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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 2 E 18 "Sailor Mouth" / "Artist Unknown"

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United States airdate: September 21, 2001

Canada airdate: December 14, 2001

SpongeBob and Patrick learn some "sentence enhancers" from the dumpster behind the Krusty Krab and begin using them in public. When Mr. Krabs tells them that they are bad words, they swear to never use those words again, but how long will that last?

Sailor Mouth provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: There's no use for swear words, and they can be offensive, even if you are a sailor.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: When Mama Krabs seems to shout a bad word covered by a car horn, she tells SpongeBob, Patrick and Mr. Krabs that it was only Old Man Jenkins' automobile.note 
  • Bowdlerise: From Indonesian dub:
    • This exchange:
      Mr. Krabs: Hold on there, SpongeBob! [pulls SpongeBob back] Take that pile of filth out with you. [Squidward holds up a trash bag]
      SpongeBob: [gasps] Mr. Krabs, you shouldn't talk about Squidward like that!
      Squidward: He means this filth, you loon.
      • Becomes (essentially) this:
      Mr. Krabs: Hold on there, SpongeBob! [pulls SpongeBob back] Take that pile of filth out with you. [Squidward holds up a trash bag]
      SpongeBob: [gasps] Mr. Krabs, isn't that Squidward's duty?
      Squidward: No way, it's yours!
    • Also, this exchange between SpongeBob and a Garbage Man:
      Garbage Man: [Clearly disgusted at SpongeBob's censored swear word] Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
      SpongeBob: Well, sometimes, but not...recently.
      • Into essentially this:
      Garbage Man: [Clearly disgusted at SpongeBob's censored swear word] You're such a trash-talker!
      SpongeBob: Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no. I'm just a bit clueless.
      • Though it's also somewhat a subversion because SpongeBob flatly and unknowingly admits he's sometimes a trash-talker and uses his cluelessness as a poor excuse.
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  • Call-Back: Patrick calling Mr. Krabs "the red sweaty guy you work for" recalls the season one episode "Arrgh!", where Patrick repeatedly points out how sweaty Mr. Krabs is.
  • Censored for Comedy: The bad word that SpongeBob and Patrick say is covered with a dolphin chirp. The other bad words that Mr. Krabs spews are censored by other nautical sounds. It's played with in the end when Mr. Krabs' mother says something that's "censored" by a noisy jalopy, and everything thinks she's cursing at first—implying that the censor-sounds are the curse words.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Mr. Krabs performs one when accidentally stepping on a pebble.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    Garbage Man: Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
    SpongeBob: Well, sometimes, but not recently.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A lot of punishment happens all because Spongebob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs swear.
    • After losing on Eels and Escalators, Spongebob blurts out a bad word and Patrick decides to run all the way to the Krusty Krab to tattle on him.
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    • After Spongebob and Patrick tattle on each other when the swear back at Spongebob's house, Mr. Krabs makes them paint the Krusty Krab.
    • After Mr. Krabs blurts all thirteen swear words upon injuring his own foot, Spongebob and Patrick decide to run to Mr. Krab's mother's house to tattle on Mr. Krabs.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: One of the customers complains about Spongebob's cussing by saying that someone with his talent shouldn't have to "work blue," a remark usually expressed towards standup comedians who take Refuge in Audacity.
  • Everyone Has Standards: A sailor gasps and is shocked while his friend, a pirate, is shown disgusted at SpongeBob's swear word.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • One of the dumpster graffiti messages reads "Patchy (the Pirate) was here."
    • Watch Spongebob closely after he loses: he is animated to say "Ah, f—- it!!".
  • Furry Confusion: A female octopus and her children look more like real-life octopus than Squidward and his kin.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The fact that this is an episode that handles swearing is enough to be this. But the fact that the characters are animated to say the actual swear words ("fuck" especially) pushes this even further.
  • Literal-Minded: When SpongeBob fears that Mr. Krabs will give him and Patrick "forty lashes" for swearing, Patrick has an Imagine Spot of himself with forty eyelashes.
  • Serious Business: Swearing seems to lead to a punishment involving painting either a house or a restaurant.
  • Seven Dirty Words: The original routine is referenced when Mr. Krabs says that there are 13 bad words.
    Squidward: Don't you mean there are only seven?
    Mr. Krabs: Not if you're a sailor.
  • Shout-Out: When Krabs gives his speech about the 13 bad words, Squidward asks if he means seven.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Mr. Krabs turns out to be one. Spongebob and Patrick become this unintentionally.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Rather than a standard bleep, most of the swears are censored using dolphin chirps and other nautical noises.
  • Sudden Anatomy: SpongeBob gains thirteen fingers when counting the bad words Mr. Krabs' profanity-laced rant.
    • Squidward also sprouts an ear when he hears SpongeBob using "bad word #11" over the intercom.
  • Toilet Paper Trail: Mr. Krabs sports one when he rushes out of the bathroom after seeing that all the customers have left. Let's not even think about what's sticking the toilet paper to his foot.
  • Very Special Episode: About the usage of swearing and profanity.

Squidward gets a job teaching art at Bikini Bottom's rec center, however, SpongeBob is his only student. But when a famous art collector comes looking for art for his museum, he takes interest in a statue SpongeBob made, which Squidward criticized for not being by-the-book, only for SpongeBob to run off. After taking the credit for the statue, it breaks during transport, forcing Squidward to try to find SpongeBob in an attempt to make a new one.

