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Heartwarming / Kitchen Nightmares

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  • "Oscar's": Gordon helping the chef get over his alcoholism. Later, while the credits roll, Gordon is shown actually hiding in a corner like a shy little kid after being invited to dance, constantly stating (each time in a much lower and softer tone) "I Can't Dance!"
  • "The Glass House" (UK): A female chef was beaming with pride when Gordon complimented her cooking!
    Gordon Ramsay said I'm a good chef!
    • Ramsay later hired her for one of his restaurants.
  • "Burger Kitchen": Ramsay giving a distressed Daniel a much-needed pep talk.
    Daniel: (sobbing) You actually have a pretty big heart. Thank you. Thank you, for this. You know, I never had someone like, help, you know? Thank you.
    • Also Daniel's fiancée Wendy, who won't take any of the shit his parents are giving him at all, defending him to her best ability, and sticking with him despite the awful situation he's in.
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    • Adding to the My God, What Have I Done? moment when Daniel's father realizes he's turned into his own father and apologizes to his son. Who knows what happened from then, but here's hoping they can fix their relationship.
  • "Seascape": Gordon has the owner go with him to a gym and do some boxing to work off the stress. During this, the owner shares that his father never gave him any compliments and his mom is always around to remind him he's not as good as his father. There were many Manly Tears, and the ending voiceover said that after he made the restaurant a huge success, he sold it, as he had proven he could do it and simply had no interest in keeping it.
  • "The Dovecote" (UK): Ramsay enters a restaurant where the owner is driving his business into the ground and his bullheaded attitudes have nearly broken up the family. By the time Gordon leaves, the business and family are going well... and they still are when Gordon comes back a few weeks later.
    • Furthermore, their only daughter who all but carried their restaurant on her back during its big relaunch and had proved to have something of a gift in the kitchen is given a boost by Ramsay who personally helped pay for further culinary education.
  • "Piccolo Teatro" (UK): After Ramsay tries and fails to get a very immature woman's failing cafe off the ground, the young head chef, heartbroken that her boss' carelessness cost her a job, is offered a job by Gordon to work at his own restaurant in London, stating that "if she doesn't want you, I do!"
    • Also in that episode, at the end Gordon is recreating his favorite pastime from when he was in Paris learning to cook French cuisine: eating a sandwich from his favorite shop, napkin tucked under his chin and a huge smile on his face.
    • When he opens the cafe on his own for a lunch service, he is ecstatic to be in the kitchen, preparing food and serving the customers. This is truly a man who loves to cook.
      • Doubles as a funny moment when he gets so lost in preparing the food that he forgets he's doing double-duty as the waiter and puts a plate up then calls for service.
  • "Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack" (UK): Gordon Ramsay liked the food so much he cleaned his plate. The owner even said she was going to photograph the plate, since she knew that this was a rare occasion.
    Momma Cherri: I fed Gordon Ramsay...and he cleaned his plate!!!
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  • In the US episode at Blackberry's, Gordon has had two plates of bland food, and one plate that sent him retching to the bathroom. When he receives his dessert, he takes one bite, declares it delicious, and gives the chef (an 82-year-old woman) a kiss on the cheek.
  • In the episode "The Runaway Girl", the self-taught head chef has had to deal with the arrogance of the restaurant owner, who happens to also be his school-boy friend, and was forced to cook sub-par dishes as a misguided cost-saving measure. It's clear he's depressed and ashamed about it. A bit later into the episode, after proving just what a good cook he is, Gordon takes him aside and begins doling out the compliments. He has to stop when the big guy, who just minutes ago (to the viewers) was screaming even louder than Gordon at the owner, begins to cry. Gordon even gives him a hug!
  • A small one in the now infamous "Amy's Baking Company" episode: Ramsay finds out during the dinner service that employees aren't allowed to keep their tips, hands a nice fat tip to his much-abused server, telling her to keep it for herself.
