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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 3 E 12 "Chocolate with Nuts" / "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V"

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United States airdate: June 1, 2002

Canada airdate: November 15, 2002

After receiving Squidward's issue of Fancy Living Digest, SpongeBob and Patrick decide to live the fancy life. Deciding to become entrepreneurs themselves, the two become door-to-door chocolate bar salesmen. However, SpongeBob and Patrick soon learn that selling chocolate bars in Bikini Bottom isn't as easy as it looks.

"Chocolate with Nuts" contains examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch: Spongebob tells a fish with a shiny bald head that their chocolate will make his hair grow. The fish is glad, since his wife was trying to grow a beard.
  • Body Horror: Played for Laughs. When Spongebob asks an elderly fish if her mother is around (in order to make her feel younger), her mother is actually around and is basically an eyeless skeletal head and torso in a wheelchair.
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  • Con Man: SpongeBob and Patrick encounter one, whom sells them candy bar bags for an undeniably high price, and they fall for it.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Having been asked to sell more chocolate, SpongeBob and Patrick lose all hope, having lost all their money and there's no one they can sell it to. At least, until Tom appears.
  • Door-to-Door Episode: SpongeBob and Patrick visit a lot of strange people while trying to sell chocolate bars.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The episode title refers to the treat "chocolate with nuts", and SpongeBob and Patrick being nuts at their chocolate selling job.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Patrick's observation about the false advertising for Barnacle Chips is what gives SpongeBob the idea to use the same ploy to sell their chocolate.
  • Evil Laugh: The con man has a rather sinister one when he reveals himself to be the injured fish.
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  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The injured fish SpongeBob and Patrick encounter doesn't sound quite serious when talking about his injuries. He also does not ask for chocolate but instead asks them to deliver more chocolate in exchange for all the money they've earned. Once they're out of sight, he is revealed to be the con man.
  • Formerly Fat: "Me at 13"
  • Half-Witted Hillbilly: When "exaggerating the truth" about the chocolate bars, Spongebob tells a Hillbilly looking fish that the chocolate will make him smarter, then he replies that he will take twenty of them.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Patrick tells one of the customers that their chocolate will "keep [his] face from getting any uglier." Except...
    Identical Starfish: Just in time!
  • I Can't Hear You: The old lady and her hearing problem.
  • Immortality Seeker: The elderly fish's mother decides to buy a chocolate bar after Patrick tells her that it'll make her live forever, much to her daughter's disappointment.
  • Irony: The con man that deceives SpongeBob and Patrick into buying candy bar carrying bags and selling more chocolate so he can steal their money is the only customer they didn't sell any chocolate to.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While the con man is just trying to sell SpongeBob and Patrick candy bags, he's not wrong to point out that Patrick carrying the chocolate in his pants isn't very appropriate or sanitary.
  • Jump Scare: SpongeBob pops up from Squidward's mailbox unintentionally scaring off the mailman.
  • Karma Houdini: The con artist who swindles SpongeBob and Patrick throughout the episode manages to escape with their money. Though considering he ended up giving them more product to sell to Tom at the end, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise after all.
  • Large Ham: Tom goes absolutely nuts (no pun intended) when chocolate's involved.
  • Matryoshka Object: The "candy bar bag carrying bag" gag.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • SpongeBob and Patrick instantly go from snickering excitedly to almost breaking down in tears when they see the customer they're pulling a Wounded Gazelle Gambit on is even more injured than they look.
    • When Tom catches up to SpongeBob and Patrick after they fail to sell most of their chocolate, he yells at them how he's been trying to catch them all day, before suddenly calming down and asking to buy their entire chocolate supply.
  • Naked People Are Funny: While trying to think up of new ways to sell their chocolate bars:
    Patrick: I got it! Let's get naked!
    SpongeBob: No, let's save that for when we're selling real estate.
  • Noodle Incident: After SpongeBob claims that Barnacle Chips are "most certainly not delicious", Patrick happily chimes in "Not the way I use them!". We never do learn how Patrick uses Barnacle Chips. We probably don't want to know, either.
  • Planet Baron: One of SpongeBob's lies is the promise of becoming this.
  • Schmuck Bait: The con man encountered by SpongeBob and Patrick. They are immediately fooled by his scams, especially the third, and never knew. And to top it off, it's unknown if he was arrested for stealing their money.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: It turns out the customer that went crazy over SpongeBob and Patrick's chocolate wanted to buy all their chocolate.
    • On a side note, even though SpongeBob and Patrick made loads of money by "stretching the truth", the con man tricked them into selling more chocolate for him whilst taking all the money they earned in return. Luckily, that guy was the only customer they did not sell any chocolate to.
  • Smug Snake: The con artist.
  • Status Quo Is God: While Spongebob and Patrick do get to keep their large sum of money from Tom, they end up spending the entire thing booking an expensive restaurant for a private date with the two elderly ladies they had sold chocolate to...on Squidward's only night to be fancy no less.
  • The Unmasking: The injured fish SpongeBob and Patrick agree to help out reveals himself to be the con man they encountered earlier out of their sight.
  • Unknown Rival: SpongeBob and Patrick are unaware they are being swindled into giving all their money to the con man.
  • Very False Advertising: SpongeBob and Patrick confuse this with "slightly stretching the truth", and start telling customers that their chocolate brings things like immortality, intelligence, beauty, love, the ability to fly, and even world domination.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: SpongeBob and Patrick almost pulled this; but they encounter another injured fish before they could do so, who is later revealed to be that business fish from before who conned them out of all the money they got.

