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Heartwarming / American Dad!

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  • Any time Hayley refers to Stan as "Daddy" (usually followed by a loving embrace), it just pulls at the heartstrings.
    • Likewise anytime Stan calls her “Baby girl.”
  • The episode "Of Ice and Men". Despite it being a parody of The Princess Bride, it is actually a very touching moment where Stan puts aside his usual stubborn attitude and has a very meaningful bonding experience between him and Francine. The B-Story has a rather touching and awesome moment, when Toshi, at Snot and Svetlana, the mail-order Russian bride's wedding, interrupts it by admitting his love for Svetlana in fluent Russian.
    • The Framing Device for "Of Ice and Men". It's nice to know that someday, Klaus will finally be human again.
      • And will live long enough to bond with his grandkid.
  • The episode "American Dream Factory", when the illegal Mexican immigrants are singing "Take Me Home Country Roads", which they say is about the America they dreamed of emigrating to. Stan is moved by this and helps them escape deportation.
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  • The flashback in "Stan's Food Restaurant". It's touching that the restaurant staff would go out of their way that much just to cheer up a random depressed kid.
  • In the episode "Virtual In-Stanity", we learn that it's a Smith family tradition to watch old home movies of the kids on their birthdays. The first video of Steve's birthday movie session reveals that (presumably because Stan wasn't present) a preschool-age Hayley held her mother's hand as she gave birth to Steve.
  • Stan's speech at the end of the episode "Lincoln Lover" (after he finds out that being gay isn't a choice and that many gay people support the Republican party). Also counts as a Moment of Awesome.
  • The end of the episode "Rapture's Delight". At the end, after Stan sacrificed himself to save Jesus and Francine from demons (It Makes Sense in Context), we find out what Stan's personal paradise is: When he enters his personal heaven, events rewind back to before the apocalypse/it turns out to just be a dream, and Stan is living with his family, a wiser man than before.
  • In The Best Christmas Story Never Told, after Stan's Time Travelling Hijinks cause the Soviet Union to take over the United States, it comes down to him needing to shoot Ronald Reagan due to a sobered up Martin Scorsese never making Taxi Driver, which means Reagan was never shot by John Hinckley, nor did he felt empowered by surviving an assasination attempt, which meant he lost to Walter Mondale in the new reality, who surrendered control of the USA to the Soviet Union. At First, Stan refuses to shoot his hero, even when Francine reminds Stan how much he loves Christmas, and how that wouldn't be allowed if the Soviets controlled the US. Stan says that he doesn't care as long as he's with Francine and the kids.........
    • ......That is until Michelle points out that in the Alternate-Soviet Ruled future, Stan and Francine might never meet, which means Steve and Hayley won't exist. Swallowing his pride, Stan agrees that he must shoot Reagan, but what gets him to shoot Reagan is not to save Christmas, or America, it's this:
    Stan: Francine, I came back here to save Christmas, but the most important part of Christmas is you and the kids.
    • Even better when Hayley gives him a broken gift, which Stan doesn't care if it's broken or not as long as he has the things he loves and cares for.
  • In one episode, after Stan gets out of prison, punches Roger for sentencing him to extra time in prison, and sees that Steve has aged to that of a middle-aged man due to him "growing up too fast", he picks up Steve and carries him outside to a Slip-N-Slide. He tells Steve, "Play on it for as long as you like." Steve's cheers of joy as he regresses back to his fourteen-year-old self is quite heartwarming to say the least.
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  • Believe it or not, Roger has actually had a couple, perhaps most notably in "Roger Codger": at the risk of the entire family being caught and punished for harboring him, he genuinely offers to sacrifice himself to cover things up, leaving himself open for Stan to execute. Stan pulls out his gun and hesitates, obliviously noticing a tear coming out of his eye.
  • The end of "The One That Got Away", when Roger as himself can't bear to leave Judy alone and crying so he invites her to go out to dinner with him.
  • In the episode "Bullocks to Stan" when Stan finally mans up and kicks Bullock's ass for insulting Hayley. It's actually quite touching given that it was still one of the earliest episodes.
  • Near the end of "Pulling Double Booty", Stan, pretending to be his body double Bill, proves to Hayley that her father does love her even though he doesn't say it.
  • Stan describing how much he loves Hayley while posing as his own body double:
    "When you were younger, and you were asleep, he'd come into your room and put a piece of candy on your tongue so you'd always have sweet dreams. And before every mission, he kisses a picture of you..."
