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"The Paper" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season one. In this episode, SpongeBob plays with a bubble gum wrapper, and Squidward wants it.



Squidward comes outside to start his relaxing day. He begins it by chewing bubble gum while laying in his lawn chair and tosses the wrapper into SpongeBob's front yard. SpongeBob comes outside of his house as well, only to realize that Squidward has dropped his wrapper on SpongeBob's yard. As Squidward is about to leave at the sight of SpongeBob, SpongeBob catches him on time to ask if he wants it back. Squidward thinks it's only garbage, but SpongeBob states that in the right hands, it can be a goldmine of entertainment. Squidward doesn't believe in SpongeBob and walks inside his house. SpongeBob asks him again if he wants it back, but he still refuses to keep it and tells SpongeBob he can have it. With a sigh of relief, Squidward answers his ringing phone. When he answers it, it is actually SpongeBob asking "are you sure?" Squidward angrily says that he is and that SpongeBob can keep it forever. Squidward hangs up the phone by slamming it and starts panting from exhaustion. SpongeBob pops up from under the table the phone was on and asks Squidward if he is really sure. Squidward tells him to get out of his house and finally pushes him out. SpongeBob says it's his last time to change his mind, and Squidward tells SpongeBob one last time that he can keep it no matter how much he begged, pleaded, or cried to have it back. After Squidward is out of SpongeBob's sight, SpongeBob says to the paper that he is lucky to have a friend like Squidward.

Squidward is back inside his house to continue his planned, relaxing day. He hears SpongeBob's obnoxious laughter, and begins to play his clarinet. He still hears SpongeBob's laughing and opens his window to ask SpongeBob what he is giggling about. SpongeBob apologizes and says that he is thinking about all the fun he is going to have with the paper. Squidward goes back to his clarinet wondering how anyone can have fun with a piece of paper. He starts to play his clarinet again, but is interrupted by SpongeBob's laughing.

Squidward gets very angry and opens his window again to see SpongeBob frolicking with it and showing Gary what fun things he can do with it. He pretends he is SuperSponge and uses the paper as his cape. Then he pretends to be SpongeBob JunglePants and swings on vines while screaming with the paper covering his crotch area, similar to Tarzan. He lands on his house, starts grunting, and says he will call his animal friends by making different animal noises. Gary meows and SpongeBob says that Gary is right and that he is not a jungle boy. After, SpongeBob jumps off of the roof of his house saying that he is a box of army supplies and uses the paper as a parachute. Next, he pretends to be a bull fighter with the paper being the blanket and having Gary as the bull.


SpongeBob then does impressions. He does a guy with a mustache, a pirate with an eye patch, and a regular guy with an eye patch. He then starts to suck the paper in through his holes and blow it back out repeatedly. Squidward wonders how he does this and SpongeBob is shown making origami by swishing the paper around in his mouth. He makes a bird, a snowflake, and paper dolls. Squidward says that the paper does look like fun, but then covers his mouth, asking himself what he is saying. He storms back inside and says that the paper isn't fun, but reading boring science digest is, and starts to read. He is interrupted by SpongeBob laughing again. Squidward is then talking about how it is fun, but the paper then comes around the tub as an airplane with SpongeBob making the engine noises. Then, Squidward is painting fruit and thinks that nothing is more fun than painting fruit. Squidward paints vigorously until he realizes he just painted himself playing with the paper. Squidward says to himself that he'll prove to SpongeBob that the paper is not fun.

Squidward walks fast outside of his house to play with a paddle ball. SpongeBob also uses the paper as a paddle ball making Squidward feel dumb. He then gets SpongeBob's attention by playing with a Mini Squidward dummy. SpongeBob also does a dummy with the paper and everyone in Bikini Bottom laughs at the joke. Squidward rides in his shell car saying that it's fun and asks SpongeBob if the paper can do that. SpongeBob hovers above Squidward with the paper acting as a helicopter replying "no." Squidward then asks SpongeBob if the paper can play music and starts to play his clarinet. He plays Mary has a Little Lamb but with all of the wrong notes. SpongeBob says that he made it sound original, and corrects Squidward by playing a jazz version of it on the paper.