Tired of everybody treating him like a child, Barnacle Boy quits his sidekick job and becomes a supervillain. After joining up with Man Ray and the Dirty Bubble to form the evil alliance known as E.V.I.L., the newly christened Barnacle Man helps in spreading chaos throughout Bikini Bottom. Realizing he's outmatched, Mermaid Man recruits SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, and Squidward to help and turns them into superheroes.

"Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V" contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Barnacle Man, realising that he is unable to finish the adult-sized Krabby Patty, decides to join in on the laughter.
  • An Aesop: Your kid will grow up, so treat them like the adult they are.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Parodied. Barnacle Man and E.V.I.L. actually win, but instead of asking for world domination like Man Ray suggested, Barncle Man simply asks for a normal-sized Krabby Patty.
  • Bad Humor Truck: E.V.I.L. disguise their getaway car as an ice cream truck in order to trick Mermaid Man.
  • Battle Cry: Captain Magma shouts "Krakatoa!" before erupting, which is the name of a volcano in Indonesia that had a devastating eruption in the 19th century.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning, Mermaid Man tells Barnacle Boy not to get an adult-sized Krabby Patty because it's too big and he'll never finish it. Later, when he finally gets his adult-sized Krabby Patty, Barnacle Boy admits that it is pretty big and he doesn't think he can finish the whole thing. He even laughs about it with Mermaid Man.
  • But Thou Must!: Parodied. Squidward initially refuses to join I.J.L.S.A., but Mr. Krabs will have none of it and forces him to join at the risk of his job.
    Mermaid Man: Who wants to save the world?
    SpongeBob: I do!
    Sandy: I do!
    Patrick: I do!
    Squidward: I don't!
    Mr. Krabs: (sprints in and confronts Squidward) Oh, yes, you do! No world means no money! Now go save the world OR YOU'RE FIRED! (runs back to the Krusty Krab; Squidward grumbles)
    Mermaid Man: That settles it!
  • Clothes Make the Superman: This is apparently how superpowers are gained in the SpongeBob universe.
    Mermaid Man: Once you put on these costumes, their fantastic powers will become yours!
    Sandy: Wow. I didn't think superpowers worked that way.
    Mermaid Man: Sure! Power's all in the costume. Why else would we run around in colored undies?
    Squidward: I can think of three good reasons.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Before the I.J.L.S.A. gets a call from the Chief, Mermaid Man decides to order pizza for everyone. After the Chief tells them about E.V.I.L. striking at Make-Out Reef, The Elastic Waistband (Patrick) utters the following line:
    "Does this mean we're not getting pizza?"
  • Comically Small Demand: After E.V.I.L. wins their fight with the I.J.L.S.A., Barnacle Boy's able to force Mermaid Man to agree to his demands: to be treated as a superhero in his own right rather than a sidekick, to be called Barnacle Man, and to be allowed to eat adult-sized Krabby Patties. Man Ray and the Dirty Bubble are clearly disappointed, since they wanted World Domination (and in the Dirty Bubble's case, to make Mermaid Man eat dirt).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The battle between I.J.L.S.A. and E.V.I.L. only results in the heroes defeating themselves.
  • Disney Owns This Trope: "The International Justice League of Super Aquaintances! A subsidiary of Viacom."
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Barnacle Boy is old enough to have hair growing out of the wrinkles on his liver spots, but Mermaid Man continues to treat him like his "young ward" by talking down to him and ordering him food off the children's menu. Everyone at the Krusty Krab starts picking on him for it, which drives him to villainy.
  • Epic Fail: The I.J.L.S.A.'s demise would make Finagle proud.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Taken Up to Eleven when virtually every single character who's had a speaking role in the episode shows up at the end to share in a hearty laugh. Doubles as Overly Long Gag.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Barnacle Boy becomes evil in order to gain more respect. Thankfully, he drops it the second he gets what he wants, which admittedly wasn't much.
  • Flight: Captain Magma can fly using his magma helmet as a rocket.
  • For Want of a Nail: Barnacle Boy becomes a supervillain, terrorizes the citizens of Bikini Bottom and takes on his own crime-fighting partner because he wanted an adult-sized Krabby Patty.
