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Nowadays, time seems to just zoom by in the routine, and you hardly find any spare time for yourself. Writing these guides has allowed me to revisit some of the series’ most hilarious episodes. And I’m genuinely grateful for that. Amidst this hectic routine, a couple of episodes from my childhood favorite are just the right amount of giggles I need to liven my mood up.
I love how SpongeBob integrates such a unique and diverse roster of characters into something beautiful. Despite being a 2D animation, the chemistry between the Bikini Bottomites creates an incredible sense of humor that we all love.
The cartoony art style, real-life footage, and CGI create this unusual blend of comedy that never fails to amaze me. It makes me question how something so random could work so well together. The episode ‘Clams’ is an excellent example of just that.
SpongeBob Clams Guide: Bottom Line Up Front
It’s just an ordinary day in the Krusty Krab when suddenly the red alarm goes off, and Mr. Krab rushes in to announce the news of him earning his millionth dollar.
To celebrate the occasion, he grabs his two trusty employees and takes them Clam fishing. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned, and the precious dollar bill is swallowed by a giant clam. The episode revolves around the trio trying to retrieve the lost dollar using hilariously unconventional methods.
They resort to deceiving each other along the way, and hell breaks loose in the episode’s final moments.
- Season: 3
- Episode no: 13b
- Air Date: Sep 20, 2002
- Characters Featured: Squidward Tentacles, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Eugene H. Krabs.
- Sister Episode: New Student Starfish
- Rating from IMDB: 8.7/10
Sister Episode: New Student Starfish
‘New Student Starfish’ was an episode centered around SpongeBob’s boating school and begins with Patrick inviting him to go jelly-fishing. But he denies the offer as he must attend the boating school. Patrick gets teary-eyed over such a petty thing. SpongeBob takes him along, a decision he later regrets as our goofy starfish friend is known to cause havoc at places he is not supposed to.
After several arguments, mishaps, and a trip to detention, the duo puts aside their differences and saves the science project ‘Roger’ the egg. On their bravery, they were awarded a gold star each. Patrick realizes it’s a boating school, not a Spanish class, so he leaves, and the episode ends with the birth of Roger the chick.
SpongeBob SquarePants Episode Guide: Clams
Mr. Krabs’ Dream: The Millionth Dollar
The episode begins with a prolonged confused sound from a customer at the Krusty Krab, who asks for Squidward’s opinion on the coral bits and the nacho oyster skins. Squidward, however, savagely replies that he likes neither. Somehow, I found his lack of interest in his job amusing as he increased his savagery and burst out on the customer by saying that he hated everything on the menu.
Anyhow, the rage doesn’t go on for long as SpongeBob pops up from the kitchen window and suggests that the customer should try coral bits. But oh boy, the drama doesn’t end here. Suddenly, a siren goes off alongside a red alert.
This siren marks the beginning of a dramatic entrance. The emergency light paints the Krusty Krab a blinking red. The customer asks Squidward what is happening, who casually replies, “Something stupid, I’m sure.” Here, I must add that his remarks and comments are one of the best parts of the show and have truly made it much more popular.
Soon, a real-life orchestra is unveiled from behind the wall curtains. Mr. Krabs jumps into the hall laughing hysterically, and he kisses both Sandals and Squidward and flies off with the dollar bill.
He then goes to rub the dollar bill all over himself, using it almost like a towel or a bathing cloth, which was, to say the least, kind of funny yet disturbing to watch.
His hysterical laughter and funny expressions made the entire sequence queerer. So much so that even SpongeBob questions what was wrong with Mr. Krabs. But in my head, I was thinking, what isn’t wrong with him? I mean, he is a cheapskate who doesn’t even pay his main and only chef, and his biological daughter is literally a whale…I wonder how that happened.
Soon, the reason behind such a profuse and hyped celebration is revealed. The dollar that Sandals just have Squidward was the millionth dollar earned by Mr. Krabs. It turns out that every Crab’s goal is to make a million dollars, and now Mr. Krabs has finally achieved it. It’s a great addition as it perfectly explains Mr. Krabs’ obsession with money and his hysterical laughter and abnormal behavior.
