If you were looking for the article about the DVD, then see Karate Choppers (DVD).

"Karate Choppers" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season one. In this episode, SpongeBob and Sandy get obsessed with karate.



SpongeBob and Sandy are practicing karate against each other. After fighting in SpongeBob's house and at Barg'N-Mart, Sandy tortures SpongeBob's tongue with a drop of Volcano Sauce, and tells him that she will sneak up on him and fight him tomorrow. At the Krusty Krab the next day, SpongeBob thinks anyone or anything can be Sandy, so he is cautious and does not work much. When he strikes one of the customers, Mr. Krabs demands to know what is going on, so SpongeBob explains to him that he is doing karate.

Therefore, Mr. Krabs tells him to stop doing karate or else he will fire him. Later, Sandy attacks him, and though SpongeBob attempts to explain Mr. Krabs' warning, Sandy does not listen to him. At that moment, Mr. Krabs sees this and thinks he is doing karate with Sandy, so he ultimately yells SpongeBob that he is fired. This upsets SpongeBob and he starts throwing a big tantrum. Feeling so guilty for getting her friend in trouble, Sandy quickly explains to him that SpongeBob tried to warn her to stop karate, but she wouldn't listen. Sandy begs Mr. Krabs to give SpongeBob his job back and they'll promise they won't never do it again. Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob his job back and tells him not to do anymore karate, as he feels that it is poisoning his mind.

Karate Choppers 004

The two try to forget about karate and go to Seashell Park for a picnic. However, while slicing sandwiches, they begin doing karate against each other again.

After they destroy the park, Mr. Krabs catches them once more. SpongeBob admits the truth and explains that he cannot help himself. However, instead of firing SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs decides to have SpongeBob and Sandy slice the Krabby Patties with karate chops which makes twice as much money as before.




 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [Title card]

  Panther Prowl - David Farnon [opening]
  Cieszyn Polka - Władyslaw Raczkowski [TV show]
  Police Car - Sam Spence [SpongeBob screams]
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [SpongeBob and Sandy doing karate]
  Police Car - Sam Spence [SpongeBob throws Sandy through the door]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob does a karate dance]
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [karate over the phone]
  Bossa Cubana - Gerhard Narholz [Sandy shopping]
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [tin cans]
  Police Car - Sam Spence [SpongeBob laughs]
  Dancing the Hula - Kapono Beamer ["What a beautiful day!"]
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [more karate]
  House of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [volcano sauce]
  Death Trap - Gregor F. Narholz ["By the powers of naughtiness..."]
  Panther Prowl - David Farnon [Sandy drinking volcano sauce.]
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [novelty toy]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [at the Krusty Krab]
  Keep Cool - Jean Christophe Thomas, Laurence Peter Cottle [customer swatting a fly/"I'm fast, I'm mean, and I can do this!"]
  Blow the Man Down (b) - Tim Laycock, Robert Alexander White [Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob to get back to work]
  Keep Cool - Jean Christophe Thomas, Laurence Peter Cottle [SpongeBob enters the bathroom]
  Sailor's Waltz - Heinz Matschurat [Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob to stop doing karate or he is fired]
  Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["Fired?"]
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [Sandy starts karate chopping SpongeBob/Sandy continues karate chopping SpongeBob/Sandy karate chopping SpongeBob again]
  Stack of Leis - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob crying/"Aww, shoot, SpongeBob. I guess you ain't fibbing."]
  Vibe Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["We can?"]
  Nostalgic Hawaii - George de Fretes, Jan Rap [SpongeBob squeezes a rock]
  On the Beach - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob and Sandy on a picnic]
  Mavericks - The Woodies [making sandwiches]
  Police Car - Sam Spence [sting]
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [they fight]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [everything cut in half]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob screams]
  O Makalapua (b) - Kapono Beamer ["Oh, all right, Mr. Krabs, you caught me."]
  Take That! (a) - Helene Muddiman [ending]

*On The Complete 1st Season and The First 100 Episodes DVDs, "Mavericks" is replaced with "El Dementia" by The Surfdusters.



