Re-Evaluating my opinions on SpongeBob Season 1-8

EmployeeAMillion

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Moving Bubble Bass (Season 11, Episode 14b)
Original Airdate: March 16 2018
Episode 438 in standard order, Episode 436 in airing order
Plot: Bubble Bass gets SpongeBob and Patrick to help him move out of his mother’s basement
Written by Mr Lawrence

Bubble Bass is one of the most interesting elements of the modern seasons. They took a character that had been mostly absent for years, then brought him back as if he were part of the regular cast. We didn’t see this happen with the bomb-selling pirate, Clamuu or even Squilliam (yet), and that’s because they’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of Bubble Bass. He fits the sorts of things the new crew loves to write about- fat people, geek culture, strange Krustomers, etc., so it only made sense that he’d eventually have his own starring/supporting episode, the first since Pickles. This is the ultimate test of whether he fits the world of Bikini Bottom- can he carry an episode? Turn that tense game show music on.

Speaking of the mind-numbing side of TV, we open on Bubble Bass fantasizing about being a talk show host, interviewing a Krabby Patty man. It clearly demonstrates his ego and gluttony before we even see him awake, so they’re doing something right. He snaps out of it when his Mom tells him to get out of his basement and do a bunch of chores, something we can all relate to.
...Guys?
In all seriousness, Bubble Bass’ Mom really got on my nerves, but at least he makes the decision to move out of the house and live with his grandmother. I shouldn’t be too surprised with the writers giving him a home, lifestyle and motivation to start the plot, but I’m fascinated by this being the debut of these elements for Bubble Bass.

He know has to get some able-bodied idiots to do his dirty work, so conveniently SpongeBob and Patrick enter the frame, goofing around with a wheelbarrow no less. Bass manipulates them into packing his stuff and taking it across town, by first offering them free lunches, then pretending to break his back. Since his first appearance, Bass has always been the deceitful type, so it’s not like they’re already making him out-of-character. He suffers a bit of punishment anyway as SpongeBob and Patrick continue to pack, but break all his stuff to fit it in the boxes. I’ll admit, a bit of the geek inside me died at the sight of them melting action figures and chewing comic books, but it’s not like they’re gonna be let off the hook either, particuarly not by the narrative.

The able-bodied idiots get into a lot of trouble with their 20 foot bag of goods on the street. They accidentally trample the fancy woman from Krusty Katering, and are always blocked by babies, among other inconveniences. This is the part of the episode that I like the least, but it still has some entertaining and memorable moments, like the street somehow turning upwards 90 degrees, making the wheelbarrow move further out of control. There are also some reminders as to why SpongeBob and Patrick are putting themselves through this, with Patrick occasionally thinking about Bubble Bass and the free lunches he’s got. Too bad he and SpongeBob have to deal with the bag rolling up everyone around it like a katamari before that.

After being kicked UP a hill (that’s not how hill works) by the babies, they find an old-fashioned house, then destroy it by shoving the entire bag in at once. This causes the owner of that house (not Bubble Bass or a relative of any kind) to get so mad that he explodes. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine. SpongeBob and Patrick don’t seem to be as they cross an unstable bridge, with the bag, with the lady and babies still chasing them. They manage to get there with some more bouncing, but Bubble Bass, not even caring to check if they’ve damaged anything, reveals he ate their lunches and bleches in their faces. If he hadn’t crossed a line already, now he has, and his “able-bodied idiots” aren’t gonna take it anymore.

Patrick throws a fit at him, SpongeBob delivers a great big speech about how mean he was to them, and his mother, who was packed, chases him around town as punishment for getting her dragged across town. It’s a happier ending than it seems, with SpongeBob and Patrick standing up for themselves, and Bubble Bass getting his just desserts for being a massive jerk to them. The storytelling and karma distribution here is more Ed Edd ‘n Eddy-inspired, but I don’t mind that show so it’s all good. (I mean I don’t love it, I just think it worked in its own way.)

The comedy wasn’t as funny as most episodes this season, but it still has some laugh-worthy moments. The one that got to me the most was Patrick’s face getting a realistic close-up when he’s yelling at Bubble Bass, which makes for an absurd climax to the episode’s comedy. I also like the jokes they make with Bass’ talk shot at the start, with him talking to a Krabby Patty man and them taking shots at Mr Krabs. There are a number that I didn’t laugh at however, like much of the stuff with Mother Bass, and SpongeBob and Patrick constantly running over the fancy lady, but it’s balanced out by the guy whose house is destroyed, and his explosion. We’re in the green, ladies and gentlemen.

They’ve still got some things they can do with the animation 2 decades on, and I’m so happy about that. When SpongeBob looks down from the bridge, the show’s famous flower clouds are used to give depth. It’s a remarkable visual flair, and I’m happy to have seen it. There’s also the way the street turns up 90 degrees like something from Inception. Granted this episode isn’t anywhere near as epic as that movie, but it’s got some neat faces. Bubble Bass’ Grinch-like faces are creepy, but really funny, and my praise for the character animation extends into my favourite visual gag. Patrick and SpongeBob get get stuck in the top and bottom of the bag respectively, and SpongeBob keeps on trucking on, making Patrick look insanely fat.

The characters are honestly pretty thin here, but I guess that’s to make it so it’s not as painful to see them get punished. SpongeBob and Patrick are prretty destructive, and that’s all there is to them for the first 10 minutes, but I can get behind that. The recuperation of their dignity at the end when they leave Bubble Bass is a satisfying enough close to their story. Bubble Bass is finally another main character again, and he’s just as bratty and manipulative as when we left him. I’m unfortunately a few years away from relating to him, but still see him as a scumbag, albeit a “love to hate” kind of scumbag. Lady Harrington from Krusty Katering returns as an obstacle for SpongeBob and Patrick, and she’s alright, with her ego getting her into enough trouble. A character I don’t like is Mother Bass, but only because they give me darn good reasons for why her son wants to move out asap. This is a colourful cast that’s beaten and bruised just enough.

Moving Bubble Bass (or Move Your Bubble Bass, as it was originally called) wasn’t much better than I was expecting, but it’s an adequate episode anyway. It has enough good dialogue to feel like a moving story, and enough tasteful visual gags to keep the kids happy. The characters can drain on you however, so if you’re easily sickened by them being zany, this may not be your cup of tea. I personally went into this one curious with how they would portray Bubble Bass, and wondering if they’d make him more sympathetic, due to the higher amount of focus. They kept him just as mean as ever, and I couldn’t have him any other way.

Final Verdict: Good 7/10 (solid but not top notch)
Mermaid Pants < Moving Bubble Bass < Tutor Sauce

Question of the Day: How similar would you say you are to Bubble Bass?

Prepare to get pretty high tomorrow, and not in that way. Until then, man, early 2000s games were wierd.
:sbthumbs:
 

Octavionknox888

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EmployeeAMillion said:
Moving Bubble Bass (Season 11, Episode 14b)
Original Airdate: March 16 2018
Episode 438 in standard order, Episode 436 in airing order
Plot: Bubble Bass gets SpongeBob and Patrick to help him move out of his mother’s basement
Written by Mr Lawrence

Bubble Bass is one of the most interesting elements of the modern seasons. They took a character that had been mostly absent for years, then brought him back as if he were part of the regular cast. We didn’t see this happen with the bomb-selling pirate, Clamuu or even Squilliam (yet), and that’s because they’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of Bubble Bass. He fits the sorts of things the new crew loves to write about- fat people, geek culture, strange Krustomers, etc., so it only made sense that he’d eventually have his own starring/supporting episode, the first since Pickles. This is the ultimate test of whether he fits the world of Bikini Bottom- can he carry an episode? Turn that tense game show music on.

Speaking of the mind-numbing side of TV, we open on Bubble Bass fantasizing about being a talk show host, interviewing a Krabby Patty man. It clearly demonstrates his ego and gluttony before we even see him awake, so they’re doing something right. He snaps out of it when his Mom tells him to get out of his basement and do a bunch of chores, something we can all relate to.
...Guys?
In all seriousness, Bubble Bass’ Mom really got on my nerves, but at least he makes the decision to move out of the house and live with his grandmother. I shouldn’t be too surprised with the writers giving him a home, lifestyle and motivation to start the plot, but I’m fascinated by this being the debut of these elements for Bubble Bass.

