At one point, due to his Dad banning him from playing Hack Master, Bob has to resort to various lies in order to join the Knights, at one point having to fake having a job because his Dad's watching him (see the Crowning Moment of Funny page). When it becomes clear that he's in danger of being caught, Brian and Dave come to his aid to make sure he can continue gaming.
Brian: I think we owe you an apology, Bob. We've let you down! In the game we've always been a team - us against the world! But we've been letting you fight a lonely battle in your efforts to just make it to the game each week. Tonight that changes. From now on, we're going to face that challenge as a team!
When Bob, Dave, and Brian attend a Garycon when B.A. and Sara couldn't go, the trio pick up a present for B.A.: a copy of Dawg the Roleplaying Game, an Indy RPG B.A. produced some years ago which was destroyed by reviewers. The trio actually think it's a really good game, and want him to run a few sessions for them. Considering B.A. usually ends up the Butt-Monkey of the Knight's antics, it's really nice to see them showing him some kindness and appreciation (Bob mentions that they found it in a box of "crappy games" that one of the dealers was trying to unload cheap, but this appears to be cluelessness rather than a deliberate attempt to be insulting).
Brian even defends the game and insists that it's salvageable even as its many flaws are pointed out, because "that's what second editions are for."
After Sara finds out that Troy's Boys just wanted her to provide a mixed-gender group bonus at an upcoming tournament, she walks out on them and decides to re-join the Knights. Bob and Dave start gleefully describing the humiliatinginitiation ceremony to let her back in... until Brian shouts them down and informs them that they'll either let Sara rejoin without any of that crap or else answer to him.
B.A. puts it best: "Say what you will about the man, but there's a big heart beating in that chest."
How close are these guys? When Bob and Dave get caught up in a vampire LARP, Brian outright states that he's willing to do JAIL TIME if it means getting them back (the jail time would be the result of using his plan, which involves snatching them off the street in his van and shoving them in his basement).
Brian: Besides, we're talking about my two best friends here. I'd trudge through Hail and High Water for those guys. A couple of Hard Ones in Lock-Up is a risk I'm willing to take if it will save them.
During Nitro's Steam Tunnel Foray of '99, Newt Forager (one of the Black Hands) gets lost in the tunnels, apparently ending up in the Muncie sewer system (in reality he escaped after a few hours and was lounging around his apartment). When the rescue services decide to call off the search, believing it to be a hoax, Bob and Dave, with B.A., Sara and Brian as 'topside support', go into the steam tunnels to rescue him themselves. Of course it goes very badly (they get lost themselves for several days before surfacing in Hawg Waller's Bar), but give these two credit: that was an incredible thing to do for someone they barely knew.
Especially since Bob has had the misfortune to get lost in those same tunnels himself for several days a few years ago. And Dave was there during Newt's 'application' to become a potential Knight, only for Newt to use it as a chance to grab extra gold, items and experience point for a different group he was looking to join. Despite this, they still go down there to look for him.
Sara, for all the times she threatens him, trusts Dave enough to run her character when she's away for a session (a trust that was horribly misplaced, since Dave get said character killed).
When B.A. gets a hernia and has to have surgery, Bob, Dave, and Brian all visit him in the hospital. B.A. tells them how grateful he is for reminding him he has friends. This then turns into a Moment of Funny when they then make him run the weekly Hackmaster session for them from his hospital bed, but it’s a “D’awww” moment nevertheless.
In one strip, Brian bails from the game early, claiming he has a date. Bob and Dave immediately start making fun of him and accusing him of making up another Alexis. Sara stands up for Brian, eventually lying and saying she’s his date and he was too much of a gentleman to say so. Later, she asks him if he really has a date. He sadly says no, and that he’s actually going to a Spice Girls concert and was afraid they would make fun of him for it. It then turns out Sara is also Spice Girls fan, and they go to the concert together. This is also notable for being one of Brian’s biggest Woobie moments.
When Hard Eight, after Gary Jackson's Death, is essentially told by Ms. Jackson's Lawyer to 'start making a profit or the company gets shut down', the Staff band together to do just that. Jo-Jo even gives a speech/telling off to the Lawyer. It's nice to see that, though they are a business and thus want to make money, Hard Eight really does love Hack Master.
Jo-Jo: What the Hell do you think's been going on here? Huh? We've been pulling together around here for twenty years! And not on some fat lawyer's salary either! Most of us work here because we love our jobs, Mr. Reynolds, It pays jack-squat but that's never been the issue! It isn't about money with us with us. Like you said we believe in our product. For crying out loud we could all be making better money in the real world!..... .....And now you're going to come in here and preach to us about pulling together and making sacrifices??
Jo-Jo really gets into it, stirring up and rallying the staff with further such speeches.
Jo-Jo: I'm going to prove to Heidi and her lawyers that they're grossly wrong about Hard Eight! We're better than them, dammit! And I aim to prove it!
Additionally, Tuley suggests each of the staff taking an additional pay cut (on top of the one they are already going to have to take) in order to re-employ Waco Bob, who had already been fired because 'he had no value to the company'.
Tuley: I guess I'm saying I'd be willing to go under the knife once more for... ummmmm... for a friend?
Crutch's character arc is one long heartwarming moment. When we first meet him, he's an ex-con, fresh out of prison, and looking to turn his life around. He sort of stumbles into Muncie's gaming community, and everyone accepts him with open arms (well, mostly, there's a few stragglers). He repeatedly refuses to go back to his old life and makes a concerted effort to turn his life around, culminating in him busting his ass to get his GM credentials and being able to run his own games, which everyone who plays at his table says are awesome.
Brian can be such a Jerkass that at one point, Patty actually asks B.A., one of his closest friends, why the hell they put up with him. B.A.'s answer? When he and Bob (one of their other friends) were growing up together, they were both considered nerds. The other kids bullied them. A lot. He refuses to go into details, but he says that everything changed in the seventh grade. When Brian transferred to their school. He fell into the role of their bodyguard, escorting them in the halls, sitting with them at lunch, waiting with them at the bus stop. He also introduced them to role-playing games, which is how they met the many friends they've made over the years. And that, B.A. tells her, is why they put up with Brian. He may be a jerk on the surface, and he may also be a jerk deeper down, but at the very bottom layer of his being, he really does care about his friends.