Re-Evaluating my opinions on SpongeBob Season 1-8

EmployeeAMillion

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I like "Sandy's Rocket" more than most. I thought it was a really good episode with well-done characterizations, a great story, and great humor.
I understand and respect your opinion. Remember, I'm not forcing you to think differently, I'm just offerring what I thought of the episode. Even then, it isn't in the bottom 3 for Season 1 (Reef Blower, Jellyfishing, Naughty Nautical Neighbours), and I bet that by the end of this, it would be out of the bottom 5.
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Squeaky Boots (Season 1, Episode 8b)
Original Airdate: September 4 1999 (Episode 17)
Plot: Mr Krabs buys SpongeBob a pair of boots that won't stop squeaking
Written by Steve Fonti, Chris Mitchell and Mr Lawrence

[titlecard]8B[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Drunken Sailor

I think that this can be classified as the first "horror"-themed SpongeBob episode. Not as in it contains supernatural or just generally dark themes like in SB-129 or Graveyard Shift, I mean psychologic horror, and by that I mean intentionally scary psychological horror, not like in Pickles where SpongeBob's mental descent is played for laughs. With that said, is it still a funny episode with a good story? Read and find out.

Mr Krabs is celebrating his daughter Pearl's birthday party (how old is she turning? Who knows, who cares?) by singing her a sea chantey-style birthday song, while dancing like his animation cel is suffering from some sort of earthquake. To say that Pearl and her friends are not entertained wouldn't be an understatement, because it's just about right to be honest. What's even worse is that his only gift to her is a cheap $2 pair of boots, as opposed to the snazy-looking Flipper Slippers (trademark of Viacom, doughnut steal) that all her friends are wearing. This causes her to cry, so Mr Krabs tells her that he got them for a discount…which causes her to cry even harder. This establishes Pearl is being a teenager who just wants to fit in with her peers, as opposed to a spoiled brat. Remember, it's impossible to look like a spoiled brat when your father is Mr Krabs.

As it's pretty clear that Pearl has rejected the boots, Mr Krabs decides to give them to SpongeBob, and yeah, I might as well mention that since this was the third episode ever made in production order that his design looks a little basic (even when he's wearing big boots for half the episode) and his voice doesn't have that squeak that it would take a couple episode to develop until Pizza Delivery (the eighth one in production order). However, it's not all that distracting, considering Season 1 was generally all over the place, as I've re-discovered.

Now, if you hate episodes such as Funny Pants and Slide Whistle Stooges which rely on the overuse of an annoying sound effect/limited range of annoying sound effects, then you're gonna hate this episode. The squeaky sound effect heard throughout the episode is generally the same pitch and same speed, except for when SpongeBob is using them to talk to the customer through the magic of 90s audio editing. However, in all fairness, the boots being obnoxious is the whole point of the episode, plus the visuals more than make up for it (SpongeBob bouncing around inside the boots with one on his head and one on his body is pretty clever).

Not to mention, the whole thing is generally karma getting Mr Krabs hard for being such a cheapskate to his daughter, and then his own employee. Remember, a recurring theme with Mr Krabs episodes is that he generally gets no comeuppance for his cheap actions. Heck, one of the most hated episodes of the show is essentially built around that type of story, and there isn't even any money involved in it. Therefore, it's thoroughly satisfying seeing the squeaking go to his head over time, even when he tries to get rid of them.

This brings me to my next point: the episode's second half is a reference to The Tell-Tale Heart. In case you don't know, it's a short story by the late, great Edgar Allen Poe about a murder taking place with the victim's heart being hidden under the floorboards of a building by the murderer. Yeah, SpongeBob SquarePants referenced this. You can see the parallels between the story and this episode, as when Mr Krabs starts feeling guilty about hiding the boots under the floorboards and subsequently upsetting SpongeBob, the squeaking in his head gets even louder and everything around him gets more distorted visually (which looks good for Season 1 and shows just how far you can go with good ol' cel animation), while previous footage from the episode plays in his head on repeat (…yeah, this was Season 1) until he breaks down, gets the boots out, dips them into the Krusty Krab's grease trap somehow shrinking them down to the size of regular shoes before eating them and proclaiming that "The deed is done!"

Hilarity, thy name is SpongeBob!

The episode ends with him telling SpongeBob that it wasn't the boots that make him the best fry cook in the world (I forgot to mention that that's how he persuaded SpongeBob into wearing the boots earlier) but rather his commitment to his work, which is a good message for the kiddies, not to mention that it never elaborated that the boots improved/hurt SpongeBob's fry cooking abilities, so we can take Mr K's word for it. He's then seen going on vacation with Pearl and appears to get the hiccups…which sound like the squeaking. Oh well.

Going back to what I asked before, is this a good episode? I don't see why I can't say yes. This episode indeed has a dark atmosphere, especially at the climax, but is still manages to be entertaining, and most importantly, funny and dramatic.

My rating for this episode on my personal scale would be a "Good".
On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 7/10.
It's worse than Home Sweet Pineapple, but better than Tea at the Treedome.

Up next is an episode that really shows SpongeBob's good nature and Patrick's…"Patrick-ness". Until then, play me out, Nancy Sinatra.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbyAZQ45uww
:sbthumbs:
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Nature Pants (Season 1, Episode 9a)
Original Airdate: September 11 1999 (Episode 18)
Plot: SpongeBob gives up his life to live in the wild with the jellyfish
Written by Paul Tibbitt, Mark O'Hare and Peter Burns

[titlecard]9A[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Migldi Magldi

I don't really understand. This is an episode that does it's job rather nicely, yet it still doesn't get that much of a reaction out of me. I don't seem to be the only one who's disillusioned with this particular episode, as it's the first episode in the series to have a SpongeBuddy Mania score of <7.0, and it's usually seen as just sort of "meh" by most SpongeBob fans. How can this be?

