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Heartwarming / The Simpsons

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"Haw-haw! I touched your heart!"
Nelson Muntz
"Oh, there are pictures [of Maggie]; I keep them where I need the most cheering up."

The Simpsons may be known for its satire, but that doesn't stop it from having some really Heartwarming Moments anyway.

Moments pages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.

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    Season 1 
  • "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire":
    • This conversation between Homer and Marge. It shows how powerful three words can be.
      Marge: I get the feeling there's something you haven't told me, Homer.
      Homer: Huh? Oh, I love you Marge.
      Marge: (matter of factly) Oh, you tell me that all the time.
    • After Bart exposes his Mall Santa gig, Homer drags him backstage, seemingly ready to tear him apart. However, when alone, Homer confesses to Bart that he didn't get his Christmas bonus and begs him to keep it quiet from the family until he can make up the money. Bart in turn praises his willingness to "sink so low" just to ensure his family has a good Christmas.
    • The scene where Bart and Homer take in Santa's Little Helper after finding him running away from his abusive owner.
      Bart: Can we keep him, Dad? Please?
      Homer: But he's a loser! He's pathetic! He's—
      (Santa's Little Helper whines and licks Homer's face. Homer smiles)
      Homer: A Simpson.
    • Patty starts badmouthing Homer, and Lisa defends him.
      Patty: Oh, nothing, dear. I'm just trashing your father.
      Lisa: Well, I wish you wouldn't because, aside from the fact that he has the same frailties as all human beings, he's the only father I have. Therefore, he is my model of manhood, and my estimation of him will govern the prospects of my adult relationships. So I hope you bear in mind that any knock at him is a knock at me, and I am far too young to defend myself against such onslaughts.
      Patty: Mm hm. Go watch your cartoon show, dear.
  • Homer and Bart playing catch in "Bart the Genius".
    • Bart and Homer (Lisa laughs but doesn't join in) goofing around and giggling with each other during the symphony was pretty adorable.
    • Marge's misguided attempt to nurture Bart's brain with the opera after going years without doing so is sweet in its own way.
    • In the end, Bart confesses to Homer that he cheated on the test that got him into genius school, but also admits that he's enjoyed bonding with his father over the last couple of weeks.
  • In Homer’s Odyssey, What gets Homer out of his suicide funk? When he sees his family in danger and saves them from getting hit by a car.
    • The following:
      Marge: [gasps] Oh, Homer. How could you think of killing yourself? We love you.
      Bart: Yeah.
      Lisa: Yeah, Dad. We love you.
    • Crosses into awesome and funny when you realize Homer does it while still having rock attatched to his body.
    • Bart's reaction when Homer decides to challenge the power plant as a safety hazard, which would mean taking on his former boss.
      Bart: Gee, Dad's a hero.
      Homer: What'd you say, son?
      Bart: Nothin'.
      Homer: (leaning forward to pat his head) That's okay. I'll just assume you said what I thought I heard you say.
    • Homer falling off the balcony at the power plant, only to get caught by the crowd of admiring protesters.
  • The beginning of "Bart the General". Bart has been insulting Lisa all morning. Upon getting to school, one of Nelson's cronies takes a batch of muffins Lisa had baked earlier. That's all it takes for Bart to attack the crony and he winds up punching Nelson in the face and is challenged to fight. Bart ends up having nightmares about Nelson every night. It's the first sign in the series that Bart isn't a total jerk towards his sister.
    • Homer also tries his best to help Bart when he sees that he is suffering from the subsequent bullying from Nelson and his friends, even trying to teach him how to fight. His advice doesn't go to plan unfortunately, but it was still sweet of him to try.
    • Grampa Simpson's helping out Bart is far more effective and pragmatic and for good reason; even though he is for the most part a Scatterbrained Senior, he's also a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass retired veteran who served in World War I (or II, depending on the season). In addition to his successful tactics of war and fighting to get Nelson to back off, it also showcases the close relationship between him and Bart. Underachieving troublemaker that he is, he genuinely loves his Grampa.
  • "Moaning Lisa":
    • Lisa is deeply and profoundly sad. Marge encourages her to fake-smile and pretend to be happy—but then when she sees how Lisa is being patronized by her teacher and fellow pupils, she pulls her back in the car, and has one of the all-time great speeches: "If you want to be sad, honey, be sad. We'll ride it out with you. And when you get finished feeling sad, we'll still be there. From now on, let me do the smiling for both of us." Then, when she tells Lisa it's okay for her to not smile, Lisa gives the CMOH payoff line: "I feel like smiling!"
    • Marge urges Bart to be nice to Lisa and actually succeeds in cracking his Affection-Hating Kid persona a bit (he then makes a point of trying to cheer her up by prank-calling Moe's Tavern).
      Marge: You do love her, don't you?
      Bart: Oh, Mom.
      Marge: Well, you do, don't you?
  • The end of "The Call of the Simpsons" has Homer left humiliated when scientists are unable to fathom he isn't Bigfoot, declaring their tests inconclusive and that Homer is either an undeveloped human being or "a brilliant beast". How does Marge respond to a sulking Homer?
    Marge: Oh Homer. My brilliant beast.
  • A small one from "The Telltale Head". Mr. Burns of all people bursts into tears at the sight of the headless statue, and Smithers comforts him, patting him on the back and giving him a tissue to blow his nose. Near the end of the episode, Mr. Burns solemnly declares, "I love you, Smithers," which Smithers gladly reciprocates. Out of character? Possibly. A cute moment that showcases the bond between these two? Absolutely.
    • At the beginning when the mob are chasing Bart and Homer, Bart urges Homer to go on without him because the entire situation was his fault, but Homer stays with him instead, even though both of them fully believe that Homer won't be able to protect him and that he'll simply be killed along with Bart.
  • The end of "Life on the Fast Lane," where, after accepting an invitation from a suave French bowler to his apartment, Marge decides to go to the Nuclear Power Plant, with "Up Where We Belong" playing in the back, where she tells Homer she loves him, and Homer joyously proclaims to tell the boss that "I'm going to the backseat of my car with the woman I love, AND I WON'T BE BACK FOR TEN MINUTES!" His fellow co-workers cheering for him is a bonus CMOH.
  • Near the end of "The Crepes of Wrath" when Bart finally understands enough French to tell a police officer that he's being abused by his exchange family and that they're selling wine tainted with anti-freeze, this exchange takes place:
    Gendarme: Viens avec moi, mon fils. Tu n'as plus rien a craindre maintenant. ("Come with me, boy. There is nothing for you to fear now.")note 
    Bart: Mon savieur. Vous aurez toujours une place dans mon coeur. ("My savior, you will always have a place in my heart.")
    • In the last scene, Bart is finishing a story with "... so basically, I met one nice French Person." While intended as a joke, Bart is probably talking about the police officer, his savior, meaning his previous words were not an overstatement.
    • Near the beginning of the episode, Homer slips on Bart's skateboard and throws out his back. As he's lying on the floor, Santa's Little Helper licks his face and takes a nap on top of him. Maggie crawls over to Homer, sticks her pacifier into his mouth, and falls asleep next to him, as does the family cat.
  • Homer's big speech at the end of "Homer's Night Out", where he says that women should be treated like human beings and not objects (out of guilt for him dancing with a woman at a party which got photographed by Bart and which Marge found humiliating) and Marge sees the whole thing and hugs and forgives him. Even the men in the audience are touched by the speech, and two patrons share photos of their daughters.
  • "Krusty Gets Busted":
    • After Krusty's heart attack, Bart and Lisa send him a get well card.
    • When Homer comes home from the Kwik-E-Mart, after checking with Bart about his idolisation of Krusty, does his best to get Bart out of the room before it appears on the V. He failed, but still.
    • Lisa enjoys a smug chuckle at Bart's expense, after he admits she's smarter than he is, but when he asks if she's on board to help prove Krusty's innocence, she slaps his hand with a hearty, "yeah, man!"
    • Krusty getting freed at the end of the episode. He thanks Bart for proving his innocence with a handshake and a hug.
      Krusty: Well the important thing is that I can regain the trust of the kids... but there was one little boy who trusted me all along.
  • At the end of "Some Enchanted Evening", Homer makes a fool out of himself when he releases a wanted criminal the kids tied up (thinking that the kids were once again tormenting the babysitter) and is embarrassed when he watches it on the news. Marge cheers him up by saying that he must be a good parent if he raised three kids who can take down a dangerous criminal.
    • Additionally, while it stands out as an example of Characterization Marches On, Moe ends up giving Homer some genuine and legitimately helpful advice in putting his marriage back on track.
    • While practicing making a romantic gesture to Marge (with a pathetic gift), he is interrupted by an enraged Marge opening the front door ready to tear into him. He finally goes for one very earnest sentence that melts her completely:
      Homer: I love you, Marjorie.
      Marge: *hugs Homer* Oh, Homie. I love you too.
    • This exchange marks the Halfway Plot Switch from being about Marge feeling underappreciated by Homer to being about the kids dealing with a sociopathic babysitter while the two enjoy a nice evening of dinner and dancing. Keeping in mind that this episode was actually the pilot and only aired last in the season because it was held back while the animation was fixed, it's a long Establishing Character Moment for the relationship, which shows that whatever problems they have, they do in fact love each other very much.
      Homer: You know, Marge, this is just like when we were dating.
      Marge: Except for one chaperone.

    Season 2 
  • Mrs. Krabappel passing Bart due to his use of applied knowledge in "Bart Gets an F" is this in addition to a Moment of Awesome, as well as his kissing her for passing him (even though he was grossed-out after realizing what he did) and his owing his passing grade to God.
    • When Bart fails the history test, Edna at first acts in her usual sarcastic, dismissive way at his grade. But when Bart starts to break down and sob, she's genuinely shocked at how much he's hurting and does her best to comfort him ("It's a high F!"), even patting him on the back and saying "There, there." It's beautiful to see Edna not as an Apathetic Teacher, but a concerned, caring person who actually loves her students. Her deciding to give Bart a single point of extra credit because of his applied knowledge is the icing on the cake.
    • The whole scene of Springfield having fun in on the freak snow day. Every single citizen is happy and at peace and doing activities like ice skating (which Santa's Little Helper helps Maggie to do also while holding her up in the star-shaped snowsuit), playing hockey and building snowmen. Mayor Quimby declares it the happiest day of the year, all of the citizens hold hands and sing "Winter Wonderland" note  Even when Homer throws a snowball at Mr. Burns, he's not angry. He has a good laugh at it, saying that he hasn't seen a good snowball fight in a while, calls him a young ragamuffin and has Smithers throw one back.
    • The night prior to the test, Bart prays to God to ask for a miracle, and tells him that he only needs one more day to study. Cue a snowfall covering the entire town during the night, causing the school to be closed for the day. Someone up there wants Bart to succeed.
    • Bart then prepares to go out and have fun in the snow, but Lisa stops him, and tells him that she heard Bart praying, and while not fully understanding who or what exactly God is, only grasping that he's someone more powerful than mom and dad together, she makes Bart realize that this is very likely to be the miracle he was asking for. Despite their sibling rivalry, Lisa genuinely wants Bart to succeed on this arduous task.
    • Early in the episode, Homer hangs the latest of Lisa's many A-graded tests on the fridge, irritating Bart by covering up his only contribution (an old drawing of a cat). At the end, the family happily hangs up Bart's passing D- grade. This becomes especially sweet when you remember that they all saw him slapping himself while studying in an effort to pay attention the day before, and knew just how hard he'd worked for it.
  • The character of Karl (voiced by Harvey Fierstein) in "Simpson and Delilah" doing all he can to make Homer feel and look comfortable in his new job environment after Homer gets promoted due to having hair. Additionally, his taking the fall when it looks like Homer is about to be fired from the plant for insurance fraud.
    • Homer's overcome with absolute joy when he wakes up one morning and discovers that the Demoxinyl worked! He has a full head of long hair, which sprouted overnight, and he runs out the door in his pajamas and through the town, cheering and greeting everyone like George Bailey at the end of It's a Wonderful Life. Once he gets to the town square (where the statue of Jebediah Springfield is located), another man comes running from the opposite side of the town, also still dressed in his nightclothes, with a head full of long, curly black hair. The two pause, take a look at each other and realize they just experienced the same overnight miracle.
      Homer/Man: ...DEMOXINYL!!! *the two laugh, cheer and hug each other*
    • At the end of the episode, Homer feels Marge won't love him as much anymore because he's ugly and bald again, and Marge reassures him by singing "You Are So Beautiful" while holding him in her arms.
    • And in the previous scene, Mr. Burns shows sympathy for Homer's baldness problem, having lost his own hair in his early 20s, and lets him have his old job back.
  • The ending to "Dancin' Homer", where, after Homer tells his story to the bar patrons while feeling like a loser for giving up a great opportunity, the patrons tell him his story was great and ask him to tell it again, making Homer realize he's not such a loser after all.
    Homer: I wonder why stories of degradation and humiliation make you more popular.
    Moe: I don't know. They just do.
    • Near the beginning of the episode, as Homer is watching the game, Mr. Burns takes a seat next to him. Homer has an Oh, Crap! moment, worrying that sitting next to his boss will prevent him from letting loose and having a good time. What happens instead? To Homer's surprise, Mr. Burns treats Homer to a beer (and then several more) and the two have a moment of genuine camaraderie. They heckle the players, drunkenly attempt to do 'the wave,' and laugh together.
      Burns: The pitcher's off his rocker, kissing Betty Crocker!
      Homer: Crybaby batter, can't control his bladder!
      Burns: Hm, crude, but I like it!
    • In the first game, Bleeding Gums Murphy is invited to sing the National Anthem. His version ends up drawing out for 26 minutes. By the end, the entire crowd is bored and tired... with the exception of Lisa, still standing tall and proud to hear her jazz hero sing his heart out.
  • When Marge gets Mr. Burns to inadvertently sabotage his election chances in "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish", he vows to make Homer's life miserable, to the point that his dreams go unfulfilled. Later that night, Homer and Marge are lying and bed, and Homer worryingly asks Marge if she can do something to make him feel better. Marge's reply marks a gold standard for heartwarming moments.
    Marge: Homer, when a man's biggest dreams include seconds of dessert, occasional snuggling and sleeping in 'til noon on weekends, no one man can destroy them.
    Homer: Hey, you did it! (They kiss)
    • Earlier in the episode, Homer finds Mr Burns sobbing in his car and actually seems concerned about him. Mr Burns responds to this by letting Homer into his car and confessing that the power plant is in danger of getting shut down. It's a rare moment of humanity between these two extremely different people.
      Mr. Burns: (singing) Say, don't you remember? I'm your pal. Brother, can you spare a dime... (bursts into tears and sobs)
      Homer: Huh? What the— (taps on window) Uh, Mr. Burns?
      Mr. Burns: Ah!
      Homer: AAAH!! Sorry, sir, it's just me, Homer Simpson... Everything alright?
      Mr. Burns: (sniffling) Working late, Simpson?
      Homer: Uh, yes sir.
      Mr. Burns: You and I are a dying breed, Simpson. I'm going to share something with you. (opens door) Hop in.
    • Near the beginning of the episode, Burns expresses anxiety about the safety inspectors approaching the plant. He asks Smithers to give him a Cool-Down Hug, which he does immediately. Note that this happens in the same episode where Mr. Burns is stated to hate being touched.
  • "Dead Putting Society":
    Lisa: Bart, having never received any words of encouragement myself, I'm not sure how they're supposed to sound. But here goes... (puts a hand on his shoulder) I believe in you.
    Bart: (puts his hand over hers, genuinely touched) Thanks, man.
  • "Bart vs. Thanksgiving":
    • Bart passes out after giving blood, and when he wakes up, two bums bring him into a soup kitchen and get him some food. Bart gives them twelve bucks, money that he half killed himself to earn by donating said blood.
    • Bart is spitefully satisfied when he hears that Homer and Marge are distraught over him going missing, but when he hears Lisa crying, he actually whispers a message to her through the air duct that he's okay, showing apparently genuine empathy for her.
    • Bart finally saying sorry to Lisa, realizing that he does care about her feelings, even if he doesn't know why he behaves like an asshole, with her accepting his apology. After seeing that, Homer and Marge, who have been wracked with depression and doubt over how they treated Bart earlier, realize that they're not such bad parents after all.
    • "Oh lord, on this blessed day, we thank thee for giving this family one more crack at togetherness".
    • You may not notice it at first, but you'll see several moments of Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II nuzzled up and sleeping peacefully together. Even at the end when the family finally eats their meal at the table, you can see the two of them underneath the table eating some turkey slices as well.
    • Also Bart letting Santa's Little Helper tag along with him after Homer kicks the dog out of the house for further misbehaviour, marking the first A Boy and His X outing in the show. Even as he gloats to his family on TV, he is shown sharing his food with Santa's Little Helper.
    • After spending almost the entire episode annoyed and angry at him, Marge's first instinct when she sees Bart on the news is to cry out "My special little guy!".
  • In "Bart The Daredevil":
    • Homer and Bart are both equally excited about the upcoming monster-truck event that they both gleefully yell about it at each other and hug. Later, at the event, they laugh at each other's quips and have a great time. It's nothing especially noteworthy, but given how antagonistic their relationship can be, it's nice to see them on the same wavelength and enjoying spending time together.
    • The entire situation with Lisa's recital and the Monster Truck Rally is one for the whole family. First, once Marge reveals that Lisa's recital is the same night as the rally, Homer and Bart- despite their complaining-immediately know that takes priority. However, Marge points out that they can go to both since there's plenty of time. Once at the rally, despite the issues with Truckasaurus, Marge finds the people there extremely friendly and helpful. Lisa even finds something that peaks her interest in a female monster truck rally. All in all, the Simpson's have a fun night out where everyone has a good time. As Marge herself puts it, it was a "Lovely evening."
    • When Lisa learns of Bart's plan to jump Springfield Gorge, she immediately informs their parents. As much as she conflicts with her brother, she doesn't want him to die a stupid death.
      I'm sorry Bart. But if you got hurt or died, despite the extra attention I'd receive, I'd miss you.
    • This exchange, when Homer stops Bart from jumping the gorge:
      Bart: Hey, what gives?!
      Homer: Boy, I tried ordering you, I tried punishing you, and God help me, I even tried reasoning with you, and the only thing left for me to do, [picks up Bart's skateboard] is jump the gorge myself.
      Bart: [stammers] What? Why?!
      Homer: [walks to the top of the ramp] Because that way, you'll see what it's like to witness a family member stupidly risking his life for no good reason!
      Bart: [looks down the ramp towards the gorge, and then back at Homer] But- Dad, you'll never make it!
      Homer: Don't you think I know that? [gets on the skateboard, then kneels down and places his hands on Bart's shoulders] Goodbye, son.
      Bart: Wait! Dad! Don't do it! I won't jump anymore, I promise!
      Homer: [relieved, hugs Bart] Oh, thank God! Thank God, thank God!
      Bart: I love you, Dad!
      Homer: I love you too, son.
  • "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge":
    • The kids of Springfield going outside and enjoying life after "Itchy And Scratchy" has all the violence taken out of it (thanks to Marge), especially when the Simpsons kids explain what they've been doing (Bart went fishing with Milhouse while Lisa went birdwatching with Janey) and Homer quips that they're both great kids. It becomes a slight Tear Jerker when it's reversed at the end.
    • Homer telling Marge "I always knew you would change the world. For the better."
    • The only kid who seems to like the change in Itchy and Scratchy is Maggie, who ends up giving Homer lemonade after watching it (earlier, she had hit him with a mallet because of the cartoon's influence).
    • A very small one, but still kinda sweet. That complete disaster of a spice rack Homer is trying to make in the beginning of the episode? Marge is using it while cooking later.
  • "Bart Gets Hit By a Car":
  • "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish":
    • There's something wholesome, and yet somewhat disturbing, about watching Bart and Lisa sing karaoke to the "Theme from Shaft, in the days before their sibling rivalry became more prominent.
    • When Homer eats a poisonous fish and only has twenty-four hours to live, on what he believes to be his last day of life, he goes around doing everything that he can, including having a man-to-man talk with Bart, listening to Lisa play her saxophone, making a video for Maggie, being nice to Flanders for once and spending his last night with Marge. Each scene itself deserves to be a CMOH. But the best scene is when Homer reconciles with his father. He goes to Abe, who acts indifferently to him at first, until Homer tells him that he loves him. Then, both start crying and embracing. And for the rest of the afternoon, despite wanting to do other things, Homer stays with his dad to do some father-and-son things with him that they never got to do before.
    • Marge's tears of joy when she finds out that Homer's still alive:
      Marge: "Homer! Your drool is still warm! (crying) You're alive!"
    • Homer's goodbye to his friends at Moe's Tavern gets unexpectedly heartfelt, so much so that he gives up on talking and kisses each of them goodbye.
      Homer: I never told you this before, but sometimes when I'm at work, I think of you and smile. So often I think that—Oh, words won't do it! I love you, Moe!
    • After his brush with death, Homer vows to live each life to the fullest. Cut to him watching tv and eating pork rinds. It might seem like Aesop Amnesia at a glance, but considering how happy he looks, you realize he actually is living it up in his own odd way.
  • "The Way We Was"
    • In the flashback, after Artie drops her off at her house, Marge goes to unlock her front-door but overhears her parents badmouthing Homer. After her bad experience with Artie and realizing how genuine Homer's feelings were, she goes to seek him out in her car. He happily joins her, and he tells Marge he's gonna hug her and kiss her, and that he knows he'll never be able to let go of her. Flash forward to the present, where Homer says "And I never have," and hugs her again.
    • Before the end of their date, Arties tries forcing himself upon Marge, which understandably frightens and outrages her. The incident leaves one of her dress straps broken, and Artie's plea to not tell anyone about his "busy hands" only further urges her to find Homer. When Marge and Homer reunite, Homer quietly fixes that broken strap and completes his handiwork with the corsage he purchased for her. It's implied he figured out what happened during Marge's first date, but he chose not to pry into the matter, retaining the tenderness shared between them in that moment.
  • "Principal Charming" offers a bittersweet example when Patty sadly has Skinner realize she can't marry him because she shares a special tie with Selma and couldn't leave her for any man.
  • While most of the ending of "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" is heartbreaking due to how Homer unintentionally made his half-brother's company go bust with his ridiculously designed car, the Homer, there's a small but sweet moment when Bart tells his dad that he liked the design for it.
    Bart: I thought your car was really cool.
    Homer: Thanks, boy! I was waiting for someone to say that.
  • "Bart's Dog Gets an F": When Santa's Little Helper passes his final exam, Homer at first claps bitterly and sarcastically, knowing this means the dog gets to stay, but his expression gradually changes to one of joy and he finds himself cheering sincerely.
  • "Old Money"
    • Grandpa decides to donate his late girlfriend's money to Springfield Retirement Castle, especially when the Bea Simmons Memorial dining room is unveiled: "Dignity's on me, friends." This really has an impact when you think about the... less than flattering way that old people are usually portrayed on this show.
    • Even before that, when Homer prevents his father from striking out and losing his money in a casino, despite appearing to have a winning streak, saying "For the first time in 36 years, I'm glad I had children". Later, the two have a moment together when Homer asks him if he's decided what he's going to do with the money while eating a baguette. When Abe sees the elderly people get off the bus, he tells Homer that he has, and wipes the mess made on his mouth.
    • Abe recites an excerpt of Rudyard Kipling's If, partly because it's some of the only heartfelt fatherly wisdom he's ever shared with Homer, and partly because it shows how desperate he feels in being faced with the suffering of so many people and feeling like he still doesn't have enough to help like he wants to; in stopping him from blowing his fortune, Homer reminds his father (who raised him as a single dad) that even if you can't always do as much as you want, sometimes the best you can is still pretty good.
    • Abe's relationship with Bea is a delight to see, given how maturely it's handled. When they first start conversing, he lampshades how much they're like flustered teenagers, and curses himself for his fear in asking Bea out. Bea herself shows up as a ghost to ask Abe why he isn't enjoying himself more with his new resources, and even prods him to reconcile with Homer after their estrangement.
      • Resulting in Abe rushing to his son's house to hug him:
        Grampa: Sonny boy! Is there room at your table for a foolish old man?
        Homer: Well, sure! Eh, we'll have to move a chair in from the den. But it's no problem. Bart!
    • Jasper shows genuine care for Abe in the episode too, gingerly revealing the news of Bea's passing and placing his arm around Abe when the latter starts to cry.
    • When Homer rushes to the Retirement Castle to make amends with his father, he tells the nurse to tell Grampa that "I love him and I don't care about his money." The nurse says that "they get a lot of that here." Apparently this is a recurring situation.
  • Marge receiving a kind letter from Ringo Starr in "Brush With Greatness". He praises her skills as an artist and is thankful for the portrait she sent him. At that point in the episode, Marge had been expressing serious doubts about her ability to paint Mr. Burns's portrait, and the letter inspires her to finish the job.
    • Ringo's quest to answer all his fan-mail is this as well. He even says to his butler that if his fans take the time to write to him, answering is the least he could do.
    • Marge's specific gift as an artist—the thing that wins her the praise and attention of Springfield—is her ability to bring out the "inner beauty" of her subject. Because of this, her portrait of Homer, "Bald Adonis," which shows him passed out on the couch in his underwear, wins the first prize at the Springfield Art Exhibition. This talent turns into a complication when she's hired to paint Mr. Burns' portrait and gradually realizes that she has nothing to go on—but after getting her Heroic Second Wind when Ringo finally writes back, she manages to find beauty not in his personality but his stark and vulnerable humanity.
    • Unlike Marge's dismissive high school art teacher, her new instructor, Professor Lombardo, is encouraging, praising his students and even a random guy painting a sign in the hallway in a way that comes off as genuine every time. The episode clearly shows the power of a teacher to make or break a budding talent, as Marge blossoms under his tutelage and becomes celebrated for her gift.
    • Marge initially believes in her ability to find inner beauty in Burns, but grows increasingly discouraged by his bad treatment of her family and Smithers. As far as she's concerned, however, his Moral Event Horizon is his mockery of Homer for an accomplishment that he was truly proud of—losing 21 pounds. It's a clear parallel to the way Marge's high school teacher disdained her painting, and it similarly almost causes Homer to give up in despair before a furious Marge wrestles away the can of whipped cream he's about to desperately chug from the fridge.
      Marge: Don't you listen to him, he's just a mean little S.O.B.!
  • "Lisa's Substitute":
    • Four words - You are Lisa Simpson.
    • In Mr. Bergstrom, not only does Lisa find appreciation for her intelligence, but inspiration to learn and a teacher who actually cares about his students. This would all prove hard to come by later. Lisa still holds Mr. Bergstrom in reverence.
    • Homer pulls off a hat-trick of good parenting - comforting Lisa over Mr. Bergstrom leaving, then cheering Bart up over losing the class election and finally giving Maggie her pacifier.
      "Everyone special to me is right under this roof."
    • The scene of Homer cheering up Lisa in her room is a combination of this and a Tear Jerker in the happy sense. Lisa is sobbing out of grief, and Homer is trying to talk to her and say something intelligent and helpful to get through to her. When this doesn't appear to work, he cheers her up in the only way he knows he can- by making her laugh. He takes her "baboon" comment in stride and makes her giggle by making baboon noises. Then he picks her up and hugs her. Lisa may have lost Mr Bergstrom, but she still has Homer in her life.
      Lisa: I'm sorry I called you a baboon, Dad.
      Homer: Think nothing of it. (they hug)
  • Even though Matt Groening detests the scene from "The War of The Simpsons" when General Sherman leaps out of the water and winks at the camera before swimming away, it's still a sweet moment to show the audience that he did end up surviving his fight with Homer (and arguably his role in saving his and Marge's marriage or at least his approval/contentment of them making up).
  • "Blood Feud":
    • Mr. Burns has ordered Smithers to have Homer beaten up for writing an insulting letter saying, amongst other things, that Mr. Burns smells "like an elephant's butt." When Smithers tries to carry out his order, though, he finds he can't go through with it because Homer donating Bart's blood is the only reason Mr. Burns is still alive. When he delivers the news, at first Burns is predictably angered at Smithers' defiance, but he very quickly mellows, tells Smithers, "You've always been the sober yin to my raging yang," and to a swell of romantic music shakes his hand for a long time until the scene changes.
    • The fact that Smithers donated his kidney to Mr Burns. And the fact that Mr. Burns uses this to reassure Smithers that he shouldn't feel guilty about not being able to donate his blood to him.
      Mr. Burns: Smithers, don't feel so bad. After all, that kidney you donated to me really hit the spot.
    • Mr. Burns regaining his health after getting the blood transfusion, and Smithers' Tears of Joy, is an oddly satisfying and heartwarming moment. And in the very next scene, Mr. Burns struts into the plant, proud as a peacock, and at least tries to be nice to his employees for once.
      Mr. Burns: Ahh, top of the morning to 'ye! Why, look who's here! It's.. good old... you!
    • Easy to miss, but in the background as the transfusion is complete, both Dr. Hibbert and the unnamed pink-haired nurse are smiling. Mr. Burns isn't a great person, but these two medical professionals are impartially satisfied that they gave a sickly old man a second chance at life.
    • Although the gesture enraged Homer, the fact that Mr Burns personally sent a thank-you card to Bart for donating blood was actually pretty sweet.
    • Smithers giving Bart a hug out of gratitude.
      Smithers: Homer, brave young Bart... I don't know which one to hug first.
    • The Loving Details Marge can bring up at a moment's notice about any member of her family. After she reveals that she knows Homer's blood type offhand, they quiz her and get Homer's earmuff size, Lisa's ring size and Bart's number of teeth down to which are permanent.
    • The way Marge convinces Homer, who's angry and not thinking clearly, not to mail the letter to Burns until he's slept on it.
      Marge: (taking his hand and rubbing it, Held Gaze) Please, Homey? For me?
      Homer: Oh, all right. (Walking off with her:) You always do that hand thing. And it usually works.
  • The "Bad Dream House" segment of "Treehouse of Horror" has a tidbit of meta-insight into Bart's character in that the story is made up by Bart, and Marge is portrayed in an exceptionally heroic way in this segment. She is the only Simpson who doesn't succumb to the evil influence of the spirit of the house, and she is the one who bravely stands up to the spirit. Despite his bratty exterior, the fact that Bart tells his story in this way shows how much respect he has for his mother. Granted, this might be reading a bit too deeply into the episode, but it should also be noted that just before Marge stands up to the spirit, the spirit has been giving a cartoonishly lurid description of how it will kill the Simpsons family - this seems to be the only part of Bart's stories in the episode which is clearly being told by a 10 year old boy.

