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Video Game / SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!

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SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! is a 2005 Party Game/Minigame Game featuring characters from the SpongeBob series. THQ and Nickelodeon published the game, and THQ's Australian division developed it.

The story is that producer Gil Hammerstein is producing an anniversary special episode of The New Adventures of Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy in Bikini Bottom, and everyone wants to be chosen to play the starring villain role: the Sneaky Hermit. Players can play as SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, or Plankton to impress the game's talent scouts and win the lead role.

Each location has one scene, and three minigames required to beat to star in the scene. Each of the minigames are themed off the location they take place in (such as driving in boating school, or serving food at the Krusty Krab resturaunt). Minigames come in two forms: those with teams, or free-for-all. These minigames are usually three minutes, though this time can vary.

Notably, after you've finished the campaign in the console version, you can watch the full 30-minute episode of Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy that you finished! In the PC version you can watch it at any time, selecting actors and props as you like, but you have to unlock them through the campaign first (and the movie itself is a lot shorter).


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Now has a character page.

The game features the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    In-game tropes 
  • Ability over Appearance: invoked Multiple characters can play the same role, just because they earn it. This is rather noticeable, as it can be rather jarring to see a sea sponge, a starfish, and a squid all play the same role.
  • Acting for Two: invoked In the console version, winning each leg of the audition lands you a role, and winning the audition overall lands you the "Supervillain" role. It's guaranteed that at least one character will be Acting for Two, and it's possible for a single character to get every single role, including the Supervillain and the stunt double.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Inverted, the release of this game outside of America forgoes the intense stare-down depicted above in favor of a more cheerful one with SpongeBob and Plankton filming Patrick catching jellyfish and Squidward getting stung by jellyfish.
  • Anachronic Order: While the introduction and ending of the movie are recorded at their respective ends, everything between the two is mixed up, so you don't see everything in order until you watch the final product. This is actually similar to how Real Life movies are filmed; see Reality Is Unrealistic below.
  • Artificial Stupidity: If you set the computer characters on Silly (Easy), they will show this in spades. The most blatant example is in "Machine Meltdown", where a team of AI-controlled characters will be stuck in a constant loop of poorly fixing their generator throughout the entirety of the minigame, earning you a clear-cut victory.
  • Canon Foreigner: Gil Hammerstein.
  • Color-Coded Characters: In the console versions.
    • Spongebob = Yellow
    • Patrick = Pink
    • Mr. Krabs = Red
    • Squidward = Blue/Cyan/Green
    • Sandy = Brown/White
    • Plankton = Green/Gray/Black/Blue
  • Continuity Nod: This game has a lot of references to previous episodes.
    • The green patties that dock points if flipped and caught in "Flippin' Out" are based on Plankton's patty walker from "Krusty Krab Training Video".
    • The "Rock Bottom" Mini-Game has each character use their own instrument:
    • For the scene where the Sneaky Hermit fakes an alliance with Man-Ray and the Dirty Bubble, Gary is badly painted to resemble Larry, a snail SpongeBob briefly adopted after Gary left him for Patrick in "Dumped".
    • During one scene in the climax, Gary is seen with a chimney and a patch on his shell, just like in one scene in "The Great Snail Race".
  • Fishing Minigame: There is a Fishing Minigame (Surf Resc-Goo) where instead of fishing for fish, you fish for random junk to increase your score. This is understandable, since the characters fishing live in an underwater world where fish talk and behave like people and hooks are their equivalent of an extremely dangerous weapon (that can see some use in sporting and recreational purposes).
  • Guide Dang It!: To get the Make-Your-Own-Movie mode, the Rock-Paper Scissors and Two-Up tie-breaker games, and the gold Spongebob figure, you need to put away three full gold bars in Loot Scootin'. The problem with this is that you have no way of knowing this, since the game only gives you the vague objective of "Complete more story challenges to unlock", even after you've completed Gold story mode, leaving the player confused if they're trying to obtain 100% Completion.
  • Mini-Mecha: Since Plankton would be too small otherwise, he pilots a fish-sized mech in order to participate in the mini-games.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The console version has a loading screen between each scene. They don't take too long but they can really break up the action.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Rock–Paper–Scissors tie-breaker Mini-Game.
  • Minigame Game: The game entirely consists of mini-games.
  • Off-Model: Mr. Krabs' eyes are the correct shade of green in-game, but yellow in the movie.
  • The Other Darrin: invoked A role can be played by multiple characters.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Several of the game's collectibles - artwork and action figures - can be easily missed due to how the unlocking system works: each level of story mode (bronze, silver, gold) has multiple collectibles exclusive to it, and moving onto the next tier locks you out of any you haven't found yet, with no means of claiming them outside of restarting the story mode from scratch. Thankfully, there's a cheat code that simply unlocks these collectibles automatically.
  • Racing Minigame: There are a few of these, especially in boating school.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The Anachronistic Order of the recording is surprisingly similar to how live-action movies are filmed in real life: to be more efficient, they're filmed by location proximity rather than chronologically.
  • Rhythm Game: The "Rock Bottom" Mini-Game comes in this format.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Like in the show, two players blow bubbles in the shape of rock, paper, or scissors to see who gets to star in the movie if they tie with another player.
  • Show Within a Show: The New Adventures of Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: "Beats Me".

