I use to find Summer Job underrated, but irritating, now I just find it irritating there's still some parts I find humorous, but it's just too irritating to really think of as anything more than a 4/10. 3.5/10.
One Coarse Meal (Season 7, Episode 11a)
Original Airdate: March 25 2010
Episode 263 in standard order, Episode 261 in airing order, Episode 262 in order of general release
Plot: Mr Krabs taps into Plankton’s fear of whales by dressing up as Pearl
Written by Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas and Mr Lawrence
Title Card Music: SpongeBob History Song
As far as the most hated episodes of SpongeBob go, you can’t get any more infamous than this. Sure A Pal for Gary may have more attention from the mainstream, but this is the one that seems as though it was designed to annoy fans of SpongeBob. The big word often used to describe how bad this episode is, “sadistic”, is a pretty strong word when describing a show that’s meant for children, but given how the episode plays out, the characters’ actions and its unmistakable themes, I don’t think there’s any way I can defend this episode. Strap yourselves in with some duct tape, because this just might be one of my most important reviews.
It begins with Plankton attacking the Krusty Krab with a missile, with Mr Krabs and SpongeBob fighting back with peas. As far as action scenes go, this one is pretty decent, but that quickly changes when Plankton captures the two in a giant robotic hand coming out of the missile. The speed of the episode slows down immensely as Plankton tickles Mr Krabs’ butt with a feather and SpongeBob reveals where the secret formula is- behind a painting in Krabs’ office. I akways assumed Plankton’s struggle was just getting the formula, not knowing where it is. He’s always had the option to steal a patty since day one, so why is this a big deal?
Before Plankton’s able to make a good move, Pearl comes in (conveniently into the kitchen and not her Daddey’s office), scaring Plankton away. This is a reference to how whales eat plankton and other small organisms like krill. You might be wondering why Plankton’s now scared of her after being fine with her in The Algae’s Always Greener in Season 3, but a plotpoint is that Plankton’s developed a fear of whales after some of his family was eaten by one, and they’re hillbillies as established later in the season with Plankton’s Army. How they flawlessly ignored one earlier episode while referencing another is beyond me, but Mr Krabs gets an idea of how to keep Plankton away from the Krusty Krab.
Once he’s back home fearing for his life, Plankton talks to Karen, but she seems horribly unco-operative for a computer. One of my biggest gripes with this episode is how she now hates her husband just for being scared, which is the polar opposite of her being considerate and trying to make him succeed (not wanting, but giving him plans and such). This is only made worse when Plankton starts seeing Pearl everywhere, between putting out the trash and inside his lab, the latter of which is most likely a hallucination. After 16 days, he goes well and truly mad, resfusing to step outside his home and having nightmares of being eaten by Pearl. Aside from the hillbilly joke in Pearl’s stomach, this is all treated very seriously, with little comedic exaggeration. The only thing it tries to play up is how genuinely horrific the situation is.
He eventually gives up on life and lies on the road, waiting to be run over. I’m not sure what made them think this was okay to do, portray suicide in this realistic a fashion. I myself am not enraged or “triggered” by the suicidal themes, as the series has occasionally made a few passing jokes about it, but there’s a reason they’re passing jokes. Nobody really wants to see their favourite characters in such a poor state of mental health, with nobody caring about them anymore (Karen certainly doesn’t, Krabs is gleeful that Plankton’s given up and SpongeBob’s neutral) and their lives ruined. With that, I can see why Plankton lying on the street waiting for a bus is a scary, sickening thing for some viewers. I’m not that easily sawyed by emotions in a cartoon, but I think it was a dumb idea to put this in a series that’d be watched by kids of all ages.
When people try to say this episode has some redeeming elements, they’d point to SpongeBob being a voice of reason and trying to temporarily help Plankton. Unfortunately, what he does to end the episode very well makes him its worst character. Essentially, he lets Plankton tap into Mr Krabs’ supposed fear of mimes, while also projecting some whales onto the Krusty Krab windows. What he’s essentially doing is leaving both parties frightened for their lives, or at least giving Mr Krabs a newfound fear of mimes that Plankton can exploit, which pretty much destroys any thread of friendship they might’ve kept. When you look at episodes like Welcome to the Chum Bucket and Best Frenemies, although Mr Krabs and Plankton are business rivals, they seem to get along nicely when that’s pushed aside. I can’t call their chemistry after this episode anything but a battle between life-threatening enemies.
