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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 1 E 17 "Arrgh!" / "Rock Bottom"

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United States airdate: March 15, 2000

Canada airdate: November 25, 2000
"Based on a real treasure map."

After becoming obsessed with a treasure hunting board game, Mr. Krabs takes SpongeBob and Patrick in search of real buried treasure.

It’s a slow day at the Krusty Krab and Mr. Krabs is bored out of his shell. That is until Spongebob shouts that he’s found some gold doubloons. Krabs leaps to snatch them up to find that Spongebob and Patrick were playing a board game called "The Flying Dutchman's Treasure Hunt" (that is claimed on the box to be based on a real treasure map). The thrill of winning gets Krabs hooked and he keeps playing and playing until Spongebob is forced to push him out of his house and scream at the top of his lungs “I want to go to bed” at Mr. Krabs to get his point across. Krabs realizes that he went overboard and lets Spongebob sleep. That it until morning comes and it’s revealed that Krabs has gotten himself a real pirate boat and his crew will be Patrick and Spongebob. The terrible trio then proceeds to go on a wild goose chase on boat and on foot when they become marooned, following Krab’s map to find the treasure that takes all day. At nightfall they make camp and the dimwitted duo can’t help but look at the map. They quickly regret their decision when it turns out the “map” is the board game taped to paper… and Mr. Krabs has become mad with greed. Spongebob and Patrick cower before their “captain” and accidentally find the X where the real Dutchman’s treasure is buried. The loyal crew digs up the treasure and ponders what they’ll do with their share but Captain Krabs won’t give up “his” treasure. The resulting argument wakes up the Flying Dutchman and Krabs sells out his crew to avoid his wrath. Instead of punishing them he rewards them with a doubloon each for their hard work. Krabs demands a piece of the pie as well and gets his fair share: a plastic treasure chest (“…It’s based on a real treasure). The episode ends with Krabs sweating and Patrick commenting on it one last time.


