Our young hero has accomplished! Perhaps he has triumphed, perhaps he has decided to undertake a Heroic Sacrifice, perhaps he has proven worthy to respond to the Call.
How can this be fittingly celebrated? Why, have him be told how proud people are of him!
Normally this is said only by people who have reason to be proud: his parents, a Parental Substitute, his mentor, the Team Dad, A Father to His Men, etc. This is usually done for a young hero, whose skills might have been in doubt, and had unquestionably been formed by the person saying it. It may happen very early in the story, as proof that he is ready for the call, but is more common at the end to validate his Character Development.
May also be a form of encouragement after The Hero has progressed a certain amount but is feeling discouraged.
There is the form "I'm so proud of you." Or "We are so proud of you," if one can speak for more than one (a mother or father for both parents).
Then there is the form "Your father would have been so proud of you." Normally addressed to fatherless heroes, though any Disappeared Dad may qualify them. May be spoken by the mother, or by any other mentor. They may not want, even in this moment, to have a Not So Stoic moment, and so distance themselves from the praise. They may be aware that the child craves his father's approval, and would value this. They may also not want to claim too much credit, since saying "I am so proud of you," implies that they have a reason to be proud.
While "father" is the commonest, "Your mother (or other figure) would be so proud of you," is also possible, in similar situations. "You should be proud of yourself" is another alternative, which ascribes even more of the credit to The Hero himself.
This is, in fact, what the "Well Done, Son" Guy craves, but the hero has not usually been striving with his eye on it, and the speaker is willing to tell him, freely.
This trope can also be Played for Laughs when the child does something despicable or even outright criminal, and the parent approves of their deviant behavior. Alternatively, the trope Don't Tell Mama exists because a crooks wants to hear this and doesn't want their parents to be disappointed in them for taking up a life of crime.
Contrast It Has Been an Honor, where the character is usually addressing someone he has not formed, though he may have led him. Powerful potential for a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming right here. Also contrast Disappointed In You.
See Your Approval Fills Me with Shame for when they don't want this praise.
Also see Like a Son to Me.
After Shinji's first battle, Misato tells him that he did a noble thing and he should be proud, but he doesn't take it to heart due to the pain it caused him, the fact that he still thinks of her as a stranger, and getting punched by another kid in school.
Later in the series, after another battle, his father tells him by speakerphone that he did a good job. He actually really takes it to heart and feels good about it.
And in the last episode Shinji decides that he wants to be himself and to "stay here," the theatre scene disappears, and all the other characters congratulate him including Gendou and Yui.
Inverted in Fruits Basket. When Yuki rejects his mother's attempts at a parent-teacher conference to lay out his life for him, he says that he wants to become something he can be proud of.
There's a moment somewhat like this when Naruto's father, the 4th Hokage, is shown telling Naruto that he believes in him, that Konoha can be rebuilt, and he's counting on him.
IrukaUmino invokes this trope numerous times throughout the series, constantly praising and encouraging Naruto when everyone else ignored or mistreated him. During Naruto's battle with Pain, Iruka can be seen smiling with immense pride at everything Naruto has accomplished.
It's even better when Naruto returns from a deadly battle with Pain and the ENTIRE VILLAGE—the vast majority of whom have hated him his entire life for something he didn't do—cheers his return. He also earns a hug from his crush, who's always considered him an annoying friend.
It is revealed that before his death, Fugaku said that he was proud of Itachi, no matter what. This same sentiment is carried over when Itachi declares, no matter what Sasuke does, he will always love his younger brother.
Kakashi told his father he was proud of him, which also counts as Forgiveness. I'm pretty sure his dad returned the sentiment.
In Gintama, Okita's older sister and foster mother Mitsuba says how proud of him she is in her last moments. What results are the only tears Okita sheds during the entire series.
Toward the end of Wandaba Style, Teen Genius Susumu's father tells his wife that she should say this to their son, since he surpassed them both. We don't find out whether she does or not, though.
An interesting double subversion happens in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: Kenichi's masters first chastise Kenichi for risking his life on a mission and put him on a house arrest. But later Kenichi's Cool Big Sis mentor Shigure secretly sets him an eavesdropping device through which he hears that his masters are actually celebrating his courage.
