One Coarse Meal (SpongeBob SquarePants)

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One Coarse Meal
One Coarse Meal title card.png
Come on, Nickelodeon! You've locked Mid-Life Crustacean away in their vault, and you still allowed this episode to air?!
Series: SpongeBob SquarePants
Part of Season: 7
Episode Number: 137a
Air Date: March 25, 2010
Writer: Casey Alexander
Zeus Cervas
Doug Lawrence
Director: Vincent Waller
Previous episode: Summer Job
Next episode: Gary in Love

"That’s it, I’m done. The 4:15 bus should be along anytime now…"
Plankton deciding to end it all by getting run over by a bus.

"One Coarse Meal" is the first segment of the 20th episode of the seventh season of SpongeBob SquarePants. It premiered on March 25, 2010.

Apparently, it is now clear that the episode is still airing to this day.


Mr. Krabs discovers that Plankton is afraid of whales, and disguises his daughter Pearl to scare Plankton.

Why It Is Not A Full Course Meal

  1. To get the elephant out of the room, it's not only a very harsh Plankton torture episode, but it's the harshest torture episode of any character in this entire show (although Are You Happy Now? comes close). Even the Squidward Torture episodes weren't this harsh.
    • Also, this episode is basically SpongeBob SquarePants' answer to The Simpsons episode "The Boys of Bummer", which is another episode with a similar premise.
  2. Many of the characters are unlikable:
    • Mr. Krabs is at his absolute worst in this episode, as he needlessly and purposely torments Plankton to the point where he considers suicide, even if it means keeping the secret formula from him.
    • SpongeBob, while not as bad as Mr. Krabs in this episode, is no better, as he helps Plankton give Mr. Krabs revenge, only for him to suddenly betray Plankton and help Mr. Krabs instead just to prevent him from getting the secret formula.
      • On top of that, he refuses to step on Plankton because it would "fly in the face of his good nature", which is not only hypocritical, but also makes him a Gary-Stu because he's done horrible things in the past, even though the show doesn't have continuity, examples include but not limited to:
        • Murdering innocent scallops in "To Love a Patty"
        • Blaming Gary when he was about to get killed by a monster in "A Pal for Gary", even after he saved him.
        • Upstaging Squidward at the "Bikini Bottom Men's Choir" in "Choir Boys"
        • Jailing people for dumb reasons in "Shuffleboarding"
        • He has also done some bad things in the first 4 seasons albeit rare.
    • Karen is also unlikable. Instead of encouraging Plankton to steal the Krabby Patty Secret Formula and/or trying to help him get off his fear of whales, she criticizes him because he has a fear of whales and even ignores him when he pleads for help. What a great wife!
  3. Another one of the most criticized aspects of the episode is the plot being messy.
  4. Similar to Frankie Foster in the equally as infamous Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends episode “Imposter's Home for Um.. Make Em Up Pals”, the writers of this episode seem like they hate Plankton, as Mr. Krabs uses Plankton's fear of whales to scare him, leaving him in depression, and paranoia. Even when SpongeBob points out the consequences of his deeds, Mr. Krabs just laughs and points out how much of a mess Plankton is now.
  5. Aside from disturbing, the animation here is very bland and doesn't feel fluid at all, not to mention having a lot of washed-out colors.
  6. What doesn't help is when you consider that Mr. Krabs and Plankton were actually friends before, as established in Friend or Foe. This episode shows no signs of continuity towards said episode and it comes off as really sad to contradict such past events.
  7. Mr. Krabs seems to be portrayed as a protagonist, even though he acts like a diabolical, arrogant sociopath who torments his rival to the point of considering suicide and shows no remorse for his actions. however, he almost did when Plankton tried to torment him with a mime, but it goes back to Mr. Krabs winning anyway.
  8. Suicidal Implication: Perhaps the most infamous scene in the episode where Plankton reveals his intentions to commit suicide because of Plankton's depression, which would cause a lot of sensitivity towards viewers and it goes well into adult territory (a VERY unfitting scene in a kids' show like this).
  9. This episode failed miserably to do horror-comedy correctly, as prior and later episodes, including "Squidward in Clarinetland", "Fear of A Krabby Patty", "Don't Look Now", "Nasty Patty", "Graveyard Shift", and "The Ghost of Plankton" have done this right. This (along with "A Pal for Gary" and "Squid's Visit") tried to take this concept correctly, except they went too far. What failed experiments of episodes they are, at least it would be considered laughable; not in this episode, however.
  10. As Mr. Krabs seems to be portrayed as a protagonist and Plankton as an antagonist, the episode implies that you are in the right by harassing and driving other people you despise into committing suicide, which is morally wrong as it can make you look like a criminal.
    • Driving someone to suicide can be considered murder as there have been some cases in real life where people have been arrested for being the perpetrator of another person's suicide.
  11. Continuity error: It also directly contradicts "The Algae's Always Greener", in which Plankton and Pearl directly interact. Yes, one may say that SpongeBob SquarePants has always had continuity errors, but several episodes, especially those that do contradict prior episodes, aren't really meant to be watched in chronological order, not to mention the series' official timeline is also unclear.
