Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Graveyard Shift" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 2. In this episode, when the Krusty Krab opens a nightshift, Squidward tells SpongeBob a made-up story about the "hash-slinging slasher," which coincidentally becomes real over time.



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. Realizing the financial potential of a late-night shift, 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 tasks 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.

Incidental 6 does not read the "Closed" sign.

Squidward, sensing SpongeBob's fear, weaves him a terrifying tale on the spot of a "hash-slinging slasher," a clumsy Krusty Krab fry cook from years past who accidentally chopped off his hand and had it replaced with a rusty spatula. Due to fatally being run over by a bus and posthumous termination, the horrific specter returns every Tuesday night (though Squidward only put this detail in the story when SpongeBob told him that it was Tuesday) 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 SpongeBob continues screaming, an annoyed Squidward tells SpongeBob that he was joking and that the story is not true.

"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 expresses bafflement at the idea of the Krusty Krab being open 24 hours a day, wondering who would want a Krabby Patty at that time. (Ironically, a cutaway gag shows Patrick excitedly waking up at this hour specifically to eat a Krabby Patty.)

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 supposedly do not run so 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 starts to freak out whit SpongeBob thinks Squidward is dressed up across the street to entertain him because he likes him. However, Squidward tells SpongeBob the flaws in his theory. The first is he hates him and the second is how it's impossible for him to be the ghost when he is standing right next to him. Hearing this, SpongeBob starts to panic now.

Believing the events they witness to be supernatural, a frightened SpongeBob and Squidward say their final words as the figure approaches the counter. When the figure enters the light, however, he turns out to be just an ordinary person holding a spatula in a fully intact hand, which had been covered by his sleeve. He asks for a job application and reveals that he was the one who called earlier but hung up before speaking because he was nervous. Relieved, SpongeBob asks the applicant if he has any references, though Squidward notes that this turn of events does not explain the lights flickering.

As if to answer his question, the lights flicker again, revealing the culprit to be none other than the vampire Nosferatu. They casually tease him, as if this is a well-known habit to Krusty Krab staff and clients alike. Smiling at the trio mischievously, he flicks the lights off once more, cutting to black and ending the episode.

Running gags

  • When asked for assistance, a character replies with, "I can't hang out here all night! I've got a life."
  • SpongeBob happily naming a task he is accomplishing, and finishing with, "at night."
  • SpongeBob or Squidward botching the pronunciation of the Hash Slinging Slasher's name.



Deleted scenes

Floorboard Harry

The Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies DVD features Tom Kenny and Rodger Bumpass reenacting the recording process for 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, rather than Nosferatu.

After Squidward tells SpongeBob a scary story, SpongeBob ask him about multiple background fish that have various objects in place of their hands, such as a hook, a scythe, two toasters and a chainsaw.


 ) 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]
  Idea Vibe - 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 trash...at 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.]
  ? Vibes - 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 8 - 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 and "Club SpongeBob" were the first to be released on home video before airing on American television. It was available on the Nautical Nonsense VHS tape and the Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies DVD, which were released on March 12, 2002, six months before it aired on American television.
  • There is a book based on this episode named Shiver Me Timbers!
  • The title card background for this episode is similar to those of "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost" and "Rock Bottom," though this one is recolored purple and it's upside down.
    • Coincidentally, both "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost" and "Rock Bottom" are in season 1.
  • This is the first time the Krusty Krab is open 24/7.
  • To "sling hash" means to work in a restaurant.

    Doug Lawrence receives top billing.

