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Heartwarming / Mystery Science Theater 3000

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The Show
  • The show's closing theme, also known as "Mighty Science Theater", is supposed to be epic to the point of parody, but considering that many fans mistake it for the "Love Theme" (which is the actual title of the opening song), it's clear that the drawn-out structure, soft brass, and heavenly synth evokes feelings of peace, warmth, and love as well.
  • In their review of Danger: Diabolik, the episode ends with them crash landing into earth, and Mike, Crow, and Servonote  living in an apartment together (minus Gypsy). The final shot is a Zoom out of them all sitting on their couch watching a cheesy movie — but this time of their own free will.
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  • At the end of It Conquered the World, Gypsy reads a letter from a fan who names her their favorite robot.
  • Both Santa movie experiments feature segments with a high "Awww" factor.
    • In Santa Claus Conquers the Martians:
      • The opening, where Tom and Crow look over Christmas catalogs, and talk about gifts they'd want, like little kids.
      • The essay sketch, where after increasingly cynical Christmas essays by Crow, Servo, and Joel, Gypsy cheers everyone up with a Nativity scene she set up in her mouth, accompanied by a beautiful instrumental version of "the First Noel".
      • The ending, where Joel and the Bots open their stockings, and read a letter that genuinely gets everyone a little moist-eyed.
      • Really all the SOL segments, with the Bots playing the roles of excited children, bursting with excitement for Christmas, and Joel playing the part of the loving father figure.
      • Crow simply saying "Merry Christmas, Joel" during the film's closing credits. No joke at all, just a warm sentiment, the only time that ever really happened in the theater.
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    • In Santa Claus (1959):
      • 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 sweater Gypsy made for Mike, complete with his name: 'Joike'.
        Gypsy: Well, I started making it when the other guy was here, and...
        Mike: Shh, sh. It's great, Gyps.
      • The song "Merry Christmas (If That's Okay)," which is basically a Political Correctness Gone Mad joke in musical form (that also squeezes humor out of how many syllables they can cram into a line), but ends with an earnest plea to share joy with your fellow man, no matter what anyone's beliefs are.
        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?
      • Though the film reprises "Jingle Bells" to death, one such reprise is slow and solemn; Mike sings along with Tom adding tasteful (and beautiful) harmony while Crow manages to choke out through tears, "...I love Christmas."
      • 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 he and the Bots go out to play on the Satellite. Mike's eagerness to build a snow fort really drives it home.
      • Within the riffing of the movie in question, Tom admits that the Lupita character is "aggressively cute" as soon as she's introduced.
      • 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.
    • Even more so; finally regaining his memories of Mike in The Mole People!
  • 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.
    • The way Joel always carries Tom Servo into the "theater"'s almost like a parent carrying their young child, very carefully and close to their body. Granted, 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.
  • When TVs Frank dies and ascends to Second Banana Heaven, Doctor Forrester takes it roughly. Not only is he obviously concerned for Frank when he doesn't return, trying hard not to look cut-up when Mike and the bots tell him Frank isn't coming back (hell, his song "Who Shall I Kill" is a downright Tear Jerker), but what is really heartwarming is when he's talking to Frank's ghost and signs off with this:
    I don't suppose you could... Push the button, Frank?
  • 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,'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.
    • Played with at the conclusion of the episode, in which Mike summarizes spending quality time watching bad movies with the 'bots:
      Mike: ...It kinda bites.
      Crow: You're catching on, Kemosabe!
  • The bit in The Final Sacrifice when the entire cast comes down with 'hockey 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.
  • As the SOL gang watches the Gamera films, they produce a nonsensical parody of Gamera's Song, as heard here. However, at the end of Gamera vs. Guiron, the gang actually tries to sing the original Japanese lyrics. For all the teasing the gang has lobbed at this (admittedly ridiculous) series, it's good to know that they also paid it this nice little homage.
  • In the Soultaker episode: The episode ends with TV's Frank and Bobo happily playing ring toss with Bobo's soul.
    Pearl: I knew these two would get along.
    • When Frank first appears and tries to take Bobo's soul (with his hood up so no one realizes who he is yet) Pearl and Observer immediately rush to Bobo's defense and try to fight off Frank. For the amount of annoyance the two usually express over Bobo, it's clear they do care about him.
    • In the same episode, Joel refuses to take Mike and the bots back to earth with him because "the years I spent here on the Satellite of Love were the best damn years of my life, and I wouldn't want you mugs to miss a minute of it! It made a man out of me, and maybe, just maybe, if you're lucky, it'll make a man out of you, too!"
    • Hell, just that fact that he managed to come all the way into space on his own dime just to make sure that the satellite stayed operational, and that whoever Forrester got to replace him wasn't going to die.
  • 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 Rocketship X-M, in the first host segment before the Invention Exchange, Joel is doing dentistry on Crow, who has been complaining of toothache despite the obvious lack of teeth (just don't tell him that...). As Joel starts drilling, Crow holds out his hand in panic and Joel takes it and squeezes it like a parent does to a child...
