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Heartwarming / Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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  • Tiny hamsters eating tiny burritos, which was exactly as magical and uncomplicated as John said it would be. Doubly so, since it came after a comprehensive segment on the death penalty.
  • Near the end of the Miss America segment, he's disappointed that even with all their lying, they're still the largest provider of scholarships for women, so he gives several links to far less sexist organizations with far less money to provide. This would be nice enough, but viewers actually did what he told them to do, and raised $25,000 in donations for the Society of Women Engineers in two days.
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  • The Real Dogs Fake Paws Supreme Court.
  • The ending of the season one finale, where he and all the sketch characters (like the Prison puppets, the Gecko and Miss America) dance over the credits to the theme song.
  • During the "Salmon Cannon" sketch, the first and last people to get hit with flying fish are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, a nice shout-out to his old coworkers at The Daily Show.
  • On the 2/18/2015 show, after Jon Stewart announced his eventual retirement from The Daily Show, the ending card gave a respectful nod by showing a picture of Stewart as the last card, labeled Hostus Maximus (in comparison to Oliver's card in the opening of the credits, which reads Hostus Mostus).
  • On the 3/1/15 show, two days after the death of Leonard Nimoy, the credits ended with a Vulcan salute.
  • After reporting on how the New Hampshire legislature cruelly crushed the proposal of a class of fourth graders to have the red-tailed hawk declared state raptor, John declared the bird the official raptor of Last Week Tonight and had an actual hawk brought on the show, despite the fact that he was clearly terrified of it.
  • A small thing, but watch Edward Snowden's face as John shows him the video clips of people determinedly rejecting the notion of a "dick pic program". After seeing him become steadily more dejected as John points out the reality of his legacy (that he's all but forgotten, nobody's having the discussion he wanted) it's very heartwarming to see his smile grow larger with each incident of "Hell no, I don't think the government should be able to do that!"
    • In fact, its a very clear curve as his mood goes down, and down as nobody remembers him, suddenly John shows him the clip on dick pics, which confuses him, and then he slowly perks back up as he realized John was using that to help Snowden explain just what the government is doing to the average person by giving them a clear reference point, being any pictures of dicks that they may have sent online, in a way they will both understand and remember.
  • The segment on transgender rights, with the bonus of coming just a couple days after gay marriage was legalized across the whole country. In regards to the awkward questions posed to trangender people, such as which genitalia they have, John says "Whether they have the right genitalia is, medically speaking, none of your fucking business!"
  • The stories about how politicians are starting to dismantle mandatory minimum sentencing, and how Barack Obama has pardoned dozens of low-level offenders. Although there is still work to be done, seeing one of the pardoned, Jason Hernandez, crying Tears of Joy is a powerful sign of injustice being rectified.
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  • Setting up a televangelist church (exploiting the low standards for tax exemption and basically nonexistent oversight) which they're implying will send any donations they actually get to Doctors Without Borders.... and then getting so many donations that the show was having trouble processing the amount of money (and other things) they received.
  • The end of the segment about the Refugee crisis facing Europe, where they managed to get Alison Sweeney and James Scott from Days of Our Lives to appear in-character as Sami Brady and E.J. DiMera solely for Noujain Moustaffa's benefit, as she'd literally taught herself English by watching their show and felt sad that EJ had been killed off.
  • It's a relatively minor one, but the thought that John was actually willing to pay a $5,000 fine and/or spend six months in jail just so he could directly tell Canadians not to vote for the "evil" Stephen Harper is really quite touching. note 
  • After outlining the grim circumstances facing released prisoners, John reveals that one of the people he covered, Bilal Chatman, is a rare success story, and then Chatman himself appears for an interview. He reveals that he was reluctant to come on the show and reveal his criminal past to all his co-workers, but ultimately decided to do it to show anyone else who's in the same situation he was in that it is possible to rise above it and become the person you want to be.
    • During the interview, John acknowledges that the show had been inadvertently characterizing Bilal by his past. To help avert that, John asks Bilal to share three interesting things about himself that he would like others to know. John then stops Bilal after the latter reveals that he grows tomatoes, with John saying that he thinks that's far more interesting than Bilal makes it out to be. The segment ends with John dubbing his guest "Bilal the Tomato Grower" and the final shot of the episode is a clip showing Bilal tending to his plants.
  • John making a show of support for the people of Paris following the November 13 terrorist attacks, stating that "France is going to endure" and that the people responsible have no chance of winning a war of culture against France.
  • Despite Antonin Scalia being a favorite punching bag of John's, the show avoided making any jokes at Scalia's expense following his death for the sake of his grieving family and instead focused on his dedication to his job.
    • In the same episode, John was going to ignore a practically gift-wrapped story about a New Zealand politician who had a sex toy thrown in his face, feeling that the country had endured enough mockery from him, until the man himself asked that the show "get it over with".
