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WhoBob WhatPants?

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"What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?"
SpongeBob SquarePants episode
Promotional artwork for the episode depicting a scene from it where SpongeBob is in the New Kelp City with the gang assaulting him.
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 18 (98)
Directed by Alan Smart (animation and supervising)
Tom Yasumi (animation)
Casey Alexander (storyboard)
Zeus Cervas (storyboard)
Written by Casey Alexander
Zeus Cervas
Steven Banks
Produced by Paul Tibbitt
Original air date October 13, 2008 (2008-10-13)
Guest appearance(s)
  • Ray Liotta as Trevor
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Battle of Bikini Bottom"
Next →
"The Two Faces of Squidward"
SpongeBob SquarePants (season 5)
List of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes

"What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?", promotionally known as "WhoBob WhatPants?", is the 18th episode of the fifth season and the 98th overall episode of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. It originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on October 13, 2008.

The series follows the adventures and endeavors of the title character and his various friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. In this episode, SpongeBob feels neglected and ends up a nuisance when he tries to hang out with the other characters. They all call him "Idiot Boy", so SpongeBob decides to pack up and leave Bikini Bottom. Along the way, he accidentally bumps his head, making him lose his memory. SpongeBob wanders away into a new place called New Kelp City and attempts to get a new job, unaware he is becoming a target for a criminal gang known as The Bubble Poppin' Boys, while Patrick, Sandy and a reluctant Squidward try to find him.

The episode was written by Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, and Steven Banks, and the animation was directed by supervising director, Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi. The episode features guest appearance by Ray Liotta as the voice of Trevor, the episode's villain. The episode's premiere pulled an average of 7.7 million viewers,[1] but was met with mixed to negative reviews.

Plot summary[edit]

SpongeBob wakes up on a normal day as usual and attempts to hang out with Patrick, Squidward and Sandy, however he ends up angering them each, causing them to call him "Idiot Boy". SpongeBob heads to the Krusty Krab but ends up creating a mishap that results in getting two dollars fried and reduced to bits, with a furious Mr. Krabs kicking him out of the restaurant and like the others did, Mr. Krabs calls SpongeBob "Idiot Boy". SpongeBob decides to leave Bikini Bottom and tells Gary that he has a year's supply of snail food to eat since SpongeBob will not be there to feed him. After leaving Bikini Bottom, he is frightened by bizarre people and as he runs in fear, SpongeBob falls off a cliff and bumps his head, knocking himself unconscious. Back in Bikini Bottom, Patrick and Sandy enter SpongeBob's house and Sandy finds that Gary's food bowl has a note from SpongeBob, saying he has left so that he will not bother anyone ever again. After Sandy reads it, she and Patrick show remorse.

Meanwhile, SpongeBob wakes up with amnesia. He sees two fishes who have found his clothes and express interest in using them; SpongeBob mentions that he cannot remember anything except hitting his head, so the fish tell him that his name is "CheeseHead BrownPants". However, they run away when they find out SpongeBob has a bottle of bubble soap. He wonders what the problem was and spots New Kelp City. Sandy and Patrick arrive at the Krusty Krab where customers have gathered, angered about not getting their orders, Sandy then shows the note from SpongeBob to Mr. Krabs. After he reads it, they all become upset about making him leave (except for Squidward who is happy about SpongeBob being gone). Mr. Krabs has the customers leave the restaurant, so that he and the other can decide on how to find SpongeBob.

SpongeBob wanders around New Kelp City and upon getting accused of pickpocketing by a civilian and noticing his hunger, decides he needs to get a job. Each time he gets a job however, he uses bubble blowing, resulting in him getting fired. Back in Bikini Bottom, after Squidward (who hates SpongeBob enough to want him gone for good) destroys a device that Sandy made to find SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs orders him to look for SpongeBob. Squidward refuses at first but changes his mind when Mr. Krabs prompts him with his retirement gift: a Fabergé egg.

SpongeBob's activity with blowing bubbles, brings up a confrontation with "the Bubble Poppin' Boys", a greaser-like gang who have scared the city into never blowing bubbles because they keep being blinded by the bubbles whenever they pop. After they attack, SpongeBob uses his bubble blowing to trap the gang in a giant bubble that flies them out of town. He is rewarded by getting the position of mayor of New Kelp City while the previous mayor resigns.

Sandy, Patrick, and Squidward arrive at a gas station and from reading a newspaper article, discover SpongeBob's appointment as mayor of New Kelp City. But when they go to New Kelp City to retrieve him, SpongeBob cannot remember who they are. Squidward hi-jinks SpongeBob's limousine and gets away from the city with SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy in tow and they return to the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob still does not recall the eatery and wants to return to New Kelp City to resume his job as mayor. Delighted that SpongeBob is leaving again, Squidward requests for his jewel encrusted egg but slips and accidentally throws the egg onto SpongeBob's head, which causes his memory to come back. But even so, SpongeBob still wants to return to New Kelp City. He changes his mind after a breaking news report comes on, saying that the bubbles in New Kelp City are blinding the citizens, and a thug threatens to do something to SpongeBob if he ever comes back. SpongeBob starts cooking Krabby Patties again, much to his friends' delight. With a sigh of happiness, SpongeBob says that it looks like he will be back in Bikini Bottom. Upon hearing this, Squidward takes out his brain and drops it in a trash can.


