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     General Moments 
  • Preface: While these general moments are listed, some standout entries will be found in each season.
  • The family visit, virtually every time (except for a certain incident involving a dead grandmother). It's always surprising to see how people will react, coming from all different backgrounds and dispositions, when their loved one offers a reprieve from four weeks of physical deprivation and mental insecurity.
  • Any time someone has a genuine friendship with someone else that extends outside of the game. Some notable examples are Rodger and Elisabeth, JT and Stephen, Malcolm and Denise, Adam and Jay, Sarah and Tony, and Yau-Man and Earl.
  • Every time there's a culture-based reward.

  • The very last scene from Borneo, the only occasion where the winner got a final confessional after the vote. Richard Hatch is shown sitting alone in Tribal Council, holding the vote that made him the winner, and then footage was put together of him, clean-shaven, leaving the airport back in America and getting into his new car, really selling the idea of only one Survivor that was lost in the normal format of announcing the votes months later at the reunion. All of it is set to a confessional of a clearly shocked Rich explaining that he was proud of his game, that he hadn't lost who he was as a person, and that a million dollars would really change his life.
    • Doubly heartwarming when you realize, for all of his rough edges and flaws, Richard Hatch was integral in changing the way America viewed gay people and how they were portrayed.
    • Sean reuniting with his dad aboard the cruise ship in Borneo, which came as a complete and pleasant surprise to Sean since it was the first season and the "Loved One's Visit" hadn't been set in stone as a tradition yet. Also, when Sean's dad came back to camp the next day, he was carrying care packages from everyone's families with him.
    • Also from Borneo is Jenna, desperately missing her two kids, is informed that while the others received video tapes from their loved ones as part of a reward challenge, her family never sent one out. Later in the episode, while Greg and the tribe were watching his home video, Jenna was out alone in the rain, drearily shooting arrows at the target used in the Reward Challenge. At one point, she makes the bullseye and sighs. A masterfully done scene.

    The Australian Outback 
  • Michael Skupin's evacuation in Australia. It is one of the few episodes of Survivor that actually makes you feel that the show is really dangerous and not for novices.
  • Prior to the merge, the boys from Ogakor are sent to scout out Kucha's camp while the girls from Kucha do the same from Ogakor. Keith and Colby get treated to a feast of chicken and are overjoyed. Jeff Varner, who openly admitted he enjoyed the fact that Ogakor was starving, said that he's glad he gave them something to eat.
    • Meanwhile at Ogakor camp, Elisabeth and Alicia get what remains of their flour and a can of tomatoes. The Ogakor girls are sad that they couldn't give more, since Kucha treated them to a chicken. The Kucha girls are sad that their rivals are giving what little food they have left can just to treat them. Alicia even said she didn't expect to feel so bad for them.
    • Though they have been the source of each other's ire for the past weeks, they are greeted with nothing but hugs and cordiality. It's clear that, despite the all animosity and heartbreak, it still is just a game and they are just contenders.
  • The instant messaging scene where as Rodger points out all the men that are left are far more emotionally affected than than the women. Especially Colby completely collapsing into tears by his mother simply writing "Hi baby."
  • The sweet, platonical friendship between Rodger and Elisabeth reached its crescendo when he gave her a heart-shaped rock to give to her boyfriend back home. Notable for being one of the only heart-wrenching moments that wasn't needlessly overdramatised (not to say they're any less heartwrenching than the rest of the examples).
    • Rodger cared for Elisabeth so much that when he was given the choice he elected to get voted before her because she deserved to go further in the game.

  • Ethan in the village in Africa, playing hackey-sack with the kids and then leaving it with them. If anyone doubted why Ethan was seen as the most heroic winner of his time, this scene shows a lot. It's especially amazing how Ethan said he wanted to do something for the people here in Africa and, after winning the money, did exactly that.
    • Ethan's relationship with "Mama" Kim Johnson was another one, with Ethan often defending and protecting her when her head was on the chopping block. The Out of Africa challenge even has them heading to the finish line hand in hand. This comes full circle when Mama Kim wins immunity and takes Ethan over Lex, figuring that she wasn't likely to win anyways and wanted Ethan to win.
  • The alliance between Ethan, Tom and Lex. Three guys from different parts of the country with totally different lifestyles were able to come together and not only run the game but became close friends, a friendship that persists fifteen years later.

  • Pappy and Neleh's powerful friendship which lasted to the point where Paschal knowingly took the risk, and eventually paid the price, of the Purple Rock because he wouldn't vote her out.
    • This friendship extended to Gabriel, who apparently had begun a showmance with Neleh for a brief time. Evident by their tearful reaction to seeing him brutally voted out by their own tribe.
  • Paschal and Sean get one, of all people, when they win reward to a Marquesan village. Despite the two not getting along beforehand, and not since, they were able to set aside their differences to enjoy the fantastic reward.

  • On the day Helen missed her twentieth wedding anniversary so she could compete on the show, her tribe secretly made her a tiara and threw a party for her to make up for it. Helen had thought the entire time that the run around she got all day meant her tribe was intending to vote her off.
  • Jake's clear compassion for his tribe of crazy, argumentative kids on Sook Jai definitely counts, and turns into a TearJerker when a challenge loss leaves him with some painful guilt because he knows now they will all be Pagonged.
  • In Episode 6, after a quarrel over a misunderstanding, Ken takes Robb under his wing and becomes a sort of Big Brother Mentor to him, teaching how to better relate to his tribe. This calmed down the normally very unpredictable Robb into having an epiphany about himself and suddenly becoming much nicer to his tribe mates.
  • Later on in the season, Helen's husband was the lucky person who got to hang out with the tribe for twenty-four hours. He immediately sees Brian as the guy who is really running things, and tries to convince Helen to vote him out. She doesn't listen to him, but at least he tried.

    The Amazon 
  • Butch, a middle-school principal, gives Christy a beautiful pep talk after she does well in a reward challenge, saying that watching her do well was one of the most incredible moments of his life, and that Christy didn't have a disability.
    • Post Tribe Swap, the way Christy is welcomed by the guys is overall very sweet. Even Roger gets some kind moments with her.

    Pearl Islands 
  • The fact that it comes the episode after Rupert nearly beats the shit out of Jon doesn't help, but Rupert pulling aside Burton to tell him how his teasing affected him negatively is surprisingly heartwarming, as Burton seems to genuinely care that he hurt Rupert's feelings.
    • Rubert, being The Heart of the season, has several moments. At one point in the game he winds up on the Morgan tribe for a few days and participates in a challenge with them. While Fairplay would have used the opportunity to sabotage the tribe, Rupert recognized the terrible conditions of the camp and decided to help out. He had them relocate their shelter so it wouldn't be washed away by the tide, which nobody on the tribe seemed to realize changed with the moon cycle, and taught them how to use their fishing spear. In the challenge he led Morgan to their first real victory and wished them good luck as he rejoined his own tribe, refusing to partake in the reward he earned because he didn't want to stay away from his own tribemates another minute. Later on when Savage came to loot the camp Rupert made him take more rice than what he'd asked for, knowing they genuinely needed it and that Savage was too prideful to ask.
  • YMMV, but the reason Osten "quit" was because he didn't want anyone else on his tribe to go home, since he was already physically ill to begin with. It's a shame Jeff dragged it out to the point where he made Osten humiliate himself instead of just being voted out like his tribe had planned to do.
  • The reason Lil picks Sandra to go to the end over JFP, if one believes it. Knowing she'd lose, she predicted that Jonny would use the million to go on a hedonistic, deadly rampage, and decided to give it to the fellow working-class mother instead.
  • A Meta Example, but Jonny Fairplay in the Dom and Colin podcast, despite having almost nothing good to say about anyone else, is very complimentary of his pre-merge partner, Trish Dunn.

