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The Fish Bowl (SpongeBob SquarePants)

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The Fish Bowl (SpongeBob SquarePants)
"Ice cream will make Patrick even more insufferable".
- PhantomStrider (Josh Strider).
Series: SpongeBob SquarePants
Part of Season: 9
Episode Number: 196a
Air Date: May 2, 2016 (USA)
Writer: Jack Pendarvis
Kyle McCulloch
Director: Vincent Waller
Previous episode: "Larry's Gym"
Next episode: "Married to Money"

"The Fish Bowl" is the eighteenth episode of the ninth season of SpongeBob SquarePants and the first segment of the overall one hundred ninety-six episode.


When Sandy tries to study SpongeBob and Patrick's behavioral patterns, her science experiment goes awry.

Why It Doesn't Deserve Any Ice Cream

  1. Just like in "SpongeBob, You're Fired", Sandy is out-of-character and somewhat unlikable for running unethical experiments. In this episode, she invades other people’s privacy and eavesdrops on their conversations and forces a social experiment on SpongeBob and Patrick. Making SpongeBob's pineapple be treated as a fish bowl sounds like a good idea only on paper, but on practice, it's just never a good premise to begin with.
  2. Patrick and Sandy are VERY unlikable in this episode:
    1. Patrick is completely unlikable and overly insufferable, as he is reverted back to his “Yours, Mine and Mine”-esque characterization for this episode, but at least in said episode, he was a jerk to SpongeBob because he was being a spoiled brat (like “Your's Mine and Mine”), but in this episode he acts like a jerk to SpongeBob for no reason other than the fact that he is the one being in charge of the pineapple.
    2. Sandy is even more unlikable for slamming the ice cream truck door on Squidward every time he tries to get ice cream. All Squidward wanted was some ice cream, and this is how you respond to him Sandy? Really?
  3. It is a torture episode for both SpongeBob and Squidward due to Sandy refusing to give Squidward ice cream, and Patrick acting insufferable to SpongeBob because this episode is the your typical "Patrick's a Prick" episode.
    1. Not to mention SpongeBob himself would also become a bit unlikeable in the end as mentioned below.
  4. Squidward is thrown into the episode just so the episode can give him some unreasonable torture. He gets left out since Sandy refuses to serve him ice cream, and the amount of torture for Squidward here happens to him for no reason. It's not like he openly insulted Sandy or talked down to her over the experiment. It's true that Squidward was made to be an unlikable character at times, but there are times you could at least not help but feel bad for the poor octopus.
  5. Terrible ending: Squidward shows up while everyone gets ice cream, he gets none, gets locked in a cage while SpongeBob (slightly losing his likeablity), Gary, Sandy, and Patrick do an experiment on him while the episode ends with Squidward breakdown crying like none of the four even care.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Although the ending is bad, Patrick at least apologized for his unfair actions, unlike how unapologetic he was in other episodes like “Your's Mine and Mine”, “Smoothe Jazz at Bikini Bottom”, and “Pet Sitter Pat”.
  2. The title card actually looks really creative, with it using the "fish-eye" effect.
  3. Squidward, SpongeBob (most of the time), Gary, and the bikini bottomites are likable characters.



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