  • Though it's short-lived (due to Stan getting shot in the head and forgetting about it), Stan's brief apology over treating Klaus unfairly is especially heartwarming in "Haylias":
    Stan: I guess I forget sometimes that you're not just a fish in a bowl. You're a man in a fish in a bowl.
    [Klaus places his fin on Stan's hand]
    Klaus: Maybe I could be... a friend in a fish in a bowl.
    • Though it doesn't excuse brainwashing her in the first place, it's kind of sweet that Stan put Hailey in Project: Daycare because he liked the idea of the two of them as a father-daughter spy team.
  • Hayley actually taking Stan's side during the hurricane episode.
    • How about Stan trying to save his family throughout that episode? Sure, every attempt failed miserably and made things even worse but like Hayley said, he was really trying.
  • Hayley and Jeff finally getting married.
  • Pretty much any time Stan doesn't treat Hayley like crap (examples: Stan and Hayley bonding in "Stannie Get Your Gun," Stan telling Hayley that he should stop treating her like a child on "Stan Knows Best," and Stan vowing to care for Hayley even though there's a possibility that she may not biologically be his in "The Kidney Stays in the Picture.")
  • Despite all the life-threatening situations Stan is thrown into on account of Roger in "Office Spaceman", Stan still saves Roger when the alien is captured by the CIA and about to be dissected.
  • The end of "Great Space Roaster", where Stan of all people confirms that Roger, in spite of being a massive Jerkass throughout the series in general and the episode in particular, is still considered a part of the Smith family. Roger's genuine tears of joy that follow only make the moment more poignant.
  • In the episode "Widowmaker", after Stan reveals the Batman Gambit that Craig isn't dead for being a "blabbermouth", but is instead living in Laos with his new wife, due to his now-ex Julie constantly badgering him to share, Francine begins to accept that some men, like Stan, aren't so touchy-feely. As she looks away, this occurs:
    Stan: Orange.
    Francine: What?
    Stan: My favorite color is orange.
    Francine: Oh, honey, I love you too.
  • The flashback to Stan introducing Roger to the Smith family in A.T. The Abusive Terrestrial, he puts him in a large gift box Roger jumps out of. Francine faints in horror while Hayley runs away terrified, while an overjoyed Steve runs and hugs him.
    • Steve's speech to Roger near the end of the episode about how although Roger isn't "his alien", he is his best friend.
  • In "Flirting with Disaster" Stan lovingly encourages a disfigured Francine to flirt with him, and while Francine tries and fails to say anything sexy Stan just steadily looks at her, smiling.
    • Though it's followed by the worst Nightmare Face in the show's history.
    • This is followed by a Hospital Scene where Francine's face is restored to it's former state....due to the fact that Stan had his butt-cheeks removed for her facial restoration surgery.
  • Dr. Klaustus serves as a real Pet the Dog moment for Klaus.
  • The ending scene in dog heaven in "Stan's Best Friend".
  • From "The Kidney Stays in the Picture," Stan declaring that whether or not he is Hayley's biological father (which neither he nor the audience ever finds out, though given the show's loose continuity and the fact that past episodes have shown that Hayley is indeed Stan's daughter, it's probably best to just conclude that Stan is biologically the father, since no one in-universe will remember what happened), all the love and effort he has put into raising her makes her his daughter, despite the early episodes showing that Hayley and Stan hated each other because of their political views.
    • Also from the same episode, Stan`s response to his daughter needing a kidney (after hearing that she passed out from drinking too much and the excessive alcohol has ruined one of her kidneys) is to drop his pants and say "I`m ready, somebody shave my groin" without a moment`s hesitation.
  • Steve teaching Stan to use his imagination in "Toy Whorey".
  • "Jack's Back"; at first Jack was just trying to use Stan's status as a C.I.A agent to avoid jail time but when he saw how his actions were hurting Stan and Steve's relationship as father and son, Jack turns himself in at the courthouse and convinces Steve that Stan isn't so bad, because at least he's always there for Steve even if they don't always get along.
  • In "Daddy Queerest", Stan tries to get Terry's dad to accept his son after he had revealed his homosexuality to him, though it failed and Terry's dad admitted that he's not going to change his homophobic ways. Terry starts scolding Stan for causing all this trouble... until Francine tells him to stop and says that despite what Stan had done, at least he had tried to fix the mess he had created. That episode showed that she loves her husband despite his flaws. Awww.
    • While he goes about it in all the wrong ways, Stan's willingness to not stop until he ensures Tank accepts his son for who he is, proves that in this one instance, he actually did keep his character development from "Lincoln Lover" and "Surro-Gate".
    Stan: I know what he's feeling. I used to think like him. Scared of the intimate man-dance.
