- In "Thanksgiving Orphans," the characters toast loved ones not present for the meal (Carla her kids, Cliff his mom, etc.) They all, however, echo Sam's own toast, as the absent loved one is someone they each have in common: Coach.
- Norm's speech about love at the end of "One For the Road" is definitely one as Norm was never a character known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve.
- At one point, Norm believes his wife Vera, whom he has described in uniformly unflattering terms for humor, may be having an affair and contemplating divorce. Alone with Sam, he quietly tells him that it was all an act, something he did just for laughs, and admits on the verge of tears that he literally cannot imagine a life without her. The confession may just be the most heartwarming subversion of Look Behind You in history.
- At one point in the series, Rebecca gets Vera a job working at Melville's upstairs. Cue an entire episode of jokes about how Norm can't stand to think of her being near him, that she's spying on him, and that it's no fun being at the bar if he can't get away from her. He even contemplates leaving to find another bar. As he leaves, he finds her crying on the stairs outside; she's suffered a verbal tirade from Hill, who fired her for incompetence. A furious Norm storms back into the bar and threatens to turn him into a pretzel if he doesn't take back all the terrible things he said to the woman he loves.
- In a similar vein, but ultimately played for laughs, Carla confesses to Sam that her husband's been unfaithful, her children disrespectful, and that she has nothing to live for, and she's been living a lie about all of this for years. When Sam tells her he's been doing the same, she tearfully rejects that, pointing out he's still a lady's man ten years on. And then Sam takes off his toupee, and Carla laughs and says he's worse off.
- In an earlier episode, Carla is rocked by the fact she would be a grandmother, and moans that she never had a real teenager's life, because she was pregnant at age 16 and never got to enjoy herself. After a disastrous attempt to have a slumber party with her to cheer her up, she tells Sam that she feels rotten, but something will get her to lighten up again. A few moments after everyone's left, Cliff returns to get his jacket. When he bends down to pick it up, the seat of his slacks rip, and he moans that he'd just let them out. After he leaves, a few moments pass by before Carla starts howling in laughter, her depression conquered.
- "Sumner's Return":Diane: You read War and Peace.Sam: So did he.Diane: You did it for me.
Sam: Listen—look...will you just explain one thing to me—it is very important to me...why aren't you with Derek?Diane: (Exasperated) Because I like you better!(Pause; Sam walks over to her, taking her arms)Sam: Oh, Diane—listen...all the jealousy I've felt for my brother over the years...is nothing to what I felt—these last few minutes....(Pause; they chuckle softly)
- In the same vein, in "Showdown, Part II", the fact that Sam finally opens up about his feelings for Diane because she chose him over his "perfect" brother:
- Diane quickly develops a sweet fondness for Woody, along the lines of "the-little-brother-I-never-had". This friendship reaches a high point of tenderness in "Strange Bedfellows, Part 3", when Diane has all but hit emotional rock-bottom, fearing that she may well have lost Sam forever to a rival:Woody: Well...I heard him say that he kinda likes her. But in my opinion, you and Sam make a much better couple.Diane: (Tries to shrug it off, and force a chuckle) ...Really?Woody: Yeah. Youre my two favorite people in the whole world.Diane: Oh, Woody....(She gives him a big hug)
- In Season Five's "Thanksgiving Orphans", after Diane shows up for the dinner at Carla's house, Woody makes it a point to express how happy he is for it. Diane responds by giving him a kiss on the cheek.
- What is probably Sam and Diane's Heartwarming Moment comes in Season One's "Let Me Count The Ways". Diane describes through streams of tears how much her late cat Elizabeth meant to her. (See: entry in Tear Jerker page.) Sam ends up shedding some Manly Tears of his own, and comforts her with a hug.
Sam: DIANE—Diane: What?Sam: Wait.Diane: What is it?Sam: I'm sorry about your cat!Diane: THANK YOU! (Stops short, turns to him) ...Thank you...!Sam: (Softly) You're welcome....
- This ALMOST leads to romance—but Diane puts a stop to it, stunned by the sudden surge of intimacy. This frustrates Sam like mad—which leads to a classic Sam/Diane argument, culminating in Diane about to storm out, BUT...
