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Recap / SpongeBob SquarePants S 3 E 3 "The Bully" / "Just One Bite"

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"Hi, SpongeBob. I'm gonna kick your butt."
Flatts the Floundernote 

United States airdate: October 5, 2001

Canada airdate: December 28, 2001

A new student named Flatts comes to Mrs. Puff's Boating School. SpongeBob obviously tries to hit it off, but Flatts insists on kicking SpongeBob's butt. At first he thinks he's joking, but when he discovers he's serious, SpongeBob begins to fear for his life.

The Bully contains examples of (YMMV here):

  • Acting Unnatural: Hiding in a bathroom stall, SpongeBob hears someone coming and tries to act natural. When the stranger opens the stall, he finds a live-action sponge floating in the toilet.
    Fish: Oh, that's real nice.
  • Actor Allusion: Thomas F. Wilson plays another bully with a perchance for the word "butt." At one point, he even drives after Spongebob in an attempt to ram him.
  • Adults Are Useless: Spongebob asks Mrs. Puff to intervene, but she stupidly misinterprets Flats as just wanting to befriend SpongeBob (though considering how much she's been shown to dislike SpongeBob herself this could be a case of Obfuscating Stupidity). Then he runs into Flats' dad and finds out that he's being bullied as well!
  • An Aesop:
  • Black Comedy: This episode would be terrifying if not played so absurdly.
  • Blatant Lies: Flatts tells Mrs. Puff that he comes from a place where ''kicking someone's butt" is his way of saying "I want to be your friend." Spongebob is not convinced.
  • The Bully: Flatts, who threatens to beat up SpongeBob for seemingly no reason.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Flats eventually collapses from the exhaustion of trying to beat up Spongebob. Mrs Puff (who did nothing to help Spongebob when Flats was bullying him) then enters, sees Flatts lying unconscious next to Spongebob, who's fist was in the air during a heroic speech, and announces her intent to beat up SpongeBob (whether or not she ever did is never shown, not like she could've done much if Flattts couldn't anyway).
  • Advertisement:
  • Department of Redundancy Department: SpongeBob says Flats is a victim of "a society that's going down a violent road to nowhere, a road I call... Violence Road."
  • Dissonant Serenity: Apparently, the best way for an old person to react to townsfolk threatening Misplaced Retribution upon them is to smile cheerfully like they want to meet you.
    Harold: How many times do we have to TEACH YOU THIS LESSON, OLD MAN?!
    Old fish: I love the young people!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Flatts telling Mrs. Puff that he comes from a place where "kicking someone's butt" means they want to be your friend sounds like an only slightly more absurd version of "he's only teasing you because he likes you."
  • Easily Forgiven: Implied and Played for Laughs with the elderly fish who got beaten up as a result of being mistaken for SpongeBob's bully. As the locals prepare to whoop him a second time ("How many times do we have to teach you this lesson, old man?!"), he simply compliments the "lovely young people" with a cheerful tone and smile as if they never laid a finger on him, with a complete lack of injuries to boot.
  • For the Evulz: Flatts wants to kick Spongebob's butt. Why? It's just what he does. Many fans believe he wanted revenge for the events of "Sandy's Rocket", though.
  • Garbage Hideout: SpongeBob hides in the trashcan to avoid Flatts the Flounder who wants to kick his butt. Unfortunately, Flatts finds him with his Garbage truck.
  • Guest Star: Flats is played by the bully himself Thomas F. Wilson aka Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future films.
  • Here We Go Again!: The episode ends with Mrs. Puff claiming that she's going to kick Spongebobs' butt.
  • Hope Spot: As Flatts chased SpongeBob with a garbage boat, the garbage boat slipped on a banana peel SpongeBob accidentally dropped. As Flatts was recovering at the hospital, it turned out SpongeBob assisted him during recovery. Flatts was touched. He'll have to remember that when he's kicking his butt.
  • Jerkass: Flats out of nowhere.
  • Kafka Comedy: The first of many times in which the show would derive humor from terrible things happening to characters who don't deserve it.
