"Shanghaied" is the first segment of the 33rd episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. It was originally shown as part of a special half-hour episode titled "SpongeBob's You Wish Spectacular Special", in which viewers could call in or place a vote on Nick.com for how the cartoon would end.
The actual episode starts with SpongeBob opening a box of Kelpo cereal, trying to find "one of eight essential prizes inside". Suddenly, a giant anchor crashes into SpongeBob's house, which SpongeBob believes to be a "baby" from the sky. He and Patrick alert Squidward that the sky had a baby, and he explains that it is a giant anchor. Suddenly, the anchor moves, crashing in to Squidward's house as well. Squidward begins climbing up the anchor's rope to complain to the owner, and SpongeBob and Patrick follow.
Up in the sky, they find out that the anchor was dropped from the Flying Dutchman's ghost ship. When the trio set foot on the ship, the Flying Dutchman emerges from his cabin, terrifying Squidward. SpongeBob and Patrick tell the Dutchman of Squidward's intentions to complain to him, and he repeatedly burns Squidward with fire from his nostrils. When he tells SpongeBob and Patrick that he will do the same to them, they repeatedly attempt to jump over board, but land back on the ship every time. The Dutchman then tells them that for setting foot on his ghost ship, they shall be forced to work as his ghostly crew for all eternity. Squidward proceeds to complain about this, and the Dutchman throws him into a zipper-like portal to a heckish dimension, called the "Fly of Despair".
The Flying Dutchman then has SpongeBob and Patrick help him go around Bikini Bottom and scare people. However, they cause more harm than good for the Dutchman, who then tells him that he has decided to eat them for dinner instead. He locks them in their room, as he prepares for his dinner. SpongeBob and Patrick reluctantly decide to escape through the "perfume department", where perfume is constantly sprayed in their faces as they walk through.
After getting through the perfume department, SpongeBob and Patrick overhear the Dutchman saying that that he can't eat without his dining sock, and promptly steal it. The Dutchman catches the two as they try to escape. SpongeBob and the Flying Dutchman begin fighting over the sock, until the Flying Dutchman decides to grant them three wishes in exchange for it. Patrick wishes he knew about this earlier, thus wasting the first wish. SpongeBob wishes that Squidward was here to see this. Meanwhile, Squidward, after passing through the Fly of Despair, is dropped into his bedroom, but is then immediately transported back to the Dutchman's ship. The trio begin arguing over who should get the last wish, until the Dutchman calls a halt to their fight and decides to randomly pick which one of them gets the last wish, ultimately picking SpongeBob. SpongeBob wishes that the Flying Dutchman turns into a vegetarian. SpongeBob and the others are turned into fruit and are chased by the Dutchman, who is now a hippie around his ship which turned into a hippie van.
The episode itself ends and Patchy returns to greet the audience. After a totally random outburst in which he tells the audience to walk the plank, he announces that they are going to read a fan letter. Unfortunately, Potty shows up with a fuse in his head from an evidently unplanned explosives stunt. Potty and Patchy are blown up and Patchy decides to sign off the show.
When this episode was first aired, the segments with Patchy the Pirate were much longer, and had Patchy hosting a poll in which the viewers would decide between three possible endings to the episode, with a different character receiving the final wish in each ending. When the scene of the Flying Dutchman deciding who gets the last wish came up, the episode paused and Patchy informed the viewers that it was now time to call in and cast their vote, at which point the show went to commercials.
After the commercial break, before proceeding to the winning ending, Patchy played the other two alternate endings that did not get the most votes:
- Patrick's ending: He wishes that he had gum that would never lose its flavor, and thus, they are eaten by the Flying Dutchman.
- Squidward's ending: He wishes that he had never met SpongeBob and Patrick; unfortunately, all this means is that the Flying Dutchman only erases their memories of having ever met Squidward. They get eaten and are still introducing themselves in the Dutchman's belly.
