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Heartwarming / Top Gear (UK)

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  • Richard Hammond and his Opel Kadett. "OLIVER!!!"
    Hammond: This is just the happiest little car in the world! I shall call him... Oliver!
    • Of special note is what happened when Oliver suffered what seemed like a near-"fatal" engine problem attempting to cross a river. While largely played for laughs, you can see the anguish on Hammond's face as he attempts to get the car working again. Some might say that he was just that desperate not to end the trip in a VW Beetle, but everyone else saw that he was simply that dedicated to saving his new "friend". After almost a full night of engine work in the middle of the African wild, he got it working again.
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    • The next episode, after Clarkson and May made fun of Hammond after learning he's having Oliver shipped home to England:
    Hammond: Listen, it's real, he loves me, and he's coming home. That's a fact.
    Audience: AAWWWW!
    Clarkson: I'm going to be sick!
    • During the £5000 Lorry Challenge, Oliver is selected by Clarkson and May to be the object put behind Hammond's lorry for the hill start segment. Hammond forfeits his part in the challenge rather than risk rolling back into and damaging the plucky little Opel.
  • The end of the American Road Trip challenge. After seeing the level of destruction Hurricane Katrina had brought to New Orleans, the trio abandon their plans for the final challenge and instead all decide to freely donate their cars to a local charity. Except James, who tried to donate but nobody wanted it. Especially notable as the trio had spent the majority of the episode being rather condescending to American people and their culture, and the Alabama hillbilly incident likely didn't help their views on them either.
    • Turned into a Funny Moment afterwards, as it was revealed that the charity they gave the cars to tried to sue them, all because the year that Jeremy advertised his Camaro as was apparently wrong (Clarkson said it was a 1991 when it really was a 1989). Their bemused reaction to this says it all.
    Clarkson: So we really have two Top Gear Top Tips for you tonight: One, yes, you can buy rather than rent, and two, don't go to America!
  • Also during the American Road Trip episode: when they were all fleeing a group of VERY angry locals (while being pelted with rocks and seeming to be in serious danger of being shot) Richard stayed behind to jump-start James' car. This is of special note considering the boys' usual policy of immediately abandoning anyone who falls behind.
  • Hammond's return after the crash.
    It gives me really great pleasure, because I really doubted that I'd be saying this at one point... ladies and gentlemen... RICHARD HAMMOND!
    (Cue Richard, accompanied by the biggest hug in the history of all biggest hugs to have ever been big by Jeremy)
    • And don't forget, just after the crash, who were some of the first people to visit Hammond in hospital? May and Clarkson.
      Clarkson: Both James and I are looking forward to getting our Hamster back.
    • The above cannot be stressed enough. Hammond's autobiography of the crash and his recovery even specifies that the instant May and Clarkson heard what had happened, they abandoned what they were doing to go and see him.
    • Other interviews have revealed Clarkson sent funny texts to Hammond's wife every day to keep her spirits up, and May brought Legos as gifts to Hammond to help with his therapy.
    • Jeremy sounds like he's about to cry when he reintroduces Hammond back to the show.
  • Hammond being interviewed by a seven year old girl. It's SWEEEET!
  • James unpacking the picnic basket in the Polar Special.
    May: What would those salmon eggs go really well with?
    Clarkson: Well... a crisp white, but we can dream on at that.
    May: Like a Chablis, really.
    Clarkson: Yes. So do we get...
    May:: <pulls out a wine bottle>
    Clarkson: No! No! James! <Squee!> Look what he's got. Wine! I haven't had any for days!
    May: I knew you'd like that.
    Clarkson: A week in Resolute and three days on the ice, surviving on only gin!
  • The moment on the Death Road in Bolivia between May and Hammond when all May could see in the dark was the back of Hammond's Toyota. Despite making a joke about the request, Richard stays with James throughout the night.
    May: Hammond, I want to say something to you that I wouldn't say at any other time.
    Hammond: What?
    • Jeremy slowing the convoy down because Hammond was having problems with his vehicle, saying "We're a team up here" in the oxygen-deprived Andes, also counts, especially given the attitude the guys have for leaving each other behind on journeys like this.
  • During the challenge on the Bonneville Salt Flats, all three are pretty supportive of each other in trying to reach their targets (150 mph for Hammond, 160 for May, 170 for Clarkson). Then their collective celebrations when they finally hit their targets, especially a Big "YES!" from Clarkson and May when the latter, who wanted to hit 160 mph,is told he managed 163 mph.
