"Can You Spare a Dime?" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, Squidward quits his job and SpongeBob decides to let him stay at his house.



Can You Spare a Dime? 42

Squidward in his cardboard-box shelter

It's closing time at the Krusty Krab, but Mr. Krabs refuses to let anyone go home until he finishes counting up the day's profits. To his horror, he discovers that the first dime he earned has gone missing, and Squidward is accused of stealing it as he mans the register all day. Squidward angrily denies this and squeezed Mr. Krabs' eyes, and after a heated argument ensues between the two, Squidward quits his job. SpongeBob runs outside and attempts to convince Squidward to change his mind. But after hearing Squidward's great ambitions, SpongeBob leaves him be and insists that if Squidward needs anything, that he can seek help from him.

After some time, SpongeBob encounters Squidward again. Unable to find a new job, Squidward has become homeless and is now living on the streets in a cardboard box begging passersby for spare change. After his box is repurposed, Squidward explains that he lost everything since he quit and he resorted to eating his paintings as nobody would take them. Feeling bad for Squidward, SpongeBob lets him stay at his house until he can find a new job, pampering him with breakfast in bed and massages. One night, while SpongeBob attempts to get some sleep, Squidward repeatedly calls him for various minute reasons (a glass of water, extra blankets, and forgetting to turn off the bedroom light), which end with SpongeBob falling down the stairs. Gary tries to tell SpongeBob that Squidward is being a freeloader and taking advantage of him, but SpongeBob is in denial, giving several excuses as to why Squidward has not yet gotten a job. 
047b - Can You Spare a Dime (434)

"It's about time you got here!"

However, many months pass by (up to the point where time cards fly so much that the producers had to hire an English narrator after the French Narrator got tired of waiting), and it becomes obvious that Squidward has no intention of finding new employment, instead becoming completely dependent on SpongeBob and turning him into a manservant of sorts (the latter is even forced to wear a woman's maid outfit). At this point, SpongeBob is beginning to lose his patience, so he tries conveying several less-than-subtle hints to Squidward in order to push him to look for work (for example, when serving Squidward a bowl of alphabet soup, he arranges the letters to read "Get a job"). 

Krabs' First Dime

Mr. Krabs' first dime revealed

These hints prove to be useless as Squidward deliberately ignores them, so SpongeBob tries to make it as simple as he can by actually talking and not even using hints, but still to no avail. A fed up SpongeBob pushes the bed that Squidward is lying on through the upstairs wall and all the way to the Krusty Krab, where he finds Mr. Krabs talking on the phone with someone asking him to donate to the children's fund, to which he selfishly refuses and responds with, "What have children ever done for me?". 

SpongeBob gives Mr. Krabs a dime and angrily demands that he give Squidward his job back. Mr. Krabs says that the dime is not his first dime and refuses, even turning down the many other dimes that SpongeBob offers. Finally at his breaking point, SpongeBob grabs Mr. Krabs by the throat and yells at him about how ridiculous the situation is, violently shaking him while doing so. Suddenly, the first dime appears (a large coin-shaped rock; Mr. Krabs explains that he has been in the business "for a long time"), revealing that it was in his pocket the whole time. 

Squidward is rehired to his original position, and all seems well until Mr. Krabs accuses Squidward of placing the dime in his pocket. This starts a new dispute, and the episode ends with SpongeBob changing into his maid outfit as the two continue to argue, anticipating the inevitable.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  Puka A - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card]

  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [Closing time/"Teacher's pet."]
  Tympup A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["Where is it?"]
  Dramatic Cue (e) - Ronald Hanmer [Mr. Krabs' first dime is missing]
  Torn Apart - Mike Sunderland [Mr. Krabs holds up Interpretive Dance Quarterlies]
  Dramatic Climax - Mike Sunderland [Mr. Krabs accuses Squidward of stealing the dime]
  Stepping into Danger - Mike Sunderland [Squidward quits]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Cookies!"]
  Space Critters (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [Conjoined heart]
  World of Sport - Don Harper ["I could be a football player, or a king, or a spaceman."]
  Drowsy Reef - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward homeless]
  Lonely Violin - Dick Stephen Walter [Squidward crying]
  Hawaiian Breeze - Jon Jelmer [Squidward at SpongeBob's house]
  Break-Thru - Gary Mills [SpongeBob taking care of Squidward]
  On the Beach - Kapono Beamer [Three weeks later/Many months later/So much later that the old narrator got tired of waiting and they had to hire a new one]
  Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["It's about time you got here!"]
  Lonely Heart's Club (a) - David Bell, Otto Sieben ["That's two things in this house that won't work."/"Okay. Don't move."]
  Tomfoolery - David Snell [Puppet show]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band [Mr. Krabs on the phone]
  I'll Never Fall in Love Again B - Paul Lenart, Bill Novick [Mr. Krabs' first dime]
  On the Beach - Kapono Beamer [The ending]



