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

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"We killed the Health Inspector!"

Nasty Patty

Original air date: 3/1/2002 (produced in 2001)

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 it's 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:

  • An Aesop: Jumping to assumptions without proof can lead to unintended consequences. Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob learn it the hard way after taking down the wrong health inspector.
    • Taking the law into your own hands and seeking revenge is not the most advisable of choices.
  • 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."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Mr. Krabs: OK, I confess! SpongeBob killed him!
    SpongeBob: WHAT?! You can't pin this whole rap on me!
    Mr. Krabs: He was insane! Out of control! He would have killed me too, if you hadn't come along!
    SpongeBob: It was all Mr. Krabs' idea!
    Mr. Krabs: Put him down now! He's a mad dog!
    SpongeBob: He wears curlers to bed!
    Mr. Krabs: Wait! It's not what you think!
  • 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.
  • 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 sodaaa! Bottles of soda! Same thing, put 'em in the freezer.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs both agree they never should've tried to poison 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 (and would've risked the restaurant being shut down if it happened he was a real inspector... which he of course is).
  • 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.
  • Dropped in the Toilet: Done deliberately by SpongeBob, who dunks the Krabby Patty in the toilet, and then Mr. Krabs tells him to fish it out so he can wipe it with his sweaty gym socks.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Turns out Spongebob's suggestion of telling their Health Inspector about the fake one was the more sensible decision. That way, if they were suspicious about him, they could interrogate him and find out. Mr. Krabs essentially jumped to the worst conclusion, resulting in them "killing" the poor guy and having to hide the body.
  • Easily Forgiven: Once it's been cleared up that the Health Inspector is still alive, the police officers apparently turn a blind eye to the fact that SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs had still confessed to accidental murder and burying what they thought was a corpse on Shallow Grave Road.
    • Despite the hell Krabs and SpongeBob put him through, the health inspector still passes the Krusty Krab (despite never actually eating the regular Krabby Patty he needed to finish the inspection.) Granted he did say it was done because of the risk of being hit again.
  • Facepalm: Done by Mr. Krabs when SpongeBob calls the health inspector "handsome".
  • 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!
    • Mr. Krabs and Spongebob are guilty of this too. You'd think at some point, they'd check to see if the "corpse" they're trying to dispose of is dead or not. Or if there was a bite mark in the patty, which there wasn't.
  • 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: We get a far too detailed look at the "nastiness" of the Nasty Patty. A grotesque close-up is also given for the health inspector when he's knocked unconscious the first time.
  • 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.

  • 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 lost consciousness by hitting his head on a table when he slipped while choking on a fly.
  • 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".
  • The Inspector Is Coming: Mr. Krabs becomes convinced that a health inspector visiting the Krusty Krab is actually a fraud, who's been scamming them to obtain free food, and he and SpongeBob take revenge by serving him the most disgusting Krabby Patty they can think of. It turns out he's the real deal — but by the time they realise this, the patty has already (seemingly) killed him. Hilarity Ensues as they try to dispose of the Not Quite Dead body.
  • It's All About Me:
    Mr. Krabs: No one, and I mean no one can ever know about this! 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.
    French 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?
  • Karma Houdini: Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob recieve no comeuppance for what they put the poor health inspector through.
  • 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: The French Narrator pulls no punches in describing the main characters as "idiots" for their scheme.
  • 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. Even Squidward doesn't appear, despite most of the episode being set inside the Krusty Krab.
  • 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!", disregarding that he threatened to fire SpongeBob if he didn't go along with the plan.
  • Obviously Evil: The fake health inspector is seen on the news after his arrest. With his shaved head, sunken eyes, 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).
  • O.O.C. 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.
  • Out of Focus: In spite of the episode taking place at the Krusty Krab, Squidward doesn't appear even though he's the only other employee besides SpongeBob.
  • 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 French Narrator says:
  • Pooled Funds: Mr. Krabs is sitting in a tub of money just as the health inspector arrives.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Pun: When SpongeBob panics at the thought of going to prison, he says, "They'll mop up the floor with me!"note 
  • 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.
  • This Is No Time to Panic: When police show up to give Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob a ride back to the Krusty Krab, unaware that the health inspector the latter two thought they accidentally killed and tried to bury, is sliding down the mountain in the rain, back right to them:
    Mr. Krabs: SpongeBob, listen carefully. We're just gettin' a lift back to the Krusty Krab. I need you to stay calm, and don't lose your cool. Understand?
    SpongeBob: Can I lose my cool now?
    Mr. Krabs: Why?
    (SpongeBob points at the unconscious health inspector right in front of them)
  • 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.

Idiot Box

Original air date: 3/1/2002 (produced in 2001)

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 imaaaaaginaaatiooooon comes into effect.

"Idiot Box" contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: The most mundane objects can sometimes make for the most fun.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Squidward finally gets to experience the joys of playing inside the box and using his imagination... right before being dumped in the middle of a landfill. SpongeBob and Patrick wake up the next morning disappointed that their box is gone, but they quickly cheer up and decide to see if Squidward's busy instead.
  • Black Comedy: Mountain Climbing Adventure has this in spades. From Patrick saying he'll, "take it easy when I'm dead," to SpongeBob and Patrick getting hit by two avalanches, to this exchange.
    Patrick: SpongeBob, my legs are frozen solid! You'll have to cut them off with a saw!
    SpongeBob: No, Patrick, I can't do that!
    Patrick: Why not?
    SpongeBob: Because I already cut off my own arms!
    Patrick: NOOOOOOOOO!!!
  • 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.
    • When Squidward calls SpongeBob and Patrick stupid for ordering new TV just so they can play in the box, SpongeBob responds with "We don't need television, as long as we have our imagination!" ignoring the fact that they could have just bought a large box without having to spend money on a TV set that they would just throw away.
  • 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 (funnily enough, it's a box in which a TV set came).
  • 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.
  • Medium Blending: When Patrick peeks through a pair of drinking glasses while watching for the mail truck, his eyes are magnified, revealing live-action human eyes.
  • 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: While a name like "Robot Pirate Island" might sound like this trope is in play, it's revealed to be an island that has both robots and pirates.
  • Not So Above It All: Squidward sounds genuinely disappointed (and ticked off) at the idea that he's missing out on Robot Pirate Island.
  • Out of Focus: The television is given some focus towards the start, but as soon as Squidward convinces himself that SpongeBob and Patrick are playing him for a fool, it no longer has any relevance to the plot.
  • 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!
  • Sanity Slippage: One possible interpretation of the episode is that Squidward himself is imagining the sound effects coming from the box. Meaning due to SpongeBob and Patrick's antics, Squidward is losing his grasp on reality and going insane.
  • 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?!
  • Tempting Fate: While trying to find a TV program that isn't about boxes, Squidward stumbles upon a boxing match. He decides he's okay with that since boxing doesn't actually involve boxes... only to see two boxes fighting each other.
  • 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.
  • Waxing Lyrical: While playing "Mountain Climbing Adventure", Patrick declares, "I am the Lizard King!".
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


Health Inspector

The health inspector gets knocked out unconscious and suffers many mishaps that knocks him back into a coma.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / ButtMonkey

Media sources: