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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 2 E 4 "Dying for Pie" / "Imitation Krabs"

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Original air date: 1/27/2001 (produced in 2000)

Dying for Pie

It's Employee Brotherhood Day at the Krusty Krab and Mr. Krabs has SpongeBob and Squidward exchange gifts. After revealing the gifts have to be homemade, Squidward buys a pie from a group of pirates that turns out to be a bomb. Then he's convinced that SpongeBob ate it...

Imitation Krabs

Plankton uses a robotic duplicate of Mr. Krabs to try and steal the Krabby Patty formula, and SpongeBob believes it's the real thing.


Dying for Pie contains examples of...

  • An Aesop:
    • Sometimes, the best gift you can give someone is your time and friendship.
    • The best gifts are made by you.
    • On a less glurge-y note, make sure the things you give and receive aren't dangerous.
    • Just because you don't like a person doesn't mean you shouldn't worry about their well-being.
  • Angrish: Upon seeing that SpongeBob is still alive after sunset, Squidward starts spouting gibberish in disbelief:
    SpongeBob: Squidward, we already played 'Babble Like An Idiot'.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • When the sun starts to set, SpongeBob announces he loves to count down the sunset and starts to do so, but then tells Squidward to do the rest.
      SpongeBob: Here it is, the SUNSET! I love to count it down! FIVE... you do the rest, buddy!
    • SpongeBob seems to explode after the sun sets, but it turns out that he was just blowing bomb-shaped bubbles.
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  • Benevolent Boss: Mr.Krabs plays this role again, just as in the pre-movie seasons. He organizes the whole "Employee Brotherhood Day" schtick after noticing Squidward's rotten attitude towards SpongeBob and forces the former to find a gift for his fry cook when Squidward tries to leave. Then, when it seems that SpongeBob ate the explosive pie Squidward bought, Mr. Krabs gives him an appalled What the Hell, Hero? (see below) for seemingly dooming him to an early death.
  • Bowdlerise: All airings of "Dying for Pie" on YTV remove the title card for Canadian audiences. This is so children wouldn't see a reference to death in the episode's title. Despite this, the episode itself is left uncut.
  • Bumper Sticker: "Don't Ask Me About My Day."
  • Cardiovascular Love: SpongeBob's sweater for Squidward reads "I ♥ U". Squidward reads it as "I heart you".
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  • Celestial Deadline: When SpongeBob is thought to eat the exploding pie, Mr. Krabs says he’s only got until sunset before it drops into his lower intestine and that’s the time he is to explode.
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: Defied; when told he needs to exchange gifts with SpongeBob, Squidward says he’ll just “buy the little twerp a gumball” before Mr. Krabs informs him that he has to make the gift himself.
  • Crappy Homemade Gift: SpongeBob makes Squidward a sweater for Employee Brotherhood Day. The hole for Squidward's head is way too big (SpongeBob says he used a watermelon for scale) and it's itchy because SpongeBob made the sweater out of his eyelash hair. Disgusted, Squidward throws the sweater back at SpongeBob, making the sponge cry...and he uses his tears to make a new sweater for Squidward.
  • Crashing Dreams: The episode opens with an Imagine Spot of Squidward on an island playing tropical music on a piano when he's interrupted by SpongeBob ringing a bell yelling "Order up, Squidward!", which resulted from his ringing alarm clock.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When the first crumb of the pie goes off, Mr. Krabs initially thinks Squidward was trying to kill him over his "new age management".
  • Everyone Has Standards: Squidward hates SpongeBob, but he’s not willing to kill him, and is horrified to learn that he has apparently made it so he will die after eating an explosive pie.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Upon entering Mr. Krabs' office, SpongeBob instantly took notice of the pie on his desk, ignoring the huge hole in the wall.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In Squidward's Imagine Spot when SpongeBob explodes, chunks of his remains rain down around the customer; when the sun sets and an explosion occurs behind the brick wall, no sponge chunks rain down, giving away the hint that SpongeBob is not dead.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: It's only an Imagine Spot, but the scene where Squidward imagines SpongeBob literally exploding in the middle of serving a customer is chilling even for a children's program.