In Dragon Ball Z,right before Vegeta sacrifices himself in a (failed) attempt to kill Majin Buu, Vegeta embraces his son, Trunks, and says "I want you to know that...you have made me proud."
And later, Goku says this to Gohan after the latter's full potential is unlocked.
He says it earlier in the series, right after everybody is sure that Cell is finally gone; "Gohan, I'm so proud of you!"
Subverted in Death Note, as Soichiro Yagami finally confirms on his deathbed that his son Light isn't the mass-murderer Kira. He is.
Played straight when Ryuk says this to Light at his graduation ceremony...
In High School D×D, after Sairaorg's mom finally wakes up from a long coma, she sees her son and tells her she's proud of him. It causes him to shed a Single Tear.
The Trigun manga has a version of this for Wolfwood. But instead of a parent figure saying it, the children of the orphanage throw confetti out of their escape ship to tell him "welcome home." They've realized that the brutal, cynical, hardass man who just killed himself to save them is not only one of them but is actually their beloved "big brother" who left them just a few years prior. He's maybe in his late teens and only looks (and fights) like a full-grown man because of artificial enhancements.
In Medaka Box, Medaka briefly dies, and her consciousness briefly awakens in a room where Anshin'in had meant to meet her at one time. There she finds the lost spirit of her mother, Hato Tsurubami. Tsurubami tells her that she doesn't need to fight any more. Medaka, however, refuses to accept that, even after her mother asserts to her about the way the world is. Although she doesn't deny her logic, Medaka states that she'd rather question the way the world is rather than just accept the way it is, especially because of how much she loves people. After she leaves, Tsurubami reflects on her own inability to continue fighting, and that there's only one thing that hasn't ever changed about her: how happy she was to have given birth to Medaka.
In Girls und Panzer, Hana's mother, after a period of estrangement from her daughter over her doing tankery, comes to a flower exhibit that Hana put on, concedes that doing tankery enabled her to bring a new sense of personality to her flowers, and admits that while her methods are different, they are good on their own merits. At the end of the tournament, Maho tells Miho that her way of fighting is different from the Nishizumi style and that she's glad she has found her own way of tankery. Even Miho's mother is shown at one point sighing, before smiling and applauding for Miho's victory.
In the Little Busters! visual novel, Kyousuke thinks that he's proud of Riki at several points, but the anime introduces a scene where he explicitly says this to him, after the accident when Riki and Rin are in the process of saving everybody, making an already heartwrenching scene that much more powerful:
I never imagined you’d be able to do all that. You’ve grown far stronger than even I’d hoped. I’m glad. I’m proud of you, Riki. You have finally… surpassed me.
It's also present in the drama CD, made before the anime, in which the climax involves Kyousuke and Riki standing on the beach in the water, Riki crying because he's so happy to see Kyousuke back, and Kyousuke telling him he's proud of all he's done and how he's taken care of the Little Busters in his absence.
In Red Hood and the Outlaws Jason is insanely surprised when Superman tells him that Batman vouches for him and the Outlaws. This touched briefly in #17, and in #18 the reader finally gets to see Bruce, both in Jason's memories and in the present, admit how proud he is of him.
A stunningly dark subversion in Garth Ennis' Preacher series. Jesse Custer breaks the back of the man who shot his father in front of his eyes, then later killed his mother (or so he thought) and generally acted like a world-class sociopath... all the while teaching Jesse to ride, shoot, fight and fix engines. What are Jody's last words to him? "Prouda' you, boy..." Custer reacts by snarling out "DIE!" and strangling whatever life is left in him.
Also, near the end, when Jesse is getting ready for his final fight, the Cowboy, who has appeared several times to him over the course of the comic to inspire him, appears and tells him this.
Jesse: "Hey. I want to thank you."
Cowboy: "Thank me fer what...?"
Jesse: "For bein' a goddamn hero."
Cowboy: "Hell, pilgrim, I'm just a ...broke-down, wore-out ol' cowboy. But this broke-down, wore-out cowboy wanted ya to know, He's prouda ya."
During Dark Reign, Phobos used his powers to briefly cause Norman Osborn to have a breakdown by telling him that even though he thinks he's in control of his Green Goblin persona, he's not & he will fail. His father Ares (Who it should be noted was aligned with Osborn at the time) is stood off to the side watching, with a proud look on his face that all but says "That's my boy".
