"Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season two. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally free the evil Man Ray.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are going on vacation, so they invite SpongeBob and Patrick to look after the Mermalair. The two hero hopefuls long to play with the various gadgets, but are left with the express command to not touch anything.
While wandering around the Mermalair, SpongeBob and Patrick find Man Ray, one of Mermaid Man's most fearsome nemeses, encapsulated in a prison of frozen tartar sauce. SpongeBob longs to pepper the villain with questions, prompting Patrick to activate the unfreezing process. As the two argue over the ramifications, Man Ray awakens, only to find the majority of his body still frozen. SpongeBob informs him they can't let him go due to his evil nature. Man Ray convinces them that he is actually good, and so they release him. He quickly attempts to attack them, but is stopped by the tickle belt he still wears: a device that, with the push of a button, tickles whoever is locked into it.
Man Ray sobs crocodile tears over his situation, expressing a desire for someone to teach him how to be a good person. SpongeBob and Patrick offer their services, and Man Ray accepts with the intention of jumping ship once the belt is off. Their first lesson starts with what to do if someone has dropped their wallet. Patrick drops his wallet and Man Ray tries to give it to him, but Patrick constantly denies it being his wallet. Man Ray's attempts to convince Patrick to take it result only in anger and he nearly attacks Patrick for his idiocy, causing a generous use of the tickle belt.
The second lesson, involving helping someone carry a heavy object, doesn't go any better. Man Ray tries to help Patrick with his heavy box, but Patrick continually drops it onto Man Ray's feet. Fed up, Man Ray angrily asks Patrick what's inside, which turns out to be more wallets. Man Ray takes his rage out on Patrick, so SpongeBob tickles him yet again, but this only drives Man Ray to slam Patrick harder for his stupidity.
SpongeBob's third lesson is hijacked by an injured Patrick, who gives Man Ray a random question as an excuse to tickle him further and get revenge. SpongeBob tries to take back the button, and as they fight over it, they accidentally break it. The belt's tickling increases exponentially, giving Man Ray no choice but to genuinely plead to be released. SpongeBob and Patrick happily do so, thinking Man Ray has now been rehabilitated. After catching his breath, however, Man Ray steals some weaponry, zaps the two, and runs away.
After realizing, SpongeBob and Patrick don their Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy costumes and use the invisible boatmobile to catch up with Man Ray. They try to use the Orb of Confusion against him, but wind up becoming confused themselves. With nothing left in his way, Man Ray attempts to rob a bank. To his bewilderment, he finds the feeling of being tickled has not left him despite the belt being removed and decides instead to open a checking account. Man Ray then turns off the Orb of Confusion and tells SpongeBob that the lessons have indeed changed him for the better. He presents his helmet to them and takes his leave. SpongeBob is overjoyed that they saved the day like their heroes, but Patrick remains in a dazed stupor, even with the Orb turned off and SpongeBob tries to get him to snap out of it as the episode ends.
According to Vincent Waller's Twitter
, the final storyboard for this episode was shipped on 6/2/2000 (June 2
‣ The Lineman
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
- Sam Spence [title card]
‣ Caped Crusader - David Farnon [opening]
‣ Bat Stabs - David Farnon [sound effect cards]
‣ Caped Crusader - David Farnon ["But wait! While our heroes relax at Leisure Village, who will watch the Mermalair?"]
‣ Police Car - Sam Spence [sting after "Who will watch the Mermalair?"]
‣ Whisper from the Past [#64.02] - Gregor F. Narholz [wall of gadgets]
‣ Life on the Wild Side - Sam Spence ["While our heroes are away, we will keep evil at bay!"]
‣ The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma..."]
‣ The Creature (b) - Gregor F. Narholz [Man Ray frozen in tartar sauce]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["I have so many questions to ask him!"]
‣ Monster Bug A - Gregor F. Narholz [Man Ray starts to get unfrozen]
‣ The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["I'm free!"/"By the supreme authority of wickedness, I, the evil Man Ray, command you to release me from this frozen prison at once."/"Why not?!"]
‣ Monster Bug A - Gregor F. Narholz ["Prepare to be eradicated!"]
‣ Laughter - Jurgen Schlachter [tickle belt/"Oh, I love that episode."]
