All That Glitters just made my list at #23. I didn't want to put it higher as I like the flashback montage, and I didn't want to put it in the top 10 again... but by god this dreck is easily the worst of Season 4. There are just too many elements that are so exaggerated like a soap opera that it's hard to get through it--the rudeness of Le Spatula, the long drawn-out crying and begging for the spatula, the saccharine ending, everything just feels so fake. It's probably the only episode I downright hated when I first got into SpongeBob. To side with jjs, I'm so happy that Rodeo Daze surged this year (it landed at #13 for me). The two #1 votes helped a lot. It's such a waste of potential: this probably has the worst story structure of any episode, period. It drags on and on and on with an unfunny setup of the characters being rude. As such, the 30-second climax felt so crammed in. It seems as if the writers were having a slow day and collaged some repetitive storyboards, and when they woke up they tacked on a conflict so they could release it as an episode. Can't assume that sorry While Boating Buddies and "Mine" didn't make the cut, I can safely call them honorable mentions at least in the upper-20 range. Both are examples of episodes bringing out the absolute worst qualities of SpongeBob and Patrick respectively.
Summer Job landed on my list at #12 this year. The bad role-reversal, nonexistent comedy, botched set-up and copout ending don't help it whatsoever. It's an infuriating episode that seems to get harder to watch each time. I believe I discussed Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful last list... not much else to say other than that it's gross and repetitive. At least it's less hyperactive than the later Sanitation Insanity.
Wow... To Love a Patty fell this year. Fortunately it’s because it was unrealistically High last time (like #4? Seriously?) It’s quite bad and it’s really surprising the show would release an episode this gross and obnoxious in Season 5... it just doesn’t fit with the trends of the rest of the season, even bad ones like Waiting or Atlantis were just boring and weren’t confused and botched like this one. Romance just doesn’t work with SpongeBob when it’s played alongside a character going insane.
Well, I suppose this is a good long streak of episodes I agree with. Not all of these episodes made my list, but ones like Cephalopod Lodge, Pineapple Fever and Tentacle Vision all seem to suffer from the same exact common flaws of the season's big grudge against Squidward. Are You Happy Now? was definitely one of the most extreme examples (it was my #19), it's depressing and I find it completely off-putting that SpongeBob would tackle a matter like clinical depression for laughs. Shuffle-Boarding is easily the most lousy of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's episodes. While the twist of winning the tournament was a good subversion the direction they picked for the second half was infuriating and repetitive. As for Sportz?, just scroll up, but I can't bring myself to hate it nearly as much as the other two commentators. (It barely scraped by my list at #25 and I debated doing so)
Yup, Atlantis SquarePantis made my list at #10. Total waste of the viewer’s time... it drags on and on and on with singing about character traits that were already established and the jokes are either Juvenille to nonexistent. Cephalopod Lodge is interchangeable with a number of similar episodes so no comment here.
Neither of these episodes managed to make my list, but The Cent of Money was close. The ending helps to at least keep this from being one of Mr. Krabs worst portrayals to date. A Day Without Tears wasn't particularly funny and it spent way too much time wading around for us to expect SpongeBob to cry. While Squidward did deserve what he got in the end his schemes to try and win the bet are pretty uninspired and slow.
I'm so glad that Squidward's School for Grown-Ups managed to crack the list this year. While Patrick's performance was decent, the beginning was annoying, SpongeBob and Squidward are exaggerated opposites that are insufferable, and the second half seems to twist the focus and botch the message to the point of being toxic. Face Freeze! is one I expected to show up. Didn't make my list but it's still one of the laziest episodes the show's released to date.
Yeah, while Good Neighbors did set a precedent for the future of the Squidward Temper Plotline, the episode itself isn't that bad. SpongeBob and Patrick are comparatively innocent and there are good jokes. Sun Bleached, however, did make my list (at #15) and I'm glad its here. Completely agree with Steel as to why: I absolutely hate botched morals as that can have a long-term impact on the viewers. Episodes on my list that made it:
Trophy it's not that I don't dislike the episode (it didn't make my list but it's hovering around the 26-35 area). I was just using it as an example for. how times change and it's weird that episodes like this and Plankton's regular are showing up. What's next, Battle of Bikini Bottom makes a comeback after 5 years of not being on a list at all? I spoke too soon
...what the heck I thought we moved past Best Day Ever as a distant memory. What's next? Are past long-loathed episodes like Dear Vikings or Professor Squidward coming back to haunt us and remind us of their existence?