    Season 3 
  • "Stark Raving Dad":
    • Four words: "Lisa, It's Your Birthday". Bart did not give Lisa anything for her birthday, and then meets a man who believes he is Michael Jackson. They write and perform the song for Lisa, proving that Bart doesn't truly hate her after all.
    • Made all the more touching and heartbreaking by the fact that when Michael Jackson, who, under the name of John Jay Smith, portrayed the guy who sang that in the episode, died; FOX reran the episode in his honor.
  • "Mr Lisa Goes to Washington":
    • When Marge tells Bart that he might be interested in the essay writing competition, he declines, stating that Lisa "is the pony to bet on"
    • When Lisa reveals Bob Arnold's corruption in her revised essay, every government branch swoops in to officially bust Arnold and remove him from office because they so strongly believe in America's ideals.
      Speaker of the House: We will now vote on the House Bill 1022: the expulsion of Bob Arnold!
      Congressman: Mr. Speaker, I'm all for the bill, but shouldn't we tack on a pay raise for ourselves?
      The Rest of Congress: NO!
    • The eventual winner of the essay competition compliments Lisa for her essay pointing out that she deserves the prize money as much as he does.
  • Despite his nefarious Jerkass tendencies that got Flanders into the position in the first place in "When Flanders Failed", Homer genuinely feeling remorse for inadvertently sending Ned into debt and later helping him and his store out by showing it to the various citizens of Springfield is incredibly heartwarming. The end is just one of the most beautiful scenes in the series.
    Ned: Homer, affordable tract housing made us neighbors, but you made us friends.
    • Of special note is one left-handed acquaintance who is lounging on his couch when he gets Homer's call, until his wife mentions why and he leaps to his feet.
      Lefty: Ned Flanders is in trouble!?
  • A small moment from "Homer Defined," the adorable photo of a smiling Smithers holding his ridiculously tiny dog, Hercules. D'awww.
    • After Homer saves the Springfield power plant, Lisa begins to devotedly look up to him, which he doesn't take well because he realizes that his success was due to sheer dumb luck. But her respect for him doesn't waver after this is publicly revealed and "pulling a Homer" ("To succeed despite idiocy") becomes a popular enough phrase that it's added to the dictionary.
      Lisa: Our dad. Now he belongs to the ages.
    • In the subplot, Bart is heartbroken when Millhouse's mom forbids them from playing together, considering him a bad influence. Eventually Marge goes to her house and earnestly convinces her to think it over. Pretty soon Bart gets a call from Millhouse.
      Marge: Well, I knew his mother would come to her senses.
      Bart: ...Thanks for sticking up for me.
      Marge: What makes you think I did it?
      Bart: Who else would?
  • In "Like Father, Like Clown", Bart and Lisa convince Krusty's father to finally accept his son's career path, culminating in him guest starring in an episode of Krusty's show.
    • Krusty and his Father singing "Oh mein papa" also counts.
    • The flashbacks of a young Krusty deciding he wants to be a clown when he grows up because he loves making people laugh.
  • In "Lisa's Pony", Homer has a Jerkass Realization about how often he ignored Lisa when she was younger and decides to make it up for her by buying her a pony like she always wanted. Unfortunately, raising a pony is expensive and Homer has to overwork himself to afford it. Fortunately, Lisa realizes this and gives up her pony because, in her words, there's one "big dumb animal" she loves more.
  • "Saturdays of Thunder":
    • Homer had taken a father quiz and realized he knew nothing about Bart. So he decided to help Bart make his racing car for the Soap Box Derby. Only for Bart to ditch Homer for a much better, faster car made by Martin. He was initially upset by Homer's disappointment. But just before the race start, Bart saw Homer on the stands, as he proclaimed (with a full mouth) "Do it for your old man, boy!" In the end, after winning the race, Bart presented the trophy to Homer and they both embraced.
    • But right at the very end, in a quick blink-and-you-miss-it moment, we see that the whole race was monitored by the same people who made the father quiz. And two men, the father and son he met earlier at the Father-and-Son Bonding clinic, embraced as well upon seeing Bart and Homer do the same thing.
    • When Homer at first refused to go to the race, because he was so hurt. He goes into the kitchen, notices the quiz on the fridge, and starts miserably answering the questions. When he realizes he now passes the test, he rushes to support Bart.
    • One of the questions was to name one of the child's heroes. When Homer and Bart embraced at the end of the episode the song "Wind Beneath My Wings" was playing. "Did you ever know that you're my hero".
  • "Flaming Moe's":
    • It was sweet of Bart to stand up for his old man in the "Inventors we admire" section, even if he wasn't allowed to fix some "Flaming Homers" for the class.
    • The way the episode centers around Homer's and Moe's sincere friendship is kinda sweet.
    • When the waitress hired by Moe realizes that he stole the recipe from Homer, she convinces her boss to sell the recipe and give half the amount to Homer.
    • With Moe's much more crowded than usual after becoming "Flaming Moe's," Bart attempts his standard Prank Call and gets put on the phone with someone actually named Hugh Jass. What's sweet is that Mr. Jass is an easygoing Nice Guy who completely understands when Bart explains the situation. With Bart constantly on the wrong end of Springfield's tendency to Felony Misdemeanor, it's nice to see him encounter someone with enough of a sense of humor to let him off the hook.
      Hugh Jass: Who's this?
      Bart: Bart Simpson.
      Hugh Jass: Well, what can I do for you, Bart?
      Bart: Uh, look, I'll level with you, mister. This is a crank call that sort of backfired and I'd like to bail out right now.
      Hugh Jass: All right. Better luck next time! (hangs up) What a nice young man.
  • "Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk" begins with a moment that is equal parts heartwarming and goofy. When Mr. Burns is uncharacteristically depressed, (even shedding a Single Tear,) Smithers tries to coax him into telling him what's wrong. When Mr. Burns declines, Smithers asks if he'd "rather talk to Snappy the Alligator," (a hand puppet,) to which Mr. Burns smiles and gingerly says "Maybe..." The silly gesture works, and is implied to be a somewhat regular occurrence between these two.
    • Later in the episode, Mr. Burns actually seems really happy in retirement, jubilantly leaving his office with a farewell to Smithers and a spring in his step. And even though Smithers no longer works for him, Mr. Burns still hangs out with him, inviting him to his manor and cheerfully showing him his pet bees, (the queen of which is named 'Smithers,') and taking him out for drinks.
    • Mr. Burns succeeds in genuinely making Smithers laugh twice in the episode; first when he does an impromptu Elvis impression, and then when he's mocking the German investors. To see him actually making Smithers laugh, despite Smithers being pretty despondent throughout most of the episode, is pretty sweet.
    • Bart singing "Teddy Bear's Picnic" for the patrons at Moe's while they clap and cheer. Moe even gives Bart a Krusty bar after the song.
  • "I Married Marge" provides probably the simplest explanation for why these two got married:
    Marge: Homer, do you know why I married you?
    Homer: Because I knocked you up?
    Marge: No, because I love you.
    • Homer's proposal (which Marge reads because he misplaced the card) and his reaction to her acceptance.
      Marge: (picks up a card) Is this it?
      Homer: (searching the backseat) I don't know, what does it say?
      Marge: (reading) "Marge, from the very first moment I saw you, I never wanted to be with anyone else. I have nothing to offer you except all of my love. Will you marry me?"
      Homer: That's it, give it here.
      Marge: Oh, Homer, this is the most romantic moment of my whole life.
      Homer: So... will you marry me?
      Marge: ...Yes!
      Homer: WOO-HOO! SHE'S GONNA MARRY ME! (flashing his headlights) IN YOUR FACE, EVERYBODY!
    • Abe's reaction when he finds out Marge is pregnant. He straight out tells him he'll not do any better than Marge, showing how much he already cares for his future daughter-in-law.
    • When Selma realizes how depressed a pregnant Marge is without her husband, she tells her where she'll find him. Selma may loathe Homer as much as Patty, but it's shown she still cares for her younger sister and her happiness.
    • When Marge suspects she's pregnant for a fourth time, Bart and Lisa are plainly tickled at the idea of having another sibling.
    • Even though it leads into a punchline when Marge enters to reveal she isn't pregnant again and she and Homer celebrate, Homer's speech to his children at the end is very sweet. Planned or not, all three of them are loved.
      Homer: You know, son, the day you were born, I received the greatest gift a man could have. As the years went by, your mother and I were blessed twice more. And not a day goes by that we don't thank God for all three of you.
  • "Radio Bart" has Bart using his radio to trick the townspeople into believing an innocent boy by the name of Timmy O' Toole fell down a well. The townspeople showed nothing but desperation to get that nonexistent kid out of there. Even though Timmy O' Toole is not real, seeing the townspeople's love and care for what they thought was a poor innocent child trapped in a well is truly poignant. If you're sick of Springfield acting like a bunch of dicks, this episode's for you.
    "We're sending our love down the well..."
    • The radio itself was a birthday gift from Homer. Unlike past years where Homer gave Bart something boring he bought at the last minute, Homer bought the gift for him after seeing the commercial on TV and believing Bart would genuinely enjoy it. He even made sure to call the company the second he heard supplies were limited (which was a lie, but Homer didn't know that).
    • When Bart himself falls down the well, the townsfolk refuse to help him out of anger at being tricked. Homer decides that enough is enough when Bart starts to cry at his predicament and digs him out.
    • Homer "trying is the first step towards failure" Simpson tries to save Bart by digging, in contrast to the gimmicky or expensive solutions that were being considered for Timmy, even though it's hopeless for him to do it this way alone. But, his action inspires the rest of the town to get their hands dirty to successfully save Bart. The cherry on top is when they finally make it to Bart, Marge hugs him.
      • It helps that the first person to help Homer with Bart's rescue is Groundskeeper Willie.
      • Principal Skinner is also among the people digging Bart out. As frustrating of a student he may be, Skinner still can't stand to see one of his students in danger.
    • A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but in the music video scene, one of the celebrities seen in the recording booth is Princess Kashmir. It seems she has found a better career for herself after being stuck as a belly dancer for parties in "Homer's Night Out".
  • In "Homer Alone", Marge has a nervous breakdown from stress of housework and stops her car in the middle of a highway. Despite fiercely and stoically refusing to budge, she instantly reacts to Homer negotiating her out.
    • Though it had disastrous results, Homer trying his hardest to entertain and bond with Maggie in Marge's absence is rather sweet.
  • In "Bart the Lover", where Bart is in trouble (again) with Mrs. Krabappel because of yo-yos. He discovers the personals in a magazine, and initially, he gets revenge by setting her up with a fake beau named "Woodrow" with a picture of Gordie Howe as his profile, and for the clincher, setting her up on a fake date. When Bart sees that she's crying because she's been stood up, he feels guilty, especially when later in class, she starts crying in front of him he enlists his family's help in writing one last, but very sweet letter (topped off with Homer's "with a love that will echo through the ages") to her, explaining why "Woodrow" had to leave town and leave her feeling loved. It works.
    Edna: Bart, it's such a nice day, let's hold detention outside.
    Bart: It's a date!
    • After the death of Marcia Wallace in October 2013, Fox reaired the episode before the premiere of "Four Regrettings and a Funeral".
  • The ending for "Separate Vocations" An aptitude test tells Lisa that her suitable career is housewife, and a music store owner tells her that the stubby fingers she inherited from Homer will make her unfit for professional jazz. In response she becomes a delinquent, and eventually steals the teacher's guides, an expulsion-worthy offense. When Bart finds out what Lisa did, he takes the blame, staying in school due to his work as hall monitor. When asked why, Bart tells Lisa that test or no test, she's the one with the makings to be a success. The episode closes with Bart writing lines, while Lisa plays her sax outside the classroom window.
    • It's surprising to see Bart acing his job as hall monitor, but its even more surprising to see him and Principal Skinner working together and enjoying each others company.
  • "Dog of Death":
    Bart: We're just gonna let him die?
    Marge: Honey, I know you're upset...
    Bart: Darn right I'm upset!
    Marge: Bart, watch your language! Oh... you did.
    Bart: We're not gonna let our dog die, and that's it!
  • The end of "Colonel Homer", where it becomes clear that Homer's inability to pick up on Lurleen's increasingly blatant romantic advances ("Oooohhh... there isn't a man alive who wouldn't be turned on by that... well, goodnight!") has less to do with Homer's typical cluelessness and more to do with his devotion to Marge, followed by Lurleen's final song to him hoping that Marge knows how lucky she is. Actually, no matter how many times Homer & Marge's marriage is threatened, their reunion makes for a CMOH.
    • A little earlier when Lurleen makes her intentions clear and actually kisses them, all of his previous romantic efforts flash before his eyes. They're all pretty pathetic and full of rejection (a girl smacked him in the face during a game of Spin the Bottle and the end of his first date was met with a surly "Thanks for dinner!" as his date drove off in her car), of course, but then we get to Marge saying "I'll love you for the rest of my life." Upon snapping back to reality, Homer pushes Lurleen away and leaves.
    • There's the fact that the whole reason Homer was trying to help Lurleen in the first place was just because he wanted to help her and he thought he'd be able to make some money for the family.
    • The positive effect Lurleen's song has when the DJ plays it on the radio. Especially the scene with Krusty and Sideshow Mel.
      Krusty: *slapping Mel with a magazine* I TOLD YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY SISTER!!! *hears Lurleens song on the radio* ...Aw what the hell, here's 50 bucks, take her to the Copa.
    • The ending, with Homer and Marge in bed, listening to Lurleen's final song on the TV.
      Lurleen: His name is Homer.
      He's quite a man.
      I tried to kiss him, (Marge frowns)
      But Homer ran. (Marge smiles)
      Sure wish I could say
      That I was his.
      I hope that Marge knows
      Just how lucky she is.
      Marge: (to Homer) I do. (they kiss)
  • "The Otto Show: After Otto returns to his old position, the children are once more singing "Hail to the Bus Driver", whilst a wistful Principal Skinner joins in on the final line.
  • The end of "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", has Homer's half-brother Herb forgiving him for inadvertently destroying Herb's car company. When Herb regains his fortune with an invention that he designed with $2,000 he borrowed from Homer, Herb not only buys Homer the vibrating chair he initially wanted to purchase with the $2,000, but he also forgives Homer and recognizes him as his brother, coming full circle from the Downer Ending that ensued in the episode when Herb first appeared.
    • While he is still mad at his half-brother for ruining his life, he does not feel the same animosity for the rest of the family and is delighted to see his nephew and nieces again.
    • At the beginning of the episode when Bart breaks the couch, Homer demands to know what happened and he tells an implausible lie to the effect that the couch collapsed out of nowhere on its own. Lisa instantly jumps in and corroborates.

