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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 2 E 3 "Big Pink Loser" / "Bubble Buddy"

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United States airdate: November 16, 2000

Canada airdate: March 23, 2001

Patrick wants to win an award like all the ones SpongeBob has, so SpongeBob helps him out by giving him a job at the Krusty Krab. But having his best friend work with him becomes a nightmare when Patrick starts imitating everything SpongeBob does.

Big Pink Loser contains examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • Everyone has something they're good at, maybe they just haven't realized it yet.
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    • Don't pretend to be someone you're not.
    • Be Yourself. Patrick goes back to being his lazy self after he realized that it was the reason why he got an award in the first place.
    • Everyone is special and has their own unique merits.
  • Big Eater: Patrick eats three Krusty combo meals (Krabby Patty and drink) in a row. Though this shouldn't be a surprise, since he's eaten vastly larger quantities of food in lots of episodes.
  • Circling Birdies: Patrick sees circling trophies after hitting himself in the head one too many times.
  • Consolation World Record: Patrick finally gets an award of his own at the end of the episode, a trophy "for doing absolutely nothing longer than anyone else".
  • Coordinated Clothes: Patrick starts dressing up like SpongeBob as part of an attempt to be a winner just like him. SpongeBob finds it a little creepy, but flattering.
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  • Create Your Own Villain: SpongeBob for telling Patrick to do exactly as he does.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: SpongeBob receives a trophy for "Outstanding Achievement in Achievement."
  • The Ditz: Patrick, as best proven in this dialogue:
    SpongeBob: This time, I've got something I know you can do. We're gonna open a jar. [opens a jar himself] Easy! Now you try. First, get a jar.
    Patrick: [produces a pickle from hammerspace]
    SpongeBob: Patrick, that's a pickle.
    Patrick: Yes.
    SpongeBob: You need a jar.
    Patrick: [produces a spatula]
    SpongeBob: No...
    Patrick: [produces his own shorts]
    SpongeBob: No...
    Patrick: [produces SpongeBob himself]
    SpongeBob: No... try this. [hands Patrick a jar] Now, take the lid off the jar. [does so himself]
    Patrick: [places the jar in his mouth]
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Patrick ends up getting a well-deserved award at the end of the episode.
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  • Envy: The plot goes into motion because Patrick wants an award like the ones SpongeBob has.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Patrick's choice of who to show off "his" trophy to: his rock home, the island atop Bikini Bottom and a bunch of jellyfish who don't care about his award, they just sting him en masse.
    • Patrick's first day on his shift at the Krusty Krab.
  • Exact Words:
    • When Patrick becomes waiter at the Krusty Krab, the first time SpongeBob rings an order he simply eats it. The second time, SpongeBob tells Patrick to take the tray to the customer, which he does... after eating all the food first. Next SpongeBob tells him to make sure the food reaches the table, which he does... and then he eats it.
    • Patrick follows SpongeBob‘s advice to "Do exactly as I do" too literally.
  • Exploding Closet: Patrick opens SpongeBob's closet looking for ice cream and is covered by an avalanche of trophies.
  • Eye Scream: After Patrick opens SpongeBob‘s award closet, SpongeBob is briefly shown with two first place ribbons stuck to his eyes.
  • Fall of the House of Cards: SpongeBob builds a house of cards shaped like Gary, but it falls down just as Patrick bursts into SpongeBob's house.
  • Flanderization: Arguably the episode that began Patrick's transition from not that much dumber than Spongebob to dumber than the rock he lives under, albeit for the sake of comedy. But even that gets played with in this episode, as Patrick goes from failing epically at simple tasks to copying SpongeBob to near perfection, even SpongeBob's own thoughts.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: SpongeBob makes himself smaller as he tells Patrick to think of a smaller activity that will get him an award.
  • Inner Monologue Conversation: Patrick is imitating everything SpongeBob says and does. SpongeBob thinks "At least I'm safe inside my mind", then hears Patrick thinking the same thing.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Patrick starts doing everything SpongeBob does.
  • Is It Something You Eat?: When Patrick has to give back the award, this exchange occurs.
    Patrick: But... it's shiny.
    SpongeBob: Yeah, but you know what else is shiny?
    Patrick: Ice cream!
  • Lazy Bum: Patrick was awarded with the prize "For Doing Absolutely Nothing Longer Than Anyone Else".
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: Patrick takes SpongeBob's advice to "do exactly as I do" too literally. Also doubles as Exact Words.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: A non-lethal example: SpongeBob's "Slice And Dice" jump rope trick ends up slicing and dicing him into several pieces, but he's none the worse for wear. Patrick, who got tangled up in his jump rope trying to imitate the trick, promptly pulls his rope tighter until he too has been ripped into pieces, and he's equally unfazed by it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Or in this case, "The Reason I Suck" Speech. Near the end, SpongeBob tries doing what Patrick does, but Patrick only complains how SpongeBob is wasting his time copying someone as pathetic as him.
    SpongeBob: (imitating Patrick) Hi! I'm Patrick Star! I'm the laziest, pinkest starfish in Bikini Bottom and I wish I were me and not SpongeBob!
    Patrick: What's so great about being a big pink loser? (SpongeBob's nose pokes out) Exactly. I was never closer to an award than the minute I started copying you.
    SpongeBob: But Patrick—
    Patrick: Patrick's not here!
  • Shout-Out: Patrick claims that his life's dream is to "defeat the giant Monkey-Man and save the 9th dimension." Amusingly enough, Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs) starred in the movie being referenced.
  • Stop Copying Me: Patrick does it to SpongeBob.
  • That Man Is Dead: Downplayed. When SpongeBob tries to address Patrick by his name near the end, Patrick yells, "Patrick's not here!"
  • Title Drop: "What's so great about being a big pink loser?"
  • Wingding Eyes: SpongeBob‘s eyes turn into stars as he tries to convince Patrick he can do anything.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Patrick's award for "Doing Absolutely Nothing Longer Than Anyone Else."

