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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 3 E 19 "The Sponge Who Could Fly"

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United States airdate: March 21, 2003

Canada airdate: December 12, 2003
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SpongeBob wishes he could fly like a jellyfish, but later gets taken advantage of by the residents because of this. Presented as a Lost Episode, with Patchy the Pirate searching for it as a Framing Device.

The Sponge Who Could Fly contains examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • Don't let other people take advantage of your talent.
    • Don't let other people put you down for what you want to do. Someday, it could come true while they haven't advanced in life at all.
  • Award-Bait Song: "All You Need is Friendship". It's short, but sweet.
  • Balloonacy: SpongeBob is finally able to fly by filling his pants with hot air from his blow dryer.
  • Billions of Buttons: When Patchy attempts to rewind the tape of the lost episode, he has trouble with the many buttons on his remote, which apparently include a light switch and a button that activates a mariachi band.
    Patchy: I hate technology!
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  • Brick Joke: SpongeBob had a Imagine Spot recalling what Grandpa SquarePants said about flying before deciding to build a flying machine. A few minutes later, after seeing SpongeBob's plan, Patrick mentions what his grandpa used to say...with his Imagine Spot being Grandpa SquarePants as well!
    Grandpa SquarePants: If we were meant to fly...Hey! (pokes Patrick with his cane) I'm not your grandfather!
  • Broken Pedestal/Rebuilt Pedestal: Played With. See Fan Disillusionment below.
  • Call of the Wild Blue Yonder: SpongeBob's attempt in this special.
  • Cat Up a Tree: Mrs. Puff's snail gets up a tree, only for the branch it's on to break. Fortunately, SpongeBob catches it just in time.
  • Conspicuous CG: The episode begins with SpongeBob walking in place while CG ground scrolls beneath him, passing an occasional 2D rock or coral.
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  • Entitled Bastard: The townspeople insist that SpongeBob do more favors for them after he runs away from them. They are ignoring that they’ve been taking advantage of SpongeBob by making him do all of their chores for them, none of which even required flight.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The beginning of "The Lost Episode" is exactly what this is, it's even announced right after Patchy has a tantrum and storms out that the real episode will soon begin.
  • Fan Disillusionment: Patchy is let down when the lost episode appears to be a series of silly walks. He is so upset he swears off being a SpongeBob SquarePants fan forever and starts destroying his collection. Then Potty discovers that there's more to the episode and Patchy forgives SpongeBob and puts all his stuff back.
  • Faux Horrific: One of the good deeds SpongeBob does is getting Patrick away from a mime doing pantomime.
  • Framing Device: The episode is framed by Patchy finding the episode and watching it.
  • Hypocrites: The citizens of Bikini Bottom make fun of SpongeBob for being a dreamer, but then tell him that they were dreamers after SpongeBob calls them out on their mocking, following up with chasing him away.
  • "I Want" Song: SpongeBob sings one towards the beginning as he wishes to fly with the jellyfish.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The Citizens of Bikini Bottom in two instances. At first, they chase SpongeBob out of town for his dreams of flying, then have a change of heart after he gains the ability to do it, just until they start taking advantage of his generosity by having him do deeds which don't require flying. Then, Cannonball Jenkins blows up SpongeBob's pants, and the citizens are filled with remorse for what they've done to SpongeBob's pants and not with SpongeBob himself.
  • Kite Riding: One of SpongeBob's attempts to fly is to tie himself to a kite pulled by Patrick riding a bicycle. At first, this attempt works, but eventually, the kite breaks and makes SpongeBob the laughingstock of Bikini Bottom as a result.
  • Lost Episode: The episode was promoted as one as well as referred to as one in the Framing Device.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the Fake-Out Opening SpongeBob goes from being happy, to being goofy, to acting paranoid about being followed, to explosive shock, over and over again.
  • Musical Episode
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • This is Patchy's reaction when he accidentally ruins the only copy of the lost episode.
    • Cruelly subverted. When Cannonball Jenkins destroys SpongeBob's pants and sending him plummeting to the ground, the townspeople were guilt-ridden on what happened. It was found out they were only mourning for his pants.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Throughout the episode, Mr. Jenkins goes from being a farmer to a sailor and then finally a human cannonball. Justified actually as when he was a farmer, SpongeBob's plane propeller cut his grain silo and when he was a sailor he ended up crashing into a rock.
  • Save the Villain: "Even Plankton needs some help when he gets tangled in the kelp!"
  • Silly Walk: The Teaser pulls a trolling moment on Patchy, in which SpongeBob walks in very silly ways down a Conspicuous CG street is passed off as a complete new episode, before telling him so and moving on to the proper episode.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: After SpongeBob gains the ability to fly, the citizens asks him to do tasks for them, which are easy for them to do it themselves and it really has nothing to do with flying. This is where SpongeBob ditches them and head to Jellyfish Fields.
  • Tar and Feathers: Upon being chased off a cliff by an angry mob, he ends up falling into a mud removal truck. When it makes a sharp turn, he tumbles out over another cliff...and lands in a feather delivery truck.
  • They Called Me Mad!:
    SpongeBob: I'm a nutcase because I follow my dreams?! Well, they laughed at the guy who invented light bulbs too!
    Random Fish: No they didn't.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The citizens of Bikini Bottom unreasonably pull this on SpongeBob for wanting to fly just after he called them out on ridiculing him for his dream to fly. They later pulled this again when SpongeBob tries to escape from doing unnecessary favors for them.
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: The citizens of Bikini Bottom. They mock SpongeBob for his dreams to fly, and when SpongeBob calls them out on it, they tell them about their dreams and asks him what makes him so special, then suddenly chase him off of a cliff, with one fish saying "Good riddance, dreamer!". Then after SpongeBob is able to fly, they all make him do ridiculous tasks that would not even require flight. After SpongeBob gets away, they all chase him down insisting that he owes them favors, when he most obviously does not.
  • Your Mom: SpongeBob gets a prank call and demands to know who's calling. "Joe Mama? Well listen, Joe..."


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