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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 3 E 2 "Club SpongeBob" / "My Pretty Seahorse"

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United States airdate: July 12, 2002

Canada airdate: December 11, 2002

Club SpongeBob

SpongeBob and Patrick get Squidward into their little club... which takes them all the way out into the middle of the forest.

The episode begins with SpongeBob and Patrick heckling Squidward as he bikes to work. When Squidward demands to know what they’re doing, they say he can’t as he’s not a part of the club and he couldn’t get in even if he tried! Squidward, incensed by their mockery, climbs the stalk despite the dimwitted duo telling him he can’t get in. It turns out Squidward can’t get in because the clubhouse is too small to fit SpongeBob and Patrick, let alone all three of them. Squidward tries to escape by climbing down a vine but winds up pulling the clubhouse and stalk. When the vine breaks, the three stooges are launched like a catapult through the air before crashing deep within a kelp forest. While the ditzy duo cheer like they had gone on the best thrill ride in their lives, Squidward panics as now they're lost with no help… save for the “Magic Conch”, a toy conch shell the devout duo treat with the zeal of a prophet. Squidward doesn’t believe their stupidity and leaves to find a way out, only to become lost and frightened. He runs until he sees light… and winds up back at the clearing. The next scene has Squidward struggling to eat near his small shelter made out of the club while he mocks his neighbors "as if the answers to all your problems will fall right out of the sky!” Just above a plane is falling out of the sky and drops the load, right onto SpongeBob and Patrick, complete with food, shelter, and a roaring fire. Squidward tries to get in on the luck too but they will only do it if he asks the Magic Conch Shell. The shell turns out not to like Squidward and responds to anything he asks for it says “no”. Squidward is about to blow up in a rage before a park ranger chops his way in the clearing. Squidward tells him he’s been trapped for weeks with the dim duo and their Magic Conch Shell - unfortunately, the ranger is also a member of the club. The episode ends with Squidward breaking down and joining the club in doing nothing until help arrives.

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Club Spongebob contains examples of:

