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Western Animation: Its A Sponge Bob Christmas
It's a SpongeBob Christmas! is the second Christmas Episode from Nickelodeon's Sponge Bob Square Pants. It was released Direct-to-Video on October 30, 2012, and made its television premiere on CBS on November 23rd, before its Nickelodeon debut on December 6th. Unlike its predecessor, "Christmas Who?", this one was animated in stop-motion animation in the spirit of many of the Rankin/Bass holiday specials.

The special finds Bikini Bottom once again celebrating Christmas, but Sheldon J. Plankton has other plans. Because Santa Claus is always giving him coal every Christmas due to him being the biggest jerk in town, Plankton has come up with a scheme to make himself look nice and finally get his dream gift (the Krabby Patty formula, of course). His plan is to feed a special kind of fruitcake to all of Bikini Bottom's citizens; the fruitcake in question contains an element called jerktonium, which makes anyone who consumes it turn nasty. Plankton gets the innocently naive SpongeBob (whose love of Christmas makes him immune to jerktonium) to go around town giving these fruitcakes to everyone else, so soon almost everyone in Bikini Bottom has turned into detestable jerks. It's up to SpongeBob to restore the holiday spirit to his hometown.

Tropes present:

  • All There in the Script: The evil robot that Plankton sends out to frame SpongeBob is named Toybob, according to the end credits.
  • Anti-Climax: The final battle between Spongebob and robot Spongebob
  • Artistic License - Music: The music that Sandy's machine prints out has 6 lines per staff, and a few of the measures have incomplete beat values.
  • Art Shift: As mentioned above, this special was done in stop-motion animation instead of the series' traditional animation with some occasional use of puppetry.
  • Bears Are Bad News : Happens to Patchy near the ending.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Everybody who eats the jerktonium gets extremely bushy eyebrows.
  • Box-and-Stick Trap: Patrick makes one to trap Santa. He traps himself instead trying to get the bait cookie.
  • Bad Santa: While Santa isn't bad, he does steal Mr. Krab's Krabby Patty Secret Formula and gives it to Plankton, because he thought Plankton was the only Bikini Bottomite who wasn't being a total jerk. He lampshades it when asked how he got it by smiling coyly and saying "I have my ways." It turns out his elves stole the formula and they also tried to make off with Mr Krab's wallet
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Sort of, Plankton is the real villain, but both Patchy & Patrick have schemes of their own. Patchy kidnaps The Mailman, and steals his truck because he wants to deliver his letter to Santa Claus himself. Patrick wants to kidnap Santa Claus & keep him locked up so it will always be Christmas every day of the year. In the end Planton gets a bag of coal dumped on him, Patchy gets chased around by a polar bear, and who knows what happens to Patrick?
  • Brick Joke: Patrick's several attempts of catching Santa fail but he succeeds by catching him with a jellyfishing net before the last Patchy plot.
  • Christmas Songs: Three - "Santa Has His Eye on Me", "Hot Fruitcake", and most notably, "Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas)" (written several years before this special was produced).
  • Cutaway Gag: "How can I be jerky when my my tastebuds are swimming in holiday joy?" (cut to a shower of fruitcake crumbs raining down on SpongeBob's anthromorphic taste buds)
  • Evil Eyebrows: A by-product of eating jerktonium.
  • Evil Plan: Plankton, Patrick, and Patchy The Pirate all have schemes they try to hatch during Christmas. Planton's scheme is the worst, Patrick comes in second, & Patchy's scheme is in third place.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Framing Device: During the story, we also see a storyline in which Patchy steals a mail truck in an attempt to bring his own letter to Santa. (These scenes were cut from the CBS telecast.)
    • "Santa Has His Eye On Me". It's actually longer than it seems in the trailers. It's probably just in case this is someone's first Christmas special.
    • It also gets most of The Cameos from the main cast out of the way.
  • The Grinch: Plankton. Also, to a lesser extent, Squidward (he does believe Santa exists this time, but he just wants Santa to leave him alone).
  • Hate Plague: The element of Jerktonium has this effect on people if ingested.
  • The Immune: Jerktonium has no effect on SpongeBob.
  • Image Song: Averted, the DVD includes MP3s for "Santa Has His Eye on Me" and "Hot Fruitcake". Sadly, these songs can't be ripped (through methods such as iTunes).
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: SpongeBob is immune to Plankton's fruitcake because of his pure heart. Also goes hand-to-hand with Too Dumb to Fool.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Tom Kenny (in his Patchy the Pirate guise).
  • Jerk Ass: What everyone turns into after eating Plankton's fruitcake.
  • Karma Houdini: Potty The Parrot is the biggest one, he knew about and was involved with Patchy The Pirate's plot to kidnap the mailman & steal his mail truck, and nothing happened to him. He even has a laugh with Santa himself at Patchy's expense while Patchy is being chased by a hungry and ferocious polar bear.
