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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 2 E 31 "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III" / "Squirrel Jokes"

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United States airdate: November 27, 2000

Canada airdate: June 8, 2001

While house sitting Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's Mermalair, SpongeBob and Patrick stupidly release their arch-nemesis Man-Ray from his frozen tartar sauce prison. Man-Ray attempts to attack the two, but is unable to due to a tickle belt placed on him. In an attempt to get rid of the belt, he tries to claim to SpongeBob and Patrick he's turned a new leaf, so they try to test that claim.

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Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III contains examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • When you're put in charge of something, be responsible and take care of it per their instructions.
    • Don't mess around with things you don't know or understand, as it can be dangerous.
    • You can't change people. Except maybe through harassment/torture.
  • Becoming the Mask: Man-Ray is only pretending to reform at first, but finds himself reforming in spite of himself.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Dumb and goofy as he may be, Patrick does know how to get revenge after Man-Ray nears him up.
  • Continuity Nod: Man-Ray was first mentioned in the first Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode in one of SpongeBob's stories of the duo's past adventures.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Prolonged exposure to the Orb of Confusion will give you confusion.
  • Gesundheit:
    Manray: It's tickling my DNA. Make it stop! [tears come out as he laughs] Please!
    SpongeBob:Did you hear that, Patrick? He said the P word.
    Patrick: Peanuts?
    SpongeBob: No. Please.
    Patrick: Well, that's good enough for me. Well, I guess he's reconstituted.
    SpongeBob: Rehabilitated.
    Patrick: Gesundheit.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Man-Ray is first pretending to do one, but then turns for real.
    Man Ray: The belt is gone but I still feel its tickle. The urge to do bad is gone!
  • Human Popsicle: Man Ray was frozen in Tartar Sauce.
  • Impact Silhouette: SpongeBob and Patrick crash the Invisible Boatmobile into a lamppost, which bends in the shape of the Boatmobile's prow.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Man-Ray pretends to desire a Heel–Face Turn so he can trick Spongebob and Patrick into removing the tickle belt. He then zaps the two and runs away to commit some crimes.
  • Madness Mantra: "Muh-muh-muh-ma-muh-muh-ma-muh-ma!"
  • No Face Under the Mask: When Man-Ray reforms, he takes off his mask, revealing he has no head underneath.
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    Man-Ray: I found this ID in this wallet. And if that's the case, this must be your wallet.
    Patrick: That makes sense to me.
    Man-Ray: Then take it.
    Patrick: It's not my wallet.
    Man-Ray: YOU DIM BULB! TAKE BACK YOUR WALLET OR I'LL RIP YOUR ARMS OFF!
    • Then again
    Man Ray: Excuse me, sir, I noticed you were struggling with that package. Do you need some help? (Patrick drops the package on his foot) OW!
    Patrick: Oops, sorry. Can I start over?
    Man-Ray: I noticed that... (Patrick drops package again) OWW!!
    Patrick: Oops. Gotta start again.
    Man-Ray: Could—(Patrick drops package again) OWWW!!!
    Patrick: Oops!
    Man-Ray: GRR! YOU BUTTER-FINGERED PINK THING!! WHAT'S IN THAT BOX, ANYHOW?!
    Patrick: My wallets.
    Man-Ray: GAAAAHHH!!! (grabs Patrick)
    Patrick: NO! SpongeBob! TICKLE HIM!
    (Man-Ray starts slamming Patrick on the floor repeatedly. SpongeBob turns on the Tickle Belt and Man-Ray continues slamming Patrick while laughing)
    Man-Ray: Ah, it tickles, but it's worth it!
  • Restraining Bolt: The Tickle Belt which keeps Man-Ray in line.
  • Tickle Torture: Man-Ray is the victim of this, even after the tickle belt is gone.
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  • Villain Decay: Man-Ray, after realizing that the tickle belt has lasting after-effects, gives up trying to rob a bank and just decides to open a checking account as long as he's there.


It's Open Mic Night at the Krusty Krab, and SpongeBob tries to do some stand-up comedy. His act initially bombs until he starts telling rather insulting jokes about squirrels, and Sandy is not pleased when people begin to take his jokes seriously.

Squirrel Jokes contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: You can't tell someone to laugh at themselves if you, yourself, are not willing to laugh at yourself, otherwise you risk creating a Double Standard where everyone treats your jokes about someone's flaws as facts.
  • Book-Ends: The episode starts and ends at the Krusty Krab.
  • Bottom of the Barrel Joke: In-Universe. SpongeBob falls back on insult humor when his regular act flops, as is usually the case with failed stand ups.
  • Chirping Crickets: A live-action cricket chirps after SpongeBob tells his first joke. The second joke bombs so badly even the cricket won't dignify it with a response.
  • Epic Fail: SpongeBob's first attempt at comedy nearly gets him booed clean off the stage until he starts making fun of Sandy. Before that he attempted to make jokes about salt shakers, tomatoes, and forks.
  • Equal-Opportunity Offender: How SpongeBob is eventually able to make up with Sandy and continue telling his squirrel jokes: by expanding his act to insulting ''everyone!''
  • Fantastic Racism: After SpongeBob's act becomes a hit, everyone begins thinking squirrels ARE dumb.
  • Here We Go Again!: Averted; it seems like SpongeBob will start telling jokes about squirrels again, but starts in on sponges, fish, crabs and starfish. Now that everyone's a part of it they have much greater humor.
  • Insult Comic: What SpongeBob's act eventually becomes. First he starts with squirrel jokes but later learns to insult everybody equally after insulting himself to warm up the crowd.
  • Lightbulb Joke: One of SpongeBob's squirrel jokes.
    How come it takes more than one squirrel to screw in a light bulb? Because they're SO. DARN. STUPID!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After everything SpongeBob does, Sandy rightfully rewards him by acting stupid just as his jokes describe her, making him realize his mistake.
  • Literal-Minded: Because of SpongeBob's squirrel jokes, everyone thinks squirrels are stupid. This doesn't sit well with Sandy.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: When she can't take any more of SpongeBob's squirrel jokes, Sandy invites SpongeBob over to the treedome and spends the afternoon acting like a brain-dead hillbilly until her put-on stupidity starts causing him pain.
  • Pie in the Face: Dougie Williams, the comic who opens for SpongeBob throws pies at the audience as part of his act.
  • Self-Deprecation: When SpongeBob begins insulting everyone at the end, he first claims sponges are even dumber than squirrels.
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