  • Already the Case: When Squidward bemoans being stuck in the Kelp Forest with SpongeBob and Patrick, they remark it could be worse; he could be bald and have a big nose. Of course, Squidward already has both of those.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Considering that the Magic Conch Shell is supportive of Spongebob and Patrick, and that its command to do "Nothing" led to them getting food, and that another one led someone with a machete to them, it is a bit hard to tell if the Magic Conch Shell is genuinely useless/malicious and the benefits the characters get are just Contrived Coincidence, or the Shell is just mean to those who doubt it and actually is correct that doing nothing will lead to them getting out of the Kelp Forest. Related to Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane below.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted. The park ranger is just as lost (and loony) as they are.
  • Big "WHY?!": Squidward exclaims this after he is launched into the kelp forest with SpongeBob and Patrick, and wonders why every 11 minutes of his life is filled with misery.
  • Break the Haughty: Happens to Squidward when the toy conch shell keeps saying no.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    Squidward: I'll have you know that I am a member of over 20 different exclusive clubs all across the sea bottom!
    Patrick: What did he say?
    SpongeBob: I don't know. Something about his nose?
    Patrick: Squidward, you and your nose will definitely not fit in!
  • Companion Cube: The toy conch shell which SpongeBob and Patrick base all their decisions on. Their devotion to it borders on Cargo Cult.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While Squidward was being a bit of Jerkass, he had every right to doubt the conch shell, seeing how it looked like a toy on the outside. Unfortunately, the conch apparently has it in for Squidward, as it's willing to let him starve to death by that reason alone.
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  • Emergency Cargo Dump: A plane carrying picnic supplies has to jettison its cargo to keep from crashing. It all lands neatly in front of SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward.
  • Exact Words: Patrick warns Squidward against trying to join the club, as he "wouldn't fit in". Squidward climbs up and as it turns out, he literally could not fit into their treehouse as it was way too small. Patrick, who had been stuck up there with SpongeBob for three days is very quick to lampshade this.
  • Gilligan Cut: Squidward mocks SpongeBob and Patrick for thinking the answers to all their problems will just "fall right out of the sky". Next scene:
    Pilot: Dude! We're falling right out of the sky!
  • Going in Circles: Squidward attempts to find his own way out of the kelp forest, but soon finds himself lost, until he sees an opening. Upon leaping through it, he initially thinks he's free... until he notices he's back in the same clearing with SpongeBob and Patrick, finally making him give up.
    Squidward: There's no way out of here.
  • It's All About Me: Squidward squishes a bug and refuses to share food with SpongeBob and Patrick while mocking them for listening to the Magic Conch Shell.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Why must every 11 minutes of my life be filled with MISERY? WHY???"
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Related to the ambiguity mentioned above, is the Magic Conch Shell genuinely all-knowing as Patrick claims, or is it just a useless toy as Squidward thinks? The fact that no proper resolution is reached (see below), and that the picnic supplies falling and the other Club Member's Conch sending him to the rescue (sort of) may have been Contrived Coincidences leaves it a bit up in the air...
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Calling Squidward a villain is a bit of a stretch, but SpongeBob and Patrick wouldn't have gotten out of the treehouse if it wasn't for Squidward accidentally slingshotting it and causing it to smash open.
  • No Ending: There's no resolution to the problem of getting out of the forest.
  • Pet the Dog: Patrick asks the Conch whether Squidward can have any food and apologizes to him when the Conch says no.
    Patrick: Here, let me try. Magic Conch, could Squidward have some of this yummy, delicious, super-terrific sandwich?
    Magic Conch: No.
    Patrick: Hmm... Could I have this yummy, delicious, super-terrific sandwich?
    Magic Conch: Yes.
    Patrick: All right! (vacuums in the sandwich and burps) Sorry, Squidward.
  • Prematurely Marked Grave: Lost in the kelp forest, Patrick is seen building coffins for himself, SpongeBob and Squidward until Spongebob says it isn't the end to a physically and literally deflated Squidward.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Squidward gives a smug one to SpongeBob and Patrick for listening to the magic conch shell while holding a pan with a bug on it.
    Squidward: Doesn't that smell good, SpongeBob? You haven't eaten in days. How about you, Patrick? A big boy's gotta eat. Well, you can't have any. And do you know why, SpongeBob? Because your club president is a shell! (shakes his butt in SpongeBob's face) If you had listened to me, you'd have food, shelter, and a roaring fire. But instead you listened to a talking clam... that tells you nothing! As if the answers to solve all your problems will fall right out of the sky! [laughs] Fall right out of the sky!
    (camera switches to an airplane falling out of the sky)
  • Robinsonade: SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward go through this. But ironically this is only a bad thing for Squidward. If anything, it's an improvement for SpongeBob and Patrick over their previous situation!
  • Sanity Slippage: Squidward completely breaks once he realizes the rescuer is another Magic Conch Shell follower and joins him, SpongeBob, and Patrick in the act.
  • Sausage String Silliness: When Squidward notices smoked sausages among the banquet, which are his favorite, he sniffs them. Unfortunately, Patrick then starts sucking them up, along with Squidward's sausage-shaped nose.
  • Shaking the Rump: Squidward does this in front of SpongeBob while mocking him for listening to the magic conch shell.
  • Snarky Inanimate Object: The Conch Shell sure has it in for Squidward, despite him being a Jerkass to her.
  • Tree Buchet: Squidward accidentally propels the clubhouse into the woods when he tries to pull his way out, creating a buchet.
  • Treehouse of Fun: The clubhouse, built on a tall seaweed stalk.
  • Troll: The Magic Conch Shell towards Squidward.
    Squidward: Could I have something to eat?
    Magic Shell: No.
    Squidward: Could I have something to eat?
    Magic Shell: No.
    Squidward: Could I have something to eat?
    Magic Shell: No.
    Squidward: CAN'T YOU SAY ANYTHING ELSE BUT NO!?
    Magic Shell: Try asking again.
    Squidward: (hopefully) Can I have something to eat?
    Magic Shell: (snarkily) No!
  • Wish Upon a Shooting Star: As the clubhouse is flung through the kelp forest, a couple mistook it as a shooting star and the man tells his wife to make a wish.

My Pretty Seahorse

SpongeBob befriends a seahorse he calls Mystery, but trouble ensues when it follows him to the Krusty Krab.

It’s Springtime in Bikini Bottom and SpongeBob has spring fever. While SpongeBob loves the plants, they sure don’t love Squidward as they hiss at him when he said “hello”, which SpongeBob thinks is Hay Fever. As a kindness, SpongeBob plants some hypoallergenic flowers for him but finds them mysteriously disappearing every time he looks away. He keeps an eye on a new flower for three days straight for it to be gone the moment he looks away. It turns out a seahorse mare has been eating them, and her beauty captivates the sponge. He watches her behind a rock noting her grace and majesty and thinks of very original names for her, like “Grace” or Majesty”… or “Debbie”. He befriends her when she eats his floral bookmark goes to bond with a montage. The next day SpongeBob takes the seahorse, now called “Mystery”, but finds not everybody loves her as much as he does when she kicks Scooter over the horizon and his friend freaks out. Mr. Krabs calls her a monster and wants her out and tells him to get rid of her. Instead of listening, SpongeBob hides Mystery in the kitchen. She winds up loving the taste of Krabby Patties…and everything else (including Old Man Jenkins)! Mr. K finds out when too many orders disappear and threatens to fire SpongeBob. He asks Mr. Krabs if he ever had a bond like they did to find that Mr. K did and had to learn to let go as well and that a restaurant isn’t a place for her. SpongeBob agrees and tearfully tells Mystery (and Patrick) to leave. Mr. K comforts him before Squidward says that Mystery left with an after dinner salad of Mr. Krabs’ money. Mr. K and SpongeBob chase after her as it fades to black. The episode ends with Patrick trying to get into a hat shop despite the board nailed to his forehead.

