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Posted at 2:05 PM ET, 07/14/2009

The Top Five 'SpongeBob' Episodes: We Pick 'Em

By Michael Cavna

As "SpongeBob SquarePants" celebrates its 10th anniversary this month -- marked partly by tonight's VH1 documentary "Square Roots" -- Comic Riffs discussed some of its favorite episodes with creator Stephen Hillenburg and Tom Kenny, the voice behind the sponge.

Hillenburg says many of the episodes are inspired by the writers' own childhoods (example: "Patrick's Secret Box"). And Kenny tells 'Riffs that he wrote our favorite musical moment, the song "Best Day Ever."

So to mark this sponge's 10th birthday, 'Riffs picks our Five Fave episodes from the embarassment of Krabs-coveted riches. You're invited to share your picks.

5. Squidward's mix of artistic aspiration in the face of goading, humiliation and unrelenting sub-mediocrity made this a kids' episode that adults can experience on a whole 'nother level. Plus, there's the great Bubble Bowl rock concert, to boot, in "BAND GEEKS."
(Classic line: "I'm living your dream, Squidward.")

4. Whether buying fake muscle arms or performing squirrel-savaging standup, there's something endearing about SpongeBob when he cares about public opinion. This is demonstrated nowhere better than with his kidlike fixation on a stunt in this clip from "RIPPED PANTS."

3. Hillenburg says the character construction was loose. But the character development was already pretty strong in the 1999 pilot. Here's a clip from the pilot -- "HELP WANTED." (Bonus: Hillenburg's immediate nod to his early influence, Jacques Cousteau.)

2. Ah, the powers of primal appetite. Squidward's disgust of -- and then closet addiction to -- Krabby Patties plays to delicious comic effect. In keeping with the theme, this is the episode that got me hooked. Here's a clip from "JUST ONE BITE."
(Classic moment: SpongeBob's full-throated chuckle after Squidward says: "I hate Krabby Patties.")

1. Ah, the sweet, sweet irony. It takes a TV show to remind: If you've got a vivid childlike imagination, then a new television set can be less entertaining than the box it came in. Here's a clip from arguably the show's greatest meta-commentary: "IDIOT BOX."

By Michael Cavna  | July 14, 2009; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  The Animation  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Interview: 'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg
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Sponge Bob is the most inane, abrasive, and infantile character on television, even worse than Dennis the Menace in his worst moments. The fact that the show is so popular only proves that many TV viewers happen to LIKE crude, abusive behavior.

Posted by: kilby | July 15, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse

I love the bubble bowl episode, it was fun to see Squidward finally get a win. I'd love to have the "cell" (or electronic equivalent) of the final shot of Squiddy's leap in the air.

The episode where Spongebob has to acquire the hydrodynamic spatula (with port and starboard attachments) is hysterial: from the nematodes to the Tiny Tim singing that formed the background music.

Another favorite is when Barnacle Boy revolts from being treated as a child and joins forces with Man Ray and the Dirty Bubble. Classic line from Squidward when the question is asked: "I don't know why anyone would want to wear their underwear on the outside", to which he replies "Oh, I can think of some".

Finally, the episode where there is debate over who is better: sea creatures or air breathers. The scene where the cartoon characters leave the water and are replaced by "live" action sponges, plastic crabs, squirrel puppet, and plastic squid is very very funny.

Posted by: Neale | July 15, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Neale is right about "Pressure." My favorite, though, is Ghost Host. The "The Power Within" video cracks me up each time.

Posted by: ICBomber | July 15, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

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