He know has to get some able-bodied idiots to do his dirty work, so conveniently SpongeBob and Patrick enter the frame, goofing around with a wheelbarrow no less. Bass manipulates them into packing his stuff and taking it across town, by first offering them free lunches, then pretending to break his back. Since his first appearance, Bass has always been the deceitful type, so it’s not like they’re already making him out-of-character. He suffers a bit of punishment anyway as SpongeBob and Patrick continue to pack, but break all his stuff to fit it in the boxes. I’ll admit, a bit of the geek inside me died at the sight of them melting action figures and chewing comic books, but it’s not like they’re gonna be let off the hook either, particuarly not by the narrative.

The able-bodied idiots get into a lot of trouble with their 20 foot bag of goods on the street. They accidentally trample the fancy woman from Krusty Katering, and are always blocked by babies, among other inconveniences. This is the part of the episode that I like the least, but it still has some entertaining and memorable moments, like the street somehow turning upwards 90 degrees, making the wheelbarrow move further out of control. There are also some reminders as to why SpongeBob and Patrick are putting themselves through this, with Patrick occasionally thinking about Bubble Bass and the free lunches he’s got. Too bad he and SpongeBob have to deal with the bag rolling up everyone around it like a katamari before that.

After being kicked UP a hill (that’s not how hill works) by the babies, they find an old-fashioned house, then destroy it by shoving the entire bag in at once. This causes the owner of that house (not Bubble Bass or a relative of any kind) to get so mad that he explodes. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine. SpongeBob and Patrick don’t seem to be as they cross an unstable bridge, with the bag, with the lady and babies still chasing them. They manage to get there with some more bouncing, but Bubble Bass, not even caring to check if they’ve damaged anything, reveals he ate their lunches and bleches in their faces. If he hadn’t crossed a line already, now he has, and his “able-bodied idiots” aren’t gonna take it anymore.

Patrick throws a fit at him, SpongeBob delivers a great big speech about how mean he was to them, and his mother, who was packed, chases him around town as punishment for getting her dragged across town. It’s a happier ending than it seems, with SpongeBob and Patrick standing up for themselves, and Bubble Bass getting his just desserts for being a massive jerk to them. The storytelling and karma distribution here is more Ed Edd ‘n Eddy-inspired, but I don’t mind that show so it’s all good. (I mean I don’t love it, I just think it worked in its own way.)

The comedy wasn’t as funny as most episodes this season, but it still has some laugh-worthy moments. The one that got to me the most was Patrick’s face getting a realistic close-up when he’s yelling at Bubble Bass, which makes for an absurd climax to the episode’s comedy. I also like the jokes they make with Bass’ talk shot at the start, with him talking to a Krabby Patty man and them taking shots at Mr Krabs. There are a number that I didn’t laugh at however, like much of the stuff with Mother Bass, and SpongeBob and Patrick constantly running over the fancy lady, but it’s balanced out by the guy whose house is destroyed, and his explosion. We’re in the green, ladies and gentlemen.

They’ve still got some things they can do with the animation 2 decades on, and I’m so happy about that. When SpongeBob looks down from the bridge, the show’s famous flower clouds are used to give depth. It’s a remarkable visual flair, and I’m happy to have seen it. There’s also the way the street turns up 90 degrees like something from Inception. Granted this episode isn’t anywhere near as epic as that movie, but it’s got some neat faces. Bubble Bass’ Grinch-like faces are creepy, but really funny, and my praise for the character animation extends into my favourite visual gag. Patrick and SpongeBob get get stuck in the top and bottom of the bag respectively, and SpongeBob keeps on trucking on, making Patrick look insanely fat.

The characters are honestly pretty thin here, but I guess that’s to make it so it’s not as painful to see them get punished. SpongeBob and Patrick are prretty destructive, and that’s all there is to them for the first 10 minutes, but I can get behind that. The recuperation of their dignity at the end when they leave Bubble Bass is a satisfying enough close to their story. Bubble Bass is finally another main character again, and he’s just as bratty and manipulative as when we left him. I’m unfortunately a few years away from relating to him, but still see him as a scumbag, albeit a “love to hate” kind of scumbag. Lady Harrington from Krusty Katering returns as an obstacle for SpongeBob and Patrick, and she’s alright, with her ego getting her into enough trouble. A character I don’t like is Mother Bass, but only because they give me darn good reasons for why her son wants to move out asap. This is a colourful cast that’s beaten and bruised just enough.

Moving Bubble Bass (or Move Your Bubble Bass, as it was originally called) wasn’t much better than I was expecting, but it’s an adequate episode anyway. It has enough good dialogue to feel like a moving story, and enough tasteful visual gags to keep the kids happy. The characters can drain on you however, so if you’re easily sickened by them being zany, this may not be your cup of tea. I personally went into this one curious with how they would portray Bubble Bass, and wondering if they’d make him more sympathetic, due to the higher amount of focus. They kept him just as mean as ever, and I couldn’t have him any other way.

Final Verdict: Good 7/10 (solid but not top notch)
Mermaid Pants < Moving Bubble Bass < Tutor Sauce

Question of the Day: How similar would you say you are to Bubble Bass?

Prepare to get pretty high tomorrow, and not in that way. Until then, man, early 2000s games were wierd.
:sbthumbs:
I like to eat fast food just like bubble bass
This episode is one of my favorite season 11 episodes actually,but I respect your opinion.☺
I honestly can't believe that we are in the 57th page!
 

EmployeeAMillion

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High Sea Diving (Season 11, Episode 15a)
Original Airdate: April 6 2018
Episode 439 in standard order, Episode 438 in airing order
Plot: SpongeBob almost manages to be the first sponge high-sea diver, but is blocked by garbage
Written by Kaz

There are always gonna be parallels between Bikini Bottom and the real world, where certain elements are portrayed as polar opposites, and never has that been more true than with this episode. Deep sea diving is a pretty dangerous activity, with people going down hundreds of feet for the thrill of it. This fear is less of an issue with this SpongeBob episode however, where the concept of high sea diving is that they go to the surface, getting more beautiful sunlight and sweet oxygen. Given that SpongeBob’s the one participating in the activity today, it’s safe to assume he’ll have an adventure of some kind up there. Let me tell you, the one made for him is one of this season’s funniest.

It doesn’t kick off with SpongeBob discovering the activity or training or anything, it skips right to the chase- his big day, his big break. I love an episode that doesn’t muck around, and gets right to the chase. He’s already popular, got crowds cheering for him, and Mr Krabs hocking merchandise with his face on it. It’s all building up to something big, but then SpongeBob fails. He jumps off the diving board and falls flat on his face. I enjoy how they gave him something big and grand to do at the beginning of the episode, and then showed he can’t do it. It makes it clear that SpongeBob’s just as new to high sea diving as the audience is. I don’t even mind Mr Krabs going on to sell standies of “Failure SpongeBob” shrugging. He doesn’t take up a huge portion of the episode anyway.

Sandy suggests to SpongeBob that gravity’s his problem, and that he should harness anti-gravity. Instead of building something for him, she lets SpongeBob cheat in his own way- using balloons to float up through the ocean. He flies through the swarm of jellyfish that thankfully helps him in this situation, and almost makes it to the surface. His only obstacle left is the trash heap clogging it up. This should give kids a very small clue that ocean pollution is a bad thing, not because of its nasty effects on the sea and planet, but because SpongeBob can’t win in this episode with it around. SpongeBob’s got some things to do up here besides finishing his goal, namely playing with the human objects stuck in the gunk, and meeting a stranger up here.

That stranger turns out to be Old Man Jenkins, or one of them anyway, who’s been stuck up here for a year and has gone mad with power, thinking he’s King Neptune. At least SpongeBob has someone up here to interact with, but Jenkins turns against SpongeBob for questioning his godhood. They battle for a bit, and accidentally toss more objects off the buildup and down into Bikini Bottom. Instead of the Bottomites being mad about this as usual, they’re ecstatic with the belief that King Neptune’s giving them gifts. This is something I really liked seeing, as it’s self-referential genius. Remember, the original design plan for Bikini Bottom had it so the fish were repurposing human materials, the Krusty Krab’s actually a lobster trap for example. They maybe just believed Neptune did all this, or maybe King Neptune’s even a mutated fish human who’s giving random garbage from his land life to them, but one BuzzFeed article at a time here.

