"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 061

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 squeezes 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. 
Can You Spare a Dime 134

"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"). 

Can You Spare a Dime 188

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]




  • 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 doesn'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!"
  • 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).
  • 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."
  • The exterior shot of the Krusty Krab at the end of the episode was reused from "Imitation Krabs."
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Mr. Krabs' first dime also appears in "Mutiny on the Krusty," but in that episode, it looks different and resembles more of a real dime.

Cultural references

  • The episode's title comes from the 1930 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. 
  • When Mr. Krabs asks if Squidward's willing to swear "on a stack of Interpretive Dance Quarterlies," it is a pun on the saying  "swearing on a stack of Bibles," which means to be completely honest and tell the whole truth.


Can You Spare a Dime 114

The boat is gone.

  • The boat disappears while Mr. Krabs and Squidward are shaking hands.
  • After Squidward throws the soup, the blanket is pink.
  • 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 is 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 would not be able to fit in the register, due to the dime's size.
    • Mr. Krabs' dime would also not fit in his pants because it's too big and heavy.
  • 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.
  • Squidward says that it is 4:00, but when SpongeBob pushes his bed outside of his house, it is already daytime.
  • When SpongeBob's foghorn blows away at 4:00, it reads 11:40.
  • 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.
  • When the first dime is revealed and SpongeBob drops Mr. Krabs, his mouth opens for one frame.

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.


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