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Heartwarming / SpongeBob SquarePants

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  • SpongeBob's unconditional admiration and adoration of Squidward is either this or just really weird (or even a combination of both).
  • Pretty much any time we see SpongeBob and Patrick as babies or little kids. They're sooo cute!
  • It's a staple of kids' shows for the protagonist to be annoyed and/or embarrassed by their parents, but it's a totally different story with SpongeBob. His parents are as 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 (even if SpongeBob seemed a little reluctant to move back in with his parents).
  • For as greedy as he can be (particularly in the later episodes), Mr. Krabs shows that he truly loves SpongeBob like he were his son. Also, he and Squidward, despite fighting and arguing, show that they have a sort of brotherly relationship.
  • SpongeBob is a terrible driver and fails his driving test every year, but he cares about 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."
  • SpongeBob and Patrick's friendship in general. They've been friends since they were babies, and it's clear that their friendship will always hold strong no matter what.
  • There's also something very wholesome about SpongeBob and Sandy's relationship. Despite being two different creatures from land and sea, they stick by each other's side through thick and thin and enjoy each other's company. Heck, when they first met, SpongeBob's first instinct was to try and help 'save' Sandy from a giant clam, and SpongeBob always tries to selflessly help Sandy feel more at home in Bikini Bottom. They even enjoy practicing karate together, defend each other when need be, and Sandy occasionally laughs at some of SpongeBob's jokes (except the time he used "squirrel jokes" that offended Sandy, until SpongeBob came to his senses and put her feelings before everyone else's).

    Season One 
  • The very first episode, "Help Wanted." SpongeBob is excited to apply for a job at the Krusty Krab, but gets cold feet and begins to run off when Patrick blocks his way, leading to this exchange:
    Patrick: Where do you think you're going?
    SpongeBob: I was just-
    Patrick: No you're not. You're going to the Krusty Krab and get that job!
    SpongeBob: I can't! Don't you see?! I'm not good enough...
    Patrick: Whose first words were "May I take your order?"
    SpongeBob: Mine were...
    Patrick: Who made a spatula out of toothpicks in wood shop?
    SpongeBob: I did.
    Patrick: Who's the- (strains to think) Who's- (strains some more, then gets an idea) Who's the big yellow cube with holes?!
    SpongeBob: (determined) I am!
    Patrick: Who's ready?!
    SpongeBob: I'm ready!
    Patrick: Who's ready?!
    SpongeBob: I'm ready!!
    Patrick: WHO'S READY?!
    SpongeBob: I'M READY!!!
  • "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.
    • During the back and forth where SpongeBob and Patrick try to get more and more soda from Squidward to one up each other, SpongeBob manages to keep getting more soda, while Patrick is left protesting "I still didn't get any!". SpongeBob's response? Give Patrick some of his with a pleasant "There ya go" before they get back to their little competition. Even when he's fighting with Patrick, and actively trying to one up him, he's still the Nice Guy he always is.
  • 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!"
  • In "Pickles", Bubble Bass admits the Krabby Patty is "pretty good" even if it's supposedly missing the pickles. That's just one ingredient missing from a burger, so either way, Bubble Bass is admitting compliments for the chef. Too bad he takes the opportunity to sadistically try to ruin said chef's career and life. Later episodes will show Bubble Bass regularly gorging on Krabby Patties, showing he did mean it when he said the cooking was good.
    • Upon seeing how devastated SpongeBob is at apparently messing up the order, Mr. Krabs somberly asks him to take the rest of the day off to get his head on straight, no strings attached. Later, when it becomes clear the fate of his business depends on SpongeBob recovering, Mr. Krabs goes to his house and devotes himself to helping SpongeBob remember how to make a Krabby Patty. He spends several days with him, day in and day out, and doesn't move until SpongeBob is ready. When SpongeBob declares he's a failure, Mr. Krabs demands he stop talking like that - and when SpongeBob proves he's ready, Mr. Krabs smiles reassuringly at him, clearly having had no doubts in his fry cook.
    • The town is excited to have SpongeBob back, as word travels fast enough that Bubble Bass immediately returns for the final showdown.
    • After Bubble Bass is defeated, SpongeBob asks for three cheers for Squidward for taking his place while he was gone. Squidward actually smiles warmly at this, genuinely appreciating it... until the crowd starts booing him, having not forgotten his awful cooking.
  • In "Nature Pants" after SpongeBob's attempt to live in the wild fails miserably, he dejectedly returns to Bikini Bottom and bemoans having thrown away his friendships, but then when he arrives home he discovers his friends welcoming him back with a surprise party and embracing him.
  • A classic example: "Pizza Delivery." After going to 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 collapses to the ground and sobs miserably, while Squidward, who we all know is constantly annoyed by SpongeBob, 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 the pizza in Tom's face)
    SpongeBob: *sniffling* 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? It—It's okay... 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. 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."
    SpongeBob: Baaaa dee dee-dee-dee-dah, the hall! Baaaah dee dee-dee-dee, monitor!
  • "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.
  • 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 happier at the idea of his daughter becoming a star.
    • When Mr Krabs sees Pearl up on stage, his face lights up with pure joy. Not even Pearl's act launching him into the air (or the water as it is) is enough to dampen how happy and proud he is of his little girl.
    • 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.
    • It's a subtle one, but when Squidward first begins presenting the talent show, he's visibly nervous. Patrick laughing at his off-the-cuff joke about the Krabby Patty, however, instantly relaxes him, and his presenting becomes much more cheerful and enthusiastic... at least until Patrick starts laughing a little too loudly, but it's still great to see Squidward looking so cheerful and confident on stage.
  • 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 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: 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!"
    • Really, the whole episode, considering that the plot is just SpongeBob trying to be friends with Plankton.
      SpongeBob: Fun is when you... fun is... it's like... it's kind of... sort of like a... What is fun? I... Let me spell it 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.

Chorus: 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! Those things aren't what fun is all about! Now do it like this. [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!

