Hello, Spongey here. I think it’s time for a new Spongey’s Favorite Episodes!
This one is going to be different as it will be a full “Top” 10 rather than 5 like with most of these. SPF is for when I have less to say, not just for ones I only have a certain amount of episodes to talk about.
This of this as a Top List but approached like a SPF, that is labeled as the latter since it gives you an idea of what to expect. With that said, Harvey Beaks!
Created by CH. Greenblatt, Harvey Beaks premiered in 2015 and it did not take too long for Nick to not treat it too well as it mostly just sat there.
It got worse when they scored a bigger hit with The Loud House which made them ignore Harvey to the point that it got booted to Nicktoons Network and of course was canned after 2 Seasons.
This was so made that the creator himself complained about it, which is still pretty amazing. It really sucks it got screwed over big time as it seriously was a great show to me.
I’ve been growing a bigger soft spot for Slice of Life of shows lately and I think Harvey lead to that. The adventures of a nice bird boy Harvey and his friends in Littlebark were really charming, sweet and also pretty funny at times.
I really liked how they balanced all these things and didn’t make the show too sweet for it’s own good, while still of course having plenty of feels. Add in a cast of memorable characters and some really gorgeous backgrounds and you have a really solid series.
(Also, great music but we’ll get to that)
So of course I’m here to share some of it’s highlights today, in a weird hybrid of two post styles. Let’s see which stories stood out to me most over its 2 seasons.
These are my favorite episodes of Harvey Beaks
(It’s Christmas, You Dorks will not be here since I went into twice but trust me, it’s still fantastic)
LINK TO THE MAIN TIME I TALKED ABOUT IT: https://spongey444.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/a-look-at-modern-nicktoons-christmas-episodes/
Writers: Kevin A. Kramer, Monica Ray, and Nicholas Sumida
That’s right, we’re starting off with an episode literally called The Feelings. Clearly this will be a substance free comedy romp.
Jokes aside, I picked this to start us off as I feel it’s best to start with the kind of episode I was required to love just from the set up.
Harvey and his Dad, Irving go on a little outdoor trip where Irving hopes he can connect with his own father who is a bit too emotionally distant. Yep, it’s a Daddy issues type story, which some have informed me I tend to like a lot.
And between having my favorite movie of 2017 being basically Daddy Issues the Movie, and episodes like this, I get that.
Although here the issue is that Irving’s Dad simply doesn’t show off his feelings that much. And that’s the main reason I like this episode. He’s not a jerk or anything like that, he’s just not that good at showing emotions which in itself isn’t the worst thing.
It takes prodding for him to realize this but he’s clearly cool with hanging out with Irving and Harvey. Both sides are shown off nicely, and we get plenty of nice moments right from the start with Irving reminiscing about his childhood.
The way they get Grandpa to starting opening up is a decent one and leads to most of the comedy here as well.
You’ll see quickly that most of the shows stories are simple and it really works in most of the episodes on here, as it’s just simply all really nice without needing to be super complicated.
It’s about Irving wanting his Dad to open a bit, and that’s really all you need for a story with plenty of nice moments and a few laughs. But it is how they handle this conflict that makes the episode work, as it makes them both understandable without making one a jerk in any way.
Oh and the ending is really nice, of course.
So yeah, it shows off some of the shows strengths while adding a little something extra. A pretty good and sweet choice to start this list with.
Expect the rest of the sections to be as long as this one was.
Writers: Kevin A. Kramer, Aaron Austin, and Hannah Ayoubi
One of the best parts of a slice of life show like this is getting to explore the interesting side characters and this is one of the standout examples for this show.
This episode is about Technobear, a bear who dances. That sounds one note and he sort of is but his joke works and they do a god job of creating a story for him.
He finds out his real name is actually Terrybear and he starts going through an identity crisis, thinking he has to change his entire personality to match his new name.
