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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 3 E 13 "New Student Starfish" / "Clams"

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New Student Starfish

Original air date: 9/20/2002

The one with twenty-four.

Feeling bad for having to leave Patrick alone when he goes to Boating School, SpongeBob invites him to a day at Boating School with him. Things start off pretty well, but the two soon begin to realize that dealing with each other in school creates a lot more tension than dealing with each other anywhere else.

"New Student Starfish" contains examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • You don't always need to hang out with your friend. Sometimes, it's better if you have time to yourself.
    • Don't talk and mess around with your friends in class. Focus on the lesson so that you can succeed at your classwork and not disrupt the learning environment.
    • Don’t let someone else take the blame for something you did.
    • Teamwork is important and can help build relationships.
  • Because I Said So: After Mrs. Puff removes one of SpongeBob's good noodle stars, we have this:
    Mrs. Puff: SpongeBob, I've had enough of your nonsense. Now collect your things and move to the available desk in the back of the room.
    SpongeBob: What, me? But why?
    Mrs. Puff: Because the Big Fat Meanie said so. Now go!
  • Bigger on the Inside: Normally, the boating school is just a one-room school, but in this episode and "The Bully", it fits a real school into one tiny building.
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  • Break the Cutie: SpongeBob when his star is taken off the wall.
  • Detention Episode: When SpongeBob and Patrick have a (wimpy) fight in the hallway, Mrs. Puff gives both of them detention. While in detention, the light bulb that keeps Roger alive burns out, so SpongeBob and Patrick have to put their differences aside and work together to keep Roger warm and find a new light bulb to replace the old one.
  • Diegetic Visual Effects: When Mrs. Puff says "May Neptune have mercy on your souls!", the dramatic lighting on her face is provided by the flashlight she's holding.
  • Dissension Remorse: The lightbulb keeping Roger alive running out of power is enough to reduce SpongeBob and Patrick to a quiet shock as they struggle to ignore each other but letting their fear get the better of them, causing them both to apologize to each other and work together to save Roger.
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  • Exorcist Head: SpongeBob's head spins around as Mrs. Puff removes one of his good noodle stars.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When Patrick is fetching a lightbulb to save Roger, he has sights solely on the one that is actually screwed in and glowing at the top of the janitor's closet, and completely overlooks the giant lightbulb pile the size of a mountain that he climbs to get to it.
  • Faint in Shock: SpongeBob faints out of his chair when Mrs. Puff removes one of his gold stars from the wall.
  • Fat Bitch: It turns out a lot of Mrs. Puff's students regard her as this.
  • Feud Episode: SpongeBob and Patrick's quarrel begun after Patrick made SpongeBob lose his star.
  • Good Behavior Points: It's shown that Mrs. Puff has a "Good Noodle Board" system for her class, in which stars are placed next to her student's names on a board when they display good behavior. SpongeBob has by far the most stars, with a total of 74. However, when Mrs. Puff discovers an unflattering drawing of her made by Patrick, she believes SpongeBob drew it and removes one of his Good Noodle Stars. Later in the episode, after SpongeBob and Patrick manage to save the unhatched egg of Roger when the light bulb that gives it warmth goes out, Mrs. Puff gives each of them a Good Noodle Star.
