SpongeBob SquarePants

Skill Crane

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Episode Information
Skill Crane
Season №: 4
Episode №: 64a
Airdate: May 20, 2005
Sister episode(s): "Good Neighbors"
Writer(s): Kyle McCulloch
Aaron Springer
Vincent Waller
Supervising Producer: Paul Tibbitt
Storyboard: Vincent Waller
Animation: Alan Smart
Technical: Vincent Waller
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Have You Seen This Snail?"
Next: "Good Neighbors"
List of episodes

"Skill Crane" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season four. In this episode, Squidward attempts to win a prize from the Skill Crane.



At the Krusty Krab, a guy dressed in a suit comes to the door. Mr. Krabs believes him to be a tax collector and panics, until the man shows his business card, which identifies him as an employee of "R.A. PennyPincher Vending Supplies". Mr. Krabs is overjoyed as the delivery men bring the claw vending machine that he ordered into the Krusty Krab. Mr. Krabs explains that it will "pay for itself in no time" and insists that SpongeBob and Squidward try it, giving them each a free quarter.

Squidward plays the machine, and almost picks up a stuffed snake and loses. He excitedly exclaims to SpongeBob that he "almost got that on his first try!" When SpongeBob tries the machine, Squidward expects him to lose, but SpongeBob effortlessly wins a toy from the crane, and then another.
Skill Crane 095

Later on, SpongeBob continues to effortlessly win several more stuffed animals from the machine. Squidward desperately tries to win, even using his money from payday but he still does not win.

When Squidward goes home, he finds he cannot do anything because of the crane, and he caves in, convinced he must win. He puts back on his normal clothes, gets his piggy bank and runs to the Krusty Krab and tries the crane again until the next morning, but to no avail. Mr. Krabs then empties the machine and finds an enormous amount of Squidward's money, along with the deed to his house. SpongeBob tells Squidward the secret to winning, which is to be the crane, and he wins a teddy bear and rubs it in everyone's face.

At the end of the day, Squidward walks home with SpongeBob, and sees a construction site. He operates the unoccupied crane with his eyes closed and picks up a girder, but he cannot apply the same secret with that type of crane. He destroys a mall and the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob tries to rescue him but only picks up Squidward's toy as the episode ends.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Dombummel - Gerhard Trede [title card]
  The Girl I Left Behind Me - Brian Peters ["My machine has arrived?"]
  Ta-Ra C - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [Skill Crane revealed]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["First one's free!"]
  Sailor's Waltz - Heinz Matschurat ["Come on, Squidward, you know you want to."]
  ? - Squidward loses
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band ["My work here is done."]
  Ta-Ra A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [SpongeBob wins]
  Comic Tension (a) - Dick Stephen Walter [claw falls onto a toy]
  Lighting the Fuse (b) - Dick Stephen Walter [claw falls onto a toy]
  Desperate Dilemma - Dick Stephen Walter [Squidward presses "grab" button]
  ? - Squidward loses again
  Ta-Ra A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [SpongeBob wins again]
  Steel Licks (a) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, I loosened that one up for you!"]
  Drunken Sailor B - Robin Jeffrey, Tim Laycock [Squidward remembers what Krabs said]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band [Squidward depressed as SpongeBob keeps winning]
  Unease - Dick Stephen Walter ["Squid... ward..."]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band ["Need some change?"]
  ? - Squidward loses
  Towerstreet 17 (#21) - Gerhard Narholz [montage of Squidward losing]
  ? - "You lose!"
  Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward says he's out of money]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [payday]
  Steel Licks (Original Version) - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward used all his money on the crane]
  Ta-Ra C - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [SpongeBob wins]
  Goodbye Rodney - Pete Ross Winslow [Squidward goes home]
  Pua Paoakalani (b) - Kapono Beamer, Queen Lili'uokalani [Squidward in bed]
  House of Horror (5) - W. Merrick Farran ["I gotta win that crane!"]
  Towerstreet 17 (#4) - Gerhard Narholz [piggy bank sheds tear]
  ? [SpongeBob being the crane]
  Ta-Ra A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [SpongeBob wins]
  Steel Sting (Original Version) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Yes! Yes, I do!"]
  ? - Squidward being the crane
  Hollywood Fanfare - Larry Hochman [Squidward wins!]
  ? - a little kid loses
  Comic Walk (Sidney Torch Version) - Sidney Torch [Squidward teases him]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [kid kicks Squidward]
  You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward operating a construction crane]
  Dramatic Impact 5 - Ivor Slaney [Squidward destroys a mall being built]
  Drama Link (b) - Hubert Clifford ["Squidward, open your eyes!"]
  Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [vehicle out of control]
  SpongeBob Theme (Version 1) - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [ending]




  • Six hours later...
  • The idea of the Skill Crane was taken from the educational video game "SpongeBob Saves the Day."
  • The background of the title card is similar to "Welcome to the Chum Bucket," "Enemy In-Law," and "Plankton's Regular."
  • It is shown that Squidward's deed to his house is in the money carton. This means Squidward sold his own house in order to get more money to win.
  • Running Gag: Squidward losing and SpongeBob winning at the skill crane.
  • Beary later reappears in the episodes, "Tutor Sauce" and "The Donut of Shame."
  • This is one of the few episodes where Mr. Krabs is shown paying SpongeBob and Squidward, and given the amount of quarters he gave Squidward, he apparently pays them a standard worker's salary, in contrast to numerous claims of them being underpaid in other episodes.

Cultural references

  • Squidward's obsession with the crane and the way the crane kept calling his name is similar to the episode "The Fever" in "The Twilight Zone."


  • When Mr. Krabs walks away with Squidward's deed to his house, Mr. Krabs puts it in his pants, but it disappears as he walks.
  • The quarters are gold in this episode not silver, in the other episodes they are regular silver.
  • At first, the Skill Crane says "You Win," but when SpongeBob wins the last time, it instead says "Winner."
  • There were only three construction workers running with SpongeBob back to the Krusty Krab, but when Squidward was about to leave, there were nine construction workers. Although, the shot probably didn't include all of the workers running with SpongeBob.
  • When SpongeBob shows Squidward the secret to winning the crane, the machine says "winner;" however, no prize comes out the machine slot.
  • When Squidward said "DON'T BE THE CRANE!" the moving animation freezes until the next shot.
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