After Ongina comes out as HIV positive, and is crying on the floor, the other girls approach her, help her up, and hug her.
Bebe's and Nina's love and respect for one another, before and after the announcement of the season winner, is so pure, making an already historic moment even better.
"Susan Lucci, the streak is over!" The reunion show, when Pandora Boxx wins the fan vote for Miss Congeniality in what Ru called "a landslide," and she nearly cries with happiness. After Santino's consistently harsh judging of her runway looks, and an unpopular elimination, Aunty Pandy definitely deserved her moment in the sun.
Delta Work giving up a phone call home, her prize for winning a mini challenge, to Shangela after she hears her say that she'd used it to call her grandmother, who she talks to all the time, because Shangela needed it more.
One of the Jocks to be made over, Chevy, admitted he volunteered to be a Drag Queen for a day because his little brother was gay and struggling with it. He hoped that seeing Chevy in drag would help him gain confidence and pride in himself and his older brother.
After the bad blood between Tyra and the other queens last season, it was refreshing, and very sweet, to see Raja and Manila give each other a big hug after their final lip sync.
During the Season 3 Reunion, Stacy confronts the other girls, in particular Raja, for calling her a "Booger" and telling her she didn't deserve to be on the show. Raja gives Stacy a heartfelt apology for making her feel bad, and then gives her the "Heather" necklace she shared with the rest of her clique. Stacy's reaction of saying "I'm a Heather!" is so honest and cute, it's hard not to smile at it.
Piyah Martell, internet diva and transgender teen born with Caudal Regression Syndrome, making an appearance in Season 4 to be part of the mini-challenge of that episode. All the queens couldn't help but feel inspired and moved by this young teen living out her dreams despite her physical shortcomings.
On "Untucked," immediately after talking about how her parents have a hard time accepting her drag, and that they have a tough relationship at the moment, a video of DiDa Ritz's parents, proclaiming their pride and love for their son is played. DiDa's surprise and joy is radiant.
Monica Beverly Hillz coming out as transgender, getting reassured by Rupaul and the other girls that she has a right to be on the show.
In the "Untucked" episode, we see all the girls rallying around Monica, assuring her that they are her family and they will love her no matter what.
Season 5's Untucked had a video message from Alyssa Edwards' estranged father. He apologises for not having been supportive when she was growing up, tells her that he's very proud of her, and hopes they can reconcile. Even Coco is brought to tears, and is actively encouraging Alyssa to forgive him. Also a hardcoreTear Jerker.
During Season 5's makeover challenge where the queens had to drag up gay marine veterans, Jinkx bonded with her vet, an older man who lived through the gay rights struggle from the military ban to anti-sodomy laws to catching HIV and having the medication rack his body. She listened to his stories, and planned out a dance routine that was fun but not overtaxing, and when they actually performed the routine it was clearly that the he was having a blast. The vet went on to say that the whole thing rejuvenated him and made him want to be part of the gay community again.
Jinkx's lip sync victory over Detox (itself a Moment Of Awesome) becomes Heartwarming when Jinkx "Too Pure For This World" Monsoon actually bows at Detox's feet as a show of respect, which Detox gives right back. Beautiful moment, even if it also means the end of Rolaskatox.
Bianca steps out of character and not only offers her extra cinch to Adore Delano, but also offers to show her how to put it on and help her into it. The heartwarming moment doesn't end there, as in the following cam Adore calls Bianca her step-mother, and claims that she's now a drag foster child in Bianca's care.
Not only that but in the most recent episodes former rivals Bianca and Trinity have grown rather close.
In the same episode, Bianca can be seen helping Dela and Laganja with their make-up for the Snatch Game. Remember how often she's at loggerheads with the latter. That's true sisterhood right there.
The Makeover episode of Season 6 involved real couples getting married on-stage! Expect warm fuzzies and tears of joy despite a couple of not-that-great makeovers.