Artist Unknown provides examples of:

  • Accidental Art: Squidward has a breakdown and thrashes his studio. When Monty returns and asks who is responsible, Squidward points to the janitor and says "As of now, it's all his responsibility!" and leaves. What Squidward doesn't realize is that during his destruction spree he had accidentally created another David statue more glorious than the previous one, which Monty congratulates the janitor on, calling him "The greatest artist who ever lived!"
  • An Aesop:
    • You don't need to rely solely on the traditional rules of art for creating great works. Your creativity can take you a long way sometimes.
    • Instead of angrily lashing out at someone whose craft you believe to be better than yours, you could at least learn from their techniques.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Squidward inadvertently succeeds in creating another David statue (though he doesn't realise it), but SpongeBob lost his artistic creativity (at least for the episode) in the process.
  • Brick Joke: One of the first art pieces Squidward shows off to the art critic is a Picasso-like self portrait called "Bold and Brash", to which the art critic says "more like, 'Belongs in the Trash'", which prompts the janitor to throw it away, later on when he visits SpongeBob at the dump, SpongeBob finds it in a junk pile.
  • Brutal Honesty: Monty P. Moneybags seems to have some of this, given his reactions to Squidward's bad art.
    Squidward: I call this one "Squidward in Repose".
    Monty: (frowns and then gestures back umcomfortably) I, uh...don't think that will fit in with the other pieces in my collection.
    Squidward: Why not?
    Monty: Because it's an art collection! Bahahaha!
    Squidward: How about this one? I call it "Bold and Brash"!
    Monty: More like "Belongs in the Trash"! Bahahahahaha!
    Janitor: Sorry, I must've missed that one. (grabs the painting and throws it into the trash can he is wheeling)
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: More specifically, plagarists never prosper. See Hoist by His Own Petard below.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Squidward keeps grinning when SpongeBob shatters a marble slab to pieces when he should have been making a new sculpture, right before his Unstoppable Rage.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Why no, Squidward robbing SpongeBob of his natural creativity by insisting that he follow rules to make "real art" is definitely not a Take That! towards art schools.
  • Down in the Dumps: After Squidward insults him and his artwork, SpongeBob lets himself get thrown in the trash. When Squidward needs SpongeBob back, he goes to the dump and finds him wallowing in shame amid the trash.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: See Accidental Art above.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: The statue of Michelangelo's David has a shell over his crotch. Lampshaded by the Monty P. Moneybags, who calls it "perfect censorship".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Squidward chastising SpongeBob's off-the-book art work because he doesn't want to admit that it's better than his own comes back to bite him. When a famous art collector sees one of SpongeBob's creations (The statue of David), he promises the artist fame and fortune, so Squidward immediately takes credit. But when the head accidentally breaks off the statue, he needs SpongeBob to make another one for him. Unfortunately, Squidward's chastising of SpongeBob's creative art work has conditioned him to only do artwork by the book, and will not make a new sculpture for Squidward.
  • Instant Expert: SpongeBob seemingly hasn't taken any art lessons, but he still blows Squidward completely out of the water. It's not clear how much is innate talent and how much is self-taught, but it's still unbelievably good, especially for an apparent amateur.
  • Ironic Echo: "There, now it's art."
  • Organ Autonomy: When SpongeBob says that he can't look at his own hands anymore, the hands detach themselves, run off and hide in a tin can.
  • Pet the Dog: When Spongebob sulks after Squidward insults his art, Squidward's expression as he watches him leave implies that he at least has the decency to feel a tiny bit sorry for him. This doesn't stop him from plagiarizing said artwork for his own personal gain, though.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • SpongeBob runs back to the dump when Squidward starts smashing up the whole classroom.
    • Squidward at the end when he decides to quit his art-teaching career.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Squidward already had this, but him believing that his work is true art when perceived ridiculous by an art critic makes this episode an extraordinary example.
  • Technician vs. Performer: SpongeBob is completely self-taught and uses inefficient and unusual techniques (drawing an entire head to draw a circle) that still demonstrate amazing results. Squidward, meanwhile, relies on established methods and attempts to copy modern art trends, but he lacks creativity or talent, resulting in ugly, generic artwork that follows the rules but fails to impress.
  • Too Upset to Create: SpongeBob attends Squidward's art class, annoying his teacher with his unusual creative process. Squidward scolds him for doing art "wrong", and he gets so upset he quits the class and goes to live in the dump. When an art collector comes in and declares one of SpongeBob's artworks a masterpiece, Squidward tries to get SpongeBob to make some more. Unfortunately, SpongeBob has taken Squidward's criticisms to heart, and is unable to recreate his previous work.
  • Truth in Television: Art teachers robbing students of their creativity by forcing them to follow the rules, as portrayed in the episode, is unfortunately something that does happen in real life.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Monty P. Moneybags comes off as one, though he's not afraid to get a little brutally honest with Squidward.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Squidward launches into this and begins smashing every block of marble and destroying the whole classroom toward the end when Spongebob ends up taking Squidward's rules of art to heart and reduces a block of marble into a pile of rubble instead of the statue he created earlier.


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