  • The All-Stars addressing Jenna quitting for the sake of her dying mother. While some of them disagree with her decision (more stating that they wouldn't have come in the first place, not calling her out as a gameplay maneuver), the conversation is cordial and understanding, with even people like Boston Rob in tears. Her leave itself is a TearJerker as her mother only passed away eight days later.
    • Not to mention that Jenna went over to every single person and they all hugged her or at least acknowledged her passing.
  • Rob's reaction to Amber being swapped over to the new Chapera tribe in All-Stars ("I don't care that they're in our camp...I don't even care that they have all our food...but they've got my girl."), and his joyous reaction when he sees that she wasn't voted out in the following episode. Even Jenna starts crying when she sees her.
    • Rupert's interview when he reads the personal letter from his wife and daughter (which itself is tie-dye, just like his shirt).
    "They think I'm the meanest, toughest son of a bitch...even though I'm not. That gives me inner strength."
  • The love story between Boston Rob and Amber is probably the most iconic and sweetest thing about All-Stars, especially as they ended up happily married with four beautiful children.

  • Although Chris uses it to propel himself further into the game and cut the throats of the people who did it for him, Le Ann and Ami give Chris, the last man standing, a reprieve, because the Immunity Challenge had their loved ones compete for them and despite Chris' most passionate efforts, himself and his fiance Lorie didn't win, and in their tearful goodbye he apologized because he was going home. Le Ann didn't want Lorie to feel the guilt of letting her fiance down so they planned to let Chris stay one more round.
  • The fact that Chad was completely chill about Chris accidentally making a "leg up" reference to him, laughing and pointing out all the possible jokes that could be made about it instead of embarrassing his friend further than he already was.
    • Chad in general is one of the nicest people in Survivor history. Of special highlight is him in the cultural reward, having the time of his life.
  • Despite how upset Julie had been at Chris's deception, the two did reconcile after the show, as you can see Julie and Chris hanging out in Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?. Chris may be the best bullshitter in Survivor, but he really did seem to view Julie as a little sister and it's nice to see their relationship is mended and still strong.

  • Despite not being picked to even be in the game by her fellow tribesmates, Wanda is a good sport despite being completely screwed by production, leaving them with another one of her songs and telling them to enjoy their adventure.
  • Although Koror is in general pretty nasty to Janu, Tom has a moment where he tries to give her a pep talk during the pre-merge, assuring her that she can do well in this game.
  • Coby has one regarding Janu as well; he named his adopted daughter after her.

  • Judd's relationship with Jamie. Despite both of them having abrasive personalities it is apparent that Judd really cares about Jamie.
  • Margaret working tirelessly after the first challenge to keep the exhausted men in shape, putting her skills as a nurse to good work with little complaints.
  • Cindy raving about how much she enjoyed being out there in Guatemala with the animals and the nature. Keep in mind that it was probably the harshest season that had ever been filmed, and she rarely ever complained. Even on the Survivor Oz podcast she'd go on and on about how much she treasured the memories of being out there with the howler monkeys and the stars above her.
    • In addition, Cindy being so excited about winning the car, which, despite being a little awkward, is genuinely sweet considering she probably wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise.
      • According to Cindy, she still has the car to this day, and she taped her Survivor Oz interview inside of it.
  • On Danni's birthday on episode 7, Yaxha offers a pool party to Nakum in the crocodile proof cage they won a few episodes prior and Danni even reveals she brought some chocolate back from the reward to give to them.

    Panama - Exile Island 
  • Tina writing the name of her recently deceased son in the sand, trying to handle her grief.
    • Shane reuniting with his son Boston during the Panama season has the unique distinction of being genuinely heartwarming and sweet (Shane obviously loves his son very much) and laugh out loud funny (due to Shane's over the top bawling at just seeing him and the fact that, due to Shane being an Manchild, Boston coming off as more mature than his dad).

    Cook Islands 
  • Jonathan Penner and Cao Boi being stricken by guilt after accidentally knocking a baby bird out of its nest.
  • During the final day, Yul and Ozzy find their breakfast feast and call for Becky, who was on the other side of the island. It's like watching two kids call their little sister for dinner.
  • While some find them boring, the fact that the Aitu 4 were so strongly united post-merge is heartwarming in its own right. Even at the Final 4 with two of them immune, they choose to let the other two duke it out in a challenge rather than choosing one over the other.

  • Yau-Man of all people has plenty of them.
    • The scene where he proves the people on the New Ravu tribe wrong by demolishing a target after they mocked his size and strength, and then comes dancing back to his tribe after hitting it.
    • After he joins the New Moto tribe, finally enjoying the luxury tribe after several weeks of misery on the have-nots camp, he says "I finally have the strength to carry the flag" and does so on his way out of the challenge.
    • A minor one, but when Stacey asks Yau-Man in the Final 9 who to vote for, he says "vote who your heart tells you to, but please don't vote out Earl." Their genuine odd-couple friendship is often rather touching.
    • When Yau-Man is betrayed by Dreamz about the truck deal, Yau-Man is a good sport about it, but seems more hurt that Earl voted him out as well, despite that being the right move for Earl to make. Earl addresses it in the FTC, telling Yau-Man honestly that he would lose to him if he didn't make that move.
    • Another meta-example about the car deal is how Yau-Man consistently in interviews owns up to the deal going awry as being his fault, not a morally reprehensible move by Dreamz.

  • All of Jamie and Erik's interactions when you realize that they would get married after the show.
  • Peih-Gee taking Erik and Denise to the Shaolin Temple in one of Survivor's most epic rewards. It was clear that Denise was amazed by the experience, and the fact that barely anyone in the world was ever allowed into it but still let a camera crew record it for all of us viewers is powerful on its own.
  • When Frosti is voted out, everyone seems sad for having to do it, even super-strategist Todd and the perpetually snarky Courtney.
  • James' first scene, where he interacts with Leslie, who encourages him as he admits his awkwardness associating around other people. His first confessional definitely counts as well.
    James: Yea I’m a gravedigger. I like that work cause y’know I’m kinda by myself, but part of my problem over here now is that I’m just used to being by myself. The whole initiation of the social thing... talking, trying to strategize, well yea, that’s gonna kill me. I’m definitely worried about the social aspect. I need to pay more attention to that, so I need to do a little bit more hustling, hopefully pull out the challenges, and make ‘em love me.”
  • If you look closely, Leslie's visor has the names of her family members on it.
  • Chicken's surprisingly sweet final line in his final words.
    Chicken: You'll never find someone who was so honored to be such a small part in such a big adventure.
  • Courtney winning her very first challenge. As the weakest of the tribe, no one would have ever expected it to happen, but everyone was happy and congratulating her for it. At the tribal council, she even got a round of applause when Jeff brought it up.
  • This isn't brought up at all in the show, but Leslie and Courtney developed one of the most unlikely friendships because they (and Todd and Amanda) would all sit around in a particularly cool spot in the jungle and talk about anything.

    Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites 
  • According to Kathy, Penner was a source of comfort during her tumultuous stay on the island. He promised to keep her company in the shelter, and when Jason would tell him to "hang out with the cool kids" he replied "No, I made a promise and I'm going to stick to it." This explains why Kathy was so distraught when Penner was medevac'd.
    • Penner's medevac is simultaneously this and a massive tearjerker. He tries to hold it together but ends up breaking down on the boat. Him shaking hands with Jeff Probst is also one as well.
    • Kathy has a mental breakdown and the rest of the tribe spend time trying to comfort her in whatever way they can. Jeff arrives on the island and learns that she has a history of mental illness that has been exacerbated by the island's rough conditions. Jeff generally has a disdain for quitters (see NaOnka, Purple Kelly, and Colton), but he's sympathetic. According to Kathy's AMA, it helped that she didn't try to make a lame excuse and that she was legitimately thinking of cutting her finger off to get medevac'ed.
  • Although Fairplay's story about missing his pregnant girlfriend would be shown to be a cover for the fact that Danny Bonaduce punched him in the shoulder and he lacked pain meds, Yau-Man still offers him advice on how to be a good father in his voting confessional despite having fought with JFP over the idol in the beginning of the episode.
    • From the same scene, Yau-Man could have easily taken the second immunity idol to give to someone else on the tribe perhaps (like what Fairplay tries to do), but he points it out to Kathy so that her tribe could have one.
  • In the event Jason finds the idol, the Black Widow Brigade needs to choose which of their lambs to slaughter. They choose James because they didn't want to vote Erik out on his birthday. During the immunity challenge, their plan would go unimpeded whether or not James won since they could always vote Erik and the order remains unchanged, but they all whooped and cheered when it didn't happen.
  • Despite having just been humiliated by the Black Widow Brigade harder than nearly anyone else in Survivor history, Erik Reichenbach takes it in stride and has been a good sport about it ever since.
  • Parvati's refusal to vote out Amanda, despite Amanda's status as jury threat, due to their close friendship.

