SpongeBob SquarePants

Culture Shock

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Episode Information
Culture Shock
Season №: 1
Episode №: 10a
Airdate: September 18, 1999
Sister episode(s): "F.U.N."
Guest(s): Sirena Irwin as Margaret SquarePants
Writer(s): Paul Tibbitt
Mark O'Hare
Doug Lawrence
Storyboard Artist(s): Mark O'Hare
Storyboard: Paul Tibbitt
Animation: Edgar Larrazábal
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Opposite Day"
Next: "F.U.N."
List of episodes

"Culture Shock" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season one. In this episode, Squidward hosts a talent show at the Krusty Krab.



Business is slow at the Krusty Krab. A customer soon arrives to get change for a dollar in coins. With unfortunate results, Mr. Krabs calls SpongeBob and Squidward into his office, and tells him that profits are down and that they need a gimmick in order to bring in customers. Squidward suggests that the Krusty Krab hold a talent show, intending to showcase his talent, and Mr. Krabs agrees.

SpongeBob is eager to participate in the show after practicing a tap-dancing routine with a Hippopotamus bubble, but for some unknown reason, possibly because he hates him, Squidward tells him that he has no talent and refuses to let him go on. When the night of the show arrives, it is a major success, attracting a full house of customers. Acts include Pearl, who performs a cheerleading routine, and whose massive weight causes the floor to shake whenever she jumps, Plankton performs a magic trick, which is actually an attempt to steal a Krabby Patty, and Gary, who recites a poem that, to the viewer, consists entirely of indiscernible meowing, among others. Backstage, SpongeBob begs Squidward to be in the show, and Squidward gives him the duty of mopping up after the show, which he accepts enthusiastically.

The grand finale of the show is Squidward's act, which the audience quickly hates. They begin throwing tomatoes from the free salad bar at him, and Mr. Krabs, seeing opportunity in this, puts a price on the salad bar ($1.00 for each tomato), which the customers willingly pay as they continue to pelt Squidward with tomatoes. Eventually, Squidward furiously leaves the stage, and tells SpongeBob that the show is over. SpongeBob goes onstage and begins mopping up the mess, which the audience enjoys and starts cheering. Squidward, thinking they are cheering for him, goes back onstage, but is ignored. He soon realizes that the audience is cheering for SpongeBob, and tries to mimic him, but they invariably cheer for SpongeBob and ignore Squidward. He eventually gives up and goes backstage as SpongeBob is showered with applause. Mr. Krabs approaches Squidward in a wheelbarrow of money from the salad bar, and tells him that he will need another wheelbarrow for next week's show.




 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Honolulu March - George de Fretes [title card]
  K-55 - The Woodies* [opening]
  Captain Lenoe's - Michael Arthur, Colin Cater, Mick Graves, The Folk Players, Sarah Graves, Simon Ritchie ["A customer! Welcome to the Krusty Krab!"]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band [he just wanted change]
  Captain Lenoe's - Michael Arthur, Colin Cater, Mick Graves, The Folk Players, Sarah Graves, Simon Ritchie [Krabs puts the penny in his safe]
  Vibe Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["A free pair of socks with every purchase!"]
  Shock (t) - Dave Hewson ["Or maybe double-patty midnight madness!"]
  Tonight's Prizes - Dick Stephen Walter [Squidward suggests a talent show]
  A Hat, a Cane - Ronnie Hazlehurst [SpongeBob's tap dancing act]
  Gator - Steve Belfer ["Okay, I get it."]
  Theatreland - Dick Stephen Walter [red carpet]
  The Circus Comes to Town! - Dick Stephen Walter ["The amazing Mister Absorbency!"]
  Fates - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob begs to be in the show]
  Whisper from the Past - Gregor F. Narholz ["So this is what it feels like."]
  Driving Jazz (f) - David Arnold, Paul Hart [Squidward comes on stage]
  Drum Roll to Cymbal (b) - Martyn David, Alan Bell, Roger Stephen Dexter [rimshot]
  Action and Glamour 8 - Milan Pilar [Pearl on stage]
  Hawaiian Happiness - Jon Jelmer [after Pearl's act]
  Walking Bass - Richard Myhill [Gary's poetry]
  Exotique A - Paul Lenart, Bill Novick [Plankton's magic act]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["Shia-kazing!"]
  Timpani Roll - Sammy Burdson ["And now, ladies and gentlemen..."]
  Jazz Fanfare - Tony Tape [Squidward Live]
  Head Over Heels (a) - Andrew Jackman [first part of Squidward's act]
  In House Jazz B - Laszlo Bencker [second part of Squidward's act]
  Theatreland - Dick Stephen Walter [ending]

*on the Season 1 DVD, this is replaced with "Aspiración" by The Langhorns



  • As of October 29, 2013, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8/10 based on 119 ratings by users.tt0769428 users give this episode a 8.9/10 based on 211 votes.[1]
  • "Culture Shock" was ranked #48 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.


  • This is the first time tables with table cloth in the Krusty Krab appear. The second time in Squirrel Jokes, third time in Squilliam Returns, fourth time in Pranks a Lot, and the fifth time was in Enemy In-Law.
  • This is the first time a stage is in the Krusty Krab. The second time is in Squirrel Jokes, the third time was in Whale of a Birthday, and the fourth was in The Play's The Thing.
  • The German version of this title card is the same as Sandy's Rocket.
  • This is the first time the main characters all appear in the same episode.
  • While Gary is reading poetry Squidward says "Come on Ginsberg" as an allusion to the beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
  • A later episode comes along, The Play's The Thing to be exact, which has similar events. It features Squidward performing in Singy Eaty Time, while Mr. Krabs is so happy with the success, he adds a new show.
  • The title card will later be reused in SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One and A Pal for Gary.
  • Here are all the contestants from the Talent Show and the talent they performed:
  • MY LEG: Pearl finishes her cheerleading just as the people crashed everywhere.
  • Squidward's dance can be classified in two parts. The first part has Squidward dancing to classical music with arm-wheeling movements in a swimsuit. The second has Squidward dancing to a freestyle/synthesized didgeridoo pattern with Squidward doing a type of Wave dance with foot-sliding included as well as spluttering, in a swimsuit.


  • In the scene where SpongeBob's parents come in, Patrick is standing next to Mr. Krabs and in the next scene, he isn't.
  • When Squidward introduces his act, the clock above the doors is not there.
  • The curtains change colors in this episode: red, green, and purple.


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