- The end of the arc when Mitsui finally rejoins the team. The build ups on his past, his descent to be a Delinquent, and culminating on him eventually trying to destroy the club and gets severely reprimanded by... Kogure, in which he spouts off a lot of truth. And then there's Anzai coming into the gym and all of Mitsui's flashbacks come off together. In the end, Mitsui eventually fell to his knees, crying and said to Anzai: "I... I want to play basketball..."
- Another of the biggest tearjerkers in the whole series is Sakuragi being reminded of his biggest failure... saving his beloved father's life because he was beaten up by the bullies that were threatening him in his way to the hospital. "My father... he had a heart attack.. JUST LET ME GO!" For a show that has lots of sports action and comedy, it has a surprising dose of Character Development.
- The end of the Shouhoku vs. Kainan match. Despite his usual trend of making silly mistakes due to either overconfidence, excessive focus on self-centered agendas to upstage rivalling superstar players (especially Rukawa), or even both, Sakuragi eventually proves himself time and again to be worthy of his self-appointed title as a "basketball genius", culminating in him successfully pulling a perfect fake-out on every single person on both teams and the spectators then dunking through Kainan captain and Kanagawa Prefecture's No.1 ace player Shin'ichi "The Monster" Maki's defense, with resulting foul on the latter being the icing on the cake (7:00-8:35 of the clip). And just when the match has only less than 8 seconds left, he does exactly Akagi told him to ("If you can't get it in, then pass it to me and I'll do it.") when Maki and Jin corner him close to the basket... except that AKAGI WASN'T THERE TO CATCH IT, leaving Sakuragi to mistake Kainan center player Takasago (who has a passing resemblence to Akagi) for him in his peripherial view and pass to him instead. Even more frustrating was that, judging by the subsequent camera view of Kainan's side of the court, even if he did know Akagi really was, he couldn't have gotten the ball to him in time, as Maki was standing directly between the two (5:00-5:50 of the clip). Dammit, what was Akagi doing?!!!
- It was nice of Akagi at the end, too. Rather than getting pissed at Sakuragi for making a mistake, he recognized that it was an honest mistake on both his part and Sakuragi's, and even gave our red-haired Idiot Hero a Cooldown Hug as he cried over the team's loss. Yep. Sakuragi wept like a child and Akagi comforted him. Crosses over as a CMoH considering their usual dynamic.
- Along with a combo of Heartwarming Moment, there's also Uozumi's past. To wit, he actually started out completely untalented and was constantly scolded for low stamina, bad skills, etc. It was so bad that Uozumi nearly gave up basketball, but then the now-Coach Sergeant Nasty Taoka... rather than scolding him like usual, just sat down calmly and then gave a heartfelt talk on how he's actually thankful that Uozumi is in the team and encouraged him to move on. As a result, Uozumi is able to keep up and eventually become one of Ryonan's top players and is the feared 'Boss Monkey' we all know and love.
- Also a Heartwarming Moment, tell me you didn't cry when Sakuragi got up and said: "I love it, and this time I mean it."
- Anzai-sensei's last days as the "White-Haired Devil". His star student Yazawa got fed up with his harsh methods when Anzai just wanted to shape him to be the best Japanese basketball player, culminating in transferring to America. When Anzai got a video on how he's doing, he realized that Yazawa's basic skills are kind of lacking and his teamwork didn't fare so well with the other American players, despite the other Japanese praising how impressive he became. Anzai's attempts to call him back was never responded and the next thing he heard about Yazawa was that he died due to car crash, rumored due to stress. All because he's being the "White-Haired Devil" to the end.
- To drive the nail home, when Anzai visited Yazawa's grave, his wife gave him one last unposted letter of Yazawa. Instead of cursing Anzai for his harsh methods, Yazawa was apologizing and expressing how his teammates in Japan also rarely passed the ball to him. He decided to go to America as a method to thank Anzai for all he taught and hopes to jump to his dreams (which he tragically failed to do). This soul-crushing event was the last straw that Anzai quits the college coaching and becomes the "White-Haired Buddha".'
- Early in the manga, after his initial fight with Rukawa, Haruko got the wrong idea and recklessly declared hatred to Sakuragi. This was enough to drive Sakuragi to jump off the roof that instant. Instead of laughing off Sakuragi's bad luck with women like what they were doing in the middle of the fight, his friends immediately came to stop Sakuragi from doing the jump and begged him to not take it too seriously this time. By the next chapter, once she realized what she has done, Haruko felt seriously horrible, and meanwhile, Sakuragi's eyes looked as if it's devoid of life. It took an accidental smack in the face with a basket ball to eventually give them life again, although it's not exactly something REALLY positive.
- From 10 Days Later, Haruko's letter explains that Akagi's scholarship was rescinded after losing the nationals, so he had to study for entrance exams like anyone else. Last we hear about him, his grades are falling and he seems to be in a slump, because he misses basketball that much.
Tear Jerker / Slam Dunk