Just before the Clone Saga, Aunt May tells Peter she knows that he's Spider-Man, and that his uncle would be proud of them. Both of them are. Aww...
In Amazing Spider-Man 600 there's a short story about Uncle Ben and Peter's relationship. Ben keeps telling Peter "your father would be so proud of you" but what Peter wants Ben to say is "I'm proud of you". When he does its Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Batwoman: When Kate Kane comes home to her father and explains that she's been separated from the army, he naturally wants to know why.
"Article 125, that's homosexual conduct."
"Why couldn't you tell him what he needed to hear?"
"I'd have been lying."
"Then you kept your honor and your integrity. I'm proud of you. Your mother would have been, too."
Flashpoint: Thanks to some time-travel shenanigans, The Flash delivers a message to Bruce from an alt-universe Thomas Wayne, which brings tears to the man's face.
In All Fall Down, this is played for laughs when IQ visits IQ Squared in prison.
X-Men: Emma says this to Kitty while the latter is trapped in the Breakworld's bullet.
Kitty: Disappointed, Ms. Frost?
Emma: Astonished, Ms. Pryde.
In Boys Und Sensha-do, a surprising example comes from Shiho, who, in canon, was very unlikely to say anything of the sort. Shiho says this to Maho after Shiho reveals that she has known for some time that Maho was willing to be her heiress for her younger sister Miho's sake, hoping to free Miho from having to live up to the family's standards.
In post-Third Impact fanfic Scar Tissue after returning from the Red Sea Gendo asks what his son has been up. After hearing an account of it:
Gendo: "That boy, he is uncorrectable."
Ritsuko: "Is that pride I hear in your voice, Advisor?"
Gendo: "The boy successfully shattered SEELE's plan for the next step of evolution and gave a big "Fuck You" to Keel Lorenz himself, completely burned my scenario along with any hope of reuniting with his mother, and bit me in half. Literally. Then, he proceeded to refuse the godhood I devoted my life to and the endless ecstasy of Instrumentality so he could return to the deserted wasteland we once called home, only to be beaten half to death by the deranged banshee he fell for… saving mankind in the process. What's there not to be proud of?"
Disney was going to have a song called "Proud of Your Boy" in Aladdin, but it got scrapped along with the character of Aladdin's mother. After all, Disney has a reputationtokeep.
Disney gets another chance with So Proud of You with Mulan. The movie ends with Mulan coming home from the army. She presents her father with the sword of the Mongolian general and a medal from the emperor. He tosses these trinkets aside, embraces his daughter and tells her how proud he is of her.
Fa Zhou: The greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter.
Obi-Wan: You are strong and wise, Anakin, and I am very proud of you. I have trained you since you were a small boy. I have taught you everything I know. And you have become a far greater Jedi than I could ever hope to be.
In The Sixth Sense, Lynn Sear is not happy her son is crazy and claims to see dead people. He then says about her mother: "She said you came to the place where they buried her. Asked her a question. She said the answer is... Every day. What did you ask?" Lynn replies, "Do... Do I make her proud?".
A reversal with Lulu saying this to her crazy father, Romulus, in The Caveman's Valentine.
Pike: Congratulations, Captain. Your father would be proud.
And likely was in the prime timeline.
In Iron Man 2, it comes in a slightly different form. It's more accurately confidence that the hero will eventually make him proud, but it's really the same thing. Tony Stark recalls that his father was "cold and calculating," and that he "never told me he loved me, [and] never told me he liked me"). Thus, when Nick Fury tells him that his dad always believed he would carry on his legacy and take the arc reactor to the next level, Tony scoffed at the notion. Later, while going through his old man's stuff, he stumbles upon a recording his father left that was meant only for him. In it, he reveals that all of his life's work had always been for Tony. He also states that he is confident his son would change the future where he could not, and leaves him with this final message,
Howard Stark: What is, and always will be, my greatest creation... is you.
In Thor, this conversation at the end of the movie between Thor and Odin.
A particularly lovely moment in The Goonies where Data's dad, an inventor like his son, tries to take a picture with a spring-loaded camera though it fails. Data tells his father that it's alright, since he cannot hug a photo. His dad responds with "You are my greatest invention."
