Follow TV Tropes


Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 7 E 20 "The Abrasive Side" / "Earworm"

Go To

Original air date: 11/27/2010

The Abrasive Side

SpongeBob orders a product that will help him say "no". But things take a turn for the worse when his new "abrasive side" begins to take over his life.


  • An Aesop: It's okay to say no, but don’t use it as an insult as it would hurt your friends' feelings.
  • Big "NO!": Pearl, having been denied new shoes thanks to SpongeBob being asked to. Also SpongeBob himself at the end when he sees Grandma has the abrasive side.
  • Advertisement:
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: SpongeBob's abrasive side has Type I.
  • Broken Aesop: The episode's intended aesop is that even though it's okay to say no to people, that's no excuse to be rude to them. However, due to Spongebob only being shown to say no to people through his Abrasive side and coming off as rude to them in the process, he is not portrayed in the right when he does say no to them. And both Mr. Krabs and Sandy were rude to Spongebob at the beginning of the episode but they don't get called out for it.
  • Call-Back: SpongeBob's "abrasive side" makes an offhand reference to Mr. Krabs keeping his money in his mattress, as was established in "The Lost Mattress".
  • Calling the Old Man Out: The abrasive side tells Krabs that he should be paying his employees overtime if he's going to make them work for longer hours.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Cameo: Howard Blandy is one of the fish in line.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: When SpongeBob admits the reason he couldn't go to Glove World with Patrick was because he couldn't stop doing favors for other people, Patrick tells him that he needs to stand up for himself and say no... though not without asking SpongeBob to scratch his back.
  • Extreme Doormat: SpongeBob, as usual. He buys the abrasive side in an attempt to avert it, but it goes a little too well.
  • Eye Scream: A businessman steps on SpongeBob's eyes, leaving footmarks in their place.
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street: One of the people asking SpongeBob for favors and causing him to miss the bus is his grandma asking him to help her cross the street.
  • Here We Go Again!: In the end, now Grandma has the abrasive side, much to SpongeBob's shock.
  • Hypocrite: Sandy tells SpongeBob he shouldn't be rude to people, despite taking advantage of him earlier on.
  • Advertisement:
  • Informed Obscenity: Mr. Krabs treats SpongeBob's abrasive side using the word "Overtime" as a particularly foul curse word. Forcing SpongeBob to leave until he cleans up his language.
  • Jerkass Ball: SpongeBob, thanks to his abrasive side.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Despite eventually Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, SpongeBob's abrasive side was right to call Sandy and Mr. Krabs out on their treatment of him (the former for asking him to be a test subject without notifying him beforehand, the latter giving him an excessively long shift into the wee hours without paying).
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: Happens briefly as Abrasive SB laughs at his normal counterpart.
  • Mean Boss: Krabs forces SpongeBob to work for extra hours for the exact same amount of money.
  • Missed the Bus: SpongeBob misses the bus by doing favors for people.
  • Never My Fault:
    • The abrasive side completely tells SpongeBob that he drove everyone away, even though it was really the abrasive side's doing.
    • Sandy says SpongeBob shouldn't be mean when standing up for himself, ignoring the fact that she was part of the reason he got the abrasive side in the first place.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: SpongeBob's abrasive side delivers one to him following his insult to Patrick:
    Abrasive SB: Don't you remember? We told that pink freak to beat it! In fact, we've already insulted all of your rotten friends, and no one will hang out with you, 'cause you have no friends left, Mr. LoserBob LonelyPants!
  • Scream Discretion Shot: After Grandma is shown with the abrasive side, the scene cuts to outdoors as SpongeBob screams "NO!" from inside the house.
  • Special Guest: Marion Ross returns as Grandma SquarePants.
  • The Unintelligible: Sandy, without her head.


SpongeBob gets a song stuck in his head, and Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and Sandy try to help him, whether he wants them to or not.


  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "That door squeak sounded decidedly disgruntled!"
  • An Aesop: Don't get obsessed with the same things; it could affect your life.
  • Bound and Gagged: SpongeBob's friends do this to him so they can get rid of the earworm.
  • Continuity Nod: The record player in Gary's shell is used for the first time since "Your Shoe's Untied".
  • Ear Worm: Taken literally. SpongeBob just can't resist his ears off of that song.
  • Here We Go Again!: Sandy and co. manage to get the earworm out of his head, but it makes a new residence inside Squidward's head for revenge.
  • Running on All Fours: SpongeBob runs out of the Krusty Krab like this while Laughing Mad.
  • Sanity Slippage: SpongeBob suffers this when he is driven mad by the song he can't resist.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: The episode ends with Squidward screaming when he realizes he caught the earworm.
  • Shaking the Rump: SpongeBob does this at one point while listening to Musical Doodle.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The song SpongeBob listens to, "Musical Doodle", is about listening to a song endlessly and getting hooked on such, which matches his problem throughout the episode.
  • Title Drop: By Sandy as she discovers the reason behind SpongeBob's craziness over the song.
  • Visual Pun: The "earworm" is depicted as an actual worm.

Video Example(s):


Musical Doodle

SpongeBob gets hooked on a catchy new tune.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / EarWorm

Media sources: