"Karen's Virus" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season eleven. In this episode, Karen gets a computer virus, and it's up to SpongeBob to get it out of her.
The episode starts with Karen having lunch with her friend, Hanna. She sneezes on Karen and tells her to go home and get some rest. Afterwards, Karen gets a virus in her system after Hanna spreads her bug on her databanks. Plankton then sees SpongeBob outside the Chum Bucket, banging a hammer that's on his head on the door. Plankton tells SpongeBob that Karen needs help, so they try to come up with names for the mission they are going to do. They decide to name it Operation: Save Karen. Plankton then inserts SpongeBob into Karen's hard drive.
When SpongeBob is downloaded, Plankton tasks him to look for any destruction and and follow it to the virus. Karen gets up from her laying table and gets out of the Chum Bucket, and invades the Krusty Krab. Plankton gets shocked by this and goes toward the scene. SpongeBob, inside Karen, sees the destruction of the virus, and Plankton tells him if he doesn't destroy it soon, it will fry Karen's memory banks. Mr. Krabs says Plankton needs to control his wife, as she's destroying the Krusty Krab.
SpongeBob, walking through Karen's insides, accidentally switches a button that turns on a ton of lasers, but just before he gets shot, someone with a muscular body saves him. He, who is revealed to be Karen's version of Plankton, says they'd better be going, by showing SpongeBob that the virus is eating stuff from Karen's hard drive. The two then climb a wall and then see Karen's version of Mr. Krabs, Squidward, and SpongeBob. However, they think Ideal Plankton and SpongeBob are intruders, so they try to eliminate them. Ideal Plankton defeats Squidward easily, but SpongeBob and Ideal SpongeBob hit each and both look like Karen's version. Ideal Plankton doesn't know which is which, but luckily, he shoots the evil one. The two then see the virus, who is heading for Karen's memory banks.
Ideal Plankton gives SpongeBob a rope to go over the gap between them and the memory banks. When Ideal Plankton tries to swing, he accidentally falls off into the void. However, he still encourages SpongeBob to go and save Karen. Meanwhile, Plankton is in the car with a crazy Karen, who drives to the Wagon Wheel with a bunch of other people and starts to party. Plankton reminds SpongeBob that Karen is completely melting down and that he'd better do something quick. SpongeBob meanwhile has reached the memory banks of Karen. He sees that the virus has been eating memories Karen had. SpongeBob tells the virus to stop, but the virus instead tries to attack SpongeBob, who dodges it's attack. The virus becomes a dragon and breathes fire on SpongeBob.
SpongeBob runs until he reaches the end of Karen's memories. SpongeBob tells Plankton Karen needs to create more memories so he can have more space to run. Plankton asks SpongeBob if he running after Karen is enough of a memory, but SpongeBob says no. The virus then comes and SpongeBob falls to pieces. When SpongeBob comes back together, he gets one extra piece. He throws it onto the ground and the virus eats it. SpongeBob then realizes that the virus is eating Karen's memories because he's hungry. SpongeBob then gets out of a warned out Karen, and puts the virus on a Krabby Patty so it'll take 300 years for it to chew through it. Karen gets back to normal and sees Plankton in her form. Plankton is glad that Karen is back to normal, although Karen thinks she's still delirious in a good way.
The episode was confirmed by Vincent Waller on March 29, 2018.
Storyboard for a deleted scene
Another deleted scene storyboard
Deleted scene storyboard #4
Deleted scene storyboard #5
Deleted scene storyboard 6
Deleted scene storyboard #7
The final deleted scene storyboard
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ One Zero Zero - Harry Breuer, Jean-Jacques Perrey [Title card]
‣ Happy Links 6-9 - Paul Fenoulhet [Karen and Hanna at the Chum Bucket]
‣ Happy Links 1-5 - Paul Fenoulhet [Karen sneezes at Plankton]
‣ Oh My Trill! - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] [Karen starts malfunctioning]
‣ Uh Oh Flutter-Eyed - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] [Karen crashes into a wall]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (i) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Uh-oh. My ones and zeroes look like 10, 10, 10, 10."]
