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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 2 E 30 "No Free Rides" / "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic"

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United States airdate: March 7, 2001

Canada airdate: May 11, 2001

SpongeBob has failed yet another driving test, specifically the last one of the school year. Mrs. Puff, horrified at the thought of having him as a student for another year, decides to pass him via "extra credit". But can Mrs. Puff live with the consequences of her actions now that SpongeBob has a license?

No Free Rides contains examples of:

  • 555: The start of the Spanish-speaking accident attorney billboard's phone number.
  • Aerosol Spray Backfire: SpongeBob tries to pepper spray Mrs. Puff when she steals his boat, but sprays himself instead. While he's in pain, Mrs. Puff kicks him out of the boat.
  • An Aesop: As a teacher or an evaluator, if someone isn't ready to handle something, don't lie and say they are just because you don't want to deal with them anymore.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: To try to lose SpongeBob, Mrs. Puff drives through giant clams, cheese graters and, worst of all, educational television.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Mrs. Puff jumps into SpongeBob's boat, she digs through her bag saying "I hope I still remember how to do this", making us think she's talking about hotwiring...then it's revealed she meant making balloon animals (which she can still do). She was able to start up the boat with a simple push of a button.
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  • Captain Obvious: "Who are you and what are you doing in my boat?! And why are you wearing that ski mask?! BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT SKIING!"
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: When SpongeBob catches Mrs. Puff, who's wearing a ski mask to conceal her face, stealing his boat, SpongeBob tries to pepper spray her but accidentally sprays himself. Mrs. Puff takes advantage of this by kicking him out of the boat, although it doesn't stop him from chasing her.
  • The Determinator: Played straight as Spongebob endures getting bitten by giant clams and shredded by cheese graters just to get his boat back, then subverted when encountering educational television.
    • Double Subverted when SpongeBob (somehow) disguises himself as the radio, then climbs out to stop Mrs Puff.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Mrs. Puff, sick and tired of having to go through SpongeBob's chaotic driving tests, comes up with a bogus extra credit test so she can just give him his driver's license and get him out of her classroom. It's only after she does so that it hits her that she has just given SpongeBob free reign to drive on public streets and wreak havoc there.
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  • Donut Mess with a Cop: You can see a half-eaten donut inside the police car next to a cup of coffee.
  • Drives Like Crazy: As usual, SpongeBob.
  • Easily Forgiven: At the end of the episode, Spongebob doesn’t seem to be angry at Mrs. Puff for attempting to steal his boat & crashing it.
    • Granted, she IS doing time in prison as a result for her actions, so it's not like she got off scot-free.
  • Eye Scream: SpongeBob tries to use pepper spray on Mrs. Puff, which doesn't end well because he had the nozzle turned the wrong way.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Mrs. Puff fails to notice just who that car radio looks a lot like even though the audience can.
  • Fate Worse than Death: "EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION??!?! OH NO!"
  • Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: SpongeBob tries to pepper spray the car burglar, but had the can pointed at himself by mistake.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: "I never thought I'd have to use this pepper spray!" (sprays in his own eyes) "AAAHHH! Somebody help me! Somebody HEEELP me!"
  • Imagine Spot: Mrs. Puff imagines SpongeBob destroying the town with his reckless driving.
  • Irony:
    • The boat accident at the end of the episode happened in front of a billboard for an accident attorney reading "Accidente? 555-1234".
    • In addition, SpongeBob's parents complimenting Mrs. Puff for never taking "the easy way out."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Specifically, crashing into it!
    Narrator: "[If] SpongeBob does not pass this one, it means..." (boat starts driving towards the camera, narrator's voice slowly rises) "...another whole YEAR OF BOATING SCHOOL!!!!" (CRASH!) (The screen immediately goes to static, and we now see the narrator lying on the ground groaning) Ohhhhh...
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mrs. Puff asks this once she finally realizes it was a bad idea to give SpongeBob a driver's license.
  • Noodle Incident: Mrs. Puff says that after giving SpongeBob a driving license she'll have to move to another town with an assumed name, but then adds, "No. Not again."
  • Nothing Is Funnier: When SpongeBob is hanging on the back of the boat which Mrs. Puff is trying to steal, he endures a gauntlet of giant clams, cheese graters and educational television. While we see him get reduced to pieces by clams and graters, we don't see what "educational television" does to him, and this makes the punchline that much funnier.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: After Mrs. Puff comes home to a surprise party held for her by SpongeBob and his parents, SpongeBob's dad admits he and his wife believed that SpongeBob would never get his license and thanks Mrs. Puff for never giving up on him or taking the easy way out, making her feel guilty.
  • Oh, Crap!:
  • Police Are Useless: The police do absolutely nothing about SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff's physical brawl with each other inside a dangerously fast spinning car but watch bored. At least not until their car is driving right towards them.
  • Punny Name: "And now back to KRUD with all of your personal you won't get away with stealing MY car hits!"
  • Scream Discretion Shot: SpongeBob's plight at the hands of educational television happens entirely off-screen, with the only indication of what's happening being an "Oh, no!" followed by a scream.
  • Take That!: Educational television is at one point compared to being taken apart by giant clams and cheese graters.
  • Tempting Fate: Mrs. Puff tries to convince herself it won't be a problem giving SpongeBob a license because he doesn't have a boat to drive. She later learns that his parents decided to give him one as a graduating gift.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A pair of cops see Mrs. Puff's struggle with SpongeBob in the car and react with nothing but Dull Surprise. And then their car heads right for them.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mrs. Puff, setting up the entire plot.
  • Vanity License Plate: SpongeBob's boat has a license plate of IM-RDY ("I'm ready").
  • Worse with Context: After SpongeBob finishes his boating test.
    SpongeBob: Okay, Mrs. Puff. What's my final score?
    Mrs. Puff: Six.
    SpongeBob: Whoooo! And how many points do I need to pass?
    Mrs. Puff: Six.
    SpongeBob: Whooooo...
    Mrs. Puff: ...hundred.
    SpongeBob: Wha?
    Mrs. Puff: Six hundred. You need six hundred to pass. You got six.

