- Spongebob's unconditional admiration and adoration of Squidward is either this or just really weird.
- Pretty much any time we see Spongebob and Patrick as babies or little kids. They're sooo cute!
- It's a staple of kid's shows for the protagonist to be annoyed with their parents. Not Spongebob. His parents are cute as a button and he's always excited to see them, and always calls them to tell them about his life and accomplishments.
- In return, Spongebob's parents adore him and even offer him a place to stay when he loses his home.
- Spongebob is a terrible driver and fails his driving test every year, but he loves his driving teacher Mrs. Puff, has nothing but admiration for her, and is always happy to see her.
- Even throughout the controversial episode, "Demolition Doofus."
- "Naughty Nautical Neighbors." After Squidward sabotages Spongebob and Patrick's friendship, the two then try to make HIM their new best friend, resulting in all sorts of chaos. Squidward finally decides to get them back together, so he stages a dinner between them and it turns into a competition between Spongebob and Patrick to see who can get more soda from Squidward. Naturally, Squidward soon runs out of soda, so he tells the two to sit tight and leaves to get more. By this point, SpongeBob and Patrick have become inflated with the soda bubbles and hiccup some out. They become so amused with this that their friendship is renewed, much to Squidward's relief—-and horror, for the bubbles destroyed his house.
- What starts the bubble avalanche is Spongebob making Patrick chuckle with one of his hiccups, leading them to both burst out laughing. Even in a heated feud, the two still make each other smile.
- In "Opposite Day," Sponge and Pat throw Squidward an impromptu surprise birthday party, complete with balloons, singing, cake, dancing, confetti, noisemakers, pin-the-tail-on-the-seahorse, and presents. (It wasn't actually Squidward's birthday, but it's the thought that counts.)
- In the same episode, Spongebob and Patrick's opposite dialogue near the end translates to "Happy Opposite Day, Squidward! We love you!"
- A classic example: "Pizza Delivery." After going through hell and back trying to deliver pizza to the customer, the customer demands his drink, which he didn't even order in the first place!. Spongebob then goes all-Woobie and sobs miserably, while Squidward, who we all know is a JerkAss through and through, takes the box and marches right up to the customer. This exchange occurs:
Tom: Another one? Look, I told your little friend I ain't paying for that!Squidward: Well, this one's on the HOUSE! *shoves pizza in Tom's face*SpongeBob: *sniveling* Did he change his mind?Squidward: (smiling) He sure did. Ate the whole thing in one bite.SpongeBob: *stops crying* No drink?Squidward: Nah. Now take me home.
- Squidward saving Spongebob from getting hit by a truck.
- Spongebob's sheer dedication to getting the pizza to the customer. He really cares about making customers happy. He even says "Congratulations!" when he delivers it.
- Even the way Squidward tenderly says "Sponge? ...Sponge?" as Spongebob cries is really sweet. In return, throughout the episode, Spongebob also refers to him as "Squid".
- Note that he actually tells Spongebob it's okay after he bursts into tears. He's been put through so much abuse and spent the whole trip venting his anger out on Spongebob, but when he finally breaks down when it proved all for nothing, Squidward gently tries to assure him it's no big deal.
- In "Hall Monitor," an ecstatic Spongebob, much to Mrs. Puff's chagrin, is assigned the position of "hall monitor." When she tries to hand him the uniform, he happily declines and says that he has to give a speech first. After a long, drawn-out speech expressing his gratitude and his anticipation of the title, he declares that he will "put on this hat and uniform as a symbol of my authority," before getting interrupted by the bell signaling the end of the school day. Everyone leaves, and Mrs. Puff says that he overdid it on the speech again. Spongebob sadly hands Puff back the uniform and begins to walk home, only for Puff to hand him the uniform and tell him that he can at least wear it for the rest of the day. Spongebob is overjoyed.
Spongebob: Baaaa dee dee-dee-dee-dah, the hall! Baaaah dee dee-dee-dee, monitor!
- There's something inherently cute about Spongebob's enthusiasm for his position as hall monitor in the episode "Hall Monitor," especially as he's chipperly singing to himself as he's "on patrol."
- "Home Sweet Pineapple." Nematodes destroy SpongeBob's house, rendering him homeless. In order to avoid leaving Bikini Bottom and moving back in with his parents, SpongeBob and Patrick try to make him a new home. All attempts fail miserably. Having no choice, SpongeBob first takes a pebble (the only remnant of SpongeBob's destroyed home) and buries it. He sheds a tear on it, and prepares to leave. Squidward, happy that SpongeBob is leaving, starts dancing on where SpongeBob's house used to be. However, we soon learn that the pebble was actually a seed, and the tear SpongeBob shed provided its water, allowing it to grow into a new pineapple and eliminating SpongeBob's need to leave. On top of Squidward .
