"Graveyard Shift" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season two. In this episode, SpongeBob and Squidward work the night shift.



One night, the Krusty Krab staff prepares for its 8:00 PM closing, which comes none too soon for Squidward. However, a customer walks up to the door and attempts to make an order. Squidward smugly informs him that they are closed, and the customer prepares to take his money elsewhere. Discovering the potential of late-night customers, Mr. Krabs tears apart the "Closed" sign and, against Squidward's wishes, proclaims the Krusty Krab to now be open 24 hours a day. Mr. Krabs then promptly leaves his employees while SpongeBob is overjoyed at this prospect and, as the night goes on, takes pleasure in the chores he had no time to do during the day. When the time comes to take out the trash, however, he shows some trepidation towards the darkness outside. After going outside screaming to throw away the trash, he comes back in and calls it an easy task.

Graveyard Shift 006

Incidental 6 does not read the "Closed" sign.

Squidward, sensing SpongeBob's fear, weaves him a terrifying tale of the "hash-slinging slasher," a clumsy Krusty Krab fry cook from years past who accidentally chopped off his hand and replaced it with a rusty spatula. Due to being run over by a bus, and his employment being terminated at his funeral, the horrific specter returns every Tuesday night to exact vengeance on all who reside in the restaurant. Squidward goes on to explain the three signs of the ghost's return: the lights flickering on and off, the phone ringing with no one at the other end, and the arrival of the bus that had run the fry cook over. Squidward then laughs at SpongeBob's shrieks of fright, but when the screaming fails to stop, an annoyed Squidward tells SpongeBob that he was joking and that the story is not true.

Graveyard Shift 173

"The Hash-Slinging Slasher!"

3:00 AM soon arrives and the restaurant is now completely devoid of customers or any other signs of life besides SpongeBob and Squidward. Whilst contending with SpongeBob's diligent ceiling washing, Squidward slams the idea of the Krusty Krab being open 24 hours a day, wondering who would want a Krabby Patty at this time of night.

Suddenly, the lights begin flickering, though Squidward initially thinks SpongeBob is doing it in a failed attempt to scare him. After realizing that nobody is touching the light switch, Squidward then blames the faulty electrical wiring as the restaurant was not built to run 24 hours a day. The next moment, the phone rings but remains silent when Squidward answers. This time, SpongeBob thinks that Squidward is trying to scare him, but the latter denies this and becomes more nervous as these are two of the three signs that supposedly signal the arrival of the Hash-Slinging Slasher. While trying to remember the third sign, a bus pulls up to the Krusty Krab, even though the buses do not run this late. Its lone departing passenger is a shadow-covered figure with what appears to be glowing red eyes wielding a spatula. Fearing it to be the Hash-Slinging Slasher, Squidward, and SpongeBob panic.

Now realizing that they are truly experiencing supernatural events, a frightened SpongeBob and Squidward say their final words as the figure approaches the counter. But when the figure enters the light, he turns out to be just an ordinary guy holding a spatula in a fully intact hand up to his sleeve. He asks for a job application and reveals that he was the one who called earlier but hung up due to nervousness. Relieved, SpongeBob asks the guy if he has any references, though Squidward notes that this turn of events does not explain the lights flickering.

Graveyard Shift 198


At that moment, the lights flicker again, and it is revealed that the culprit is the vampire Nosferatu. Smiling at the trio mischievously, he flicks the lights off once more, ending the episode.



Deleted scene

The Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies DVD features Tom Kenny and Rodger Bumpass recording a scene from this episode. It also includes storyboards of this episode and a deleted scene, in which SpongeBob does another activity "at night" as he delivers the mail to "Floorboard Harry." Floorboard Harry was also originally going to be the one responsible for flickering the lights, not Nosferatu.


 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  Finger of Suspicion 2 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Title card]

  Queen's Aloha Oe C - Kapono Beamer, Queen Lili'uokalani [opening]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Money?"]
  Hello Sailor (b) - Richard Myhill [Krusty Krab open 24 hours]
  On the Beach - Kapono Beamer ["Isn't this great, Squidward?"/"All right! Taking out the trash. Taking out the night."]
  Menace [#36] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["You mean outside?"]
  Menace [#41] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [SpongeBob runs out screaming to the dumpster.]
  Finger of Suspicion 1 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["What? What do I know?"/"..."Hash-Slinging Slasher?"/Squidward's story about the Hash-Slinging Slasher begins.]
  Shock Attack [#25] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [SpongeBob screams.]
  Finger of Suspicion 2 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Squidward continues his story.]
  Danger Lurks 2 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["The phone will ring and there will be nobody there."]
  Finger of Suspicion 3 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Squidward finishes the story.]
  House of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [SpongeBob screams repeatedly.]
  Moloka'i Nui A - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob laughs repeatedly.]
  Footsteps of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [Squidward hearing noises/Squidward continues hearing noises/Squidward hearing more noises/Squidward looking everywhere.]
  Question Sting - Nicolas Carr ["What?"]
  House of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [Squidward's story starts coming true/"The walls will ooze green slime?!"/A bus arrives/The "Hash-Slinging Slasher" is real.]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill ["Can I have a job application?"]
  Steel Licks 7 - Jeremy Wakefield [ending]



"'Night, night, night, night.' Having Nosferatu, the vampire from the 1922 silent German Expressionist horror film appear in a Nicktoon is exactly the kind of 'what the?' moment that sets this series apart from more conventional animated shows!"