    • Santa has some extremely light fingered elves in his employ, and aside from being shouted at by Mr. Krabs, after trying to steal his wallet, nothing happens to them. Santa knows about their thievery, and sometimes condones and even orders them to engage in theft. Santa invokes an extreme case of Hypocritical Humor when he rhetorically asks Potty if stealing a mail truck is naughty, while laughing at Patchy The Pirate, while Patchy is in mortal danger from a polar bear.
  • Literal Metaphor: A fork in the road!
  • Make My Monster Grow: Robot SpongeBob gets bigger as it attacks Santa.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Hot from the oven, full of lovin'!" Said first by Plankton when he gives Spongebob the fruitcake filled with jerktonium, and said next by Spongebob when he destroys the killer robot with fruitcake.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Happens to Patchy and Potty in the Framing Device.
  • Musical Nod: Patrick does a With Lyrics for "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in a part of "Santa Has His Eye on Me"
    Patrick: (singing) I Will trap Santa in my box, locked up like Fort Knox, and make him stop the clocks. A-a-and we'll have Chrismas all... year... Lo-o-o-o-o-ong!
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Toybob that Plankton unleashes to frame Spongebob. It looks nothing like the real deal but everyone, including Santa, falls for it anyway.
  • Perma Stubble: Another jerktonium side effect. Even the female characters get it.
  • The Power of Rock: "The song is the antidote!"
  • Pit Trap: Patrick builds one for his second Santa trap.
  • Robot Me: Plankton builds an evil robot Spongebob after the real Spongebob proves immune to jerktonium.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Plankton's "Mechanical Agent of Naughtiness" or Toy Bob is what ultimately foils Plankton's plan to get Santa Claus to steal The Krabby Patty Secret Formula for him. Toy Bob shows up right at Plankton's moment of victory to destroy Santa Claus, which ends up vindicating SpongeBob whom everyone thought was on a rampage of destruction. SpongeBob ends up saving the day, by destroying his robotic doppelganger, rescuing Santa Claus, and saving Christmas.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: See above, also nobody would have realized that Plankton was the creator of Toy Bob if he hadn't put the message "If found please return to The Chum Bucket" on Toy Bob's windup key.
  • Villain Ball: When Plankton finds out that SpongeBob is immune to The Jerktonium, instead of being content that pretty much everyone in Bikini Bottom has become a jerk, he decides to send out a robotic version of SpongeBob on a rampage of destruction to ruin the real SpongeBob's good name. This comes back to bite him in the butt, when after Santa Claus gives him The Krabby Patty Formula, Toy Bob shows up to try and kill Santa. After SpongeBob defeats his evil robotic counterpart, Santa's elves find Toy Bob's windup key which says "If found please return to The Chum Bucket" This is what seals Plankton's doom.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Plankton turns both SpongeBob and Santa Claus into this, turning SpongeBob into a pawn was an accident, Plankton was trying to turn him into a jerk, which failed, but SpongeBob took it on himself to give everyone in Bikini Bottom Plankton's fruitcake which turned everybody into jerks. Santa Claus actually believed that Plankton had been good, (in comparison to everybody else), and stole The Krabby Patty Secret Formula for him.
  • Fall Guy: Because Plankton couldn't turn SpongeBob into a jerk, he went to Plan B and used a robotic version of SpongeBob to go on a destructive rampage and destroy SpongeBob's good name.
  • Time for Plan B: Plankton says this when he realizes SpongeBob is immune to Jerktonium.
  • Unintentional Back Up Plan: Plankton never intended for SpongeBob to hand out The Jerktonium Fruitcake to everyone in Bikini Bottom, but SpongeBob does anyway, because he thinks he's spreading Christmas cheer.
  • Santa Claus: He's depicted as an anthropomorphic "sea pig" this time around, voiced by John Goodman.
  • Shout-Out: The whole Tom Kenny Framing Device is basically a Shout Out to Fred Astaire's narrator in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town.
  • Special Edition Title: Not only is the theme song sung by Christmas carolers again (in fact, it was done by a kid choir this time), but we also see some Christmas theming in the animation (SpongeBob being dressed by an arm wearing a Santa suit and the realistic fish wearing a Santa hat).
  • Spiritual Successor: To the first SpongeBob Christmas special "Christmas Who".
  • Signature Sound Effect: When anybody eats the fruitcake laced with Jerktonium there is always a farting sound when they turn into a jerk. When SpongeBob sings The "Don't be a jerk, it's Christmas" song the sound of a chicken crowing is always played when they turn back to normal.
  • Wacky Sound Effect: Check above
  • Poetic Justice: Plankton gets an entire bag of coal dumped on him.
    • Also, Patchy being put on the naughty list for impersonating the mailman and stealing his truck.
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