United States airdate: September 18, 1999
Canada airdate: July 29, 2000
Business is slow at the Krusty Krab, so Squidward talks Mr. Krabs into letting him hold a talent show to bring in customers.
Culture Shock provides examples of (YMMV here):
- An Aesop: Talent is subjective, but generally it shows when the person really plays to their strengths and shows who they are. Squidward spends the whole episode being a pompous ass with his showboating, but Spongebob wins everyone over just by humbly cleaning up the produce.
- Bottle Episode: The whole episode is set at the Krusty Krab.
- Break the Haughty: After spending the whole episode rudely ignoring Spongebob, belittling the other contestants, and pumping up his act, Squidward is booed off the stage with a hail of vegetables and told by all of Bikini Bottom that he has no talent. And Spongebob wins over the crowd and brings the house down despite Squidward telling him the whole time he had no talent.
- Brick Joke: The first scene in the episode involves Mr. Krabs setting up a free salad bar in the Krusty Krab to bring in customers. Later in the episode, customers run to the same salad bar to get tomatoes to throw at the dancing Squidward. Mr. Krabs takes notice of this and puts a small label reading "$1.00" on the salad bar. The audience doesn't care, with one member stating "It's worth every penny".
- Characterization Marches On: Krabs actually offers free salad out of desperation to get customers. Once people start using it to pelt Squidward, naturally he starts charging for it.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In later seasons, Mr. Krabs would never be desperate enough to try a "free" anything in his business.
- A Good, Old-Fashioned Paint Watching: A variant. All of the other acts are dead on arrival, but Spongebob just mopping the stage brings the house down!!
- Here We Go Again!: The talent show is a massive success, and Mr. Krabs has plans to hold another one next week.
- Insult Backfire: When an angry Squidward fires back at his booing audience, they prove good at word play.Squidward: You bottom feeders! You don't even know talent!Audience: NO TALENT! NO TALENT! NO TALENT!
- It's All About Me: Squidward makes almost no effort to hide that the talent show is more for his own gain than for the Krusty Krab. When it's time for his act, he presents it with a ton of fanfare. Within seconds, he's booed at and pelted with fruits and vegetables.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Squidward gets booed and forced off the stage by the audience while they embrace SpongeBob as perfect karma for the abrasive way Squidward treated the latter.
- Mood Whiplash: Squidward's dance routine instantly changes mood on a dime from graceful to heavy rave.
- Narcissist: Squidward couldn't care less about the other acts, but he presents his own act with such enthusiasm.
- Nepotism: Pearl only got to be in the talent show because she's Mr. Krabs' daughter.
- Produce Pelting: The audience hits Squidward with produce from the free salad bar, prompting Mr. Krabs to start charging.Customer: It's worth every penny!
- Small Name, Big Ego: Squidward sets up a talent show largely for his own gain, presents his own act with a ton of fanfare, and declares it to be the best... but within minutes, the audience is pelting him with tomatoes and booing him off the stage.
- Smoke Out: Plankton attempts it, but fails.Plankton: Well, this stinks. (pathetically leaves the Krusty Krab while being booed at)
- Stylistic Suck: Squidwards show is cheesy, but ultimately hilarious.
- Take Our Word for It: Gary's beat poetry, which somehow brings Sandy to tears despite it being just meowing.
- Tremor Trampoline: When Pearl does her cheerleading routine.
- Water Is Air: SpongeBob's act as "The Amazing Mister Absorbency" has him absorb water...while he is underwater.
- Whole Plot Reference: To the classic Looney Tunes short Show Biz Bugs, down to the floor-sweeping scenes.
- Wingding Eyes: Squidward has stars in his eyes when he tells Mr. Krabs about his plans for the talent show.
United States airdate: September 18, 1999
Canada airdate: July 29, 2000
SpongeBob thinks that Plankton is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood, and teaches him how to have fun. Unfortunately, Plankton really is evil and is trying to con SpongeBob into giving him the Krabby Patty formula.
F.U.N provides examples of (YMMV here):
- An Aesop: Even if you get on someone's good side, you can't change who they are. Only they can.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Absolutely everyone hates Plankton in Bikini Bottom, as suggested when they all call him a loser while Spongebob was trying to console him.Squidward: How does it feel to be the most hated thing in Bikini Bottom, Plankton?! It hurts, does it?! I know!
- Battle Strip: Parodied. SpongeBob rips off a layer of himself to reveal the same appearance before he chases Plankton.
- Befriending the Enemy: "I bet if Plankton had just one friend, he wouldn't be such a meanie."
- Blatant Lies: After SpongeBob pulls out the Krabby Patty Plankton hid in his pockets, Plankton tries to deny what it is, until SpongeBob makes him crack.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Plankton could have won if he just ran straight to the Chum Bucket instead of running around the city to lose Spongebob. It is across the street from the Krusty Krab after all!
