- The first episode, for starters. After having spent the entire episode mocking and shocking Ash, Pikachu saves him from a flock of Spearow in the middle of a thunderstorm. In the morning after, an exhausted Pikachu gives Ash an affectionate lick on the cheek before falling asleep in his arms, cementing the start of an everlasting friendship.
- Pikachu and Caterpie's conversation in "Ash Catches a Pokémon". You don't even need to understand what they're saying.
- The music that plays in the original Japanese version really sets the mood.
- Both Caterpie and Pidgeotto are unusual in that, unlike the games, trainers in the anime usually need to earn the trust of a Pokémon willingly, captured or not. As soon as Ash caught the two, however, they instantly accepted him as their master and friend.
- In "Electric Shock Showdown", during Ash's first battle against Lt. Surge and his Raichu, Team Rocket watches in shock as Pikachu gets badly beaten, making Jessie ask "Come on, Pikachu. Can't you just zap him like you always do?" They later decide to cheer on Pikachu before his rematch.
- "Pokémon Shipwreck": After escaping from the sinking St. Anne, the heroes find Team Rocket, having presumably drowned when trying to escape, themselves. Even though they were bitter enemies, Ash and company decide the least they can do is offer them a burial at sea, out of respect. Thankfully for Team Rocket, they were Not Quite Dead and recover just before being pushed into the sea.
- Island of the Giant Pokémon has a couple of moments between the Pokémon themselves:
- First off we have Ekans and Koffing refusing to attack Ash's Pokémon because they're not actually bad Pokémon, just obedient to their trainers. In return, Pikachu lets the two of them eat with the group instead of tying them up.
- Despite Meowth not getting the same treatment, when a Giant Pokémon gives chase, it is Pikachu that bothers to go back and free him. He gets little thanks, but still, he doesn't hate even Meowth that much.
- We then have a second heartwarming moment later on at the "Oden" stand, where Ekans and Koffing are crying. What's Pikachu doing? Comforting Ekans by patting it on the shoulder and giving it a look that says "Cheer up, it's OK."
- When all the Pokémon are reunited with their owners, the highlight is the sheer joy on Pikachu's face as he flies through the air to Ash, burying his face in Ash's chest like he never wants to leave.
- Really, any time that Ash and Team Rocket team up, it's kind of heartwarming, especially when you realize that they are so dedicated to saving their Pokèmon that they would work with their worst enemies!
- In "The Tower of Terror", after Ash and Pikachu had been knocked out by a chandelier, separated from their bodies by Haunter and spent a little time getting to know the three Ghost Pokémon a little better, Ash tells the Ghost Pokémon that he can't stay with them because he needs to continue his journey. Ash, Pikachu and the three Ghost Pokémon return to where Ash and Pikachu's bodies are, and discover that Misty and Brock have pulled them out from underneath the chandelier and are trying to wake them up. Seeing how worried they are, Ash and Pikachu quickly return to their bodies and wake up. Brock and (especially) Misty are relieved to see that Ash and Pikachu are alive. It's a pretty sweet moment.
- Seeing Sabrina going through the Defrosting the Ice Queen process in the episode immediately after that, and being reunited with her family thanks to Haunter making her smile for the very first time in her life.
- "Pikachu's Goodbye": Upon discovering a Pikachu colony in the woods, Ash tried to abandon Pikachu, thinking it'd be happier living among its own species. Plus, he'll be safe from Team Rocket. But Pikachu decided to stay with Ash in the end.Ash: Pikachu was my very first Pokémon...
- The Pikachu colony cheers for them both.
- "The Problem With Paras", especially when Paras evolves into Parasect. This is quite possibly one of Meowth's sweetest episodes.
- In "Dig Those Diglett," the dialogue between Diglett and Pikachu can count. The Digletts in general are cute and heartwarming as well.
- When Ash feels bad about himself due to Gary being a jerk to him, Brock cheers Ash up.
- Although the above episode establishes that Ekans/Arbok and Koffing/Weezing are Punch Clock Villains who are Just Following Orders to attack Team Ash, "A Chansey Operation" shows that even their obedience to their trainers has limits. The episode itself is essentially an Enemy Mine situation, with Team Rocket and Team Ash helping a doctor and his Chansey care for several injured Pokémon, including Arbok and Weezing. Once things quiet down, TR once again show that they're Ungrateful Bastards by attacking Team Ash. When Chansey steps up to defend our heroes, Jessie and James order Arbok and Weezing to attack her—but they don't, as Chansey had helped to heal them.
- The end of "Holy Matrimony" is also a sweet moment for Jessie and James, as well as one of the first major Rocketshipping hints fans discovered. The fact that they accidentally leave poor Meowth behind isn't as heartwarming, although his reaction is cute.James: "Double trouble time, right?"Jessie: "Sounds great to me, James."
- It's heartwarming if you're a Rocketshipper. They were so busy staring into each other's eyes that they completely lost focus on what they were doing...and then Meowth yells, "You forgot Meowth again!", implying that this has happened before. (For the record: non-shippy hearts are also nicely heated by this. Friends or lovers, those two are closer than anyone.)
- In "Snow Way Out", Ash gets trapped in a cave during the blizzard and tries to convince his Pokémon to stay warm in their Poké Balls. But they refuse, instead snuggling up to him to keep him warm.Ash: (getting all teary-eyed) "You win. I guess we'll all be cold together. That's right...we'll be cold, all together."
- Think about this for a second. Ash Ketchum is wearing nothing but a T-shirt and jeans (he took off his jacket to keep his Pokémon warm in their Poké Balls), blocks an opening in the snow wall they made with his body, and still tells Pikachu to go into his Poké Ball, knowing that Pikachu would be warmer in there then out in the cold with him?
- From the first season, "Princess vs Princess". Jessie loses the contest and thus, the only chance to finally win a Princess Pokémon Doll Set (it was the first year she would be able to actually enjoy the Princess Festival). To make up for it, James, Meowth and the other Pokémon dress up as the dolls and make their own doll set to cheer her up. Not to mention how the episode is one of the few where Team Rocket doesn't try to steal Pikachu or any Pokémon, showing that they're more than just criminals.
- The never-aired-in-the-US episode "The Legend of Dratini" from Season 1 has one, when the cold, bitter, trigger-happy Warden reunites with the Dratini he left hidden in the Safari Zone 30 years ago. Seeing that it's evolved and has a child of its own invokes the feeling of reuniting with a friend (or perhaps even your own child) who you haven't seen in so many years and knowing that they've lived a content and happy life; it's enough to bring the tears running, as both Kaiser (the Warden) and the (now-)Dragonair cry as they embrace for the first time in decades.
- Though the episode Beauty and the Beach isn't known for heartwarming moments, there's a small but sweet one between Ash and his mother:Professor Oak: "Your mother's been worried about you, Ash. She says she still thinks of you as her little pumpkin."Ash: "That makes me sound like a baby."Delia Ketchum: "You'll always be my baby, won't you?"Ash: "Yeah."
- At the end of "Make Room For Gloom" is a rare instance of a heartwarming moment between two characters who only appeared in one episode (and an issue of the Electric Tale Of Pikachu) . Florinda Showers, who now feels confident enough to run her family's nursery because of how well she learned to train her Gloom, proposes to fellow employee Potter to help her run the nursery. The way she tells him "I love you!" is sure to get you every time, followed by him openly admitting his feelings back.Potter: "I've loved you since the day I saw you, but I was too afraid to tell you!"
- What makes this even more heartwarming is that it's also one of those rare instances where some true romantic relationships are involved, even between two one-time characters.
- Anytime Misty interacts with the youngest sibling in a family, like Mikey, Sakura, and Max and even acting like as an big sister mentor to them. It helps that Misty herself is the youngest of her own sisters, being able to sympathize with them.
- Likewise, any interaction she has with Pikachu is just as sweet, such as when Misty asks to borrow the boys' Pokémon for the Princess Festival tournament battle. Pikachu immediately jumps out of Ash's arms and agrees to battle for Misty.
- Considering how often Misty and/or Brock snark about Ash - be it his attitude, progress, or (lack of) skill - it's heartwarming whenever they step up and clearly support and compliment him. For example, when Ash is considering dropping out of the Indigo League when he sees how tough the competition is, Brock steps up.
- "Pallet Party Panic": While Ash's Pidgeotto got the scraps of limelight, it's final appearance makes sure to establish it's Undying Loyalty to Ash. After Ash shows remorse over it's injuries from trying to save Pikachu from Team Rocket, it nuzzles him to make it clear it thinks nothing of it. It is also heavily implied Pidgeotto evolved into Pidgeot just from it's willpower to help Ash fight off a vicious Fearow.
- "Pikachu Re-Volts": After Jessie and James have their Pokémon (Meowth included) taken by Cassidy and Butch, they end up meeting with the twerps and Officer Jenny, who are trying to figure out the cause of the disappearing Pokémon, not knowing Cassidy and Butch are behind it. Jessie and James at first refuse to help, until Ash stands in their way, nearly in tears as he recounts Pikachu being taken.Jessie: (quietly, to James) ...what do you think?James: (smiles) I think it couldn't hurt to help them this once.
- Later on, when Jessie and James prepare to battle Cassidy and Butch, Ash steps up beside them and declares his intent to help them fight. And a moment later, Jessie puts a comforting hand on his shoulder and promises that they'll win. Jessie and James may be thieves, but they've still got hearts - as many other episodes following this one show.
- "Bound for Trouble": Pikachu and Meowth spent a good chunk arguing (the former usually winning via Thundershock), but then they come upon an apple tree. Pikachu gets there first and takes the fruit, once again smacking Meowth around to get it...and then shares it. That, coupled with Pikachu falling asleep in Meowth's lap, is without a doubt the most "awwww"-inducing scene of the entire Orange Islands arc.
- More Team Rocket Heartwarming: in one episode, Meowth runs into a Cargo Cult who begin worshiping him because they mistake him for the "Great Meowth of Bounty", who can use Pay Day. However, those who remember the Scratch Cat's backstory know that Meowth hasn't learned Pay Day yet, nor will he ever (he utilized his intelligence to learn human speech, so he's unable to learn Pay Day). When Meowth is led into an arena, he tries to use Pay Day, but fails. Then, a few seconds later, money starts flying into the arena. It turns out that Jessie and James were throwing the money.
- The previous instance gets even more heartwarming when James, having run out of money, throws his favorite bottle caps instead.
- It's one of the few instances of the "friendship is more important than money" Aesop that actually works.
- Meowth also gives a wonderful little speech at the end of the episode:Meowth: "You think I'm supposed to be this great cat...but I'm just a big rat. There's only two people in the whole world who ever really cared about me. We messed up a lot, and we used to fight with each other a lot too, but...no matter how bad things got, we always had each other. I thought I was happy here without 'em, but now I know that having them was my real happiness!"
- Upon hearing this, Jessie and James show up and recite a version of the motto just for him.Jessie: I'm a friend who needs you too.Jessie: You protect us both from desperation.James: You unite us both in jubilation.Jessie: You help chase away our loneliness.James: You're a mess, but we love you never the less.Jessie: Jessie!James: James!Jessie: Team Rocket's friendship never ends!James: So lets set sail on our ship of friends!
