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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S2 E20 "Squid on Strike" / "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm"

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United States airdate: October 12, 2001

Canada airdate: April 12, 2002

"Squid on Strike"

After Mr. Krabs enforces a new fine system for the most mundane things (like existing), Squidward convinces SpongeBob to go on strike with him, not realizing it would cost him his job. But when SpongeBob hears how passionate Squidward's speeches are, he begins to get a bit too literal with his message.

  • And I Must Scream: At the end of the episode, SpongeBob and Squidward are literally forced to work for Mr. Krabs forever, to the point where they are reduced to skeletons, while still working their jobs. SpongeBob doesn't seem to mind though, and in fact views this as the best possible outcome.
  • An Aesop: Workers should be able to go on strike for your job if your employer is not being fair to you and your co-workers.
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  • Apathetic Citizens: The Bikini Bottomites, as usual. As Squidward lampshaded:
    Squidward: "Nobody gives a care about the fate of labor as long as they can get their instant gratification."
  • Artistic License – Biology: The episode ends by skipping forward "one eternity later" to reveal SpongeBob and Squidward still working at the Krusty Krab as dusty skeletons, despite the fact that both octopuses and sea sponges are invertebrates, and therefore lack a vertebral column. Granted, this was probably made for a joke.
  • Artistic License – Law: In real life, it is illegal to fire your employees for striking and hire new staff in their place. Mr. Krabs' outrageous reasons for fining his employees wouldn't hold water either, but then again, that's the joke.
  • Bait the Dog: The teenager who compliments SpongeBob as a fry cook legend, but then takes his job away while SpongeBob was striking.
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  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Squidward wished that the Krusty Krab be dismantled. SpongeBob goes a little too literal granting that wish to Squidward's dismay by destroying the restaurant.
  • Broken Record: "Nyeh, Squidward? Nyeh, Squidward? Nyeh, Squidward?"
  • Failed a Spot Check: Mr. Krabs doesn't notice the destroyed Krusty Krab even when he walks into it, even "unlocking" the front doors with his key since he was keeping his eyes closed. He finally opens his eyes when he sits down in where his office used to be.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Naturally, Squidward is horrified at the idea of being on strike with SpongeBob forever. He envisions himself and SpongeBob as two old men still on strike note .
  • Gilligan Cut: When SpongeBob tells Mr. Krabs that he and Squidward are going on strike:
    Mr. Krabs: You mean you're gonna make picket signs?
    SpongeBob: Yeah!
    Mr. Krabs: And you're gonna make protest speeches?
    SpongeBob: Yeah, yeah!
    SpongeBob: YEAH!
    [cut to SpongeBob crying outside the Krusty Krab, after being fired]
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  • Gone Horribly Right: SpongeBob's plan to destroy the Krusty Krab to get his and Squidward's jobs back works, as they have to work there forever to pay off the damages.
  • Literal-Minded: SpongeBob takes Squidward's rally cry of "dismantling the oppressive establishment" too literally and destroys the Krusty Krab.
  • Mean Boss: Mr. Krabs as far as fining his employees for breathing, talking, and existing. Also doubles as Hypocritical Humor because even Mr. Krabs does all three.
  • Mistaken for Cheating:
    Squidward: Attention, citizens of Bikini Bottom, you have all been cheated and lied to!
    Woman: I knew it! (slaps husband)
  • Oh, Crap!: Squidward upon seeing SpongeBob has as he wished, dismantled the establishment.