SpongeBob joins the Jelly Spotters, an elite jellyfishing team, but their leader Kevin the Sea Cucumber isn't about to go easy on the new guy.

I'm Your Biggest Fanatic

  • An Aesop: Hero Worship is unhealthy because your heroes aren't always the great people you assume them to be.
  • Attention Whore: Kevin qualifies as this. He admits he was only a jellyfisher for the fashion.
  • The Bait: SpongeBob is tied up to be bait for a queen jellyfish.
  • Beast with a Human Face: Big Lenny, who looks like a scowling mask on a jellyfish's body.
  • Bittersweet Ending: SpongeBob manages to tame the King Jellyfish and the Jellyspotters turn on Kevin and recognize SpongeBob as the new leader, but he denies the membership because it's more about the jellyfish and not Kevin himself.
  • Body Horror:
    • At the Jellyfishing convention, SpongeBob and Patrick spot Dr. Manowar, who survived an encounter with "Big Lenny" and now has a huge sore on his cheek. Naturally, Patrick has to touch it.
    Dr. Manowar: And now it only hurts when you touch it. [Pat touches it] OWWW!!!!!!
    Patrick: Touch.
    Security Guard: DO I HAVE TO FOLLOW YOU ALL DAY?!
    • During SpongeBob's initiation, Kevin gets stung multiple times, until he's basically just one big mass of welts.
    • When SpongeBob is crowned the new Jellyspotters leader, Kevin's now-former followers take the crown off of his head...and the crown turns out to be part of his body.
  • Book Ends: The episode starts and ends at the jellyfish convention.
  • Broken Aesop: Done deliberately for comedic value. Patrick delivers the episode's Aesop - "hero worship is unhealthy" - while he has his own hero Jeffrey Jellyfish tied up in a wagon.
  • Broken Pedestal: Kevin once SpongeBob finally sees him for the Jerkass he is.
  • Broken Record: Happens as Kevin keeps denying SpongeBob a place in the jellyspotters club. All the while Kevin gets stung every single time he gets asked.
    SpongeBob: Can I be in the jellyspotters now? *BZZZZZ* Now? *BZZZZZ* Now? *BZZZZZ* Now? *BZZZZZ*
  • Bullying a Dragon: In some scenes, Kevin does things to provoke the jellyfish (ex. kicking a net full of them) into stinging him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kevin is a good example, since he deserves whatever slapstick he gets for being such a jerk.
  • Clothing Appendage: Kevin's "crown", which on real sea cucumbers are the tentacles surrounding the mouth. This is revealed when the other Jellyspotters "uncrown" him and give it to SpongeBob.
    SpongeBob: Wow! I didn't know this was a hat!
    Kevin: [in pain, with a tear on top of his head] It wasn't!
  • Continuity Nod: SpongeBob and Patrick attend a jellyfishing convention again; unlike the last one which was annual, this one is biannual (happening twice yearly).
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Patrick keeps trying to touch things at the jellyfishing convention, while a security guard keeps yelling "Don't touch!" at him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While the Jelly Spotters tend to join Kevin in laughing at SpongeBob's misery, when he refuses to let SpongeBob in even after he saved them from the King Jellyfish, the Spotters immediately turned against him and name SpongeBob their new leader.
  • Exact Words: When SpongeBob has jellyfish on his face, he says they tickle and Kevin says “Not for long” (meaning they were going to sting them), SpongeBob sneezes them off.
  • Eye Scream: After SpongeBob attracts a bunch of jellyfish to his face, he sneezes, shooting them towards Kevin's eyes, which get stung accordingly.
  • Goofy Suit: The poor guy in the Jeffrey the Jellyfish costume, who is eventually captured by Patrick.
  • Gratuitous Latin: When King Jellyfish appears, Kevin refers to it as Cnidarianote  rex.
