- Katherine, when Harrison snarls at her from being away from her desk for extended periods of time, finally snaps with a glorious "The Reason You Suck" Speech:There are no colored bathrooms in this building, or any building outside the West Campus, which is half a mile away. Did you know that? I have to walk to Timbuktu just to relieve myself! And I can't use one of the handy bikes. Picture that, Mr. Harrison. My uniform, skirt below the knees and my heels. And a string of pearls. Well, I don't own pearls. Lord knows you don't pay coloreds enough to afford pearls! And I work like a DOG, day and night, living on coffee from a pot (tearfully, as she turns and yells at the others) none of you want to touch! So, excuse me if I have to go to the restroom a few times a day.
Harrison: There you have it. No more colored restrooms. No more white restrooms. Just plain old toilets. [to Katherine] Go wherever you damn well please. Preferably closer to your desk. Here at NASA, we all pee the same color.
- Harrison's response is to immediately end the segregation of bathrooms at Langley — by taking down the "Colored Women's Restroom" sign personally. With a crowbar.
- The bathroom desegregation sets the scene for another Moment of Awesome later, when Dorothy Vaughan and Vivian Mitchell are washing their hands side-by-side. Dorothy reminds Vivian that she, Dorothy, is doing the work of a supervisor and should be appointed supervisor of her department.Vivian: Dorothy, I hope you know I have nothing against y'all.
Dorothy: I know.[Vivian relaxes, thinking she's off the hook] I really think that you believe that.
- When Jim Johnson makes a sexist comment about Katherine and other women working at NASA, Katherine gives him an eloquent tear down of the hard and brilliant work she and other women do at NASA.
- Dorothy going into Mama Bear mode when a policeman roughly grabs her sons.
- The accolades that Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary achieved after this event.
- While the white guys can't work out why the IBM computer is acting up, Dorothy simply walks in when everyone else is away, looks at the wiring, realises something is not right there, and fixes it, and even gets it to start outputting.
- Mary, having finally gotten a judicial order to attend extension classes at an all-white school, goes to her first session and, finding there is no "colored" section to sit in, decides to sit right in front.
- Dorothy's response to seeing IBM machines being brought in being to steal a library book (necessary because it wasn't in the colored section) so that she can teach herself FORTRAN, and then teaching it to her staff of human computers. When their department is finally rendered obsolete by the new digital computers, they're able to simply walk across the campus and take up new positions as programmers.
- Dorothy finally getting that promotion, complete with her own supervisor, Vivian, beginning to refer to her respectfully by her last name, rather than condescendingly by her first as before. It's especially satisfying when, at the end of the film, we see Vivian introducing Dorothy to a group of white employees as "This is Mrs. Vaughan. She will be your supervisor" — thereby explicitly acknowledging that Dorothy has the authority to direct white subordinates as well as those of her own race.
- The film's success in itself: a PG-rated film made for $25 million starring three black actresses — a rating studios abhor in live-action, with a moderate budget studios are hesitant to push in a shoestring-or-megabudget market, and a tier of actresses oft ignored to headline movies — became a runaway success critically and commercially. As of May 2017, it holds a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and has made roughly $229 million worldwide ($169 million domestically).
Awesome / Hidden Figures