- Meowth is so shocked that they were willing to forgive him and welcome him back so easily that he starts crying. This is a Pokémon who has been rejected his entire life, so to learn that there are people who actually care about him moved him to tears.
- And the last scene is of Jessie and James teasing Meowth by summoning their Pokémon to battle him for experience. At the start of the episode they'd have meant it, too.
- The previous instance gets even more heartwarming when James, having run out of money, throws his favorite bottle caps instead.
- In "The Stun Spore Detour", Ash, Tracey and Jessie all get sprayed with a Vileplume's Stun Spore, forcing Misty, James and Meowth to search for some Salveyo weeds to cure them. Misty finds them first, and foils multiple attempts by James and Meowth to trap her and take it for themselves. But when she finds out that Jessie is sick as well, Misty leaves some for them. James and Meowth repay the favour by keeping Jessie from attacking Ash in his weakened state.
- Expanding on this, when Jessie finally recovers and discovers that Ash has ALSO recovered, she proceeds to launch a one-woman attack on them. What are James and Meowth doing? Hiding behind a rock and outright refusing to help her because doing so would mean attacking the girl they helped!
- "Charizard Chills": Charizard ends up getting humiliated and frozen by a Poliwrath and is hit with a case of Break the Haughty, Ash spends the whole night trying to warm up Charizard to defrost him and tells Charizard that whilst he knows that he makes a lot of mistakes and isn't the best trainer, he hopes that someday he and Charizard can battle as a team. Charizard remembers that Ash saved him as a Charmander and despite how disobedient he's been since he evolved to Charmeleon and then Charizard, Ash still hasn't given up on him and never will. Ash finally earns Charizard's Undying Loyalty for the rest of the show.
- In a similar vein to "Snow Way Out," in the episode "Navel Maneuvers," while rock climbing, Pikachu collapses from exhaustion and cold, right as they're on a frosty peak. With no hesitation, Ash, who had been freezing as it was, picks up Pikachu and wraps him in his jacket. Pikachu's reaction afterwards also helps.Ash: Don't worry Pikachu, I'll hold you real close. And that way we'll both be warm.Pikachu (clearly grateful) Pikachu.
- "Ignorance Is Blissey". Seeing Jessie trying to do so much for her friend from Pokémon nurse school. The flashback crosses over into Tear Jerker territory, too.
- And James and Meowth instantly stand by her to help protect Blissey. Team Rocket set themselves up as the villains and put on an even hammier performance than usual while not putting up a fight at all.James: (through a megaphone) "Oh look, Jessie, we dropped all the food we stole from the Pokémon Center."
- Note this was after Blissey had took the fall for the berries it gave the three and refused to expose their location and get them in trouble, even when it risked ruining its future as a nurse. The fact someone was willing to cover for Team Rocket was more than enough for all three to succinctly agree on this bail out plan.
- And James and Meowth instantly stand by her to help protect Blissey. Team Rocket set themselves up as the villains and put on an even hammier performance than usual while not putting up a fight at all.
- As sad as it was, the end of "Charizard's Burning Ambition" has Charizard roaring "goodbye and thank you" to Ash. Charizard and Pikachu also share a nice goodbye. It seems like Charizard promises to raise the bar for his species.
- In "Just Add Water," Misty is captured when she pushes Psyduck out of the way of Team Rocket's machine. This infuriates Psyduck so much that he battles Team Rocket by himself to free her, and sends them blasting off with Psychic.
- All of "Lapras of Luxury". Just imagine if Ash's other released Pokémon returned to him like that.
- From the Johto episode Hour of the Houndour. After Ash rescues a pack of wild Houndour from Team Rocket, he cheers "We did it!" happily. The four Houndour that were caught then run over, tackle Ash to the ground, and start to lick his face happily. Ash giggles, yelling "Cut it out! That tickles!" It's a little thing, but it shows how wild Pokémon aren't really wild, and will show gratitude to anyone that's willing to help them no matter what.
- Another Johto episode, "Great Bowls of Fire". The scene before the theme song showed that Ash's Charizard had come along with Liza to Blackthorn City. After Charizard greets its trainer with a Flamethrower to the face, it flies into him, knocking him over. The next shot is of Charizard licking Ash's face while Ash laughs and says "It's good to see you too, Charizard! You haven't changed a bit!" showing that despite all the ignoring, all the disrespect, that Charizard is now appreciative of and extremely happy to see Ash, in a way almost identical to its attitude while it was still a Charmander.
- The ending of "Great Bowls Of Fire". After the Dragonite in the episode calms down, it sees all the destruction it's caused and starts crying. A short time later, all the forest's Pokémon come out to cheer it up.
- The ending of "Turning Over a New Bayleef." After Ash's Minor Insult Meltdown towards Bayleef and going through a near-death experience to save it and the other Pokemon, Bayleef finally accepts Ash's apology. She also realizes that she shouldn't tackle Ash so hard and instead she body slams Ash as another way of affection.
- In the episode "Gotta Catch You Later", when Ash and Brock and Misty split up. They declare each other best friends before parting ways.
- When it shows their thoughts afterward:Misty: "Well, Ash Ketchum, finally, I know how you feel about me."
- When it shows their thoughts afterward:
- In "Why, Wynaut!", Bayleef and Noctowl find a Wynaut trying to open a box. Bayleef opens it for the Wynaut revealing some cherries and the badges Team Rocket stole from Ash. Meanwhile Team Rocket is chasing a Wooper thinking it stole the badges they stole from Ash and come face to face with Bayleef. Jessie and James send out their Pokémon to attack, but Bayleef grabs the Wooper and Ash's badges and tries to fight back. Arbok uses Poison Sting, but Wynaut jump and uses Counter (or Mirror Coat) to send the Poison Stings back at Team Rocket. At the end, Ash reclaims all of his badges except for the Rising Badge. Wynaut finds it and gives it to Bayleef and Noctowl. They try to tell Ash that Wynaut is to thank for returning his last badge but unbeknowest to Ash, Wynaut hitches a ride on a boat and waves goodbye to Bayleef and Noctowl.
- In "Good Quil Hunting", Ash wants to catch a Cyndaquil, but when Team Rocket shows up and starts causing trouble, Ash forgets about catching the Cyndaquil and just wants to keep it safe. Team Rocket shoots giant wads of gum, sticking Ash and Pikachu to a wall. Ash's right hand is free and decides to let go of Cyndaquil and tells it to run. Cyndaquil is reluctant to leave, Ash and Pikachu assure it that they'll be okay. Then when Team Rocket's robot is about to blow up, Ash throws a Pokeball at Cyndaquil not to capture it but to protect it from the explosion.
- Team Rocket, despite being beaten down and miserable from a defeat, induct Jessie's new Wobbuffet to the team in "Tricks Of The Trade". As bitterly done as it was, with Wobbuffet still around, it's hard not to find it Heartwarming in Hindsight.Jessie: Well Wobbuffet, you're one of us now.James: A proud member of Team Rocket.Meowth: We'll beat them kids some day, but until then you've gotta be patient.Wobbuffet: Woooooob...
- Despite the unceremonious leave from Team Rocket through it's trade, Likitung comes off as rather happy with it's new owner, Benny.
- In "Cold as Pryce", Ash and Pryce are knocked off of a cliff because of Team Rocket and due to some quick thinking, Ash uses Noctowl and Totodile to save them from the impact. Due to this, Pryce explains his Ice King tendencies, when he was younger, he had a Piloswine who was badly hurt by a Magmar in a battle and Pryce tried to protect it from a fire attack and got burnt badly and his Piloswine left in the middle of the night and Pryce thought it abandoned him. It turned out that his Piloswine left to find some herbs to help Pryce's burns and was frozen in the snowstorm outside and Ash was able to get Cyndaquil and Pikachu to unfreeze and restart his heart. Thanks to Ash, Pryce got to reunite with his Piloswine and is incredibly happy because of it, rekindling his passion for being the Mahogany Gym Leader.
- In "Got Miltank", Cyndaquil is sent blasting off with Team Rocket. Cyndaquil and Meowth land in a secret Pokémon oasis, where a Miltank heals Pokémon injuries. When Ash and his friends show up, the Pokémon despise them for being humans, but Cyndaquil tries to vouch for them and when Team Rocket shows up and tries to capture Miltank, Meowth refuses to help them since Miltank also treated his injuries and convinces the other Rocket Pokémon not to attack. When Team Rocket is defeated and Cyndaquil reunited with Ash, they promise not to tell anyone about the oasis.
- Keep in mind, in their Ekans and Koffing form, Arbok and Weezing made clear Meowth's word meant nothing to them without Jessie and James around. Here however, Meowth's concern for the other Pokémon's safety actually moves them enough to disobey their masters. Victreebelnote and Wobbuffetnote even follow suit. Even Ash is impressed by this.
- "The Poke Spokesman" features a guy named Simon who claims he can talk to pokemon. At the end of the episode, he realizes he isn't as good as he thought he was. Meowth cheers him up by impersonating a normal Meowth to convince Simon he can still communicate with them. Jessie and James even remark how it's nice to be the good guys once in awhile.
- After so many episodes of Gary being a jerkass to Ash, Gary finally gains respect for Ash after losing to him at the Silver Conference. It goes to sure that despite being such a jerk, Gary isn't as bad as he seems.
- Within two episodes, Pikachu and Ash are doing what they usually do - they've having a lark and Ash is challenging his best friend to a race again.
- A recurring one: Max may drive both May and Ash bananas a lot of the time but you do not threaten that kid because they will make you regret it.
- Misty saying goodbye to Togepi after it evolved into Togetic and chose to stay with the rest of its kind. It's one of the show's most emotional scenes ever. Especially the hug.Misty: Togetic, I love you.
- Also counts as one of the series biggest tearjerkers.
- A Poached Ego! is a mix of this, Tearjerker and Moment of Awesome for Team Rocket. They save a bunch of poached Ekans and Koffing and perform a non lethal Heroic Sacrifice so they can escape and release Arbok and Weezing to make sure the Koffing and Ekans stay safe. Arbok and Weezing reluctantly leave, crying the whole time over saying goodbye to their masters. Team Rocket even took Tyranitar's crushing blows to give the pokemon a chance to flee.
- Partway through the episode, just after the poacher's defeated them and sent them blasting off, Team Rocket encounter a swarm of Beedrill and are forced to run, only for a passing Cacnea to drive the Beedrill off. Team Rocket sincerely thanks Cacnea and James gives it a bag of Pokémon food. At the end of the episode, Team Rocket are trudging through the forest, worrying about whether or not their recently-released Pokémon are going to be alright, when the Cacnea turns up again and offers them the food back since it couldn't open the bag. James helps it, gives it some food and then offers to let it come along with them. Cacnea, overjoyed, agrees.
- "A Scare to Remember", when Ash manages to revive Pikachu's memory by reminding it of their friendship. Especially when they get out of the water and Ash asks Pikachu, "Do you remember me?" and then they hug each other tightly.Ash: Pikachu, I thought I'd lost you.
- Despite being a Manipulative Bastard throughout the episode, Meowth comes to like the idea of having Pikachu as his actual friend instead of an unwilling captive, especially since, despite his amnesia, Pikachu's kind streak was still ever present. After Pikachu finds Meowth a lone apple, Meowth, in something of a Call-Back to "Bound For Trouble", cuts in it half so they can both eat.
