Happens more often than you might think... As CR put it, because the show wasn't nearly as schmaltzy as shows like Full House, the moments where the characters did something heartwarming meant all that much more.
- The Indian casino episode.
- While it borders on Author Tract, Duckman's pep-talk to America at the end of "America the Beautiful" fits.Duckman: There've even been times I've wanted to give up - but if I do, how can I expect things to ever get better? What kind of world would I be leaving my kids?
- "The Girls of Route Canal", in which Duckman tells his sons the story of how he met Beatrice.
- Near the end of "Cellar Beware", Duckman throws himself on top of a bomb — and even though it didn't end up exploding, Duckman "sacrificing" himself willingly to protect his family tugs at the heartstrings a little.
- The end of "Sperms of Endearment", when Duckman and Bernice walk together in the park and engage in a venom-free exchange of their usual insults.
Duckman: Bernice? Bernice, uh...look, m-maybe we don't always see eye-to-eye. Maybe we don't get along. Maybe I...violently hate you and everything you stand for, but...when has that ever stopped two people from having a baby? (Sigh) I, uh...I haven't really thought it all through, yet, but...but, well I...I guess I'm part of this, too, y'know? In for a dime, in for a dollar! (Nervous chuckle) And, uh, well...I'll try and do what I can to support you, and care for...our...our...o-our child.
- Also worth noting is Duckman deciding to step up once it seems like Bernice is carrying his sperm (test tubes were involved). He seeks her out and gives a hesitant-yet-sincere (in his own way) confession that he'll take responsibility as if they'd made the baby the old-fashioned way:
- After being driven to the brink by his various future-selves in "The Once and Future Duck", Duckman finds himself face-to-face with a past version of himself — from the day of his wedding.Past!Duckman: There are some things I-I gotta know! For instance - my marriage. Am I doing the right thing, marrying Beatrice? Do we grow old together?Past!Duckman (smiling): ...Maybe I don't need to know any more than that.
- That beat before Duckman responds is a hard one, because you can see the wheels turning in his head. You know he's considering warning his past self about what happens to Beatrice, maybe even possibly prevent her death...but then he realizes as much as he misses his wife, what's done is done and he can't risk changing time just to fulfill his own needs. This is his life and he needs to live it, consequences and all. His Exact Words when he finally responds is the most heartwarming thing he could have said.
- The episode "About Face" has Duckman falling in love with a 911 operator over the phone, staying with her and actually being honest about himself even after finding out that she's The Grotesque, so hideous that even Fluffy & Uranus are horrified. She eventually gets plastic surgery because she hates how hurt Duckman looks at others' reactions, and becomes the perfect woman... at which point he breaks up with her, realizing that he's completely beneath what she deserves.
- Even more notable in that Bernice even empathizes with Duckman's position.
- "Ajax and Ajaxer" ends with a dedication to the late Dana Hill.
- The same episode has Ajax completely heartbroken when Cornfed starts to get his intelligence back, costing Ajax his only friend. Cornfed assures Ajax he'll still be his friend, even if it won't be the same, and takes him to meet his idol Merv Griffin.
- After Duckman reveals why he was such a jerkass to King Chicken as a child, they bond in King Chicken's rec-room/Duckman-murder-shrine. After so many implied years at each other's throats, for the truth to finally come out and for them to be able to be in a room at the same time, even if it involved copious amounts of alcohol and King Chicken having an affair with Bernice, was a nice development.
- Too bad it didn't stick by the end of the episode, though...
- The ending of the very first episode qualifies as one. Well, two if you count the dedication to the late Frank Zappa, whose son is the voice of Ajax. For context: Duckman has spent the whole episode in and out of depression because he feels his family doesn't appreciate him. Ajax gives him half of his hoagie and tells him that he thinks DM's doing a great job. Ajax grabs one last bite and gives his dad the rest of the sandwich (which he had confessed he didn't want to eat because he had fallen in love with it-so he'd given his father his Magnum Opus to let him know how much he loves him.)
- In "Gripes of Wrath", when Duckman is confronted with a cheerful Bernice being nice to him, he breaks out with "Who are you and what have you done with Bernice?!" And he sounds completely sincere and genuinely angry.
- Later, when Duckman confronts the supercomputer that has resulted in changing society, Charles and Mambo suddenly burst in asking for the computer's autograph. The computer responds by threatening Charles and Mambo; Duckman's immediate response is to jump in front of them and yell "Stay away from my kids!"
- In "The One with Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role" and ends up abducted by aliens. While he sees their planet, the family notices he's missing and gets worried. Duckman and Cornfed look for clues in Ajax's roomfinding out instead that Ajax has started himself a college fund, but it's full of IOUs for money he's been slipping into his father's wallet for Duckman's recreational expenses.Duckman: This must be every allowance he ever got. Didn't he ever spend any money to make himself happy?
Cornfed: Apparently this did make him happy.
- Duckman's memory of Grandmama's encouragement speech towards him in Grandmama's Flatulent Adventure during his wedding to Beatrice is wonderfully loving. Especially in that the speech details deep insight from Grandmama into Duckmnan's jerkass personality and overall acceptance of him into her family.Grandmama: Duckman, even though almost everyone else sees you as just some psychotic street urchin, you're not fooling me. This horribly obnoxious act of yours is merely a defense. Deep down you feel you're not deserving of anyone's love. Well you're wrong. Welcome to our family, Duckman. You are loved.