James, Lily, Sirius and Remus to Harry, in the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Also in the end of the final book, when Neville Longbottom meets and exceeds his unattainable goal of being as good as his parents were, and his Grandmother tells him how proud she is.
Another, unspoken, one from Deathly Hallows, when Harry enters Dumbledore's office after the Final Battle:
But Harry had eyes only for the man who stood in the largest portrait directly behind the headmaster's chair. Tears were sliding down from behind the half-moon spectacles into the long silver beard, and the pride and gratitude emanating from him filled Harry with the same balm as phoenix song.
After Jesus' baptism and during the Transfiguration, God shows up to declare that "this is my Son, in whom I am well pleased".
Matthew 25:23, the parable of the talents: "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Other parables have similar "so proud of you" moments.
The final judgement is this for those in humanity who believed in Jesus.
In the flashback at the end of Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel, First & Only, Gaunt's mentor Oktar tells him, "Your father would be proud of you," after his first military victory. Gaunt tells him that he is sure his (dead) father is.
Aral Vorkosigan:Clay, boy. Only clay. Not fit to receive so golden a sacrifice.
Invoked in Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand. Cain engaged in a conflict with Chaos forces that were chasing a praetor; the praetor filled him on the danger and was injured. Later, he met a PDF general, his father, and praised his son's courage to him, manifestly inspiring paternal pride. He heard afterwards that the general had objected to his son's going into the praetors, and the incident brought about a reconciliation.
Despite what I just said, I wanted to tell you that I was proud of you. You were the best batch of aspirants I ever trained at Russvik. Maybe the best I ever saw. See to it that you live up to that.
In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000Ultramarines novel Warriors of Ultramar, after their first battle, Learchus praises the soldiers he had put through Training from Hell: "I am so proud of you." When one says it was his training, he sloughs off the credit, declaring the greatness had been in them, he had merely brought it out. "You are warriors of Ultramar, and I am proud to call you brothers." (He had, in fact, planned on doing this, for morale: when a captain had complaining that the men thought he was showing off in training, he explained that he had been, so they would know what a great warrior he was, and when it came time for him to praise them, it would mean much to them.)
In Dead Sky Black Sun, after the climactic battle, the Lord of the Unfleshed solicits praise from Uriel: "Emperor happy?" Uriel looks at the damage and assures them that they made the Emperor very happy with their work.
Earlier, Uriel had seen a once-possible future that involved a fine son whom he would have been proud of; he regrets it, but does not let that stop him.
In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 novel Storm of Iron, Leonid speaks to praise the troops and encourage them. One assures him they won't let him down, and Leonid says that he knows it, and he's damned proud of them.
In Matt Farrer's "After Desh'ea" (in Tales of Heresy), Kharne tells Angron of how the Emperor named them the War Hounds and that they were proud of it and hoped that he would be proud of that, too.
At the end of The Graveyard Book, Bod thinks he hears his mother's voice telling him she's proud of him.
In Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind, Kvothe's mother gets him to study formal etiquette by asking him if he wants her to be proud of him.
In Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, Poseidon tells Percy that he is his favorite son. At the end of the series, several gods show extreme pleasure with their demi-god children, as with Ares slapping Clarisse on the back and telling her "That's my girl."
Early on in Percy Jackson, Percy's mother tells him that his father would be proud of him. Understandably, Percy is angry because at this point he doesn't know who his father was and he's furious that his father never came to see him or his mom. But after finally meeting him face to face at the end of the first book, while not exactly saying the words, Posideon tells Percy that he did well on his quest with his eyes gleaming with pride.
Later, speaking of his fights within the Gladiator Games he says his mother would be proud to see "how well I have maintained the traditions of my father's prowess"
The reader, who is hopefully not quite as thick as Captain Carter, probably figures out well before it's stated that the young man, Carthoris, is his own son.
There are a few times in the X-Wing Series where Mirax Terrick, who grew up like a sister to Wedge Antilles, tells him that his parents would be proud of him. Her father basically helped raise him after Jagged and Zena Antilles were killed.
In Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child, after Lan deduced that there was something about the Rationalist settlement, his father spent the next weeks oscillating between bursting with pride over Lan and frustration with Obstructive Bureaucrats preventing them from doing anything about it.
