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Heartwarming / The Waltons

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  • When the family cow, Chance, gives birth to a healthy calf, John has to sell it to make ends meet; but when Elizabeth and Jim-Bob start to suspect something is wrong with the calf's new owner, they try to save it. This is a good episode and very well written. It was sweet when Jim-Bob and Elizabeth run off with the calf and John and John-Boy go out looking for them.
  • All the scenes from "The Fawn" with Erin and the orphaned fawn Lancelot.
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  • This closing narration from "The Runaway".
    John-Boy: I often remember Jim-Bob saying to my father, "It's OK, next time I'll make you listen." I wish that it were in the power of all children to say that to their parents, and to know that indeed they would be heard, as we were in those wonderful days on Walton's Mountain.
  • In the pilot movie, The Homecoming, John Walton has gotten Christmas presents for everyone, and has a big pad of writing paper for John-Boy. In a welcome aversion to the Fantasy-Forbidding Father stereotype, John notes that he doesn't know about John-Boy's prospects as a writer, but if that is the calling he wants to pursue, then he wants his son to be the best he can be.
  • The closing of most episodes with the family members (or key guest characters) wishing "Good night" to each other. While oft-parodied, the scenes themselves are heartfelt and fall more under Narm Charm for audiences.
  • One early-season episode shows Olivia washing clothes in the kitchen sink with a scrub board, even letting her dinner get cold until John forces her to come back to the table. The rest of the episode centers around John-Boy working for the Baldwin sisters to earn enough money to buy his mother a washing machine. It's heartwarming on two levels:
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    • One, John-Boy just really loves his mother, and wants her to not have to work so hard, so he busts his ass to earn that money. He's absolutely the family hero when that big tub gets trundled into the kitchen; even Grandma is at a loss for words about how proud she is, and has to settle for giving him a big kiss on the cheek.
    • Two, while working for the Baldwin sisters, John-Boy helps them arrange a family reunion, for which their visiting cousin has encouraged them to make an extra-big batch of "the recipe." Not only does the cousin steal all of the moonshine (and John's truck), but arguably worse, all of the invitations for the reunion are returned to sender - because the sisters' entire extended family have either died or become so distant that they no longer have clear contact information. John-Boy can't bear to see how crushed the sisters are, so he goes home and explains the situation to his parents and grandparents - who immediately get the whole family dressed in their best and head over to spend the evening with the Baldwins. Miss Mamie and Miss Emily almost break down crying because they're so happy. Midway through the festivities, the sheriff arrives to join them (and to assure John that the truck has been found and the felonious cousin arrested).
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  • There's a meta example at the Walton's Mountain Museum in Schuyler, Virginia. As fans of the show know, the opening sequence consists of assorted sepia-toned photographs of the cast. One of the images used in the early seasons is of a very young Elizabeth, gazing at Chance the cow with an expression somewhere between astonishment and delight. This photograph is on display in the museum with a message from Kami Cotler, Elizabeth's actress, explaining that it was the first time she ever saw a cow. (How many of us can remember the first time we saw a cow? She had her moment preserved for all time!)
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