- Squidward deserved it for being such a jerk in that episode.
- In "Culture Shock," Squidward mentions to Mr Krabs that the talent show would bring in a lot of money, as well as make Pearl a star. Mr Krabs, who, as we all know, is obsessed with money, is more happy at the idea of his daughter becoming a star.
- Spongebob's first suggestion for a performance. He blows a bubble in the shape of a large hippo. He and the hippo produce top hats and canes and do a cute little jig, which ends when they shuffle and Spongebob say "Ta-daaa!" Also, Spongebob's parents in the episode. This episode has a lot of cute Sponge moments.
- In "F.U.N," Spongebob trying to be Plankton's friend by attempting to give him a pep talk, then spending a whole day playing with him and doing fun things together. All because Sponge is such a nice dude.
Plankton: (sobbing) You don't know what it's like to be a loser!Spongebob: (patting him on the back) Awww, cheer up, Plankton. I think you're a winner.
Spongebob: Wooow, a magic shop! Are you a magician? One time, I saw a magician, and he did this thing, and... and then he said, "If you believe in yourself, and with a tiny pinch of magic, all your dreams can come true!"
- Spongebob has a ton of Simple-Minded Wisdom moments, including the classic "Fun Song" courtesy of storyboard director and writer Sherm Cohen, and this line:
Spongebob: Fun is when you... it's kind of like a... sort of like a... what is fun? Here- let me spell it out for you! (singing) "F" is for friends who do stuff together! "U" is for you and me! "N" is for anywhere at any time at all, down here in the deep blue sea!Plankton: F is for fire that burns down the whole town, U is for uranium... BOMBS! N is for no survivors WHEN YOU-Spongebob: Plankton! Here, let me show you. (singing) F is for friends who do stuff-Plankton!: Never! That's completely idiotic.Spongebob: Here, let me help! (holding Plankton, making him dance) F is for friends who do stuff together, U is for you and me, TRY IT!Plankton: (singing) N is for anywhere at any time at all!Chorus: Down here in the deep blue sea!Plankton: I don't understand. I feel all... tingly inside.... Can we stop?Spongebob: No, that's how you're supposed to feel!Plankton: Well I like it! Let's do it again!Spongebob: Okay!Both: F is for frolic through all the flowers, U is for ukulele, N is for nosepicking, chewing gum and sandlicking, here with my best buddy! Hahahahahahahaha!
- Really, the whole episode, considering that the plot is just Spongebob trying to be friends with Plankton.
Spongebob: I bet if he had just one friend, he wouldn't be such a meanie.
- This line:
- In "Texas," the Texas-themed party that SpongeBob and Patrick arrange for Sandy after hearing her pine for her home.
- In "Valentine's Day," SpongeBob gives a personalized Valentine's gift to everyone in Bikini Bottom, even a dejected looking Plankton.
- In "Walking Small," Spongebob realizing how much of a jerk he's been, and making everyone's day happy again. Especially when he cleans off the little girl's ice cream with "butterfly kisses" and gives it back to her, and she beams.
- Spongebob in general in this episode was just adorable, even the way he eats ice cream and "steps on the beach" is endearing somehow.
- Basically any time Mr Krabs is nice to Spongebob in season 1. Starting in season 2, Mr Krabs became more callous and mean-spirited. Because of this, it's rather sweet to watch an episode like Squeaky Boots, where he's trying to comfort a crying Spongebob after the little yellow guy "lost" the boots, or Suds, where Mr Krabs is actually concerned about Spongebob when he's sick, and sends him home to get some rest. (In later seasons he really doesn't seem to care for the well-being of his employees.)
- In "Fools in April," Spongebob fools Gary into thinking that they're becoming peasants and have to eat clam shells. Gary starts crying, and Spongebob says, "April fools! Here you go, pal!" as he gives back Gary's food bowl.
Squidward: All right, all right! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I admit it, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you, in fact, I like you! I like living next door, I like your foghorn alarm in the morning and your high-pitched giggling at night!
- SpongeBob giving his (somehow alive) fake tongue a hug.
- When Squidward is upset by the prank Sponge pulled on him, Spongebob apologizes and tells him that he'll leave alone, because "there's plenty of other willing participants."
- Squidward apologizing for being an ass, and saying, with heart-wrenching sincerity, that he likes Spongebob and everything about him:
Spongebob: What would we do without Squidward?
