"Farewell, Mr. Hooper." While indeed a major Tear Jerker due to the real-life death of Will Lee, let it never be said there weren't heartwarming moments. Big Bird and his human friends hugging is one such moment. Another is Big Bird's drawing of Mr. Hooper. Unable to give it to his friend like he wanted, Big Bird kept it. It would ultimately be hung over his nest, where it still remains to this day. As said on the main page, the loss is handled with honesty, dignity and respect - showing how much both Lee and his character were loved.
During Mr. Hooper's tenure, there was a Running Gag of Big Bird mispronouncing his name - leading to a comically frustrated correction. At the end of the famous Tear Jerker scene, Big Bird looks at his drawing and says "You know, I'm gonna miss you, Mr. Looper," and Maria gently corrects him. It's not hard to see it as Big Bird saying goodbye by performing their Running Gag one last time.
Caroll Spinney once related a quote from the late Will Lee about that Running Gag why Big Bird was always being corrected:
"He once said to me, 'I will always correct Big Bird because I am proud of being Mr. Hooper.'"
The fact that Mr Hooper was a bit of Butt-Monkey via that Running Gag makes his ultimate eulogy even more heartwarming. Big Bird couldn't even get the guy's name right, but he still loved him and couldn't comprehend him not being a part of his life anymore.
In something of a follow-up skit in a later episode, Big Bird, Maria and David fondly remember him, which puts both the drawing and old footage on display. Yet another episode had a bird art collector offer Big Bird 100 bags of birdseed for the picture, but after another montage of old Mr. Hooper footage, Big Bird refused because he "couldn't say goodbye to Mr. Hooper again."
There is a sketch where Cookie Monster asks his cousin to find something wonderful that starts with the letter "C." Cousin Monster keeps coming back with vegetables (corn, cauliflower, carrot). Then Cookie Monster gives Cousin another hint: it's "first class sensational!" - and Cousin Monster thinks about it and says "Ohhhhh, Cousin!" and gives Cookie a hug. It's not what Cookie Monster had in mind, but it's still a very cute ending nonetheless.
The song where Cookie Monster defines a friend as someone you give your last cookie for. Here it is.
Brian Jay Jones' biography of Jim Henson begins with a dramatization of filming this scene, making it even better as we get inside Henson's head as he improvises along with the girl right up to "I love you too."
It's made even more adorable by how sad she gets when Kermit walks out; she sadly cries out, "I love you!" Kermit immediately pops back to reassure her that he loves her too, and she kisses him.
I Love My Hair. A Sesame Street writer adopted a daughter from Ethiopia, and after she told him that she wanted long straight hair like her white Barbie dolls, he wrote the song as a way to show her that she's beautiful just the way she is.
Now has a Spanish version, with Mando! The actor wrote it as part of his audition.
During the '70s, Big Bird's friendship with folk-singer (and recurring guest star) Buffy St. Marie Wolfchild, was genuinely touching. During a period when the other adult cast members insisted that Big Bird's friend Mr. Snuffleupagus was imaginary, Buffy gave Big Bird the benefit of the doubt, because she trusted Big Bird and knew him to be inherently honest.
Following on from that, Big Bird's other friendship with Bob's Uncle Wally (Bill McCutcheon) was also genuinely touching. During the same period when the other adult cast members insisted that Big Bird's friend Mr. Snuffleupagus was imaginary, Uncle Wally also gave Big Bird the benefit of the doubt, and, in fact, claimed to have encountered other Snuffleupaguses over the course of his travels.
Finally, in a closing of the Running Gag, Mr. Snuffleupagus finally being revealed. Snuffy gets acquainted with the rest of the cast at last, and the adults apologize for not believing Big Bird ("I think you should get that in writing"). The reveal was made primarily to teach children not to be afraid about telling adults serious issues.
In "The Ballad of Casey Macphee", Cookie Monster is tempted by the chance to eat a bunch of cookies (which were to be delivered to a birthday party) without immediate consequences, but then decides to eat the avalanche that swamped his train instead and save the day! Also an Awesome Moment.