  • Gillian trying so hard to keep spirits up in Fang and be perpetually optimistic. It doesn't work, but she tried valiantly.
    • Her also taking this experience and using it to create Reality Rally, a sprawling reality-TV based charity, is both this and a Moment of Awesome.
  • Randy of all people gets one when he's dancing with the Gabonese villagers.
    Randy: This one woman... I think she liked me. I haven't had a girl come on to me in about 20 years but... I think she liked me. I was full, I'd eaten too much, my arms hurt, my legs hurt, but... hell, I danced with her.
  • Matty tearfully proposing to his fiance in the family visit.
  • Typically, loved one challenges involved meeting their loved ones and hanging out with them for the duration of the challenge before everyone left, the exception being the winner and their selects. This challenge was different because there were no loved ones, just a preview of a long video message. The winner, who was Bob, would get to see the whole message and everyone goes home with nothing. However, it's revealed that the loved ones were there all along and everyone gets to spend the day with them, no one being sent to exile.

  • Although it'd backfire because she'd go home instead, Carolina apologizing to Sandy because she was going to vote her out and assuring her that she was a great woman was surprisingly touching.
  • The end of the auction in Tocantins definitely counts. Jeff introduces the last item available to bid on; the chance for one person to watch a video message from their loved ones. Being incredibly homesick, especially for the newborn baby she left at home, Taj starts to tear up. Jeff opens the bidding, and everyone hands their money to Taj so that she can see her family. Even Jeff comments on the tribe's generosity, especially in such a cutthroat game.
    • Even more heartwarming when you consider Debbie, one of the ones who gave her the money, had her own children back home who she was missing, and even she was more than willing to give Taj the money.
    • The end result was even more Tear Jerker and heartwarming as Jeff says that she can see his husband at camp which Taj broke into tears. Even better, when Jeff offer a twist that if she's willing to go to Exile Island and meet her husband over there instead, he's willing to let everyone see their tribe's loved ones at camp, she agrees causing even more uproar and tears were shed due as a way to say thanks for their support and help.
  • In his own Coach-level bizarre way, the fact that Coach told the infamous Amazon Pygmies story because he wanted to cheer up his tribe after Joe's medevac is strangely heartwarming.
  • The extent of Stephen and JT's odd-couple friendship and how it brought them both to the end.

  • Russell Swan protesting being evacuated from Samoa despite that even Jeff was fearing for Russell's life. (His heart rate dropped to 42 beats per minute... within a few minutes.)
  • Jaison defending Natalie at the reunion when even Jeff was trying to push the "Russell-was-robbed" campaign, decrying the people who were rooting for the awful behavior Russell had shown instead of Natalie, who had been very kind and upstanding.
  • Off-camera, when Brett lost the FIC, he helped to give Natalie pointers for the Final Tribal Council.
  • Erik's speech at FTC, where he praises Natalie's game out of a genuine fondness and respect, which other jurors didn't give her. He praised her as being as big of a threat as the two sitting next to her. Unlike future advocacy speeches (i.e. David and Spencer) the audience never saw it as having hidden selfish intents. It also helps that he was drunk, which made the speech sloppier but more effective and emotional. Natalie is clearly in tears by the end of it.

    Heroes vs. Villains 
  • No fan expected that the most sympathetic and heartwarming contestant of the entire season of Heroes vs. Villain would have been Jerri, the Trope Codifier of the female villain. Let's recap:
    • Played a much nicer, less malicious and angry game than her first two seasons
    • Respected the Heroes after the merge, in contrast to Russel and Parvati, who both made fun of them constantly. In fact, supposedly, Jerri and Colby's reconciliation after ten years was going on, and was left on the cutting room floor.
    • She was much stronger in challenges, even winning an Individual Immunity
    • The best, though, was in the reunion. As oppose to her first two where she was heavily booed (to the point of leaving early in the one for All-Stars), as soon as Jeff brings her up and asks her a question, the entire audience cheered and applauded her for her season.
  • Sandra made a comment that made Coach really upset, saying that he was useless. It got to a point where he had a heartfelt talk with Tyson, worried that how much he grows is irrelevant if people can't see past who he was. He even said he wanted to leave. Tyson gave him some advice and they shared a hug. The morning after, despite Tyson saying he should practice tai-chi privately so that no one would make fun of him, he has a group session with most of the other villains.
  • Rupert thanking Sandra for trying to save the Heroes in Heroes vs. Villains during his jury speech and apologizing for not believing her about Russell. He then goes on to tell Parvati, who is clearly emotional and has been getting put down for her alliance with Russell throughout the final Tribal Council, that even though she aligned with a terrible person, she worked for and deserved her spot in the Final Three.
  • Sandra explaining why her uncle was her family visitor: he was, as well as being close to her, very close to Sandra's mother, and was there as she was dying.
    • Sandra explaining how her husband was in Afghanistan, and this was her way of providing for the family. It's simultaneously badass and sweet.
  • The ultimate conclusion to the Jerri/Colby rivalry - when he's voted out, Jerri hugs him and cries]]. Supposedly, there may have been a story in that season about Jerri and Colby reconciling after all this time, but since it didn't fit into the whole "Russell needs to be taken down" theme of the season, [[What Could Have Been we'll never know...
    • We do get this little gem from an online video showing all of the voting confessionals in the Colby vote.
      Jerri: I look forward to cultivating out friendship.
  • A small one, but after J.T and Tyson's mud-fight, Tyson (who lost) hugs J.T and gives him a peck on the head.Seen here at the 5:00 mark. Awww.
  • Sandra's entire approach to Survivor is "as long as it isn't me." She'll throw anybody under the bus as long as it means she gets ahead. In Pearl Islands she sabotaged the camp and let her best friend take the blame for it. So seeing her actually stick her neck out to save her buddy Courtney was very sweet.
    • Parvati's friendship with Danielle as well. Despite her alliance with Russell, she refused to take out Danielle because of her friendship with her and actually went against the vote to try to save her. It didn't work, but given how women who have defied Russell in the past have gotten their torches snuffed, that was as bold as it was touching.
  • In Boston Rob's bio of which Survivor player he respects the most, he says it's his wife Amber. Awww.

