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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 1 E 3 "Jellyfishing" / "Plankton!"

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Original air date: 7/31/1999 (produced in 1998)

Squidward just wants to get away from SpongeBob and Patrick for one day, but a jellyfish accident seems to render him helpless in a wheelchair/body cast. Then SpongeBob and Patrick try to help him have his best day ever, but nothing seems to work; not even soup or music can help! So they have one option left: jellyfishing! So SpongeBob and Patrick try to help Squidward learn how to jellyfish...but is he up to it?


Jellyfishing provide examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • Don't cheer up people by taking them to activities that will get them injured, especially if they're already injured.
    • If you don't want to partake in an activity, just say so. (Squidward actually did try to tell them, but his mouth was bandaged from his injuries so he had no way of saying it)
    • A certain activity may make you happy, but you can’t expect it to work for everybody. You can’t force someone to enjoy the things you enjoy.
  • Apology Gift: To make up for getting Squidward injured even further, SpongeBob and Patrick give him a jar with the jellyfish he captured. Still angry at them, Squidward releases the jellyfish from the jar and it chases after SpongeBob and Patrick.
  • Bandage Mummy: Squidward after his paddlebike accident. Becomes a full-body cast after Spongebob and Patrick take him jellyfishing.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Squidward is able to make SpongeBob and Patrick pay for all of the severe harm that they caused him all throughout the episode (albeit unintentional) by releasing an angry jellyfish after them, but the enormous jellyfish returns and gives Squidward one final sting which chars him head to toe.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Squidward poking the dominant giant jellyfish with a net that contained one of her own offspring.
  • Cheer Up Episode: SpongeBob and Patrick try to give Squidward the "best day ever" after his accident. Emphasis on try.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After being unintentionally tortured by SpongeBob and Patrick throughout the episode, Squidward returns the favor by releasing an agitated jellyfish from its jar which then begins to chase SpongeBob and Patrick while repeatedly stinging them.
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  • Dumbass Has a Point: Patrick muses that Squidward probably does not like them when he never wants to hang out with them. SpongeBob, oblivious as usual, quickly blows off that notion.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Squidward lets loose the jellyfish he caught earlier, stinging SpongeBob and Patrick as they run off into the distance.
  • Failed a Spot Check: SpongeBob and Patrick fail to notice that Squidward's been severely injured and bandaged so heavily that he can't even speak.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Squidward sarcastically claims jellyfishing with SpongeBob and Patrick would be the “best day ever” for him. After he comes back injured, SpongeBob and Patrick attempt to give him such.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Exaggerated at the beginning. Squidward was being a jerk and lying about hanging out with SpongeBob and Patrick at the beginning. So what happens to him? He falls down a cliff on his bike, which then EXPLODES.
    • SpongeBob and Patrick get this when Squidward releases an angry jellyfish to attack them. Granted, it was an apology gift and they weren't tormenting him on purpose, but he still has every right to be mad at them.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: SpongeBob and Patrick getting ready to go jellyfishing.
  • Made of Explodium: Squidward's paddlebike.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Squidward fell off a cliff on a bike and ended up in a spontaneous explosion, got zapped by the giant jellyfish, then got zapped again by that same jellyfish that his life-support cracks apart, and his reactions are nothing more than a simple "Ow".
  • Mama Bear: The giant jellyfish that attacks Squidward after he harasses a regular jellyfish.
  • Minimalist Cast: Not counting the jellyfish, only SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward are present in this episode.
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • Squidward laughing during his bike ride. Reaches its apex when the jellyfish heading for him goes into his mouth.
    • SpongeBob wetting his lips trying to play Squidward's clarinet until his mouth is heavily coated with saliva. Squidward and Patrick even aside glance at each other in unamusement. Thankfully, Patrick stops him before he can play.
  • Rejected Apology: SpongeBob and Patrick eventually realize the trouble they've caused Squidward after getting him stung by a queen jellyfish. The next day, they manage to jar one and give it to Squidward as an apology, hoping he still isn't mad at them. Sure enough, he is, and he releases the jarred jellyfish to sting the two repeatedly.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: SpongeBob doesn't see that Squidward is being sarcastic when he says jellyfishing with him would be the "best day ever in my book." He takes Squidward at his word, much to Squidward's dismay.
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: SpongeBob and Patrick are talking over the phone in what appears to be a Split-Screen Phone Call. At the end they are shown standing back to back on the same room.
  • Tempting Fate: SpongeBob and Patrick giving Squidward the jellyfish from yesterday as a get-well present, as a way of saying sorry for all the trouble yesterday.
    SpongeBob: You're not still mad, are you?
    (Squidward opens jar in SpongeBob and Patrick's direction)
    Patrick: Yup, he's still mad.
  • Too Gruesome for Cartoon Physics: Happens to Squidward when he finds the mother jellyfish and she stings him off-screen. Spongebob and Patrick can only stare in dismay.
  • To the Batpole!: SpongeBob and Patrick slide down a rope to get to their jellyfishing supplies. It gives them terrible Friction Burn.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After Squidward gets even on Spongebob and Patrick at the end, the giant jellyfish returns and stings him one last time for no good reason.
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: SpongeBob asks Squidward if he's still mad about their antics from yesterday. Squidward releases the jellyfish on them, and Patrick takes it as a yes.


Original air date: 7/31/1999 (produced in 1998)

Another day at the Krusty Krab, and...a Krabby Patty sails for the door! But Mr. Krabs reveals the real patty-napper: Plankton, his archenemy. He wants the formula for the Krabby Patty and will stop at nothing to get it - and plots to have SpongeBob "hand deliver it to me personally!"

