- Squidward Tentacles
- Fish on Clarinet Now
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Mermaid Man
- Barnacle Boy
- Man Ray
- Blowfish (debut)
- Poseidon (mentioned)
- Gary the Snail
- SpongeBob's Scallop
- Blue Whale (debut)
The comic starts with Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy chasing Man Ray. Mermaid Man decides to trap Man Ray in a cave, but Man Ray puts his Gill-Nullifying Collar on Mermaid Man, making it impossible for him to breathe underwater.
Meanwhile, SpongeBob starts to think that Squidward does not like Mermaid Man comics. Squidward agrees, but SpongeBob thinks that reading more will make him a fan. Back in the comic, Mermaid Man sends a telepathic call, which is heard by blowfish, who give him air.
Soon, Mermaid Man realizes that he cannot breathe from them forever. Squidward then admits "I don't care what happens next, before, about, around, near, to, over, or with Mermaid Man." SpongeBob then asks, "So, you don't want to hear how Poseidon's Golden Clarinet saves the day?" Not realizing what SpongeBob says, Squidward yells, "NO!!!" Squidward then realizes what SpongeBob said, but it is too late and SpongeBob walks away. Squidward says that he is curious about how the comic ends, but then says that he will not lose sleep over it. That night, he is awake in bed thinking about the comic. He then takes a ladder over to SpongeBob's house to get a quick peek at the comic. Squidward enters through the window and wonders where SpongeBob's comic book collection is.
Squidward finds the stash under SpongeBob's bed. He grabs it from under the bed and opens the lid, but an alarm goes off, which wakes SpongeBob up, who exclaims, "Someone's stealing my Mermaid Man Comics!!!!" SpongeBob realizes that it is Squidward and thinks that he was trying to steal the comics because he likes them. Squidward says that he does not and asks why SpongeBob has an alarm in his comic box. SpongeBob says it is because "they" needed the work. Squidward starts to asks, "Who needed the work?" but he is interrupted by Mermaid Man or Barnacle Boy, who say, "We did!" Mermaid Man then says, "You try getting a security job when you're a senior citizen!" Squidward is then under arrest.
Back in the comic, the blue whale does this and it breaks the Gill-Nullifying Collar. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy put Barnacle Boy behind bars and leave.
Since SpongeBob still believes that Squidward loves the Mermaid Man Comics, he plans to read all the other comics. Meanwhile, Squidward, who is in a prison cell and holding a sun tanning reflector board, requests a stronger light bulb.
- This comic takes place before "No Free Rides" because the version of the Bikini Bottom Jail that appears in this comic looks like a newer version of the one that appears in that episode.
- When Barnacle Boy calls Squidward, "Big Nose," this is a reference to the episode, "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV."
- Plankton gives Squidward a golden clarinet in "Spin the Bottle."
- After the first frame, Clarinet Now disappears.
- Possible: Even though SpongeBob states that he just got the comic at the beginning, he already knows how it ends. However, someone like Patrick could have given it to him beforehand.
|SpongeBob Comics No. 3 (V • E)|
Squidward and the Golden Clarinet • A Peek Inside the Mind of Patrick • Weird Beard • Krabby Gary • Headphone Funny • The Relaxing Book • Plankton Power • Dial "S" for Willie • One Afternoon in Spring