In Chris Roberson's Imperial Fists novel Sons of Dorn, Captain Taelos tells the Scouts and sergeant that he is proud to have served as their commander when facing a Last Stand. Afterward, he tells the newly minted Imperial Fists that he summoned them to commend them — and expresses it in concrete form, restoring to them the swords that had been taken from them when they were chosen as aspirants, after having them adapted to be suited for a Space Marine to fight with.
In The Woman Who Died a Lot, Thursday tells Friday she's proud of him having found his purpose for even a moment (he will forget because he's changing timelines) before urging him to think of a different way to achieve it.
In WarcraftLord of the Clans, after Thrall mortally wounds him Blackmoore tells Thrall that he is everything he wanted Thrall to become and that he is proud of him. Thrall is understandably upset since Blackmoore made his youth a living hell and had just murdered his beloved foster sister Taretha. Hearing the bastard approve of Thrall denied him any satisfaction from killing him.
In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet book Dreadnaught, Captain Desjani smiles as she watches Geary watch the fleet go into formation, and explains that he's obviously so proud of them.
"Well, Mr. McLean said we'd probably find his son here" "His son!" cried Freckles. "That's what he said. And that you would do anything you could for us; and that we could trust you with our lives. But I would have trusted you anyway, if I hadn't known a thing about you. Say, your father is rampaging proud of you, isn't he?" "I don't know," answered the dazed Freckles. "Well, call on me if you want reliable information. He's so proud of you he is all swelled up like the toad in Aesop's Fables. If you have ever had an arm hurt like this, and can do anything, why, for pity sake, do it!"
In Animorphs, Marco's mother has said this to Marco about his heroic activities in fighting the Yeerk presence on Earth. It means a lot coming from her: She forms a lot of his motivation for fighting, for she has been abducted away from Earth and seldom has an opportunity to say anything to anyone.
Black Jack Geary says this a lot to his sailors and officers and means it sincerely despite the problems they've given him.
The phrase shows up in at least two different picture book based on the children's show Little Einsteins - Quincy's Dream and Annie's Solo Mission. It may appear in the episodes they're based on as well.
Late Eclipses, the Queen says her mother would have been so proud of her after appointing her Countess. Later Toby, musing, thinks that her father would have been proud of her heroics.
Ashes Of Honor, Toby talks of how proud his parents must be after Quentin breaks them into a place. Quentin only grins.
Villainous example in the Honor Harrington novels: AlbrechtDetweiler says this in a speech he gives to the Mesan Alignment Navy after their successful completion of Operation Oyster Bay.
In Andre Norton's Storm over Warlock, Ragnar, thinking he is talking to Garth, tells him how glad he is that he made despite the black marks on his record, and how their father would have been so proud of him. (Shann, who was the butt of Garth's relentless bullying, and is the one actually listening, finds it rather hard.)
After Reid shot the UnSub at the end of "LDSK", Gideon reassures him that he did the right thing. Clip can be seen here.
Gideon: This is going to hit you, and when it does, there's only three facts you need to know. You did what you had to do, and a lot of good people are alive because of what you did. Reid: What's the third? Gideon: I'm proud of you.
Guinevere tells Arthur "I'm so proud of you," in the season three finale of Merlin.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: In the Series Fauxnale "Doomsday Part 2", with Rita apparently out of tricks, Zordon offers the Rangers a chance to hang up their morphers. When they very firmly reject it, he has this to say:
Zordon: "I am very pleased to hear you say those things. The world is very lucky to have you, and so am I. May the Power protect you, always."
Misfits brought out a rather unexpected example from Nathan, of all people. Over the course of this episode, Simon has ended up in a relationship with Jesica, who's believed to be a serial killer; naturally, the other Misfits do their best to try and keep him safe- even Nathan, who spent most of the first season bullying Simon. However, it turns out that the murders were all committed by the woman's overprotective father, and at the end of the episode, Simon actually explains that Jessica was never a psychopath- she was a virgin.
Nathan: I knew there was something wrong with her.
In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Meets his Dad," Adrian goes on a cross country trip with his father Jack after being reunited with him for the first time in years. During the episode Jack tells him of his other son ("Jack Jr.") who's a famous doctor. Near the end after the two wind up bonding and Adrian manages to figure out the murder of the episode, Jack eventually apologizes for how he treated Adrian and never being there for him, saying how horrible a father he's been. Adrian reminds him what he said about Jack Jr., but Jack reveals everything he said was a lie. When Adrian asks why he did made it up, Jack simply responds:
After spending endless hours tormenting JD, Dr Cox tells him he's proud of him when JD's father dies (as they watch sports on the TV together with JD's brother, no less).