It begins with SpongeBob daydreaming that all the Krabby Patties he's cooking at the Krusty Krab are turning into jellyfish, and then he dreams that he was also a jellyfish, and then the daydream ends. This establishes that SpongeBob wants to live a life in the wild like a jellyfish, but it isn't really that humourous. He wakes up to find that he's burned the patties and now the Krusty Krab is catching smoke. Mr Krabs gives SpongeBob a fire hydrant to put it out…and the little dipstick throws it at the grill, causing it to somehow burst into flames. Again, I'm not really feeling anything with this episode.

After a fireman puts out the fire, Mr Krabs takes SpongeBob into his office, where SpongeBob explains that he's tired of his materialstic life an-let me stop right there, because this is very out-of-character for SpongeBob. He's been very much married to his job at the Krusty Krab since his first 8 minutes onscreen, so seeing him so intent to say that he's "tired of his materialstic life", and that he wants to live with the jellyfish is a little jarring, and like Sandy's Rocket, there's not a lot persuading him, and it's even worse here because he just came to the conclusion that he should go native out of complete nowhere.

He's even willing to say to his friends a genuine good-bye and give them some of his belongings before taking off all his clothes (minus socks and shoes) and heading into Jellyfish Fields. Patrick is understandably sad, but he's acting as if he'll never see SpongeBob again. I mean, he can still pop into Jellyfish Fields and say hi to him whenever he wants. I know that it wouldn't be the same, but he's still seeing SpongeBob. Mr Krabs, Sandy and Squidward acknowledge the fact that SpongeBob doesn't have the ability to last out there for that long, making the episode somewhat predictable. Mr Krabs even gives him a day, which is the approximated amount of time that SpongeBob spends there, if we're to believe that the "Harsh Night" scene is his first night away from home.

So anyway, SpongeBob's home and whatever, but his peace is interrupted by Sandy and Patrick pretending to have a picnic, which is honestly the best scene in the episode. The way Patrick reads his actions like lines ("Take patty") is honestly a pretty original joke. Not only that, but Patrick stating that even Squidward misses SpongeBob with a direct cut to Squidward dancing and having a good time partying without SpongeBob is honestly a clever gag. SpongeBob however still rejects a life away from that jellyfish, which leads into my next point.

SpongeBob has virtually no reason to stay with the jellyfish after they sting him inside their jellyhive, yet he continues trugging onward for seemingly no reason. We didn't need the "Harsh Night" scene, not because it didn't really add anything outside of SpongeBob getting tortured by the enivronment more, making him even more hesitant to stay. Remember, being one with the jellyfish (and getting awesome "Adventure Time Arms") was the one and only reason that he wanted to move to Jellyfish Fields, so with that off his checklist, the following minute or so after that feels a little pointless.

However, I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Let's talk about the scene in which Patrick is trying to capture SpongeBob like a jellyfish. In my opinion, it's okay. Patrick has a valid reason to go completely nuts, and it's only affecting one person, SpongeBob (unlike Valentine's Day where the reason is completely petty and it destroys the entire carnival that is set around the holiday that he's trying to celebrate). The chase is pretty exciting to watch, but it ends almost as soon as it begins, and Patrick goes from being heck bent on capturing SpongeBob to accepting that he has a new life acting like a jellyfish very easily.

Before I finish off this review, I'd just like to point out two things. One is that the ending where all the main characters are hugging once SpongeBob returns is pretty sweet, and saves this episode from being bad. Two is that there are things in the environment that frequently block where SpongeBob's private parts are (a la Austin Powers). However, it doesn't have that much of an effect because they're not there for a good chunk of the episode, leaving SpongeBob's non-existent junk exposed.

I think that's a good way of describing this episode as a whole - it just doesn't have that much of an effect on me. This is the second episode of the season to get a 5/10 rating after Jellyfishing, and the key similarity between both episodes is that they both feature jellyfish as a plot point. Then again, there's also Jellyfish Jam, which is a great episode, so jellyfishing is already seeming to be one of those hit-or-miss kind of things for SpongeBob.

My rating for this episode on my personal scale would be an "Average".
On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 5/10.
It's worse than Naughty Nautical Neighbours, but better than Jellyfishing.

Last time, we'll be tasting an episode that I personally hate. After then, play me in, Louis Armstrong.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yCcXgbKrE
:sbthumbs:
 

Honest Slug

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I think this episode is underrated, honestly I think Jellyfish Jam is more dull. I liked SpongeBob in this episode a lot, and I thought the animation was beautiful. In the episode discussion I already discussed why I liked this episode.
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Opposite Day (Season 1, Episode 9b)
Original Airdate: September 11 1999 (Episode 19)
Plot: SpongeBob and Patrick celebrate "Opposite Day", a holiday made up by Squidward
Written by Chuck Klien, Jay Lender and Mr Lawrence

[titlecard]9B[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Grass Skirts Blowing

I'm going to be speaking truthfully and with the correct syntax when I say that I really like this episode. Let me show you why…the right way.

It starts off with SpongeBob and Patrick once again making Squidward's day a living nightmare by celebrating his birthday, which wasn't even today! The way Squidward reacts to all this makes it seem like this has all happened before, further supported by the fact that he proclaims that he wants to move out. He calls up a real estate agent to see if his home is worth selling, and everything looks quite alright…except for when she says that it's nearly impossible for houses owned by bad neighbours to be sold, and even states that many previous offers have fallen through due to that factor. Squidward is at first enraged because whatever a good neighbour does, SpongeBob does the opposite. But then it dawns on him - whatever a good neighbour does, SpongeBob does the opposite.

Already this episode has a brilliant setup. Squidward is trying to find a way to get SpongeBob (and to an extent, Patrick) out of his way so that he can sell his house, which is something that you can only do once or twice before the concept gets stale, and seeing as how this is the only episode I can think of where Squidward's intent on moving aside from Squidville (where he didn't even need to sell his old house), I think that's a good thing. Seriously, I think that if this were done 5 times in the post-movie era, then this episode and Squidville would just look worse in comparision.

The next morning, he's successfully able to convince the absorbent oddball that Opposite Day exists, and to celebrate, Squidward would have to be silly and spontaneous while SpongeBob would have to be grumpy and boring, notably not doing anything to disrupt Squidward's day. At first, it seems to work. SpongeBob crawls into bed tired, and rejects Patrick's welcome hello calling him his worst enemy, which isn't mean-spirited, because we know that SpongeBob would never really say that.

