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The Play's the Thing
Season 7, Episode 138a
The Play's the Thing
Air date March 26, 2010
Written by Luke Brookshier
Nate Cash
Steven Banks
Episode guide
Gary in Love
Rodeo Daze

The Play's the Thing is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season seven. In this episode, Squidward executes his play in the Krusty Krab.



The mailfish goes to the Krusty Krab with a letter for Squidward, who's not at his post. Spongebob sees this, and inflates some balloons, shapes them into Squidward's form, and stands at the cash register, impersonating his co-worker. Squidward's nose blows up, but he gives him the letter anyways, and runs out. The balloons pop, waking up Squidward, who was asleep under the register. When he sees the letter he becomes jubilant, and Spongebob joins the cheer. Mr. Krabs comes out and asks what Squidward's so happy about. Squidward tells him his script was accepted and that he quits. He walks to the front door, reading his letter. However, when he learns his script was not accepted, he turns around and returns to his post. Spongebob gives him the idea to perform the play at the Krusty Krab. Mr. Krabs refuses to allow it at first, but when Spongebob says he can charge customers double for the show, Mr. Krabs goes for it, but with one warning: if so much as one Krabby Patty is late, he'll shut Squidward down. Spongebob suggests the event be called "Singy Eaty Time", even though Squidward says there is no singing. Despite this, Mr. Krabs loves it.

The Krusty Krab holds auditions for parts, and a long line of anchovies await their role. When they learn they won't be paid, they make a hasty retreat. All that's left is Spongebob, whom Squidward dejectedly says has all the other parts. That night, people head to the Krusty Krab for Squidward's play. When the curtains rise, the cashier's post is replaced with a cardboard version and Squidward recites his lines. A fish comes along and asks for a Krabby Patty. Squidward shoos him away, but Mr. Krabs pops out from the window and reminds Squidward of his warning. Squidward delivers the order to the table, reciting lines which criticize the customers and the food. Squidward returns to the stage, when a customer wants a refill. Squidward shouts at him, but Mr. Krabs orders him to fulfill the customer's request. Squidward walks over with a bucket of soda and splashes it on the customer. When Squidward returns to the stage, a customer wants ketchup on his patty, and Squidward squirts him with the condiment. Mr. Krabs again reminds Squidward of his warning, to which Squidward calls Mr. Krabs his "skinflint boss". Mr. Krabs is about to get angry, but Squidward tells him it's part of the play.

Squidward refers to "the worst part of my job": Spongebob. The stage rotates so the audience can see the side of the kitchen with Spongebob, who thinks he's forgotten the lines. Squidward tells him to act like himself, so he acts like a garbage truck, flinging a bag of garbage at Squidward. Two fish try to get their orders, but Squidward ignores them, reciting his lines. The customers finally lose their patience, and angrily demand Krabby Patties. Mr. Krabs tells Squidward that they haven't gotten their orders, and Squidward asks Spongebob (still acting like a garbage truck) where the patty is. Spongebob goes back to normal, but sees the patties are burnt. He apologizes for ruining the food, but Squidward serves the burnt patties to the customers, despite Spongebob's warnings that they're not fit for consumption. The customers are not happy with the quality of their meals, and Squidward tells them they wouldn't know quality "if it hit them in the head", to which a customer hurls his patty at him. The rest of the customers are eager to join in, but Spongebob encourages them to respect the Krabby Patty. He's won them over, but when Patrick says he likes to throw food, a food fight breaks out. Mr. Krabs sells customers things to throw at his employees. When the food fight is over, Squidward and Spongebob are badly injured, and Mr. Krabs tells them he has added new shows. Squidward and Spongebob laugh like crazy, and Squidward is hit in the head by a burnt Krabby Patty, causing him to fall down.


  • This is the first time Squidward is called an octopus. The second will be Sweet and Sour Squid.
  • The title card is a rotated recolor of "The Paper," "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic," "Best Frenemies," and "Squid Wood."
  • SpongeBob puts only five Krabby Patties on the grill, but when they are burned, there are ten.
  • Anchovies were seen at the Krusty Krab in Help Wanted.
  • Things thrown at Squidward and SpongeBob other than burnt Krabby Patties:
    • cups of soda
    • fries
    • a slice of pepperoni pizza
    • a roast chicken
    • a hot dog
    • a baseball
    • a sandal
    • a banana peel
    • a plate
    • Plankton
    • a shoe
    • a bottle
    • a drumstick with a bite taken out of it
    • a spoon
    • a walking cane
    • and finally, the anchor
  • The plot of this episode is very similar to that of Culture Shock. Both involve:
    • Squidward hosting an event at the Krusty Krab
    • Squidward's act being hated
    • the patrons throwing food at him
    • and Mr. Krabs expecting another show due to the success
  • When Squidward goes to a table to give Frank Fishbowl a Krabby Patty, a piece of cheese appears below the top bun while Squidward is walking.
  • When Mr. Krabs scolds Squidward for not serving the customers, he's behind the wall, in the kitchen. When the stage turns around, Mr. Krabs is gone. When Squidward says he's "underpaid", Mr. Krabs is in the audience. When the people chant "We want Krabby Patties!", Mr. Krabs is on the stage.
  • The play's title, Squidward: Strokes of Genius, parodies the title of the 2004 film, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, which was based on the life and golfing career of Bobby Jones.
  • When all the objects are being thrown during the food fight, if you watch carefully you can see Plankton being thrown.
  • Patrick Star is actually responsible for Mr. Krabs getting money since he started back up the food fight Spongebob had stopped.

APM Music Identification[]

  • Drama Link D - "Squidward's not at his post!"
  • Dramatic Impact 3 - The mailman runs out of the Krusty Krab screaming.
  • Drama Link G - SpongeBob screams as he sees the Krabby patties are burned.
  • Fates - "Squidward, forgive me. I left the glamor of the stage distract me from my true calling, making sure that every Krabby Patty I prepare is the best it can be."