    Season 4 
  • "Kamp Krusty": The fact that Krusty is genuinely shocked and distraught at how poorly the campers were treated, making up for it by taking them to Tijuana for a real vacation. While Krusty is usually shown as being cynical about his young audience, deep down he does have a soft spot for them and never wants to be (intentionally) outright malicious toward them.
    • Homer and Marge enjoying themselves with Lisa and Bart out of their hair (speaking of hair, Homer's is starting to grow back), taking a shower together, doing yoga, and having a Fourth of July picnic with Maggie.
  • The ending of "A Streetcar Named Marge," where Homer's dismissive treatment of Marge throughout the episode finally sinks in when he watches her performance as Blanche DuBois. He even gets rid of the kids so he can tell her about it in private.
  • "Homer The Heretic":
    • After saving townsfolk save Homer from his burning house, Homer believes that the fire was a punishment from God for not going to church. However, Reverend Lovejoy assures him that God was present to save him - in the form of his neighbors, of different faiths.
    • Homer's interpretation of God in his dream. While initially furious at Homer for not attending church, He proves himself to be a Reasonable Authority Figure who is not only willing to hear Homer out, but outright agrees with him on several points. The sight of Snowball II rubbing herself against God's leg and Him stroking her as they discuss everything — followed by Homer waving God good-bye with a smile, continuing to do so in his sleep — makes it even sweeter.
    Homer: So I figure that I just try to live right and worship you in my own way.
    God: (agreeing) Homer, it's a deal!
  • "Lisa the Beauty Queen" has a few of these, such as Bart boosting Lisa's spirits when she says the other girls are prettier than she is: "Lis, as your brother this is the hardest thing I've ever had to say... you're not ugly". And this exchange earlier:
    Homer: There's no one prettier than my little girl!
    Marge: You're looking at her through a father's eyes.
    Homer: "Well, if I could gouge someone else's eyes out and shove them in my sockets I would, but to me she's beautiful!
    • Homer made a big sacrifice by selling his ride on the Duff Blimp in hopes of making Lisa feel better. When Marge tells Lisa about this, she decides to enter the pageant.
  • In the Treehouse of Horror III segment Dial "Z" For Zombies, Homer decides to sacrifice himself in order to save his family, but the zombies passes him by as he doesn't have enough brains for them to eat. His heart was definitely in the right place.
  • The final scene from "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie", where we learn that Homer's drastic disciplinary measure actually worked out, as Bart is now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and he finally gets to see the movie along with his old man (who also pays for it).
    • It was Bart's neglect of Maggie which prompted Homer to actually teach him a lesson, which shows he does care about her. Also, Maggie looks absolutely adorable when she falls asleep after crashing Homer's car.
    • Also that Homer's actions aren't motivated out of anger, but out of honest concern for Bart's future and a desire to see him succeed. He compromises with Bart and makes repeatedly clear that the approach is for his own good. It's a rather heartwarming look at Homer's thoughts for his children, when normally he doesn't show much care or worry about what they'll do with their lives.
  • In "Marge Gets a Job," Mr. Burns develops an infatuation with Marge after she takes a job at the power plant. He pulls out all the stops to arrange the ideal date for them, even kidnapping Tom Jones to perform for her because of her love for the singer, but on finding out she's married and uninterested in his advances, he fires her out of spite. Marge has obvious grounds for a lawsuit, but when it becomes evident that they can't afford anything to match Burns' legal team, Homer risks his own job by refusing to leave Burns' office until he at least gives Marge an apology. The realization of what Marge means to Homer causes Mr. Burns to send him on the date he'd planned for himself, asking him only to show Marge the time of her life.
    Burns: her too.
    Homer: Damn right!
  • "Lisa's First Word", another Whole Episode Flashback. Not only what Lisa's first word is (it's "Bart") but also...
    Homer: You know Maggie, the sooner kids talk, the sooner they talk back. [switches lights off] I hope you never say a word. [leaves room]
    Maggie: [removes pacifier] Dad-dy.
    • There’s also some special significance to this, as the episode had shown that Maggie is the only of the three Simpson children to call him "Daddy" rather than "Homer" as a baby — made all the more sad by the fact that Homer missed his one chance at hearing his child call him "Daddy."
    • Although young Bart's insistence on calling him by his first name was Homer's Berserk Button at the time, this line (when Homer isn't around) makes it clear that it wasn't done without love.
      Bart: (to Lisa) I liked it when it was me, Mom, and Homer! You wrecked everything!
    • Though most flashback episodes stress the fact that all of the Simpson kids were unplanned, Homer seems actually happy to learn of Marge's pregnancy in Lisa's case, with his only trepidation coming from the fact that the baby they already have is flushing his keys down the toilet at the moment Marge is telling him about it. Unlike with Maggie, he's excited for the birth as well.
      Marge: Homie, I think the baby's coming.
      Homer: Wow, a baby and a free burger. Could this be the best day of my life?!
    • A rare Pet the Dog moment for Patty and Selma when they're babysitting Bart and offer him a dollar to sing for them, genuinely enjoying his hamming it up as he hits them with a jazzy version of "I'm a Little Teapot" that transitions into "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" with lots of finger-snapping.
      Patty: Oh yeah!
      Selma: Love that spout medley.
    • And of course, when Bart shows Homer and Marge that Lisa can talk:
      Bart: Mom! Dad! She can talk! Say it again, Lise.
      Lisa: Bart! Bart, Bart, Bart, Bart, Bart.
      Bart: I'm her first word!
      Marge: Well, I'm not surprised. Lisa's crazy about you. She thinks you hung the moon.
  • "Homer's Triple Bypass" shows everyone's overjoyed reaction to Homer being alive, and him weakly waving back.
    • Homer trying to give his last words to Bart and Lisa just in case he dies and both of them help him say something meaningful to the other. To Bart, Homer says that he'll grow up and turn out alright with or without him and to Lisa, Homer says she's adopted and he doesn't like her (and then yells at Bart), but then says that no matter what, she has a big brother who loves her and always will.
      • A small detail - as they go in, Bart has his hand Lisa's shoulder.
    • Apu and Homer's friends all praying for Homer when he finally gets his surgery.
    • And when the surgery turns out to the best and Homer reunites with his family, Dr Nick smiles and hums happily.
    • It's a one-off scene, but the fact that Ned Flanders was donating a kidney and a lung to whomever needed it was touching and altruistic in its own right. Then his reaction to learning of Homer's health problems, even if it did end in a funny response:
  • After a hectic experience at Duff Gardens with Bart and Lisa in "Selma's Choice", Selma and Homer have a rare moment where the both of them express the closest to an expression of affection between the two of them they probably ever have, where she admits that she doesn't feel cut out for being a parent and appreciates what Homer goes through.
    • And if you look, he even holds her hand in sympathy. Daaawww....
    • The B-plot involves Marge looking after Homer when he's recovering from food poisoning, and trying to cheer him up. She rents some video tapes and affectionately snuggles with him in bed. And when he's feeling better, Homer wraps himself in a bedsheet toga and playfully carries Marge around the house.
    • Selma cuddling her new pet iguana Jubjub and singing "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" to him was pretty cute. It's one of the rare times we see Selma blissfully happy.
    • Homer actually being nice to Patty and Selma by offering his condolences for Aunt Gladys' death.
  • When Marge thinks that Lisa didn't quite beat her addiction to the "Corey Hotline" in "Brother From The Same Planet" she assures her that she did her best, only to pick up the phone and find that Lisa had called to confirm the time, meeting her deadline.
    Lisa: I made it...
  • From "I Love Lisa", Lisa giving Ralph a card after seeing him crying over not getting a Valentine, Ralph's dramatic performance of George Washington (which was fueled on being humiliated by Lisa during the Krusty The Clown 29th Anniversary Show), and Lisa giving Ralph the "Let's 'Bee' Friends" card.
  • In "Whacking Day", when Bart gets homeschooled by Marge. It's a bit tumultuous at first, but considering all of the crap that Bart has been given through the public education system, it's rather sweet and great to see him actually learn something and at his own pace, with Marge as the teacher. This even pays off at the end, as Bart's thirst for knowledge comes to shine the truth on the sham holiday that is Whacking Day.
  • In "Duffless", Homer gets pulled over for drunk driving and is persuaded by Marge to give up alcohol for a month (and is even forced to ride a bicycle after getting his license suspended). Even though he gets tempted by boredom and advertising, Homer eventually starts to spend more time with his family. After visiting Moe's and seeing the other drunken, miserable people there, Homer leaves and instead chooses to go for a bike ride with Marge, ending with the two singing "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" as they ride off into the sunset.
  • The plot of "Last Exit to Springfield" is Homer going on strike so the plant will cover Lisa's braces. It is no wonder Lisa calls Homer a hero in her protest song.
  • "Marge in Chains," in which Marge spends a month in prison for forgetting to pay for an item at the Kwik-E-Mart while stressed and harried, ends up being an endearing tribute to overlooked people whose reliability holds society up. The absence of her signature treat at a fundraising bake sale results in the town not being able to afford a statue of Lincoln and springing for a cheaper Jimmy Carter statue instead, causing a riot and a mass Heel Realization on the part of everyone whose gossip and bad-mouthing helped put her in jail. As a result, when she's finally sent home she finds most of the town gathered on the lawn to welcome her.
    • In contrast to the judginess of Springfield that Marge finds leveled against her, her casual kindness to the scary inmates of the woman's prison she's sent to really stands out. They return her goodwill and she winds up befriending several of them.
    • Homer's goodbye to Marge starts out as a typically dense-sounding comment on his utter helplessness without her and ends by making it clear that he's aware of and grateful for what she does. It's especially touching when you compare it to how long it takes the rest of the community to understand what they lose by losing Marge and how fortunate they are to have her around. Her husband knew all along.
      Homer: Marge, I'm gonna miss you so much. And it's not just the sex, it's also the food preparation. Your skill with stains of all kinds. But mostly, I'll miss how lucky you make me feel each and every morning.

    Season 5 
  • "Homer Goes to College": The end credits is a bit of a low-key one where Homer finally does get to enjoy lighthearted college hijinx in the style of Animal House and still succeed on his own merits, and what makes it truly heartwarming is that both the Nerd Trio and the dean takes part willingly.
  • During "Rosebud", Maggie has Mr Burns' teddy bear from when he was a child. He tries to get it back from her through various means, ending with trying to snatch it and failing. He asks that she value it more then he did and she gives him the teddy bear back.
    • Earlier Burns agrees to pay Homer millions if he gets Bobo back, when Homer snatches Bobo off of Maggie however, she starts crying. Despite the blatant agony of turning down this bargain, Homer softly gives Maggie back the bear and tells Burns the deal's off. The fact Homer sounds on the verge of tears making this decision only punctuates what happiness he'd sacrifice for his baby girl.
    • Mr Burns getting Bobo back.
      Mr Burns: For me? Bobo? Smithers, I'm so happy.
    • After Mr. Burns pretty much holds the entire town hostage till he gets his Bear back, a massive mob forms outside the Simpson's household, and they break in and take the teddy bear from Maggie. But one look at the little girl with tears in her eyes and they realize just how cruel this action is they give Maggie Bobo, and find themselves overwhelmed with happiness at the sight of Maggie cuddling the little bear, chose to go to the hospital instead and sing for the sick.
    • Bart giving Bobo to Maggie after he finds the bear in a bag of ice he bought at the Kwik-E-Mart, and Maggie immediately hugs and loves the battered old toy in a way that only a child can.
    • Despite Marge's practicality and her initial declaration that they should make Burns double his first offer for the bear ("Well, why can't I be greedy once in a while?"), she's not, as Homer worried she might be, angry at him for refusing to sell: in fact, she's proud of the way he prioritized Maggie's feelings.
      Marge: You came through for your daughter when she needed you the most.
  • "The Last Temptation of Homer" shows what happens when Homer becomes attracted to a new coworker, Mindy, who's just as into him, and therefore struggles with a very real temptation to cheat on Marge. What's notable is that his typical self-centeredness and short-sightedness are almost totally absent as he takes a startlingly no-nonsense approach to the problem, doing everything in his power to avoid Mindy even as the universe itself seems to be working against him, with Mr. Burns sending the two of them on a business trip together and giving them adjoining hotel rooms. Near the end, feeling that Failure Is the Only Option, he breaks down crying, to which Mindy assures him that he doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to and that he'll know what he wants if he looks into his heart. The ending shows Homer and Marge enjoying a romantic evening in the same hotel room after he called her up and told her to drive in.
  • In "Bart Gets Famous", after Bart's celebrity image from a catchphrase drives him crazy and he locks himself in his room, refusing to do a performance, Marge empathetically reasons with him from outside, assuring him what he does is far from a mockery.
    Marge: Honey, I know you feel a little silly saying the same four words over and over, but you shouldn't. You're making people happy, and that's a very hard thing to do.
    • It's Played for Laughs, but it is sweet to see Homer genuinely distraught when he thinks Bart has become a box.
  • The ending of "Homer and Apu", where the whole family hugs Apu in his hospital bed as he's recovering from a gunshot wound.
  • In "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", Smithers instantly recognizing Lisa as Homer's daughter and willing to help her locate Stacy Lovell. Also, the fact that he owns the world's largest Malibu Stacy collection is pretty cute.
    • Although Lisa's attempt to create a less sexist alternative to the new talking Malibu Stacy fails, the episode does end with one girl buying the new Lisa Lionheart doll and shooting Lisa a smile. Lisa takes just reaching one little girl as, if nothing else, a personal victory.
  • At the end of "Deep Space Homer" there's a Brick Joke where Bart repeats his prank of writing on the back of Homer's head but this time he writes "HERO".
    • When Homer sees the spaceship he's supposed to board, he panics and runs, then calls up Marge to tell her he doesn't really want to go through with the flight but is torn because being an astronaut won her respect. She assures him that she's respected him ever since they met, and her only concern is that he might regret failing to take advantage of such a rare opportunity. Seeing her point, he goes back and boards with renewed enthusiasm.
  • The end of "Homer Loves Flanders". Flanders is shunned by those in the church who think he was arrested on a DUI, whilst Homer is praised for his charity work. Homer's breathing through his nose causes Flanders to lose his patience, and everyone turns on Flanders more so. However, Homer leaps to his defense:
    Homer: How dare you talk about Ned Flanders like that! He's a wonderful, kind, caring man...maybe even more so than me. There have been times when I lost patience with him, even lashed out at him, but this man has turned every cheek on his body. If everyone here were like Ned Flanders, there'd be no need for heaven! We'd already be there.
    • Flanders turns to Homer with tears of gratitude and thanks him for being a true friend.
    • Homer spending time with Ned in the episode gives the show a rare opportunity to explore a kinder and more hopeful side of Springfield—the one that Ned gets to see because he's actively engaged in making that World of Jerkass a better place. One of Homer's favorite football players greets Ned happily, crediting him with having saved him from the empty lifestyle he was living before, and even when Homer takes Ned to Moe's, Ned recognizes Moe not as The Bartender but as the volunteer who reads books to sick children at the hospital. (We later see him reading to the homeless at the soup kitchen where Ned volunteers, prompted by Homer's comment that Moe's is always closed on Wednesdays "for some reason.")
  • A lot of Bart and Skinner bonding in "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song" is this. Especially the ending where the two go back to being enemies and share a hug... where Bart places a 'kick me' note on Skinner's back, and Skinner does the same to Bart with a 'teach me' note.
    • Skinner looking back at Springfield Elementary, while also a very solemn Tear Jerker, has him reminiscing fondly about past interactions with students, including Martin baking him raisin roundies and a young child thanking him for teaching them how to read. Even a flashback to Ralph being "carsick" in his office moves him to tears. It shows that despite his constant penny pinching and cynical conflicts about the school, its faculties and rebels such as Bart, he did genuinely love teaching kids.
  • In "Burns' Heir," Burns prevents Bart from wanting to return home by faking footage of his family saying they don't miss him and are glad he's gone, using actors wearing Latex Perfection masks. Bart swallows the story, but when Burns later tasks him with firing Homer or being disowned as his heir, he realizes Homer really did miss him when Homer tells him as much. The whole plot could have wrapped there, but the show bothers to throw in another scene where the family spells it out for Bart in as many words that the people he saw in the video were actors playing them. It almost feels like a reassurance to younger viewers who might have been confused on the point.
    Marge: The point is, the real Simpson family missed you a lot and we're really glad you're home.
  • In "Lady Bouvier's Lover," Grandpa says to Jacqueline (Marge's mother), "you remind me of a poem I can't remember, and a song that may never have existed, and a place I'm not sure I've ever been to." It's played for laughs, but given the context - an old man falling in love for possibly the last time - it's very poignant and sweet.

    Season 6 
  • "Bart of Darkness"; Bart struggling across the street with a broken leg when he thinks Lisa is about to be murdered, even if he does end up dragging a ridiculous amount of junk that gets caught on it.
  • "Lisa's Rival": Bart decides to help Lisa take Allison down, because he can't stand to see his sister upset... unless it's by his doing, of course. It's his own way of showing he cares.
    • Ralph of all people ends up winning the diorama contest, with his display of vintage Star Wars toys (he didn't even know what a diorama was) because Skinner turns out to be a bit of a Star Wars fanboy. In the ending, he's happily skipping home, singing to himself about beating the smart kids for once.
    • In the end, not only do Lisa and Allison become the best friends they were clearly meant to be based on their shared interests and high intelligence, but they bring Ralph Wiggum to Allison's house with them too.
  • In "Another Simpsons Clip Show", Marge was trying to encourage her family about romance. However, the stories either ended in heartbreak (Bart getting rejected by Laura in "New Kid on the Block" and Lisa yelling at Ralph in "I Love Lisa") or were revelations of near-infidelity (Homer falling for Mindy in "Last Temptation of Homer" [with Homer explaining that, after that incident, Mindy became an alcoholic and lost her job at the plant] and Marge almost sleeping with a French bowler in "Life in the Fast Lane"). Feeling dejected, Marge was about to give up, until Homer pointed out that not all romance stories end like that. And we flashback to how Homer and Marge met during their prom on "The Way We Was":
    Homer: (to Marge) "I've got this problem. As soon as you stop this car, I'm gonna hug you and kiss you and then, I'll never be able to let you go."
    • Made even better with Lisa's following comment and Homer's reply.
      Lisa: "Your first kiss."
      Homer: "But not the last."
      (shows montage of several kisses shared between Homer and Marge, finishing with them kissing in the present while the kids go back in the living room to watch cartoons)
  • Lisa's protectiveness of and care for Bart over the course of "Bart's Girlfriend." Like everybody else, she initially takes Jessica's good-girl act at face value and warns Bart that he doesn't have a chance with her because he's "the devil's cabana boy." But she quickly becomes his sole confidante when he realizes Jessica's true character, and with love making him dumb, she's the one who gets him to follow his saner instincts and break up with Jessica rather than become a Love Martyr, advice that he appreciates and resolves to follow. When Jessica lets him take the blame for stealing the collection plate, Lisa is the only one who knows what really happened and volunteers to do the offertory reading at church the next week so that she can declare Bart's innocence to the congregation and give Jessica a chance to confess. When Jessica doesn't take it, Lisa just plain exposes her.
    Lisa: Bart, we can't just let her get away with this!
    Bart: Give it up, Lise. She's a criminal mastermind. She's got 108 I.Q., she reads at a fifth-grade level and...her hair smells like red Froot Loops.
    Lisa: Yeah? Well, I eat Froot Loops for breakfast.
  • The climax of "Lisa on Ice" in which Bart is set to score the winning shot and Lisa is ready to block. While the crowd cheers for the two to defeat each other, they flash back to all the times that they were more than just brother and sister — they were each other's friends (Bart helping Lisa get a cookie from a cookie jar which she shared with him, Bart making shadow puppets for Lisa's entertainment, Lisa patching Bart's injured knee, and, most heart-warming of all, Bart sharing his ice cream with Lisa after hers falls off her cone) and decide to throw the game in the name of their friendship and sibling-hood. After sharing a heartfelt hug with each other, they share this simple, poignant exchange before happily skating off the rink, arms around each other's shoulders:
    Bart: Great game, Lis.
    Lisa: Great game, Bart.
  • The ending of "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy", where Homer realizes Abe wasn't such a bad dad after all and Abe admits he should have supported Homer more, and they make peace while their old house burns to the ground, then roll on the grass together to put out the flames in their clothes.
  • The end of "And Maggie Makes Three". A Whole Episode Flashback is triggered by Homer being asked why there aren't any pictures of Maggie in the photo album. Homer explains how Maggie's birth forced him to quit his dream job working at Barney's Bowl-a-rama and return to his job at the Nuclear Plant, which he had quit months earlier (and hates). To add insult to injury, Mr. Burns installed a plaque in Homer's workstation reading "Don't forget: You're here forever". Bart asks what the point of Homer's story was, and it's revealed where the photos of Maggie are: Homer has posted them all over his workstation, strategically covering up the plaque so that it reads "Do it for her". There’s a reason that’s the page image.
    • During the actual birth, Homer is trying to be happy, but he's also clearly bitter over the setbacks he's had to endure up to this point. His eyes light up, however, when a little hand grabs his thumb.
      Marge: Homie, I think someone's trying to say hello.
    • The revelation to why Maggie adores sucking her pacifier so much; she thought it was a substitute for a kiss.
    • When Homer has to quit his job at the bowling alley, his boss Al Grumble and the rest of the people there wish him farewell and thanked him for doing a great job of the place, even giving him a bowling jacket as a going away gift.
    • Homer doing a funny impression of the sperm that would become Maggie swimming its way out to Marge's egg, to the disgust of his kids, is oddly endearing, showing how he looks back on an event he regarded as life-ruining at the time with happiness now, knowing that it lead to the existence of his beloved youngest child.
  • In "Bart's Comet", Ned Flanders has been forced out of his own civil defense shelter by his selfish neighbors, and is left to face the comet that signals Springfield's impending doom alone. However, each of the neighbours begins to feel increasingly guilty about forcing him out, and - starting with Homer - one by one leave the shelter to join him. Ned, resigned to his fate, stands on a hill near Springfield quietly singing 'Que Sera Sera' to himself... only for the entire town to suddenly appear and join him in the chorus.
    • Not to mention also how dark that moment was. The townsfolk managed to overcome their Jerkass attitude to cheerfully wait for their doom together.
      • If you can, sit through the credits for that episode. You won't regret it.
    • Also, while it may have been unintentional, when everyone is inside the bomb shelter, they begin thinking of reasons they should be allowed to stay (due to their being too many people inside). While Krusty and Moe each give reasons to save their own skins, Moe immediately follows it up by explaining why Homer should stay. Despite their somewhat tumultuous friendship, Moe really did seem to care about Homer.
  • In "Bart vs. Australia", right before Bart is about to receive his booting, Lisa tearfully promises not to make fun of him for it.
  • In "Homer vs. Patty and Selma", Homer has had to put up with his sisters-in-law's crap all episode, blackmailing him with the debt he owes them, and finally culminating in them failing his chauffeur's test so he can't pay them back. Then they are caught smoking by their supervisor and face demotion for doing so. Homer laughs at this, until he notices that Marge would not be happy, so he covers for them. They apologize and (reluctantly) forgive Homer's debt.
    • Bart embracing his love for ballet, and showing a sensitive side to his nature.
  • During "Lisa's Wedding", Marge, Bart and Homer all go to see Lisa before the actual wedding and each one provided a touching family moment. Marge gave Lisa a lock of her hair for "something blue" for the wedding and they wordlessly hugged.
    Homer: Little Lisa. Lisa Simpson. You know, I always felt you were the best thing my name ever got attached to ... I just want you to know I've always been proud of you. You're my greatest accomplishment and and you did it all yourself. You helped me understand my own wife better and taught me to be a better person. But you're my daughter and I don't think anyone could have had a better daughter than you.
    • Then, Lisa would later return the favor back to Homer and her family. Her fiance Hugh had intentions of returning to England and separating Lisa from her family forever, even insulting them in front of Lisa. Angrily, Lisa gave him back his ring and walked out.
      Hugh: You complain about them more than anyone.
      Lisa: That may be, but I still love them, and I don't think you understand that.
    • Despite having been excited all week about the prospect of his prospective son-in-law wearing his pig cuff-links during the wedding, Homer is completely understanding when he realizes that Hugh doesn't want to wear them. Particularly heartwarming when you realize that he's just been denied the only thing he was allowed to do during the entire wedding, but accepted it because his daughter's happiness was far more important to him than his own.
    • When Homer gives Hugh the cuff links, which were a gift from Abe on his wedding day, he explains his belief that they brought him and Marge good luck as he "couldn't imagine a happier marriage" than theirs. Despite every conflict their relationship faced over the course of the show, their life together was an unqualified success, and their hard work, dedication to, and love for each other paid off in a big way.
    • And then there's the ending where Lisa and Homer bond after Lisa visits the fortune teller. On its own it's nothing special, but in the context of the episode, Lisa's enthusiasm in hearing about Homer's day at the Renaissance Fair is just about the sweetest ending the show has ever done.
  • "'Round Springfield" actually has one from Bart, of all people. When Lisa is absolutely crushed that she can't get the last copy of Bleeding Gums' album for a tribute after his death, Bart spends all the remaining money from his recent legal settlement involving Krusty the Clown's cereal to get it for her, because she was the only one who believed him when he said his stomach hurt (somehow getting appendicitis from swallowing a jagged Krusty-O).
    • Followed by another one, when a random lightning strike increases the power of the local jazz station enough so that everyone in Springfield can hear the album being played.
    • Followed by another one, as Bleeding Gums appears in the clouds a la Mufasa from The Lion King (1994), says good-bye, and disappears...only to return for one last jam session with Lisa.
    • The song itself counts too, especially with Yeardley Smith going full out on the vocals.
    • Homer is the first person shown trying to comfort Lisa after Murphy's death. That in itself is heartwarming. He has Maggie with him who offers Lisa her pacifier to try and cheer her up.
    • All of what Lisa does to remember Bleeding Gums Murphy becomes even more heartwarming after the passing of Ron Taylor.
  • In a small moment of humanity, at least one bystander (Jimbo, as the audience sees,) actually expresses concern for Mr. Burns after he's been shot and stops to ask him if he's okay.
    • Earlier in the Townspeople meeting Smithers is seen as a miserable drunk both Dr Hibbert and his wife show concern of him and Flanders covers him with a blanket.