  • Headdesk: Done several times by SpongeBob as Mrs. Puff removes one of his good noodle stars.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "May Neptune have mercy on your soul."
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: "...but SpongeBob SquarePants, I hereby sentence you and your friend... to detention."
  • I Resemble That Remark!: When Mrs. Puff sees the drawing Patrick drew of her, she protests "As if I really look like this!", while looking exactly like the drawing.
  • Instant Wristwatch: Patrick when he realizes they're too early for class. He then hangs a lampshade on it by asking "When did I start wearing a watch?"
  • Jerkass Ball: Patrick holds this by giving SpongeBob a rough day at boating school.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Patrick was largely to blame for SpongeBob getting his star taken from him and sent to the back of the class, he wasn't too far off when he basically implied that SpongeBob shouldn't get so worked up over one star taken from him over the hundred he's earned, or even one bad day at school in general.
  • Not This One, That One: When SpongeBob is showing Patrick around the school.
    SpongeBob: Behold, Patrick, the Hallway of Learning. And here's the Fountain of Learning. And these are the Lockers of Learning.
    Patrick: And these are the Stairs of Learning, right?
    SpongeBob: No, they're just the stairs. These are the Stairs of Learning.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • SpongeBob's outlandish Freak Out when Mrs. Puff is removing one of his stars.
    • The "I hate you" exchange between SpongeBob and Patrick during detention.
    • SpongeBob and Patrick shuddering and freaking out silently in their seats and trying to ignore each other once Roger's lamp goes out.
  • Possession Presumes Guilt: Patrick hands SpongeBob a crude, unflattering drawing of Mrs. Puff. She then takes the paper from SpongeBob out of curiosity and assumes he drew it. But since this is Mrs. Puff, who hates SpongeBob in the later seasons, she mostly thinks he did it on purpose.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: When Roger hatches from his egg at the end, he's a live-action chick.
  • Rule of Funny: When Mrs. Puff sees the unflattering drawing Patrick made thinking SpongeBob made it, she suddenly looks exactly like the crude drawing. She also gets a lot of drawings like that, apparently.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: Parodied. Mrs. Puff does this when she sends SpongeBob and Patrick to detention. She conveniently turns the flashlight off.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Patrick decides to leave the Boating School at the end upon realizing it wasn't a Spanish class as he thought.
  • Shout-Out: SpongeBob pulls a Regan McNeil when Mrs. Puff is removing one of his extremely copious stars.
  • Snarking Thanks: SpongeBob sarcastically thanks Patrick for getting him in trouble. Patrick doesn't realize he was being sarcastic.
  • Spontaneous Crowd Formation: As soon as SpongeBob and Patrick start arguing, a crowd of students gather around them chanting "Fight! Fight! Fight!" It takes Patrick a while to figure out that they mean that he and SpongeBob are the ones who are fighting.
  • Tears of Remorse: Both SpongeBob and Patrick shed endless sprinkles of them as they see Roger's lightbulb go out and apologize to each other.
  • Tempting Fate: "I'd hate you even if the light bulb keeping Roger alive went out!" (Light bulb goes out)
  • Wimp Fight: Exaggerated. SpongeBob and Patrick decide to duke it out in the halls, but their hits don't even connect, much to the disappointment of the crowd. Mrs. Puff puts them in detention anyway.