  • This line:
    SpongeBob: I bet if he had just one friend, he wouldn't be such a meanie.
  • In "Texas," the Texas-themed party that SpongeBob and Patrick arrange for Sandy after hearing her pine for her home.
    • It’s subtle, but when Sandy starts laughing so hard that she cries, SpongeBob, assuming that his intentions upset her, tells her that’s it’s okay, and that he'll get her bags. There’s no attempt to convince her not to leave. SpongeBob selflessly accepts that Sandy still wants to go back to Texas. At least from his perspective.
    • Sandy realizes that she was home all along.
  • 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.
  • In "Sleepy Time," When Plankton, in his dream, menaces Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob only intervenes when he sees that Gary is right in his path. Any pet owner would do the same.
  • In "Suds," from what we can understand of the conversation, Gary is trying to persuade SpongeBob that he's too sick to go to work. Later, Gary suddenly appearing at the Krusty Krab is treated as a joke, but it's pretty sweet that Gary followed SpongeBob to work to alert his boss of his illness. And in the following scene, when SpongeBob is resting in his armchair, Gary is sitting nearby, as if to keep him company. Though Gary can be aloof, he does look out for SpongeBob's well-being sometimes.
    • Mr. Krabs, finding out SpongeBob has the suds, lets him go home to take the day off out of concern for him and that his customers may end up getting sick.
    • In the same episode, it's pretty sweet that Patrick is looking out for SpongeBob and trying to help him get better. That is, until his "treatments" become genuinely harmful...
    • The genuine concern in Sandy's voice when SpongeBob first calls her to tell her he needs her to take him to the doctor. It gets even sweeter when, amidst a comedic scene where she and Patrick are fighting over SpongeBob, she reassures him that he'll be better soon. Her top priority at that moment is to get her unwell best friend away from someone who’s only making his condition worse.
  • 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.
    • 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."
    • The Bikini Bottomites feeling sorry for SpongeBob when he tearfully runs out of the Krusty Krab due to being hurt physically and emotionally by Squidward's mean prank, and becoming angry at Squidward for it.
    • Squidward apologizing for being an ass, and saying, with heart-wrenching sincerity, that he likes SpongeBob and everything about him:
      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!
    • This line:
      SpongeBob: What would we do without Squidward?
  • 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 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.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick's unbridled, barely-suppressed glee when they get to meet Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy for the first time, in the episode that introduced the characters.
  • Mermaid Man letting SpongeBob go "on patrol" with himself and Barnacle Boy in "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy II," as well as Mermaid Man comforting SpongeBob after the latter has started crying.
    • From the same episode, Mermaid Man saying with complete sincerity, "For a pain in the neck, he's a pretty nice kid!" It's telling that for however annoying SpongeBob can be, neither Mermaid Man nor Barnacle Boy seem to have any actual hostility toward the little sponge, unlike Squidward and Mrs. Puff.
  • In "SB-129," after Squidward goes crazy from the isolation, he sobs about how he even misses SpongeBob. The time machine ends up taking him back to the past. The exchange between Squidward and the two is very heartwarming, even though it's downplayed at the end when Squidward refuses to go jellyfishing with the duo.
  • In the Halloween episode "Scaredy Pants", Patrick was the only one who didn’t purposely scare SpongeBob. He even apologizes, which is something he probably wouldn't do in seasons 6-8. He even decided to help SpongeBob get back at the people who scared him.
    • When they first test out SpongeBob new ghost costume and "scared" a guy, it was rather sweet on how SpongeBob was finally having fun on Halloween.
    • The scene with the Flying Dutchman appearing and claims he's going to take everybody's souls starting with SpongeBob's because he found his costume insulting. Sandy shouted "SpongeBob!" in a concerned worried way.
  • Although they were completely wrong and were going about it the entirely wrong way, there's something oddly touching about Spongebob and Patrick wanting to put Squidward to rest in "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost". Sure, Squidward was very much alive and they simply thought he was in denial when he said otherwise, but they were trying their best to help what they believed was their late friend's soul rest in peace. The ending especially can be this, with Spongebob and Patrick tearing up as they say goodbye to Squidward, and they both wish him well going to the "great beyond".
    • Before that, there's the funeral that Spongebob planned for Squidward. Not only did Spongebob take the time to create an entire funeral for him, there's several people that showed up, including Mr. Krabs and Sandy. Again, it's oddly touching as despite how hated Squidward is in town, there were still dozens of people that showed up to his funeral who were genuinely upset hearing that he "passed". And the episode ends with both Spongebob and Patrick happy that Squidward is in a "better place", showing how deeply they cared about him.

    Season Two 
  • 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.
    • The ending scene in particular, in which Squidward watches the sun set with SpongeBob is very emotional, despite the fact that SpongeBob doesn't really end up dying, as he hadn't eaten the pie yet.
  • When it looks like SpongeBob ate the explosive pie, Mr. Krabs wants him to enjoy his presumably final hours of life, clearly upset about what will (apparently) happen to him.
  • The ending of "Jellyfish Hunter", where No Name willingly goes into SpongeBob's net after avoiding capture all this time. And SpongeBob came up with the perfect name for him... Friend.
  • "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.
    • "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 is moved to tears, and remarks that it's the nicest gift he's ever gotten.
      • Squidward's little smile when SpongeBob hugs him is heart-meltingly sweet.
    • The scene of Krabs giving Plankton a gift is Heartwarming in Hindsight.
  • 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.
    • While it involves her trying to pawn him off on another teacher, Mrs. Puff apologizing to SpongeBob for passing him prematurely also counts. Aside from wanting to be rid of him and also fearing what could've happened to others—and herself—had he ever driven recklessly while under the assumption of passing, she truly wants him to actually be ready to drive when he's genuinely earned it and proved he can.
  • 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.
    • The look on Squidward's face after SpongeBob starts singing. That wide-eyed, open-mouthed, uncomprehending shock that the band's actually kicking ass. That is the look of a man, thoroughly broken by life, who is suddenly hit square in the face with the realization that what he thought was going to be the worst moment of his life is actually going to be the best, and from the bane of his existence. His dancing and enjoying the performance immediately after definitely plays into it too, topped off with the episode concluding on the insanely triumphant Freeze-Frame Ending as well.
    • Also, just before they start playing, SpongeBob is clearly nervous, and Mr. Krabs outright says he's going to be sick. Then the music starts, and they give it their all for Squidward.
    • Honorable mention to SpongeBob's Rousing Speech to the dysfunctional band. It shows how much SpongeBob truly cares for Squidward.
      SpongeBob: What kind of monsters are we? That poor creature came to us in his hour of need, and we failed him. Squidward's always been there for us when it was convenient for him! Evelyn, when your little Jimmy was trapped in a fire, who rescued him?
      Evelyn: A fireman.
      SpongeBob: And Larry, when your heart gave out from all those tanning pills, who revived you?
      Larry: Some guy in an ambulance.
      SpongeBob: Right! So if we all could just pretend that Squidward was a fireman, or some guy in a ambulance, then I'm sure we can all pull together and discover what it truly means... to be in a marching band.
    • And the thing is? This speech works. When we next see the group, they're all playing music perfectly together- from Larry to Plankton to Mr. Krabs to Patrick, everyone is working together when normally the episode would just have them fall apart humorously.
    • 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" after he tried to calm the tensions (itself sweet of the sponge to have tried to stop the fight), even looking towards her when she calls his best friend as such.
    • 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.
  • "Patty Hype". Even though it was simply a greedy attempt on Mr Krabs' part to have the Pretty Patty stand for himself, it's still heartwarming to see him give SpongeBob ownership of the Krusty Krab. When SpongeBob is given the key, he's smiling so wide and is so stunned that he can't even move his legs, which is followed by the customers carrying him back to the Krusty Krab while he proclaims that "dreams do come true" and the scene is presented as him being sent to heaven, which is followed up by a full montage of him happily frolicking in the restaurant and getting it cleaned and in working order again too.
  • In "Grandma's Kisses," after SpongeBob's meltdown, his grandmother tells him that he doesn't need to be a baby to get his grandma's love. She also tells him 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 "Squidville", when Squidward becomes tired of how tedious and boring a perfect life in Tentacle Acres is, he hears a Reef Blower and immediately thinks of SpongeBob popping in to shake things up. This being the linchpin for Squidward's rebellion and decision to go home shows that as annoyed as he can get with SpongeBob more often than not, his life will always be interesting with him in it.
  • In "Welcome to the Chum Bucket", after losing a bet with Plankton, Mr. Krabs is forced to send SpongeBob to the Chum Bucket and they have a tearful goodbye. 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 would trade it all away, if you'd come 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. The fact that Squidward doesn't try to take back what he said after that either means he's alright with SpongeBob knowing he cares for him regardless of what happened too.
  • 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.
  • In "Bossy Boots," Pearl and SpongeBob are trying to think of a new name for the Krusty Krab. After thinking of many different names (some of which are nice, while others are completely disturbing), they finally come up with one: The Kuddly Krab! So adorable, right? But not as adorable as when Pearl and SpongeBob give each other a hug or a "kuddle" if you want to get technical and laugh. Aww!
    • Mr. Krabs' and Pearl's portrayals here are wonderfully sweet. Mr. Krabs, in comparison to his generally apathetic and sometimes negligent parenting later on, dotes on Pearl with all he's got and clearly loves her very much. Pearl, likewise later portrayed as a fringe teenager who is cold to the main characters, is completely friendly and cheerful with SpongeBob and Squidward, and tries not to disappoint Mr. Krabs.
  • 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.
  • 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]
    • Near the beginning of the episode, Mr Krabs giving SpongeBob and Patrick a fatherly talk about why stealing is wrong, and then giving them a big hug before shooing them out of the restaurant, was rather adorable.
  • 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.
    • Even though she's the last person he wants to see at the moment, the scene where Sandy hugs SpongeBob in joy and relief after he's "found" is genuinely sweet.
      Sandy: Oh, SpongeBob! I was so worried! I thought something terrible happened!
    • Sandy falling asleep in the end, followed by a relieved SpongeBob going to sleep with her. It's cute.
    • When Sandy reports SpongeBob missing to The Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs is the first to volunteer for the search party, even giving Squidward a glare when he's happy about SpongeBob's disappearance.
  • The ending to "The Smoking Peanut" where SpongeBob and Patrick are proved innocent and Clamu is reunited with its pearl, in actuality an egg, which hatches into an affectionate baby clam. As the two embrace, Clamu, no longer sobbing, makes a visible smile.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick making up in "The Fry Cook Games." After being at each other's throats the entire episode, SpongeBob and Patrick fight each other in a wrestling match, and the strain causes both of them to rip their pants. Then they get a glimpse of the colors of each other's underwear...
    SpongeBob: Yellow...!
    Patrick: Pink...?
    SpongeBob and Patrick, tearfully: ...You do care!
  • Patrick reuniting with his (real) parents in "I'm With Stupid."
  • The theatre scene from Something Smells. It's played for comedy, but seeing Patrick getting mad at the whole room when SpongeBob began to cry is actually pretty heartwarming, even though all Patrick did was make things worse.