    Season 7 
  • In a deleted scene for "Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part Two", after Mr. Burns regains consciousness in the hospital, Smithers gives him a big hug. Awww...
    Smithers: Oh sir, you're awake! Don't worry- we'll have you up and hunched over in no time!
    • Also the fact that Smithers, who had every right to still be angry at at Mr. Burns for going off the deep end and firing him, stayed by his side in the hospital and was there for him when he woke up, and was happy to see him recovering. That's Undying Loyalty right there.
  • In "Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily", Maggie, Bart and Lisa were put in custody at the Flanders after Child Welfare officers accuse Homer and Marge of neglecting their kids and providing a squalid living environment for them. Both Bart and Lisa note that Maggie is much happier with the Flanders than she is with her own family. Then came the choice whether she should go with the Flanders or the Simpsons. From Maggie's point of view, we see that the Flanders was a bright, cheerful family with bunnies and butterflies. When looking at Homer, Bart and Lisa, all she saw was a dark, gloomy place with frogs. So she began walking towards the Flanders. Only to see Marge coming down the hill. As soon as she saw Marge, she reached out and Marge delightfully held her up and spun her around, ending in a glorious, realistic portrait of a sunset behind them.
    Marge: Oh, Maggie, you're a Simpson again.
    (Maggie pulls out her pacifier and belches)
    • Earlier, Bart and Lisa leave a message for Homer and Marge: "Simpson Kids Miss Mom and Dad." Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
  • At the very end of "Bart Sells His Soul", when Bart, after resorting to various desperate measures to re-obtain a piece of paper that supposedly represents his actual soul, Bart turns to prayer, tearfully begging God to give him back his soul. It's Bart at his most vulnerable and honest; truly afraid that his soul will never come back and that he'll never be the same again.
    • At the end of the episode, Lisa gave Bart a lecture that implies his soul is not a piece of paper that can be sold or bought; and yet, she used her secret money to buy it back anyway. And Bart not only sincerely thanks Lisa for doing it, he even kisses her.
  • Lisa and Homer making up at the end of "Lisa the Vegetarian", complete with a veggie-back ride home and Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" playing in the background.
  • "Mother Simpson", where Homer meets his mother for the first time in a long time. She sadly has to leave again. He drives her to the pick up point and stays there, staring at the stars. Instead of the normal end credits, they keep this shot and play a melancholic song. The commentary points out how hard the crew fought to prevent commercials from playing during its premiere.
    • Mona easily bonds with the rest of the family especially Lisa whom often felt alienated from her family because of her intelligence. Even the normally-rebellious Bart has a soft-spot for her.
    • Wiggum, surprisingly, has a moment here as well. During a protest against Burns' germ warfare lab, where Wiggum was stationed as a security guard, Mona's antibiotic bomb cured his asthma. The protest allowed him to finally join Springfield's police force, and in return, he secretly helps Mona escape town when she returns in the present day.
    • What could have been straight Played for Laughs turns into a little heartwarming gem:
      Mona: Homer, remember, wherever I go, you'll always be a part of me. (hits her head on the roof of the van) D'oh!
      • Homer's little embarrassed smile shows what that means to him: he really does carry a bit of her with him everywhere, and vice-versa.
  • A small one from "Marge Be Not Proud". When Bart thinks Marge may no longer love him, he asks Luann Van Houten if he can stay while she does mom stuff. She smiles sweetly and the next scene shows the two doing envelopes together. It's a brief but still sweet moment.
    • The ending of the episode, determined to get attention, he storms off to the Try-N-Save. When Marge notices Bart sneak home with something, she becomes suspicious and corners him, demanding he reveal it. It's a portrait of Bart, for once sensibly posed as she desired, with a "Paid In Full" receipt visibly attached.
      Bart: I wanted to surprise you for Christmas.
      Marge: *in tears* Aww Sweetie, this is the present a Mother could get! *cue hugs and kisses*
    • Bart faking excitement at the game she bought. It's a small moment, but still touching.
  • In "Lisa the Iconoclast," the fact that Homer completely believed Lisa when she discovered the truth about Jebediah Springfield and did all he could to help her spread word to the town, which is even more amazing when you take into consideration that Marge of all people refused to listen to what Lisa had to say.
    • The ending, where Lisa decides not to reveal the truth about Springfeld because it's brought out the best in Springfield. And then Homer lets her sit on his shoulder and ring the town crier's bell, which is its own moment when Wiggum refuses to intervene (even though Homer has taken the job from Flanders by force) simply because Homer's too good at being town crier.
      Wiggum: Let 'im march, boys. Let the man march!
  • In the episode "Homer the Smithers," there's a subtle bit of heartwarming when we see Burns' teddy bear Bobo again. Comparing how it looks in this episode to how it looked previously, we can probably infer that it was Smithers who fixed his beloved bear up for him off-screen.
    • At the beginning of the episode, Smithers has a complete nervous breakdown and his mental health quickly falls apart. What does Mr. Burns do? Happily insist that Smithers take a vacation to get his head on straight. And later in the episode, Mr. Burns cheerfully asks him to send him pictures from said vacation.
    • Despite arguably deserving of his fate, Homer is horrified when he thinks he's accidentally killed Mr. Burns. And when he rushes back to his office to see that he's alive and has a black eye, he sincerely apologizes and worriedly offers to bring him a compress for said eye.
    • Mr. Burns gratefully giving Homer a long hug for (quite literally) knocking some sense into him.
  • In "Bart on the Road", Lisa spending her spring break bonding with her father at the power plant. Best of all, nothing ever comes along to compromise it — Homer never reveals any of the secrets she trusts him with and their relationship finishes as strong as it was in the middle of the episode.
    • When the two of them are shaking treats down from the vending machine:
      Smithers: Simpson! What in God's name are you—
      Lisa: Zagnut bar, Mr. Smithers? Razzles, Skittles, Whatchamacallits, Twizzlers?
      Homer: They all have hilarious names and are delicious!
      Smithers: Well, I am partial to Jolly Ranchers. (takes one) Good work, Simpson! (Starts to walk away, then stops.) Simpsons!
    • A tiny one when Lisa and Homer play Truth or Dare: she asks him which of his three children he loves most, and he balks and takes a dare instead. It's a far cry from the open (if constantly-shifting) Parental Favoritism he showed throughout the previous season's "Lisa on Ice" and shows that he in fact values all three of his children.
    • Among the many inadvisable things Bart does with a fake ID, underaged drinking shockingly isn't one of them, as he, Nelson and Milhouse wind up realizing how sad the alcoholic barflies at Moe's are and leave without touching the three beers they bought. When you consider how rampant alcoholism seems to be in Springfield, it's reassuring to see that the next generation might be wising up a bit.
  • When Bart is about to dive to find the treasure in "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"":
    Bart: Hey, Grampa, do you think I could've been a Flying Hellfish?
    Abe: You're a gutsy daredevil with a give-'em-hell attitude and a fourth-grade education. You could've made sergeant.note 
    • The episode focuses on the relationship between Bart and his grandfather. By the end of the episode, Bart has a new found respect for Grampa, even though he is somewhat annoyed by his stories.
    • While she is at first dismissive of Abe's panicked cries that someone is trying to kill him the moment the assassin bursts in the nurse doesn't run or flee... she pulls out a gun of her own and declares that the residents are trying to nap while blasting at the assassin, chasing him off.
    • When Abe saves Bart from the packing crate in which he's sunk underwater, Bart tries to resist letting Abe hook him up to his oxygen and Abe has to fight him to make it happen.
  • The Simpsons family standing by Apu and helping him pass his citizenship test during "Much Apu About Nothing".
    • Groundskeeper Willie standing up for Uter when the other kids are bullying him for being foreign is sweet...until it whiplashes into sarcastic humor when Principal Skinner tells Willie to pick on someone his own size.
  • In "Homerpalooza" Homer becomes a carnival freak touring with a Lollapalooza-like festival. Bart—who'd earlier in the episode made it clear that he thinks Homer is uncool—asks him a series of interview questions when he comes home to Springfield, telling him it's for a school project when he asks and quickly changing the subject by offering him pie. When he goes to get the pie, Homer sees the notebook he's been writing in, which shows that the report is on "The person I admire most" and starts with "My Dad is the greatest."
  • When Lisa manages to make a group of new friends in "Summer of 4 Ft. 2" Bart's jealousy leads him to expose all the nerdy things that made her so unpopular back home. Lisa is crushed and believes her newfound friends will quickly disown her. Instead it turns out that they genuinely found her a cool person because of her geeky knowledge, one character explaining that "You can't fake the sort of good person you are" and they decorate the Simpson family car with seashells in tribute to her (until Homer finds out — despite that Homer's car is the purple sedan and Marge's is the station-wagon and yells, "SWEET, MERCIFUL CRAP! MY CAR!").
    • And Bart, actually feeling remorse over what he'd done, brought the empty unsigned yearbook he'd showed the kids to prove that she was unpopular back to them, and they filled the Yearbook with a load of heartwarming messages. Lisa thanks Bart for doing so. Milhouse also signed it, too.
      • Lisa almost brought her microscope to the beach but bemoaned it as a hopelessly nerdy thing to do. Ben's yearbook message reads "Next year bring your microscope."
    • Bart's popularity at school vs. Lisa's is established by showing him seated at a table with people queuing up for his yearbook signature like he's a celebrity at a signing. One of those people? Skinner.
      Skinner: Well, I...yeah. I lied, it's for me.

    Season 8 
  • In "You Only Move Twice", there's just something really heartwarming about watching the citizens of Springfield bid goodbye to the family as they leave, especially considering that The Simpsons Movie and the 500th episode "At Long Last Leave" depict the entire town wanting The Simpsons kicked out of town.
    • Homer, after a talk with Hank, gives up a job he likes after he sees how miserable his family is in Cypress Creek.
  • "The Homer They Fall":
    • Even though it's meant to be funny, the montage over the end credits showing Moe as the "Fan Man" saving underprivileged people from danger (such as saving an Indian woman and her baby from a flood, pulling an explorer out of quicksand, and delivering U.N aid packages to starving Africans) is definitely a heartwarming moment. Sally Stevens' gorgeous cover of "People" adds a lovely sincerity to the whole thing.
    • Prior to that, Moe saving Homer from being KO-ed by Drederick Tatum by flying him out with the Fan Man's paramotor. And his earlier moment in the episode by using a shotgun to order Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney's dads to stop beating Homer up in his bar, which works. You can think what you like about Moe, but he definitely values his friendship with Homer.
    • Despite ruining the match, Tatum is touched by this gesture, stating affably to Homer how jealous he is that his manager cares so much about his well being.
    • The fact that Abe is at the match and displays genuine concerns for his son's safety and relief when Moe rescues him. Compared to how their relationship is in a lot of episodes, it's pretty sweet.
  • "A Milhouse Divided":
    • A subtle detail: Ned is seen comforting a clearly upset Maude when the Van Houtens argue during the party.
    • Homer and Marge getting remarried after a brief divorce (even though "Wedding for Disaster" reveals that Reverend Lovejoy's license to wed expired and that Homer and Marge aren't legally married) so they won’t end up like Milhouse's parents.
    • Milhouse thinks Nelson is going to "ha-ha" him after his parents break up, but instead he is very understanding and even shares the story of his own parents' split-up. Kearney is also sympathetic, because he had gone through a breakup himself while having a kid of his own, also suggesting he cares about said kid.
  • When Ned begins his "The Reason You Suck" Speech tirade against the rest of the town in "Hurricane Neddy", Bart stands up to him as soon as he starts badmouthing Marge. It's a small moment that's overshadowed by the rest of the scene, but it really shows that, for all his brattiness, Bart loves his mom. This then causes Ned to lash out at Bart, so then Lisa steps in to defend him, one of the moments that shows she cares about her big brother despite the Sibling Rivalry they often engage in.
  • In The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" Homer does NOT take Marge's failing business lying down. He takes matters into his own hands and searches for someone to help her. He requests Fat Tony's help as a last resort. As lazy Homer is, he's willing to help Marge out.
  • In "Homer's Phobia", in spite of Homer's Jerkass behavior throughout the episode when he and Bart where surrounded by angry reindeer his response is to hold Bart over his head so the reindeer can't get to him and keep him held up while they attack him to spite the obvious pain he was in. Doubles as a Moment of Awesome.
  • Homer's speech in "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" at the end in character as Poochie about how he knows they've gotten off on the wrong foot, but he would like to start over, because he feels they could make people happy together.
    • Likewise, Homer's friendship with June Bellamy the woman does the voices of Itchy and Scratchy. He steps in to call off a Straw Fan who complained to her about an asinine sound mistake from an old episode, and she returns the favor later on by threatening to quit if they don't give Homer's ideas to salvage Poochie a chance.
  • As if Sideshow Bob willfully working with Bart and Lisa to stop his brother's plot in "Brother From Another Series" wasn't enough, when the police accuse Bob of the crime, Lisa tries to vouch for his innocence. Bob returns the gesture with a warm smile. It doesn't work, but still.
  • Homer letting Wiggum arrest him in "Homer vs the Eighteenth Amendment" so the ex-police chief can get his job back.
  • Skinner and Edna's dancing in "Grade School Confidential" is just incredibly sweet.
    • Their first kiss in Martin's play house is incredibly sweet too. Skinner and Edna seem like they'd be oil and water, but the show makes their romance completely believable (even if their trysts quickly get ridiculous).
    • The exact moment that causes Edna to admit she has a thing for Seymour? She asks him what kind of little boy (Martin Prince) has a tea set, to which Seymour responds confidently, "I think we both know the answer to that...a lucky boy!" It's this innocence that appeals to Edna's jaded, cynical nature.
    • Bart's relationship with Edna and Seymour through the second half of the episode. He's the one that exposes their secret affair to the school—not unreasonably, as they'd repeatedly taken advantage of him to perpetuate their deception since he was the only one who knew. Instead of blaming him when he and Edna are fired, Seymour apologizes to him, admitting that this was inappropriate behavior and even thanking him for making their romance possible, saying he doesn't know what they'll do without him. At this point Bart urges Seymour to stand up for himself and his relationship instead of taking the firing lying down, joins the two in their protest and advises them on how to rebel against authority, something they're distinctly unused to since they're usually the authority themselves. He seems downright disappointed at the end when they tell him (falsely) that they've broken up, showing a sensitive side by saying they seemed perfect for each other (even sweeter if you recall that he raised the possibility of a relationship between them as early as "Bart the Lover"). His Rousing Speech to Seymour shows how well he knows him and how much he really cares about the guy: it's hard to deny that his "enemy" is one of his best friends.
      Bart: You've spent your whole life following orders. From your mother, the army, Superintendent Chalmers. Just this once, man, stand up for yourself.
  • An understated one for Smithers in "The Old Man and Lisa", where Mr. Burns loses all his money and power. Smithers isn't even in his services since he can't even afford his paycheck. His first course of action upon the declaration of his bankruptcy? To move him to his house and continue serving him. He even keeps referring to him as "sir".
    • Burns tries his best to return the favor. He's the ultimate Corrupt Corporate Executive, but still, there's something touching about him wanting to help Smithers in his home, from taking the dishes to grocery shopping.
  • Lenny and Carl's easy going treatment of Homer is rather sweet in "Homer's Enemy". Despite his incompetence and endangering their lives several times over, they don't really seem to hold it against him.
    Lenny: Everybody makes mistakes. That's what they have erasers on pencils.
    Carl: Yeah, Homer's okay. Give it a break.
    • Not only do they also wholeheartedly support him in the children's contest, the rest of the audience cheers Homer on after his win, despite Frank's attempt to embarrass him.
    • To some extent, Homer attempting to patch things up with Frank.
    • Not to mention him continuing to hug Marge even though it's causing him pain.
  • In "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson", Bart secretly helping Lisa when they're at military school. Also applies later, when he helps her openly.
    Bart: I know you can do it! I believe in you!
    • When Lisa is at her lowest and loneliest, Marge sends her a tape message encouraging her to stay strong, ending with her singing "You are my sunshine".
    • The Commandant giving her a medal for her performance.

    Season 9 
  • There really is no reason for Rainier Wolfcastle to help Homer work out when he visited the gym in "King of the Hill", other than simply show him how to properly do it, he just decided to do it, which was nice of him.
    • Despite Homer's flag being undone, so no one will actually know he did climb it, everyone in town still knows it, and more importantly, Bart does, and he's extremely proud of him.
      Bart: Forget about it, Homer. You made it to the top. You're the coolest dad ever.
  • After Lisa wasn't able to see the Egyptian exhibit in "Lost Our Lisa", Homer sneaked the two of them into the museum to see it. Cue Homer trying to get a closer look at the mysterious Orb of Isis and ended up knocking it to the ground. Only to realize that the Orb was in fact a music box and that Homer and Lisa are the first people to hear its song in over four thousand years. Just the thought that Homer and Lisa shared this incredible discovery was a CMOH on its own.
    Lisa: It's kind of humbling, isn't it? The music we just heard might never be heard again.
    Homer: Yeah, but it'll always live on because we'll never forget it.
    • Which becomes a funny moment seconds later when Homer sings the Old Spice jingle and Lisa corrects him... then heartwarming again when they both happily sing it together, especially as the tune closes the episode, Then funny again when they trip the alarms and the museum's guard dogs go after them.
  • As maligned as "The Principal and the Pauper" is, it does hit some good notes following the reveal of Seymour/Armin:
    • Following getting to know the "real" Sgt. Skinner, Edna and Agnes complain about him being an annoying weenie. After Marge points out that the old Skinner was a weenie, too:
      Edna: But he was our weenie!
      Agnes: Now there was a weenie you'd be proud to call your son.
      Marge: Did you ever tell him that?
      (Agnes suddenly looks sad)
    • After the extended group goes to Capitol City to convince Armin to come back, he refuses and gets rather defensive.
      Agnes: Seymour! I didn't bring you up to use language like that!
      Armin: Well, you didn't raise me at all!
      Agnes: The hell I didn't! I've been taking care of you for twenty-six years! I'm the only mother you've ever known!
      Armin: But you have your real son.
      Agnes: You are my real son! You've been my son longer than he has, and he doesn't need me, and I don't need him! Now you march yourself downstairs and get in that car!
      Armin: (meekly) Yes, Mother.
    • It's also kind of sweet how the whole ruse started -Armin thought his good friend Seymour Skinner died while they were in Vietnam, and when he went to his friend's former home to tell his mother, Agnes mistakes him for Seymour and he can't bear to tell her the truth. He lied for 26 years, but he did it because he didn't want to break the old woman's heart. It's even implied that he felt she knew, "deep down", that he wasn't really her son. Except in the ways that matter.
    • At the very beginning of the episode, Lisa and Ralph deliver a small presentation on "Skinner's" life, in which Ralph declares that when he grows up he wants to be a Principal...or a caterpillar. Even Bart gets into the action, light-heartedly buzzing Skinner as he shakes his hand. Normally, this would be done maliciously, but it is clear that there is still affection between the two.
    • Edna isn't thrown off her relationship with "Skinner" in the least bit when she finds out he's Armin, and tries to talk him out of leaving town.
      Edna: No, please. I don't care what you've done. You're still a decent, honorable man.
      Armin: That's the kind of talk that makes me want to marry you.
  • "Lisa's Sax" (the plot of Homer choosing a saxophone for Lisa rather than air conditioning for the family, not so much the plot of Bart becoming a bad kid after his kindergarten teacher crushed his self-esteem, unless you count the part where Bart wins over the other kids by cracking jokes, as it shows that Bart found a way to cope with his depression). Homer bought Lisa her first saxophone, with the inscription "Dear Lisa, never forget your daddy lov-D'OH!" (He dropped it). He buys her a new one after the story, with the inscription of "Dear Lisa, may your new saxophone bring you many years of-D'OH!"
    • Followed by Lisa passionately HOWLING the sax solo on "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty, accompanying a montage of her greatest sax moments.
  • A cute moment in "Bart Star": a flashback showing how Homer's father always discouraged him when he played sports shows that Homer was an impressive gymnast in high school. Marge, who hadn't officially met him yet, witnessed one of his performances when she attended it as Lenny's date, and was obviously quite taken with him.
    Marge: What's his name again?
  • "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons ": Moe crying at Apu and Manjua's wedding.
    Aw, geez. I am no good at weddings, I am no good at weddings.
    • An Indian-language version of "(They Long To Be) Close to You" is Apu and Manjuala's first dance, calling back to Homer and Marge's backstory in "The Way We Was."
  • The end of "Lisa the Skeptic":
    Marge: I guess you were right, honey... but you have to admit that when the angel started to talk you were squeezing my hand pretty hard.
    Lisa: (uneasy) Heh, well, it was just so loud and... Thanks for squeezing back.
    Marge: Anytime, my angel.
    (they walk off hand in hand)
  • The ending of "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" manages to be this despite the Simpsons undergoing a Humiliation Conga that ends with losing everything in their house to looting Springfieldians looking to settle a score. Homer, Bart and Lisa squabble over a washcloth because it's the last thing left, and Marge, in the middle of scolding them for it, takes the washcloth herself ("Yoink!") The episode ends with the whole family laughing as they chase each other around the empty house while Christmas music plays. Gets sweeter when you remember that all Marge really wanted was to celebrate Christmas as a family.
    • When everybody figures out that the Simpsons' "stolen" Christmas tree and presents are buried in their yard, Homer, who's only just found out the truth, is willing to pretend that he intentionally defrauded the whole town in order to cover for Bart. Bart won't let him get away with this and confesses that he was the one who hid the tree.
    • Even the looting manages to be this in a twisted sort of way, given the rest of Springfield did it specifically out of the Insane Troll Logic that they don't want to stay mad at the Simpsons anymore and just call it even and sincerely wish them a Merry Christmas. At the very least it applies for Ned, who only "steals" things Homer looted off him in the first place.
  • In "Das Bus", when Nelson threatens Lisa to get to Milhouse, Bart immediately leaps to her defense. Even if it possibly leads to him being murdered, he sticks up for his sister.
    • Bart and Lisa's protectiveness of Milhouse throughout the episode, with Bart saving him from drowning after the bus sinks and deciding the trial fairly in his favor even though he still personally thinks that Milhouse probably was the one who ate all the food (they don't have proof), Lisa deciding to have the trial in the first place and both carrying him when he's too tired to run from the angry mob of kids chasing them.
  • In "Lisa the Simpson", Miss Hoover gives Ralph a C- for his agriculture project, without even seeing it or knowing what it is. Just think about that. All we know about it is that it's a bloody part of a cow in a brown paper bag with "Ralph's Project" on it. Ralph is The Ditz and Miss Hoover clearly doesn't like him much, so it speaks volumes that she would give him a passing grade, probably the best grade he's had in a while, for a piece of work she hasn't even seen. It's a very nice Pet the Dog moment, and Ralph's "Yay!" is the cherry on top.
    • Overlaps as a funny moment with the male Simpson relatives Homer called over but to prove to Lisa that not all Simpsons are doomed to suffer from lower intelligence according to a "Simpsons gene", Homer managed to call a large crowd of his relatives over to his front yard in possibly less than 12 hours, staying up the entire night to make the phone calls and getting them all over to the house at the crack of dawn. Homer offered them five dollars each to show up and from a head-count, Homer spent at least one hundred dollars just to make Lisa feel better.
    • Homer's relationship with his female relatives are unknown, given their large differences in personality, career pathways, intelligence and whether Homer keeps in touch with them at all but it is equally heartwarming that they agreed to show up to an idea made by Homer of all people.
  • "This Little Wiggy", is filled with many Pet the Dog moments for Ralph. When Chief Wiggum catches Ralph inside his "forbidden closet of mystery", he's ready to reprimand and maybe punish the boy. However, when Bart Simpson speaks up in apology, Wiggum does a complete 180 in attitude, incredibly happy that his son Ralph has a friend and immediately turns around and gives them SWAT gear to play with.

    Season 10 
  • Homer's treatment of Pinchie in "Lisa Gets An A". Originally his intention was to raise and fatten the lobster for a home made meal, however as becomes more endeared to it, he doesn't have the heart, and begins raising and playing with him like a dog (it even wags it tail before him) and even giving him a seat on the family table, ignoring his family's complaints. Turns into a Tear Jerker when he accidentally boils Pinchie in a hot bath, and eats him heartbroken ("Pinchie would have wanted it that way *sobs*").
    • When Lisa confesses to Skinner that she cheated on the test, she doesn't rat out Bart or Nelson, who helped her do so.
  • In "Bart the Mother", Bart accidentally shoots a bird only to feel miserable afterwards, and leading Marge to ignore him, not wanting to put up with his behavior. Out of remorse, he then takes care of the orphaned eggs; when the hatchlings turn out to be bird-eating reptilians, Bart is told they need to die for the greater good - so he's faced with the worries of losing who, technically, he thinks of as his offspring. He cries and tells Marge that "maybe she doesn't understand", to which Marge replies she obviously does. And then they hug.
    Bart: Everyone thinks they're monsters. But I raised them, and I love them! I know that's hard to understand.
    Marge: Not as hard as you think.
    • Even more touching is earlier when Marge discovers the eggs, convinced he is up to no good again, she storms into his treehouse to find his incubator. He explains meekly that he didn't want to kill them like he did their mother. Marge attempts to start a lecture, but eventually can only muster a loving "Oh, sweetie, come here" and hugs him.
    • In a sick, twisted way, Nelson congratulating Bart for his kill. This is obviously supposed to invoke Your Approval Fills Me with Shame, but he just sounds like a supportive big brother at that very moment, pat on the back and all.
      Nelson: You are one cold-blooded killer, dude.
    • Even though Lisa tries to stop Bart from leaving to hang out with Nelson against Marge's orders, she unhesitatingly covers for him when her parents start asking where he is. On her way out to get Bart after she finds out the truth, Marge tells Homer to punish Lisa for lying.
      Homer: (sternly) All right, young lady, I want you to march yourself directly to the Kwik-E-Mart and get me some chips and a beer. (Hands her money. Then, after a beat, hands her more money.) Get a little something for yourself, sweetheart.
    • The episode ends with a tribute to Phil Hartman, who had recently been murdered (the episode originally premiered 3 days after what would have been his 50th birthday). Doubles as a Tear Jerker and, for a lot of people, The Simpsons was never the same without him.
  • The end of "Make Room for Lisa" where Lisa sees how much her dad loves her by taking her to places he doesn't like such as the ballet and the Smithsonian exhibit. Lisa then goes with Homer to the demolition derby where she hugs his arm and he gives her a hug back and a kiss on the forehead. It's really sweet to see Homer and Lisa bond, especially with their clashing personalities often getting the better of them.
  • In "Maximum Homerdrive", we have Homer deciding to finish Red's last job so the old trucker's otherwise perfect record won't be tarnished by the last shipment not making it on time because of his death.
    • From the same episode, there is the melody that Marge wants for their door bell. It's "Close to You" by the Carpenters which is hers and Homer's song.
  • "They Saved Lisa's Brain" ends with Stephen Hawking and Homer having some beer at Moe's. There's something touching about one of the world's brightest scientists and one of Springfield's... not so brightest souls spending time together.
    Homer: Wow, I can't believe someone I've never heard of is hanging out with a guy like me.

