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Heartwarming / Rocko's Modern Life

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When Rocko first met Spunky.

  • In "I Have No Son!", both Ed Bighead and his cartoonist son Ralph Bighead refuse to accept the other as family due to a difference in ideals. Ed wanted his son to work for Conglom-O, but pretty much disowned him when his speech turned out to be his announcement to move to Holl-O-wood and be a cartoonist. Despite all that, they each kept their halves of the split ceremonial donut, and when Ed finds this out during their intervention, he is touched by how Ralph does care about Conglom-O. Ralph corrects him that he didn't care about Conglom-O, but his father. Cue heartwarming hug and acceptance, as well as Ed asking if he makes a lot of money, which Ralph shows off his checkbook. "Ha! That's my boy!". It's even more warming in that it's the first time Ed actually comes out a winner.
    • In a later episode, when Ralph approaches Rocko about working on a new cartoon for him (in an attempt to sabotage his contract to get the chance to build his dream masterpiece), his own dad, the same one who once disowned him for being a cartoonist, chastises him and says Rocko's idiocy will destroy his career. It shows that in the time since they patched up their relationship, Ed's actually grown to respect what his son does and doesn't want Rocko or his friends to taint it. (It turns into a Funny Moment moments later when Ralph explains that he KNOWS Rocko's idea will likely destroy his career, that he WANTS that to happen to try his hand as an actual artist and the look on Ed's face showing he's starting to get where his son is going with the plan.) When this backfires, he goes to his father for help in taking down Rocko. Nowhere in the series do we see Ed happier.
      • That said, when Ralph clarifies he doesn't want to hurt Rocko, Heffer and Filburt because they're his friends, Ed still supports Ralph and easily shifts gears to change the plan as Ralph wants.
  • In "An Elk for Heffer," Heffer (having pretended to be an elk) brings his new girlfriend Elkie home for dinner. (Unbeknownst to Heffer, he was supposed to bring an elk home to be eaten by the rest of the family.) However, when Heffer reveals he's not really an elk, Elkie immediately wants to break up. Heffer's father George instantly switches gears from complaining about dinner to defending his adopted son.
    "What's the matter?! He's not good enough for you?! ...So what if he's not an elk? He's not a wolf, either, but we love him anyway."
    • On that note, the Wolf pack's response when they find out that Heffer's not a wolf but a steer (someone they would eat). Instead of getting angry or being shocked, they simply shrug it off and state that even if he's not a wolf, he still has to abide by the pack's traditions. Quite an accepting wolf pack.
  • The Christmas episode, where Mr. Bighead finally gets his party invite, and Rocko's parents phone him all the way from Australia.
  • The episode "S.W.A.K." In the end, it looks like Rocko is going to lose yet again, but the mail carrier that he has a crush on turns out to return his affections. Aww.
  • Earl, the psychotic dog that tended to show up from time to time, finally met his match when he went up against Bev Bighead. Bev's pretty much the only person who wasn't afraid of Earl AND got him to stop messing up her garden. However, Bev actually feels bad about it when Earl looks as though he's about to cry, and when Bev realizes he was used as a lab animal she swears to take him in and make sure nothing like that ever happens again. As such, while Earl doesn't necessarily turn good, he becomes fiercely devoted to Bev and she treats him like a second child.
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  • Rocko and Spunky's relationship is completely adorable. Despite all of Spunky's flaws and his tendency to get into trouble, Rocko is proud to have him. "Trash-O-Maddness" even ends with Rocko telling Spunky how much he loves him.
    "Since I'm on my own now, you're all I've got. I'd do anything for you, Spunky."
  • The episode "Who's For Dinner" has Heffer invite Rocko to his house for dinner, where Rocko finds out Heffer was adopted by a pack of wolves named the Wolfes. Which Heffer didn't know. When Rocko unwittingly lets the cat out of the bag, a devastated Heffer asks if it's true, and his mother tells him they found him under a tree at a farm looking skinny. They were originally planning to fatten him up for dinner, but grew to love him and adopted him into the family. After going around and eating at multiple restaurants, he gets a vision of his real father, who is less than excited to see him. The farmer comes around to tell him his family and Rocko were looking for him, looking upset while doing so. He then runs home and tells them they're his real family. The episode ends with all of them sitting on the roof, howling at the moon.
    • SLIGHTLY subverted by the fact that only moments before, Heffer barfed all over them (from George squeezing him).
    • Despite being shown to be quite racist (or specist in this world), Heffer's adoptive grandfather never says anything negative against Heffer for being a steer. In fact, after Rocko upsets Heffer to the point of running off by revealing his Oblivious Adoption, he suggests they "eat the beaver" (he believes Rocko's a beaver, which Rocko allows because according to Heffer the old wolf hates wallaby's even more than beavers).
  • "Speaking Terms" has Rocko and Heffer in a day-time talk show over an argument (long story short, Heffer forgot Rocko's birthday and Rocko overreacted). They're not best friends anymore, refusing to talk to each other for three days, but after some intervention with Heffer's mom (an audience member in the show), they finally apologize and make up, admitting they want to stay best friends.
  • In "Cruisin' Part 2", we have Grandpa Wolfe (almost) pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to save Rocko from the sea when he falls in. And what's more, this act of selflessness is enough to convince his old flame Winifred Wolf that he has changed for the better and it's implied that they get back together after she rescues him.