Even compared to the others on here, there isn’t too much to say about this one. It’s a solid set up with a really solid execution. You know what moral it’s going to have but the ride is enjoyable enough to make up for it.
It’s both interesting and funny to see Technobear reinvent himself simply due to his name. He eventually settles on a Cowboy persona which is as funny as it sounds.
This one has more comedy to it some of the others on here which I like, because as I said earlier, this show can be pretty funny on top of everything else.
TechnoBear is just a funny character in general so him getting a story like this is going to lead to some good jokes along with the solid story. My favorite jokes come from his parents who are equally amusing.
The moral of being who you want to be is an obvious one but also an important one. It helps that it’s done with some really nice moments with his parents. I really like supportive they are here.
Overall, it’s a good example of how focusing on a certain character can lead to a really sold episode and this one is amusing with a good story about how your name or anything like that doesn’t dictate your personality.
It’s a simple but effective episode that’s both funny and interesting. Whether you’re a Technobear or a Terrybear, it’s definitely a solid watch.
Writers: Shane Houghton, Aaron Austin, and Hannah Ayoubi
Insert Fairly Odd Parents joke here.
Harvey decides he’s too old to keep a childhood to so he gives it to Foo only to not be happy with how Foo plays with it.
This episode is interesting because you think it would focus on just one theme with this concept but it actually touches on a couple at once. The two themes being getting too old for something and being able to let go of things you used to be attached to.
Most takes on this plot usually focus on just one but this combines both which makes for a really solid story. It starts with a flashback to how Harvey got Chicky, which does a great job of making us understand why he’s so attached. But we also see that Chicky came apart a tad over time, so we also see why maybe it would be best to get rid of it.
Most of the episode has Foo messing with Chicky and while this could have been made him unlikable, it’s made clear he’s just playing with it in the way he wants to, rather than actually being anger inducingly (shut up, that’s a word now) stupid .
Harvey’s worry is understandable but at some points it does seem like he just wants Foo to play the way HE does. Once again, they strike a really good balance here.
Speaking of balance, the ending does a good job of showing these two themes I mentioned. They do talk about being willing to let go of your childhood but it’s done in a nuanced way rather than just picking one easy route.
It proves the show can get some nuance in there, along with the simple cute stories. This has elements of that too of course, like the opening and the way the ending plays out.
It conveys it’s themes in a nuanced way that makes for a well written and very sweet episode as a whole. Chicky might be Icky, but this episode sure isn’t.
A Day of No To Do
Writers: Katie Mattila, Aaron Austin, and Hannah Ayoubi
Season 1 of the show was really good, especially for a first season but it was slightly brought down by a formula they would sometimes use. Harvey does things a certain way Fee and Foo don’t like so they make him change only for it to turn his way worked better to begin with.
I went over it when I reviewed the first Halloween episodes and I feel like it made episodes pretty predictable when they kept going back to it. Thankfully they dropped it in Season 2 but before that, they managed to perfect it with this episode.
Mostly because it subverts it. Harvey gets a day planner and starts making a strict schedule for his day and of course Fee and Foo try to teach him to not do that.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, this is a better version of Freaky Fido, possibly the best take on this plot I’ve seen, at least in terms of the episode quality.
This episode has him learning to let loose in a fairly straight way, instead of doing the “the way he was is fine” thing other episodes do, but it’s not quite as simple as that.
He does struggle with being looser and there is a moment where says he likes living by a schedule, so you think they would do that but soon after they just have him be glad the planner got lost.
But they do make him a new one at the very end to show that do want him to use it since he likes doing so, he just simply needs to be willingly to not rely on it.
In the end, he does have to learn to change but he is allowed to sometimes use a planner if he wishes, because he personally likes it. It’s not as perfect of a balance as other episodes on this list but it is still done really well.
But honestly as good as all that is, the main reason this gets on here is the ending. They witness a parade of these crazy woodland creatures and it is beautiful.
