Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
If you were looking for the article about the comic, then see Dirty Bubble Returns! (comic).

"Dirty Bubble Returns" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 12. In this episode, the newly reformed "Clean Bubble" takes a dishwashing job at the Krusty Krab, where he is tempted by the grime.



The news reporter Perch Perkins reports on the cornering of the Dirty Bubble at the Bikini Bottom Power Plant. The Dirty Bubble is seen to have already tied Al Gristlepuss onto an aerial. He threatens the Bikini Bottomites that he will eat the police chief unless they act for him. Perch Perkins comes up to make a further statement on the Dirty Bubble's predicted actions. However, the Dirty Bubble strangles him with his tongue, ready to eat him. Just as he is about to eat Perch Perkins, the police come up to the radio station top to grab the Dirty Bubble with bubble wands, ordering him to drop Perch Perkins. The Dirty Bubble is then arrested and placed into a glass jar.

After the Dirty Bubble serves his 6-month pretrial release, he is released as the Clean Bubble. The Clean Bubble feels refreshed as a new self. The warden warns him that he must ensure his cleanliness or else he would become evil again. Afterward, the Clean Bubble is released to work at the Krusty Krab. He assures he will not become dirty.

Clean Bubble.

When the Clean Bubble reaches the Krusty Krab, he is excited to work there. He wants to work as a waiter or a cash register. However, Mr. Krabs assigns him a cleaning job of washing dishes. SpongeBob, who comes back from the freezer to cook some patties onto the grill, greets him. The Clean Bubble refers to himself as "DB."

The Clean Bubble begins scrubbing the dirty dishes, which causes him to turn back into the Dirty Bubble. He surprises SpongeBob at his sudden return. SpongeBob, thinking that the Dirty Bubble kidnapped the Clean Bubble, threatens to wash him down with the sink hose, then sprays out water at the Dirty Bubble. SpongeBob noticed that the Dirty Bubble became the Clean Bubble, and realizes that "DB is short for Dirty Bubble." The Clean Bubble tells him that he is trying to change his personality by staying clean. SpongeBob assures that he will promise to keep him squeaky clean. He gives a handshake to him.

Mr. Krabs reveals to the Clean Bubble that his new job will be to scrub the dirty toilets. SpongeBob assures that he will clean the toilets. The Clean Bubble stares in the toilet and hallucinates over "beautiful" dirt. He goes into the toilet to transform slowly into the Dirty Bubble. He then causes havoc to people in the toilet. SpongeBob runs off and spits out absorbed sink water onto the Dirty Bubble to transform him to become clean again. Elaine then reports in comic book form about SpongeBob's continual duty to prevent Clean Bubble from turning into the Dirty Bubble.

Back at the Krusty Krab, the Clean Bubble is a waiter for the customers. SpongeBob compliments him for not being dirty for weeks. But Patrick comes in to mention more about dirtiness, specifically his dirty belly button gunk. He flicks it to the Clean Bubble by pure unawareness, and accidentally reformed the Dirty Bubble. The Dirty Bubble came out to cause even more havoc in Bikini Bottom. Patrick considers this transformation special, but SpongeBob knows it means trouble.

Elaine reports again on the Dirty Bubble's re-premise, stating that the Dirty Bubble has come back to do dirty deeds to some Bikini Bottomites. Some of these include ruining a perfect mud bath for two kids, turning a pirate into a chubby sailor, smashing a building cleaned by himself, and literally wiping out an old teacher's face in Poseidon Elementary. Afterward, the Dirty Bubble inverted Perch Perkins' face, after Perch Perkins reported about wiping out the teacher's face.

SpongeBob attempts to hose down the grime off the Dirty Bubble, but the grime is too strong. The Dirty Bubble eats the hose and attacks SpongeBob with five miniature Dirty Bubbles. SpongeBob eventually pops them all, leaving the Dirty Bubble slightly stumped. SpongeBob launches himself toward the Dirty Bubble to try to pop him with his spatula, but bounces off. He chases after SpongeBob and eats him to trap him. The Dirty Bubble decides to eat Goo Lagoon next.

SpongeBob, struggling to escape the thick walls of the Dirty Bubble, grabs out his pencil to write down his last words, knowing that he will eventually drown in the accumulating Goo Lagoon goo. However, knowing that he is able to absorb liquids from his surroundings, begins to spin around the Dirty Bubble. Dirty Bubble tells him to stop spinning, but fails to stop him, and eventually became absorbed into SpongeBob. SpongeBob burps out a tiny version of the Dirty Bubble.

Just as the Dirty Bubble tries to cause more trouble as a small bubble, the police arrest him by trapping him in another jar. The lady officer thanks SpongeBob for contributing to the Dirty Bubble's arrest. SpongeBob sneezes the entirety of Goo Lagoon's goo everywhere, much to the anger of the officers. SpongeBob grabs a tissue to wipe out the goo from the lady officer's face.

Running gags

  • When Clean Bubble cleans dirty things, he transforms into the Dirty Bubble.
  • SpongeBob washing Dirty Bubble into Clean Bubble.
  • The Dirty Bubble rhyming when talking.


The episode was confirmed by Vincent Waller on March 23, 2019.[2]



 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Man, Go Man! - Syd Dale [Title card]
  Bikini Bottom News Theme - Nicolas Carr [Opening]
  Agent X - Stephen Duro [Dirty Bubble threatens the police to eat kidnapped police at the top of the Bikini Bottom power plant]
  Bikini Bottom News Theme - Nicolas Carr ["Will the grime of this evil soap globe wash over our fair city? Or will the law force him to clean up his act?"]
  Agent X - Stephen Duro [Police caught Dirty Bubble in a jar and ends up in jail]
  Big Julie - Kenny Graham [Six months later Dirty Bubble gets off jail being a clean bubble]
  Perky Puppet - Alan Perry ["Stay clean or you'll get mean. A new life. No more dirt, and no more wrong turns."]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["The Krusty Krab! Hm, this must be the place."]
  Spanish Senioritas - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Clean Bubble hired at the Krusty Krab as dishwasher]
  Horror-Scope - Ronald Hanmer [Pile of dirty dishes]
  Spanish Senioritas - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Wait, couldn't I just work the cash register or something?"]
  Horror-Scope - Ronald Hanmer [Clean Bubble is nervous about washing the dirty dishes]
  Frankenstein's Niece A - Gregor Narholz [SpongeBob exits the freezer covered with frozen patties]
  Cheap and Frozen Jig 2 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob puts the Krabby Patties in the grill and meets Clean Bubble]
  Evil Atmosphere - Clive Richardson [Clean Bubble nervously washes the first dish]
  Heavenly Sanatized Choir - Dish sparkles
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 13 - Jeremy Wakefield ["I got dirty and I didn't turn evil! Oh, I must be cured!"]
  Five More Comical Cuts - Ronald Hanmer [Clean Bubble cleans all the dishes and becomes dirty again]
  Horror-Scope - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob panics after seeing Dirty Bubble and sprays water on him]
  Parting of the Clouds - Nicolas Carr [Dirty Bubble becomes Clean Bubble again]
  Holiday Jaunt - Kurt Rehfeld ["A supervillain intervention! I'll help you D.B."]
  Valse Francaise (a) - Paul Reeves [West One Music] [Krabs orders Clean Bubble to wash dirty toilets]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 14 - Jeremy Wakefield ["A sacre-pew!"]
  Krusty Krab Tango - Steve Marston [SpongeBob offers to clean the dirty toilets]
  Horror-Scope - Ronald Hanmer [Clean Bubble gets into the dirty toilet]
  Breakout - Syd Dale [Clean Bubble becomes dirty again and disturbs the customers in the bathroom]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 13 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, thanks for keeping me clean, SpongeBob."]
  Sure Man - Roland Shaw [Comic book showing repeatedly to SpongeBob keeping Dirty Bubble cleaned]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [Transition to next scene]
  Jolly Little Roger With Tamborine - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Clean Bubble serving food to the customers.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 14 - Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick takes dirt from his bellybutton and throws it at Clean Bubble]
  Tearaway - Ralph Dollimore [Clean Bubble becomes dirty again and exits the Krusty Krab]
  Dramatic Impact (6) - Ivor Slaney ["Uh-oh..."]
  Bikini Bottom News Theme - Nicolas Carr [News report about Dirty Bubble again]
  Fresh as a Daisy - George French [Kids playing in mud]
  The Escape - John Scott [Dirty Bubble sucks up all the mud]
  Drunken Sailor - Nicolas Carr [Pirate telling a story at The Buccaneer]
  The Escape - John Scott [Dirty Bubble pass through the pirate and cleans him]
  A Jolly Jaunt (d) - Dick Walter ["It's time to have tea and cakes."]
  The Escape - John Scott [Dirty Bubble cleans a building]
  Got It - Nicolas Carr [The building sparkles]
  Circus Parade (b) - Dick Walter ["Yay!"]
  Tearaway - Ralph Dollimore [Dirty Bubble smashes the building]
  The Merry Go Round - Walter Owen, Harold Smart [At Poseidon Elementary]
  Hit and Run - Ralph Dollimore [Dirty Bubble erases teacher's face]
  Bikini Bottom News Theme - Nicolas Carr [Perch Perkins next to Poseidon Elementary]
  Invasion - Alfred Ralston [Dirty Bubble erases Perch Perkins' face and then puts it backward]
  My Reason - Joel Rayner, Helen Shields [Dirty Bubble traps SpongeBob inside him and starts to suck up the Goo Lagoon]
  Charivari Clowns - Daniel Jean Jeannin [SpongeBob spinning inside Dirty Bubble to absorb him into his body]
  Four More Comical Cuts - Ronald Hanmer [Tiny Dirty Bubble appears after SpongeBob burps]
  Hot Fuzz 04 095 E - Steve Sechi/Big Fish Audio [Tiny Dirty Bubble captured by the police]
  Feeling Happy - Alan Perry ["Every time I wash dishes, I'll think of you."]
  Even More Comical Cuts 1-5 - Ronald Hanmer ["Thank you, citizen. We'll take him from here."]
  Comedy Punctuations and Bridges 4 - Fredric Bayco [SpongeBob imitates Dirty Bubble]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 16 - Jeremy Wakefield [Everyone laughs]
  Tentically Speaking - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Ending]




