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Western Animation / It's a SpongeBob Christmas!

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Original air date: 10/30/2012 (DVD), 11/23/2012 (CBS), 12/6/2012 (Nickelodeon) (produced in 2011)

It's a SpongeBob Christmas! is the second Christmas Episode from Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants. It was released Direct to Video on October 30, 2012, and made its television premiere on CBS on November 23rd, before its Nickelodeon debut on December 6th, where, in a rare achievement for cable television, it outperformed the CBS airing. Unlike its predecessor, "Christmas Who?", this one was animated in stop-motion animation in the spirit of many of the Rankin Bass holiday specials.

The special finds Bikini Bottom once again celebrating Christmas, but Sheldon J. Plankton has other plans. Because Santa Claus is always giving him coal every Christmas due to him being the biggest jerk in town, Plankton has come up with a scheme to make himself look nice and finally get his dream gift (the Krabby Patty formula, of course). His plan is to feed a special kind of fruitcake to all of Bikini Bottom's citizens; the fruitcake in question contains an element called jerktonium, which makes anyone who consumes it turn nasty. Plankton gets the innocently naive SpongeBob (whose love of Christmas makes him immune to jerktonium) to go around town giving these fruitcakes to everyone else, so soon almost everyone in Bikini Bottom has turned into detestable jerks. It's up to SpongeBob to restore the holiday spirit to his hometown.

Tropes present:

  • All There in the Script: The evil robot that Plankton sends out to frame SpongeBob is named ToyBob, according to the end credits.
  • Artistic License – Music: The sheet music that Sandy's machine prints out has a few errors with it:
    • There are six lines per staff, instead of the proper five.
    • A few of the measures have incomplete (and in the seventh measure, too many) beat values.
    • The flags of the notes with stems facing down are facing the wrong direction; they should still be facing to the right, regardless of stem direction.
    • The measures at the beginning of each line have an unnecessary measure line preceding them.
  • Art Shift: As mentioned above, this special was done in stop-motion animation instead of the series' traditional animation with some occasional use of puppetry.
  • Bad Santa: While Santa isn't bad, he does steal Mr. Krabs' Krabby Patty Secret Formula and give it to Plankton, because he thought Plankton was the only Bikini Bottomite who wasn't being a total jerk. He lampshades it when asked how he got it by smiling coyly and saying "I have my ways." It turns out his elves stole the formula and they also tried to make off with Mr Krabs' wallet.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Happens to Patchy near the ending.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Sort of, Plankton is the real villain, but both Patchy & Patrick have schemes of their own. Patchy kidnaps The Mailman, and steals his truck because he wants to deliver his letter to Santa Claus himself. Patrick wants to kidnap Santa Claus & keep him locked up so it will always be Christmas every day of the year. In the end Plankton gets a bag of coal dumped on him, Patchy gets chased around by a polar bear, and who knows what happens to Patrick?
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Everybody who eats the jerktonium gets extremely bushy eyebrows.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: ToyBob has its own take on SpongeBob's catchphrase:
  • Box-and-Stick Trap: Patrick makes one to trap Santa. He traps himself instead trying to get the bait cookie.
  • Brick Joke: Patrick's several attempts of catching Santa fail but he succeeds by catching him with a jellyfishing net before the last Patchy plot. However Patrick's scheme to kidnap Santa is thwarted during an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, because Santa appears at the end and revels in Patchy's stupid scheme alongside Potty before wishing the audience a Merry Christmas
  • Christmas Songs: Three - "Santa Has His Eye on Me", "Hot Fruitcake", and most notably, "Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas)" (written several years before this special was produced).
  • Cutaway Gag: "How can I be jerky when my tastebuds are swimming in holiday joy?" (cut to a shower of fruitcake crumbs raining down on SpongeBob's anthropomorphic taste buds)
  • Dragon with an Agenda: ToyBob's sole motivation is to "DESTROY CHRISTMAS!" He does not care about Plankton's ambition to steal the secret formula.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: ToyBob is much more dangerous and destructive than Plankton, and at the end when he shows up to destroy Santa, Plankton is clearly worried and has an Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: One of the end results of a victim of Jerktonium gives them huge, dark bags under their eyes.
  • Everyone Hates Fruit Cakes: Completely Averted. Everybody in this special loves Fruit Cake. Plankton who is usually depicted as being a Lethal Chef makes absolutely delicious fruitcake. Lacing the fruit cake with Jerktonium apparently didn't alter it's taste at all. It's made even more humorous when The Last SpongeBob Christmas Special Christmas Who? Went out of its way to show off how everybody does hate Fruitcake. In one scene SpongeBob tells Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs that "Everyone pretends to like The Fruitcake!" And in another a garbage can is full of them. Mr Krabs even gives one to Plankton as a gift and Plankton blatantly throws it away right afterwards.
  • Evil Eyebrows: A by-product of eating jerktonium.
  • Evil Plan: Plankton, Patrick, and Patchy The Pirate all have schemes they try to hatch during Christmas. Plankton's scheme is the worst, Patrick comes in second, & Patchy's scheme is in third place.
  • Express Lane Limit: In the song "Don't Be a Jerk, It's Christmas," Spongebob lists various little behaviors you should not engage in because they're Felony Misdemeanors. Among them is using the express lane when you have more than ten items.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Even without noticing the jerkish transformation everyone at the parade was undergoing, SpongeBob was completely oblivious to the chaos that was happening around him.
    • Moreso, the Bikini Bottomites act like they can't tell the difference between real and fake, as they don't even realize that the robotic lookalike is not the real SpongeBob.
    • Despite SpongeBob saying in the opening song that Santa sees everything, Santa somehow fails to see Plankton creating Jerktonium and the evil SpongeBob robot, and that both SpongeBob and the robot were separate entities. It's only when he sees the SpongeBob robot show up does he realize the truth.
  • Fall Guy: Because Plankton couldn't turn SpongeBob into a jerk, he went to Plan B and used a robotic version of SpongeBob to go on a destructive rampage and destroy SpongeBob's good name.
  • For the Evulz: ToyBob's sole reason for existence is to "DESTROY CHRISTMAS!" He was designed and programmed by Plankton so that figures. He tries to accomplish this by going around and committing random cartoonish acts of violence and property destruction against The Citizens of Bikini Bottom. Once Santa Clause comes to town, he tries to kill him
  • Framing Device:
    • During the story, we also see a storyline in which Patchy steals a mail truck in an attempt to bring his own letter to Santa.
    • "Santa Has His Eye On Me". It's actually longer than it seems in the trailers. It's probably just in case this is someone's first Christmas special.
    • It also gets most of The Cameos from the main cast out of the way.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Plankton's naughty deed list includes, but is not limited to, Littering, Larceny, Puppy Taunting, and World Destruction.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Plankton's "Mechanical Agent of Naughtiness" or ToyBob is what ultimately foils Plankton's plan to get Santa Claus to steal The Krabby Patty Secret Formula for him. ToyBob shows up right at Plankton's moment of victory to destroy Santa Claus, which ends up vindicating SpongeBob whom everyone thought was on a rampage of destruction. SpongeBob ends up saving the day, by destroying his robotic doppelganger, rescuing Santa Claus, and saving Christmas.
  • The Grinch: Plankton. Also, to a lesser extent, Squidward (he does believe Santa exists this time, but he just wants Santa to leave him alone).
  • Hate Plague: The element of Jerktonium has this effect on people if ingested.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: See above, also nobody would have realized that Plankton was the creator of ToyBob if he hadn't put the message "If found please return to The Chum Bucket" on ToyBob's windup key.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Santa, of all people, believes that Plankton is nicer than everyone who has eaten the tainted fruitcake despite the evil schemes he's pulled over the show.