    Season Three 
  • "Club SpongeBob." When Squidward is getting denied food by the Magic Conch, Patrick tries to ask the conch if Squidward could eat. As soon as he eats the sandwich, he apologizes to Squidward since he couldn't have it, which shows that Patrick is still trying to be thoughtful of Squidward when he was being denied to eat.
  • In "The Bully," SpongeBob shows what a compassionate All-Loving Hero he can be, even to those who least deserve it: when he (unsuccessfully) attempts to solicit the assistance of Flats' father to stop the flounder's bullying behavior, he generously calls Flats a "fine boy and all," seemingly not wishing to complicate their familial relationship, and later he goes as far as to save Flats' life by performing five hours of CPR when Flats suffered grave injuries sustained while trying to run SpongeBob over with a garbage truck, then bringing Flats flowers in the hospital to comfort him. While these kindnesses sadly go unreciprocated by the unrepentant bully, it only emphasizes just what a good person SpongeBob is.
    • While they misunderstand who he's talking about and end up attacking a random old man, many people of Bikini Bottom jump to SpongeBob's defense twice when he runs through the street screaming that someone is going to kick his butt.
  • "Idiot Box." When Squidward believes SpongeBob and Patrick were caught in two avalanches, he is deeply worried and concerned for them though the two were actually fine and it was just their imagination. Still, despite the fact that SpongeBob and Patrick often annoy him, Squidward does deeply care about their well-being.
  • "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.
    • It's a little easy to miss but when Barnacle Boy angrily requests being called "Barnacle Man" to earn respect, SpongeBob does so when saying he respects him, considering the others were (intentionally or not) mocking him minutes before. In fact, he's the only one who doesn't make fun of Barnacle Boy at all.
  • When Mr. Krabs fires the rest of his production crew in "As Seen On TV", he lets the clown stay.
    Clown: (Honks twice, a big grin on his face.)
  • 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.
      SpongeBob: Well, I guess I can't stop you. But Squidward, it's a cold, cold world out there. No one's going to serve you happiness on a silver platter. [...] I just want you to know, if you ever get in trouble, come find me. I'll take care of you. 'Cause you and me ... we're like brothers, only closer.
  • 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.
    • Before Gary even crashes, SpongeBob instantly deflates when he notices Gary's in trouble and concernedly tells him he can stop racing.
    • 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.
    • Combined with Tearjerker is the fact that Mr. Krabs has a genuine moment when he does regret selling SpongeBob out. How do we know it's genuine? He throws his recently obtained change onto the floor in disgust. As seen in previous episodes, Mr. Krabs loses it if any change falls onto the floor, treating it like a wounded animal. Here, he doesn't even hesitate to toss it aside, showing he truly does regret his own weakness that (almost) cost him SpongeBob.
  • In "Mid-life Crustacean", we get SpongeBob and Patrick being willing to invite Mr. Krabs on their night out and trying their best to help him feel young again. Even if their initial ideas completely fail to make Krabs happy and their final, ill-conceived one ends in somewhat of a Bittersweet Ending at best and Downer Ending at worst, it is still pretty wholesome to see them at least try to help him overcome his midlife crisis, even succeeding in making him feel young for a short period of time — and it's rare that we actually get a Krabs-themed episode that completely disregards his love for money and rather chooses to explore an aspect of his character such as a midlife crisis that can resonate with viewers as they grow up.
  • SpongeBob breaks his butt in "I Had an Accident" and becomes a recluse after becoming paranoid about getting injured again. Sandy and Patrick try to coax him out of his house, their ultimate attempt ending with them being beaten up by a live action gorilla. SpongeBob is initially reluctant to help them, but then he has an epiphany.
    SpongeBob: If I was out there, bagged by an ape, Patrick and Sandy would risk anything to save me. And I’ve got to do the same for them.
  • This exchange from "New Student Starfish":
    SpongeBob: What do you usually do when I'm gone [at boating school]?
    Patrick: [tearing up] Wait for you to get back.
  • "Clams" has Mr. Krabs taking Squidward and SpongeBob out on a fishing trip to show his appreciation of them.
  • 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.
  • After SpongeBob and Patrick cry after believing Junior is dead, Junior is seen flying and he's alive. Junior kisses SpongeBob on the cheek and drops a coconut on Patrick's head and then kisses him on the cheek too. After the parents say goodbye to their son, they are proud to have looked after him.
  • "When Worlds Collide from "Ugh" contains from sweet lyrics:
    X29488: I'm from the future...
    Cavey: ...and I'm from the past...
    X29488: ...but that don't mean this friendship wasn't built to last.
  • In "Missing Identity", Squidward is genuinely concerned for SpongeBob when the later thinks he lost his name tag, telling him to calm down and advising him to retrace his steps. He's even flattered when SpongeBob calls him a genius.

