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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 3 E 4 "Nasty Patty" / "Idiot Box"

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United States airdate: March 1, 2002

Canada airdate: June 28, 2002

When a health inspector comes to test the Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob comply to his demands, only to discover there's someone pretending to be a health inspector just to get free food. Thinking he's the fake inspector, the two concoct the titular "Nasty Patty" as a way to get back at him. When a fly enters the inspector's mouth as he's about to take a bite, it causes him to choke and seemingly die on the "Nasty Patty". The two celebrate, only to find out the real impostor has already been found. Now its up to Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob to hide the body, but things go From Bad to Worse when two police officers show up.


Nasty Patty contains examples of (YMMV goes here):

  • Absentee Actor: In spite of the episode taking place at the Krusty Krab, Squidward doesn't appear even though he's the only company's employee besides SpongeBob.
  • An Aesop:
    • If someone (like an inspector, a maid, a policeman, etc.) seems to be lying about who they are, ask for their credentials to see if they're legit.
    • Don't assume someone's dead without proper proof.
  • Amusing Injuries: What the Health Inspector goes through.
  • Anchors Away: How the first police officer strikes down the health inspector at the end. He thought the latter was a zombie, so it could somehow be understandable.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: "You people act like you've committed a murder."
  • Artistic License – Law: In real life, a health inspector does not consume food like a food critic does. Instead, the health inspector would enter the restaurant's interior where he would then observe and write a report on its sanitation and cleanliness.
  • Bad Liar: "Ice is just a myth!"
    • Leading to the Armor-Piercing Response above.
  • Balloon Belly: The health inspector gets one after he eats one of everything on the Krusty Krab's menu.
  • Berserk Button: "FREE.... FOOD?!!!!"
  • Big Eater: The Health Inspector manages to eat one of everything on the Krusty Krab's menu and still has room in his stomach for one more Krabby Patty.
  • Black Comedy: The entire comedy comes from SpongeBob and Krabs believing that they've killed the health inspector (he was just unconscious.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Health Inspector.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Right after Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob hear that they're about to pass the inspection, a news report comes on TV warning about a crook imposing as a health inspector to obtain free food, which enrages Mr. Krabs, who thinks that their health inspector is the phony. Later as Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob are laughing at the allegedly phony health inspector's expense, another report comes up informing them that the imposter had been captured and that their health inspector is a real one.
  • Advertisement:
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: When Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob try hiding the body, a slightly muted color palette is used.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • A rather interesting, double-layered variation occurs at the beginning, where it seems at first that SpongeBob is the one missing the point, when it's really Mr. Krabs missing the point: after hearing a news report about the false health inspector stealing food, SpongeBob suggests to Mr. Krabs that they could warn their health inspector about the fake one. Mr. Krabs then calls SpongeBob a "loony loofah" and tells him that their health inspector is the fake one.
    • The sequence in the back of the police car with Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob, where the latter fails to understand Mr. Krabs as he cryptically gives him commands:
    Mr. Krabs: Now listen, SpongeBob, when we get to the Krusty Krab, I want you to take that (winks) shovel and bring it around to the back entrance and stuff... err, I mean, stow it in the freezer. Understand?
    SpongeBob: I understand, Mr. Krabs, but what do you want me to do with the bo—
    Mr. Krabs: (grabs SpongeBob's lips) --ttles of soda! Bottles of soda! Same thing, put 'em in the freezer.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs both agree they should've never tried to poisoned the health inspector both out of spite and misinformation. They could've checked to see if the health inspector was legitimate by asking for his credentials / legal documentation.
  • Dead Man's Chest: Upon finding the Health Inspector's (unconscious) body now unburied and slid down the hill next to them, Mr. Krabs orders SpongeBob to hide the body in the trunk of the police car and then stuff it inside the freezer once they get back to the Krusty Krab, all while avoiding the cops' attention.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Upon hearing the news report regarding the fake health inspector, SpongeBob refers to him a "phony imposter".
  • Disposing of a Body: After thinking they killed the health inspector, SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs try to bury the body in a shallow grave, but then the rain washes it away right as two police officers arrive to take them home. So SpongeBob puts the "body" in the trunk of the squad car and then hides it in the freezer.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While Mr. Krabs is perfectly within his rights to be livid over someone (seemingly) posing as a health inspector to get free food, taking matters into his own claws by trying to poison the guy with a tainted disease-ridden patty is far more than any moocher would've deserved.
  • Dramatic Irony: The male cop got a call about "two ghouls burying a stiff over by Shallow Grave Road" when we know those two ghouls were Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob burying the Health Inspector.
  • Failed a Spot Check: You'd think the Health Inspector would take the time to notice the blatantly disgusting Krabby Patty by actually looking at it before even attempting to eat it, which is quite bizarre since he's, you know, the HEALTH Inspector!