SpongeBob and Jenkins eventually stop fighting, hearing all the nice requests the Bikini Bottomites have and decide to build a pile down with all the garbage, but doing so leaves their people without instant new stuff. How do they react? Start sacraficing, of course! It’s a quick, dumb joke that’s not taken seriously, so I laughed hard enough and didn’t think too much about it. They eventually notice the platform their gods are building, and climb up it, but just as they figure out they’re just a sponge and an old man, the platform collapses, destroying Bikini Bottom. Some justice is served, with Old Man Jenkins being reprimanded by the real King Neptune, and SpongeBob, bashed and bruised, still feeling good about his high sea diving accomplishment. It’s a pure comedy story, with everything happening for the pure benefit of humour, and it’s very successful in that regard.

Because of that, I lot of the jokes I love in this episode, I’ve already covered in the story, but I saved a few for the “comedy” paragraph. Mr Krabs selling “shrugging SpongeBob” standees is great, so is the random execution gag, but the joke I laughed the most at was how Old Man Jenkins ended up on the trash heap in the first place. It was his birthday, and the balloons floated him up there. It’s a hilarious flashback, and it makes sense since this was how SpongeBob got up aswell. There’s plenty more to enjoy here, so I won’t bore you by just listing off the countless jokes this episode delivered.

Of all the episodes that are centred around garbage, which is a shocking amount at this point, this has some of the nicest looking. The best way to look at the trash heap SpongeBob lands one is that it’s junk, that’s being repurposed and new ways. Think of it as underwater recycling, and it’s far less gross. On top of the heap, or under it I might say, it’s a strange joy having the occasional reminder that SpongeBob and Old Man Jenkins are upside down on it. It makes the heap feel literally more otherworldly. As for their designs, SpongeBob’s swimsuit takes some time to get used to, but I’m happy they chose on “old man” model for Jenkins that fit his senile attitude here.

There are way more characters here than you’d expect, though the show’s usual main ones (Patrick, Squidward, Sandy and Mr Krabs) just have bit parts, albeit very good ones. SpongeBob has a goal that he completes, after some trial and error and a battle for the ages, so it’s fair to say he has an arc here. He plays juvenile to Old Man Jenkins’ senile, who hones a more epic interpretation of the character. He’s still silly, but I’d say this is the craziest place they’ve put an old man yet. Then there’s King Neptune (who stars in his best episode, don’t @ me), who comes around at the end to shock Jenkins, for daring to insult his power. Religion may not be a big thing in the SpongeBob universe, but imitating him of the Flying Dutchman’s a big mistake. There’s also this crazy woman who’s got some funny lines during and after the sacrafice scene, and somehow broke out of her chains in a snap. I mean if I were being sacraficed then saw a way up to the skies, I’d hope to hone some undiscovered strength.

At the end of the day, this was way better than I remembered it to be, mainly because it takes some time to get adjusted to this episode’s brand of wackiness. How would you feel about an old man flinging garbage from the sky? Well now I know how I’d feel. The amount of fun it must’ve been to make this episode is insane, from poking fun at an underwater alternative to deep sea diving, to throwing in some mythology gags as a major plotpoint. All the characters are utilised well, all the jokes land fantastically, and the atmosphere is surprisingly grand. My only problem with the episode is that it could’ve been bigger, but that’s a sign of how much I enjoyed it.

Final Verdict: Spongy 9/10 (not perfect, but still among the best)
Feral Friends < High Sea Diving < There’s a Sponge In My Soup

Question of the Day: Would you take up high sea diving?

You’ll have to wait more than 12 hours for the next review unfortunately.
:sbthumbs:
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Bottle Burglars (Season 11, Episode 15b)
Original Airdate: April 13 2018
Episode 440 in standard order, Episode 439 in airing order
Plot: SpongeBob and Squidward have to steal the formula back from Plankton at midnight
Written by Luke Brookshier

As this re-evaluation inches closer and closer to the present day, it becomes more clear that the reputation of certain episodes is due to recency bias. People are allowed to form strong opinions on what they watch right away, but it’s good to let those feelings simmer down and later look back at them from a fresh point of view. This is an example of an episode that people loved when it first came out, but you don’t hear much about it today. I loved it when it premiered aswell, but now I have to see why I haven’t thought much about it for over 9 months. After all, it’s a “Plankton steals the formula” episode, how can they be forgettable in Season 11?

It kicks off with SpongeBob and Squidward cleaning Mr Krabs’ office, on what I must assume to be one of the Krusty Krab’s slow days. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s refreshing to see them working there again, this season just has that much variety in its stories. It’s not like Season 7 and 8 where I got annoyed every time an episode stayed in the Krusty Krab for most of its run, but I digress. SpongeBob has some trouble with one of Mr Krabs’ prized dollars again, but he’s having fun anyway. Then Mr Krabs gets them to clean out the formula’s safe, which is somehow full of garbage. SpongeBob still has fun with it, dressing the formula up like a baby and putting it down to rest in the bin (by accident), and Squidward filling the bin up (accidentally not seeing the formula), and dumping it out the window for Plankton to find. I like how neither of them intentionally got rid of the formula, it was just stupid mistakes that got it into Plankton’s stubby, tiny fingers.

Plankton was just going to use an invisibility suit, which isn’t a big advantage at his size anyway, and can’t believe how easily he gets the formula. He even takes it back to the Krusty Krab, and tells Karen about it, so it seems like victory is finally his, but having the formula at this point comes with a cost. He can’t get it open. It’s impossible to do since Mr Krabs has installed a day-long safety lock on the cork, so Plankton does the foolish thing of locking it in his own safe instead of, oh I don’t know, shattering the glass bottle. Then again, it withstanded dynamite, so maybe it’s made out of a clear version of the substance the safe was made from in Frozen Face-Off. It’s at this point that SpongeBob and Squidward discover that the formula’s gone, and freak out, before planning on taking it from Plankton. This is par for the course with SpongeBob, but I love seeing Squidward taking on this initiative.

After closing time, they awkwardly say goodnight to Mr Krabs, then don some burglar gear. Squidward’s got a classic black setup, but SpongeBob puts a catsuit on to be a cat burglar. His annoyance to Squidward doesn’t end there, when he easily slides through the front door, then painfully drags him through. I’m fine with this SpongeBob/Squidward dynamic, as there’s still some animosity between them, which is the key to their chemistry. They then go to check if Plankton’s asleep after nearly running into him in the hallway, and he sure is sleeping tight in a spontaneous new bedroom he and Karen got for this episode. The Chum Bucket’s usually just two rooms, a dining area and a lab, but I’m glad they gave it more space for this episode.

Now comes the part where they face hilarious security measures, and that’s not me being sarcastic, they’re pretty funny. Squidward has to face the wrath of Spot’s licks and barks, then a classical tile-based booby trap, with SpongeBob helping with the former, and doing the exact opposite with the latter. They finally get to the safe, but before they have a rat’s chance of opening it, the alarm finally kicks in and they’re booted into a rocket. That’s most extreme security measure possible, and I adore it. They then have to break the truth to Mr Krabs, not even having to wait until morning because convenience, and he’s infuriated. It’s a good thing he can punch through the Chum Bucket’s wall and take the formula back easy as pie, both for them and for the sake of dramatic irony. With everything resolved, I have to say this story’s held up. The pacing’s nice, and the character dynamics are on-point.

I’m just disappointed that this episode doesn’t have the best sense of humour. The slapstick towards Squidward is through the roof here, and that’s not entirely a good thing. Most of it, particularly in the booby trap part, is pretty creative, but I wasn’t into him and SpongeBob being churned into a meat grinder by Karen in sleep mode. I was amused by her up to that point. There are certainly great visual gags here, like SpongeBob trying to wash Mr Krabs’ dollar again, and smaller coins keep taking its place, but none of them truly got to me. My favourite line in the episode has to be when Plankton realises he has to wait another 12 hours to open the formula’s bottle, and very quickly screams about how excruciating it’ll be to wait.

The animation here is pretty good, with even the most questionable visual gags having substantial follow-throughs and punchlines. The cream of the crop has to be when Mr Krabs discovers what happened to the formula, and his face distorts out of pure fury. Knowing he can easily nab it back softens the pill. Another thing they did well here was seamlessly give the Chum Bucket new locations, like a hallway and bedroom. They look lavish, and they fit the story neatly, so there’s not much to complain about. I’m happy Plankton built himself a bedroom after the horrible time he had sleeping in the lab in Krabs VS Plankton.

I may have a gripe or two with this episode’s sense of humour, but the character interactions are solid as a rock. SpongeBob and Squidward get along despite how strange SpongeBob is, reminding me of how they co-operate in Krab Borg. Plankton’s reactions to obtaining and keeping the formula’s bottle are priceless, and Karen’s got some good lines in there too, especially when she’s asleep (please don’t take that out of context). I’m rather happy Mr Krabs doesn’t have that big a role in the story, as it lets SpongeBob and Squidward do their thing, and make his scenes come off as bigger and more meaningful. He and Plankton are the mortal enemies, remember. You also get to see Spot return, and it’s good to see him act cute, and not get upstaged by his offspring again.

