"Neptune's Spatula" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season one. In this episode, SpongeBob is challenged to a cooking competition with King Neptune.



SpongeBob and Patrick are visiting the Fry Cook Museum, where they see a greasy griddle with a golden spatula embedded in the grease. On it is a plaque, which reads "Many have tried to pull this spatula out of this ancient grease, but all have failed." Larry the Lobster then attempts to pull it out but fails. SpongeBob then reads "Only a fry cook who's worthy of King Neptune himself can wield the golden spatula." SpongeBob, while posing for a photo, accidentally and effortlessly pulls it out while pointing out the menu section to a woman, then she says as a guy "Holy smokes!" but then it turns out she meant it in a literal sense because then King Neptune appears.

Neptune asks who pulled out the spatula, and everyone says it was SpongeBob. King Neptune refuses to believe this and asks for proof. Patrick shows him the photograph he took, but Neptune still refuses to allow such a lowly being as SpongeBob to become the royal fry cook. He challenges SpongeBob to a patty-making competition The Ultimate Cookoff. If SpongeBob wins, he will stay at Atlantis forever and become a god. If he loses, he has to give up fry cooking forever. Patrick continually jeers to Neptune about SpongeBob's skills and says that he could complete up to 500 challenges. He is repeatedly zapped by Neptune three times until all that is left of him is a burnt mark on the floor. SpongeBob asks Neptune to restore Patrick and he does so (only with Patrick's face now on his butt).

In the Poseidome, King Neptune makes 1,000 Krabby Patties, in the time it takes SpongeBob to make just one, winning the challenge. However, when Neptune shares his patties with the audience, they think that they taste awful. Neptune is angered by this and asks why they would think that SpongeBob's would be any better.

Neptune's Spatula 198

He tastes SpongeBob's Krabby Patty and finds it to be delicious. Neptune releases the patty back out and eats it again, saying "I think I'd like to try it a second time," disgusting the audience in the process.

SpongeBob is declared the winner, but when he finds out that his friends cannot come with him to Atlantis, he tearfully refuses to go to Atlantis, and instead arranges for King Neptune to be a trainee under SpongeBob at the Krusty Krab, teaching him that "perfect Patties are made with love, not magic."

Running gags

  • King Neptune zapping Patrick whenever he interrupts him.




 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  The Tale of Ben Hur 1 [#41.02] - Gregor F. Narholz [title card]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [opening]
  Honolulu Lula - Terry Day [SpongeBob and Patrick at the Fry Cook Museum]
  Roman Legion - David Farnon [the golden spatula]
  Heavenly Voices (b) - David Farnon [choir]
  ? - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob pulls out the spatula]
  Gates of Troy - David Farnon [Neptune appears]
  A Dangerous Affair [#30] - Richard Myhill ["A fine jest, boy."]
  The Black Death - David Farnon [hot dog vendor]
  A Dangerous Affair [#30] - Richard Myhill ["It is even funnier a second time!"]
  The Black Death - David Farnon [Neptune compliments Larry]
  Sunset Strip - Reg Owen [Neptune and Larry making poses]
  Brave and Bold - Chris Payne, Paul Rogers ["This joke has gone far enough!"]
  In the Taverna - Dick Stephen Walter [photo of SpongeBob holding spatula]
  Wargames Linking Section (h) - Keith Mansfield [Patrick zapped.]
  Wargames Linking Section (g) - Keith Mansfield [Neptune issues a challenge.]
  Battle March Link (f) - Keith Mansfield ["Your friend's arrogance will cost you dearly."/"Three challenges!"/"There will be but one challenge."]
  Magic Sting - Nicolas Carr [Choir overlays "Salute to Caesar 1"]
  Salute to Caesar 1 [#18.02] - Gregor F. Narholz ["You will face me in... the ultimate cook-off!"]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [Patrick's face is on his butt]
  Timpani - Rolls (h) - Gary Kettel [Neptune summons the clouds]
  Timpani - Rolls (i) - Gary Kettel ["Now, behold!"]
  Happy Jose - Ulrich Hans Wenzel ["My beloved home of Atlantis."]
  Wargames Link (d) - Keith Mansfield [SpongeBob has to give up fry cooking if he loses]
  Timpani Signal 1 - Sammy Burdson ["Very well, then. To the Poseidome!"]
  Roman Legion - David Farnon [the ultimate cook-off]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band ["Don't worry, lad."]
  Whisper from the Past [#64] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Don't give up your dream, SpongeBob."]
  Entry of the Heroes E - Gregor F. Narholz [played during the challenge]
  Entry of the Heroes A - Gregor F. Narholz [played during the challenge]
  Time for Bed [#35.02] - Mark Emney ["Once upon a time..."]
  Entry of the Heroes B - Gregor F. Narholz [King Neptune laughs]
  Caesar's Entry [#7.4] - Gregor F. Narholz [Neptune wins]
  Short Fanfare [#29] - Alfred Kluten ["Free patties for everyone!"]
  The Oracle - David Farnon [Neptune eats SpongeBob's patty]
  Historical Fanfare [#32.07] - Gerhard Narholz [audience cheers]
  Vibe Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["You mean Patrick can't come?"]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill ["It was nice knowing you, buddy."]
  Short Fanfare [#29.03] - Alfred Kluten [bicycle appears]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob cries]
  Power and Glory - Gregor F. Narholz [Neptune turns SpongeBob into a god]
  The Twin Sisters - Chelmsford Folk Band [ending]