Mr. Krabs proceeds to congratulate his subordinates and the customer who was responsible for this millionth dollar. The customer thought he won something for it; instead, he was subjected to hostility and forced out of the restaurant. Mr. Krabs wants to cherish the moment, so he throws everyone except SpongeBob and Squidward out. I didn’t understand the reason behind making everyone leave because something like that isn’t good for business.
SpongeBob congratulates him, but he says they should commend themselves as he believes it was due to their loyalty; he made it so far. He praises SpongeBob and Squidward and calls them a crew that comes once in a lifetime. Even though he was imagining them deformed, I still loved the humble side of Mr. Krabs, which this part of the episode was able to portray.
His gratitude exceeded my expectations, and as a way to repay them, Mr. Krabs wanted to take them on a trip. Squidward seems excited to go on a trip, which was another surprising thing for me, as the only emotion he ever shows is frustration.
It seemed too good to be true, as Squidward starts guessing the details about the trip and the possible destinations. He started naming exotic locations like the fancy springs, Pamper Island, and the Bikini Bottom Fold Village. But Mr. Krabs denies all of them. At this point, I started getting more skeptical.
It turned out that their trip was on a worn boat, and they were supposed to fish for clams as a source of entertainment. Squidward considered his reward unjustified, as he was forcibly fishing for stinky clams in a filthy lagoon.
Losing The Millionth Dollar
After he has concluded that clam fishing isn’t fun, Squidward opts for solitude on the boat and proceeds to sit on a bench as he contemplates his feelings about the reward. I felt terrible for the octopus as he was genuinely looking forward to a good trip. Still, all he got was something no one wishes to be rewarded with, more chores.
SpongeBob, on the other hand, was happy and cheerful as ever; this always seemed to amaze me how someone could find such happiness in the worst of situations. He approaches Squidward and asks if he can cast out near him, but Squidward sends him away, and he casts his line on the other side of the boat.
SpongeBob casts his line multiple times in a back and forth motion, and every time he takes the fishing rod back, he takes something from Squidward, and he isn’t even aware of it. At first, he took away his magazine, then the chair he was sitting on, then he stripped him off his shirt, and lastly took away his nose, which left Squidward screaming. Talk about taking the old ‘got your nose’ joke to another level; Squidward may have been left nose-less in this scene, but I also was left speechless.
At this point, Squidward has had enough, and he approaches Mr. Krabs, who is seen steering the boat in an excellent mood. He tells Mr. Krabs that he has had enough and wants to leave. But the latter starts trying to cheer him up and explains that he has to go with the flow. While he is explaining this, SpongeBob is seen throwing more stuff into the lagoon unintentionally via his fishing rod. Mr. Krabs also advises Squidward not to bring anything on a boat you don’t want to lose; if only he had given that suggestion sooner. But unfortunately for Mr. Krabs, he didn’t listen to his own advice.
SpongeBob’s fishing rod hooks onto the millionth dollar Mr. Krabs had foolishly taped to the back of his pants. He then pulls the rod, rips off the pants along with the dollar, and throws it in the lagoon. I couldn’t help but laugh at the stupidity I had witnessed and the exposed back-side of Mr. Krabs.
The Giant Clam
SpongeBob is threatened by Mr. Krabs and begins to reel the dollar in as fast as he can. The orchestra plays horror music in the background to make this scene more dramatic. Mr. Krabs even describes the whole theory of the music being played, which was considered death by every sailor.
The music keeps getting faster, and he reveals a real-life orchestra behind the boat’s cabin doors. He insults the people responsible for the dramatic music. He demands them to stop playing it, but it does not affect them. He keeps calling for the dollar as if it were alive and could swim back to him.
SpongeBob is finally able to reel the dollar back in, and they are relieved. Mr. Krabs thought he had lost the millionth dollar for good but felt happy again. But his happiness is short-lived as the ominous music starts to play again, and a giant clam lunges out of the water. The clam snatches the dollar from Mr. Krabs’ pincer, dives back into the water, and swims away. It takes a moment or two for Mr. Krabs to realize that he lost his millionth dollar for good.
The Drama Queen, Mr. Krabs
At a moment’s notice, Mr. Krabs cries out a small puddle of tears, and a rather excited Squidward is seen approaching him. He rants that a giant clam ate his millionth dollar and breaks down again, saying he will never get it back. But could see through his fake tears.
