- Scenes between Donnie and Gretchen are surprisingly sweet considering how creepy the rest of the movie is.
- Gretchen holds off on having their first kiss because she wants it to be special. After boys in class say something meant to her about her father, she runs out. Donnie chases after her, trying to apologise. Cue Big Damn Kiss from her.
- "So how does it feel having a wacko for a son?" "It feels wonderful."
- In deleted scenes, Elizabeth and Donnie's father share similar moments.
- When Donnie kisses Elizabeth goodbye while she is asleep, before he goes off to meet his fate.
- During the Mad World montage, everyone looks emotionally disturbed except for Cherita, to whom Donnie promised that "One day, everything's going to be better".
- Although the end is a Tear Jerker, when Gretchen cycles past the house she almost instinctively waves to the grieving mother. Either out of understanding - as she had been through trauma herself - or subconsciously remembering something from the alternate reality. Donnie's mother returns the wave.
Heartwarming / Donnie Darko