    Season 11 
  • In "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder", after Homer's "15 minutes of fame" wanes after bowling a perfect game and decides to attempt suicide (only to be saved by a bungee-jumping Otto), Homer decides to dedicate his life to his children, but Bart has found male role models in everyone else except Homer and Lisa is too smart for him, so Homer tries to bond with Maggie. The problem is, Maggie is afraid of Homer and every attempt at bonding ends in disaster. It's not until Homer drowns in the ocean and Maggie saves him that Homer realizes that Maggie does care for him. Also the ending where Homer and Maggie bond at the bowling alley and as Homer is tickling Maggie, Homer bats away the "300 Game" balloon that floats down near him, showing that Homer (despite being a Jerkass and a cartoonish idiot at times) is really just a sympathetic bumbler who wants to be loved and recognized, be it by thousands of fickle fans or just one member of the family.
  • "Eight Misbehavin'":
    • Before Marge tells Apu to come into the delivery room, Lisa is seen sleeping on Homer's knee and Homer's arm is around her (Homer is also asleep). Bart and Maggie are asleep next to them and Maggie is using Bart's leg as a pillow.
    • Homer is very reassuring and supportive of Apu and Manjula, in that he tries to help them conceive (and succeeds, despite slipping them fertility pills to achieve it), helps Apu to recover the octuplets when Mr. Kidkill won't release them from his contract, and agrees to give Kidkill a new contract with him and Butch Patrick to get the octuplets out of it. Kidkill agrees, but only after Homer changes it from it simply being him prancing around in a monkey suit.
      • The skit Homer ends up having to do requires him to drive on a tricycle with Butch Patrick on his shoulders on a cobra-filled stage. He does it without complaint although in a whole lot of pain. As Apu notes:
        Apu: Now that is a true friend.
    • Despite being overwhelmed by the demands of the octuplets, Apu and Manjula really love their kids and step up to the plate as parents. They only sign the contract with Kidkill, which will allow the zoo to help care for the babies as part of an exhibit, on the condition that they themselves get to live with their children in the enclosure—which the zoo violates by kicking them out.
  • "Take My Wife, Sleaze".
    • The montage of Bart teaching Homer to ride his motorcycle, especially the end, where Homer finally gets it right and as he looks back towards Bart, Bart smiles proudly at him. Then their faces appear on the surface of the moon, smiling at each other.
    • The song that plays during it, about a son who loves his dad. Particularly the end part, where Homer accomplishes it and Bart smiles at him.
    • The fact that Bart agreed to teach Homer to ride the motorcycle in the first place.
    • Homer fighting Meathook to win Marge back, coupled with this line: "I made a sacred vow on my wedding day to bogart her forever!" That alone earns him a smile and "Oh, Homie!" from Marge.
  • In "Saddlesore Galactica", Bart shows his knack for loving animals by convincing his family to take in Duncan, a stage diving horse. When it's suggested that they enter Duncan to be a racing horse, Bart makes sure to love Duncan even if he doesn't win, to which the horse greatly appreciates.
  • After losing his wife in "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily", Flanders was determined not to go to church, briefly losing faith in God. But he ends up going anyways and arrives just in time to hear a song sung by Rachel Jordan, about how not to lose faith in God.

    Season 12 
  • "Lisa the Tree Hugger":
    • The episode's Couch Gag has Maggie sitting on the couch as the other family members come in dressed as the Teletubbies (Homer as Tinky Winky, Marge as Dipsy, Bart as La-La and Lisa as Po). Maggie claps with amusement.
    • Bart sends her a care bucket that includes both food and a letter that's both humorous and heartwarming: "Dear Lisa, you rock. Mom is calling rescue agencies. Dad is building a giant ladder but it is of poor quality. We miss you. Bart".
    • Lisa becomes homesick and decides to sneak home and see her family for a few minutes, but winds up staying the whole night when she arrives and finds them having a Sleep Cute moment in the living room. Which includes Homer and Bart having seemingly fallen peacefully, happily asleep together while Homer was in the process of strangling him.
  • Homer and Marge being proud of Bart for him getting his first "A" in "Homer Vs. Dignity".
    • In a way, Homer agreeing to become Burns' Butt-Monkey so he can try and support the family. Then, when Lisa tells him he's doing so at the cost of his dignity, he uses the money Burns gave him to buy toys for needy kids at Costington's. Mr. Costington commends him for this.
  • In "Skinner's Sense Of Snow", Homer and Ned deciding to get the kids home from school after they get snowed in. Homer's misuse of cruise control saves the day and gets the kids out of the school. And what happens when Homer and Ned make it to the school? Lisa runs to the car, opens the door (which falls off) and hugs Homer. Aww...
    • After Chalmers' departure, Bart and Skinner decide to put the whole thing behind them and even share a laugh about it.
  • In "HOMR", Homer increases his intelligence (after having a crayon removed from his brain), and starts to bond with Lisa, only to be ostracized for his newfound intelligence, so he has another crayon lodged up in his brain to decrease his intelligence. As Lisa is despairing about this, she finds a letter her father wrote for her before he lost his intelligence, saying that he now knows what it's like to be smart in a world where being average or below average is the norm. Overjoyed, she embraces her father, as he thinks, "Mmmm...hug."
  • At the end of "Hungry, Hungry Homer", the crowd throw food to Homer after he has starved himself during his hunger strike.
  • In "Day of the Jackanapes", Sideshow Bob hears that Krusty's taped over the episodes featuring him and decides to get revenge via a bomb and a hypnotized Bart. At the special Krusty is hosting, Krusty admits that it was his abuse that drove Bob to become a criminal, starting with framing him for armed robbery in "Krusty Gets Busted", and sings a song as a way of apology. This touches Bob enough to stop his own murder plot.
  • "I'm Going to Praiseland":
    • Ned finally being able to move past Maude's death and going on a date with Rachel.
    • The Simpsons helping Ned to make Maude's final dream of opening "Praiseland" a reality is pretty touching even though it ultimately doesn't last long.

    Season 13 
  • Bart defending Homer and Marge in court in "The Parent Rap."
    Bart: Your Honor, it's not easy being my parents. I'm always screwing up in school and getting in trouble with the law. But if I grow up to be a halfway decent person, I know it'll be because of my mom and dad. Everyone else might give up on me, but my parents never will.
  • "The Blunder Years":
    • When Homer is being hypnotized into thinking he's 12 years old, his first reaction right before he starts screaming is pretty adorable.
    • The Reveal that it was Mr. Burns of all people who took care of Smithers after his father passed. Burns respected Waylon Sr. that much, and actually felt remorse for what he did. Sure in true Simpsons fashion, Burns reveals he made a cover-up story.
    • Baby Smithers first word; Sir .
    • It is a really (bitter)sweet scene when Mr Burns interacts with Waylon Jr.
      Mr. Burns: So, you're a baby huh? How's that working out for you?
    • On top on that, Baby Smithers is constantly smiling at Mr Burns.
    • The final scene, in which Moe visits Homer and Marge claiming he found critical clues for the mystery, only to be told they already solved it. Moe gets upset that they won't even look into the envelope he made for them, saying he put a lot of effort into his investigation. Homer and Marge, feeling sorry for him, allow him to show them his clues.
  • The Game Night Fight in "Brawl in the Family" starts when Lisa accuses Marge of defending a cheating Bart simply because he "bought [her] that house on St. James' Place." Homer then strangles Bart for insinuating that he couldn't or wouldn't have done the same for her himself, meaning that the fight that gets the whole family hauled in for counseling on a domestic violence charge ironically only happens in the first place because somebody's love for Marge is called into question.
  • In "I Am Furious Yellow", Bart is giving out his Angry Dad comics on the playground, Lisa comes in, acting as a Straight Man. Bart tries to mock her by saying he'll put in a character named Know-it-all Girl, but she actually gets excited at the thought of being put into the cartoon and requests some stuff about her to be a part of the character, like a pony. Bart is stunned for a second that she's so on board, but then gives her a sincere nod.
    • The end of the episode reveals that Bart unwittingly saved Homer's life by thwarting his efforts to control his anger, giving him an outlet that prevented his suppressed rage from overwhelming his system. To thank him, Homer takes him on a fishing trip, during which Bart continues to anger Homer with his Bratty Half-Pint attitude. While frustrated, Homer realizes that Bart's still working to give his anger an outlet and thanks him sincerely for it.
  • In "The Frying Game", even though the whole being framed for murder and being sentenced to execution became a total ruse for a 'FOX' reality TV show, it was so sweet to see Homer taking the rap for the whole murder to save Marge at the cost of his own life.

    Season 14 
  • From "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation":
    • Homer drunkenly announcing "I don't care about the color of your skin, Lenny. You're my friend." It's sweet because the barflies are never really shown to care about each other apart from that moment and in season 24's "The Saga of Carl".
    • Marge and the kids spending the family vacation fund on a week at rock'n'roll camp for Homer after they realize how much he does for them.
  • In "The Great Louse Detective" Lenny levels the Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? question at Sideshow Bob. In response, Bob tries to kill Bart with an unceremonious stabbing but finds he can't actually go through with it, having developed a fondness for Bart over the long period of time he's been trying to kill him, which, being Sideshow Bob, he sings about at some length.
  • All of "Special Edna", from Bart hanging out with Edna to Seymour Skinner finally proposing to Edna. The fact they broke up a few seasons later doesn't diminish that.
    • A more humorous example comes when Bart sees how depressed Mrs. Krabappel is. He nominates her for a major teaching award, and in the video he submits to the judges claims that Mrs. Krabappel deserves to win because she's managed to survive teaching him. The judges are shocked to discover that Bart is real (his exploits being so legendary that many teachers think he's just an Urban Legend), and decide that if Mrs. Krabappel has "danced with the devil in the blue shorts and lived", she's a clear winner. Mrs. Krabappel is very touched by Bart's gesture.
    • Bart's not the only one who Took a Level in Kindness, as we see the side of Edna that's far from an Apathetic Teacher. She stays late at school with Bart helping him to rework his failed essay into something passable, and in his nomination video Bart says she's never given up on him. In thanking Bart she speaks of him so sweetly that her boyfriend Seymour initially assumes she's talking about him:
      Edna: There's one person I'd like to thank for this. We've had our ups and downs, but I can't imagine life without him.
    • Seeing Homer & Marge having a good time as a couple throughout their time at the Epcon Center from making fireworks (with Marge insisting on tamping the powder) and then going on rides together.
  • In "The Dad Who Knew Too Little", Det. Dexter Colt fires a human cannonball at Homer and Lisa. Without hesitation, Homer immediately throws Lisa out of the way and takes the hit himself.
    • The whole premise of the episode is Homer trying to have Lisa like him more.
    • Before it's revealed that Colt has been bleeding Homer for money by writing up everything to business expenses, Homer is so pleased with the results of his investigation that he considers hiring him to cover the other two kids, showing that this isn't simply a one-off Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond situation and that he's thinking of all three of them.
      Homer: I might even put you to work on Bart and Maggie. Go Superdad on all their asses.
  • "The Strong Arms of the Ma":
    • We have Homer and the kids trying to help Marge overcome her agoraphobia. Even if their attempts fail because of Homer's stupidity, it's clear that their hearts were in the right place.
    • Homer, on the verge of tears, talking down Marge from her rampage at Moe's Tavern.
  • In "Pray Anything", Reverend Lovejoy proves once again that despite what his attitude might imply at times, he does genuinely care for his flock. He's lost everything to the point of having to leave Springfield but still comes back without needing to be asked to save his congregation from a flood.
  • "Barting Over":
    • Judge Harm of all people defends Bart from Homer's violent behavior and despite Bart being too young to live on his own, she approves of him emancipated if that meant he could be safe from his father. Say what you want but she really does take her job seriously.
    • As Bart says goodbye to Lisa, he gives her an Indian Burn - in the shape of a heart.
      Bart: And if I did right, it's permanent.
  • "I'm Spelling As Fast As I Can":
    • Lisa expects Springfield to hate her for being 2nd place in the national spelling bee, but instead she's treated like a hero for being "the biggest winner this town's ever produced".
    • When Homer got ahold of his favorite sandwich (of which there was one left), he gave it up so he could watch his daughter at the spelling bee.
      Homer: You're number one on my menu. Now super-size it!
  • "C.E. D'oh" has Homer taking over the power plant and missing out on time with the kids because of the amount of work the job requires. After the status quo is restored, he declares that "my only ambition is to be the world's greatest dad," only to immediately get in a spat with Bart that quickly turns physical. As the two of them are beating each other up, Bart pauses to say fondly, "You see, this is the stuff Mom won't do with me."
  • The last part of "Brake my Wife, Please". At the beginning of act 3, a stressed-out Marge and Homer began to fight over the little things to the point where Homer thinks Marge is trying to intentionally harm him and they go to couples' therapy. What does Homer do to win her back? He invites most of Springfield - excluding the Flanders family - to a surprise "We Love You, Marge" dinner in the Simpsons' backyard for Marge. Homer even gets Jackson Browne to sing about how much he loves Marge and how far their relationship has come.
  • In "The Bart of War", where Homer, Bart and his boys community group, the Pre-Teen Braves, goes up against Milhouse, his father Kirk and his group, the Cavalry Kids, until things get worse at the baseball game, erupting in a full-out riot with them and with everyone in the audience. Marge begins to cry and they show her crying face on the Jumbotron, where everyone saw it. And slowly, they began to stop and then, they all link hands in a giant maple leaf and join in singing "O Canada".
  • "Moe Baby Blues": The Simpsons are stuck in traffic on a bridge. When the cars finally begin to move, Homer floors the gas pedal and slams into the car in front of him, causing the seat belt on Maggie's car seat to break and send her flying out the sunroof. Homer tries to catch her as she goes over the side of the bridge but fails. Meanwhile, Moe is preparing to kill himself by jumping into the water below. He extends his hands and happens to catch Maggie, saving her life. The other Springfield citizens see this, and declare him a hero and start cheering for him. Maggie removes her pacifier and kisses Moe on the cheek, causing him to smile and say "Life don't seem so hard no more."

    Season 15 
  • In the "Treehouse of Horror XIV" segment "Reaper Madness", Homer saves Bart's and Marge's life by knocking out The Grim Reaper in the first place and tricks God by reaping Patty instead of Marge.
  • At the beginning of "My Mother the Carjacker", Bart tries to defend his father from an unknown assailant whom puts a sweater over him that says "World's Best Grandson". Bart realizes that the person is actually Mona and hugs his grandmother affectionately.
  • Abe spends the entirety of "The Regina Monologues" looking for an English woman he had a fling with during World War II 59 years prior. In the ending gag, he finds her only to realize he's the father of her 58-year-old daughter Abbey, causing him to head for the hills as fast as he did the first time. Despite this, Homer takes an immediate liking to his older half-sister. It's Played for Laughs as she looks and sounds exactly like him, but it's nice to see her brother showing her the friendliness her own father didn't and ending the episode on a note as sweet as it is silly.
    Homer: Lady, you're gorgeous. You make Dame Edna look like a dude!
    Abbey: (giggling) Why, thank you! (touching his arm fondly) You're all right, love.
  • In 'Tis the Fifteenth Season", despite Homer's selfishness and foolishness throughout the rest of the episode, the entire town joins together singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" (even a crippled Moe).
    • Basically everything Homer does to try and be a better person. He gives a series of homeless people his old clothes, gives Lenny a proper Christmas present as his secret Santa (a photo cube with pictures of Homer, Lenny and Carl, with the corners filed down so it can't hurt Lenny's eye), gives Marge the last pork chop at dinnertime (reducing her to tears of joy), coercing Burns to contribute to the church congregation plate, and building a skating rink in the backyard, even persuading more homeless people to come to it.
  • "I (Annoyed Grunt)-bot":
    • Homer, realizing that Bart doesn't look up to him, pretends to be a robot that he built so that Bart would finally look up to him. This goes to the point where he fights in a robot dueling competition and sustains a great number of wounds, nearly dying, all the while saying to himself "Doing it for the boy. Pain is love. To bleed is to care".
    • When Bart finally finds out that he was the robot the whole time, instead of being crushed and angry like Homer thought, Bart's reaction is one of amazement and respect, realizing that his dad had been the one doing battle with deadly robots the entire time.
    • During Snowball II's funeral, Bart actually comforts Lisa when she breaks down reading a poem.
  • In "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore", Bart and Lisa become best friends when Milhouse moves out of town. When he moves back, Bart hangs out with him again and ignores Lisa. Later, Bart tries to interest Lisa in a game of Monopoly, which she reluctantly agrees to. However, she then sees that Bart replaced the chance cards with favor coupons. The episode ends with her redeeming the card "Good for one hug."
  • "The Wandering Juvie": The Simpson family throwing a taco dinner for Gina in her cell.
  • "The Way We Weren't":
  • Quite a few from "Fraudcast News":
    • After Mr. Burns shuts down the Simpsons' power and Lisa is unable to print her independent newspaper, Principal Skinner gifts her a mimeo machine (a hand-cranked printing device) so she can continue The Red Dress Press.
    • When Bart starts working as The Red Dress Press's cartoonist, he makes unflattering cartoons of Principal Skinner. Principal Skinner is actually amused and appears to take it in stride.
    • Lisa's activism and fight for free, honest news actually pays off; near the end of the episode, her spark has rubbed off on everyone in the neighborhood and inspired the people of Springfield to think for themselves. Everybody prints their own independent newspapers, which is what causes Mr. Burns to throw in the towel on his latest scheme.
    • This completely earnest, sweet quote from Homer's self-published newspaper, "The Homer Times:"
      Homer: "All my daughter ever did was tell people to think for themselves. I may be her father, but when I grow up, I want to be just like her, except still a dude!"
    • The episode's ending is a mix of this and genuinely funny. Mr. Burns, surprisingly, shrugs off his defeat without much griping, and he and Smithers proceed to go on a lighthearted shopping spree at the mall. The shopping montage ends with a shot of a smiling Mr. Burns happily dozing off in an equally happy Smithers' arms, clutching a balloon he probably acquired from their excursion. D'awww...

    Season 16 
  • "Sleeping With The Enemy":
    • Marge offering Nelson some motherly treatment and he gives her gratitude in return, especially as in six seasons before in "Bart, the Mother", she had a negative impression on him.
    • Nelson cheering up Lisa when she feels self-conscious about her body, and then helping her get back at Sherri and Terri for teasing her.
    • Bart reuniting Nelson with his long-lost father.
  • Homer gets two great parenting moments in "Fat Man and Little Boy":
    • He's inspired to nurture Lisa after watching a nature documentary. They start out by playing Malibu Stacy then he picks her up and they go running down the street. It is absolutely adorable.
    • After seeing Bart upset that Goose Gladwell swindled Bart out of his t-shirt money, he threatens the man with a mini-nuclear reactor he made for Lisa's science project to give Bart his due.
  • In "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass," the way Ned's video of Homer dancing gets on the internet (and ultimately goes viral) is explained through an unexpectedly humanizing moment.
    Comic Book Guy: He makes me look cool. And cool, I am not. May I upload your footage onto my website?
    Ned: Well, sir, I don't believe we've ever met.
    Ned: Well, I'll just call you "friend." Here's your tape, friend.
  • In "There's Something About Marrying",
    • Marge ultimately comes to accept Patty's sexuality.
    • Skinner is in attendance at Patty's would be wedding, indicating that there's no hard feelings between them after the events of "Principal Charming".
  • "On a Clear Day, I Can't See My Sister:
    • Lisa burns her restraining order against Bart and the Simpson family performs "Tijuana Taxi" to celebrate their reunion.
    • The Flashback where a younger Bart cheers Lisa up by tricking Homer into biting into his finger after disguising it as a hot dog. Funny and heartwarming.
  • In "Goo Goo Gai Pan", despite there being no love lost between them, everything Homer puts up with in China so Selma can adopt a baby, particularly his touching speech to convince Madam Wu to let Selma bring up Ling despite being unmarried, which even raises a grateful smile from Selma to her brother-in-law.
    Homer: I was [Selma]'s husband for a few days, in name only, and beer will soon obliterate that memory. But I don't think this baby could find any greater love on your planet or ours.
  • In "Future-Drama", after Jenda dumps Bart and leaves him on top of the hill, Chief Wiggum and the police arrive and laugh at his predicament. However, when he sees that Bart is genuinely heartbroken, Wiggum immediately stops the teasing and offers him comfort.

    Season 17 
  • The ending to "Bonfire of the Manatees" where Mr. Burns and Smithers wash the manatee filling in for Homer at work, having a playful water fight as they do so.
  • In "The Girl Who Slept Too Little" when the Simpsons and Ned are outside on their lawns after being woken up by construction work:
    Ned: It's 7 am! What are they cock-a-doodily-doin'?
    Homer: Flanders, I can't listen to your crap before my coffee.
    Ned: (handing him a mug) Okily-dokily, here's some french roast. Now I'll go make toast!
    Homer: (taking a sip) Stupid best friend Flanders.
  • Homer and Lisa's daddy-daughter dance at the end of "See Homer Run".
  • In "The Last of the Red Hat Mamas":
    • Homer is actually sincere about wanting to find a friend for Marge. And near the end, he declares:
      Homer: Listen, Marge. No matter where you go in this life, you'll always have one friend who loves you, body and soul.
    • A literal Pet the Dog moment occurs earlier in the episode, when Mr. Burns openly gives one of his hounds a good cuddling and baby-talks to him gently before taking him to the groomer's. The dog is clearly annoyed but can be seen briefly smiling at him.
      Mr. Burns: *chuckles* Who's a stinky dog? You are! Michelle's going to work on you today! Yes, she is!
    • During the Easter Egg hunt, whenever Maggie tries to take an egg, the other babies would grab it. When one baby grabbed the egg and pushed her, Maggie tears up and Homer takes notice and starts taking other toddlers' eggs and putting them into Maggie's basket; showing that he does care about Maggie's happiness despite him forgetting about her sometimes.
    • At the ending, Homer seductively declares to Marge that he'll do something for her that "no other friend can do." The scene then cuts to Homer and Marge on a romantic dinner. D'awww.
    • Mr. Burns gets a minor Jerk with a Heart of Gold moment when he refrains from having the intruders arrested simply because they started crying. He's so uncomfortable that rather than calling the police, he just asks that the Cheery Red Tomatoes return his possessions to him and leave his manor without further incident.
  • In "The Italian Bob", Sideshow Bob finally legitimately became a mayor, and also got a wife and a son. Aww.
  • In "Kiss Kiss Bangalore", the audience is led to believe that Homer has been an oppressive cult leader to his new employees in India, only for it to turn out that, unlike so many others, he's been treating his employees as equals, and giving them the rights and benefits they deserve, such as overtime (though the Indian workers only go along with it because they don't speak or understand English and had to do something to make it look like they understood Homer). He's such a Benevolent Boss that even Lisa tells him she's proud of him.
    • Smithers gleefully joining in the Dance Party Ending, clearly overjoyed.
      • Mr. Burns encourages him to go join the dancing.
  • In "Regarding Margie", Marge gets amnesia after hitting her head. She quickly starts remembering people around her... except for Homer, who is understandably distraught. Despite many tries to get her to remember him, she ends up being disgusted at his behavior and tells him that forgetting about him is the best thing that's ever happened to her. Her sisters then suggests she tries speed-dating, and when she does, she quickly meets a nice guy whom she goes to have dinner with, Homer following them and starting to think to himself that if Marge is happy, then he'll be happy... before falling in the sea. The guy Marge had met immediately leaves when he hears she has amnesia and three kids, but before he can get away, Homer, covered in seaweed, verbally smacks him for doing so.
  • "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story":
    • Moe's story about how he fell in love with Edna Krabappel, briefly reuniting in the end.
    • This episode demonstrates one of Burns' most touching Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments. Mr. Burns of all people willingly pulls a Go Through Me to attempt to save Lisa from an extremely volatile wild goat that's been chasing both of them. Lisa thanks him by asking for a photograph of her and the "hero who risked his life to save her." This photo is what leads to Mr. Burns getting his fortune back after having lost it earlier in the episode, ([1],) and he's so grateful that he gives Lisa a hug.
      Lisa: Mr. Burns got his plant back, and I like to think I found a shred of humanity in his withered soul.
    • Edna Krabappel was going to leave Springfield with Moe the summer she arrived in town without ever taking the teaching job at Springfield Elementary. When she visited the school to explain the situation to them, she changed her mind upon encountering Bart, who told her that he was serving the extra detention he'd racked up over the past year, that everyone had given up on his ever improving, and that he didn't even expect to make it through the fourth grade. As it turned out, he wasn't in detention at all and was distracting her with a sob story while Nelson robbed the classroom, but Edna's kindness to him and determination to help him succeed despite his challenges were very real, and give episodes like "Bart Gets an F" and "Special Edna" that extra dose of Heartwarming in Hindsight.
  • In "Bart Has Two Mommies", Flanders encouraging Rod to climb the tower, and realizing that love means having faith in his son even though he's scared for him.
    • The ending with Maude watching proudly from Heaven as she comments that Rod is growing up.