  • Since a hard-hitting story about abortion isn't the way anyone should go to bed, John instead sends us off with a video showing a bucket full of sloths, followed by a sloth with a nightcap in the studio.
    • The final credits image for the episode shows Harper Lee, who'd died two days earlier.
  • In a tweet from 2013, Donald Trump accuses Jon Stewart of being ashamed of his heritage because he'd changed his last name from "Leibowitz" to "Stewart"note , and then denies making this accusation in 2015. Three years later, John Oliver hosts a segment about Trump which consists of him tearing into Trump's many, many lies. He ends it by pulling up Trump's real family name (Drumpf) and suggesting he go by it to honor his heritage.
  • Senator Lindsey Graham originally wanted the government to force Apple to unlock a terrorist's phone, but reconsidered his position after talking to tech experts and realizing that the situation wasn't as simple as he previously thought. After all of the numerous stories about corrupt politicians screwing the American people over, it is so refreshing to finally see one who can listen, learn, think of the consequences, and admit when he's wrong. This is especially notable since, as John points out, Graham is frequently an alarmist who rarely acknowledges such nuances.
  • John helping over nine thousand people with old medical debt totaling nearly fifteen million dollars by buying it all up at a pittance, and then forgiving it all in a single second.
  • Providing a cold open to the episode airing the same day as the Orlando massacre, where he focuses on the positive image of people lining up around the block to give blood for the victims.
  • After playing a clip of Khizr Khan's powerful speech at the DNC, John is completely silent once it ends, before saying it stirred up a level of emotion in him that he thought had been completely killed by this campaign season and thirty-nine years living as a British person.
  • The Season 3 finale: Despite the episode's devastation at Donald Trump's victory, one of the final things John does is urge people to take care of each other and suggests a bunch of causes and charities to donate to. (Ranging from saving proper journalism to global warming prevention and protecting refugees, Mexicans, the LGBT community and women's rights). It's horrific to acknowledge that the new President is going to hurt people rather than protect them, but John's call for everyone to stand together is touching.
    John: We need to stay here and fight. For the last eight years, we've had a president we could assume would generally stand up for the rights of all Americans. But that is going to change now. So we're going to have to actively stand up for one another.
  • John interviews the Dalai Lama, who has a level of peace after his strange, turbulent life that is simply awe-inspiring.
    Dalai Lama: Whatever they want to say, that's their freedom. I have no negative feeling. I just feel love, like that. I practice, you see, taking others' anger, suspicion, distrust, and give them patience, tolerance, compassion. I practice that.
  • The story on the Bolivian traffic zebras. It's such a relief to see John genuinely happy about what he's reporting on after the season so far.
    • The following week, the traffic zebras responded to the segment by inviting John to be a zebra for a day. Sadly, he can't, because he has to film the show. But you know what makes that better? You guessed it; zebras!
  • After Don Rickles died, the show's opening graphics has his picture, with the caption 'Roastus in Pace'.
  • When doing a story on vaccinations, John addresses how many parents have concerns about vaccinating infants, fearing the possible side effects. To counter this, John points out that he himself is a parent, complete with a picture of his own prematurely born son, and that he's going to do the best thing for his son, which means getting him all his vaccinations, despite his own worries. He then pleads with other parents to do the same.
  • When coal magnate Robert Murray sued John Oliver for libel, HBO stated that they were behind Oliver without a doubt. They care about their Adorkable British man.
  • John's speech at the end of the Season 5 premiere "Trump vs. The World," where he speaks as an immigrant who loves America. He asks the rest of the world not to judge the whole country on their president, pointing out all the wonderful things America has created. Yeah, he admits, America has a lot of problems — but it also has a whole lot going for it.
  • Their book about Marlon Bundo, the pet rabbit of Mike Pence. When they heard that Marlon, the only thing John likes about Pencenote , is getting his own children's book, they decided to write their own. It's an actual children's book about Bundo and an another boy rabbit falling in love; all revenue they make from it goes to LGBT support groups, the audio book is read by several Celebrity Voice Actors (including gay actors Jim Parsons and Jesse Tyler Ferguson), and to top it off, everyone in the audience got one for free. It can be bought from "". They also bought "", which redirects to the book's homepage.
    • After a few days, John's book proved to be more popular than Pence's and is among the best-selling books on Amazon, sitting at the no.1 spot by Wednesday while Pence's book is 15th. Also a Moment of Awesome.
    • Adding to the Heartwarming: Charlotte Pence, Mike's daughter and author of the Pence book, loves the LWT version, to the extent of supporting the charities and posting pictures of Bundo wearing the bowtie that is depicted in the LWT's book.
  • Towards the end of the video regarding Confederate statues, John Oliver proposes to southern towns to replace them with people from there that they can be unashamedly proud for, such as Robert Smalls, who was a slave who escaped, freed many others from slavery and went on to serve in congress, and Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman pilot, followed by a statue of an alligator Flipping the Bird, and a final combination of heartwarming and hilarity, the living, breathing Stephen Colbert himself for Charleston, South Carolina, where he lived for years.