  • When NaOnka first wants to quit in the first few days, Chase comforts her, and the conversation turns into one about his father who passed away before the show... and he immediately breaks down into tears.
    • This comes full circle when NaOnka gives Chase her immunity idol as a thank-you before she leaves the game. Who would have thought NaOnka would get a heartwarming moment?
  • Dan's son in Nicaragua, repeatedly kissing his father's head and acting completely confused at Jeff's surprise at it. "He's my dad!"
  • Also from Nicaragua, Holly stepping out of a reward challenge (The only one she won!) so that the rest of the camp could have enough rice to last for the end of the game and a new tarp. This is especially powerful because NaOnka, who planned to quit, refused to step out for Holly's sake. Benry, noting Holly's sacrifice, repeatedly needles NaOnka to take Holly's place, and seems genuinely hurt that NaOnka wouldn't do that for her.
    • This comes full circle, as does Holly's whole story arc, when Holly tries to convince Purple Kelly not to quit. Five days into the game after an emotional breakdown, Jimmy Johnson, an early Espada member and NFL Coach, gave her a personal pep talk to keep her from quitting. When Purple Kelly quits, Holly tries to do the same for her. It doesn't work, but she tried.
    Holly: Why do you want to quit?
    Kelly: I can't take the cold anymore. I'm literally freezing.
    Holly: I got you a tarp.
    Kelly: I know... but there's also the food issue. I can't keep going off of two spoons of rice a day.
    Holly: I got you more rice.
    • A meta example: When Holly writes an inspirational book about her journey, guess who does the foreward for her? Coach Jimmy Johnson.
  • A more subtle heartwarming part of Nicaragua's pre-merge is the friendship between Marty and Jill. They start off as a power duo that work hard to establish dominance over Espada. Even when Marty's plans would get out of control and Jill would snark about them in confessionals, they stuck together. After the tribal swap left them as two against six and Jane would flip on and berate them constantly, they stuck together until the very last tribal vote, where, having no other option, Marty let her get voted out to stay in the game (but still refused to vote for her out of respect). Even then, their goodbye is sweet as are Jill's final words, and the fact that someone as cutthroat as Marty wouldn't cast a vote for Jill out of respect (which almost sent him home instead.)
    Jill: I hope you go far, Marty. My kids are gonna need someone to root for.

    Redemption Island 
  • Mike Chiesl giving up his family reward for the players left in the game, despite being on Redemption Island and voted out by the players he was giving it to, the Ometepe Six.
  • YMMV for sure, but Phillip talking about his past qualifies (if he's not full of shit.)
    Phillip: Being one of 12, having my mother pass at a very early age, having to work my way through high school, deciding I was going to join the United States Army, and getting an honorable discharge, receiving the second highest medal that you can receive during peace time—-doing what? Field Sanitation. What a glorious job. But you know what? I did it to the best of my ability. And that's what these guys see out here every single day.
  • Boston Rob breaking down in tears after winning the final immunity challenge, and then admitting in a confession that him winning was because of his wife, Amber.
    Boston Rob:It was Amber who encouraged me to come back and try again. She believed in me. It's 'cause of her.

    South Pacific 
  • Dawn's amazing performance in Shoulder the Load. After such a rough start in Survivor she showed just how much she was capable of.
    • Meta example, but while most people on Savaii gave Cochran a lot of shit for flipping, Dawn and Cochran are apparently friends enough in real life for her to forgive him his past transgressions to align with him in Caramoan.

    One World 
  • One World had quite a few towards the end:
    • Christina wanting to make her father proud because he only had a few years left to live, and making it all the way to the final 4.
    • Alicia and Colton apologizing for their behaviour on the show at the reunion.
    • Kat's jury speech, all about how short life was and seizing the day.
    • Tarzan and his wife, Terri's relationship - he was so desperate to see her that he ended up making deals that only brought him to the loved ones visit, just so he could see her.
  • Even though Colton had been nothing but horrible to her, Christina still felt sympathetic and compassionate enough to be the one comforting him when he had his headaches and stomach pains.

  • In Denise's very first confessional, she uses her therapist skills to deduce why Zane shouldn't be disregarded just for his appearance in an awesome version of the Sherlock Scan.
    Denise: Being a therapist, I'm really curious about Zane because at first you go, 'Gah, this guy's trouble', but then you look closer and then you go, 'Okay wait a minute; look closer at those tattoos.' He's lost somebody. There's a death date of somebody on his arm and he's got the serenity prayer on his hand, so part of me is kind of hoping, this guy's got some story, and if nothing else, I'm curious about his story.
  • In a Tribal Council between the last three Matsing members, Denise says in a confessional that even if they blindside her they won't shake her faith that Russell Swan and Malcolm are still good people.
  • Penner and Lisa have a deep conversation about Lisa's past on TV and how she's on TV right now and what she does will become part of the story.

    Caramoan - Fans vs. Favorites 
  • Malcolm getting the merged tribe named after his mom in Caramoan. Apparently he went back home to watch that episode and his mom threw a big party, and when she found out he named the tribe after her, she went running out to fix her eye makeup.
  • Towards the end of his run on the show, Reynold has been screwed over and betrayed more than anyone else, but he still manages to keep a good spirit about everything. Even when his partner steals his idol from him, he is still a good sport.
  • Strangely, his jury speech towards Dawn could count seeing how much more constructive it is in its criticism than... certain other speeches. Instead of humiliating her, she encourages her to be honest by insulting him, cheering when she calls him vulgar and misogynistic.

    Blood vs. Water 
  • In the first few minutes of Blood vs. Water, Rupert's wife Laura was voted out of her tribe. Then Jeff starts making a deal.
    Jeff: Rupert, you're a chivalrous guy. You love your wife. What if I said you could swap places with her?
    Rupert began moving to take her place at "if".
    • And in the second episode, after Rupert loses the Redemption Island duel, Jeff asked Rupert if he regretted taking Laura's place. His response?
    Rupert: I love Survivor, but I love my wife more.
  • In the third episode, Tyson's interaction with his girlfriend Rachel after she lost the Redemption Island duel, asking if she had fun while she was in the game. Also, his confessional about it afterwards where he tears up.
    Tyson: I asked Rachel if she had fun in this game. Because it is a game, and people let it ruin their lives and make them angry.
    • In case you thought the few times that Tyson crying in the game was fake or overdramatic, he, of all people, is the first person to not only break down weeping profusely as he wins the season, but before all the votes are even read. That's a huge step up from "I Love Seeing People Cry When You Crush Their Dreams" from Tocantins.
  • Brad Culpepper, after going through the wringer with the players in the game, with a sweet goodbye to his wife.
    Brad: Monica, I came into the game wanting to be your rock. Somewhere along the way I became your anchor. You're free now. The wind's blowing. Sail. Sail hard.
  • Jeff Probst, of all people, gets in some kind words to Laura Morett after she loses the final Redemption Island duel. She's crushed that she failed just at the last moment, talking about finishing strong and how she didn't. Jeff has this as a response.
    Jeff: Some will argue that if you're looking to teach your child a lesson, that the lesson of "if you lose you're a failure" is maybe not the right one, but that finishing strong is giving everything you have. You didn't win, but does that mean you didn't finish strong?
    • Laura's entire character.She never had a bad word to say about anyone. When Candice tried to vote her out, she was actually relieved because she knew that meant Candice wouldn't take her vote personally. She acted as a mother figure to every single contestant and was exceptionally understanding to other.

  • Woo waxing poetic about how much he loved seeing the kids in the Final 6 reward, where they delivered school supplies to local children. This was made even better by Woo doing a martial arts performance for all of the kids.
    • Mixed with tragedy, Woo talking about all the things he wanted to do with the money if he won, including helping his mother and proposing to his girlfriend (with his father's permission, of course).
  • Tony breaking down into tears when his friend showed up instead of his wife, because his wife was in labor.
  • The relationship between Kass and her husband. Her interactions with her fellow castmates, ranging from fighting with them to verbally destroying them, wouldn't prepare you for her breaking down into tears talking about his arrival (which she Lampshades, and him listening to her with legitimate care when she rants about the position she's in on her tribe and what she has to face in the game.