After that, he introduces Opposite Day to Patrick as, "whatever you'd normally do, today you do the opposite", leading Patrick to get the wrong idea and try to do the opposite of breathing, causing him to turn purple. Dark but suprisingly funny in retrospect. After all, he did say in the first movie that he loves being purple. SpongeBob, Gary and Patrick then preform a montage of doing the opposite of what they'd usually do (SpongeBob and Patrick swapping skin colours, Gary behaving like a well-mannered human with SpongeBob and Patrick acting like animals, them blowing bubbles, except the bubbles blow them into bubbles) highlighting just how surreal and entertaining this show can be when it wants to.

Heck, not only do they make jokes backwards, but they literally tell a joke backwards!
SpongeBob: .kcirtaP, yeH
Patrick: .pu evig I
SpongeBob: !edis eitsoppo eht ot teg oT
(Both gnihgual)
That seriously has to be one of the best jokes in the whole series. I know that I may say that alot, in that something is the best in the series so far, but this really takes advantage of the fact that you do things the opposite way on Opposite Day, and I just love it. If I could marry it, I'd wait until I'm 18.

SpongeBob and Patrick then prepare to clean up SpongeBob's house, but since it's Opposite Day, they do the opposite and demolish it. Seeing as how they've taken the fake holiday in an annoying and disruptive direction, Squidward tells SpongeBob that he hates him, prompting SpongeBob to say:
"Wow, that's the nicest thing Squidward's ever said to me."
Ironically, that might be true.

Squidward tries to rebuild SpongeBob's house giving SpongeBob an epiphany. If Squidward is doing the opposite of what SpongeBob was doing, therefore being SpongeBob, then SpongeBob must be Squidward! This prompts him and Patrick to dress up like Squidward and behave like him in his house, and this is where the episode gets really good.

The real estate agent goes over to Squidward's house (conveniently as Squidward starts hammering harder blocking the noise of the car pulling over), and SpongeBob introduces himself as Squidward, and as the real estate agent asks for him tell her all the positive things about the house, SpongeBob talks negatively about the house to such an extent that it would be hard to sell the Tyrannic Tiki from now on.

Squidward finishes off renevating SpongeBob's house when he notices the real estate agent's car in his driveway, and rushes back to his house in a panic. Inside, we see SpongeBob and Patrick (who's also Squidward) holding the real estate agent in a chair playing Squidward's clarinet badly, with her constantly saying that she doesn't want to hear it anymore, which SpongeBob misinterprets because it's still Opposite Day, and I have to say, the continued anti-humour is really inventive in this episode.

Squidward goes inside also introducing himself as Squidward, with 3 Squidwards, there's only one conclusion…this neighbourhood has bad neighbours. The real estate agent leaves in anger as Squidward begs to move out, and seing just how mad the real estate agent has gotten with SpongeBob and Patrick is hilarious, and proof that Squidward isn't alone in the world thinking that SpongeBob and Patrick are complete pains. With that, SpongeBob and Patrick say, "Happy Opposite Day, Squidward! We hate you!", which would pretty much do anything but help the situation, but on Opposite Day, they're being as nice as possible to him.

Squidward decides to show just how much he hates SpongeBob and Patrick by getting a bulldozer and chasing them. The end. Now, is this an STP (or Squidward Torture Plot for those just tuning in)? I have to say yes, because generally my defitinition of one is thatg Squidward gets annoyed or physically abused in some way (in this case, it's annoyed), and ends with less than he started. He started with the potential to move out of Bikini Bottom if he acted careful (locking SpongeBob and Patrick in a cupboard would've been okay), and lost it when SpongeBob and Patrick irritated the real estate agent. However, unlike most examples of this genre, even up to this point (which isn't really much with only two going by my definition, Jellyfishing and Naughty Nautical Neighbours), he does actually get back at SpongeBob and Patrick without it giving him bad luck at the last minute.

And I'm sorta glad Squidward failed because, if you think about it, the show would be very different today if Squidward actually succeeded here. Maybe Missing Identity takes place in an alternate timeline where Squidward succeeded, but still works at the Krusty Krab, even though his house is gone. I dunno, food for thought.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best episode I've seen so far. The writing is solid as a rock, and the STP is as enjoyable as it can be. Remember, this is not opposite of what I think, because SpongeBob himself said that the day is set on a Wednesday, and if the episode were set in 1999, then it would be a Thursday in 2016.

My rating for this episode on my personal scale would be a "Spongey".
On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 9/10.
It's worse than Pickles, but better than Ripped Pants.

The next episode is one that might be a bit of a shock to you. Until then, here's a song that barely has to do with opposites!.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xweiQukBM_k
:sbthumbs:
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Slightly Important Announcement
From now on, whenever I'm halfway through a season, I'll be posting a recap of all the episodes I will have reviewed thus far in my blog, just in case you want a condensed summary of my opinions on each episode. It's currently a draft, but once I get to F.U.N., it'll be published.
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Culture Shock (Season 1, Episode 10a)
Original Airdate: September 18 1999 (Episode 20)
Plot: Squidward hosts a talent show at the Krusty Krab
Written by Paul Tibbitt, Mark O'Hare and Mr Lawrence

[titlecard]10A[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Sunny Samoa

Do you really know anything about this episode outside of Squidward's interpretive dance? Yeah, this is another one of those underrated episodes of Classic SpongeBob that isn't ouright hated, but just sorta overlooked. Personally, I think that this episode really holds up among the rest of the season, and here's why:

The Krusty Krab hasn't been doing so hot lately, even with a brand new salad bar in place, so it makes perfect sense why Mr Krabs would go completely nuts over a customer giving him a single penny, unlike Penny Foolish, where he could do pretty much anything except steal SpongeBob's penny and he'd be better off.

Mr Krabs proceeds to take them into his office to talk about gimmicks to attract more customers, to which Squidward suggests a talent show. He was previously seen reading interpretive dance magazines, so it should make sense that he would be into culture.

