The very last movie from the first game: The Thievius Raccoonus is reassembled, the 5 criminals who stole it were defeated, and Sly happily proclaims that it was time for him to write his own legacy in the book. He also shows how proud he is of his friends coming in during his time of need.
In the introductory mission, we see Bentley's first time out in the field, and his efforts to calm his nerves include an abundance of codenames that Sly jokingly mangles. Much later, both Sly and Murray are arrested, but even on his own, Bentley trails them. After three consecutive solo jobs to bust Sly out, Bentley acknowledges Sly's thanks by saying it's part of a friend's duty. Sly agrees wholeheartedly and calls Bentley by his proper codename.
The conclusion of "Jailbreak". Bentley has saved his two best friends from the Contessa, and their escape from town was nothing but joy from the reunion; even with the Contessa on the loose, the gang still treats their friendship as the bigger priority. Murray even lets Bentley drive the van at one point.
Carmelita has a slight one: Despite wanting to get Cooper and his gang, she's shown to be caring when she captures Murray. She keeps an eye on him, apologizes for the cramped cage, and even goes out to give the hungry hippo some jelly beans.
This motion was apparently not forgotten by Murray, who, in the third level of Thieves in Time, asks Bentley where she is because he's starting to miss her. Maybe the two are unrelated, but it's still sweet regardless.
Murray took his vow of pacifism because he blames himself for Bentley being in his wheelchair. That stuff is tragic, but what makes him break that vow? Octavio kicking Bentley out of his chair, Murray overcome with his desire to cave the lion's face in. Badass and sweet.
Murray: That does it!! The Murray returns!!
Before going out with Sly on a mission, Panda King tries to reconcile his decision with his darker half, who represents the Panda King from the first game. Sly 1!Panda King wants nothing to do with Sly or his humility (Sly 3!Panda King), but is convinced to cooperate when Sly 3!Panda King explains that combining strength and humility will let them be the father Jing King needs.
When the gang is in China, Murray's van, which was last seen on an iceberg in Canada, turns up half frozen in ice, and Murray starts dragging it back to the Safe House. The Heartwarming part is that the Panda King helps Murray by blasting any guards who get close to tiny pieces. You need to see it to get the full effect.
To explain, after Penelope has tried her hardest to pull the van away, Murray states that he'll never leave her [the van] behind again. Panda King is moved at this since if he had that heart and spirit, he would have saved his daughter from being captured and forcibly betrothed, and thus helps Murray get the van back. For this, Murray gives him shotgun for a month.
Near the end, Carmelita shows up in the Cooper Vault only for Dr. M to attack her with an energy blast in order to make Sly suffer. Sly jumps in front of her and takes the blast head-on which causes Carmelita to go full badass mode and utter this awesome line.
When Sly is going for the Cooper Vault treasure, Murray and Bentley stay behind. Bentley questions his friendship with Sly and whether Sly's just using the two of them for his own ends, but Murray explains that it was okay because if they switched places, Sly would've been proud of Bentley, supported him through thick and thin, and gave his enemies a beatdown. He says this before laying down a Curb-Stomp Battle against Dr. M's thugs, which later gives Bentley the conviction to brush off Dr. M's manipulations.
Murray: Think of it this way, Bentley. If it were you in that vault, and Sly and I were out here, what would he do?
Another Bentley-related one when after being kicked out of his wheelchair by LeFwee, Penelope goes and fights him. The end of the chapter shows Penelope in Bentley's arms as they fly off in his rocket powered wheelchair.
Bentley and Penelope's relationship nonstop. During their missions in the final level, they affectionately call each other pet names, and during his closing narration, he reveals he's deeply in love with her.
There's a minor one when Muggshot shrugs off every insult Bentley throws at him. What finally sets him off? Bentley insulting Muggshot's mother. It's pretty cliche, but a villain like Muggshot angrily defending his mother's honor like that shows that he's at least capable of loving someone.
Bentley: Your mother was a broken down tub of junk with more gentlemen callers than the operator!
Muggshot:Nobody talks that way about my mother!NOBODY!
At the start, Bentley and Penelope are shown working together on Bentley's time machine, and for a few seconds, we see her resting on Bentley's body while he fidgets with his gadgets. He's even hung a picture of her on his binocucom. D'aaaaw. It becomes heartbreaking when Penelope ends up betraying him later on and their relationship ends.
In "Clan of the Cave Raccoon", Carmelita soon realizes that she and Sly are Not So Different and after spending time with the gang and Sly's ancestors, she gains a newfound respect for him.
