Western Animation: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Same characters, new look.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water is a animated/live-action hybrid movie based on the popular Nickelodeon TV series Spongebob Squarepants, and a prequel to 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released on February 6th, 2015. It is directed by current showrunner Paul Tibbitt, with screenplay by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (of Kung Fu Panda fame) based on a story written by Tibbitt and show creator Steven Hillenburg. The live-action portion of the film is directed by Mike Mitchell of Sky High fame.

The story is about the Krabby Patty secret recipe being stolen by Burger-Beard the Pirate (Antonio Banderas), causing Bikini Bottom to enter a Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic wasteland. SpongeBob and friends come ashore and become superheroes in order to defeat Burger-Beard and retrieve the Krabby Patty secret recipie.

It is the first movie of Paramount Pictures' new animation division, and the first theatrical animated movie tied to a Nicktoon since 2006's Barnyard, which spawned a spin-off series.

Watch the first trailer here and second trailer here.


  • Abnormal Ammo: Burger-Beard uses a blunderbuss loaded with butter.
    • At the beginning, Plankton and the Krusty Krab battle each other with, among other things, a potato-firing machine gun and a pickle-launching tank.
    • Sandy in her superhero form shoves nuts in her mouth and spits them out like bullets
  • Affectionate Parody: One of Pirate movies, the post-apocalyptic genre, and the Superhero blockbuster.
  • The Apunkalypse: Bikini Bottom inexplicably turns into this as an apparent side-effect to Burger-beard's scheme.
    Mr Krabs: Welcome to the apocalypse, Mr. Squidward. I hope yeh like leather.
    Squidward: I prefer suede...note 
  • Artistic License Astronomy: When Jupiter and Saturn crash into each other, they appear to be made of solid rock. Jupiter and Saturn are gas giants.
  • Art Shift: Lots of it. All the underwater scenes are done in traditional animation like the show (and is given the cinematic budget like the first movie), while all the scenes on land are in live action with the SpongeBob cast done in CGI, unlike the last movie. Also, Bubbles is stop-motion, and the rap battle at the end is Flash.
  • Ascended Extra: Sandy Cheeks and Squidward Tentacles, who were both Demoted to Extra in the previous movie (the former especially), are now getting top billing.
  • Audience Surrogate: The Seagulls when they question Burger Beard's narration of The Movie.
    • Bubbles the dolphin becomes this at the end, when he tries to force The Seagulls to stop singing the Theme Song. He represents the people who dislike The SpongeBob franchise, while the seagulls represent the devoted fans. The Rap Battle between him and the seagulls served as a little bit of Self-Deprecating humor but ultimately turned into a Take That, Critics! moment when he felt compelled to admit the song was "pretty good".
    • Other characters like Squidward and Planton have minor instances of this. At one point Squidward is shocked that they can just tear off their apocalypse attire and the clothing they always wear is right underneath it. In another scene, Patrick is destroying his own house, when SpongeBob asks him what he's doing, he says "Vandalizing stuff." Plankton then asks "Isn't that your house?"
  • Big Bad: Burger-Beard.
  • Big Damn Movie: Similar to the first movie, this film is far more serious than the show itself. Even then, it's still Denser and Wackier than its predecessor.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When the background characters refuse to go the surface.
    Random Fish: All secondary characters come with me.
  • Break the Cutie: SpongeBob finally loses it after failing to save the formula a second time.
  • Bridal Carry: A gender-flipped version in the scene when the gang are crossing the road trying to avoid the bikes and Sandy carries Squidward in her arms to safety.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Too bad Squidward doesn't wear pants.
    "It happens when I'm nervous."
  • Call Forward: After seeing the chaos Bikini Bottom is in after Krabby Patties are gone, Plankton gloats that he could rule the world with the formula. He does that in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
  • The Cameo: Supporting characters Mrs. Puff, Larry the Lobster, and Pearl make very brief appearances (Larry appearing at the Krusty Krab shot at the end, with Pearl appearing only during the end credits). One shot characters like Bubble Bass and Flats the Flounder (who hasn't made an appearance since "The Bully") also show up at one point.