- In Season Four's "Fear Is My Co-Pilot", Sam and Diane fear that they're about to die in a plane crash. During their possible final moments, Sam suggests they calm down by talking about "all the good things"...Diane: (Through streams of tears) Good things? What about all the things that are never gonna happen? I'm never gonna get married...I'm never gonna have a baby!...I'm never gonna get old—I don't even—have a grey hair!Diane: (panicking) I DO?!? W-WHERE?!?(Plane lurches!)Diane: SAM—HOLD ME!!!
Sam: Oh...oh, it would've been us, one of these days, wouldn't it, hon?—you and me, married? (Diane hugs him tightly) Yeah-yeah....Sam: (Chuckling) Oh, yeah! (They kiss) Oh, gah...why didn't I ask you, when I had the chance?Diane: Why did I go to Europe?Sam: (Patting her reassuringly) No, no, it's...Diane: (Whispering) At least we're going together....
- This leads to the two in each others arms, confessing at last that they really are one another's One True Love, and revealing their deepest mutual desires:
- Diane's prayer in the end of the Season Four premier, asking for a "little sign" on whether she should return with Sam to Cheers, or stay in the convent. The whole sequence is very touching and sweet—especially as Diane is approaching it very much like "a little child":(Nervous smile) I...haven't done this since I was a child...but—when in Rome.... Now, I know there are—far greater problems in the world then mine...but, I'm feeling as though I'm at a crossroads... (swallows) "...and I was wondering...if you could give me a little sign...to...tell me what to do....
- A long pause follows—and as Diane waits in silence, she gets very close to shedding tears—clearly fearing her prayer won't be answered. At last, though—Sam comes back in, asking for directions to the "men's room".Diane: (annoyed) Sam, would you put a men's room in a convent?!Sam: Right now, I would!
- After he leaves...Diane's realization that God's answered her prayer after all is the crown jewel of the sequence:(Resuming prayer) Just—any sign. Something— (she freezes—her eyes widen) OH...! (glances where Sam left, then back upward, overjoyed) Well...! (deadpan) ...It's not the parting of the Red Sea... (shrugs; chuckles) but that's nitpicking...
- Sam popping back in to ask where the men's room is might actually be one of those all-too-rare moments that hit the Heartwarming, Funny, and Awesome trifecta. The studio audience went absolutely nuts when that happened.
- After he leaves...Diane's realization that God's answered her prayer after all is the crown jewel of the sequence:
- A long pause follows—and as Diane waits in silence, she gets very close to shedding tears—clearly fearing her prayer won't be answered. At last, though—Sam comes back in, asking for directions to the "men's room".
- After Frasier's speech to them in "Triangle" (see the "Awesome" tab), Sam and Diane are left stunned silent by the good doctor's forcing them to confront and accept the fact that they are one another's One True Love. After a long pause...Diane: Well?Sam: Well, what?Diane: What do you think about—what Frasier said?Sam: (Shrugs) Frasier's a pretty sharp guy....(Pause)Diane: (Nervous chuckle) Well, we agree on something.... What's next?Sam: (Stares at her) If this is ''hell'', I'm...I'm not THAT unhappy....Diane: (Pause; Tearful Smile) Then, we agree on something else....
- In Season One's "Father Knows Last", Diane discover's Carla's growing desperation over having to care for all her kids—especially considering how there's another one along the way. What does Diane do? She organizes a bar-wide fundraiser to help Carla get back on her feet...while serenading all with her golden-voiced rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone". The rest of the bar joins in the singing...and though Carla tries her best to be stone-faced, and blank, even she can't help fighting tears by the end of the sequence, as she toasts the others in gratitude.
- Diane's private moments with Carla before this is another example. In fact, for all their bickering over the rest of the Diane era, Season One has many an Establishing Character Moment between the two indicating that they are, in fact, good friends underneath the animosity.
- This culminates in "Strange Bedfellows, Part 3", when, after Carla shoots a typical insult at Diane, she's seemingly struck with guilt (apparently partly due to their Enemy Mine situation regarding Janet Eldritch), and timidly apologizes for all the "crummy" things she's said to Diane over the years. She promptly tries to backtrack a little with a few "exceptions"...but Diane smilingly lets her know she doesn't buy the cover-up.
- Carla gets her own Heartwarming Moment when Woody takes Kelly to a (not-so-seedy) motel, after his growing concerns over French Jerk Henri's constant "jokes" about stealing Kelley from Woody. Carla shows up, and counsels them not to have their "first time together" for the wrong reasons—it should only be when they're really sure they're ready. She notes that she'd made the same mistake (with Nick). It's a very touching and heartfelt sequence.