In an interesting reversal, JD tells Cox that he is proud of him because of his severe reaction to losing three patients in quick succession (which is actually the catalyst for Cox to recover, and hence heavily implies that JD's opinion is the only one that really matters to him).
An example occurs in the last episode. A running subplot in the episodes leading up to the final is Cox's inability to admit to missing JD. In the end, JD leaves, Cox say nothing, apparently because he was a teacher, albeit a good one, and JD was just another student. Of course, he is near-immediately tricked into singing JD's praises in a low-key Zany Scheme, which still manages to be a kind of totally platonicaw, look, they really do respect each other moment.
Throughout the episode "Final Mission," Wesley has been struggling to get water and save the life of his mentor/father-figure Jean-Luc Picard. Near the end, when it looks as if he has failed Picard tells him:
Garak spent his entire life seeking his father's approval and never getting it. It's only when his father is on his deathbed that he finally learns, with his father's dying breath, that his father's always been proud of him.
Tain: "Elim, remember that day in the country? You must have been almost five."
Garak: "How can I forget it? It was the only day."
Tain: "I can still see you on the back of that riding hound. You must have fallen off a dozen times, but you never gave up."
Garak: "I remember limping home. You held my hand."
Tain: "I was very proud of you that day."
John Winchester says this to Dean in Supernatural's "In My Time Of Dying" right before he dies. Of course, he fucks up this very nice, well-deserved sentiment by also telling him that he'll have to kill Sam if he ever turns evil.
Dean also says this to Sam in "Scarecrow," and implies it often even if he doesn't outright say it.
The Vampire Diaries had this when Bonnie was told this by her grandmother's ghost after she closes that gates to send all the ghosts back.
The West Wing had the episode Ellie, where the president's middle daughter crossed horns with her father, telling him that she felt that she didn't know how to please him.
Bartlet: The only thing you had to do to make me happy was to come home at the end of the day.
In season seven after Leo, Josh's father figure dies Donna comforts Josh by telling him "He was so proud of you."
Psych: Although Henry Spencer rarely admits it, he's proud of what his son had accomplished over the years.
In Prickly City, when they admit to having just left him in prison, Kevin weeps Tears of Joy because they had learned so well from him.
Guan Yu in the Dynasty Warriors games. His children are warriors in the service of Shu just like him, and he makes it a point to show them how proud he is of them, calling them the future of Shu.
The first Baldur's Gate game does this really well; if Khalid is in your party, and your character is Good, then he will compliment you, saying, "Gorion would be so proud of you" (Gorion is your foster father). Since this usually only occurs when you do some significant Good act, it does make your character feel like a hero.
In the first Ratchet & Clank game, Clank meets up with the computer that created him for final instructions on Chairman Drek. He leaves saying "I will try to make you proud, Mom." The computer displays "You already have." Clank never sees it.
In Fallout 3 , The PC's father basically gives you one of these at the Jefferson Memorial, if you've been playing the good side of the Karma Meter.
Titania says this to Ike in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. In the Best Ending of Radiant Dawn, too, Almedha is proud of Soren for "having lived and grown strong."
The ending theme of R-Type Final is actually called "Proud Of You", and includes the words as Gratuitous English lyrics. (Unfortunately, Fresh Games butchered the game's finale and replaced the song with a generic techno pieceBlue Man Group's "Piano Smasher," giving a more Downer Ending feel.)
Star Fox 64, after Fox defeats the real Andross, and then escapes from his exploding lair with his father. "You've become so strong, Fox..."
Dissidia: Final Fantasy gives us Tidus' storyline, where after Tidus defeats his father in battle Jecht tells him "You've grown up strong." Coming from Jecht, well, those who played Final Fantasy X may well be moved to sniffles.
Then there's Damas in Jak 3: Wastelander, who says that he's proud of Jak after the latter wins an arena match. He then swiftly tries to keep up his disguise of the tough guy warrior king by saying what he's really proud of is the training program. Which, coupled with all of the other fatherly moments in the game Damas and Jak have, makes the revelation that he was Jak's father hit home even harder.