Squidward demands SpongeBob to give him back his paper, but SpongeBob reminds Squidward that he told him to never give it back to him, no matter how much he begged, pleaded, or cried. Squidward suggests that he could trade for something and offers a rubber band. SpongeBob almost trades, but says that Squidward is just testing him and that he will never give the paper to him. He then trades every possession he has, even his house, for the paper. He starts to try to do the other things that SpongeBob was doing with it, but has no fun whatsoever with it. The episode ends with Squidward lamenting that he gave away all his possessions for a useless piece of paper. Patrick, who is casually walking by, uses the paper as a disposable wrapper for his gum, leaving Squidward with nothing.




 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Grass Skirts Blowing - Jan Rap [title card]
  Dancing the Hula - Kapono Beamer [opening]
  Mary Had a Little Lamb - Brad Carow [Squidward playing clarinet]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill ["How can anyone have fun with just a piece of paper?"]
  Mary Had a Little Lamb - Brad Carow [Squidward playing clarinet]
  Marching to Honolulu - Kapono Beamer [Super Sponge]
  War Blowers - The Blue Hawaiians [SpongeBob JunglePants]
  Big Ed's March - Sam Spence [box of army supplies]
  Latinia - The Langhorns [bullfight]
  Twelfth Street Rag - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [impressions]
  ? - Nicolas Carr [oral-gami]
  Vibe Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["Hey, that little paper does seem like fun."]
  Honolulu March - Hans Haider [Squidward taking a bath]
  Fault Line - The Mel-Tones [Squidward's shell cart]
  Mary Had a Little Lamb - Brad Carow [playing clarinet]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer [Squidward tries to take back the paper]
  Dancing the Hula - Kapono Beamer [flipbook]
  Orchestral Effect (f) - Dick Stephen Walter ["Pocket lint!"]
  Vibe Link (a) - Richard Myhill ["Do I dare?"]
  Shark Alert [#46] - David Farnon ["You are not going anywhere until we strike a deal!"]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [Squidward giving SpongeBob all his stuff]
  Whisper from the Past [#64.02] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Squidward's shirt!"]
  Grass Skirts Blowing - Jan Rap [Squidward takes the paper]
  ? - Nicolas Carr [drum roll]
  Big Ed's March - Sam Spence ["Gentlemen, start your engines!"]
  ? - Brad Carow [Gary playing clarinet]
  Sailor's Waltz - Heinz Matschurat ["Wait! More impressions!"]
  Aloha - Dick Stephen Walter ["A worthless piece of paper"]



  • As of May 3, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.7/10 based on 306 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a 9/10 based on 198 votes.[2]
  • In fan-voted SpongeBob SquarePants marathons, "The Paper" was ranked #46 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006 and #7 during The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash event on July 17–19, 2009.