    Season Four 
  • In "Shell of a Man", when SpongeBob decides to disguise himself as Mr. Krabs, he goes through several repitores including winning a marathon because someone dropped a penny at the finish line and tucking in his wallet while telling it bedtime stories. However, when he claims Mr. Krabs would perform surgery on Pearl to save money, the real Mr. Krabs immediately rebukes him. For all her bratty nature, the old skinflint really does love his daughter.
    • The fact that Mr. Krabs decided to show off his Navy memorabilia to SpongeBob with pride. SpongeBob is suitably impressed by the old man's toughness.
    • The whole episode proves how the two's loyalty to each other transcends beyond the usual boss-employee relationship. The fact that SpongeBob also decided to cover for Mr. Krabs later on and Krabs later saving him from a perceived would-be beating from his Navy buddies is a sure mark of it. Krabs even apologies to SpongeBob after mocking his jellyfishing and bubble-blowing hobbies.
    • The cherry on top comes when the Navy vets decide to give Krabs his trophy for manliness, despite having him having lost his shell. They reveal that they too have lost the things that made them manly to begin with since their Navy days. In the words of one of them...
      Mutton Chop: Admitting you lost your shell...was the toughest thing I've ever seen.
  • In "The Lost Mattress", at the beginning, Mr. Krabs snaps at SpongeBob but quickly apologizes when he sees how SpongeBob is about to cry. He explains that he's just crabby cause he's having trouble sleeping on his mattress that is old and lumpy and gives him back pains.
    • Feeling bad for Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob decides to buy Mr. Krabs a new mattress as a gift. Showing how much he cares about his boss.
    • Even Patrick was happy to come and help get a new mattress for Mr. Krabs.
  • Gary and SpongeBob's reunion at the end of "Have You Seen This Snail?". There's a reason why it provides the page image.
    • 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:
      Patrick: Just let it out, buddy. That's right.
  • 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.
    • And let's not forget SpongeBob managing to round up Squidward's Sunday papers which never came, as he assumed that's why he's grumpy and wanted to prove he's a good neighbor by getting them for him.
  • 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.
  • In "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture", not only do SpongeBob and Patrick convince Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to make a movie together, they all even enjoy it by the end. In spite of what the fact that the rest of their audience obviously appear unamused with the resulting movie would lead you to expect, they instead feel proud of what they've made together and have an "Everybody Laughs" Ending.
  • "Whale of a Birthday": After Pearl's birthday ends up as a Shoddy Shindig as usual, SpongeBob saves everything last minute by bringing all the gifts he got for Pearl with Mr. Krabs' credit card, including hiring Boys Who Cry to perform. Although Mr. Krabs is angry at SpongeBob for how much money he spent, he lets it slide for his daughter's happiness.
  • 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!
  • There are 2 interesting points about Squidward's behavior in "Wigstruck": 1) he's the only person who doesn't laugh at or insult SpongeBob's wig (even Patrick told him how horrible he thought it was, and even Sandy and Mr. Krabs laughed at him); and 2) instead of allowing the guy he allegedly loathes to go on making a fool of himself, he warns him about what everyone really thinks of him now and tries to convince him to take off the wig for his own good. Squidward was really looking out for his... ahem, acquaintance... coworker... not-friend there.
  • 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.
    • Also at the end of Squidward's concert the audience is cheering and throwing roses meaning his performance must have been great.
  • To coincide with Best Day Ever, a series of shorts called "Random Acts of SpongeBob" were produced. These include our porous yellow hero performing a series of good deeds such as helping an old lady cross the street or cheering up a crying baby.
    • "Surprise Sandy Day" gets a special mention as it's revealed that SpongeBob has dedicated a whole day to doing something special for his squirrel pal. In this case, giving her some flowers anonymously. The whole short is precious.
  • 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, he realizes what he's done and what has become, and tries so desperately to get the crown away?
  • "The Gift of Gum": SpongeBob and Patrick have an entire holiday to celebrate their friendship. Aww.
    • When SpongeBob starts crying because he doesn't think his gift (a robot butler) is as good as Gummie, Patrick assures SpongeBob that he loves it.

    Season Five 
  • In "The Two Faces of Squidward," SpongeBob straight-up tells Squidward "I love you, no matter how many times we smash your face" and hugs him! D'aaaaaw!
    • Squidward doesn't even mind, either- he just smiles and says "I almost wish that made sense"
  • "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.
  • Patrick expressing sincere guilt in "Donut of Shame". Over taking a donut that SpongeBob GAVE to him as a birthday present.
  • "Breath of Fresh Squidward"'; Just seeing how happy Squidward was can really warm the heart.
  • Sandy cheering up SpongeBob in "Pest of the West".
  • In "Stanley SquarePants", the title character is SpongeBob's cousin who always screws up. Despite this, SpongeBob tries to look after and help him, even letting him help in the Krusty Krab and covering for him whenever he screws up. Well, that is until he breaks his spatula...
    • Speaking of which, Mr. Krabs gets annoyed and lectures SpongeBob for every mistake, but when he assumes SpongeBob broke his spatula, Mr. Krabs speaks more softly, showing sympathy and says he'll order another one for him tomorrow.
    • The last part of the episode, set in the Krusty Krab, starts with Mr. Krabs happily greeting SpongeBob, calling him his little moneymaker and showing affection towards him by repeatedly kissing him on the cheek. This is one of this moments that shows that Mr. Krabs, even in the post-movie seasons, still cares about his best fry cook.
  • At the end of the episode "Krabs à la Mode", Squidward was seen having fun with a group of swimmers in a newly formed swimming pool version of the Krusty Krab, showing that despite the mistreatment of the town people - they weren't that harsh to him that much. The smile on Squidward's face proves it.

    Season Six 
  • The song from "Truth or Square" about the Krusty Krab.
    • The Bikini Bottom residents arriving at the Krusty Krab having heard SpongeBob's song, and they all stand side-by-side with their arms linked, swaying side-to-side and humming the tune with SpongeBob. Mr. Krabs is overjoyed to see this.
    • The wedding too, even if it was just a play. SpongeBob looks so happy.
    • A small one, but the flashback of SpongeBob trying a Krabby Patty while still in the womb.
  • 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.
  • In "Choir Boys" when SpongeBob ends up in the mens' choir, he actually does something nice for Squidward by asking him to sit next to him at the concert and flip the pages of the music sheet for him.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick making it up to their titular neighbor in "Giant Squidward" by making him a giant (kelp mache) clarinet, showing how bad they feel sometimes for pestering him. Shame it doesn't last long.
  • "Overbooked" focuses on SpongeBob overbooking himself with Mr. Krabs (who he was suppose to help with a toy car set up), Patrick (for their usual hi jinks, though this day was special in that it was his birthday), and Sandy (for a science presentation). While it leads to usual silliness , eventually the truth comes out and Patrick, Sandy, and Mr. Krabs confront Sponge about it. When he reveals he had made plans with them at the same time to not disappoint them, the three show legit kindness, Sandy seeing SpongeBob overextended himself, Krabs asking why he didn't just say that in the first place, and even Patrick saying they could have worked something out. It's surprising and heartwarming SpongeBob's friends understood and even the ending reveals Sandy's new invention was a cloning device, allowing SpongeBob to literally be in 3 places at once.
  • As cringe-inducing as "The Splinter" is, especially in how Squidward trolls SpongeBob later, he writes this little note for the first order of the day. "Two Krabby Patties. P.S., SpongeBob, you're an idiot. Love, Squidward." For a guy that regularly dislikes SpongeBob and even just insulted him in the same note, it was oddly touching that he drew a heart too.
  • In general, No Hat for Pat is a major Heartwarming Moment for Patrick, especially since it came around the time his less savory qualities were becoming far more prevalent.
    • SpongeBob, for once, does not act like an Extreme Doormat or a Yes-Man to Mr. Krabs and wants him to stop using Patrick as a publicity stunt act lest he suffer worse injury.
    • After Patrick gets fired and loses the hat, he starts crying because he'll likely never get an opportunity to work at the Krusty Krab again. SpongeBob comforts him by lending him his hat, symbolically putting them on the same level. Definitely a moment that best defines the relationship between these two.
  • In "To SquarePants or not to SquarePants," when Spongebob "Roundpants" tries to start a new life, he follows Squidward around trying to learn the ropes of working at the Krusty Krab. Squidward is at first annoyed with SpongeBob following him around, but there is something uplifting about watching Squidward being so proud of SpongeBob, even it's because he' so proud of SpongeBob being a slob like him, and treating him like his best friend.

