Follow TV Tropes


Heartwarming / Les Misérables

Go To

The novel

  • When Valjean does a Heel–Face Turn and is seen praying in front of the bishop's house.
    • The Bishop is a walking CMOH in general.
    • Everything the bishop does to Valjean should count, considering how much crap Valjean gets from the rest of society.
  • Valjean giving Cosette a doll. When Cosette innocently asks if the doll really is for her, it moves Valjean to tears. Also counts as a Tear Jerker.
    • The first thing Cosette does with the doll is to place it down a chair, then sit in front of the chair and just look at the doll. Valjean asks if she wants to play with it. She says this is playing.
  • Valjean taking Cosette from the Thenardiers. Cosette's situation was so terrible, there wasn't a person reading who didn't want someone to rescue her, and he did it. A refreshing example of an inverted Break the Cutie...Heal The Cutie? Rescue The Cutie? Whatever you call it.
  • Advertisement:
  • When Fantine drops off a sleeping Cosette with the Thenardiers, the text notes that Fantine not wearing fancy clothes but she saved all the finery for Cosette to wear.
  • When Javert apologizes for suspecting the mayor, and asks to be dismissed, explaining that he has to be as hard on himself as anyone else. Valjean tells him that he's an honorable man, and persuades him that he may keep his post. That whole exchange is both heartwarming and slightly sad because, out of context, you almost feel like they could be friends, and you know it's not going to last.
  • Gavroche after having seen how the old fellow lives in which garden he intends to spend the night overhears said old fellow - Mabeauf - berating Montparnasse for not getting up and a job instead of idling the days away. Minutes later he steals the big purse Montparnasse earlier stole - and leaves it on Mabeauf's night desk.
  • Advertisement:
  • When Cosette reads Marius' letter and then meets him for the first time.
  • Gavroche taking care of two little boys left alone on the street. All of this is made of Fuzzy Feel but it gets even more fuzzy when you remember those boys are his little brothers. And he doesn't know.
  • When Enjolras finally accepts Grantaire and allows him to die with him.
    • Particularly in the 2012 movie version: you can see his defiant mask giving way to fear until he sees Grantaire coming towards him, and there's a brief moment when his face softens before his defiance returns when Grantaire is at his side, as if Grantaire gave him courage and comfort.
    • From earlier, there is a scene where one of the Amis has to go to a group to convince them to join, and everyone else is busy, so Grantaire volunteers. When Enjolras asks why he, who doesn't believe in anything, would go, Grantaire says he does believe in one thing: Enjolras. So Enjolras lets him. Hours later, no news of Grantaire, so Enjolras goes to get him himself, and finds him piss-drunk with the group he was supposed to convince, but instead of berating him for not doing anything, he just takes him home.
  • Advertisement:
  • Gillenormand reconciling with Marius after the barricades fall.
  • When Marius realises Jean Valjean is a good man and rushes straight to see him, allowing him to see Cosette one last time before he dies.
  • Valjean watching little Cosette sleep and realizing he feels love for another person for the first time in his life: "All the passion and affection within him awoke, and rushed towards that child. He approached the bed, where she lay sleeping, and trembled with joy. He suffered all the pangs of a mother, and he knew not what it meant; for that great and singular movement of a heart which begins to love is a very obscure and a very sweet thing."
  • When Valjean and Cosette are living on Rue Plumet, Cosette is concerned about Valjean being cold and uncomfortable in his rooms and eating black bread. She says she'll come see him so often he'll have to have a fire, and she'll start eating black bread, too. Valjean then starts eating white bread so Cosette won't eat black bread.
  • When the dying Valjean is overcome with joy that Cosette has come to see him. He's been distancing himself from her since her wedding, but now he finally allows himself to express all the love he feels for her, calling her his "little Cosette" and his "sweet angel" and letting her call him "Father" again. Hell, I'd say the whole relationship between Valjean and Cosette qualifies as one big heartwarming moment.
  • Something often forgotten, Valjean spent 19 years in prison and became a hardened, bitter man. What was his crime? Stealing bread for his sister's child, something he knew could get him into major trouble, especially considering his past as a poacher.
    • In the book, it's even more desperate; his sister had seven children and her husband had died. Two of Jean's nieces stole milk from a neighbor and drank it in secret because they were so hungry. When Jean finds out, he pays for the milk instead of telling the neighbor or his sister.
  • The last thing Javert does before throwing himself off the bridge is go to the police office and write a list of ways to improve life for not just members of the justice system, but for prisoners as well.