Once again, this is a terrible story that isn’t balanced out by good comedy. The funniest it gets is Plankton thinking about how his family got eaten by a whale, which has enough of a Plankton’s Army vibe for me to think of it as a call-back, but that’s where any and all joking ends. I wouldn’t say the themes in the episode were even trying to be played for laughs, because I think even the writers at this point knew there was a limit to how dark the show could get, and making light of suicide and bitter hatred for a chuckle was their definition of “too far”.
The animation is all over the place, but not in a good way. The first thing that’s pretty darn bad is the scene in which Plankton’s let his hair and fingernails grow long and wears tissue boxes as shoes, which is a reference to Howard Hughes. The worst thing about it is how it’s never shown agaain. They just reference Hughes for a scene, and that’s it. Even the worst pop culture references in a show like this don’t break the story whenever they want. The second is some gross-out in Plankton’s nightmare, but not many people would expect a whale’s throat and stomach to look nice. The third is Mr Krabs’ Pearl costume, which is much more inconsistent. As the episode goes on, it seems to fluctuate in how convincing it is, and Krabs can do a good Pearl impression for virtually no reason.
Given everything I’ve criticised so far, it should be obvious that every character is terrible here. Even though Plankton’s meant to be the victim here, he fails on a technical level due to him always being the villain of the show. To break that aspect of him for an entire episode is an admittance of defeat from his mad scientist side and turns him into a 100% boring everyman. I’ve already explained how Karen giving up on her husband is out of character/programming, so I’ll skip to Mr Krabs. He’s easily the most infamous element of this episode, seemingly being fine with Plankton trying to kill himself, but SpongeBob never tells Mr Krabs point-blank that he’s attempting suicide, and Mr Krabs has his reasons for driving Plankton away. That doesn’t excuse him being a terrible, heartless character here, but he isn’t the worst element. The worst for me is SpongeBob and how he seems to ruin everything between Mr Krabs’ and Plankton’s friendship because the episode needed a wacky ending. It’s ironic how he says killing Plankton would go against his good nature right before he makes his rivalry with Mr Krabs even worse.
I can definitely see why this episode gets so much hate. One Coarse Meal goes in a grim direction and never does anything clever, subtle or entertaining with it. It’s not the worst episode in the series, but it’s among the least fun to sit through, between its soulless characters and touchy themes in today’s society. Even though I get why it’s hated, I wish some of the more mindless fans knew the reason why instead of using buzzwords like “suidide” and “mean-spiwitid”. Things need to be infamous for a reason, you can’t just hate something because it’s the cool thing to do. If these kids hate One Coarse Meal because they’re too scared to watch it themselves, I implore them to watch it all the way through, and fully understand why they’d hate it.
Question of the Day: Have you watched every episode you hate?
I don't like this episode, but don't hate in any way. Yes, it's kinda disturbing at times and looks like as bad dark fafinction, but... I don't know, it's just too mediocre for me, to really feel anything about it.
One thing abiut this episode that I kinda hate is how it's ruined potentially good concept for episode. Whales really do eat plankton, this fact I knew since childhood for some reason, so I kinda hoped for such episode to happen. Unfortunately, it didn't go to the route that I was expecting.
QotD: As I seen all episodes of the series for now, yes, I saw them all.
Gary In Love (Season 7, Episode 11b)
Original Airdate: February 6 2010
Episode 264 in standard order, Episode 254 in airing order
Plot: Gary falls in love with another snail, but is eyed by thugs at the same time
Written by Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas and Derek Iversen
Title Card Music: Puka A
Poor Gary In Love. I don’t think this episode will ever get a positive reception. Being paired with one of the worst episodes of all-time is one thing, but having nothing to show for it other than a Gary love story is another. If you felt the love at the end of The Great Snail Race was out of place and needed its own episode to be fully developed, this is the episode for you. They even bring back Snelly as the love interest. Unfortunately, this episode has a couple things going against it. Not as many as the episode preceeding it in standard order, but it’s still got some problems that keep it from being very enjoyable.