Original air date: 9/20/2002

The one with me MILLIONTH DOLLAR!!.

In celebration for earning his millionth dollar, Mr. Krabs takes his "loyal crew" of SpongeBob and Squidward on a clam fishing trip. The trip serves to be much of a let down for Squidward, but things go from bad to worse after a giant clam steals Mr. Krabs' millionth dollar. Now SpongeBob and Squidward must find a way to either get the dollar back, or be held prisoner on the boat by their boss, whose sanity is slowly leaving him.

"Clams" provides examples of:

  • #1 Dime: Mr. Krabs' millionth dollar.
  • An Aesop: Don't drag other people down with you in your issues. Asking for help is one thing, but don't force them or guilt-trip them into helping you.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Squidward tries to pass off one of his own dollars as Mr. Krabs' millionth dollar, Mr. Krabs soon finds out that Squidward's dollar has been crumpled up, torn slightly, soaked in a lagoon, and kissed with Coral Blue #2 Semi-Gloss Lipstick.
    SpongeBob: Actually, it's Coral Blue Number.. (gets hit in the head by Squidward)
  • The Bait: Mr. Krabs resorts to using SpongeBob and Squidward as bait to catch the clam.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Equal parts Played for Laughs as it is Played for Drama with SpongeBob and Squidward respectively. When Mr. Krabs sees through the two's ruse and points out that the decoy dollar was kissed with Coral Blue #2 Semi-Gloss Lipstick, SpongeBob tries to say what number lipstick it actually is, only for Squidward to hit him in the head with a fishing rod. Then, when SpongeBob tries to deny Squidward's claim that Mr. Krabs has gone insane by pointing out he's lost a near and dear possession, Squidward corrects him by telling him to look at Mr. Krabs playing jump rope with his eyes.
  • Bottle Episode: Save for the beginning (which takes place at the Krusty Krab), the vast majority of the episode takes place on the fishing boat.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mr. Krabs notices the Jaws-esque theme shortly before the clam ate his millionth Dollar.
  • Break the Haughty: Mr. Krabs after the clam steals his millionth dollar.
  • Burning the Ships: As motivation to catch the clam, Mr. Krabs nails a sandwich to a flagpole on the boat—then throws the boat's fridge overboard, so that no one may eat until the clam is captured.
    "Now I think we understand each other. Nobody eats until I get me millionth dollar back."
  • Clam Trap: The clam eats Krabs' millionth dollar and at the end, most of Krabs himself.
  • Crocodile Tears: Mr. Krabs' tears seemed genuine at first when Blue Lips ate his dollar, but when he starts crying after SpongeBob and Squidward try to deceive him, it appears to be disingenuous.
    Squidward: No! Uh-uh, nope! We will not be swayed by tears anymore.
    Mr. Krabs: (instantly stops crying) I see...
  • Denied Food as Punishment: A variant. Mr. Krabs tosses the entire refrigerator replete with refreshments overboard, as he is willing to let his employees starve to death until he could retrieve his millionth dollar.
  • Description Cut: When SpongeBob worries about Gary being left home alone without food, it cuts to Gary at home eating the couch.
  • Disney Death: Mr. Krabs is eaten by the clam towards the end of the episode, but survives with just his head and arm intact.
  • Drama Queen: Squidward says what the audience is all thinking about Mr. Krabs.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Mr. Krabs to his employees after they attempted to pass off an ordinary dollar as his millionth dollar.
    Mr. Krabs: I trusted you, and you gave me this? (near tears) I can't believe me own crew would betray me like this.
  • Eye Scream: At one point, Mr. Krabs takes his eyestalks out of his head and starts jumping rope with them.
  • Fishing Episode: To celebrate his millionth dollar earned, Mr. Krabs takes SpongeBob and Squidward clam fishing.
  • Get Out!: When Mr. Krabs gets his millionth dollar, he shoos out all his customers so he can be alone with it.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: "I mean, a crew like you comes around maybe once in a lifetime."
  • Half the Crab He Used to Be: Mr. Krabs had to trade in something to Old Blue Lips for his dollar back.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Squidward, when he points out how Mr. Krabs is off the deep end to SpongeBob. SpongeBob tries to justify Krabs' actions, but he ends up agreeing with Squidward that they need to leave.
    • Even earlier Squidward ranting out catching the clam is hopeless is true because they all been at the boat for three days and nothing happened.
  • Laughing Mad: Mr. Krabs, as part of his Sanity Slippage.
  • Left the Background Music On: The clam's Leitmotif is being played by the orchestra in Mr. Krab's boat. Krabs even has the band play it to lure the clam into the open.
    Mr. Krabs: Can't you hear the music?! That's a 4/4 string ostonoto in D minor! Every sailor knows that means death!