Plankton! provide examples of:

  • An Aesop: Not everyone is a good person, so be careful of who you make friends with.
  • Alphabet Song: Plankton ends up listening to a kids' song about the alphabet. However, it only goes from A (for apple) to F (for fish).
  • And I Must Scream: Plankton is trapped within his computer in the end.
  • Antagonist Title: A good indication that this is Plankton's debut episode.
  • Big "NO!": Plankton at the end when he begs SpongeBob to bring back the Krabby Patty.
    Plankton: SpongeBob, that's my Krabby Patty! Give it back, you porous freak! I command you! My patty! NOOOOO! I'll settle for some fries!
  • Big "YES!": Plankton, after listening to Spongebob's particularly mouthwatering depiction of a Krabby Patty:
    Plankton: Yes! YES!!! YEEEEEESSS!!! Come to Papa!
  • Brain with a Manual Control: Plankton plugs a portable control module onto SpongeBob's brain to control him.
  • Continuity Nod: The targeted pants from the pilot makes an appearance.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • This is the debut of Plankton, and by extension, the Chum Bucket. However, there was one room in the Chum Bucket that was shown in this episode only, and that room was the "lab". Justified, as that was just a joke.
    • SpongeBob's trademark laugh also sounds...really off (lower pitched and more monotone) compared to later on. According to Tom Kenny, this was him still trying to figure out just how annoying he could make the laugh before it got unpleasant.
    • This is also Karen's debut, but in this episode she merely serves the role of being a voice for the readouts of Plankton's analyzer, a far cry from the sapient, sentient computer cohort she becomes in later episodes.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The entire episode is one for Plankton, but his first lines reveal his dream of getting a Krabby Patty and running Mr. Krabs out of business... and proclaiming that he went to college, showing his immense ego and obsession with having his accomplishments recognized.
  • Excited Episode Title!: "Plankton!"
  • False Friend: Plankton initially attempts to feign friendship with SpongeBob in order to obtain a Krabby Patty from him, giving him a golden spatula with his name and an invitation to his birthday party. SpongeBob quickly sees through Plankton's deceit though and leaves in a huff, prompting Plankton to resort to mind control.
  • Flair Bartending: SpongeBob prepares a Krabby Patty by throwing the ingredients in the air, catching them with his pores, taking off his head and shaking it, and finally pulling it from under Squidward's nose.
  • Food Porn: SpongeBob's lengthy description of the Krabby Patty as he's about to drop it into the analyzer is so tantalizing that Plankton jumps out of his head just to get a bite of it himself.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Plankton attempts to manipulate SpongeBob into giving him a Krabby Patty, believing him to be "stupid" (see Smarter Than You Look below), but SpongeBob sees right through his ploy and refuses.
  • Grand Theft Me: Plankton takes control of SpongeBob to steal the Krabby Patty formula.
  • Hammerspace: Plankton pulls a record player from Behind the Black and a full-scale spatula from behind his back. ("I've been keeping it in my secret compartment.")
  • Height Angst: Plankton is implied to be sensitive about his height, as he noticeably perks up when SpongeBob offers to give him a booster seat for his birthday.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Just as Plankton is about to drop the Krabby Patty into his analyzer, he finds himself unable to resist taking a bite, especially after SpongeBob described how scrumptious it is. So he jumps at it... and falls into his own analyzer.
  • Kick the Dog: While controlling SpongeBob, Plankton bursts through Squidward's house in the middle of the night, and after waking him up, gives him "The Reason You Suck" Speech. None of this was necessary for furthering his plans to obtain the secret formula: it just served to highlight his cruelty.
  • Left the Background Music On / Running Gag: Plankton plays his own Musical Sting on his record player. One time he puts the record on the wrong side and it plays a nursery song.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Plankton. He was at first able to win SpongeBob over using the golden spatula but he blew it by mentioning the Krabby Patty.
  • Medium-Shift Gag:
    Plankton: This is my lab. [live-action footage of a Labrador Retriever] ...and this is my laboratory!
    • There’s also the live-action footage of the Krabby Patty on a flashy backdrop.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Plankton comes very close to winning in this episode, but ends up letting his appetite get the best of him.
  • Off-Model: Plankton briefly gains a butt crack in one shot.
  • Oh, Crap!: Plankton's reaction to falling into the analyzer.
    Plankton: Well, this stinks.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Plankton, using a plug-in device, crawls into SpongeBob’s cranium to overtake his brain, taping it down as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Plankton gives one to Squidward while he is controlling SpongeBob:
    Plankton: Shut your mouth, you mediocre clarinet player!
    Squidward: ...Mediocre?
    Plankton: (through SpongeBob) You pretentious, little insignificant artist! Your snivelling creations are worth less than a protozoan's waste!
  • Rule of Three: Plankton takes out his record player and laughs maniacally with the music three times.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "Shing! Sparkle, sparkle."
  • Smarter Than You Look: SpongeBob sees through Plankton's feigned friendship the moment he asks for a Krabby Patty.
    Plankton: Gee, and I thought you were stupid.
  • Smug Snake: Plankton, as revealed when he falls into the analyzer.
    Karen: Plankton: 1% evil, 99% hot gas.
  • Twinkle in the Eye: SpongeBob has one briefly when confessing to the Krabby Patty.
  • Visual Pun:
    SpongeBob: (as Plankton is controlling him) Time for a well-balanced breakfast. (smashes through the wall, then through the front of the fridge with a loaf of bread, bottle of milk, and carton of eggs balanced on his head) This isn't what I had in mind.
  • Wrong Song Gag: This episode has a Running Gag where Plankton pulls out a record player that plays an ominous musical sting to accompany his Evil Laugh. One time he does it, it plays a nursery tune instead, forcing him to stop laughing and switch the record to the correct side before resuming.


Video Example(s):



Plankton literally gets in SpongeBob's head where he uses a brain controlling device to manipulate his movements.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / BrainWithAManualControl

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