One night, The Flying Dutchman's ship is seen sailing through the seas, but can't see very well due to heavy fog. His ship then hits a rock and breaks. The Flying Dutchman then calls for repair, giving him residence at SpongeBob's house where he proceeds to scare, startle and surprise SpongeBob around the clock. SpongeBob gets scared and goes to Squidward for help, but unfortunately, he does not believe in ghosts. He slams the door in SpongeBob's face, SpongeBob soon turns to Patrick for help, but he just closes his door. Then he hears Gary cry for help. SpongeBob enters his house to stop The Flying Dutchman. The Flying Dutchman then says that he just wanted to pet Gary, only to reveal that it was a trick by eating him. SpongeBob despairs about the death of hair until Gary appears behind him with no explanation. Soon, the Dutchman begins to take much amusement in terrifying SpongeBob (repeatedly). Eventually, all the spooky shenanigans grow old, and SpongeBob and all of the citizens of Bikini Bottom are no longer afraid of the Dutchman. This creates a panic for the old ghost who now fears that he has lost his scary touch. So SpongeBob decides to lend a hand and help the Flying Dutchman learn to scare people again.
Unfortunately, his first attempt doesn't work until the customer on the mattress screamed from the startling notice of the mattress salesman. The second attempt also doesn't work since The Flying Dutchman got hit by a jump rope. The third attempt doesn't work when an old lady mistakes him for someone else. He then realizes that the Dutchman is trashing his place and tells him to get active by getting the Flying Dutchman to watch a crazy video about some mysterious people saying "The Power Within" constantly. The next attempt, however, doesn't work when Larry thought that he had a flab on his pecs. The Flying Dutchman decides to give up since maybe people don't believe in ghosts anymore. This gives SpongeBob an idea. SpongeBob then tells the Dutchman to try to scare Squidward since he doesn't believe in ghosts. The Flying Dutchman gets his revenge to go to Squidward's house and successfully scares him. The Flying Dutchman finally has the nerve to scare people again. He had a confession to make and tells SpongeBob that his ship had been repaired for three months. The episode ends with The Flying Dutchman leaving SpongeBob with a present with a scary surprise, but SpongeBob laughs at it, even though SpongeBob gets eaten by the surprise.
Mirror of SpongeBob getting eaten by a shark/dunkleosteous
Eyes in his cereal box, instead of cereal
Skeleton in his drawer
A giant slimy bald green monster which appears from the floor and turns into a giant ant creature which turns into a hideous baby-faced worm creature and turns into a clown-worm which turns into the face of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs with a bubble pipe which he spits out which turns into SpongeBob's head which pours out spiders and its eyeballs slither away like snakes and then the Flying Dutchman's head and arms come out of the body. In later airings, the scene was edited to just SpongeBob's eyes slithering out.
List of the Flying Dutchman's success in scaring Squidward:
Squidward's powder puff engulfs the room and his mother appears in a giant form, asking why haven't Squidward called her before melting.
A giant clarinet appears and blares music in Squidward's ear before turning into a rope which goes through Squidward's head. The Flying Dutchman appears, saying "I heard you don't believe in ghosts; as in, the Flying Dutchman!" and throws him to a flooded room where Squidward is swallowed by an immense, yellow multi-eyed monster.
Squidward finds a hole and escapes in a room where he sees a giant smiling SpongeBob, rocking back and forth and breathing very heavily.
SpongeBob's eyes turn to slither away like snakes and the spiders engulf the body and once leaving the Flying Dutchman appears, making a scary finger trick and forcing a screaming Squidward to run out of his house, screaming "GHOSTS!"
In recent airings after the premiere, this episode airs after "Chimps Ahoy."
Squidward's mother causes Squidward to reveal his nickname being Squiddums.
Running Gag: The Flying Dutchman failing to scare people.
It is revealed that the Flying Dutchman is or was married.
The Flying Dutchman seems to want to deny it like the real one would.
It is shown that SpongeBob uses a built-in VCR on his TV just like in the episode "Karate Island."
When flying to the gym the Flying Dutchman says "Let's hit it!", this is a pun when the Flying Dutchman flies through the wall being a ghost, but SpongeBob hits it face-first.
The house coming to life with the insides on fire is similar to the episode "Procrastination," except that it only roared instead of telling SpongeBob to stop wasting time.
It is revealed that the Flying Dutchman can shapeshift.
This is the second appearance of a mattress store. The first was in "The Lost Mattress."
SpongeBob punching Squidward in the face has become an Internet meme which is usually entitled "SpongeBob Gives Squidward Brain Damage."
Squidward claims in this episode that he isn't afraid of ghosts, however, he once got scared of a ghost in "Pranks a Lot." However, this could also mean that this episode took place before "Pranks a Lot."
In addition to this, he claims that he doesn't believe in ghosts, but he met the Flying Dutchman in "Shanghaied," so "Shanghaied" most likely takes place after this episode.
Due to the frightening scenes, this episode is rated PG in the UK.
In the Greek dub, this episode is called "Ο επισκέπτης φάντασμα" which means "The Ghost Visiter."
In the Polish dub, this episode is called "Duch druh" which means "Ghost Companion."
It is possible this episode begins immediately after "Scaredy Pants," because it was night, when it started, and Squidward might have gotten out of his costume before SpongeBob knocked.
The plot is similar to "Can You Spare a Dime?," because SpongeBob takes someone into his home to relax, but later, tries to get them back to work.
A scene where Squidward's mother appears as a giant ghost (not in cloud form) in his room and speaks to Squidward is a parody of the films The Land Before Time, where Littlefoot's mother appeared as a giant cloud ghost in the sky and spoke to Littlefoot, and The Lion King, where Simba's father Mufasa appeared as a giant cloud ghost in the sky and spoke to Simba.
Squidward's teeth alternate between yellow and white when he is cowering of his "ghost-like" mother, lying the floor and says "Squiddums l-loves his Mummma..."
When the Dutchman raided Squidward's house, the Dutchman has five fingers, but when he was at SpongeBob's, he had only four.
When SpongeBob rumbles the Flying Dutchman's party, the Flying Dutchman threw his wedding ring on SpongeBob's nose, but when SpongeBob angrily told everyone to get out, the ring was gone. Although, SpongeBob might have taken it off his nose.
SpongeBob laughs at the end, but the captions say he screams.
When SpongeBob holds Gary he is shown to be in his normal size, but when SpongeBob says, "It's Ok, Gary!," Gary is shown to be a bit smaller.