The entire series. Period. Because it truly is made with care and devotion to the youngest, and seeks to elevate us all. One of modern humanity's greatest treasures.
A DVD was released geared especially towards children with parents serving in the military to help them handle the stress of having a parent deployed to dangerous places around the world.
And taking lead from the Mr. Hooper episode above, a special was also made about dealing with the death of a loved one, this one about the death of Elmo's uncle.
The interaction from the parents is incredibly sweet in the latter, between Elmo's awkward confusion over Uncle Jack and Jesse's aloofness about losing her dad, the adults are conveyed as incredibly patient and understanding, making clear it's okay to remember and be openly emotional about the death of a loved one.
Halloween 2013's tribute episode to Jerry Nelson (see the Meta tab), in which the Count runs late for a ceremony to give him the Noble Prize for Counting. The rest of the cast try to stall the award committee by impersonating the Count, but ultimately fail, but the Count is fine with it—what's really important is he had so many friends willing to help him out. Then the Count literally swoops into the scene, aided by his bats, and proceeds to count all his friends - using prerecorded audio from Jerry. Fade out on thunderous applause, both onscreen and off.
This beautiful song sung by Dave Matthews and Grover.
"If Moon Was Cookie" is a very sweet song where Cookie Monster sings about how he likes to look at the moon, mostly because it looks like a giant cookie to him. He then has an Imagine Spot involving himself riding on a rocket to the moon and then eating it - at which point he realizes that if he ate the moon there would be no moonlight. He then states that he's glad the moon isn't a cookie or he'd be sad that there would be no moon for him to look at if he ate it.
In a similar spirit, the song "My Outer Space Friend" from The '90s, where Telly sings about having a Martian as his friend and doing all sorts of friendly things with him, set to a similarly lilting arrangement.
The cartoon short "Bumble Ardy #9" about a boy who invites a group of swine to celebrate his birthday while his mother, "Sweet Adeline", is out. The pigs make a horrid mess and Bumble's mother sternly orders them out when she comes home. But when she realizes that Bumble has also left, and is meekly asking if he can come in, she takes him on her lap and kisses him nine times without a word of reproach.
The song I'm An Earthworm after Slimy return from the moon. Filled with montage of Slimy's trip to the moon. It was sadly the final episode of the "Classic era" Sesame Street season (Season 29).
Slimy: I miss you too, Oscar.
"Furry Happy Monsters"withR.E.M.. Although Michael Stipe has famously gone on record as hating "Shiny Happy People," he and the other group members look genuinely happy as they goof around with the Muppet monsters. Stephanie D'Abruzzo (who voiced the Kate Pierson parody Muppet) said they had a blast, and Stipe even complimented her voice when they pre-recorded the song!
In the end of the song Big Kids Cry, A little boy (performed by Richard Hunt) cheers up the three sad bullies (performed by Micheal Earl Davis, Steve Whitmire, and Karen Prell) with a box a popcorn. They all went to the park.
The depiction of Julia, the first puppet with autism, is absolutely heartwarming. She is treated as part of the gang and her symptoms, including stimming, aren't ridiculed but completely accepted and treated as normal. Julia herself is an absolutely adorable bundle of joy.
Jim's memorial service period - or at least the parts that weren't Tear Jerkers.
The outpouring of grief from Muppet fans worldwide after Jerry Nelson passed away in 2012, when it isn't being a Tear Jerker, really shows how much the people below the Muppets, and not just the Muppets themselves, made a positive impact on the fandom's lives.
