While on duty at the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob has a man arrested for littering. After calling the police on him and having him arrested, Squidward reveals that the stranger is, in fact, the Tattle-Tale Strangler, an extremely dangerous criminal who murders anyone who reports him to the cops by strangling them. Seconds later, the Strangler escapes, and begins planning to kill SpongeBob. SpongeBob looks for a bodyguard for protection, but no one would take the job knowing that they would have to face the Strangler. SpongeBob decides to go into hiding until the Strangler gives up on him, until a man who is obviously the Strangler using a fake mustache as a disguise offers to take the job, intending to lead SpongeBob to a place where he can kill him with no other witnesses. SpongeBob, oblivious to his identity, hires him.
However, SpongeBob needs to run some errands first. They are faced by every possible delay, and when they finally get to SpongeBob's house, SpongeBob realizes he lost his key and looks for it in his pockets for 20 minutes. The Strangler suggests entering through the window. The window is too high for him to reach, so the Strangler asks SpongeBob to climb on his shoulders. SpongeBob, now with sharp cleats on his shoes, does so, his shoes going directly inside of the Strangler's eyeholes. He runs around for 6 hours before finally pulling the shoes out.
SpongeBob eventually remembers that the key was under his doormat. The Strangler then locks the doors and starts to choke SpongeBob. The lights then turn on, revealing a "100% on-time average" surprise party. SpongeBob acts surprised, asking how they knew, with Patrick saying that they just did what the invitations told them to do. The party goes on for a considerable length of time. The Strangler then attempts to choke him again, but the guests come back for a birthday party for SpongeBob. Finally alone, he tries again, but then Patrick shows up for some odd reason. The Strangler tries to get rid of him, saying that he could be the Strangler in disguise. Patrick then runs off thinking that he is the strangler, breaking through the wall and running off to turn himself in.
SpongeBob is confused upon realizing that Patrick is the Strangler. The real Strangler, enraged, reveals his true identity and intentions by removing his disguise. However, SpongeBob still fails to understand, and is amazed at the Strangler being able to tear off his mustache without shaving cream. The Guests return overhearing the word "party." The Strangler runs away, but SpongeBob goes after him, saying he still needs protection from the "strangler." He attempts to escape in a series of vehicles, but SpongeBob catches up every time. Eventually, he lands in the police department in a jail cell and SpongeBob learns the truth. Immediately, the Strangler finds Patrick in his cell.
( ‣ ) Associated production music
( • ) Original music
( ◦ ) SpongeBob music
‣Rescue - Cecil Milner [title card] ‣Power and Glory - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob 100% on time] ‣Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [Squidward 12% on time] ‣Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["I'm due in the parking lot for early morning litter patrol."] ‣The Mob - Sam Spence [SpongeBob picking up trash] ‣Police Car Chase - Jack Beaver ["That's the Tattletale Strangler!"] ‣Like Strange - Kenny Graham ["Squidward? Squidward?"] ‣Glissando Up - Eric Allen ["Yep, he got away."] ‣Steel Sting (a) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Those officers are right. I need a bodyguard."] ‣Keel Row - Brian Peters [at the Krusty Krab] ‣Dramatic Impact 5 - Ivor Slaney ["The Tattletale Strangler?!"] ‣Cream Pie - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob looking for a bodyguard] ‣Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Bodyguard, huh?"] ‣Dramatic Impact 1 - Ivor Slaney [Strangler wearing a fake mustache] ‣Dramatic Impact 6 - Ivor Slaney [Shot of Strangler's dirty hands] ‣Gator - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob hires Strangler as bodyguard] ‣Six Powerful Cues (a) - Wilfred William Burns [SpongeBob and Strangler laughing diabolically] ‣Hawaiian Calypso - Jo Van Wetter [SpongeBob doing errands] ‣Glissando Up - Eric Allen [Strangler's eyes bug out] ‣So Tired - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["There you are, you little rascal."] ‣Terror by Night - Hubert Clifford [SpongeBob unlocks his door] ‣Rescue - Cecil Milner ["I finally got you all alone!"] ‣Saxaboogie - Harry Bluestone [surprise party] ‣Rescue - Cecil Milner [Strangler laughs diabolically] ‣Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Happy birthday, SpongeBob!"] ‣Saxaboogie - Harry Bluestone ["Let's boogie some more!"] ‣Rescue - Cecil Milner [Strangler grabs SpongeBob] ‣Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Great parties, huh?"] ‣Dramatic Impact 5 - Ivor Slaney ["I'm the Strangler?!"] ‣Drama Link (d) - Hubert Clifford ["I gotta turn myself in!"] ‣Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill [Strangler reveals himself] ‣Saxaboogie - Harry Bluestone [Strangler running from SpongeBob] ‣Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [Strangler cries] ‣Dramatic Impact 3 - Ivor Slaney ["The Strangler!"] ‣Steel Licks (a) - Jeremy Wakefield ["At least I'm safe from that yellow idiot."] ‣Steel Licks - Jeremy Wakefield [ending]
Despite the episode being aired in 2004, the ending credits to this episode says it was copyrighted in the year 2002.