- This line:
- Sandy gets credit for jumping in to defend Spongebob when he gets fired for his excessive karate-ness in "Karate Choppers." Especially considering they only met like a few episodes ago.
- SpongeBob was just so adorable in this episode. His "karate dance", his reaction to the hot sauce threat and telling Sandy that victory is hers, him and Sandy at the park, and the ending were cute.
- Spongebob's innocent, one-sided crush on Sandy, which is a bit more prevalent in season one than in other seasons. He even brings her flowers at a few points.
- Pickles has one for Mr. Krabs, who acts concerned towards Spongebob when he gets stressed at work. Also a minor one for Spongebob himself at the end, who cheers for Squidward when no one else does.
- "Christmas Who?" Especially when Squidward dresses up as Santa and gives out his stuff to appease the people of Bikini Bottom.
- Also when Squidward begins to feel bad when SpongeBob gets depressed because he "ruined" Christmas.
- At the end of the episode, where SpongeBob gives Squidward a handmade wooden clarinet.
- "Thank you, Santa...for bringing Christmas to Bikini Bottom!" "I didn't bring Christmas to Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob. You did." Keep in mind that this is Squidward saying this.
- And then Spongebob glomps Squidward so enthusiastically that a heart appears.
- SpongeBob gives Squidward a wooden clarinet, because he didn't want him to feel left out. Squidward even sheds a tear afterwards.
- Squidward's little smile when Spongebob hugs him is heart-meltingly sweet.
- In "No Free Rides," Spongebob and his parents surprise Mrs. Puff with a huge cake when (they all thought) that Spongebob had finally passed his driving test. They were all so grateful for not giving up on Spongie.
- In that same episode, Spongebob's parents give him a new boatmobile as a present. Spongebob is so overjoyed that he actually faints. Later in the episode, Spongebob's mom tucks him into bed and tells him that he can drive his new boat in the morning.
- The best friends forever ring.
- "Band Geeks." You know what scene we're talking about. There's a reason this episode is universally regarded as one of the, if not THE, best episodes of the series.
- Honorable mention to SpongeBob's Rousing Speech to the dysfunctional band. It shows how much SpongeBob truly cares for Squidward.
- A comparatively less impressive moment, but pay attention to the group shot of everyone arguing just before the big fight. Patrick's defending his friend by fighting with the lady who just senselessly called SpongeBob a "talking cheese".
- SpongeBob's "eager" face (and dance). It looks cute in its own right, and it's even more heartwarming to look at once you consider what happens afterward. He was excited because he knew very well that they were going to make Squidward proud.
- In "Grandma's Kisses," after SpongeBob's temper tantrum, his grandmother tells him that he doesn't need to be a baby to get his grandma's love, and that no matter how old he is, he will always be her baby boy. It's a sweet moment, even if it's somewhat downplayed by Squidward and the Krusty Krab customers laughing at them through the window at the end.
- In "Welcome to the Chum Bucket", after losing a bet with Plankton, Mr. Krabs sends Spongebob to the Chum Bucket. The song they sing afterwards, titled "This Grill is not a Home" is very heartwarming, and shows the Spongebob and Mr. Krabs really do need each other.
Spongebob: A stove is a stove, no matter where you go.Mr. Krabs: A patty is a patty, that's what I say...Spongebob: A grill is a grill, this is surely so-oo...Mr. Krabs: And fries should be fries, either way..Spongebob: But this grill is not a home, this is not the stove I know...Mr. Krabs: I will trade it all away, if you came back to stay!Both: This kitchen's not the same without you!Mr. Krabs: It's just a greasy spoon.Spongebob: Just a greasy spoon...Both: Without you....
- Squidward is very caring for Spongebob in "Graveyard Shift," and when he thinks he's going to die, he says he's always been OK with him. Then Spongebob goes off topic.
- It's pretty telling that, when Squidward believes that he and Spongebob are going to be killed, he actually picks up Spongebob and hugs him close, as if attempting to protect him. And this is coming from the guy who normally hates when Spongebob hugs him.
- Prior to SpongeBob's Squirrel Jokes making everyone legitimately make fun of Sandy, we get this exchange backstage after SpongeBob's first show using them.
SpongeBob: Oh hey, Sandy!Sandy: Howdy, SpongeBob.SpongeBob: Did you enjoy the show?Sandy: Well, ac-actually SpongeBob, no. Those jokes are hurtful and you know it.SpongeBob: Come on Sandy, I was just joking. I mean, everybody knows that you're the smartest one in Bikini Bottom.Sandy: Well, I can't argue with that.SpongeBob: We all gotta laugh at ourselves once in a while. I do it all the time! (Holds up a mirror and laughs excessively into it. Sandy chuckles)Sandy: You're right, SpongeBob. I was being a little too sensitive. (Both hug) No hard feelings.