Samara the Asari Justicar has a variation. During the process of fighting her Serial Killer daughter to the death, she heaps abuse on her, but after she is dead she tells Shepard how proud she is of her daughter's strength and cleverness.
A Paragon Shepard invokes this trope just before the Final Battle, asking the surviving squadmates to make him/her proud in the final Rousing Speech.
Samara can say this again (if the right player choices are made) to her surviving daughter. These can be her last words before committing suicide if you don't stop her.
If you selected the Spacer background and play the "Citadel" DLC, you get a call from Shepard's mother saying how proud she is of you.
At the very end of the game, Admiral Anderson tells Commander Shepard that he is proud of him/her just before he dies of his injuries. The music track that plays in that scene is even titled "I'm Proud of You".
Cut content has Jack of all people giving a quick speech to her students, in which she basically abandons the Drill Sergeant Nasty facade to be outright encouraging and says that she is so damn proud of them with a quaver in her voice. What did make it into the game is that she considers them to be like family. Jack went through a lot of Character Development. Done more comically during the escape from Grissom, where she offers to get all of them tattoos as a gesture of congratulations.
He doesn't use the words, but lifelong assassin Thane's expression and tone when he realises his son has stepped away from Thane's own path and is spending time with the drell priesthood says it all.
In Dragon Age: Origins, if you are playing the Human Noble origin, you will eventually go through the gauntlet to retrieve Andraste's sacred ashes. While going through the challenges, you will run into the spirit of your dead father, who tells you how proud he is of you and to be strong and to let go of your grief at losing your family.
Dragon Age II gives us a note in the Hawke Estate that reads "I'm very proud of you. Love, Mother." Easily missed, but hardly forgettable especially after your mother is killed by a crazy mage. Additionally, your sister Bethany or brother Carver will give you one if they manage to survive until the final battle.
In the end of Eternal Darkness, the ghost of Alex's grandfather appears to tell her how proud of her he is, for holding her own against Pious and the forces of the ancients themselves. He also offers her one last bit of help, sealing away the summoned ancient for her—while all the others who were killed in possession of the Tome of Eternal Darkness got to strike a blow to the artifact of the ancient, actually stopping the summoned beast is his contribution.
After defeating the final boss of Solatorobo, Baion admits that he is proud of Red for standing up for his friends (and the world), even though he initially considered him a failure. His mother Merveille also says that she is quite proud of him as well, though she never considered him a the spectacular failure that his father did. Perhaps notably, they are only his biological parents and did not raise him, nor was he actively seeking their approval or even incredibly interested in where he came from.
In Assassin's Creed III, Haytham Kenway's last words to Connor has him saying that he's proud of him to an extent and that Connor has shown courage, strength and conviction. He caps it off by saying that he should have killed him long ago, which is sort of his way of considering him a Worthy Opponent.
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has Trickster Mentor E. Gadd remark on Luigi's bravery before the final battle, after spending the entire game making jokes at the character's expense and hinting that Luigi wasn't his first choice.
In Star Trek Online, Admiral Jorel Quinn, the Big Good for the Federation, will act this way towards your player during the Klingon War missions. In the mission "Surface Tension", he does it again, this time to prove that he isn't an Undine.
Haley doesn't ask the dirt farmers for a reward; when Elan comments, she dismisses it, but Elan says he's still proud of her. Cue blush.
Elan gets to be on the receiving end of this after meeting his father Tarquin. Tarquin is happy that Elan is just as Genre Savvy as him and doesn't let his ego get in the way of doing things the right way (unlike Nale) even if they are on opposite ends of the alignment scale. Later, this acquires a bitter connotation to Elan.
Ian expresses pride in Haley's subtlety — while refusing to believe that Roy is really the the leader. Later, however, he sends her off on the actual quest with an injunction to make her mother proud of her, and when she asks what will happen to him, to make him proud of her too — with obvious confidence that she will do so.
Later, Diamonds Droog seems to have an attitude like this toward Aradia, the troll he advises as an exile. His directions to her largely consist of praising her actions and encouraging her that her decisions and feelings are the right way to go.
Post-Scratch, Dad has the same approach to his daughter Jane, congratulating her on being strong enough to lift the fridge he uses to stop her from going outside. (Although he still wants her to stay inside where it's nice and assassin-free.)