It starts with Gary watching a soap opera where two lovers named Brad and Monica reunite, only to be yanked away from his TV time by SpongeBob who wants to take him for a walk. I guess a key difference between this and the opening scene in A Pal for Gary is that SpongeBob’s actually doing something productive with his pet, as opposed to wondering how he’s giving America a bad name while shooting bugs on the sidewalk. They go to a snail park (hard to grasp there’d even be a cat park, but hey, snails can be snails) where Gary falls in love with a female snail with no name. The closest thing we get to one is “my goyle”, so although she’s eerily similar to Snelly, this instantly fails at being an enticing love story by making the interest a generic trophy.
Oh, and she has this tuff greaser boyfriend. You know, the kind who’s a horrible bully that you can barely imagine a girl actually hanging out with? They don’t bother to give him and his lackeys much of a personality, but he does get the occasional funny line. SpongeBob picks Gary up and takes him home, but feeling lovestruck, the snail runs away from home again to look for the new love of his life. Although not a good reason to run away like feeling neglected by his owner, I can see Gary heading out and trying to find something if he really wanted to.
The next morning, SpongeBob wakes up to find his pet missing, and assumes a drawing Gary made of his girlfriend (that looks like it was intended to be posted to FurAffinity) is a ransom note. Yeah, SpongeBob thinks a drawing of a snail with kissy marks is a ransom note, this is one of those episodes. Gary’s adventure through the city is constantly brought a couple slithers back by the sheer amount of pets in Bikini Bottom or the thugs trying to beat him up. He eventually gets into the female snail owner’s car, which causes a car accident which reunites Monica (the owner) with her boyfriend Brad, just like in the soap opera. Likewise, Brad’s snail takes the girl snail under his wing, leaving Gary a little heartbroken. It’s a wierd way to end an episode, but tying it back into the beginning is clever to say the least.
With the exception of occasional good lines, parituclarly from the bully snails, this episode doesn’t focus on comedy. This isn’t anything new for Gary episodes, but since this episode doesn’t have the scope or half the heart of Have You Seen This Snail?, something seems lacking. My favourite joke in the episode is when Harold’s pet store is trashed by the snails, and he starts talking to himself. I also don’t have much to say about the animation. The designs for the new snails are fine, even compared to the shell-o-thon in Shell Shocked, but you get a heap of gross-out, like an ugly snail Gary mistakes for Snelly, and SpongeBob licking Gary’s slime trail to tell if it’s his. The latter I can let slide because this is a Gary episode, and they’ve always been a little dirtier than usual.
The characters are a mixed bag, but they ultimately lean more towards the red than you’d want. As far as Post-Movie goes, Gary isn’t that moody or cynical, given his romantic butterflies keeping him in a positive frame of mind. It’s just a shame that his love interest is designed to have no personality. I’ve already complained about that, but it’s a shame media continues to shove trophy-like eye candy on the screen and expect us to call it love. Although the bully snails are hopelessly generic, at least they soften up once Snelly runs off with a snail just as bland as she is, and I’m happy they’re introduced as flat stereotypes only to get a couple laughs as the episode goes on. SpongeBob himself doesn’t need to be in much of this story, an unfortunate pattern I’m noticing in Season 7. The reason I didn’t mention him in the ending is because he doesn’t really impact much. Lastly, Brad and Monica are another example of love in this episode being played very lightly, but since they’re an intentional parody of soap opera couple, they do their job smoothly.
In the end, I really wish this episode wasn’t paired with One Coarse Meal. People who know how bad it is would refrain from catching it in a rerun, while new viewers would want to change the channel after watching it, leaving Gary In Love to be one of the show’s most forgotten episodes. Even though that isn’t a big loss, with its satire of instant love coming off too sincerely and having several clichés, you still get another Gary episode that proves they’re not all terrible. Between a couple good chuckles, it’s certainly nothing good at all, but it overall improves Gary’s library of episodes by a smidge.
Question of the Day: Are there any other characters you’d like to see fall in love?
Join me tomorrow for a poor man’s Culture Shock.
I'm pretty much indifferent towards this episode. It's okay, I guess, but really forgettable.
