Recap / Spongebob Squarepants S 3 E 14 The Great Snail Race Mid Life Crustacean
Airdate: January 24, 2003

When Squidward buys a pedigreed racing snail named Snelly and enters her in a snail race, SpongeBob decides to enter Gary in the race as well, not realizing that the training he puts Gary through is too much for him.

"The Great Snail Race" provides examples of...

  • Accidental Misnaming: "It's Tennisballs! I mean Tentacles!"
  • An Aesop:
    • Don't push yourself or others, especially into things that you or they don't feel comfortable doing.
    • The best way to get others into trying their best is encouraging them rather than berating them.
  • Brick Joke: "That's for yesterday, SquarePants!"
  • Companion Cube: Patrick's "snail" Rocky.
    Squidward: Patrick, that's a rock.
    Patrick: Yeah, thanks, I know. He's got nerves of steel.
  • Dark Horse Victory: With Gary out of the race and Snelly forfeiting to be by his side, the real winner of the race is... Patrick's rock Rocky, which somehow got to the finish line.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: SpongeBob as Gary's racing coach.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Played straight... then subverted.
  • Graceful Loser: SpongeBob, since he was more concerned with Gary's injuries than winning. Squidward also takes his loss surprisingly well.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: Gary (literally) breaks down mid race.
  • Laser-Guided Karma
    • Patrick, the only sportsmanlike competitor of the three (and one shown to take very kind care of his "snail", Rocky) inexplicably wins the race.
    • Spongebob's casual sexism when calling Gary a lady as a put down ends with Sandy giving him a swift kick in the ass the next day.
    • Squidward not winning the Snail Race also counts, due to his Smug Snake attitude towards Spongebob.
  • Malicious Misnaming: SpongeBob calls Gary girl names, explaining that it's a motivational tactic.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: SpongeBob, after his mistreatment leads Gary to have a Heroic R.R.O.D..
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: After SpongeBob's Malicious Misnaming, Sandy, who is apparently miles away, suddenly feels like kicking his butt tomorrow. (See Brick Joke for the result.)
  • Nice Guy: Patrick, for once, is depicted as the nice one of the bunch. In stark contrast to SpongeBob (who acts like a Drill Sergeant Nasty towards Gary and doesn't realize it until it's too late) and Squidward (who's smug and obnoxious about his snail winning), Patrick is perfectly fine with Rocky not going the minute the race starts, even telling him that he can go when he feels like it, and decides to give the trophy to Squidward because he knew how much winning meant to him (a gesture Squidward is genuinely touched by).
  • Running Gag: Squidward's last name keeps getting misspelled.
  • Shout-Out: Patrick's "snail" is an underdog named Rocky. You half expect the rock to start shouting "Adrien!" when he wins.
  • Skewed Priorities: SpongeBob is hit by this bigtime. Special mention also goes to Squidward who bought Snelly strictly to show off in a race.
  • Take That!: The crowd going nuts for Gary's breakdown is a jab at NASCAR fans who turn up just to watch the wrecks.
  • Tears of Joy: Patrick, after his..."snail" wins the race.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Patrick gives his trophy to Squidward after "winning" the race. He probably didn't deserve it, but it's certainly one of Squidward's more positive outcomes, one for which he is grateful.
  • What Happened to the Pet?: Neither Snelly nor Rocky are mentioned again after this episode.
Art thou feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?
Airdate: January 24, 2003

Mr. Krabs is starting to show his age, so he decides to hang out with some hip young people to feel young again. Unfortunately, he picks SpongeBob and Patrick.

"Mid Life Crustacean" provides examples of...

  • Bittersweet Ending: Mr. Krabs is grounded by his mother for joining the panty raid. On the upside, he definitely feels younger, as his bedroom is still adorned with his bed and toys from childhood.
  • Brick Joke: The fish scout.
  • Dinner Deformation: When Krabs has to take his morning pill, which is twice as wide as his whole head.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The panty raid. That is all.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: On Krabs's sleep crust-covered eyes as he wakes up in the beginning of the episode and his multiple, flabby, hairy chins when he goes to look in the mirror.
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street: A boy scout walks Mr. Krabs by the hand, with him resenting the implication that he's old.
  • Idiot Houdini: SpongeBob and Patrick bail when Mama Krabs turns up, leaving Mr. Krabs to take all the heat for going through her lingerie. This is especially bad since they've apparently raided her house many times already, while Mr. Krabs was unaware of who's house it was. Although SpongeBob does apologize to Mr. Krabs for getting grounded that night.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: SpongeBob and Patrick's "night of debauchery" includes such activities as going to a laundromat and watching washing machines, picking up trash at the highway, sitting in a kiddie pool, playing a Dungeons & Dragons-like game, and going to a Suck E. Cheese's.
  • It's Pronounced Tro-PAY: Krabs tries to pronounce "coral" as "corrahl" to make it sound cooler.
  • No Indoor Voice: Spongebob and Patrick, who scream in excitement about their big night out when they're mere feet away from one another... with Squidward right between them!
  • Overly Long Gag
    • Spongebob, Patrick and Mr. Krabs shouting "Are you/I'm ready to party!" to one another.
    • "Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?"
  • Panty Thieves: SpongeBob and Patrick take Mr. Krabs on a "panty raid". Unfortunately, the house they raid belongs to Krabs' mother.
  • Right on Queue: Mr. Krabs sees a long line of senior citizens leading to the cemetery. After running away screaming "I ain't old!", we see that the line is actually for an ice-cream cart next to the cemetery.
  • Totally Radical: Pearl explains to Krabs that kids don't say "cool" anymore, they say "coral" instead. She becomes appalled when her father adopts it and calls her friends to say that "Coral is definitely out."
  • Wham Line: "Eugene!?" "MOTHER!?"
  • You Are Grounded: Krabs is sent to his room by his mother for going through her underwear drawer.
  • You Didn't Ask: "Why didn't you tell me this was my mother's house?!"