- The scene where Jor-El and Lara prepare to send their little boy off to Earth. The music, the dialogue, even the costumes and sets. I mean... damn. But even before that...Lara: He'll be isolated. Different... Alone.Jor-El: (takes a deep breath, and holds up a single green crystal) He will not be alone. He will never be alone.
- Clark's last heart to heart talk with Pa Kent.Pa Kent: There's one thing that I do know for sure, son. And that is, you are here for a reason.
- The scene of young Clark telling Ma Kent he has to leave Kansas while standing in the majestic waves of grain.
- When Clark first meets Jor-El and begins his training. Under the tutelage of his father's watchful eye, Earth's greatest hero begins his training.Jor-El: ...they can be a great people, Kal-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show them the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you: my only son.
- The scene where Superman saves the little girl's cat out of the tree. During a busy night of last-minute rescues, stopping criminals, and saving Air Force One, he's still finding time to be helpful with everyone he can.
- The conversation between Superman and Jor-El after Superman's first night as a superhero in the extended cut.Jor-El: I anticipated this, my son. Now...Superman: You couldn't have! You couldn't have imagined...Jor-El: (wryly amused) How good it felt?
- The scene where Clark Kent tells Mr. White to arrange for half his salary to go to his Mom back home. Even the jaded Lois is impressed.Clark: Uh, Mr White, I'd be grateful if you could arrange for half my salary to go to this address on a weekly basis?Lois: Your bookie, right?Clark: What?Lois: Don't tell me — he gives his money to his sweet grey-haired old mother.Clark: Actually, she's silver-haired.Perry White: (snatches the address wearing a look of surprise) I'll see what I can do.Clark: Oh, um, uh, thank you very much, um, Mr. White.Lois: (bashfully) Any more like you where you come from?Clark: Not really, no.
- Also the "Not really, no." can also double as a quick tearjerker considering his origins.
- When Superman tells us everything we really need to know about him:Lois: Who... are you?
Superman: A friend.
- And it's entirely the way Reeve sells it, that you can believe his sincerity the way he smiles as he says it.
- As he's about to take Lois flying around Metropolis:Superman: Ready?Lois Clark...says you're just a figment of somebody's imagination, like Peter Pan.Superman: Clark?...Who's that, your boyfriend?Lois: Clark!? Oh, Clark. No, he's nothing, he's just, uh...Superman: Peter Pan, huh? Peter Pan flew with children, Lois. In a fairytale.
- Speaking of that entire scene, Lois Lane, hard-bitten reporter, completely fangirling out over Supes. "Do you...like pink?"
- "Can you read my mind?"
- The last shot of each of the older films, Christopher Reeve looks at the audience, smiles and flies off, giving audiences a dose of optimism.
- In the scene where Kal-El lands on Earth, there were two heartwarming moments on his part. The first thing he does upon meeting Martha Kent is hug her. The second, which becomes a Wham Episode for them, is when he stops the car from crushing Jonathan. It goes to show that even as a kid, not all his kindness came from their influence. It also gives the impression that the Kents didn't find their new son: he found them.
- Meta-example: There were instances of people applauding and cheering during the '78 film's original theatrical run. How many movies can accomplish that? (At least one did.)
- Bizarre as it sounds, Luthor gets a somewhat triumphant ending. Though Superman captures him and brings him straight into a prison, when a confused warden asks who Luthor is, he unashamedly removes his own wig and proudly repeats his Badass Boast about being "the greatest criminal mind of our time!" And while his plan was thwarted, it's hard to argue his self-proclaimed title hasn't been earned.
Heartwarming / Superman: The Movie