In their review of Danger: Diabolik, the episode ends with them crash landing into earth, and Mike, Crow, and Servo living in an apartment together (minus Gypsy). The final shot is a Zoom out of them all watching a cheesy movie — but this time of their own free will.
The return of the stockings, although more comedy-oriented than last time, still shows that the Bots have grown to accept Mike as a member of the family, for all the pranks and jokes on his behalf the rest of the year.
The gift exchange was both hilarious and heartwarming, especially the "Joike" sweater Gypsy made for Mike.
The song "Merry Christmas If That's Okay," which has a few jokes in the number of syllables they try to cram into some of the lines, but is mostly just an earnest plea to share joy with your fellow man, no matter what anyone's religion is.
If there's one point we'd like to make With this festive holiday song It's that Christmas comes just once a year So for a few days, for crying out loud Can we all just get along?
The Christmas miracle. Mike's feeling down because he's stuck in space on Christmas Eve, when suddenly it starts snowing in orbit. Mike cheers up, and him and the Bots go out to play on the Satellite.
Mike joyously proclaiming that he and the bots are going to build a snow fort really drives it home.
Doctor Forrester and TV's Frank were not on the best of terms for most of the episode, due to a "Gift of the Magi" Plot gone wrong. At the end of the film, Dr. F and Frank make up, as Santa and Pitch (a devil from the movie who tried to mess up Santa's deliveries) fight a battle for the fate of the holiday.
Dr. Forrester:[gleeful] Oh, Frank, think of it. A full-tilt battle between pure evil and Santa Claus in our own home!
Crow's joy at seeing everyone return to the Satellite of Love in the first Sci-Fi Channel episode, after 500 years of solitude.
Obviously the show plays for laughs 99.99% of the time, but it was pretty heartwarming to see Mike wipe away Cambot's tears and console him in Danger Death Ray. Cambot's upset that so many security cameras in the movie were destroyed; Mike assures Cambot that it's just a movie and that no real cameras were hurt.
As silly as the sketch was, it was rather sweet when Mike allowed Servo to "comfort rate" him at the beginning of Terror from the Year 5000. Especially if you figure "Surround me a little" is Servo's indirect way of asking for a hug.
In the same vein, when Servo broke down and cried "Oh daddy!" during the Manos: The Hands of Fate episode and Joel hugged him in the exact same way a parent might comfort a little kid. Awww...
Joel's last bit of defiance to the Mads in The Castle Of Fu Manchu, as he and the 'bots huddle together, all but reduced to snivelling wrecks by the terrible film (the closest they've ever been to breaking):
Joel: "You haven’t won, Dr. Forrester, you’ve lost. And I feel sorry for you. You’re nothing but a sad little man in a hole in the ground that can only feel empowered by hurting others. Well, we’ve won because we’ve survived, and we’ve survived because well, w-we’re Robinsons...roughly...and that’s what Robinsons do is survive."
Especially heartwarming because we see that the 'bots aren't just funny robot friends to Joel - he really considers them his kids, or at the very least adopted family.
In fact, it was just because the easiest way to get Tom in that seat was to have Josh/Kevin already sitting there for Joel/Mike to hand the puppet to. Still pretty sweet, though.
Mike's first episode (The Brain That Wouldn't Die) has a host segment of him searching for a way off the ship like Joel found. The 'bots eventually reveal that they already knew there's nothing where he was looking, and Crow voices their abandonment issues in the wake of Joel's departure just like a little kid: "If you find a way off the ship, you'll go, and you'll leave us all alone up here, and...you'll be gone!" Mike then assures them he'll get them all off the ship if he ever finds a way. And then he actually lives up to that in the series finale.
To this troper, it's the bit in The Final Sacrifice when when the entire cast comes down with 'hocky hair'. There's something oddly comforting about the usually mean-spirited Pearl taking care of Bobo and showing him almost motherly affection. She also expresses concern for Mike and the bots, cementing this as one of her Pet the Dog moments.