    Season Seven 
  • "Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle," After seeming like such a heartless jerk for so long, when Mr. Krabs sees SpongeBob feeling weak due to a lack of Krabby Patties, he is incredibly worried and instantly asks the giant vacuum cleaner to spare one for him.
  • "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 Funny Moment.
  • In "Stuck in the Wringer", it's sweet how Patrick gives SpongeBob a pep talk to get him excited about the day at the beginning, even in spite of the latter's problem. Even though it turns out to not be enough to help with the mess that Patrick caused, he was at least willing to give SpongeBob words of encouragement (and he even succeeds for at least a few minutes).
  • 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 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, 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!!
      SpongeBob: [with big sparkly eyes] Awww! He looks like a little angel! [eyes get bigger and sparklier]
      • That is, until SpongeBob remembers the bet he made not to cry and snaps right out of it, shattering the mood.
    • 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.
    • There's also that TV program Squidward and SpongeBob watch, where a dad is going to work, when his son asks if he can stay to play a game of catch with him. The dad wearily says he can't, as he's already late for his job, but just as the son looks down in disappointment, the dad comes back, deciding that he can stay to catch a few throws. The exchange between the two is as touching as it is a cliche. It's no wonder SpongeBob threw the TV out the window (to avoid crying).
    • Seeing how SpongeBob manages to instantly control himself no matter what Squidward does to ironically make him cry is heartwarming as well, as he is determined to hold in his tears and win the bet.
  • 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 Cent 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 finally 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.
    • There's another: Though even those who don't believe that SpongeBob ever jumped the shark can't deny that this episode is one of the worst, who wouldn't want to help a pet not feel lonely?
    • Someone wrote an alternate ending to the episode. It's really sweet.
    • Mr. Krabs is strangely kinder than usual in an Unexpectedly Dark Episode, compared to how he behaves in the rest of the season. He acts more like a Reasonable Authority Figure and understands SpongeBob's needs to attain to Gary, and when SpongeBob brings Gary to work with him in the end so he's not lonely, Mr. Krabs is happy to let the snail join the crew.
  • 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. Once again, Patrick showing the kind side of him hasn't vanished yet in the later seasons:
    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]
  • "Growth Spout" has Mr. Krabs dropping his usually jerk-ass tendencies and doing everything he can to help Pearl go through her 'growth spout'. No ulterior motives, no cheap tricks, he goes out of his way for his daughter and it's pretty heartwarming.
  • Even though Patrick was acting dumber than usual in "Tunnel of Glove", once Perch Perkins tells Patrick to his face SpongeBob is in danger, he drops everything to try to save him. While he only make things worse, it's a nice departure from his post-Flanderization self that was both dumber than ever and uncaring towards SpongeBob.

    Season Eight 
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • "Are You Happy Now?"
    • In a bizarre way, Squidward finally finding a happy memory — chainsawing every Paper Mache SpongeBob in sight.
      SpongeBob: [dreamy sigh] He's so handsome.
    • SpongeBob's actual concern and (failed) attempts to help Squidward be happy. Especially when he states "At least we know [Squidward] is still alive".
  • 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.
    • When SpongeBob picks up his friends one-by-one after they're incapacitated, they all chant "And we race, race, race down the snow, snow, snow!" The sight of SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy happily singing this is adorable. It's not a race anymore. It's friends having fun together.
  • In "Patrick's Staycation", SpongeBob knocks himself out trying to provide Patrick with a meal and spa experience, only for things to go horribly wrong. What follows are Patrick and Squidward being jerks in various ways, ending with Patrick taking SpongeBob's bed, and the latter not being able to sleep in it. Cue a couple frames later, and Mr. Krabs comes in to find SpongeBob in his hammock. Without fussing about it, he first asks if SpongeBob has had "another one of them nasty dreams", and then if Patrick is in his bed "again". When SpongeBob responds to the affirmative, Mr. Krabs pats him nicely on the cheek and says, "Ah well, goodnight laddie," and allows the poor sponge to stay and sleep in his hammock.
  • In "Pest of the West", it's quite heartwarming to see Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and Sandy talking about their ancestors and how proud they are.

    Season Nine 
  • 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.
    • SpongeBob helping Plankton find Spot throughout the episode. Instead of his usual obliviousness making things worse, he really puts in the effort to look for the amoeba. It makes sense since SpongeBob is a pet owner, so he understood how worried Plankton was.
    • Plankton's whole role of this episode. He has no ulterior motive for having Spot. Even using Spot to get a Krabby Patty is just a minor moment.
  • "SpongeBob, You're Fired!":
    • SQUIDWARD of all people saving SpongeBob and even admitting to him how much the Krusty Krab needs him. After everything he's put him through, too!
      Squidward: SpongeBob?
      SpongeBob: Yes?
      Squidward: You know I hate you, right?
      SpongeBob: [smiling] Yes, yes I do.
      Squidward: Well, I hate the smell of burning Krabby Patties even more. Please come back and be the fry cook again!
    • Also, Gary getting slightly un-Flanderized, and caring for SpongeBob.
    • Simultaneously, SpongeBob feeding Gary despite being completely broken up about being fired.
      SpongeBob: What's that, Gary? You need me? Oh, the unconditional love of a pet. (Gary gives a somewhat guilty look before showing SpongeBob his empty food bowl)... Oh, I'm sorry. Here I am wallowing in my own misery when it's past your dinner time.
    • Which is then later one upped when, seeing that they are out of store bought 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...
      • For those who don't like Patrick's Flanderization into the brain-dead thing he was, him punching his mutated second head for badmouthing SpongeBob is truly a sight to behold.
  • In "Squirrel Record", SpongeBob telling Sandy he wants her to stop trying to break dangerous records because he doesn't want to lose her.
  • In "It Came From Goo Lagoon", Plankton wrecks Sandy’s submarine, and she tearfully bemoans its destruction. SpongeBob immediately comforts his dear friend, holding her hand while putting the other around her shoulder. She copies his gesture. It’s brief. It’s probably easy to miss. But it’s such a kind thing to do and witness.
  • 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 few seasons.
  • "Patrick: The Game!" has Patrick make his own game. He invites SpongeBob, Sandy and Squidward to play it for the first time. Squidward has been putting him down throughout the episode, but any attempts to do so on the Game Night gets a Dude, Not Funny! response from Sandy. In fact, whenever Squidward doesn't make an effort to join in, Sandy keeps him in line. It's cute to see Sandy support Patrick.
    • The game night itself. SpongeBob, Sandy and Patrick all have fun together, and even encourage Squidward to play, being sad when he attempts to storm off and commending his play style.
  • 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.
  • In "Married to Money", when Pearl is uncomfortable with the idea of having a stepmom, Mr. Krabs is quick to reassure her.
    Mr. Krabs: Oh, don't worry, sweetie. Nothing will ever come between us.
  • Quite a lot of "Two Thumbs Down" qualifies.
    • Near the beginning, Squidward snarkily asks if SpongeBob has a thumbs up for him. SpongeBob says that he doesn't, and starts to walk away...before revealing that he has TWO thumbs up for Squidward. Squidward actually seems pleased (and a little confused) by this.
    • Everyone shows sympathy for SpongeBob when his thumbs break. Squidward even offers to help him when his injured thumbs prove to make patty flipping impossible.
    • While the scene with Sandy is genuinely upsetting, she shows absolute compassion the moment she discovers what happened to SpongeBob's thumbs. She easily could have lectured him about how it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't given thumbs up excessively. She doesn't. In fact, it's Sandy who snaps SpongeBob out of it by telling him to not give up and find something to live for.
    • Everyone giving SpongeBob a thumbs up at the end after he wins the thumb war with Patrick to get his job back.
  • "Goodbye Krabby Patty?"
    • Patrick and SpongeBob genuinely love and appreciate one another, going jellyfishing and shopping together. Even when Patrick becomes famous for advertising frozen patties, this doesn't change him at all (a breath of fresh air compared to previous episodes), and he fondly remembers the times before he was so overbooked and forced to hang out around rich people he doesn't even know, wishing things would go back to normal. And, at the end, he runs to SpongeBob and happily eats a freshly made patty he created, and even helps him make the patties after he reveals to the world that the frozen patties are bad for one's health.
    • SpongeBob politely making everyone free patties after the frozen patties were recalled.