I don’t know why this episode didn’t stick with me more. Granted it’s not the funniest or best written one they’ve ever made (even its sister episode outshines it in my opinion), but it’s got its own enjoyable quirks. The story flows naturally while giving off some fun setpieces, the characters all get their time to shine, and the jokes are generally of a high standard. I don’t know why secret formula episodes have SpongeBob and Squidward teaming up more, it’s a surefire way to make things more interesting, and tell different stories and jokes. I don’t think this is one of this season’s absolute best episodes, I’ll let history dictate that for me, though it’s up there.

Final Verdict: Good 8/10 (an enjoyable if not mildly flawed episode)
Sharks VS Pods < Bottle Burglars < Life Insurance

Question of the Day: What do you think will be the episode Season 11’s mot remembered by?

Rev up those refresh buttons, cause you won’t want to miss tomorrow’s post. Before that, don’t get caught!
:sbthumbs:
 

EmployeeAMillion

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My Leg! (Season 11, Episode 16a)
Original Airdate: May 8 2018 (Episode 441)
Plot: SpongeBob protects Fred’s easily-broken leg from harm, against Fred’s best wishes
Written by Mr Lawrence

If there was ever proof that SpongeBob’s a long-running series, this would be it. That’s not to say they’re clutching at straws, it’s that they’ve been around so long that it’s only fair they make fun of themselves now and again. Hearing “my leg!” in the background of a destructive scene has been a common occurence to fans of the series since its fourth episode, so it’s oddly relieving getting a backstory and reason for this long-standing gag. My biggest fear was that they’d run the joke into the ground over the course of 11 minutes and tarnish any and all comedic value found in it. The jury’s still out on whether this changed my perception of the joke, but if it did, it was likely in a positive way.

The episode begins with a back-to-back montage of times Fred’s broken his leg, starting with the very first time we heard him scream in Boating School. The rest of them are original though, but I don’t mind since they’re pretty funny. This is all footage that’s been captured by his doctor, who’s telling him at the hospital that he needs to be more careful of it. Fred stays careless, but then understand the problem when his doctor threatens to replace his leg with a robot one next time, and gets the robot to beg for it. This reminds me of the iron butt and electric laugh box in a way. Do doctors in Bikini Bottom always use such intimidating tactics to scare their patients out of injury?

As Fred leaves the hospital, SpongeBob greets him with some flowers and a balloon. This is unusually convenient placement of our main character, but I’ll let it slide because The Two Faces of Squidward also showed he knew about certain patients. Fred doesn’t want to see SpongeBob however, and ties him up in the balloon. SpongeBob, not getting the hint, pledges to protect Fred’s leg incognito. It’s perfectly like him to care about people way more than he should, and this’d be a pretty boring story if he listened to Fred and headed home at this point.

There are two new locations in this episode that SpongeBob follows Fred to- the first is a timber-sawing factory, with lots of dangerous timber and saws. It’s not hi-tech pillow factory, but SpongeBob still lets his safety get the best of him. He disguises himself as a worker and shows Fred he doesn’t need to bring his legs so close to the saws, and uses a table leg as a substitute. This causes the building to collapse, enough said. The next place he goes to, now accompanied by Patrick, is a physiotherapy place. They followed Fred there in his shoes, which only appear in this scene, because the word “stinky” is utter hilarity I assume. SpongeBob further protects Fred’s feet from a hot coal-walking treatment, but Patrick accidentally kills Dr Charliehorse by pushing him onto it. Charliehorse shrinks a bit, then pops before transcending. I didn’t care much for this one-off character, and his death got a smile from me, so I’m alright with this joke.

Eventually, SpongeBob and Patrick just end up being Fred’s bodyguards, with Patrick throwing away anyone who comes within a metre of them. This is the point where their overprotectiveness becomes a real problem for Bikini Bottom, but Patrick pays the price dearly when he upsets a girl scout with a dark side. In an ironic twist, he’s the one who ends up getting part of his leg bitten off, and carried away in an ambulance. From now on, shouting “my leg!” in pain will also get you immediately get you an ambulance, for whatever reason. By this point, Fred’s been around SpongeBob long enough to open up to him. How injuring everyone around Fred gets SpongeBob closer to him is beyond me, but hey, the plot’s going somewhere more interesting.

Fred tells SpongeBob he has a secret crush on one of the nurses at the hospital, which is why he doesn’t mind getting his leg injured. SpongeBob immediately takes to this lubby-dubby secret and comes up with plans to get Fred’s leg injured again. The first one to fail is SpongeBob using a rubber hammer. The second is going to a prison and asking one of the stone-hammerers to break Fred’s leg with a hammer, but they end up breaking the jailbird’s leg instead. Their last attempt, mimicing the one that got Fred sent to the hospital earlier in the episode, is putting his leg onto a train track, but the robot comes in and saves him at the last second. I can’t tell you why the robot got here, but his character arc’s wrapped up when SpongeBob breaks a leg and gives it to him. Remember, he has regenerative properties, so he grows a new one.

Too bad the ambulance comes to take him away just because, running over Fred in the process. Everything except his leg gets broken, so he goes to hospital aswell. I’m almost expecting Oprah Winfrey to come out and say everyone’s going to the hospital, there are so many characters who’ve ended up there now. When Fred gets there, he confesses his love to the nurse, who’s comically strong and grumpy, through song. “His Leg Is In Love” is a neat song with adequate lyrics, but the tempo goes all over the place due to how short it is. Still, it’s a good way to close out the episode. My Leg!’s story is always trying new things, but it has a focus problem because of that. Still, it has a throughline of how Fred feels about his leg injuries, the characters all have a part to play, and most of the scenes are enjoyable.

In contrast, the comedy’s comfortable with doing the same thing again and again. Fred’s leg is alluded to 43 times, roughly once every 15 seconds, so screaming becomes a pretty big issue if you’re not into it. I think it can be used in the right context, but that context quickly fades by the time the doctor’s saying it. There are some better jokes that this episode offers however, like Dr Charliehorse transcending, his odd name, and the mere fact that Fred’s job involves pushing his legs within an inch of saws. You also have to love the feral girl scout, and SpongeBob trying to break Fred’s leg with a toy hammer. There are weak jokes here, but I want to bring attention to the good ones that don’t involve the words “my” and “leg” being screamed.

With the animation, they don’t try to do anything too out-there, which is fine since this episode was more focused on stiry than insane visuals. They do throw in some live-action in the opening montage however, plus a random Seven Year Itch reference. There are a heckton of locations visited in this episode, and they all look great. Nice detail, memorable setpieces (the saws, hot coal bed, etc), and they offer enough opportunity for an episode’s worth of jokes all their own. The thing they wanted me to remember the most, I guess, were the visuals in the song number, which are grand and gorgeous enough. The large staircases, clam-riding and iris out are clichéd, but putting them all together in one super-campy song fits a certain mood that they nail.

The characters didn’t really grip me, but there are a couple I can fid relatability in. First is Fred, who’s pretty much a normal guy, or at least normal by Bikini Bottom standards. He’s just got a fragile leg, and finds himself entwined in this tale of SpongeBob obsessing over it. SpongeBob’s an alright character here, doing what he needs to do and always having a fun time, but I can’t see myself in him as much as I can with Fred. That’s about it for characters who immediatelt spring to me sadly, Fred’s doctor has his time in the spotline, but the robot doesn’t do it for me. Nor do Patrick, the nurse or Dr Charliehorse. They’re not bad by any stretch, just not gripping.

I may be getting harsh on it, but I want to remind you this is a good episode with a lot to like. Sure it’s among the more yelling-centric episodes of this already crazy era, but they write a story around it and offer justification to everything happening, no matter how random it is. If I’m suggesting Season 11 episodes to check out, this wouldn’t be the first that comes to mind, but it’s got enough charm, humour and surprises to keep you happy for 11 minutes. I’m not in love with this episode by any means, but I’m sure my leg would be.

Final Verdict: Good 7/10 (solid but not top notch)
Larry’s Gym < My Leg! < Pineapple Invasion

Question of the Day: What was your favourite use of the “my leg!” gag? Mine will also be from Arrgh!