    • Captain Magma (Squidward) burning Quickster/Spongebob sets off a chain reaction that results in the I.J.L.S.A. getting utterly demolished.
  • Fun with Acronyms: A rather nonsensical one with E.V.I.L., which stands for Every Villain Is Lemons.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The International Justice League of Super Aquaintances.
  • Invisibility: Miss Appear (Sandy) can turn invisible at will.
  • Kissing In A Tree: Barnacle Boy, Man Ray and the Dirty Bubble use this rhyme when torturing a couple at Make Out Reef.
    John and Nancy sittin' in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The International Justice League of Super Aquaintances are a subsidiary of Viacom. Viacom is, of course, the parent company of Nickelodeon.
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, this is changed to subsidiaria de los hermanos tú sabes (subsidiary of the you-know-who brothers), changing the reference to be about Warner Bros., the parent company of DC Comics. It can be seen here (at the very end): [1]
  • Magma Man: Captain Magma (Squidward), who can fly using his magma helmet as a rocket.
  • Make-Out Point: Or rather, Make Out Reef as it's known in Bikini Bottom.
  • Manly Tears: "Need a hand... super pal?"
  • Medium Blending: The Chief, a live-action human broadcasted on a cartoon video-phone.
  • Not So Above It All: At first Squidward only joins the new I.J.L.S.A. because Mr. Krabs threatened to fire him if he didn't. However, he quickly seems to enjoy being Captain Magma.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Mermaid Man's reaction when he gets fed a bomb shaped like an ice cream cone from Barnacle Man and the other two villains.
  • Overly Long Gag: The Everybody Laughs Ending where everybody laughs!
  • Poke the Poodle: While they have the power to blow up buildings, swallow up banks and feed bomb ice-cream cones to unsuspecting civilians, E.V.I.L.'s crimes mostly consists of a bunch of juvenile pranks, such as ding-dong ditches and making fun of teenagers at Make Out Reef. Dirty Bubble also asks Barnacle Man to make Mermaid Man eat dirt.
  • Rubber Man: The Elastic Waistband (Patrick).
  • Rule of Three: Barnacle Boy has three demands: Be treated like a superhero, be called Barnacle "Man", and an adult-sized Krabby Patty.
  • Shout-Out: The International Justice League of Super Aquaintances. Just to hammer it home, each of the membersnote  is a parody of a specific member of one of those groups: Captain Magma is based on Firestorm, The Quickster is based on The Flash, and the Elastic Waistband is based on Plastic Man and Elongated Man.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: Mermaid Man sets out to go stop evil, and exclaims, "NOTHING WILL STOP ME!! NOOOOOTTTTHIINNG... (hears a truck playing melodies) Ice cream? I love ice cream!"
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Sandy gets hit by a car and is thrown off a cliff thanks to her invisibility.
  • Special Guest: Martin Olson as The Chief.
  • Status Quo Is God: Despite Barnacle Boy changing his name to Barnacle Man, he's back to being called Barnacle Boy in subsequent episodes.
  • Superhero Episode: SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward and Sandy become superheroes and team up with Mermaid Man to defeat E.V.I.L.
  • Super Speed: The Quickster (Spongebob).
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Initially played with for E.V.I.L. when the I.J.L.S.A. have the number advantages 5 to 3, then subsequently gradually averted.
    Barnacle Man: (groans) There goes our toy deal...
  • Torso with a View: This happens to Mermaid Man after he eats the explosive ice cream.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The Dirty Bubble is perfectly fine after being popped by SpongeBob in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II" and Man Ray apparently has the ability to enact evil deeds without feeling a tickling sensation which he received in Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III.
  • Unsound Effect:
    • When Mermaid Man eats the explosive prune ice cream with bran sprinkles: "KA-BRAN!"
    • When Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy become friends again and shake hands: "FRIEND"
  • Visual Pun: "I'm crossing over to the dark side!"note 
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: E.V.I.L.'s victory is largely due to I.J.L.S.A.'s incompetence. The Quickster gets hit by Captain Magma and melts, Captain Magma in turn gets hit by Mermaid Man and turns to ashes, The Elastic Waistband's arms turn into spaghetti after trying to save the Quickster, and Miss Appear gets hit by a car and falls off a cliff. Mermaid Man, meanwhile, just falls over.



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