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212a. The Incredible Shrinking Sponge

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Definitely weird that we're getting an episode from Season 11 before this and it's sister episode airs. While the scheduling has been overall great, that's still really confusing me. Why not air all of Season 10 in regular premiere weeks like they've been doing, have one break in the middle (like they've been doing), and hold off "Feral Friends" for a later date when it's marketable?

Well, discuss it when it airs, it looks like a really fun episode regardless!

 

RomNick

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More_Starco said:
Definitely weird that we're getting an episode from Season 11 before this and it's sister episode airs. While the scheduling has been overall great, that's still really confusing me. Why not air all of Season 10 in regular premiere weeks like they've been doing, have one break in the middle (like they've been doing), and hold off "Feral Friends" for a later date when it's marketable?

Well, discuss it when it airs, it looks like a really fun episode regardless!
You should stop questioning the scheduling and just enjoy whatever episodes they got in the future.
 
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This airs with Pat The Horse which doesn’t make any sense. This is probably better than most episodes this season (Mermaid Pants.) It mostly makes a great episode with it’s good start. Also the Urchin returns and it does not have a good color. It ends up getting a 9/10 GOOD episode.
 
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Holy cow, this thread was made in May. Ah Nick, your terrible scheduling strikes again.

So here we are. I can't believe we're at the end of the road for this Season. Season 10 is the shortest Season we've had in a very long time, including both the total amount of time it's episodes were first aired (A year and about 2 months), and the total amount of episodes that exist within this Season. Has it been a bad Season? No. Has it been a good Season? No. It's one of the weirdest Seasons out there. It's better than almost all Post-Movie Seasons, yet it's still not that good of a Season, with lots of lame, forgettable episodes. It's kind of like the Season 8 of this Post-Prequel Era (I must be the only one out there who calls SOoW a Prequel). It's not that good on it's own, though it does have some highlights hidden within it, yet it's much better than previous Seasons. It's definitely not as good as Season 9, but it's definitely more delightful than Seasons 6-8. Anyway, after plenty of waiting (Though not nearly as long of a wait as the wait for Goodbye, Krabby Patty?), let's finally get into The Incredible Shrinking Sponge.

The plot for this episode is a standard "Shrinking" plot. In fact, SpongeBob's already done this type of plot before in Squidtastic Voyage. A fairly decent episode, yes it had it's moments, but there were also some parts of the episode which ended up being insanely stupid (Particularly the dumb cop-out ending that failed to resolve one of the main parts of the episode's conflict: SpongeBob & Patrick being stuck in Squidward's body).

So how does this episode put a twist on one of the most generic Sci-Fi plots out there? Well, I kind of find the set-up to the conflict amusing. The foreshadowing that the Urchin would return later as an antagonist was quite obvious, yet I did find the way SpongeBob shrank to be a pretty interesting idea. The way the grill was set to Nuclear, the way SpongeBob shrank as a result of the grill, everything about this scene was really well done, and I definitely think it's a clever spin on a premise that's been done plenty of times in cartoons over the years.

As for the rest of the episode, nothing really worthwhile goes on. Lots of filler (Yes I still use this term despite it technically not being filler, if you've ever seen the "Filler in SpongeBob" thread) seems to swallow up this episode. There's no real stakes to this episode, it's mostly just SpongeBob exploring in a miniature size. Yeah, there are a few moments he's in danger, but really, there's no real conflict or problem in this episode, aside from the fact that SpongeBob might not get back to his regular size. It's really weird, the episode is all over the place, the layout of this episode is pretty sloppy if you ask me. The episode just seems to throw SpongeBob all over the place, and before we get a chance to really settle in with the new turn SpongeBob's been taken on, the episode seems to automatically shift into a different direction.

For instance, I thought the episode would focus on SpongeBob and the Urchin, but apparently not, as the next thing I knew, SpongeBob was headed for the Chum Bucket. There were some decent scenes in this episode. I liked the scene in which Plankton and SpongeBob interact with each other, I felt that would be an interesting direction this episode could take, with SpongeBob now being the same size as Plankton. It's a shame, there'd be lots of potential material you could carry out with that, but unfortunately we cut to the annoying kids scene.

Overall, the plot of this episode is one of the lesser original plots in this series, but it at least manages to be something different from other SpongeBob episodes. The episode is really unmemorable, and a lot of scenes tend to either be boring, or too short. The execution of this basic premise just fell into a jumbled mess of various different coincidences that happened to take SpongeBob all over the place.

As for the comedy, there's nothing really that funny in this episode. Being that this is such a forgettable episode to begin with, filled to the brim with uninteresting scenes, a lot of the jokes really miss there mark in this episode, and fall flat.

When it comes to the characters, I feel as though SpongeBob's a pretty decent protagonist. He does feel a little bit out of character in this episode, particularly since he doesn't really seem to show any emotion besides happiness until the convenient time right before he ends up growing. His happy ignorance seems to be one of the many driving forces that makes this episode come off as very odd, seeing that it's presented as if nothings truly wrong. He acts as though it's just a regular ol' adventure he can get into. As for the rest of the characters in this episode, the one of the few in this episode that I like is Krabs. He seems fully in character, and I kind of like the way he keeps the plot moving. Having him mistake SpongeBob for Plankton at first was a pretty good transition from SpongeBob's presence at the Krusty Krab to his placement into the Chum Bucket. I also really like Plankton in this episode. He's really funny, the enjoyment he gets out of "winning" by being half a millimeter taller than SpongeBob was pretty funny, showing how much of a kick Plankton gets out of "winning" thanks to the fact that he's always losing to Krabs. But do you know who I hate most of all in this episode? Squidward. By golly, Squidward is SO annoying in this episode. If he's not screaming and throwing things around, he's getting beaten by something or someone. Just his opening scene alone pretty much demonstrates all that's wrong with him in this episode, he's just too over-the-top. And I don't mind over-the-top Squidward. Yeah, he's definitely over-saturated in this modern day and age, but really I usually get some kind of laugh out of his zaniness. This episode I don't. His craziness is super uncalled for, he's really unnecessary and annoying. I wouldn't mind if he was this way when he saw SpongeBob shrunken, seeing that the episode establishes he has a serious fear of Sea Urchins. But what I do mind is how he's super over-the-top at the beginning. This wackiness is just done to death in this episode, like Patrick's flanderization in The Clam Whisperer.