As heartbreaking as Trinity admitting to having HIV is, her positive outlook despite her circumstances and wanting to encourage those with her condition to live their best lives makes it a heartwarming moment, with the other queens showing their support. It's around this point where she and Bianca, with whom she's had verbal spats with previously, become Fire-Forged Friends.
Speaking of Trinity, after weeks of being in the bottom, she takes Ru's advice and believes in herself which leads to plenty of praise from the judges during the stand-up challenge, with Bianca being one of her biggest supporters throughout her set. During critiques, Ru is on the verge of crying happy tears, clearly proud of her efforts, and so are the other girls.
Bianca getting a letter from her friend's eight-year-old daughter with whom she was close. The queens even comment on how nice it is that drag and gay culture aren't necessarily seen as taboo in front of children anymore.
Joslyn Fox's fiance asks Ru to marry the two of them right there at the Reunited show, and she does. Joslyn didn't know anything about it and you can see just how overwhelmingly happy she is.
At the same reunion, Darienne Lake briefly discusses her rocky relationship with her parents. Ru cues up a clip of the two parents, wishing Darienne luck and showing that her dad bought the rhino-horn earrings she wore for her mother.
The fact that the Top 3 from season 6 became such good friends. It's the first time in the entire series where there wasn't some kind of tension between the finalists. Even years after the season, Bianca, Adore, and Courtney remain close.
In fact, the whole group (especially the top 6), all got along really well, to the point where producers created almost completely artificial rivalries in order to increase tension for viewers.
After Miss Fame revealed that her grandfather, who had been the one to raise her, was murdered when she was just 15 years old, both Trixie Mattel and Violet Chachki hug and comfort her. This is especially heartwarming in regards to Violet, who prior to this had been rather standoffish and arrogant around the other queens.
When Ginger discusses some of the criticism she faced for what she's doing with her life, she explains that she may not be curing cancer but she's helping people live with it. Literally. She talks about how one of her fans was a woman with cancer whose bucket list included going to a drag show. She loved it and became a regular at Ginger's club until one night she stopped showing up. Ginger did some sleuthing and found out her cancer got worse and she had been moved into hospice care, so Ginger and her friends visited her and gave her one last show.
When Jaidynn breaks down due to the pressure of the competition during the rehearsal for the ShakesQueer challenge, Max gives a short and sweet pep talk that encourages her to keep performing.
Doubles for funny; during Trixie's exit on Untucked, she finds notes from Max and Pearl expressing their love for her. Trixie's response to Max's is also quite funny.
Trixie: (reading Max's note) "Trixie, I love you and the judges suck and I hate everyone else here, the end. Love, Max. PS: I will win for you." Aww! (beat) She's not gonna win.
Trixie: (reading Pearl's note) "Fucking love you, sorry it had to happen like this. You deserve to stay, I'm channeling your amazing energy, and thinking about you. Don't hate me, see you so soon. Love, Pearl."
Pre Snatch-Game for Season 7, Katya is a little reluctant to do a Russian character for Snatch Game (owing to her anxiety coupled with fear of failing). Ru has a chat to her about her anxiety issues and gives her a pep talk, telling her that she wouldn't be on the show if she wasn't genuinely talented and Ru didn't think she was good enough.
Later in that same episode, Katya and Fame bond over having past addictions and the ongoing struggle to stay sober.
After her elimination Max posts an apology on Twitter for doing such a poor job in impersonating Sharon Needles for the Snatch Game. Sharon tweeted back that Max had nothing to apologize for, and that the only thing she enjoys more than a great impersonation is a terrible impersonation!
Season 7's "Bearded Beauty" runway was this to many fans (who considered it long overdue), as Ru had finally given a proper showcasing to a sub-culture of drag other than just the "fishy" look.