    • And even though we last see Katy getting fired by Amy and leaving the restaurant in tears, if her Reddit is anything to go by, she is doing fine now, and even finds her experience working at that place to be relatively humorous in retrospect.
    • For as hellish as the rest of the episode is, his first meeting with Amy and her husband is rather sweet. He praises the cake she serves him and tells her that her kitchen is very neat and clean, while she tells him how it was her dream to own a restaurant, a dream which her husband worked hard to make happen.
      • The cake part was mitigated by people discovering that all the desserts had been store bought and the pictures used on their website advertising them had been stolen.
    • In contrast to how terrible they seem to treat everyone else around them, Amy and her husband jump to each others' defense several times throughout the episode. Even though their food was awful and their management was a joke, they had each others' backs.
  • Despite being a jerk who butts heads with Gordon, Peter from Peter's Pasta Specialties responds to a bill collector insulting Ramsay by chasing him with a meat tenderizer and nearly crying in rage that anyone would be so mean to the guy helping them.
  • Trobiano's: After a successful relaunch, Gordon urges the owner to finally propose to his girlfriend, something they'd been putting off because of the stress at the restaurant. Not only does she say yes, but they get married that night — all arranged by Gordon.
  • Chiarello's: While Gordon works his usual magic in terms of saving the restaurant, the effect he has on owner Tommy - suffering from massive depression and prone to hiding away in his office (actually a secret gym with holes in the wall) - is incredible, as he brings back his confidence to the point he is happily bantering with his customers. Normally it'd be a pointless boast, but Tommy's boast of "I'm the boss!" at the end of the episode is incredibly heartwarming.
  • Hannah and Mason's: Gordon happens to arrive on Valentine's Day and sets out a picture of his wife while sampling the menu.
    • Also happens in the UK's D-Place, with him wishing her a Happy Valentine's.
  • "La Galleria 33": Gordon criticizes the terrible food in the restaurant and the owners even have to send for their mom, who has a restaurant nearby, to bring him some tiramisu because they'd run out of dessert. When he tries it, he asks to speak to the mom again. Everyone is scared and keeps telling her it's her turn to be yelled at. She braces herself and approaches Gordon, who promptly stands up and says: "I have to do something." He proceeds to kiss her on the cheek and exclaim: "Bellissimo!"
  • Giuseppi's: After spending the entire episode butting heads, Joe and Sam finally start working together near the end of the relaunch, and Sam finally receives the praise he'd been seeking for over 13 years. The kicker came at the very end of the episode, where all three family members read heartfelt letters that they had written to each other, and, as a result, become closer than they had been in years.
  • "Capri": The whole episode features Ramsay alternating between Tough Love reaming out the twins who own the place for how their laziness has let it go downhill, to patiently comforting and encouraging them, such as taking Jeff aside to help him calm down during the first dinner serving after the man has a minor breakdown upon realizing what a disaster it is. He's hard on them in the beginning, but is quick to tell them they're not failures whenever they say it in a bout of frustration or insecurity. Ultimately his main point in the episode is teaching the two of them to be proud of their work and not be afraid to put their hearts into it, even getting them into a boxing ring to duke it out with him and each other to deal with their issues. Perhaps more heartwarming is that the change stuck, and the two are still in business having fun with the customers while making good food.
  • "Yanni's": Treya, who is very upset and suffering emotionally from the turmoil amongst the family, is treated like a hazard. Everyone tells her to stop it or shouts at her. Ramsay however is visibly upset she's treated as such. He talks to her for a short while only for him to admit he is sorry that he only came to help the restaurant. It's clear he understands her feelings and wants to help her.
    • The ending counts as well. The family that owns Yanni's is incredibly combative with each other and none more so than Peter, the owner, head chef, and overall patriarch of the restaurant. After Gordon delivers them an ultimatum, he finally admits he needs to change and move forward with the times and adapts to it surprisingly well. After revising the menu and allowing Gordon's team to renovate the restaurant, he is so moved by the change that he starts crying tears of joy and once they start dinner service, he is clearly excited to be turning over a new leaf. The return to the restaurant also shows he hasn't wavered and everyone else is in much higher spirits as a result.
