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One of the hardest things that any teen (or adult, for that matter) goes through is getting dumped. The only thing worse would probably be getting dumped right before the school prom. This is precisely what happens to Pearl (Mr. Krabs’ daughter) in “The Chaperone,” which is the first segment of episode 12 of Season 1. The episode first debuted worldwide in October 1999.
Mr. Krabs is in a tizzy when he finds out that Pearl is left dateless the day before her prom. SpongeBob, the ever-reliable employee, steps up to save the day and takes Pearl to her prom. As you can imagine, all forms of chaos ensue. But can SpongeBob manage to salvage Pearl’s prom night? Read on to find out!
Bottom Line up Front
SpongeBob is asked to take Mr. Krabs’ daughter Pearl to her prom. While SpongeBob, in his usual fashion, manages to wreak absolute havoc upon the unsuspecting attendees, he also manages to save the day for Pearl, who is, by the end of it, highly appreciative of his efforts.
The Big Problem on Prom Night
The episode opens up with SpongeBob inspecting a freshly made Krabby Patty as he takes a whiff of the patty and applies ketchup in the pattern of a smile. The Krabby Patty is, of course, the signature menu item of The Krusty Krab and is made up of the following ingredients;
- Two buns
- A patty
- A secret formula ingredient
While preparing the Krabby Patty, SpongeBob is distracted by the commotion outside as he sees Pearl bawling her eyes out, flooding the restaurant floor with her tears.
SpongeBob tries to eavesdrop through the closed doors of Mr. Krabs’ office but soon after, the door bursts open, and the entire establishment is flooded with Pearl’s tears.
SpongeBob asks Mr. Krabs what’s wrong, and he tells him that Pearl’s date has stood her up, and now she can’t find another date for the prom.
Pearl tells them that there’s only one fish in the sea that’s long, tan, and handsome like him. Mr. Krabs tries to pacify her, going as far as to suggest that he himself will take her to the prom himself. Bad move. Pearl is almost about to lose it again as the ground begins to quiver.
“What about Squidward?” Mr. Krabs suggests. Bad move yet again. The ground trembles even more as Pearl is about to unleash the full force of her tears again.
In a state of panic, Mr. Krabs holds up SpongeBob and asks Pearl to take him. Pearl shudders at the thought as she says that she would be kicked out of the most frequently pictured in the yearbook committee.
In my opinion, though, SpongeBob has to be the most attractive sponge in all of Bikini Bottom. Sure, his dressing style is a bit too square (pun intended), but he can clean up well in a pinch. And it sure beats having to go alone. Or, God forbid, taking a parent.
Mr. Krabs then asks his patrons at the restaurant who would like to take his lovely daughter to the prom. Within an instant, the entire restaurant empties. A dejected Pearl asks SpongeBob not to be late as she walks away.
As Mr. Krabs begins to explain to SpongeBob that this is a special night and that he’s counting on him, we see the real SpongeBob walk into the frame as he explains that they’ve been talking to a dummy he made all this while.
SpongeBob, however, assures Mr. Krabs that he’s a prom expert.
How Does the Prom Expert Get Ready for Prom Night?
We then see SpongeBob sitting in his living room, admitting to Gary (his pet snail) that he’s a prom failure and couldn’t even get a date for his own junior prom. Even Patrick had a date (albeit his own mom).
SpongeBob then reaches inside Gary’s conche and pulls out a magazine titled ‘Long, Tan, and Handsome,’ which is precisely how Pearl described her previous date.
With newfound inspiration and zeal, SpongeBob starts preparing for the big night. His prep includes the following activities;
- He prepares his tuxedo by cutting and sewing pieces of black fabric
- He takes a steamy bath
- He plucks out his eyelashes and puts in a fresh pair
- He rakes his tuxedo and plants a few seeds in it, which sprouts a pink flower
- He ties leg extensions to his foot
- He licks his braces clean
The Big Night
We then see a limousine pull up next to Mr. Krabs’ anchor house. The doorbell rings, and as Mr. Krabs opens the door to greet SpongeBob, all we can see are his legs (stilts, actually), as SpongeBob has to use a cranking mechanism to lower himself to the ground. In addition to everything mentioned above, SpongeBob has now adorned a slick black wig and is carrying a little box under his arm.