  • This episode premiered in Canada on January 24, 2002, before premiering in the United States.
  • There is a book based on this episode called Shiver Me Timbers!
  • The title card is similar to that of "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost" and "Rock Bottom."
  • This is the first time the Krusty Krab is open 24/7.
  • To "sling hash" means to work in a restaurant.
    Mr. Lawrence credited as first writer in Graveyard Shift

    Doug Lawrence is credited first

  • This and its sister episode are the only episodes where Doug Lawrence is credited first as a writer of the episode, until he started writing episodes solo.
  • This is the first episode Dan Povenmire worked on.
  • Squidward and SpongeBob's hair-raising screams when the hash slinging slasher is about to approach them have become very popular internet memes.
    • Also, SpongeBob eating his own hands when Squidward tells his story and SpongeBob messing up the hash-slinging slasher's name has also become popular.
    • Patrick saying "Oh boy! 3 AM!" has become a semi-popular internet meme.
    • Nosferatu flickering the light switch became a semi-popular meme.
  • This marks the first episode where "House of Horror" plays four out of five parts of this version.
  • The Krusty Krab closes at 6:00 PM in other episodes, but in this episode, it closes at 8:00 PM.
  • Nosferatu reappears at the end of this episode. His real appearance is based on the 1922 German silent horror film of his name, "Nosferatu," played by the late Max Schreck.
    • This episode aired on September 6, 2002. Max Schreck was born on September 6, 1879, and passed away from a heart attack on February 20, 1936. This episode is dedicated to him in honor of his 123rd birthday.
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Nocna Zmiana," which translates to "Night Shift."
    • According to European folklore, 3 a.m. is the witching hour when witches, ghosts, and demons are said to be active.
  • In the German dub, the episode's title is "Nachtschicht," which translates to "Night Shift."
  • In the Russian dub, Nosferatu was renamed to Count Dracula.
    • Also, the hash-slinging slasher was renamed to "Гарри-Рубленое Мясо" in Russian dub, which translates to "Harry-Chopped Meat."
  • In Indonesia, some lines were edited:
    • The line "But what was that third thing?" was changed to "Who changed the colors?"
    • The line "How are you doing that without moving the switch?" was changed to "What are you doing with the switch?"
    • The line "And then, he got hit by a bus! And... at his funeral, they fired him!" was changed to "And then, he became crazy! And... after that, the fire burned him!" This one changes the hash-slinging slasher's backstory completely.
    • The line "Squidward, I use your clarinet to unclog my toilet!" was changed to "Squidward! Get rid of him!"
    • Near the end of the episode, the line "Nosferatu!" was changed to "Don't be naughty!" because there is no Indonesian translation for "Nosferatu.
  • In the Turkish dub, the line "Nosferatu!" was changed to "So, it was you!"
  • This episode is later referenced in "Restraining SpongeBob," where Patrick uses Squidward's clarinet to unclog the toilets at the Krusty Krab like SpongeBob says he does in this episode.
  • On the Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies DVD, there is a storyboard version and a deleted scene where SpongeBob does another thing at night where he brings mail to Floorboard Harry.
  • On some airings, the episode is rated TV-Y.

Cultural references

  • SpongeBob's "Night Song" has the tune of a Baseball/Hockey Charge Stadium organ song.
  • The hash-slinging slasher is an apparent parody of the story The Hook, where a man has a hook instead of a hand.
  • The sign about the telephone ringing is similar to a scene from the 1996 horror film Scream.
  • Nosferatu is from the 1922 horror film of the same name.


  • Even though this along with "Krusty Love" premiered in 2002 and had a copyright date of that year, it was actually made in 2001 due to the next episode having a 2001 copyright.
  • Squidward says that the hash-slinging slasher comes out every Tuesday night and his ghost returns to the Krusty Krab. However, when the person who was thought to be the hash-slinging Slasher came to apply for a job, it was 3:00 AM, meaning that it was early Wednesday morning.
  • At one scene when SpongeBob is about to walk outside to take out the trash but then stops, the night sky outside the window is normal, but in the next scene when the camera zooms out of the glass door, the night sky is green with spooky flower clouds, then remains throughout the episode.
  • Before Squidward says the three signs that signal the approach of the hash-slinging slasher, the wrinkles on his forehead are gone.
    Graveyard Shift 101

    The lines on Squidward's forehead are gone.

  • When Squidward tells SpongeBob "No" to "He didn't wash his hands," Squidward's eyes overlap with his eyebrows.
    Squidward's eyes and eyebrows overlap error

    Squidward's eyes overlapping with his eyebrows

  • When Squidward tries to stop SpongeBob's screaming session, his eyes are not aligned with his eyebrows.
  • When SpongeBob is mopping the ceiling, the water from the bucket does not fall to the ground.
  • The cash register is missing for a majority of the episode. Near the end, it returns.
  • When Squidward says "And he appears with the ghost of the bus" and "He opens the door, and approaches the counter!," the "Order Here" and "Galley Grub" signs are missing.
    • This happens again when the walls are covered with green slime.
      Graveyard Shift 183

      The "Galley Grub" and "Order Here" are missing.

  • The Galley Grub sign reads "Gally Grub" at one point in the episode. At another point, the Order Here sign reads "Order Hear."

    Sign reads "Order Hear" instead of "Order Here"

  • An "Open Forever" neon sign is seen on the Krusty Krab in one shot. However, when the "hash-slinging slasher" approaches the Krusty Krab, the sign is gone.
  • The Chum Bucket does not appear across from the Krusty Krab.


Running gags

  • When asked for assistance, the character replies "I can't hang out here all night! I've got a life."


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