    Season Ten 
  • "Whirly Brains"
    • SpongeBob and Patrick give their Whirly Brain propellers to the Angry Old Timer, after he tearfully tells them how he was jealous and wanted to experience flight. The episode ends with him flying happily (the man has the propellers attached to his butt).
    • Mrs. Puff and Mr. Krabs are apparently still dating — even after SpongeBob and Patrick startle them with a prank, they're still happy and their date isn't ruined.
  • In "Mimic Madness", in addition to Sandy, Plankton, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward helping SpongeBob overcome his inability to remember who he is, Patrick takes great exception to Plankton and Squidward submitting that they kill SpongeBob.
  • In "Snooze You Lose", Squidward collapses from exhaustion in SpongeBob's house. But SpongeBob quickly slides under him and shapes himself into a mattress. Patrick and Gary climb on top and fall asleep too. SpongeBob is perfectly fine with this.
  • In "Krusty Katering", the birthday kid threatens Mr. Krabs to use fireworks on him if he doesn't get his birthday cake. Krabs quickly swipes them away saying that they are dangerous to play with. The kid then says that no one has ever cared enough to explain something like that to him and begins to see Mr. Krabs as his own father. He then hugs him, which Krabs seems to be okay with.
    • Earlier in the episode, Krabs finds out SpongeBob inadvertently stole a box of precious gems to "fancy up the food." Surprisingly, instead of taking the jewels for himself, Krabs tells SpongeBob what he did was wrong and spends the rest of the episode trying to return the box. Glad to see that Mr. Krabs finally got his greed in check.
  • In "Sportz", Sandy's sports equipment is accidentally sent to SpongeBob and Squidward takes advantage of SpongeBob and Patrick's lack of knowledge of the games to mistreat them. When Sandy finds out Squidward has deliberately given the pair incorrect information about the sports, she angrily confronts and challenges him to a game of every sport as retribution. It's genuinely sweet to see Sandy stand up for her friends.
  • In "Lost and Found", when the lost aged kids reunite with their parents and they share a hug. SpongeBob then also embraces Mr. Krabs, who pats him while looking confused.
  • In "Patrick's Coupon" not only does Squidward (of all people) stop Mr Krabs from swindling Patrick out of his free ice cream coupon, he outright calls Mr. Krabs out on how dishonest and low it is to try, even for him.
  • In "Mermaid Pants", when SpongeBob and Patrick show up at the Krusty Krab dressed as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, Mr. Krabs, of all people, reveals himself to be a closet comic book geek and closes down for the day just so he and a reluctant Squidward can play with them.
  • In "Out of the Picture", SpongeBob assisting Squidward with his deliveries, helping him when Mr. Krabs tries to harm him, and him and Squidward having a good laugh after an off-screen party with SpongeBob's friends from Rock Bottom.
    Squidward: Oh, get off of me.
    SpongeBob: I'll never get off of you Squidward. Not until you're safe.
  • SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Mrs. Puff, Squidward, Pearl, and Larry throwing a birthday party for Sandy in "Feral Friends".

    Season Eleven 
  • In "The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom", when the Flying Dutchman makes a remark about SpongeBob being a lousy friend by leaving Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Plankton, Gary, and Sandy to their fate, Patrick indignantly tells the Flying Dutchman that he can't talk about SpongeBob like that.
  • In "Teacher's Pests", when Mrs. Puff tells Mr. Krabs and Plankton to follow SpongeBob's example, SpongeBob is touched by Mrs. Puff using him as an example of good driving and even comes over to hug her.
  • In "Chatterbox Gary", when Gary can talk through a communicating device around his shell, he calls SpongeBob "PapaBob". Naturally SpongeBob is moved to tears.
  • In "Moving Bubble Bass", while a very funny scene altogether, what with the over-the-top animation and Patrick's hilariously frightening Nightmare Face, in the scene where Bubble Bass reveals he ate the food he promised them, Patrick just snaps, saying things will get crazy if "my friend SpongeBob doesn't get his free lunch". Not "I get my free lunch." It's if SpongeBob doesn't get his free lunch. It's a small moment, but it shows how much Patrick cares about SpongeBob, and that SpongeBob's happiness is more important than his own, especially since he spent the entire episode obsessing over said free lunch.
  • The end of "Squid Noir" has Squidward playing the clarinet at a jellyfish bar. He gets his happy ending here and all the jellyfish enjoy his music.
  • It's a mostly silly episode, but "My Leg!" has the reveal that Fred keeps hurting his leg on purpose because he has a crush on his nurse and getting injured is a convenient excuse to keep visiting her. Probably not the best idea, but it's kind of sweet in a weird sort of way.
    • The episode ends with Fred singing a heartwarming song about how he fell in love with the nurse, ending with the nurse carrying and kissing him. And do note that the nurse is a textbook example Lady Looks Like a Dude that SpongeBob and the others were all freaked out by her appearance. Fred just thinks she's an angel.
  • "Shopping List" has some genuinely sweet moments:
    • Mr. Krabs entrusts SpongeBob to collect some, let's say, ingredients you can't just buy from the grocery store. Without any prompting or promise of a reward, Sandy willingly agrees to help SpongeBob find them with her new submarine, Matilda. She even declares that the sub has taken a shine to SpongeBob when he pats it and it revs.
    • It turns out that the ingredients SpongeBob and Sandy gathered, and Plankton stole, were fake. The former is relieved that Plankton didn't steal the Krabby Patty formula after all, but the latter is furious at Mr. Krabs tricking him.
      Sandy: You mean YOU sent my best friend on a dangerous wild goose chase just so you could go shopping?!
    • The best part of Sandy beating up Mr. Krabs for endangering herself and SpongeBob, forcing her to sacrifice her tail fur, and ultimately losing her submarine, is that the way she stands up for SpongeBob can be interpreted in two ways. Is she being a Mama Bear or a Violently Protective Girlfriend? It doesn't matter. She's looking out for her porous pal either way.
  • In "Whale Watching", Squidward saving Pearl after she got beached and then bonding with her by getting back at the Jerkass Dylan (who convinced Pearl to sneak off to the beach party and abandoned her when she got beached).
    • It is more Played for Laughs, but Mr. Krabs being overprotective towards Pearl is a nice change of pace from his usually self-centered self.
  • In "Appointment TV", after SpongeBob is unable to see the lost Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode he's been so dying to see due to his friends using him for favors (causing his VCR to overload and his house to be set on fire) and becomes a depressed wreck, Sandy, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Gary, Plankton, Mrs. Puff, and Larry feel guilty and band together to create a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy play to cheer SpongeBob up, which SpongeBob loves.
  • "Karen's Virus" is full of heartwarming moments as SpongeBob goes inside Karen to cure her of a computer virus and we get to see her inner world, all while Plankton tries to keep his wife (who the virus makes act loopy) safe in the real world.
    • Karen's circuits do indeed have a Love Center, and it's a tunnel of love full of Planktons. To be fair, her anger control center is also flanked by Plankton statues...
    • Karen's internal version of Plankton is muscular and heroic with a dashing grin. While it's implied to be how she wished he was, compared to how she sees everyone else (Krabs as a rich person only able to say "money", Squidward as a grumpy blob, and SpongeBob as an off-model loon) it's actually very flattering.
    • SpongeBob solving the problem by giving the virus a patty instead of Karen's memory banks to eat.
  • Despite their lack of interaction in previous episodes, the friendship between Sandy, Karen, and Mrs. Puff in "Girl's Night Out" is really sweet.
    • The Gal Pals play a harmless (at first) prank on SpongeBob, putting a VR headset on him while he sleeps to make him think he’s driving. When SpongeBob gets into very real danger, not only do the Gal Pals immediately try to rescue him, but Mrs. Puff reassures him that she'll save him. It’s a genuinely sweet reminder that, even after her Flanderization, Mrs Puff does care for SpongeBob

