- Dory apparently lives with Marlin and Nemo now. Not in their anemone for obvious reasons, but close enough that they can hear her when she talks in her sleep.
- The fact that Marlin and Nemo come with Dory to help her find her family. Or the fact that the extremely overprotective Marlin lets his son join in on a long and possibly dangerous journey. He really did learn his lesson from the previous film. Marlin is extremely against the journey in the first place, but instead of letting Dory go off on her own he tries to stop her from going, but when that fails he goes along as opposed to leaving Dory to make the journey herself.
- Marlin and Nemo were separated most of the first movie, so it's nice to see them going on this adventure together and getting a chance to work off each other. Though he still very much a protective father: comforting Nemo when he was nearly killed or taking a protective stance in front of him when he thinks there's danger.
- Dory's parents are never anything but caring and supportive of their daughter, and when she got lost, they escaped the aquarium to find her, and once outside, they gathered shells every day to make a path back so that she'd find her way home.
- The moment you realize there's a trail of seashells, and figure out what's happening is a wonderful feeling.
- The slow pan-out to all of the trails of seashells leading out from the pipe is one of the most touching moments in the movie. Dory's parents dedicated their whole time to it.
- The small detail: when Dory finally comes face to face with her parents again, Jenny and Charlie are both carrying handfuls of shells. They never gave up.
- In the opening scene, Charlie and Jenny were unwilling to let a young Dory play with the others, for fear that she'd get lost. In the final flashback, Dory learns how to follow the seashells and find her way home with that. After her excited parents told her how proud they are of her, Dory asked if she can go out and play with the others. This time, they say yes.
- Dory's parents haven't seen her since she was a fry, but when one day they come home from collecting shells and see another adult blue tang at their cave, it only takes a moment to recognize their daughter.
- Dory's parents are saddened at first to think that Dory was alone the whole time since she was lost, but that triggers Dory's memories of Marlin and Nemo, setting off the events of the climax as Dory moves to rescue them. When Jenny and Charlie meet Marlin and Nemo, they immediately start hugging them and thanking them for being there for Dory.
- While they are on their way to rescue Marlin and Nemo, Dory tells her parents all about them. How despite everything, she believes that Marlin trusts her and how Nemo never gives up on her. It's so sweet the way she talks about them and their adventure to find Nemo.
- Two words: Baby Dory.
- Marlin, though not as overprotective as he was in the first film, is still quite the worry wart. He just seems to have extended that worrying over to Dory.
- The moment where a young Dory was trying to get a purple seashell for her mother. To recap, she woke up to the sound of her mother crying over her memory loss and future. Dory, a young child who didn't understand what was going on, wanted to comfort her mother by giving her something that she liked. As sad as that scene is, it's also touching how much Dory cared about her parents. Capped by the incredibly determined and serious tone Baby Dory has when she says "Mommy loves purple shells.".
- Despite bickering Like an Old Married Couple, Bailey promises to Destiny that when they're out in the ocean, he'll be her eyesight since she can't see very well, implying that he'll always stay by her side.
- Destiny's overjoyed reaction when Bailey points out that if they escape into the ocean, there'll be no more walls for her to bump into and hurt herself.
- After spending most of the film being completely fed up with Dory's antics, Hank seems to realize he's going to miss her when he thinks he's about to say goodbye forever. He asks if she's okay, then tells her, "I'll have a hard time forgetting you."
- When Dory is being rescued from the truck, she decides to convince Hank to let go of his past and return to the ocean. Despite how adamant he had been on never going back, he decided to agree with her and go back.
- When Hank and Dory were thrown out of the truck and into the ocean, Hank wraps his tentacles around Dory so that she won't get tossed too far away from the others. Considering how much he Hates Being Touched seeing him initiate the contact makes it all the more heartfelt. You can also hear Hank call out "DORY!" in slow motion when he's reaching for her.
- One of the truck drivers is voiced by Alexander Gould, Nemo's original actor. He'd aged out of the role thanks to the 13-year time gap, but they still found a place for him in the film.
- The ending. Marlin and Dory sitting together at the Drop-off, simply enjoying the view, which Dory poignantly describes as "unforgettable".
- Preceding that, Marlin, who remembers all too well what happened the last time - and the first time - he was at the Drop-off, following after Dory, just to make sure she's safe.
- Something particularly heartwarming about the ending is the Marlin says that the Drop-off "really is quite a view". This is both a Call-Back to the original scene where he comments on the view for a first time, and just before he, Dory and Nemo set off for California. It shows how far he's come and perfectly closes the story for both him and Dory.
- The very last score for the film as featured in the Disney and Pixar logos.
- Dory and Nemo's bond. In the previous film, Dory and Nemo only met late into the third act, and didn't get much time together. Here, Dory and Nemo are shown to have gotten quite close over the year since they met. Dory sees Nemo as family and often helps out in his class, and Nemo helps Dory remember what she was talking about, defending her when Marlin gets angry at her for endangering Nemo.
Dory: "Nemo is the sweetest thing. He never gives up on me no matter what."
- In the later parts of the movie Nemo expresses a concern that he and Marlin will have to say good-bye to Dory when she finds her parents. They don't. Dory recognizes Nemo and Marlin as family too, and the ending shows the three, Dory's parents, Hank, Destiny and Bailey together back home at the reef.
