SpongeBob and Gary are shopping at the Barg'N-Mart and SpongeBob sees a Kelpo cereal box that says there is a "free toy inside." SpongeBob then rushes home, eats the cereal, and sees that there is no toy inside. SpongeBob looks at the cereal box more closely and sees it says "offer inside!" Must send in 99 box tops. SpongeBob goes and buys even more cereal boxes. When SpongeBob puts cereal in Gary's food bowl, Gary reminds him to send in the box tops before eating all the cereal. SpongeBob then sends an envelope with the box tops. Now, SpongeBob must wait patiently for the toy to arrive. Patrick also comes nearby and waits with him.
The Mailfish comes by and gives SpongeBob 3 envelopes but no toy. SpongeBob and Patrick must wait even longer now! SpongeBob and Patrick soon become hungry. Patrick suggests that he and SpongeBob go to the Krusty Krab for a Krabby Patty, but SpongeBob is afraid of the mailman coming with the toy when he's gone. So Patrick instead goes to Krusty Krab by himself. He gets frustrated when Sandy and Gary distract him with karate and feeding.
Soon, Patrick comes back and tells SpongeBob he missed his surprise birthday party at the Krusty Krab. He also brought SpongeBob a present and some cake. While trying to find the fork, Patrick accidentally eats the cake. Patrick then realizes that the present was the fork. SpongeBob then whines about him being a big jerk. Eventually, the toy arrives and SpongeBob and Patrick become happy and open it. Patrick pushes the button on toy and springs comes out. SpongeBob thinks Patrick "ruined" the toy and furious and sad. Squidward comes home to see them crying. Once he can't take it, he asks what wrong with them. SpongeBob explains to Squidward that he sent in box tops, waited mailman, and Patrick broke the toy. Squidward then shows him that its head, arms, and legs are supposed to spring off, and reattaches them. SpongeBob and Patrick then hug Squidward, asking if there is anything they could for him, and Squidward replies that they should move to another neighborhood.
Shower In A Can!
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This is the second time SpongeBob expected to find a toy in his cereal box and was disappointed, the first being "Shanghaied." However, this one explains the lack of a toy in the box: the label says "Free prize offer inside," meaning that you need to send in box tops to actually get the toy.
The box saying "Free prize offer inside" is a parody of cereal boxes that frequently make that claim. Since you must actually send in several box tops (and shipping fees) to get the toy it is not actually "free" and "inside," you have to buy the cereal to get it and not actually inside. It should not say it should be inside if it's not really inside the box.
This episode is similar to the Hey Arnold episode "Sally's Comet."
The mark with the "FREE PRIZE INSIDE" before SpongeBob took it was orange when he read it, it turned pinkish-red.
During the scene where Sandy asks SpongeBob to do some karate and he refuses, Sandy is wearing red karate gloves, instead of the usual green.