    Season Twelve 
  • "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout" may very well be one of the sweetest episodes in the whole franchise:
    • Everyone, even Plankton, Bubble Bass, and Squidward, helping set up a surprise party for SpongeBob. Mr. Krabs, Mrs. Puff, and Bubble Bass want the party to be themed after what SpongeBob enjoys (fry cooking, driving, and Mermaid Man restively) and Sandy is very determined to make sure that everything comes together to make a party SpongeBob loves.
      • Bubble Bass in particular stands out since unlike Plankton and Squidward, we have never seen him get along with SpongeBob before this episode. Further adding to this is that Bubble Bass wants the party to be Mermaid Man themed, showing he actually knows SpongeBob is a huge fan of the old superhero and they possibly may have bonded over similar interests.
    • Even when SpongeBob and Patrick become responsible for much of the problems they go through; Rube and the bus riders remain totally friendly and cordial to them, at worse groaning in annoyance a few times. They are all also more than happy to sing SpongeBob happy birthday (though they don't get a chance due to all the chaos).
    • Patrick saving SpongeBob at the Trusty Slab.
    • By the time SpongeBob gets home, everyone has been waiting so long for him to arrive that they've all fallen fast asleep on SpongeBob's living room floor. But SpongeBob doesn't care. He's overjoyed that they took the time and effort to throw a surprise party for him. Plus as exhausted as they are, every single person there still gets up to happily sing SpongeBob his birthday song.
    • Patchy the Pirate FINALLY meeting SpongeBob, including receiving a hug from the sea creature.
    • All the Happy Birthday messages from the characters and guest stars.
    • The last words on screen: Thank You Steve Hillenburg!
    • When Sandy tries to distract everyone with dancing, it's quite adorable to see Mr. Krabs and Pearl, Plankton and Karen, and SpongeBob's parents dancing with each other.
  • "Karen's Baby" is also an overall very heartwarming episode.
  • "Escape from Beneath Glove World" has plenty of moments during SpongeBob and Patrick's adventure:
    • In general, the sheer protective instinct SpongeBob and Patrick display for the lost toddler. They only met him that very day and yet they're willing to face any danger to protect him.
    • Upon seeing the Soggy Sock Flume, Patrick fondly remembers the Glove Flume as the first time SpongeBob ever called him his best friend. SpongeBob hugs Patrick in response.
    • After SpongeBob and Patrick defeat Animatronic Hieronymus Glove, the real Hieronymus Glove pardons the two, commends them for their bravery and sings a song in their honor.
  • In "Krusty Koncessionaires", Squidward not only manages to play the world's greatest clarinet and not suck at it despite the curse placed on him by Squidly, which would've blown away and wowed the crowd if they had actually stuck around to hear it instead of assuming the worst and bolting, but he actually gets recognized for his performance with Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob by the Low Tides, and the band's clarinet player, Claire St. Claire. After so long of having the worst damn luck with his favorite instrument, he's actually applauded for his impromptu performance by a professional.
    • Even better, he actually has fun playing with Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob.
  • "Kooky Cooks" has SpongeBob and Squidward having a food fight, one where they both genuinely have fun doing. At least until Sponge falls into an oven.
    • There's also Mr. Krabs, Pearl, and Squidward (mostly) showing concern over SpongeBob's safety.

    Season Thirteen 
  • The end of the episode "C.H.U.M.S." has SpongeBob saving Mr. Krabs from Plankton's chum monster (which had eaten him) without even realizing it. Mr. Krabs, who was crying out for him to help him earlier, holds him in his arms while calling him his little hero and kisses him on the nose.
  • "SpongeBob's Road to Christmas" stars SpongeBob wanting to give Santa a gift to thank him for all his hard work. When Santa accidentally misses it and SpongeBob sees the present again in July, he goes out of his way to go all the way up to the North Pole to give it to him. The present for him? A thank you message telling SpongeBob how happy he is Santa can give Christmas and joy to so many people.
  • In "Mandatory Music", Squidward is humiliated by being placed in a music class for young children. His attempts to rebel against the class wind up getting him handcuffed by the police. It's as he's crying that he realizes he genuinely does have musical talent at playing the nose flute, like SpongeBob does. His teacher declares him the most improved student, and the episode ends with Squidward playing a concert for SpongeBob, his classmates, his teacher, and the people who booed him at his first concert. They give him genuine applause, making Squidward cry Tears of Joy.
  • In "Hot Crossed Nuts", Sandy is hired by Mr Krabs to add her barbecued nuts to the Krusty Krab menu. SpongeBob excitedly sings “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Sandy”, replacing “someone” with himself. Not only is this an adorable way to welcome Sandy to the job, it almost feels like an apology for the episode of the same name where Sandy went through Hell.
    • As SpongeBob finishes his impromptu song with a silly little dance, he makes Sandy laugh. It’s a really cute callback to the earlier seasons in which his antics got a giggle out of her every time.
  • "Big Top Flop" once again gives Squidward a nice moment when his performance as a sad circus clown ends up being loved by the audience, earning him plenty of cheering and applause.

