SpongeBob is waiting at the bus stop to go to Glove World. A fish steps on SpongeBob's face, not realizing he was there since he was sleeping on the ground. SpongeBob informs him of this and he steps off his face. SpongeBob tells him he spent the night there, so he would be first in line as he promised Patrick that they would be first in line, and first to get on the bus. The man says "Hmm, interesting stuff. Say, do you mind if I cut in front of you?" SpongeBob tries to say no, but he ends up letting the fish cut him anyways, making him behind the other fish. Then a lot of fish come and cut in front of him. Patrick comes and asks SpongeBob why he is not first (like he promised). SpongeBob says he's sorry but they'll still be able to catch the first bus. Patrick, now no longer mad at SpongeBob for breaking his promise, becomes happy, and the bus comes, so they run to it.
They almost get in the bus, but then Sandy comes and asks SpongeBob for him to do "Operation: Acorn Smoothie." SpongeBob says no but after a guilt trip from Sandy, he unhappily agrees. He tells Patrick he'll be on the next bus, so Patrick goes to Glove World without SpongeBob. After the situation with Sandy, he goes back to the bus stop, then Mr. Krabs asks SpongeBob to say no to Pearl about the new shoes that she desperately wants.
Afterwards, he goes back to the bus stop and his Grandma asks him to help him cross the road. SpongeBob, as usual, says no but then his guilt tripped into helping anyways. Patrick returns and is mad at SpongeBob for making him go to Glove World by himself. SpongeBob says he's sorry but people kept asking him to do things. Patrick tells SpongeBob that sometimes he just has to say no, and he needs to grow thicker skin, then it reminds him to ask SpongeBob to scratch his back, which SpongeBob does.
Later, he is shown at his house crying to Gary about how he can't say no to anything anyone asks him. Gary then goes to a catalog and orders something for SpongeBob, it arrives and it shows that the package was a thing called 'abrasive sponge" which is an abrasive side designed for doormat sponges to stick on their back, and the abrasive side will help them be more tough. SpongeBob feels this is perfect for his situation, so he sticks it on his back. The abrasive side makes a cruel remark at Gary which SpongeBob is unaware of, so he happily tells Gary he'll see him later.
He goes out and Pilar asks him to carry his groceries for him. His body switches 180 degrees, showing the abrasive side, and says "Carry it yourself, fish-face" for SpongeBob. He does the same for Larry who asked him to help him put sun lotion on, Grandma who asked for help crossing the street, and Sandy who asked him to help her with a science invention. All of them getting harsh words thrown at them from SpongeBob's abrasive side leave, either baffled, hurt, or in Sandy's case, baffled, hurt, and physically damaged.
He then goes into the Krusty Krab, where Mr. Krabs asks him to do a seventeen hour extra shift. SpongeBob says yes, but then his abrasive side says no, unless Mr. Krabs pays for overtime, Mr. Krabs is confused for he never heard this word before, so he goes into his office and looks it up on a dictionary. He finds out it means "being paid more than the standard wage for coming in over his contracted hours." He is shocked that SpongeBob could use such a "disgusting" word. He goes home and Squidward sarcastically says "Oh goody! I suppose you're going to ask me to play some stupid game or follow me around all day!" SpongeBob's abrasive side says the complete opposite that SpongeBob would normally say which is "Afraid not big nose, I wouldn't hang out with you for all the money in Krab's mattress!" then Squidward gets happy and hugs him, saying: "You don't know how long I have waited to hear those words." Patrick says it's time for their play-date.
SpongeBob talks and so does his abrasive side, over and over, confusing Patrick. He gets scared and sad of SpongeBob's abrasive side and runs away crying. SpongeBob is confused but goes into his house and goes to the bathroom and stares into the mirror, and realizes what's wrong— and that his abrasive side is getting out of control. He asks Patrick for help, but the abrasive side scares him away again. SpongeBob then goes to Mr. Krabs for help, who is still cowering at the word "overtime." The abrasive time takes over and tells Mr. Krabs he wants overtime. He then kicks out SpongeBob until he can "swap that poop deck you call a mouth." He goes to Sandy for help, then explains what happened and why he got an abrasive side.
Sandy then rips it off his back, while SpongeBob holds Patrick, then it is shown with intense pain for a short while as Sandy rips the abrasive side off. Sandy puts it in a box labelled "Return to sender" and puts it in the mailbox. The green skin growls. SpongeBob then remembers he needs to apologize to Grandma for what happened earlier. He goes, then it turns out that Grandma has the abrasive side now too, much to SpongeBob's horror. The episode ends with SpongeBob screaming "No!"
The scene where Squidward said "You don't know how long I've waited to hear those words!" is sped up in the promo, most likely to shorten the promo.
SpongeBob tells Squidward that he wouldn't hang out with him for all the money in Mr. Krabs's mattress. This is possibly a reference to the episode "The Lost Mattress," since that episode reveals that Mr. Krabs keeps his money in his mattress.
Howard Blandy makes a cameo appearance standing in front of SpongeBob in line.
SpongeBob's Abrasive Side speaks with a stereotypical New Jersey accent.
This is the second time that Pearl's voice was heard but she was not seen. The first time was in "Le Big Switch."
Two versions of SpongeBob are available as playable fighters in Super Brawl 3; Normal SpongeBob, and SpongeBob with the abrasive side, named Abrasive SpongeBob.
This, along with its sister episode, "Earworm," both involve with something attached to SpongeBob's body but was later removed near the end. For this episode, the abrasive side is found in SpongeBob's back, and in Earworm inside (internal) SpongeBob's ear whereas in the latter's case as well as both episodes ending in characters screaming.
Even though Mr. Krabs says the word "overtime," in "Enemy In-Law," he acts as if he just heard the word. Therefore, this must be before the aforementioned episode.
Although it could be possible that Mr. Krabs forgot the definition and had to look it up again.
The fact SpongeBob saying he never used immoderate language is incorrect since he used "number 11" a couple of times in "Sailor Mouth."
Despite the episode's premise about SpongeBob not being able to say "no" in this episode, he was able to say "no" to Pearl in the shoes store.
This episode sort of has the same story line in the beginning to "Rock Bottom." Where SpongeBob keeps missing the bus.
This episode and its sister episode, "Earworm," both feature all main characters, except for Sheldon J. Plankton.