  • "Karate Choppers" was ranked #44 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.



  • This episode and "SB-129" are the only episodes to premiere on New Year's Eve.
  • There is an online game based on this episode called Kah Rah Tay Contest.
  • This was the last episode to premiere in 1999 and the last to air during the 1990s decade.
  • In the beginning, SpongeBob's shoes appear to make "quacking" sounds, only to reveal he has stepped on three squeaky toy ducks. "Stepping on ducks" is a euphemism for flatulence.
    • Later in the episode, SpongeBob suggests he "cut the cheese," another euphemism for flatulence, although, in this case, it is literally slicing cheese.
  • In this episode, SpongeBob is a karate master like Sandy. However, in other episodes, SpongeBob is much less skilled.
    • This episode includes a rare instance in which SpongeBob defeats Sandy in a karate fight.
  • In the scene of the treedome at night, Sandy hums "The Yellow Rose of Texas."
  • The mask that Sandy says is her "worst disguise yet" looks similar to the one that SpongeBob wears when he pretends to be Sandy's "pappy" in "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm." The only difference between them is the colors.
  • Tom Kenny portrays the Volcano Sauce drop.
    • In the season 1 DVD commentary, Kenny explains that the scene was shot in the Nickelodeon restroom, and he had to wear red makeup all over his face to portray the character. He also had an audition on that same day the scene was shot, but the red makeup did not completely come off in time.
  • The Volcano Sauce drop has become an internet meme.
  • The Volcano Sauce drop is credited as "Hot Sauce Drop."
  • A fish is seen fishing for fish with a fishing pole at the park, even though this is an act of cannibalism.
  • This was Merriwether Williams' first episode as a writer. Her final episode was "Pranks a Lot."
  • This is the first time that "Dancing the Hula" plays normally instead of in reverse like it did in its debut in "Pickles."
  • This is the first of four episodes transcribed as a comic into the SpongeBob SquarePants/Tokyopop book Gone Nutty!. The other three were "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm," "Pressure," and "Sandy's Rocket."
  • Two clips of this episode were featured in the 2010 film Date Night. Coincidentally, Ray Liotta, who voices the leader of The Bubble Poppin' Boys in season 5's "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?", also appeared in the movie as crime boss Joe Miletto.
  • On The Complete 1st Season DVD, this episode, along with "Plankton!," has an audio commentary.
  • The fish shown on SpongeBob's TV is a royal gramma (Gramma loreto), a tropical aquarium fish.
  • In the Japanese dub, this episode is called "空手大好き," which translates to "I Love Karate."
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode's name is "Karate udarci," which translates to "Karate Chops."
  • A short clip of SpongeBob crying from this episode was featured in the music video for "Hallelujah Money," a 2017 single by British virtual band Gorillaz.

Cultural references

  • When SpongeBob is caught off guard by Squidward's orders, he calls him "ma'am," "sir," "boss," then "Pooh-Bah." Grand Poohbah is a character from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, The Mikado, later made famous as a title given to the head of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes on The Flintstones.


