"Rule of Dumb" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season four. In this episode, Patrick becomes a mean tyrant when he is crowned king.
A starfish from the Royal Ministry comes to visit Patrick for a special delivery. After Patrick opens his rock
, he thinks the starfish is a librarian and has come for all of his overdue library books. Patrick runs to SpongeBob's house
starts to cry about it. SpongeBob covers for Patrick by coming up to the man and greeting him. The starfish then asks SpongeBob if he knows Patrick, but SpongeBob lies and says: "No, I do not know any starfish!" in surprise and shock. When the starfish announces he has a gift for Patrick, which is a crown; Patrick dashes out of SpongeBob's house and grabs his gift. He starts chewing it and licking it, and announces it is a terrible-tasting gift. The starfish explains it is an item to wear, not to eat. Patrick is pleased when he gets the shiny crown. The starfish explains that he had uncovered a family tree showing Patrick to be descended from a king thus making him the official king.
SpongeBob becomes Patrick's servant and shows a treaty to the other Bikini Bottomites whenever Patrick takes something from them. SpongeBob assists Patrick firstly by going to the Krusty Krab and ordering for Patrick when Mr. Krabs looks at Patrick in shock and comes to him in a happy way. But SpongeBob is thrown away by Mr. Krabs and Patrick orders for himself with 10 Krabby Patties, a large fries, and a shake; Mr. Krabs lays out a buffet for him on the table consisting plates of Krabby Patties, a dozen shakes, and fries. Soon, Patrick requests for more ketchup, but Mr. Krabs tells him to pay a bill instead. Patrick then states that he has no money and anything he gets is free. Mr. Krabs gets upset at this and kicks both SpongeBob & Patrick out of the restaurant and screams out the front door, "Nobody eats at me restaurant for free, king or no king!" and closes the doors. He then finds a fish with a Krabby Patty and a shake and asks if he was going to eat it, and when the fish says he was planning to, Patrick takes it. Then a nerdy fish, Horace, comes up with a comic book collection, and becomes overjoyed at it especially at one of the comics "Wonder Space Fish," and states his 40-year old life and his comic book collection are complete, but he bumps into Patrick and Patrick takes the comic books, and Horace (who worked his whole life on the comic book collection) becomes sad. When the nerd begins to cry, Patrick laughs viciously, and he exclaims happily that he loves being a king.
Patrick then gets other citizens to line up leading to his rock, which is turned into a magnificent castle, with one of their possessions. After SpongeBob gains a walker from an old man for Patrick, he comes down to give Patrick his opinion on whether to put his plasma screen TV by the fancy egg display or the indoor swimming pool, which is seen shaped like a star and is obviously known because he is a starfish. Next morning, Squidward wakes up in a good mood. But that is quickly spoiled when he is blown away by the wind inside his house because Patrick is making a crane move his house back a little bit to build a Ferris wheel without permission from Squidward. Squidward finally explodes after coming out of his house and announces to everyone that Patrick could not be a king because he is much too stupid and tells them that he cannot be a king of anything (except being a moron). The townspeople believe Squidward and abandon Patrick deciding not to listen to him anymore. Patrick then explodes and requests SpongeBob to attack Squidward. SpongeBob pretends to go to Squidward right away but really asks Squidward to sign a treaty. But Squidward rolls up the treaty and plugs it into one of SpongeBob's craters just by throwing it.
Patrick's insane and awful attitude inside his castle makes SpongeBob afraid of him, and he slowly walks away, saying he needs to go to the Krusty Krab for work. Realizing that his servant just left him, Patrick goes for a drink. On his way, Patrick looks at himself in the mirror and sees that he is literally turning into a monster. He gets frightened at this sight and goes back to the starfish who made him king. He gives the crown back to the Royal Ministry starfish and rechecks the paper of ancestors who was made to be king. After wiping a stain on the other side of Patrick's family, he realizes that Gary is the one who really has struck royalty. SpongeBob and Patrick become servants and Gary gets the crown. The episode finally ends with a happy and questioning "meow" from Gary.
‣ Royal Tableau
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
- Stuart Stirling [title card]
‣ Dramatic Cue (a) - Ronald Hanmer ["I know exactly who you are!"]
‣ Classic Soap 1 (a) - Dieter Reith [SpongeBob watching TV]
‣ The Sword of Damocles - Jack Beaver [Patrick burning overdue library books]
‣ The King's Codpiece - Paddy Kingsland ["Salutations, young one."]
