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The Bully

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Episode Information [edit]
The Bully
Season №: 3
Episode №: 43b
Airdate: October 5, 2001
Running time: 11 minutes
Sister episode(s): "Just One Bite"
Writer(s): Aaron Springer
C.H. Greenblatt
Merriwether Williams
Storyboard Artist(s): C.H. Greenblatt
Storyboard: Aaron Springer
Animation: Frank Weiss
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Just One Bite"
Next: "Nasty Patty"
List of episodes

"The Bully" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, Flats the Flounder joins SpongeBob's boating class.



The Bully 030
SpongeBob is at boating school, and Mrs. Puff announces that there's a new student. His name is Flats the Flounder, and he tells SpongeBob that he is going to "kick his butt." SpongeBob at first assumes him to be joking, but Flats soon makes it clear that he really means to beat up SpongeBob. SpongeBob, who takes this extremely seriously, tries to seek help and to reason with Flats, but to no avail.

He eventually runs away into town, where Flats attempts to run him over with a garbage truck, while he eventually drives over a banana peel, causing it to flip over. Flats awakens in the hospital, where he learns that SpongeBob saved his life by performing CPR on him for five hours straight.

Despite this, Flats continues to pursue SpongeBob; when SpongeBob runs through town, some people kick an old man's butt who they think is going to kick SpongeBob's butt. The old man was by a bus stop and a guy asks how many times they have to teach him this lesson. Eventually, he corners SpongeBob in his own home, where he proceeds to beat him up.

However, SpongeBob's spongy body absorbs the blows, and he is unharmed. Flats continues to hit SpongeBob nonstop throughout all of next week, until he finally faints from exhaustion; his classmates cheer for SpongeBob. However, pitying Flats, SpongeBob starts a speech about how violence leads to nowhere, which ends with him making a fist. Mrs. Puff enters and sees SpongeBob making a fist, and believes SpongeBob beat up Flats. The episode ends with Mrs. Puff saying "I'm going to kick your butt!" to SpongeBob.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Marching to Honolulu - Kapono Beamer [Title card.]
  Hello Sailor (b) - Richard Myhill [Opening at Boating School.]
  Dangerous (b) - Mladen Franko [Flats the Flounder introduced.]
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [Flats says he's gonna kick SpongeBob's butt.]
  Horror Chords (b) - Paddy Kingsland [Flats rips off chest hair.]
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [Flats draws himself beating up SpongeBob.]
  Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob hides in the bathroom.]
  Unease - Dick Stephen Walter ["I just don't understand."]
  Dramatic Climax - Mike Sunderland ["What am I gonna do?"]
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, that's real nice."]
  Zelle 504 - Gerhard Trede [Flats enters.]
  Zelle 506 - Gerhard Trede [SpongeBob talks to Flats.]
  Funeral March - Frederic Chopin, R.A.F Music Library [Phone call.]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Patrick, is that you?"]
  Epic Struggle - Fredric Bayco [Flats at Patrick's house.]
  Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Come in, SpongeBob."]
  Romance and Rhapsody - Felton Rapley [SpongeBob talks to Mrs. Puff.]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["You what?!"]
  Dramatic Cue (e) - Ronald Hanmer ["I got diarrhea!"]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr [Flats' dad.]
  Unpreventable - Gregor F. Narholz ["Dad, what are you doing?"]
  Flight in Panic 1 - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob running away.]
  Dramatic Cue (f) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob hides in a garbage can.]
  Dramatic Encounter - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob gasps.]
  Flight in Panic 1 - Gregor F. Narholz [Flats chasing SpongeBob.]
  Dramatic Stabs - John Fox [Banana peel.]
  Hawaiian Flower - Jon Jelmer [Flats in the hospital.]
  Flight in Panic 1 - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob runs home.]
  Dramatic Encounter - Gregor F. Narholz [Flats getting ready to beat up SpongeBob.]
  Chief Taravana - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob absorbing Flats' blows.]
  Whisper from the Past [#64] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Flats was the real victim here."]
  Tales from the Swamp (c) - Ron Goodwin [Mrs. Puff gasps.]
  Steel Licks - Jeremy Wakefield [Ending.]



  • As of June 11, 2016, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 9.1/10 based on 217 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a 9/10 based on 163 votes.[2]


  • This is Flats' third appearance (also the last episode to have Flats) on the show. His previous two were in "Sandy's Rocket" and "Texas." This is also his first speaking role.
  • This episode, along with "Just One Bite," are the only episodes from Season 3 to be aired in 2001.
  • When the uncut version of "Just One Bite" was aired, "The Bully" would be aired first, and "Just One Bite" second. However, when the scene was deleted, the order of the two episodes is reversed. In some TV guides, the episode is still listed with "The Bully" before "Just One Bite."
  • While SpongeBob and Flats are talking, Mrs. Puff is saying "blah blah blah red light blah blah blah green light blah blah speed" in the background.
  • When Patrick is talking to SpongeBob on the phone, Patrick says Flats was his "Community College Buddy," implying that Patrick went to college.
  • The drawing Flats makes of himself beating up SpongeBob can be seen on Squidward's chalkboard in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game for PC.
  • When SpongeBob runs to the bathrooms, there is a flyer that reads, "Join the Glee Club."
  • When Flats first walks into the classroom, it shows that the school leads outside. Later, SpongeBob is standing in a hallway, where the door would lead to. The hallway also appears in "New Student Starfish."
  • Flats apparently recovers from his injuries to chase SpongeBob out of the hospital within less than a minute.
  • It's unknown if Flats ever got his driving license or just moved to a new school.
  • Charlie is purple instead of blue and wear a green pants instead of red in this episode.
  • Running Gag: Twice during the episode, SpongeBob runs in fear from Flats, and inadvertently points to an old fish (Lonnie) when he says Flats is gonna kick his butt. The citizens of Bikini Bottom, led by Harold, are angry at this, and try to beat up the old man.
  • Flats seems to move another town after this incident due to being absent for a long time. However, he makes a cameo appearance in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water credits.
  • Mario from Pizza Castle (also mentioned by Patrick) was mentioned again in "Suction Cup Symphony" by SpongeBob when he said "sounds like Squidward ate at Mario's last night."
  • When the class is clapping, there's an old lady in the class.
  • Running Gag: The Bikini Bottomites attacking the old man.
  • The reason Flats wanted to kick SpongeBob's butt is never explained. He probably only wanted to kick his butt for pleasure.
  • This is the 25th episode appearance of Jimmy Gus.

Cultural references


  • When the students are clapping for Flats when he first enters the class, SpongeBob cannot be seen anywhere.
  • When SpongeBob crashes into Flats' dad's boat, there is only 1 seat. Later it shows Flats in the car, too.
    • In addition, the steering wheel on the boat is on the right side, making it a foreign car.
  • Flats said he was going to kick SpongeBob's butt, but he only hit him. 
  • When the Garbage truck is idling behind SpongeBob, it says "Bikini Bottom Garbage." Later, it is blank.
  • When Flats is making a Sand Sculpture of SpongeBob and kicking it, the viewer can see that Mrs. Puff's mouth is not moving while she is heard talking.
  • Flats is seen driving a dump truck in the episode, which makes the fact that he is in boating school seem illogical. However, he could be in here for a very similar reason as Squidward was when he got a broken stop sign ticket in "Boating Buddies."
    • It is possible that he stole the truck.
  • SpongeBob's eyelashes are missing for a short amount of time while Mrs. Puff says "And maybe play some sports with you on weekends."
  • SpongeBob states that he only said three words to Flats before he ran out of class. However, he actually said 15 words since he said more than just "Hi, I'm SpongeBob."


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