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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 1 E 16 "Valentine's Day" / "The Paper"

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Valentine's Day

United States airdate: February 14, 2000

Canada airdate: February 14, 2001

Spongebob and Sandy have prepared a special Valentine's Day present for Patrick. But there's a bit of a delay in getting it to arrive. Will Spongebob be able to hold out on an increasingly impatient best friend?

Valentine's Day contains examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • Surprise gifts are fun, but it can backfire if you overhype the surprise and/or lie that there isn't a huge surprise. It makes it look like you don't actually care about the receiver, so beware.
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    • Prepare ahead of time so that whatever you have to bring is ready. If it doesn't work out, then you'll have enough time to come up with a backup.
    • Trust goes both ways.
  • Ax-Crazy: Patrick eventually becomes this until he sees the chocolate air balloon. He was going to beat up a whole group of people, including his best friend, after he had cornered them on a short pier.
  • Balloon-Bursting Bird: Scallops (who are the equivalent of birds in Bikini Bottom) try to eat the chocolate balloon as Sandy gets it to the fair.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sandy shows up just in time to save Spongebob and the innocent bystanders from Patrick's wrath.
  • Brutal Honesty / Blunt "Yes": The crowd when they see that Patrick's gift has arrived despite his angry denials.
    Crowd: Turn around! Come on! Behind you! Turn around!
    Patrick: You must think I'm pretty dumb, huh?!
    Crowd: YES! Turn around!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Patrick goes on a rampage and nearly beats up a group of people, starting with his best friend, all because he didn't get anything but a mere handshake for Valentine's Day.
    • Misplaced Retribution: Spongebob lampshades that Patrick shouldn't be attacking the bystanders since it was Spongebob himself who failed to make good on his promise. Patrick states that they didn't give him anything either.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Sandy harnesses the scallops to get the balloon back on course.
  • Foreshadowing: Patrick smashing a rock to pieces (thinking Spongebob's inside) is the first sign of how dangerous he can get when he wants something.
  • Goofy Suit: A guy in a heart costume becomes a victim of Patrick's wrath, as he tears the costume in half.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At the end after getting his real gift, Patrick tells SpongeBob that he didn't have to get him anything, despite going on a rampage moments earlier for not getting anything other than a handshake. Of course, knowing Patrick he just forgot about it entirely.
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  • Karma Houdini: Patrick gets absolutely no punishments for his destructive rampage.
  • Medium-Shift Gag: One of the things Patrick thinks is his gift is a live-action paramecium he sees under a microscope.
  • Poke the Poodle: One of Patrick's first actions in his rampage is to cut the strings of balloons... and then destroy the cart it was attached to.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: Patrick does one before going on his rampage.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Just as Patrick is coming to his senses after receiving only a handshake for Valentine's Day, several of SpongeBob's friends pass through to thank him for his gifts. One thanks him for a box of chocolates; another thanks him for roses; another thanks him for a new bicycle (and points out that he was a complete stranger until then). It's when someone has the nerve to ask what the time was that Patrick goes ballistic.
  • Reality Ensues: Patrick tries to destroy a giant steel tower with a heart on it. He inevitably fails because it's too heavy for him to lift, so he destroys a heart-shaped lollipop instead.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Patrick gets mad after not getting his gift and thrashes the carnival.
    Heart on stick... MUST DIE!
  • Shout-Out: Patrick's "I defy you, heart-man!" is a paraphrase of "I defy you, stars!" from Romeo and Juliet, Act 5, Scene 1.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Subverted in that the first Heart-On-Stick is a huge steel tower which Patrick fails to destroy. He then sees a little girl with a heart-shaped lollipop, and breaks that.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: SpongeBob spends Valentine's Day at the carnival with Patrick in this episode.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Horrific?: While Patrick's rampage is frightening, it only takes an announcement that "there's a chubby, pink starfish on the loose" to get the people in a panic.

The Paper

United States airdate: February 14, 2000

Canada airdate: November 18, 2000

Squidward carelessly throws a piece of chewing gum paper onto Spongebob's lawn and insists he keep it. But he begins to get jealous once he finds out what Spongebob is able to do with it.

The Paper contains examples of:

  • All for Nothing: Squidward trades in everything he had for a piece of paper which it turns out he's not creative enough to enjoy like SpongeBob and in the end he's left with literally nothing - not even his clothes.
  • Artistic License – Music: SpongeBob claims to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in A minor, but when he plays it, it's in the key of C major.
  • An Aesop: The simplest things can be a world of fun in the hands of someone creative enough. Or, alternatively, it's not what you have but how you use it that makes it fun.
  • Bottle Episode: The entire episode is set at and around Conch Street.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: Squidward's self-portrait of him playing with the paper changes faces when Squidward breaks it in half out of frustration.
  • Downer Ending: For Squidward, who ended up selling everything he had for the paper, only to not be able to have fun with it like SpongeBob did, and then losing it to Patrick, who uses it to throw away his gum. Also you can hear winds which means winter's coming, so Squidward's gonna freeze in the nude.
  • Driven by Envy: The entire conflict of the cartoon is set into motion because Squidward gets green eyed at the idea of Spongebob having fun with a simple piece of paper in spite of Squidward having many different ways of entertaining himself, and tries to one up Spongebob in having fun (only to be quickly one upped each time by Spongebob's creativity with the paper) and then tries to get the paper back to show up Spongebob and thus gratify his ego.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: SpongeBob can't believe Squidward would throw away a small scrap of paper when he could use it for so many things. It gets subverted when SpongeBob actually does find fun ways of using the paper. So many in fact that Squidward gets jealous and tries to buy the paper back.
  • Karmic Twist Ending: It wasn't the paper itself that let Spongebob do all those things, it was his creativity and optimism, which the narcissistic and dour Squidward, who was only trying to get the paper to show up Spongebob and gratify his ego, completely lacks, thus meaning he gave away all of his belongings for a worthless piece of paper.
  • Magic Feather: The titular paper. Squidward sees all of the fun Spongebob is having with it and immediately wants to back to play with, but doesn't realize that it's Spongebob's creativity that made it fun and is only a worthless piece of paper in the hands of anyone else.
  • Minimalist Cast: Only SpongeBob and Squidward appear, with a brief cameo by Patrick at the end and a crowd of fish that laugh at the paper’s joke.
  • Multipurpose Tongue: SpongeBob is able to make origami figures with his mouth (he calls it "oral-gami"). Squidward tries the same, but he just makes a wet wad of paper.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: SpongeBob finds multiple uses for that one piece of paper, from wearing it as a superhero cape, to playing music, to using it as a helicopter rotor.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: Trope Namer. Tired of SpongeBob trying to return the paper, he tells him that "no matter how much I beg, and plead, and cry, don't give that paper to me back, ever!." Naturally, when Squidward wants the paper, SpongeBob holds him to his word.
  • Studio Audience: Kids are heard cheering SpongeBob's "oral-gami". The same kids boo Squidward's failed attempt at the same.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Squidward learns this the hard way in the end when his jealously leads him to foolishly giving away all of his possessions and home for the paper, which turns out to be useless due to Squidward's lack of creativity.

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