It’s hard to describe but it’s just simply amazing due to the music and visuals. Even though it’s not a sad or even emotional scene, the way it’s done still makes me feel big time.
I suggest watching the scene for yourself, which Nick was kind enough to upload. You can watch it several times and be just as happy as you would if you watched the whole episode to get to it:
But the rest of the episode is great too. It takes a good but flawed formula for this show and applies to a good but flawed plot type and tweaks things to create a well written episode with an amazing ending.
Overall, it is a really good take on some iffy plot types that is worth adding to your to do list.
The Ballad of Museli and Jangles
Writers: Amalia Levari, Aaron Austin, and Hannah Ayoubi
We have plenty of “feels-y” episodes on here, but here’s an episode I like for how fun it is. Sure, it is sweet too but it’s the comedy and makes it as good as it is.
Harvey, Fee, and Foo want Irving to tell them a story that, to quote Simpsons, is down to earth and swarming with magical robots. Irving gives it to them by telling the story of how he met Miriam, with a fantasy and later Sci-Fi setting.
This episode is a really good mix of sweet and funny and while it would have been really good if it did just one, I think combining them both worked best. The basic story as it is, is pretty cute but not exactly the complex or original.
Miriam used to be in with a bad crowd and is forced to work at the college’s (which is like a castle, but with debt!) library which Irving also works at and they bond over how she’s surprisingly good at organizing books.
And of course eventually she starts to like being a “Nerd” and her bad friends don’t like it. Nothing too complicated here but that’s why it works. It’s a simple and cute story that works because it’s simple and cute.
Plus, Miriam is never really a jerk at the start, she’s just more into making trouble. Right off the bat she’s not a jerk to Irving so their bond becomes believable.
Slightly rushed but it’s fine for the episode it is. I almost wish this was a 22 minute episode so things can get fleshed out but it is meant to be just a simple story so that may have ruined that somewhat.
But as I said, it mostly works because of the comedy. Foo, Fee, and Harvey wanting fantasy elements leads to a lot of comedy.
“She was a real-”
I won’t spoil the best jokes but my favorite parts are the random major setting changes, just for how jarring it is when it happens. They have a lot of fun adding in fantasy/Sci Fi elements to this cute little story.
They never step on each either, the comedy and story are allowed to breathe without either being too strong. That’s why keeping the story simple works, it allows for more comedy.
And of course, it does end up pretty sweet with a nice ending.
Overall, it’s a really fun episode that manages to be pretty funny with it’s set up and decently sweet with the nature of the story. It balances two things really well, making a really fun and nice episode.
I don’t have a good pun to end this one on.
Writers: Amalia Levari, Monica Ray, and Nicholas Sumida
Okay, back to ones with story/heart as the focus.
Harvey and Piri Piri discover a magic secret garden which they name Gordon. Piri Piri wants to spend some time in there alone with Harvey but he invites his friend which upsets her…and the garden.
This one should be simpler to explain. This kind of plot isn’t really my thing but this episode really makes it work. Piri Piri liking Harvey is slightly out of the blue (and isn’t really explored much again) but it does fit and it works really well in this episode.
She’s a really enjoyable character with how she’s this super upbeat dreamer and episodes about her tend to give us more depth, this being the best example.
Her crush on Harvey is really cute and doesn’t become too cringe-y. It helps that Harvey’s side simply has her liking her without it getting all weird, since they are still kids after all.
It’s another one that strikes a good balance as Harvey isn’t being a jerk by inviting people over, he just wants his friends to see the cool garden. The problem is more with Piri Piri not being able to admit that she wants to spend some time alone with him.
And when she does, he totally understands. Also, she gets a really good song about her feelings, which gets a reprise that is equally good.
Then we have the garden itself, which is another excuse to show off the beautiful animation. Seriously, it’s especially good with they show off the garden.
