled down together.
- The Legend of Korra: with the finale making Korra and Asami the Official Couple, rewatching the show now makes their slow-burn relationship and its development quite heartwarming to watch.
- The above becomes even more heartwarming when the US Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage is legal nationwide a little over six months afterward. Bryan even posted this, with the tag "love wins".
- In the original series, Toph once asked Aang "Do you really think friendships can last more than one lifetime?" It becomes heartwarming in The Legend of Korra when, many years later, Toph would eventually meet and befriend Aang's reincarnation.
- In the first season Tenzin mentions that his ex-girlfriend Police Chief Lin Bei Fong "got along famously" with his father, Avatar Aang. After what we learn about Lin's past in seasons three and four and how Lin never knew her real father, it becomes rather obvious that Aang must have been a surrogate father figure to Lin, and a source of positive parental love that her own mother Toph constantly failed to provide.
- In Gravity Falls, Stan's growing obsession with the portal device in the Mystery Shack's secret basement becomes heartwarming in "Not What He Seems", when it turns out he was using a device that could potentially cause a Class X apocalypse because he was that desperate to see his long-lost brother again.
- What we learn about Garnet in the first season finale of Steven Universe retroactively makes a lot of her best moments even better because she basically is The Power of Love. But another one that's more Fridge Heartwarming (if there was such a page) is what it says about Steve and Connie's accidental fusion. As we see with most fusions, it is difficult to initiate, difficult to maintain, and sometimes difficult to control. Pearl and Amethyst could only make it work while Steve was in great danger and popped apart the moment it was over and they started arguing again, and Garnet and Amethyst were once the Monster of the Week with Pearl and Steven having to stop their uncontrollable One-Winged Angel form who just wanted to fight and didn't care who. The Fusion Dance is a literal one and a lot longer and more complex than the Dragon Ball edition, too. On the other hand, because of how total their love for each other is, Ruby and Sapphire require only a Twirl of Love to become Garnet and stay that way for as long as they see fit. That means for Steven and Connie to be able to ''accidentally' fuse just while having fun together after only a few steps of dancing just for the heck of it, and stay that way for a long time, only separating when Connie's social anxiety was pushed to the extreme, it means that even if they're only at the Ship Tease stage romantically, their bond must be very close and very deep. Nothing's more intimate than fusion and for them it's as natural as breathing!
- Also, when we find out that Pearl was jealous of Rose Quartz's growing relationship with Greg back in the day, Pearl's friendship with Steven is made even more meaningful: After all, Rose Quartz gave up her physical form to make Steven with Greg, effectively dying. Rose was Pearl's close friend, and Pearl may have wanted a Relationship Upgrade, so the amount of pain and loss Steven represents for her is extreme. You would never know that from her relationship with Steven, who she never treats as anything but a dear friend... and we know from the episode where we learn all this that it's definitely not because Pearl is this perfect person who's just not capable of being unfair.
- In "We Need to Talk", it was shown that Pearl downright despised Greg out of jealousy for Rose's affection. Knowing this, it makes all other moments in the present where the two are working together on much friendlier terms all the more sweeter.
- South Park: in the infamous "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New", Ms. Garrison finds herself disappointed that her GRS doesn't make her able to get pregnant. Now, uterus transplants might allow trans women to do just that in the next decade or so.
- In a season 1 episode of American Dragon: Jake Long Rose guesses that their problem with rehearsing the kiss scene in Antony and Cleopatra was that the kiss represented the culmination of everything Antony and Cleopatra had gone through together, and Jake and Rose may have liked each other but had not gone through anything together. They later do go through a lot of things together (including Jake discovering that she's a member of the Huntsclan, and her discovering he's a dragon), and their first kiss in season 2, right before they have to fight a Duel to the Death in which she's going to feign killing him to save his life, turns that line in this trope.
- Done again in the series finale, where Rose, who had lost her memory as part of Jake saving her from her Heroic Sacrifice, recovers her memory and helps defeating the Dark Dragon, and the first thing she does after the battle is over is kissing him.