Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Clams" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 3. In this episode, Mr. Krabs earns his millionth dollar and takes SpongeBob and Squidward on a fishing trip, but a clam eats the dollar, and he orders his crew to get it back.



At the Krusty Krab, Sandals is trying to decide what to order. He decides to order coral bits, after SpongeBob suggests it, for one dollar, but then an alarm suddenly blares out. Squidward assures the customer that "It's something stupid," and Mr. Krabs bursts out of his office and starts to dance with the recently obtained dollar in his hand to intense celebratory music. Mr. Krabs informs everyone that he has received his millionth dollar, which is every crab's goal in life. He kicks out all of the customers for "spoiling his moment," not even giving Sandals his coral bits, and tells SpongeBob and Squidward that they are going on a surprise trip to celebrate. Squidward asks if they are going to Fancy Springs, Pamper Island, or perhaps Bikini Bottom Folk Village, but Mr. Krabs states it's better than that.

SpongeBob, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs going clam fishing.

It's then revealed that the three of them are going clam fishing on a cheap boat named the S.S. Cheapskate on a smelly lagoon, much to Squidward's disappointment. SpongeBob accidentally removes everything from the boat while he is casting his line, as well as Squidward's shirt and nose, which Mr. Krabs doesn't mind, until SpongeBob's cast hooks onto the back of Mr. Krabs' pants, which he foolishly taped his millionth dollar to, and rips it off. Once the dollar is thrown into the lagoon, dramatic music begins playing, signaling an incoming clam attack, and SpongeBob begins reeling in the dollar as quickly as he can. Mr. Krabs locates the source of the dramatic music: a live-action orchestra playing behind a wooden door. Mr. Krabs yells and begs for them to stop playing, but to no avail. SpongeBob manages to reel it into the boat, and Mr. Krabs grabs the dollar. However, a blue-lipped clam suddenly jumps out of the lagoon, grabs the dollar out of Mr. Krabs' claw, and falls back into the lagoon and swims away. Mr. Krabs childishly wails over this. This continues until Squidward, out of annoyance, states they'll help Mr. Krabs get his dollar back. Mr. Krabs is happy to hear this and gives everyone supplies so that they can prepare themselves for catching the clam. Mr. Krabs then starts keeping a lookout for the clam.

"The Team," consisting of SpongeBob, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs, works for three days, but the clam doesn't come back. SpongeBob and Squidward have now become tired of waiting for the clam to come, so they attempt to make Mr. Krabs happy by giving him a dollar out of Squidward's wallet. It works at first, but after Mr. Krabs rubs the dollar on his butt like a towel, he becomes suspicious and figures out that it isn't his millionth dollar, but an ordinary dollar that's been crumpled up, torn slightly, soaked in the lagoon, and kissed with Coral Blue #2 semi-gloss lipstick, with Squidward bonking SpongeBob on the head before the latter reveals what the actual number of lipstick was. Mr. Krabs cries again, but Squidward tells him tears won't work this time, so he then nails a sandwich to a flagpole and states that the sandwich will be the reward for the person who can retrieve his dollar from the giant blue-lipped clam. He then tosses all the other sandwiches overboard to make it "the sandwich." Squidward doesn't care, saying that they have plenty more to eat, but he's interrupted by Mr. Krabs dropping the whole fridge overboard. Squidward, and eventually, SpongeBob, now realize that Mr. Krabs has become insane, so Squidward whispers to SpongeBob that they should sneak over to the lifeboat quietly while Mr. Krabs isn't looking. However, they run for their lives to the lifeboat while screaming. Upon entering the lifeboat, Mr. Krabs is revealed to have been secretly inside and that he was hired by the clam to take his crew to the S.S. Cheapskate so he could be eaten after he earned the dollar.

Krabs goes crazy over a dollar.

He then throws SpongeBob and Squidward out while they're tied together. Mr. Krabs is angry that his own crew would betray him, so he makes SpongeBob and Squidward into live bait by hooking them to his rod. Squidward tells him the clam won't come until Mr. Krabs appears in a conductor's outfit. Soon enough, the dramatic music begins playing again with Krabs being the conductor, and this begins to freak them out. The blue-lipped clam begins swimming toward the boat. Soon enough, the clam opens his mouth and he is then revealed that the dollar is lying on his tongue. Mr. Krabs closes the sliding doors to stop the music, causing the clam to stop moving, so he jumps onto the clam's tongue, grabs the dollar and dances with it. However, the doors open back up and the dramatic music returns, causing the clam to shut his mouth while Mr. Krabs is still in it. The clam then dives back into the lagoon.

Thinking that Mr. Krabs is dead, SpongeBob and Squidward start crying until he is seen at the surface of the lagoon with his dollar. Mr. Krabs reveals that he and the clam fought until they made a trade. SpongeBob asks what he gave the blue-lipped clam, and Mr. Krabs hops onto the boat to reveal that he gave his whole body to the clam, except his head and arm, though he claims that he gave away nothing important.