Here's a rudimentary list of my grades and thoughts for each episode of Season 11. I'm moving this from SBM for sake of consistency. I may or may not update it. Cave-Dwelling Sponge (B-) While it's random and doesn't have much direction, it's fast-paced and unpredictable jokes keeps this as a standout. The Clam Whisperer (B) I'm honestly confused why the reception for this episode has been so poor. I've always found it a competently written, well-paced episode, and the running gags were hilarious. Spot Returns (A-) I was surprised that this episode only grew on me upon rewatch. The puppy cuteness overload factor only gets cuter when indulging in it, and even looking at the basic "formula plot" it does well to save time cleverly with the puppy gang montage. The Check-Up (C) I'm still not getting the appeal. Sure, it's great to see more of SpongeBob and Squidward working together, and I like that Mr. Krab's character is being explored more... but I think this falls flat on the details. If they just made a smart decision and lied to the health inspector, the series of shenanigans are... pointless. Mr. Krabs doesn't learn or grow as a character either. Spin the Bottle (C-) Mediocre at best. The characters aren't compelling because of how basically they're written, and Plankton's awkward genie scheme is convoluted. There's a Sponge in my Soup (B) I tend to really like weird, trippy episodes and this isn't an exception. Good is bad, bad is good. It's all relative. Man Ray Returns (A-) What a nice way to continue the streak that "Mermaid Pants" set up. I think it was a really good idea to save Mermaid Man's more complex stories to the comics, while the show can stick to SpongeBob and Patrick just having fun and battling the nonexistent "forces of evil". Larry the Floor Manager (A-) Another episode with Larry the Lobster as the lead character? And it's unpredictable at every turn? I'd expect this kind of plot to be similar to "The Algae's Always Greener", but no, we get to see Larry fully exaggerating his ego and adding competition to the Krusty Krab. Holy shrimp Ben Gruber's really found his place in the show. The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom (A) I know I didn't love "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" like so many other people did, as I thought the storytelling was so weak and contrived that they had to make SpongeBob an idiot savant in order to make it work at all. This, however, is a massive improvement. The use of new textures for the stop-motion puppets, the CGI effects adding a ghostly, haunted feel to the Flying Dutchman, and the experimental use of puppeteering all make this an instant classic for the animation alone. I love just how cheesy and "spooky" the story is. Even SpongeBob is more well-written as he finally cracks out of his ignorance when he realizes his friends are in danger. No Pictures, Please (C) I think that having Patrick give a tour of Bikini Bottom was a really original concept for an episode, and the jokes that hit were hilarious--especially the part where SpongeBob ran on hills shaped like Patrick and the tourist and "If you look to your right... you'll miss everything on your left." However, it's repetitive. It suffers from the same problems as "Patrick's Coupon" as it has a great story with good jokes, but Patrick suffers in a lead role because he has to bounce off someone stupider than him. It's probably even worse here because the guy just says "Amazing" for 9 minutes, before we get a copout ending disguised as a Twilight Zone Parody. I want to like this, but it has execution flaws. Stuck on the Roof (D) If you thought "The Clam Whisperer" was unoriginal, then this is about as derivative as a Calculus function. Oh... SpongeBob's pretending to be scared... so he slowly rebuilds an identical Krusty Krab on the roof and everything goes back to normal. Where are the stakes? The slope of this line is undefined. Krabby Patty Creature Feature (F) I have better things to be doing than to make another "Sportz?" essay--not that this trash even deserves that credit-- but this is a serious contender for one of SpongeBob's worst episodes, period. It's loaded with repetitive (and horrifically disgusting) "jokes", it crammed in whatever story it could throw together, and it ended a total mess. Its only salvageable moment was Bubble Bass's part. Teacher's Pests (A-) It seems the crew really nailed down ideas to make Boating School episodes fresh. It's so nice to see Mr. Krabs and Plankton getting into petty competition, without mention of money or the formula. The competitive element of it in relation to SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff being down-to-earth is really funny. Bunny Hunt (A) Putting the "I'm a BUNNY Now!" meme aside, I think I can safely say this was one of the funniest episodes this season. Yes, I know it's mostly visual humor, but it's extremely fast-paced, exaggerated, cute, and fluidly animated. Feel free to accuse me of still being a bunny now. Sanitation Insanity (D) On the other hand, this one didn't resonate with me. Unlike Bunny Hunt, the visual gags didn't add to an escalating plot and instead covered up a low-substance episode with an easily avoidable conflict (I get Mr. Krabs is cheap but trying to save on trash bags by making piles of sewage explode across town is stupidly minor). The majority of the jokes (from the random police department to the out-of-nowhere transformers sequence) are especially lazy ways to pad its length out. Squid Noir (A) While this barely missed the A+ mark for me due to a slightly laggy opening act, as soon as it goes black-and-white everything about it works perfectly. The atmosphere found the perfect balance between being lighthearted and tense, and thank god Squidward is written in his most nuanced and in-character in all of Post-Sequel. ScavengerPants (C+) This episode seems to take the SpongeBob-Patrick-Squidward dynamic of "Sold!" with the morbid story of "Out of the Picture", and I feel it's an inferior copy of both. For one, it's formulaic as it always circles back to the same setting of Squidward's house no matter how wacky the joke is. Next, SpongeBob and Patrick seem a lot less endearing