- "Good Morning Baltimore" has a heartwarming tone to it, because the audience is introduced to an overweight, good-hearted girl who has so much confidence in herself.
- Wilbur and Edna's duet, "You're Timeless to Me", especially in the film of the play. He starts singing to try to win Edna back after Velma made it look like they were having an affair. (Though YMMV, as Christopher Walken playing Wilbur might make the whole thing Narm to some.)
- "When I need a lift, time brings a gift, another day with you."
- Wilbur again, when he bailed Maybelle and her dancers out of jail along with Edna, knowing it would be a financial hit for a little while.
- And going with that, a deleted scene shows exactly why Edna was arrested. The police officer was originally going to let her go, but then she realizes that he's being nice to her because she's white, while arresting the black women who were protesting. Edna is so angry at this that she insults the police officer until he gives in and arrests her as well.
- The way Link's face lights up when Tracy crashes the pagent and begins her musical beatdown of Amber.
- When Tracy and Link share their kiss at the end.
- Also near the end (in the film, at least), Wilbur encourages Edna to dance. She's been so low in self-esteem for so long that it's heartwarming to see her confident and happy, and the fact that her husband backs her up just makes it better.
- Maybelle, smiling approvingly when Seaweed and Penny admitted their love for each other, while warning them that not everyone would be so approving:Maybelle: So this is love. Well, love is a gift, a lot of people don't remember that. So, you two better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a neverending parade of stupid.Penny: So you met my mom.
- The Von Tussles making a HeelFace Turn in the musical, accepting defeat and the fact that "they can't stop the beat", instead joining in dancing and having fun with everyone else (who unanimously ask them to, which is heartwarmingly generous after all the bad things the Von Tussles had done to them.)
- Wilbur's complete and utter devotion to Edna, who, though a Big Beautiful Woman, has an extreme lack of self-confidence and dresses in frumpy clothing. This is best seen in the 2007 film, which sees Velma trying to seduce Wilbur by putting on an extremely sexy red dress, visiting his joke shop and throwing herself at him, and singing a sexy version of "Big, Blonde and Beautiful." Wilbur not only remains totally unswayed, he actively tries to stop Velma with the various practical joke devices he has in the store. He later admits that his "heart beats only" for Edna. D'aww.
- The whole family dynamic between Wilbur, Edna and Tracy is an extended Moment of Heartwarming. While Edna is worried about Tracy early on in the movie, that worry stems from a deep love of her daughter, and she is also overjoyed when Tracy lands a spot on the Corny Collins Show. When Edna suggests that Tracy may need an agent to help deal with her newfound fame after Mr. Pinky offers Tracy a modeling gig for his plus-size line, Tracy convinces her mom to be her agent (claiming, "Who's going to look out for me better than my own mom?"), and urges Edna to break out of her seclusion and embrace life in the number "Welcome To The 60s".
- Wilbur supports his daughter unconditionally throughout the film. He encourages her to try out for the Corny Collins Show, and later when she vents her frustration against the studio for cancelling Negro Day, he advises her not to back down, saying "You can't wait for us old dogs. We need to learn new tricks from you." In "Timeless to Me", while mostly a love song between Wilbur and Edna, Wilbur also expresses pride in their daughter in the line, "And we got a kid who's blowing the lid of the Turnblad family tree!"
- The 1988 movie also shows the whole family dynamic between Wilbur, Edna and Tracy, after she gets in the Corny Collins show. Her family is really supportive of her all the way up to the end when she had to be freed from the reformatory to get her crown back from Amber in the Miss Auto Show '63.
- Meta example: The 2007 version of Hairspray was Nikki Blonsky's debut as a professional actress, and she was pretty nervous about meeting some of the other, more big-name actors, particularly John Travolta. But when she first arrived at the studio and finally met him in person, Travolta held out his arms to her and said "Come to Mama!"
- Most everything Corny Collins does in the finale, from knowing little Inez' name to being happy to see Tracy to bringing Maybelle up on stage and telling her: "This is your moment".
- The fact that he could rattle off that tiny, tiny loophole off the top of his head gives the distinct impression that he's been looking for a way to integrate the show for a long time.
- "Not a chance, Velma. This is the future." One of the most uplifting Shut Up, Hannibals! ever.
- Also how happy the Nicest Kids in Town all are to welcome Inez on stage and later dance together with the black dancers, especially in the stage musical where they had been actively resistant to the idea of integration at first but throughout the final number clearly have a change of heart and realize how much more fun this is.
- A meta moment, not once throughout the entire musical or film was Tracy mocked for her weight except by the villains and how body positive the entire musical/film is.
- Remember in the 2007 movie where Seaweed saves Penny from her mom? The same thing occurs in the 1988 movie, because he manages to break her free from her family for good so they can be together, even running in plain sight of where Penny's dad can see them at home.
- Also in the original, Maybelle and Li'l Inez managing to have the governor let Tracy be freed from the reformatory so she can get to the Auto Show to give Amber a run for her money. But her dancing towards the Auto Show with a lot of her supporters really sells it!
- Without Love, especially in the stage musical. Is it a little cheesy sometimes? Yes. Will it bring a smile to your face and make your heart swell up? Absolutely
Heartwarming / Hairspray