    Season 18 
  • In "Jazzy and the Pussycats", Bart feels empathy for Lisa and decides to use his money to build a home for the animals.
  • "The Haw-Hawwed Couple":
    • Homer reads a story to Lisa as the subplot and he ends up reading ahead while Lisa is at a sleepover and finds out that it has a Downer Ending. To try and protect her feelings, he makes up a comically absurd ending that ends happily. Once he leaves, Lisa pulls out a spare copy and secretly reads the true ending herself and, instead of getting upset like she said would happen earlier, she agrees Homer's version was better.
      • To make it extra sweet, in Homer's Imagine Spot sequences depicting the events in the book (an installment in the Harry Potter-esque Angelica Button series), he pictures Lisa as Kid Hero Angelica Button and himself as Dumbledore-like Mentor Archetype "Greystash," who dies in the canon ending of the story but lives to rescue Angelica in Homer's version.
    • As for the main plot, Bart and Nelson's friendship had some pretty sweet moments too, Ho Yay aside. Notably there's the latter saving the former from drowning and the Brokeback Mountain reference at the end.
      Bart: Ahh, Nelson. I'll never forget the week we were best friends.
      Nelson: Haw-haw! I touched your heart!
  • In "The Wife Aquatic", Homer sees how nostalgic Marge is for the place that she went to as a little girl for the summer that he puts the home movies on different devices and takes her back there.
  • "Little Big Girl" shows a very noble side of Bart's character when he pretends to be a teenager to impress some 15-year-old girls and manages to go on a date with one of them, only to find out she's pregnant, alone and desperate to find someone to marry her so her parents won't get mad. Eager to help, he gamely decides to drive with her to Utah, the only place they can legally marry, fully expecting to settle down there and raise the baby with her. Their parents manage to catch up to them and hers promise to adopt the baby, but Bart later admits to Homer that a part of him was actually looking forward to being a father, to which Homer tells him that he'll be a great dad one day.
  • In "Rome-Old and Juli-Eh", Homer and Patty are attempting to break up Abe and Selma, and pretend to kiss each other, in order to make Abe think Selma was cheating on him. To get in the mood, Homer has to fantasize about someone arousing. He only thinks of Marge.
  • Marge calling the town out on driving Bart to suicide and sticking up for her son on "The Boys of Bummer", though that's pretty much by default since most of "The Boys of Bummer" was so vicious and cruel.
    • La Boot trying to save Bart's life is also this, considering what he did earlier in the episode.
  • At the end of "Stop! Or My Dog Will Shoot," Bart's spurned pet snake, Strangles, finds a happy home with Groundskeeper Willie.

    Season 19 
  • "Midnight Towboy":
    • When Homer goes missing, Maggie teams up with Santa's Little Helper to find him after seeing how upset Marge is. To thank her for rescuing him, Homer gives Maggie her nose back. It goes from adorable to funny when he realises that he gave her Lisa's nose.
    • Maggie reconciling with Marge at the end. Having grown independent, Maggie asks Marge to hug her. When she repeats the phrase "Hugs are drugs", Maggie shuts her up with her pacifier and kisses her.
  • "Little Orphan Millie" deals with Milhouse becoming the coolest kid in school after sinking into a deep depression when his parents are lost at sea. A frustrated Bart attempts to knock him back down the popularity scale again to no avail. While this seems like a typical With Friends Like These... storyline from Bart, Lisa delivers a deeper assessment.
    Bart: Lis, I don't get it. Why does Milhouse's happiness make me sad?
    Lisa: Bart, Bart, Bart. You're worried you're losing Milhouse, and love is a selfish thing.
    Bart: Shut up! I don't love Milhouse!
    Lisa: Oh, really? The more you deny it, the more I know it's true.
    Bart: Oh, yeah? Well, when you're mean, I'm a trampoline, so everything you said goes back and hits your ugly head!
    Lisa: (laughing) God, that was lame! Where did you get that?
    Bart: FROM MILHOUSE! (bursting into tears) I love him so much!
    Lisa: (comforting Bart with a hug as he runs into her arms) Aw, it's okay.
  • At the end of "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind", Homer, believing that Marge was cheating on him with Duffman and that in his anger, he hit her, tries to jump off a bridge. Only to find out that that Marge was actually planning a surprise party for him and Duffman was helping her. And how Marge got her black eye was because Homer accidentally popped a wine cork at her eye. And what happens later is before Homer fell into river, he landed on a moon bounce, where the surprise party was waiting just for him on a boat. The look of wonder and surprise on Homer's face as he realizes that he wasn't dead and that tonight was going to be the best night of his life was just a heartwarming moment on its own.
    Marge: Aren't you going to drink?
    Homer: No, this is a moment I want to remember.
    • Homer's relationship with the dream versions of Bart and Lisa he encounters while inside Professor Frink's machine, who help him to piece his memories together after he picks them up from a happy memory of sledding together earlier that week. Although they're both projections created by his mind and are not the real Bart and Lisa, the way he turns to them in his darkest hour shows how much he really loves his kids, as well as the high level of respect he has for Lisa's intelligence as he essentially uses her image to manifest his own subconscious problem-solving skills.
  • (Combined with Moment of Awesome): Ralph actually going through with being a candidate for U.S. President (even though he was written in as a joke and isn't old enough to be President [in America, the age to be U.S. President is 35]) in "E Pluribus Wiggum", because he wants to bring about world peace. Also, the end where he's sitting on the Lincoln Memorial's lap (as if he were a Mall Santa) and one of the things on his wish list is "a brighter future for America." It really shows that Ralph isn't just some mentally slow kid who spouts out hilarious one-liners (much like the season four episode "I Love Lisa" when he put on an excellent dramatic performance as George Washington in the school play).
  • "That '90s Show" has been much derided for showing Marge as a shallow, heartless witch and for messing with the show's continuity. However, there are some heartwarming scenes to be mined from this slog of an episode:
    • Homer's "Margerine" song and music video.
    • Marge dumping her professor and taking Homer back by dragging him to the hospital, thinking he's overdosed on heroin (he was actually in diabetic shock after drinking too much Frappacinos and needed his insulin needles to stay alive).
  • Homer cheering up Bart in "The Debarted", admitting that while they don't see each other eye to eye he does respect Bart and believe he can make a come back as king of the school.
    • Also Donny feeling guilty after snitching Bart to Skinner, as the former was the first person who cared about him, and saves him by setting Bart's mentos and cola prank himself.
  • "Dial N for Nerder" is a Pet the Dog moment for both Nelson and Bart with regard to Bully Magnet Martin Prince, who is presumed dead after falling off a cliff, with only Bart and Lisa being aware that they accidentally caused the fall (Bart while pranking him, Lisa while trying to help him get back up after he fell onto a ledge). Unexpectedly, it's Bart who immediately reacts by deciding to do the right thing and turn himself in, while Lisa forces him to keep the secret because she's worried her involvement will destroy her future. Still guilt-ridden, Bart finds a journal Martin kept on his butterfly-raising project and sneaks to his house to see it through to completion. Meanwhile, Nelson suspects foul play in Martin's death and devotes himself to investigating the circumstances, which he does successfully, tracing the whole thing to Bart and Lisa. Needless to say, it's a moot point because Martin survived, to which Nelson tells him it's good to have him back.
  • Each of the separate story threads in "Smoke on the Daughter" shows Homer at his best. He takes Lisa to the midnight release of the last installment in their favorite book series, but wakes up Bart to give him the chance to come too. While Marge and later Lisa are taking ballet lessons, he spends quality time with Bart, inducting him into his secret mission to make beef jerky and sell it to the Kwik-E-Mart, a bonding experience they both enjoy. When he realizes that two raccoons are stealing the jerky, his mission to take them down only lasts as long as it takes him to realize they're feeding their family—one that reminds him of his own—which touches him so much that he happily shares the jerky with them and befriends the thieving father raccoon. Finally, he snaps into Papa Wolf mode when he catches Lisa smoking thanks to the influence of her ballet class. He gives her a stern talking-to and tells Bart to keep an eye on her, but doesn't tattle on her to Marge, instead gently attempting to suggest that it might be good to take Lisa out of the ballet class. Upon realizing that having Lisa in the class is making Marge really happy, he, being Homer, simply steals all the cigarettes from backstage during her recital before the dancers can smoke at intermission. Seeing what they've been reduced to without their fix gives Lisa the courage to admit she believes the pressures of ballet are unhealthy and quit of her own accord.
  • The entirety of "Apocalypse Cow". Bart spends weeks bonding with Lou, the cow he's taking care of as a 4-H project and goes to great lengths to save him from being slaughtered, even willing to marry one of Cletus's daughters. Even better is that the episode ends with Lou surviving and being taken to India where cows are sacred animals. Even more touching is the closing line, which also gives a nice variation of one of Bart's Catch Phrases:
    Bart: For once, I'm glad I had a cow, man.

    Season 20 
  • From "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words", the secret message Homer leaves in the crossword puzzle for Lisa. Helped by the heartwarming song that plays after Lisa finds out and the two reconcile.
  • In "No Loan Again, Naturally", Flanders buys the Simpsons house after they lose it and rents it back to them. They start to move their stuff back inside, but Homer stops them and says he should go in first because he left a little "surprise" for the new owners. He quickly runs up the stairs to what we assume is a dump he took on the carpet. It turns out to be a vase of flowers and a card that says "Please love our home as much as we did".
  • In "Wedding for Disaster", where Homer and Marge have to get married (to each other) for the THIRD time (after Reverend Lovejoy reveals that he wasn't qualified to marry Homer and Marge during the events on "A Milhouse Divided"), someone seems to be sabotaging the thing by kidnapping Homer. When Bart and Lisa find out it's Patty and Selma, they blackmail them into giving their parents the wedding they deserve — and Patty and Selma give it to them.
    • When Homer is trapped in Patty and Selma's dungeon, he makes an image of Marge out of his chains.
    • Homer reading his intended wedding vows in the dungeon. It even moves Patty and Selma to let him go.
      Homer: With each marriage I get a little better. Maybe after a thousand I'll be worthy of you.
  • "Eeny Teeny Maya Moe": Episode rundown: Moe meets Maya, a woman he's been talking to online and finds that she's only three feet tall. Moe falls for her, despite feeling that others will make fun of him for it, so he starts cracking jokes about Maya's height, which she likes at first, but hates after a while and breaks up with Moe because she feels that all he cares about is her height. Heartwarming moments — two:
    • A rather twisted one where Moe opts to become surgically shorter just to win Maya back (it fails when Mr. Largo [the Ambiguously Gay music teacher at Springfield Elementary School] ends up getting the shortening surgery instead of a sex change).
    • A more conventional one at the end where Homer points out that even though things didn't work out with Maya, Moe should be happy that a woman actually loved him and remains hopeful that he will fi d love again, which eventually happens thirteen seasons later.
      Homer: Moe, this is a great thing for you. You went from sitting on the sidelines to getting in the game! Sometime, when you least expect it, you'll realize that someone loved you. And that means that someone can love you again! And that'll make you smile.
    • The very end of the episode, which showed how much Moe had taken Homer's words to heart. Moe is still looking down while cleaning the bar, but then slowly smiles:
      Moe: Hey, Homer was right. Who would've thought such a little woman could make me feel so big.
    • How they started talking online deserves a mention as well. After seasons of jokes about how unattractive he is, Moe decides to just take a leap of faith and use an undoctored photo of himself as his profile picture. Cue Maya coming in and telling him he's cute.
    • In the subplot of the episode, Homer leaves Maggie to play on a playground that turns out to be full of bully babies. When Marge gets suspicious about it, she puts a camera in Maggie's bow and sees what's been happening and is just about to punish Homer for it when on the tape, he finally does find out about it and tries to save Maggie, only to get beaten up by the babies, which makes Maggie get dangerous and rescue Homer in return. When Homer walks into the room, Marge hugs him and calls him a good father.
    • The episode shows another nice side of Homer in that despite his notorious obnoxiousness and propensity to say the wrong thing, he's the only one of Moe's friends that Moe is willing to introduce to Maya, hastily setting up a double date with him and Marge when Maya starts asking questions. Sure, the knowledge that Marge will be around to keep Homer in check probably helps, but this time she doesn't even need to—Homer treats Maya as he would a normal friend, makes no comment on her appearance, and tells Moe she's a keeper.
  • In "The Good, the Sad and the Drugly", Bart's attempt to save a duckling results in either the duckling being hurt, or him being hurt. Granted, it's an act, but the fact he takes the beating speaks volumes.
  • This scene from "Coming to Homerica":
    Lisa: I'd just like to remind you that we were all immigrants at one point.
    Homer: Yeah, and you were a baby once. Does that mean you still like milk and hugs?
    Lisa: Yes, and I'd like both right now.
    Homer: *gives her a glass of milk and then hugs her* MMPH. Hey, this is alright.
    • The end of the episode, where after the wall is built and everything is dead quiet, the Ogdenvilliens walk through the door they built in and are immediately welcomed back, then everyone dances to a Norwegian folksong, with the episode closing on a shot of the country's flag.

    Season 21 
  • "Homer the Whopper" reveals that Comic Book Guy has hundreds of issues of an unpublished comic series of his own, Everyman, stashed away, and he's stunned when Bart and Milhouse—against whom he's already getting defensive when they find an issue—tell him they love it and encourage him to ignore his fear of judgement from the online community and publish it. It subsequently becomes a huge hit and when a film adaptation is under discussion, he forces the filmmakers to avert Hollywood Homely and cast an actual fat guy as the comic's overweight lead character, kicking off the plot when he chooses Homer. He also gets a lovely Screw the Money, I Have Rules! moment at the end when he cheerfully blows off plenty of easy money and an offer to direct the sequel by writing an honest review of the resulting trainwreck on his blog (which nonetheless acknowledges that he enjoyed having the opportunity to work on it at all). We get to see Comic Book Guy in a surprisingly positive light, as a person with real creative talent and a genuine love for his medium, whose Brutal Honesty operates according to standards he won't compromise even for his own benefit.
  • In "The Devil Wears Nada", Homer and Marge's relationship gets a bit strained when Marge becomes popular for her erotic calendar and Homer is hired as Carl's new assistant. Earlier in the episode, Marge uses a sexy dice game to spice up their love life, but it comes up with a lot of weird suggestions (like "Whisper into Ass"). In the end, the two play the game again. Marge kisses the dice and the dice come out to a correct response: "Love wife."
  • The ending of "Once Upon a Time in Springfield". Krusty leaving his bride Penelope at the altar precisely because he loves her too much to saddle her with a loser like him, only to come back to her months(?) later when she's in France, and also when Penelope jumps after him into the Seine River.
    Penelope: You changed your mind.
    Krusty: Ah, I'd rather be a happy schnook than a noble shlumpf. (They kiss)
    • The stinger at the end, thanking viewers for 450 episodes and 20+ years (and, depending on what version you've seen, either promising the best to come or chastising viewers for wasting their lives on this cartoon).
  • In "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?", even when Bart ignores her, Maggie shows that she loves her brother a lot when she blows him a goodbye kiss and stares affectionately at him.
  • "Stealing First Base": Nelson gets saddled with a blind kid and develops a Big Brother Instinct towards him. Considering Nelson’s status as a card-carrying bully, that’s saying a lot.
  • The end of "The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed." Being in Israel causes several people, including Homer, to go temporarily insane and believe they are the Messiah. On the flight back home, Flanders tells Homer that out of all the false messiahs, he made the most sense. Homer, in turn, tells Flanders that his faith is finally rubbing off on him and treats him to an overpriced airline turkey sandwich.
  • "Chief of Hearts", where Homer befriends Clancy Wiggum after making him a sandwich. Their friendship was nice and refreshing (even though they hung out before on "Marge on the Lam" and seem to be on friendly terms in other episodes prior to this, despite that Homer usually ends up getting arrested by Wiggum for yet another wacky scheme). Also: Homer telling Chief Wiggum that he doesn't have faith in Wiggum's awesomeness (because faith is for things that aren't real); he believes in his awesomeness because it's real.
  • In "The Squirt and the Whale":
    • Homer does his best to help Lisa save Bluella and her calves.
    • The calves' father is there to save him when he's about to be eaten by a group of sharks.
    • A smaller moment, but after Bluella's calves and mate depart, Lisa wonders if they'll be okay. Homer assures her that they will and suggests that Bluella's widower will marry a giant octopus someday and live happily ever after. Marge suggests that they all draw pictures of what Homer said when they get home, and the credits are played over a cute little montage of pictures of that scenario drawn in crayon.
  • In "Judge Me Tender", Santa's Little Helper wins an ugly dog contest (not knowing that Bart just drew a face on his rear end and showed that to the judges) and becomes incredibly depressed, hiding in his doghouse. Lisa comes out to visit him and tells him she understands what it's like to be insecure about your looks and then lists all of his good qualities. By the end, he's smiling and wagging his tail as she hugs him.
  • The ending of "Moe Letter Blues" features a montage of characters with their mothers, set to "I'll Always Love My Mama" by The Intruders. The final image of Homer and his late mom clinched it.
    • The resolution of the episode itself as well, especially Moe's explanation that he set up the events of the episode because, having no one he wanted to teach Homer, Apu and Reverend Lovejoy not to take their wives for granted, Mrs. Lovejoy taking her Rail Enthusiast husband on a romantic trip on the Orient Express, and Mrs. Bouvier seemingly haven gotten over her hatred of Homer.
      • Helping Homer is especially heartwarming: in past episodes, Moe has made no secret of his interest on Marge, yet in this episode he tries to help his friend's troubled marriage without ever taking advantage of the situation.

    Season 22 
  • Homer goes through great lengths in "Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life" to complete Maggie's Happy Little Elves collection. After driving all the way to the only station that sell the toys in the middle of nowhere, Homer spends a lot of money for gas in order to get the required doll but fails. At the end of the episode, he finally succeeds by robbing the store late at night. Just shows how much Homer loves his baby daughter.
    • It's a small moment, but when Homer initially gives up on getting Maggie the toy, she can be seen trying to comfort him.
    • The other two plots in the episode also end in heartwarming fashion; Bart not only successfully stops Nelson from beating him up, but they finish the episode on friendly terms.
    • Lisa and Marge's ending is a bit more bittersweet but Lisa deciding to drop out of her new school when she finds out Marge agreed to do all their new laundry, not wanting to put her through that, still qualifies as this. This moment also makes Lisa respect Marge, repairing the schism between them from Lisa saying she didn't want to turn out like Marge (i.e a housewife).
  • There's a humorous but rather sweet scene in "The Blue and the Gray" where the Crazy Cat Lady apparently finds love in the form of a Crazy Dog Man.
  • The end of "Homer Scissorhands" in the Lisa subplot in which after breaking Milhouse's heart once then unwittingly ruining Milhouses' newfound relationship with a fifth grader, Lisa comforts him and kisses him.
    Milhouse: Lisa! Does this mean you like me?
    Lisa: Yes. No! I don't know! It means that... that life is full of unexpected things and you should never give up. And you're cute in the moonlight.
  • Bart breaking Mrs. Krabappel out of the teacher holding facility in "The Ned-Liest Catch", especially when taking into account the reason why she's even there in the first place was because she slapped him in a prank-sparked rage. Bart thinks it isn't fair that she is punished for his prank.

    Season 23 
  • Bart's subplot in "Replaceable You". He creates cute robotic seals initially for his science fair project. However, he starts making them for the seniors at the retirement home, which brings some joy to their grim lives. When a funeral home reprograms the seals so the seniors will die and they can host more funerals, Bart teams up with Hibbert so the seals will return to their original program and make the seniors happy again.
  • A small moment from "The Food Wife" has the kids and Homer returning from a video game convention riding on top of bouncing balls. When Marge tries to literally deflate the kid's fun by deflating the bouncing balls, Homer quickly picks them up and bounces away over the fence into Flander's yard so Marge won't spoil their fun, and picks up Rod and Todd to join in on the fun, too.
  • A small one from "The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants". Homer persuades Mr. Burns to do karaoke, which leads to the two of them singing "Come Josephine In My Flying Machine," with everyone else joining in, too. The two of them look so happy!
  • So many parts in "Holidays of Future Passed" (which was originally supposed to be the series finale, but when money issues at FOX were resolved, the show was greenlit for two more seasons).
    • Homer actually being a fun and loving grandfather to his grandsons, proving that he had learned from his and Grandpa's mistakes. Especially his telling his grandkids that Bart isn't so bad.
      Homer: Everyone thinks their dad's a jerk. And everyone's right. But, when you get older, you realize how much you love them. Your dad may be a little bit immature, but I know he loves you. So, you ought to give him a chance.
    • Bart's sons hugging Bart.
      Bart: Boys, I have acted like a ten year old for the last thirty years. And I swear to you, I will grow up and act like a twenty year old, the way a divorced forty year old should.
      Bart's Y.Son: You're going to have to do better than that!
      Bart: Boys, I'm a deadbeat dad. I live in a school. It's Christmas. The only thing worth anything in my life is you.
    • Lisa and Bart getting drunk in the treehouse, and reminiscing about their lives. It culminates in Bart admitting that he always wanted to be like Lisa.
    • Zia hugging Lisa.
      Zia: I look up to both of my parents, but I especially look up to you.
    • Homer hugging un-frozen Grandpa. Just before, Grandpa finishes a stream of his usual insults by thanking Homer for looking after his wellbeing.
    • Maggie's identical daughter.
    • Homer and Marge growing old together.
    • Kearny as a cab driver who shows genuine concern for Maggie's contractions and arranges her hospital room, a far cry from the bully we knew in the past.
    • Learning that Homer has finally quit drinking but still goes down to Moe's to see his old friends. And Moe actually allows this.
    • Grandpa asking Maggie who the father of her baby is (the implication being that the answer is scandalous), leaving her clearly embarrassed to answer. But...
      Abe: Eh, doesn't matter. If there's one day a year to give unwed mothers a break, it's Christmas.
  • In "Moe Goes from Rags to Riches", Bart's increasingly desperate attempts to regain Milhouse's friendship are all oddly heartwarming.
    • Even though the poem he reads to Milhouse was written by Lisa, the fact that Bart was actually willing to read it at all is a testament to how much he values Milhouse's friendship.
  • In "[2]", Homer and Bart's father-son relationship is great in this episode, spending lots of time together at the batting cage and then the arcade. Also later in the episode Homer is giving Bart a piggyback ride and chasing after a donut.
  • "At Long Last Leave":
    • The ending, where everyone in town decides that, as bad as The Simpsons are, they can't live without them (a nice metaphor for why the show has been on for as long as it has, despite claims and proof that it's not the show it used to be in the 1990s) and decide to live in the Outlands with them.
    • It seems Skinner is the only one who was left in Springfield... until Bart comes after him. True, Bart then makes Skinner bump against some buildings, but he still came after him.
    • The stinger at the end thanking the viewer for supporting the show for 500 episodes (and counting), then advising viewers to go outside and get some fresh air before coming back in to inevitably go online and bitch about how crappy the episode was.
    • Flanders was the only person willing to defend the Simpsons. Unfortunately, he gets violently ejected out of City Hall because the Springfield residents knew that would happen.
    • The episode's blackboard gag has Milhouse writing it for a change - "Bart's earned a day off".
  • In "How I Wet Your Mother", the children immediately hug their grandmother while inside their father's dream.
  • In "Beware My Cheating Bart", Homer is asked what his goal in life is and, without any hesitation, responds that he wants to grow old with Marge and live long enough to "be one of those couples who just sit in the park holding hands".
  • In "A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again", Bart sets things up to make it so that his family's vacation on a cruise ship will never end. While he admits to having a selfish motive, he also admits that he could also see how happy everyone else was.
    Bart: Lisa, you finally got to meet with kids who are just like you. Mom, Dad, you were more in love than I'd seen you in forever. It was the greatest week of our lives. And I wanted it to last forever.
    • The ending of the episode is a flashforward to Bart as an old man happily looking over the pictures of his happy memories that he's savored and saying "What a ride" with a smile on his face.
      • One of the pictures shows Bart as an adult sledding with one of his own sons!

