One of the reasons I love season 2 so much is because I think it has Sandy’s best characterization by far. Plus, she gets to be in more episode this season than she does in most other seasons, which is still not that many but it’s something.
Sandy was likable and charming in season 1, but she wasn’t particularly memorable. She didn’t get to do much and when she was in an episode, she was usually a bit… I don’t want to say bland, but her personality didn’t come through as strongly as some of the other characters. Season 2 is where she really comes to life. She’s a lot more dynamic and interesting and her character really stands out.
I really love Sandy when she’s at her best, she’s a lot of fun. And if I was with someone who’s never watched SpongeBob, and I wanted to show them one episode to give them an idea of what Sandy is like, I would most likely show them this episode.
Okay, let’s get to what the episode is about. Sandy is preparing to hibernate (do squirrels hibernate??), and she’s freaking out about everything she has to do and how little time she has to spend with SpongeBob before she has to go to sleep for the whole winter. SpongeBob assures her that he’s willing to spend all of his time with her doing whatever she wants to do until it’s time for her to hibernate, to which Sandy responds with an ominous, “Well I’m glad, SpongeBob, ’cause for the next seven days, it’s gonna be you, me, and these sweatbands!”
So, you know Sandy. She’s all into extreme sports and dangerous stunts and breaking her own knee caps for the fun of it, probably. And that’s exactly the kind of characterization of Sandy that I like. I like reckless Sandy, I like brave to the point of stupidity Sandy, I like a Sandy who approaches things with a manic energy that is almost frightening, I like a Sandy who gets so wrapped up in her own fun that she forgets that, oh, maybe this isn’t as fun for her friends as it is for her. I like that characterization of her because it’s interesting. It’s fun. And I rarely see female characters who are characterized this way.
So, SpongeBob can’t keep up with everything Sandy wants to do and it’s quite literally tearing him apart. His attempts to speak up about it don’t work out, so he resorts to running away and hiding from Sandy. He hides under Patrick’s rock.
When SpongeBob goes missing, Sandy makes the whole town search for him, and once again no one can keep up with her. They search for days, and in pretty dangerous locations a lot of the time, and no one finds him. When Sandy refuses to give up, the town has no choice but to… hide from her too. Under Patrick’s rock.
Sandy tears the town apart looking for SpongeBob, and the other citizens kick him out from under the rock so that she’ll calm down. As soon as Sandy finds SpongeBob, she’s all set to get back to extreme sporting, but he finds his voice and tells her that what he has to say to her can’t wait, and she seems to finally calm down enough to actually listen to him.
SpongeBob tearfully confesses that he can’t play Sandy’s games anymore, and begs her to still be his friend. Sandy falls asleep during his confession, it’s apparently time for her to hibernate, and it’s unknown how much of the confession she heard, if she heard any of it. Not that it matters anymore. SpongeBob promptly falls asleep too, and I hope someone had the sense to take Sandy back to her treedome at some point.
So, this is another episode that I would probably put in my top 5, because I think it’s a really great Sandy episode. Her energy in this episode is just so much fun and I love seeing Sandy characterized this way.
I suppose I should acknowledge that for some fans, Sandy characterization in this episode is a point against it rather than for it. I’ll try to be fair and say that I can sort of see why that would be. Sandy’s behavior here is what drives the conflict, it’s not supposed to be seen as completely positive. But I mean, conflict is necessary and we don’t often see Sandy as a character driving conflict, she’s usually the one cleaning up after other characters or acting as the voice of reason, which is fine now and then but it’s not the most entertaining use of her character and it’s boring when that’s all she’s ever allowed to do. Let Sandy be annoying sometimes, honestly. Let her be flawed and weird like the other characters are sometimes.
Anyway, I love this episode, I love Sandy, and I love Sandy in this episode.
After being accused of having stolen things from various Bikini Bottom citizens, Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob and Patrick that all of that stuff was “borrowed”. He convinces them that it’s perfectly okay to borrow things without permission as long as you bring it back eventually. Later, SpongeBob and Patrick “borrow” a balloon from a salesman in the park and accidentally pop it. Since they can’t return it now, they think that they’re thieves and must leave town.
I think it’s really cute how worked up SpongeBob and Patrick get over popping the balloon. Cute, and relatable, because I don’t think anyone can honestly they’ve never stolen something or at the very least thought about doing so. I don’t necessarily mean from stores, mind you. My experience with thievery happened when I was eight. There was a box of marbles in my classroom and I stole a few that I thought were pretty, and I felt terribly guilty about it for the rest of my elementary school career. Really, it was like, three marbles. No one even noticed they were gone. But it didn’t matter, because I knew I stole them and I knew stealing was wrong and I’ll get in so much trouble if anyone finds out I might even be expelled I have to return them before anyone sees oh god. I did return them, eventually, and no one ever knew I took them. So there’s some trivia for you about my criminal past.
While on the run, SpongeBob and Patrick start to get hungry. SpongeBob has two candy bars, he gives one to Patrick and keeps the other one, saying that they have to make these candy bars last the rest of their lives. Naturally Patrick eats his right away, but he immediately forgets he ate it and starts looking for his missing candy bar in a panic. He notices SpongeBob holding a candy bar and accuses SpongeBob of stealing his. SpongeBob denies this, and he even offers to give half of his own candy bar to Patrick, which is a detail I really like. SpongeBob is just so nice. Patrick won’t take the candy bar unless SpongeBob admits to stealing it, and during this fight we get my favorite Patrick line ever: “Liar liar, plants for hire.” SpongeBob gets fed up and decides to eat the candy bar as slowly and obnoxiously as possible to torment Patrick.
Honestly, I feel like I’m doing this entire scene a disservice by trying to describe it, because no matter how I describe I can’t convey how hilarious it is.
SpongeBob and Patrick race back to Bikini Bottom to turn each other in, and at the police station they discover that it was free balloon day when they stole the balloon, so they never actually committed a crime at all.
Mr. Krabs never shows up in this episode after the first scene, and he never gets any comeuppance for his thievery. Personally, I don’t mind too much, because Mr. Krabs was only needed at the beginning of the episode to provide set up. He has nothing to do with the rest of it and I think bringing him back in would be too jarring and disruptive.
I really enjoy this episode, and it’s one of few where I actually love Patrick in it. He gets a lot of really funny lines. While I wouldn’t consider this one of my favorite episode, I probably would consider it one of the funnier episodes, at least of this season. The idea of SpongeBob and Patrick thinking they committed a terrible crime, when really it was nothing, opens up so many possibilities for humor and this episode definitely delivers.