  • This and its sister episode were the only episodes where Doug Lawrence received top billing under the writer credits, until he started writing episodes solo.
  • This is the first episode Dan Povenmire worked on.
  • Patrick's quote "Oh Boy! 3am!" has become a popular internet meme.
  • This episode marks the first usage of the track "Hello Sailor (b)," and any tracks composed by Harry Bluestone and Emil Cadkin.
  • This marks the first episode where "House of Horror" plays four out of five parts of this version.
    • This also marks the first time part five of "House of Horror" plays at a higher pitch.
  • The Krusty Krab closes at 6:00 PM in other episodes, but in this episode, it closes at 8:00 PM.
    • Though it is likely that Mr. Krabs extended the closing time by two hours in this episode.
  • Nosferatu is the titular character of a 1922 German horror film, in which he was played by Max Schreck. The pictures of him seen in the episode were taken directly from the film.
    • This episode aired on September 6, 2002, which would've been Max Schreck's 123rd birthday. Max Schreck was born on September 6, 1879, and passed away on February 20, 1936.
  • Nosferatu later appears in the episodes "The Night Patty" and "A Place for Pets," as well as the Kamp Koral episodes "Cabin of Curiosities" and "Kitchen Sponge."
  • Despite Squidward saying the Hash-Slinging Slasher replaced his severed hand with a rusty spatula, when Richard shows up with a clean spatula, Squidward still panics.
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Nocna Zmiana," which translates to "Night Shift."[citation needed]
  • In the German dub, the episode's title is "Nachtschicht," which also translates to "Night Shift."[citation needed]
  • In the Russian dub, Nosferatu was renamed to Count Dracula (though the footage was not altered).[citation needed]
    • Also, the hash-slinging slasher was renamed to "Гарри-Рубленое Мясо" in Russian dub, which translates to "Harry-Chopped Meat."[citation needed]
  • In Indonesia, some lines were edited:
    • The line "But what was that third thing?" was changed to "Who changed the colors?"[citation needed]
    • The line "How are you doing that without moving the switch?" was changed to "What are you doing with the switch?"[citation needed]
    • 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.[citation needed]
    • The line "Squidward, I use your clarinet to unclog my toilet!" was changed to "Squidward! Get rid of him!"[citation needed]
    • Near the end of the episode, the line "Nosferatu!" was changed to "Don't be naughty!" because Nosferatu is even less well-known in Indonesia.[citation needed]
      • However, Nosferatu's name was used later in the Indonesian dub, in the season 11 episode "The Night Patty."[citation needed]
  • In the Turkish dub, the line "Nosferatu!" was changed to "So, it was you!"[citation needed]
  • 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 to his own toilets.
  • On some airings, the episode is mistakenly rated TV-Y instead of TV-Y7.[citation needed]
  • This episode was paired with different episodes in different airings:

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.
  • The green slime oozing from the walls of the Krusty Krab might be a reference to the climax of the original 1979 version of The Amityville Horror where blood drips down from the haunted house's walls.
  • Nosferatu is from the 1922 horror film of the same name.


  • Squidward says that the hash-slinging slasher comes out every Tuesday night and his ghost returns to the Krusty Krab. However, he still panicked when the person who was thought to be the hash-slinging Slasher came to apply for a job, even though it was 3:00 AM 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 misshapen flower clouds. The sky remains as such for the rest of the episode.

The lines on Squidward's forehead are gone.

  • Before Squidward says the three signs that signal the approach of the hash-slinging slasher, the wrinkles on his forehead disappear for a shot.

Squidward's eyes overlapping with his eyebrows.

  • When Squidward tells SpongeBob that the issue was not that the Slasher had not washed his hands, Squidward's eyes overlap with his eyebrows.
  • In one shot while SpongeBob is screaming, his mouth closes during each one as if he was speaking at the same time.
  • 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 most of the episode. Near the end, it returns.

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

  • 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.
    • They disappear again when the walls are covered with green slime.

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

The sign reads "Gallay Grub."

  • Near the beginning when Squidward is about to leave, the Galley Grub sign reads, "Gally Grub," and when SpongeBob shouts, "Are you ready to rock, Squidward?" it reads, "Gallay Grub." At another point, the Order Here sign reads, "Order Hear."
  • 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.
  • When Squidward and SpongeBob are shaking under the misconception that the Hash-Slinging Slasher approaches, the red line under SpongeBob's mouth flickers between normal and invisible.