The second episode gives us an exchange between Chi Chi and the rest of the girls when she opens up about her past involvement with gangs. Robbie Turner jokes about Chi Chi's parents reacting to finding out she was part of a gang but seems to show genuine concern. After that Cynthia says she's proud of Chi Chi for making a change. While the show loves to play up drama a lot it's nice to be reminded that the queens have softer sides.
After her elimination, Naysha gives Chi Chi a catsuit and a swimsuit to help her out and boost her confidence. Especially heartwarming because Chi Chi beat her in the lip-sync.
Naomi Smalls and Derrick Berry get into a really heated argument where they both read each other's drag, particularly how Naomi doesn't glue down her lace fronts and how Derrick doesn't do anything but Britney Spears impersonation. The next day, Naomi decides to be the bigger person and gives Derrick advice on her makeup.
After Bob beats Derrick at the lip sync, she takes time out to praise Derrick for how much effort she's put into the competition, and how she went from really feuding with her to being her biggest cheerleader.
The final Untucked of Season 8 in general is very heartwarming. The top four are genuinely friends with each other, and spend the bulk of the episode speaking very warmly of each other (while still playfully throwing shade).
Chi Chi remarking that Bob is an inspiration to her.
Chi Chi noting that while it would be great to win the prize money, it's incomparable to the lessons she learned on the show.
The queens promising that they'll share some of the prize money with each other - $100 per queen.
The queens all noting how far Kim has grown throughout the season.
At Kim Chi's behest she convinces all the other queens to share a dance move with her during the final lip-synch, and they all actually go through with it!
During the Season 8 reunion, Cynthia Lee Fontaine reveals that she has been undergoing treatment for stage 1 liver cancer since leaving the show. Who was at her side the whole time? None other than Acid Betty, who Cynthia says came to support her as soon as she heard the news and constantly told Cynthia that she wasn't alone.
In the All-Stars 2 premiere, both Roxxxy and Phi Phi admit they were a bit catty during their seasons and promise to be more compassionate.
Roxxxy in particular lives up to her promise when she reassures Adore, who is panicked at being in the bottom 3 and dealing with Michelle's bitchiness, that she does belong on the show. Especially heartwarming when you remember they met for the first time at the outset of the series.
When Coco makes her entrance, Alyssa briefly looks shocked...before laughing and giving her a big hug, assuring the Confession Cam that it's all water under the bridge now.
In the 2nd episode of All Stars 2, Alyssa notices that Adore's looking particularly defeated and asks what's wrong. The rest of the queens try cheering her up as well.
In a show of class, Alyssa hugs Alaska after the latter picks her for elimination.
Made even more heartwarming in the next episode when all the eliminated queens have to pair up with a non-eliminated queen to earn a chance to re-enter the competition. Alyssa immediately picks Alaska.
After Tatianna and Alyssa lip sync Ru announces that they both are returning. The joy on their faces is palpable and they immediately rush to hug each other.
Episode 1 Untucked: Lady Gaga coming backstage to give each queen their own individual critique. No other guest judge has done this before and with a surprising amount of insight too.
Despite Eureka's medical evacuation being sad, Ru Paul reminds her that she is loved and invites her to return for Season 10. She accepts this invitation.
Almost immediately after her elimination, all of the queens rush up and give her a big group hug.
For the S9 makeover challenge, the queens have to put members of the production crew in drag. The love and respect the crew has for Ru, the queens and the art of drag is infectious, with Ru declaring it her all-time favourite challenge.
Eureka apologizing to Sasha and Valentina for making an insensitive joke about eating disorders and Sasha apologizing in return for how she reacted; putting the matter behind them.
And the proceeding conversation between Sasha, Shea and Valentina telling each other about their struggles with eating disorders and appreciating how they can speak so openly to their fellow drag queens about it.
Made even more heartwarming with the fact this was Eureka's last episode in Season 9, meaning she was able to fix her relationship with the other girls before her elimination.
Nina Bonina Brown's elimination. After adding random names for episode, Ru Paul adds her own birth name after Nina's drag name before letting her go, calling her a member of the drag race family.