  • Karma Houdini: Zig-zagged. Flats exhausts himself trying and failing to beat up Spongebob, but he doesn't actually get in trouble. In fact, Spongebob's many attempts to get him in trouble only serve to make the situation worse.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Inverted, as Flatts spends the entire episode threatening to kick Spongebob's butt (in those exact words), but instead punches him in the face when the time comes.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: After Flatts passes out from punching him, SpongeBob makes a speech denouncing violence, raising his fist for emphasis. Enter Mrs. Puff, who sees Flats passed out on the floor and Spongebob with his fist raised and makes her own conclusion.
  • Medium-Shift Gag: SpongeBob "acting natural" as a live-action kitchen sponge.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The citizens of Bikini Bottom always attack an old man when SpongeBob freaked out about Flatts kicking his butt. Granted, they did think SpongeBob was talking about him.
  • My God, You Are Serious: When Flatts tells SpongeBob he's going to kick his butt, SpongeBob thinks he's kidding... that is, until he spells it out with his chest hair.
  • No-Sell: It turns out Flatts' punches don't harm SpongeBob at all. He tires himself to exhaustion trying to knock him out for a full day.
  • Oh, Crap!: Plenty. The first comes with Flatts convincing SpongeBob of his intent to pummel him by spelling it out with his chest hair.
  • Overly Long Gag: SpongeBob obsessing over his pencils at the start of class, much to the irritation of his classmates.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Just before he's about to get beaten up by Flats, SpongeBob tells Gary not to look as it will be ugly. In response, Gary whips out a camera.
  • Pushover Parent: Flats' father is not exempt from Flats' bullying.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: SpongeBob ends up surviving Flats's onslaught of punches, while Flats collapses from exhaustion. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, Mrs. Puff sees SpongeBob with his fist in the air (having just done a speech about the dangers of senseless violence) next to Flats's collapsed body, and decides to be the next one to threaten to kick SpongeBob's butt.
  • Rubber Man: SpongeBob is able to absorb all of Flats' fits due to his spongy structure.
  • Running Gag: SpongeBob trying to tell people about Flats' threats and the crowd assuming he's talking about an old man, whom they proceed to beat up.
  • Take That!: Mrs. Puff thinks that Spongebob beat up Flats, likely referencing zero tolerance policy (both the assaulter and the victim are in trouble for being in a fight, despite the victim being the one who suffered or was forced to defend themselves).
  • Truth in Television: While the whole thing is played for Black Comedy, the bullying situation between Spongebob and Flats isn't that inaccurate to bullying among children in schools. There's no real reason for it to happen and sometimes talking to authority figures does make it worse simply because their efforts to smooth everything out as fast as possible lead to the bully getting away with their actions.
  • Unexplained Recovery: After the first time the old man gets beaten up off-screen due to being mistaken for SpongeBob's bully, he's perfectly fine when SpongeBob runs back the other way, and acts as if the Misplaced Retribution against him never happened.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Flats, after SpongeBob performs CPR on him for three hours, STILL wants to beat him up.
    • Not to mention, at the beginning of the episode, SpongeBob introduced himself to Flatts, only to get the response, "Hi, SpongeBob. I'm gonna kick your butt."
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The female student next to SpongeBob when Mrs. Puff sees him with his fist up does not even appear to acknowledge the teacher chewing him out over Flatts, who is unconscious on the floor.
  • Victory by Endurance: SpongeBob manages to survive Flatts's pounding by being straight up immune to his punches; Flatts simply keeps punching him all day long until he finally collapses from exhaustion. Too bad SpongeBob ends up being Made Out to Be a Jerkass by Mrs. Puff.
  • Visual Pun: "Let's all put on a happy face..."
  • Wrong Restaurant: Patrick calls the boating school because he wanted to order a pizza and dialed the wrong number.
United States airdate: October 5, 2001

