"The Play's the Thing" is the first segment of the 139th episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.


The mailfish goes to the Krusty Krab with a letter for Squidward, whom is 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 that 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 and because of this Squidward and SpongeBob laugh maniacly and the episode ends.



  • Peg Leg Waltz - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton [title card]
  • Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hello?"]
  • Drama Link (d) - Hubert Clifford ["Squidward's not at his post!"]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Squidward-shaped balloon]
  •  ? - Jeremy Wakefield [nose deflates]
  • Dramatic Impact 3 - Ivor Slaney [mailman runs out screaming]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Squidward wakes up]
  • Proud Fanfare - David Farnon ["Hooray! Yahoo! Whoopee!"]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["I'm on my happy break, Mr. Krabs."]
  • Dancing in Dreamland (a) - Ron Goodwin [Squidward quits]
  •  ? - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward comes back]
  •  ? ["And your shirt... is that a cotton-poly blend?"]
  • Film Fanfare (a) - Dick Stephen Walter ["They'll recognize my genius!"]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs agrees to let Squidward put on his play]
  • Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs, SpongeBob laugh]
  •  ? ["Got it!"]
  • Tympup A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["I love it!"]
  •  ? - Nicolas Carr ["I love it!"]
  • Chorus Line - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [auditions]
  •  ? - Nicolas Carr ["Did I get the part?"]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Singy-Eaty Time with Squidward Tentacles/start * * ? - Nicolas Carr ["Oh, I can do that!"]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob acting]
  •  ? - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs laughs]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["And furthermore..."]
  •  ? - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [customers demand Krabby Patties]
  • Drama Link (g) - Hubert Clifford [burnt patties]
  • Fates - Gregor F. Narholz ["Squidward, forgive me."]
  •  ? - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Here, enjoy!"]
  •  ? [choir]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Wait!"]
  • First Lady - Mladen Franko ["Krabby Patties are meant to be eaten, not flung."]
  • Slide Whistle Song - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [food fight]
  •  ? - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [ending]

Home video releases


  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 7th Season


  • This is the first time Squidward is called an octopus. The second will be Sweet and Sour Squid.
  • 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.
  • When all the objects are being thrown during the food fight, if one would watch carefully, one 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.
  • This is the second time Squidward's act has been hated, the first time was Culture Shock and SpongeBob's act has been adored. Except in this episode SpongeBob's act was hated as well.
  • Right before Patrick threw the anchor at Squidward's forehead, Squidward's forehead was bleeding, however after he threw it, no blood is present on Squidward's forehead for the rest of the episode.

Cultural Refeences

  • 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.


  • SpongeBob puts only five Krabby Patties on the grill, but when they are burned, there are ten.
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