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Heartwarming / For Better or for Worse

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  • After Farley's death, April is plagued by guilt and nightmares. John comforts her one night, saying "Our lives are on loan to us, just for a while. And no one knows how long each life will be. That is why we have to take care of each other, and to remember each day to appreciate the ones we love."
  • On a similar note, Grandpa Jim falls into a deep depression after his wife, Marian, passes away. While in bed, Jim silently mourns how much he misses her, and how afraid he is to be alone. Then Edgar, Farley's son, comes in, and comforts Jim by providing what he needs most: a friend to talk to.
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  • Elly's saving Farley's now-abandoned water bowl, marveling at the wealth of memories that can be provided by a cheap piece of plastic.
  • From the animated adaptation, Candace is having trouble with her mother (as usual) and stays at the Pattersons for awhile. When she lapses into her ways, Elly punishes her, and Candace says "Then this visit is over." While Candace is waiting for a Taxi, April says just what Candace needed to hear... that when Elly yelled at her and grounded her, she was treating Candace like "part of the family". The next moment, when she walks in with April at her side is especially heartwarming.
    "April says if I look cute, you don't stay mad at me for long."
  • When Gordon (who had an unhappy homelife) decides to get married at age twenty, his friends express surprise that he's willing to be tied down so young. His response?
    "I guess one man's 'tied down' is another man's security."
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  • One strip has April bring her grandfather's harmonica on the school bus, only for a bully to toss it out the window. The bus driver initially is mean and crabby, but as soon as April tells him that it was her grandfather's and he had it in the war, he pulls over and tells every kid on the bus to search for it.
  • When Lawrence admits he's gay to mother and stepfather, the former is initially in shocked denial and the latter responds by throwing him out of the house. Connie spends the entire night worried about her son, calling around the neighbors asking if they had seen him and Greg has a huge My God, What Have I Done? over what he did. Michael eventually finds Lawrence at a 24-hour coffee shop, telling him that his family loves him no matter what and drives him home. Connie greets Lawrence with a huge hug and Greg apologizes with this:
    Greg: Your mother has known you and loved you for 17 years. I've just been a small part of your life. I'm not going to judge you. As long you're a good man... and a kind man- I'll respect you. As for the rest... what will be will be. Que sera sera.
    • Also, earlier in the Story Arc, Lawrence's first choice to reveal his homosexuality to is to his longtime friend Michael. While Michael has an initial moment of shock and denial, he quickly accepts his friend for who he is, encourages Lawrence to come out to his family, and helps him through his temporary disownment.
  • April sees her grandfather fixing things around the house and asks how long he'll be staying with them. He says as long as he's needed. Later Elly asks her what she's doing. "Looking for something to break."
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  • Michael telling his kids about Farley near the end of the strip's run.
  • Anytime a relationship between characters actually succeeds (i.e. Candace and Rudy).
  • When the Enjos (who are Japanese) move in, Michael looks at the kids and says, "Look mom! They're-" only for her to cut him off, thinking he was going to say something that would make him look racist, but Michael butts in anyway and says "They're my age!" Also, you can see the Enjo kids smile at the last line as they realize that Michael is going to be a good friend.
  • Lawrence meeting his long-lost father.
  • Elly is looking at herself in the mirror and starts getting depressed about the signs of age on her face. Michael walks in and asks what she's looking at and she admits that she's looking at the lines on her face. Michael replies, "What's wrong with them? I like the lines on your face! You've got a smile — with brackets!"
  • Another strip features Elly looking in the mirror, criticizing how ugly she is. She catches John standing in the doorway and asks what he's looking at. John answers that he was just admiring her beauty. To make it even more adorable, the author said this was taken from an actual conversation between herself and her husband.
  • One early series of strips has Elly take a baby Liz and young Michael on an aeroplane across Canada... and a very mean (and annoyed) looking older man sits next to them. There is a Sunday strip where it looks like Elly (with Liz on her lap) is the passenger from hell. He finishes his meal and calls the flight attendant to take the empty tray away. Then he glances at Elly with a rather annoyed look on his face and... offers to hold Liz for awhile because Elly couldn't eat with Liz in the way. The final strip shows he's actually being quite nice with Liz.
  • After Elizabeth discovers Eric's infidelity, confronts him and breaks up with him, she manages to stay on civil terms with Tina, the woman he'd cheated on her with, especially because it turns out Eric lied to her about his and Elizabeth’s relationship being platonic meaning that Eric was also cheating on Tina. They realize that in some circumstances, they might have ended up in a Cat Fight over the guy they both liked, but they realize he isn't worth it.
  • In a Sunday strip, after Jim falls on his way to a bus he is immediately helped up by some teenagers who were also waiting. He later cheerfully tells Elly that kids these days are pretty great.


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