QotD: I can't see any other main character to fall in love with someone. Spongebob, besides one awful episode, is pretty much asexual, Patrick already has a crush on Mindy (in the movie), Kruff is canon, Squidward will fall in love in one of the future episodes. Only character left is Sandy... And I dunno about her.
The Play’s the Thing (Season 7, Episode 12a)
Original Airdate: March 26 2010
Episode 265 in standard order, Episode 262 in airing order, Episode 263 in order of general release
Plot: After having his production turned down, Squidward performs it for the Krusty Krab
Written by Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash and Steven Banks
Title Card Music: Peg Leg Waltz
Squidward putting on a play for the Krusty Krab has been done before. One of the Season 1 episodes, Culture Shock, was a pretty fun story with lots of variety in its acts and resonant jokes. I don’t know what made them think they were going to top it when borrowing the concept and reworking it 11 years later, but I’ve always been open to the show repeating its ideas. Since every season counts as its own little era, you can tell two stories in two different production blocks and they’ll function differently (just compare Jellyfish Jam to House Worming, that’s a really good example of a base story being told differently in a new time period). It’s a shame I have to call this a luckluster retelling, so let me set the stage.
As far as opening scenes go, today’s is pretty far down there as one of the worst. A mailman goes to the Krusty Krab to deliver a letter to Squidward, but since SpongeBob’s the only one there, he makes a fake Squidward out of balloons and takes the mail. Why doesn’t SpongeBob just say he’s the only one there, why does the mailman run out screaming in fear, and how did the real Squidward sleep through all of it? The answer to each of these is because it makes for a slow gag that’ll be forgotten within seconds. It’s not a good sign when the first minute is designed to pad things out.
As the story starts, Squidward finds out the letter was from a producer who he sent a play to. Eager to open it and steer his life into an artsy direction, he’s upset that the producer actually rejected his play, and if you read it you’d see why. After negotiating with the rest of the Krusty Krew, they decide to perform the play at the Krusty Krab that night for a dinner theatre presentation, or a watchy-eaty as Mr Krabs and SpongeBob coin. Unfortunately, the only roles fit for the role are Squidward and SpongeBob, though the play is set to occasionally break the fourth wall and have minor audience participation, as Mr Krabs wants Squidward to continue filling out his duties as he’s putting the play on. At this point, the episode seems promising.
Unfortunately, that’s where the story slows down immensely. I hate to say it, but a majority of the episode is Squidward explaining his feelings about his job in a dramatic fashion. Sure I assume Roger Bumpass would’ve had a field trip in the recording booth, but Heavens does it translate into one of the most uneventful episodes ever made. The progress only speeds up at the very end where SpongeBob burns the patties he’s trying to serve, laments over how he let the spotlight blind him from his duty, and the Krustomers discovering how fun it is to pelt SpongeBob and Squidward with the hard patties and other stuff like anchors. It’s a rather violent way to end an episode like this, considering how damaged the actors look in the final shot, and a word to the wise for writers, never end an episode on SpongeBob covered in garbage and bruises, laughing maniacally again.
If the story were much more interesting and the characters more well-rounded, I could see this episode being pretty funny. The closest it gets to good comedy is SpongeBob’s Squidward impression at the beginning (not the scene itself, just the voice he puts on), a joke which we’ve been getting variations of since Ripped Pants. Much of the jokes rely on Squidward being in the middle of his play, then being interrupted by a customer and having to go about his duties as a waiter/cashier. It’s a slow, tedious process that takes up too much time. I’ve heard people call SpongeBob blowing up the balloons at the beginning an adult joke, and though I see where they’re coming from, my mind isn’t as dirty as their’s.
Speaking of which, the animation here has a lot going against it. SpongeBob’s hit pretty hard with Springer cheeks here, which is odd considering the episode was boarded by Casey. Unappealing character designs aren’t the only thing wrong with the episode, as we also have gross-out, and a lot of it as the garbage literally piles up. Between the actors’ beaten looks and the puke green trash that makes its way onto Squidward’s face, it’s a gross-out episode too boring to remember. Another minor problem I have is the anchovies signing up to audition. I’m not against them giving anchovies more appearances (unless it’s in the Krusty Krab considering their debut), but I feel the cleanup artist did such a poor job of drawing fish that the Koran animators assumed they were anchovies. Again, this is speculation, and I hope I’m not called out in a commentary in a couple years.
