|SpongeBob SquarePants episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
Episode 15 (35b)
|Directed by||Aaron Springer|
|Written by||C.H. Greenblatt
|Featured music||"Sweet Victory"|
|Original air date||September 7, 2001|
|Running time||11 minutes|
David Glen Eisley as himself
|SpongeBob SquarePants (season 2)
List of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes
"Band Geeks" is the 15th episode of the second season and the 35th overall episode of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. It originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on September 7, 2001. The series follows the adventures of the title character in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. In the episode, Squidward recruits the citizens of Bikini Bottom to play in a marching band for the Bubble Bowl.
The episode was written by C.H. Greenblatt, Aaron Springer and Merriwether Williams, with Springer serving as director. The song "Sweet Victory" by David Glen Eisley was featured in the episode and was later released on the album called SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Album. The episode received critical acclaim upon release.
Squidward gets a call from his high school classmate, Squilliam Fancyson, who is very successful and has also succeeded in everything that Squidward failed in, like music. He asks Squidward for his band to substitute for his own at the Bubble Bowl, believing that he does not have one; however, Squidward denies that he does not have a band and accepts the offer. He assembles a large marching band composed of various Bikini Bottom residents.
During their one week of training, the band performs consistently bad and fails to improve at all. This includes Patrick and Sandy getting in a fight when he kicks Sandy, as a result, Sandy sticks him up a trombone. On the second day, while practicing a march, two flag twirlers are killed when they spin the flags too fast, causing them to fly into the air and crash into a blimp. On day three, Plankton plays his harmonica, but becomes exhausted and collapsed from running from one place to another since he is very tiny. On the last day of practice, Squidward says if everyone plays loud they will be good but instead they play poorly, Squidward changes the idea of loud to quiet. A heckler gets upset when he is accused of bad playing then Mr. Krabs gets in the idea and everyone gets into a huge brawl smashing the instruments and hurting people offensively, causing the band to break up. At this time, a grieving Squidward expresses his disappointment in all of them and goes home to distress over his failure.
However, SpongeBob convinces them to go through with the performance for Squidward's sake so he takes command of their training. On the day of the concert, Squilliam shows up to see Squidward fail, and Squidward claims that his band died in a marching accident. However, Squidward's band shows up and he is forced to go through with the performance. They enter a large glass dome complete with human fans. Squidward turns his head away from the band before they begin, assuming that the performance will be a disaster, but the band is tremendously successful, playing a rock ballad titled "Sweet Victory". Squilliam goes into a state of shock and faints from a heart attack, leaving Squidward to celebrate as he leaps into the air.
"Band Geeks" was directed by Aaron Springer, and was written by Springer, C.H. Greenblatt and Merriwether Williams. The episode originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on September 7, 2001, with a TV-Y7 parental rating. The writers started to work for "Band Geeks" with the idea of a rival. Williams said "We always wanted to do a rival show, and I think we tried to do a rival show for SpongeBob, and it wasn't working. So we came up with the idea of a rival for Squidward, and in some ways it's Squidward's story, and SpongeBob and Patrick are just kind of around." The idea of having a band was unspecified. Williams remarked, "I forget who was in band. I was not in band, but I think maybe Doug [Lawrence] was in band. I think Steve [Hillenburg] was in band, too."
When storyboard artist Greenblatt with the writers were storyboarding "Band Geeks", they thought of "a big number" at the end and where everyone will rally together for Squidward. Greenblatt said "The story outline called for making it a really great marching band sequence, and it usually helps to have the music ahead of time to board to, so we started searching around." The writers were able to find music, as Nickelodeon has a library of royalty-free music. The writers listened to various marching band tunes. Greenblatt said "And the more we heard, it didn't seem terribly funny that the finale was just them playing marching band music well." They thought of using David Glen Eisley's song called "Sweet Victory" for the final act. He said "It was different than what we were looking for, but it was so amazing that we knew we had to use it. So we boarded the sequence to the music, and it felt like such a better ending than any song we could have written on our own." The writers even got to give it a freeze-frame shot for the ending. Greenblatt's favorite part was director Springer's drawings of Patrick on the electric drums and SpongeBob saying, "It's the thrill of one more kill" (an excerpt from "Sweet Victory"). The live action Bubble Bowl crowd is footage from a United States Football League Memphis Showboats vs. Tampa Bay Bandits game.