as it seems that they're intentionally being annoying to Squidward, as shown by the opening act. Finally, some of these jokes are just too stupid for me to find funny. The ending about SpongeBob and Patrick being adopted by Squidward's mom raises a ton of questions. Then again, I do still enjoy how much Squidward's plans are being foiled, and the Loch Ness Monster part was great, so it's still alright. Cuddle E. Hugs (D-) This is... bizarre. It seems like some kind of creepy toy commercial gone morbid on a drug trip... I'm speechless because I have no clue why this even exists at all. Pat the Horse (F) Awful episode. Patrick's written as stupid, inattentive and delusional to the absolute extreme, and behind that, the plot elements are completely generic and uninteresting. Chatterbox Gary (B) A fairly solid episode. Hearing Gary communicate in that accent to "Papa Bob" is just adorable and the Squdiward-SpongeBob dynamic is as funny as always, which makes up for the episode mostly being mundane conversation without much in terms of stakes or action. Don't Feed the Clowns (C-) It's not bad at all as I like the concept, but it's plot is executed far too much like SpongeBob You're Fired with far too many repetitive schemes to get the clown a job to land predictable results. I'd pass. Drive Happy (C) The character dynamic here isn't all that interesting as the boat is just a stereotypical rich snob that doesn't do anything productive (see: All That Glitters). SpongeBob's portrayal is good enough to negate how Patrick's become a caricature at this point. Old Man Patrick (D+) While I like many of the individual jokes such as the theme song reference, this episode was... disturbing on the whole. Seeing the old fish portrayed as completely decomposing led to some mediocre gags and the transitions of Patrick and SpongeBob becoming older was paced way too quickly. Fun-Sized Friends (D) Snore. This plot resembles something you'd see in Fanboy and Chum Chum and follows way too many old cliches from Season 6 of harming characters without punchlines. Grandmum's the Word (A-) Out of the recent episodes where old characters returned, I never expected that Plankton's Grandma would be among them. This was a shockingly good episode with a compelling, emotional story. Doodle Dimension (D+) This is just more proof that the show really shouldn't try to pander to old fans given they could barely incorporate DoodleBob into the story meaningfully. After such a slow introduction of barely anything useful happening, the episode's confusing (and near-inaccessible) to those who haven't watched Frankendoodle and don't know the magic pencil's origins or where the scattered references came from. The climactic battle was probably the best part but even that as underwhelming because the "blank canvas" style isn't impressive to look at and the characters didn't do much problem solving to win or get out. Moving Bubble Bass (F) This was another total stinkbomb for Season 11. It's clear that Bubble Bass is becoming SpongeBob's version of Comic Book Guy only more obnoxious, which I really hope doesn't get more runtime. With a story and joke attempts that's even wackier and less logical than Krusty Katering, this was aggravating to sit through. High Sea Diving (A+) As of the time of writing, this is my favorite of Season 11 without question. The re-interpretation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the unusual concept of Sea Diving were integrated incredibly well with the story. Old Man Jenkins was a hilarious character and the writing is top-notch. Loved this one. Bottle Burglars (C) I just can't seem to wrap my head around the appeal for it. At least The Check-Up tried to have interesting character development. This episode is as no-hum as it gets. Any interesting ideas are abandoned seconds after they're introduced. My Leg! (A) This was a complete surprise for me and I absolutely found the end result hilarious. Fred was actually written like a new character, SpongeBob and Patrick were really helpful, the jokes were fast-paced and the song was appropriately silly. While not an episode I'd take seriously at all, I highly recommend it. Ink Lemonade (F-) Wow SBM's rating for this is already worse than A Pal for Gary's. I would be shocked if this didn't deserve every last bit of its negative publicity because this ink smells abhorrent. Mustard O' Mine (B) A fun episode whose only major downside was airing after Ink Lemonade. I especially liked the jokes where random conveniences like the escalator and subway train popped up. While all the characters were written well and the story was interesting, the stakes and sense of adventure are somewhat low. Shopping List (TBA) Overall Grade for Season 11 So Far: C- Best Episodes: High Sea Diving, Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom, Squid Noir, Bunny Hunt, My Leg! Worst Episodes: Ink Lemonade, Krabby Patty Creature Feature, Pat the Horse, Moving Bubble Bass, Sanitation Insanity
Sorry about bumping this, but I'm really sorry I couldn't manage to finish the list on time. I was planning to give it to Trophy again, but I had a lot of stuff going on at once between a summer job, junior year of high school starting, and a false eviction letter from the apartment meaning I had to suddenly help move to another house, but I do hope you enjoyed this list regardless of how anticlimactic the ending was. (And before you ask--there's not going to be a 2017 list. Things are even busier and this list didn't have much interest to begin with) But to give a more satisfying conclusion, here are some honorable mentions that never managed to get released. Honorable Mentions: "No Free Rides" (49 Points, 3 Lists) "Club SpongeBob" (47 Points, 5 Lists) "Jellyfish Jam" (47 Points, 3 Lists) "Missing Identity" (43 Points, 5 Lists) "Walking Small" (42 Points, 3 Lists) "The Fry Cook Games" (40 Points, 2 Lists) "Skill Crane" (39 Points, 4 Lists) "My Pretty Seahorse" (38 Points, 2 Lists) "Dumped" (38 Points, 2 Lists) "The Secret Box" (37 Points, 4 Lists) (This was my #6 Slot) "Aargh!" (37 Points, 4 Lists) "Texas" (37 Points, 3 Lists) "Truth or Square" (37 Points, 2 Lists)
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