In the Season 10 premiere, Bob the Drag Queen cheering on her drag daughter Miz Cracker ("That's my baby!") during the first mini challenge.
In episode 4's Last Ball on Earth challenge, Asia O'Hara ends up helping almost everyone else with their sewing and outfit designs — which unfortunately leads to her being in the bottom 3 of the week due to her own three looks not being up to scratch as a result.
In the "Bossy Rossy Show" challenge where Shania Twain was a guest judge, Ru allowed Kameron Michaels (for whom Shania was her childhood idol) a moment to gush her feelings to her.
While Blair explained her experience being raped in college Miz Cracker takes hold of her hand and Vixen is on the verge of tears while saying this memorable quote:
"I can't wait to find that motherfucker."
And when Blair is eliminated, all the other queens go onstage to hug her.
After Kameron Michaels and Eureka lip sync for their life in Season 10, Ru lets them both stay. "Now that's what I call a lip sync for your life!"
Monet X Change's surprised reaction when she wins Miss Congeniality. Monique Heart and The Vixen also look so happy for her.
All Stars 4
Ru introduces the girl group challenge, and dubs the episode's supergroup "Henny." And then things take a turn when the queens are told that in their choreography, they'll have to include the original Henny, Stacy Layne Matthews, who then walks in to overjoyed reactions from everyone. Manila looks like she's about to explode from happiness at seeing her season 3 sister again. All these years later, the Heathers are a distant memory, and Queen Stacy is still an iconic Ensemble Darkhorse.
While putting on her makeup, Latrice Royale gets a moment to talk to the other queens about her fiancé (now husband), and we even get a picture of the two of them. Latrice's fiance even left her a little love note in her luggage before she left to do this season. Latrice's joy in getting to spend the rest of her life with this man is so pure.
A small one, but upon Honey Davenport's photo-op partner being revealed to be Manila Luzon, the former can't help but affectionately call her Auntie Manila, showing how years later, Sahara's legacy still lives on.
After Mercedes shares her history with the queens in the Werk Room, her sisters are quick to rally around her. It's shown that even later in Untucked, when she starts to tear up and doubt herself, every queen in the room jumps at the call to be her cheerleader.
Everything about the romance between Vanjie and Brook Lynn, and the other queens' almost gleeful excitement upon noticing and realizing it.
When RuPaul asks Team Ra'Jah point-blank who's responsible for their devastating showing in the "Diva Worship" challenge, all of them band together and state it was a collective failure (unlike the infamous "MacBitch" from season 7 where nobody took responsibility), throwing nobody under the bus. Watching all of them have each other's backs when they could've easily started pointing fingers is a wonderful show of sisterhood. Of course, they pay for it when RuPaul decides who's lipsyncing...
During the live crowning reaction video: Brooke Lynn wouldn't take her eyes off of Yvie at the end of the final lipsync. It's very clear that she knew Yvie was going to be crowned, and was incredibly happy for her and couldn't wait to see how she'd react. Yvie's excited Signature Laugh is just the icing on the cake.
Bonus: Silky meant it when she squashed the beef with Yvie, and gets along famously with her in this video. She's eager to congratulate Yvie on the big win, completely in earnest.
Another Heartwarming in Hindsight moment comes from Sum Ting Wong, who discussed in the Werk Room how she hasn't came out or revealed her occupation to her mother. After the show aired, she did both of those things, and in spite of their differences she was happily accepted.
After Sum Ting Wong's elimination, guest judge Geri Halliwell comes into the Werk Room to say goodbye to her, and to tell her how much she loved her and her energy. This is the first time a guest judge has ever done this in Drag Race herstory.
Sum Ting Wong: Geri Halliwell just made me cry!
The family makeover challenge would itself be an example of this trope, but special mention goes to Sum Ting Wong, who revealed on social media that she doesn't have a sister and wasn't out to her mother before the show, so her brother offered to be her drag partner for the challenge had she made it that far.