    San Juan del Sur 
  • The fact that this season has the most giving to their fellow castaways in reward challenges regardless of it being genuine or just a strategic move.
  • Jon reveals Jaclyn can't have children and says they will use the money to adopt.
  • Missy suffering a Game-Breaking Injury led to a lot of these moments.
    • When Missy decides to stay in the game, her daughter Baylor says that she will carry her to the finish line if she has to, and then Natalie says "I'll help you".
    • Keith helping Missy walk despite their quite antagonistic relationship in the previous episodes.
    • Keith comforting a distraught Baylor when Reed is giving her mother a very brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech. While not the most brutal in the show's history, him comforting Baylor says a lot.
  • Baylor, seen as a Spoiled Brat by Reed and some fans actually compliments Natalie and says that was a good move on her part.
  • The fact that a challenge designed by a kid for the Make A Wish foundation was actually used. Even though that challenge caused Missy to receive her injury.

    Worlds Apart 
  • Mike standing up for Shirin as Will was verbally attacking her on a personal level. Shirin says he's the first man in her life to ever stand up for her in situations like those, and when you hear about Shirin's Dark and Troubled Past it becomes even more heartwarming, if also a tear-jerker.
    • Even better, this comes full circle when Shirin votes for him to win.

    Cambodia - Second Chance 
  • Andrew Savage telling his tribe mates about how he met his wife, and cries at the end, prompting other members of the tribe to cry as well. For Kass, who was a Jerkass in her season, it makes her realize that she has to be a kinder person this time around because it brings people together as allies, and laments the way she behaved before. For Jeremy, it brings tears to his eyes and makes him think about his pregnant wife back home.
  • Terry comforting Abi-Maria, after Shirin, Spencer and Peih-Gee made fun of her. It might have been a savvy move to expand his allies, but he also really did feel bad for her and in the end, it did boost her morale enough to stand up to Shirin.
  • Joe reuniting with his dad for the loved ones visit. It was something that he has been dreaming of for years, and he finally got to see it come true.
  • Keith's willingness to give up his spot at the final 6 tribal council after the votes are deadlocked to save Kimmi, who has two kids to take care of. While Kimmi ended up going home that tribal council, it still says a lot about Keith's character.
  • Jeremy's speech at Final Tribal Council talking about how he's doing this for his family and his unborn son, who he didn't mention at all to them at that point. He then went on to win unanimously, 10-0-0.
    • Some of the reactions to his speech qualify too. A lot of the Jury members were very serious and stoic during their questions, but the moment Jeremy talks about his family, especially his unborn son, most of them were smiling.
  • Jeremy playing an idol for Fishbach. Jeremy could have kept the idol for himself and let Stephen go home, but the trust and friendship between the two was so strong Jeremy decided to risk losing some protection to save him. And you can tell how genuinely touched Stephen was, even telling Jeremy that he was with with him all the way.
  • Abi, of all people, holds a concerned Kimmi's hand during Tasha's drowning scare and tells her, "It will be okay. Medical is there. They will take good care of her." Completely Outof Character for her portrayal for the rest of the season.

    Kaôh Rōng 
  • After Aubry experiences an anxiety attack brought on by the heat and elements on Day 2 and some of her tribe members just write it off as her being "weird," Debbie is able to be there for her and help her feel better. In addition, after Aubry realizes that she may be on the chopping block, she vows to give it her all in the challenge - and ends up essentially singlehandedly winning it for her team.
  • This photo of Debbie giving Elisabeth a flower and the two hugging. Despite how quirky and cocky Debbie can act, she's ultimately a kind person, caring for Aubry and Liz, despite the fact the two have butt heads.
  • During a reward challenge, THREE people went down. And while the circumstances were scary, the heartwarming moment comes from how their teammates reacted. Before any medical help is called Neal is using his jacket to shield Aubry from the sun, Joe immediately calls medical and stays by Debbie's side while the others looked on worriedly, Caleb's whole tribe tries to cool him off, and Jason guides Cydney to the shade and pours water on her then holds her hand while medical looks at her. Nick had not been portrayed as anything but arrogant, but he was then holding Caleb's feet up to help the medical crew. Debbie and Cydney turn out fine, but Caleb had to be medically evacuated, which caused everyone on his tribe to burst into tears and rush to him to say goodbye. Tai even holds his hand for a brief moment before Caleb is placed on the helicopter.
  • The budding Bromance between Scot and Tai. Scot hadn't been portrayed very well the first four episode, but when he was swapped over to Gondol, he immediately befriends Tai and shows a much kinder side without Jason around which really redeemed him in the eyes of many fans. Their friendship is so positive that he was even voted player of the week on the Survivor subreddit despite initially being one of the most hated players on Brawn.
  • This secret scene of Joe. The way he talks about how he planned the merged tribe name Dara for months before even getting on Survivor, researching Cambodian, hoping he'd make it to the merge, and the excitement and joy in his's a very sweet moment.
  • Jason talking about raising his autistic daughters and the struggle he has gone through in Episode 8. For those who hated him in the beginning of the season for his treatment of Alecia, this was a humanizing moment for him.
  • This secret scene, where Debbie, Julia, Michele, Aubry, Cydney and Nick get together and have a bowling competition. They're all taking a break and just having fun, despite the fact that during the time they were in different alliances. It's a light-hearted, humanizing moment that makes you forget the strategic side of Survivor, and it's a damn shame it wasn't in the episode. It also counts as a Funny Moment.
  • During Scot and Kyle's reign of sabotage aimed against the women, even as the girls take it in stride, when Scot pours water on the fire it's none other than Joe, the one male in the alliance, who chews them out for being assholes. Even more endearing is him dropping out of the final nine reward challenge and making a statement by backing the women's team.
    • His loyalty to his alliance is so strong, Joe admits he would've picked Cyndey and given his place to Aubry had he won the reward challenge in episode 11.
  • Episode 12's reward trip. Tai, Michele and Jason go to a Cambodian animal rescue, meet a friendly elephant named Lucky, and go to feed some monkeys. And then Jason is given a sympathetic and sweet moment as he's playing with the monkeys while talking about his autistic daughter, mentioning how she loves animals and hopes she could see this moment.
  • At the reunion, Sia gives Tai $50,000 to donate to a charity for his love and care for animals. Aww....

    Millennials vs. Gen X 
  • Throughout the first episode, Hannah openly admits she feels like she doesn't fit in, especially when she saw all the attractive members of her tribe team up together. When she says as much to Mari, Mari assures her that's not the case and that they'll just make their own alliance of "geeks and freaks".
    • Though Hannah's betrayal next episode ends up undermining this.
  • David and Ken's blooming friendship.
  • Adam finds an Idol in episode 4, and dedicates it to his mother who has stage four lung cancer.
  • After the events of episode 4, the beginning of episode 5 has Jessica break down crying, apologizing to Ken for doubting him after he tried saving her, and telling him about her advantage to build trust again. Ken accepts her apology graciously, and comforts her with a hug while she cries. The trust is restored.
  • In Episode 5's tribal council, despite saying that he doesn't trust her, Zeke holds Michelle's hand while the votes are being read.
  • In Episode 7, Ika Bula goes to Tribal. After they lose they expect paranoia to give them two minutes max before rampant strategizing, but instead they all sit on the same log for a half hour sorrowfully, so close that they know any cut will be painful. Eventually Bret and Sunday leave to strategize and Bret morosely suggests that being down in numbers they vote for each other and let the Millennials decide who to keep so they don't lose connection to them, even as they acknowledge that they were close allies. Even though Michaela commits a deadly sin in making it clear that Sunday and Bret are on the bottom, it's clearly done out of respect and honestly, not maliciousness or condescension.
  • In Episode 10, Ken gives David a beautiful and uplifting speech about how he's changed throughout the game. Ken tell him how proud he was of him and that he was better than he gave himself credit for, and by the end of it David's in near tears. And later when David's in trouble, Ken reaffirms his loyalty and says in a confessional that if it comes down to it, he'll go down fighting by David's side.
    • And David in turn? The moment he believes Ken's the one in trouble, he doesn't hesitate to play an idol for him.
  • As well in episode 10, Adam getting a letter from his mother counts as this and a Tear Jerker.
  • While Bret and Zeke would later take a level in jerkass, it was a nice humanizing moment in episode 10 where Bret came out to Zeke, and both bonded over their sexuality and how the other's generation did help LGBT+ advancement in their own way.
  • Though her elimination was heartbreaking, Jessica giving Ken her Legacy Advantage for being such a loyal and true friend was small moment of sweetness in such a sad time.
  • Since the merge, Adam had an advantage that could take someone's reward for himself, causing everyone to worry if he would do it during the love one challenge. Once the challenge happens though, he openly announces he won't use his advantage. This touches a lot of people, especially Jay who lets him be with his brother.
  • Adam's mother was succumbing to her cancer right after the final three contestants returned home. The poor guy rushed onto the first flight he could book and was able to speak with her in her dying moments. He told her he knew he'd won and got to say goodbye. In the following live reveal of the votes, he was proven right. In fact, there's no way he could have possibly been wrong. Everyone voted for Adam. And somewhere in Heaven, his mother is sure to be overjoyed.