This episode's central conflict is SpongeBob continuously disrupting Squidward with new tricks that he can do to get onto the talent show while Squidward couldn't care less. It already makes it an STP where you want to route for SpongeBob and want to see him succeed in getting on the laent show. However, unlike in Choir Boys, SpongeBob is never directly seen hindering or annoying Squidward and the better man, SpongeBob, succeeds in entertaining the audeince.

Speaking if which, the way in which SpongeBob is praised by the audeince is just gut-busting. Cleaning up the tomatoes thrown at Squidward after he performs his interpretive dance? Like seriously, mopping the stage is the talent that the audeince is going wild over here? I really hope that there's some sort of metaphor in there, but even still, SpongeBob is giving overwhelming applause even when he's not doing anything up on stage! So honestly, I could just barely describe this as an STP, because Squidward loses at the chargin of SpongeBob, another reurring theme in the genre.

Also remember, this is after Pearl's cheerleading act, Gary's poetry (which only Sandy seemed to like), and Plankton using wizard skills, if only just to try and get the Krabby Patty secret formula. I guess Mr and Mrs SquarePants payed the audience to only cheer on SpongeBob or something, sorta like how Mr Krabs used the salad bar to his advantage to get a dollar off of each sucker that used it, which is pretty funny.

Overall, this episode wasn't bad, it was just really hard to talk about. It hit all the right notes you'd expect a SpongeBob episode to hit - it's medium-paced, funny, witty and has a good story with strong characterization and that's about it. Not a whole lot to elaborate on. I'm sorry if this review was shorter than the others, but I spent a day trying to make a good 500-1000 word review of this episode, and this is all I came up with.

My rating for this episode on my personal scale would be a "Good".
On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 7/10.
It's worse than Boating School, but better than Sandy's Rocket.

Now this next one is gonna be one where you'll wish that the fun never ended. Until then…I could not understand I word this guy said, but I hope it's not vulgar.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4u12S6D5iQ
:sbthumbs:
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Uh oh, I haven't updated in 24 hours! Mayday! Okay, in all seriousness, I know I've been slowing down, so don't fret if you get a hiatus between this and MuscleBob BuffPants.

F.U.N. (Season 1, Episode 10b)
Original Airdate: September 18 1999 (Episode 21)
Plot: SpongeBob tries to teach Plankton how to have fun
Written by Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer and Peter Burns

[titlecard]10B[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: The Fun Song

As this topic goes on, I know for a fact that it's gonna be harder for newcomers to want to read the pre-movie seasons, because they're typically gonna skip to Season 4 or 5, because that's where things get more juicy. How do I know? For PieGuyRulz's similar project on YouTube, his Season 2 and 3 reviews are among his least viewed (Season 1 is one of the more successful ones, generally because it's where you want to have a starting point if you want to watch everything), which makes me fear that these analysises from the middle of Season 1 are also going to be left in the dust. I mean, they'd probably make it up to about Hall Monitor, then give up and go straight to Fear of a Krabby Patty and read from there. I'm not insulting them, or even judging them, I'm just mentioning that it's just the way SpongeBob fans act.

The reason that I bring this up is because I love F.U.N. (the biological sensation and this episode), and I want more people to know just why I love it.

From the word "Go", this episode is rather exciting. Remember, this is a recurring theme in this episode, excitement, notably at the climax. The Krusty Krab is on complete shut-down, even with scared customers inside of it. Everything is red, as a single Krabby Patty makes it's way out of the restaurant…carried by Plankton! With the secret formula's fate in complete doubt, it's up to one SpongeBob SquarePants, or as he's better known as…SpongeBob SquarePants, to stop the Hideous Hermaphrodite from succeeding in his evil plans, and be a town hero. Plankton is shown to be as evil as possible, while SpongeBob, as I said, is soon to be considered a town hero, which makes the contrast in their personalities even more apparent when they meet up later.

What ensues is a rather exciting chase scene for this point in the series. I mean, most episodes up to this point like Ripped Pants and Naughty Nautical Neighbours were so basic in terms of storytelling that you could almost consider them slice of life. This is really the first time outside of Plankton's first appearance that the show felt as surreal as it does today. I mean, SpongeBob using a policeman's bat-thingy and swing it around do hard it acts like a helicopter propeller to chase Plankton before the policeman stares at him with lovehearts coming out of him is pretty loopy, and it's all thanks to Aaron Springer.

Yeah, I know I've shown disgust to SpongeBob's "Springer Cheeks" (he even makes them in this episode when he says "All your dreams can come true."), but seriously, even in Season 6-8, he may be one of the greatest writers that the show has ever had. He has this cartoony, silly charm in the episodes that he works on, and although he may not be my favourite writer, he still did a good chunk of my favourite episodes like Pizza Delivery and Dying for Pie. It's a shame that he left at the end of Season 8, because he really could've done so much in the Modern/post-sequel era.

Anyway, back on track, SpongeBob unintentionally tortures Plankton by telling him about a magic trick while Plankton had a magic disguise on (one of the show's best uses of ironic humour ever, as Plankton says it himself, he's the evil genius), and Plankton feels ready to go home sulking before SpongeBob turns around and tells him that he's a winner. The rest of Bikini Bottom then scare Plankton home by calling him a loser and crown SpongeBob town hero and a "jolly good rookie", but SpongeBob still feels bad for Plankton, and this is where the heart of the episode comes in.

SpongeBob just wants Plankton to have a friend, and although Plankton may reject his offer at first and attempt to befriend him into getting a Krabby Patty at second, from SpongeBob's point of view, Plankton has little reason to be considered the most hated person in Bikini Bottom. It's not being naïve, it's just him being considerate and maybe a little too friendly, unlike later on, where even though he's learnt this lesson a hundred times, he can still strike up a conversation with Plankton and feel totally relaxed throughout the whole thing, but I guess that's the joke.

This leads into my next point, Plankton is just a great character here. He stops being a villain, or at least appears to stop being one, when SpongeBob sings "The Fun Song", and he's still pretty enjoyable for the time being, plus before that, we still get a taste of his evil side when he suggests that they eat the jellyfish, and imagines him using a robot jellyfish to destroy the city (and if you're wondering why I keep flip-flopping between calling Bikini Bottom a town and a city, just remember that the show can't decide on it either, as it too changes when it's the most convenient).