  12. The title card, for some reason, plays light-hearted music, which is a very bad contrast to the episode's scary tone.
    • On that topic, the title card, while still good, is somewhat creepy. It is because it has black bars around it, which is used in a lot of horror movies.
  13. Despite all of the torment Plankton is put through, the writers still portray Plankton as the villain of the episode just because he is designated to be a villain by the show's standards.
  14. Hypocrisy: This episode tries too hard to make Plankton unlikable to the point of him "deserving" the torture he received, as one part has him trying to take revenge on Mr. Krabs by tormenting him with his own worst fears and it portrays that moment as bad, which is very hypocritical of both the show and the following episode.
  15. This episode could encourage children to become bullies by tormenting other people, and it shows them that taking advantage of the fears of others is a good thing, that is a serious red flag.
  16. Mr. Krabs' infamous line after learning that Plankton's going to end himself: "Really? He's a mess! (Laughs)" which shows how heartless and cruel he is.
  17. It is revealed that Mr. Krabs doesn't even pay SpongeBob with real money, which is hard to believe since "Squeaky Boots" showcases Mr. Krabs paying half his money to SpongeBob almost at the end of the episode. Here in "One Coarse Meal", this episode acts like nothing from "Squeaky Boots" has even happened,
  18. Mr Krabs proves himself as a minor Karma Houdini in this episode as he doesn’t get enough comeuppance for getting Plankton Traumatized, or even Driving him to suicide! Aside from Plankton’s short-lived attempt to scare Mr. Krabs with a mime.
  19. Although Spongebob calls out Mr. Krabs for his behavior and tells Plankton that Mr Krabs was actually the one tormenting him, SpongeBob never tells Pearl that her own father is dressing up as her and using her appearance to terrorize another person even though Pearl does appear in this episode. Because of this the episode wastes the opportunity where Pearl confronts Mr. Krabs overusing her identity to drive someone to suicide.
  20. It leaves us questioning who they think we should root for. Krabs or Plankton?
  21. There are some fans of the show that don't hate this episode as much as others, but think it's still bad. The reason being it can be really boring.
  22. Awful ending that’s also a massive slap in the face for Plankton: After Plankton finally learns "Pearl" was Mr. Krabs in disguise the entire time and gets his revenge on him at last with a mime he can torment him with, SpongeBob scares him away with holographic whales so he can protect the secret formula. At least the last few seconds still have Krabs get tormented by the mime.
    • Worse, this ending is supposed to be a happy ending, as evident by the fun and cheerful music playing over it, which instead comes off as sickening and outrageous.
    • Nobody seems to win in this ending, except maybe SpongeBob.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Just like a regular SpongeBob episode, The first few minutes of the episode were okay until Mr. Krabs finds out about Plankton's fear of whales.
  2. The writers of the episode might have done some research. Whales do eat plankton.
  3. At least Plankton puts behind his suicidal intentions, even if his revenge attempt failed anyway.
  4. Plankton and Pearl are the only likable characters.
  5. Although SpongeBob isn't completely off the hook, at least he tried to stop Mr. Krabs from driving Plankton to suicide.
  6. Mr. Krabs gets comeuppance in the ending of the episode, as said in WIWOCM#6, even though he still wins in the end.
  7. The "Wacky Bucks" scene and the nightmare scene (depending on your view) are the only funny moments in this episode.
  8. As is to be expected in a SpongeBob episode, the voice acting is still good.
  9. Unlike most bad episodes of SpongeBob, this episode does not rehash a plot from a previous episode, unlike other bad episodes.
  10. Unlike episodes like Good Neighbors, this episode at least tries to make sure Plankton does not get tortured for no reason.


"One Coarse Meal" was universally panned by fans and is widely considered as the worst episode of SpongeBob SquarePants along with A Pal for Gary (these 2 episodes are equally infamous). It received a 3.6/10 on IMDb making it the second lowest-rated episode of SpongeBob. PhantomStrider ranked it the number #1 worst episode of the series. WatchMojo ranked it Number #1 on their Worst SpongeBob list. Recently, The Mysterious Mr. Enter ranked this episode as the #2 worst episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, behind "Pet Sitter Pat". PIEGUYRULZ gave it a ScumBob, and in his Season 7 Bottom 5 video, he replaced the episode that used to be in the number 3 spot, The Monster Who Came To Bikini Bottom with this episode. Some fans and viewers stopped watching the show altogether after this episode.

Similar in case to the Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends episode “Everyone Knows It’s Bendy”, much of the cast and crew confessed to hating this episode as well, most notably Clancy Brown, who is Mr. Krabs' voice actor, as he felt uncomfortable when he was recording his lines for the character in the episode. There were rumors that even Stephen Hillenburg hated this episode as well. But evidence of that is unconfirmed as of 2021, even before and after his death in 2018.


  • This episode was originally going to be titled "Plankton Got Served" during production.



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