- At the beginning of "Sailor Mouth," Spongebob performs two nice gestures towards Squidward. The first is standing up for him when he thinks Mr. Krabs called him garbage (he was referring to the bag Squidward was holding), and the second is when Spongebob sees that someone wrote "Squidward smells" on the dumpster, and adds the word "good" to the end, turning an insult into a compliment.
- Keep in mind he merely thought the quote hadn't been finished. He can't comprehend the idea that someone could say something nasty about Squidward.
- This exchange in Life of Crime.
Patrick: "And we owe it all to you!"Spongebob: "What are you talking about? Taking the balloon was your evil plan!"Patrick: "Naw, I'm nothing but a lot of talk! You're the one with the sticky fingers!"Spongebob: (blushing) "Aww, Patrick! You're the best bad influence ever!"Patrick: "You too!"(they both hug)
- Just how damn close Sandy is to Spongebob in "Prehibernation Week". The idea she'll be asleep for months without him breaks her heart and thus Spongebob agrees to spend the remaining time with her. When she overdoes this and Spongebob tries to hide, she begins a frantic search party for him. Crazy, yes, but endearing also.
- The ending to "The Smoking Peanut" where Spongebob and Patrick are proved innocent and Clamu is reunited with it's pearl, in actuality an egg, which hatches into an affectionate baby clam. As the two embrace, Clamu, no longer sobbing, makes a visible smile.
- The majority of "Dying For Pie," in which Squidward accidentally gives SpongeBob a pie-shaped bomb, which will explode at sunset, so Squidward tries to give SpongeBob the best day of his life.
- "Mermaidman and Barnacleboy V." Barnacle Boy gets fed up with how Mermaid Man treats him like a sidekick and decides to join Man Ray and the Dirty Bubble, and form EVIL. Later on, Mermaid Man asks SpongeBob, Sandy, Patrick, and Squidward to help him save the world and defeat EVIL, by putting on the costumes of the original IJLSA, and in the process, gain each costume's superpowers. The two sides engage battle with EVIL, who end up winning. The ending (and the heartwarming) starts when Barnacle Boy confronts Mermaid Man, and demands three things: one, to be treated like a superhero and not a sidekick; two, to be called Barnacle Man; and three, to get an adult-sized Krabby Patty. The demands being used to make amends is enough, but the clincher comes in the next scene:
Barnacle Boy: (extends a hand) Need a hand...superpal?(Both Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy have tears in their eyes. They grab hands, and a card that says "FRIEND" pops up.)Mermaid Man: Good to have you back on the side of justice, Kyle. Let's go get you that Krabby Patty.
- A great majority of "Can You Spare A Dime?" qualifies. When Squidward becomes homeless and desperate, Spongebob unhesitatingly brings Squiddy into his house and lets him sleep in his own bed, tenderly kisses him goodnight, makes him breakfast in bed, feeds him, and gives him massages. D'aaaaw... Well, until Squidward turns into a lazy jerk and starts taking advantage of him, that is.
- Near the beginning of the episode, when Squidward throws down his hat and storms out of the restaurant, Spongebob follows him, almost completely drops the goofy/happy act, and tries to persuade him as seriously as he can to come back to work- in a lower, solemn voice we don't hear him use often. A very genuine moment.
- At the end of "The Great Snail Race," Patrick's pet rock somehow wins the race. In a surprising display of thoughtfulness, Patrick has the trophy engraved to Squidward instead, knowing how much he wanted to win. Squidward is genuinely touched. The fact that this time, Squidward actually just laughed it off after his name was misspelled on the engraving makes it better.
- The entire ending of that episode; first, Spongebob has a Heel Realization when Gary gets severely injured on the track and apologizes to him tearfully. Then, Snellie gives up the race to help Gary. And finally, when Rocky wins, Patrick is so happy that he laughs until he cries.
- The fact that Patrick, in contrast with Squidward and Spongebob, is happy to let Rocky go when he feels like it rather than telling him to win.
- In "Born Again Krabs," Mr. Krabs trades Spongebob to the Flying Dutchman for 62 cents. Squidward, to his own surprise, is indignant.
Squidward: Mr. Krabs, I can't believe I'm saying this, but how could you trade Spongebob for sixty-two cents?!Mr. Krabs: You think I could've gotten more?
- Seeing all of SpongeBob's friends in "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler" celebrating his perfect on-time percentage at work, and later his birthday, is heartwarming enough, but then you see characters like Squidward and Plankton got invited too. Neither of them show ANY visible signs of hesitance whatsoever. Now, that's a REAL surprise.
