I decided to put them in an unnumbered, newest-to-oldest list. So:
- Ianto and Jack talk and kiss at the end of “To the Last Man” (Torchwood, season two, ep. 3). The kiss itself is wonderful, but what makes me go awww is the conversation preceding it: Ianto admits he’d miss Jack if he left again, and Jack concedes that Torchwood Three and the people in it are the closest thing he has to a home. (Granted, this may have been bumped up the list by, er, recent events. But today, top five, no question. *clings*)
- Sam Vimes meets his newborn son (Night Watch, the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett). I love Sam Vimes. There are other Discworld denizens I enjoy, admire, and identify with, but Sam, cynical bastard that he is, has a special place in my heart, so when he says, “I’ll teach him to walk!...I’m good at teaching people to walk!”, I grin so hard my face hurts.
- Spock and Sarek’s conversation after the court martial in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. “Your associates are people of good character.” “They are my friends.” “Yes, of course. Do you have a message for your mother?” “Yes. Tell her, ‘I feel fine.’” The culmination of a four-film character arc: estrangement, rapprochement, sacrifice, resurrection, and reintegration. Finally, Spock reclaims his place — he stands with his shipmates and embraces both halves of his heritage, Vulcan and Human. Also, I love how Spock and Sarek are positioned relative to each other. This is how Vulcans do “warm and fuzzy”: with a full yard of space between them.
- R2-D2 appears at the medal ceremony in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. The Rebels are celebrating, and it’s all very Leni Riefenstal...until we hear those beeps and whistles, and Artoo (last seen a smoking, charred wreck being lowered from Luke’s X-wing) toddles up next to C-3PO. Trust George Lucas to add a human touch with a cute robot.
- “The Adventure of the Empty House.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may have brought Holmes back from the dead grudgingly, but you couldn’t tell from the reunion scene:
I moved my head to look at the cabinet behind me. When I turned again, Sherlock Holmes was standing smiling at me across my study table. I rose to my feet, stared at him for some seconds in utter amazement, and then it appears that I must have fainted for the first and the last time in my life. Certainly a gray mist swirled before my eyes, and when it cleared I found my collar-ends undone and the tingling after-taste of brandy upon my lips. Holmes was bending over my chair, his flask in his hand.
"My dear Watson," said the well-remembered voice, "I owe you a thousand apologies. I had no idea that you would be so affected."
- Honorable mentions:
- Sam Gamgee and Frodo Baggins in the boat at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Hagrid brings Harry a cake for his eleventh birthday. And a whole new life, of course, but really, I will love Hagrid forever solely on the basis of the cake.
- The very last second of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We don’t even see her smile. We don’t need to. It’s enough to know that she can.
Now I’m curious: what are your top awwwww-inspiring moments? Share in comments!