  • Captain Colorbeard: Burgerbeard the pirate.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobody believes Spongebob that Plankton didn't steal the formula.
  • Character Development: Plankton, who becomes sort of an anti-hero, due to working with SpongeBob throughout a majority of the movie.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The piece of page from the magical book one of the seagulls managed to rip out while complaining to Burgerbeard about the ending to the story.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Parodied. After the Secret Formula has literally vanished and Mr. Krabs doesn't believe Plankton about it, he tapes him to his desk and tells a knock-knock joke. ("Jimmy." "Jimmy who?" "Jimmy BACK MY FORMULA, PLANKTON!") SpongeBob's ensuing laughter after he gets the joke (with Krabs wearing ear protectors) is what gets Plankton screaming.
  • Completely Different Title: The German dub of the film is simply titled SpongeBob Schwammkopf 3D (SpongeBob Squarepants 3D).
  • Cool Loser: In spite of the fact that he's pretty much an outcast that was clearly Born in the Wrong Century, Burger-Beard owns an awesome-looking pirate ship, which is pimped-out with wheels and a ton of cannons on it.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • During the "Thank Gosh It's Monday" music video created for the Day of Positivity, the spatula that SpongeBob used in the show's pilot episode can be seen, and the seaweed mustaches from first movie can be seen in a framed picture on the wall (though that is a little odd, considering that the first movie takes place at the end of the show's timeline, while this film is said to be a prequel to the first one).
    • During the credits, Squidward does the dance from his act in "Culture Shock".
    • During the part where Plankton attacks the Krusty Krab with a pickle-firing tank causing Patrick to slam into a wall, he yells "Finland!" which he similarly did in "Frankendoodle" when hit with a bowling ball.
    • One of Spongebob's ways of stopping Plankton is with the reefblower from season 1.
    • Several one shot characters, like Flats the Flounder, appear in the background at various times.
    • Mr. Krabs' superhero form resembles the robot Krabs Plankton built in "Imitation Krabs".
    • During the rap battle between Bubbles and the seagulls, one of the seagulls uses a curse word, which is censored with a dolphin noise sound effect in a similar fashion to "Sailor Mouth".
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Stephen Hillenburg has a vocal cameo in the film as the voice of a live-action baby who says, "SpongeBob!"
    • Paul Tibbitt voices Kyle the seagull.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Played with with Burger Beard. The first thing he does once he gets the magical book is steal the Krabby Patty recipe so he can make money off of it rather than just make himself rich. Possibly justified by the fact that it is implied that the book is limited to influencing what has already been written in it, meaning Burger Beard can't do anything directly for himself with it.
  • Black Comedy: This movie has it's moments at one point Plankton and SpongeBob sneak back into Bikini Bottom to rescue Plankton's Computer Wife Karen who was being tortured by The Denizens of the town, because they thought she had The Krabby Patty Secret Formula. Plankton and SpongeBob need Karen to operate the time machine they had built, and remove her monitor from her robotic body, SpongeBob acts like he's Squicked out about it, saying "I've never carried a head before" Plankton responds "Don't worry, you'll get used to it" Implying he's cut off and carried actual heads around before. Since Karen is a computer, thus doesnt harm her, but she does state that powering the time machine is going to take up all her processing power.
  • Deuteragonist: Behind Spongebob, Plankton's role in the film greatly outweighs that of the other characters, and he even winds up becoming the Big Damn Hero in the end, no strings attached!
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: Because Burgerbeard is able to rewrite reality to his will, he obtains the secret formula, empties the Patty Vault, and turns Bikini Bottom into a dystopia. He later strands the heroes on Pelican Island with the same method.