  • "Calls in the Wild" ends with a clarinet duet between Squidward and the Mulligor.
  • In "Great Grandma", Squidward gets along remarkably well with SpongeBob's grandmother. She compliments his dancing and his art, and when he tries to visit her again, he notices in the window that she's painting a portrait of him.
  • SpongeBob sticking up for Sandy when her species is misrepresented in a "landquarium".
  • In "Squidward's Shell Phone", SpongeBob shows off his shell phone to Squidward, which drives the latter nuts and finally causes him to smash his phone in frustration. SpongeBob feels bad and offers his own. The feeling doesn't last long but Squidward appears to be genuinely grateful for the gesture.
  • In "Not-So Great Expectations", SpongeBob invites Squidward to a theme park called Blockville, and Squidward only agrees to go so he can secretly relish SpongeBob's disappointment. It is indeed an awful theme park. The staff are rude, all the rides are closed except for one that breaks, and they're all out of confectionary. But SpongeBob has the time of his life and at the end, he explains why: because he gets to spend the day with his friend. Squidward is so touched by this that he's moved to tears.
  • Squidward's apology to SpongeBob in "The Liar!" for not believing that he met a movie star.
    Squidward: You're an idiot, but you're an honest idiot.
  • The ending of "Peace 'N Quiet": A fish yells a question at an exhausted Squidward: How much is the blanket SpongeBob sold his stuff on? Squidward collapses, and SpongeBob uses it as a Comforting Comforter to put over the octopus.
    SpongeBob: I'm sorry, sir. It's not for sale.
  • One issue had SpongeBob really want to see a band called "Böbö" and no one wanted to take him to see it, nor did any forms of transportation went to where they were playing. He finally goes to Mrs. Puff, and although she was reluctant, she agrees to drive him to where they were playing. When they arrived too late, Mrs. Puff got him lunch at a diner. Later, they meet the band on the side of the road, and due to the fact that Mrs. Puff got sick due to the lunch they ate, SpongeBob had to drive the band to their next location. Mrs. Puff fully encourages him to do so, and he actually succeeds. Unfortunately, he ends up crashing when he was taking Mrs. Puff to the hospital, but for a moment, Mrs. Puff was glad that he succeeded in driving, if temporarily. The band got to play for him at the hospital as well.
  • SpongeBob squeeing over the adorable little krill who had found his way into his home. It's also very sweet when he agrees to re-unite the krill with his family... even if it happens to be a krill mound in the Krusty Krab.
  • "Untidaled" has plenty of heartwarming moments involving Pearl in the final part:
    • Pearl tells Mr. Krabs not to worry about her when the kraken tries to make an offer with him in exchange for Pearl's freedom.
      Pearl: Don't worry about me, daddy!
      Mr. Krabs: I won't, sweet baby!
      Plankton: WHHAAAT?
      Mr. Krabs: I mean, I will! I WILL!
    • Plankton reveals why he devised the plan that started the arc in the first place: He only planned the whole singing contest to distract Mr. Krabs so that he could steal the formula, because he thought Krabs cared about Pearl enough to leave the formula unguarded.
      Plankton: Don't you get it, you chitinous cretin?! You were supposed to go with her!! What kind of father doesn't want to hear the musical call of his own offspring? How could I know you'd be such a colossal jerk!?
    • SpongeBob gives Mr. Krabs a heartwarming speech on how he sees Mr. Krabs as a father figure.
      SpongeBob: I've already got a daddy, but if I could have more, I'd want the third or fourth one to be just like you, only more thoughtful!
      Mr. Krabs: Ahhh, Pearl don't want nothin' to do with an old hard-shell like me.
      SpongeBob: Then give her a reason to.
    • Plankton of all people rescues Pearl. The reason? He needed the "redemption."
    • The ending is one big Heartwarming Moment. A few days after things are returned to normal, Mr. Krabs holds a concert starring Pearl. She ends up breaking the window behind her when she starts singing, leaving Krabs in tears.
      SpongeBob: Aww, don't worry about it, Mr. Krabs. It won't cost you anything! I've been saving my tips for some new windows.
      Mr. Krabs: (smiling) That ain't why I'm cryin', boy.
  • One comic had SpongeBob try to help Plankton get one customer so he wouldn't have to steal the secret formula, after initial failure, Plankton is suprised to get a customer who actually wants to have his chum. The customer comes by every day and things eventually lead to Krabs trying to steal Plankton's recipe. Eventually, the customer reveals that SpongeBob himself who revealed that he wasn't really eating the chum. When Plankton asks (in tears) why he had done it, SpongeBob states that he did it to give Plankton a reason not to steal the formula. Plankton is genuinely thankful for SpongeBob's actions and even thanks him.

    Not In The Show Itself 
  • 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 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!
  • After the death of Squidward's German voice actor, Eberhard Prüter, the German Spongepedia briefly put a tribute to him on their website, that loosely translated to, "Thank you very much for making something good out of Squidward's bad mood."
    • Then, Nickelodeon posted Joachim Kaps and Tobias Lelle's auditions online so that the public decided who should be his new German voice (they chose Joachim Kaps). No other character whose original German voice actor had died recieved this treatment. That shows how beloved Squidward is by the fans.
  • 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.
  • This video by YouTube creator EmperorLemon, which explains why the series first three seasons are so popular: and reminding us all of how important it is to balance out our adult selves with our young, childish optimism without letting either one take over entirely.
  • Following Stephen Hillenburg's death, fans of the show came together to pay respects, even those who hadn't watched the show in ages. Other cartoon creators also paid respects, as well as Nickelodeon themselves. Even Cartoon Network paid respects.
    • Five months after his passing, a special memorial ceremony for Stephen Hillenburg was held at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, California. During the ceremony, they brought out Tom Kenny (voice of Spongebob) to perform an emotional rendition of "The Best Day Ever" with The Hi-Seas. The tribute also doubles as a Tear Jerker since the keyboardist is crying while performing the song.
    • Nickelodeon's own tribute to Hillenburg consisted of various heartwarming clips from various episodes of the show; rather notably, all but two or three of these clips came from the show's first three seasons, the ones that Hillenburg was most personally involved in; even one of the post-2004 clips is taken from the tenth season, which was the first one to feature Hillenburg since season three. The fact that Nickelodeon's tribute focused almost entirely on Hillenburg's own contributions to the show speaks volumes.
    • Wendel Bezerra (SpongeBob's Brazilian voice actor) did his own tribute to Stephen.
    • Clancy Brown's tweet.
      My moment of silence had to be at least a whole day.
      Steve's passing is so very sad but ALS is brutal, unrelenting.
      He was a sweet, humble dude. Happy. Funny. In love with his family. A faithful friend. A pure heart
      He is also a legitimate genius.
      He never thought so, but I do.
    • In the wake of Hillenburg's passing, a petition was started to have Sweet Victory played at the Super Bowl's halftime show. It garnered major media attention and the stadium that hosted the 2019 Super Bowl began hinting at something SpongeBob-related during the halftime. While this unfortunately led to a Negated Moment of Awesome (a new animation was created for the event, but the song wasn't played in full), an NHL team, the Dallas Stars, got the hint to play a modified version of the original clip at the end of the second intermission the day after the Super Bowl, touting it as the halftime show fans deserved. Even NASCAR followed with their own tribute two weeks later.
    • Two years later in 2021, Paramount+'s Super Bowl campaign ended right before halftime, and when all of their star characters reached the summit they played snippets of SpongeBob's "Sweet Victory" performance. They even had the band in a to-scale dome!
    • Two years after his passing, fans of the show decided to reanimate the entirety of the The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie with over 300 people that begun in early 2020 as a tribute to Hillenburg. When it arrived during the Summer of 2022, a special stinger was added by fans which adapted the very first recording of Tom Kenny's performance as SpongeBob, and Stephen Hillenburg voicing Squidward from 1996. The audio was taken from a Season 1 DVD Boxset of the series under the special feature "The voices of SpongeBob SquarePants".

Alternative Title(s): Christmas Who