‣ Gator - Steve Belfer [Patrick trying to eat the crown]
‣ The Sovereign's March - Barrie Hingley [family tree]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["What is?"]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Anything I want?"]
‣ Salute to the King (a) - Paddy Kingsland ["Your wish is my command, Your Majesty."]
‣ Dunces and Dragons - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["Let us rejoice in welcoming our new king!"]
‣ Parting of the Clouds - Nicolas Carr [Krabs sees Patrick's crown]
‣ The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band ["Well, well, well, what can I do for you, Patrick?"]
‣ Dunces and Dragons - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [buffet/Patrick refuses to pay]
‣ Drama Link (d) - Hubert Clifford ["ALL FREE?!?!"]
‣ Nude Sting - Nicolas Carr [Krabs kicks SpongeBob and Patrick out]
‣ Dance Macabre - Keith Mansfield [Patrick takes someone else's food]
‣ Dunces and Dragons - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [fanfare]
‣ Chief Taravana - Kapono Beamer [comic book collector]
‣ Dance Macabre - Keith Mansfield [Patrick takes comic books]
‣ Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [collector cries]
‣ Brass Flourish (f) - Barrie Hingley ["I love being king!"]
‣ Stiff Upper Lip - Paddy Kingsland [Patrick taking things from everyone]
‣ Classy Harpsichord - Nicolas Carr ["I need your opinion on something."]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [sting at end of scene]
‣ Aloha Oe - Hans Haider, Queen Lili'uokalani [Squidward wakes up]
‣ Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer [Squidward's house moving around]
‣ Dance Macabre - Keith Mansfield ["Back... back... back..."]
‣ Steel Licks (d) - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward crawls out]
‣ Goofy Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Squidward yells at SpongeBob and Patrick]
‣ Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [everyone goes away]
‣ Entry of the Heroes (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["Get him! Attack! Attack!"]
‣ Entry of the Heroes (e) - Gregor F. Narholz ["So I decree! ATTACK!"]
‣ Dunces and Dragons - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [SpongeBob holds up treaty]
‣ Evil Mind 8 - Dick de Benedictis ["Here's what I think of your treaty!"]
‣ The Pursuit of Power (a) - Keith Mansfield ["My royal subjects have deserted me."]
‣ Dance Macabre - Keith Mansfield [SpongeBob leaves]
‣ Fanfare (b) - Nicolas Carr ["SpongeBob, I request a drink."]
‣ Graveyard - Johnny Pearson ["Huh... everybody's gone."]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Knock-knock."]
‣ Mists of Illusion - Gilbert Vinter [monster in the mirror]
‣ Rescue - Cecil Milner ["What have I become?!"]
‣ The King's Codpiece - Paddy Kingsland [Patrick gives back the crown]
‣ The King's Fanfare - Laurie Johnson [Gary is the true heir]
‣ Reinstating the King - Laurie Johnson [ending]
- As of May 3, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 7.4/10 based on 155 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 7.5/10 based on 122 votes.
- This episode aired in Germany on November 4, 2006, before it aired in the USA.
- This is one of the episodes that aired on the "Patrick for President" marathon, along with "Driven to Tears," "The Pink Purloiner," "The Gift of Gum," "Rise and Shine," "Waiting," "Sing a Song of Patrick."
- In this episode, it's revealed that Patrick has overdue library books.
- This episode was previously called "Starfish of Royalty," "King of the Idiots," and "King Patrick."
- The German title for this episode is "Königlicher Quatsch" which translating to "Royal Nonsense" and in the Netherlands it is called "Koning Domheid" which translating to "King Stupidity," while in Brazil it is called "Reinado de Idiotas," translating to "Reign of Idiots."
- There are 25 crowns on the title card.
- The other people in the family line are King Amoeba, Queen Mildew, Princess Tulsa, Prince Callows, Prince Dingus, Carl, Billy Bob, Maw Tucket, Sluggo, Herb Star, and Margie Star.
- On a family tree, Patrick's parents' names are shown to be "Herb" and "Margie."
- It makes sense that the oldest king and queen were a bacterium and an amoeba since those life forms existed before others.
- When Patrick was burning his books, he showed SpongeBob a book that says: How to Read.
- Music from "Dunces and Dragons" can be heard at the buffet scene in this episode.
- The Krusty Krab sign is not seen in this episode.
- Mr. Krabs hints that Patrick and Pearl should marry in his talk. Ironically, Patrick and Pearl have never interacted so far.
- When Squidward's house is dropped into the ground, its "nose" is above the ground, however, during a close-up of the house, the house is buried up to its windows.
