Often, the characters receive the very thing (or a representation thereof) they've been trying to acquire throughout the story. Alternatively, it's just a scene that lets us see the heroes receiving just adulation from the people they've spent no small effort saving. In extreme cases, praise may give way to outright genuflection by the assembled masses.
Expect some awkwardness in the pinning of actual medals, especially if one receiver is highly unusual (particularly a non-human) or the giver is impaired in some way (blind, decrepit, etc.). Another common element is for the award-giver to be opposed to the heroes, such as an Obstructive Bureaucrat, and must now show them honour in public as part of a Humiliation Conga. They may try to sabotage the proceedings in secret.
- One of the best scenes in Berserk is the King of Midland making every member of the Band of the Hawk a noble. Since it's Berserk, you can guess how long that lasted.
- An example can be found in the WWI-era comic "Golden Eyes" and Her Hero "Bill". The trio of Golden Eyes (an ambulance driver), Bill (a soldier), and Uncle Sam (Bill's dog) all participated in a raid on trenches controlled by the nefarious German Captain Hugo Von Schwatzenburg, and their heroic actions (which included smuggling information out of the German field camp and leading the charge against the German forces) directly contributed to the successful capture of both enemy territory and personnel. All three are all decorated for their service in a ceremony held by allied French, British, and American forces. Text accompanying the installment in which they are awarded reads:
"-on Golden-Eye's and Bill's breasts gleamed and glimmered a decoration apiece; in their eyes tears glittered, and their cheeks burned hotly with the pride of a kiss from a brave and gallant Frenchman sealed there. On Uncle Sam's army collar shimmered a silver plate with the color's of Bill's regiment, and a little story engraved there, telling modestly of his great deeds!"
- Star Wars: A New Hope.
- At the end of Evolution, the Governor hands out various honors.
- In the film of McHale's Navy, an admiral pins medals on everyone (except the woman, because of the awkwardness).
- The end of Tropic Thunder takes place at the Academy Awards.
- At the end of Mars Attacks! the teenager who discovered how to defeat the Martians and his grandmother are awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Because the President was killed by the Martians, they're given the medals by the President's daughter, and instead of a U.S. Marine band, there's a mariachi band providing the music.
- Happens at the end of Iron Man 2.
- The Wizard of Oz, with the wizard handing out medals, certificates, etc.
- Subverted in Stephen Chow's Forbidden City Cop. The hero's family has captured the villain by duping him with an acting performance. The emperor starts to hand out acting medals in a parody of the Academy Awards, but the villain isn't quite vanquished yet.
- A marginal case occurs at the end of the first Harry Potter book, where Gryffindor house wins the honorary House Cup due to the specific deeds of Harry and his friends, with said accomplishments being listed in front of the assembled student body.
- The end of The Long Patrol has the heroes melt down a bunch of treasure and make it into medals for absolutely everybody who's still alive. They set the medals with a different type of gem for each species.
- Not literally medals, but the end of every Discworld City Watch book has the Watch in general or Vimes in particular getting some sort of reward (if it's Vimes in particular, often against his will - Vetinari keeps coming up with "rewards" that Vimes doesn't want, but feels he has to accept, like being made a Duke). This trope was strongest, in the first Vimes book, Guards! Guards!, where Vetinari offers boons to the entire police force (all three of them) and they ask for a small raise, a replacement kettle and a new dartboard for the break room.
- At the end of Area 7, the surviving heroes all receive medals from the president for their efforts during the book. Unfortunately, those medals were classified, so they don't get a big ceremony, and can't tell anyone about them.
- One of the later RCN books ended with Adele Mundy receiving the highest award the RCN gives ... and, even though she's a warrant officer, she got the version usually reserved for commissioned officers. On top of that, the presenter was an intelligence bureaucrat who'd tried, at the beginning of the book, to prevent her getting any medal. He'd exceeded his authority, and their mutual boss, Mistress Sand, was not happy with him.
- In All Hands! every named character gets one. Posthumously.
- Our Miss Brooks: In "Mr. Whipple", the eponymous Mr. Whipple, a curmudgeonly millionaire, is impressed by the Madison High crew's kindness. Mr. Whipple drives them to a department store in his limousine, buys them new formal clothes, pays for a band for the school dance, and agrees to browbeat the school board into building a new Madison High School gymnasium.
- The 10th Kingdom has all the main characters but one receive gifts off the last character, who happens to be the prince they just saved.
- Season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery ends with the titular ship's officers receiving the Starfleet Medal of Honor for peacefully ending the war with the Klingons. In addition, Cadet Tilly and Lieutenant Stamets Rank Up to Ensign and Lieutenant Commander, respectively, and Burnham's mutiny conviction is pardoned and her rank of Commander reinstated.
- The ending cinema of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards has Kirby and all his friends getting medals.
- the Light Side Ending to Knights of the Old Republic. Cross of Glory to everyone - including the droids! Rather ironic that your PC started the whole mess in the first place as Darth Revan!
- The ending of Metal Gear Solid 3 plays this for added drama. Naked Snake and his support team are all lined up at a ceremony where Snake is being given what looks like the Distinguished Service Cross. The drama comes from the fact that Snake is being rewarded for killing the woman he loved most, which was, perhaps, all for naught anyway as the voice over says during the scene.
- He even ends up walking out immediately after shaking hands with the President, despite the fact that everyone there is applauding him and other people want to congratulate him. The disgust on his face is priceless. And heartbreaking.
- In Pokémon X and Y, Professor Sycamore awards the player character and friends the Honor of Kalos for defeating Team Flare.
- Subverted in the Recess episode, "Lawson and his Crew". The main six are given medals at the start of the episode, though the episode itself was originally planned as the Grand Finale.
- Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars: One episode begins with Bruiser receiving a decoration for valorous conduct in battle for his many and varied acts of badassery throughout the series. His mother sheds tears of pride.
- Inversion on Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: The start of the debut episode "Fur Out Furlough" has Dick and Muttley in a dirigible on lookout patrol. When Dastardly states that when they catch Yankee Doodle Pigeon that "it's medals for everyone!", Muttley immediately smothers him with kisses.