As you’d expect, it all comes together in a really sweet ending. You know it’s done well when a Non-Shipper like me finds it quite enjoyable. It’s impressive they managed to keep this Innocent and solid when it could have been just cheap shipping bait.
I think some shows these days can learn a few things from this episode, as it makes something that is slightly out nowhere work really well.
Overall, it’s a very sweet episode with a cool location, a great song and a solid story where both parties are likable and share some nice moments. It’s a great way to do this king of thing.
And that’s no secrets. I’m not sorry.
The Negatives of being Positively Charged
Writers: Shane Houghton, Charlie Gavin, and Chris Houghton
Sometimes when I do these kind of things I talk about really early episodes that I feel were the Growing the Beard moments for the shows in question. And this is the one for this show.
The early episodes were actually a lot better than most shows, only suffering from that formula which wasn’t present around the time this episode aired. But this is the moment where that showed Harvey Beaks can be more than just charming, it can be legit great.
Some magic rocks turn Fee and Foo into living magnets which is fun at times, until they realize that means they can’t directly touch each other anymore. Drama ensues.
The way the show wrote Fee and Foo always impressed me. They could have been really unlikable or the type of siblings who fight a lot but they actually made them really enjoyable and they clearly love each other.
They only “fight” in a joking way, as shown in this episode. Most of their play involves hitting each other so you can see how becoming magnets is a problem for them.
This episode is pretty simple, it’s mostly just them having fun being magnets until they realize why it’s bad and get sad over. But it manages to be really enjoyable because of the emotion.
Plus, the scenes of them playing around early on are pretty funny.
As you can imagine, it gets pretty emotional in the 2nd half. It’s really sad seeing them try to do their usual things when they’re stuck like this. Oh and there’s another great song that comes in to show off the emotion further.
I swear this isn’t the most musical show ever, it just happens to have some songs sometimes. Even the music outside of the songs is great, hence why the Christmas episode turned out so well.
The song in this one was the first really big emotional moment in the show, and it did get to me. It’s not the most emotional I’ve gotten over this show (we’ll get to that one) but it’s up there.
The song is straight up beautiful and they did a great job setting things up so that it really hits home. It makes the ending even more satisfying.
It’s another really solid simple story with a genius set up that is done just as well as it should be done. Some episodes had bits of this before but this was the first episode to be this emotional.
And even now it holds up as one of the shows best and most well executed stories. It’s taking me too long to finish this section as it is due to not having much to say so we’ll wrap this up.
It’s a great up with an equally great and emotional execution. I’m positive about that. Man, I’m killing it with the puns today!
Writers: Kevin A. Kramer, Zeus Cervas, and Colin Heck
If I made this a couple of years ago I would have commented on that 2nd writer, but I don’t really care about that anymore.
Harvey and his Dad, along with his friends go camping to see a comet Irving saw with his Dad that only comes once every (some number) years. Their plans get hindered a bit though when Irving is knocked out.
While there are two episodes to go, I think this one represents the show the best, since the last two are different compared to most episodes.
It’s a simple set up that leads to a lot of heart and some good jokes. This has some of the other kids get together like Techonbear and Dade, and they provide the best jokes like when Techno Bear abruptly leaves due to the lack of ladies.
Harvey’s desire to see the comet with his Dad like he did with his drives this episode and gives it a ticking clock which helps make it engaging. They do a good job of making you see why this is important which helps it even more.
It’s somewhat of an adventure with how they get to the comet watching spot, while Irving is out of commission. It’s a fun one too with what they deal with and how Irving just babbles random stuff…that Foo of course can understand.
It also leads to some nice moments when the kids come back after having left, to help Harvey and especially the ending.
This is Harvey Beaks: A show about some genuinely nice people who care about each other, with a lot of heart and some good comedy. This episode really shows all that off the most and certainly most evenly.
It’s nothing complicated but it’s simple, straight forward, and really engaging and sweet. It’s the definition of a feel good episode and a perfect example of one from a feel good show.