Mr. Krabs clearly approves this new look as he claims that SpongeBob cleans up pretty well.
Pearl is still unimpressed as she claims that at least now, no one there would recognize him. She then begins to lay down the ground rules as she tells him that all she wants is to get through this event with her social status intact. She says that she wants to go to the prom, get her picture taken, drink some punch, and then start listing everything he should not be doing. SpongeBob takes note of all of this in his handy notepad, which he seemingly carries inside his mouth. The list is quite simply endless.
As soon as Pearl hears that he brought a limousine, she instantly cheers up and drags SpongeBob by the hand out the door. Mr. Krabs jokes about going easy on the poor sponge as he can’t afford to bring in a new fry-cook. Typical Mr. Krabs, always worried about the economic side of things.
So thus far, we can see that the night is going pretty well! But how far can they make it till things start going awry? Read on to find out!
Going To The Prom
We then see that the venue for the prom is the school gym as SpongeBob and Pearl arrive in their classy limo. However, the bottom of the limo is constantly dragging across the ocean floor, making a horrid screeching sound, deafening everyone around them.
Inside the gym, we catch a glimpse of what prom is genuinely like; a bunch of awkward teens trying their best to fit in.
SpongeBob pulls out his list of things to do, and the pair decide to get their first prom picture clicked. While making his way to the photo booth, SpongeBob has trouble walking on his stilts, clearly unaccustomed to his newfound verticality.
We can see that Pearl is visibly embarrassed as her peers chuckle and laugh at SpongeBob’s expense. SpongeBob somehow manages to reach Pearl but soon tears down the entire photo booth, leading to probably one of the worst prom night photos that any person can dream of.
“That’ll be a keeper!” remarks SpongeBob, oblivious to his shenanigans.
What do Pearl’s friends think about SpongeBob?
As soon as Pearl hears one of her friends mention her name, she sends SpongeBob immediately to get her some punch, presumably to get him far out of sight.
Pearl’s friends come up to her and introduce their dates, both of whom offer a singular “Meep.”
Pearl’s friend then asks her where her date is as they’re dying to meet him. She tells them he’s near the punch bowl, getting her some punch. Her friend wonders whether he’s the really tall one. A mortified Pearl answers in the affirmative as SpongeBob struggles with the simple task of serving himself some punch due to his stilts, as the crowd of teenagers stares directly at his attempts.
SpongeBob soon loses balance, and the entire bowl of punch falls squarely on his head. Pearl tries to distract her friends from the commotion but is visibly red-faced.
“SpongeBob! What are you doing!” yells a disgruntled Pearl as SpongeBob, who has now absorbed all the punch and is red himself, is serving the beverage right through his nose. He looks ridiculous, she tells him.
She then notices someone in the distance and asks SpongeBob to hide behind the table. It’s none other than her ex-boyfriend, Octavius Rex, a.k.a. Mr. long, tan and handsome.
The ex-boyfriend, however, does not resemble anything close to how Pearl describes him, as he’s stout, brown, and wears nerdy formal attire, including a pair of round, thick-rimmed glasses. He, too, offers a solitary “Meep.”
SpongeBob is awestruck but tells Pearl that at least Rex isn’t the holder of the Regional Romance Dance Championship Trophy. Incidentally, neither is SpongeBob as a teen fish asks him to give it back. He grabs Pearl by the hand and takes her to the dance floor.
Can Spongebob Impress Pearl With His Dance Skills?
The pair make their way onto the dance floor as SpongeBob begins to unleash his dance moves. He starts to wind up his left arm like a windmill.