Deleted scene

In the storyboard version featured on the SpongeGuard on Duty DVD, after Mr. Krabs gets his 1,000,000th dollar at the Krusty Krab, he uses the restaurant's phone to call his parents Victor Krabs and Betsy Krabs at the Bikini Bottom Graveyard to tell them about it. The reason this scene was cut from the final episode is unknown.




 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Dangerous E - Mladen Franko [title card]
  Hello Sailor (B) - Richard Myhill [opening]
  Superquick A - Daniel Jean Jeannin [Krabs' millionth dollar]
  What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor? - Okko Bekker [Krabs takes SpongeBob and Squidward on a trip]
  The Girl I Left Behind Me - Brian Peters [clam fishing]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White ["Okay, I've had enough."]
  Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [orchestra plays dramatic music]
  Dangerous E - Mladen Franko ["Hurry SpongeBob!"]
  Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [orchestra plays dramatic music]
  Dangerous B - Mladen Franko [SpongeBob reels in the dollar]
  Dangerous C - Mladen Franko [giant clam eats Krabs' dollar]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [Krabs crying]
  Up She Rises - Sam Spence ["Here's where clam fishing gets serious."]
  Steel Licks 5 - Jeremy Wakefield [three days later]
  Tomfoolery - David Snell [SpongeBob and Squidward give Krabs an ordinary dollar]
  Superquick A - Daniel Jean Jeannin [Krabs dancing]
  Fates [#62] - Gregor F. Narholz ["I trusted you, and you gave me this!"]
  ? Vibes - Nicolas Carr [sandwich]
  Unease - Dick Stephen Walter [Krabs throws all their food overboard]
  In Loving Memory (B) - Len Rawle [Krabs crying]
  Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland [Krabs playing jump rope with his eyes]
  Killer Birds [#36] - Gregor F. Narholz ["I know what you're thinking."]
  Dramatic Encounter - Gregor F. Narholz ["Live bait!"]
  Dangerous D - Mladen Franko [The orchestra starts playing again.]
  Dangerous E - Mladen Franko [Mr. Krabs laughs maniacally.]
  Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [dramatic music again]
  Drunken Sailor (B) - Robin Jeffrey, Tim Laycock [Krabs gets his dollar back]
  Dangerous B - Mladen Franko [Krabs eaten]
  Steel Licks 1 - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob, Squidward crying]
  Harp! - Nicolas Carr ["Have you boys met me millionth dollar?"]
  The Girl I Left Behind Me - Brian Peters [ending]





  • Mr. Krabs breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging the existence of the dramatic music while SpongeBob reels his dollar in and again by conducting the same music to lure in Old Bluelip.
    • He then opens a double-door on the boat which reveals an orchestra playing the same music.
    • Later, when he is using them as bait, SpongeBob and Squidward question why the clam would appear then when it would not before.
    • The camera pans to Mr. Krabs dressed as a conductor in front of the orchestra, revealing that it is the ominous background music that draws the clam's attention.
  • In this episode, the sky gradient is a darker shade of blue at the top and lighter at the bottom. In most other episodes, it is darker at the bottom and lighter at the top.
  • Old Bluelip's roaring was performed by Dee Bradley Baker and pitched down.
  • This is the first episode for two things:
    • The first episode to play "Hawaiian Cocktail" in its entirety and the only episode to play it without any kind of alteration.
    • The first episode where has SpongeBob wearing red swimming shorts until season 8 with the episode "Patrick's Staycation." The shorts ever since are now SpongeBob's normal swimming shorts.
  • The French title for this episode is "Courage, rien n'est jamais perdu," which means "Courage, something that is never lost."
  • For unknown reasons, this episode and its sister episode were rated 13+ on Amazon Prime Video in August 2020.
    • This has since been corrected as of October 2020, and the episode is back to being rated its original TV-Y7 rating on Amazon Prime Video.
  • During the Best Day Ever marathon, this episode was paired with "Tea at the Treedome."[2]
  • During the SpongeBob vs. The Goo marathon, this episode was paired with "A Life in a Day."[3]

Cultural references

  • This episode is a spoof of the Jaws movie series.
    • The references to the film include the title card, the title, the musical score, and three main characters on a boat chasing a larger than normal animal.
    • Mr. Krabs fills the role of Quint, who was portrayed by Robert Shaw in the movie.
    • SpongeBob fills the role of Martin Brody, who was portrayed by Roy Scheider.
    • Squidward fills the role of Matt Hooper, who was portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss.
    • The theme music which plays throughout the episode is similar to the John Williams score to the film.
    • The original name of this episode was "SpongeJaws,"[4][5][6] a pun of the movie's title.
  • The episode also features numerous references to Moby Dick, including Mr. Krabs' obsessive pursuit of the clam and nailing a sandwich to a flagpole on the boat.
  • The episode's plot is similar to the 1995 Rocko's Modern Life episode "Fish-N-Chumps." Both episodes were also directed by Stephen Hillenburg and written by Mark O'Hare.
  • Bikini Bottom Folk Village appears to be modeled after living museums such as Colonial Williamsburg and Plimouth Plantation.