  • Dinky Drivers: The gang, before turning into superheroes, commandeer a bicycle.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The time-travel sequences and the scenes in SpongeBob's brain.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: During a musical number SpongeBob points out to Plankton that working together is the most likely way for him to deal with the mob that is after him.
  • Enemy Mine: Plankton apparently believes that he's the only one allowed to steal the Secret Formula, and assists SpongeBob in his adventures.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Squidasaruous is appalled that the Bikini Bottomites try to sacrifice Spongebob.
    Squidasaruous: And I thought my friends are primitive.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: No, he doesn't die, but Plankton exits the film pursued by a snail.
  • Flanderization: Inverted - the cast acts more along the lines of how they used to during the earlier seasons of the show.
  • Flat "What.": SpongeBob's reaction to the secret formula vanishing into thin air as he and Plankton are struggling over it.
  • Future Me Scares Me: After SpongeBob and Plankton travel back in time to the point when Plankton is about to steal the secret formula, Past!SpongeBob is horrified when he sees himself aiding Plankton in stealing the formula; he doesn't know that he is actually taking it to save Bikini Bottom.
  • Gainax Ending: After the plot has concluded, the talking seagulls begin to reprise their version of the SpongeBob theme, in a stylistic Flash animation. However, Bubbles reappears and expresses his disdain for the song, which inexplicably leads into a rap battle between them.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • As the Invincibubble, SpongeBob tells everyone to get ready for a "total aft-kicking".
    • Squidward sliding and flailing on the lower back of the sunbathing woman is a little...suggestive.
    • The scene with the ice cream girl is suggestive to say the least. However, it appeared only in the trailers and TV spots.
    • During the Rap Battle, one of the seagulls swears, which is censored by a bar and dolphin noise.
  • Gilligan Cut: This little gem:
    Mr. Krabs: (acting like crazy) The Krabby Patty is what ties us all together! Without it, there will be a complete breakdown of social order! A war of all against all! Dark times are ahead! Dark times indeed!
    Squidward: Seriously? Aren't you overreacting a bit?
    (cut to Bikini Bottom in flaming ruins and everyone dressed in punk attire.)
  • Gratuitous Rap: The rap battle between Bubbles and the Seagulls, done by the guys behind Epic Rap Battles of History.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Bubbles goes from trying to kill Spongebob and Plankton to helping them stop Burger-Beard.
  • Heroic Breakdown: Spongebob loses it when Plankton tells him he's a bad teammate and would be better off without him.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Plankton goes from being a villain to hero and back to villain.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: SpongeBob offers himself for sacrifice to the Sandwich Gods.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: SpongeBob and Plankton go to future Bikini Bottom, shown as a desert. Thanks to his calculator, Plankton finds out that they are only four days into the future.
  • "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: SpongeBob and the gang have a little trouble walking on a sidewalk because of people roller-skating and riding bikes.
    SpongeBob: Now what?!
    Squidward: We'll never gonna make it!
    (SpongeBob notices a bike. Cut to the gang riding it.)
  • Killed Off for Real: Karen is shut down, due to her having to use all of her energy to power the time machine, which is later destroyed by the Squidasaruous Rex. However, it's likely that Plankton simply rebuilt her after the events of the movie.
  • Lighter and Softer: The film is still somewhat dark, due to Bikini Bottom becoming an apunkalypse for a good chunk of the film, but otherwise it's not as serious as the previous film's surprisingly disturbing dystopia.
  • Medium Blending: See Art Shift.
  • Messianic Archetype: Spongebob offers himself to be sacrificed to the "Sandwich Gods" after seeing how horrible the town has become.
  • Mind Screw: The entire movie to some degree but the time travel sequences, post-apocolyptic Bikini Bottom, the scene in Spongebob's brain, and the rap battle are the worst offenders.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Several, in fact.
    • The slo-mo shot of the hot woman that Patrick appears to oogle over (when it's just an ice cream he wants) is not in the film. A bunch of alternate takes of uncut scenes can be seen in the trailers, including Patrick's head with a hole through it. The girl commenting on the superheroes saying, "They must be in spin class!" is not in the film, nor is Mr. Krabs' line "That pirate's gonna destroy our world!"