- The part when Spongebob and Patrick are dying from dehydration under a lamp, lamenting that they never got to Shell City, or retrieved King Neptune's crown. Suddenly, they see a sign that reads "Shell City" and see the crown not too far away from them. Overjoyed that they actually reached Shell City, they begin to sing their favorite song, "I'm a Goofy Goober," until they dry up completely. The cinema-going pirates are by now in bits. However, a single tear made up of two they each shed trickles down the wire, short-circuiting the lamp's socket. This creates a puff of smoke that sets of the water systems and revives them. This triggers tumultuous applause from the entire audience. What makes the scene even more effective is that Spongebob and Patrick have all along been trying to prove they were men, not kids. However, if they hadn't been so emotional, they would've died.
Spongebob: I've been through a lot in the last six days, five minutes, twenty-seven-and-a-half seconds, and if I've learned anything during that time, it's that you are who you are. And no amount of mermaid magic, or managerial promotion, or some other third thing can make me any more than what I really am inside: a kid. But that's okay! Because I did all the things they said a kid couldn't do! I made it to Shell City, and I beat the cyclops, and I rode the Hasselhoff, and I brought the crown BACK! So, yeah, I'm a kid! And I'm also a goofball, and a wingnut, and a Knucklehead McSpazatron! But most of all, I'm... I'm... I'm... I'm a Goofy Goober! [rock music starts]
- Spongebob's speech at the end:
- Really, the whole movie is Heartwarming in Hindsight if you were a kid when it came out, and you watch it again as an adult. The message of the whole film is that just because you're an adult, doesn't mean that you have to stop being a kid. The message, for kids, is also "just because you're a kid, doesn't mean you can't be the hero." For the record, Spongebob was in his twenties when the film came out, so the message is inspiring to both kids and adults!
- Gary and SpongeBob's reunion at the end of "Have You Seen This Snail?"
Patrick: Just let it out, buddy. That's right.
- Before then, Patrick genuinely comforting Spongebob during his grief. They're sitting on Spongebob's couch and Pat has his arm around a crying Sponge's shoulders. No comic relief, no idiocy, just Patrick giving his friend a shoulder to cry on, it's really sweet:
- Spongebob and Patrick giving Squidward a "Sorry For Bugging You So Much" cake in "Good Neighbors."
- Unlike the same scene in "Squidville," the scene is not diminished by Patrick shoving the cake in his pants.
- In "Funny Pants," Squidward blows out his laugh box and he's hospitalized, and has to undergo surgery. When he wakes up, he's informed that his laugh box had to be cut out, due to it being shriveled. The doctor informs Squidward that he'll still be able to laugh, because someone donated part of their laugh box to him. Squidward looks around the room at the guests in his hospital room, from Sandy, Patrick, Mr Krabs, who all tell him that they weren't the donors. Then the camera pans over to Spongebob, who just smiles sweetly and tugs down his shirt, to reveal two small bandages from his surgery.
- Made even more heartwarming when you realize that Squidward kind of treated Spongebob like garbage throughout the whole episode. Spongebob is just that nice.
- The ending of "Best Frenemies." Especially after seeing Mr. Krabs and Plankton's past in season five's "Friend or Foe."
- The second-to-last scene in "New Leaf" where Mr. Krabs and Plankton spend the day at a carnival, even though the final scene turned out to be a trick Plankton pulled throughout the whole episode.
- Brief moment, but in Krusty Towers, Squidward genuinely doesn't seem to mind letting Spongebob and Patrick share his pool. Considering his normal nature, that's pretty surprising.
- At the end of Patrick Smartpants, we learn that the reason Patrick suddenly became so smart after getting his head knocked off was because he put brain coral on instead of his actual head. He and SpongeBob find his real head, and we get this moving exchange right before he puts it back on.
SpongeBob: Are you sure you want to give up being smart and sophisticated to be my friend again?Patrick: Knowledge can never replace friendship. I would rather be an idiot!SpongeBob: Not just an idiot, you're also my pal!
- In Best Day Ever, as much as Squidward despises Spongebob most of the time, it's nice that Squidward put Spongebob on the VIP list during the former's concert.
- The ending of The Pink Purloiner. Throughout the episode, Spongebob thinks Patrick stole his jellyfishing net. It's revealed that Patrick made Spongebob a new net, and it turns out Spongebob left his on the bus. When the bus driver returns it, Spongebob gives it to Patrick. It's heartmeltingly sweet.