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The police threaten to arrest SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs for not being at the Krusty Krab to serve them some delicious Krabby Patties! Justified in that they are just kidding.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Of the Nasty Patty.
  • Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: SpongeBob. He admits that he's guilty of not trying to talk Mr. Krabs out of getting back at the Health Inspector. Subverted later when Mr. Krabs attempts to put him under the bus.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: Mr. Krabs erupts steam out of his shell in anger when he finds out the health inspector is (supposedly) a fraud.
  • Hypocrite: Mr. Krabs tried blaming the Health Inspector's "death" upon SpongeBob. But he's the one who tried tainting the final Krabby Patty for the Inspector to eat, and this is what he told SpongeBob:
    Mr. Krabs: Join me boy, or you're fired!
  • I Didn't Mean to Kill Him: Played with. When they suspect the health inspector is actually a con artist pretending to be one, they decide to teach him a lesson by giving him an absolutely disgusting Krabby Patty. They think they fatally poisoned him by mistake, but in reality, he'd merely passed out.
  • Idiot Ball: SpongeBob for almost mentioning the body while talking to Krabs while they were in the police car and failing to comprehend what Mr. Krabs meant by "shovel".
  • Idiot Plot: Done deliberately and lampshaded in the closing narration:
    Narrator: Well, that's the story. Yes, they are all idiots aren't they?
  • The Inspector Is Coming: The Health Inspector coming to inspect the Krusty Krab sets up the plot for this episode.
  • It's All About Me:
    Mr. Krabs: It'll be the the end of you, it'll be the end of me, and worst of all, it'll be the end of me.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Parodied in the very beginning.
    Narrator: Oh, a dark and stormy night. It's nights like these that remind me of the time Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob thought they killed the health inspector. It was a bright and sunny morning...
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Although Mr. Krabs is a typical cheap, miserly and tight-fisted boss, what restaurateur wouldn't be peeved that someone's posing as a Health Inspector to get free food out of them?
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Mr. Krabs calling SpongeBob a "loony loofah", referring to how the latter looks more like a kitchen sponge than an actual sea sponge.
  • Lemony Narrator: See Idiot Plot above.
  • Made of Iron: The Health Inspector.
  • Minimalist Cast: The only characters in the episode are SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs, the health inspector and the two police fish, save for the fish anchor and the picture of the fake inspector.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob mistakenly believe the health inspector at the Krusty Krab is a con artist trying to scam restaurants into giving him free food.
  • Mistaken for Undead: After SpongeBob and Krabs confess to the police that they "killed" the health inspector, he emerges from the freezer a little groggy. The police think he's a zombie and attack him.
  • Never My Fault: Mr. Krabs blames SpongeBob for "killing" the health inspector with the Nasty Patty, even though it was his idea to make it in the first place. When SpongeBob calls him out on it, Krabs retorts, "Well, you could've talked me out of it!"
  • Obviously Evil: The fake health inspector is seen on the news after his arrest. With his shaved head, small scar near his eyes and menacing scowl, he couldn't look more like a crook, making one wonder how anyone ever mistook him for a health inspector.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob when they find the health inspector apparently dead from eating their sabotaged patty (actually just knocked out from slipping and hitting his head on the table).
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Mr. Krabs is actually willing to give away money to distract the cops, so you know that he is absolutely terrified of getting caught.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: When Krabs and SpongeBob think the Health Inspector is an impostor.
    Mr. Krabs: We've been duped!
    SpongeBob: Duped!
    Mr. Krabs: Bamboozled!
    SpongeBob: We've been smeckledorfed!
    Mr. Krabs: That's not even a word and I agree with you!
  • Police Are Useless: The police do not arrest Mr. Krabs or SpongeBob when they "killed" the real health inspector even after they get word from their co-workers about two ghouls unlawfully burying a corpse in the hills and they saw SpongeBob and Krabs at the hills with a shovel. As the narrator said:
  • Poor Communication Kills: Which could have been defied if Mr. Krabs just went with SpongeBob warning their health inspector about an impostor instead of assuming right away that their health inspector is the impostor.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "FREE?! FOOD?!"
  • Revenge Is a Dish Best Served: When the health inspector is assumed a fake, Mr. Krabs and Spongebob contaminate the last Krabby Patty he had left to test, like dropping it into a toilet and drying it off with an old gym sock. They dub this concoction the "Nasty Patty" and there's a Gross-Up Close-Up to show it lives up to the name. No one ends up eating it though, as the (real) health inspector passed out first because he Swallowed a Fly, but Mr. Krabs and Spongebob assumed they killed him.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: The cops, particularly the female, care more about getting Krabby Patties and a soda (with ice) than doing their jobs.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When an officer tried to get ice from the freezer and Mr. Krabs blocks the way.
    Mr. Krabs: There is no ice! There's never been any ice. Ice is just a myth.
  • Swallowed a Fly: The health inspector swallows a fly before he can take a bite of the 'Nasty Patty' that Spongebob and Mr. Krabs fixed up. They believe that they killed him when they see him lying on the floor.
  • Title Drop:
    SpongeBob: I call it... the Nasty Patty.
  • We Interrupt This Program: Twice, both times referring to what Mr. Krabs and Spongebob were doing at that moment.
United States airdate: March 1, 2002

Canada airdate: June 28, 2002

SpongeBob and Patrick order a big-screen TV just so they can play in the box it came in, much to Squidward's confusion. At first he ignores them, but slowly but surely becomes interested when their IMAAAAAAGINAAATION comes into effect.

