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Recap / Sponge Bob Square Pants S 4 E 17 Driven To Tears Rule Of Dumb

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Driven to Tears

After SpongeBob fails his driving test again, Patrick goes in to take it and aces it and gets a new boat, which drives SpongeBob crazy.

Driven to Tears contains examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Patrick aces his driving test on his first try and gets a license and new boat. Throughout the rest of the episode, he rubs his license in SpongeBob's face every chance he gets and calls himself a "driving genius." During the climax, he goes so far as to literally rub his license in SpongeBob's face.
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  • An Aesop: You shouldn't feel jealous of someone able to do something you can't. It's good to just go with it and congratulate them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: SpongeBob apologizes for being jealous, is sentenced to 90 days in prison and makes up with Patrick after being released, but Patrick ditched his boat because he thought it died on him (when really, it ran out of gas), but at least the two are friends again.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the end, after SpongeBob is released, Patrick reveals he threw his boat away because the needle was on "E" (meaning the gas tank was empty), which he thought meant "End".
  • For Want of a Nail: The episode's plot happens simply because Patrick ate SpongeBob flash cards.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: SpongeBob becomes insanely jealous that Patrick passed his driving test with a perfect score on his first try. It doesn't help that Patrick keeps rubbing it in his face.
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  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Part of the conflict behind the episode. SpongeBob has been trying and failing to get a license for years. Patrick, believing the test is rigged, goes in to take it himself and passes on his first try, with a perfect score.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Patrick acts incredibly condescending towards the fact that SpongeBob still hasn't gotten his license, but genuinely doesn't seem to understand why SpongeBob is so upset.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After Patrick goes so far as to literally rub his license in SpongeBob's face, SpongeBob finally snaps, snatching Patrick's license and ripping it up in a fit of rage.

Rule of Dumb

A document reveals Patrick is the King of Bikini Bottom, but Patrick soon lets the power go to his head.


Rule of Dumb contains examples of:

  • Adipose Rex: King Patrick.
  • An Aesop: Abusing power can drive people, even your best friends, away from you.
  • Authority in Name Only: After SpongeBob tells him that as king, he can have whatever he wants, Patrick starts taking things from people he walks up to on the streets, to the point where he's amassed a massive amount of tribute from from his "subjects." When he orders Squidward's house to be demolished to make way for a ferris wheel, Squidward immediately steps in, pointing out to the people of Bikini Bottom that Patrick is just a Fat Idiot who has no real power over them; the citizens of Bikini Bottom realize he's right and walk away, wondering why they ever gave Patrick anything in the first place.
  • The Caligula: Patrick becomes as such, acting like a complete Jerkass who has the right to take and do whatever he wants. When SpongeBob tells him that he's "kinda being a jerk", Patrick blows up on him, upon which SpongeBob runs away.
    Patrick: WHO'S SAYING I'M ABUSING MY POWER?! I'll put the whole town in prison! Questioning my authority is treason!
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: "King" Patrick becomes a ruthless despot who has the right to take and do whatever he wants.
  • Given Name Reveal: On the scroll, Patrick's parents names are revealed to be Herb and Margie.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Patrick takes the idea of getting everything he wants now that he's king too far, causing him to become a spoiled tyrant.
  • Only Sane Man: Only Squidward and Mr. Krabs realize that King Patrick is an Authority in Name Only from the start.
    • Mr. Krabs lays out a buffet for him, only because he expects to be paid a lot of money for it. But when Patrick declares that he never intended to pay in the first place, and that as king, he's allowed to have anything he wants for free, Krabs literally throws him out.
      Mr. Krabs: No one eats at my restaurant for free, king or no king!
    • Squidward also steps in when Patrick orders his house to be moved to make room for a Ferris wheel, pointing out Patrick's a complete moron who couldn't possibly be king of anything. The other Bikini Bottomites realize he's right and walk away.
  • The Reveal: Patrick and Gary are revealed to be cousins.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Eventually, even SpongeBob realizes how monstrous and nasty Patrick's becoming as king, and runs out on him the first chance he gets.

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