- The Grape family's relationship, in general. They're definetly a Big, Screwed-Up Family, but despite their tiffs and differences, they look out for one another and clearly love each other deep down.
- Gilbert reconciling with his mother during Arnie's birthday party. Exemplified when he insists that Becky meet her (after previously rejecting Becky's inquisitions on the subject), showing that he no longer feels any shame or resentment in caring for his family.
Momma (apologetic): I wasn't always like this.Becky: Well...I wasn't always like this.
- Becky's reaction to Momma apologizing for the way she looks is beautifully accepting and humanizing.
- Momma's tearful admission that she "never wanted to be a joke." Gilbert gets down on his knees and embraces her, whispering reassuringly, "You're no joke." You'd genuinely believe that this was a scene between a real son and mother that just happened to be filmed for a movie and not two actors.
- Arnie and Gilbert reuniting at the birthday party, with Amy playing along in their "Have you seen Arnie?" game.
Heartwarming / What's Eating Gilbert Grape