‣ Mission Improbable - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["Someone's gonna have to get inside you and kill that virus."]
‣ Gator - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob knocking Chum Bucket door with a hammer]
‣ In Disguise Ensemble - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] [Plankton tells SpongeBob that Karen needs his help]
‣ Phrases - Is It Jazz - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] ["♪Who lives in a crabapple under a pea♪"]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [Transition to next scene]
‣ Phrases - Is It Jazz - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] ["♪Observant and yellow fellow is he♪"]
‣ ? ["Journey to the Center of Karen."]
‣ Arnold is Back 2 - Gregor Narholz ["The Mainframe Mission."]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Ooh, I know!"]
‣ Glory Road - Sam Fonteyn ["Operation: Save Karen!"]
‣ Toy Piano - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [SpongeBob holds up a drawing]
‣ Hot Steel and Slide Licks - Jeremy Wakefield [Chum Bucket exploded]
‣ Laughter Muted Trumpet - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] [Plankton blows the fire out on his antennas]
‣ Neutral Mood - Simon May [SpongeBob zapped and injected into Karen]
‣ In Disguise Ensemble - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] ["Get away."]
‣ Uh Oh Flutter-Eyed - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] [Plankton gets electrocuted]
‣ Space Trek - Philip Johnston, Norman Whittle [SpongeBob arrives at Karen's hard drive]
‣ Destination Unknown - Gregor Narholz [Plankton starts talking to SpongeBob via megaphone]
‣ Tiptoe Quick Peek - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] ["Talk to me, you digitized doofus!"]
‣ Tiptoe Footsteps - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] ["Plankton, I do not respond to insults."]
‣ Destination Unknown - Gregor Narholz [Plankton tells SpongeBob to look for destruction]
‣ Monster Movie Orchestra - Steve Sechi, Kostas Varotsis [SpongeBob falls through a hole made by the virus]
‣ Monster Bug A - Gregor Narholz [Karen gets off the table and starts destroying the Krusty Krab]
‣ Sailor's Sting 15 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["I need you to control your wife. Er, computer, or whatever."]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (j) - Jeremy Wakefield [Karen throws Squidward away and climbs into the register boat]
‣ Sailor's Sting 18 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs grabs the cash register out of Karen]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (o) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Wow, I can never un-see that."]
‣ Code "Dead End" - Gregor Narholz [SpongeBob wandering through the hard drive]
‣ Odyssey - Sam Spence [Ideal Plankton appears and blasts the lasers with a laser gun]
‣ Forty Comedy Punctuations and Bridges 1-17 - Fredric Bayco [SpongeBob sighs and skips]
‣ Fun of the Fair - David Farnon [Amusement park in Karen's hard drive]
‣ Musique De L'Infini - Jean-Jacques Perrey [Virus destroys Karen's anger control center and love center]
‣ Odyssey - Sam Spence [Ideal Plankton climbs up a wall with SpongeBob]
‣ Unknown Track 72 - Money Krabs appears
‣ ? [Gnarly Squid appears]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (f) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Hmm? Uh, nothing like a little make-up couldn't fix."]
‣ ? [Off Model SpongeBob appears]
‣ Armed Attack - Jean Clero [Ideal Plankton fights Money Krabs and Gnarly Squid]
‣ ? [SpongeBob and Off Model SpongeBob babbling]
‣ Code "Dead End" - Gregor Narholz ["Neptune's network! Which one of you is the real SpongeBob?"]
‣ Unknown Track 72 - SpongeBob claps
‣ Musique De L'Infini - Jean-Jacques Perrey [Virus roars to SpongeBob and Ideal Plankton]
‣ Thrill Ride - Gregor Narholz [SpongeBob swings across a ravine]
‣ Tower of Evil - Magnum Opus [Ideal Plankton falls into the ravine]
‣ Odyssey - Sam Spence ["I mean, yes!"]