Idiot Box contains examples of (YMMV goes here):

  • An Aesop: Everyone has an imagination. What really matters is how it's used.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When viewing the television that came with the box, Squidward switches to four different channels: how boxes are made, a professor showing us box equation from a chalkboard, two fish sharing their boxes, and championship boxing... with the opponents literally being boxes.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The episode name, title card, and the giant television at the beginning of the episode all point to the episode being themed around SpongeBob and Patrick getting a new TV. Then they throw the television away and jump in the package, making it clear that the phrase "Idiot Box" isn't referring to the informal name for a television set, but the duo playing in an actual box.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Everything Squidward sees on television reminds him of boxes.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Squidward hears Spongebob and Patrick having a tragic mountain-climbing accident, he throws open the box and sees the two of them sitting inside, perfectly unharmed.
    Squidward: How are you doing that??
    Spongebob: First we establish a base camp at 15,000 feet.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Idiot Box" refers to both a derogatory slang term for television and the fact that the titular cardboard box is literally occupied by two idiots.
  • Gilligan Cut: Squidward doesn't understand why the cardboard box will make noises for SpongeBob and Patrick.
    Squidward: Why won’t this thing turn on? All right, fine. If you don’t want to show me, I don’t care! I've got better things to do than pace the floor wondering how you two work this thing. (Cut to Squidward pacing the length of his living room floor) How do those two work that thing?! There's got to be a secret button or a switch or something!
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche: While Squidward sets off the sound of the first avalanche by kicking the box, he causes the other by just poking it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Spongebob tells Patrick to keep their voices down during an "avalanche" by shouting.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: After Squidward asks about the noise coming from the box, Patrick replies "I could only hear the sound of our laughter". Then when Squidward brings up the avalanche he heard, Patrick responds "Don't forget the second avalanche".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Squidward, even if briefly. When he hears the climbing accident inside the box, he gestures towards the box with a concerned utter of "SpongeBob...?" When it sounds like the duo really are in trouble, he genuinely panics and throws the box open to check on them.
  • Kids Prefer Boxes: Even though SpongeBob and Patrick aren't kids, but childish adults.
  • Literal Metaphor:
    Patrick: I hope he's not too down in the dumps today. (Sting)
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It’s left ambiguous how Spongebob and Patrick are making the sound effects inside the box. Squidward thinks they’re using a tape recorder at first but can’t locate it when he gets in there. And when he’s inside the box with them, all the sound effects disappear.
  • Minimalist Cast: Only SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward are present.
  • Mr. Imagination: SpongeBob and Patrick create a world of scenarios with only a cardboard box, much to Squidward's disbelief.
    SpongeBob: "Squidward, we don't need television. Not as long as we have our... *makes rainbow appear from hands* ...imagination!"
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Robot Pirate Island.
  • Not So Above It All: Squidward sounds genuinely disappointed (and ticked off) at the idea that he's missing out on Robot Pirate Island.
  • Parental Bonus: When SpongeBob and Patrick are pretending that they are mountain climbers, Patrick declares "I AM THE LIZARD KING!" and “EXCELSIOR!”
  • Pie in the Face: When Squidward falls out of the box at the dump, he lands facedown in a pie.
  • Running Gag: Imagination!
  • Shaped Like Itself: SpongeBob describes all of the things he could be if he used his imagination. Patrick says he could be a starfish, which Squidward points out he already is. Patrick says this means the imagination is working.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Squidward's response upon discovering that SpongeBob and Patrick ordered a brand new wide-screen TV just so they could play with the box.
    Squidward: Uh-huh, that's quite a plan there. Oh, but wait, there was something else I wanted to ask you two. Now what was it? Oh, yeah, yeah. DON'T YOU TWO HAVE ANY BRAINS?!
  • Visual Pun:
    • While watching for the mail truck in the beginning of the episode, Patrick says that he needs his glasses. He then pulls out two drinking glasses and peeks through them.
    • "Championship boxing", with two boxes slamming into each other.
  • Your Television Hates You: Squidward is trying to forget about SpongeBob and Patrick playing in their box, but everything on TV is about boxes, even boxing.


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