  • Other than a few appearances of Gary, the Bikini Bottomites and Patrick's cameo in the end, this episode is all about SpongeBob and Squidward. Moreover, this is the first episode that features anyone with more screen time than SpongeBob, that is, Squidward.
  • A Squidward dummy would later reappear in the season 4 episode "Squid Wood."
  • The plot is similar to a Rugrats episode, "No More Cookies," where Angelica tells Tommy to promise not to give her any more cookies, due to her stomach ache, no matter if she begged, pleaded, or cried, but she still wants cookies no matter what. SpongeBob and Squidward do the same with the paper.
  • The science-related things Squidward mentions (erosion and mitosis) are on the cover of Boring Science: erosion on the back, mitosis on the front under the title. Erosion is when water or wind wears away rock and land; mitosis is when one cell splits into two.
  • Clips of this episode were seen on Late Night with Conan O'Brian on Nov. 25th, 2006.
  • When SpongeBob plays the song Squidward played "the wrong notes" on, he claims to play in the key of "A Minor" when in fact, he actually plays in the key of C Major.
  • Squidward later stomps on various items, a Krabby Patty and his KK uniform hat, in the episodes "Just One Bite" and "Squid on Strike."
  • List of impressions
    • A guy with a mustache
    • A pirate with an eye patch
    • A regular guy with an eye patch
    • A guy with a piece of paper on his nose
    • A guy throwing a piece of paper on the ground
    • A guy stomping the piece of paper (follow up to the above)
  • The list of origami that was made:
    • a swan
    • a snowflake
    • a paper doll
    • plus a failed one that turned out to appear as a crumbled ball of paper
  • Here was the other uses:
    • a flip book of Squidward
    • a musical instrument to correct Squidward's music
    • a loincloth
    • a paper airplane armed with imaginary machine guns
    • a puppet
    • a helicopter
    • a parachute
    • a bullfighting cloth
    • a cape
    • a suck in and out trick
    • paper paddle-ball
    • SpongeBob rolled it on his head
  • Sometime in late 2013 or early 2014, this episode aired, but was paired with "I Was a Teenage Gary." This is logical since "I Was a Teenage Gary" and "The Paper" were paired with holiday-related episodes ("Scaredy Pants" and "Valentine's Day" respectively).
  • This episode and "Valentine's Day" only tend to air in reruns in the United States on or around Valentine's Day making this episode extremely rare and difficult to watch on TV, since they both aired on Valentine's Day, and are a Valentine's Day special. This also happens with the Halloween and Christmas episodes.
    • The same goes with the British Nicktoons.
    • However, other countries air both this episode and "Valentine's Day" regularly.
    • On July 7, 2017, this episode and "Valentine's Day" aired on the American Nicktoons.
  • On the old Nickelodeon website, this episode was falsely listed as "Lemons Out of Lemonade."
  • In the episode "Bubblestand," Squidward failed to blow a bubble, then he succeeded, but in this episode he succeeds blowing a bubble, as he blows bubble gum, meaning that blowing gum is a type of blowing a bubble. This may mean that this episode takes place after "Bubblestand."
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Komadić Papira" translating to "The Piece of Paper."

Cultural references

  • When SpongeBob was playing the music on the piece of paper, it sounds like an advanced version of, Mary Had a Little Lamb.
  • When SpongeBob's house moves to the paper, it's like in "Yellow Submarine" when John opens the door and the train comes rushing out.
  • The magazine that Squidward was reading whilst trying to clear his mind from SpongeBob's paper is a parody of Popular Science.


  • SpongeBob makes music with the paper, but in "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost," he couldn't.
    • This may be because he was afraid of Squidward in that episode.
  • When the crowd laughs with SpongeBob, some people appear twice, 3 times, 4 times and Fred actually appeared 5 times.
    • This is common in a crowd of people in the show.
  • When the crowd is laughing at SpongeBob's joke, some people like Fred aren't laughing, but just waving their arms back and forth.
  • Whenever Squidward's house gets lifted from its foundation, there are no water pipes bending or bursting.
    • They could be just underground.
Real notes for original mary had little lamb

User-drawn correction of the first erroneous Mary Had a Little Lamb music notation

  • Neither sheet music that appears in the episode matches their respective songs that SpongeBob plays when making music with the paper.
  • When Squidward is trying to take the paper from SpongeBob but SpongeBob will not let go, Squidward's skin color is pale.
  • When Squidward first shuts the door, it has a handle. Later, it is a doorknob.
  • When Squidward rips off his painting, it shows Squidward's mouth is open. But his portrait originally showed his mouth was closed and he holds the paper.
    • This could be just for comedic effect.
  • Patrick's house is not seen throughout the episode, until the end.
  • At the start of the episode when Squidward is about to go into his house but is stopped by SpongeBob, the chair he was relaxing on disappears.
    • He could have had time to put it back.


Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia (originalauthors). Both Encyclopedia SpongeBobia and Wikipedia are licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported license.

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