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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 1 E 19 "Fools in April" / "Neptune's Spatula"

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United States airdate: April 1, 2000

Canada airdate: April 1, 2001

April Fools' Day is SpongeBob's favorite holiday - and Squidward's worst nightmare! But when Squidward tries to turn the tables on SpongeBob and plays a trick on him, it all goes horribly wrong.

Fools in April contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: The customer SpongeBob pranks gets upset when he thinks SpongeBob did something with his drink. When SpongeBob tells him he just put one ice cube instead of two, the customer is relieved and admits it was pretty funny.
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  • Animate Body Parts: SpongeBob's tongue detaches from his body and starts laughing with him. SpongeBob even pranks it.
  • An Aesop: Doing something nasty to someone for your own amusement is not the same as pulling a prank.
  • April Fools' Plot: With April Fools Day being SpongeBob's favourite holiday, he spends most of the episode playing harmless pranks on people. Squidward tries to play a prank on SpongeBob, but he takes it too far.
  • Black Comedy: In-Universe. Squidward's idea of a great prank involves SpongeBob getting hurt in sadistic and creative ways. When his Rube Goldberg Device goes off and SpongeBob is thrown all over the restaurant, Squidward is in stitches. However, he did not anticipate that SpongeBob would take it personally, or that nobody else would find it funny. He comes to this conclusion himself when looking at the damage of his prank.
    Squidward: Why is it whenever I'm having fun, it's wrong?
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  • Break the Cutie: Squidward does this to SpongeBob with his prank, but soon learns that he went too far.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Squidward has a hard time apologizing to SpongeBob because he hates him so much, and after several unsuccessful attempts to apologize, says it with his head in a bubble. Of course, it's too muffled for SpongeBob to even hear, but Squidward insists that his conscious is clear regardless. It isn't until he remembers his own shaming that he finally gives SpongeBob a proper apology.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In response to SpongeBob playing a series of annoying, but playful and harmless, April Fool's pranks on other people, Squidward does one that consists of putting Spongebob through a Rube Goldberg Device that injures and humiliates him.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The Bikini Bottomites have an In-Universe reaction of this to Squidward's elaborate and cruel prank which hurt SpongeBob.
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  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: What finally causes Squidward to apologize to SpongeBob is an imagination of his own mother telling him "You stink!" for his cruel prank.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: A toned down version is Played with. Squidward was genuinely confused that no one else thought his prank was funny, until he actually looks around to the restaurant and realizes that his prank was cruel and meant to hurt Spongebob whereas Spongebob's were funny and meant to make other people laugh. Once the difference sinks in, he goes through such a Jerkass Realization that even he couldn't find the prank funny anymore.
  • Exact Words: SpongeBob pranks a customer by putting one ice cube on his drink, when he ordered a couple of ice cubes.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Squidward tries to use this after his brutal prank drives SpongeBob tearfully out of the Krusty Krab, but nobody is convinced.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Squidward can be thinking this most of the last part of the episode, when his prank went too far and made SpongeBob cry.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Patrick tells Squidward that SpongeBob is in the pineapple house "impressed" (instead of depressed) and remarks "must've been pretty good to make him cry like that." Needless to say, this makes Squidward feel even more guilty.
  • Oh, Crap!: When SpongeBob gives Tom his drink, he laughs at him and declares "April Fools!", and Tom immediately goes into a panic as he assumes SpongeBob spiked his drink.
  • Shamed by a Mob: The Bikini Bottomites expressed their disgust toward Squidward's rotten prank on SpongeBob.
  • Shout-Out: Squidward is physically incapable of saying the word "sorry" in the same way that the Fonz is physically incapable of saying "wrong."
  • Stress-Induced Mental Voices: Squidward hears the voices of those who criticized him for his prank while trying to walk away from apologizing to SpongeBob.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: A customer believes SpongeBob did something to his drink after he yells "April Fool" and does not take it well. He laughs it off when SpongeBob explains that he just gave him one ice cube instead of two.
  • The Unapologetic: Played with. Squidward does feel guilty about his cruel prank, and wants to apologize to SpongeBob for it, it's just that his personal hatred for SpongeBob makes it hard for him to do so.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • The deep voice that shouts "You Stink!" to Squidward turns out to be his own mother.
    • "This is an extreme thirst!"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The customers become angry with Squidward and call him out for making SpongeBob cry with his mean prank. "April fools, jerk" indeed.
  • Your Head Asplode: One of Squidward's many failed attempts to apologize to SpongeBob causes his head to explode.

United States airdate: April 1, 2000

Canada airdate: February 6, 2001

SpongeBob has pulled King Neptune's legendary spatula from a bucket of grease, and now Neptune has come to claim him as his royal fry cook, but SpongeBob must first prove himself in an epic cook-off against Neptune himself.

Neptune's Spatula

  • Absentee Actor: Squidward does not appear in this episode as SpongeBob is running the cash register at the end.
  • An Aesop:
    • Quality over quantity.
    • Even famous people aren't good at everything.
  • Cassandra Truth: Neptune initially does not believe SpongeBob pulled out the spatula, until Patrick shows him the picture he took as proof.
  • Cooking Duel: Between SpongeBob and Neptune. Neptune uses magic to make thousands of Krabby Patties, while SpongeBob only manages to make one by hand. That one patty, however, tastes far better than the ones Neptune made, and SpongeBob wins.
  • Creator Cameo: Tom Kenny plays the live action guy in the shower that Neptune unwittingly shows as a reward.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Patrick does this to Neptune, and is blasted repeatedly until he's a smear on the ground.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: At the end, Neptune offers to take Spongebob to his kingdom. Patrick & Mr. Krabs can't come and they get sad. So Spongebob had to choose between the former or the latter. He chooses the latter.
  • Graceful Loser: For all his Jerkass traits, Neptune immediately concedes that Spongebob is the winner with no fuss after trying his patty.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Mr. Krabs assures SpongeBob that he has the utmost confidence that he'll win. Then he rushes to the betting window to put all his money on Neptune to win.
  • Jerkass God: King Neptune.
  • Medium-Shift Gag: In one closeup, Neptune's fist around Spongebob's body changes from a drawing to a photo of a live-action fist digitally colored green.
  • Misplaced Sorrow: After SpongeBob wins and has to go live with Neptune, Mr. Krabs is crying not because SpongeBob is leaving but because he lost all his money betting against him.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: After blasting Patrick to dust, Neptune returns him to normal... except his face is on his butt.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Only a fry cook worthy of Neptune can pull his spatula from the dried grease. Guess who.
  • The Power of Love: How Spongebob is able to win the duel: while Neptune uses his powers to simultaneously cook and assemble 1,000 burgers, they taste terrible; SpongeBob only makes one, but because he put his heart and soul into it to make it perfect, it tastes incredibly good, and Neptune forfeits. This also doubles as a case of Quality over Quantity.
  • Special Guest: John O'Hurley as King Neptune.
  • Quality over Quantity: The outcome of the duel becomes this when despite King Neptune winning the duel by making the most krabby patties, his taste terrible, while SpongeBob's single krabby patty made with love taste superior.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The old lady at the beginning.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: Neptune is so overwhelmed at how good SpongeBob's Krabby Patty is that he concedes the contest.

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