  • "Pantaleone": The restaurant's food was terrible and the owner/chef was too arrogant to even admit there was a problem, still riding high on praise he'd received in 1985. After both seeing the results of a public taste test (his pizza fared worse than frozen store pizza) and realizing that his attitude and the failing restaurant was tearing his own family apart, he finally agreed to some massive changes. They are still in business and still family-owned and operated.
  • "The Old Neighborhood": When Gordon arrived, the entire building was in poor condition, littered with junk, and the food was terrible. The owners were in severe debt as a result. After Gordon shut the kitchen down due to the unsanitary conditions, the husband & wife owners break down into tears and finally agree to allow some massive changes. The end result was a new menu, a renovated interior and all of the hoarded junk being thrown out. Unfortunately, they decided to close on May 1, 2016.
  • You can feel the collective sigh of relief when Gordon tells the Mama Maria's staff that the customer that had been hospitalized the previous day from a rotten lobster made a full recovery and was released.
    • The reveal on how Gordon revised the restaurant: He made it a full fledged tribute to John's parents, showing that even though the restaurant has to change in order to fit in with the times, it still will be in their honor. John's reaction is just as beautiful and sweet as well.
  • In the Oceana restaurant, after numerous, almost violent, confrontations with the co-owners Moe and Rami, Moe becoming so upset over the stress of allowing Gordon to have full control of the restaurant that he actually throws up, Gordon brings the staff in the next morning, blindfolded. When they remove the blindfolds, everyone loves the changes, but Moe remains silent for a moment seeming like he might be angry, before gushing that he loves what Gordon has done, and in particular, the new duck recipe, which he had butted heads with Gordon about before, fully embraces it, saying it's some of the best food he's ever had, and cheerfully hugging his brother as they prepare to open. They get off to a rocky start on opening night, but it was still nice to see Moe, Rami, and Gordon getting along for a change.
  • "Hot Potato Cafe": Gordon taking Danielle under his wing throughout the show, culminating in him bringing in a chef specifically to mentor the previously un-trained Danielle.
  • "Fleming": The initial food criticizing is interrupted when Gordon spies a couple a few tables over with a foil swan wrapped around a to-go box. This little bit of flair by one of the servers delights Chef Ramsay so much he asks her to show him how to do it. The childlike glee on his face is amazing.
  • "Kingston Cafe": The former Olympic sprinter owner referring to Gordon as 'Coach Ramsay' during the coda.
  • "Olde Hitching Post": After Ramsay finally gets through to the hard-headed owner, and his daughter Andrea, who proves she is capable of running the restaurant on her own, the owner realizes he can pass the restaurant (which he bought for Andrea in the first place) to his daughter. Unlike Daniel from Burger Kitchen, who never wanted to be a restaurateur, it was Andrea's lifelong dream to own her own restaurant. The best part is that as of December 2017, the restaurant is alive and well.
  • "Mangia Mangia": After the episode's airing, the FB page for Kitchen Nightmares included comments voicing sympathy for Trevor and his issues of depression and addiction. According to updates posted by his dad on the page, Trevor's clean and doing okay.
  • During the tasting scene in the "Zeke's" episode, the meals are terrible and Gordon has scathing things to say about everything. Everything, that is, except the bread pudding dessert, which he absolutely loves. This is the episode's first real demonstration that there's nothing wrong with the kitchen staff and that the real problem is the terrible, frozen, cheap ingredients the owners insist on using to save money, and the owner's insistence on putting his own terrible recipes on the menu. The bread pudding was the only thing Gordon ordered that the chef had full control over, and the joy on the chef's face at getting Gordon's approval for his cooking shows how much it means to him to get that kind of validation from a man like Gordon Ramsay.
  • Lisa from "Lido's" promising Gordon Ramsay that she's going to be his honor student and make him proud after everything that he's done to help her... and she ends up becoming one of the most, if not the most, successful restaurants in the entire series.


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