- When Dory finds Marlin and Nemo inside the truck to rescue them from quarantine, Nemo immediately runs into her arms for a hug.
- More than once, Baby Dory sees the little piece of coral where her family lives and exclaims, "I live there!" It's just as cute as any little kid excitedly saying such an obvious thing, and Jenny and Charlie are so proud of her for remembering that.
- The fact that Dory remembers the names of everyone she meets over the course of the film, from Marlin to Sigourney Weaver. In the first one she was constantly getting Nemo's name wrong and seemingly never even caught Marlin's name, but in this film (apart from briefly calling Hank "Frank" before immediately realizing that's not it) she never slips up. Having a supportive family really does wonders for her memory.
- When Dory meets the other blue tangs, they could have gone the All of the Other Reindeer route and bully Dory for her memory loss. But nope! The other tangs aren't antagonistic towards her at all and are actually willing to help her out. They were just cautious at first because they hadn't seen her since she was a fry and it took some time for them to recognize her. They're even truly heartbroken when they have to tell her about her (presumed to be) dead parents. Not just them, nobody does this to Dory. They do sometimes get fed up with her and her constantly forgetting things, but no one bullied her about it. Just about everyone was willing to help her.
- When Dory begins doubting herself and wondering if her parents would even want to see her, Marlin reassures her and says that her parents will be overjoyed. He goes on to say that when he and Nemo were in trouble, they got out of it by doing what she would do. When Dory doesn't understand why they would try to think like her, Marlin says that she is the reason they were able to do so many amazing things, and without her he never would have been able to find his son. When this happens, the Nemo Egg Leitmotif from the original film appears.Dory: Really? I didn't know you thought that... unless I forgot.
Marlin: No, you didn't forget. I never told you. And I'm sorry about that. But, Dory, because of who you are, you are about to find your parents. And when you do that... you'll... you'll be home.
- Dory goes into a near-catatonic state when she hears that her parents are most likely dead and she starts muttering that she's all alone and doesn't have a family. Despite the background audio being muted, you can still hear Nemo telling her that that isn't true - clearly intending to tell her that he and Marlin are her family. Even after she finds her parents, she still calls them her family.
- The events of the touch pool trigger Dory's memory of where her "Just Keep Swimming" mantra came from. Her mother invented the song so Dory would have something to hang on to if she was ever separated from them.
- Before they get separated, Marlin gets angry and tells Dory that forgetting is the only thing she's good at. Later in the film, he apologizes for it, and tells her that he truly values her and how she sees the world... even though she has totally forgotten that Marlin ever said anything like that to her.
- When Marlin and Nemo are stuck in small display aquarium, Nemo reprimands Marlin for what he said earlier and defends Dory's actions to him, encouraging them to think like Dory in order to get them out of the aquarium. They do and it works.
- After the events of the film, they all return to the Great Barrier Reef and live together.
- The fact that "travelling from California to the Great Barrier Reef" is presented so casually. In the first movie, simply getting from the Reef to Sydney, Australia was a near-insurmountable task; but this time around, Marlin and the gang have friends who can help them both ways, and navigating the wide ocean becomes a lot easier.
- The relationship between Marlin and Nemo. In the first film, they were rather antagonistic due to Marlin's, albeit understandable, overprotective nature. After his experiences, Marlin has let go a bit and he and Nemo are much warmer towards each other. He actually is willing to listen to Nemo's advice and let Nemo come with them on a trip all the way across the ocean.
- When Stan and his wife stop and try to help Baby Dory, and show deep concern when she disappears while their backs are turned.
- It becomes a meta moment when you realize that Stan's wife is voiced by Kate McKinnon, who has regularly cited Ellen DeGeneres as one of her idols and role models since her childhood. Here, Kate gets to play a fish who immediately tries to help Ellen's character in her childhood, coming full circle.
- The otters, who take Cuteness Proximity to such an extreme that they cause a traffic jam simply by being adorable. And standing in a line in the middle of the highway.
- Dory's parents could probably have been forgiven for occasionally losing patience with Dory and snapping at her in frustration, but this never happens even once in the flashbacks we're shown. No matter how many times Dory forgets, no matter how many times they have to repeat themselves or rehash the same topic, they are always remarkably patient, encouraging, and understanding. It's a testament to their endless compassion that when Jenny breaks down in tears over Dory's memory problems, it's not because she can't cope with the responsibility, but because she's worried about Dory's future.
- Just as heartwarming as their dedication to their daughter, is their dedication to each other. Even in the face of Dory's challenging disability, they are always united in thought and action, tirelessly supporting not just their daughter, but each other. Even as their worry over Dory starts to take a toll on them, it doesn't affect how they treat their daughter � but it's more telling that it doesn't affect how they treat each other, either: When Jenny breaks down, Charlie tenderly reassures her, rather than being rendered emotionally unavailable by his own stress. And for the years that Dory was missing, their grief and pain could have driven them apart; but their bond is so strong that it hasn't weakened in the slightest. They didn't just spend years laying out shells every day for their daughter; they spent years laying out shells together.
Heartwarming / Finding Dory