  • This episode was confirmed exactly eight months before it premiered.
DBR accidental on Nick app.jpg
  • An image of this episode was accidentally released on the Nick app on September 15, 2019.
  • This episode was paired up with "Handemonium" during the original American airing, but has since been re-airing with "Mind the Gap."
  • In Russia, this episode was originally going to premiere on November 9, 2019 alongside "Mind the Gap," but due to a mistake in the schedule, "Senior Discount" got paired with it instead of this episode.[citation needed]
  • The Realistic Fish Head reads the "6 Months Later..." time card in this episode instead of the French Narrator doing it, marking the second occurrence this has happened. The first was in "Mermaid Pants."
  • Dirty Bubble mostly speaks in rhyme in this episode, similar to Pistachio, Hazelnut and Macadamia in "Sandy's Nutty Nieces."
  • Dirty Bubble was popped by a pencil point in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II," but he did not pop in this episode by a spatula.
  • Innuendo: If Al Gristlepuss did not interrupt Dirty Bubble, it is implied that he likely would have said "hell."
  • This is the first time Dirty Bubble appears without Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
  • The 3rd "B" in the title card is upside down.


  • In the Dirty Bubble Returns comic panels, SpongeBob's belt is missing.
  • When the Dirty Bubble spits the kids out, he also spits out some mud, but in the next shot, the mud is gone.
  • When the Dirty Bubble eats SpongeBob to trap him, SpongeBob has his hat on, but when the Dirty Bubble arrives at Goo Lagoon, it is gone.