There's a very sweet bit at the beginning of Time Chasers where Mike and Pearl just sit down for coffee and chat about Pearl's evil nature. She seems almost... apologetic about it, and Mike is just very calm, sweet, and understanding, like he was talking to a dear relative with a mental illness.
Pearl: He's a good kid.
Another funny and endearing touch is that Pearl has a baby monitor sitting next to her so that she can keep track of Bobo, who's asleep in the back of the van, without having to watch him constantly. At one point Bobo starts mumbling and whimpering in his sleep, and Pearl immediately shushes Mike in order to listen more carefully.
In the same episode, Joel confidently telling Mike and the bots as he leaves that his years on the Satellite of Love were the happiest of his life.
In I Accuse My Parents, Joel has the Bots draw pictures of their idealized families. After we get some laughs from Crow and Tom's drawings that Freud would have a field day with, Gypsy's turns out to be the SOL crew all holding hands (with herself and the similarly handless Cambot on the ends).
In Invasion of the Neptune Men, Mike and the rest are suffering a Heroic BSOD from the film and are nearly going insane from it, when suddenly, an unlikely hero shows up on the bridge; Krankor from Prince of Space! Our heroes are so happy to see him that he pulls them out of their depression, and Servo is sad to see him leave!
Note that while Krankor is confused by Mike and the Bots' happiness at seeing him, he is genuinely touched by their friendliness to the point of crying Tears of Joy. Aww...
Mike even quickly hugs Krankor before he leaves.
Mike taking care of Servo like a doting dad when the latter contracts Roji Panty Complex.
A good number of the letters in general are Heartwarming Moments, from the ones from little kids—which almost always include an adorable drawing of the cast—to ones from adults, which tend to be about the show helping them through a difficult time or bonding with loved ones over a mutual love of it.
Hobgoblins has the best Mike moments in the series, because throughout, instead of the older brother figure he really is, he acts as the nurturing guardian of the robots; he calms them when they try to run away at the titles, and consoles poor, anguished Servo, who was reminded of the couch incident earlier in the episode when one appears in the movie.
While Crow's testimony at Mike's trial in Agent for H.A.R.M. is a CMOF, it's pretty sweet that he was willing to testify for Mike.
Crow: Is This Thing On? Hi! I'm Crow T. Robot and I'm here to tell you that Mike Nelson is innocent. Mike Nelson is 200 % [bleep]ing not guilty. And if you [bleep]s don't [bleep] find him innocent, then you can just [bleep]ing kiss my fat [bleep]ing [bleep]. And that [bleep]ing goes for your bull[bleep] court system, too! Mike, I'm so [bleep]ing sorry I couldn't [bleep]ing be there for this [bleep]ing [bleep]y really bogus trial, man. But let me [bleep] tell ya something, Nelson. If I was there, I'd [bleep]ing kick everyone's fat stupid [bleep]ing behinds and then cram it up their [bleep]ing [bleep]. Anyway, Mike, buddy, I hope this [bleep] helps. Take care, Mike.
In 12 to the Moon, Mike and the Bots meet Nuevena, "weird singing lady from the future," who seems attracted to Mike, and she offers to take him and his robot friends to her futuristic world, away from the SOL and the bad movies. They actually go so far as to start packing up, but by the third host segment, Nuevena has rebuilt Crow, Servo and Gypsy as kitchen appliances - she comes from that future that comes with a '50s mindset that robots are meant to be slaves to humans. A disgusted Mike quickly turns down the offer once realizes this, choosing the robots he's only known for a few months over a possible escape.
In Jack Frost, after the first segment had Bobo and Brain Guy arguing about each other, in the second after-movie segment (while Crow got turned into a bear), the two after an awkward silence finally talk about the one thing they have in common: their hatred of Pearl.
For Thanksgiving 2013, Shout Factory brought back the Turkey Day marathon as a livestream on their YouTube channel hosted by none other than Joel, who was preparing for Thanksgiving dinner in the host segments between episodes. Just seeing him again would qualify for this trope, but when he signed off to start dinner after the final episode, Crow and Servo showed up to join him at the table.