  • Hate Sink: Kevin's horribleness allows us to root more for Spongebob, not to mention laugh even harder at his misery.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Kevin wants to invite SpongeBob to go jellyfishing. One of the geeky anchovies' response??
    Anchovy Jellyspotter: No, Kevin, no. He's a geek.
    • After SpongeBob's adventure with the Jellyspotters, Patrick delivers the moral "Hero worship is unhealthy", while carrying a tied up Jeffrey the Jellyfish mascot away on a wagon.
  • I'm Your Biggest Fan: SpongeBob says it word for word to Kevin. Kevin exploits this by finding ways to humiliate Spongebob by giving him tasks that guarantees Spongebob getting stung by a jellyfish to become a jelly-spotter (but said tactics backfire on Kevin instead).
  • Jerkass: Kevin is such a major one that it makes the abuse he goes through while attempting to cause Spongebob harm all the more hilarious.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: All of Kevin's attempts to torment Spongebob backfire horribly onto him, usually in the form of angry stinging jellyfish.
  • Luminescent Blush: Seen on SpongeBob as Kevin and the Jellyspotters insult him.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Kevin's first challenge for SpongeBob is to catch a jellyfish, and a jellyfish just swims into SpongeBob's net. So Kevin asks for two jellyfish, and two jellyfish go into the net on cue. This keeps going for a while. It also qualifies as Laser-Guided Karma because the jellyfish sting Kevin once they're brought to him.
  • Nerdgasm: Spongebob is so gleefully shocked by Kevin offering to take him jellyfishing that he needs to be defibrillated just to answer.
  • Nice Hat: Kevin's crown. Averted as it was apparently part of his body.
  • Noodle Incident: King Jellyfish apparently recognizes Kevin when it's revealed he was piloting a robot duplicate of his queen.
    • Kevin later reveals that SpongeBob isn't the first "biggest fan" he has gotten, as a multitude of fans are seen at the bottom of a ravine Kevin was attempting to force SpongeBob into. One of them apparently broke his legs when he fell.
  • Large and in Charge: King Jellyfish is about ten times the size of a regular jellyfish.
  • Losing Horns: One of the Jellyspotters vocalizes "Wah-wah-waaah!" whenever Kevin gets humiliated by SpongeBob.
  • Product Placement: In-universe: billboards for Kevin's Sting Ointment are plastered all over the jellyfishing convention and one is seen out in Jellyfish Fields.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: King Jellyfish wears a crown and ermine cape.
  • Running Gag:
    • Someone going "Wah-wah-waaah!" whenever Kevin gets stung.
    • Patrick wanting to touch everything at the jellyfishing convention, while a security guard tries to stop him.
    • Kevin getting stung by the jellyfish that SpongeBob catches.
  • Save the Villain: SpongeBob has to rescue Kevin and the Jelly Spotters from King Jellyfish.
  • Say My Name: When King Jellyfish discovers Kevin.
    King Jellyfish: KE-VIN!!
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Kevin the Sea Cucumber.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Kevin smears jelly on SpongeBob's face to get jellyfish to sting him. Instead, the jellyfish tickle his nose, causing him to sneeze the jellyfish onto Kevin's eyes, stinging them.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: When trapped by King Jellyfish, Kevin slumps down into the fetal position and cries for his mommy. When SpongeBob asks the others what to do, they slump down and cry for their mommies as well.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Kevin still refuses to let SpongeBob join the Jelly Spotters even after he saves them from the King Jellyfish. The Jellyspotters turn on Kevin for this and declare SpongeBob their new leader. Although SpongeBob turned the offer down, it's highly unlikely Kevin retained leadership as he lost the loyalty of his teammates.

Wah wah wahhhhh.


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