    • In one scene, Burger Beard throws a six pack of soda can plastic rings at Squidward. He gets caught up in them and exclaims "What is this diabolical contraption?!" This is Truth in Television, because marine animals do get caught up in these rings and other pieces of manufactured garbage. However, none of this appears in the film proper.
    • The "Thank Gosh it's Monday" musical number doesn't appear in the film at all. A few details, such as the establishing shot of Bikini Bottom, imply that it's an early version of the opening scene, and the gag of Patrick using his belly to talk reappears in the actual opening.
  • The Movie: Speaks for itself.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: In the beginning of the movie, the talking seagulls begin singing the Theme Song, but Burger-Beard stops them and threatens to burn them, showing the same thing happened to his parrots.
    • It happens again before the credits. Bubbles interrupts the theme song and expresses his hatred of it and, apropos of nothing, goes into a rap battle with one of the seagulls.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the original SpongeBob movie, a deleted scene (storyboarded but not animated) revealed that Sandy was planned to make a cameo appearance on the surface world as a real squirrel. Come this film, and Sandy dons the appearance of a real squirrel in her superhero form.
    • Burgerbeard's food cart is called the Barnacle Burger, which was an early name for the Krabby Patty.
    • Squidward inking himself when he's nervous was originally going to be a regular gag on the show, but they could never find a way to do it properly until now.
  • Negative Continuity: It's been apparently stated that the previous film is the definitive Grand Finale of the series, which would imply that this just takes place before it. However, that wouldn't make sense either, since SpongeBob's seaweed mustache was shown on a frame in the "Thank Gosh It's Monday" music video.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • All the ads play up the CGI scenes...which take up about 20 minutes of the movie. The majority of the animation in film is actually hand-drawn, with plenty of Art Shifts. The trailer also promised a cameo by Slash as a street musician, which ended up being cut from the film.
    • The trailer makes it look as if Burger Beard is the one who attacks the Krusty Krab. In the actual film, it's Plankton.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When SpongeBob and Plankton watch the cosmos for Bubbles, Jupiter ends up crashing into Saturn. This causes Bubbles to get fired and become aggressive toward the duo. However, it's subverted later, when Bubbles reveals that he hated his job; he rewards the heroes by granting them the ability to breath above water.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: All of the CGI models of the characters in their superhero forms look like their cartoon counterparts...except for Sandy Cheeks, who looks like an actual squirrel.
  • Not Me This Time: After the Kabby Patty forumla vanishes, Krabs instantly accuses Plankton of the robbery. While he was indeed trying to steal the formula, Plankton was innocent as it was Burgerbeard who was the culprit having used the magical book to take the formula into his possession.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: After a lengthy absence from the series, the "MY LEG!" Running Gag makes a triumphant return here.
    • Squidward follows suit later: "Ow, my neck!"
  • Parental Bonus: In addition to Getting Crap Past the Radar, there was also a reference to the movie The Shining when Plankton entered Spongebob's mind and met two popsicles.
  • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Burger-Beard clearly doesn't belong in the movie's modern United States coast town setting. In fact, his pirate ship has wheels on it.
  • Rewriting Reality: The magic book enables Burger Beard to rewrite the story. SpongeBob and Plankton later use a discarded page from the book to do the same.
    • Reality-Writing Book: The aforementioned book. It's a mixture of Type 1 and Type 3; the story is already written in, but the characters can change it on the fly.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Sandy as The Rodent, a huge photorealistic squirrel.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: As with the last movie, there are live-action/animated sequences. However this time, the animation is done with CGI instead of traditional hand-drawn animation whenever real people show up.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Sandy's treedome after her Sanity Slippage.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The first poster for the movie is an obvious parody of old adverts for Coppertone sunscreen.