- Similarly when Jessie and James get in on it, they spend the entire time playing with Pikachu and going into Cuteness Proximity mode. As conniving as they were, they really took to the idea of Pikachu being their buddy.
- May choosing not to capture a Swablu she and her friends nursed back to health, instead helping it catch up with its flock. May is seen trying so hard not to lose it.
- The episode Do I Hear A Ralts. In that episode, Max saves a sick Ralts from the brink of death. Once it is better, they have to part, but they promise that they'll be together when Max becomes a trainer. Surprisingly, the music-edit happy 4Kids even managed to write a moving ballad specifically for the dub of the episode (and managed to keep a rarely heard track as well).
- In "Time Warp Heals All Wounds!" May ends up in a Time Travel dilemma with Meowth of all people. May tries to use the opportunity to save the loved one of the episode's One-Shot Character, which Meowth is surprisingly united with her about. They succeed and enjoy the happy reunion of the couple.
- While the Friendly Enemy moments were sadly sparse throughout the Hoenn series, the episode shows the two sides to still have a rather punch clock mentality. When May discovers Meowth, he's looking philosophically at the moon, revealing he overheard the sad story concerning Jonathan. May makes a half hearted retort at Meowth for eavesdropping, but when he shows no interest in trash talk, she loses steam and politely asks if he's seen Squirtle.
- When May sees Jonathan and Edna together again. Especially with that 'song'.
- Love, Petalburg Style is a mix of this, Funny Moments, and a bit of Awesome. It seems that throughout the episode, May and Max's dad Norman is having an affair with Nurse Joy. It turns out that Norman was getting Nurse Joy to help him with a present for his anniversary with Caroline, Max and May's mother.
- When everyone crashes on an island, May and Drew accidentally fall in a river and almost go down a waterfall, but are saved by a group of wild Wynaut. Later, the Wynaut offer May and Drew some Lychee berries and invite them to a dance party.
- In Strategy Tomorrow Comedy Tonight, the gang meet a girl named Ada and her Chatot. She says that Chatot has recently been flying away and saying strange things and find out that Chatot has been sneaking off to a kid's hospital and making the kids laugh. In return, the kids feed Chatot some cookies.
- When they discover that Chatot is at a kids hospital, what's the first thing Ash and company do? They proceed to put on a little show for the kids...which then promptly turns into a Funny Moment when the first act is "Takeshi's Paradise"...
- James refusing to steal Pokémon from his own grandparents in Sweet Baby James, because they were the only ones who truly loved him when he was a child and also counts as an awesome moment since he helps Ash defeat Jessie and Meowth.Jessie: "Turncoat!"Meowth: "Why are you siding with the twerps?!"
- He also spent the whole episode lying to his grandparents saying he was the president of a company. At the end, he decides to come clean about being a Team Rocket member.
- In the games, Pike Queen Lucy comes across as a harsh, narcissistic Ice Queen. Her appearance in the anime? One of the nicest people you could meet, with a fondness for squinty eyes, and even requiting Brock's usual affection because of this. Plus, she even lets Ash battle her, even though the Battle Pike was closed.
- Not from the show itself, but the tenth opening, "Spurt!" features cameos from all the Pokemon Ash has caught up to that point. This includes all the ones who were Put on a Bus, like Lapras, Primape, Pidgeot, Butterfree, Butterfree's wife, Muk, Kingler, etc. Ash (and the writers) really didn't forget about them.
- In the second episode of the Diamond and Pearl Season, Dawn watches Ash risking his life to save Pikachu from Team Rocket. As Ash climbs the robot, Dawn makes sounds from a great level of concern, even though she didn't even know Ash at all at that point.
- In the first episode of the Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Chimchar's Tears/Tears for Fears. In a practice battle between Ash's newly acquired Chimchar and Dawn's Piplup, Chimchar loses and, after getting knocked to the ground, remembers how Paul abandoned it because he considered Chimchar too weak and assumes Ash may do the same or, at the least, believe he's weak as well. When Ash picks Chimchar up, Chimchar looks ready to hear Ash tell it how weak it is, but to its surprise, Ash praises it and commends Chimchar on how hard it tried. Brock and Dawn do as well and the other Pokémon all cheer for Chimchar. Chimchar tears up and throws himself onto Ash's shoulder as he cries his eyes out. Although he doesn't understand until Brock explains, Ash hugs Chimchar and lets him know everything's okay. Even Meowth, who'd gotten separated from Jessie and James and happened to be nearby, was crying and felt sorry for Chimchar.Ash in English version: Chimchar. It's okay. You're gonna be fine.Ash in Japanese version: Hikozaru. Cry all you want. It's okay to cry.
- In one episode, Chimchar gets poisoned by Saturn's Toxicroak. Ash is very upset, beating himself up over letting Chimchar get hurt like that. Then this◊ happens. It's so incredibly touching, especially in the context of Chimchar's past. It's like he's telling Ash he doesn't have to worry, because he's already done more for it than he could ever imagine.
- Chimchar being so emotionally moved by its new teammates cheering for it that the floodgates that were forced closed while under control of Paul are opened and it starts crying out of happiness. Though Ash is a little confused, he still hugs it and calms Chimchar down.
- Crossed with a Moment of Awesome, this trust came to a head in the finale of Ash's full battle with Paul at Lake Acuity. As the last of Ash's Pokémon able to battle, it's given some encouragement after it defeats Paul's Ursaring...which Chimchar replies to by evolving into Monferno.
- The episode Noodles Roamin' Off has one for Team Rocket. After Meowth leaves to become a noodle chef and Jessie leaves to become a coordinator, James goes off to try and capture a shiny Metagross. Jessie hears about this and immediately rushes to save him just in the nick of time.Jessie: (standing victorious on a rock) Ahahahaha!James: (delighted) Jessie!Jessie: You could have been toast!James: (turns away and crosses his arms) Well, what do you care for! I thought you were going to become top coordinator, girlfriend! I'm fine on my own, if you please.Jessie: (sweetly) Ah, cut the machismo. You know you're happy to see me, so just admit it.James: Gnnh... (breaks down crying) Oh, Je-e-essieee!
- Similarly the moment Meowth overhears the two are in trouble, he quits his new job and rejoins the team to help them in their doomed capture. Though he pulls out a save, the trio are blasted off anyway, but are too overjoyed at reuniting to care, happily calling straight to the audience they're back.
- In a hindsight case, Meowth's culinary talent is reutilised many times throughout the series, almost always in contests or showcases Jessie takes part in. A talent he originally claimed was a ticket out of his deadbeat job from his teammates he now uses devotedly to help one of them.
- Similarly "Jumping Rocket Ship". Meowth is devious and self serving the whole episode, switching between playing HeelFace Mole and considering deserting his team for real. Ultimately the heroes inform him he could easily become a celebrity with his abilities and they can even assist him to reaching stardom. When given the choice between fame and fortune or ditching Jessie and James however, he breaks down. There were bad times....downright horrible times in fact, but all those times were with his Team Rocket buddies, so he'll take another blasting off with a smile.
- The ending of the Sinnoh Grand Festival arc. After a real nail-biting battle between Dawn and Zoey, the outcome shows that Zoey has won by one point. And this time, even though Dawn had a brief look of disappointment on her face, she didn't break down and cry, and congratulates Zoey. After changing back into her regular clothes, Dawn meets up with her mom, Ash, and Brock. Dawn's mom was really proud, and is given back her first ribbon by her daughter.
- Seeing Jessie actually make it to the semi finals of the Sinnoh Grand Festival was quite cathartic, considering her perpetual losing streak throughout Hoenn and Kanto's contests. Her first ever contest win with Dustox in particular was adorable.
- In the episode where Ash's pokeballs get stolen and his pokemon get scattered, all of his pokemon are really happy to see with him again and Bayleef steals her pokeball from him so she can spend more time with him, awww.
- In the episode in which Ash's Turtwig evolves into Grotle, Paul's Torterra proves that Pokémon don't necessarily take after their masters by acting as a mentor to Grotle, who has become disheartened as all of its battling techniques from its Turtwig stage no longer work with its new, heavier body.
- Just Team Rocket rooting for Ash in his battle against Paul.
- When Reggie tells Paul's Pokémon he lost to Ash, they are all visibly upset to hear the news. They even rejoice to hear they''ll be training harder than ever when Paul gets home. Whether he shows it or not, Paul must have some connection to his Pokémon despite his reclusive behavior.
- The conclusion of Byron's episode in the Diamond & Pearl arc: Bastiodon, Steelix, fossils, defense, and holes aren't all he loves.
- Or Crossing Paths. Jessie crushing the Poké Ball to tell Dustox that it was okay to leave, to go off and find happiness.
- A much subtler one, but the reaction from Dustox's new partner when Jessie does this. He looks absolutely furious that Jessie made his mate cry.
- After their battle in the Sinnoh League quarterfinals, Paul and Ash end their rivalry on a positive note. Defeat Means Friendship may not be fully in play, but mutual respect is still a long way to have come.
- Brock becoming a doctor means that in a roundabout way, he was finally able to decide between Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny.
- In a special episode starring Brock, a shot of his room shows several photos of all his previous traveling companions◊. In a meta sense it also really shows just how long he's been on the anime, even if he received relatively little focus in spite of it.
- When Kenny wins the Sandalstraw contest he celebrates by hugging his Prinplup.
- Ash and Trip's Third Battle shows Trip as a Cheerful Child in a flashback watching in awe as Champion Alder defeats a challenger with his Bouffalant. Afterward, Alder allows Trip to pet and feed Bouffalant, and encourages him to pursue his dream of becoming a Champion. D'awww.
- And two episodes later, Iris and Excadrill reconciling.
- Made even more heartwarming because we find out that the real reason Excadrill chose to disobey Iris was because he actually cared for her, and because he didn't want to let her down in a battle again. This makes their battle at the end even more of a CMOH than before.
- In Oshawott's Lost Scalchop!, Ash's Oshawott gets upset because he's lost his Scalchop in an earlier battle, and he has no way of defending himself in their rematch. Ash (and his friends) go to a huge effort to find a substitution to cheer Oshawott up.
- Later, Cilan's Dwebble makes a large stone "Scalchop" for Oshawott to use, but it's too heavy for him to use properly. Because of that, he spends his time training to use the stone Scalchop, not even eating his dinner (considering that he's the group's glutton, that's something). Ash and Pikachu, on finding out, immediately chip in to help Oshawott train using the Scalchop for the entire night, so that he can prepare for the rematch. Finally, at the end, he puts up a successful fight against a Pokemon he has a type disadvantage to, and he collapses in an adorable position, asleep in Ash's arms.
- BW004 short, but the scene when Ash finds Tepig is rather adorable. He sees that it has a rope around its snout and is practically suffering from starvation, he tries his best to help it even though it is absolutely terrified of him so much it ran away. Basically when he cornered Tepig he's just coming over assuring it that it doesn't have to be scared and basically brushing off how it attempted to attack him (tried to breathe flames in his face to fend him off but since it's health is in a bad state it could only puff smoke out) seeing how he managed to calm it down and remove the rope was very sweet.
