"The Play's the Thing" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season seven. In this episode, Squidward executes his play in the Krusty Krab.
Norton the mailfish goes to the Krusty Krab with a letter for Squidward, who is not at his post. SpongeBob sees this and inflates some balloons, shapes them into Squidward's form, and stands at the cash register, impersonating his co-worker. Squidward's nose blows up and the mailfish nervously gives him the letter. He then runs out of the restaurant, screaming.
The balloons pop, waking up Squidward, who was asleep under the register. When he sees the letter, he becomes jubilant and SpongeBob joins the cheer. Mr. Krabs comes out and asks what Squidward's so happy about. Squidward tells him his script was accepted and that he quits. He walks to the front door, reading his letter. However, when he learns his script was not accepted, he turns around and returns to his post. SpongeBob gives him the idea to perform the play at the Krusty Krab. Mr. Krabs refuses to allow it at first, but when SpongeBob says he can charge customers double for the show, Mr. Krabs goes for it, but with one warning: if so much as one Krabby Patty is late, he'll shut Squidward down. SpongeBob suggests the event be called "Singy Eaty Time," even though Squidward says that there is no singing involved. Despite this, Mr. Krabs loves it.
The Krusty Krab holds auditions for parts and a long line of anchovies await their role. When they learn they won't be paid, they make a hasty retreat. All that's left is SpongeBob, whom Squidward dejectedly says has all the other parts.
That night, some people go to the Krusty Krab for Squidward's play. When the curtains rise, the cashier's post is replaced with a cardboard version and Squidward recites his lines. A fish comes along and asks for a Krabby Patty. Squidward shoos him away, but Mr. Krabs pops out from the window and reminds Squidward of his warning. Squidward delivers the order to the table, reciting lines which criticize the customers and the food. Squidward returns to the stage when a customer wants a refill. Squidward shouts at him, but Mr. Krabs orders him to fulfill the customer's request. Squidward walks over with a bucket of soda and splashes it on the customer. When Squidward returns to the stage, a customer wants ketchup on his patty, and Squidward squirts him with the condiment. Mr. Krabs again reminds Squidward of his warning, to which Squidward calls Mr. Krabs his "skinflint boss." Mr. Krabs is about to get angry, but Squidward tells him it's part of the play.
Squidward refers to the worst part of his job, SpongeBob. The stage rotates, so the audience can see the side of the kitchen with SpongeBob, who thinks he's forgotten the lines. Squidward tells him to act like himself, so he acts like a garbage truck, flinging a bag of garbage at Squidward. Two fish try to get their orders, but Squidward ignores them, reciting his lines. The customers finally lose their patience and angrily demand Krabby Patties. Mr. Krabs tells Squidward that they haven't gotten their orders, and Squidward asks SpongeBob (still acting like a garbage truck) where the patty is. SpongeBob goes back to normal but sees the patties are now burnt. He apologizes for ruining the food, but Squidward serves the burnt patties to the customers, despite SpongeBob's warnings that they're not fit for consumption.
The customers are not happy with the quality of their meals, and Squidward tells them they wouldn't know quality "if it hit them in the head," to which a customer hurls his patty at him. The rest of the customers are eager to join in, but SpongeBob encourages them to respect the Krabby Patty. He has won them over, but when Patrick says he likes to throw food, a food fight breaks out. Mr. Krabs sells customers things to throw at his employees.
When the food fight is over, Squidward and SpongeBob are badly injured and Mr. Krabs tells them he has two more shows due to the success. Because of this, Squidward and SpongeBob laugh maniacally and Squidward gets hit by another Krabby Patty while SpongeBob is still laughing.
‣ Peg Leg Waltz
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
- Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton [title card]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hello?"]
‣ Drama Link (d) - Hubert Clifford ["Squidward's not at his post!"]
‣ Sailor's Sting 10 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Squidward-shaped balloon]
‣ Sailor's Sting 6 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Played when the Squidward balloon is seen]
‣ Steel Sting (a) - Jeremy Wakefield [nose deflates]
‣ Dramatic Impact 3 - Ivor Slaney [mailman runs out screaming]
‣ Sailor's Sting 6 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Squidward wakes up]
‣ Proud Fanfare - David Farnon ["Hooray! Yahoo! Whoopee!"]
‣ Sailor's Sting 4 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["I'm on my happy break, Mr. Krabs."]