The only thing left to mention is that it’s sister episode actually shows what Miriam and Fee were doing at home while this was going. It’s a fun episode, but not nearly as good as this one.
Although it’s worth noting that at one point Harvey calls the babysitter who is having trouble that the other episodes goes into. Wasn’t expecting this to be compared to a Pixar short, but there you go.
Overall, this episode shows off everything the show is about and on it’s own it’s just a really sweet and fun little episode. I have no comet pun to end this on.
Writers: Kevin A. Kramer, Aaron Austin, and Hannah Ayoubi
Oh boy,I said the episode I get the most emotional over was coming up, and here we are. I’ll say more about this one, due to it’s very nature.
In a previous episode, Fee was forced to visit an old man named Blister who she eventually bonded with, mostly because they both love pranking people.
That episode was great (the only reason it’s not on here is because of this entry) and did a good job at making us care about Blister.
He had one other major appearance before this one and here is where things get interesting. After a day of pranking, Blister tells Fee he is planning a big prank for Tomorrow, that he is keeping a secret from her from now.
But that is sadly cut short because the next day, Fee is informed that Blister passed away. You read that correctly. The premise of this episode is that an established character died for real.
It’s already surprising when death is brought up in a family show in past tense, so imagine my surprise when an entire episode about it popped up on Nickelodeon.
It’s handled just as well as it needed to be. I will admit this has a minor flaw compared to some other episodes, and it’s that some of the pranking is slightly cruel at points. Nothing that goes overboard, but I don’t really want anything cruel in an episode like this.
I can overlook it to enjoy the episode, and some of it with Fee is understandable. See, Fee thinks his death is just part of the big prank so she pretty much is okay with letting everyone think someone is dead when they are not.
However, it’s more of her way with coping. The prank thing is her way of rationalizing all this. Who knows what would have happened if the death really was a prank,but as it is it all makes sense.
It really just makes this sadder. Not only is he dead but Fee doesn’t even believe it yet, and can’t quite seem to cope with it. Yeah, you can see why this one gets pretty emotional.
I won’t fully spoil in exact detail but the moment where Fee figures out what is going in extremely heartbreaking. Especially if you have had any kind of loved one die.
It’s still sad either way but boy will it add an extra layer for you. This is an episode where even the funny moments lead to emotion as some if it shows their bond which of course is quite sweet.
Hell, this episode has the saddest Roll Credits moment of all time.
I wish I could fully describe it but I don’t think anything really can. The way it’s done is just beautiful. On it’s own it works because of the music, writing and animation but they did a great job setting Blister up before this one which makes everything even more heart wrenching.
Yes, I did cry at the end. All 3 times I’ve seen this episode, infact. It really is amazing what they pulled off in this episode. A Nicktoon was allowed to deal with death and they did it really well.
It’s especially impressive since Blister was pretty much created so this episode can exist. Yes, really. I kind of suspected that to be honest, but I’m glad they did a good job of hiding it.
Overall, this episode manages to tackle death really well and it proves this show could even handle some tough topics on top of just being generally nice.
It’s a really emotional watch that build on a previous quite well and is just simple great. I don’t have an ending pun, I want to move on before we drown in tears.
Even something that still isn’t a full “top” list needs one of these.
The Sleepover’s Over: Harvey tries to make it through his first sleepover which leads to a pretty nice ending.
The Storm: Harvey makes Fee and Foo move in to his house after sewing their conditions. Another one where it’s all in the ending.
Technoscare: See the Modern Nicktoons Halloween Episode post for me but in short, It’s A Christmas Carol on Halloween. Yeah.
Arbor Day: Easily the greatest Arbor Day Episode ever made. Jokes aside, the story is pretty solid here with how Piri Piri has to deal with her beloved holiday being different from how they taught her.