- BW077 has Tepig becoming depressed because he feels useless and hated by his old trainer, whom he still likes despite being abandoned. Cue Snivy, of all Mons, coming forward and Vine Whipping him in the cheek to remind him that he is better than he thinks he is, and that he shouldn't be moping about like that. She even goes on to join him in a tag battle that she has an obvious type disadvantage in (Fire and Fire). Though she ends up fainting after defending him from a combined Flare Blitz/Flamethrower attack, it's pretty obvious she was fighting hard to cheer him up and bring him out from his slump. Considering Snivy's regular personality towards her teammates, this is really, really touching coming from her.
- She even requests not to go back into her ball so she can watch the end of the match, and when Pignite wins, she happily hugs him along with Ash.
- It's not so surprising that Snivy was the one who tried so hard to reassure her friend, here. Besides being the Unova team's Cool Big Sis, she knows what being abandoned by your trainer feels like (albeit her trainer did so because they couldn't raise her), and she was not going to let Tepig's sense of self-worth suffer because of a Jerkass who tied the poor little guy to a pole (with his snout tied shut by the rope). This episode reminds people why Snivy is considered an Ensemble Dark Horse despite not always doing as much as some other Mons.
- Seeing all of Ash's Pokemonnote at Oak's place in the first opening of Best Wishes 2. Yes, even Primeape.
- How James gets Yamask in BW023. No battle, no tricks, nothing villainous at all—it's hungry, so he feeds it.
- The majority of James' Pokémon were acquired through heartwarming, non-villainous means:
- Growlithe: Pet since childhood.
- Koffing: Birthday present.
- Cacnea: James gives Cacnea a bag of cookies. Confused as to what the bag is, Cacnea tracks down James so it can give the bag back to James. James feeds a cookie to Cacnea, Cacnea enthusiastically (and painfully) hugs James.
- Chimecho: Chimecho heals Team Rocket with Heal Bell. James, who has wanted a Chimecho since he was a little boy, politely asks if Chimecho wants to be his Pokémon. Chimecho accepts right there and then, hugging James' face for good measure.
- Mime Jr.: Deliberately activates the mechanism on an empty Poké Ball that James accidentally dropped on the floor. Mime Jr.'s former caretakers specifically point out that it did so because it liked James and thought he was a kind person.
- Carnivine: He saves it from drowning in a giant pool of mud as a child and it waits inside its Poké Ball for years until they could be reunited again.
- Even with Victreebel, chomping on his head was just its way of showing him affection.
- The majority of James' Pokémon were acquired through heartwarming, non-villainous means:
- At the beginning of BW52, it really highlights how far Ash and Pikachu's relationship has developed since the very first episode.
- N hugging a wild Braviary◊ after he realizes it wanted to help him despite the risk of being caught by Team Plasma again.
- When Charizard returns for the first time in quite a while, he and Ash share a fistbump◊ after the obligatory Flamethrower greeting.
- The series of flashbacks Ash has of his time with Charizard are a meta example: even though we may never see Primeape or Pidgeot again, seeing them animated in the new style was pretty heartwarming. They've been gone from the show for over 12 years, after all.
- When Ash is reminiscing about Charizard, Pikachu is sitting on his lap, happily drinking from a beaker of what appears to be orange juice...
- The Best Wishes Decolora Adventure! Ending theme is as heartwarming as it is nostalgic: Close to the end, there's an amazing shot of Ash's friends and rivals and their Pokémon seen thoughout the anime and all of them are holding hands: Paul, Gary, Tracey, Dawn, Iris, Ash, Cilan, Brock, May, Max, Misty, Virgil, Trip, Cameron, Stephan, Bianca, Burgundy and Georgia. Then there's another shot of them all along with Delia, Professor Oak, Shannon, Luke, Chili and Cress, along with practically every Pokémon that had an important role in the anime's run. Incredible really...
- We also see the main characters keeping in touch with their families as they travel.
- Charizard becoming Heterosexual Life-Partners with, and a Big Brother Mentor to Pignite. It's a great change, seeing as Charizard used to be The Friend Nobody Likes in the first and second seasons.
- It also helps both of them know what it's like being abandoned by a Jerkass trainer before being saved by Ash.
- After Meowth's stint as a HeelFace Mole, Ash and co foil Team Rocket's plan and rescue their Pokémon. As Team Rocket makes their escape, Ash admits to Meowth that despite his betrayal, he really did have fun traveling with him.
- The Group Picture Ending that is the final scene◊ of the arc.
- During Dawn's reunion with the main cast, Buneary is visibly overjoyed to see an embarrassed but not unhappy Pikachu again.
- The first thing Ash and Dawn do once they see each other again is their signature high-five.
- Not a conventional case, but Team Rocket saving Giovanni during the climax of "Unova's Survival Crisis". When he becomes Brainwashed and Crazy from an overload of the legendary Pokémon's power, they tackle him to break his mind free. While the trio always idolized and sucked up to the boss, this was their first effective display of Undying Loyalty to the boss. They even carry him to their escape vehicle, with James blindsiding Ash's team with a smoke bomb so they couldn't intervene.Jessie, James and Meowth: SAVE THE BOSS!!!
- Also Wobbuffet returning to the team at the very end of the series, just as they are left without Pokémon and wonder how to plan their next move. Also applies as Heartwarming in Hindsight when you consider not only did he just manage to escape his Pokeball and find his way to the trio in headquarters, but in XY he's buffed up his abilities and generally much more energetic and loyal around his old teammates. He must have really wanted to be back in the team again.
- Professor Sycamore's Garchomp was full of this (when she wasn't Brainwashed and Crazy anyway), from her clear concern over Froakie's condition to allowing Ash and Bonnie to pet her.
- Clemont saving Ash after he falls to his life from the Prism Tower.
- Ash jumping to (almost) certain death from the top of the tower after Pikachu.
- Bunnelby twitching in its Pokeball to acknowledge Clemont's thanks after the heroes defeat Team Rocket, and Clemont's smile in response.
- The group-shout in the third episode between Ash, Clemont, Bonnie, Pikachu, and Froakie.
- Expanding on this, Ash and Clemont actually lowered themselves to include Bonnie, and so far, from just three episodes, Bonnie is actually treated equally, instead of just as a little kid that's tagged along.
- Froakie disobeying Ash's orders and preventing Pikachu from battling Fletchling because he wanted to get payback on Fletchling for making Bonnie cry. When they find out that why Froakie did it, Bonnie thanks Froakie and gives him a hug which makes him blush.
- Note that rather than getting frustrated with Froakie's disobedience, it is Ash that explains this to the others, knowing why he's so incensed and is sympathetic. Given how oblivious Ash often comes off as, it's a nice touch to show how in touch with his Pokémon he can be.
- Straight after Fletchling is caught, the others welcome it into the group and promise good treatment so long as it behaves. Froakie even shares food with Fletchling as a sign of no hard feelings.
- In the following episode, Bonnie is practicing her caretaking skills by brushing Pikachu (who absolutely adores it and lets Bonnie pet his tail), then she asks Fletchling about grooming its wings. Fletchling (who had teased Bonnie the previous episode and was basically a Jerkass), has no problem hopping up and letting Bonnie clean him...he even chirps at her in thanks afterwards!
- Clemont grabbing onto Bonnie in the second episode after she grabs his clothing.
- Serena's Fennekin protecting its trainer from a wild Vespiqueen, and later giving her back her dropped hat.
- In XY006, Bonnie is about to fall asleep and Clemont, naturally knowing she's tired, decides to leave the battlefield and put Bonnie to bed for the night.
- Serena and Ash's relationship is very heartwarming compared to his usual dynamics with his female companions. It helps that their Forgotten First Meeting is of Ash wrapping Serena's scraped knee with his handkerchief and walking her out of the forest. It meant a lot to Serena and she's been absolutely supportive of Ash so far in their journey.
- XY009 has plenty of this, from Ash continuing to serve as an inspiration for his companions this season to Clemont reprogramming Citroid to be a more compassionate gym leader at the end. Not to mention Clemont's gym Pokémon being clearly happy to see him even though they are forced to battle against him.
- Chespin's development arc in its debut episode.
- While in the bamboo forest with Pancham and Pangoro, Fennekin's tail is messed up after Team Rocket destroys their balloon and let the Pokémon escape. Froakie takes some of its foam and rubs it on Fennekin's tail to stylize it and give it a shine. After Fennekin is grateful, Froakie gives a blushing smile.
- When Ash is trying to give Pangoro its new leaf, Team Rocket order their Pokémon to attack, but Pikachu and Froakie shield him with their attacks despite being tied up by Pumpkaboo's Leech Seed. Afterwards, Fennekin and Chespin do the same thing.
- When Meowth begs the team's Pokémon to help him, Pikachu is rightfully skeptical. Froakie advises against it, though Chespin wants to help. Eventually Pikachu submits and lets him tag along, even smiling supportively as he inducts him. Predictably Meowth double crossed them, and likely will again, but still, Pikachu holds onto the idea he can redeem him.
- While not a full time suffice, Meowth did help save Pikachu from the evil Malamar afterwards. Twice in fact. In the first instance when he teams up with Ash, he even shows genuine concern for the twerps.
- Korrina's bond with Lucario is pretty heartwarming. They were together 24/7 ever since they were children, they shared meals, played, slept in the same bed, and made each other feel good. Whenever they are seperate they become depressed.
- When Korrina was alone with Clemont and Pikachu in XY033, Korrina becomes depressed and lonely, Clemont decided to take care of her by, giving her something to eat and drink and even staying up all night, sitting next to her on the cliff while trying to cheer her up.
- After Fletchling is rejected by Nami's Talonflame as an opponent, Bonnie sympathizes with it and even inspires it to come up with a strategy that would allow it to defeat Talonflame later on.
- Also, Bonnie is not tall enough to try out the sky battle simulator and has to settle for watching. Chespin pops out of its pokeball to accompany Bonnie.
- During the 3 part Summer Camp arc, Serena falls off a cliff. Ash grabs her just in time, but ends up falling as well. When they're about to climb out, Ash is unable to move due to hurting his foot. Serena places a wet cloth on Ash's foot until help arrives, which reflects the first time they met when Ash took care of Serena's knee.
- In the following episode, Bonnie is separated from the others. When she calls out to the others, only Pikachu can hear her. The two of them fall asleep thanks to a Foongus attacking them with Sleep Powder. When the others find them, Bonnie is on the other side of a canyon. Trevor comes up with a plan to use some nearby Drifloon and Drifblim as platforms to reach Bonnie on the other side. Ash volunteers to get Bonnie, he easily makes it to Bonnie, but has trouble getting back thanks to a wind. At this point, Pikachu wakes up and sees Ash and Bonnie in danger and being blown off the Drifblim they're currently on. Pikachu jumps off the cliff to grab Ash, who is grabbed by Clemont's mechanical Aipom arm and everyone else is grabbing the cable, pulling Ash and Bonnie up to safety.
- XY043 had two, Korrina decides to give up her room for one night just to sleep with Ash and friends, possibly protecting them and keeping them company. Serena helps Gurkinn walk when he eventually becomes exhausted from running.
- Luxio forgiving Clemont for accidentally abandoning it years ago in XY048.