United States airdate: November 16, 2000

Canada airdate: March 23, 2001

With his friends away, SpongeBob decides to make a new friend, literally, by blowing a bubble in the shape of a person. But soon "Bubble Buddy" starts to get on everybody's nerves, and now SpongeBob has to save his new friend from being popped.

Bubble Buddy contains examples of:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Despite the implications, Spongebob did not, in fact, make up Leif Erikson Day.
  • An Aesop: Be sensitive of how your actions affect other people, even if you're just trying to help.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Inverted when the townspeople rattle off the crimes Bubble Buddy has committed against them, which are all reasonably petty except the last one:
    Francis: He kept us waiting [two hours] for a bubble?!
    Larry: That's nothing! He called us fat!
    Mr. Krabs: He owes me money!
    Squidward: He made me provide excellent service!
    Scooter's Ghost: Dudes! He made me experience high tide!
  • Beach Bury: Scooter asks to be buried, but when the time comes to dig him out, SpongeBob leaves it to Bubble Buddy, who of course doesn't. And the tide is starting to come in...
  • Big "NO!": Spongebob gives a long, slow-motion one when Squidward attempts to pop Bubble Buddy. It goes on for so long that Spongebob eventually starts throwing in random vowel noises for added ridiculousness.
  • Black Comedy: "Dudes! He made me experience high tide!"
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The townspeople's complaints about Bubble Buddy are all relatively benign... until we get to Scooter's.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Bubble Buddy (or in another perspective, SpongeBob) harasses and exploits the Bikini Bottom civilians (especially Squidward) who then retaliate by pulling out sharp needles.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: "Every day's a holiday for SpongeBob, even if he has to make one up."
  • Companion Cube:
    • Bubble Buddy, who later turns out to be alive after all.
    • The other characters' prized possessions: "Nickel Buddy", "Funny Muffler", "Jerky Pal", "Boo Boo Keys" and "Snake Eyes" (a pair of fuzzy dice).
  • Curse Cut Short: Squidward is cut off before he can suggest to SpongeBob that he take the patties made for Bubble Buddy and shove them up his ass.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Squidward to Mr. Krabs during the "bubble money" scene.
  • Easily Forgiven: It turns out Bubble Buddy is alive after all; still, the people of Bikini Bottom are pretty quick to forgive the entire thing after SpongeBob has managed to inconvenience everybody in town, including causing Scooter to drown when he left Bubble Buddy to dig him up.
  • Fictional Holiday: Averted; despite the Narrator’s claim that SpongeBob made it up, Leif Erickson Day is in fact a holiday in real life.
  • Homage: Mr. Lawrence based Bubble Buddy on Hasbro's "My Buddy" dolls. Note how Bubble Buddy's arms are perpetually spread out, as if anticipating a hug, much like how the dolls were designed.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Popping Bubble Buddy for skimping on a restaurant bill is a little harsh, but he does owe Mr. Krabs money, as bubble money is too susceptible to a burst.
  • Kissed Keepsake: Pearl shakes hands with her celebrity crush Grubby Grouper and swears to never wash the hand. Then Bubble Buddy comes along, shakes it, and the soap on him causes it to be sparkly clean, and Pearl bursts out sobbing.