  • As of June 10, 2019, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.9/10 based on 442 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a rating of 8.9/10 based on 151 votes.[2]



  • Although this episode aired on March 8, 2002, it was made in 2001 according to the credits. It is the final episode to be made in 2001.
  • This episode premiered in Canada on December 6, 2002.
  • Mr. Krabs has the right to press charges on Squidward and SpongeBob for their separate acts of physical assault.
    • Also, it is the employer's decision to choose whether if the employee can re-apply.
  • List of ways SpongeBob tries to make Squidward realize he needs a job include:
    • Reminding him that he and the lemonade are "two things in this house that won't work"
    • Giving him alphabet soup that spells out "Get a job"
    • Giving him a newspaper with the job listing section in front
    • Reminding him about something he did at his "job"
    • Giving him a fake TV and showing him a puppet who has a job
    • Yells in his face, quoting each time he yells "job"
  • This is the first episode where the time card sequence breaks the fourth wall.
  • This is the second episode where SpongeBob says "crustaceous cheapskate" to Mr. Krabs. The first one was "Pickles," though in a desperate sense rather than an angry one.
  • There are eight daisies on the title card.
  • The alphabet soup SpongeBob gives to Squidward has become a popular internet meme. Most memes change the letters to spell out other insults.
  • This is one of the rare times when SpongeBob has expressed true anger at Mr. Krabs, as he did that by calling him a cheapskate and even grabbing him by the neck and choking him.
    • This is also one of the rare times SpongeBob has expressed true anger at Squidward.
  • The new English narrator is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, who provides the voice of Bubble Bass, Squilliam Fancyson, Kevin C. Cucumber, and many other characters on the show.
  • Coincidentally enough, "Idiot Box" aired one week before this episode did, and both episodes involve Squidward and a large box: In "Idiot Box," SpongeBob and Patrick buy a new TV set just so they could play with the box it came in, and Squidward eventually goes inside to play with it. This episode, Squidward ends up living in a box after he loses his home.
  • This title card background is similar to that of "Opposite Day."
  • Oddly, Mr. Krabs' first dime resembles "cavemen currency" as he states he has been in the business a long time. However, in the much later episode "Friend or Foe," Mr. Krabs sold his first Krabby Patty and received modern money.
    • It’s possible that he received the dime before his first dollar.
  • When SpongeBob was delivering lemonade to Squidward, there was a picture of his pineapple and what it seems to be a portrait of Squidward. If you look very closely, there is also a photo that looks like Patrick.
  • When Mr. Krabs checked his register, he mentioned "applesauce," which is not even kept in the register. It's likely a mnemonic device, in which words are used to help him remember how to count his money.
  • This is one of the few times where Mr. Krabs willingly rejects money. This is shown when, instead of taking SpongeBob's dime, he throws it at his face when SpongeBob gives it to him to replace his "stolen" dime. He even rejects the other dimes SpongeBob angrily throws at his face.
  • Squidward says he is allergic to newsprint, but he has been seen reading the paper in other episodes. He must have wanted an excuse to not get a job when he saw those job ads.
  • Squidward says he can't eat anything with an odd number because the lemon had three seeds in it.
    • Though, in many episodes he is shown eating one of something.
    • He most likely did that to pester SpongeBob.
  • As it was made apparent that Squidward hadn't left SpongeBob's house in "many months" or hadn't seen Mr. Krabs since he quit his job at the Krusty Krab, it could be presumed that either SpongeBob, Patrick, (who has occasionally worked at the Krusty Krab) or someone else took Squidward's place as cashier.
  • In the French dub, the French narrator's voice doesn't change when he gets replaced by the new one.
  • In Indonesia, Mr. Krabs didn't say, "One, you stole it; two, you stole it; or three, you stole it!" Instead, he says, "One, you stole it; two, we stole it; or three, you stole it!"
  • This episode premiered one year after the premiere of "Pressure" and "The Smoking Peanut."
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Grosz niezgody" (The Cent of Discord).
    • The title is very similar to the Polish title of "The Other Patty," "Ość niezgody" (The Fishbone of Discord).
  • Mr. Krabs' first dime also appears in "Mutiny on the Krusty," but in that episode, it looks different and is more of a real dime.
  • In the episode "Squid's Visit," Squidward said that he has never gone to SpongeBob's house, but he went to SpongeBob's house (so he can stay there for as long as he wanted) in this episode. It is most likely that this episode took place after "Squid's Visit."
  • This episode has to take place after "Christmas Who?" even though there is no reference to Christmas in this episode. This is because this episode takes place longer than a year, and "Christmas Who?" takes place shorter than a year after "Help Wanted."
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Ima' Šta, Sitnog?," translating to "Got Any Change?"
  • During the montage of SpongeBob taking care of Squidward, the APM track Break-Thru plays, which SpongeBob then quotes later in the episode by saying "I'm sure he's close to a break-thru."
  • This is the second episode where SpongeBob had any anger or tension towards Squidward. The first was in "Employee of the Month."
  • When Squidward was crying his tears into SpongeBob's head then SpongeBob was getting them out, his eyes were a resemblance to those of SpongeBoy, a prototype of him from back in 1984.

