What’s this? Another season 7 episode that I hadn’t seen in years? How surprising (/s). My impression of this episode for years has been that it’s genius for using the green (abrasive) side of sponges as a plot point. I kind of love when episodes use SpongeBob’s status as a kitchen sponge, like “Model Sponge”. And, this episode is like a fusion of “Overbooked” and “Walking Small”, which are both episodes I liked, so it makes sense that I liked this one too.
The beginning of this episode sets up the plot quite nicely, even if it does make me feel bad for SpongeBob. Also, who cuts in line for the bus? Unnecessary. Also, I love Sandy, but I don’t like how disrespectful she is of SpongeBob’s time here. She clearly just ran into him, wasn’t seeking him out, yet somehow this is an emergency? Please. And we see that literally it was so Sandy could make a smoothie…ooh that got me hot. Mr. Krabs being disrespectful is a given, and the fact that it was kinda a nod to “Bossy Boots” makes that part better to me. At least, that is until we get a missed bus of “Rock Bottom” proportions. That’s the one thing I didn’t like about “Overbooked” too, how people seem to think they have a monopoly on SpongeBob’s time (which is the point of this episode, this is why he gets the abrasive side). And that annoys me greatly because it’s not fun to watch, even if it is important to set up the plot. Since it is so important, I can give it a pass, but I still don’t like it!
Once SpongeBob gets the abrasive side (because of the GOAT Gary), this is very cathartic and hilarious for me so I don’t mind SpongeBob being a jerkwad. Or the abrasive side being that. Either way, the voice Tom Kenny uses for the abrasive side is just funny to me, and I love how horribly rude he is. It makes it better that it’s so extreme. The part with the overtime definitely had me laughing. And then the abrasive side with Squidward was similarly great, I love how the abrasive side was bad for everyone except him.
The only thing I don’t get in this episode is that clearly SpongeBob is flipping his entire face/body when talking to people, and no one addresses that, and I don’t understand it. I know we gotta suspend our disbelief, but for god’s sake how did no one notice that when SpongeBob gets rude, he literally turns green?? Or that he doesn’t even seem to be in control of the process?? I’m not too annoyed by this, but when a good chunk of the episode is about SpongeBob trying to get help and all of his friends just like…not helping him (despite him helping them all the time) because of a few rude words from an obviously different person, then the issue is glaring. But I suppose I don’t know how they could’ve written their way out of this without using the abrasive side joke, so I can let this at least mostly slide.
And at least Sandy has a brain, so my annoyance ebbs away quick enough. Although I don’t know if I care for the hammy lesson she spits out, especially considering she was one of the people to completely take advantage of SpongeBob at the beginning of this episode. At least she helps take it off of SpongeBob, and we even get implied reconciliation between SpongeBob and Patrick, so I’m cool. As for the ending of this episode, it’s hilarious, and I love how the episode kinda makes us forget that SpongeBob’s grandma was in this episode until this last scene.
“The Abrasive Side” was a generally pretty good episode, even if some character actions annoyed me. It was also one of those episodes that involved a lot of the main cast, so I’m a huge fan of that. I also just think the entire plot point of the abrasive side was brilliant. As we all know, I’m very easy to please, and I think this pleasure kind of eases some of the annoying factors of this episode, which is why I think it’s still a “Great”-tier episode, even with some more issues than usual. That abrasive side is just too funny, and too cathartic!
Episode Tier: Great
Episode Score: 8.5/10