With an episode as slow and aimless as this one, the characters don’t make it any easier to sit through. Squidward and his play are all him complaining about his job, so it’s clear why he was turned down by a professional. The episode makes him out to be rather egotistical, yet his irritation doesn’t feel earned, considering he wrote the play before the episode even started. Mr Krabs is your typical greedy interpretation, laughing over how he underpays his employees and is always likely to interrupt Squidward’s play to keep the customers full. SpongeBob’s rather dumb here, managing to screw up the basic task of not being given lines and overreacting to the sight of poorly cooked patties, but the absolute worst character here is Patrick. He only has one line, “I like throwing things!”, but he’s just thrown into the episode at the last minute to add a little more dark humour.
Even compared to the slow, atmospheric pace of a standard Season 1 episode, The Play’s the Thing feels like it wastes more time than it gives. The animation is surprisingly more gross than you’d remember it, the characters have very little motivation for their actions (one-dimensional traits aren’t exactly reasons for throwing anchors), and of course, the story is a waste of time. The saving grace for this episode, and something I’d want to be in the right mind for if I rewatch this, is Roger Bumpass’es performance. Sure Squidward’s play drags the episode to its limits, but Bumpass seemed to have a fun time getting into the mood of a Shakespearian actor. Even then, there are other episodes where the voice artists have taken their acting in a different direction, and this isn’t one of the good ones.
Question of the Day: What episodes are made more interesting by the voiceover direction?
Until tomorrow, just remember if anyone comes to your door, they’re guaranteed to be performing a ninja sneak attack. For the record, this title card music is kinda lame.
Rodeo Daze (Season 7, Episode 12b)
Original Airdate: February 6 2010
Episode 266 in standard order, Episode 255 in airing order
Plot: SpongeBob tries to rally everyone up and save Sandy from a rodeo clown
Written by Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash and Richard Pursel
Title Card Music: Rodeo Daze
Back when I was a dumb 11 year old who probably shouldn’t have been watching YouTube Poop, I saw Mo Bros’ videos on 40 of the worst SpongeBob episodes (of Season 4-8), and was surprised with the number 3 choice for the first list. Even compared to the rest of the stuff he showed, Rodeo Daze seemed like an oddity, mainly because it was one of the few to genuinely feel like a Pre-Movie episode at times. Don’t let its exterior fool you though, there’s a good reason he put this below episodes like The Clash of Triton and Shuffle-Boarding. Time to get all tangled up in Rodeo Daze.
The French narrator introduces us to the lush, vibrant world under the ocean, but doesn’t have any good examples of nice-looking fish. He eventually runs into SpongeBob and Patrick, who are having a staring contest that goes on for longer than it needs to. Bored out of their minds, though not as much as the viewers at home, the story gives them something to do by throwing SpongeBob a note addressed to Sandy. They head over to her treedome, spend even more empty calory time figuring out how to open the door, only to be attacked by Sandy who thinks they were attempting a ninja sneak attack. Although finally the episode has some action, I don’t get how standing in front of someone’s house counts as a sneak attack, especially if you know they’re close friends.
Snapping back quickly, Sandy reads the note, which is alerting her of a rodeo championship, and she explains the concept of a rodeo to her friends in song. To be fair, the song isn’t bad. Sure it has an annoying chorus and is mainly focused on cramming in Southern stereotypes, but Carolyn Lawrence’s singing voice is much better than back in Atlantis SquarePantis and the visuals are nice. You get a couple floral backgrounds making it feel a bit more like a song from the days of old. When she mentions the rodeo clown however, SpongeBob fears for her life because he’s scared of clowns now. I’m not a fan of this decision to make SpongeBob scared of something new out of the blue, because at least Night Light established how he developed a fear of the dark.
The episode then tries to make us feel sorry for SpongeBob by showing how little all his friends care about his predicament. This process which I term “Glimmerfication” is when one character is made out to be the only likeable one, despite the odds being stacked against them. Sure SpongeBob wants to help his friend out, but that isn’t an excuse to kidnap everyone in town with bubbles, including the ones he didn’t even ask for help from. All the bubbles join together, float to the surface and somehow make it all the way to Texas within moments, presented in live action. They head to Sandy’s rodeo, but the bullfrog goes out of control when it sees sea critters and tries to eat SpongeBob, but Sandy saves the day. This action scene is so quick and poorly animated that it’s a wonder they decided to end the episode with it.