  • Large Ham: (slo-mo) "NOOOOOOOOOOO" (slower) "OOOOOOOOOO" (even slower) "OOOOOOBLAGROBLORGRLBOABGLR-!!!!!"
  • Over Complicated Menu Order: Not only does Squidward have to make one of everything on the menu for Bubble Buddy, but Spongebob repeated makes him take the order back and fix it in increasingly specific (and eventually inane) ways.
    "Here, one of everything! No cheese, no crust, pickles to the left, four squirts of ketchup, wheat buns, non-dairy lettuce, and farm-raised tomatoes carnival-style! And if there's anything else I can do, please hesitate to ask!"
  • The Pig-Pen: Grubby Grouper, professional beach bum. Some of his dirt sticks to Pearl's flipper when Grubby shakes it, which she vows to never wash again—only for Bubble Buddy to clean it off.
  • Pragmatic Anti-Villainy: Squidward keeps the angry mob from attacking a lifeguard, not out of moral concerns, but because it's a waste of time. As he points out Bubble Buddy is the one causing trouble, so they should deal with him.
  • Pulled from Your Day Off: Inverted: Squidward tries to enjoy SpongeBob's day off, but SpongeBob comes into work anyway to show Squidward his new friend, Bubble Buddy. He also makes Squidward make Bubble Buddy one of everything on the menu, with various alterations to suit Bubble Buddy's needs.
  • Real After All: Bubble Buddy.
  • Rule of Funny: Bubble Buddy being Real After All. It's really just a silly way for the episode to avoid what would otherwise have been a really sad ending.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After revealing to be alive after all, Bubble Buddy calmly and gently breaks the news to SpongeBob that he has to go because he angered the townspeople.
  • Shaming the Mob: SpongeBob implores the mob trying to pop Bubble Buddy to spare him, reminding them of their own Companion Cubes. They still want to pop Bubble Buddy afterwards.
  • Special Guest: Legendary surfer Corky Carroll as Grubby Grouper.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: A nonverbal example. When SpongeBob tells Squidward that Bubble Buddy is lactose intolerant (and therefore can't eat the many, many Krabby Patties Squidward was forced to make for him, which contain cheese), Squidward makes a Thousand-Yard Stare of Tranquil Fury as he tries to comprehend how he's just heard something that stupid.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: SpongeBob goes to Squidward's home asking him if he wants to play. A sign on the door reads "NO". SpongeBob asks "Are you sure?" and pulls off the sign, revealing another that reads "YES".
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Scooter dies by the end of this episode, but continues to appear throughout the series afterwards.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The other fish start one to get rid of Bubble Buddy.
  • Water Is Air: Scooter drowns in the high tide... despite already being underwater... because he’s a fish...
  • Weird Currency: Bubble Buddy pays for his meal in bubble money, which pops in Mr. Krabs' claws.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: After experiencing high tide, Scooter appears as a translucent figure with wings and a halo before ascending to Heaven. He gets better the next episode.

Video Example(s):


Bubble Buddy

Dudes, he made me experience high tide!

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / WingedSoulFliesOffAtDeath

Media sources:

Main / WingedSoulFliesOffAtDeath