  • When Sandy is at SpongeBob's door, she has an extra stripe on her sleeve.
  • SpongeBob leaves the kitchen with a tray of six Krabby Patties. When he tosses the Krabby Patties onto Squidward's head, all six stick to it. In the next shot, there are eight Krabby Patties. In the final zoom shot of Squidward's head after SpongeBob says "Nice hairpiece, Squidward," 10 Krabby Patties can be seen.
  • When SpongeBob is cutting the food, on his first cut, the mustard seems to disappear.
  • SpongeBob's arm disappears when Sandy hangs up on him after his attempt at phone karate.
  • During the fight between SpongeBob and Sandy, a brick can be seen in their dust cloud.
  • After the bubble transition cuts to the Krusty Krab, some bubbles freeze in mid-air.
  • When SpongeBob slices the first slice of salami, the mustard bottle is missing.
  • A second window is added to SpongeBob's pineapple house near the lower-right corner. Before, there was only one window on the upper left corner.
  • Mr. Krabs tells Squidward that he was in his office. However, Mr. Krabs' office is the first door on the left, and when he comes in, he is on the right, but when SpongeBob talks to him, Mr. Krabs is on his office side, next to Squidward.
  • When SpongeBob rolls Sandy into a ball, her helmet disappears.
  • When SpongeBob goes into the restroom, there is the "Please wash your fins" sign on it. Later, when SpongeBob is walking, it disappears.
  • In the scene with SpongeBob holding the rock together to hide it from Mr. Krabs, a tree can be seen in the background chopped in half. The "leaves" of the tree are also chopped in half, even though they would not be touched just from chopping the tree in half.
  • In the scene where SpongeBob captures Sandy with the novelty toy tongue, she has her left arm inside her suit while she guzzles down hot sauce. Once SpongeBob loops the tongue around her, her arm immediately appears outside of the suit.
  • When SpongeBob gets fired, his face wrinkles up. In this shot, one of his holes goes above his head.
Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (VE)

Golden Reel Awards StatueStraight

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Music

Nominees: Stephen Hillenburg, Donna Castricone, Nicholas R. Jennings, Alan Smart, Peter Burns, Doug Lawrence, Derek Drymon, Alex Gordon, Donna Grillo, Jennie Monica, Krandal Crews, Jim Leber, Justin Brinsfield, Tony Ostyn, Nicolas Carr (for "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy"/"Pickles;" 2000)Nicolas Carr (for "Fools in April"/"Neptune's Spatula" in 2001; for "Jellyfish Hunter"/"The Fry Cook Games" in 2002; for "Wet Painters"/"Krusty Krab Training Video" in 2003; for "The Great Snail Race"/"Mid-Life Crustacean" in 2004) • Jimmy Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn and Paulette Lifton (for "Mid-Life Crustacean;" 2004)

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Sound

Nominees: Nicolas Carr (for "Karate Choppers;" 2000) • Andrea Anderson, Jimmy Lifton, Monette Holderer, D.J. Lynch, Vincent Gutisetti, Jeff Hutchins and Gabriel Rosas (for "Rock Bottom"/"Arrgh!;" 2001)

Best Sound Editing in Television – Animation

Nominees: Timothy J. Borquez, Jeff Hutchins and Daisuke Sawa (for "The Secret Box"/"Band Geeks;" 2002)

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation

Nominees: Jimmy Lifton, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn and Chris Gresham (for "Nasty Patty"/"Idiot Box;" 2012)

Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated

Nominees: Jimmy Lifton, Nicolas Carr, D.J. Lynch, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn, Chris Gresham and Paulette Lifton (for "Pranks a Lot"/"SpongeBob Meets the Strangler;" 2005) • Vincent Gutisetti, Jimmy Lifton, Nicolas Carr, Monique Reymond, D.J. Lynch, Mark Howlett, Jeff Hutchins, Aran Tanchum, Mishelle Smith and Paulette Lifton (for "Have You Seen This Snail?;" 2006)Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeHenge;" 2008)

Best Sound Editing: Television Animation

Nominees: : Chiho Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Daisuke Sawa, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Dan Cubert, Lawrence Reyes, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "Suction Cup Symphony;" 2009) • Chino Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Eric Freeman, Tom Syslo, Keith Dickens, Jason Stiff, Sergio Silva, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One;" 2010)

Best Sound Editing – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television

Nominees: Devon Bowman, Justin Brinsfield, Nicolas Carr, Andrea Anderson, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Eric Freeman, Tony Orozco and Danny Tchibinda (for "Gary's New Toy;" 2013) • Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Bobby Crew, Keith Dickens, Gabriel Rossas and Tony Orozco (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!;" 2013)

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