  • 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 Nuveena, "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, Nuvena 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. By the final segment they are drunk and having a spirited debate about ape movies, which they bring Mike down to resolve, even giving him a beer like he's a good friend.
    • And when Pearl returns? She joins in their conversation.
  • In one episode, Tom Servo is giving 'comfort ratings' and then later admits (after Crow calls it to his attention) that he had pulled them out of thin air. Then he offers to give Mike a comfort rating. The way Mike wraps his arms around Tom makes for a really sweet, heartwarming picture.
  • In Hamlet Mike says that Pearl forwards mail from Mike's family up to the SOL. For as bad a person Pearl is, she still lets Mike have contact with his family.
  • "Wild Rebels" has some heartwarming moments between Joel and Gypsy:
    • The episode starts off with Gypsy feeling depressed, and Joel has her shut off the higher functions (including the oxygen) so she can speak freely. That's right. Joel would rather risk asphyxiation than let one of his kids feel blue.
    • Later on, Joel sings Gypsy the song "I Like What I Know About You" (the song Rod sings to Linda in the movie).
  • In The Giant Gila Monster, there's a moment when we first see the main character's younger sister, who was described earlier as needing braces. It turns out this meant leg braces, so she could walk. When Joel and the bots see this, they begin tearfully sobbing over how much the scene tugs at their heartstrings. Played for Laughs, naturally, but still quite cute.
  • Near the end of watching "Invasion USA", a character in the movie gives a heartfelt speech over the radio about how he's seen ordinary people step up to try and fight off the enemy. Mike and the 'Bots decide to underscore this by humming "America the Beautiful". It's a surprisingly touching moment.
    • ...Then a Communist soldier takes over the broadcast and gives his own speech about liberating America from capitalist tyranny, which causes them to instead start humming the "State Anthem of the USSR". A comedic moment, but also kind of heartwarming in its own way.
  • Radar Secret Service is a fairly early Mike episode, and the Bots are worried that being stuck in space is getting to him... so they stage a replica of the high school reunion he's missing back on Earth. Moreover, although this would have been a perfect opportunity for them to mock him, they go the exact opposite route — they go out of their way to portray his former classmates as pathetic losers who all fawn over him for having made something out of his life, just to make him feel better. Even Magic Voice gets in on the act!
  • One letters segment featured a little kid's drawing of Joel and the Bots, having Crow and Servo yelling "I hate you!" at each other. Crow, in a rare non-sarcastic moment, declared "That's not true! We love each other!". Servo non-sarcastically concurs, which prompts Joel to bring them all in for a Group Hug.
  • Joel and the bots cheering when Johnny gets reunited with his mother in Johnny at the Fair.
  • The Season 11 premiere features the return of the letter reading, this time from kids who are too young to have seen the show in its original airing, but were apparently introduced to it by their parents and are huge fans themselves who were very much looking forward to its return. Complete with more adorable drawings of the crew.
  • The guest appearance by Jerry Seinfeld in Starcrash, after he and Joel have been friends since early in both their careers.

  • The 2017 revival adds a lovely twist on the formula, as on the rare occasion that a movie does something genuinely impressive, Jonah stops all the jokes and compliments it.
  • Jonah points out that as off-puttingly goofy and awkward as The Christmas That Almost Wasn't is, it's hard not to get wrapped up in the scene where all the kids come to Santa's rescue and feel some true Christmas spirit.
  • Pearl turning up for Kinga and Jonah's ratings-stunt wedding in the finale—even getting into the spirit of things by loudly objecting to the nuptials (albeit far too early) and attempting to sing "When Loving Loves Love". After Kinga chews her out for showing up at the last minute, Pearl tells her how proud this display of cruelty makes her.
  • CamBot is usually a silent character, but he did make one riff throughout the show's history. Joel then proceeds to compliment it.
    Good one, CamBot! Nice effect!
  • Dr. Erhardt makes his grand return in Season 12, having moved past being a mad scientist and completely at peace with himself after a long journey of personal discovery. And even if he's a bit of a dick about it, he's there to help Kinga and Max lay their fathers to rest as they wanted. It even turns out Forrester and Frank had their ashes mixed into the same urn!
  • Kinga and Max find themselves falling into their own riffing while watching Synthia's video diary, and are surprised at how much fun it is. And after the season ends with them stuck in the theater themselves, Max is perfectly fine with it as "We still have each other."
  • The beginning segment of TheSinisterUrge features Mike, Tom, and Crow throwing a shower for Gypsy, just because 'every woman deserves a shower.' Everyone got her the same gift of pinking shears, but Gypsy seems genuinely touched by the gesture nonetheless.
  • Gypsy has a true Sympathy for the Devil moment when she first sees how coldly Pearl treats Dr. Forrester. Gypsy even calls Pearl a bitch for it.