I hate to say it again, but the jokes in this episode fall a bit short. Whether they be too long or too on-the-nose, you’ve just got a style of comedy that doesn’t function properly in SpongeBob. Long jokes include the staring contest the episode starts off with and Plankton’s attempts at carrying dynamite to the Krusty Krab, none of which are impactful when you think about it. The funniest the episode gets is when Patrick gets out his book of how to open things, and SpongeBob notes that he’s seen the movie. The base joke for a book suitable for Patrick is enough, but they added an extra layer that made it seem like the book has been very successful, which is what I like to see.
There’s also only one good thing about the animation, and that’s the Rodeo song. The rest of it has some drawbacks like some Springer cheeks, a rather annoying soot effect when SpongeBob and Patrick are covered, and the infamous ending. There’s a reason this episode is unfavourably compared to Pressue, which also used live action, though in a much more literal sense. The effects in Rodeo Daze play out like flash animation in its most basic form, and it just seems ugly, inconsistent even when you focus on crowd shots. I just really hope they knew they were making something insanely cheap-looking, because it’s sad to see a scene like this in a billion dollar franchise.
I don’t you’ll like any of the characters in this episode. SpongeBob is forced into the heroic spotlight, but it’s hard to be on his side when he kidnaps everyone because of his fear of clowns effecting how he thinks a rodeo goes down. Sure the bubble scene is a sweet, dreamlike scene, but I think thee episode would be more interesting if he went alone. The rest of the Bikini Bottomites not caring about Sandy once she’s gone is either cynical writing, or them recovering from her treatment towards them in Prehibernation Week. Even Sandy doesn’t have much going for her aside from the Southern clichés she sings about and participates in. This is just a really bad character episode.
And a really bad episode in general. While it may not be as frustrating as the show’s absolute worst episodes, it gets a ton of things wrong with the show, such as time management, character interactions and even a realistic portrayal of the real world. The closest thing it has to a saving grace is a couple jokes and some nice imagery in the Rodeo song, but even those I can see working more in an older season, or an episode with straighter priorities. If I were asked to watch this episode again, my response would be “Yippy tie yay, yippy tie no”.
Rodeo Daze was one of those episodes I used to like as a kid that was completely ruined after I watched it years later. There is so much wrong with the episode that I can't virtually see myself liking it anymore.
I liked Rodeo Daze more than The Play's The Thing. Another 3.5/10 probably for me. I thought there were some funny parts, I actually liked when Patrick said he thought it was a blinking contest and he was losing, and the How to Open Things Movie, plus some other funny parts, but the second half of the episode with everyone being so apathetic toward Sandy seemed strange as did the ending which was very strange. One where you look at the screen like the parents at the end of I Had an Accident.
Gramma’s Secret Recipe (Season 7, Episode 13a)
Original Airdate: July 6 2010
Episode 267 in standard order, Episode 266 in airing order
Plot: Plankton disguises himself as his gramma to fool SpongeBob into giving him the formula
Written by Aaron Springer and Dani Michaeli
Title Card Music: Unknown Track
We’re very close to the halfway point of the season, but we’ve got two episodes to go before we reach the peak of the bellcurve. One of them is the second Plankton disguise plot of the season, which has been described as one of the better ones. Sure it’s better than Someone’s in the Kitchen by a longshot, but is that really a compliment? Despite me giving it an average rating, I remember this episode being pretty annoying and filled with old people humour that, like the show, proved how slow and lazy it was getting. If you can’t tell, this is yet another case of an episode that’s somehow worse than I remember it.
It opens with Plankton visiting his grandma at the Shady Oaks retirement home, and this is up there with The Play’s The Thing in bad ways to start an episode. Ever wanted to see Plankton feeding his grandma ice cream, with it covering her face and a bunch of jokes about false teeth being gross? Look no further than the start of this episode. Almost instantly, Plankton gets the idea to take her clothes while she’s sleeping and pretend to be an old lady so he can get the Krabby Patty secret formula. He has an imagine spot where he thinks he’ll get it super easy just because he’s dressed as an old lady, but it’s a little harder than that.
