Have I mentioned before that this is my favorite episode? I think I have, but if I haven’t I’ll say it now.
This is my favorite episode. I really, really love this episode.
I love this episode so much I’m not sure if I can properly explain why. In general I tend to have an easier time explaining why I hate something than explaining why I love something, so this review will probably end up being surprisingly short.
This episode has the most ridiculous sounding plot. Have you ever tried summing up this episode to someone who’s never seen it? And then have you tried telling them that it’s actually one of the sweetest episodes of the show?? The plot is that Squidward buys a pie that’s actually a bomb and mistakenly think that SpongeBob ate it. Believing this means that SpongeBob is going to die, he spends the whole day with SpongeBob doing all of his favorite activities (which are ridiculous). In the end, of course, it turns out that SpongeBob never ate the pie and is completely fine. That’s the basic plot, simplified as much as I could simplify it, and it somehow ends up sounding both extremely silly and weirdly morbid. And… it kind of is both of those things?
So why do I like this damn thing so much? For one thing, this episode is hilarious. Both the dialogue and the animation are so funny and so well executed. Seriously, every expression Squidward makes in this episode is gold. So many of my favorite jokes come from this episode, and I don’t think there’s a single miss in it, at least not for me.
On top of being hilarious, this episode is actually sweet too! The thing I like about SpongeBob and Squidward’s dynamic is that while it’s mostly comedic there is a sweetness to it that, when focused on, can be very heartwarming. For all Squidward knows, he’s killed SpongeBob even if it was accidental, so feeling bad and deciding to spend the day doing what SpongeBob wants is kind of the least he could do. Still, the effort Squidward puts into making him happy is cute. SpongeBob is pretty much always adorable, that’s nothing new, but his excitement and innocence are particularly endearing in this episode. He’s just so happy to be spending time with his best friend Squidward, blissfully unaware of why exactly Squidward has offered to spend time with him to begin with.
Mr. Krabs, for what little he’s in the episode, is great too. He gets some really good lines, one in particularly that I probably don’t even have to quote. His reaction to SpongeBob’s supposedly imminent death, though not focused on for long, is kind of touching as well.
I guess ultimately this episode is my favorite because it has nearly everything I could ask for in an episode. Funny, great character dynamics, kind of morbid but still utterly absurd. As far as I’m concerned, it’s perfect.
Before I end this, I want to point out something I think is kind of interesting about this episode. Apparently one of SpongeBob’s favorite things to do is open heart surgery, and when they Squidward agrees to do it this happens.
This part always kind of surprised me because it’s the only time you see actual blood in this show. For all of the silly and extreme injuries these characters seem to get, we never actually see them bleed except here. In fact, seeing this has made me realize, I don’t think I ever see blood in children’s cartoons, at least not modern ones. No matter how many ways we see them get injured, they always seem to draw the line at showing actual blood. I wonder why that is? We see bones all the time, is blood really any worse than that? I don’t know, I just think it’s kind of interesting.
For a long time this was my favorite Plankton episode, and I think it might still be. Not for any particularly deep reason. Shit’s just real funny.
It centers around Plankton disguising himself as Mr. Krabs. He makes a robot Krabs that he controls from inside. It’s very obviously a robot, but that’s part of the joke. So, similar to Dying For Pie, Plankton ends up being forced to play along with SpongeBob as he attempts to get the formula, but the humor mainly comes from the disguise itself.
It’s a very obvious disguise. Squidward doesn’t fall for the disguise, but he plays along with it anyway when “Mr. Krabs” gives him the day off. SpongeBob falls for it completely though, which may be stretching belief on his naivete, but again that’s the joke, and they do manage to make it funny, so I don’t mind too much.
What I really get a kick out of is the contrast of Plankton’s manic energy and the stiff, inexpressive robot. There’s something really funny about hearing Plankton’s evil laugh from inside the robot, and then seeing from the outside how those laughs are coming out in a completely monotone “ha ha ha”, or knowing that when the robot says “whaaaat” in a monotone that Plankton is literally hopping with anger inside of it.
Another thing I like is the puffs of smoke that come out of the robot’s exhaust pipe. More specifically I like how they only happen when Plankton insists that he’s Mr. Krabs, or when he accuses the real Mr. Krabs of being a robot. Basically, they only happen when Plankton tells an outright lie, so it’s like a Pinocchio effect and it’s pretty clever.
There’s a lot to like about this episode, and some it is actually kind of subtle. Like you’d need to watch it a couple of times to catch every joke, which I think is really cool.