- Plankton's quote "What the barnacles is going on here?" from "The Algae's Always Greener" is reused, but in this episode, Squidward says it.
- The part where Patrick sees his alternate-universe counterpart in the mirror is later referenced in "Roller Cowards" when Patrick says: "I thought we settled this last time!"
- In this episode, it's revealed that Patrick and Gary are first cousins.
- This is the second appearance of Patrick's parents. The first was in "I'm with Stupid."
- Both this episode and “Driven to Tears” have Patrick as the main antagonist.
- Ironically, they're both sister episodes.
- This the second time Squidward's house is hoisted off the ground. The first time was in "Bubblestand."
- This is the fourth and final episode transcribed into a comic in the SpongeBob/Tokyopop book the "Mistaken Identity." The other three were "Once Bitten," "That's No Lady," and "The Thing."
- This episode most likely comes before "Big Sister Sam" because Sam Star hasn't appeared on the family tree, probably because she wasn't known that she was Patrick's sister at the time of "Rule of Dumb."
- In Croatian dub, the episode name is "Kralj Patrik", translating to "King Patrick."
- This episode was released on the Season 4 Volume 2 DVD box set before it aired on TV in the USA.
- Rule of Dumb is a pun of the idiom "rule of thumb," which is a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation.
- This episode is similar to the 1991 film, King Ralph.
- When Patrick hides in SpongeBob's house, he makes a mess. If you look carefully, you can see a book called Richie Salmon's Guide to Fitness by Richie Salmons. This is a reference to fitness instructor Richard Simmons.
- After Patrick tried to eat his crown, the starfish minister said "That's because you're supposed to wear it, not eat it," and it's a reference to the "Eat It or Wear It" segment from the children's TV show, Pinky Dinky Doo.
- Yorick is a reference to the character of the same name from the play, Hamlet.
- The Wonder Space Fish comic is most likely a parody of Wonder Woman.
- The part where Patrick sees and talks to a crazed, evil alter-ego might be an allusion to a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of conflict.
- Patrick's monster reflection in his mirror is a reference to the 1989 Sesame Street song, Monster in the Mirror.
- When Patrick gave back the crown, the man from the royal ministry said: "With great power comes great responsibility.," as Voltaire, a famous French philosopher once did. It is also a famous quote from "Spider-Man.
- Patrick hears his shadow self say "I am you and you are me," which is speculated to be a reference to the recently released at the time Persona 3 video game, as a theme of duality and accepting your shadow is present, and the demon Orpheus says a similar line to what Patrick says when Makoto summons him for the first time.
- The family tree is missing several characters, Sam Star (although she was seen in a later episode), Gary's mom, Cletus Star (mentioned in "SpongeBob's Last Stand") as well as Patrick Revere (though it is possible that he is on Patrick's mother's side).
- The Family Tree paper should not be as old-looking as it appears.
- When the kids are licking lollipops, the flowers in the sky background are overlapping part of the sand.
- When Patrick is taking items from the citizens there, is a small gray tower on his rock. When he is annexing Squidward's house, the tower is missing, and his old antenna is shown again. When Squidward is saying that Patrick is a bad king, the gray tower is back on the rock.
- While Patrick orders an attack on Squidward; his house is black instead of brown.
- After SpongeBob runs away from Patrick, he rips his coat off; but when it zooms out, the coat pieces are not there.
- When the man from the royal ministry shows Gary being the true king, he seemed to know the fact before rubbing off the stain despite that he never actually rubbed off the coffee stain before rubbing off the stain in front of Patrick.
- In other episodes, Gary's food bowl is green, but in this episode, Gary's food bowl is orange.
- There is a closed-captioning error when Patrick starts to become a tyrant. After SpongeBob says: "what being king is all about," the captions suddenly freeze during the scene where Patrick takes the comic books away from the comic book collector, then, the captions fast forward to the point where Patrick says: "I love being king!," after the point where the person with the comics says: "I spent my entire life collecting those." This closed-caption error was fixed on September 28, 2012.
- Nicktoons Network still keeps the above error.
- On the September 2, 2016 airing, this episode segment played before "Driven to Tears" on Nicktoons Network.
- Another error was that on that same night, "Driven to Tears" was skipped.
- Another caption error happens when Squidward starts shouting at everyone and says "Patrick's no king!". The captions instead say "Patrick no. King?!".
- Tower cranes have bases to keep them still in place, not tracks to move them around as seen in the one seen in this episode.