‣ Hawaiian Adventures SpongeBob Theme - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Karen driving crazily a boat with Plankton]
‣ Hillbilly Party - Nicolas Carr [Karen crashes the boat into Wagon Wheel]
‣ On Fire - Gregor Narholz [Virus at Karen's memory bank/SpongeBob escapes from virus until he bumps into a brick wall]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["I always wind up with one extra piece."]
‣ One Zero Zero - Harry Breuer, Jean-Jacques Perrey [Virus eats SpongeBob's extra piece]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (p) - Jeremy Wakefield [Karen is tired and shuts off]
‣ Earl's Revenge - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Ending]
- As of November 6, 2018, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 0.0/10 based on 0 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 0.0/10 based on 0 votes.
- This and "Girls' Night Out" are the first episodes to premiere on a day that daylight saving time ends.
- This episode premiered in the Netherlands on October 27, 2018, eight days prior to its premiere in the United States.
- When this episode premiered, it was paired up with "Girls' Night Out."
- This episode premiered 13 years after "SquidBob TentaclePants."
- This is among the many episodes to have an animated title card.
- Karen sings a warped version of the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song in her delusional state.
- This episode was originally going to premiere on October 24, 2018, before the new president of Nickelodeon signed on, at which it was moved to November 4, 2018.
- When SpongeBob gets mixed up after he is charred by the virus, he resembles how he does at one point in the theme song sequence.
- The flashbacks in Karen's memory includes footage from "Plankton!," "Welcome to the Chum Bucket," "The Algae's Always Greener," "Plankton's Army," "Enemy In-Law," "Komputer Overload," "Salsa Imbecilicus," "Plankton Gets the Boot," and "F.U.N."
- This marks the first usage of the APM track "On Fire" since "Banned in Bikini Bottom" and "Arnold is Back 2" since "Patty Hype."
- SpongeBob's karate gear makes its first appearance since "Sandy's Nutmare."
- Ideal Plankton is a reference to Superman.
- Coincidentally, the virus is voiced by Clancy Brown, the voice of Lex Luthor in the DC Animated Universe.
- "Journey to the Center of Karen" is a reference to Journey to the Center of the Earth.
- This episode is similar to the Teen Titans episode "Crash." Both Karen and Cyborg get a computer virus which makes them act delusional and hungry, both SpongeBob and Beast Boy go get them out, and both Ideal Plankton and Gizmo help out.
- In addition, it is also similar to the Teen Titans Go! episode "Body Adventure." In this case, it's because a computer virus is portrayed as a real virus (in the TTG episode, it was an actual virus)
- This episode is also similar to the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Dos Boot."
- The inside of the computer world looks like ReBoot, the first all-CGI show aired on television, which was also set inside a computer world and featured virus characters.
- When Plankton gives SpongeBob tools to stop the virus, there is a missile. It's an unintended reference to the vaccine missiles from the Pokémon episode "Electric Soldier Porygon," which were used by the Pokemon Center to counter Team Rocket's computer virus.
- Or it could be an unlikely reference to the video game Rez, where the main character (a virus named Swayzak, not related to the Toonami Swayzak below, but nicknamed after him) can use missiles and other lasers to target up to 7 enemies and release to create a symphony of sound and color. Both this episode and the game involve saving female artificial intelligences from viruses (although in Rez, the main character is the virus who infected the AI.)
- SpongeBob and Off-Model SpongeBob running at each other could be a reference to the opening of Super Friends, where each of the Super Friends and their respective enemy run at each other.
- The virus itself bears a passing resemblance to Swayzak from Toonami, who is also a computer virus. Both have deep voices as well, although the virus' voice doesn't sound like the voice Swayzak has.
- In addition, "Operation: Save Karen" sounds similar to the goal statement in the final level of the Trapped in Hyperspace game, "Mission: Save TOM."
- This episode is also similar to the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Hard Drive Courage," in more ways than one (the inside of the computer world being rendered in 3D, the virus being evil only because he's sick/hungry, Courage/SpongeBob giving the virus food, etc.)
- The virus sounds like Uka Uka from Crash Bandicoot, who is also voiced by Clancy Brown.
- When the virus is in his dragon form, he greatly resembles the dragon boss Gobblegut from Super Mario Galaxy 2.