"The Thing" is the first segment of the 76th episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
Squidward Tentacles notices that the neighborhood is unusually quiet, and proposes that SpongeBob is gone for the evening. Back in his house, Squidward tries to relax and watch some smoothe jazz on public television, only to be distracted by SpongeBob and Patrick, who emphasize that they're trying to 'enhance' Squidward's evening. Eventually, Squidward lets SpongeBob and Patrick watch with him, only to be bombarded with questions. At last, Squidward is fed up, and leaves Patrick and SpongeBob watching his television.
Departing the neighborhood on his recumber bicycle, Squidward is hit by a truck of cement and flies off into Jellyfish Fields, where he stays for five days. SpongeBob and Patrick are jellyfishing when they spot him, mistaking him for a wild animal they call "Smelly".
Back at SpongeBob's pineapple house, Gary attacks Squidward and SpongeBob determines that it is dangerous for Smelly to remain in his household. Patrick decides to take Squidward under his wing, and plays a game of catch with him at his rock, but ends up calling Animal Control, who come and take Smelly to the zoo. There, SpongeBob is horrified that everyone is treating Smelly so cruelly, so that night, SpongeBob and Patrick break into the zoo and plan to free Squidward. However, they are caught by Animal Control and SpongeBob and Patrick only manage to lose them by going underground.
After a while, Patrick sees light and the gang find themselves in a jungle-like landscape. SpongeBob remarks that the creatures around them look just like "Smelly", so they leave "Smelly" with them and return home. The creatures accept Squidward as one of their kind, and as Kelpy G starts playing his clarinet, Squidward's cement cracks open and he simply says to the creatures, "Um...hi."
Home video releases
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Volume 2
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 4th Season
- The clarinetist is a parody of Kenny G, and the credits list his character name as "Kelpy G."
- This is the first appearance of Kelpy G. The 2nd was "Smoothe Jazz at Bikini Bottom."
- Patrick never said where his house was, but somehow, the cops showed up right where they needed to.
- The clarinetist's clarinet sounds more like a saxophone.
- Squidward asks no one in particular if a hard-working squid could get a break. However, Squidward is an octopus, not a squid, and he doesn't even care about his job.