  • Paying for Air: Mr. Krabs fines his employees for breathing, as well as other things, such as talking, and existing (which he charges more for than breathing). Provides the page image.
  • Running Gag: Squidward getting flattened by a crowd running over him.
  • Say My Name:
    • "Eh, Squidward? Eh, Squidward?"
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episode's plot is a comical play on the historical labor strikes over the horrible working conditions back in the nineteenth century: Mr. Krabs is the Mean Mr. Bossman, SpongeBob and Squidward were the strikers while the teenagers were the strikebreakers.
    • The song "Hey Mean Mr. Bossman", which SpongeBob listens to in his room, is a humorous reference to the folk protest songs of the early 20th century labor movement.
  • Slogan-Yelling Megaphone Guy: Squidward does this to rally the citizens for support.
    Fish 1: What's he saying?
    Fish 2: I don't know, but he's got a megaphone.
  • Streisand Effect: In-universe. Squidward's protests against the Krusty Krab only brought more publicity and so more customers to the Krusty Krab. He actually helped drum up business by going on strike, and Krabs thanks him for it.
  • Strike Episode: After Squidward is fed up with Mr. Krabs' greed and convinces SpongeBob to go on strike with him. SpongeBob eventually proves to be so terrible at it, that Squidward ends up wanting his job back so he wouldn't have to strike with him. Squidward actually goes up to Mr. Krabs to beg for his job back; but it turns out Krabs is even more desperate to get rid of the annoying teenagers he replaced them with. After a little negotiation, it seems things will go back to normal... but when SpongeBob takes the strike too far and vandalizes the Krusty Krab (he "dismantled the establishment"), Mr. Krabs forces them both to work there "forever".
  • Sudden Downer Ending: SpongeBob and Squidward get their jobs back. Unfortunately, because the former totalled the restaurant, they end up working for Mr. Krabs forever.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The teenager who takes away SpongeBob's job even while he is on strike. He and his friends then harass Mr. Krabs and later they get fired for this.
  • Time Skip:
    • When SpongeBob destroys the Krusty Krab, Mr Krabs angrily declares that in order to pay off the damages, SpongeBob and Squidward will be working there forever. The ending then jumps "one eternity later" to show the two of them reduced to skeletons yet still working at the Krusty Krab.
    • Squidward has an imaginary one earlier in the episode where he envisions himself and SpongeBob years later as old, frail and still on strike. He's understandably horrified at the prospect.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: SpongeBob has done this throughout the first half, such as struggling to toss out his hat and messing up in making a picket sign.
  • Visual Pun: One of SpongeBob's attempt to make a picket sign is that of a finger picking a nose (a pick-it sign).
  • Waiting Skeleton: The episode ends with SpongeBob destroying the Krusty Krab, and so Mr. Krabs orders SpongeBob and Squidward to work for him forever. A time card announces a skip to "one eternity later", where they have been reduced to nothing but skeletons, yet they're still working. A bit of Artistic License – Biology going on, considering that sponges and octopuses are both invertebrates, but hey.
  • Waving Signs Around: Parodied. When Squidward makes a sign reading "Krusty Krab Unfair", SpongeBob makes a sign reading "Krusty Krab Funfair". His first two attempts include a picket fence and then a picture of a guy picking his nose. He eventually draws one that says "I Love The Krusty Krab," at which point Squidward tells him to give it up.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: "On strike with SpongeBob... forever?!"