Divina de Campo's pregnant sister from the family makeover challenge gave birth in the months between filming and airing. It's a boy!
During Press Week, the queens talk about how it really is Rupaul's Best Friend Race this season. While the show hasn't been highlighting their friendships very well, there is something heartwarming about how close the group as a whole have gotten. Off the show, the queens regularly call each other, join each other's Instagram live sessions whether as a guest or an audience member, and even have a group chat. Any bad blood that happened on the show has been handled (on screen or otherwise) and everyone is on great terms with each other and openly supports each other on social media.
Gigi Goode comes out as genderfluid, after discussing her love of femininity from a young age. There have been gender-nonconforming contestants before (most notably, Jinkx Monsoon and Sasha Velour), but until Gigi, no one had spoken at length about it on the show. What makes this wonderful is knowing she had the courage to say this on TV because she had love and support from her mom and her uncle early on, for who she is. (Take note, parents; that's how you do it.)
Gigi's closeness with her mother in general. Not only is her mother supportive, she actually sews most of Gigi's looks. After years of queens struggling with family issues, it's nice to see one that has so much support from one of her parents. Especially after we learn in the finale that Gigi's father wasn't on board with her doing drag at first.
Heidi's friendship with Aiden, as both are underestimated in the competition.
In the seventh Untucked, Gigi revealed in her confessional to be genuinely guilty about what she said about Heidi's makeup previously.
Episode 9: Jackie Cox, wearing a stars & stripes-themed hijab and kaftan (reflecting her Persian heritage), proudly whipping around the stage to positivity anthem "Firework", results in a truly powerful statement. This came after her speech during critiques, about the treatment of Middle Eastern people in America. After the episode aired, Jackie got lots of positive feedback on social media from grateful Middle Eastern fans.
Episode 10, from start to finish, is a big slab of heartwarming. The top 6 make over Drag Race superfans, who are absolutely bubbling over with joy just being in the Werk Room. The girls get to come out of their shell a little, walk the runway, and Ru even lets them lip sync for their lives to one of her own songs - shantay, they all stay! And so do the bottom two! It's the kind of episode that reminds you why you got hooked on the show in the first place.
The fact that the superfans all stayed in touch not only with the queens, but with each other!
Episode 11 has some very kind moments from Ru to the queens while at the panel. He expresses how much they've impressed him, considering them one of the strongest final six the show has every had and doesn't want any of them to go. Ru's parting words to Heidi are extremely encouraging and he reassures her how much of a star she is and the bright future she has ahead of her.
Despite being the final challenge and the sheer amount of work each of the remaining queens have to do- each of the queens genuinely have so much fun performing the Viva Drag Vegas show and utterly knock it out of the park.
Regardless of the odd circumstances of the reunion - done by video chat thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention Ru wearing some weird luchador mask - this reunion is one of the sweetest ever, from Aiden and Brita squashing their beef, to Jackie Cox and Rock M. Sakura revealing they've made peace with their respective moms. A real sense of camaraderie runs all through this episode.
The circumstances surrounding the finale made the crownings that much more resonant. The week the finale aired, America was submerged in nationwide protests about police brutality against black Americans (including one particularly fierce protest at the White House during the airing). Miss Congeniality went to Heidi N Closet (to the surprise of no one) and after a hard-fought lipsync via Zoom, Jaida Essence Hall finally won the crown, marking the first time both recipients were black queens. To see black excellence championed on TV, during such a turbulent time in history, was hugely vindicating for the show's many black fans.
The live reaction the finalists had to seeing who won is certainly this. Each of them praise each other throughout the lipsync and try not to cry (especially Crystal for the latter). Upon Jaida being announced the winner, Jaida is too choked up to speak. Crystal and Gigi are Graceful Losers who are proud of Jaida in spite of their loss, and all three of them talk about how glad they are that they were able to meet each other.