Patrick: Wanna go Jellyfishing? I just got a new net!Spongebob: So did I! My best friend made it for me!
- Remember in "Rule of Dumb" when Patrick goes mad with power, and he has that altercation with his reflection, and he realizes what he's done, and tries so desperately to get the crown away? Doubles with Tear Jerker once you think of what a prick he's become.
- In "The Two Faces of Squidward," Spongebob straight-up tells Squidward "I love you," and hugs him! D'aaaaaw!
- Squidward doesn't even mind, either- he just smiles!
- "A Flea in her Dome" opens with Spongebob and Patrick throwing Sandy a welcome home party when she comes back from her convention in Texas.
- The song from "Truth or Square" about the Krusty Krab.
- The wedding too, even if it was just a play. Spongebob looks so happy.
- Mr. Krabs' grandfather still loving him despite the fact he lied about being a pirate in "Grandpappy the Pirate."
- "Porous Pockets" has SpongeBob gain an enormous amount of cash, and shares it generously with his friends and complete strangers (who blatantly milk it). Patrick, for once gaining the Smart Ball, attempts to warn him he'll lose everything at this rate, though by this time SpongeBob has let the popularity go to his head and ignores him. When the money (and as a result his new "friends") inevitably vanishes, Patrick near instantly forgives him and lets him play with his new volleyball (in fact a huge diamond).
- Before then, the montage of Sponge and Pat having fun at the mall. They don't buy anything (except at the end, when they spend a bunch on a lifetime's supply of strawberry gum,) and they just spend the montage goofing around and playing.
- Spongebob and Patrick making it up to their titular neighbor in "Giant Squidward" by making him a giant clarinet, showing how bad they feel sometimes for pestering him. Shame it doesn't last long.
- "Kracked Krabs." After Mr. Krabs loses the cheapest crab award, SpongeBob helps him get it back and they both show semblances of their old personalities. They lose it again but they don't care because they still love each other.
- The whole scene where they "exaggerate" things is both this and a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- In "Spongebob's Last Stand," Patrick and Sponge fight tooth-and-nail to save Jellyfish Fields from being turned into a highway.
- Later, when his plans are unsuccessful, he faints with grief, and Squidward catches him and holds him gently until he comes to.
- After that, everyone teams up with him to save Jellyfish Fields. Also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- In "A Day Without Tears," Squidward makes a bet with Spongebob that Spongie can't go a day without crying. If Squidward wins, then he'll make Spongebob do his yard work and cleaning. Spongebob claims that if he wins, then Squidward will come over to his house for a slumber party. Spongebob wins the bet, and the episode wins with Spongebob and Squiddie on Sponge's couch- Squidward is sobbing in despair and Spongebob is gently hugging him, telling him to cry it out. It was a really odd combination of funny and genuinely sweet, on Spongebob's part.
Spongebob: (with big sparkly eyes) Awww! He looks like a little angel! (eyes get bigger and sparklier)
- Spongebob, ever the sentimentalist, looks at an utterly gorgeous sunset and is visibly welling up with tears because it's so beautiful. Later, he does the same thing when he sees how cute Gary looks when he's asleep. Spongebob, you're so cute!!
- It was also interesting to see what Spongebob would do if Squidward came over to his house uninvited. When Spongebob does this to Squidward, it's infuriating, but when Squiddie follows Spongebob home, Spongebob is a gracious host, serving him drinks and making him feel welcome.
- In the episode, Spongebob isn't just crying because of his own misfortunes. He also begins to cry when he hears about the misfortunes of ''other people'', and animals. Just shows how much of a sweet, tender little guy he is.
- In "Enchanted Tiki Dreams," SpongeBob and Patrick have one of those moments where they realize how miserable they've made Squidward and vow to make it up to him. They spend the entire night creating a paradise for him and making sure he has a wonderful time. Then, even after it all falls apart, they help him continue to relax. After all the crap he has been put through as the series goes on, it is nice to see him actually WIN for a change.
- Spongebob saving Gary from Mr. Krabs in "The Scent of Money." After seeing Spongebob as a Yes-Man to Mr. Krabs, who got worse and worse each season, this is refreshing to weary fans. It also redeems him for his shocking behavior towards Gary in "A Pal for Gary."
- The end of "Love That Squid," where Squidward, after being designated to being a luckless Chew Toy for the bulk of the show, outright succeeds in getting a date with a girl. If that isn't the writers deciding to give Squidward a Pet the Dog moment, who knows what is?