"Sandy, SpongeBob and the Worm"

After a large Alaskan Bull Worm starts wreaking havoc on Bikini Bottom, Sandy decides to take matters into her own hands, much to SpongeBob's chagrin. Patrick on the other hand...

  • An Aesop:
    • Do not underestimate how dangerous something is because of pride.
    • Anything is possible with teamwork. From defeating a worm to pushing the entire city elsewhere...
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Being The Ace of Bikini Bottom has made Sandy rather overconfident, insisting she has the Bull Worm covered in spite of SpongeBob's warnings.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "It's big, scary, and PINK!"
    Sandy: So is Patrick's belly button, but I ain't afraid of that neither.
  • Attack the Tail: The major reason Sandy tries to confront the worm is that it ate her tail.
  • Big Bad: The Alaskan Bull Worm, which is big, dangerous, actively preys on the Bikini Bottomites and serves as the main antagonist.
  • Black Comedy: SpongeBob using the paper clip and piece of string to form a necklace as they're being chased. "S for SpongeBob or S for Sandy! That way they can identify our bodies!"
  • Break the Haughty: Sandy goes to take out the Alaskan Bullworm for the sake of the town and adamantly refuses to listen to SpongeBob's warnings about how big and monstrous the thing is, convinced she's "too Texas-tough" and can easily handle the worm. In the end, she comes across the worm in a cave and apparently beats it...only to discover that what she fought was actually the worm's tongue and that the entire cave itself was the worm. SpongeBob and the Bikini Bottomites were not exaggerating over how big and monstrous it is and when she finds out all of her bravado fades in an instant.
  • Brick Joke: Patrick at one point recommends that the townspeople push Bikini Bottom somewhere else to avoid the worm. At the very end, we see that they've done that...only to get crushed by the worm.
  • Canis Major: Technically the Alaskan Bullworm is one since it's been established in the series that worms are the underwater equivalent to dogs. However, it doesn't show any dog-like behavior like other worms.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The paper clip and piece of string that SpongeBob pathetically attempted to pass off as Sandy's tail to stop her from going after the worm are both later used by Sandy as a grappling hook to latch onto a passing tree, saving SpongeBob and her from the worm by riding on top of it.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Subverted by Squidward, when discussing Patrick's plan to "take Bikini Bottom and push it somewhere else".
    Squidward: That idea might just be crazy enough... TO GET US ALL KILLED!
    • The town still try it... and proceed to get crushed by the Alaskan Bull Worm.
  • Delayed "Oh, Crap!": When Sandy sees that the thing she just fought is not the worm, but its tongue, and it slowly dawns on her just how screwed she is.
    "Ohhhhhhh... this is the tongue... and the whole... thing is the... worm." (Beat) "RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIIFE!!!!!!"
  • Destructive Savior:
    • Sandy and SpongeBob think they saved Bikini Bottom by sending the worm down a cliff. And they would have, had the town not been relocated to the bottom of that same cliff.
    • That said, Patrick and the townspeople become this when they move the town, having no faith in Sandy and SpongeBob actually succeeding in stopping the worm; they only succeed in putting themselves in harm's way by going through with this plan after the duo has left.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: How does SpongeBob try to get Sandy to admit that she was wrong about being able to take on the worm? By threatening to trip her while they're running from the thing so she'll get eaten!
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: Among the destruction the worm caused in its first rampage, one fish claimed it ate her children's homework. Her kids aren't as upset about it as her.
  • The Dreaded: The Alaskan Bull Worm. Everyone in Bikini Bottom is terrified of the thing. Mr. Krabs, a former Naval officer, says that no one would ever dare try to fight one, and even Sandy, after all of her bragging, panics when she sees it's much bigger than she imagined.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Squidward claims that Patrick's idea to move Bikini Bottom could get them all killed. It turns out that he was right (but it's a cartoon, so they're all probably okay).
    • The worm is frequently called an Alaskan Bull Worm, and Alaska is the only U.S. state bigger (by a large margin) than Sandy's home state of Texas. Sure enough, Sandy discovers that the Bull Worm is much, much bigger than she realized.
  • It's Personal: Sandy goes after the worm because it ate her tail.
  • Kaiju: The Alaskan Bull Worm.