  • Freudian Slip: Mr. Krabs does this when explaining SpongeBob's plight to Squidward:
    Mr. Krabs: I've seen this before. When that pie goes up to bat, I mean, hits his lower intestine, BOOM!
  • Gory Discretion Shot: While the aforementioned imagination sequence doesn't show SpongeBob exploding on-screen, we do see pieces of what used to be the sponge sprinkling all over the restaurant to give the impression that that's what happened.
  • Hair-Trigger Explosive: A bite of that pie falling on the ground is enough to blow up Mr. Krabs' office, which makes you wonder why it didn't explode when Squidward dropped it on Mr. Krabs' desk. During the ending scene, SpongeBob shows Squidward that he never ate the bomb pie, he was saving it in his pocket the whole time. He then trips, dropping the pie and causing a nuclear explosion that leaves Bikini Bottom in tatters.
    Squidward: Ow.
  • Homemade Sweater from Hell: SpongeBob makes Squidward a sweater made from his own eyelashes. Later he makes another one from his own tears.
  • Imagine Spotting: Upon hearing that the last thing on SpongeBob's list is watching the sunset, Squidward recalls Mr. Krabs saying that's when the bomb hits his lower intestine and kills him. His Imagine Spot doesn't go unnoticed.
    SpongeBob: Hey, it's Mr. Krabs! Hi, Mr. Krabs! (Thought Bubble!Mr. Krabs runs off crying like the real Mr. Krabs did) Okay! See ya later!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Squidward once again expresses concern for SpongeBob as he waits in fear for the bomb to go off. When it DOESN'T go off, however, Squidward angrily berates Spongebob for not exploding because of all the time he wasted doing things with him.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: The pirate captain pulls this on Squidward about his pies actually being bombs the moment he hears Squidward say he wanted to buy one of them.
  • Karma Houdini: As far as we know, the pirates never got their comeuppance for tricking Squidward into thinking one of their bombs was an actual pie. At the very least, they conned him out of his money, and their trick could very easily have killed somebody.
  • Last Day to Live: Squidward is convinced SpongeBob ate the bomb pie, so he is tasked by Mr. Krabs to enjoy his “final hours” with him. When he doesn’t explode after all, he isn’t too pleased about it.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Squidward literally gets caught in a nuclear explosion underwater and his only reaction is nothing more than a simple "Ow".
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: Spongebob "performs" open-heart surgery on Squidward by opening his chest cavity and poking his heart with his finger. This causes blood to come squirting out, though Squidward is alive and well in the next scene.
    Squidward: Are you sure you should be poking it like that?
    SpongeBob: Who's the doctor here?
  • Medium-Shift Gag: When the bomb finally goes off, it cuts to live-action Stock Footage of an underwater atomic explosion.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Squidward believes SpongeBob ate the bomb pie and tries to make the best of his "last day on Earth". He is none too happy when he finds out SpongeBob never ate the pie.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Briefly, when the pie crumb destroys Mr. Krabs' office, he accuses Squidward of trying to off him over a little "new age management". Squidward immediately clears it up by saying he didn't know, only to be accused once more when it's thought that Spongebob ate the bomb.
  • Mood Whiplash: Squidward goes from fear to guilt to tears to confusion and finally to annoyance when he believes SpongeBob exploded and died, only to find out he's still perfectly fine.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he thinks SpongeBob is going to die from eating the exploding pie, Squidward has this reaction.
  • Non Fatal Explosion: In the very end when the bomb pie hits Squidward.
  • Noodle Incident: Mr. Krabs has seen people die from eating exploding pies before. Eleven times, in fact. As has the doctor Squidward calls.
