"Shell of a Man" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season four. In this episode, Mr. Krabs molts and loses his shell just before meeting up with his Navy Buddies so SpongeBob takes his place.



At the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob is in the middle of making a Krabby Patty, and when he is finished, he cries as he gives it to Squidward so that he can give it to customer number 5. The customer is revealed to be SpongeBob, who grabs the order, and eats it. Meanwhile, outside the Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs calls SpongeBob into his "Hidey Hole" under the dumpster, where he keeps his belongings from when he was in the Navy in a treasure chest. They take it into Mr.
Shell of a Man 031

Mr. Krabs without his shell.

Krabs's office and Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob about his old Navy buddies and his nickname "Armor Abs Krabs," and that his Navy Reunion is tonight. Mr. Krabs then tells SpongeBob to leave him to revel in his memories and get his work station in "shipshape," which he does with great enthusiasm. SpongeBob soon hears Mr. Krabs scream and goes into his office, where he finds that Mr. Krabs has molted his shell, leaving him a flabby mess. He kicks his shell in frustration, causing it to fly into SpongeBob, who becomes stuck inside it. Mr. Krabs then tells SpongeBob to assume his identity at the reunion so that his Navy friends will not see him in this state.

Later, at the reunion, SpongeBob initially puts on a convincing performance, but goes onstage to accept his "Trophy of Manly Toughness," he tells a story of him jellyfishing in Jellyfish Fields, and nearly reveals his true identity before Mr. Krabs tells him to get offstage. He attempts to leave, but Torpedo-belly insists that he body-slam him to test if he still has "armor abs." When he punches SpongeBob, he flies around the room, cracking the

Shell of a Man 064

shell and revealing SpongeBob. They get angry, but the real Mr. Krabs emerges from the bush that he had been watching from and reveals himself. He begins to walk away in shame, until Muttonchop gives him back his trophy, saying that revealing his condition was the manliest thing anyone could ever do, and revealing that they have all been hiding something as well (Torpedo-Belly, for instance, had his torpedo removed). As Mr. Krabs walks away with SpongeBob, he says "Yeah, poor suckers. At least my shell will grow back!" and they both start laughing as the episode ends.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Captain Lenoe's - Michael Arthur, Colin Cater, Mick Graves, The Folk Players, Sarah Graves, Simon Ritchie [title card]
  Ta-Ra (a) - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["Perfection!"]
  Lonely Violin - Dick Stephen Walter [SpongeBob cries]
  Steel Sting (a) - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob eats the Krabby Patty]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hello, what's this?"]
  Towerstreet 17 [#6] - Gerhard Narholz [Krabs' hidey-hole]
  Heavenly Voices (b) - David Farnon [choir]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band [Krabs' navy stuff]
  Captain Lenoe's - Michael Arthur, Colin Cater, Mick Graves, The Folk Players, Sarah Graves, Simon Ritchie ["I still got it."]
  Astronauts March - Sam Spence ["All right, let's get this place ship-shape!"]
  Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland [Krabs' empty shell]
  Against the Law (b) - Wilfred William Burns [Krabs hiding behind a barrel]
  Lonely Heart's Club (a) - David Bell, Otto Sieben ["It's true. I've molted."]
  Up She Rises - Sam Spence ["You're acting like there never was a man in that shell."]
  Lonely Heart's Club (a) - David Bell, Otto Sieben [Krabs kicks his shell]
  Drama Link (b) - Hubert Clifford [SpongeBob screams]
  Grass Skirt Chase - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [shell lands on SpongeBob's head]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["SpongeBob, you're a genius!"]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["I get to be a Navy Buddy?"]
  Brahms Lullaby - Curtis Frederick Schwartz [wallet in bed]
  When Daylight Shines/Captain Lenoe's - Michael Arthur, Colin Cater, Mick Graves, The Folk Players, Sarah Graves, Simon Ritchie [at the reunion]
  What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor - Okko Bekker [trophy awarded to Krabs]
  Finders Creepers - Paddy Kingsland [SpongeBob's speech]
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Huh?"]
  Towerstreet 17 [#24] - Gerhard Narholz ["Where do you think you're going?!"]
  ? ["Let's have at it."]
  Towerstreet 17 [#17] - Gerhard Narholz [body slam]
  Steel Licks (d) - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs' shell breaks apart, revealing SpongeBob]
  Dramatic Impact 3 - Ivor Slaney [everyone gasps]
  Fates [#61] - Gregor F. Narholz ["This is who I am."]
  The Dreadnought Tea Clipper (b) - Tim Laycock, Robert Alexander White ["I don't understand."]
  Tales from the Swamp (c) - Ron Goodwin [fake sideburns]
  Blow the Man Down - Brian Peters ["I had my torpedo removed long ago."]
  The Twin Sisters - Chelmsford Folk Band [ending]



  • "Shell of a Man" was ranked #85 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.