Pearl interjects and tells him that everyone around him is doing ‘The Whack,’ which consists of raising your arms above your head and whacking yourself against your dance partner.
SpongeBob assures Pearl that he invented ‘The Whack’ as he loads up his stilts to jump at Pearl. He ends up grabbing Pearl right off her feet as they hurtle towards the air and finally land on an unsuspecting couple, who are themselves sent hurtling across the dinner table and right into the canvas of a person painting a picture. Everyone nearby is panicking and running amok, confused at the sheer chaos caused by the sponge on stilts.
“Well, I guess you can take me home now that you’ve ruined everything,” Pearl says as she begins to wake up with tears.
SpongeBob reassures Pearl and asks her not to cry. He tells her that the prom expert can still fix it as he again whips out his list. Browsing through the list, he realizes that he’s ruined everything. And he himself starts sobbing his heart out as he runs off, accidentally, into the women’s bathroom. Pearl’s friends ask her what she did to the poor guy.
Guilt-ridden, Pearl goes up to the bathroom door and asks SpongeBob whether he’s okay. She reassures him that he didn’t mess everything up. She tells him that she really is having a good time and that they haven’t finished their dance yet.
Ecstatic, SpongeBob comes out instantly as he grabs Pearl and takes her to the dance floor.
We then hear the DJ sing out the instructions to ‘The Sponge’, which involves performing the following moves;
- You take your leg and stick it in the air
- Take the other leg and jam it right up there
- You twist yourself around, and you give a great big lunge
- That’s how you do ‘The Sponge’
We see SpongeBob and Pearl doing ‘The Sponge’ and having a jolly good time, whereas others attempting this physics-defying dance struggle immensely. Some of the consequences of attempting this dance move were;
- An attendee rams into another, getting a drink thrown in his face
- A female attempts to do this on top of a barrel but crashes to the floor
- Someone rips his leg off trying to stick it in the air
- An attendee bounces right out of the window
- A person can be seen dragging his body across the floor; both legs ripped off
- Three attendees entangle their bodies into a knot
- Two people crash into each other as their bodies and heads combine with each other
- Medical services are seen being stretchered off an attendee with an injured head
By the end of it, there is utter pandemonium as we see bodies of injured attendees piled on the floor requiring medical assistance.
SpongeBob and Pearl, however, are having the time of their lives as they’re bouncing and dancing all over the floor. SpongeBob turns himself into a basketball as Pearl dribbles him and shoots a smooth two-pointer into a nearby basket.
The entire crowd erupts! They hoist the couple over their shoulders as SpongeBob and Pearl yell that the crowd loves them!
Alas, that is as far from the truth as can be, as the crowd chucks the two right out of the gym. “Go wreck someone else’s prom” is the final verdict.
The Conclusion and Parting Thoughts
SpongeBob then, after dropping Pearl off back at her place, shamefacedly apologizes for wrecking her prom night. Pearl tells him that she always expected it to be a total disaster, but it was really fun. And therein lies the entire message of the episode.
Prom is supposed to be awkward. Social events are harrowing for teenagers. It’s a time of anxiety and stress, particularly when acting cool in front of your peers. But the truth of the matter is, no one has it figured out. Not at that age. The best thing to do is have fun and enjoy the ride!
Right at the end, Pearl thanks SpongeBob as she heads back home. And Mr. Krabs tells him that he did a good job. SpongeBob has seemingly frozen in time.
Soon though, we see another SpongeBob enter the frame, in his ordinary clothes, as he picks up the dummy SpongeBob, saying that it sure comes in handy.
So, did SpongeBob really attend the prom, or was it the dummy all along? That is up to you to decide!
Answer: Mr. Krabs has a teenage whale daughter named Pearl Krabs.
Answer: In episode 12a of Season 1, SpongeBob is forced by Mr. Krabs to take his teenage daughter Pearl to her prom.
Answer: This scene is a reference to the 1978 American parody film “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”
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