SpongeBob SquarePants

The Paper

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Episode Information
The Paper
Season №: 1
Episode №: 16b
Airdate: February 14, 2000
Sister episode(s): "Valentine's Day"
Writer(s): Chuck Klein
Jay Lender
Doug Lawrence
Storyboard Artist(s): Jay Lender
Storyboard: Chuck Klein
Animation: Fred Miller
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Valentine's Day"
Next: "Arrgh!"
List of episodes

"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 eating 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 its 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 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 is he really is 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 tell 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 again by SpongeBob's laughing.

Squidward gets really 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. SpongeBob jumps off the roof of his house saying that he is a box of army supplies and uses the paper as a parachute. Now he pretends to be a bull fighter with the paper being the blanket and Gary as the bull.


SpongeBob 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 did that and SpongeBob is 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 was 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. We then see Squidward taking about stating it is fun, but then the paper 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 like 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 its really fun and asks SpongeBob if the paper can do that. SpongeBob hovers above Squidward with the paper acting like a helicopter replying "no." Squidward then asks SpongeBob if the paper can play music and starts to play his clarinet. He plays Mary Had a Little Lamb but with all the wrong notes. SpongeBob says that he made it sound original, and corrects Squiward 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 what so ever with it.




 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Hilo March - The Hawaiian Serenaders [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]
  Leaf Blower - The Blue Hawaiians [SpongeBob JunglePants]
  Big Ed's March - Sam Spence [box of army supplies]
  Latinia - The Langhorns [bullfight]
  Twelfth Street Rag (Prerecorded Version) - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [impressions]
  ? - 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 (a) - 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 - Gregor F. Narholz ["Squidward's shirt!"]
  Hilo March - The Hawaiian Serenaders [Squidward takes the paper]
  ? - 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 August 11, 2015, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.5/10 based on 195 ratings by users.tt0707314 users give this episode a 9/10 based on 197 votes.[1]
  • 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 short 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.
  • This episode is rare to see on television as it's sister episode ("Valentine's Day") both aired on Valentine's Day as Holiday Specials.
  • 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" in their respective episodes.
  • List of impressions
    • A guy with a moustache
    • 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 oragami 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."

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.


  • SpongeBob makes music with the paper, but in "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost," he couldn't.
  • When the crowd laughs with SpongeBob, some people appear twice, 3 times, 4 times and Fred actually appeared 5 times.
  • 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 it's foundation, there are no water pipes bending or bursting.
  • 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.
  • 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 in disappears.


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