The climax of the film is a testament to familial love. Olive is about to completely embarass herself, fail in her endeavor to be win a beauty pagent, and learn a lesson the hard way. All the other characters in the film have already "learned a lesson the hard way" when Olive goes up on stage for the last time and, because they love her, they want to shelter her from disappointment. Instead of letting her join them in failure and chagrin, they save her.
They go up and dance too. They look like fools, but the look like a family. That's love, I think.
Love and specifically unconditional love is a very important theme in Little Miss Sunshine (2006). The film portrays an extremely dysfunctional family. In the beginning the family seems as if they can barely tolerate one another. Something as simple as a family meal can cause serious strife. However, through a very long and difficult road trip for Olive’s pageant, the family realizes that they don't fit in with society's idea of normalcy. However, they're love for each other transcends this, and proves to make them stronger as a family.
The presence of love is one of the most powerful and thematically significant qualities of the film. The climax of the film might be the best example of this. While Olive is on stage and facing a difficult time in terms of reaction from the audience and judges, the family members jump on stage to dance with her. While they might have held differing opinions about one another, they put that aside for love of one another and for the demonstration of loyalty towards one another. When the writer of the film, Michael Arendt, suggests that the ending reflects how "the family is starting separately, but ending together," it underscores how love is such an important part of the film. Olive's competition, her grandfather teaching her the routine, and the entire "Super Freak" setting with all of the family members dancing to their own tune, but doing so in support of one another allows the viewer to understand how powerful love is in this family. In the end, it is this redemptive force that accounts for the differences, bridges the chasms of experience, and provides a common ground for all the family members to share.