    • Before that, May, who hated his Cadillac before, immediately changes his opinion of it due to how well it handles, calling it "the best American car [he's] ever driven, by a stretch as great as that road", before proceeding to have a race with Clarkson.
  • Just a small thing, but in the episode in which Hammond is hypnotized by Paul McKenna in the studio, to check that he truly has been 'put to sleep', so to speak, Clarkson leans forward and says the following:
    Clarkson: Hamster?
    Hammond: (No response)
    Clarkson: (Softly) But... He always responds to Hamster.
    • It just seems so sweet that Clarkson knows him well enough to know that if he were awake, he would respond to him.
  • It's more of a Crowning Moment of Cute, really, but during the Race to the London Airport challenge, The Stig is waiting at a bus stop when he's accosted by a flock of children. They're still in class, so they have to leave, and they all wish The Stig the best on his race.
    Little happy child: Good luck on the bus!
  • Hammond taking a picture for the children in the village between Hanoi and Ha Long. Especially the children giggling when they see the picture. Sweeeeet!
  • The original airing of Season 15 Episode 5 ends with a tribute to Formula One legend Ayrton Senna, who would have turned 50 that year had he not been killed at Imola in 1994. Many racing greats were interviewed, and the general consensus was that Senna was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, F1 driver ever. Instead of a usual snarky line to close out the episode, Clarkson urges the audience to see an upcoming documentary about Senna, and signs off with a simple "good night." Alas, due to the expense of showing F1 footage, the segment has only been shown once, and has been cut out of subsequent broadcasts, but can be found lurking around the internet.
    • This episode also contains a segment showing Lewis Hamilton squeeing over his chance to drive Senna's car.
  • When trekking through the Himalayas in the India special, the gang is forced to camp in freezing weather due to Hammond's failing lights. While no one is happy about this, what follows is a genuinely tender moment between mates without all the vitriol that usually divides them.
    • In the same special, Hammond got one of the Mini's headlights to work at the very end. It was a real scrapper.
    • The India special ended with the trio coming across some locals playing cricket outside the Hill View Cafe in the Himalayas. Placing empty Coke cans and tennis balls on the vertical custom exhaust of Jeremy's Jaguar, they created a new variation on the sport. And after an episode full of pitfalls, mistakes, and diplomatic failures, the show caps off with the cast and crew enjoying a game with a bunch of random kids they found and truly enjoying themselves for the first time.
  • Doubling as a Moment of Awesome: in series 17, Hammond did a segment about a rally car team made up of war amputees who were attempting to qualify for the Dakar Rally, one of the most difficult rally races in the world. Come the first episode of series 19, not only do we find that the team qualified for the Rally, but they finished it as well, a feat that not even some of the able-bodied teams in the Rally were able to accomplish. Wow. Followed by a sincere congratulations from all three hosts and applause from the audience.
  • During the Middle East Special, Hammond and Clarkson's genuine worry when May got knocked on his arse by a tow-rope and has to be rushed to hospital, due to suffering a bad concussion. Their concern is particularly telling, in that for the rest of their trek across the Syrian Desert and the next day, neither of them mess around and only start again after May returns, having recovered.
  • Nearly all of the overseas specials, such as the India or Middle-East Specials, portray the places they're visiting in a rather positive light. There's usually a bunch of kids and/or enthusiastic adults to whom the presenters are more than welcome to accommodate, and the beautiful scenery is almost always commented on (for example, after a terrifying ordeal going through a road in Iraq, the journey back is much more enjoyable and appears truly beautiful).
  • Jeremy giving May a Dacia Sandero in the Romania special. May mentions he's genuinely touched, and he'd been waiting two years for the Sandero. Then it gets destroyed.
  • The Season 20 Finale where the team gathers a huge amount of British made automotive engineering in front of Buckingham Palace. For a country who's motoring industry has gone through the grinder for quite some time, that display of automotive brilliance showed Britain could still make great and world class vehicles.
  • After serious allegations of racism, James May stands up for Jeremy on Twitter.
  • Jeremy at the end of the Nile special.
    Jeremy: (Discussing his BMW Estate car) You're a car, you're a sitting room, you're a bedroom, you're a fridge, you're a power station that charges up my phone every night, but most of all what you are, what you've become... is a mate. And that's what makes a car special. That's what makes a car great. You start to think of it as a person... you start to love it.