I’ve heard of black comedy, but the next episode’s take on it is ridiculous! Until then, watch where you step.
:sbthumbs:
 

Octavionknox888

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Even though I enjoy this episode,it can get kind of repetitive with the my leg line.
QOTD: my favorite my leg gag was in pineapple invasion.
 

SpongeBronyPH

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My Leg! will always be my favorite episode and my favorite running gag.


EmployeeAMillion said:
Question of the Day: What was your favorite use of the “my leg!” gag?
In the scene of Sponge Out of Water, where Mr. Krabs throws a bun onto Fred and yells MY LEG!!! :myleg:
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Ink Lemonade (Season 11, Episode 16b)
Original Airdate: May 9 2018 (Episode 442)
Plot: Patrick starts up a lemonade stand, and uses Squidward’s ink to make it taste good
Written by Kaz

There’s not a doubt in anyone’s mind that this is the worst episode of Season 11, if not the worst of the Post-Sequel era. The mere concept of it is mind-bogglingly dumb, Squidward’s black nosebleeds producing lemonade. That’s not something you want on your business card, nor something you want to watch on TV. Additionally, until The Nitwitting, this was one of my least favourite portrayals of Patrick, making him completely and utterly dumb without any emotions other than creepy joy. The question that stands against an episode with elements this uneven is if it’s “that bad”. I’ve seen people consider it one of the worst episodes ever made, so I need to rewatch this episode and see what the fuss was about.

To start with, Patrick starts up a lemonade stand, and abuses a cartoon megaphone to call attention to it. This doesn’t sound bad on paper, but they make Patrick a real pain to look at, with nothing but goofy expressions, despite the fact he hasn’t done anything entertaining yet. Squidward gets annoyed with him, but throws him a mouldy lemon anyway. Along with that, and a plaster from his armpit, he serves his first lemonade to a fish, who’s so disgusted that he pukes in Squidward’s house. Already you can tell what bases the episode’s wanting to cover- Patrick being dense, gullbile townsfolk, implied gross-out, and dark age-tier STP. Together, they create a concoction more vile than Patrick’s initial lemonade.

SpongeBob squeezes his way into the story, frightening Squidward and getting him to spit ink from his nose. Now we know it happens when he’s nervous and scared. I would’ve hated it more if the ink came out the most expected orfices, but how about putting those tentacles to good use? Anything but nosebleed jokes, which get pretty darn graphic as more ink comes out across the episode. Through dumb luck, the ink, now being repurposed as “black lemonade”, is an instant hit, despite its firey side-effects. SpongeBob and a lady both taste test it, but ending up contorting and breathing fire. Patrick still thinks it’s a good idea to sell it, because it feels like this episode was written by him.

So as expected, the black lemonade becomes a major hit, and Patrick needs to scare Squidward more to keep up with demand. Naturally, this should be a point where Patrick thinks about the repercussions of hurting another species for a rare substance, but instead he just LOLs and does so without any guilt. Given the subtelty in this episode’s dead at this point, I’m not surprised with Patrick sending a giant spider into Squidward’s house, or setting up a haunted house for him to geet scared in. Admittedly, separated from the rest of the episode, the haunted house is okay. I like Squidward getting freaked out at a baby Patrick, and himself 60 years in the future, still working as a cashier at the Krusty Krab. It’s a shame it has to come at a point by which most viewers will have tuned out or shut off their brains.

After escaping the haunted house, Squidward realises why Patrick’s been scaring him for ink, and is relatively nonplussed but what he finds. I would expect him to freak out again, but I’m sick and tired of seeing that at this point. He still has to be treated like crap by the rest of Bikini Bottom though, almost getting beaten up to have his point proven, then everyone throws up in his house while trampling over him. I don’t see the humour in taking Squidward’s abuse to this much of an extreme. With all of this utter stupidity and needless line-crossing, I could’ve forgiven this episode if it had a sweet ending. It seems like it’s going to have one with SpongeBob and Patrick offering Squidward homemade cookies, but wuh-oh, they’re made of spider eggs! That’s the big problem I have here, it never wants to give you anything but low-hanging fruit.

Most of the jokes here are simply about how dumb Patrick is, how scared Squidward gets, and how strange his ink tastes. Those are your only major jokes, outside of SpongeBob and Patrick yelling everything they can into megaphones. Perhaps the best capsule of this episode’s humour is the scene where Squidward throws a rotten lemon in Patrick’s eye. The lemon falls, the eye swells up, and Patrick’s dopey smile doesn’t change for a second. If you find that sort of thing funny, more power to you, but this is a major step down from everything else the show’s been doing recently. Again, I like the jokes in the haunted house, but only outside of the context of the rest of this episode.

Not even the animation saves this episode. Patrick’s expressions get very annoying when they’re his only personality trait, and while not full-on gross-out, Squidward inking can get disturbing at points. The ink’s more boring than it should be, even when it’s being splattered all over the screen, and I hate how Squidward’s nostrils...prolapse? I feel like the big shows they wanted to present with the animation were the sequences where SpongeBob and the lady react to the ink, but if the irritating free-form jazz in the background wasn’t terrible enough, it just feels like a bunch of keyframes. There’s no real animation here, and it seems like something they can fix for reruns if it was an error. If it was a stylistic choice, it’s horribly stilted.

Unlike most episodes of the modern era, I can’t think about, feel for, or even understand the characters in Ink Lemonade. Starting with Patrick, he doesn’t go through any turmoil based on his horrible actions. It’s one thing to say you mix up your stupidity out of the blue, but it’s another to gleefully torture your next-door neighbour for a substance that’s shown to have firey properties. That brings us to Squidward, who spends most of his time screaming at Patrick’s scare tactics and not trying to be a stronger, braver person. I would’ve been more interested in seeing him learning to fend for himself, or get back at Patrick, rather than his ultimate contribution being to get shunned by the Bikini Bottomites once again. Then you have SpongeBob, who doesn’t try to be the straight man between the two at any point, being more interested in his darn megaphone.

These are all promising roles they could’ve taken up in a genuinely good episode, but alas, I get the sinking feeling this episode was made out of a desire to not listen to the fans’ demands. It’s as if they were tired of “Squidward Gets Annoyed”-type episodes being labelled as “Squidward Torture”, so they gave us what they felt torture towards Squidward would look like. Low and behold, it’s entered Bottom 10s, and is widely considered the worst episode of this past half decade. I wouldn’t put it that low myself, the lowest-ranking Post-Movie episodes are just that lame and unwatchable, while this has creativity and energy, but it’s still frustrating knowing it exists. If this wasn’t made out of spite, and was just as much an attempt to appeal to everyone as the rest of this era, I’m sorry to any SpongeBob crew member who reads this. Just rewatch this episode, and know it isn’t the path fans want the series to go down.

Final Verdict: Bad 3/10 (barely anything has merit to it)
Ink Lemonade < Patrick’s Coupon

Question of the Day: If the rest of Season 12 and a hypothetical 13+ were like this, would you stop watching the show?

We might strike gold tomorrow, so hold onto your seats. Until then, tax exemption on coke!
:sbthumbs:
 

Octavionknox888

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QOTD: Between yes and no. Yes because I am not a fan of gross out humor. Probably the best show that has gross-out humor is Ren and Stimpy. And no because if they were little on the gross out, I will be fine. But then again I'm surprised that there were three ( and some of 9) SpongeBob seasons that are 88% of gross out!
 

spongebranch

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how to make Ink Lemonade 10x worse:
have Aaron Springer as a writer and Robert Ryan Cory added to the character designers
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Mustard O’Mine (Season 11, Episode 17a)
Original Airdate: May 10 2017 (Episode 443)
Plot: SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward mine for mustard after the Krusty Krab runs out
Written by Kaz

I’m surprised they hadn’t run out of adventures to tell and locations to visit. Sometimes it feels like they’re pulling random nouns out of a hat and forcing them together, but hey, that’s how we got pie bombs and baby clams back in the glory days, and I’m alright with that as long as each episode has some internal logic. This certainly does with mustard being found in mines. Mustard has to come from somewhere, but I’ll admit it, I don’t like mustard seeds, I prefer the slick, tangy taste of American mustard. I’m willing to suspend my disbelief for a fantasy tale where mustard comes from underground caves, as long as it’s funny and well-written.