    The New Adventures of Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy 
  • Affably Evil/Laughably Evil: If SpongeBob wins the role of the Sneaky Hermit, he plays him in this manner. His Establishing Character Moment is this:
    Spongebob: [Evil Laugh] They have arrested Mermaid Man, for my crime! Which doesn't sound fair, really, but... bah! I am a supervillain, and that is what we do! So, I guess I shall go do more... villainous... type... stuff... [scuttles away laughing]
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: How the narrator opens the episode:
    Narrator: Mermaid Man! Forceful! Fearless! ...Regular.
  • Big Bad: The Sneaky Hermit.
  • Big Ball of Violence: How the final battle is depicted in the PC version.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Parodied when Mermaidman and Barnacle Boy burst into Man-Ray's lair to rescue the Damsel in Distress: Mermaidman dramatically declares, "I'll have a burger and fries!" Cue typical eye roll from Barnacle Boy.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After being introduced by the Narrator as the heroes' "second-most-arch-nemesis":
    Man-Ray: Oh, come on! What does it take to get to Number 1 in this town?!
  • Captain Obvious: After the Sneaky Hermit steals the jailhouse Mermaidman, Barnacle Boy, Man-Ray and the Dirty Bubble are in:
    The Dirty Bubble: I think it would be safe to say that the Sneaky Hermit steals buildings.
  • Chair Reveal: Parodied. As the Sneaky Hermit is soliloquizing in his lair, the camera pans to a chair in front of a desk, which spins to reveal... nothing, as the Hermit is standing next to it.
    SpongeBob as the Hermit: I should really get that chair fixed.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The pepper grinder Mermaidman picks up at the Krusty Krab. Turns out pepper is the Hermit's weakness.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mermaidman, even more so than in the original show. As an example, upon hearing the siren of a pursuing police car, he thinks it's a song on the radio and starts singing along to it.
  • Enemy Mine: Man-Ray and the Dirty Bubble team up with Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy to defeat the Sneaky Hermit.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The Dirty Bubble was apparently jailed for "having bad breath in a public place". Makes you wonder whether they were just making up crimes so they had an excuse to put him away.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Sneaky Hermit developed the need to steal buildings after their parents/spouse abandoned them and took the house.
  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: What Man-Ray was apparently jailed for.
  • Loads and Loads of Roles: A single character can get every available role.
  • Mondegreen: When the hunter mentions that that the Sneaky Hermit must have "A tall building in it's sights" we get this gem:
    Dirty Bubble: The Hermit wears tights?
    Barnacle Boy: The permit test bites?
    Man-Ray: Old Hermit was right?
  • Mundane Utility: Man-Ray uses his laser beams to etch "Man-Ray Rules" onto a wall.
  • Narrator: There are two of them.
  • The New Adventures
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Man-Ray and the Dirty Bubble at one point try disguising themselves with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, with fake nose and moustache. It doesn't work.
    Man-Ray: [throwing the glasses away] What a waste of two bucks.
  • Pepper Sneeze: How the Sneaky Hermit is defeated. In the console version, the sneeze is so violent that their tower of stolen buildings collapses, subduing them and returning Bikini Bottom to normal. In the PC version, the sneezing merely weakens them enough for the heroes to subdue them.
  • Poke the Poodle:
    The Dirty Bubble: Oh, let's start with jaywalking. They couldn't possibly catch us twice.
    • As we see Man-Ray etching the graffiti, he's introduced as the heroes' "second-most-arch-nemesis". His reaction shows that he considers his crimes to be the height of villainy:
      Man-Ray: Oh, come on! What does it take to get to Number 1 in this town?!
  • Shout-Out: Barnacle Boy mentions "Dr. Octofish", likely a parody of Doctor Octopus.
  • Stylistic Suck: Possible in the PC version, where as well as selecting the actors for each role, you can also select various props. Some of them, especially the ones you start off with, are very bad.
  • This Cannot Be!: In the console version, this will be what Plankton says during the Hermit’s defeat if he gets the role.
    Plankton: Not again! This can’t be happening!
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Hermit's weakness is pepper. In the PC version, it makes them sneeze uncontrollably, allowing the heroes to subdue them; in the console version, it makes the Hermit sneeze so violently that their tower of stolen buildings collapses, subduing them and returning the buildings to their normal places.
  • What Are You in For?: Mermaidman asks Man-Ray this. He responds that he got caught jaywalking, to which The Dirty Bubble pipes up that he was arrested for having bad breath in a public place.


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