This thread from Muppet Central is especially poignant - it starts off with a bit of denial as the news had just broke, then escalates to nearly everyone on the forums posting eulogies, pictures, YouTube videos and song lyricsnote Jerry was regarded for singing in nearly every single one of his works and was even a composer and guitarist in his own right, having released an independent album in 2009 to keep Jerry's spirit alive. The site's Live 365 radio distribution even ran nearly all of Jerry's songs non-stop for the week after he died (they continue to do this today on the anniversary of his death). While Jerry's death never warranted splashy coverage in the vein as Jim's deathnote he even made it to #2 in Cracked's annual list of the most overlooked deaths of the year, behind actor Lance LeGault, the fact that the Muppet fandom - a fairly small fan community when compared to Whovians, Bronies and Directioners - cared so much about the loss of one of their idols is entirely heartwarming.
This line from Cracked's list of the most overlooked deaths of 2012 has this to say about Jerry:
A lesser publication would use this opportunity to make a hilarious number joke, but God help us, we wouldn't know how to count past six
if it wasn't for Nelson. So we're hoping that he's enjoying that big math castle in the sky right now.
The independent documentary I Am Big Bird is absolutely filled with these. The relationship between Carroll Spinney and his wife Deb is ADORABLE. Here's a clip.
David Beukema's tribute to the then-recently deceased Alaina Reed (Olivia) is filled with gushing praise for Reed and her surprisingly gorgeous voice.
Alaina Reed as Olivia was a bright, shining light in an already magical world. Her performances never rang false, and immeasurable joy exuded from her at all times. For a little kid to have that kind of friend, one you can always depend on, one who was so fun and so sweet, was priceless.
One that's also somewhat of a tearjerker: During a live event at a college campus, the Big Bird puppet was left in the care of some ROTC students while the Sesame Street crew went to lunch. When Carroll Spinney, puppeteer and voice of Big Bird since the beginning of Sesame Street, noticed these same students running around outside with yellow feathers in their hats, he ran inside where Big Bird was being stored as fast as he could. To his horror, the students had destroyed the puppet; his hind quarters were bare and an eye was hanging down. According to others present, he burst into tears and was inconsolable for quite some time. When Spinney describes the incident, he refers to Big Bird as though he were alive, and likened it to finding his own child injured. Carroll and Big Bird are truly one.
Another one that's also somewhat of a tearjerker. Spinney had a very frosty relationship with director-writer-executive producer Jon Stone, with Stone frequently yelling at Spinney for not getting takes right or some other mistakes made. In one very nasty instance of Stone snapping at Spinney, cast member Emilio Delgado (Luis) angrily stormed into the control room and gave Stone a very vocal and very confrontational "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Delgado later admitted he could have lost his job for this confrontation, but did it anyway, because, in his mind, "Luis is very protective of Big Bird."
Shortly after announcing her retirement, Sonia Manzano (Maria) appeared onNPR's Ask Me Another and talked fondly about her time on Sesame Street and her interactions with fans of all ages. Later in the show, she played a quiz game against Emilio Delgado (Luis), and they concluded their appearance by singing "Hola," a song they'd sung together on Sesame Street (this time with Jonathan Coulton providing guitar accompaniment). You can't really tell by listening to AMA, but the misty-eyed live audience there that night gave them a standing ovation.
An interview conducted by fansite The Muppet Mindset with performer John Tartaglia note A longtime Sesame puppeteer who's most famous outside of the show as Pinocchio in the Broadway version of Shrek, the title character of the Playhouse Disney series Johnny and the Sprites, and the originator of Rod and Princeton in Avenue Q. has this little passage to melt your heart. To give a little background, Richard Hunt note Scooter, Janice, and Statler on The Muppet Show, Junior Gorg on Fraggle Rock, a slew of minor Muppets on Sesame Street, and, outside of the Muppets, the Dukes' stockbroker in Trading Places is his idol:
A few years ago, an award was created called the Richard Hunt spirit awardĖitís an award given by the cast and crew at our wrap party to
someone that everyone feels continues the humor and spirit of Richard on set. Richard was known for keeping everyone laughing and
motivated and in the grind of shooting a daily television series, sometimes thatís needed! Anyway, this season I was the recipient of it,
and as this was my first season back full time for many years, I was shocked and truly honored. I broke down and cried actually. Itís my
favorite award Iíve ever received above all others. I really mean that.