It’s a busy day at the Krusty Krab, so busy that there’s even a line for the condiments. Instead of a bar like usual, they have SpongeBob squeeze as much mustard as possible onto their Krabby Patties, in any shape they want. It’s a matter of time before it runs out however, and the restaurant don’t have any spare mustard that isn’t getting eaten by Patrick. Patrick eating what’s left of the mustard’s a tad annoying, but he’s usually a glutton anyway, and he doesn’t know how much the rest of the Krustomers crave it. Mr Krabs sends SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward down to the Mustard Mines to get some more, instead of going to the store like normal people. The only major threat at this point is a senile old man in the kitchen who says there’s a “mummy’s curse” down there, and he’s hilarious here.

We then cut to them entering the mine, but SpongeBob and Patrick make such a ruckus that they cause rocks to fall which block off the entrance. Patrick further freaks out before fainting, needing to be revived by a Krabby Patty. From this point on, he starts to get more likeable, so don’t worry. They find two ways deeper into the mine, an empty lift with no bottom, and an escalator. SpongeBob tests out the life first, but ends up falling forever. It’s a good thing he walked back in from the left side of the screen, or else he’d be a goner.

After this, they head down the escalator and enter an area where they can stably mine. Unfortunately, they only find priceless minerals like gold and diamonds, not the mustard that they need. At least they know where to look now if they ever want to get rich. SpongeBob then finds a phone ringing in the mine, with Mr Krabs on the other line being pestered by customers. I like this addition in the last third of the episode as a time bomb of sorts. I also like Squidwaard finding a subway station, and the pressure to get on the train with SpongeBob and Patrick, and being slowed down by a faulty Metro card. I can see why this scene was used in the commercials. I’m a bit less than happy with the scene’s punchline however, with only Squidward’s head making it on, while the rest of his body’s trapped outside the carriage.

Down in the condiment mines, they find mayo, hot sauce, and blood ketchup in the walls. It’s only a matter of time before they strike mustard, and their hard work is almost over. However, the crazy old man comes back to warn them that the mustard’s on top of tons of pressure, and they shouldn’t have mined for it. He could’ve told them that back at the Krusty Krab instead of telling them a bedtime story, but that’d be less funny. He puts up a fight with Squidward and Patrick are the pressure literally rises, and SpongeBob tries to plug it back up using himself. It doesn’t work, since he’s a friggin’ sponge, and it blows sky high, but it was conveniently underneath the Krusty Krab the whole time. The place is destroyed, but everyone’s happy to get their mustard, except for a mummy who wanted relish. I guess the “mummy’s curse” was having an unsatisfied customer.

All in all, this was a fun little adventure story, though I’d have liked it more if there was less outlandish violence. Squidward getting his neck stuck between train doors and the battles at the end aren’t on the same graphic level as the previous episode, but they’re still not as funny as the previous episode. The best part of the latter’s scene is SpongeBob’s ironic commentary about how Squidward not putting up a fight is good. There are several other jokes I liked in this episode however, namely the woman who gets a boyfriend made out of mustard, the old man failing to vanish after telling his tale, Patrick being revived by a Krabby Patty, only to complain about the lack of mustard, the escalator having coal miner, sulfur miners and unaccompanied “minors”, SpongeBob and Patrick’s disappointment with finding gold and diamonds, and characters freaking out before getting on the escalator calmly. Sorry about how long that sentence was, I just had to get out what I liked here quickly and efficiently.

I’m glad to be back in an episode that has a lot of effort put into the animation. For example, I felt Squidward’s struggle when he couldn’t get his Metro card to work, and I felt tense as SpongeBob swelled up from mustard in the climax. Speaking of the mustard, it and the other condiments look wonderful. They seemed to have a lot of fun playing with it, just like SpongeBob. They knew what they were doing with the squirting mayo. As for the mines and caves, they look alright. They’re like the show’s other caves, but it’s good that there’s more going on here than in To Save a Squirrel. Perhaps the character animation in less tense scenes can be more on the patronizing side, but there’s more effort put into making it fit the mood than Ink Lemonade.

The characters are mostly good here, with SpongeBob being much more of a comical everyman, just trying to give the people what they want and working hard to find it. Squidward’s the episode’s punching bag a bit too often, but he comes out alright and is still begrudgingly friendly towards his neighbours. As for Patrick, his lines and purposes get off to a weak start, but he improves immensely around the time they go down the escalator. He’s written well enough, but I’m surprised Mr Krabs didn’t have more to do here than occasionally ring to state the obvious. Then again, we had quite a bit of him in Seasons 4-10, and making him more secondary in 11 has made his appearances mean a bit more. Finally, in terms of Crazy Old Man, he was great in the first scene, but didn’t need to come back. I think it would’ve been more epic at the end if the main trio found out the mustard was dangerous due to a sign or something, not because of a senile coot who wants to brawl.

After Ink Lemonade, I’m happy they snuck this episode into the schedule, to give us something legitimately good to tire us over for the next 3 months. It’s hardly perfect, not all the jokes work and they could’ve focused more on the adventure aspect, but I like what it does with its strange concept, and how every character just goes along with it. I don’t know many people who dislike all condiments, but if you’re one of thosse people, I hope this episode isn’t too gross for you. It’s a fun, harmless SpongeBob episode you’ll watch for 11 minutes, or maybe even more depending on how much you enjoy it.

Final Verdict: Good 7/10 (solid but not top notch)
Krabby Patty Creature Feature < Mustard O’Mine < Drive Happy

Question of the Day: Do you like mustard?

I hope the next episode has the right ingredients for a classic. And that you like mining.
:sbthumbs:
 

EmployeeAMillion

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Shopping List (Season 11, Episode 17b)
Original Airdate: September 24 2018
Episode 444 in standard order, Episode 448 in airing order
Plot: Mr Krabs sends SpongeBob off to get ingredients Sandy, but Plankton follows their every step
Written by Zeus Cervas

Zeus Cervas, huh? That’s a name I haven’t seen in the opening credits for a long time, and am relieved to see back. Alongside Casey Alexander (who now works on Unikitty!, so he’s in my good books too), Zeus was one of the randomly chosen scapegoats that was blamed for the show’s downfall. He and Casey may have written their share of duds, but so did everyone else during the Dark Age. It’s unfair to say they single-handedly ruined SpongeBob when they were just writing what they found to be funny. That’s why it’s great to see such a divisive name back, so we can give him a second chance. Funnily enough, this episode’s storyboard was posted online a long time before it premiered, and while I only saw the first 3 minutes since I didn’t want to spoil myself, I saw that Zeus had his mojo back pretty quickly, and here’s why.

The plot begins with Mr Krabs writing down things on a note, while looking at the Krabby Patty secret formula, in a wide shot that takes advantage of his long eyestalks. He gives the note to SpongeBob, and tells him to go shopping for the formula’s ingredients. He’s also told to keep an eye on Plankton, while Plankton inconveniently listens in on them. With that warning, SpongeBob heads down the road singing a bright tune about his shopping list, while Plankton fails to catch up. The song itself is better than “I’m Going to Work” from Super Evil Villain Something, and this sets up that Plankton’s hardly going to interact with SpongeBob, always being one step behind him.

Just as he thinks the list’s items are too strange to get at the Barg-N-Mart, SpongeBob bumps into Sandy, and is introduced to her new submarine, Matilda. Introduction to yet another Sandy vehicle aside, things so go smoothly, with Sandy taking SpongeBob on an adventure for the items, and Matilda reacting to SpongeBob with a welcoming purr. There’s the ever-present issue of lack of water, but Sandy fills it up before questioning how SpongeBob even got in without flooding the sub. The first thing they get, and the first clue towards the eventual twist, is yeti krab hair. In terms of the creature’s appearance and habitat, this is more like it, but more on that in a bit. The bucktooth duo snip some hair off while the yeti’s asleep, but Plankton fails to do the same while they’re gone. This is going to be the episode’s pattern, and I’m pleased with it for many reasons.

Their next trip is into a 20,000 Patties-style chasm, where they have to milk this weird alien creature that looks like a one-eyed anglerfish. Sandy manages to milk it good without even getting its attention, but Plankton puts up a fight with the udder, and gets eaten by the anglerfish’s partner. Apparently, the males of this species can speak, but the females make animal sounds. Whatever’s cuter I guess. The final ingredient, and the one I had the most fun seeing, was ghost dandruff, where they have to sneak in on the Flying Dutchman in his ghostly ship. This is the first time in nearly 7 years he’s been seen in 2D animation, and it was fantastic seeing how he integrates into the show’s newer stylings. Also, him getting ticked off at Plankton when he’s found out is glorious.