    • And of course, Terry telling off his father for not being accepting of his homosexuality (also an Awesome Moment, just for the fact that it takes a lot of guts for someone who is gay to tell someone who doesn't approve of it that they're not going to change, no matter what).
  • The ending to "Why Can't We Be Friends?" with Steve and Snot air-guitaring.
  • The ending of "Can I Be Frank (With You)" is particularly noteworthy for being heartwarming and horrific at the same time. Francine, wanting to spend more time with Stan, dresses up in a man suit and infiltrates his meetings with his CIA buddy. Due to circumstances, Bullock thinks that (s)he's actually a spy, and he tells Stan to knock "him" out and drag him out to the woods and kill him. Francine tries to tell Stan that it's her, but Stan starts to think that he did something to hurt Francine. He tries to call her, and Francine's cell phone starts ringing. Stan goes completely ballistic, brutally beating "her" while screaming that Francine was the most important person in the world to him. He finally realizes that it's Francine when he tries to scalp her and cuts off the top of her costume. They work things out, but there aren't many shows that can have such a heartwarming moment that involves a guy beating the living shit out of his wife.
  • The climax of "National Treasure 4: Baby Franny: She's Doing Well: "The Hole Story" with Henry telling Francine that she didn't have to live a meaningful life just because he saved her as a child, he chose to save her so she'll choose to lead her life as she pleases.
  • Steve and Akiko kissing in "Spelling Bee My Baby".
  • The episode "Lost in Space" can be seen as a giant one; Jeff is abducted by Roger's people and he misses Hayley, and his love for her is tested by the emperor. It turns out Emperor Zing is cheating the love test to keep his slaves, but the second test proves to Roger's people that love really exists.
    • To say nothing of the memories themselves.
    • When an alien shapeshifter offers to have sex with Jeff in the form of Hayley, Jeff is briefly tempted before he tells her that she is not Hayley and he still wants to be faithful.
    • The last scene of the episode has Jeff on an escape craft heading for Earth; he looks into a window and sees a vision of Hayley smiling at him.
    • Sinbad holding off the guards for Jeff to get away resulting in a Heroic Sacrifice. He comes back as a force ghost, happily reunites with Jeff and the two ride off into space.
  • In "Bully for Steve", Steve receiving his bag lunch from Francine in the most adorable way.
  • A moment near the ending of the episode, "Brains, Brains and Automobiles". Francine learns from Klaus about Stan's antics when attempting to get Roger move back and is beginning to get upset with him. After going into Roger's subconscious (in which Roger was suffering from a coma due to mistakenly consuming rat poison when making iced tea), they chase around his mind until Stan stumbles into his memory hall and then sees Francine watching a scene from the early episode where in which he's worried about Francine realizing how boring he was. She asked if that's why Stan is so afraid to spend time with her to which he sheepishly agrees to. And then the heartwarming part of it all.
    Francine: Stan, you might not be interesting, but you're definitely not boring.
  • Steve and Snot decide to make their own prom dates by using the CIA's cloning machine. They're shocked when they come out as babies. They discover they're rapidly aging and will be old enough to take on prom night. After raising them for a few days, by the prom night approaches each has come to love their date like a daughter.
  • In "Poltergasm" when Steve and Roger show Stan the footage of the ghost, he initially thinks it's special effects that Steve did and immediately tells him how phenomenal they are. It was just really nice to see Stan give Steve praise for something he thinks he did, despite his treatment of him for a good chunk of the series.
  • The episodes that show Steve and Roger together. Despite Roger's depravity and willingness to sell Steve out when needed, it's oddly heartwarming the way the two bond sometimes (though this is debatable in such episodes as "Daesong Heavy Industries II: Return to Innocence", where Roger tries to kill Steve in a seawater-fueled insanity).
  • Stan broke off his friendship with George Clooney in "Tears of a Clooney" in order to make up for betraying Francine to him earlier in the episode and force him to cry so she can fulfill her dream of ruining his life. Doubles as a mild Tear Jerker because he really didn't want to and the last shot of the episode is Stan tearing up about it.
  • Gwen taking the fall for the burning of her and Francine's school because she loves her little adopted sister. Francine later on does the same to save Gwen when they burn down the school due to smoking cigarettes while in a gasoline-soaked area, but Gwen still gets arrested.
    • When Stan is teaching Steve how to get a hug from Gwen he offhandedly mentions that he loves Francine. It's a nice way of showing that though he's physically attracted to Gwen, Francine has his heart.
    Stan: F. Francine. I love Francine. I just do.