Arrgh! contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: Those who want all, may end up with nothing.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At first it appears that the Flying Dutchman is angry at SpongeBob and Patrick for taking his treasure, but then he thanks them for digging it up for him and rewards them with a gold doubloon each.
  • Brick Joke: Patrick pointing out how sweaty Mr. Krabs is.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    Mr. Krabs: So, you think old Krabs has gone crazy, do ye?
    SpongeBob: No, Mr. Krabs! We don't think that at all!
    Patrick: I think that.
  • The Cat Came Back: No matter how many times SpongeBob tries to get rid of him, Mr. Krabs is always there urging him to play the board game.
  • Dressed to Plunder: Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob and Patrick some pirate accessories to wear. SpongeBob puts on two peg legs and calls himself Peggy the Pirate, while Patrick puts eyepatches over both eyes and calls himself Blindbeard the Pirate.
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  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: After SpongeBob and Patrick dig up the treasure, the Flying Dutchman comes to reclaim it, but gives them each a gold doubloon as a reward. Mr. Krabs demands a reward too, so the Dutchman gives him a plastic replica of his treasure chest.
  • Everybody Cries: After hearing SpongeBob and Patrick's complaints about feeling tired and hungry, Mr. Krabs laments that he would be nothing without a loyal crew and starts crying. This makes SpongeBob and Patrick feel so guilty that they start crying too.
  • Excited Episode Title: A hearty pirate's cry it is.
  • Eye Pop: When Mr. Krabs' map opens, SpongeBob and Patrick extend their eyeballs and rub them all over it.
  • Fictional Mystery, Real Prize: In-Universe. The boardgame is stated to be based on a real treasure map, but there's no mention of a contest. They only follow it because of Mr. Krabs' obsession with finding the treasure.
  • Fool's Map: Played with. Mr. Krabs' map turns out to be the gameboard, but that turns out to be based on a real treasure map (as the box said).
  • George Jetson Job Security: Mr. Krabs fires Patrick for getting ahead of him in the game. When Patrick points out he doesn't work for him, Krabs hires him just to fire him.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: For the first time in the series proper, Mr. Krabs paid for his greed. After finding the treasure, Mr. Krabs reveals that he has no intention of sharing it with either Spongebob or Patrick, instead intending to keep it all for himself. Their arguing wakes up the Flying Dutchman, who furiously demands to know who dug up his treasure. Mr. Krabs immediately blames it on Spongebob and Patrick (and technically he is correct). However, the Dutchman is actually impressed that they saved him the trouble of digging up his treasure and rewards them each with a gold doubloon and Mr. Krabs with nothing but a worthless plastic chest. So bascially, if Mr. Krabs had just been willing to share the treasure with Spongebob and Patrick, he would have gotten some. But instead ends up with nothing.
  • It's All About Me: Mr. Krabs reveals to SpongeBob and Patrick that he wants all of the treasure for himself, but SpongeBob objects.
  • Loophole Abuse: SpongeBob warns Patrick that Mr. Krabs specifically told them to never look at the map. Patrick then tells SpongeBob that Krabs didn't say anything about touching it.
  • No Sense of Direction: Patrick. "Oh, east! I thought you said 'weest'."
  • Oh, Crap!: SpongeBob and Patrick when they find out that Mr. Krabs' "map" is just their game board taped to a piece of paper. They have an even bigger one afterward when Mr. Krabs appears right behind them.
  • Running Gag: SpongeBob or Patrick pointing out how sweaty Mr. Krabs is.
  • Sanity Slippage: Patrick and SpongeBob think Mr. Krabs is undergoing this when they see where his map actually came from.
  • Shout-Out: Spongebob and Patrick are forbidden to see the map, but when they go into Mr Krab's tent and find he's not there, they look at it and make a horrifying discovery that it's just their board game taped to a piece of paper and that Krabs has gone insane. Then Krabs shows up and tries to hurt them..sound familiar?
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Mr. Krabs instructs SpongeBob on how to speak pirate by saying "Argh!" all the time. It backfires when he spots a reef and takes too much time to warn Krabs by putting "Argh!" after every single word.
    Mr. Krabs: From now on, only the captain says "Argh!"
  • Treasure Hunt Episode: Krabs takes SpongeBob and Patrick to look for treasure.
  • Treasure Map: The Dutchman's Treasure board game is supposedly based on a real treasure map. Later, Krabs claims to have a real map, but it turns out to be the game board. Fortunately, it really was based on a treasure map.
  • Victorious Chorus: Parodied when the Flying Dutchman rewards SpongeBob and Patrick for digging up his treasure ("Two gold doubloons!") and when he gives Mr. Krabs a plastic treasure chest ("Plastic!")
  • Wingding Pupils: Mr. Krabs' eyestalks turn into an X when they find the X that marks the buried treasure.
  • "X" Marks the Spot: There's a literal X on the ground where the treasure is buried.

United States airdate: March 15, 2000

Canada airdate: November 25, 2000

After a fun-filled day at Glove World, SpongeBob and Patrick board the wrong bus and end up stranded in Rock Bottom, a strange town deep on the ocean floor. After Patrick quickly leaves on another bus, SpongeBob must try to hitch a bus as well, which is harder than it seems.

"These aren't your everyday tropes. These are...advanced tropes!":