SpongeBob and Sandy almost make it back home, going through Jellyfish Fields for even more visual flair, before Plankton comes in and steals Matilda with a giant plunger. Cartoon construction protip, if you ever need to make mass stealing more comical, just use a giant plunger, you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Plankton stealing this stuff is fine though, as when SpongeBob and Sandy get back to the Krusty Krab, Mr Krabs tells them they were on a pointless scavenger hunt while he was out getting the secret formula’s real ingredients. Sandy absolutely pummels him into the sky as a way of getting back. Meanwhile, Plankton’s fake patty concoction explodes on him, sending him into the sky alongside Krabs, and they act rather casual about it. I like this being the punchline instead of a potential gross-out scene, and I’m happy that this story was always thinking outside the box.

Helping the case of this episode is that it’s really funny. The show hasn’t usually thrown in sexual innuendo, even during the golden age of kids shows doing that, so it’s shocking but side-splitting seeing SpongeBob and Sandy accidentslly see what’s on the other side of the list, a scantily-clad dollar that Mr Krabs drew. Speaking of getting stuff past the censors, I’m sure Sandy says “possum pits” at one point, but it sounds like “possum piss”. That’ll be difficult to unhear. As for more child-friendly jokes, you also get Plankton calling an apocalypse a “fun-pocalypse”, and the Dutchman being oddly proud of his centuries worth of dandruff buildup. The “anudder udder” bit, the yeti getting some hair back through Sandy, Plankton being launched into a stop sign, Shopping List is chock full of great gags, so I suggest you watch it wourself and find your own favourites.

There’s one particular visual quirk at the start of this episode that I love, and that’s the digital volume on Plankton’s speakers, which make an 8-bit explosion, then SpongeBob laughing. It’s also cute seeing Plankton covering his entire left and right side with headphones, but the audio-based visuals got to me somehow. In addition, every location visited in this episode is large, eerie (except Jellyfish Fields), and littered with visual quirks. I burst out laughing when I saw the graves of Dirty Dan and Pinhead Larry in the snowy mountains. Speaking of snow, the Yeti Krab is much bigger here, and looks more intimidating, negating one of my problems with its debut episode. Those strange anglerfish also look fantastic in their own, monstrous sort of way. I could count on an episode like this to give off some wonderful visuals.

The main characters here are all in top form, especially Sandy. It makes sense why she’s alright with most of the adventures she and SpongeBob go on, she’s an adventurous spirit. Plus her getting back at Mr Krabs is just fantastic. It’s a bit heavier on the feminist undertones than it needs to be, but at least it’s not The Nitwitting. Speaking of Mr Krabs, he’s in the same position Bubble Bass was in his starring episode, sending the main characters on the ultimate waste of time, and getting his comeuppance in the right way. Perhaps SpongeBob’s still on the overly goofy side, but he’s always got an idea of the situation and is cracking some good jokes. Then you have Plankton, whose role is a brilliant way to show the others’ progress, and if you know how much I like the Flying Dutchman by now, you know there’s no need for me to go on about it.

I’m very happy to see Zeus back on the team, because this is easily the episode I’ve had the most fun watching yet this season. It feels like a Season 5 episode in a couple ways, but a really good one at that. The jokes, while not all expertly crafted, have satisfying punchlines. The amount of places the characters manage to visit is commendable, the story’s got a great flow with a promising start and strong finish, and the characters all have their special part to play. I don’t know why Nickelodeon aired this one much later than they had the chance to, it’s that good.

Final Verdict: 9/10 Spongy (not perfect, but still among the best)
The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom < Shopping List < Squid Plus One

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite joke in this episode?

You have to keep an eye on the next review, it might just breach. Until then, sing a song of shopping.
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EmployeeAMillion

Levio-sorry
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Whale Watching (Season 11, Episode 18a)
Original Airdate: August 6 2018
Episode 445 in standard order, Episode 444 in airing order
Plot: Squidward babysits Pearl, but she’s more interested in sneaking out to a party
Written by Andrew Goodman

If it isn’t another pairing that caught me by surprise. Pairing Pearl up with any character that isn’t Mr Krabs or SpongeBob is going to lead to some interesting results. I think it’s going to be a recurring trend going forward too, as they’ve now paired her twice alongside newly made characters for specific episodes. Anyways, the character she’s paired up with in today’s episode is Squidward, admittedly a pairing that leaves a lot of directions to go in. Does Squidward hate Pearl, or does Pearl hate Squidward? Do they have a history, or are they meeting for the first time right now? I’m happy with the choices they made for them here, as they give us a look at the characters we haven’t seen before in the past 2 decades, and that’s a big accomplishment.

The episode opens with Pearl being dropped off at her house by her boyfriend, Dylan, who she can’t help but feel smitten around. They talk about a party happening later that night, and Pearl says she’ll like to go. However, when she enters her house, Mr Krabs announces he’s going out for a card game, and Pearl has to stay at home with a babysitter. It’s times like this that make me feel good knowing Pearl’s the only central character with a confirmed age (16 as of Whale of a Birthday), so I can understand why she’s so annoyed with having to be “babysat”. Only making her even more bitter is that she has to be taken care of by Squidward, just like when she was a baby. Not only is she not going to a party, but she’s gonna have the most awkward night possible. This is a struggle, and I can feel it.

Squidward gets to the old anchor house and talks to Mr Krabs for a bit before he heads off, and he tells Squidward what he’ll earn if he babysits well- a shift without SpongeBob. Seems like a pretty good deal for Squid, who’s uncharacteristaclly happy to see Pearl and play with her. This isn’t quite the grump I know, but I’m happy if he’s happy (for the right reasons), and we need someone to balance out Pearl’s disgust at the situation. She doesn’t even feel like playing with plushies or drawig correctly in her colouring book. To a babysitter used to dealing with three year olds, this is anarchy!

After building a paper maché model of Squidward’s grave to frighten him off, Pearl then breaks out of the house, with a few good jokes coming out. She builds a paper maché model of her own head to put in bed as a placeholder, and uses her tears as lasers to cut a hole in the wall. That latter one is something I never thought I’d see, but it’s pretty funny. Pearl then sneaks out with Dylan, with Squidward not far behind her, or that’d be the case if he wasn’t a safety freak aswell. He spends about 15 seconds preparing to use his recumbent bike by inflating the tyres and tightening his helmet. For some it could be a pace-breaker, but I understand it’s a long breather joke that just lets you have fun seeing how dorky Squidward can be.

The party’s a blast for everyone there, but there’s one thing they do that’s pretty dangerous- breaching. They’re under the same island as the one from Pressure, so that’s a nice call-back, and going onto the surface world has a new meaning, similar to sneaking into an abandoned building as a dare. Pearl breaches to impress Dylan, but gets stuck on the island, so all the teens bail the joint. Squidward’s here by this point though, and saves Pearl by pumping her up with his bicycle pump. A bit of a cheap shot given how far Squidward’s arm extends to her blowhole, but it’s good to know the pumping gag paid off. Pearl’s still distraught that Dylan ditched her, so Squidward gets her to pull a prank on him- placing a bag on his doorstep, that contains SpongeBob off his meds. It’s a sweet little ending I never thought I’d get, and that’s what makes this story so unique.

I wouldn’t say this episode’s as endearing as Mall Girl Pearl, but it’s just as funny. It’s strange how much mileage they get out of Pearl’s laser tears, cutting through everything from her dad’s shell to live action palm trees. On the Squidward side of things, I like him being absolutely frightened by Pearl just being a normal teenager in reaction to baby stuff, and the previously mentioned bike pumping gag. My favourite joke in the episode has to be when he plays Pearl’s friends some jazz, and they start turning dorkier. One of the kids’ shirts changing from “cool” to “school”, though clichéd, is just the icing on the cake. If there’s a joke or running gag that I think could’ve been fixed or scrapped, it’s SpongeBob being used as a weapon of annoyance. I’ll talk more about this soon enough, but I don’t find it particularly funny by the second time.

The animation this time around has got me to admit something pretty awkward- I didn’t like the stop motion sequences. Maybe it’s the lack of interesting angles, the atmosphere of the scenes not fitting a more intense point in the story, or that the model for Pearl’s ugly. They just don’t click for me the same way as Screen Novelties’ earlier contributions did. Maybe it’s because they had a lower budget, as this was just an 11 minute episode, I can’t be sure. Thankfully, the 2D animation is fine. Like I said, there are a lot of cool visual gags, and when something looks silly, you know they’re going to take advantage of it in the right ways. Dylan’s pointy nose? Make it a s’more stick. The paper maché Pearl head? Make Squidward absolutely freak out when it falls out of bed.