Instead of going to the Krusty Krab an executing his plan, he goes to SpongeBob’s house and claims to be his great grandmother. SpongeBob, unable to tell this small, green, masculine-sounding creature isn’t a fellow sponge like himself, takes him to get reacquainted. This portion of the episode is rather boring with no real substance. Sure there’s the old gag of SpongeBob going through dozens of family photo albums, but I’ve already seen it elsewhere. To think this all could’ve been avoided if he just went into the Krusty Krab and at least attempted to pass off as an old lady in front of Mr Krabs or Squidward. I get the feeling it was a deleted scene for being too similar to the dream, but I’d rather have that over more “hilarious” old people jokes.
After a tedious day of drinking tea and knitting, Plankton’s finally let into the Krusty Krab kitchen by SpongeBob. This results in a few moments that feel like they could be plot points but never go anywhere. SpongeBob noticing his great grandma has antennae? It doesn’t lead to a slow Little Red-esque realization. Squidward meeting this new character? He has no bearing on the rest of the story aside from one joke. Plankton setting up a decoy of himself that SpongeBob destroys? He laments its loss but then discovers his great grandma’s still alive, removing the tension. He’s eventually let into the formula’s safe to take a nap, SpongeBob really pushing the limits of family benefits, only to be scolded at by his actual grandmother, who knew he would be in the safe he’s spent years trying to just find the location of, out of thin air. We may call plot contrivances we don’t like “dumb”, but this feels like a case where this was a first draft written early in the morning, and lacking in intelligence from a mental standpoint.
Old people and gross-out aren’t a good mix. It wasn’t funny in Mermaid Man VS SpongeBob, and it’s even less funny here. Plankton’s grandmother speaks in this annoying old-timey way, which is noticeable in the end as she comes out of the blue to scold her grandchild. There are two jokes that I like however, both take place in the pineapple. The first is SpongeBob’s baby photo of his first appendage, which takes advantage of the fact he’s a primitive life form to give you a surreal image, and Plankton’s false nightmare line, especially given the context. I wouldn’t rewatch this episode just for these moments, but I’m happy to know I picked up something positive from it compared to the last disguise episode.
The animation is filled with Springer cheeks and gross-out. What did you expect? There’s a little more to it than that however, but it’s just emphasizing how these don’t work. Plankton’s grandma already doesn’t look nice as a shrivelled plankton with girly features, but stripping those girly features at the end makes her look downright appalling. Again, SpongeBob’s “old people are the coolest” speech doesn’t mesh well with this depiction of them. The shape of SpongeBob’s cheekbone is rather inconsistent. Sometimes it looks like one of its normal variations, but you occasionally get a flat, lifeless Springer cheek. I don’t know why I spend so much time talking about SpongeBob’s cheekbone, it’s just autism at this point.
The characters don’t make the episode any less of a chore, as each of them only has one purpose to the story and they don’t offer anything new. Plankton’s goal is clearly to get the secret formula using a disguise, but that’s been done before. The only twist on it this time is he’s trying to be a relation of SpongeBob’s, but that leads to some slow, meandering scenes that don’t benefit the story. SpongeBob himself is painfully naïve here. Again, him and Squidward not being able to tell this small, green creature that talks about the secret formula is Plankton is rather hard to watch. At least Imitation Krabs had better disguises and even Someone’s in the Kitchen had the disguise be big to hide how small Plankton was. As for the new grandma character, I hope she doesn’t appear again, as she’s every old lady stereotype in the book.
In conclusion, this episode is more embarrassing than a kissy mark on the forehead. The premise itself seemed like it was grasping straws for something to do with a disguise story, but this managed to go below those expectations with predictable gross-out jokes and some very weak characters. The plot’s so adamant to go in a new direction towards the end, but it ignores them to continue dragging the story out. It’s the first time in this whole re-evaluation where I had to check the runtime because I wanted it to end so bad. It’s not even a special kind of bad, it’s just a waste of time you shouldn’t watch.
Question of the Day: What was gramma’s secret recipe anyway? If they were referring to Mr Krabs, ew.