  • Ambiguous Gender: As noted in "Which Restroom" Dilemma, it's hard to tell what sex any of the Rock Bottom residents are. Not helping matters is that one of them lays an egg (through its mouth) and another is a male-sounding anglerfish with the glowing lure of a female.
  • Angrish: SpongeBob does it when an egg hatches four more creatures in front of him on line, causing him to sink into his pants and jump around violently while cussing.
  • An Aesop: Make sure you know where you're going and you know what to do in case an emergency happens (like being stranded). It doesn't hurt to have extra food and money with you as well, again in case of emergency.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: The anglerfish that helps Spongebob out has a glowing lure but a distinctively masculine voice—in real life, only the females have lures.
  • Balloonacy: How SpongeBob manages to leave Rock Bottom.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: The residents of Rock Bottom blow raspberries within their sentences as their Speech Impediment, and they cannot understand outsiders unless they do the same thing.
  • Butt-Monkey: SpongeBob really gets it hard in his attempts to get out of Rock Bottom. Taken to the extreme when SpongeBob reaches down to grab a candy bar from a vending machine when the bus arrives and the bus repeatedly goes back and forth while SpongeBob sticks his hand in and out. When he tries to fake out the bus, it just zooms away anyways, and while he's on the other side of a street, a Rock Bottom dweller just takes the candy bar himself.
  • Cloud Cuckooland: From what little we see of it, Rock Bottom seems to be this.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ever get lost while taking public transportation? Chances are you wound up in a place that feels just as alien and creepy as Rock Bottom.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Rock Bottom also means you're in a situation where it couldn't be any worse.
  • Eldritch Location: Rock Bottom comes off as one.
  • Eldritch Ocean Abyss: The town of Rock Bottom is populated by numerous deformed-looking fish that terrify Spongebob and Patrick.
  • Genius Loci: Even Rock Bottom's soil is different as it's capable of talking when SpongeBob picked up a handful of it.
    Pile of Soil: Would you (raspberry) mind (raspberry) putting me down?
  • Growling Gut: SpongeBob's stomach growls while he's waiting for the bus. He resolves to stay put until the bus comes, but then his stomach growls again.
  • Help Mistaken for Attack: How SpongeBob conceived the Anglerfish.
  • Here We Go Again!: SpongeBob finally makes it back home, just as Patrick passes by on a bus to get him back.
  • Humiliation Conga: This whole episode is one for SpongeBob, as he can't get a bus to escape Rock Bottom.
  • Jerkass:
    • The bus driver who throws SpongeBob and Patrick off his bus in Rock Bottom when they need his help to get back home. And this all because he had enough of being hit with SpongeBob's balloon.
    • The one-eyed thing who outright steals SpongeBob's Kelp Nougat Crunch bar. He never gets punished for it!
  • Missed the Bus: SpongeBob keeps missing each bus that comes along. In fact, the buses seem to be actively avoiding him, as if the driver of the bus he was kicked off of radioed to the other drivers to intentionally leave him behind due to his annoying balloon.
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: SpongeBob makes himself look like his grandfather, complete with walker, while quoting him.
  • Nice Guy: The anglerfish that pursues Spongebob's balloon turns out to have been doing so with the intention of helping Spongebob get home.
  • No Snack For You: SpongeBob tries to get a snack from a vending machine across the street from the bus stop, but every time he tries, a bus passes by and leaves him. He finally manages to get one, but as he reaches for it, the bus arrives, teasing him by going back and forth as SpongeBob moves his hand in and out and revving up as he touches the candy bar. SpongeBob makes a break for it, but the bus leaves. And to top it off, someone takes his candy bar, and when SpongeBob goes after him, three buses go by.
  • Now You Tell Me: Before going off to get a bus schedule, SpongeBob tells Patrick to wait for a bus and call him if one comes. Patrick does...after he's already on it.
  • Oh, Crap!: SpongeBob when he sees that the bus is leaving Bikini Bottom.
    SpongeBob: Patrick, I think we're on the wrong—(screams as the bus goes careening down a 90 degree slope) BUS!
  • Plank Gag: Every time SpongeBob turns around to look for his wallet, he hits the bus driver with his big, glove-shaped balloon. Eventually he gets so fed up with getting hit that he tells SpongeBob to get to his seat without paying.
  • Right on Queue: SpongeBob goes on an incredibly long line to get a bus schedule. When he finally makes it, the man at the counter tells him the next bus leaves in five seconds. "Sorry, kid, that's the last one till morning."
  • Running Gag:
    • SpongeBob missing the bus, which makes up a large part of the episode.
    • SpongeBob's balloon hitting the bus driver by accident.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The denizens of Rock Bottom are obscure deep-sea creatures such as gulper eels, anglerfish, and viperfish.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The comically stupid Patrick escapes Rock Bottom early in the episode to make Spongebob's experience there more unsettling and foreboding.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The guy who chases after Spongebob's balloon when he first arrives in Rock Bottom.
    Spongebob: "Thank (raspberry) you (raspberry)!"
    Guy: You're welcome.
  • Tastes Like Feet: SpongeBob eats some Glove World candy, then spits it out because it's "glove flavored".
  • Vot Ocksent?: Inverted. Rock Bottomites can't understand SpongeBob's "accent" unless he speaks in raspberries like them.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Rock Bottom never makes a television appearance again, just in the video games and a 4D ride. Averted in 2017 where it returns in the episode "Out of the Picture".
  • "Which Restroom" Dilemma: Patrick can't tell which Rock Bottom bathroom to use, because one is marked with a question mark and the other with an inverted question mark. SpongeBob suggests waiting for someone to come out so they can tell, but the bizarre creatures that go through the doors don't help.

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