  • This was the last episode to credit storyboard artists on the opening credits. That is why this is the only episode in which Brad Vandergrift's name is seen in the opening credits.
  • It is revealed that Mr. Krabs has a hiding hole under the trash behind the Krusty Krab.
  • A yellow version of Reg from "No Weenies Allowed" is at the Navy reunion.
  • This is the second episode to have crabs on the title card. The first was "Krusty Love," the third was "Nautical Novice," the fourth was "Suction Cup Symphony," and the fifth was "Grandpappy the Pirate."
  • Mr. Krabs would again be seen without his shell in "Shell Shocked" and "Company Picnic."
    • In the latter episode, however, Mr. Krabs' shell is portrayed as clothing and has a zipper at the back.
  • In June 2009, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications labeled this episode along with "Fear of a Krabby Patty" as "SpongeBob Fun" which is supposed to be a shopping show, but as of April 2010, it has been corrected.
  • When Mr. Krabs asked if SpongeBob could pretend to be him, SpongeBob says that he and Squidward have been practicing their impression of him behind his back. This suggests that Squidward and SpongeBob have a decent relationship at work because they both agree how annoying Mr. Krabs is when he is being cheap.
  • The title card music is Captain's Lenoe's which is used again as music that Captain Blue SquarePants dances to in "BlackJack."
  • At the beginning, when SpongeBob and Squidward are talking in their usual work positions, the Krusty Krab through the window alternates from the outer walls and windows seen through the window to simple yellow, orange, and black paint. This happens in a few other episodes.
  • Lockjaw Jones offers SpongeBob grog (A watered-down form of rum).
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Zmiana skorupy" translating to "Changing the Shell."
  • There are approximately thirty-one crabs on the title card.
  • The French title of this episode is "Les Gars de la Marine," or "The Guys of the Navy."

Cultural references

  • This episode was originally titled "Molting" (Seen on the closing credits) and then it was changed to "Shell Game," a reference to a pricing game of the same name on The Price Is Right, before finally being changed to "Shell of a Man," an expression meaning a man who is extremely depressed or disturbed by something.
  • Old Iron Eye's name is a parody of the character Ironhide from the 1984 animated TV series "Transformers."
  • In the background on the wall, you can see the same flags that were on the Krusty Krab. This is possibly a reference to it and where the flags on it came from.


  • Number 5's Krabby Patty looked different in both shots.
  • When Mr. Krabs is showing SpongeBob his navy treasures, the left flag with the white and blue triangles keeps rotating.
  • SpongeBob is nearly as tall as Mr. Krabs' shell, but when Iron Eye punches him in the gut, he bounces around inside, making him appear very small in comparison to the shell.
  • SpongeBob spits out his whole skull, including his two buck teeth, but his buck teeth still show after he spat them out.
  • Mr. Krabs is a bit taller than when he is in his shell.
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Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (VE)

Emmy Awards Cup Emmy

Daytime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program

Directors: Andrew Overtoom, Andrea Romano, Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi (2010)Casey Alexander, Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash, Zeus Cervas, Sean Charmatz, Andrew Overtoom, Andrea Romano, Alan Smart, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, Vincent Waller and Tom Yasumi (2012)

Outstanding Special Class Animated Program

Animators: Dina Buteyn, Stephen Hillenburg and Paul Tibbitt (2010)

Outstanding Children's Animated Program

Nominees: Stephen Hillenburg, Jennie Monica Hammond and Paul Tibbitt (2012)

Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program

Voice actors: Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles (2012)

Outstanding Sound Editing – Animation

Nominees: Todd Brodie, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Chris Gresham, Matt Hall, Jeffrey Hutchins, James Lifton, Paulette Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Aran Tanchum and Kimberlee Vanek (2012) • Mishelle Fordham, Vincent Guisetti, Jeffrey Hutchins, James Lifton, Paulette Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Wes Otis, Monique Reymond and Aran Tanchum (2013) • Devon Bowman, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Jeff Hutchins, Aran Tanchum and Vincent Guisetti (2014)

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