    • This is also shown when Stan calls in a favor to get Francine out of jail, and leaves Gwen to rot in jail.
  • The 2014 Christmas special ends with the entire Smith family in a Group Hug. Even Klaus.
  • When Stan hears that Hayley will be dissected and killed because she went to save human!Jeff, he demands alien!Jeff to take him where Hayley is so he could save her.
    • Also Alien Jeff sacrificing himself in order to save human Jeff
    • "Fro yo buddies!"
  • In "License to Till", after Steve slaps a younger female student in a poor attempt to look tough, Principal Lewis smashes a coffee glass in Steve's face. Over the top? For sure. Get him in trouble in real life? Indeed so. One of the most genuine Pet the Dog moments from someone as jerkassery as Principal Lewis? Definitely.
  • Stan going to the wake of Cuba Gooding Jr. and putting the Oscar Roger had bought on eBay in the coffin with him.
  • Steve befriending the Krampus in "Minstrel Krampus".
    • Stan's deadbeat dad also learns the value of family.
  • In "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever", Stan's Control Freak tendencies lead to him dying during his quest to find the perfect Christmas tree, and his family freezing to death in the car because he had taken the keys. After going through a trial in an attempt to earn a second chance at life, Stan and his guardian angel lawyer escape, and Stan ends up confronting God, holding a gun to His head. Here's where it gets heartwarming - after Stan shows some humility and admits that he doesn't know everything, God sends him back to Earth, where he's more appreciative of his family's Christmas preparations. Not only that, before leaving Stan gets God to give the angel her wings.
  • From "Garfield and Friends": The flashback of Hayley and Stan bonding during their Presidential road trips and singing along to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA".
  • In "NSA (No Snoops Allowed)" Stan normally a massive Straw Man without hesitation forgives Steve for giving away CIA secrets to the NSA proving he relay dose love his son more than his career.
  • "Shallow Vows" has a goofy but kinda sweet one. One of Roger's personas is Jeanie Golde, a wedding planner that (much to Stan's shock) somehow has two adult sons.
    Son: I think you did a good job, Mom.
    Roger/Jeanie: I did when I made you.
  • Steve's relationship with Debbie. Though the other characters mock her for being overweight, Steve finds her attractive right off the bat, never insults her for her weight, and frequently defends her from those who do (including his best friends). Considering how poorly the main cast of Seth MacFarlane's other, more popular show treats its token "fat" female character, it's nice to see at least one example of a fat girl in a respectful relationship (sadly, Debbie got phased out in later episodes).
  • In the subplot of "Office Spaceman," where it's revealed that Francine hates left-handed people note , Hayley and Steve call their maternal grandmother (Francine's adoptive mother), Mama Ling, who claims that up until she and Baba Ling (the kids' maternal grandfather and Francine's adoptive father) adopted Francine as their daughter, she had spent her early childhood in a Catholic orphanage—during the explanation, Mama Ling reveals that she and her husband didn't adopt Francine as their daughter until she was seven. They actually met Francine when she was five, but they couldn't afford to adopt her at the time—Mama and Baba Ling made a point of visiting Francine as often as they could until they were able to adopt her as their daughter.
  • A somewhat minor example, but Stan, Hayley, and Steve in the car together in "Family Plan", singing along together and playing "I'm going to a Picnic", shows how much they enjoy spending time together, even if they do frustrate and annoy each other often.
  • In "Top of the Steve," Stan "Top Dog" attitude causes Steve to run away to boarding school. His absents causes Stan to break down crying in front of Hayley and Francine. When Steve finally comes home he embraces him in a big hug.
    • Steve's sincere apology to Spitz.
  • In "The Devil Wears a Lapel Pin", Hayley is desperate to get back at Stan for never being proud of her- specifically, for ruthlessly critiquing and then ripping up a drawing of their favorite beach she made when she was a little girl. After assisting him in putting together the CIA's calendar, Stan unexpectedly tells Hayley that he's proud of her- too late, unfortunately, to stop Jeff from burning the calendar pictures (on Hayley's orders). Hayley proceeds to go to hell and back to reconstruct the calendar, only for Stan to go off at her over something small and stupid the night the calendar is due to be premiered. This leads to two incredibly heart-warming moments:
    • First, Jeff goes off at Stan for being so critical of Hayley. He admits to Stan that he'd destroyed the calendar and that Hayley had struggled to fix it in time. He tells Stan, "Your daughter's already amazing, and it's sad that you can't see that."
    • Stan then tapes together the old torn-up picture and brings it to Hayley, expressing his appreciation and pride in her.


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