- A great majority of the episode, actually. Spongebob spends the whole episode trying to help Squidward get ready for his date, which was pretty nice of him, and even Squidward appreciates the gesture. At the end, Squidward finaly snaps at Spongebob's weird, annoying ways, and blows up at him. Squid's date sees, and Squidward dejectedly assumes that the gal no longer likes him. But she said, with admiration, that she appreciates a man who "doesn't suffer fools," and they proceed to go on their date.
- As awful as "A Pal For Gary" is, it does have one moment of heartwarming: when Spongebob is nearly eaten by Puffy Fluffy, Gary's first response is to immediately come to his rescue, even after all the crap Spongebob put him through during the episode. Now THAT'S Undying Loyalty.
- Much of "Sponge-Cano!" counts, and it mostly has to do with Spongebob's love for Squidward. He tries to help Squidward, volunteers to take his place as a sacrifice to the volcano, saves him from falling into the lava, and then gives him a place to stay when he's lost his house. The episode ends with the two of them sharing Spongebob's bed, looking all cozy. Squidward is obviously annoyed at Spongebob gently teasing him, but it's still so damn cute to see how much Spongebob cares for his friend- especially despite all of the mean crap Squiddie does to him.
- There was something oddly genuine about this moment from "The Great Patty Caper" on Patrick's part, (with Pat acting like a kindly big brother,) because of the nonchalant way he avoided making Spongebob feel bad about it:
Spongebob: The key! Patrick! Where in the ocean's depth did you find it?Patrick: I found it when I was cleaning your shorts from your little "accident" earlier.Spongebob: Well, that is great news.Patrick: (yawns) Anyways, I'm gonna hit the sack. I'm pooped. I'm sure you can relate.Spongebob: Uh, yeah, me, too. (bashful laughter)
- Near the end of "Restraining Spongebob," Patrick and Squidward are in a physical fight, and Spongebob must choose between following the restraining order, or stopping his two best friends from beating them up. He chooses to pull them apart, and then Squidward asks for the restraining order. No, the episode does not take the route "A Pal For Gary" did. Instead, Squidward seems grateful that the yellow sponge managed to get Patrick off his chest, and Spongebob is taken off the restraining order. The whole thing doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- The end of "Free Samples" with Mr. Krabs letting SpongeBob make money angels with him in the big pile of money. Made more nice when you consider how Mr. Krabs acted in the past few seasons.
- Karen forgiving Plankton at the end of "Karen 2.0." After the fight, Karen loses all of her power and is deactivated - and Plankton, instead of going for the formula, removes the battery from Karen 2 and uses it to restore his wife. If that doesn't prove he loves his wife, nothing does.
- In "Treats!" Spongebob sleeps next to the pet store to get a can of Gary's beloved Snail Bites as soon as they open. Then, when it turns that they're all out, he goes on a world-wide search for the last few cans of Snail Bites just so Gary can be happy. After watching the infamous "A Pal for Gary," it's refreshing to see their loving relationship restored.
- The second plot of the episode involves Spongebob trying to overcome his Extreme Doormat ways by saying "no" to Gary. Because he loves Gary so much, he's having trouble telling Gary "No," so Patrick gives him some much-needed advice and tells him to just say it. Spongebob sits down near Gary and has a little talk with him, and actually does say "no," gently but firmly. The scene plays out suspensefully, and we have no idea what Gary's reaction will be. But Gary just calmly wanders off, and Spongebob is relieved.
- Unlike season 1's "Walking Small," this is an episode where someone tells Spongebob how to assert himself correctly while still being nice, and it works. Kind of meta, but throughout the majority of the show, Spongebob has a problem of being a doormat to other people and keeping his frustration bottled up until he ends up being a jerk. In this episode it appears that he's actually learned something. Good for you, Spongie!
- In the season finale, "Hello Bikini Bottom": the "Giving Up" duet between Spongebob and Squidward, where SpongeBob tells Squidward that they can be successful on tour and Squidward seems to like him. The Bikini Bottomites who hear it end up loving it.
- In a meta example, this was Aaron Springer's final episode before he moved on to Gravity Falls. Springer had a turbulent career in Season 5-7, but he also wrote greats like Karate Choppers, Band Geeks, and more recently Treats!. Once you realize that he had been with Spongebob since Season 1 (13 years) and this heartwarming episode is his finale, it qualifies as a Tear Jerker.
- In a bizarre way, Squidward finally finding a happy memory in "Are You Happy Now?"—chainsawing every Paper Mache Spongebob in sight.
Spongebob: *dreamy sigh* He's so handsome.
- In "Frozen Face-Off", Spongebob decides to let everyone ride on his sled despite it being a race. Everyone (even Mr. Krabs and Sandy) also hugs Squidward when he gets un-frozen, and they go back to save him when he gets left behind.