  • In his episode about Public Shaming John points out just how cruel people were to Monica Lewinsky, including calling out Jay Leno for the lewd jokes he made about her on The Tonight Show, and then admitting that he himself fell into the same mistakes while on The Daily Show. He then reveals he did an interview with her. The entire thing is incredibly respectful, with John praising her for how she managed to go through hell that would break another person and come out the other side still a good person. He never cracks a joke at her expense and treats her with utter dignity, the two discussing her life and her work. Also a Moment of Awesome as many have called it one of the best interviews they've ever seen.
  • All the stories of how fans have supported injured and aging wrestlers in the WWE, one example being Jake "The Snake" Roberts having his crowdfunding campaign for his medical bills reach its goal in one night. John urges them to use their power and influence to cheer for better working conditions for wrestlers.
    • Also, on a meta perspective, the fact that John got some criticism for making fun of Roman Reigns, after John discussed how WWE's campaign to push his as a Face received negative crowd reactions, so soon after Reigns beat leukemia.
  • The Chiitan video (which was already a Breather Episode from most of the usual subject matter), they create their own mascot for the Japanese city of Susaki named Chiijohn after realizing their city mascot Shinjo-kun was lonely after the city distanced themselves from Chiitan. The result is an utterly adorable story of Chiijohn and Shinjo-kun becoming friends, with Chiijohn being unofficial, but owned by the city of Susaki enticing people to visit an obscure small city in Japan.
  • John opens up the dark segment of lethal injections with a video of a desert rain frog, a frog which squeaks like a squeaky toy when it's angry.
  • While the segment on Uganda's anti-gay laws is very dark overall, the local interview shown with Ugandan LGBT rights activist Pepe Julian Onziema is incredibly uplifting. He is nothing but polite, patient, compassionate and rational when faced with extremely hostile and ill-informed questions and accusations. This leads to John dubbing him "the Ugandan Gandhi, Ugandhi". John was so impressed he invited Pepe to come to the show to be interviewed, which he accepted.
  • After laying out the increasingly disappearing legal pathways to immigration, John describes how he had to push down Tears of Joy when his co-workers at The Daily Show presented him with his green card after years of worrying whether he'd be let back into America after returning home to update his passport.
  • In the segment on SLAPP lawsuits and call back to the lawsuit Bob Murray slapped HBO and LWT with, John also shines some light on other people who Bob Murray tried scaring in a similar way but got little to no media coverage.
    • While the musical number is mainly a glorious, hilarious, vulgar Take That! to Bob Murray for all the crap that he did, it's also heartwarming in a way that it calls him out on all of it on behalf of Murray's victims who couldn't.
  • The final episode of season 6 ends with John (Hejohn) writing to Shinjo-kun and Chiijohn, wishing he could see them and saying he is running low on hope. They rush to his aid, getting a bit sidetracked when people think they're asking to see Seth Meyers instead of John, but eventually find John and both give him a big hug and a "good surprise" which John didn't even think existed anymore.
    • Also, Shinjo-kun becomes a fan of Seth, who the episode outright calls the best man on late night television, and John cheerfully talks the other host up at the end.
    • For the first time in a long time, Hejohn dared to hope. "Soon, it will be a new day," Hejohn said. "Where we're from," Chiijohn replied, "It already is."
  • The episode on the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, and his controversial and alarming acts involving singling out Muslims for government-sanctioned discrimination ends with the revelation that citizens from all over India of all different classes and faiths united together to protest Modi and uphold the Indian ideals that Gandhi and Nehru fought for in the first place, including secularity.
  • John's message at the end of the second Coronavirus video, encouraging the audience to keep themselves safe, look out for one another and pay attention to trustworthy sources:
    John: Take care of yourself, take care of each other and we will be back in some form, some time in the future. Until then, stay safe and goodnight.
    • The credits, accompanied by "Go" by Valley Lodge, play over the adorable hamster video.
    • Despite being unnerved by the video's bleakness, the show's fans were appreciative of John putting out the video, wishing him and his crew well and praising the show's comedy.
  • During the episode on China's horrific treatment of Uighurs, John makes it crystal clear that it’s no excuse for Americans to use that to be bigoted against Chinese people.
  • John's Friendly Rivalry with Danbury, Connecticut. After going on a rant about them for no particular reason, John acknowledged and praised the amateur reaction videos of a preteen boy and a Danbury Hat Tricks representative as "more than capable of taking over my job", donated $55,000 to local Danbury charities on the condition they name their sewage plant after him and even showed up to Danbury to meet the mayor and attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
  • The episode after Biden's victory and Trump's defeat in the US 2020 presidential election. While John does rattle off on the institutional problems in America and Trump's attempts to subvert the election results, it ends off with an optimistic tone, John speaking about the new faces elected and how Trump's defeat prevents him from actively harming America anymore.


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