In the episode "Squid's Visit," Squidward said that he has never gone to SpongeBob's house, but he went to SpongeBob's parties in this episode. It is most likely that this episode took place after "Squid's Visit."
Squidward and Mrs. Puff both hate SpongeBob, but they attend the party without force (or pressure).
In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "SpongeBob kontra Dusiciel" (SpongeBob vs the Strangler).
This episode aired in Germany on September 26, 2003, before it aired in the USA.
This episode is the first time Zeus Cervas was mentioned in the title card opening credits.
The spiked cleats that get stuck in the Strangler's eyes is similar with the climbing spike gag in 1942 Three Stooges short, "They Stooge to Conga."
The end of the episode may have been partly based on the Droopy cartoons produced by MGM in the 1940s, with SpongeBob taking the place of the dog popping up where ever the criminal is (inside the plane, his parachute, finally in jail; parachute actually was a gag in the 1946 cartoon "Northwest Hounded Police" also taxicabs seen in numerous)
In Indonesia, instead of saying paper towel, SpongeBob says pepper towel.
Sometimes, YTV accidentally lists this as "Litter Bug" instead of its normal name. Also for some reason, it says the episode originally aired on 2014/03/17 (March 17, 2014). This air date is technically false. This error also happened when SpongeBob was played on Viva in the UK.
A caption error reads: (The Strangler) "CanWe just get to your House now?!" on DirecTV receivers.
It's 8:00 when SpongeBob is in the Krusty Krab. Later, he was searching for a bodyguard, which he could've taken hours to do. When he was doing his errands, several hours could've passed, judging by the Strangler's patience. And they're outside SpongeBob's house for 6 hours and 20 minutes. It could've been night before or after the party, but it's sunny, unless the party lasted overnight.
When SpongeBob checks in for work, below the clock are more than 2 slips, despite there being only 2 employees.
After SpongeBob puts in his slip, the clock arms stop moving.
Squidward should have gotten 100% on time because the clock stopped moving.
When SpongeBob leaves the Krusty Krab for litter bug patrol, the Krusty Krab sign and the road leading to the restaurant are missing.
When SpongeBob goes out of the Krusty Krab to clean up litter, for a couple of seconds his pants leg are black in color. In the next shot, they're brown in color.
When Squidward shows SpongeBob the picture with the Strangler on it, the number he is holding says "122068." But when SpongeBob shows Mr. Krabs the picture of the Strangler, the number is "021066."
When SpongeBob enters the Krusty Krab, he goes directly into Mr. Krabs' office without going through the dining area. This may be because it just fit the "flow" of the scene better.
When SpongeBob shows Mr. Krabs the picture of the Strangler, the name "TattleTale Strangler" was covered in censor bars. This error continues when SpongeBob shows the people the wanted sign.
When the Strangler says that the maniac could be anywhere, there is a $5 tag hanging from his faux mustache, in other scenes, the tag is gone.
After SpongeBob says he has to run some errands and the Strangler gets mad, the Strangler's white undershirt disappears.
When SpongeBob is in front of his house looking for his key, he doesn't have a mat. But when he gets the key, the mat is there.
SpongeBob's cleats wouldn't fit the Strangler's eyes.
When SpongeBob and Strangler enter SpongeBob's house and Strangler closes the door, the light on SpongeBob's face makes it appear as though two doors were closing.
Pearl is shown to be smaller than Larry in this episode, when in most episodes she is shown to be bigger.
When SpongeBob arrives with the Strangler inside his house, a bamboo wallpaper is up. But when the party is revealed, the wallpaper changes to green with flowers. When the party members leave, it changes back to the old wallpaper, then back to the flower wallpaper when the party members arrive again.
If SpongeBob sent out invitations, it wouldn't be a surprise party.
Patrick is seen at both parties, but after the first party, Patrick isn't seen in the line or said good-bye to by SpongeBob. It is possible that he was in the second line and said good-bye to by SpongeBob.
After the Strangler takes off his disguise, the returning party guests didn't realize he was the Strangler, including Squidward who had seen him at the beginning.
Patrick shouldn't be arrested because he looks nothing like the Strangler, unless he confessed another unseen crime that he did.
The Strangler gets through the airport and into the airplane without being noticed by anyone.
The Strangler has 10 fully functional separate fingers, similar to Dr. Gill Gilliam, who has 8, as well as SpongeBob himself. However in later scenes his fingers are replaced by a fin. He is also one of the few characters who wears a pair of shoes.