Now onto "The Fun Song". It really is a nice, calm song about having fun with someone else. Yeah, not that I said "with someone else", because if they did one about having fun with oneself:
A) It wouldn't be the best message for kids
B) It would be of disservice to the plot, as Plankton would be seen as kinda useless
C) :dolphin noise: :dolphin noise: :dolphin noise: :dolphin noise: :dolphin noise: :dolphin noise:
Listen to how the first verse is saying "You and me should have fun", while the second verse says "Here's how we can have fun". People generally don't look at it in great detail, but hey, that's why I'm here.

Mr Krabs sees SpongeBob and Plankton playing around…in one of the background imagine spots (that must be one powerful spyglass), and instantly senses mutiny. Remember, Mr Krabs and Plankton aren't just business rivals, they're worst enemies, so it would make sense for Mr Krabs not to trust SpongeBob with trusting Plankton having changed, if that makes sense. Mr Krabs puts out a Krabby Patty on a plate right in front of Plankton, and here's one of my favourite things about the episode. Even though Plankton and the Krabby Patty are within the same shot together at all times for about 30 seconds, he still found a way to steal it without Mr Krabs, SpongeBob or the audeince seeing. Honestly, I crack up every time I see that. You can tell me I have a strong sense of humour, but remember that I don't like Valentine's Day.

Also note in the cinema scene that, for the first bit of it, SpongeBob still has no idea that Plankton too the Krabby Patty. We know that it was stolen at the same time as Mr Krabs, but SpongeBob wasn't there, so his continued naïveté until he reaches into Plankton's pocket (and other people reach into the second person's pockets upon Mr Krabs' incidental request) sort of makes this episode the anti-A Pal for Gary. Not to mention that after it, SpongeBob is completely shocked, and he and Plankton start acting like some sort of fighting couple, while the movie playing is about a couple, which is somewhat ironic. I just realised that this episode does ironic humour well.

Anyway, the ending is also pretty good. Plankton gets his just desserts when he crashes into the solid concrete behind the cinema wall in what looks like a bloody mess, but turns out to just be mashed ingredients from the Krabby Patty. First of all, great adult joke. Second, how else would you expect it to compose having it fit inside Plankton's pocket? After which, Plankton lands inside Bubble Bass' hand as he's eating jellybeans, and is chased by Bubble Bass' other hand in a circle (against an orange background, which makes it slightly more surreal), and the episode ends on him, as I said, getting what he deserved, much like his debut appearance.

In short (no pun intended), F.U.N. may be one of my favourite episodes of the whole series, and I'd shout that out upon the rooftops if my rooftop was easy to climb on top of. Is it still the best of Season 1? No, but it's still up there. Seriously, I highly recommend this one.

My rating for this episode on my personal scale would be a "Spongey".
On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 9/10.
It's worse than Opposite Day, but better than Ripped Pants.

Updated List Time!
21. Jellyfishing (5/10)
20. Nature Pants (5/10)
19. Naughty Nautical Neighbours (6/10)
18. Reef Blower (6/10)
17. Sandy's Rocket (6/10)
16. Culture Shock (7/10)
15. Boating School (7/10)
14. Hall Monitor (7/10)
13. Tea at the Treedome (7/10)
12. Squeaky Boots (7/10)
11. Home Sweet Pineapple (8/10)
10. Help Wanted (8/10)
9. Plankton! (8/10)
8. Bubblestand (8/10)
7. Jellyfish Jam (8/10)
6. Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy (8/10)
5. Ripped Pants (9/10)
4. F.U.N. (9/10
3. Opposite Day (9/10)
2. Pickles (9/10)
1 Pizza Delivery (10/10)

Up next that has so macho that SpongeBob spirit. Until then, play me out, SpongeBob and Plankton.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3lCMScmBDc
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EmployeeAMillion

The Dudening
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0K8Tc5g97U

MuscleBob BuffPants (Season 1, Episode 11a)
Original Airdate: September 25 1999 (Episode 22)
Plot: SpongeBob buys Anchor Arms (inflatable muscles) to make himself look strong in front of Sandy
Written by Ennio Torresan, Erik Wiese and Mr Lawrence

[titlecard]11A[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Big Ed's March

SpongeBob is a weakling. You probably didn't need me to tell you that. Unless it's a bubble wand, a spatula or a jellyfish net, there seems to be barely anything that this sponge can hold. But what if there was an entire episode revolving around SpongeBob getting stronger? This is where MuscleBob BuffPants comes into play.

It starts with SpongeBob lifting plushie weights again, and failing…again. But wait, didn't he succeed in Help Wanted? Well, in Help Wanted, he was being pushed by his desire to attain a job at his favourite fast food restaurant, while here, he's doing it in his spare time, plus two things. The first is that it's funnier seeing SpongeBob fail at it, now that it's become a part of his character and there's not much you can elaborate on other than "what if he loses?", and second is it shows just how much the show's animation has improved already. I know it's in a different room (in Help Wanted, it was in SpongeBob's bedroom with an orange wall, while here, it's in his living room with a blue wall), but SpongeBob's design already looks much better. However, I guess I could also say the same things if I compare Help Wanted to Tea at the Treedome, because Help Wanted was made earlier than the rest of Season 1, but I digress.

Sandy comes over to assert her dominance over SpongeBob, don't report me yet, in terms of physical strength, by showing SpongeBob her muscles. They're so bulky and macho (what, I don't know muscle lingo that well) that they even appear on the outside of her suit! That's pretty darn impressive. Meanwhile, SpongeBob has biceps that would make a twig look like Miky Tyson. So Sandy decides to put SpongeBob on her own excercise program, only to find that SpongeBob is unteachable.