And the episode I’d pick as my favorite is…
The End and the Beginning
Writers: C. H. Greenblatt, Ashlyn Anstee, and Nicholas Sumida
This might seem like an odd choice, as I’m not the one to put a big episode like this one as my favorite, especially since is the somewhat forced on them finale to a show that didn’t exactly seem like it could pull one that great, at least compared to others.
But here we are. This episode is impossible to talk about without spoiling something,but I won’t give away the exact way things happen, hopefully.
The basic premise is the Fee and Foo’s parents show up. …Yeah. We’ve wondered exactly what is going on with them, and this was finally brought up in The Grunicorn.
And it gets a pay off here. It turns out they are from the “Impland Empire”, and their parents simply lost track of them one day because they….aren’t that bright. Don’t worry, they’re the likable kind of stupid, and they are less stupid in the present.
They are very much Cloud Cuckoolanders though, which surprises Foo as she expected her parents to be more like Harvey’s. This has a hard time dealing with this, and would prefer things to be like they were when it was her and Foo taking care of each other,
Between this and the last one, I feel really bad for Fee.
A lot of this episode is told in flashbacks, mostly going from when Fee and Foo got lost to when they befriend Harvey, and they do a great job of exploring all this.
We really see how Fee and Foo felt during all this, and it makes a lot of things from previous episodes make even more sense. Seeing how everything came to be here makes their friendship with Harvey even stronger.
It goes without saying a lot of emotion is involved, and a lot of is very cute at times. Things got even more interesting at the end where something happens that I wasn’t quite expecting.
It likely only happened due to this being the finale but C.H. Greenblatt did say on Tumblr he had plans for Season 3 that would involve what happens here, so I guess that’s not totally the case.
It leads to an incredibly emotional ending that again uses music really well. Except this time it’s the theme song, which is used for an amazing book end.
I thought this would be one of those solid finales that’s brought down by being clearly forced onto them, which are quite popular lately. But instead this was basically the perfect ending.
Sure, it is clear it was forced on them but Nick still at least let CH and his crew end things the way they more or less wanted to, just like Disney did with Penn Zero. Maybe Networks are finally learning!
This finale managed to close the series in a way I find to be perfectly satisfying. Even tough I wanted more, this was done so well I think having more would just ruin it, although I trust they’d pull it off well enough.
But regardless if it gets any chances to continue or not, this finale is still excellent. Even the small rushed things are fine since it leads to some great moments of emotion.
Oh and some comedy, this still has parents from a crazy country after all.
Overall, this episode used a good setup to close the series on a perfect note. I’m not sure what the “Best” episode is but this is honestly my personal favorite. Weird to say for an episode that’s still somewhat recent but that’s just how much it means to me.
It shows that this show can do it’s best even when it’s forced to end. It’s a really great emotional ride and that gives us a really great ending.
It’s not quite the beginning but it quite the great, both for the show and for this kinda sorta list. And for that, it’s my favorite Harvey Beaks Episode.
And those were my favorite Harvey Beaks Episodes. The format was a tad odd, as I originally started writing this as a top list but changed my mind due to how short the sections are.
It doesn’t really matter but you know how I am sometimes. Either way, I’m glad I got to gush about Harvey Beaks. Right from the start, I really got into it and I feel like it’s now among the best Nicktoons.
Hell, I actually have it above Rocko and Danny Phantom which shows you how much I’ve grown to like it. Regardless of what it’s better than, it’s still a really charming show that helped make Nick just a bit better.
Now if only they’d get more shows aside from just relying on two big ones, they’d be actually good overall!
I’m still a bit salty over them canning it but at least they let it happen. I think I said what I need to say about Harvey, it’;s great, especially compared to some other Harvey’s lately.
That was fun but our next post on one show should be another Look At one, I feel like we’re due for one since the Milo one was short-ish.
It has to be a show I can say something about, perhaps one I’ve been thinking about it since it started and decided to do A Look At rather than a SPF of some kind, just so I can talk about it more generally.
Yep, that’s a good choice.