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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants (S1E11)

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"Do these muscles lie?"
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MuscleBob BuffPants

Original air date: 10/2/1999

SpongeBob wants big muscles, but Sandy's workouts prove too intense for him, so he decides to fake it instead by wearing inflatable "Anchor Arms". Soon he's the coolest guy at the beach, but can he keep up his charade after Sandy enters him in an anchor tossing contest?


"MuscleBob BuffPants" contains examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • Know your limits. Don't pretend that you can handle something that is too much for you just to look cool, but you can get there by doing a little each day.
    • For that matter, don't take shortcuts to skip the harder parts of improving yourself, because you'll only be cheating yourself and others. Someone's going to find out eventually, you'll eventually hit a point where skimping out on the hard parts will come back to hurt you, and you'll look even worse off than if you just accepted your limitations and did the work.
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    • If you invite your friend to do an activity and they don't want to partake in it, don't force them into doing it anyway. You're effectively not giving them a choice by doing so.
  • "Before" and "After" Pictures: The shark on the Anchor Arms commercial shows an old picture of himself as a skinny geek with Nerd Glasses and braces. He's also a completely different color.
  • But Thou Must!: When Sandy suggests for SpongeBob that he should partake in the Goo Lagoon Anchor Toss Competition, SpongeBob sounds incredibly hesitant, but she goes to sign him in anyway. He protests this decision on her way out, but Sandy conveniently doesn't hear SpongeBob's pleads, and when he finally catches up with her, she's already signed him up without giving him a choice.
    Sandy: It's okay, SpongeBob! I already signed your name in.
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  • Cartoon Throbbing: SpongeBob's arms are throbbing after his workout with Sandy.
  • Didn't Think This Through: SpongeBob doesn't consider that he might have to actually use his fake new muscles, nor does he think through his statement about finding a new workout routine, forcing him to come up with one on the spot.
  • Disapproving Look: Sandy gives SpongeBob a well-deserved look of disapproval when she realizes that he used fake rubber muscles once they blew after trying to lift a heavy anchor.
  • Dramatic Irony: SpongeBob asking "do these muscles lie?"
  • Epic Fail: The simple act of SpongeBob changing the channel on the TV remote 100 times causes his arm to fall off.
  • Fake Muscles: Anchor Arms. Just add air.
  • Fantasy Twist: SpongeBob imagines how life would be different if he had muscles. The Imagine Spot shows him doing what he usually does, but with muscles.
  • Flexing Those Non-Biceps: SpongeBob when he shows Sandy his boney arms. He's quickly put to shame when Sandy flashes her own impressive muscles.
  • Hope Spot: When SpongeBob is despairing that he is about to expose himself as a fraud at the Anchor Toss contest, he hypes himself up that he can somehow win the contest and decides to blow his Anchor Arms up to "Jerk" level and try and lift the anchor anyway. Unfortunately for him, that leads to...
  • Inflating Body Gag: As SpongeBob tries to toss his anchor, the air on his Anchor Arms keeps shifting to one of his body parts. He keeps pushing the air back, only for it to pop up somewhere else, until the Anchor Arms give way and blow out.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: When SpongeBob accidentally sinks the anchor into the ground trying to lift it for the first time, he tries to pass it off as a joke. Everyone buys it until SpongeBob reattempts the throw and his Anchor Arms explode.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: After one of the bodybuilders drops a barbell he was lifting on each foot of the other two bodybuilders surrounding him as a shocking reaction of SpongeBob's new "muscles,", the two bodybuilders that got their feet crushed each nonchalantly utter a flat "Ow."
  • Medium-Shift Gag: The close-up of Sandy's bicep is a photo of a bodybuilder's arm.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: A far more literal version than usual, given the titular Anchor Arms are little more than balloons. While they may make SpongeBob look strong, they arguably end up making it harder for him to do anything due to their rubbery properties. So much so, that he can't even lift a drink with them on due to it constantly slipping.
  • Pathetically Weak: SpongeBob is this, struggling to lift a dumbbell with stuffed animals attached to the ends, can't do a single push-up, can't lift his arms when they're in boxing gloves, and his arm gets sore and falls off when flipping through channels on a TV remote.
  • Pet the Dog: Gary is genuinely concerned about the pain SpongeBob is in after working out with Sandy.
  • Raw Eggs Make You Stronger: When SpongeBob shows off his Anchor Arms at the juice bar, he lies that he starts off with 20 raw eggs every day.
  • Replacement Pedestal: Once SpongeBob's anchor arms explode, everybody realizes he lost and change from cheering for him to cheering for Sandy.
  • Running Gag:
    • Sandy's workout routines always end with SpongeBob losing his arms.
    • The anchor toss referee keeps getting hit by anchors.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When SpongeBob notices Sandy's Arm Crunching machine, his reaction is to split, leaving Sandy holding the telephone and SpongeBob saying they'd have to do it again sometime.
  • Shadow of Impending Doom: It actually chases the poor referee as he runs for cover.
  • Skewed Priorities: The fans are more shocked that SpongeBob lost the contest and make no comment on his fake Anchor Arms.
  • Title Drop: Scooter, whom Sandy was asking where SpongeBob was, addresses him by the episode's title.
  • Training from Hell: Sandy's exercise regimen. To quote SpongeBob when they reach the Arm Cruncher:

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Art thou not please, Mr. Squidward's Ghost?

Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost

Original air date: 10/2/1999

While Squidward takes a shower, SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally melt his wax figure of himself, making them think they killed Squidward. When Squidward steps out, they think he's a ghost and beg for forgiveness. Squidward decides to use this to his advantage and make them his personal servants, but he soon may wish he really was dead.


"Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost" contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: Pretending to be someone you're not can backfire on you.
  • Angrish: Squidward's attempts to yell as he's carried off in a bubble come off as this, since the wall is so thick that his voice is distorted.
  • Body Wipe: With Patrick, as he runs over to Squidward's back room after SpongeBob shows him the way.
  • Bottle Episode: Most of the episode takes place at Conch Street, mainly Squidward's house.
  • Calvinball: The game SpongeBob and Patrick are playing in the beginning. They admit they don't even know what they're doing.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Squidward finally confesses to SpongeBob he was never a ghost, Spongebob believes he is just acting in denial.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: Implied.
    Patrick: The Patrick is here and SpongeBob, I know a lot about head injuries, believe... (pauses and starts drooling, until SpongeBob snaps him out of it) ...me.
  • Coincidental Accidental Disguise: Squidward steps out of the shower surrounded by steam, covered in talcum powder and wearing a bathrobe and towel. So naturally, SpongeBob and Patrick assume he's a ghost.
  • Dead Guy on Display: In a comic book that SpongeBob finds, it is revealed that the Flying Dutchman's body was used as a mannequin for a clothing store after he died.
  • Dinner Deformation: When Patrick feeds Squidward a watermelon, we see a close-up of Squidward with the whole watermelon stuffed into his mouth.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Squidward's response to Spongebob's inability to make music using the tissue paper is to send him into the house to clean out the backroom.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: There's a brief mention of the Flying Dutchman here before his proper introduction in Scaredy Pants.
  • Euphemism Buster: When the wax Squidward is destroyed.
    SpongeBob: I don't know how to say it, but our old pal, Squidward, he's... he's... he's pushing up daisies!
    Patrick: Oh, I thought he was dead.
  • Floating in a Bubble: Squidward is sent up in a bubble to the surface comes off as this.
  • Ghostly Goals: SpongeBob finds a comic about the origins of the Flying Dutchman, which states that his corpse was used as a mannequin, and is thus doomed to forever wander the seas because he was never given a proper burial. He figures that's why Squidward's "ghost" is still around, and tries to give him a proper burial.
  • Grapes of Luxury: SpongeBob feeds a reclining Squidward some grapes and a banana. Patrick then brings a watermelon "fresh from the manure fields" and drops it into Squidward's mouth.
  • Hand Wave: How the episode justifies Patrick pulling a cherry pie out of Hammerspace.
    Squidward: Where'd you get that?!
    Patrick: I found it.
  • Idiot Ball: This episode wouldn't work if Patrick and SpongeBob weren't dumb enough to believe that Squidward was a ghost, even when he revealed he was pretending.
  • Inflating Body Gag: Patrick tries to give the wax Squidward mouth-to-mouth, but ends up inflating himself.
  • Karmic Twist Ending: Squidward tries to take advantage of SpongeBob and Patrick thinking that he was dead and ends up trapped in a bubble floating in the sky with seagulls flying around him.
  • Mistaken for Undead: SpongeBob and Patrick mistaking Squidward for a ghost which he exploited to take advantage of. Even after he reveals he's still alive, SpongeBob assumes he's in denial of his death.
  • Never Say "Die": Played straight by SpongeBob, then subverted by Patrick. See Euphemism Buster above.
  • Pet the Dog: Squidward seemed genuinely concerned when Spongebob and Patrick cry for him to "spare them his ghostly anger", though it leads to him getting the idea to take advantage of the duo.
  • Pie in the Face: After Patrick brings back the pie that Squidward threw away, Squidward hits him in the face with it.
  • Quieting the Unquiet Dead: Squidward pretends to be a ghost to scare SpongeBob and Patrick into doing his bidding. When he gets angry at them for their bungling, the two decide that he needs to be put to rest and proceed to give him a proper funeral. Squidward confesses to pretending to be a ghost, but even then SpongeBob thinks he's just in denial and decides to send him to the Great Beyond with a giant bubble that takes him to the surface, surrounded by hungry seagulls. "He's in a better place."
  • Repeat What You Just Said: This exchange.
    Patrick: He really needs to get up to the Great Beyond.
    SpongeBob: (gets an idea) Patrick? Say that again!
    Patrick: That again.
    SpongeBob: No, the other thing.
    Patrick: No, the other thing.
    SpongeBob: No, what you said before when you...
    Patrick: No, what you said before when you...
    SpongeBob: Never mind! I've got an idea!
    Patrick: Never mind! I've got an idea!
  • Sham Supernatural: Spongebob and Patrick mistake Squidward for a ghost after thinking that they'd accidentally killed him (in reality, they'd destroyed his wax sculpture of himself). Rather than correcting them, Squidward leans into it and spends the episode threatening them with his 'ghostly anger' unless they act as his servants.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Snipe Hunt: To get Patrick out of his hair after the watermelon incident, Squidward asks for something harder to find — a cherry pie. Patrick instantly pulls one out from behind his back. He throws it away so Patrick has to go get it. When he does some time later, Squidward grabs the pie and throws it in Patrick's face.
  • Space Whale Aesop: If you accidentally throw something onto a neighbor's property just knock on their door and ask for it back instead of trespassing. You might accidentally think you killed them.
  • Too Important to Walk: Squidward has SpongeBob and Patrick move him on his lounge chair to a better spot.

 
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