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Well, I like to kick people's butts.
 
— Flats the Flounder, "The Bully"
Character

Flats the Flounder[1][2] is a character who first appears in a cameo in the episode "Sandy's Rocket" and later plays his main role in the episode "The Bully."

In the ending credits of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Flats makes a cameo appearance along with other Bikini Bottomites.

He later makes cameos in the episodes "Squid Noir", "Don't Feed the Clowns." and "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout."

Description

He is a light olive-green flounder who has light yellow eyes. He wears a light orange, dark green shirt, and light reddish-brown pants. Flats' body is shown to be somewhat two-dimensional, hence his name.

Health

Flats is twice injured in his appearance. First, he runs over a banana peel in the middle of the street while driving, ultimately culminating in a vehicular accident and subsequently hospitalizing him. He seemed to have undergone a fatal accident, as his entire body is covered with bandages. However, later in the episode, he is shown to have recovered, as he is no longer bandaged during his final confrontation with SpongeBob. During said confrontation, Flats' health starts to deteriorate as he loses energy from persistently punching SpongeBob, eventually knocking him unconscious at school.

Personality

Being a bully, Flats is very sadistic, rude, intimidating, and unrepentant for no apparent reason. This is established when he reveals kicking other people's butts as his main interest. This is also evident when he still wants to hurt SpongeBob even after the latter saved his life from a vehicular accident, showing no remorse to the situation whatsoever. He is also shown to be disrespectful to authority figures, as he confronts his dad about talking to strangers and threatens to kick his butt; this intimidates his dad, who is too scared to punish his son for his actions.

Despite his rudeness, authority figures view his threatening behavior as friendly and well-intentioned, when it is anything but.

Abilities and talents

  • Driving: Flats is shown to be proficient at operating motor vehicles, as seen when he drives a garbage truck down the street. However, he fails to defend himself against an unsuspected banana peel on the road.
  • Fighting: While he is unsuccessful in attacking SpongeBob due to the latter's status as an invertebrate, he is implied to have inflicted serious physical harm to his previous victims.
  • Strength: He was strong enough to rip his own chest hair off without feeling any pain, and later knock SpongeBob's door down.

Role in series

"Sandy's Rocket"

Flats first appears as a cameo in this episode, where he is one of SpongeBob's "alien hunting" victims.

Sandy's Rocket book

He had the same role as the episode.

"Texas"

Flats attends Sandy's Texas party.

"The Bully"

He joins Mrs. Puff's Boating School and wants to kick SpongeBob's butt. The latter takes this extremely seriously, reacting as if he were going to actually kill him. He makes many attempts to reason with and/or escape him, but to no avail. He eventually calls Patrick to protect him, only to find out that Flats is friends with him and that they were community college friends.

He also tries to go to Mrs. Puff to help, who talks to Flats and explains to SpongeBob that "kicking his butt" means that Flats wants to become his friend, which is obviously not true.
SpongeBob and Flats

Flats kicking SpongeBob's butt

He then encounters Flats' dad and confronts him about his son's actions, only for the latter to go up to his father and teach him a lesson about talking to strangers, threatening to harm one of his parents.
I meen it

"I mean it!"

Flats goes as far as to chase SpongeBob out of school into town, even trying to run him over with a garbage truck. However, said garbage truck slips on a banana peel and flips over, critically injuring Flats in the process. He wakes up in the hospital and learns that SpongeBob saved his life through CPR, yet he is still intent on harming him.

Eventually, Flats corners SpongeBob in his own home and proceeds to "kick his butt" by repeatedly hitting him. However, SpongeBob discovers that his soft body simply absorbs the blows and does not harm him in any way. Relieved, SpongeBob allows Flats to attack him throughout his routine.

Flats continues to hit SpongeBob throughout the whole week until he finally passes out from exhaustion one morning at Boating School. The aftermath is that SpongeBob is seen with his fist raised in the air, requesting Mrs. Puff's attention; however, the latter misinterprets the situation by deeming that SpongeBob knocked Flats unconscious, and thereby threatens to harm SpongeBob in the same way Flats did at the end.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game

A drawing of him can be seen in Squidward's house in the PC version.

Gone Nutty!

He is seen in the "Sandy's Rocket" segment of the book, where he has the same role he has in the episode.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

He is seen in the end credits with other Bikini Bottomites.

Flatts The Flounder (Texas)

Flats in season 1

"Squid Noir"

He is one of the customers seen in the Krusty Krab, covering his ears due to Squidward's poor clarinet playing.

"Don't Feed the Clowns"

He is a customer of the bakery who got knocked out by getting hit with a pie thrown by little clown.

Trivia

  • Flats is a flounder, which is a species of flatfish, who have both eyes on one half of their body.
  • It's never really explained why he wants to kick SpongeBob's butt, though fans speculate it's for revenge for SpongeBob trapping him in Sandy's Rocket.
  • Coincidentally, Thomas F. Wilson is known for playing another bully named Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future film series.
  • Underneath his chest hair, Flats has a tattoo that reads "I mean it," to show that he is being serious.
  • Despite returning in season 11, he does not have any lines in either of his appearances in the said season.
    • On a side note, he does not have any lines in either of his season 1 appearances.

References

  1. ^ "The Bully." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. DATE. Television.
  2. ^ Closed captions of Bikini Bottom Mysteries Episode 10.
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