Recap / Spongebob Squarepants S 1 E 1 Help Wanted Reef Blower Tea At The Treedome

Airdate: May 1, 1999

SpongeBob SquarePants has set off to fulfill his life's dream: A job at the Krusty Krab. He gets nervous, but with the motivation of his best friend Patrick, he goes in. But their cashier is his bitter neighbor Squidward, who tells the manager Mr. Krabs not to let him in. So Krabs sends Spongebob out to retrieve a special spatula for him. Just as he leaves though, a cluster of buses full of anchovies arrive, attacking the Krusty Krab for their food. Luckily, Spongebob comes in at the right time to save the day. Spatula in hand, he is capable of serving all of the customers with ease, and succeeds in getting the job.

Help Wanted contains examples of:

  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • First, Spongebob arriving at the Krusty Krab.
    Spongebob: There it is. The finest eating establishment ever established for eating.
    • And then, Mr. Krabs on the smell of anchovies.
    Mr. Krabs: That smell. That smelly smell. That smelly smell that smells... smelly.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Rampant.
    • The character designs are more restrained and less cartoonishly exaggerated than they would become, such as the corners of SpongeBob's pants being rounded at the opposite end instead of being completely cubic.
    • SpongeBob's voice is deeper, Patrick's is more calm and Squidward's is more nasally.
    • Gary only exists for the gag that he's a snail who meows like a cat. He wouldn't develop a personality until much later.
    • The opening credits have a different water filter than in every other episode of the series.
    • The opening narration sounds closer to its original purpose as an Affectionate Parody of Jacques Cousteau documentaries.
    • Spongebob has a pet clam in a birdcage. It's only ever seen again in the background of "Gary Takes A Bath."
  • Oh, Crap!: "Anchovies."
    • Squidward, when he realizes SpongeBob wants to work at the Krusty Krab.
  • Opening Narration: "Ah, the sea. So fascinating, so wonderful. Here, we see Bikini Bottom, teeming with life, home to one of my favorite creatures, SpongeBob SquarePants. Yes, of course he lives in a pineapple, you silly."
  • Snipe Hunt: Krabs sends SpongeBob to find a "hydrodynamic spatula with port and starboard attachments and turbo drive" to send him away. Eventually, he does find one ("Can you believe they only had one in stock?") and uses it to save the day.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The episode and Spongebob's hypercompetence therein are largely based on a scene in the Jerry Lewis film The Bellboy, in which the title character's manager gives him a job setting up chairs in a huge ballroom to keep him out of trouble, only to come back a minute later and see every single chair set up perfectly. Just swap out "setting up chairs" with "finding a hydrodynamic spatula" and "doing it abnormally fast" with "actually finding one."

Airdate: May 1, 1999

Another day, SpongeBob uses his reef blower to clean his lawn after Squidward kicks a clam onto it. In the end, SpongeBob drains the entire ocean.

Reef Blower contains examples of:

  • Bottle Episode: Only two characters (Spongebob and Squidward) appear, and most of it takes place in one setting (their front lawns). It's here mainly because "Help Wanted" doesn't fill up the standard eleven minutes on its own.
  • No Dialogue Episode: Aside from one brief caption reading "You!". The reason for this is because the studio's audio equipment wasn't working properly, so they had to improvise.

Airdate: May 1, 1999

The episode then goes to Spongebob meeting a "land squirrel", who maneuvers underwater with a special suit. She invites him to her underwater dome, where he slowly starts to die of dehydration. Rather than say anything about it, he decides that he doesn't need water. This doesn't end well. Sandy makes Spongebob and Patrick water bowls that they can wear on their heads to stay alive in the waterless environment.

Tea at the Treedome contains examples of:

  • Arc Symbol: Raised pinky finger.
  • Clam Trap: Spongebob first sees Sandy fighting off a giant clam, which eventually swallows her. He tries to pry it open (and is surprised he's actually doing it), but in the end the clam is no match for Sandy.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In this episode, the treedome is stated to be made of plastic. In later appearances, it's made of glass.
  • Fingore: When Sandy takes the flowers from SpongeBob, part of his finger breaks off.
  • Fourth Wall Portrait: SpongeBob and Patrick are turned into a real sea star and sponge when they run out of water.
  • Literal-Minded: Inverted; Spongebob says Sandy wears air around her head, which Patrick interprets as "putting on airs" (i.e., acting pretentious)note .
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Sandy shows off her strength to SpongeBob by breaking a large rock with one hand. SpongeBob shows off to her by making a dynamic pose...and then making an armpit fart.
  • Now You Tell Me: Apparently, Patrick didn't notice there wasn't any water in Sandy's treedome until he went into it himself.
  • Off-Model: There is something "off" about Spongebob's appearance during the first few minutes.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "You have fought well, giant clam. Prepare to be vanquished!"
  • Rescue Reversal: Spongebob tries to save Sandy from the giant clam, but when he gets eaten by it, Sandy is the one who has to rescue him.
  • Second Episode Introduction: For Sandy.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Sandy describes the air in her treedome as the "most airiest air in the whole sea."
  • Smash Cut: When Sandy discovers that Spongebob and Patrick have nearly dried up, there is a jarring cut to a live-action sponge and starfish.
  • Survival Mantra: Spongebob referring to water, "I don't need it! I don't need it!" It becomes a Madness Mantra when he sees a vase of it in front of him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Patrick doesn't realize Spongebob is dying inside the treedome until he goes in there himself and almost dies as a result.
  • The Unreveal: We never find out how or why Sandy is living at the bottom of the ocean, because Spongebob runs off to get some water from the bird bath just as she starts to explain.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Subverted. Spongebob "defeats" the giant clam simply because Sandy was plenty capable of getting out of it herself. And immediately afterwards, she has to save him.