- Plankton getting a happy ending with his new pet amoeba Spot in "Plankton's Pet." After all the failure he went through, it seems that even Plankton deserves a special reward.
- SQUIDWARD of all people saving Spongebob and even admitting to him how much the Krusty Krab needs him in Spongebob, You're Fired! After everything he's put him through, too! Squidward, dude, you've won me back my heart.
- Also, Gary getting slightly un-Flanderized, and caring for Spongebob.
Spongebob: What's that, Gary? You need me? Oh, the unconditional love of a pet. ... Oh, I'm sorry. Here I am wallowing in my own misery when it's past your dinner time.
- Simultaneously, Spongebob feeding Gary despite being completely broken up about being fired.
- Which is then later one upped when, seeing that they are out of snail food, he proceeds to make Gary some from scratch. It's a long, elaborate scene in which he gets out a bunch of fresh vegetables and cooks them, blends them, and then puts them in a tin can, even putting a label on the can. He opens the can with a can opener and pours the food in Gary's bowl. Gary loves the food, which leads to Spongebob looking happy for the first time in the episode, prompting him to say, "What's that, Gary? You say this is the best food you've ever tasted?"
- Later, a bunch of people come into Spongebob's house and they all like the food, too, and Spongebob feels appreciated as a cook again.
- In the beginning, when Spongebob is sitting inside his house crying because he lost his job, Patrick looks into his window... and starts crying, too. Spongebob walks over to the window and asks him why he's crying, and Patrick says that he was crying because Spongebob was crying, and it "made him sad." Awww...
- Also, Gary getting slightly un-Flanderized, and caring for Spongebob.
- In "Squirrel Record", Spongebob telling Sandy he wants her to stop trying to break dangerous records because he doesn't want to lose her.
- A small moment from "Yeti Krabs," when Spongebob says that he and Squidward "are as close as brothers!" A cute statement, and possibly a callback to his "We're like brothers... only closer" line from the season 3 episode "Can You Spare A Dime."
- In "Tutor Sauce" Pearl asks Mr. Krabs for some money and he actually gives her some without any reluctance at all. It's a small thing, but with how greedy he's been in the past seasons, this is both surprising and sweet.
- Patrick's interactions with the kid with the broken foot in "What's Eating Patrick?" are adorable, especially when Patrick says that he is the one motivating him to win the competition. It's relatable to anyone who's met their longtime hero who's especially passionate about their fans. It's even more heartwarming when you consider the way Patrick had acted in past seasons.
- In "The Sewers of Bikini Bottom", Squidward ends up joining Spongebob in flushing stuff down the toilet and clearly has fun. It's actually quite touching to see Squidward join in on SpongeBob's antics instead of berating him for them.
- The end of the song "Where's Gary" (on the Best Day Ever album) in which Spongebob and Gary are reunited in the end.
- Several evangelical Christian groups in America criticized the show for advocating homosexuality after a music video featuring SpongeBob was supported by the We Are Family Foundation (coincidence), an organization dedicated to mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation of cultural diversity - which shares its name with a similar organization that supports gay rights. Although Stephen J. Hillenburg said SpongeBob was asexual, John H. Thomas, the United Church of Christ's general minister and president, said the United Church would welcome SpongeBob into their ministry:
"Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we."
- Ernest Borgnine, who has voiced Mermaid Man since season one, passed away in 2012. What did Nick do? They ran a completely un-advertised Mermaid Man marathon, with every episode from the original "Mermaid Man" to the final "Mermaid Man Begins," in his honor.
- Additionally, the second Spongebob movie, Sponge Out of Water had the superhero gimmick as a homage to Borgnine's work as Mermaid Man. The film is even dedicated to Borgnine at the end of the credits.
- After David Bowie's death, Nickelodeon put up a clip of his guest appearance in "Atlantis Squarepantis" on the front of the Spongebob homepage.
- In the book "Camp Spongebob," the little flashbacks of kid Spongebob spending summer time with his grandma- she teaches him how to knit sweaters and they make cookies together. They both look so happy!
- In the iOS/Android game for Sponge Out of Water, if you get a Game Over Spongebob has many different lines that he'll say in no particular order. One of these lines is him asking the player to tell Sandy that he loves her. It's just a really sweet thing to hear. Listen to it here.
- In the online game Dancin' Tentacles, the goal of the game is to play as Spongebob and protect Squidward from being hit by items in the crowd. It's oddly sweet, in a way, watching Squidward looking happy and dancing to his heart's content, without any idea that the crowd hates him or that Spongebob is trying to save him from being humiliated.