Ray Liotta guest starred in the episode as Trevor.

"What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?", also known as "WhoBob WhatPants?", was a special episode written by Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, and Steven Banks. The animation and supervising director was Alan Smart. Alexander and Cervas also functioned as storyboard directors.[2][3] The episode was first announced by Nickelodeon on September 24, 2008 on a press release.[4] According to the network, SpongeBob "wanders the ocean, a stranger in his own pants," and finds himself in a rough part of New Kelp City, where he faces off against the Boys' gangleader, Liotta's character.[5][6]

The episode originally aired in the United States on October 13, 2008.[7][4] From October 3, 2008, TurboNick featured a special playlist of content dedicated to the episode, including a sneak-peek of the special, themed episodes, short-form content, song clips, and an instant replay of the special following the television premiere.[7][4], in 2008, presented a new game called "SpongeBob SquarePants: WhoBob WhatPants?" to celebrate the episode's television airing.[7][4][8] The episode also features SpongeBob's signature sea chanty altered to "WhoBob WhatPants?" during the chorus answers in the title sequence.[9]

In addition to the regular cast, Ray Liotta guest starred in the episode as the voice of Trevor, the leader of New Kelp City's Bubble Poppin' Boys gang, and the main villain in the episode.[7][10][11]

On October 14, 2008, "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?" became available in the DVD compilation called SpongeBob's WhoBob WhatPants, along with six other episodes including "Goo Goo Gas", "The Two Faces of Squidward", "SpongeHenge", "Banned in Bikini Bottom", and "Stanley S. SquarePants".[12][4][7]


"What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?" was viewed by 7.7 million audiences.[1] This ranked the program the number one most viewed entertainment show of the night, and the number two most viewed show in all categories after ESPN Monday Night Football.[13][14][15] Despite the high ratings, the episode received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Maddy Pumila said that the episode was "extremely fun and entertaining." He added "I hadn't watched Spongebob in a while, but the laughs in this episode provided more laughs than I would get in an entire day."[16]

Maxie Zeus of Toon Zone cited the episode as an example of the series' decline.[17] Lesley Aeschliman of Yahoo! Voices wrote "I have to look at this special like the 'Friend or Foe?' special. While 'WhoBob WhatPants?' works well as a regular story for SpongeBob SquarePants, I'm not entirely convinced that it deserved to be hyped up as a special. While this story had the potential to be 'special material,' it just didn't materialize in the final produced product."[18] Roy Hrab of DVD Verdict said, "It makes me sad to think about how something so pleasurable has declined into something so tedious."[19] Paul Mavis of DVD Talk said, "With a laugh-skimpy script, 'What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?' may be confirming a trend I noticed back with the last original SpongeBob toon to get its own disc release, Pest of the West: SpongeBob shorts are starting to get tired. And 'What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?' is even less funny than 'Pest of the West'," adding the episode was "Not a good sign."[9]


  1. ^ a b Nordyke, Kimberly (October 15, 2008). "Monday's 'SpongeBob' draws 7.7 mil viewers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants - WhoBob WhatPants?". Film Club. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ "WhoBob WhatPants?". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 6. October 13, 2008. Nickelodeon. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Liu, Ed (September 25, 2008). ""WhoBob WhatPants?" to Air on Oct 13, 2008, Guest-Starring Ray Liotta". Toonzone. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Ray Liotta Plays SpongeBob Villain". People. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Ray Liotta to voice criminal on Spongebob Squarepants". 3 News. October 2, 2008. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Moody, Annemary (September 25, 2008). "Ray Liotta To Guest Star In SpongeBob Special Oct. 13". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  8. ^ Maclntyre, April (October 8, 2008). "Ray Liotta squares off with SpongeBob Monday, Oct. 13". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Mavis, Paul (October 13, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants - WhoBob WhatPants?". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ray Liotta guesting on Nickelodeon's 'SpongeBob SquarePants'". Media Life Magazine. September 26, 2008. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ray Liotta Voices Criminal on Spongebob Squarepants". Babble. October 4, 2008. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  12. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants Stars In 'WhoBob What Pants?'". October 5, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2008. 
  13. ^ "7.7 million watched SpongeBob special". UPI. October 15, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  14. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 15, 2008). "Monday's 'SpongeBob' draws 7.7 mil total viewers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  15. ^ Moody, Annemarie (October 16, 2008). "WhoBob WhatPants Finds 8 Million Viewers". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  16. ^ Pumilia, Maddy (October 16, 2008). "DVD Review: SpongeBob SquarePants - Who Bob What Pants". Blog Critics. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  17. ^ Zeus, Maxie (October 12, 2008). ""Whatever Happened to SpongeBob?": Good Question!". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on December 9, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  18. ^ Aeschliman, Lesley (October 14, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants: WhoBob WhatPants?". Yahoo!. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  19. ^ Hrab, Roy (November 13, 2008). "Spongebob Squarepants: Who Bob What Pants?". DVD Verdict. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 

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