The music used in the segment in the episode where Squidward's marching band is playing while coming down the street was from Nick Carr, the series music editor. He found a piece of marching band music that was a band intentionally playing poorly but sound designer Jeff Hutchins said "You could still discern the tune." Hutchins thought "Well, let's take this one step further. What if they couldn't even play their instruments, let alone a tune?" He brought his portable DAT recorder to a musical instrument retail store and met two men who worked on its loading dock. They packaged and shipped the instruments. Hutchins made the two men play most of the instruments terribly. He said "I got these two guys to squeak, blast and squawk on most of the instruments they sold." Upon getting back into the studio with the sound effects, he built a marching band, one instrument at a time. Hutchins said "They weren't in any key and had no rhythm whatsoever. When you heard it, you just had to say 'Ouch!'" Hutchins played the sound effects for series creator Hillenburg for review but was rejected, saying "it was too far over the edge." Hutchins said "a lot of effort for something that lasts only 15 seconds on screen. In this case, the whole thing never made it on the air."
The featured song "Sweet Victory" was later released in the series soundtrack album called SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Album on November 15, 2005. The album featured 25 tracks, including the "SpongeBob SquarePants Theme Song".
"Band Geeks" was released on the DVD compilation called SpongeBob SquarePants: Halloween on August 27, 2002 and on SpongeBob SquarePants: Home Sweet Pineapple that was released on January 4, 2005. The episode was also included in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 2nd Season DVD released on October 19, 2004. On September 22, 2009, "Band Geeks" was released in the SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes DVD, alongside all the episodes of seasons one through five.
"Band Geeks" received very positive reviews and is regarded as one of the best episodes of the series. Upon release, the episode was awarded and honored at the 2002 Golden Reel Awards for Best Sound Editing in Television – Animation category.
Michael Cavna of The Washington Post ranked the episode at No. 5 on his "The Top Five SpongeBob Episodes: We Pick 'Em" list. He said "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." Nancy Basile of About.com ranked "Band Geeks" at No. 1 on her "Best SpongeBob SquarePants Episodes" list, saying "[The episode] has so many of the best elements of SpongeBob, crafted into a story whose rhythm flows smoothly and quickly to reach a poignant end." She praised the entire premise calling it "funny just to think about." Basile also lauded the ending "complete with a keytar and freeze-frame jump in the air."
Andres Rodriguez of BuzzFeed called the episode "The Best SpongeBob SquarePants Episode". He cited 15 reasons why the episode was the best. Emily Estep of WeGotThisCovered.com ranked the episode No. 4 in her "Top 10 Episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants" and said "Most of the gags in 'Band Geeks' center around Squidward's bleak existence, but it's also stuffed with one-liners from and about each of the characters on the show, such as the line 'These claws ain't just for attractin' mates!' from an about-to-brawl Mr. Krabs and when Squidward says, 'No Patrick, mayonnaise is not an instrument,' in response to an inevitable query from the stupid star."
"Band Geeks" was one of the top episodes as chosen by viewers at Nick.com in the event called "The Best Day Ever Marathon" held in 2006. In 2012, Nickelodeon in the United Kingdom launched an event called "SpongeBob's Top 100" where viewers can vote at Nick.co.uk for their favorite episode. With over 160,000 votes casted, "Band Geeks" emerged as the winner.
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- Basile, Nancy. "Best 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Episodes". About.com. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- Rodriguez, Andres (August 27, 2013). "Why "Band Geeks" Is The Best SpongeBob SquarePants Episode?". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- Estep, Emily (December 5, 2011). "Top 10 Episodes Of Spongebob Squarepants". Retrieved August 31, 2013.
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