My Pretty Seahorse contains examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • Don't bring home or tame wild animals.
    • Don't bring pets to work, as it can be disruptive - especially animals too big and hungry to be pets.
    • A pet is not worth having if it interferes with you working at your job.
  • Ass Shove: Implied when two fish mistake Mystery for a kiddie ride and search for the coin slot.
  • Big Eater: Mystery. SpongeBob completely underestimates her appetite, thinking she'd be full with just one Krabby Patty. Not even the Krusty Krab's entire food inventory is able to keep her full.
  • Brick Joke: When SpongeBob says that Patrick is building a stable for Mystery, it cuts to Patrick with a board nailed to his head. The board remains there when he appears at the end.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: As Mr. Krabs comforts SpongeBob for letting Mystery go, Squidward suddenly interrupts the conversation and reveals that Mystery ate all the money in the vault, making Krabs and SpongeBob run after Mystery, disappearing into the distance.
    Squidward: Hey, Mr. Krabs! Looks like ol' Mystery had an after-dinner salad!
    (points at money vault, nearly empty with bits of eaten cash)
    Mr. Krabs: GET THAT HORSE!
    (He and SpongeBob run after Mystery)
    SpongeBob: Mystery!
    Mr. Krabs: Mystery! Come back!
    SpongeBob: Mystery! Weesnaw!
    Both: Mystery! Come back here!
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Mr. Krabs first tells SpongeBob to get rid of Mystery:
    SpongeBob: I knew I should have named her Debbie.
  • End-of-Episode Silliness: The above scene of SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs chasing after Mystery is only the penultimate scene of the episode. The final scene is a random Overly Long Gag of Patrick trying to walk through a doorway that he can't fit through because of the wooden board nailed to his head.
  • Epic Fail:
    • SpongeBob asks Patrick to build a stable for Mystery, and Patrick somehow manages to nail a plank to his head.
    • Mystery had to stay hidden from Mr. Krabs for the rest of SpongeBob's shift, which was eight hours. She comes out of hiding after only 12 seconds.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Mystery eats many things in the Krusty Krab, including SpongeBob's hat, his spatula, all the patties, the stove, Mr. Krabs' money, even Old Man Jenkins! (He gets better.)
  • Eye Pop: SpongeBob is determined to find out who is eating his flowers when he's not looking, so he extends his eyeballs for extra focus. He ends up doing this for three days, periodically watering his eyes so they don't dry out. Then Patrick passes by and says hello, and in the brief moment SpongeBob looks away to greet him back, the flower gets eaten.
  • The Ghost: Who did leave that bowl of onions lying around?
  • Good-Times Montage: After Mystery eats SpongeBob's floral bookmark, we see a montage of the two of them having fun together.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Two customers spit out their Krabby Patties when they overhear Mr. Krabs telling SpongeBob that "the kitchen is no place for a live horse."note 
  • Jerkass Has a Point: It was ridiculously shallow for Mr. Krabs to compare the sentimental value of SpongeBob's horse to a dollar bill, but he does make a good point that horses don't belong in fast food restaurant kitchens and they're much happier back in the wild.
  • Jerk-to-Nice-Guy Plot: Mr. Krabs' barking at SpongeBob to get rid of Mystery was blatantly rash and hostile. The second time Mr. Krabs sees SpongeBob with his seahorse, SpongeBob reasons that, as destructive as Mystery can be, he still loves her. Mr. Krabs then breaks it down more gently on why he should still release Mystery anyway, since she'd be healthier and happier back in the wild and not in a restaurant kitchen.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: SpongeBob, when naming Mystery, considers calling her Grace or Majesty... or Debbie.
  • No, You:
    SpongeBob: That's not a monster, Mr. Krabs, it's a horse. She's my friend. Her name is Mystery.
    Mr. Krabs: You're a mystery, SpongeBob.
  • Onion Tears: Squidward seems to be crying for Mystery, but in reality, there's a bowl of onions next to him. Later a random customer is seen crying, but it turns out Squidward has passed the onions on to him.
  • Running Gag: Someone crying during a Tear Jerker due to a bowl of onions under their face.
  • Shoo the Dog: Played for Laughs (sort of) when SpongeBob, overcome with emotion and sobbing into his hands, doesn't realise Mystery has already left and continues to shoo her away, then unwittingly shoos away Patrick as well.
    SpongeBob: Just get out of here, you stupid, dumb animal! [Patrick walks away without reaction]
  • Shout-Out: The title of this episode is an obvious take on My Little Pony.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Happens on two occasions.
    • The first is when Squidward randomly explodes after crashing his bike and falling down a cliff.
    • The second is when Scooter gets kicked into the distance by Mystery after mistaking her for a kiddie ride. He explodes on impact.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: As a consequence of eating frozen processed meat (Krabby Patties) and inedible things like a gas stove, a spatula, and even Old Man Jenkins, Mystery falls ill, and Mr. Krabs catches SpongeBob having to nurse her with bicarbonate of soda.
  • Swallowed Whole: Old Man Jenkins.

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