Jaida, in tears: All of our dreams are gonna come true. I've told you so many times but everything is gonna happen for us that we always wished could happen.
Crystal: I love you so much, thank you for being my friend.
Canada Season 1
For the second time in Drag Race herstory, a guest judge came into the Werk Room to say goodbye to the eliminated queen. In this case, guest host Allie X gave Ilona Verley a hug and told her how much she caught her attention. Ilona in turn thanked her for being apart of the queer community and lifting up artists.
Ilona Verley: Thats better than a crown, I dont need a crown, I got to hug Allie X!
After the season ended, the queens, including host Brooke Lynn Hytes, got together and voted for Tynomi Banks to be "unofficially, officially Miss Congeniality." Her Twitter bio says she's the "grandmother figure" of her season - turns out the rest of the cast agreed.
Gottmik discussing her identity as a trans male on episode 2's Untucked, and being met with unanimous acceptance from everyone else, was hugely validating for the show's many transgender fans. For the record, it's she/her in drag, and he/him out of drag, and it's a nice moment in itself when Gottmik gets to clarify that herself on screen.
As they are doing their makeup, Olivia Lux validates Gottmik's identity and politely asks what pronouns does she use, with no shadiness or sarcasm whatsoever. It's a great example of how to respect trans people and be an ally.
As a side note, but related to this, Ru made a point to change her usual intro on the runway to the gender-neutral "Racers, start your engines, and may the best drag queen win!" It's a little thing, but considering the show's previously shaky record with the trans community, it's nonetheless very appreciated.
Another minor thing, but important when looking at the big picture. As per tradition, Ru asks the final 4 the usual "what would you say to your young self" question, while holding a childhood photo of each queen. Just like with Peppermint in Season 9 Ru doesn't deadname Gottmik, but this time she doesn't call any other queen by boy name either, to avoid involuntarily singling out Mik. For that matter, Mik says loud and proud to her younger self that his name is Kade and always will be.
Tamisha Iman is walking Heartwarming. Coming back from being unable to proceed on Season 12 due to having cancer, relearning how to walk, and making it onto the season is incredible. Everyone notes how motherly she is, which makes sense due to her having 3 biological children and 60 drag children.
Of particular note is that one of her drag daughters is none other than the late Tandi Iman Dupree herself, responsible for one of the most revered and legendary modern drag performances lipsyncing as Super Woman at the Miss Gay Black America pageant in 2001 (note to the readers right now, if you haven't watched this video before, watch it immediately). Once the other girls in the Werkroom put two and two together, they're understandably completely flabbergasted. Later on the Mainstage, Ru brings up Tandi and notes that "we've all seen the video". Tamisha says that had Tandi not passed before the show started, she absolutely would have been a Rugirl, and it's hard to disagree with her.
In episode 5, the topic of ball culture comes up, and Utica admits that she has never been to a ball since she comes from a really small place in Minnesota. Tamisha then decides to throw an impromptu ball in the werkroom, acting as emcee and with the other queens walking the "runway". It's a wholesome moment that brings to mind the "can you take us to church?" scene from season 4.
UK Season 2
Asttina and Tayce discover that they both planned on doing Naomi Campbell for the UK Icons runway. Rather than fight each other about it (as has often happened in the past when people choose similar outfits for a challenge), the two instead turn it into a discussion about the lack of black icons in the UK, and agree to both do Naomi. Asttina goes on to win the challenge, with the judges citing the beauty of her Naomi runway as a major reason why.
Ginny and Bimini discussing their non-binary identities, and the struggle they had with accepting an identity that many people still don't understand. Bimini puts it clearly in a confessional:
Bimini: "Non-binary" isn't a new thing. It's just a new term. [...] As humans, we're so complex that having a binary to fit everyone into it, whether it's just male or female, just doesn't make sense when there's seven billion plus people in the world.
Ellie giving Lawrence encouragement during the "A Little Bit of Love" rehearsals.