He is seen sobbing on the floor and even whips his unusual eyes. SpongeBob, who can be identified as an empath like me, starts feeling bad about his boss. Squidward, who can be considered a pessimist, calls Mr. Krabs a drama queen, which seems to be accurate judging by his dramatic reaction.
He was literally and disgustingly sucked on his own feet to show his despair. The more Squidward tried to show him the reality, the more he cried. Even if it was a stupid dollar, to Mr. Krabs, it was worth crying out a waterfall of tears in his mouth. The variations of him crying made me uncomfortable. Finally, Squidward gave in and proposed that he was going to help him retrieve the dollar.
Mr. Krabs was sucking on a real-life human thumb, and when he heard that he would receive help from his subordinates, he immediately cheered up and geared up. The sudden change in emotions made me realize that it was most definitely an act to emotionally blackmail them into helping him.
Rescuing The Millionth Dollar
Here, the episode enters a theatrical war-like stage, where the trio is seen planning under Mr. Krabs. Their mission is to retrieve the millionth dollar from the giant clam at all costs. A very determined Mr. Krabs is seen ordering Squidward and SpongeBob to man the fishing poles while he keeps an eye out for the clam. As usual, SpongeBob looks determined to play the part and replies with a truly Aye, Aye, Captain.
It was apparent that Mr. Krabs would not give up until he had rescued his dollar, and he clarified his resolve by saying it out loud. What I didn’t expect was the sudden time-lapse. It had been three consecutive days, they had grown out beards, and moss had taken over the boat. The giant clam just never appeared.
Well, at least we get to see Squidward’s natural hair. They are gray, and he’s bald by choice, not due to any condition. What a surprise! frustrated with the situation, Squidward rips off his gray hair and beard and says it’s hopeless. It seems that hope began to waver for SpongeBob as well as he remembers he had to feed Gary. I felt concerned when I heard about Gary, but the scene immediately cut to him munching on a sofa, and I burst out laughing. I’m a cat person, and as much as my cat loves to scratch our couch, I bet he would do the same if I left him hungry for a while. (Don’t worry, I love him too much to ever test this theory.)
Deceiving Mr. Krabs
Squidward concludes that they will die because of Mr. Krabs and his stupid will to retrieve a mere dollar, so to save himself, he comes up with a plan to deceive him. He takes a dollar from his wallet and makes SpongeBob a collaborator in his goal. I was able to understand what both of them were conspiring, and even though it seemed wrong, their plan had the potential to save them.
They began waving the dollar around and tried to grab Mr. Krabs’ attention, who was shocked upon seeing it. He was overjoyed and questioned if it was actually his beloved millionth dollar and if it had finally returned. Suddenly, triumphant music started playing as the crew began dancing joyfully.
Like before, he started rubbing the dollar all over his body while laughing hysterically. But, suddenly, the music stops as something seems a bit off to Mr. Krabs. The sound the dollar made while being rubbed over him didn’t feel right as he moved it back and forth again, and his suspicion grew.
He points at the dollar, concluding that it wasn’t his millionth dollar but an ordinary one, and he describes its appearance in immense detail. He says the dollar is slightly torn and crumpled; it was also wet and had been kissed with a coral blue #2 semi-gloss lipstick. Mr. Krab sure knows his lipsticks, I thought. But SpongeBob starts to correct him about the lipstick color, at which Squidward smacks him with a fishing rod. Weirdly enough, the former is seen wearing the same lipstick.
It was evident that Mr. Krabs had caught on and seemed highly disappointed. He felt deceived and believed that his trusted crew had betrayed him. I felt more sympathetic towards him as he began to cry again, but Squidward made it clear that he would not be swayed by tears anymore, at which Mr. Krabs stopped crying.
Krabs Has Gone Completely Insane
Mr. Krabs’ aura suddenly became more menacing, and he took necessary measures to make his crew comply. He nails a sandwich to a flagpole. And then throws the rest of the sandwiches and the entire refrigerator in the lagoon. Now the only remaining sandwich was to be the reward for retrieving the millionth dollar. Can’t say that I am surprised to see Mr. Krabs going this far for a dollar.
Mr. Krabs clarified that nobody would eat until the dollar was rescued. This unfavorable and tense situation allowed Squidward to share his conclusive opinion about Mr. Krabs’ sanity with SpongeBob. As they discuss the problem, the scene cuts between them and Mr. Krabs. He is seen dressed up as a widow clinging to the gravestone of his dollar, and SpongeBob still sympathizes with him.
Mr. Krabs pulls out his eyes and uses them as a jump rope while he laughs like a complete psychopath. This was the most disturbing and gruesome part of the entire episode for me, and perhaps for SpongeBob as well. After this, he stops sympathizing and wants to run away from his boss.
The nervous duo plans to escape using the lifeboat attached to their ship, and they cautiously start making their way toward it. Their original plan was to be quiet and stealthy, but they started yelling as they sprinted toward the boat. I didn’t know what to expect, and it was becoming suspenseful; the climax occurred when an angry Mr. Krabs appeared from the lifeboat meant to save them.
Mr. Krabs was riled up and again mad at his crew. So much so that he tied them up with rope and threw them out of the lifeboat. He felt betrayed twice in the same episode, and it was about time that he used some drastic measures.
He said, “There’s only one use for a backstabbing crew like you: live bait.” From the crew, one rarely finds in a lifetime to a backstabbing crew condemned to be live bait for a giant clam. What a dramatic change of opinion we get to see in this episode.
It is a harsh measure, but sacrifices are to be made to win, and in this case, SpongeBob and Squidward were the sacrifices. Both could be seen dangling over the water while tied up and attached to Mr. Krabs’ fishing rod.
He couldn’t wait for the clam to appear and dressed up as a conductor, revealing the same orchestra from before. This time it is Mr. Krabs pulling the strings and guiding this orchestra into playing the same deadly music he once begged them to stop.
The tied-up duo begins to panic in despair and helplessness as their boss maintains his psychotic look with a burst of maniac-like laughter. Squidward makes a comedic yet honest remark telling Mr. Krabs that he works with SpongeBob all day long. So he knows what he is talking about when he says that Mr. Krabs has gone completely out of his mind.
In return, we see a crazy Mr. Krabs whose laugh and expression seem like something straight out of Courage the Cowardly Dog.
The Giant Clam Finally Appears
The dramatic music attracted the Giant Clam, and it is seen emerging from the water. It starts swimming toward the ship, following the music.
Mr. Krabs is seemingly encouraging the clam to approach SpongeBob and Squidward. But the duo keeps wiggling around desperately, hoping they can break free from the rope. When the clam gets close enough, it opens its mouth, and the dollar is seen resting on its tongue. Mr. Krabs immediately shuts down the orchestra, stopping the dramatic music and making the clam stop mid-air, with its mouth wide open.
He jumps from the ship into the mouth of clam and is reunited with his millionth dollar. He takes his sweet time in its mouth and repeats the practice of rubbing the dollar all over his body. He boasts about retrieving it to the crew he was willing to sacrifice.
However, things were not over yet. Suddenly the orchestra doors opened up, and the dramatic horror music resumed. The seemingly frozen-in-time clam closes its mouth and dives into the lagoon with Mr. Krabs. As soon as it shut its mouth, my mouth suddenly opened in shock. This was the perfect example of karma, Mr. Krabs was ready to feed his friends to the clam, but he was gobbled up instead.
Both Squidward and SpongeBob begin to cry, but for different reasons. SpongeBob was crying over the apparent death of their boss, and Squidward was crying because Mr. Krabs left him stuck with this annoying fellow employee. As I said in the beginning, this show never fails to amaze me. And for sure, it did that again with yet another plot twist. Ultimately, Mr. Krabs shows up out of the water with the millionth dollar. At first, he seems just a little beat up, but when he comes onboard, it is revealed that only his head remains, and he lost his body to the Giant Clam. Still, he seems as alive and as obsessed with money as ever.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Mr. Krabs had achieved his goal of making million dollars.
Answer: Mr. Krabs took the duo on a trip to fish for clams, and Squidward was not too fond of the reward.
Answer: SpongeBob accidentally hooked the dollar and threw it in the lagoon using his fishing rod. He reeled the dollar back, but a giant clam appeared and snatched the dollar from Mr. Krabs.
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