    • The second poster is a parody of The Avengers, using the characters' superhero alter-egos.
    • The apocalyptic Bikini Bottom is an extensive parody of Mad Max. This is fairly timely, considering that Fury Road came out a few months later.
    • Bubbles the dolphin is a parody of Uatu the Watcher from the Marvel Universe.
    • The firecracker popsicle twins in SpongeBob's dream are clearly a parody of The Shining.
    • Mr. Krabs and Plankton become Iron Man and The Hulk, respectively.
    • Three poster ads are parodies of Jurassic World, Terminator, and... Fifty Shades of Grey?!
    • The visuals during SpongeBob and Plankton's time traveling are inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: SpongeBob does this when he opens the freezer only to find out that all of the Krabby Patties are gone. Krabs follows suit.
  • Status Quo Is God: Plankton goes back to his villainous ways at the end.
  • Sugar Bowl: Plankton discovers one inside SpongeBob's brain.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Or rather, Super Not-Asphyxiating Skills. The gang seems to function perfectly fine above water in spite of not being able to breathe air (though this does make sense for Sandy and Mr. Krabs - note that the former doesn't seem to be wearing her helmet). It turns out that Bubbles the dolphin granted them these skills as a reward for causing him to lose his job (he never liked his job as the protector of the universe, but he never had the courage to quit, either).
  • Superhero Sobriquets: Each character gets one.
    • SpongeBob is The Invincibubble.
    • Patrick is Mr. Superawesomeness.
    • Squidward is Sour Note.
    • Sandy is The Rodent.
    • Mr. Krabs is Sir Pinch-a-lot.
    • Plankton is Plank-Ton.
  • Tempting Fate: SpongeBob and the gang don't know how to go to the surface.
    Squidward: The only way we're going out there if it's some Fairy Godmother shows up and helps us breathe air!
    (Bubbles the dolphin suddenly appears)
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Three instances:
    • When the camera reveals the island which marks Bikini Bottom, we hear the last eight notes of the theme.
    • The seagulls begin singing the song, but Burger-Beard stops them.
    • The full audio from the TV version of the theme is heard at the end.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Plankton's superhero form takes this trope to its zenith - he's seriously built, but you can barely see his head in some shots.
  • Too Soon: In-Universe. When SpongeBob and Plankton are overlooking the ruined Bikini Bottom, Plankton jokes that it should be renamed "Dirty Bottom". SpongeBob reacts in disgust and Plankton asks, "What? Too soon?"
  • Token Evil Teammate: Plankton, being a superhero, is fighting alongside the protagonists in the climax. Justified because he wants the Krabby Patty formula for himself.
    • Surprisingly subverted. After they beat Burgerbeard. He has the chance to take the formula for himself. He does consider it, but ultimately gives it back to Krabs. Granted once Spongebob returns the group home, he back to his usual villainy but by this point, it's just routine.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Once the protagonists become superheroes.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The whole town after they run out of Krabby Patties. They don't hesitate to kill SpongeBob after he offers himself as a sacrifice to the "Sandwich Gods".
  • The Watcher: Bubbles, the talking dolphin SpongeBob and Plankton encounter while they accidentally time travel to the future, is this.
  • We Can Rule Together / Meaningful Echo: When Plankton is fighting with SpongeBob over the formula bottle, we hear this:
    Plankton: Come on, SpongeBob! Join me! And we'll be rich and powerful! Until I eventually betray you... Uhh... JOIN ME!
    SpongeBob: No! Never! I'm on Team Krabs for life!
    • And later at the climax, when he is a superhero and prepares to take the formula from Burger-Beard:
    Burger-Beard: Come on, team up with me! We'll be rich and powerful! Huh?
    Plankton: No, thanks. I'm already part of a teamwork.
  • What Have I Become?: SpongeBob when he has his breakdown after failing to save the Krabby Patty formula after going back in time and realizing he has descended into savagery like the others.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Plankton upon arriving inside of SpongeBob's brain.