Follow TV Tropes

Following

Heartwarming / The Handmaid's Tale

Go To

For the TV Series

    Season 1 
  • In the beginning of the series, when Offred, who is new to the Waterford station, meets fellow Handmaids at the market with her new shopping partner Ofglen, the Handmaids immediately give her advice to obtain favor with the Waterfords showing that the Handmaids try to look out for new Handmaids the best they can.
  • June and Moira manage to escape the reeducation centre and get to an underground station, trying to get to Boston — but while Moira, in the guise as an Aunt, is asking for which train they need to board (the signs were removed because women are not allowed to read or write), June, as a solitary Handmaid, is quickly cornered by soldiers. She nods and smiles to Moira as a sign to get on the train and escape.
  • After June is maimed for her escape attempt, the Handmaids at the centre each give her a piece of food they saved during lunch.
  • The Handmaids all gathering around a sobbing Janine after her newborn has been handed to the arms of the Wife in charge.
  • June and Moira's friendship. They openly say that they love each other, and clearly cling to each other for support in Gilead, even when they've been separated. Even Moira's note, which is mostly a Funny Moment, ends with a heartwarming moment.
    Praised be, bitch. — XOXO, Moira
  • Every time June calls Janine by her given name.
  • The Reveal that not only did Luke make it to Canada, he's been searching tirelessly for June and Hannah... and Moira, too. He considers June's best friend to be part of the family. Moira's so moved when she hears this, she nearly cries.
  • When Moira meets up with Luke in Canada, it turns out he had an alert set up if she appeared... because she's marked down as family to him, even though they're not related. This is clearly a connection she needed, since she'd been left alone in a strange land looking lost and bewildered while being inducted into the refugee center.
  • Moira's reasoning behind carving "AUNT LYDIA SUCKS" into a wall at the Center (well, besides the obvious), despite the penalty for being caught being losing a hand.
    Moira: Once we get out of here, there's gonna be a girl that comes in here and reads it. It'll let her know she's not alone.
  • After Offred finds out she's pregnant and says it's terrible, Nick gently says "No it isn't", kneeling at her side as he strokes her belly, which is clearly the kind of comfort she needed in that instant.
  • When ordered to stone Janine to death as punishment for attempting to kill herself and her daughter, the other Handmaids are horrified and refuse to hurt her, fully aware that there'll be consequences. Furthermore, it's the Second Ofglen, the one who most wanted to stay out of trouble, who's the first to speak up for Janine.
  • Upon June's arrest, Rita's first instinct is not to wonder what June has done but to give her a farewell hug, knowing that she could be going to something terrible for all she knows. This makes it clear that she valued June as a person rather than a baby vessel.
  • June trying to talk Janine down from attempting suicide is deeply sad, but also touching. June promises that one day, the regime will fall and then she and Janine and all the other women will all be able to go out drinking and dancing. June and Janine may have had their differences, but it's clear that in this moment, June truly empathizes with her and wants to help her believe that things will change for the better.
  • In a twisted way, the Wife in Ofglen/Ofsteven/Emily's new household covertly offering to fake being sick so they'd have to cancel the Ceremony that month, giving Emily a break after all the trauma she's already been through. Emily declines, pointing out she can't do that every month, but it's an odd display of genuine empathy from one of Gilead's higher-ups, showing that at least some of them have some compassion for the Handmaids.
  • Rita's genuine, if awkward, excitement to learn that Offred is pregnant. She even made extra effort to make her a nice breakfast, one of the few things she, as Martha, can do for her.
    Season 2 
  • Offred arranging a memorial for those who perished at the Boston Globe. She even recovers her faith to pray for those who are lost.
  • While coming to terms with her trauma, Moira finally has a moment of joy when Erin, a former Handmaid who was rendered mute by trauma, lets out this quip: "Blessed be the Froot Loops."
  • After losing her relationship with the other handmaids, being abandoned by Mayday, and watching Nick get married in a mass marriage ceremony, Offred throws herself out of the window in an attempt to commit suicide out of sheer despair. When she wakes up in the hospital, she discovers her baby is still alive, despite heavy vaginal bleeding throughout the episode and said suicide attempt. This revives June’s fighting spirit and she softly vows to make sure that her baby will not be raised by the Waterfords, let alone in Gilead.