- The moment is seemingly subverted when Carla calls Henri into the room, "revealing" that it was all to get Woody and Kelly out so she could get a "free room". And then Carla's seduction of the man begins with, "Here's your chance.... Steal me from Woody!" With that (and recalling her previous warnings to Woody about the man), we realize Carla, for all her denials, had noble motivations after all.
- In Season 4's "Strange Bedfellows, Part II", Frasier consoles Diane when Sam's relationship with Janet threatens to end any hope for Diane reconciling with him. Particularly nice is that this is Frasier's first moment of truly being willing to put aside his bitterness and forgive Diane for leaving him at the altar. Cue the following:Diane: You're a lovely man.... I'm sorry I hurt you.(Frasier shrugs)Diane: (Voice breaking) I wish there was some way I could make you forgive me.Frasier: (Amused) Well—marry me, bear my children—let me die in you arms?(Diane smiles)
- In "Suspicion", Diane finally confides in the gang that, in her heart, she gets deeply depressed at being so "separate" from them—and really wants to be accepted by them as "one of the gang", at the very least by being the Butt-Monkey of some big prank of theirs. Sam tells her to go into the office to recover...and when she does, none other than Carla heads over to the office door, pulling a cord. A SPLASH—and Diane comes out, completely drenched...and overjoyed, crying out in delight, "I LOVE YOU GUYS!"
"OH, this is the BEST, guys...!"
- Along those same lines, the fact that the guys all bring her to the opera in "Diane Chambers Day"—Diane tearfully summing it up:
- Sam and Diane's conversation in the end of "Diamond Sam", especially considering how it's the culmination of a major source of angst for Sam. After some childishness over the "bargain ring" and Sam's desperate efforts to cover it up by spending a lot on other gifts:Sam: Ah, I guess I was just—stupid. To think that...I could make someone like you happy on a...budget of someone like me.(Pause. Sam sighs.)Diane: I'm sorry...Sam: Well, you should be.Diane: All right! I said I was! (Sits down beside him) Give me a bit of slack! (Pause; they sigh) Even...had that been the—"bargain ring"—it would have been...sinfully impetuous of me to cast it away.Sam: (Dryly; pulling out ring) Well! here's the bargain ring, right now—why don't you give it the old heave-ho, too?Diane: (Looks at the ring...and smiles, taking it, playing with it fondly) Hmm. I'm somehow reminded of a fable, penned...by an anonymous eighteenth-century author...(Sam Facepalms)Diane: (Smiling) ...concerning the young mistress of a great feudal estate—and a young wood-chopper who lived on the estate—Diane: (Pause, flinches) Could I—just tell you the moral...?Sam: (Chuckles)' What?Diane: You're really neat.note(Sam looks at her...and they share a smile, snuggling close to each other)Diane: Hardly original, I know, but...the fact remains, that...no matter what the cost...a ring is—above all else...(with Tender Tears) a symbol of the feelings that two people have for each other. So truly, Sam...this is the ring I want.(Followed by Sam putting the ring on Diane's finger...and their sharing a kiss.) Then subverted as they both continue to try to find the expensive ring in the grate.
- For most of the second half of the series, Sam hits on Rebecca and she turns him down, and Rebecca is the outsider. But over time and their trials together, they become good friends. Nowhere is this better indicated than episode wherein Rebecca and Sam try to find something Sam likes that doesn't involve seducing women. Rebecca comes up with The Three Stooges.
- Earlier in their run together, there's Sam trying to put aside his sexual urges to be there for Rebecca after Evan Drake's leaving America with another woman breaks her heart—because she confided in him that now, having lost touch with her old girl friends and not having made any more connections in her life, Sam is really her only friend. Especially heartwarming when we learn that Sam actually does have a sex addiction, and that it must have taken significant willpower for him to try and sit there with the emotionally vulnerable Rebecca and not make it sexual. (He ends up needing to comfort her from a payphone after all, but still.)
- The end of "Smotherly Love", where Sam finds out how truly appreciative Norm was of allowing him to run up a tab. After Norm comes into a sizable sum of money and seemingly ignores all of Sam's hints about paying off part of the debt, Sam finally loses it when Norm announces that he's bought a boat. After letting Norm have it with both barrels, Norm quietly says that he bought the boat for Sam since he knew how much it hurt Sam when his boat sank five years earlier and he wanted to do something big to thank Sam for his friendship over the years.
Heartwarming / Cheers