  • No Sympathy: Initially quite averted with Squidward, who is quite guilt-ridden to learn that Spongebob will supposedly die at sunset because of him and willingly joins SpongeBob in a variety of ridiculous (and even dangerous) activities to make his last hours as meaningful as possible. However, when SpongeBob does not explode as expected, instead of being happy, Squidward is angry because his time was wasted.
  • Not Quite Dead: Once the sun sets, we hear an explosion behind the brick wall, and Squidward breaks down in tears, thinking SpongeBob finally died. Then another explosion occurs, and the wall falls down, revealing SpongeBob is still alive and well, making bomb bubbles which caused the explosions.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: As SpongeBob and Squidward are watching the sunset.
    SpongeBob: You know, if I were to die right now in some sort of fiery explosion due to the carelessness of a friend, well... that'd just be okay.
    Squidward: (tears up)
  • Off-Model: When Squidward points at Spongebob to say "...that guy!", Mr. Krabs' lower half comes further into frame to reveal that the animators didn't draw any legs on him.
  • Pie in the Face: Squidward gets an explosive pie in the face at the end of the episode.
  • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Squidward buys his pie bomb from an anachronistic-dressed pirate crew (complete with their captain even speaking with a grizzled pirate accent), although they seem to be familiar with 21st century currency.
  • Reading Foreign Signs Out Loud: The German dub has a few of the characters' voice actors doing it. (For example, translating the Bumper Sticker from "Don't Ask Me About My Day" to "Frag Mich Nicht Wie's Mir Geht").
  • Ridiculously Potent Explosive: Played for Laughs. When the bomb disguised as a pie finally goes off at the end of the episode, the explosion is so great we see stock footage of an underwater A-bomb going off and the blast was large enough to destroy the entire city.
  • Scenery Gorn: Bikini Bottom and its surroundings are positively TOASTED after the bomb goes off.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: It turns out SpongeBob never ate the bomb pie; he was saving it in his pocket, and he really ate a different pie offscreen which was completely non-fatal.
  • Shout-Out: Squidward's line "He's gonna be loved... SO MUCH! He's gonna drown in it! DROWN IN IT!," especially the way it's read, channels Ralph Kramden's famous outburst to his mother-in-law: "YOU are a blabbermouth! A BLABBERMOUTH!"
  • Skewed Priorities: After Squidward explains to him about the exploding pie, the first thing Mr. Krabs comments on is the twenty-five dollars Squidward spent on the pie.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: This episode is filled with explosions.
  • Tears of Remorse: Squidward sheds these when he thinks SpongeBob has exploded.
  • Three... Two... One...: Squidward hesitantly counts down the sunset to SpongeBob's request, when he believes his explosion is going to happen any second.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • SpongeBob, who completely looks past that Squidward just explained that the pie was a bomb and still suggests that they eat it anyway. He then trips over a pebble, accidentally sending the pie flying into Squidward's face, blowing up all of Bikini Bottom in the process.
    • Squidward as well, for knowingly buying a pie explicitly said to be a bomb by the pirates, and taking their word for it when they say that they were just kidding as they con him out of a fast buck, although Squidward probably didn't care enough to think twice and only wanted to get Mr. Krabs off his back.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: "Mr. Krabs, are you okay? I heard a-... Wooow! (approaches the hole in the wall) A pie!"
  • Watching the Sunset: SpongeBob's last thing to do is to watch the sunset with Squidward. While the former enjoys such, the latter panics as this is the time the pie drops into SpongeBob's lower intestine and will explode any second.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The pie bomb Squidward buys is strong enough to level all of Bikini Bottom. Even just a crumb of it was able to obliterate the back of the Krusty Krab.
  • Wham Shot: A second explosion occurring behind the brick wall when Squidward is breaking down, which causes the wall to fall and reveal SpongeBob, still alive and well.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mr. Krabs gives one to Squidward when it looked like SpongeBob has eaten the exploding pie.
    Mr. Krabs: You had to kill him. The boy cries you a sweater of tears... and you kill him. How are you gonna live with yourself?