‣ Dancing in Dreamland (a) - Ron Goodwin [Squidward quits]
‣ Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward comes back]
‣ The Pollywog Strut - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["And your shirt... is that a cotton-poly blend?"]
‣ Film Fanfare (a) - Dick Stephen Walter ["They'll recognize my genius!"]
‣ Sailor's Sting 8 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs agrees to let Squidward put on his play]
‣ Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs, SpongeBob laugh]
‣ Fanfare (a) - "...Dramatic!"
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Got it!"]
‣ Nude Sting - Nicolas Carr ["I love it!"]
‣ Chorus Line [#13] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [auditions]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Did I get the part?"]
‣ Sailor's Sting 21 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Singy-Eaty Time with Squidward Tentacles/The light returns to the Krusty Krab.]
‣ Sailor's Sting 29 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Start of play/"He had promise until he came to work here..."/"But, who will refill the empty chasm in my soul?"/"No ketchup! That's terrible!"/"And then, there's my skinflint boss."]
‣ Sailor's Sting 10 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Um, but Mr. Krabs, I'm acting."]
‣ Sailor's Sting 15 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["And now it comes the worst part of my job..."]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Oh, I can do that!"]
‣ Sailor's Sting 7 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob acting]
‣ Sailor's Sting 16 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Squidward's play continues/"His genius was unrecognized."]
‣ Sailor's Sting 26 - "Taken for granted, uncredited, overlooked, ignored."
‣ Steel Link (c) - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs laughs]
‣ Sailor's Sting 16 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["And furthermore..."]
‣ Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [customers demand Krabby Patties]
‣ Drama Link (g) - Hubert Clifford [burnt patties]
‣ Fates [#62] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Squidward, forgive me."]
‣ Skipping to School - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Here, enjoy!"]
‣ Unknown Track 45 - Nicolas Carr [choir]
‣ Sailor's Sting 4 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [The customers pay to throw food at Squidward]
‣ First Lady - Mladen Franko ["Krabby Patties are meant to be eaten, not flung."]
‣ Slide Whistle Song - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [food fight]
‣ Sailor's Sting 21 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [ending]
- As of August 19, 2016, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 6.7/10 based on 78 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 8.2/10 based on 112 votes.
- This is the first time Squidward is called an octopus. The second time will be in the episode "Sweet and Sour Squid."
- Things thrown at Squidward and SpongeBob other than burnt Krabby Patties that are as hard as rocks:
- cups of soda
- a slice of pepperoni pizza
- a roast chicken
- a hot dog
- a baseball
- a sandal
- a banana peel
- a plate
- a shoe
- a bottle
- a drumstick with a bite taken out of it
- a spoon
- a walking cane
- an anchor
- The plot of this episode is very similar to that of "Culture Shock." Both episodes involve:
- Squidward hosting an event at the Krusty Krab
- Squidward's act being hated
- The patrons throwing food at him
- And Mr. Krabs expecting another show due to the success
- When Squidward goes to a table to give Frank Fishbowl a Krabby Patty, a piece of cheese appears below the top bun while Squidward is walking.
- When Frankie Billy gets his burnt Krabby Patty, it is shown to be as hard as a rock.
- Patrick Star is actually responsible for Mr. Krabs getting money since he started back up the food fight SpongeBob had stopped.
- This is the first episode whose title contains all of the name of another episode; it contains the words "the Thing," which coincidentally contain all the letters of another episode named "The Thing."
- A great amount of this episode's soundtrack is composed of Sailor's Stings.
- In Indonesians airing, and maybe even another countries' airing, the scene where Squidward and SpongeBob is being thrown by some stuff is cut due to violence.
- Also in Indonesia, the phrase when Squidward says "... underpaid" is changed to "the wage is under standard" and pronounced very tragically.
- The play's title, Squidward: Strokes of Genius, parodies the title of the 2004 film, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, which was based on the life and golfing career of Bobby Jones.
- The name of the episode shares the same name as episode 19 of Strawberry Shortcake (2003 series) and a third season episode of Bobby’s World.
- SpongeBob puts only five Krabby Patties on the grill, but when they are burned, there are ten.
- When Mr. Krabs scolds Squidward for not serving the customers, he's behind the wall, in the kitchen. When the stage turns around, Mr. Krabs is gone. When Squidward says he's "underpaid," Mr. Krabs is in the audience. When the people chant "We want Krabby Patties!," Mr. Krabs is on the stage.
- SpongeBob's shade of yellow went from normal to deeper green when he celebrated getting the parts.