- The sequel to the evil Malamar episode is full of these for James and Inkay. When Inkay sees the evil Malamar, he starts acting uncharacteristically angry. Jessie and Meowth initially think he's trying to sell them out to the Malamar, which James refuses to believe. Later, it turns out that Inkay really wanted revenge on the Malamar for brainwashing James, Jessie, and Wobbuffet. When one of the Malamars brainwashes Inkay, James turns him back to normal by giving him a crossiant along with some flashbacks of moments he's shared with James and the Trio in general. At the end, the good Inkay and Malamars praise James' Inkay as a hero and welcome him into their forest. Similar to Pikachu's Goodbye, James thinks Inkay would be happier living with its own species and chooses to walk away, but Inkay pointedly refuses to leave James and chooses to remain a Team Rocket Pokémon.
- Keep in mind most of the flashbacks were of Inkay being placed into the team's ridiculous antics or being abused along with them in their failures. It still brought him back. He doesn't care if he's on the losing side forever so long as he's with James.
- The fact the episode bothered to point out Malamars are not the Villain by Default. Not only do we see a gang of peaceful Malamars at the start of the episode, but they end up helping the cast stop the villainous ones in the climax. What triggered their cooperation? The evil Malamars attacked their neighbour Pokémon.
- Look carefully during the ending. Everyone in Team Rocket is overjoyed, if not outright crying when Inkay mentions he's staying with them. Even Wobbuffet is in Tears of Joy.
- The festival held once a year in Coumarine City in general is this. According to an old legend, a trainer and his Pokémon eventually settled down on the land which would later become Coumarine City, after their adventures. In celebration of their efforts and friendship, the trainer gave a tree seedling to his Pokémon in thanks. That tree grew to be the largest tree in the town, and came to be known as the Pledging Tree. Even in modern times, residents in the town and trainers celebrate by giving presents to their Pokémon as thanks for the company and hardwork they give. Not only Ash and co. participate, but even Jesse and James, after their failed plan, are shown to have gotten presents for Meowth and their Pokémon. It shows no matter who you are, if there's one thing in common, is everyone's appreciation for their Pokémon.
- Clemont temporarily leaving the group and going home to Lumiose City without bringing Bonnie back shows how much he trusts Ash and Serena.
- In XY060, despite the Epic Fail of Jessie's appeal round, James and Meowth still enthusiastically vote for her. Later when she boils over her loss, Meowth volunteers to help in the next showcase and prove to the whole of Kalos she is superior.
- When Jessie gets separated from James and Meowth in XY063, she meets a doctor that she falls in love with and her Wobbuffet falls in love with the doctor's Wobbuffet. When James and Meowth reach the doctor's clinic, they decide to let Jessie live with the doctor if that's what she wants and leave without making their presence known. They run into a Pokémon Hunter that has been operating in the area. The hunter captures Meowth, Inkay and Pumpkaboo, so James heads back to find Ash and Friends for help. This followed by seeing that the doctor is in love with a local girl causes Jessie to head off to help James and Ash, saying goodbye to Wobbuffet in the process. Jessie shows up and recites the Team Rocket motto with James joining in. Back in business, right? Nope! The hunter's Rhyperior still beats them down. Then Wobbuffet shows up and tells Jessie (with Meowth translating, of course) that it would rather stay with its friends in Team Rocket rather than another Pokémon it just fell in love with. Wobbuffet defeats Rhyperior and Team Rocket leaves without blasting off. As Team Rocket flies away in their balloon, Jessie decides she's happy with the way things turned out since she's with friends in Team Rocket. Status quo may be god, but she wouldn't have it any other way.Jessie: I'll always be a member of Team Rocket, and I'll always have the greatest friends ever.
- Though when Wobbuffet returns for his Big Damn Heroes moment, Jessie calls him a fool for abandoning love to reunite with the group. She was perfectly okay with accepting her role as part of the Goldfish Poop Gang, but she wanted better for Wobbuffet.
- The fact the Wobbuffet is still happier with Team Rocket than with the other Wobbuffet proves that Team Rocket are True Companions, Pokémon and all.
- The climax of Goodra's Character Development in the wetlands two parter:
- Goodra reuniting with his old friends, who still instantly recognise him as the Goomy from before.
- As Goodra and his old friends start to wage war against Florges' army, Ash wants to help, but is advised not to interrupt natural Pokémon activities. Ash complies but is clearly upset about not being allowed to protect his ally.
- Note also that Pikachu, despite being a Pokémon himself, has to be reminded twice not to intervene, similarly seething at being unable to help Goodra. It seems Ash's sense of altruism has rubbed onto Pikachu to the point of overwriting his instincts as a Pokémon.
- Though still traumatised and nervous, Goodra, now powerful and evolved from Ash's nurturing and training, decides to take it upon itself to defend his friends from the Florges' army that threw him out as a Goomy. When he finds out Florges was merely an Unwitting Pawn who acted out of fear for her ill Florette, he shows succinct forgiveness and defends her from Team Rocket.
- Florette restoring to health when the wetlands are revived. Her first action is to place both Goodra and Florges' hands together as a symbol of peace (or, you know, her wanting a new daddy). The two smile at each other.
- After the Lumiose Gym battle with Ash, Clemont rejoins the main group and they all do the same group cheer they did in the third episode, but this time with Serena and Dedenne.
- A mix of Heartwarming and Awesome, there is Noibat and Hawlucha's interaction. The two immediately bonded the moment they realize their similarities (both are incapable of flying, in Hawlucha's case he can only glide while in Noibat's case it was just a baby). When the two were captured by Team Rocket, Hawlucha freed their shackles and escaped into a cave (all while Noibat rode on his back, all while fighting Team Rocket's Pokémon). There the two combined their efforts into making their captives panic, and the two formed a filial-like bond.
- And then there's the episode next to that. Seeing Noibat mimic Hawlucha's poses and even sit or cling on him is so cute and heartwarming that it shows how much the two trust each other. And when Noibat sees Hawlucha getting hurt by a makeshift Pelipper by Team Rocket, its cry calls Hawlucha back to consciousness and turn the situation around.
- In XY 81, the trio encounter a wealthy count interested in Jessie's Pumpkaboo, that his own mini sized Pumpkaboo is infatuated with. He offers to trade Jessie his Mawile (a Pokémon capable of Mega Evolution) in return for her. She accepts, upsetting Pumpkaboo. After the trade off, Pumpkaboo, as a result, evolves into a Gourgeist, which intimidates the Count's Pumpkaboo and leads him to reject her. Despite the trade being finalised and having gotten a potential Mega Evolution, Jessie angrily decides neither of them deserve her loyal Pokémon and demands a trade back, to Gourgeist's joy. Despite proving no better against the heroes, the two embrace happily as they are sent blasting off.
- In XY 84, James immediately understands the reason Braixen is disheartened after its stick broke, having gone through a similar experience in his youth. He disguises himself as "Jeeves" and helps point out to Serena what the true reason is, and accompanies them to the wood doctor's place in hopes to repair the broken stick. Even after Jessie pressures him into helping her take Pikachu, he's hesitant about it, causing her to have to get the net device from him. Despite the heroes angrily blasting him off with the others, mid air James still congratulates Braixen for learning Fire Blast, feeling happy for its success.
- Mixed with Funny, at the very end of the episode, Serena concernedly asks where "Jeeves" is, never quite catching on who her secret helper was.
- In XY 100, Jessie wins a Princess Key. The heartwarming factor comes from how dumbfounded and joyous she and her Pokémon are that they won. They had put all their genuine effort and talent into finally winning a showcase, with any attempts to cheat or Kick the Dog being completely ineffectual.
- After her first loss in a showcase (she got two votes, guess who from?), Meowth offers to help her out. While it's part because he'd rather not suffer one of her Sore Loser tantrums, he genuinely goes all out with his talents to help her win. In a previous contest she was disheartened by losing, Meowth still kindly encouraged her, pointing out she came in third and is getting better. Along with James proving to be a very enthusiastic cheerleader, her team mates genuinely think she deserves to win.
- Following Jessie's victory, Eevee is disheartened from screwing up her team's performance. Serena however hugs her and smiles, softly assuring her they'll do better next time.
- In XY 105, the double battle when Serena's Eevee is thoroughly beaten by her opponents and after a moving speech by Serena, Eevee evolves into Sylveon, something that only happens when there is a very close bond between trainer and Pokémon.
- In XY 110, we get another moment for the Noibat-Hawlucha Big Brother Worship file. After Hawlucha is zapped by a Zapdos mid-air and is falling, Noibat flies as fast as he can to catch him...and evolves into Noivern in the process!
- Much like XY 81, XY 113 has a surprisingly heartwarming blasting off, with James hugging Inkay.
- Ash, Greninja and their unique transformation as a whole qualify. Greninja has spent it's entire life looking for a trainer who could develop such a close bond with it, and it pays off in the end. Every time Greninja transforms and kicks ass with the suitable Theme Music Powerup, it's a testament to the hard work Ash and Greninja put up together.
- After suffering a Heroic BSoD in XY121, Ash gets a good telling off from Serena after lashing out at her, saying he's not being the Ash she knows and admires to the point that she almost blurts out her feelings to him. Ash suffers a Heel Realization and begins to remember why he wanted to battle and become a trainer in the first place; not to win but to bond with Pokémon. He befriends some wild Pokémon (who all show instant trust and joy around Ash) and later makes peace with Greninja, who contrary to his belief of being unworthy of the Pokémon, has been worrying about Ash the whole time and even shows a rare bout of out open happiness when they team up again.
- Note that after less than a minute from returning to camp and insisting she's done speaking to Ash, Serena breaks down and frantically rushes back to apologize. Compared to previous companions such as Misty that would hurl out abuse and not give it a second thought, Serena just can't stay mad at Ash.
- Team Rocket attempt to capture Pikachu, only to find without Ash for support, his attacks have become weak and unable to fight them. Unwilling to Kick Them While They Are Down, the trio walk away and wait dormant until the two reunite, joyously embracing when their Worthy Opponent manages to give them a full power Thunderbolt again.
- XY122 has the part when Ash wins the Iceberg Badge. Ash and Serena fist bump, joined by Clemont and Bonnie. Then all of Ash's Pokémon joining in on the badge celebration animation.
- After 5 of each others' Pokémon are knocked out and Greninja and Sceptile have had a sparring bout with eachother,it's clear Ash and Sawyers' battle has reached its' final stage. Ash and Sawyer, in thought, reflect on their rivalry with one another and how far they have come. Sawyer comments that he always looked up to Ash and that he was glad to see "the real Ash came back" (after falling behind Sawyer), while Ash feels sorry for having fallen behind Sawyer and promises to give it his absolute all, as Sawyer has improved so dramatically he deserves nothing less. All of this is animated with Ash and Sawyer standing in what can only be described as a field of golden lights, looking eachother dead in the eye. It's then followed with Ash and Sawyer activating their respective mons' Super Mode and going at it in a three-minute, non-stop action-packed battle that captures the Worthy Opponent sentiment in a way only a few battles in this anime ever have.
- Following Ash defeating Sawyer in the Kalos league, the trio actually note their amazement, believing he just might win this time.
- After Noivern gets knocked out by Alain's Weavile, Hawlucha pops out of his Poké Ball to make sure Noivern's okay before deciding to take on Weavile himself.
- After Pikachu knocks out Metagross in the same battle, James openly cheers. In the face of Jessie and Meowth's scrutiny, he nervously suggests that, since they'll steal all their Pokémon anyway, they may as well root for Ash to win.