Imitation Krabs contains examples of...

  • Accidental Truth: SpongeBob mistakes a customer who makes an innocent query about what's in Krabby Patties for Plankton in another disguise and rips off his head. Turns out, he was wearing a mask, but only because he's insecure about the fact that his real head is disproportionately small for his body.
    Customer: Everyone at the Head Enhancement Clinic said nobody would notice! (runs away crying)
  • Air Quotes: Used by Squidward when he meets Robot Krabs.
    Squidward: You're not Mr. Krabs.
    Robot Krabs: Hey, why don't you take the rest of the day off?
    Squidward: Ha-ha! Well, whatever you say, "Mr. Krabs".
  • An Aesop: Don’t be fooled by imposters.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Initially, it seems that Spongebob's second Spot the Imposter question is "How much does a Krabby Patty cost?". But when Mr. Krabs gives the answer, it turns out Spongebob was pausing for dramatic effect and the full question is "How much does a Krabby Patty cost… on Wednesday?".
  • Berserk Button: Asking for a day off, let alone saying the words "day off", is enough to send Mr. Krabs into a rage.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Plankton screams this after 6 1/2 hours of random requests from SpongeBob before giving him the formula. Since he’s speaking through Robot Krabs, it comes out rather dull.
  • Bottle Episode: The entire episode is set at the Krusty Krab, and SpongeBob is wearing his hat almost the entire time.
  • Call-Back: Back in “Hooky”, Mr. Krabs mentioned that nobody has taken a day off at the Krusty Krab since the Great Chum Famine of ‘59, which is supported by his violent reaction to Squidward taking the day off.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Mr. Krabs instructed SpongeBob to never actually speak the Krabby Patty formula.
  • Deus ex Machina: Nowhere was the self-destruct switch foreshadowed before it comes into play.
  • Dramatic Gasp: When Mr. Krabs walks in on SpongeBob about to give Robot Krabs the secret formula, everyone gasps, including the penny Krabs was chasing.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: At the end of the episode, Mr. Krabs says, "That penny is coming out of your paycheck." He and SpongeBob then laugh before SpongeBob says, "Really?".
  • Fireball Eyeballs: Robot Krabs has them when SpongeBob refuses to tell him the secret formula.
  • Funny Background Event: The opening pan of the Krusty Krab's interior shows the patrons enjoying their burgers in... creative ways. For example, one customer is sucking on it like a pacifier while another has removed the top bun and is licking the inside like an Oreo.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: Mr. Krabs quite literally blows off steam after he realizes "he" (in reality Plankton as Robot Krabs) gave Squidward a day off:
    Mr. Krabs: Day.... OOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFF?????!!!!!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: "Coin-operated self-destruct. Not one of my better ideas."
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: One human tried eating Mr. Krabs with a fork.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!:
    Mr. Krabs: If I were a robot, which I'm not, at least I'm well put together, not some rusted-up, steam-driven pile of junk.
    Robot Krabs: Who are you calling steam-driven?
  • Informed Attribute: Plankton’s robot Mr. Krabs is treated as looking and sounding identical to the real deal, but on screen it clearly has an exhaust pipe (which coughs whenever he lies), large obvious metal joints and bolts, and a monotone voice that sounds nothing like Krabs’. But given that the only one fooled by this is SpongeBob, this may be justified.
  • Inventional Wisdom: Even Plankton admits that equipping his robot with a coin-operated Self-Destruct Mechanism wasn't a good idea.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Squidward jokes that it’s better to put things off until tomorrow. Mr. Krabs counters by pointing out that today is yesterday’s tomorrow, and immediately puts him to work on inventory. Krabs may be a cheap, lousy boss, but he knows how to cut the crap.
  • Look Behind You: When Plankton hears Mr. Krabs coming, he says to SpongeBob, "Look, a jellyfish!". SpongeBob whips out his net yelling "I got it! I got it!" and chases the nonexistent jellyfish while Plankton converts his robot into a toaster.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Near the end when SpongeBob hands Robot Krabs the Krabby Patty formula, Plankton/Robot Krabs calls SpongeBob "SpongeDupe".
  • Motor Mouth: SpongeBob giving Plankton the Krabby Patty disclaimer all in one breath.
