Valentine’s Day is not a holiday I particularly care about. I do care about the days immediately after Valentine’s Day, when all of the chocolate goes on sale, but that’s about it. So, episodes about this holiday are usually not my thing.
However, I do like that this episode is centered more on platonic love than romantic love. Makes sense, since romantic love doesn’t play a huge part in this series anyway.
SpongeBob gives Valentines to just about everyone in Bikini Bottom, including Squidward and Plankton. Although Squidward rips his up as soon as SpongeBob is out of sight. SpongeBob’s biggest surprise is for Patrick, of course, and he and Sandy have planned it together. SpongeBob is going to take Patrick to an amusement park, and then Sandy will show up with a giant chocolate balloon.
Patrick is eager to see his surprise, but unfortunately things don’t go according to plan. Sandy is attacked by some scallops and it seems as though she won’t make it to the amusement park. So, SpongeBob has to come up with another idea. He gives Patrick a friendly handshake.
Patrick is annoyed that after a whole day of buildup, his surprise is a friendly handshake. Understandable, but like, he still got to spend a day at the amusement park, so it’s not like he got nothing at all, right? The montage where SpongeBob and Patrick are on various rides and Patrick is staring grouchily at his hand the whole time is really funny, and so is Patrick’s rampage where he terrorizes the carnival in his rage. All is forgotten when Sandy shows up with his gift, however.
Like I said, I like the emphasis on friendship rather than romantic relationships, that’s something you never really see in Valentine’s Day specials, most emphasize romance. But if the holiday is supposed to be about love in general, why shouldn’t it also include friendship, and why shouldn’t there be more stories about that? I mean, I suppose one could interpret romance in this episode if they chose, but it’s not overtly what the episode is about.
Aside from that, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this one. There’s some good jokes and I’m never really bored when I watch it, but it’s also not one I watch voluntarily all that often.
The original title of this episode was “Lemons out of Lemonade”, which is a good title but I’m sure it quite fits here, so I guess it’s a good thing they changed it.
This episode is… interesting. It starts with Squidward throwing away a gum wrapper. SpongeBob finds it and asks Squidward if he’s sure he meant to throw it away. Squidward is confused and annoyed by the question, why would he care about a little piece of paper? If SpongeBob wants it so badly, why shouldn’t he take it?
So SpongeBob does take it, and he manages to make the little piece of paper into the most amazing and fun thing ever. It seems like there’s nothing he can’t do with it. He can do impressions, he can make music, he can fly. Squidward watches him and, incredibly, finds himself envious of SpongeBob. He desperately wants the paper back, he didn’t know it was so fun!
In the end, he trades everything he owns for the paper (though SpongeBob would have been fine with just his shirt), but when he’s sitting alone where his house used to be and trying to make the paper work… it doesn’t. He can’t do any of the things that SpongeBob does with it. It’s just a worthless piece of paper when Squidward has it.
The thing is… it wasn’t the paper that was special. It was SpongeBob. He’s the type of person who can take anything, even a piece of paper, and have fun with it. Squidward isn’t that person. He doesn’t have the same level of creativity and optimism, he can’t find fun and happiness in just anything. Even when he tries to copy exactly what SpongeBob is doing, it doesn’t work, because they’re just not the same.
That’s something I didn’t totally get when I was a kid, but as an adult I can appreciate what the episode is trying to do and how clever it is. Of course it’s still pretty silly but it’s a good way of demonstrating the main point of difference in SpongeBob and Squidward’s characters. It really comes down to their outlook on life.
It’s not about the paper.