We've all seen it. When the main character is put in a bind, he/she always has some "emotional" flashback, some of which are flashbacks of things we never saw happen in the series.
The existence of time itself seems to vanish during a character's flashback, and more often than not these aren't necessary (well, to me at least). This is especially common in Naruto.
So why do anime characters tend to randomly have "emotional" flashbacks? What does this even accomplish?