Speaking of Squidward, his character is the one I’m most fascinated with here. He never really gets angry with Pearl, he’s simply a caring but dorky babysitter. He’s still recogniseably Squidward in some ways (recumbent bicycle, hatred/fear of SpongeBob, clarinet), but with a surprisingly positive attitude that you hardly see. Pearl learns a lesson about how looks can be decieving when he goes to a cool party with her boyfriend, but ends up with her life in danger, which is a decent lesson to see teenage characters learning. The other story-centric characters are fine, Dylan’s just an airhead teen, and Mr Krabs cares about his daughter enough to treat her to a caring babysitter. They’re not completely likeable, but they don’t need to be. Then you have SpongeBob, who only exists here as a weapon that main characters use when they want to annoy ther opponents. He doesn’t do much except laugh and make silly faces, and this would be a terrible, wasteful portrayal of him if he had a major part to play ala Boating Buddies. He doesn’t though, so it’s no big deal.

Despite SpongeBob and the stop motion, I liked this episode in a strange, special way. It doesn’t feel like your typical episode, namely due to the lack of super-main characters, and the only one with a big role feels different. This just makes it all the more refreshing to see Pearl’s life, how she sees at least one more person in SpongeBob’s circle, and how her friends treat her on a public occasion. Sure the story isn’t the most original, and it doesnt’ fit as snuggly into the world of SpongeBob as other episodes, but I appreciate what it does and what it gives me. I’m not gonna breach for it, but it’s coral regardless.

Final Verdict: Good 7/10 (solid but not top notch)
SpongeBob LongPants < Whale Watching < SpongeBob’s Place

Question of the Day: What do you think was Screen Novelties’ weakest contribution?

Tomorrow’s episode may need to clean up its act.
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EmployeeAMillion

Levio-sorry
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Krusty Kleaners (Season 11, Episode 18b)
Original Airdate: August 7 2018
Episode 446 in standard order, Episode 445 in airing order
Plot: SpongeBob and Patrick clean up an office building after hours, and destroy everything
Written by Kaz

This isn’t an easy episode to like. It feels pretty stock at points, while still clinging to the zany tone of the modern era. Have we reached a point where the quirks of the double digit seasons aren’t enough to stand out? Maybe so, because this wouldn’t fit in with Season 4 or 8. This shouldn’t be a big problem with kids though, just think of the office location. They don’t see it often, and putting SpongeBob in such a down to Earth environment is bound to get a couple laughs out of them. It certainly gets some out of me whenever I come back to Krusty Kleaners, but I have to wonder why I don’t remember most of them.

The story begins with SpongeBob making a Krusty Krab delivery to an office building, but things get off to a wacky start with him not knowing how to use the revolving doors. He then bounces through the office cubicles with a pogo stick, interrupting a couple workers and even finding the one Davy Jones used to work in. Surprisingly, the delivery doesn’t spill until he gets to the boss’ room and it slips out of his hands. SpongeBob makes a scene out of it, trying to clean up the newly-made chocolate milkshake stain (this boss has good taste if she likes that stuff), but the boss couldn’t care less. I can’t either, but SpongeBob pledges to clean the building up after closing, without any permission whatsoever. Already this is setting up to be a CISB story, but wait and see where it goes from here, it might be interesting.

My expectations immediately shot down again when I saw Patrick tagging along, eating a mop. To be fair, he isn’t nearly as bad here as he was in Kaz’s second-to-last script, but I’ve got trust issues now. He and SpongeBob head on in at night, and it’s lucky they went in the day the security guard didn’t feel like double checking that the doors were locked. Most of their time in the building is spent ironically making it messier, or destroying things outright. This routine doesn’t start out funny, but it’s obscured by the other stuff the episode wants to do, and actually turns out to be entertaining by the end. It still isn’t gut-busting or anything, but I’ll get to that.

Their destruction starts at an annoying small scale, busting desks and knocking over the cubicle walls, which gets the attention of the building’s actual cleaner bot. This bot belongs well in this episode, being a foil to SpongeBob and Patrick’s shenanigans at points, and giving you a bit more detail about the place. What it tells you is that this thing wants Patrick dead because he ate a candy wrapper, and is considered trash by the bot. This results in a chase scene into the kitchen where Patrick’s almost burned alive, but SpongeBob manages to defeat it in time in a forgettable action sequence. All I remember from it is that the bot’s locked up in a closet, but it won’t be for long, because who’s gonna stop these bottom feeders from continuing to wreck the building?

SpongeBob and Patrick finally get to the office with the chocolate stain, and decide to just lick it off. A bit gross, but childlike brains are gonna be childlike brains I guess. While they’re getting through it, the cleaner bot breaks out and scans over other machines, causing them to come alive and start attacking SpongeBob and Patrick aswell. At this point in the story, there’s no way to stay grounded in a form of reality, so tanks! It turns out the company that operates in this building creates tanks, which would explain why it’s in the middle of nowhere in wide shots of it. SpongeBob and Patrick use it to blast the robots, and demolish whatever’s left of the building in the process. They spare the cleaner bot for no reason, and ironically comment on how successful they were, before the story finally rests its weary head. If it wasn’t clear enough, I don’t like this story. It’s not very fun seeing a building get destroyed due to toxic idiocy, and finding new ways to make no sense is like a hobby for it.

But what’s the point of complaining about a SpongeBob story being nonsensical, if the comedy’s decent? I found myself laughing quite a bit in this episode, all the way from Davy Jones’ Cubicle and CSR (Chocoate Shake Resuscitation) to the overtime worker who somehow survived the mayhem until morning. Even some of the Patrick stuff was fine, like when SpongeBob says he’s trashy as opposed to outright trash, and it cuts back to Patrick wearing a slobbish get-up. It’s a quick visual gag that makes more sense than the story at large. The cream of the crop is the random twist that this building’s a tank factory. Never mind SpongeBob noting how there were no signs of this before, or the impossibility of a tank being able to hold on an office floor, your suspension of disbelief is gone by then, and all you can do is laugh at it. There’s some admittedly not so good jokes, like Patrick tasting butt soup, yet the sense of humour’s usually in-check.

There isn’t too much I can go over with the animation, since Krusty Kleaners isn’t trying to do anything particularly special or great. There’s a pixelated overhead shot of the cubicle maze referencing PAC-Man, but the power pellets don’t even disappear after being collected. Given the story’s about gradually messing up the building, I’m fine with how the escalation’s handled at least, but I think the ending could’ve been quicker than 4 exterior shots of the building, each having to show off one of the walls falling over. One thing I liked was the design of the cleaner bot, it’s very MO-like, sterile and uptight, and bringing random kitchen objects to life lended a few funny moments, like the coffee jug drooling from the ceiling.

The characterization here is rather weak, but that fits in with the crazier identity of Krusty Kleaners. Only the minor characters show some common sense, including the security guard who’s simply bored of locking up, and the boss who rocks an 80s workplace hairdo, and is just unenthused by SpongeBob’s eccentricity. He’s portrayed here as someone willing to sacrafice himself, comically at least, to clean up a single stain. He’s a bit of an idiot, and Patrick’s much more of an idiot, but they mean well, and it’s hardly their fault that the building makes tanks of all things. Violence is never the answer, kids. Lastly, you have one late-night worker who doesn’t react to anything, and his nonplussed commitment to his work is pretty funny, if nothing else.

In the end, there isn’t too much point to returning to this episode. It has a number of good, if not great jokes, but I can only like so many when the story’s simply not that fun. Don’t get me wrong, the ending’s alright, but the setup and main crux aren’t anything to get engaged in. Another reason this wont’ be sticking out to me is because the title’s simply awful. Why would it be called “Krusty Kleaners” if you don’t see the Krusty Krab, Squidward or Mr Krabs, and only the opening has any reference to it? It should’ve been called something like “Clean Up Your Pact”, in reference to SpongeBob’s pledge, so it can stand out more in a season where there’s tons of cleaning episodes already, like Sanitation Insanity and Bubbletown. Ironically, the thing I’m most harsh on isn’t even within the contents of the episode itself, but it’s still bothersome and a thing that makes it more forgettable.

Final Verdict: Average 6/10 (flawed but not bad)
Spin the Bottle < Krusty Kleaners < Stuck on the Roof

Question of the Day: Does anyone here know CSR?

Sometimes, it’s best you don’t let your conscience be your guide, I mean I should’ve taken a break ages ago. For the meantime, I don’t care about Kingdom Hearts, but the music’s alright.
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