- After Pikachu is knocked out, Meowth and Jessie find themselves rooting for Ash to win as well. By the time the match is over, the trio are too emotional to bother with their scheme anymore and just burst into tears.
- During his battle with Ash, Alain admits that battling Ash is simply the most fun he's ever had and that Ash's determination makes him such a great opponent. He claims that Ash manages to light up his fighting spirit, and that their battle causes him to lose track of time.
- Ash, after getting captured by Team Flare, witnesses Alain having a Heroic BSoD after realising that his Mega Evolution energy is the cause of this trouble. Ash, realising Alain has gotten duped by Team Flare, calls out to him and tells him not to give up and let the past be the past. When Ash and Greninja are free, Alain, in turn, rushes to the latter's side to keep him from falling over from exhaustion and also ends up helping Ash by freeing his Pokémon and battling Team Flare.
- Meyer (as Blaziken Mask) saving Bonnie and deciding to help her free Squishy from Team Flare.
- Which she does by tearfully singing her song to Squishy as he rampages across town, he breaks from his mind control and walks softly over to her (along with saving her from some falling debris).
- When both it and Z-2 depower, Bonnie walks up to the untrusting Z-2 and, understanding it's a friend of Squishy, offers to care for it as well. Meyer looks on smiling at his daughter's compassion as this occurs. Fortunately for Bonnie, Z-2 is just as ticklish as Squishy.
- The ending video that played during the Team Flare finale was particularly warm. "Meowth's Ballad" was essentially a tribute to "Meowth's Song" from the original series, however while the latter was a somber song about Meowth's loneliness, here Meowth happily sings while his teammates sway behind him.
- XYZ44 has Ash, Selena, Clemont, Bonnie and Mairin throwing a welcome back party for Alain.
- In addition, while having a conversation with Ash, Alain admits to himself that due to all that had happened (despite even becoming the winner of the Kalos League finals), he considers Ash to be the superior trainer compared to him.
- Also, Alain and Professor Sycamore reconcile, with the former accepting the latter's offer of returning to his post as a research assistant.
- Several in XYZ45 due to being a closure for Serena's character arc:
- Serena throws a public Tripokalon to bring up spirits after the Team Flare invasion. Despite the abruptness of the decision, everyone agrees on it and helps to arrange it.
- Team Rocket discuss whether to use the situation to steal Pikachu, however an eager Jessie and Gourgeist decide to join the performance. Serena and Shauna are actually happy to see Jessilie and the three perform together on rather friendly terms.
- Serena is still in doubts over what action to take next. Ash, usually infamously dense to Serena's feelings, immediately notices Serena is worrisome and decides on a brief battle to help ease her spirits, consoling her along the way that he knows she can do well with her Pokémon by her side and will root whatever direction she takes.
- XYZ47: Time to say goodbye in Kalos.
- Chespin and Pancham finally put their differences aside. Pancham even gives Chespin a leaf like his.
- There's a touching farewell between Bunnelby and Sylveon.
- Sylveon also warmly hugs Chespin. Remembering that Chespin repeatedly tried and failed to win her over when she was a nervous Eevee, this is quite cathartic to watch.
- Hawlucha Trying Not to Cry, being his usual Proud Warrior Race Guy self.
- And then when Serena departs, it looks like we won't get any satisfaction in their Ship...before she runs back up the escalator at the airport, and leans in on Ash. They leave it a bit ambiguous whether or not she kissed him, or where she did, but she's blushing immediately after...as are Bonnie, Clemont, Pikachu and Dedenne. And Ash is left momentarily speechless.
- Also in XYZ47, Alain decides to take a page from Ash's book, choosing to start all over again.
- Team Rocket for once are Thrown A Bone, avoiding their regular blasting off they've suffered every previous series finale and leave Kalos content from Giovanni's praise. Even Inkay and Gourgeist get to dance away happily for their series swan song.
- Ash's relationship with Professor Kukui is incredibly that of a father and son. It only increases when Burnet marries Kukui. The professors are even described as Ash's Alola Family in SM084.
- As the series progresses, it is gradually made apparent that Lillie idolises Ash much like she did the player character in the games. Ash meanwhile gains a huge Big Brother Instinct towards her during the Aether Foundation arc.
- Ash talking to his mother about how he was deep-sea diving on a Sharpedo in the first episode. The simple moment between the two is just adorable.
- When Lillie got startled by Tauros, she hides behind Ash. The two haven't even exchanged introductions by this point, but she feels safe around him.
- the noise the Tauros makes as it either comes to greet Ash or see if he's okay is adorable too.
- Mallow gives Ash a tour of the school, even though he hasn't enrolled yet.
- After a wild Mimikyu decides to help them, Team Rocket end up having the upper hand against Pikachu...until a Bewear randomly appears and walks off with Jessie and James. Meowth and Wobbuffet immediately abort the mission and frantically tell Mimikyu to save the two, which it reluctantly agrees to do. Even for the Terrible Trio, there are some things more important than snagging Pikachu.
- Ash saves a wild Rowlet after it nearly falls from the sky in a daze.
- A Toucannon raised Rowlet as one of its own after accidentally mistaking it for one of its own eggs, and is even shown to be worried for Rowlet when it's taking too long to bring a fruit back, and is relieved when it comes back safe and sound, and whether it had a fruit or not didn't seem to matter.
- Trumbeak, while being hard on Rowlet for bringing a wind chime instead of a fruit, praises it for bringing one back eventually, something Rowlet appreciates.
- In general, Rowlet's adoptive family seems to completely welcome it as one of their own and never ostracize Rowlet for being different. They all happily crowd around Rowlet and cheer after it saves them from Team Rocket's nets, with Rowlet looking utterly content at all the praise.
- After Ash sees Rowlet with its adoptive family, he immediately understands their connection and, despite his visible sadness, succinctly decides to leave rather than capture Rowlet and separate the family. Toucannon, however, knowing Rowlet would be happier with Ash, nudges it to follow him. The look on Ash's face when Rowlet catches up and nuzzles him...
- Just the way Ash sees Rowlet among the Pikipeks and just acknowledges them as "its family". That it's done so passively without getting Anvilicious makes it so sweetly accepting of Rowlet's adoption by them.
- After the Pikipek make off with Bewear's stash, Jessie insists on getting it back since the Bewear was nice to them. Sure, they also decided to kidnap the Pokémon while they were there — gotta make a living, after all — but it was very thoughtful for the trio at least.
- Even though they are initially terrified of it, Bewear decides to take care of Team Rocket by feeding them and later rescuing them from being blasted off like it did in the previous episode.
- After several failed attempts to catch Mimikyu (each time swatting away the Poké Ball), Jessie takes James' Luxury Ball and uses it. Mimikyu jumps at the Luxury Ball and lets itself be captured. Luxury Balls increase the friendship value of the Pokémon caught in it by doubling the speed at which a Pokémon becomes more friendly. Mimikyu's desire to be loved means it would only go into a Luxury Ball.
- The story of Lana getting her Popplio. She had saved it from torment from some Team Skull grunts, with her Ride Lapras freezing the grunts with Ice Beam, and her fishing it away with her fishing reel. She then helped Nurse Joy heal it, gaining its trust.
- In the two part pilot, Sophicles and Togademaru easily defeated Ash and Pikachu in their trial competition, and were presented as somewhat smug rivals. In this episode, they bond and converse with the two on rather friendly terms, and join forces to stop Team Rocket. Togademaru, in particular, turns out to be very affectionate towards Pikachu, cuddling and glomping him. The episode also bothers to point out that Togademaru is a girl.
- The whole relationship between Litten and Stoutland. It started when Stoutland took Litten in like the cat is its own child, and the revelation that Litten only took food to provide for Stoutland is very sweet.
- Ash caring for Litten even after everything the cat has put him through. Early on in the episode, Ash planed to catch Litten to stop it stealing his lunch. Ash later abandons this plan to let Litten continue to help Stoutland. Near the end of the episode, Ash brings berries to Litten and Stoutland.
- Lillie getting over her fear to protect the Pokémon egg from a hungry Salandit.
- The picture showing a young Lillie with her mother, along with Gladion looking much happier than we ever see him in the games.
- Hala's Hariyama allowing Pikachu to play around on it.
- After Ash comes up with the solution to the Rattata infestation, Hala tells him he is permitted for the Trial. Ash then suddenly panics, confessing his friends helped him figure him out as if to believe he cheated. Hala hand waves this, however, stating that knowing to accept help from others is just as important a step.
- Ash caring for the losing opponents of the Trial on both sides. First, he catches Rowlet mid-faint and thanks him for helping. Then after Pikachu successfully defeats the Totem Gumshoos, Ash immediately runs up to it, worried he took the battle too far.
- Later, Officer Jenny invites the smaller Gumshoos to be her partner and is delighted when it accepts. The following episode shows that Officer Jenny and Gumshoos are both happy with their new partnership.
- When Team Rocket are fishing, Jessie and James are using lures that resemble Ekans and Koffing◊, respectively, perhaps to remember the partners they released back in Hoenn.
- A Mareanie falls madly in love with James, which comes to his constant ire at first. Then when the trio starts another battle with Ash, Mareanie offers its help, proving efficient and obedient enough to actually knock out Rowlet.
- As strange as it sounds, the fact that Team Rocket actually DEFEATED Ash and Pikachu. You can't help but be happy for the trio. Even their reaction verges less as Evil Gloating and more into joyous astonishment that they finally did it.
- Note the first thing James does after defeating Rowlet is congratulate Mareanie on a good job.
- After the race is over, we see many of the trainers consoling their Pokémon. But of particular note is Mallow, who, instead of dwelling on her own loss, turns to Lillie and encourages her to participate next time.
- When Ash and his friends are allowed to keep the newly-hatched Alolan Vulpix, they all nominate Lillie to be the one to care for it, showing how much faith they have in her in spite of her fear of Pokémon. The Vulpix itself also approves of Lillie as, in spite of its more distant personality, it likes the name Lillie gave it when it was still an egg and voluntarily enters Lillie's Pokéball after she misses it on her first throw. Lillie is moved to tears.
- Seeing all the team's Pokémon play together and welcoming the two Vulpix to join the party is adorable. Even Kiawe's Turtonator wants to play along. The Kanto Vulpix immediately takes to the others, even nudging Snowy to play with them.
- Mallow cements her status as the Team Mom by tailing Lillie and Snowy during their walk around the town and worrying if the two will be alright as Lillie is still unable to touch her new Pokémon. Ash, who she dragged along, keeps telling her not to worry; he's confident that she will be okay.
- Lillie taking another step in getting over her fear of Pokémon by catching Snowy as it falls off of a building. Seeing Snowy, who normally Hates Being Touched, and Lillie, who can't touch Pokémon, hugging each other is enough to create a fuzzy feeling in anyone's heart.
- Following Bewear bailing them out of another defeat, Jessie begrudgingly giving it a bag of malasada donuts as thanks for always looking out for them. The Bewear hugs her in return, with Meowth noting that it's probably feeling very happy.
- Kukui suggesting Ash catch Rockruff, the puppy, without hesitation, goes into the Poké Ball Ash provides it, giving Ash his third Pokémon in the Alola region.