In later airings, the Patchy segments, now retitled "Patchy's Pick", were trimmed down to make room for the shorter partner episode, "Gary Takes a Bath". All references to polls were removed, and a few of the scenes that were kept were redubbed. (For instance, the shot of Patchy announcing that SpongeBob's ending had won now has him about to read a fan letter.)
The "Patchy's Pick" segment accompanies the episode on The Complete 2nd Season DVD set in 2004, but the original "You Wish" footage with the voting references was shown on The First 100 Episodes DVD set seven years later (though the graphic showing the phone number to call in to vote was changed to say that it "was retired to Davy Jones' locker"). The Sea Stories DVD includes the episode (without the Patchy segments) as a bonus feature, giving the viewer the option to watch the cartoon in full with one of the three endings.
- The cartoon is the first SpongeBob episode to be shorter than a double-length episode (22 minutes), but longer than a regular episode (11 minutes), at the length of 16 minutes.
- The Flying Dutchman was first mentioned to wear a sock in "Your Shoe's Untied".
- Patrick saying "Leedle leedle leedle lee" became an internet meme.
- Patrick says his hands are clean. However, in "The Battle of Bikini Bottom", he claims he's never washed his hands and never will.
- The scene where the Flying Dutchman's head turns 360 degrees around is a reference to the film The Exorcist.
- The Flying Dutchman's ship is featured in the computer version of Lights, Camera, Pants!, even featuring the ice skates in SpongeBob and Patrick's room.
- The perfume department was filmed at an actual department store.
- The episode's name refers to shanghaiing, coercive techniques such as violence, threats, or kidnapping to force men into joining a ship's crew.
- Big Guy would later appear in "Krabby Land" and "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV".
- This episode (along with "Gary Takes a Bath") was banned in the United Kingdom and Australia due to its frightening and dark storyline involving ghosts, along with a disturbing and offending, slow-motion scene involving a tired and scared SpongeBob and Patrick getting sprayed with perfumes along to spooky, unsettling music. It was deemed too uncomfortable to watch for younger viewers. After seven years of not airing, both episodes finally returned to Nickelodeon (UK & Ireland) and Nickelodeon Australia in September 2008 for a single air. It also aired with "Gary Takes a Bath" in Australia in November 2010 and February 27, 2011, in the United Kingdom.
- In Latin America, all endings have aired at least twice and are randomly chosen
This is one of few episodes with a graphically animated sequence (The Fly of Despair).
- In the Latin versions, the Squidward ending is canon.
- During the shot where Patchy is fired away, his foot and peg leg look like they are still standing on the ground, which is probably true as the foot doesn't move at all. It is just the peg leg that is moving off of the set while the moving background is made and the flying pirate is tilted after recording.
- Patrick and the Flying Dutchman arguing about how many wishes they're allowed to have is similar to Patrick's arguments with King Neptune about how many tasks SpongeBob must complete in "Neptune's Spatula", and how many days in which SpongeBob can find the stolen crown in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
- In "Your Shoe's Untied", the Flying Dutchman says he that hasn't worn a shoe for 3,000 years, yet he's only 137 years old.
- When SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward are climbing the ship's anchor, the rope's shape and art changes right after SpongeBob says "Squidward, wait!".
- In "Your Shoe's Untied", the Flying Dutchman claims he hasn't worn shoes for over 3,000 years. At the end of the episode, he is wearing a shoe.
- When the Flying Dutchman picks who gets the last wish, he goes back and forth, ending with SpongeBob. However, when the scene cuts closer to them all, the Flying Dutchman starts with Squidward again, skipping Patrick.
- At the beginning of the episode, it is morning. However, when SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward got on the ship, it is night-time for the rest of the episode.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick return to their cabin on the ship after their scaring spree, their ice skates, which they used during their final "scare", are hanging on the wall.
- After SpongeBob is chosen to get the last wish, Squidward knows that they are about to be eaten, even though he wasn't present when SpongeBob and Patrick were informed.
- Patrick does not have a nose (as shown in "Something Smells"), so if he only covered his eyes while running through the perfume department he would have been fine.
Home video releases
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Sea Stories
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Sea Stories
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 2nd Season
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes
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