    Game Changers 
  • Even though Tai went with the majority and voted him out, Caleb says in his Final Words that he will still be good friends with him.
  • The Nuku tribe manages to capture two goats, looking for food, but soon realize that they're a mother and baby pair. The majority of the group (minus Sandra) decide to let them go as they feel it's not worth killing one or the other just for food. Really says something for a tribe to decide this when trying to find food to survive is part of the game.
  • Special mention must go to Debbie's miraculous turnaround when she was totally down and out and just about ready to call it quits. She went through a wickedly emotional time right before the second tribe shake-up because Mana kept losing the challenges and she felt very ignored, which caused her to start unraveling at the seams, howling at her tribe in frustration and raising hell in her confessionals. Then, when the three tribes reconfigure into two again, she ends up with no buff, getting her jolted to Exile Island, which is basically the cherry on top of her misery. Although it means she'll be safe from the next vote and join the team who goes down a player, now she's forced to stew all by herself. Then, she discovers several very delightful and beautifully merciful surprises waiting for her. Her response is nothing short of giddy excitement and tearful relief.
    • Debbie finds out the "Exile Island" in this game, true to the season's focus on game-changing elements, is actually a bait-and-switch secret reward on a ship named the Exile (going with the shipwreck/marooned theme of the season), which is fully stocked with all she needs to pamper herself, loaded to the gills with comfort food and drinks, plus a bathroom and a shower, as well as a comfy bedroom to sleep in.
    • However, the best thing that Debbie gets out of going to the Exile is that it offers her a chance to talk with a former winner and get tips, which happens to be her old friend Cochran, who also has the privilege of offering her a choice between an extra vote (arguably the most beneficial, which she takes), a make-your-own fake idol kit, or an advantage at the next immunity challenge she participates in. She breaks down crying and hugs him, then later kisses him. She gets to enjoy a titanic turnaround from all the crap she's put up with, enjoy a much-needed breather from it all, and go back to a brand new tribe all refreshed and renewed as well as composed again and amped to get back into the game now that she has found her second wind. The difference between how she was acting before all this good luck shined upon her is staggering. She was arguably the person who needed to catch this break most.
  • For the first time ever in three seasons of playing the game, two-time winner Sandra is voted out. Many players tend to go out angry and/or bitter, but not Sandra. She fully accepts her fate with no hard feelings, wishes everyone the best and goes out with a smile, receiving the applause full of respect from her fellow players, and in her exit interview she expresses heart-felt words of happiness, gratitude and love for the game that twice changed the life of her and her family.
  • All of Nuku supporting Zeke after Jeff Varner resorts to outing Zeke as transgender to save himself.
    • Sarah in particular mentions she comes from a conservative family in the mid-west that has very little LGBT communities in it. She states that she was able to get to know Zeke with no problem at all, and was even crying for Zeke over this situation.
    • In a meta example, people on twitter expressed support for Zeke, showing how strong the community is on LGBT support, and that they wished Zeke the best. Even his former tribemates from last season voice their support.
      • Even some contestants who weren't the most likable such as Randy Bailey and Figgy supported Zeke
    • Despite the contestant's contracts prohibiting them from having any say in what is or isn't aired in an episode, the show's editing crew offered to remove Zeke's outing until he was willing to reveal it himself, which he declined. Zeke was actually comfortable with the fact his true orientation would be revealed to the world and used it as a springboard for everyone else who feels conflicted about gender binaries to tell their own stories.
    • Zeke's forgiveness of Varner after the episode aired, saying he should be "embraced" for realizing how wrong he was.
  • When the merge comes, Jeff gives the Survivors a choice: two people either miss out on the feast, or everyone misses it and is given one slice of crackers and cheese each. Brad immediately steps up and offers to miss the feast, and Tai follows right after him, allowing everyone to eat.
  • Seeing Michaela and Cirie bond and develop a sort of student-mentor friendship, which culminates into Cirie saving Michaela and the latter promising to protect Cirie back. It's very nice especially because they compliment each other so well, and it's clear Michaela looks up to Cirie as being a strong black woman.
  • In episode 8 Cirie's team helps and supports her to complete the balance beam section of the reward challenge that she was struggling with Jeff even called it one of the best moments in survivor history.
  • When Cirie is eliminated, Jeff proceeds to deliver a speech congratulating her for four fantastic outings and how much of an honor it was for him to see her play, allowing her to borrow his Elimination Catchphrase, and Cirie leaves receiving a standing ovation from the jury.
  • The reunion show has numerous. Brad apologizing to Tai for his treatment of him in the finale, Cirie retracting her old "stay on the couch" statement and telling people to get off the couch, Sarah revealing her entire conservative family was completely accepting of Zeke's transgenderism, and Jeff Varner revealing he got a new and better job.

    Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers 
  • The beginning of episode five features Ben being startled by the sound of bamboo popping and needing to leave the camp to calm down, which he later reveals is due to his combat experiences as a Marine. He then candidly discusses his PTSD and credits his wife for helping him with his struggles, and says that one of the reasons he went on the show is to show other veterans struggling with PTSD that there's a way forward. As he says, "the past will eat you alive, but the future will save you."
  • Ben gets a letter from his wife and learns about how she and their two young kids are doing. Moments later, he spies a clue, follows it, and finds his first Hidden Immunity Idol, and credits his wife for helping him to find it (in spirit). It should be of note this is the first of three in a row that Ben finds, all necklaces. Kelly Driebergen was helping him out big time. then!
  • The family reunions are particularly touching, especially Ryan's, who breaks into tears when he gets to see his dad, mentioning at the final tribal council that helped to reinvigorate him after he was on the losing end of the game. Then there's Kelly, Ben's wife, who he says gave him new life after he had one foot in the grave; when he doesn't get to be with her for the reward, he's able to tough it out and tell her it will only be nine days until they see each other again, and it ends up being prophetic when Ben wins. Also, Mike's wife, whom he has bragged about all the time in the game.
  • Seeing Chrissy wanting to be friends with Ben after everything's said and done despite the quarreling they did.
  • Jeff scouts out a young girl with a purple Solewa buff on and finds out her name is Ava. A few seconds later he realizes, "Hey, that's my daughter's name!" He entrusts her with her very own authentic piece of voting parchment to see if she can guess who will win the game. She voted Ben and was right on the money.
  • Three of Ben's old friends from his Marine unit surprise him at the finale live reunion after seeing the aforementioned scene, and Ben hasn't seen them in twelve years. For the first time on camera, he's actually brought to tears and hugs them all so tightly that his hat falls off and Jeff goes to rescue it.