The musical

  • The entirety of the Bishop of Digne. Just his first lines -
    Come in sir, for you are weary, and the night is cold out there,
    Though our lives are very humble, what we have, we have to share...
    ... Here's a bed to rest 'til morning, rest from pain, and rest from wrong.
  • Fantine's death scene, where Valjean assures her that "your child will want for nothing."
  • Even the Thénardiers toadying up to the rich Valjean can't change the heartwarming power of his claiming Cosette. "I shall not forsake my vow — Cosette shall have a father now."
  • "Do You Hear The People Sing" is a rousing anthem of raging for decency, hope and a making the world a kinder and gentler place.
    • It is so heart stirring and inspiring that its Mandarin version has become the official battle cry of Taiwanese Student protesting the corrupt Koumintang Government in 2014.
  • "A Little Fall of Rain" is probably the most heartbreaking duet in musical theatre history.
    Éponine: Don't you fret, Monsieur Marius, I don't feel any pain, a little fall of rain, can hardly hurt me now, you're here, that's all I need to know.
  • "Bring Him Home". The whole thing.
  • Valjean sparing Javert's life at the barricade.
    Valjean: There is nothing that I blame you for. You've done your duty, and nothing more.
  • In certain productions, Javert is shown to be visibly saddened for the students who died for Freedom at The Barricades, crossing himself and shedding Manly Tears out of respect for their bravery.
  • Valjean's death, which leads to a reprise of "Do You Hear the People Sing."
    Fantine: Come with me, Where chains will never bind you, All your grief, at last, at last behind you. Lord in heaven, Look down on him in mercy.
    Valjean: Forgive me all my trespasses and take me to your glory.
    Fantine, Valjean, Éponine: Take my hand, and lead me to salvation, Take my love, For love is everlasting, And remember, The truth that once was spoken: To love another person is to see the face of God.
    • The film version goes the extra mile by having the Bishop reappear during this scene as well.
      • And as an added moment, Colm Wilkinson who is pretty much THE Valjean and played him during the show's original run plays the bishop. Seeing Hugh Jackman as Valjean walking towards him was incredibly symbolic.
    • Special emphasis should be put on that reprise of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" What was formerly a rallying cry to revolution is turned into a hopeful appeal for peace on earth, beautifully ending the show.
      Do you hear the people sing, lost in the valley of the night?
      It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light.
      For the wretched of the earth, there is a flame that never dies.
      Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!
      We will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord;
      We will walk behind the plowshare, we will put away the sword.
      Our chains will be broken, and all men will have their reward!
      Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
      Somewhere beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see?
      Do you hear the people sing? Say, do you hear the distant drums?
      It is the future that we bring when tomorrow comes!
      • Something really cool about the line "We will walk behind the plowshare, we will put away the sword" is that it comes from a verse in the Bible (Isaiah 2:4), which includes: "And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war." It really symbolizes how "Do You Hear the People Sing?" went from a rallying song for freedom from oppression to a song about freedom in God.
    • Fantine thanking Valjean for taking care of Cosette. Valjean responds that she was the best thing in his life.
    • While escorting Valjean to the afterlife, Fantine briefly pauses to comfort her grieving daughter.
  • In the 25th anniversary concert, you can see Javert singing in the final "Do you hear the people sing?"
    • Javert is also present during the finale in the Finnish production.
  • At the very end of the show, after the stage lights have gone out, and the curtain falls note , the candlesticks that the Bishop of Digne gave to Valjean are all the lights that are left, burning in the darkness, as though forever - just a reminder of what power one man's kindness can have. *snif*
    • The excellent 1934 French epic film ends like that as well, and it is very effective.
  • When done well,all of Marius and Cosette's interactions bring much needed light and sweetness to the story.
  • In some productions, likely for Eponine's spirit to attend Valjean's death scene to make sense, when Valjean receives Marius's letter from Eponine's hand, he takes Eponine aside tells her to be very cautious of her surroundings in a very concerned fatherly way.
  • Every instance where Cosette calls Valjean "papa".
  • The couple of lines Marius has during the Wedding Chorale that show he did in fact care for Éponine.
    When I look at you, I remember Éponine
    She was more than you deserved, who gave her birth
    But now she is with God and happier, I hope
    Than here on earth!
  • A very subjective heartwarming, but the fact remains that, despite what Madame may say about the matter, Thenardier and his wife do seem to be genuinely in love in this adaptation (as opposed to how their relationship is portrayed in the book), which is quite possibly their only real redeeming quality in the show.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: