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Heartwarming / The Martian

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  • Hermes is presented with a plan to rescue Watney. The plan is very dangerous, has not been approved (and actually outright rejected) by NASA, and Lewis says that everyone on the ship must agree via secret ballot or else they won't go through with the plan. As the crew files out of the room, Lewis accurately predicts that they will be rescuing Watney.
    • In the film, the crew doesn't even bother with the secret vote, and immediately agree to go with the rescue plan.
  • In the novel, during his test runs of the rover, Watney comes across a valley that makes his drive infinitely easier—he can navigate by following the edge of the cliff instead of worrying about driving off-course, and the valley floor is wide and flat, which means he burns less energy driving. He immediately names it after Commander Lewis. Ostensibly, this is just because it has rocks and she's a geologist, but the symbolism is just a tiny bit more obvious than that.
  • When Martinez' wife asks him why he's willing to add another 530 days to his mission in order to rescue Watney, Martinez simply says that Watney would have done the same for him.
  • Just before the story's climax, the narrative describes how the people of Earth prepared to learn the outcome of Watney's attempted rescue by gathering in every public square and every bar and every living room to watch what was about to happen.
    "THEY GATHERED. Everywhere on Earth, they gathered. In Trafalgar Square and Tiananmen Square and Times Square, they watched on giant screens."
    • We actually get to see it in the movie, and it's just as amazing as it sounds. Seeing huge crowds of people cheering along with everyone in mission control after hearing the rescue succeeded.
    • In the scene showing the crowds in London, we see that several Londoners are holding up signs saying "USA" in a show of solidarity.
    • In the ARES: live clip "Bring Him Home", the entire planet is shown to be rallying behind NASA, Watney, and the Hermes crew, joined in the desire to save their astronaut and bring him home. From New York City to Beijing to Rio de Janeiro, people hold hands and cry and pray as the final countdown begins for Watney's perilous rescue.
      Reporter: People around the world are rallying behind one simple, endearing notion: Bring Him Home. We have seen hundreds of messages of support for this brave astronaut. Watney's ordeal is far from over. NASA is doing everything they can to figure out how to save him.
  • The crew of the Hermes improvise a plan that requires Beck to take part in a dangerous EVA maneuver. Before he heads out, Johannsen kisses the faceplate of Beck's helmet, before turning away in embarrassment.
    Johannsen: That was stupid. Don't tell anyone I did that.
    Beck: Don't tell anyone I liked it.
  • After the rescue succeeds:
    Vankat: Guess you don't need the red folder today.
    Teddy: Honestly, I didn't make one.
  • When informed that NASA is putting together a commission to investigate the accident, Watney refuses any cooperation. After predicting that they will blame Commander Lewis, he asks that the commissioners be told that every single one of their mothers is a prostitute, just to make his feelings on the matter clear.
    Watney: P.S. Their sisters too.
  • The Chinese space program offering to let NASA use their probe after the one they threw together fell apart, even though it was supposed to be a secret.
    • Bruce Ng hugging two CNSA engineers for the cover of Time Magazine about China and America working together on the booster rockets, being dubbed 'Brothers in Arms'.
    • On the Ares V mission, Martinez and the taikonaut exchange shoulder-hits as the launch begins.
    • Before revealing to NASA that they can help, two officials from the CNSA discuss several possibilities. They have a booster which can help NASA, but offering it means they won't be able to use it for a mission they have put quite a bit of work into. The booster's existence is a national secret, so if they do nothing, nobody knows they could have ever helped and they avoid judgement. If they pass the decision to their government, it will most likely choose not to reveal their rocket capabilities to the Americans, and nobody knows they could have ever helped and they avoid judgement. Or they contact NASA directly, tell them of their capabilities, offer them assistance, and force both governments to go along with it or risk losing face on an international scale, a decision which could bring very real professional and legal consequences to them.
    • There's also a small moment when, after receiving the news, Teddy professionally thanks them for their assistance before hanging up and letting out a small but heartfelt "yes!" which is also arguably the most emotion he shows throughout the entire film. Although he may be more concerned with NASA's future as whole it's clear that he cares just as much as everyone else about rescuing Watney.
  • The Where Are They Now epilogue showing where all the characters are during the launch of the next Mars mission.
    • A very subtle one in the Epilogue: 'Day 1'. Not 'Sol 1' as the movie had been using to denote a day on Mars, but 'Day 1', to denote that it is a brand new day for Watney... on Earth, as an astronaut trainer.
    • Throughout the film's end, as we see where others in the crew and NASA team are during the next Ares mission, the film plays the song "Love Train" by the Spinners as we see that China has joined the USA in their next trip to Mars. A love train, indeed.
    • And then you double over in laughter because we're still subjected by the commander's taste for music as the credits begin to roll with "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. And now, he's back...from outer space. And he survived.
  • A small one, but just before Mark embarks on the MAV to finally escape Mars, he left a note in the rover that he drove all the way from the Hab to the Schiaparelli crater and even before that when he used it to recover the Pathfinder. The message is that he's very thankful for this rover, and that it had saved his life during his stay on Mars. He even gives a couple of affectionate pats on one of the rover's tires as he leaves it for one last time. It's a very minor moment, but a very emotional one.
    Mark: To whom it may concern: Take care of this Rover. She saved my life.
    • Notice too where he parks it relative to the MAV. He's not coming back, of course, so he could have just parked it right next to the MAV and be done with it. And once out of the rover, he's got a limited supply of resources. But instead, he parks it far enough away from the MAV so that any damage it might take from the MAV lifting off is reduced and he walks the rest of the way.
  • Mark, who up until this point has mostly been a deeply sarcastic Determinator, actually tearing up when he finally manages to make contact with Earth again (though the scene takes a sharp turn to the hilarious a few moments later.)
    • When Mark finally hears Lewis' voice near the end of the movie, and the realization hits that he is finally about to leave Mars, he starts sobbing uncontrollably.
  • Once Mark makes contact with Earth and has a decent means of talking to them, the first thing he says is that the rest of the crew had reason to think he was dead and he doesn't blame them for leaving him. It's later pointed out that he stresses this every time the subject comes up.
    • In addition, when he is able to form complex sentences by typing, the first thing he asks of NASA is about the rest of the crew. When he's told that no one has told them that he's alive, he gets incredibly angry. They think he's dead and he knows they're drowning in guilt, and NASA won't tell them he's not because of mission priorities? He curses them out.
  • When Mark sees the first sprout emerge from the improvised soil of his potato farm, he greets it like a newborn child, hesitantly and tenderly.
  • In his very first log entry, where he figures it will only be seen by anyone if it's recovered long after his death, Mark says that if any of the other crew members are still alive at that time, they should know he doesn't blame them at all for following proper procedure in the face of all the evidence that he was dead.
  • Vogel entertaining his children while in space was a pretty cute scene.
  • The following line alone:
    Lewis: Houston, this is Hermes Actual. WE GOT HIM!
    • Cue everyone cheering. And by "everyone", we don't mean NASA but EVERYONE on Earth.
  • In the Extended Edition, after the failure of the Iris resupply, Mark continues the science experiments from the Ares 3 mission on behalf of his crewmates, despite having just lost hope of a rescue/resupply. All this without NASA telling him to do anything.
  • At the end of the book, Mark muses on humanity's instinctive desire to help each other and how it ended up saving his life.
    Mark: But really, they did it because every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. It might not seem that way sometimes, but itís true. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that itís found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just donít care, but theyíre massively outnumbered by the people who do. And because of that, I had billions of people on my side.