    Ghost Island 
  • Similar to the emotional moment between Adam and Jay where they both fell apart over their ailing mothers, Chris and Donathan bond when Donathan mentions his sick grandmother needing constant care, and Chris brings up how his mother has been having dehabilitating seizures when he was fifteen and he's needed to tend to her ever since. Neither one of them is talking game; it's two guys with real issues that consume so much of their personal lives, it drove them out of desperation to play this grueling social experiment to win enough money to remove the daily struggle, at least somewhat.
  • Wendell celebrating his girlfriend's birthday in Fiji and singing "Happy Birthday" for her with his tribe because he can't be there to celebrate it in person with her. One can hope Wendell recorded her reaction when that episode aired and put it online.
  • The Immunity Challenge in the merge episode is a tribute to the crew's boom operators. The cast has to hold poles in a specific position in increasingly uncomfortable positions. It's a nice way to make the cast and audience appreciate just how difficult such a seemingly innocuous job can be.
  • In episode 9's tribal, Laurel is telling her side of a story that Desiree is trying claim as false. As soon as Laurel finishes, Donathan instantly claims it's the truth. Really shows how close those two are.
    • After Desiree starts trying to call her out again, Micheal and Jenna also add in that Laurel was telling the truth. Even if they are on the bottom, the Malolos will stick for each other.
  • The bond between Domenick and Wendell feels like a real friendship. The two have agreed not to go after each other because they realize that it would make them as good as dead going forward in the game to be at each others' throats and instead have each others' back as an unbreakable duo.
  • Domenick's ability to immediately defuse tension with Kellyn when she fears Michael has an idol (who is lying as a last-ditch effort to bait her into panicking). He takes her aside and tries to drill it into her mind that this is obviously a trick and that they don't need to worry and should hold to their plan to vote him out. Sadly, Kellyn is too much of a worrywart to take the advice to heart, but at least, if only for a moment, it did manage to maintain the peace and show why Domenick lasted so long, being a Team Dad just like Brendan- and a dad in real life with a wife and kids to go home to.
  • Jenna says on Jury that when she got voted out, no one hugged her. Libby immediately reaches across Desiree (voted out between them) and pats her on the shoulder, obviously wanting to fix that, but making due for now until they get back to the Ponderosa.
  • The family visit is always emotional, but when Angela's daughter Paige is discussing how Angela served in the military for 21 years, you can hear Jeff's voice crack as he continues to talk with them. At a viewing party she hosted, Angela said that Jeff was so affected by it that he stopped production for 45 minutes to regain his composure.
  • In a show that demands people cutting throats and betraying others in order to be crowned the Sole Survivor, what was the one thing that ensured Wendell's win? His Undying Loyalty and friendship with Laurel, who, because of the tie votes at FTC, ultimately became the tie-breaker vote and picked the person who has consistently protected and cared for her.
  • Seeing Wendell's audition for the show back in 2012. He's in a court, fully suited, and has a bald head, before the days of his dreadlocks. Look at how much he's grown! Ascended Fan if there ever was one!
  • Once again, Sia has taken a liking to an openly gay player's struggle, Donathan, and awarded him $10,000.
  • By the time of the live finale, Chris and Domenick have gone on a fundraising marathon for multiple sclerosis together and properly buried the hatchet and become friends.
  • Jeff does another in-studio vote with a little girl guessing who will win. You can even tell from the brushstrokes long before the reveal of the vote that she wrote "WENDELL". And she was right! 2 for 2! Also, after all the time in between, Jeff still remembers the other girl's name from last season because it's his daughter's.
  • Jeff paying a very sincere series of compliments and apologies to special guests Erik and James, the players who committed the most foolish moves in the game's history, and recognizing them for their formidable effort and hard work in both times they played by acknowledging they got very close to winning and placed fourth and fifth.
  • Jeff handing Domenick a framed portrait of Domenick and Wendell having a bro cuddle, just because he didn't want Domenick to go home empty-handed.

    David vs. Goliath 
  • During a rough night, Jessica starts having an emotional breakdown and tells the David tribe that she was force to watch her mother go through an abusive relationship. Bi calms her down and reveals that she went through a similar relationship. Much like some moments in past seasons, there was no gameplay evolved in that. Just two people sharing some emotional moments.
    • Adding onto this, Nick kept his own emotional past to himself(he lost his mother to an overdose), but after hearing the girls talk, he opens up. Everyone on the tribe is not mad at all for him keeping to himself and all felt sympathy for him, much like the two girls above.
  • Alison and Gabby's conversation in the sixth episode is very sweet. Gabby has been feeling on the outs of the tribe due to the "Brochacho" alliance and reveals all these insecurities to Alison, who doesn't judge her at all or say anything negative — instead, she's completely understanding and her first instinct is to give Gabby a big hug, making her feel much more at ease. She then has a confessional about how Gabby tugged at her heartstrings and how she now wants to align with her.
    • This eventually comes back in the double episode, as Alison is the one on the chopping block, but Gabby does everything she can and succeeds in saving her. And even during the episode, when Gabby failed to win immunity after two grueling hours of pain, Alison rushes out and embraces her in comfort. Aw.
  • Davie playing his idol for Christian as well as Dan playing his idol for Angelina can count as one. This can be due to how the former viewed Christian as the biggest threat but still played his idol for him and the latter didn't trust Angelina that much after the entire incident with Elizabeth but still plays it for Angelina to not get voted out.
  • Upon realizing that he's been blindsided, John starts laughing and smiling, congratulating the Davids for getting him out. Especially notable considering that none of the other Goliaths are smiling. As he gets his torch snuffed and he prepares to leave, we get this exchange between him and Christian, one of the people responsible for getting him out:
    Christian: I love you John. I still want to be Comptroller, if that's okay?
    John (smiling): You're in, brother!
  • Alec and Carl's send off in the 2 hour episode. Considering neither really hold a grudge for getting voted off, and the remaining players giving them proper goodbyes.
  • Christian proving himself as a loyal and steadfast friend to Gabby, no matter what. He's always been the one to comfort her, and defends her when people criticize her or see her as a weak link. And when the time came to choose between Gabby and Nick, he chose her.
  • Just before casting his vote at Final Tribal Council, Davie says a quick prayer, asking God to watch over the final three.
     Edge Of Extinction 
  • Despite being voted off, Rick holds no ill will towards his teammates, even saying he loves then in his final words and that he is rooting for them.
  • When Gavin starts crying when Jeff gets ready to tell him his wife was coming for the family visit, everyone hugs him, claiming that Gavin never cries.
    • Becomes extra heartwarming when Ron picks Gavin to go on the reward.
  • Chris and Reem's relationship, as in the beginning she hated him for voting her out and lambasting her for letting Keith get an advantage, but they eventually grow so close that she openly roots for him to win in the fire-making challenge and later votes for him to win.
     Island of the Idols 
  • When Kellee visits the titular island, her lesson is on listening to other people in order to form bonds. To do this, Boston Rob and Sandra both tell personal stories about their lives and it's clear both love their families.
    • Kellee herself mentions having a boyfriend who she seems to be close to as well.
  • Karishma hated the old Lairo is finding comfort among her new tribemates. She reveals to them she's in an arranged marriage and how it makes her unhappy, but everyone is supportive of her.
    Karishma: I mean, how do you talk about something like this?
    Janet: You just did :)
    Jack: Just like that :)
  • Aaron shows Tommy that he has purple socks with his child's face on them. He has a confessional talking about how much he loves his son and how good he feels whenever he sees his face.
  • During the fifth tribal council, Kellee makes a very smart comment regarding the nature of the game and the nature of people. Sandra is so proud.
    Sandra: That's my girl, Kellee!
    • Similarly, Noura is a complete train wreck, making a mockery of the serious nature of tribal council. The idols' response?
    Sandra: I love Noura.
  • Jack had accidentally made innocently made a racist joke towards Jamal. Immediately, he was mortified and tried to make amends. What follows is Jamal patiently explaining to Jack why "innocent jokes" can still hurtful and Jack fully understood and did his best to empathize.
    • Jamal reveals that he was so touched that Jack was sincerely remorseful that he says it made up for the other times he's been subject to casual racism.
  • Kellee and Dean learn that they have a mutual friend outside of the game who is very special to Dean(it's his longtime girlfriend who attends business school with Kellee) and it, like several other moments from past seasons, are just two players talking about something special to them both.
  • Jamal playing his idol on Noura, despite the fact the two have clashed so much pre-merge. It was ultimately a waste, but the fact he was willing to save her despite their feud was pretty nice. Noura herself was touched, and apologized afterwards that his idol was wasted on her.
  • The merged tribe's name is Lumuwaku (love you, miss you, really want to kiss you,) which was something Jack's dead father used to say before deployment. Jack was the last person voted off before the merge, so dedicating the tribe name to him and his family is strikingly poignant.
  • The merge episode is dark and ugly. Missy and Elizabeth decide to use Kellee speaking up about her negative experiences with Dan in order to fuck her over. This echoes the plight that many women face today. However...
    • Production pulls Kellee aside and asks her what she wants to do moving forward, because she didn't want her game tanked because of her emotions. The next morning, they have a talk about boundaries.
    • It is made known that Dan is a creep. They show flashbacks of him being inappropriately handsy and even break the fourth wall doing so, making us know that what he did can't be misconstrued as something innocent.
    • Janet goes all in to protect Kellee, but that becomes something dark because she's actively punished for it.
    • Aaron gives a mind-bogglingly misogynistic statement. He basically says that Janet and Kellee are making everything up so that Dan would be targeted. Jamal fires back with the most eloquent explanation of why that mindset is harmful.
    "This whole idea of 'if this was actually an issue, then I would've hear about it, he would have heard about it' is exactly what happens in the real world, guys. This is exactly what happens in the real world. When a woman wants to bring up a charge and people want to gate whether or not it's legitimate they say like, "Well, if it was such a big issue, she would have brought it up last year, two years ago, three years ago. We are NOT entitled to know things just because we're men or just because we're in power."
    Noura: "Tonight I'm voting for D-A-N. DAN. What really made it simple for me is he's made a lot of people feel uncomfortable, he's kind of pushed the boundaries of snuggling at night, at being flirtatious - this is not okay. We're not gonna wait to get to the end and then have some talk about his behavior. We're gonna do this now!”
    • And while it has nothing to do with the issues regarding Dan's behavior, there was actually a very nice moment in the merge episode where Jamal fell to the ground after the first immunity challenge, and Karishma of all people runs from the sidelines to check if he's okay. She even uses her body to shield him from the sun. Just a nice moment of compassion.
      • Karishma's actions are all the more striking when you remember old Lairo didn't check on her after she injured herself in Episode 3. When she injured herself, her tribemates ignored her, but when someone else looked like they needed help, she was the first to rush over.
  • In Episode 10, there was a nice callback to when Karishma talked about her marriage - how being out in Survivor, alone and disrespected by everybody, made her realize how much she truly appreciated and loved her husband, and how much she misses him.
  • In Episode 11 has a feast or fight challenge, where you can eat as long as people are doing the challenge. Having messed up the reward challenge prior and denying her team the PB&J, Noura tried making up for it by lasting as long as she could so that they would have more time to eat. Jeff shuts her down almost immediately, but that's an A for effort.
    • From the same challenge, Karishma chooses to try and fight, but she loses way too soon for her liking and starts crying on the bench. She laments that she's trying her hardest, but her body won't cooperate. Jeff tells her that it happens to the strongest. It's a little moment, but Jeff was commending her for her efforts.
  • The Finale:
    • Janet may have gone out at final five, but she didn't leave unrewarded for her good deeds in the game - Sia, having been moved by Janet, rewarded her one-hundred thousand dollars. And not just Janet, but she also awarded Elaine and Jamal money too.
    • Jeff and production realized how badly they messed up the Dan situation, and issued an apology to Kellee before praising her, telling her how her bravery impacted Survivor and CBS by making them reflect on their policies and changing them to better protect contestants from any future situations. She's moved to tears by it.
    • Jack and Jamal are now living together, bringing their friendship and insightful discussions full circle with how close they've become.
    • And as unpopular as Elizabeth is because of the Dan situation, it is sad that she didn't go to reunion out of fear because of the backlash she received, but it is also wonderful to know that Jack didn't go to the reunion out of support for her - as the two have become a couple after the show.
  • During the family visit challenge, Jeff lets Noura's sister join him as she has vision problems and he wanted her to see her sister compete in the challenge.