    Season 24 
  • "Gone Abie Gone":
    • Bart helping Lisa keep her college fund through poker because he secretly cares about her.
    • Abe choosing not to go to Europe with Rita so he can watch over Homer.
    • Abe and Rita reuniting and singing their song at the end.
  • "To Cur With Love":
    • Abe Simpson reveals how he had to give Homer's beloved dog Bongo away to a farm run by a lesbian couple when he was six in order to protect him from Mr. Burns, whom the dog had bitten protecting Homer. At first the dog doesn't want to leave Homer, but Abe gives the new owners Homer's sweater to get him to stay with them. To appease Burns' wrath, Abe agrees to feed his attack dogs for a year wearing a very ineffective protective suit and then afterwards forced to wear a bolo tie and slippers, which he does to this day. The worst part though was he always thought Homer was angry with him ever since not knowing what he went through to save his pet.
    • Homer then reveals months after he went to get Bongo back, but saw that he was already happy in his new home and was no longer his. Since then he's been unable to get close to dogs, including "Santa's Little Helper", because they were "disloyal". Abe then shows Homer a photo Bongo's new owners sent of him sleeping on Homer's old sweatshirt, saying that his dog never stopped loving him. After a few false starts and failed attempts Homer and his father finally hug.
    • The episode ends with Homer and his dad on the couch fallen asleep and Homer holding Santa's Little Helper. Bart tries to get SLH but Homer still asleep holds onto him murmuring "My dog!". Bart smiles and lets his father have his dog for the night.
  • In "The Changing of the Guardian":
    • Homer and Marge are trapped in a bank and Homer has a note for the rescue team for who should be rescued first, Marge.
      Homer: It might be the last thing I write.
    • When he sees the twister, Homer doesn't waste any time trying to save Santa Little Helper and when the dog is taken by storm he wants to go looking for him before the storm passes.
  • In "The Saga of Carl": Homer, Lenny, and Moe convincing the people of Iceland to forgive Carl's family.
    Icelander: How can you say these men are not your true friends?
    Carl: (hugging the trio with tears in his eyes) I can't! I can't!
  • In "Dangers on a Train", Homer gets a mall train that he and Marge had a memorable ride on during their first anniversary.
    • What's especially endearing about this is that Homer had spent the entire episode working on this project with his friends. He really went all out to give Marge a fantastic anniversary gift.

    Season 25 
  • "Four Regrettings and a Funeral": The first episode to air after the death of Marcia Wallace, who played Edna Krabappel, the chalkboard gag had Bart simply writing "We'll really miss you, Mrs. K".
    • The ending deserves mention as well, after Homer saves Bart with a bowling ball, Marge and Bart reconnect, as Kent reports on it all. To give context, Homer regretted buying the bowling ball over an Apple Ipad, Marge regretted not raising Bart right, and Kent regretted turning down an opportunity to join a friend at a bigger news station. In the end, Kent closes the episode telling his friend "No regrets." The end. No Sudden Downer Ending or anything, just Kent saying he, like the others, is happy with his life.
  • "YOLO": When Homer asked where he should drop his Spanish penpal Eduardo, who's been helping him live out his childhood dreams, at the airport, the latter replied with "as far as your heart will take you", and he went all the way to the Saint Basilica Cathedral, in Spain.
    Eduardo: You are a good friend.
  • "The Kid is All Right" features a very unexpected cameo:
    Marge: (shouting from offscreen as Lisa sits in her room) Lisa, your food's getting cold!
    Lisa: It's raw veggies. They're supposed to be cold!
    Marge: Well, someone who loves you put melted butter on them!
    (Mr. Bergstrom is with Marge in the dining room doing just that.)
    Marge: Thank you, Mr. Bergstrom. I'll tell Lisa you dropped by.
  • "Married to the Blob":
  • Even though Homer has to accompany Bart and Milhouse during an absurdly long line to buy a new comic book, he doesn't ditch them and purchases the comic books for them after they fall asleep in the process.
    • Comic Book Guy is depressed because of how lonely he is, but then he meets a Japanese mangaka that takes interest in him. It almost ends in disaster when his girlfriend's overbearing father tries to break them up. However, Homer manages to convince him to let Comic Book Guy keep dating her. The episode ends with them getting married, with Stan Lee as the priest. After "Worst Episode Ever," it was nice to see Comic Book Guy get the bone thrown to him.
    • Kumiko's dad saying to Homer: "We have much in common. We both love our daughters and discipline our sons."
  • Bart's friendship with Diggs in the episode with the same title. The ending with Diggs thanking Bart for being his friend is really touching.
  • "The War of Art":
    • Lisa getting Pokey the guinea pig.
    • In the final sequence, Homer commissions three paintings from art forger Klaus Ziegler. One is the payoff to a Brick Joke about a poster of a jukebox that Homer wanted to buy at the Van Houtens' yard sale, but the other two fall squarely under "heartwarming".
      • One is a family portrait of the Van Houtens for Kirk to give to Luann after she throws him out for not telling her about a relationship he had while they were separated; she is so touched that she hugs him. Kirk and Luann normally have an Awful Wedded Life even after their re-marriage; real moments of love between them are incredibly rare, and all the more heartwarming for it.
      • More touching still: the third painting is a replacement for the sailboat painting that Pokey destroyed in the first act when he got trapped in the living room wall. It's Homer's way of acknowledging how much the original painting meant to Marge, and the value he places on her happiness.
  • In "You Don't Have to Live Like a Referee", after Homer realizes Lisa chose him as the subject of her "My hero" essay as a last second swap, he considers taking a bribe. Later on, he decides to refuse to take the bribe that the Brazilian gangsters offered for the World Cup and become the hero that Lisa talked about.
  • In "What to Expect When Bart's Expecting", Bart casts a voodoo spell on his art teacher and, as a result, she become pregnant. A couple who had been trying for years hears about it and asks Bart to try. It works, and the couple is overjoyed.

    Season 26 
  • In "Clown in the Dumps", Lisa is worried about Homer's health.
  • "Super Franchise Me" ends with a tribute to Jan Hooks, who'd played Apu's wife Manjula from seasons 9-14.
  • At the end of "Simpsorama" (the crossover with Futurama), Homer and Bender actually become friends. At the end, Bender shuts down to take The Slow Path back to the future, and Homer declares that Bender will always have a special place in their home- and unceremoniously tosses the robot into the basement. However, the very last scene has Homer coming down to pour some Duff beer down Bender's head, to which Bender replies, "Thanks, pal."
    • And before that, Bender giving Maggie her cut of his gambling winnings.
  • "The Man Who Came to Be Dinner":
    • The family has to pick which one of them is to be eaten by the Rigelians. Everyone votes for Homer to be eaten except for Homer who voted for Bart. When Homer sees who everyone voted for he changes his vote to himself.
    • After being rescued from the Resistance, Homer gets a ship to go back home, and is told that the ship has the ability to give him anything he desires, at first it's the usual food, dead Flanders, and TVs. But then it changes to Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie sitting on the couch. He states he can't deal being without his family.
  • Bart and Homer bonding in "Bart's New Friend" after his mind is regressed to a 10 year old's.
  • "Walking Big & Tall":
    • The montage of the citizens of Springfield singing their town anthem over the years, even if it later turns out to be plagiarized.
    • It's a blink and miss it, but apparently, Dr. Hibbert and his wife have been very close since their childhood.
    • Bart and Lisa begin to sing the new anthem they wrote for Springfield. Everyone is at first outraged by the song initially describing the negative things about Springfield, but they quickly have a change of heart when the song begins to focus on the town's upsides.
    • At the end of the episode, Homer promises Marge that he'll keep on trying to lose weight until he gets it right. What follows is a montage of Homer and Marge walking side-by-side with Homer alternating between being physically fit and being extremely obese. By the end of the montage, he is in perfect health and is even congratulated by Lisa.
  • "The Princess Guide" ends with a tribute to Leonard Nimoy, who'd appeared as himself in "Marge vs. the Monorail" and "The Springfield Files".
  • "Waiting for Duffman" ended with a tribute to series co-creator Sam Simon, complete with an interview and a message to close out the episode:
    Thanks, Sam
  • "Peeping Mom":
    • When Flanders notices that his new dog Baz likes Homer more than him, he attempts to give her to Homer. Homer decides that he can't bear to see Flanders sad, so he insists that Flanders keep Baz.
    • After realizing that he does care about his mother, Bart finally confesses to Marge that he was responsible for the bulldozer incident at the beginning of the episode. Marge says "Why you little" and attempts to strangle her son, only to receive a hug from him.

    Season 27 
  • "Halloween of Horror" has quite a few:
    • Homer and Lisa bonding together after she gets scared at the amusement park. When strangers break into the house, Lisa gets scared again, which leads to Homer comforting her.
    Homer: You can't let fear make you turn off your brain, because between the two of us, yours is the only good one we've got.
    • Worth noting is that Lisa ends up being scared after Homer (accidentally, he unknowingly dragged along Moleman instead of her) abandons her to buy pretzels. When Lisa is shivering on the ground terrified, Homer realizes what happened, tosses aside the pretzels and runs to comfort her.
    • A subtle one: when the pop-up thugs manage to break into the house, Homer's first thought is for Lisa's safety, and attempts to bring her to the Flanders' house while trying not to worry her about the intruders. It's one of the rare moments showing deep down that Homer really does care for Ned.
    • While Homer is initially reluctant to take down his Halloween decorations, he does it anyway to make Lisa feel better. And Marge, knowing that all this isn't really fair for Bart, takes him out for the night and tries her best to help him have a fun Halloween anyway.
    • Ned and Homer have a Leaning on the Fourth Wall exchange about the Simpsons' Halloween "tradition" of telling spooky stories in the treehouse, implying that the Forgotten Framing Device of the Treehouse of Horror series is still in operation and has been for all these years. Not only that, but Ned is a huge fan.
      Homer: Eh, people love it.
  • Toward the end of the "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" segment "Telepaths of Glory", when Lisa and Milhouse get superpowers as a result of radioactive exposure, Milhouse goes mad with power and messes everything up until he is destroyed by none other than... Maggie, who gets her superpowers from a radioactive rod she has picked up and used as a pacifier. As "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" plays in the background, she uses her powers to use a radio tower, a giant donut, a "D" in "Springfield" and a flaming tire as rings in a Rock-a-Stack; then she uses other powers to clothe a shirtless Vladimir Putin riding on horseback, turn Homerzilla of the previous segment into a Barney-like costumed dinosaur, and make a Frenchman be polite to an American tourist. Afterwards, she yawns and goes to sleep as she floats, still clutching the rod in her hand, right before the happy-faced sun rises up, and two rainbows appear in the background. Awww!
  • The family's group hug when Bart gets back from the asylum at the end of "Paths of Glory".
  • "Barthood":
    • Bart's relationship with Grandpa. It's clearly better than either's relationship with Homer.
    • Lisa and Bart get into a bitter argument and are shown not speaking to each other for an extended period of time. When Lisa sees Bart again, she sees that he's the successful owner of a custom-painting shop, and that he's painted a huge mural of Lisa on the back of the garage door. Lisa is visibly touched, and hugs him.
  • Bart and Lisa bonding (even if temporarily) about how their accomplishments often get overlooked in "Much Apu About Something".
  • Bart offering Hattie a place to stay after accidentally wrecking her cart in "Gal Of Constant Sorrow". Followed by Lisa helping to spread her music to the community, despite her later revelation as a heroin addict.
    • Before Hattie's revelation, Bart tries to talk Lisa out of it, knowing that she's been hurt like this in the past and is very sensitive to things like this.
  • A small moment from "Lisa The Veterinarian", when Mr. Burns takes one of his ailing hounds to the vet, and nuzzles him and baby-talks to him while he's getting examined. If you look closely you can even see the dog wagging its tail.
  • Bart bonding with Maggie in "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back". He even decides to include her in his pranks. Also, this shot of the two hugging.
  • From "Fland Canyon", Homer and Ned bonding as they look for food and supplies for their families.
    • Also at the end, Homer reminds Ned that he still owes him a vacation and takes their families to a postcard museum, which Ned greatly enjoys.
    • The framing device of Homer putting Maggie to bed with a lullaby and a story is a sweet example of Homer bonding with Maggie.
  • The family share another group hug when Marge got out of prison in "Orange Is The New Yellow". But this time in the closet.
  • "The Burns Cage":
    • Smithers and Mr. Burns hug each other.
    • The earnest conversation that leads up to the aforementioned hug:
      Smithers: Sir, before you start, let me say I don't want money, and I don't want some letter written by your lawyers. I want to know why you want me back.
      Mr. Burns: I see. Well, the thing is, you really care about me, don't you?
      Smithers: Maybe a little, still.
      Mr. Burns: All right, Smithers. There's one thing I've never given you. I kept it bottled up inside all these years and here it is... your performance review.
      Smithers: (gasp!)
      Mr. Burns: It's... excellent!
      Smithers: Amazingly, that's enough. Thank you, sir.
      Burns and Smithers: (They hug).
    • The scene that leads up to Smithers and Julio's (brief) relationship. Homer hosts a party to try to find Smithers a boyfriend, which Smithers is irritated by. Julio, acting as the party's bartender, notices that Smithers has a pinched nerve in his neck, and offers to give him a neck massage. Smithers is extremely grateful for the kind gesture, and leaves the party with Julio shortly after.
    • The fact that Homer was pretty sincere about wanting to find Smithers a boyfriend. Was it partially due to wanting to get Smithers off of his back? Yes; but he clearly wanted Smithers to be happy, too.
    • Smithers and Julio's relationship is pretty adorable, even if it, sadly, doesn't last. The scene where Julio gives Smithers a little peck on the cheek, and Smithers smiles bashfully, is precious. And when Smithers later dumps Julio (due to still being in love with Mr. Burns,) he actually does seem penitent towards Julio.

    Season 28 

    Season 29 
  • In "Whistler's Father", Homer and Maggie's interactions are pretty sweet, especially the moment near the end where he instantly leaps to her defense when the crowd starts booing her on stage because her newly grown tooth prevented her from whistling, even successfully fighting off attempts to get him off the stage.
  • A couple from "Mr. Lisa's Opus":
    • When Lisa is 1 year old, Homer is proud of her intelligence and says that she's already the greatest thing he's created.
    • On Lisa's 7th birthday, everyone forgot. While Homer is driving Lisa, he finds out and decides to try to make Lisa's birthday her best by going home and telling the world that they forgot her birthday.
    • On her 14th birthday, they did remember and wished her a happy birthday, along with 5 new verses of "Lisa It's Your Birthday" from Bart and Leon.
    • The biggest one was at the end of her 14th birthday, when she told Homer that Marge is planning on leaving him. Homer then asks Flanders for help and managed to QUIT drinking so he could stay with Marge. Say what you will about Homer, but he does care for Marge more than drinking.
    • When Lisa is dealing with the anxiety of feeling unfit for Harvard, Bart tells her that she belongs at Harvard and will do amazing and make their family proud.
  • "Gone Boy":
    • During the Christmas-themed opening sequence, instead of Maggie shaking her fist at Gerald, she gives him a present.
    • Sideshow Bob seems legitimately concerned when Bart disappears (in his own way, of course) and has a Heel Realization halfway through the episode. They even hug at the end, no funny pranks or tricks. Bart himself sums it up best with an "aw!"
  • "Homer Is Where the Art Isn't":
    • The ending has a tribute to Stephen Hawking.
    • Lisa spending time with her father talking about a piece of abstract art. She enjoyed her bonding time with Homer that she stole the artwork from the auction. Afterwards, the art is hung back up and Homer is staring at it with Lisa.
  • "3 Scenes Plus a Tag From a Marriage"'s Couch Gag by Bill Plympton is a Shot-for-Shot Remake of his short film "Your Face". It ends as the short does with the man's (in this case, Homer's) face turning into multiple faces, but the faces then turn into Homer and his family sitting together on the couch, visibly happy to be with one another. It's scored by Dan Castellaneta singing the emotionally affecting song from the short in-character as Homer, evoking his love for Marge and their children.
    Your face hums, makes me a happy fella,
    No more singing a capella,
    No longer lonely,
    Loving you only.
  • In "King Leer", when Marge sets out to try and mend Moe's family problems, Homer makes a point saying it's going to be hard to not rub it in Marge's face when it inevitably goes wrong, prompting Lisa to tell him to just not say it. Although Homer explains to Lisa that "when you love someone very much, the toughest thing is not to rub their face in their horrible screw-ups", when it does backfire later on, when Marge is trying to process how bad things went, Homer actively prevents himself from saying "I told you so":
    Marge: But I-I brought them together. How could things end so badly?
    Marge: Maybe I shouldn't have gotten involved.
    Homer: (internally thinking) Don't say "I told you so." Don't say "I told you so."
    Marge: Why didn't somebody warn me?
    Homer: (internally thinking) Don't say "I told you so." (out loud) I told- (proceeds to strangle self)
  • When Lisa has the yips in "Lisa Gets The Blues", who cheers her up? Bleeding Gums Murphy's nephew.
    Nephew: My uncle always said you were the most talented young musician he ever met.
  • In "Left Behind", after Flanders loses his job, he tries to be a teacher for the 4th grade. While the class generally acts like hellions, Bart is more reluctant given his relationship with Ned. When he eventually caves in to peer pressure, he goes to apologize later that day.
    Bart: Don't quit. I think you could be a really good teacher... just like her (cut to photo of Edna Krabappel).
    • This even has new dialogue from Marcia Wallace, her first lines since her death. (Likely thanks to archive footage)
    • The episode has several callbacks to Ned's kindness to the Simpsons throughout The Movie, including Ned rewarding Homer for helping him find a job by making him the same hot cocoa he made for Bart and at one point taking about the long relationship he and Bart have had. The action cumulates in a saddened Homer and Bart running into each other at Moe's, each feeling that they've contributed to hurting Ned when he's down, and agreeing between them to visit him together and apologize. There's also the fact that Ned feels free to knock on the Simpsons' door at a late hour and that Marge and Homer immediately interrupt "date night" to find out what's wrong. Regardless of any Sitcom Arch-Nemesis friction between them, the two families really care for each other and depend on one another in difficult moments.
  • "Flanders' Ladder":
    • After Bart is put in a coma and takes a turn for the worse, Lisa admits that she loves him and wants him to get better.
    • While in the coma, Bart imagines that he accidentally killed his father, and begs his ghost to stay with him.
    • While trying to convince Homer to stay alive, he tells him that Marge might re-marry. Homer replies that he'll be fine so long as he's happy.
    • The Reveal of how Marge happily remarried Ned Flanders after Homer's untimely death, and how Ned has had numerous happy marriages since the passing of both Maude and Edna.

    Season 30 
  • In "Bart's Not Dead", after lying to everyone about going to heaven and speaking with Jesus then coming clean about it, Bart sits on the roof and asks Lisa if she thinks God will forgive him. She reassures him that if he has true remorse in his heart, he'll be forgiven.
  • In "Heartbreak Hotel", Bart and Lisa convincing a game show to accept their parents, since they'd been trying for years and had been rejected every time.
  • In "My Way Of The Highway To Heaven", God and St. Peter debate on who would be allowed in Heaven, but after watching all three stories (Ned, Marge, and Lisa), He decides to let everyone with a good heart inside the Pearly Gates (Christian, Atheist, Hindi, Buddhist, etc). Even Mr. Burns caught a break!
  • Despite the silly premise of "Werking Mom", where Marge pretends to be a drag queen to sell Tupperware, its undoubtedly one of the sweetest episodes of the season. Marge's newfound confidence in herself and friendship with the other drag queens is sweet, and becomes better when they reveal they knew all along she was female and still accept her. Even its sub plot of Lisa doing anonymous good deeds (with Bart helping her no less in some of them) counts too.
  • In "'Tis the 30th Season", the entire family takes Marge to Florida after she gets stressed trying to make the holiday perfect. Then, when it turns out the vacation's a bust, they try and stay happy for her. In turn, she realizes what they're trying to do and lets them know they don't have to stay in their crappy hotel.
    • Earlier on in the Christmas-ified into sequence, when Maggie is put into the cart and sees Gerald, instead of the standard fist-shaking, she reaches down and pulls out a present to give him. Gerald is visibly touched.
  • In "The Girl on the Bus" When Lisa is embarassed to introduce a new family she really likes to her own family she hugs Flanders and asks him to pretend to be Lisa's dad. Flanders rolls with it without even questioning her whatsover to cover for her.
  • In "I'm Dancing As Fat As I Can", after angering Marge by watching their favorite show without her, Homer spends weeks secretly learning to dance. Afterwards, he invites Marge to a ballroom and they share a romantic dance together.
  • In Whole Episode Flashback "The Clown Stays In the Picture," a young, still-unmarried Homer is on the verge of death after being lost in the desert and has a vision of three cactuses resembling Bart, Lisa and Maggie who urge him to fight for his life so that they'll one day be born. He survives after responding to the Bart-cactus's taunting with an attempted strangulation that causes the cactus to break open, allowing him to drink the juice. The Bart and Lisa cactuses are seen high-fiving at the end as they watch Homer and Marge reunite.
  • In "Girl's In the Band," Lisa is scouted by the Capitol City Philharmonic, but her newfound happiness puts heavy strain on the family: Marge has to take her for a long drive there and back every day in heavy traffic while waiting around the building the whole rehearsal, Bart and Maggie are forced to come for the trip since they don't have a babysitter, and Homer has to work a night shift at the plant to afford the fee. Given the opportunity to move up but realizing that it will mean more money for Homer to spend and an even longer drive for the rest of the family, Lisa throws the audition. Although she pretends that she simply didn't make the cut, Bart makes it clear that he knows what she did for them and the whole family is grateful and happy.

    Season 31 
  • "Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?":
    • Near the end of a near-death experience, even if it was just for a moment, Homer gets to be with his mother Mona once again. No flashbacks, no hallucinations, no dreams within dreams, just heaven. And they finally get to say goodbye to each other when he leaves.
    • Marge doesn't lash out at Todd or blame him in some way for having a crisis of faith. She understands why he's upset and explains how he can still pray without believing in God. Considering how intolerant Marge used to be in earlier seasons, this is an undersold moment.
    • Almost every citizen of Springfield is seen at Flanders's vigil. One major heartwarming sight is that Reverend Lovejoy is in the front with his wife Helen. He is most of the time irritated by Flanders's antics, but he does care.
    • Bart comforts Lisa, who initially thought that the mass turnout of Springfield's citizenry was a vigil for Homer (they're for Ned; Homer only has a handful of stragglers) by telling her Homer is an "acquired taste," comparing him to Hawaiian pizza.
      Bart: God, this is just you and me, so I'm gonna tell you a secret. I love my dad, so please don't take him!
      Lisa: Bart, what are you praying for?
      Bart: New bike?
  • "The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds":
    • Lisa gets stuck at a sleepover with "mean-girls" and can't get home. She tries to call her parents to no avail, but eventually gets in touch with Bart. Bart initially refuses, citing a fight earlier in the episode where they chose to sever their sibling bonds. Upon hearing her crying and seeing what they posted about her on Facebook, he comes to her aid and helps her get revenge.
      • Later in the episode, Lisa is able to convince the girl who initially invited her to pull a Heel–Face Turn based on their mutual love of horses.
    • The B-plot of Homer taking Marge on a cruise. At one point, the singer of the cruise band starts trying to lure Marge on stage, only for it to turn out that he was beckoning a bikini-clad woman. Homer might have been disappointed earlier with Marge being lead away, but the anger over being baited shows that Homer thinks Marge is more beautiful than some bikini-wearing woman.
  • "Way of the Dog":
    • Santa's Little Helper re-uniting with his mother and the scene of the two of them on the couch with the Simpsons at the end.
    • The Dog psychologist as a whole, she comes off as a bit of a jerk at first but once she sees that SLH is going through trauma she drops everything and works day and night to figure out what's bothering him (even putting aside a potential romantic interest to do so).
    • All of the Simpsons' love for SLH comes through here, from all of them absolutely refusing to put him down even after he bites Marge, to them praying for his well-being, to each of them (even Maggie!) taking a turn to slap his abusive former owner.
    • The major conflict of the episode starts when, having his Trauma Button pushed, Santa's Little Helper bites Marge. Trying to ascertain what upset him, Elaine Wolff, the dog psychologist, quickly figures out that it wasn't Marge herself; presented with her apron, Santa's Little Helper has a flashback to a time that Marge reassured him during a thunderstorm by wrapping him in a blanket, and the memory causes him to curl up happily on the apron.
      Elaine Wolff: She is comfort.

    Season 32 
  • In "The Road to Cincinnati", after 31 seasons of being constantly belitted, Principal Skinner FINALLY earns the respect and admiration of Superintendent Chalmers after his resourcefulness got him to a conference in time, as well as tells him off (earlier in the episode) for all the years of abuse. In addition, it's revealed he's on good terms with his mother AND earns the admiration of a small-town cranky judge, as well as that of a group of wheelchair-bound veterans. That high-five with Bart at the end was never more deserved.
  • "Diary Queen":
    • After getting his hands on Edna Krabappel's diary, Bart does the typical mischief you'd expect of him, such as going on a joyride in Chalmers' car, or looking into the teacher's lounge. And then he finds an entry that he thinks is about him. What does Bart do when he finds his late teacher saying nice things about him? He cleans up his act. Helping a short kid reach the water fountain, amending graffiti to say that "Skinner is ^not a wiener", and actually trying (albeit with some cheating) on a test instead of just doodling a skull in the multiple choice bubbles.
    • After finding out the truth that the entries were about Mrs. Krabappel's cat, Bart is distraught. Enter, Ned Flanders, telling Bart that Edna really did think of Bart as highly as he thought she did. When the Flanders family considered leaving Springfield, Krabappel voted against it, because misunderstood kids like Bart need someone like her.
      Mrs. Krabappel: I have to stay here in Springfield because boys like Bart Simpson need me. Sweet, misunderstood boys, who just need someone to recognize the basic goodness trapped inside them, and is desperately trying to get out.
      Ned: She was allergic to the cat, but, uh, you were nothing to sneeze at, son.
    • Bart, relieved by this, hands back Edna's diary in thanks, noting that Ned should read it too. He nervously reads a paragraph which notes Ned "made (her) life a living..." (he apologises in advance before continuing)"...dream come true."
  • Most of "Wad Goals" deals with Marge taking increasingly dramatic measures to get Bart out of a new job caddying at a golf club after she discovers that the job largely consists of earning tips by sucking up to the club's wealthy patrons, a skill Bart has taken to with aplomb. It's only when she's exhausted all her resources that she straightforwardly admits to Bart why she doesn't want to see him become a Professional Butt-Kisser: she's always admired his lack of concern for the approval of others, regardless of all the trouble it got him into, and can't stand to have him lose what makes him who he is.
    Marge: Promise me these golf people won't take away my special little guy, because they seem to get everything else they want!
  • In "Manger Things", we learn that Todd Flanders's middle name is Homer, named after Homer, who helped Maude while she was pregnant with him.
    • This exchange between 2-year-old Lisa and 4-year-old Bart upon learning from Marge that Homer won't be back for a while.
      Lisa: It's okay. I love Bart. I love Bart, I love Bart, I love Bart!
      Bart: And I love Lisa!
      Both: (hugging) I love you I love you I love you!
  • "Uncut Femmes":
    • Before her reunion with Bette and Erin Sarah blames herself for their arrest. But when they're reunited they tell her it wasn't her fault because Lindsay Naegle betrayed them.
    • Despite Sarah's criminal past Clancy still loves her.
    • Ralph and Fat Tony getting along with each other.
  • In "Burger Kings", when Mr. Burns had a heart attack, Smithers clearly stayed on his side until he woke up. He even brought flowers and Bobo for him.
  • In ''The Last Bar Fighter, Moe gets thrown several bones. He is incredibly chipper about getting to serve the high-quality tequila Homer brought to the bar and the others insist he join them as a friend.
    • Earlier, when Homer switches the Tequila with Maggie, she snuggles against Bart and falls asleep.

    Season 33 
  • From "The Star of the Backstage", after feeling largely unappreciated for her efforts, the ending has a couple of teenagers come up to Marge and ask her to sign their prompt bible, call her "stage managing icon" and invite her to the diner that her cast had ate at without her in high school.
    • Mr. Burns gives Smithers a bouquet of roses after the play is over.
  • From "Bart's In Jail", Grandpa Simpson hands over $10,000 when he thinks that Bart's in jail without question. Sure, it turns out that he was just scammed, but it really shows how much he cares about his grandson (and granddaughters since he almost falls for the same scam for Lisa.)
    • Also, after paying the money, he goes on to check on Bart while he's playing soccer and upon seeing him exclaims "thank goodness you're alright", showering him in kisses. Bart initially is embarrassed that he's doing this in front of his friends, he becomes concerned when he realizes his grandfather was scammed. He then leads him to the rest of the Simpson family (except Maggie, who wasn't there), who are all sympathetic and try to cheer him up (though Homer turns around when he finds out exactly how much he gave away.)
    • The ending has a bittersweet tone to it. Marge starts looking at the world in a jaded view, thinking that helping people in need is difficult when there are scammers all over the place. She decides to test her faith in humanity by giving a woman $20 for gas and the woman promises to mail her the money back. A week passes and she receives an envelope with $20 in it along with a note saying “thank you for your trust”. This gives her hope in humanity not being completely selfish. Then it’s revealed that Abe was the one behind the note and money and he’s just happy to cheer Marge up.
  • In "The Wayz We Were", Moe's ex-girlfriend Maya returns and their relationship gets rekindled, but Moe fears that just like before, she's eventually going to leave him again, as the episode goes on, Moe's anxiety continues to grow, to the point where he starts sleeping in Bart's treehouse, eventually Homer asks Moe that he should finally propose to Maya, and in the biggest shock of the episode, Maya actually says yes! After seasons of him being depressed and suicidal, Moe finally gets his happy ending.
  • In “Lisa’s Belly”, Homer immediately understands how Marge calling Lisa “chunky” has affected his daughter’s self-esteem. He knows that Marge shouldn’t have said anything about Lisa’s appearance. Considering Homer is overweight himself, he probably understood Lisa’s situation the best.
    • To cheer her up, Homer calls Patty and Selma to help out. The two agree, but only to help Lisa, not because they like Homer.
  • About half of "Pixelated And Afraid" when it's not being terrifying is full of this since it's an episode about Homer and Marge being a contented happy couple. Even at the start, when Bart and Lisa are worried that they've fallen into a rut, Marge and Homer are shown being perfectly in sync and happy with where they are in their relationship. None the less the two do rekindle a bit of a spark after surviving together in the wilderness. Eventually, once they find some ranger tracks, they decide to return to civilization but not without some regret that their solitude is over. And then the two exchange some words that show they are meant to be together:
    Homer: I'll try to be more romantic, like the kids said, from now on.
    • The final scene of the episode wherein Marge and Homer sit at a park bench, watching the sunset, as Homer feeds Marge some chips. It really is a sweet and adorable moment that sums up how Happily Married the two are.
  • Figuring out the reason why Bart has been acting out more unusually, Homer, in "My Octopus and Teacher", sat down with Bart and spoke to him in a rather calming (his way) method to let his son know about his crush on his teacher, Mrs. Peyton. Instead of teasing him, Homer relates to his son for behaving the same way at his age, which allows Bart to open up about why he was acting strange.
    • Homer's advice, while a bit harsh, helped Bart. Even giving him tips that Bart will always find love somewhere else and that there's no shame in giving up. His speech, not intended, allowed Lisa to give Molly up and send her back to the sea despite how dangerous it could be.
    • Lisa's bond with Molly made her break her club code and save her friend's life. And it seems that while Molly is a wild animal, she returns Lisa's affection.
    • Mrs. Peyton forgives Bart after apologizing and knowing he was telling the truth (with heavy evidence). Peyton even helps Bart with his emotional turmoil, and the two enter on good terms as his new teacher.
  • Bart and Marge bonding over pranking in “Marge the Meanie” as this is one of the rare few episodes where the mother and son get along amazingly, despite Marge no longer liking pranking and did it to be close to her son. Extra bonus of Marge making sure her pranks are simple but never mean-spirited, something Bart doesn't mind, showing that he just like the idea he got something cool from his mom.
    • After discovering that Marge pranked him, rather than being mad, Bart was proud and gained a new respect for her. With the two even play tricks on each other as the episode ends.
    • Not wanting to be disconnected from his children, Homer spends the whole episode trying to find something he and Lisa could bond. Even faking interest in her food to make her happy. After coming clean, the two bonds after discovering a similar allergy. But what sold their bond is Lisa saying she's glad to have been passed down a kind heart from her dad.
  • Abe admits in “Meat is Murder” that while the Simpsons curse might remain, every bad decision he ever made led to Lisa being born, and that makes him one lucky grandpa.
  • The Couch Gag in "Poorhouse Rock," designed by artist Spiker Monster (known for the fan webcomic Those Springfield Kids), depicts teenaged versions of Bart, Lisa and their classmates (plus a preteen Maggie!) partying in the living room before running and hiding from an older Homer and Marge, who walk in, smiling and holding hands, to take a cozy seat together on the couch.
    • While it naturally doesn't last, shadowing Homer at work gives Bart a new awareness of how his job provides for the family, causing him to respect him to the point of wanting to follow in his footsteps as a nuclear safety inspector, moving him to tears.
      Bart: I never thought about it, but Homer makes enough to pay for this awesome crib, two cars, with enough left over to fill the freezer with three kinds of french fries: waffle, curly and steak-cut. Dad, all these years I thought you were just some uncool roommate that I got stuck with. Now I realize you're a winner.

    Season 34 
  • Surprisingly a lot of sweet moments were shown in Treehouse of Horror XXXIII
    • In The Pookadook, Maggie manages to get the demonic creature out of Marge by rubbing her cheeks the way she does whenever Maggie gets scared. After the Pookadook exit her body, Marge defeats the demon to save her daughter, not caring about the representation of this creature. When her stress was slowly returning due to her family antics, Maggie rubbed her cheeks again, and Marge calmed down and smiled.
    • Near the end of Death Tome, Lisa realizes she has gone too far by nearly killing Bart that she uses the Death Tome to kill Steve Johnson. When she transforms into a Shinigami, Bart tries to comfort Lisa by stating she could kill Janey.
    • The first thing Homer does when he gets self-awareness during the Simpsonsworld segment is to go and save his family (minus grandpa.) Real or fake, those are his family, and he loves them.
    • During the rescue, Homer says “now let’s find the hottest Marge and get out of here!” Cut to the next scene, where the Marge in question is a standard-issue Marge with no changes whatsoever. It’s a very sweet reminder that he loves her as she is.
  • In "From Beer To Paternity", Duffman's entire quest to reunite with his estranged daughter is very sweet, especially since he kept her childhood drawing of him and talked about how he thinks of her every day. He even saved her from a prop giant can of duff that nearly crushed her just to prove his love.
    • The same episode also centered around Homer's relationship with Lisa, as Duffman saw Homer as a role model for a father's relationship with a daughter. Likewise, despite being initially saddened to find out Homer lied about taking her to the Agatha Christie museum, Lisa was still proud of her father for what he accomplished helping Duffman.
  • "Game Done Changed":
    • Bart and Skinner become a team/colleagues for Bart's scheme of using Boblox glitch to make money. Even when Skinner cuts him off, Bart couldn't let him do something crazy like destroying someone else's school and talk him out of it. With the two driving away in the bulldozer, going to Krusty Burger as Skinner talk about his other "stupid dreams."
    • In the B-Plot of the episode, Marge realizes she could use Boblox to finally have a conversation with Maggie. Finding out what food she likes, what she wants to be when she's older, and, more importantly, learning that she loves her. Homer becomes overjoyed when he finds out that Maggie loves him as well, shouting "One of my three kids loves me!" before jumping high up into the sky and then coming back down a rainbow. Lisa even joined in on the fun when she realized Maggie could talk, with the little sister missing her.
    • Bart was surprisingly mature when Homer and Marge forbade him from planning a violent video game that made him swear. Even tried to find other games he could play and asked them first.
  • "My Life as a Vlog" has the Simpsons becoming successful internet vloggers. The first video of theirs that went viral? Homer trying to comfort Maggie when she gets stage fright during a school play. It's a sweet reminder that the Homer/Maggie relationship is likely the most caring in the whole show. Which makes it all the harder to see Maggie reject him later in the episode.
    • The third act of the episode revolves around the Internet's efforts to find the Simpsons, who have disappeared for nine days. When several of the characters simultaneously find the address of the private mansion they've moved to after monetizing their content, they find the family in their house's panic room, where they were accidentally trapped without their phones or any other means of calling for help. Their long time being stuck together caused them to rediscover their love for each other and mended the relationship between Homer and Maggie, and, finally free, they move back to Evergreen Terrace preferring the happiness of their family life to fame and fortune.
  • "Bartless" features an alternate timeline in which Bart is not part of the Simpsons family. They now live in a luxurious mansion next to the Springfield sign, with Marge as head of medicine in an animal hospital while Homer has a dream job working the Jumbotron at Isotopes Stadium. They then find Bart wandering the street, and while the police look for his parents, the Simpsons take him in. Bart then procedes to disrupt their lives with his usual shenanigans, only instead of exasperating them, he ends up making their lives better in unexpected ways.
    • Marge's job is exhausting because the hospital staff is too involved in their Grey's Anatomy-style drama. When she finally has enough of their nonsense, she yells at them to "Eat my shorts!"; Bart had earlier told her that it's something he says when he wants to put people in their place. To Marge's surprise, it works.
    • Homer had long wanted to make the spectators cheer so loud it registers a 100 in the Jumbotron's loudness meter. He finally gets his wish thanks to Bart typing inappropriate suggestions.
    • In this timeline, Lisa is especially uptight, keeping her Malibu Stacy dolls in their original packages and doing a diorama on the history of homework. Bart helps her loosen up by introducing her to The Itchy & Scratchy Show, and they also bond over their mutual mental disorders (OCD for Lisa, ADHD for Bart).
    • The episode's inciting incident is Bart writing inappropriate stories over library books to amuse the younger kids. He does this out of love for the kids rather than selfish malice, and it ends up making them more interested in reading. When the school calls them regarding the damage, Marge and Homer turn up ready to be angry when they hear the details, only to find that several of the teachers are grateful for what Bart's done for the younger students and have nothing but good things to say.
    • Notably, Maggie in the alternate timeline is the only Simpson to get along with Bart right away, helping him with a dirty diaper slingshot and giggling as she pops bubbles Bart made with his milk. Bart ends up returning this by drawing Maggie into one of her books the same way he did for the younger kids in the main timeline.
    • AU Homer and Marge start each morning making out in the shower. It goes to show you how madly in love the two are, no matter which alternate reality they are in.
    • When the police come to take Bart away, Bart reveals to a distraught Homer and Marge that he took something to remember them by, namely Homer's wallet. Homer softly says, "Why, you little...", his typical lead-in to strangling Bart, before hugging him, while making no move to take the wallet back.
    • At the end, Marge and Homer hug Bart and tell him how much they like him. Bart loves them right back... but then realizes that Homer added that they "just realized" this.
  • "Pin Gal" has a Background Gag where Lisa faints after hyperventilating. Bart then picks her up and tries to revive her by fanning her.
  • In the last act of "Fan-ily Feud," Homer finds out that Marge, Bart and Lisa have all contributed to his humiliation at the hands of singer-songwriter Ashlee Starling in various ways and considers getting Ashlee's rival Echo to help him compose a diss track taking them all down. However, when she asks him if he actually wants to bring the repercussions of such a thing down on his family, Homer balks at the suggestion, admitting that he loves them all. He and Echo instead compose an "I've-been-dissed track" forgiving his family and devoting a verse to each of them explaining why he loves them.
    (Marge!) You brought joy and dinner to my life,
    You're still a Fudgy Whale of a wife
    Even when I do things wrong (I wrong-do things)
    Like pass out on the lawn at crack of dawn
    (Bart!) This verse goes out to Bartholomew (Why you little—!)
    You're kind of cool, stay in school
    (Lisa!) You don't suffer fools or eat baloney (Mmm, baloney)
    Just jamming on your brass saxo-ma-phony, you're my little lampshade girl
    In white pearls, you're my world
    Cause we, me, you three and Maggie can bring this war down
    We, me, you three and Maggie will be okay now
    If we, me, you three and Maggie just stick together
    We, me, you three and Maggie could stop a meltdown
    Homer: To stop this war, we don't need a grand gesture / We don't need to make a stand, we just need to sit down... together

    Season 35 
  • In "A Mid-Childhood Night's Dream," Marge reflects on her relationship with Bart after seeing he's growing up. In particular, she notices how he always used to grab her hand, but now sees that his hands are bigger than hers, making her realize she can't remember the last time they did so. While she has trouble with this for most of the episode, she eventually makes peace with it. At the end though, he grabs her hand, showing that their relationship is changing, but still strong.
  • In "Murder, She Boat," Lisa tries to defend Bart after he is falsely accused of destroying a rare collectible. And while she does begin to doubt him when evidence is planted against him, she eventually proves his innocence.
    Bart: Thanks for never losing faith in me, Lisa.
    Lisa: Well, if we're being completely honest, (sees Marge shaking her head) I never did. (they hug)
  • Marge goes over the top in trying to keep Bart happy in "Clan of the Cave Mom" but it has a sweet resolution.
    Marge: I just don't want anything bad to happen to you.
    Bart: I can handle bad. I just can't handle losing the one good parent I've got.
    • Similarly, Milhouse states that he knows Bart is a bad influence, but he feels Bart's the only one who's willingly his friend which is why they hang out.

  • From "The Way We Was" and "I Married Marge." Three words from Homer: "Marge, pour vous."
  • At the end of the first Maggie centric short "The Longest Daycare". Maggie is dropped off at Daycare and finds it dismal until she finds another kid smashing butterflies onto the wall. She then finds a caterpillar and a book that tells her that caterpillars grow into butterflies. The other baby approaches Maggie menacingly and Maggie RUNS to get away from the other baby as the caterpillar turns into a butterfly. She eventually is cornered by a window and it appears that the butterfly gets smashed under window blinds Maggie leaves, and the butterfly is revealed to be Maggie's bow. Pan out shot to Maggie in the Simpson family car, and the butterfly is safe on Maggie as her bow it begins moving and flies out the window as Maggie giggles and waves goodbye. D'AWWWW.
  • At the very start of the second Maggie short "Playdate with Destiny", we see a silhouette of Mickey Mouse in the style of classic Disney shorts that’s revealed to actually be two sprinkled doughnuts hovering over Homer’s head - that he quickly proceeds to eat. Afterwards, we see a title card that reads “Disney Welcomes The Simpsons”. Though some fans aren’t too fond of the idea, the mere fact that the Walt Disney Company is wholeheartedly embracing the series as part of the Magic Kingdom is a beautiful thing.
  • In a 2010 Coca-Cola commercial for the Super Bowl, Mr. Burns' fortune goes belly-up and he's forced to sell all of his assets, including Smithers. He goes to the park and sees that everyone has someone else - even Chief Wiggum and Snake, handcuffed together, are each enjoying a Coke together, while Smithers is enjoying his new job as Patty and Selma's servant. Apu, having just bought an armful of bottles from a cart run by Gil, who actually looks happy for once, sees Mr. Burns all alone, and gives the Monty a free Coke. This act of kindness turns Burns' day around, and Carl and Lenny pick him up for some fun. The commercial ends with the camera zooming out to show everyone having a good time.
  • In April 2015, Al Jean announced that seasons would no longer be released on DVD, citing lowered sales, leaving seasons 17 and 20 the latest seasons available in the format. But in July 2017, it was announced that, by popular demand, season 18 would be released on DVD, with the possibility of the remaining seasons to be released, too.
  • This short has a statement at the end asking people to help Puerto Rico, which is still suffering from the after-effects of Hurricane Maria.
  • In Ned's diary in the licensed book "Flanders' Book of Faith" involves Ned picking up trash in the park, shining a statue, and waiting around in case anyone wants directions. He also talks with his sons about what they're grateful for and Todd says he's grateful for being able to be grateful.
  • The first and last items on "Bart's Top 40" from The Bart Book: #1 is "Krusty the Clown" and #40 is "Playing catch in the yard with Homer."
  • This illustration (from an unproduced Simpsons calendar) showing a worried Smithers lovingly taking care of a sick Mr. Burns. D'awww.
  • The Smithers "World of Springfield" figurine comes with a small clipboard that lists his daily job duties. One of said duties reads "Send one dozen red roses to Mr. Burns (have them de-thorned)."
  • From the comic issue "Winter Wingdings #5," there's a brief scene in the story "One Flu Over Springfield" in which Moe gives Maggie a kiss on the cheek. On the same page he gets tackled and licked by Santa's Little Helper.
    • Near the end of the story, we see that the flu epidemic has afflicted pretty much the entire population of Springfield, who sit clustered in the crowded hospital waiting room. In the background, we can see that Smithers, (who's looking pretty under the weather himself,) is comforting a very feverish Mr. Burns, who appears to be in worse shape than Smithers and is looking to him for reassurance.
  • The comic Maggie’s Mobilisation. Maggie dreams about the animals on her mobile supporting her family.
  • The album The Simpsons Sing the Blues includes Homer and Marge covering Randy Newman's "I Love to See You Smile." It's very sweet, especially the ending:
    Marge: I mean that sincerely, Homer.
    Homer: I know.
  • In this adorable clip, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart and several other characters) meets a teenage boy who is selling candy bars for a school fundraiser. She slips into Bart as a joke ("I'm ten! And I go to Springfield Elementary!"), and the boy remarks that she does a good impression. After a few more seconds, though, he realizes that he's talking to the Bart Simpson, and his eyes go incredibly wide as he's starstruck by her. Cartwright takes his confusion in stride, buys several of the candy bars, and, in the caption, remarks that it was a pleasure to meet the boy.
  • As of Season 22's "Donnie Fatso," Fat Tony has been Killed Off for Real with his identical cousin from San Diego, formerly known as "Fit Tony," taking on his role in the show to maintain Status Quo Is God. One of the only times this is ever acknowledged is in "The Yellow Badge of Cowerage," when the original Fat Tony's son Michael D'Amico is described as Tony's "nephew." With the Fat Tony we see in the show clearly acting in a fatherly role to Michael just as the original did prior to Season 22, picking him up from school and attending student events, it's clear that Fit Tony's assumption of the original Tony's responsibilities included becoming a father to Tony's child.