  • After arriving at the Colonies, Janine finds a pair of fellow prisoners who have fallen in love, and as one of them lies dying from radiation poisoning, she arranges for another prisoner who was a rabbi to marry them so she can die happy. When Emily chastises her for making light of their being made into "cows," Janine shuts her up just by saying "Cows don't get married."
  • After a rather awkward moment where Serena Joy tries to chat with a mute Ofglen, June talks aloud with the Handmaids about the old days, since June has become comfortable enough to know that Serena Joy would condone talk of the old days. For a while, it transcend all the Gilead class pretenses and Serena feels at ease to join into the conversation, even if she gets uncomfortable quickly. At the end, the Handmaids happily assemble around June to feel the baby moving within her.
    • The second Ofglen and June haven't really gotten along onscreen, but a true expression of camaraderie shines through when Offred lets her feel her belly.
  • Upon seeing Janine again in the Colonies, Emily calls her by her real name, and the two women throw their arms around each other in a hug. The two are immediately pulled apart and Janine is dragged off, but it's still sweet.
  • Emily and Janine come back from the colonies and June is delighted to see them. It kicks off the handmaid's telling each other their real names.
  • Janine's response to seeing June again? Sneaking up on her from behind and giving her a big ol' hug.
  • Offred wishing she knew the name of the second Ofglen.
  • Janine singing "I Only Want to Be with You" by Dusty Springfield to Charlotte.
    • Aunt Lydia, even during her previous Pet the Dog moments around Janine, never really let down her guard, but when Charlotte unexpectedly pulls through we see the tyrant absolutely transformed with joy and wonder.
  • After Serena insists that Offred will be kicked out immediately after her baby, Offred doing her damnest to prepare for a future where she won't be in her baby's life. She first asks Rita, who is scared but will try to do her best. When the agreement is set, Offred whispers, "Found someone."
    • Aunt Lydia gives June a checkup before she gives birth. June then begs her for help, saying that in her experience, any man who will hit a woman will also hit a child, and the baby will be defenceless, with no one to help it. Aunt Lydia then says, very firmly, that she would never allow anything bad to happen to a baby.
  • The American refugees in Little America singing "America the Beautiful" together upon finding out that Fred and company were out of Canadian airspace.
  • Isaac and Eden's little exchange of "hi" before kissing. In a society that has him beating handmaids with the butt of a gun and her looking forward to a life of cleaning the house and bearing children, for a moment, they're simply kids with an awkward, mutual crush. It's a moment that feels very far away from Gilead.
  • Eden consulting Offred on whether she should pursue love. Unaware what Eden plans to do next, Offred like a big sister tells Eden that it's all right to find love in this horrible society. This is also a small indication that Eden very much sees Offred as a person.
  • Nick apologizing to Eden for being cruel to her. She forgives him.
  • Offred remembering the birth of Hannah, and her mother coming to see it.
  • Commander Lawrence seems like a weird guy, but the Martha in his house is missing an eye and straight up swears at him, and he refuses to participate in the Ceremony with Emily, painting a picture of someone who cares about his household and has earned their loyalty and respect. It seems like he takes in rebellious "troublemakers" in order to give them safety and some freedom, perhaps to atone for creating the Colonies. He even orchestrates Emily's escape from Gilead, and it's heavily implied that he's part of Mayday or an underground network of dissenters, or he is trusted enough by the Martha in his household that she was willing to let him in on the plan to smuggle June and her baby out of Gilead. Either way, he seems like a much better person than the other commanders.
  • Serena saying goodbye to baby Nicole/Holly after June tells her that the baby doesn't have to grow up in a place so cruel to girls and women. Serena does the motherly thing and gives her baby up in hopes of a better life, and the action earns June's respect, to the point that when passing the baby to Emily in the escape vehicle, she says the baby is named Nicole, the name Serena gave her.
  • The Marthas of Gilead have an underground network, which Rita uses to help June and her baby escape the Waterford home and hopefully leave the country entirely. Numerous Marthas shepherd June along to her escape vehicle, and you get the impression that there are a lot more rebels in Gilead than previously thought.
  • After standing by and watching Commander Waterford and Serena Joy claim Holly as their own, Nick finally gets the chance to hold his infant daughter.
  • The flashback of June singing "I'll Be Your Mirror" to Hannah.
  • After Fred slaps June, June responds by slapping him back. The next scene shows Rita helping June wash up and giving her some ice for her bruising. June is able to make light of the horrible situation, and the two grin at each other before Nick comes in. Rita and June mostly avoided each other last season, so it's sweet to see that Rita sincerely likes and cares about her, and helps her out in whatever way she can.
    Rita: (to Nick) Your girlfriend is a badass.
Advertisement:
    Season 3 
  • Emily succeeds in taking Holly to Canada, just as she promised June. Better yet, she's able to take her to Luke and Moira.
    • The border patrol officer who comes across them is the epitome of kindness. When she tries to scramble away from him, he speaks softly so that he can get close enough to wrap a space blanket around her, and then, he calmly and gently asks if she wants to seek asylum on the basis of her country persecuting her due to her gender. In what might be a bit of fridge sadness, he seems to be speaking from memory rather than reading a card; this could imply he's done this a lot. Keeping a non-threatening hand on her shoulder, he patiently waits for her to answer, and as soon as she says yes, she's barely gotten the word out before he's radioing for an ambulance equipped to handle a neonatal patient.
    • She receives a standing ovation upon arriving at the hospital, from people who likely do this for every single new arrival.
    • The doctor and nurses who greet her are all women. The hospital, being aware of the abuse she would have suffered, probably assembled a group they thought Emily wouldn't be frightened/intimidated by.
  • Emily's recovery process in Canada is slow, careful, and heartwarming. But the real tearjerker comes when she finally muster the courage to call her wife, unsure how she'll react after so much time has passed and so much has gone wrong- and Emily's wife stops traffic in Toronto just to talk to her again.
    • When Emily first visits her wife Sylvia, she asks if their son Oliver remembers her. Sylvia takes Emily to his room where pictures of Emily and Oliver are all over the room, there's a drawing he did of her as a superhero escaping Gilead, and Slyvia reveals he was so excited to see Emily he begged to stay home from school. And when Oliver does come home, once he gets over initial shyness he takes to Emily immediately.
  • Mrs. Lawrence bonding with June, who tells her to hold on to the good in her husband.
  • Despite being shadows of themselves and broken by how Gilead sucked the life out of them, the Lawrences have a moment of bonding when they listen to a cassette tape together.
  • Even as the more harrowing and morally gray actions of her time in Gilead come to light, Emily still receives support from both her wife Sylvia, who knows that she was in a nightmare scenario, and Moira, who can relate more directly to Emily's experiences.
    Sylvia (about Aunt Lydia) Do you know what that monster did to her?
  • Baby Holly Nichole and her godmother, Moira, have a strong bond, and despite not wanting to, Moira respects Luke's decision to take his stepdaughter to see Serena Joy. Before she leaves the baby for the supervised visit, however, she bluntly calls Serena out on helping Fred rape June, informs Serena that Fred raped her (Moira), too, and ends by saying, that heterosexual Serena who willingly helped create Gilead is the true traitor to their shared gender rather than lesbian her who had to do bad things in order to survive. June wanted her baby to be with her husband and best friend, and it's made clear her faith in them was not ill-placed.
  • Despite everything Of Matthew/Natalie put her through, June comes to her senses and reminds herself that Natalie was a fellow Broken Bird who suffered plenty. This culminates into her decision to make peace with a braindead Natalie at her bedside.
  • Commander Lawrence reading to all of the children hiding in the basement.
  • The Marthas joining June to throw stones at the Guardians to ensure the kids pass through safely.
  • Everything about the children's arrival in Canada, including Moira's reaction when she gets on the plane, Rebecca (the little girl who was the first to show up at the Lawrence house) being reunited with her father, and Rita hugging Emily and then meeting Luke.
    • The fact that Rebecca is there because June, despite the mountain of additional risk this would mean, absolutely would not send her back, especially not after describing to her what a free life in Canada would entail.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report