    Winners At War 
  • Sele winning the second challenge means that for the first time in her Survivor career, Denise won't be going to tribal.
  • After Ethan's struggle with the EOE challenge after he was voted out, Natalie, Amber, and Danni all came with him to see him carry the last piece of wood.
  • Michele talking to Boston Rob about how her win was controversial with Boston Rob stating that controversy doesn't matter as Michele is a winner like the rest of the cast.
  • Sarah giving up her reward to Nick. While it nearly screwed her over, she states that she did it purely out of human niceness as Nick was screwed over on his birthday.
  • Episode 10. The Family Visit is possibly one of the most heartwarming moments of the show's history so far as unlike previous seasons, nobody had to compete in a challenge to spend time with their families. Instead, Jeff decided to let everybody bring their families back to camp and spend a nice day together.
    • Special mention goes to Ben as in his original season, he was denied a visit from his wife because Chrissy wanted revenge on him for his betrayal. This time, he gets to see his wife and kids for a full day.
      • Ben's daughter happily shouting "Surprise!" when she is brought out.
    • Tony collapsing to his knees in tears when his wife and children are brought out. Remember, Tony's wife couldn't come on the Family Visit in Cagayan due to caring for their infant daughter, and she was pregnant with their second child by the time the Reunion Show took place. Now Tony gets to share his Survivor experience with his family.
  • The inhabitants on the Edge get some love as well. Seeing their loved ones come on boat to what is quite possible the Survivor equivalent of purgatory was the best thing that happened to them on the Island. And to show Jeff some gratitude, they hugged him in thanks during the final shot of the episode before heading back to the Edge.
    • Some of the highlights include Rob and Amber sharing their experience with their four daughters, Parvati reuniting with her husband John (originally from Samoa) and their baby daughter, Natalie with Nadiya and her niece, and Wendell with his father.
    • Special mention to Adam who talks about how great it is to share Survivor with his dad considering how much it would have meant to his mum.
  • Nick working with Michele because she was easily on the bottom by conspiring with her to use the Immunity Challenge Disadvantage, which ended up working in her favor and ultimately saving her. Nick was also the only one to be happy for her win, being the first person to applaud and hugging her at camp. While her being safe unintentionally sent him to Edge instead, it was still pretty thoughtful of him to work with the person who had no allies left. And even though Michele had been angry with him after voting off Jeremy, she did try to warn him about Tony and voted with him against Denise.
  • Natalie and Tyson bonding just before the final Edge of Extinction Challenge. Natalie, having won the most tokens, ended up buying three things: an immunity idol for herself, an immunity idol for Tyson, and a jar of peanut butter that she promptly shared with him. Tyson, of all people, even broke down in tears over her selflessness as he had never been given such kindness in the game before.
  • Ben giving Sarah permission to vote him out. Sarah wanted to make her own move after hearing how the jury praised Tony, despite the fact the two were supposed to be equal partners, and was also worried that if she didn't work with Michele and Natalie and they played the idol correctly, she would be in trouble. Ben, seeing his friend devastated, willingly sacrifices his game for her because he truly loves and respects her and wants her to win. As controversial as Ben is, his move was motivated by genuine friendship and showed that between the happiness of his friend or winning money, he chose his friend. And that alone is admirable.
  • Tony crying over having beat Sarah in fire-making, as much like with Ben, he didn't want to evict his friend from the game. The two end up hugging it out, with Tony not wanting to let her go, and Sarah leaves the game proud of herself and advocating for her best friend and partner. Contrasting that with Cagayan, how Tony applauded after blindsiding Sarah, it shows how far their relationship had come.

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