Tooncrap #35 - SpongeBob SquarePants: The Splinter

Just like Modern Spongebob itself: Wooden and Painful!
Nickelodeon: 2008

Written by: Raymond Gallant

It's time once again to delve into the sea and visit that yellow, porous money maker himself, Spongebob Squarepants. But, seeing as this is Tooncrap, we're not looking at one of the better moments of Spongebob, but rather the deep, dark, dank bits of the modern Spongebob. Much like the SImpsons and Family Guy, Spongebob has been around way past its expiration date, to the point where even its most die hard of fans are patiently awaiting the show's death. But since it's still a multi-million dollar cash cow... err, sponge, it's not going anywhere. And the results it brings out will be painful and disturbing.

That brings us to the episode du jour, the season 6 episode "The Splinter". An episode considered by many to be one of the most disturbing and horrible episodes of the entire series. I mean, you can already guess the plot from the title, and if you know of Spongebob's propensity for gross visual gags, then you can guess exactly why this one's not exactly heralded like Band Geeks or Chocolate With Nuts in the eyes of the many fans of this show. So he's get physical with the Splinter and review this thing.

We open the episode at the Krusty Krab as the restaurant opens and Spongebob, as always, is full of excitement over the prospect of another day of fry cooking. Squidward gives him an order of two Krabby Patties, which is so exciting for Spongebob that he accidentally gets his spatula stuck on the ceiling. He stacks a bunch of comically dangerous items on top of each other in order to reach the spatula, but has problems getting it out. He succeeds, but slips off, falling toward a pile of swords and scissors.

But through an act of serendipity (or plot convenience, take your pick). Spongebob is relieved that he hasn't been skewered up. But considering that he's been able to survive sharp objects before, this really feels like it would have been a less painful outcome than what's about to happen. Because in his haste, Spongebob slips on some tartar sauce, causing this to happen. And fair warning, if you find stuff like this painful, you might wanna look away.

Because holy frigging crap!

Now suffering from the titular splinter, Spongebob tries in vain to get it out of his thumb, which results in multiple shots of him in serious pain trying to remove it. Since he can't get it out, he tries to make Krabby Patties with the splinter intact. He manages to get the job done well enough with a spatula on his nose. Squidward inquires about the issue, so Spongebob tells him about the splinter...

Which is getting greener and more pus filled by the minute.

Realizing that Spongebob got injured at work, Squidward torments him about the possibility of Mr. Krabs sending Spongebob home. Of course, the thought of missing work is like slowly lopping off a testicle with a butter knife to Spongebob, so he becomes worried. To further the pain, Squidward flushes SpongeBob's spatula and fry cook hat (which return one scene later, so you know, good continuity there). I'd say Squidward's being an ass here, but considering the crap he's been put through in the series, it's more justified than you'd think. Spongebob is clearly in need of an actual doctor to remedy his splinter...

But of course just goes to Patrick who's just hanging in the Krusty Krab dumpster because... reasons.

Doctor Patrick doesn't actually help as expected as he just sucks on Spongebob's foot (you know, for the fetishists). When Spongebob brings it up, Patrick just acts like an ass to him, because that's pretty much what the character has devolved into. From loyal friend who often gives bad advice, to cruel, callous jerk who is too stupid to have any sense of empathy. Eventually he decides to help.

And by help, I of course mean make things worse.

After hammering in the splinter, Patrick decides the only way to remedy the swelling is with a garbage compress. Jeez, he's making Dr. Nick look competent.

Of course, the "compress" just makes things worse. And Patrick, like a good friend, just decides to leave, having made his best friend's life even worse, knowing full well that he's scared witless about having to leave work over this. Patrick's a douche.

Spongebob is finally confronted by Mr. Krabs as he tries to hide his splinter. His attempts are in vain, as Mr. Krabs knows about it. But you know, by now it's gotta be a little better, right?

Santa Maria!

Mr. Krabs manages to remove the splinter, which sprays some confetti, before spraying puss all over him. Spongebob's thumb is healed, and he doesn't have to leave work with pay. This gives Squidward the idea to bash himself with the register to get workman's comp, but since his shift ended two minutes ago, he's out of luck. But then again, Squidward is forbidden to have happiness.

And that's "The Splinter". It's a painful one to sit through. Not just because of the disturbing imagery (Seriously, I can't even watch the splinter go in without cringing), but because this episode is boring. There isn't one funny moment in the episode. If it's not gross out humor, it's either cruel character writing, or long, overdrawn filler scenes that go nowhere. Also, considering that the show has shown in the past that Spongebob can just grow back his appendages, the entire episode is pointless. He's practically immortal at this point. Which explains how the show's stayed around for so long when you think about it. In the end, this is some painful Tooncrap. Use precaution and avoid real splinters, and this episode.