Squidward being wacky can be funny. He's supposed to be a stick in the mud, a super uptight snobby narcissist. So, making him wacky every once in a blue moon will get lots of laughs, since it's so unexpected of him to do such a thing, seeing that he's usually a lazy, emotionless soul. Limiting this wackiness makes the trait work, but pushing it over the age just doesn't do it, and makes for really lazy jokes. The reason why I love his insane nature in Whirly-Brains is because all throughout Season 9 (With the exception of Lost in Bikini Bottom), Squidward is shown as a usually calm, easily annoyed character. So seeing him go crazy in Whirly-Brains was hilarious. Making him crazy all the time just digs the joke into the ground faster than any running gag in FOP's 10th Season. It's a shame, because when he's not super wacky, he can be really funny in this episode. The gag with him fainting upon seeing SpongeBob shrunken is probably the best gag in this episode. Squidward is a huge, unnecessary comic relief in this episode. He's one of the few parts about it that seems to stick out, and that's definitely not doing anything in this episode's favor. I can't stand both his wackiness, or the cruel abuse centered towards him in this episode.

Overall, it's a very weak episode to begin with, seeing that it has a super unoriginal plot, but it becomes even worse with a lack of funny jokes (Due to it mostly containing super simplistic humor that doesn't come across as clever or creative in the slightest), a super annoying character, and a sloppy layout that doesn't really give the episode a central conflict.

It's a Bad Episode. I give it a 4/10.
 
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Was this episode worth the long-wait after an unjustified delay? Maybe. I personally it was going to be dumb because episodes where SpongeBob is naked most of the time tend to be weak (cough Nature Pants and All That Glitters). But out of those three, this is one of the better episodes with this aspect. It was more simple with a decent amount of humor. Characters are at least written like their usual selves, as in the case for most Lawrence episodes. Although, the writers really need to turn it down a notch for Squidward, who is just there to overreact to every single problem going on (him fainting over seeing tiny SpongeBob was kind of funny I'll give you that). Speaking of which, the scene with Plankton was kind of amusing, with him comparing his size to tiny SpongeBob. The kids playing with SpongeBob was kind of annoying, but not too over the top. Overall, it was kind of worth it seeing after 6 months not airing with Sportz? (like it was suppose to, no offense, Nick, but please don't connect your animation stuff to live-action stuff, okay? I don't see a difference with this and Tiny Christmas, aside from being about shrinking).
 

Depressed Luigi

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Shrinking due to losing mositure > Being shrunken by a shrinking gun shot by a drunk elf

If Nickelodeon is gonna delay this for half a year to air it with a crappy TV Movie, then I will make comparasions to it :P
 

Honest Slug

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Well I already saw this ep 2 months. It's probably one of my favorite episodes for not having idiotic jokes and terrible characterization like the rest of this season and I like how the visuals are used to tell a calm story as opposed to the abominable Krusty Katering which throws cartoony visuals in the face with zero reason. However the story was pretty nonsensical. I had a hard time following what was going on, and it isn't funny. Probs in my top 5 of the season but that doesn't mean it's good.

6/10
 
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This one was actually fun. I really enjoyed little SpongeBob's journey. Some parts of the episode were too wacky but not too bad either. I kind of get chuckled at Squidward mistaking little SpongeBob for an urchin and trying to kill him. Mr. Krabs thinking SpongeBob is Plankton and sending him to Chum Bucket and the whole exchange with Plankton were the highlights of the episode. Kids chasing their parents for money was hilarious. The twist of soap bubbles making SpongeBob normal again was well done and then it quickly became a great gag when he became giant. My only complaint with this episode is that I could have done it without kids beating up Squidward and some of gross out gags but overall I liked this. Finally, season 10 is over.

Grade: B+
 
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Growlie

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This one was almost okay....then near the end with SpongeBob cleaning everyone, it failed.
 

Shinobu Oshino

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I saw this in Hebrew back in July. It was so gross, the moldy Krabby Patty beneath the grill that SB climbed on, as well as the cleaning montage, made me gag. And I was watching it at summer camp with another kid! I liked the Plankton part, though, even if I couldn't understand it, and reading the English dialogue it's probably my favorite part.
3/10
 

ssj4gogita4

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I just saw it on TV, and it was ok at the beginning, but it got too predictable towards the end. Of course adding water and soap would expand SpongeBob.
 
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I think this episode is pretty good. Doesn't really stand out in any way, but I enjoyed it for what it is. I'll give it a pass.

Ranking so far:
1. Unreal Estate (A+)
2. Plankton Gets the Boot (A+)
3. Mimic Madness (A)
4. Burst Your Bubble (A)
5. Mermaid Pants (A)
6. SpongeBob's Place (A)
7. Plankton Retires (B)
8. The Incredible Shrinking Sponge (B)
9. Life Insurance (B)
10. Code Yellow (B)
11. Trident Trouble (C)
12. Whirlybrains (C)
13. House Worming (C)
14. Krusty Katering (C)
15. Snooze You Lose (D)
 
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