  • In "Cabin Fever" both the Bigheads and Rocko (with Heffer) have booked the same cabin for a vacation. Though it turns out Ed is in the wrong and booked the cabin for six months later, Rocko has no problem sharing the cabin with them.
  • "Gutter Balls":
    • Ed is desperate to have his team win a bowling trophy, which gets increasingly unlikely because of Rocko and friends being unexpectedly good and Virginia Wolfe being completely awful. It gets to the point where Ed denounces Virginia.
      Heffer: Hey, Mr. Bighead. That's my mother you're yelling at and I don't like it!
      Ed: Ah, who asked you, chubby?
      Virginia: [grabs Ed] Don't you insult my boy, you big galoot!
      Heffer: You tell him, Mom!
      Virginia: Thank you, Heffer.
    • After Ed's team walks out on him for being an abusive team manager, he finds himself with no bowlers left in his team, and resorts to a Paper-Thin Disguise of his wife to carry on to victory. He wins...only to have the trophy revoked because he's been caught, causing the trophy to go to Rocko. Rocko gives Ed some words of reassurance and offers to display the trophy in his window so that Ed can look at it whenever he wants.
  • Ed cheering up Beverly after her nose is removed. She loved having a nose until she realized Ed smelled bad, then got sick so she wouldn't have to smell him, then ended up in the hospital again. Ed knows that she made a sacrifice and wants to show that he loves her.
  • Filburt and Dr. Hutchison's wedding. It was a meta example too, as Word of God notes that they had to fight hard for Nickelodeon to approve of it.
    • Hutch and her dad reuniting. And her parents reuniting with each other, in a weird sort of way.
      Frank: Well I'll be. It's your mother!
      Widow: HISSSSS!
      Frank: (makes a "you're crazy" gesture at her) Still "in mourning" I see...
      Widow: SHUT UP.
      Frank: Now if you'll excuse me...(to Rocko) hold m'camera, son...(to the nurse pushing his wheelchair) C'MON MAGNOLIA! THERE'S A BATTLE! CHARGE! (jumps into the fray of Filburt and Hutch's families fighting)
      Widow: (happily, with her arms out) Frankie! Wait! I still love you! Waaa! (joins him in the fight)
  • The end of 'Mama's Boy', where after Heffer has a very bad experience living away (granted, Heffer just decided to move out with absolutely no way to take care of himself), he comes back home battered as hell...and his family wordlessly helps him on his feet and carry him back inside so they can dote on him.
  • The ending to Tickled Pinky, wherein Rocko's removed appendix (the titular Pinky) says one last goodbye as an angel before ascending to Heaven. Silly? You bet it is. Heartwarming? You bet it is.
    Pinky: Don't worry about me, Rocko. I'll have plenty of friends! I'll be with your baby teeth (Rocko's baby teeth appear as angels) and your tonsils! (Rocko's tonsils also appear as angels) Bye Rocko!
    • Heffer's reaction when Rocko collapses from the pain of his appendicitis at the beginning of the episode. First he calls for a medic...only for said medics to take Rocko's jackhammer instead. After expressing (appropriate) annoyance with this, Hefer proceeds to cry out "I'll save you buddy!" grab Rocko and run him as fast as he can to the hospital, not stopping for anything as he does so. Heff can be tactless, dim and a little selfish sometimes, but there's no doubt that he truly cares about his best friend.
  • The end of "Flu In-U-Enza" is both this and hilarious. After Spunky catches Rocko's flu, Rocko decides to stay home to take care of him and gives Heffer his two wrestling tickets. Rocko and Spunky opt to watch the match on television, while Heffer apparently invited the hippo nurse who flirted with him earlier to come to the match as a date...and she proceeds to join the match herself when she sees Dr. Bendova as one of the wrestlers, much to Rocko and Heff's mutual confusion.
  • The trailer for the Static Cling television movie has one. When Rocko runs into his home, Bev notices and looks very, very happy. It's nice to know that she was missing Rocko all these 20 years.
    • Heck, the TV Movie revival in general is this to those who grew up with show, especially since it's been so agonizingly long since we got any new material from it since its premature cancellation.
    • It's an essential plot point that Ed and Bev's kid has come out as a trans woman named Rachel, a decision that has helped her finally become happy. Despite being away from Earth for the past twenty years, Rocko, Heffer and Filburt are very quick to accept Rachel Bighead's transition, and Bev is eager to have her daughter back and even buys her women's shoes. And while Ed is very resistant at first, he realizes over the course of the story that his resistance to change isn't worth losing a relationship with his child, and accepts her as she is.
      • One thing to note as well: Ed was already slowly accepting Rachael as she was. How? While still a Tear Jerker scene, Ed says "I HAVE NO DAUGHTER!". He would have called Rachael his "son", but didn't. Ed may have been mourning what he felt was the loss of his son, but he accepted that Rachel's new identity was her identity almost immediately.
      • On a meta level, the fact that the story makes no jokes at the expense of Rachel's gender, and the writers even partnered up with LGBT organization GLAAD to ensure she would be portrayed respectfully.
    • Rachel adds a baby into her Fatheads special and takes inspiration from happy memories with her parents. Ed recognizing these happy memories is what finally pushes him to accept Rachel back into his life.
    • Paula instantly reconnects with Filburt after he went missing for 20 years, and their kids are all grown up too.
    • The fact that it's Ed Bighead who helps Rocko accept change. It was really sweet considering what their relationship was like in the original show.

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