  • In early airings, the episode had an incorrect copyright date of 2001 in the credits. Later airings (and the original print of this episode) have the correct date of 2002.[7]
  • When the curtains open in the Krusty Krab, it covers up the part of the wall where SpongeBob and Squidward work.
  • After SpongeBob hooks the flag, it is gone. However, while Mr. Krabs is telling SpongeBob he hooked his dollar, the flag reappears.
    • This may have been for the sake of a joke.
  • S.S. Cheapskate is referred to numerous times as a boat, so it should not be called "S.S. Cheapskate," as "S.S." stands for "Steam Ship," and S.S. Cheapskate is not a ship.

The lipstick is gone.

  • When Squidward clobbers SpongeBob before he can finish saying "Actually, it's coral blue number thre-," the lipstick he put on his lips disappears even after Squidward lifted the blunt object off of him.
  • For most of the episode, the S.S. Cheapskate does not have a bowsprit. However, in the final scene of the episode, it does.
    • In the animatics, the boat consistently has a bowsprit throughout the episode. It is possible that the animators didn't notice the bowsprit in the animatic until the end scene, which explains why the boat suddenly has a bowsprit at the end.[8]
  • Also in the animatic, there's a line from Mr. Krabs (after SpongeBob rips off Squidward's nose) that isn't present in the final version: "What's a nose or two?"[9]


Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants VE

Emmy Awards Cup Emmy.png

Primetime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)

Nominees: Sean Dempsey, Derek Drymon, Juli Murphy Hashiguchi, Sam Henderson, Stephen Hillenburg, Jay Lender, Mark O'Hare, Kent Osborne, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt, Tom Yasumi (for "New Student Starfish"/"Clams," 2003)Derek Drymon, Juli Murphy Hashiguchi, Stephen Hillenburg, Kent Osborne, Andrew Overtoom, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt (for "Ugh," 2004)Mike Bell, C.H. Greenblatt, Stephen Hillenburg, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt, Vincent Waller, Tom Yasumi (for "Fear of a Krabby Patty"/"Shell of a Man," 2005)Casey Alexander, Luke Brookshier, Stephen Hillenburg, Tom King, Dani Michaeli, Chris Mitchell, Andrew Overtoom, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt and Tom Yasumi (for "Bummer Vacation"/"Wigstruck," 2007)Steven Banks, Charlie Bean, Stephen Hillenburg, Dani Michaeli, Chris Reccardi, Alan Smart, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, Tom Yasumi (for "The Inmates of Summer"/"The Two Faces of Squidward," 2008)

Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Animated Programs

Nominees: Dina Buteyn, Stephen Hillenburg, Dani Michaeli, Alan Smart, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt and Tom Yasumi (for "Dear Vikings," 2009)

Outstanding Short-format Animated Program

Nominees: Luke Brookshier, Dina Buteyn, Nate Cash, Stephen Hillenburg, Doug Lawrence, Andrew Overtoom, Alan Smart and Paul Tibbitt (for "That Sinking Feeling," 2011)Marc Ceccarelli, Stephen Hillenburg, Kyle McCulloch, Jennie Monica, Jack Pendarvis, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt, Vincent Waller, Tom Yasumi (for "Company Picnic," 2016)Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli, Stephen Hillenburg, Jennie Monica, Adam Paloian, Alan Smart, Vincent Waller, Tom Yasumi (for "Plankton Paranoia," 2019)

Daytime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program

Directors: Andrew Overtoom, Andrea Romano, Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi (2010)Casey Alexander, Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash, Zeus Cervas, Sean Charmatz, Andrew Overtoom, Andrea Romano, Alan Smart, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, Vincent Waller and Tom Yasumi (2012)

Outstanding Special Class Animated Program

Animators: Dina Buteyn, Stephen Hillenburg and Paul Tibbitt (2010)

Outstanding Children's Animated Program

Nominees: Stephen Hillenburg, Jennie Monica Hammond and Paul Tibbitt (2012)Stephen Hillenburg, Marc Ceccarelli, Vincent Waller and Jennie Monica (2018)

Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program

Voice actors: Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles (2012)Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (2018)Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (2020)

Outstanding Sound Editing – Animation

Nominees: Todd Brodie, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Chris Gresham, Matt Hall, Jeffrey Hutchins, James Lifton, Paulette Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Aran Tanchum and Kimberlee Vanek (2012) • Mishelle Fordham, Vincent Guisetti, Jeffrey Hutchins, James Lifton, Paulette Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Wes Otis, Monique Reymond and Aran Tanchum (2013) • Devon Bowman, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Jeff Hutchins, Aran Tanchum and Vincent Guisetti (2014)

Outstanding Sound Mixing for an Animated Program

Nominees: D.J. Lynch, Justin Brinsfield, Ryan Greene, Manny Grijalva, Jeff Hutchins and Aran Tanchum (2020)