  • Manipulative Bastard: Starting with Blue Lips eating his millionth dollar, Mr. Krabs becomes this for the rest of the episode. Starting by getting Squidward involved in the hunt for the dollar when it was SpongeBob's fault, he's then able to see through their duplicate dollar ruse, deprive them of food as blackmail, and use them as live bait when they've concluded he's gone insane.
  • Medium Blending: A live-action orchestra is revealed to be playing the Clam's theme music.
  • Moby Schtick: With Krabs as Ahab and the clam as Moby-Dick. The dollar bill itself could be Ahab's leg.
  • Ocular Gushers: Mr. Krabs goes into a bawling fit after losing his millionth dollar. At one point, his eyes turn into faucets pouring streams of tears.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Mr. Krabs has this reaction when he hears the clam's Leitmotif, complete with his pupils shrinking.
    • Squidward and SpongeBob when Mr. Krabs catches their deceit. And again when Krabs dumps all the food and the fridge off the boat. And again when they're used as live bait for the clam and it notices them.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Both Spongebob and Squidward have a mild case of this trope when Mr. Krabs really starts to lose it:
    • Spongebob, who normally displays Undying Loyalty to his boss, becomes so scared of him here that he's willing to ditch him along with Squidward.
    • Squidward, who normally can't stand being around Spongebob, is perfectly fine with escaping with him in order to get away from Mr. Krabs.
  • Sanity Slippage: Mr. Krabs.
    "I know what yer thinking! 'It's just a dumb old dollar! Let's just leeeeave the old man, he won't notice!'"
  • Scream Discretion Shot: A comedic example happens when SpongeBob accidentally rips off Squidward's nose with a fishing hook, and cut to Mr. Krabs on the other side of the boat.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Defied. Squidward and SpongeBob try to make a run for the lifeboat at the midst of Mr. Krabs' Sanity Slippage, only to be caught by Krabs who is furious that his crew tried to abandon him.
  • Serious Business: Mr. Krabs won't rest until he gets his millionth dollar back from the Clam, even if he has to starve his crew.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Many things, including the Clam's theme and the title card, are references to Jaws. SpongeBob is like Bordy, Squidward is like Hooper and Mr. Krabs is like Quint from the film.
    • Krabs' obsession with catching the giant clam is a parody of Captain Ahab's obsession with killing the titular whale in Moby-Dick. The scene where he nails a sandwich to a flagpole as motivation parodies a key scene in the novel, where Ahab nails a gold coin to the mast of the Pequod and offers it as a reward to whomever first spots the White Whale.
  • Still Sucks Thumb: Mr. Krabs sucks the live-action human hand Hans' thumb at the end of his crying fit over losing his millionth dollar.
  • Stripping Snag: When SpongeBob tries casting his line, he accidentally rips Squidward's shirt off.
  • Suddenly Shouting
    Squidward: Um, SpongeBob, can I have a word with you? Have you noticed that Mr. Krabs has gone COMPLETELY INSANE?!
  • Tempting Fate: When Mr. Krabs tells Squidward not to bring anything you're not prepared to lose on the boat, SpongeBob accidentally hooks his millionth dollar taped to the back of his pants.
  • Time-Passage Beard: SpongeBob, Squidward and Mr. Krabs all have them after Mr. Krabs says, "We don't leave until we catch that clam and rescue me dollar!"
  • Umpteenth Customer: Parodied and subverted with the customer who gives Krabs his millionth dollar. His order is celebrated with fast-paced, upbeat music and Krabs bursting out of his office and cheering, which would imply this is played straight. He doesn't get a prize, though; in fact, Krabs is upset that he even asks for one. The customer didn't even get his food!
    Mr. Krabs: Congratulations, sir. You have just given me my one millionth dollar.
    Customer: Ha, great. Uhh, what do I win?
    Mr. Krabs: Nothing! Now get out! (music stops)
    Customer: Wha?
  • Visual Pun: When Mr. Krabs is crying over the loss of his dollar, SpongeBob says he's "never seen him so broken up". Cut to Krabs having literally fallen apart on the deck. Then, when Squidward tells Mr. Krabs to "suck it up", Krabs' eyes expand with no tears, only for tears to burst out of them.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: From this exchange after Mr. Krabs was eaten by a clam (or so they thought):
    SpongeBob: Ohh, poor Mr. Krabs, gone forever out of our lives. Why couldn't it have been me?!
    Squidward: Yes, why couldn't it have been you?


Video Example(s):


Mr. Krabs Loses His Dollar

Squidward is annoyed by Mr. Krabs overly dramatic reaction to losing his millionth dollar to a giant clam.

How well does it match the trope?

4.82 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / DramaQueen

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