Canada airdate: December 28, 2001

After realizing that Squidward has never eaten a Krabby Patty, SpongeBob goes to ridiculous lengths to get him to try one. But when he does and finds to like them, he tries to hide it from SpongeBob, not wanting him to be right.

Just One Bite contains examples of (YMMV here):

  • Absentee Actor: This is the fourth time Mr. Krabs doesn't appear in a Krusty Krab themed episode. In addition, he isn't even mentioned. He was probably in his office counting money as usual, or on vacation.
  • All Just a Dream: The Falling-in-Love Montage with Squidward and a giant Krabby Patty. It was that point Squidward decided to stop at nothing to get his tentacles on a Krabby Patty.
  • An Aesop:
    • It's okay to admit you like something. It's also okay if you don't want to tell anyone about your hobbies and what you like.
    • Don't shame people for liking or disliking something.
    • A Weighty Aesop: Cheeseburgers (or in this case Krabby Patties) are addictive and can make you fat. Do not binge eat cheeseburgers just because they taste so good.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: See image quote above.
  • Big Eater: Squidward, after he develops an addiction to Krabby Patties, eats them until he explodes.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: The "security system" is this with a twist. It's a bucket alright but it's not water. It's a bucket of gas and a lit match to set it off. Mr. Krabs was smart enough to put in two.
  • Determinator: SpongeBob handcuffs himself to Squidward just to get him to eat a Krabby Patty.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Squidward and his need to get a Krabby Patty, no matter what it takes.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The meaning of the title changes from SpongeBob trying to get Squidward to eat one bite of a Krabby Patty to Squidward secretly trying to get one bite of another Krabby Patty.
  • Downer Ending: Squidward gets hospitalized from eating too many Krabby Patties, might even have to go through "Krabby Patty rehab", and pay for all those Krabby Patties he's eaten. Even if he does get an employee discount on them, which is highly unlikely because Mr. Krabs is a penny-pinching cheapskate, it won't be easy paying them off with a minimum wage salary.
  • Epic Fail: When trying to eat a Krabby Patty out of the garbage, Squidward somehow eats all the trash except the Krabby Patty.
  • Eureka Moment:
    Spongebob: "Why are you acting so nervous? And why are you sweating so much? And why do you look so hungry? And—" (Spongebob pauses and makes the face in the image.)
    Squidward: "No, No. It's not what you think! This is a big misunderstanding, you've got to believe me, I— Listen, I am telling you! You'd better listen to me, SpongeBob!"
    Spongebob: "You like Krabby Patties, don't you Squidward?"
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: SpongeBob finds out that Squidward has never eaten a Krabby Patty, and spends most of the episode trying to get him to try one. When Squidward finally relents, he claims it's horrible... only to lock himself in the Krabby Patty vault and start devouring them. Once he's out and an ambulance is called to take him to the hospital from explosive overeating, the driver wistfully says he remembers his first Krabby Patty too.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: "Does this look 'unsure' to you?!"
  • G-Rated Drug: Squidward becomes addicted to Krabby Patties and his behavior resembles that of a junkie.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Squidward and Krabby Patties.
  • Hartman Hips: Squidward, after he indulges in too many Krabby Patties.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Squidward's attitude towards Krabby Patties in the beginning. The whole episode is a Shout-Out to said book.
  • Insane Troll Logic: "If I [Squidward] didn't want it [Krabby Patty] out there, what makes you [SpongeBob] think I'd find it more appealing in here [toilet stall]?"
  • Infernal Background: Spongebob claims that Krabby Patties are "good for your soul", causing him to gain a halo, wings, and a Fluffy Cloud Heaven background as a Cherubic Choir plays in the background. Squidward retorts by saying he has no soul, causing a fiery background to appear, complete with an Evil Laugh, surprising Squidward.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's SpongeBob's fault for getting Squidward to blow up from eating too many Krabby Patties by spending the first half of the episode commercially advertising the sandwich to him, and failing to mention that Krabby Patties can be dangerously addictive like drugs.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: A customer at the beginning ordered his Krabby Patty doubled fried in batter. Does he want to get a heart attack?
  • Losing Your Head: After he blows up from eating too much, all that's left of Squidward is a head with an IV attached. Of course, he's perfectly fine in the next episode.
  • Plot Hole: So the Krusty Krab's front doors are hooked to a gas-and-match security system but the Patty Vault doesn't have a lock on it?
  • Series Continuity Error: Squidward has never tried a Krabby Patty, despite the fact he was force-fed a bunch of them back in "Your Shoe's Untied." Arguably, he never tasted any of those patties because they were launched down his throat (plus, this is a show that's more concerned with being funny than being consistent).
  • Straw Vegetarian: Squidward wasn't turning down the Krabby Patty to spite SpongeBob, he was just thinking about his health and (accurately) denigrated the sandwich to be greasy and fattening.
  • Tempting Fate: Twice. Squidward asks if he has to eat a Krabby Patty from the garbage, only for a customer to throw one in the trash can. Later, while gorging on Krabby Patties, Squidward sarcastically asks if he's gonna blow up, only for that to happen shortly after.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Squidward gets massive thighs after he indulges in too many Krabby Patties. His thunderous thighs look like they're filled with cottage cheese.

Harold: So, ya like browsin' tropes, do ya? WELL WE'LL SHOW YOU, OLD MAN!


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