  • Moby Schtick: Like Ahab, Sandy hunts the worm for revenge. However, she is guided not so much by obsession as overconfidence, as she fails to heed SpongeBob's warnings that the worm might be more than she can handle.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • SpongeBob at the start when he wakes up to find the worm leaving after devouring his house.
    • Sandy and SpongeBob when the worm is driven off a cliff, right when they are riding it leading them to scream and make a break for it. The worm does an Oh, Crap! too, in a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: The fish that had his butt eaten by the worm.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Bikini Bottom is completely destroyed when the bull worm lands on top of it with Sandy and SpongeBob completely unaware, and it's all Played for Laughs.
  • Post–Wake-Up Realization: SpongeBob does this when his house gets devoured by an ALASKAN BULL WORM!
  • Pride: Sandy spends the entire episode bragging about how she can easily take on the Alaskan Bull Worm, only to run away as soon as she sees just how big it is.
  • Produce Pelting: When Mr. Krabs tells the panicking people of Bikini Bottom that they should buy a Krabby patty, the crowd responds by pelting him with ketchup and mustard bottles.
  • Sanity Slippage: Old man Krabs doesn't take the idea of paying Sandy very well.
    Mr. Krabs: NOOOOOOO!!! You'll never get a cent out of me! Never! (froths at the mouth) I'D RATHER THAT WORM COME IN HERE RIGHT NOW, AND EAT YOU ALL ALIIIIIIIIVE!!!
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title is a reference to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
    • "Worm sign!"
    • The old sailor scratching a window to get attention spoofs Shaw's introduction on Jaws.
    • The episode in general is a parody of Tremors, especially the climax where the worm is tricked into jumping off a cliff to its death. Only in this version the worm survives albeit crushing the town in the process.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • A very large crowd gathers in the Krusty Krab panicking over the bull worm's rampage and what does Mr. Krabs suggest? That they all buy a Krabby Patty. He is promptly pelted with condiments.
    • SpongeBob insists to Sandy that he was right about the worm. While they're being chased by it.
      SpongeBob: Hey, wait a minute! I was right, wasn't I?!
      Sandy: Later!
      SpongeBob: Ah, he IS too big for you, isn't he?
      Sandy: Not now, SpongeBob!
      SpongeBob: I want to hear you say it.
      Sandy: Can we talk about this another time?!
      SpongeBob: Say it!
      Sandy: SpongeBob!
      SpongeBob: (sticks his foot out) Say it or I'll trip you!
      Sandy: NO! Get away!
      SpongeBob: Say it!
      Sandy: NOT NOW!
      SpongeBob: SAY IT!
      Sandy: OKAY! You were right, and I was wrong! I was wrong-wrong-wrong-wrong-wrong! Are you happy now?!
      SpongeBob: (with the smuggest look on his face) I knew it.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The last line of the episode is the worm letting out a sullen "Ouch..." after landing on Bikini Bottom.
  • Tempting Fate
    • After getting on top of the worm by using SpongeBob's paper clip and piece of string as a grappling hook, Sandy states to SpongeBob that they'll be safe now. Cue the worm driving off a cliff.
    • Patrick and the rest of the Bikini Bottomites manage to move the town to a different location unaware that it's at the bottom of the same cliff the worm falls into. As they cheer they and the town are crushed by the worm.
  • That's No Moon!: "That's not the worm, that's his tongue."
    Sandy: Ohhhh. This is the tongue. And the whole thing is the worm. ... RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIIFE!!!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sandy for openly underestimating the bull worm's size and strength; doubly so to the townspeople for going through with Patrick's plan to move the town to another location. When both sides carry out their plans at once, they come back to backfire horribly with Sandy running away in fear when she finds out what the worm is really like and Patrick and the entire town ending up being crushed by the worm.
  • Truth in Television: Mr. Krabs froths at the mouth when he thinks Sandy wants his money. Real crabs actually do froth if they have trouble breathing.
  • Visual Pun
    • Sandy says she found a "worm sign": a small sign with the word "Worm" on it.
    • The "cave" that Sandy finds the "worm" (actually his tongue) in is just the worm's mouth that it's holding open. The technical name for the entrance to a cave is "mouth."
  • Wham Line: "That's not the worm, that's its tongue." (See That's No Moon! above)
  • Wham Shot: After the above Wham Line is said the camera pans up to reveal that the entire "cave" surrounding the tongue (and that Sandy is currently in) is the worm.


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