  • The Immune: Jerktonium has no effect on SpongeBob.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: SpongeBob is immune to Plankton's fruitcake because of his pure heart. Also goes hand-to-hand with Too Dumb to Fool.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Tom Kenny (in his Patchy the Pirate guise).
  • Jerkass: What everyone turns into after eating Plankton's fruitcake.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Potty The Parrot is the biggest one, he knew about and was involved with Patchy The Pirate's plot to kidnap the mailman & steal his mail truck, and nothing happened to him. He even has a laugh with Santa himself at Patchy's expense while Patchy is being chased by a hungry and ferocious polar bear.
    • Santa has some extremely light fingered elves in his employ, and aside from being shouted at by Mr. Krabs, after trying to steal his wallet, nothing happens to them. Santa knows about their thievery, and sometimes condones and even orders them to engage in theft. Santa invokes an extreme case of Hypocritical Humor when he rhetorically asks Potty if stealing a mail truck is naughty, while laughing at Patchy The Pirate, while Patchy is in mortal danger from a polar bear.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Plankton gets an entire bag of coal dumped on him.
    • Patchy gets put on the naughty list for impersonating the mailman and stealing his truck, and also gets chased by a polar bear too.
  • Literal Metaphor: A fork in the road!
  • Magic Music: The song Sandy makes turns out to be the antidote for Jerktonium; as SpongeBob sings it, anyone around him turns back to normal.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Robot SpongeBob gets bigger as it attacks Santa.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Hot from the oven, full of lovin'!" Said first by Plankton when he gives SpongeBob the fruitcake filled with jerktonium, and said next by SpongeBob when he destroys the killer robot with fruitcake.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Happens to Patchy and Potty in the Framing Device.
  • Musical Nod:
    • Patrick does a With Lyrics for "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in a part of "Santa Has His Eye on Me"
      Patrick: (singing) I will trap Santa in my box, locked up like Fort Knox, and make him stop the clocks. A-a-and we'll have Christmas all... year... Lo-o-o-o-o-ong!
    • SpongeBob and Plankton singing "Santa Has His Eye on Me" is reminiscent of "Santa Claus is coming to town."
  • Near-Villain Victory: Plankton almost got away with stealing the Krabby Patty formula and demolishing Christmas had it not been for ToyBob he constructed.
  • No Fourth Wall: This special like every other SpongeBob Special with Patchy The Pirate is hinged on this. Actually only the segments with Patchy and Potty have no fourth wall. The SpongeBob story that Patchy intermittently narrates does have the fourth wall, and the only character to appear in The SpongeBob story and Patchy The Pirate Segments is Santa Claus
  • No-Sell: The Jerktonium turns the Bikini Bottomites into naughty jerks; it, however, does not work on SpongeBob, because of his innocence and deep love of Christmas.
  • Not Brainwashed: Squidward never ingests any Jerktonium. Naturally, he acts no different from everybody who did.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The ToyBob that Plankton unleashes to frame SpongeBob. It looks nothing like the real deal but everyone, including Santa, falls for it anyway.
  • Perma-Stubble: Another jerktonium side effect. Even the female characters get it.
  • Pit Trap: Patrick builds one for his second Santa trap.
  • The Power of Rock: "The song is the antidote!"
  • Robot Me: Plankton builds an evil robot SpongeBob after the real SpongeBob proves immune to jerktonium.
  • Santa Claus: He's depicted as an anthropomorphic "sea pig" this time around, voiced by John Goodman.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Said by The Bikini Bottom Santa Claus Float Driver after SpongeBob turns him into a jerk. He bails out just before the float runs off a cliff. Santa Claus also says this when ToyBob shows up to kill him, he tries hiding in The Krusty Krab only to have ToyBob drag him out.
  • Shout-Out: The whole Tom Kenny Framing Device is basically a Shout Out to Fred Astaire's narrator in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town.
  • Signature Sound Effect: When anybody eats the fruitcake laced with Jerktonium there is always a farting sound when they turn into a jerk. When SpongeBob sings The "Don't be a jerk, it's Christmas" song the sound of a chicken crowing is always played when they turn back to normal.
  • Special Edition Title: Not only is the theme song sung by Christmas carolers again (in fact, it was done by a kid choir this time), but we also see some Christmas themes in the animation (SpongeBob being dressed by an arm wearing a Santa suit and the realistic fish wearing a Santa hat).
  • Special Guest: John Goodman as Santa Claus.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the first SpongeBob Christmas special "Christmas Who".
  • Time for Plan B: Plankton says this when he realizes SpongeBob is immune to Jerktonium.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Giving food from the Big Bad to others is not a wise idea, as Sandy lampshades:
    Sandy: You took food from Plankton and fed it to everyone in town?
    SpongeBob: Uh huh.
    Sandy: You're an idiot.
    SpongeBob: Uh huh.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Thanks to the Jerktonium-laced fruitcake, Plankton is able to invoke this trope on the entire town.
  • Unintentional Back Up Plan: Plankton never intended for SpongeBob to hand out the Jerktonium Fruitcake to everyone in Bikini Bottom, but SpongeBob does anyway, because he thinks he's spreading Christmas cheer.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Plankton turns both SpongeBob and Santa Claus into this, turning SpongeBob into a pawn was an accident, Plankton was trying to turn him into a jerk, which failed, but SpongeBob took it on himself to give everyone in Bikini Bottom Plankton's fruitcake which turned everybody into jerks. Santa Claus actually believed that Plankton had been good, (in comparison to everybody else), and stole The Krabby Patty Secret Formula for him.
  • Villain Ball: Had Plankton not included the "If found, please return to the Chum Bucket" on ToyBob's windup key, Santa wouldn't have discovered that he was behind the whole plot.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Right after SpongeBob defeats ToyBob and its discovered who built "this destructive, wind-up monstrosity." Plankton attempts a retreat and is caught by none other than Mr. Krabs and punished by Santa Claus.
  • Wacky Sound Effect: Check above.


Video Example(s):


Don't Be a Jerk!

SpongeBob sings a special Christmas song which cures the Bikini Bottomites of their Jerktonium effects.

How well does it match the trope?

4.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / MagicMusic

Media sources: