The Wrestling Episode: ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ Hits Bikini Rock Bottom


The Wrestling Episode is our cleverly-named feature wherein we watch non-wrestling shows with wrestling episodes and try to figure out what the hell’s going on in them. You’d be surprised how many there are. You can watch the episode on Daily Motion here. If you have any suggestions on shows that need to be featured in The Wrestling Episode, let us know in our comments section below.

I’ve Never Heard Of Spongebob Squarepants. What Is It?

Congratulations on being 40 years old or older! It’s the show young people compare things to when they’ve run out of Harry Potter references.

No But Like, Seriously, What Is It?

If I said, “absurdist retelling of Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot except underwater and for children,” would that do it for you? Spongebob Squarepants is Nickelodeon’s modern day flagship endeavor about a sponge named Bob who is square-shaped and wears pants. It’s a show about cute things doing stupid shit underwater that was so good and identifiable to its generation that it’s earned about $13 billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon, produced 11 seasons of a show with over 200 episodes for four Emmy Awards, is responsible for two feature films and is the subject of a Broadway musical currently tied for most Tony Award nominations this year with twelve. Twelve. People love it.

Note: Harry Potter and Mean Girls also have a bunch of nominations, so I guess at some point live theater became a 30-year old woman’s Tumblr. Can’t wait for that “naked person covered in flowers” musical.

And There’s A Wrestling Episode?

There are more than one if you count the one where they “bun wrestle” and things get deeply sexual. This one’s more like the Ren & Stimpy wrestling episode. Pretty much exactly like it!

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The most anticipated wrestling event of the (underwater, animated, Nickelodeon) season is the Bikini Bottom Wrestling Royal Rumble Free for All, in which “hundreds of wrestlers from around the world face off against the heavyweight champs.” I think the most difficult shorthand TV shows have when portraying wrestlers is explaining why anyone would be a wrestler as a job, so they assume there are like two permanent wrestlers who just travel around challenging locals.

Anyone who’s able to beat the champs will become the Tag Team Champions and earn a “million dollar cash prize.” That announcement is enough to draw the attention of local restaurateur and actual crab person Mr. Krabs. Krabs wants that money, you see, but he doesn’t want to get beaten up trying to get it, so instead of wrestling himself, he volunteers his burger joint’s two stupidest, most gullible and most indestructible employees: Spongebob Squarepants (natch) and his friend Patrick.

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If you’re wondering, Patrick is a pink sea star in shorts that make him look like Toejam had a baby with Earl. He’s basically Dauber from Coach, down to being voiced by Dauber from Coach. They’re psyched to find out they’re wrestling, because they’re affable undersea everyman types and because Mr. Krabs explains to them that wrestling’s not real and it’s all part of the scam.

Note: Mr. Krabs does not realize that Bikini Bottom Wrestling Royal Rumble Free for All is serious fucking business.

Who Are The Tag Team Champions?

You mean the “heavyweight champions?”

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They’re two muscular, screaming fish men who are never clearly identified, but are (1) full of rage and (2) indestructible to the point that they can graphically murder each other as an exhibition of strength. And you will know them by the trail of dead fish!

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With the champs ready to actually murder and Spongebob and Patrick convinced wrestling’s fake, the match can begin. As you might imagine, especially on a network that keeps doing wrestling episodes of cartoons despite not being able to show punches, kicks or any kind of realistic physical activity, the match is built around the wrestlers cartoonishly killing their opponents over and over to no effect.

Signature moves from the champs include:

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  • squeezing Patrick and Spongebob so hard that their eyes pop out of their head and go through their blindfolds
  • “force burps” strong enough to knock you down or tear the skin from your face
  • putting their opponents in a bucket and squishing them inside until they’re made of liquid
  • drinking said liquid, gargling it and spitting it down a convenient in-ring drain (?)
  • smashing Patrick into a ball, hooking him to Spongebob’s back with an actual hook somehow and using their bodies to play paddle ball
  • jamming their fingers into Patrick and Spongebob’s brains, twisting them into rubber and throwing them at each other so hard they turn into confetti
  • dumping the bodies into a cement mixer and forming them into Grauman’s Chinese Theatre sidewalk decorations

Is This Where Spongebob Reveals He’s A Great Wrestler?

Not exactly!

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Our faces have two options they try. The first, as you’d assume, is cutting promos. Spongebob’s is okay, but he’s no Stimpy:

“All right, you two, no more messing around. You see this? It’s just a spatula, right? Wrong! Actually, this represents your face after I get through mangling it. [tries to bend spatula, barely does] There, you see that? It’s not gonna be pretty when I get done with ya.”

Patrick’s is less intimidating:

“And if you think this is bad, wait till I get my hands on ya. I’m gonna, uh… I’m gonna… tear ya to shreds! Like a… [fails to tear a sheet of paper in half] C’mon! Ah! I got a paper cut! Paper cut!”

Having failed at cutting promos, they fall back (pun intended) on their secret weapon: Patrick Star’s obsessive use of the Suzanne Somers Thighmaster to strengthen his butt cheeks and turn his rump into a weapon of ass destruction. They can’t figure out how to use it to their advantage, but when the champs put them to sleep with a sleeper hold — literally rocking them to sleep and putting them into a bed — and go for their big signature move, the Flying Double Decker Atomic Headbutt of Destruction, Patrick’s butt subconsciously leaps into action. The champs do a diving headbutt straight into his ass and are knocked out cold.

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He calls that the Rear View!

Spongebob and Patrick are declared the winners and the new Heavyweight Champions, and Mr. Krabs wins his million dollar cash prize as their manager. But wait, there’s a twist!

Does Patrick Turn On Spongebob And Join The Bad Guys Or Have I Been Watching Too Much Wrestling

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The champs are given a choice: the million dollar cash prize, or trading that money in for a week at “wrestling camp.” You’d think wrestling camp would cost considerably less than a million dollars, even for two people, and that since they showed up not even knowing they were supposed to wrestle and became the tag champs they’ve got future bookings ahead of them anyway, but nope, they choose wrestling camp. Mr. Krabs is once again let down by trusting his financial success to the whims of a Puckish basal Metazoa clade and his friend who’s a euphemism for a butthole, but I’m not a cartoon character and can’t communicate to him that he should learn from his mistakes.

So What Have We Learned?

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  • training to wrestle under the sea is extremely expensive
  • wrestling is fake until it isn’t, which we all already know
  • seeing someone get punched is so much worse for your children to see than graphic murders with no consequences
  • this is just like Harry Potter
  • this is just like a thing from Mean Girls
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