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Recap / Sponge Bob Square Pants S 12 E 13 Sponge Bobs Big Birthday Blowout

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SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout
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SpongeBob and Patrick tour the surface world, while the rest of Bikini Bottom prepares a surprise party for SpongeBob.

"SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout" contains examples of:

  • Ageless Birthday Episode: SpongeBob's age is not stated in the episode, just that it's his birthday. Double subverted at the end, where Patrick asks SpongeBob how old he is. He replies, "Well, as of today, I am..." before getting cut off.note 
  • Alliterative Title: "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout".
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: SpongeBob is amazed at the group getting to see "beach giraffes, pie dragons and beans".
  • As Himself:
  • Advertisement:
  • Birthday Episode: For SpongeBob, obviously. It's also a first for him, as while his birthday had been previously celebrated in "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler" and "Waiting", this is the first episode to focus on it.
  • The Bus Came Back: Several characters return as cameos, including:
    • Mindy and David Hasselhoff from the first movie (thus marking the first time they've appeared in the show itself).
    • The Tattletale Strangler from "SpongeBob meets the Strangler".
    • Grubby Grouper from "Bubble Buddy".
    • Monty P. Moneybags from “Artist Unknown".
    • Zeus the Guitar Lord from "Tentacle-Vision".
    • The "HOOPLA!" fish from "Krusty Krab Training Video".
    • The bubble hippo from "Culture Shock".
    • The green eel that SpongeBob failed to be assertive with in "Walking Small".
    • The whale from "Ripped Pants".
    • The electric eel who SpongeBob begged to teach him how to tie his shoes in "Your Shoe's Untied".
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    • The shark dad who spoke up when SpongeBob claimed there were sharks in Goo Lagoon in "SpongeGuard on Duty".
    • Flats the Flounder from "The Bully".
    • The glowing red anglerfish who helped SpongeBob return home in "Rock Bottom".
    • The really muscular fish and gorilla from "I Had an Accident".
    • The fisherman with a hook hand from "Sandy, SpongeBob and the Worm".
    • The muscular fish from "Shanghaied".
  • The Cameo:
    • A photograph of The Chief of the IJLSA from "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V" appears as part of the decorations around the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy cake.
    • Thomas F. Wilson (who voiced several background characters on the show) cameos as the dog owner who fetches the frisbee from the ocean and also appears at the end to wish SpongeBob a happy birthday.
    • Lori Alan (the voice actor for Pearl) cameos as the woman who brings the tour bus to the aquarium.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Patchy uses the bean cannon from the beach party seen earlier in the episode to shoot himself into Bikini Bottom.
  • Continuity Nod: Chock full of them.
    • There are several references to "I Had An Accident", including the office being full of people in gorilla suits and the human version of Patrick saying "Not until 4."
    • SpongeBob and Patrick shriek in dolphin noises when Rube reads off the "No foul language" rule, harkening back to "Sailor Mouth".
    • SpongeBob recognizes the French narrator as "Sandy’s friend Frenchy" from "Feral Friends".
    • Human Patrick holds up the line while trying to decide what to order, just as the real Patrick did in "Krusty Krab Training Video".
    • JimBob accidentally places SpongeBob onto a burger, giving the "talking cheese" insult from "Band Geeks" a literal meaning.
    • Human Sandy uses an oversized glove when karate chopping Charleston, like the ones used by Sandy and SpongeBob in "Karate Choppers" and other episodes.
    • Like in "Krusty Krab Training Video", the episode cuts away before a big reveal (this time about SpongeBob's age) However, this might not be big, as SpongeBob's's age is technically confirmed to be 33 at the time according to his driver's license.
    • In "FUN", Plankton describes himself as a master of torture. Certain episodes like "Band Geeks" would touch on this, but we never really got to see him actually torture anyone until now. Here, we finally do, as he sets up a torture station for SpongeBob's party, and gets to use it on Fred.
    • Squidward chokes while eating cake, just as he did in "Naughty Nautical Neighbours".
  • Continuity Snarl: Mindy, movie Neptune’s daughter, attends SpongeBob’s party. The first movie, where they meet, is still canonically placed at the end of series’s chronological events.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Potentially an option in the future, if YouTube is anything to go by. On the comments of the Trusty Slab scene on the official SpongeBob YouTube channel (before the channel was marked as "for kids"), someone said if the live-action SpongeBob cast was made as a series on YouTube or Netflix, they'd never miss an episode. The team's response was to heart the comment and reply:
    SpongeBob SquarePants Official: Now you have us thinking...
  • Extra-Long Episode: The third in the series and the first since "Truth or Square" ten years earlier.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: Humans are called "beach giraffes" by the tour guide, Rube, while a dog is called a "pie dragon" by the tour group.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Patrick calls his human Trusty Slab equivalent dumb.
  • Interrupted by the End: The episode ends just before SpongeBob states his new age. note 
    Patrick: By the way, SpongeBob, how old are you?
    SpongeBob: Well, as of today, I am - (cut to static)
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Plankton traps Fred's leg in a torture rack on his side of the party.
    Plankton: Say it, Fred!
    Fred: No.
    Plankton: (pulls the rack harder) Say it!
    (Beat)
    Fred (as flatly as possible): My leg.
  • Losing Your Head: Patchy's ultimate gift to SpongeBob, and how he ultimately gets to meet him face to face, is his own, still living, disembodied head. Inexplicably, it is later revealed that Potty's head has been placed on Patchy's body.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Patchy just barely misses SpongeBob several times during the latter's adventures on the surface world, and doesn't get to meet him personally until the very end.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The Trusty Slab scenes were featured prominently in the trailers, when it doesn't even appear until the end of the third act.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: One of the fish waiting in line is a fish caricature of famous horror movie star Peter Lorre.
  • No, You: During the first Patchy segment.
    Potty: I told you to fill the tank with gas.
    Patchy: Potty, you're full of gas.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: Patrick laughs at how dumb the human version of himself is.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Exactly how SpongeBob and Patrick helped all the aquarium fish escape from their tanks and get into the tour bus remains unseen and unexplained.
  • Potty Emergency:
    • Patrick performs a Potty Dance after SpongeBob and Rube keep saying "Oui, oui!" to the narrator.
    Patrick: Can you guys please stop saying "wee wee?" [strains] Gotta go! Gotta go!
    • Old Man Walker tries to use the bathroom in SpongeBob's house, only to keep getting interrupted by the party planners wanting to use him in their decorations.
  • Running Gag:
    • Rube can never get a full rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" going for SpongeBob on his special day. It culminates with SpongeBob asking Patchy to lead it, going with a birthday-themed version of the show’s theme song.
    • The party guests yelling "Surprise!" and an exasperated Sandy yelling, "Not now!"
  • Shout-Out: On the surface, SpongeBob and Patrick encounter a beach party known as "Beach Blanket Bean-Go".
  • Similar Squad: The human versions of the cast, played by their voice actors, including JimBob, Mr. Slabs, Manward, and Charleston as well as those for Patrick and Sandy.
  • Special Edition Title: The episode title card is unlike any before it, the name written out on a speeding cake. The credits are white over aerial footage of California. At the end of the episode, a birthday-themed version of the theme song is sung by the cast, complete with SpongeBob playing his nose.
  • Special Guest: Kel Mitchell as a spokesman for a bean company, and The Thundermans Jack Griffo and Knight Squad's Daniella Perkins as Beach Blanket Bean-Go partiers.
  • Surprise Party: The subplot features all of SpongeBob's friends planning a surprise party for him.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After 20 years and 19 years since his first appearance, Patchy finally gets to meet SpongeBob.
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