SpongeBob Reviews: Season 1 (Texas/Walking Small)

texas

Sandy needs more episodes. Just, in general. There’s never enough Sandy.

This episode is all about Sandy being homesick. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the first time Sandy actually mentions being from Texas. From her accent we knew she was southern, but I don’t think we knew where she was from specifically. We also still don’t know why she left. She loves Texas, and she has a lot of pride in where she’s from, what made her decide to just go and live under water?

Seeing how down Sandy is about being away from Texas, SpongeBob and Patrick decide to try to cheer her up. They plan a party for her, filled with things they’ve heard her mention about Texas. Their interpretations of those things are… flawed, but it’s the thought that counts?

Unfortunately, when they try to bring Sandy to the party, she’s on her way back to Texas. She’s suddenly decided she wants to go back, and apparently she wasn’t even planning on saying goodbye to anyone because “it would be too sad”. It looks like the only reason SpongeBob and Patrick got to see her off is because they happened to run into her before she left. They wouldn’t have gotten a goodbye otherwise.

They try to stop Sandy from boarding the bus, but she’s made up her mind. However, after the bus pulls away, Sandy somehow overhears Patrick insulting Texas and comes right back to tell him to take it back. SpongeBob realizes that they can use Sandy’s pride and anger to their advantage. They continue riling her up by insulting Texas, then start running toward the Krusty Krab where the party is, with her giving chase.

They seem to have underestimated how fast Sandy is, as well as how violent she can apparently be when angered. This leads to a pretty hilarious chase scene, but they do manage to get Sandy to the party. Seeing what they’ve done for her, Sandy starts to laugh so hard that she cries. She says that she’s appreciative of what they’re trying to do, but that being home is about being with people who care about you. She then realizes that that’s exactly what she has in Bikini Bottom, and she decides to stay after all.

Aside from the chase scene and SpongeBob and Patrick’s insults, I don’t get a lot of laughs from this episode, but I really like the story. It’s always nice to have some focus on Sandy, and I like the lengths that SpongeBob and the others are willing to go to for her. It’s really heartwarming seeing how much they want to cheer her up and how upset they are at the idea of her leaving. It’s just nice to see how important Sandy is to them.

Sandy’s realization about what home means is a bit forced and cheesy, but I don’t really care, it’s still sweet. What I think is also really sweet is how when Sandy is laugh-crying and SpongeBob mistakes it as actual crying, he says to her, “Don’t cry anymore, Sandy, I’ll go get your bags.” That sounds a little weird, but I think it’s sweet that when SpongeBob thinks Sandy is really upset, he gives up on trying to convince her. If she’s going to be unhappy, he’d rather she not make herself stay. Of course it turns out that she’s not upset, and she decides that she’s happy with staying, but it’s still a nice gesture on SpongeBob’s part and it’s actually pretty respectful and considerate.

So yeah, not the funniest episode, but I don’t know if it’s really supposed to be anyway. It’s main strength is the story, which really is sweet.

Rating: 8/10

walking-small

God this episode is so funny, y’all. Like, I think it’s probably the funniest episode of the first season. At least for me. I’m sure there are people who would disagree with me.

It’s a Plankton episode that doesn’t involve the Krusty Krab at all! That’s really rare. Plankton wants to open a new restaurant at Goo Lagoon, and he needs to clear the beach to do so. However, he’s too tiny to get anyone’s attention, so his demands and threats go unnoticed. He manipulates SpongeBob into helping him clear the beach, but first he needs to teach SpongeBob how to become more “assertive”.

Being assertive isn’t a bad thing, and SpongeBob does allow people to walk all over him a lot. He could actually benefit from learning to be more assertive. The thing is, Plankton’s definition of being assertive is really just… being incredibly mean. That’s not something that comes naturally to SpongeBob. He’s too innocent, and he doesn’t seem to have a malicious bone in his body.

That’s kind of what works against him, though, as Plankton manages to convince SpongeBob that he’s actually doing everyone a favor by being mean. He doesn’t realize that he’s been lied to until he notices that everyone has left the beach. Upset that he was manipulated, SpongeBob tries to get everyone to come back to the beach and fixes all of the problems he caused. He calls it being “aggressively nice”, and it’s effective. Everyone comes back, and Plankton can’t stand being around so much kindness and leaves.

SpongeBob and Plankton can make such a hilarious pair, and that’s definitely the case here. SpongeBob’s innocence working against Plankton’s over-the-top evil makes for some really great jokes. They never really seem to get old no matter how many times I see this episode. They always make me laugh.

I do think that the pacing of the story could have been a bit better. SpongeBob seems to go from innocent to aggressive very suddenly, and I think they could have fleshed out the transition a bit more. He also switches back to being innocent very suddenly and again, it feels like a bit more time was needed. It does work fine for an eleven minute cartoon, I just think it could have been a bit smoother.

But the humor in this episode makes up for it, honestly.

Rating: 8/10

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