Cultural references

  • The episode's title comes from the 1930s song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"
  • Mr. Krabs' dime is a real form of currency called a "Rai Stone." They were used by Pacific Islanders and some weigh several tons, so the dime that Krabs had was realistic in scale. The Stone Age natives lacked the resources to create other alternatives to this currency.
  • When Mr. Krabs asks if Squidward's willing to swear "on a stack of Interpretive Dance Quarterlies," it's a reference to "swearing on a stack of Bibles," which means to be completely honest and tell the whole truth.


  • The boat disappears while Mr. Krabs and Squidward are shaking hands.
  • After Squidward throws the soup, the blanket is pink.
  • The TV has a background, but when it shows SpongeBob, there is no background. It's possible SpongeBob removed it to make the puppet show.
  • Squidward has no fingers, but when he squeezes Mr. Krabs' eyes, it leaves a pattern like a human hand had squeezed them.
  • When SpongeBob has a cup of lemonade, that the straw is red, but in the close up it was white then red again.
  • After Squidward claims that he ate his paintings, one of them is seen in his stomach. However, in the next scene, his body is back to normal.
  • SpongeBob is able to strangle Mr. Krabs and choke him out of rage, but Mr. Krabs has a shell, so SpongeBob shouldn't have been able to choke him.
  • Mr. Krabs says he keeps his special dime at the back of the register, though it cannot fit in the register, due to the dime's size.
  • Squidward says there are three seeds in the lemon, but when there is a close-up shot of it, it appears to have two seeds. It's possible the third seed is in the back part of the lemon.
  • When SpongeBob finishes polishing Squidward's bald head, the holes in Squidward's head are missing, but they reappear when a back view of his head is shown.
  • SpongeBob claims Squidward to have green skin when it is actually light blue. It's possible he is referring to the green puppet.
  • When Squidward claims that 4:00 is time for his "stories," it's nighttime, but in the next scene, when SpongeBob pushes the bed Squidward is sleeping in outside of his house, it's already daytime.
  • When SpongeBob's foghorn blows away at 4:00, it reads 11:40.
  • Mr. Krabs' dime cannot fit in his pants or in the register because it's too big and heavy.
  • When SpongeBob cracks from anger and grabs Mr. Krabs' neck right above his shirt so he can strangle him as revenge, it is shown that his two thumbs on each hand had penetrated right through Mr. Krabs' neck.
  • On the Nicktoons Network guide, the episode is missing its question mark.
  • When the first dime is revealed and SpongeBob drops Mr. Krabs, his mouth opens for one frame.
  • While SpongeBob is shaking Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob thinks that Mr. Krabs fired Squidward as he says "And you're not going to hire him back all because of a stupid dime?," although in reality, Squidward quit his job.

Running gags

  • Mr. Krabs keeps accusing Squidward of something minor.
  • SpongeBob doing what Squidward tells him to do.
  • Squidward saying, "What are you saying?"
  • SpongeBob telling Squidward to get a job through various requests and Squidward ignoring them.


When I need a job done I get someone with a job to do that job!

When I need a job done I get someone with a job to do that job!


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