  • Near-Villain Victory: If Plankton weren't so busy laughing himself silly when SpongeBob activated the self-destruct coin slot, odds are he would've finally stolen the secret formula.
  • Noodle Incident: "If we're discussing the secret formula on the third Wednesday in January and it's not raining outside, after we gargle with vanilla pudding, what do we do?"
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Both Mr. Krabs and Robot Krabs when SpongeBob threatens them with tartar sauce.
    • Plankton when SpongeBob unwittingly inserts a penny into the self-destruct coin slot.
    • SpongeBob when he witnesses Robot Krabs run into the Chum Bucket and explode, after kicking out the real Mr. Krabs.
      SpongeBob: If that was Plankton...uh, oh.
  • Only Sane Man: Played with—Squidward immediately figures out that Plankton's robot isn't Mr. Krabs. However, he goes along with it when Plankton gives him the rest of the day off.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: SpongeBob falls completely for Plankton's robot, despite being obviously made of metal and talking in Robo Speak in Plankton's own voice. Squidward doesn't fall for it, but plays along anyway when "Mr. Krabs" gives him the day off.
  • Pinocchio Nose: A variant, every time Plankton/Robot Krabs says that he's Mr. Krabs, smoke puffs out from the robot's exhaust pipe.
  • Pun-Based Title: A pun on the Japanese dish that doesn't have any crab but is made of flour and fish while still meant to mimic the taste of crab.
  • Real Time: When SpongeBob somehow activates Robot Krabs’ coin-operated self destruct, it states the robot will self-destruct in ten seconds. Indeed exactly ten seconds elapse between that announcement and the time Robot Krabs explodes.
  • Robot Me: Plankton creates a robot double of Mr. Krabs to get the Krabby Patty formula.
  • Rocky Roll Call:
    Mr. Krabs: Plankton!
    Plankton: Krabs!
    Mr. Krabs: Plankton!
    Plankton: Krabs!
    SpongeBob: SpongeBob!
  • Rule of Funny: Why else would Plankton do something as stupid as put a coin-op self-destruct function on Robot Krabs?
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: After eating spaghetti, Robot Krabs says "Belch" rather than actually belching. Also, his Dramatic Gasp when Mr. Krabs appears is him just saying "Gasp".
  • Secret Handshake: SpongeBob has a long, elaborate one with Mr. Krabs. It takes over six-and-a-half hours to do. He ends up leading the Robot Krabs through it step-by-step, defeating the entire purpose of a secret handshake.
  • Skyward Scream: When SpongeBob informs Mr. Krabs, who is wondering where Squidward is, that he gave Squidward the day off, Mr. Krabs' irises narrow to pinpricks, as he says, "Day..." and screams, "OOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFFF?!?!?"
  • Spot the Impostor: SpongeBob gives the two Krabs a series of questions he thinks only the real Mr. Krabs would know. The first two are generic questions that anyone who's been to the Krusty Krab can answer and Robot Krabs answers them both. The third question is one that is so complicated even the real Krabs can't answer it.
  • Throwing the Distraction: To get rid of Krabs, Plankton throws a penny and Krabs follows it as it rolls out the door. It later rolls back inside, leading Krabs to Plankton just as he's about to get the formula.
  • Title Drop: "So long, Imitation Krabs, bye-bye!"
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • SpongeBob as usual. He completely falls for Plankton's robot Krabs "disguise" every step of the way. Even worse during the Spot the Impostor part, where he's blatantly favouring the imitation Krabs to be the real one: When the real Krabs answers the second question correctly, SpongeBob asks another related question as if expecting the other Krabs (the imitation one) to answer it. Then he gives a confusing third question possibly to stump the real Krabs, as when he failed to answer it, SpongeBob immediately kicks him out even though imitation Krabs hadn't even given an answer yet. To top it off, after he kicked out the real Krabs, he told the imitation Krabs that he "knew it all along" that he (the imitation) is the real Krabs. Fortunately, he realizes the truth when Robot Krabs rushes to the Chum Bucket with the formula before exploding. You really have to wonder why Mr. Krabs didn't fire him by the end of the episode.
    • Plankton also counts. He rushed all the way back to the Chum Bucket as the self-destruct sequence nears its end, blowing up his own restaurant.
    • Even before that, putting an externally mounted coin operated Self-Destruct Mechanism on his robot. Even he admits that was a stupid idea.


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