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: SpongeBob inadvertently does this to Plankton when he puts on a disguise from a magic shop, SpongeBob tells how he once saw a magician who said, "If you believe in yourself, and with a tiny pinch of magic, all your dreams will come true". Its sentimentality irritates Plankton so much, he drops his disguise.Plankton: After all these years, I thought I was the master of torture. But that... that just wasn't fair!
- Dark Reprise: Plankton's version of the Fun Song.F is for fire that burns down the whole town!
U is for uranium... bombs!
N is for no survivors, WHEN YOU-
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Plankton doesn't even understand what fun is.
- Evil Feels Good: Plankton's quote about stealing the Krabby Patty contributes this trope:Plankton: "Being evil is just too much fun!"
- Forbidden Friendship: It's very clear that Mr. Krabs does NOT want Spongebob and Plankton to become friends. Same goes for Karen, who condescends Plankton he must not befriend SpongeBob and only use him to get the Krabby Patty.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: When the Krusty Krab goes into lockdown during Plankton's infiltration, the pot that Spongebob is cooking with has a little metal door close over it.
- Going Native: Karen accuses Plankton of this after catching him wearing square pants.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Karen. She's the one who egged on Plankton to take advantage of SpongeBob in order to get the Krabby Patty, even though Plankton was sincerely enjoying a day of fun with his new spongy friend.
- Hammerspace: Plankton hides a Krabby Patty ten times his size in his pocket.
- Impossible Theft: Plankton manages to steal a Krabby Patty and replace it with a cardboard standee without even touching it, and with the camera on it the whole time.
- Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Plankton has one of him using a jellyfish to become the new dictator of Bikini Bottom as he triumphantly declares he's won.
- Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: SpongeBob is able to fly by twirling a cop's baton as a rotor.
- Kick the Dog: When told he has sat on one of Spongebobs friends, Bubble Bass simply smirks and mushes his rear further into the seat.
- Kneel Before Zod: During Plankton's Imagine Spot of using a giant jellyfish to conquer Bikini Bottom.Plankton: All knees will bow to Plankton! Hail Plankton! I win! I win!...
- Mood Whiplash: Spongebob's song, compared to Plankton's song.
- Morality Pet: SpongeBob tries and fails to become one for Plankton.
- Not So Great Escape: Plankton attempts to escape by tearing through a movie screen, but doesn't count on the concrete wall behind it.
- Off-Model: Plankton's size in relation to everything else is all over the place here. At one point, he's shown to be half the height of the doorway to the Chum Bucket.
- Papa Wolf: Mr. Krabs shows shades of this when it comes to his (rightful) suspicions of Plankton.
- Put on a Bus: This would be the last appearance of Bubble Bass for several seasons.
- A Round of Drinks for the House: After foiling Plankton, Mr. Krabs offers to give SpongeBob a Krabby Patty "on me", but then reconsiders and adds "Well, maybe at a discount."
- Shout-Out: Mr. Krabs' line "And maybe scallops'll fly out of my pants!" is a G-rated version of a similar line from Wayne's World ("Yeah, right! And maybe monkeys'll fly outta my butt!").
- Spelling Song: "The Fun Song". Doubles as a Friendship Song.F is for friends who do stuff together
U is for you and me.
N is for anywhere and anytime at all
Down here in the deep blue sea!
- Sympathy for the Devil: What kicks off the story. SpongeBob feels so bad for Plankton that he figures that being friends with him might turn him into a nicer person.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Plankton disguises himself and stands in front of a magic shop when SpongeBob arrives. He doesn't recognize Plankton, but when he sees the magic shop he starts gushing about a magician he saw once, until Plankton has enough and gives up. "And all this time I thought I was the master of torture, but that... that just wasn't fair!"
- Un-Paused: Plankton closes the door on SpongeBob in the middle of saying "I like to go jellyfi..." When he returns sometime later, SpongeBob finishes where he left off: "...ishing with my friends at Jellyfish Fields."
- Villainous Glutton: Bubble Bass only abandons his seat (even after being told hes sitting on someone) when Spongebob throws a few pieces of popcorn away to distract him.
- Wham Shot: At first, it appears that Mr Krabs' suspicions about Plankton going straight were unfounded... until a cardboard cutout of the Krabby Patty he was trying to trap Plankton with falls over.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Fun"?: Plankton starts scheming to use the jellyfish's stingers to wreak havoc on Bikini Bottom and become their new dictator so that he can finally win. SpongeBob then says jellyfishing isn't about winning, it's about having fun. Plankton asks what "fun" means. Cue the F.U.N. song.