  • During the Nile special, the team passes through the country of Rwanda. Clarkson notes the country's dark history, and how one million people were slaughtered with machetes and garden tools. He then goes on to admit how impressed he is that the country has seemingly healed its wounds over a short period of 18 years. All the while, people on the side of the road (mostly children) are waving happily at the three presenters and constantly saying hello. Cue Hammond happily sitting back in his Subaru and returning the sentiments to these smiling, welcoming people.
  • During the Ukraine road trip featured on Season 21 Episode 3, most of the camera crew had to turn back at the gate of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Except for three assistant cameramen, who would go on taking footage as Clarkson and May drove through the city, having failed to run out of fuel yet. Jezza and May shook their hands, thanked them for their bravery, declared them promoted to full cameramen on the spot...and on the broadcast, as the credits rolled and the screen faded to black, they were credited as "Extra Brave Cameramen" with their names highlighted with a cool, red radiation effect.
  • In the Ukraine special (which aired only about a month and a half before Russia invaded Ukraine) Clarkson narrates,
    Jeremy: The following morning, we were warned that there was a mob on the streets of Kiev.
    Jeremy: And there was!
    (Cut to several dozen Ukrainians holding up Top Gear memorabilia and markers, seeking autographs, followed by a shot of all 3 hosts happily signing souvenirs for the crowd.)
    Jeremy: So, to get a bit of peace-and-quiet, we were told to report to the country's only race-track, for what, chillingly, was called The Final Challenge.
  • Jeremy talking about his love for the Porsche 928 during the Patagonia special. Doubles as a Tear Jerker too.
    Jeremy: Back in 1994, I was living in London and I got a call one evening from my mum to say that my dad was desperately ill in a hospital in Sheffield and I needed to get there as quickly as possible. And I had just taken a chicken out of the oven so I thought, 'Well, I'll take this for my mum because she won't have eaten.' I ran outside, I had a 928 on test that week. And when I got to Sheffield, the chicken was still warm and my dad was still alive. In fact, he died half an hour later. And the truth is, if I hadn't been driving a car which could sit quite happily at 170 miles per hour, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to say goodbye to my dad. So as far as I'm concerned, the 928 is alright.
  • In 2015, Hammond and May also left the show after Clarkson was booted off for assaulting a producer. While a tearjerker for Top Gear fans, it's also heartwarming to see the friendship these three have between each other extend beyond their profession as presenters, proving their status as Heterosexual Life-Partners. When one leaves, they go with him like how real friends do. Awwwww.
    • To quote James' opinion on Jeremy:
  • Near the end of the African challenge, the team is evaluating how their vehicles, all of which were second-hand estate cars not expected to last much longer. Clarkson notes that not only they survived until the end, they did so on an incredibly difficult treks. As he speaks, you can actually hear the sense of respect and fondness he has grown for otherwise unremarkable cars. Given his Caustic Critic tendencies, his attitude is especially notable.
  • Slightly Meta or Fridge, but every time they go to a different country they try to make the country seem as wonderful as possible. From the Shan region to Vietnam they honestly try to make each and every place look as beautiful as they can.
  • In the India special the trio decide to set up a hilltop race track, they advertised it in the local town causing everyone including the police (and a man riding an elephant) to take part. Just seeing everyone enjoying themselves is heartwarming enough.
    Hammond: I would watch this on TV
    Jeremy: I would, more than Formula One.
  • In the Burma special, while the three (initially two, until Hammond and May cajole Clarkson into working with them) are building the bridge, Clarkson has a Friendship Moment by providing Red Cock and Black Cock whiskey, gin and tonic and cans of beer to Hammond and May, who are very grateful for it. In particular, Hammond commends Clarkson for it when he provides them with the beer, and May, in the midst of drinking his, says it's one of the most enjoyable beers he's had for a long time because he feels he's earned it. For context, he's lying down on part of the bridge when he says it, so he really did have to work otherwise he wouldn't have been able to lie there.
  • The endurance race certainly qualifies - a high-mileage BMW diesel rep-mobile survives myriad mechanical faults, an actual crash and twenty-four hours of the trio's driving and still completes the race (with a slightly weepy Jeremy at the helm as the clock reaches zero).
  • During the 24-Hour Company Car Challenge, Paddy brings Chris and Freddie to where he grew up, where they happen to meet a childhood friend of Paddy's. The two men immediately shouting how much they love each other and embrace tightly. Chris and Freddie, who've been mocking Paddy's love of his hometown until that point have to admit it's actually pretty moving see.


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