The whole scene inside the treedome is hilarious to watch, especially because of the established contrast between SpongeBob's weakness and Sandy's strength, making the ever-increasing difficulty of the situation much more comedic, both in timing and impact. I'd have to say that my favourite joke of the episode is when Sandy prepares SpongeBob for the arm crunched (which literally just drops cinderblocks on your arms nonstop), prompting SpongeBob to say, "This squirrel is trying to kill me!", and leave in one of the most cartoony ways I've ever seen the show do. You see, Sandy was pulling SpongeBob over to the arm cruncher by his arm. Once the camera cuts to Sandy making it there, SpongeBob's arm has been replaced by a wire. On the other end of that wire is a shell phone, and when Sandy puts her ear up to it, she hears SpongeBob saying that he gives up, presumably (and revealed soon after to be) at his home. It really makes you wonder how he got there in such a short span of time.

Later that night, SpongeBob sees a commercial on TV for a product called "Anchor Arms", that when you put them on, it makes you look macho. I looked it up, and I found that inflatable muscles are a real thing. I don't know how realistically this episode actually portrays them, but I must say, I never read anything about them being able to grow their own biceps and spell out "THANK YOU" anywhere on the internet, and this is the internet we're talking about! As for the design of the muscles, they look kinda gross, but I'm thankful that this was Season 1, because if this were Season 5-8, they would've gone out of their way to make each and every vein a nightmare to look at. Shudder, I can almost imagine what it'd look like.

The next day, Sandy notices that SpongeBob is wearing the inflatable muscles and never stops to question when SpongeBob got so tan.
[titlecard]106B[/titlecard]
I'm gonna be running into a lot of these "Just wait 'till later on" jokes, aren't I?
Anyway, I'm gonna let it slide, because they wouldn't look out of place on SpongeBob in an imagine spot or something (despite SpongeBob's dream of himself being strong looked rather different). Plus all the other guys at the bar(?) seem to be impressed by it.

However, this is where things start to get difficult for SpongeBob. He's given a glass of…things you put in glasses, and it's placed on top of his hand. However, since it's full of helium (or just underwater air I think), he can't lift it, even when he tries to lift it with his other hand. It's a realisation to the audience that, although the inflatable muscles may look good, they're not the real deal, leading to a moral of "cheaters never prosper", if we're going by SpongeBob going from grilling to smoking like this being "cheating" and impressing his friends being "prospering".

It could've just ended there and shown that he can take off the arms at any time, but then Sandy signs him and herself up for an anchor-throwing contest (pretty eccentric activity if you ask me), meaning that SpongeBob would have to show how much of a fraud he is, not just to his piers, but to a stadium of people as well. And sure enough, that does happen. Larry, Sandy and new guy (forgot his name) throw all their anchors with ease, something the field fish wishes he had on the job XD, but SpongeBob has trouble, so he pumps up his arms even more, causing them to pop and reveal his strings (and not like rope-strings, I mean equal to string theory-strings) to all around him. Hyperbole, can live with it, can't stand it if you're not the one using it.

Sandy is obviously angry with SpongeBob faking, not just his strength, but his ego as well, and puts him on a new excercise program, changing the channels on a TV, and even that appears to be too hard for him! At least the show isn't set in the 1960s, because the SpongeBob would have to, gasp, get up and manually turn the knob on the side of the TV! Here's hoping for a future where we control TV channel-surfing with our minds, or using Siri or whatever.

Further thoughts about this episode: The track that plays at the beginning, Chief Tarvana, is one that I really enjoy, and it's a shame that they don't use it as much as the others. Sorry for bringing something like this up, but since it starts up twice in the same scene, it went further into my head as I watched the episode. Safe to say that my mind now inadvertedly associates the episode as a whole with this track. One more thing I'd like to mention, Scooter appears in this episode as one of the people gushing over SpongeBob's guns. Sorry for calling him Buster back in Ripped Pants, but again, I'd just like to mention him because, outside of the Flying Dutchman and, maybe, Patchy and Potty, this show hasn't got too many tertiary characters, and I have to say, I kinda like Scooter. He's a product of his day, but he's an enjoyable product of his day.

So that was MuscleBob BuffPants. Is it a good episode? Yes. Is it a memorable one? Of course! Yeah, looking back on Season 1, chances are you'd just gloss over this one, either because it's just another beach episode or because it came at a point where SpongeBob was still evolving into it's present shape, and as such, there's not much need to watch it. If you're one of those people, I'd still recommend this episode if you just want an "okay" episode of SpongeBob to watch. Either way, it's still 1.5% more well-known than it's sister episode.

My rating for this episode on my personal scale would be a "Good".
On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 7/10.
It's worse than Squeaky Boots, but better than Tea at the Treedome.

This next episode is one that may be dead boring to a lot of people. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta get out my 80s excercise equipment. See you in -29 years.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO43p2Wqc08
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Zimmy11

Use your imagination...
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Oh I wasn't aware it was already out. Anyways I can't wait for your review on Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost :)
 

EmployeeAMillion

The Dudening
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Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost (Season 1, Episode 11b)
Original Airdate: September 25 1999 (Episode 23)
Plot: After a misunderstanding, SpongeBob and Patrick think that Squidward is a ghost
Written by Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer and Peter Burns

[titlecard]11B[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Tales from the Swamp (a)

Well, I would be dead wrong if I told you that this wasn't a guilty pleasure of mine. Yeah, I know it has flaws, but that doesn't ruin it for me. Why is this episode hated, or at least not liked that much? Well, it was the first episode that PieGuyRulz (another SpongeBob critic that's doing the same thing I'm doing, going through every episode and rating it good or bad depending on how much he liked it) gave his "meh" rating to (not good, but not bad), and sometimes, being meh can be worse than being bad, because with bad episodes, there's at least something to say about them, while with the meh ones, they're just forgettable or the bad things about them aren't enough to drag it down. Why is this episode not well-recieved in the first place? Well, you got to this point, you might as well find out.

It starts with Squidward making a wax model of himself, before revealing that he's also immortalised himself in every artistic medium, showing off some of his previous works in the background. I have to say that, right from the get-go, this episode has proven itself to be beautiful. I love how Squidward's wax model frowns at the same time Squidward does upon noticing SpongeBob and Patrick's nonsensical game that they're playing, which is a real highlight of this episode, because it just gives them a time for them to be "them", not worry about getting into trouble outside of mildly annoying Squidward and even admitting that they're acting stupid.

