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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S7 E11 "One Coarse Meal/Gary in Love"

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Airdate: March 25, 2010

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Plankton attempts to steal the Krabby Patty formula yet again, managing to trap SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs with a robotic arm and even discovering where it is thanks to SpongeBob accidentally disclosing it. Pearl then comes into the room much to Plankton's terror, causing Mr. Krabs to find out that Plankton is afraid of whales, the former being a part of the diet of the latter. Mr. Krabs decides to take advantage of this by visiting the Chum Bucket disguised as Pearl and scaring Plankton by periodically sneaking into the Chum Bucket. Sixteen days of the torment, combined with a dream about being eaten by Pearl, eventually both cause Plankton to lose hope. Plankton decides that he can't go on how he is with Pearl stalking him and lies down on a road to wait for a vehicle to run over him.

Upon realizing this, SpongeBob he confronts Mr. Krabs about the ethicality of his actions, to which Mr. Krabs refuses to listen, instead of brushing him off by reminding him of the fact that he accidentally gave away the location to the formula earlier. SpongeBob then returns to Plankton and informs him that Mr. Krabs had been dressing up as Pearl all along to scare him, and reveals Mr. Krabs secret fear of mimes as a way for Plankton to get payback. Plankton returns to the Krusty Krab, getting out a mime and using a robotic arm to detain Mr. Krabs, forcing him to deal with his fear. Plankton is then scared off again when he discovers an entire pod of whales lurking outside for a feeding — or apparently so until it is revealed to the viewers to be a holographic projection set up by SpongeBob.

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"One Coarse Meal" contains examples of: (YMMV goes here.)

  • An Aesop: Everybody has fears, but you can't use them to your advantage as it would hurt them even more.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Plankton is scared off at the end, but also got the chance to enjoy some revenge beforehand.
  • Break the Haughty: Plankton is scared so much to the point he wants to commit suicide by getting run over by a bus. Fortunately, SpongeBob finds out Mr. Krabs is behind this and gives him back his mojo.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: SpongeBob gives one to Mr. Krabs using Plankton's fear of whales to his advantage and upsetting him to the point of eventual suicide, but he refuses to listen to him.
  • Continuity Nod: In Plankton's nightmare, he is swallowed by Pearl and discovers that his relatives from "Plankton's Army" are there as well.
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  • Darker and Edgier: Sure the episode is comedic as usual, but Mr. Krabs using Plankton's fear of whales to his advantage to scare him into eventually committing suicide is what takes the cake.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Plankton actually does a pretty good job at holding Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob captive at the beginning of the episode, but what Krabs does to get back at him takes it a bit too far.
  • Downer Ending: Essentially, in Plankton's perspective, his attempts at a well-deserved revenge at Krabs only get him scared by SpongeBob with Krabs getting away in driving Plankton to suicide in the end.
  • Driven to Suicide: By Plankton, who willingly wants to get run over by the next 4:00 bus thanks to suffering so much whale phobia, before SpongeBob stops him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even SpongeBob is not happy at Mr. Krabs scaring Plankton to the point of suicide.
  • Evil vs. Evil: On one side, Mr. Krabs tries to drive Plankton to suicide. On the other hand, Plankton is a persistent thief who torments the crew day after day, and on occasion has even put Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob lives in danger as well in his attempts to steal the formula.
  • Four Is Death: The bus Plankton willingly tries to get run over by was said to come by 4:00.
  • Freudian Excuse: Perhaps the explanation for Mr. Krabs' motivations in this episode, as the constant stress from trying to protect the formula has finally driven Mr. Krabs to pursue drastic measures.
  • Karma Houdini: Plankton only momentarily gets his revenge on Mr. Krabs before being scared off, with the latter not seeming to regret his actions.
  • Lack of Empathy: Mr. Krabs torments Plankton using his fear of whales for over two weeks, to the extent that he's nearly Driven to Suicide. When SpongeBob calls him on it and tells him he's going to far, Krabs just laughs it off.
  • Never Say "Die": Naturally, Plankton's suicide attempt is never made explicitly clear for obvious reasons. When SpongeBob confronts Mr. Krabs, the former just refers to what Plankton is doing as "lying in the street...forlorn".
  • No Sympathy: Karen toward Plankton, even after the latter told the former of what happened to his ancestors.
  • One Episode Fear: Plankton wasn't afraid of Pearl before, especially when he swapped lives with Mr. Krabs.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The whole plot of the episode is Mr. Krabs tormenting Plankton via his fear of whales to the point where the latter contemplates suicide.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: SpongeBob is absent for about 50% of the episode to make Plankton's fear and torment more unsettling and foreboding.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Downplayed; Plankton's suicide attempt isn't portrayed as a complete joke per se, but the episode employs a small amount of humor from how oddly casual and apathetic he is in his suicide attempt, and in him asking SpongeBob to step on him to get it over with. Justified, as the scene would probably be a bit too dark for a kids' show if the scene was played too realistically.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: "One Coarse Meal" deals with one of the main characters trying to scare another character, eventually to the point of the latter attempting suicide. Granted, the plot is still tame compared to the likes of, say, "Nasty Patty", which involves the plot element of SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs trying to bury a person that they mistakenly think they have killed Played for Laughs, a dark, rainy environment for half of the episode, and even the version of the Never Say "Die" trope through the use of the word "kill". Nevertheless, "One Coarse Meal" is still a subtle sign of this trope happening to the post-movie episodes.
  • Very Special Episode: About fears and being scared to the point of suicide.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: SpongeBob felt this way toward Mr. Krabs disguising as Pearl and scaring him.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Plankton is afraid of whales, while Mr. Krabs is afraid of mimes.

Airdate: February 6, 2010

Gary meets a female snail in Bikini Bottom, but another snail from the wrong side of town gets jealous of him.

"Gary in Love" contains examples of: (YMMV goes here.)

  • Bittersweet Ending: While Gary doesn't get the girl, he does end up befriending the snail he was competing against for her affections after they're both turned down.
  • Breather Episode: Compared to the previous episode, this one isn't quite as intense.
  • Continuity Nod: This isn't the first time Gary has met another snail and developed feelings for it.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Gary is the main star of this episode.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: In the end, Mary ends up falling for Brad's snail Billy, which disappoints Gary, though he and the boss snail make up and form a friendship.
  • Real After All: The "Brad" and "Monica" from the soap opera Gary watched earlier, though Monica looks different.
  • Talking Animal: The bully snail and his two buddies are fully capable of human speech.
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