It is annual "Free Day" at the Bikini Bottom Zoo, and Mr. Krabs is abusing it by stealing light bulbs, filling an entire barrel at the soda machine, and raiding the gift shop with a fake mustache to hide his identity. Meanwhile, SpongeBob and Patrick go to the Oyster Stadium to see Clamu the Clam perform tricks. However, Clamu is sleeping, and Patrick leaves out of boredom. SpongeBob tries to wake Clamu up by throwing a peanut at it, which makes Clamu wakes up and goes on a rampage as she attacks people and cries in madness. SpongeBob believes himself to be responsible, and as he walks home with Patrick, Patrick decides to investigate the crime, determining to know the culprit and punish him.
At home, SpongeBob tells himself that the incident will blow over soon. However, when he turns the on the TV, the oyster incident is the top news story. The Realistic Fish Head reports that the cry is so powerful that it can be heard all around the world (even above the surface), and asks what kind of "cruel, careless, evil person" would do anything to upset the giant clam.
Feeling guilty, SpongeBob goes to Squidward and Sandy for advice, but just like Patrick, they both are concerned with finding and punishing the culprit, adding to SpongeBob's anxiety. To add more to this anxiety, once SpongeBob goes home, Patrick reveals that he found the bag of peanuts left near SpongeBob's home which the throwing peanut came from, stating that he's getting close to solve the mystery. Eventually, policemen enter SpongeBob's house and question him on the oyster incident. SpongeBob admits to everything they ask him, but instead of arresting him, they conclude from their evidence that Patrick is the culprit due to his stupidity.
Patrick is taken to Oyster Stadium, where he is chained to a platform in the middle of the stage and pelted with peanuts by the angry audience for the crime. Unwilling to let Patrick take the fall of something he didn't do, SpongeBob arrives at the stadium and orders everyone to stop throwing peanuts at Patrick. He finally confesses to having thrown the peanut, apologizing to Clamu, Patrick, and the people of Bikini Bottom and asking for forgiveness. The audience, refusing to accept SpongeBob's apology and forgive him, decide to throw peanuts at both him and Patrick, but before they can do so, a zookeeper arrives and stops them, having captured Mr. Krabs with Clamu's pearl.
The zookeeper reveals that by the time Clamu was sleeping, Mr. Krabs has stolen her pearl, and the time Clamu woke up after being hit by the peanut, she found out that her pearl was gone; thus it was the theft of the pearl, not the throwing peanut, that made Clamu angry and depressed in the first place. Having recovered the pearl from Mr. Krabs, the zookeeper gives it back to Clamu, and the pearl turns out to be an egg as it hatches into a baby oyster.
Having reunited with her offspring, Clamu finally calms herself down, which touches SpongeBob, Patrick, and the audience. With the truth of the crime finally revealed, SpongeBob and Patrick are cleared of all charges, and the audience turn their rage towards Mr. Krabs for stealing Clamu's offspring. Rather than admitting that what he did was wrong, Mr. Krabs instead makes the excuse that it's Free Day, and is literally buried in peanuts thrown by the angry audience, much to his discomfort.
Home video releases
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Seascape Capers
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 2nd Season
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes
- The episode is a reference to a "smoking gun", a conclusive piece of evidence in a crime (or the division of TruTv that produces the show "the smoking gun presents world's dumbest [insert topic of episode here] "). The smoking gun, in this case, is the peanut.
- In real life Patrick would be sent to jail, not to the oyster stadium.
- On YTV airings of this episode, when Mr. Krabs says "But it's Free Day!", captions say "But it's pretty!".
- When Patrick says "Hey SpongeBob", his eyelids are pink instead of their regular purple color.
- When the zookeeper pulls Mr. Krabs pants off, his belt buckle colors are reversed to yellow on the inside and black on the outside, but in the next scene, the belt is back to normal.
- Oyster Stadium would be seen again in "Not Normal".
- Clamu is a parody of the once popular and very famous whale Shamu in Seaworld.
- When SpongeBob looked out his window, he saw Oyster Stadium. However, his house would have to be in the zoo to see Oyster Stadium clearly, as the stadium is inside the zoo.
- In all other episodes, Bikini Bottom has blue and white police cars (similar to NYPD's old squad car color scheme). However, in this episode, the police cars are black and red.
- SpongeBob tells Sandy that he needs to get his hair cut, although he doesn't have any. In "The Sponge Who Could Fly", he is seen with hair until he combs it.
- This episode was released in 2001, but the copyright is 2000 (November 2000). In Latin America, this episode was released on December 15, 2000.
- The German title cards for "Something Smells", "Pre-Hibernation Week", and "Artist Unknown" are the same as this one.
- SpongeBob fled from Sandy because she had ripped a phone book that was the same size and color as him.
- SpongeBob tells Sandy he needs to go get a haircut, which leads Sandy into saying "SpongeBob doesn't have hair... or DOES he?" Sandy has a grossed out face when saying this.
- The Realistic Fish Head mentions that other countries could hear Clamu's screaming, but if that was the case, then Bikini Bottom residents could have gotten deaf from it. It is possible the screaming is not that loud to the residents and they may hear it as regular loud screaming that could be heard from a distance.
- The zookeepers who attempt to calm down Clamu would be seen again in Born Again Krabs, as paramedics.
- The countries that are seen outside Bikini Bottom are Egypt, The Netherlands and India, because of The Giza Pyramid, The Sphinx and Taj Mahal.
- Foreshadowing: Clamu doesn't cry instantly after the peanut has been thrown at her; she frantically starts searching around her enclosure before bawling. This is a hint that the peanut isn't what's making her cry.
- Patrick's eyelids are purple, but when he says "Hey, SpongeBob!" when SpongeBob is trying to open his door, his eyelids are pink.
- When SpongeBob is at Squidward's house, Patrick's rock cannot be seen.
- Oddly, everyone in this episode refers to Clamu as a gentle creature, but in many other episodes, clams are vicious and dangerous.
- While confronting the cops at SpongeBob's house, he has an accident in his pants, and rips them, yet in the next scene, his pants are fine.
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