Squidward then proceeds to take a bath but SpongeBob and Patrick sneek into his art room because they accidentally threw their shell (which is used like a frisbee) into it, and accidentally onto Squidward's wax model. And since they think that the wax model is the real Squidward, you can tell right away that this is another CISB (Clueless Idiot SpongeBob) episode. There's currently been 1 episode I think does it well (Hall Monitor) and one that was just okay (Sandy's Rocket), and here, I think that it's split down the middle. They melt the wax model in the Sun turning it into a puddle of turquoise goo, which again, boasts some good animation, then Squidward comes out of the shower with so much powder on his face that he looks white, so SpongeBob and Patrick think he's a ghost.

Here's why I find Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost to be split down the middle when it comes to CISB at this point. In Sandy's Rocket, SpongeBob could easily be manipulated into believing anything anyone told him, including Patrick, making him look dumber when all the impact he made throughout the episode came back to bite him, and even then, it's questionable if it did. In Hall Monitor, his idiocy was brought on by his own pride and just being naïve and not really noticing any signs that he was a maniac until the very end, and after that, he felt rightfully ashamed. In this instance of the formula, Squidward was easily able to manipulate both him and Patrick into being his ghostly slaves, and it was a while, at least a day, before he got around to telling SpongeBob and Patrick that he was alive, so when SpongeBob rebutted saying that Squidward was a ghost in denial, it excusable in the fact that it had become so engrained into his mind that Squidward was a ghost, plus he knows that Squidward is pretty stubborn.

Now that I've spoiled it, I might as well bring up that SpongeBob and Patrick find a comic book of the Flying Dutchman in Squidward's closet (why Squidward would be into comic books, I don't know), and try to put Squidward to rest. What do I have to say about this half (the second half) of the episode? It's sort of bland. The only joke they make is that SpongeBob and Patrick want to put Squidward in a grave, which doesn't have that much of an effect because they already know that he's dead (or at least pushing up daisies), but in fairness, it gave the show it's first black comedy moment (comedy revolving around grief and death), with SpongeBob gleefully pointing Squidward to a coffin.

The whole review up to this point has been rambling about the episode's flaws, so I'll try to point to some amusing things about this episode. SpongeBob and Patrick being Squidward's slaves (before getting the idea to put him to rest) is pretty funny. I like how Squidward, despite being percieved dead, is still above SpongeBob and Patrick, even more so than before. It's kind of satisfying to see something like this so early on the series with SpongeBob and Patrick getting their comeuppance for ruining Squidward's life, and unlike Enchanted Tiki Dreams, they're not happy about it. Speaking of future episodes, I like the bit where Squidward forces SpongeBob to play him music using a tissue.
[titlecard]16B[/titlecard]
Maybe this whole episode was him getting back at Squidward for keeping him up all night?

I'm also on board with the ending. After Squidward reveals he's alive to SpongeBob and Patrick, they put him inside a bubble which floats above the surface and into a flock of seagulls. What makes this good is that Squidward is getting his karma (I think they have a cream for that now) for pushing SpongeBob and Patrick too hard with his torment, and it's a good way of doing it too, because if it ended on him going back to his peace, then it would feel like he won. I know some don't like it just because Squidward ends up in a bad place, but I just like to think outside the box.

Now before I finish this up with the rating and placing, I'd just like to say something about my rating system, and this is more because of PieGuyRulz than me. My "Average" rating and PGR's "meh" rating aren't one in the same. I think that 5/10 is more on the "meh" side of things, because it's at least a passing grade, and 6/10 is borderline good in most critical circles, despite it being okay for me. "Good" and "Spongey" are still equivalent to "good", and "Bad" and "Scummy" are still equivalent to "scumbob", it was just "average" and "meh" that I wanted to being up.

My rating for this episode on my personal scale would be a "Good".
On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 7/10.
It's worse than Culture Shock, but better than Sandy's Rocket.

We did a spooky episode today, but just you wait until we "Do The Sponge". Until then, it's true, this sponge has no genius.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9We2XsVZfc
:sbthumbs:
 

EmployeeAMillion

The Dudening
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The Chaperone (Season 1, Episode 12a)
Original Airdate: October 2 1999 (Episode 24)
Plot: SpongeBob is hired to be Pearl's replacement date for Prom Night
Written by Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer and Peter Burns

[titlecard]12A[/titlecard]
Title Card Music: Border Run

Right off the bat, the title is a bit misleading. A "chaperone" is generally an older person who looks after a person or group of people during a social gathering. There aren't really any examples portrayed in the episode, and if it's supposed to be referring to SpongeBob, then it's a bit debatable whether he consitutes as one. He was intended to be Pearl's backup date to the prom by Mr Krabs, and SpongeBob's age is one of those eternal mysteries, so it's hard to tell if he's older than Pearl, or can even be seen as an authority figure over her. Heck, most of the time, she's looking after him.

With that out of the way, this episode starts with SpongeBob flipping Krabby Patties (I notice no stereotypes of French/American chefs. Sorry for pointing it out, it just seemed like it was going to be a running gag, and even had a good amount of potential), when he hears Mr Krabs and Pearl having a bit of a father-daughter talk. One funny thing that I would like to note is that Pearl's tears flood the room to such an extent that Mr Krabs is thrust out into-HOLY CRUD, WHAT IS THIS!? It's clones! It's an army of Freds! Look, it's like 7 Freds in the same frame!
:fred: :fred: :fred: :fred: :fred: :fred: :fred:
Sorry, but I can't get over this, he's just become such a memetic background character now (TV Tropes call this sort of character an "Ensemble Darkhorse", for whatever reason), and it's pretty obvious that Nickelodeon was being a bit lazy with the animation in this scene, which makes it all the more unintentionally amusing to watch.

I generally don't put in all-caps or use the bold font, because it makes me look like I'm shouting, and as such, less respectable as a critic, but this, my friends, was a special occasion.