From that point onward, while she remains abrasive towards Sly, she shows a softer side time and time again — giving him an "almost compliment" in the Ice Age, pushing him out of the way of a crashing castle gate in the Medieval era, and so on. Then comes the Grand Finale, and she finally softens up completely.
Even if she is abrasive to Sly throughout the game, she shows a much lighter side to his ancestors and to Bentley and Murray. She's genuinely concerned for Bentley and Murray's safety when they're briefly captured by Toothpick and is the first to try to help Murray when he faces Grizz.
From the same episode - after being stuck in a Heroic BSoD for the latter half of the episode, the gangs final operation goes off the rails when Murray is sent into the Grizzs lair on his own. However, the other members of the gang trust Murray enough to win the battle and simply watch from the sidelines.
After Bentley gets his Heroic BSoD in "Of Mice and Mechs", he tucks into his shell. Before the gang goes to their operation, Murray leaves Bentley a crayon drawing of the gang and Carmelita. It's implied after the boss battle that the drawing was what caused Bentley to conclude that Penelope is just a Gold DiggerFalse Soulmate who never really cared about his feelings, in contrast to Sly and Murray, who made it clear that they see him as a brother, will always be there for him, and will do whatever it takes to cheer him up.
In the boss battle against Penelope as Sly, you can hear Carmelita, of all people, cheering you alongside Murray and Galleth on in the background.
Out of all the villains in Thieves in Time, Ms. Decibel gets the happiest ending. Sure, she's in jail, but decides to turn her life around by getting that trumpet removed and learning to control her anger with a high chance of having parole for good behavior. After the huge Kick the Dog moment Le Paradox gave to her, it's nice that she's going to get on the right path.
At the climax, Le Paradox's blimp is coming apart, but Sly is determined to finish the fight with the rival thief once and for all. There's no talking him out of it. But before she's forced to run away with the rest of the team, Carmelita and Sly share a poignant moment that makes up for all the tension that existed between them in the previous episodes:
Carmelita: (clasping Sly's shoulder) Sly...I... Sly: (turns to face her) I know. Me too.
So much unsaid, yet with that exchange, you get the impression that they finally made up — that really, despite everything, they didn't NEED that many words to do so. Deep down, they understand each other that much.
In the dining room of Rioichi's restaurant, he has prominently displayed a series of paintings depicting how he came to invent sushi. Specifically, he spared the life of a shark he caught while fishing, who in return became a trusted friend and Rioichi's steed in battle for many years. When the shark grew old, he asked that Rioichi turn him into the first batch of sushi. While it dips into Black Comedy by immediately following his friends sacrifice with a picture of Rioichi celebrating the success of this new dish with fistfuls of cash, the fact that he chose to honor his friend by ensuring everyone who eats at his famous restaurant will know the story of this shark is very sweet. It can also remind veteran players of the previous game's themes of loyalty and honor among friends.
Seeing how far Dimitri has come, both as a friend to the Cooper Gang, and as a person. He was a ruthless antagonist in the second game, but throughout the third game he warms up to them and eventually joins up. By the beginning of Thieves in Time, Sly is freely referring to him as their friend (as opposed to their former frogman, or ally, etc) and entrusts him with the Thievius Raccoonus, also known as the physical embodiment of his family's legacy. That Sly and company can go to him for help, and that he will freely give it, is just sweet.
In the finale of the animated short "Timing is Everything," Sly finds himself held by Carmelita at gunpoint, much as he was in the first game. Once again, he manages to get away by kissing her, then slipping away while she's stunned from the liplock. But this time? He leaves her with the priceless antique watch that he'd been trying to steal in the first place — and that she'd been trying to retrieve after it was stolen by Muggshot. Basically, he gave up all the hard work of the heist just to make her happy. And for all her previous anger at him during the short, the way she smiles once she realizes what he's done shows that, for all her black-and-white outlook on crime, she still appreciates what he did for her.
A meta one. An official statement from Sucker Punch Productions, the original developers of the Sly franchise, said they were proud of Sanzaru games for creating the 4th game in the franchise.
Another meta example: Despite claiming on Facebook that they had no plans for another Sly Cooper game, Sanzaru is still very interested in continuing the series from Thieves in Time, as stated in this interview at E3 2015.note Sadly, due to Sanzaru's acquisition by Oculus, this may not be the case anymore.
In light of Insomniac Games' acquisition by Sony, Sucker Punch made this art of Sly and Ratchet shaking hands.
Alternative Title(s):Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus, Sly 2 Band Of Thieves, Sly 3 Honor Among Thieves, Sly Cooper Thieves In Time