Dirk admits to being both envious and proud of Roxy for being comfortable with herself and sobering up, even after a temporary slip up, he still respects her.
In Drowtales, Syphile spent her whole life trying and failing to earn Quain'tana's approval. Eventually she got fed up and defected to the Vel'Sharen. Like most of Syphile's decisions, it wasn't a very good one; she was immediately sent to assassinate Quain'tana, an effectively impossible task. Syphile barely has time to call out Quain'tana on her lousy parenting skills before Quain'tana breaks her neck. Quain'tana remarks that Syphile finally displayed the inner strength needed to be Sarghress.
Batman: They'd love it here, don't you think? Lord!Batman: Who? Batman: Mom and Dad. They'd be so proud of you. Lord!Batman: ...Just drive.
Darkseid says this to Orion in "Twilight", while Orion is trying to kill him. Darkseid then breaks his back.
Darkseid: You make an old man proud.
Avatar: The Last Airbender: When Zuko returns to the Fire Nation his father tells him he's proud of him and why. It's a creepy scene, since Ozai is praising Zuko for killing Aang. It's also something Zuko didn't actually do.
There's the finale, when Zuko is reunited with his uncle. It overlaps Heartwarming into Tearjerking. It starts with Zuko outside the tent, paralyzed with shame at his betrayal of his Uncle. He only goes in once Katara gives him assurance (a tearjerker in itself, given that Katara used to hate him). When he goes in, he finds uncle asleep, so Zuko kneels and waits the entire night for Iroh to wake up, all the while stewing in his own shame. When Iroh wakes, he turns away from Zuko as Zuko makes his apology, giving you the impression that he actually is ashamed of Zuko and angry at the betrayal. It's only when he turns around and fiercely embraces Zuko that you realize that Iroh was just trying to keep it together because he was filled with such joy and pride in his adopted son for finding his way back to the light.
At the end of the series, Hakoda exclaims he's the "proudest father in the world".
And in The Legend of Korra, Tenzin, after witnessing Korra restore Lin Beifong's bending to her in the season finale, tells her "I am so proud of you, Avatar Korra". The final point that subverts the Bittersweet Ending the series was building up to.
The Mansons in Danny Phantom said this to their daughter Sam (and her friends) after they foiled the Big Bad of the episode. Considering how Sam and her parents don't get along, it's a brief, but heartwarming moment.
Played with on The Simpsons, when Bart, whacked out on way too Ritalin Focusyn, hijacks a tank a runs a muck around town.
Nelson: You've raised the bar for all of us, Simpson; and I thank you. *bows*
Bart: Wow! Praise from Caesar!
In The PTA Disbands, Bart and Lisa realize that each has the other's packed lunch by comparing the notes that Marge had left in each. Lisa's reads, "We're so very proud of you." Being The Simpsons, the treacle is cut by Bart's note, "Be good. For the love of God, Please be good."
Goliath has a moment of this when he finally acknowledges Angela as his daughter. Note that the lack of acknowledgment wasn't because he ever disapproved of her personally, but because Gargoyles traditionally didn't keep track of who laid which eggs.
And again in "The Crystal Empire". Princess Celestia makes it quite clear that she couldn't be prouder to have Twilight Sparkle as her personal student after Twilight deliberately disobeyed Celestia's stipulations for passing the test in order to ensure that King Sombra is defeated once and for all.
Celestia to Twilight, again, in "Magical Mystery Cure". This time in song!
"You've come such a long, long way
And I've watched you since that very first day
To see how you might grow
To see what you might do
To see what you've been through
And all the ways you've made me proud of you"
In ThunderCats (2011), Claudus telling Lion-O that he is proud of him is particularly poignant because Lion-O has spent his entire life trying to make his father proud of him and because these are Claudus' last words.
Ultimate Spider-Man: In the episode "Carnage", Green Goblin/Norman Osborn tells his son, Harry, how his father (Norman) would be proud of what Harry did that day. Then in nasty subversion of the heartwarming part that comes with this trope, Goblin drops Harry to his doom right after.
In Adventure Time Finn gets one from his (adoptive) father: Joshua: Finn! If you're seeing this pre-recorded holo-message, it's because you finished the dungeon that I made for you. I'm proud of you. You're gonna do great things in this world. I love you, son.