‣ Lonely Violin - Dick Stephen Walter [Man Ray pretending to cry]
‣ Comic Walk - Sidney Torch [goodness lesson #1]
‣ Monster Bug A - Gregor F. Narholz [Man Ray gets angry]
‣ Laughter - Jurgen Schlachter [tickle belt again]
‣ Comic Walk - Sidney Torch [goodness lesson #2]
‣ Monster Bug A - Gregor F. Narholz [Man Ray gets angry again]
‣ Laughter - Jurgen Schlachter [tickle belt again]
‣ Comic Walk - Sidney Torch [Patrick in a wheelchair]
‣ Laughter - Jurgen Schlachter [tickle belt out of control]
‣ Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [Man Ray taking weapons]
‣ Dangerous C - Mladen Franko ["The only thing I'm good at is being evil."]
‣ The Lineman - Sam Spence [SpongeBob and Patrick in the Invisible Boatmobile]
‣ The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["Out of my way, fools!"]
‣ Police Car - Sam Spence [the orb of confusion]
‣ The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [First Nautical Bank]
‣ Limelight Waltz - Albert Marland [Man Ray trying to rob the bank]
‣ Maui Beach - Hans Haider [he opens a checking account instead]
- As of September 9, 2018, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.9/10 based on 427 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 8.5/10 based on 157 votes.
- After "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy," "Help Wanted," "Boating School," "Driven to Tears," "Squid Defense," "Tea at the Treedome," "Plankton's Pet," and "Krusty Krab Training Video"
- Before "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V," "Shuffleboarding," "Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob," SuperSponge, The Yellow Avenger, "Super Evil Aquatic Villain Team Up is Go!," "Patrick-Man!," "Toy Store of Doom," and possibly before "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture" and "Jailbreak!"
- This is the only episode of the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy series that doesn't revolve around the two heroes. They only appear in the first two minutes.
- This is the first appearance of Man Ray. He was first mentioned in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy."
- In "Back to the Past," Man Ray is shown getting frozen in tartar sauce as a reference to this episode. It also explains the possible reason why Man Ray is still evil in other episodes as they changed the past, and Man Ray went to jail instead of getting frozen, hence this episode was erased from history.
- The "Villain Containment Chamber," where villains are kept in frozen prisons, is featured in the Mermalair level of Battle for Bikini Bottom. The villain "Prawn," is accidentally released from his containment and must be defeated by SpongeBob.
- In the 2010 film The Karate Kid, after moving in with his mom, Dre turns on the TV and finds this episode. However, the clip was shown in Chinese, due to the fact that the movie was filmed in China.
- When SpongeBob says "Rehabilitated," Patrick mistakenly says "gesundheit" because he thought SpongeBob sneezed.
- This episode reveals Man Ray went to high school. This would later be established in "Shuffleboarding."
- SpongeBob and Patrick saying "Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma..." has become an internet meme.
- The chapter book of The Adventures of Man Sponge and Boy Patrick in Goodness, Man Ray! references this episode, except:
- SpongeBob and Patrick are wearing superhero costumes.
- Patrick doesn't get confused at the end.
- Instead of taking off his head, he takes off the metal glove.
- His check has cartoon poodles instead of real life ones.
- The bank teller is confused about what she's giving Man Ray.
- Patrick asks SpongeBob that if it's graduation day there should be a diploma, music, and a guest speaker.
- During a tribute to Ernest Borgnine, this episode was paired with "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV."
- This episode take place before "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V," "Shuffleboarding," "Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob," SuperSponge, The Yellow Avenger, "Super Evil Aquatic Villain Team Up is Go!," and "Patrick-Man!" because this is the episode that Man Ray is released in.
- This is the last episode where Nancy Suzy Fish is seen with lipstick.
- Man Ray is a parody of the Black Manta, the arch-villain of Aquaman, who Mermaid Man himself is in turn a parody of.
- Man Ray's name is also a pun on Manta Ray, a cartilaginous fish related to Sharks.
- SpongeBob said "While our superheroes are away, we will keep evil at bay," was a parody of the saying "When the cats are away, the mice will play."
- When Man Ray is about to slam Patrick into the ground, the box (which was full of Patrick's wallets) disappears.
- SpongeBob's tongue realistically should freeze while licking the frozen tartar sauce that was holding Man Ray.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick confront Man Ray with the Orb of Confusion, Patrick's cap is blue. It later turns back to the normal white color during the closeup of them.
- When Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy leave and SpongeBob and Patrick are about to leap, Patrick has no eyebrows.
- Man Ray and Mermaid Man didn't get confused when they tried to turn off the Orb of Confusion.
- SpongeBob should've been the one to contract permanent confusion, as he was exposed to its effects twice when he turned it on himself and then again when he tried to stop Man Ray.