It was at this point, after the crying, that I realised just how tolerable Pearl's voice was in Season 1. Every season after this, they'd make it a little louder and raspier (the same can be said for a lot of characters, in that their voices changed as time went on), while here, so just sounds like…a teenage girl. I guess Lori Alan (her voice actress) made it raspy so that it would stick out more, espcially among the background fish she plays, and I can understand that, but I digress, because I've still got a lot to cover.

It appears that Pearl's date to the prom, who's apparently tall and tan, has stood her up, so Mr Krabs offers Squidward (remember him?) and then SpongeBob, and it's at this point when Mr Krabs is holding SpongeBob that he seems a little bit…dead. If you're one of those people who keeps an eye out for the animation, you may think that it was pretty lazy not having SpongeBob react to anything, but then it's revealed that it was, in fact, a dummy that SpongeBob just so happened to have on standby. It feels like a classic cartoon gag, but it doesn't really have much effect on the scene. SpongeBob still knows that he has to go to the prom with Pearl, and it's only brought up once again, where it makes even less sense, but that's for the end of the episode.

SpongeBob gets a little pessemistic once he goes home and realises that he is, in fact, terrible with proms. Him and Patrick, who apparently went with his mom. Who's Patrick's mom? Not even he knows. But…
[titlecard]37B[/titlecard]
…we'll get to that when we get to that!

After that shocking realization, SpongeBob tries to look tall and tan (mostly tall) by buying a snazzy suit and building extendo-legs, or whatever you call them, and since it's a cartoon and it's the 90s, you know that extendo-legs are gonna be a bad idea. It's not like they appeared all that often, you just know. On the subject of them, I have to say that they're a little inconsistent when it comes to just how tall they make SpongeBob look. He had the ability to control their height (specifically going down) when he went over to Mr Krabs' house, but didn't think to do the same thing when using the punch bowl, which really could've saved some time, not to mention, conflict.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about the prom itself. I have no idea if it's accurate to typical high school portrayals, and I'm in high school! Then again, I didn't grow up in the 90s, plus the way that high schools/colleges/schools in general are portrayed in fiction are a little different to my personal experiences with them, generally due to New Zealand schooling having differences to America, where most of these depictions come from. With that said, I will admit that the teenagers generally look stunning in their outfits, and the school hall doesn't look half bad, both of these statements are from a design aspect, not a presentational one, as I have no idea if they're 100% accurate or not.

Also, remember what I said back in my Help Wanted review about anchovies essentially being lower forms of life in Bikini Bottom (at least lower than normal fish)? Well, seeing them reappear here, I still stand by that opinion, as they're not as mindless as they were in Help Wanted, but they are generally depicted as dumber/dorkier than the other fish. Case in point, all but one of them still say, "Eep", like it's their catchphrase.

Moving on, let's talk about the song here (and the second fully-fledged song in the show after "The Fun Song" from F.U.N.), "Do The Sponge". In my opinion, it's not the highlight of the episode (that would be the scene where SpongeBob's in the bathroom crying and Pearl's talking to him, with his blubbering being somewhat intelligible and funny to listen to, just because of now silly it sounds), but it's an okay song in it's own right. I guess it's meant to parody dance crazes, espacially those from near the end of the millennium, but because I've grown up with 2007-2013 music, and have seen completely ridiculous dances in that time (cough cough, Gangnam Style), it comes off as more like a genuine attempt at creating something that kids would be talking about on the playground the next day. Whether that makes it funnier or not is hard to tell, as they get kicked out of the building for inadvertedly causing chaos (really all they were doing was dancing, it was the other fish that took it out of proportion).

Now let's talk about the ending, as in after they get kicked out. It starts with shipping (seriously, you can't watch it without thinking "What a cute couple", even though SpongeBob is asexual and somewhat aromantic), and then we get potentially the best joke in the episode. SpongeBob and Pearl are walking back to Pearl's house talking, then Mr Krabs thrusts the door open yelling "Get away from me flower!", holding a rake. Both get frightened, and then it's revealed that Mr Krabs was talking about a literal flower that he got a rake out for, because he was afraid someone would step on it. However, it seems that SpongeBob hasn't quite recovered from the shock…but then it's revealed to be the dummy.

Despite being a rehash of a joke that wasn't really that funny, it really makes you wonder when the cut-off between watching SpongeBob and watching the dummy was. It seems to be during the montage of SpongeBob preparing himself for the date, but then why would SpongeBob pluck his eyelashes and have a shower if he's not the one getting prepared? You could also say that it was at some other random point later in the episode, but then how could SpongeBob have changed back into his typical outfit so quickly, and why would he just start using the dummy at whatever random point he felt like? The more you look into it, the more confusing it gets.

Is there anything else that I can say about this episode? Well, Pearl was certainly a good character here, certainly a bit better than in Squeaky Boots. The scenes of her crying at the Krusty Krab at the beginning are sad, relateable and even a little funny, because you know what's at stake for her, and why it would be so important for someone at her age, yet as a child, it looks bratty but somewhat enjoyable, as an adult, you're probably going to look back on it as being young and stupid but somewhat enjoyable, and if you're a teenager like me, you'd understand the dilemma she's going through a lot more clearly…and it's somewhat enjoyable. The reason being that she never really loses anything by the end, and seemed to have had a good time at the prom, which was her biggest fear.

But aside from that, the story is a bit slow, particularly by SpongeBob standards (it takes 4 minutes to actually get to the prom), has a few flaws, or otherwise mildly frustrating oddities, there were only a couple jokes that were really funny, and while the prom looks nice, I just can't relate to it in the same way that most others can, due to slight cultural differences. I'm not saying that this is a bad episode, remember, I have pointed out some positive things about it, but it's certainly not very memorable, especially because Season 1 was generally a time where they were still trying to find their footing, so an episode like this that goes a bit out-of-genre (it feels more slice-of-life than a good chunk of the show at this point) is to be expected.

My rating for this episode on my personal scale would be an "Average".
On a scale of 1-10, it would be a 5/10.
It's worse than Nature Pants, but better than Jellyfishing.

Better increase your workload and look sharp, because the next episode is all about being the perfect employee. Until then, let's just do the sponge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqZB9QDQpAI
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