- Rowlet trying (and failing) to save Popplio from falling is equal parts this and funny.
- Litten's heroic speech to Team Rocket is so touching that it even brings the villainous trio to tears.
- Rowlet going back to his Pikipek family to ask them if they have seen a Pom-Pom Oricorio.
- Steenee, now blessed with arms from her evolution, is shown glomping her trainer during the ending.
- At the start of the episode, Ash offers food to a sick Stoutland, only to be torched by a territorial Litten again. Stoutland, who seems to have taken to Ash, scolds Litten.
- Stoutland is shown trying to tutor Fire Fang to Litten throughout the episode despite its weak health. When Kukui observes this, he notes that it is rare for Pokémon to train each other in such a way, lamenting that Stoutland must care for Litten very much.
- After Team Rocket ambushes Ash, Litten comes up to him looking for help. Meowth realizes something terrible is happening with Litten, stays clear, only watching to make sure Litten is okay. He even looks happy, holding back Tears of Joy, when Ash catches Litten in the end, even though it means he won't be joining Team Rocket now. At one point, when he's back at Team Rocket's hideout, Bewear sits behind him and hugs him for comfort.
- When Stoutland initially collapses, Litten runs to Ash for help. Ash carries the enormous Stoutland to a Pokémon Center by himself.
- After Ash, his Pokémon, Rotom and Kukui discover that Stoutland has died, Ash and his Pokémon spend an entire night during a heavy rainstorm with Litten in its home under the bridge while it sleeps.
- Some meta heartwarming — Sarah Natochenny and Lisa Ortiz were inspired to help out with promoting pet adoption and fostering after recording this episode.
- Ash, his other Pokémon, as well as Kiawe and his Pokémon, all encouraging Litten to keep working on its Fire Fang attack. They celebrate when it masters it.
- When Snowy attempts to neutralize Polossand with Powder Snow, Ash cradles Litten to keep it warm. In turn, Litten uses its flame body to heat Ash.
- When Ash addresses and approaches Snowy during his speech, it smiles and lets out a happy bark, a far cry from how it acted when they first met.
- When Ash gives his speech and says this he wants to learn more about Alola, Mallow and his classmates say they'll help him with that, and Lillie says that she wants to learn more from him, and for them to learn together.
- Lillie's butler tells Delia (Ash's mother) that Ash is always taking care of Lillie, and the two walk to class together, showing that they've become quite close.
- Team Rocket and Team Skull are both trying to get the Z-Crystal from the Totem Raticate. When Jessie and James see their Pokémon are in trouble, they don't hesitate to give up trying to get the crystal so they can protect their friends. This ends up inadvertently allowing them to beat the Totem Pokémon and technically earning the crystal. They manage to keep the Darkinium Z as well, which pays off in later episodes when they're able to use it. Totem Raticate and one of its ally Rattata show up at Team Rocket's den in The Stinger to reclaim the Z-Crystal but cower in fear at the sight of Bewear, whose presence is enough to send them scurrying away.
- When Team Rocket faces a Hyper Beam from a Raticate the size of a truck, James leaps in front of the other two and takes the hit with his dowsing machine.
- The presents some of the students give Sophocles — Kiawe shows him a volcanic spring, Lana takes him Wailord watching, and Ash takes a wild Charjabug for Sophocles to catch.
- Instead of being angry that Sophocles had accidentally lied about moving away as he was fearing, the others are just relieved that he's staying on Melemele.
- This episode reveals that Sophocles was the one who first reached out to Lillie back when she was a new student at the Pokémon school.
- Snowy forms an Odd Friendship with Litten when the street cat helps the picky fox to open up to commoner's food.
- When Sophocles is too afraid to go to sleep without Togedemaru as a nightlight, Steenee cuddles up next to him and uses Sweet Scent to help him.
- Lana and her sisters take the time to clean Turtonator's shell together after it accidentally blasts Harper and Sarah with Shell Trap.
- After Lillie leads Pikachu to a win against Hobbes' Oricorio in battle, she hugs Pikachu! Hobbes cries Tears of Joy.
- After Kiawe goes into Heroic BSoD mode after being defeated by Alolan Marowak, Ash offers to use Pikachu to help Kiawe train Turtonator against more agile opponents. This is especially effective given Kiawe has often been something of a Big Brother Mentor to Ash in previous episodes.
- After being defeated, Marowak offers to be caught by Kiawe, much to the latter's surprise. He obliges and later sends Marowak to wear the Crown of Wela through legitimate ceremony.
- Rowlet clearly doesn't hold a grudge against Rockruff/Lycanroc for accidentally K Oing it during the last episode's Grand Trial.
- After Lycanroc evolves and gives a badass howl, it quickly reverts to affectionate self, nuzzling it's teammates when they give it The Glomp.
- Jessie offers to fix Mimikyu's disguise after dragging it along to a shopping trip. In return, Mimikyu later obeys her orders to drive off a flock of Murkrow.Jessie: I'll fix it if you want. Give it to me...I don't really get it, but if looking like Pikachu means so much, then I'll do what I can to help.
- Just in the previews, among the reunions that are particularly heartwarming are Pikachu with Misty, and Ash with Bulbasaur.
- When the group splits up to look for their missing Pokémon, Brock, Ash, and Misty go look for them together and take a moment to reflect on the old days. Ash comments that he had nothing but fun with them.
- The trio chatting about how lots of things haven't changed highlights one of those things: Ash still adores the first two human companions he ever had.
- While both scenes are played for comedy, Ash's Tauros and Muk are no less happy than Bulbasaur to see him again.
- Kind of a minor one, but the Rapidash at Oak's Lab lets Kiawe ride it since it's been shown that only someone a Rapidash or Ponyta really trusts can ride one without being burned. Despite only just meeting him, the Rapidash trusted Kiawe.
- Lillie and Snowy meet a Kanto Ninetales. Snowy approaches it carefully, and Ninetales licks Snowy's forehead affectionately.
- After Mallow and Lana's exhibition battle with Misty, Misty affectionately hugs Psyduck. Quite a far cry from how she used to treat it most of the time. Even though Psyduck Took a Level in Badass, it's happy to see Pikachu and Geodude and high-fives both of them when the group comes in.
- The little interactions between the original trio (Ash, Misty, and Brock) in this episode count too, such are:
- After his practice battle with Sophocles and Lillie, Brock comments that he learned the technique of using a Pokémon's attack as a means of defense from "a certain challenger of his", with the focus on Ash as he says it.
- During the battle against Misty, just as Ash commanded Pikachu to climb through the hurricane made by Mega Gyarados, everyone is surprised by this, except Brock, who simply smiles from this. Why? He knew exactly what Ash was planning to do to have Pikachu escape. After Ash is able to successfully have Pikachu escape the Hurricane, Brock says to himself that that was so like Ash to do.
- Misty teasing Ash about how, though he has gotten a lot stronger, he is still childish as ever. Also counts as a reference as Brock breaks up to what could have amounted to a return of Ash and Misty's arguing, albeit friendlier.
- As Ash and his classmates are headed back to Alola, Ash is approached by Misty and Brock and the three best friends say their goodbyes for now to each other. Ash invites the two to come to Alola and the two say that they will, promising to each other that they will meet up there someday.
- The first time they meet, Pikachu nuzzles Nebby.
- Pikachu and Lycanroc's bathtime...at least until Litten accidentally triggers Lycanroc's Berserk Button.
- Gladion trusted Ash enough to tell him his POV of the incident that made Lillie unable to touch Pokémon.
- He also became a Pokemon trainer just so he could protect his sister from another traumatic event. If that doesn't earn Gladion the "Brother of the Year" award, we don't know what will.
- Professor Burnet consoles Lillie when she opens up to her about her earlier fight with Lusamine; and helps Lillie understand that while she is quite busy, Lusamine does care about her kids.
- Lillie finally remembers the circumstances of her fear: when Silvally rescued her from Nihilego, she briefly assumed that Silvally was trying to attack her and passed out, causing her to develop a subconscious fear of Silvally that extended to all Pokémon. But when Silvally saves her again—this time, from Faba and his Hypno—she realizes the truth. After Faba has snuck off, she steps up to Silvally and apologizes for wrongfully fearing her savior. She then thanks it with a hug, completely eradicating her fear of Pokémon once and for all.
- Silvally also reciprocates the hug, showing that it does not hold Lillie wrongfully fearing it against her.
- Everyone is left dumbfounded when Lillie hugs Silvally, except for Ash who fist pumps with an ecstatic grin on his face. Charting all the way back to SM008, he knew she'd pull it off eventually.
- Although Gladion had some harsh words for Ash and Lusamine's carelessness—the former for letting Lillie get close to Cosmog and inadvertently rediscover Silvally, and the latter for pretty much letting Lillie's trauma happen—it's all just another testament of his strong Big Brother Instinct. To add to that, when he sees Lillie finally embrace her and Ash's Pokémon again, he gives her a bright smile not unlike how he used to as a child.
- Ash himself displays a thorough Big Brother Instinct towards Lillie the whole episode. He takes Gladion's dressing down to heart, feeling legitimately horrible his oversight set her back. He actively tries to support Lillie the whole episode, escorting and comforting her after school and being by her side as she tries to rediscover her past. He even takes a good beating from Faba's Pokemon in desperation to save her from Faba.
- When Lusamine realizes that Lillie's entire trauma happened right under her nose, and furthermore that it was indirectly caused by one of the very Ultra Beasts she sacrificed much of her family life to study, the first thing she does once Lillie is safe and sound is to break down and hug her tightly, apologizing over and over. Not only is this a sign of their strained relationship in the anime beginning to mend, it's also the closest they've ever been seen before in any media outside of flashbacks.
- Despite how any Pokémon may feel about being rejected by their trainer, Snowy remains patiently supportive of Lillie while she's struggling with her fears again.
- Immediately after Lillie comes to realize her phobia is gone, a gleeful Snowy, Pikachu and Nebby all rush to her. Lillie hugs all of them tight, unable to contain her joy. Lillie's piano Leitmotif from Pokemon Sun and Moon playing throughout the Japanese edit only makes the scene more emotional.
- When Faba calls on Team Rocket to help him capture Lillie so that he can erase her memories, they turn him down even after he promises them a big pay bonus for helping him. They make it abundantly clear to Faba that his actions are crossing a line that they don't even want to think of going near.Meowth: We may be the bad guys, but we're not bad bad! We put the "good" in "bad"!
- Lillie gets to hug and have fun with everyone's Pokemon, and all of her classmates congratulate her for having conquered her fear.
- When Nihilego is summoned a second time and starts advancing towards Lillie, Lusamine immediately shields her daughter, followed by Gladion planting himself in front of both his mother and sister to protect them. And he doesn't budge, even as Nihilego is about to grab him.
- And then, Lusamine pushes Gladion out of the way at the last minute, leading to her getting abducted instead.
- The smile Lusamine gives as she is taken by Nihilego. It was clear from the last episode she regretted not protecting Lillie and here she got to make up for that mistake. It doesn't matter that an Ultra Beast captured her. It doesn't matter she is being yanked away to an unknown world. Her children will live. She saved them.