  • During the making of the final episode, the crew surprised Mike, Bill and Kevin with an unexpected montage. The result is all three guys cracking up multiple times, as opposed to the usual hushed giggling that goes on in host segments, and applauding at the end.note 
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, writer Paul Chaplin (who you may remember as "Pitch" when he appeared in Deep 13 and the SOL) wrote a brief piece praising Beverly Garland not just as a person, but also for her tendency to play strong female characters in a time when that was pretty unusual. Special mention goes to her character in It Conquered the World.
    Married to an idiot, she realizes it and takes matters into her own hands. She finds the Venusian pickle and delivers a dressing down that had to leave the poor creature more than a little abashed. Unfortunately she's then eaten, but she goes down shooting, probably praying she'll get stuck in the bastard's throat and choke him. In certain respects it's a ridiculous scene. Yet she delivers her lecture with the strongest commitment you could ever hope for. In that moment she is a woman enraged at a pickle. I mean this. It shows such pride to perform like that, and to make sure your characters all have pride.
  • 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. Moreover, Cambot — whose presence had been slowly marginalized over the course of the series — is the only character from the series to join Joel for this, and gets plenty of opportunity to do his usual "embodiment of the editor" shtick.
  • Following the "Manos" the Hands of Fate episode a group of fans started a grassroots campaign to get John Reynolds - the actor who played Torgo, and who tragically committed suicide shortly after the shoot due to chronic depression - a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The campaign ultimately failed, but the rest of the "Manos" cast appreciated it nonetheless.
  • A real-life one, as the notorious Joel vs. Mike flame war had a quite sweet addendum: Mike himself had no idea it had happened until years later, thanks to the rest of the crew teaming up to protect him from knowing all the trouble his casting had stirred up.
  • Rose Kennedy got wind that the show often made fun of the fact she was over 100. She stated that she found it funny she was so old, too.
  • Kim Catrall once watched City Limits, specifically the bit where Crow sings a love song to her. She had flowers sent to Trace Beaulieu because of it.
    • If one pays attention to Kim's Twitter account, they'll notice that she actually watches the Turkey Day marathons on YouTube when they're happening.
    • In a similar situation, Patrick Swayze, during a radio interview, got to hear "Patrick Swayze Christmas" from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians for the first time and was genuinely amused.
    • This even eventually made it back into the show, as she's revealed to be Kinga's mother.
  • The Kickstarter project to revive Mystery Science Theater 3000. At first, it looked like the project wouldn't get off the ground, but things picked up after the Thanksgiving holiday; its final two weeks had the fans rushing in to pitch in, turning it from a bland, forgettable 3-episode "season" to a full-fledged 14-episode season. It eventually became one of the most successful campaigns in the website's history, and its release on Netflix one of their most anticipated projects since the Marvel series.
    • This got even better once Season 11 was released, as the contributors who gave at least $100 are listed in the closing credits over the course of the season. There are a lot of them.
  • Patton Oswalt's glee at being tapped to play a role onscreen as well as writing.
    Joel: One other question: I'm wondering if you would be interested in maybe appearing on camera too?
    Joel: I'm thinking we could give you silver hair, and you could be "Son of Frank" - or at least a clone. What do you think - sir?
    Oswalt: OH MY GOD
  • Kate Beaton's overjoyed reaction at a show she loved so much 20 years ago actually referencing her work.
  • According to new host Jonah Ray, upon meeting Jackey Neyman Jones (who played Debbie in "Manos: The Hands of Fate"), she hugged him, asked to have photo taken with him, and then said to him, "You are now considered royalty."
  • In stark contrast to the massive flame war that erupted over Mike taking over as the new host, Jonah was quickly accepted as a great new lead with people loving how much of a Nice Guy he is.
    • He's not going anywhere either. Joel said that as long as there's a demand for the show Jonah will probably do the customary average of one hundred episodes, and Jonah himself often says "They will pry this role from my cold, dead hands."
  • Shout! Factory's official description for Volume 39 made it abundantly clear that it was quite possibly the last volume of the set (Shout! Factory themselves stated that the remaining 12 episodes are impossible to license, but the host segments from those episodes are included instead as a compromise). Their wording makes it very clear just how much love and value they have for this franchise, and it definitely fits with Shout! Factory's image of being One of Us.
    So take one plausibly last ride with our heroes on the Satellite of Love, and Keep Circulating the Tapes!
  • YouTube reviewer Faith's Take took a deep adoration to Jonah, ultimately driving herself to tears while talking about how she wished such a character had been around in her childhood. Then Jonah Ray himself caught wind of it, and told her he just wishes his real life comes anywhere close to justifying that response.
  • During "Pod People", Joel riffed on some of the new-age-style soundtrack by playing his own "new age" music, with Tom calling it "Music From Some Guys In Space", riffing on the National Public Radio series, Music From The Hearts Of Space. The producers of Hearts of Space proved that they had a sense of humor, sending the MST production crew a friendly letter and a selection of new age CDs.


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