- Even though Gladion told him it was a family matter, once he and his friends learn that Lillie ran away, Ash leads his friends there after them and delivers a speech about how people in Alola share all sorts of things, so they should share in their family matter as well. Though Gladion is reluctant, Lillie agrees with Ash, and says that she wants her friends to be there with them to save their mother.
- Ash's pure joy and amazement at Nebby evolving into Solgaleo!
- A heartwarming moment from Sun's credits is recreated for the anime as Lillie hugs Solgaleo. The Legendary proceeds to lick and snuggle Ash shortly after.
- It really goes to show how far Lillie's come. At the start of the season she couldn't bring herself to touch Pokemon, and now she asks to touch Solgaleo.
- Lillie using The Power of Love to help Lusamine's Clefable return to its senses.
- Ash splits up his team to help the other students, leaving him only with Pikachu to defend himself with, with Lycnaroc, Litten and Rowlet all independently pulling Big Damn Heroes for their teammates.
- Though the victory is short-lived, the other classmates celebrating after neutralizing Lusamine's Pokemon is adorable. Togedemaru and Charjabug electric nuzzle and the usually grouchy Litten even smiles at Rowlet having immediately gone back to sleep.
- Ash's hat is about to blow off. When it does eventually blow off Ash's head, Pikachu jumps after it. When we next see him, he's stood on the floor, clutching his best bud's hat. Pikachu is one loyal friend.
- Lusamine reuniting with her kids after being broken out of her possession. Among the Pokémon, the warmest part of this is Lusamine's Absol and Gladion's Umbreon nuzzling.
- After spending the entire climax very firmly keeping Team Rocket at bay, when the heroes get back, Bewear is now sleeping peacefully with the Terrible Trio. Meowth assumes Bewear wanted them to get a proper view of what was going on, to which it grunts as if to confirm, and gently returns them to the base.
- Professor Kukui pops the question to Professor Burnet, and she says yes. The end of the episode features their wedding.
- A bit of foreshadowing during the scene. It cuts back to Ash and his Pokémon doing dishes at Professor Kukui's place. Who else is helping? Professor Burnet's Munchlax.
- As hilarious as it is to see Rowlet awake, the fact that it's willingly awake for those events is heartwarming in its own right.
- Instead of being angry about Komala doodling on its face, Jigglypuff likes the doodles, and finally makes peace with Ash and co.
- Ash's Pokemon are showing playing with each other while their trainer is absent at the start of the episode. Lycanroc even wakes up nuzzling Litten, even if it isn't appreciated and starts a bit of a feud.
- James was willing to let Mareanie go so she could be with her first love...but recovers in time to protect her from the Tentacruel and fights Toxapex for his Pokemon's happiness.
- Ash and the professors come across a conflicted Mareanie and take her in for the night despite knowing she belongs to James. Burnet even makes a special meal so she won't go hungry. At one point, Munchlax offers Mareanie a Pecha Berry.
- This episode explores how Mallow and Lana met and became friends, and meeting the Drampa they met after so long.
- Similar to SM012, Jessie's toys resemble her past Pokemon (Ekans, Seviper, Dustox, Pumpkaboo).
- Snowy has a touching first meeting with Sara's Alolan Ninetales.
- Wobbuffet continued to show empathy and concern for Meowth even as his Alolan counterpart wins the attention of the other members. A nice reminder of how long the two have worked together and the bond that forges.
- Oranguru makes a return appearance, and has no qualms with Meowth drowning his sorrows in its bar. It even gives him a drink on the house out of sympathy, something the latter is left touched by.
- After being given the runaround by Alolan Meowth in of the previous episode, Team Rocket get thrown a bone in this episode, getting a job as announcers at the Battle Royal Dome. They get to leave with a good day's pay, not even having Bewear drag them home this time.
- Meowth once again privately displays his respect for Litten after he loses.
- After Litten first loses to Incineroar, Lycanroc nudges Ash to use their own butt shaking technique to help Litten learn Flame Charge, continuing off previous episodes where Lycanroc was Litten's Friendly Rival and training partner.
- Anela, the market elder meeting the newly-evolved Torracat for the first time.
- After Togedemaru starts to get distressed due to Pikachu's absence, Charjabug comforts his teammate.
- Poipole's adventure with Pikachu makes clear that the little Ultra Beast just wanted a friend in this unknown world it's in. And now it has quite a few.
- At the start of the episode, Team Rocket are managing to run a decent day's work, their food wagon for once is getting business, and the whole team, even Mimikyu, are tending quite happily to their job.
- Meowth's reaction when realizing Litten evolved into Torracat since the last time he saw it.
- When Poipole rejects getting caught, Ash demonstrates how harmless the method is by letting out and recalling Rowlet to his Pokeball several times over. After which Poipole outright activates its own Pokeball to enter.
- During Kiawe's first battle with Viren, Ash and Mimo arrive at the scene, the latter decides to Kick the Dog and orders his Electrivire to hit them with Thunder. Before Kiawe can say or do anything, Turtonator jumps in and takes the full force of it.
- Despite Marowak regularly acting as its Annoying Younger Sibling, Turtonator helps Kiawe train Marowak to master Inferno Overdrive. After Marowak successfully defeats Viren's Electivire, Kiawe praises the two. Turtonator smiles at Marowak, who just looks away blushing.
- After Mareanie figures out how to use Knock Off, the trio, at last, has a Pokemon capable of using the Darkinium Z. James bursts into Tears of Joy, with Mareanie reacting the expected way.
- After Gengar is defeated, Team Rocket scold it for all the trouble it's caused. Acerola takes pity on it, however, noting it just wanted her company and offers her friendship. As Gengar goes into a happy fit, Jessie is left unimpressed. James and Meowth, however, are so touched that they burst into tears.
- Team Rocket get a Z Ring, and Mimikium Z as a thank you gift as a bonus. For perhaps the first time in the series, the Terrible Trio have earned their level in badass.Team Rocket: GREAT FEELING!
- Ash convinces a berserk Lycanroc that it doesn't matter how much it changes on the outside — it's still the same Rockruff he met on the inside, and he loves it exactly the way it is.
- Anela helps Mallow with inspiration for her dance assignment and later demonstrates her hula skills for the class. Usually, a scene like that would be played for laughs — not here, the kids are appreciative and impressed.
- The main plot of this episode is the kids taking their Ultra Guardian Ride Pokemon to a resort spa, so that they can get a much-needed break. The kids spend much of the episode bonding with them as a result.
- Lunala doesn't hesitate for a second to save Lillie, a girl it just met, after she falls off of her Ride Altaria.
- As sad as Poipole's decision to stay behind with its hive is, it sends off the Ultra Guardians with one last picture. "Future Connection" playing in the background helps make it sweeter, as the lyrics are from Poipole's point of view.
- Rotom choosing to stay with Ash instead of following Laki. Also, Ash showing that he does, in fact, consider Rotom a dear friend.
- All of the Eevee shorts before this episode leads to Eevee forming a close relationship with Popplio and its capture by Lana. She even give it a haircut and the nickname of Sandy.
- Lana's father returns from a long trip at sea, and the twins are very happy to see him back.
- When a Kangaskhan suddenly shows up at Kiawe's ranch and kicks up an uproar, Brock deduces that its baby is injured and that they're defending it. He slowly approaches it and offers to tend to the infant's swollen leg. After some medical treatment and advice, they skip off happily.
- It's revealed that Brock did some 'ahem', "research" on the Akala Kahuna Olivia. He spends the majority of his time on the island trying to find her, and when he does? He goes straight for his classic lovestruck routine, only to be angrily dragged off by Misty. It's clear throughout the entire sequence that Olivia was also awestruck by him.
- Later, when Team Rocket shows up to kidnap the Pokémon with their new mecha, Brock and Olivia perform a souped-up version of the Continental Crush ("World's End Fall" in Japanese) Z-Move, except with the tagline "In love!". What follows is a heart-shaped boulder which is dropped onto the mecha.
- Though it is by far a major Tear Jerker, Mallow, Torracat, and Hapu get one final chance to be with their passed loved ones. Rather benevolent for Tapu Fini after what it did to Ash in the last episode.
- Much like how Rowlet didn't want to leave Ash, its new Meltan friend doesn't want to leave Rowlet for the rest of its group after he risked his life protecting it.
- Even after evolving into a Gyarados, Lil' Koi's boss instantly recognizes the former Magikarp and keeps him on as an actor (though now transitioning into villain roles).
- Despite being lovestruck enough by Pheromosa to sell out Team Rocket's Z-Crystals, Meowth quickly comes between it beating down Jessie and James, pleading with it to spare his friends.
- When this just gets Meowth kicked to the curb, both the twerps and Team Rocket are shocked that Pheromosa was just using him. Even Mallow and Tsareena, who have beaten Meowth into paste several times for harassing them, are exceptionally repulsed by this.
- Lillie learns more about her father, Mohn. In the process, discovers an inactive Magearna in a closet in his old study. Lillie also discovers a journal, which details how he found it and intended to give it to Lillie once he found a way to activate it. Its Pokédex entries detail that it was created 500 or so years ago for a princess of a distant land. In a sense, Mohn wanted to give it to his princess.
- In the stinger, Lana reveals to Harper and Sarah that she had brought them little happi coats patterned like her yukata. The next scene shows them sleeping happily.
- Ash and Torracat are inadvertedly sent back in time by a Celebi. There, Ash meets up with a Young Professor Kukui, who Ash immediately bonds with. To Ash, who has no idea what has happened, sees this kid who was fascinated that he had a Z Ring and was immediately acted as a brother to him.
Movies with their own Heartwarming page:
- Mewtwo Strikes Back
- The Power of One
- Spell of the Unown
- Voice of the Forest
- Pokémon Heroes
- Jirachi Wishmaker
- Destiny Deoxys
- Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
- Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
- The Rise of Darkrai
- Giratina and the Sky Warrior
- Arceus and the Jewel of Life
- Zoroark: Master of Illusions
- The Movie: Black and White
- Genesect and the Legend Awakened
- In "Eevee and Friends" Meowth and Wobbuffet are actually working as chefs for the Eevee evolutions' party with no ill intent. Though they are blasted off twice for acting up, they get to see the Pokémon's light show and are happily welcomed back into the party afterward.
- In "Pikachu and the Pokémon Music Squad", the Team Rocket Pokémon are shown getting along perfectly well with the others and enjoying the music, par Meowth's overzealous appetite for berries (and even that he is united with Chespin over).
- Also after the Hidden Disdain Reveal from Ekans and Koffing in "Island of the Giant Pokémon", it's nice to see any True Companions moments between Meowth and the team's other Pokémon without their trainers. "Pikachu, What's This Key?" contrasts said episode, with Wobbuffet and Inkay quite happy to tag along with Meowth in some treasure hunting. The credits sequence also has them helping Meowth get unstuck from a dirt hole.
- The Pokemon Christmas Bash CD is a series of holiday songs by the Pokemon cast, one of which involves Professor Oak giving Santa a Pikachu for Christmas.
- A few songs have Team Rocket joining in on the fun, and the entire cast has a good time together.
- Under the Mistletoe is a Silly Love Song about Misty trying to catch Ash under the mistletoe while Ash does everything he can to avoid it.
- The Pokemon 2BA Master and Totally Pokemon CDs have several heartwarming songs, including You Can Do It If You Really Try, You and Me and Pokemon, and My Best Friends.