  • "Neptune's Spatula" was ranked #42 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.
  • "Neptune's Spatula" was ranked #38 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.




  • This is the first appearance of King Neptune.
  • Much like other episodes that aired in Indonesia, the scene where Poseidome is shown often, if not always, cut. This is done due to time constraints and ads in the middle of episode.[citation needed]
  • In Bahasa Indonesia, Patrick's lines during the conversation with King Neptune are harsher than in the original version, and include:[citation needed]
    • "He is the new royal fry cook and you..." is changed to "He is the damn royal chef and you know that!"
    • "Bring it on! SpongeBob can handle any... " is changed to "Just bring the hell it on! SpongeBob can handle every single damn thing!"
    • "Only two? What are two challenges to someone like SpongeBob?" is changed to "Only two?! Just two challenges to someone like SpongeBob!?"
    • "Three? [laughs] Three challenges is nothing. Might as well make it 500 challenges!" is changed to "Just three? [laughs] Three challenge are nothing at all! Might as well make it 500 challenges!"
  • A completely different King Neptune appears in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and yet another different Neptune appears in the live-action segment of "Party Pooper Pants." However, the Neptune from this episode makes a brief reappearance in "SpongeBob vs. The Patty Gadget." In "Krusty Towers," Squidward mentions King Neptune XIV, which would explain that there are multiple incarnations of Neptune. Also, the same Neptune from this episode appears in "The Clash of Triton," "Hello Bikini Bottom!," and "Trident Trouble."
  • The man taking a shower in the live-action sequence is Tom Kenny, the voice actor of SpongeBob.
    • This is Kenny's third live-action cameo after "Karate Choppers" and "Suds."
      • It has also become an internet meme.
        • Speaking of which, Tom Kenny was also shown in the shower in "Suds."
  • Neptune has a real-life human hand when SpongeBob asks him to fix Patrick, except that the human hand skin color is changed to green for Neptune.
  • It is unknown how Patrick's face returns to his head in later episodes.
  • This the first episode where Atlantis is shown. The second is "Atlantis SquarePantis," where SpongeBob actually goes to Atlantis, but it looks much different.
  • This is the last episode to have Fred Miller as an animation director.
  • This episode and "Fools in April" used to only tend to air in reruns in the United States on or around April Fool's Day, making this episode extremely rare to find on TV, since they both air on April Fool's Day and are April Fool's Day specials. However, recently, airtime of these episodes became a bit more common.[citation needed]
  • On SpongeBob's Grillin' and Villain Saturday, this episode was rated TV-Y instead of TV-Y7.[citation needed]
  • Miss Shell's eyes are seen in this episode, whereas in other episodes they are hidden by her sunglasses.
  • In this episode, Larry has white stripes on his back, though in other episodes he does not.
  • On the old Nickelodeon website, this episode is alternatively known as "The Spatula and the Stove."
  • Digiturk calls this episode as "Neptune's Spatual."

Cultural references

  • The spatula in the grease is a parody of the Arthurian legend of Excalibur or the sword in the stone, in which whoever pulls the sword from the stone would become the King of England.
  • The Poseidome is named after Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, Neptune being the Roman god.


  • When Patrick takes the picture of SpongeBob holding the spatula, he has his mouth wide open and there are clouds above him. However, when Patrick shows Neptune the picture, SpongeBob is smiling and there are no clouds, just light.
  • Several fish members of the audience at the challenge change colors between scenes.
  • When SpongeBob shows Neptune his blue and red underwear, he lets go of the golden spatula. It was supposed to fall onto the ground, but it stays there instead.
  • When Neptune says SpongeBob needs to be "left-handed," SpongeBob says he has two left hands, but later, his hands are normal.
  • When SpongeBob speaks to Neptune in the kitchen at the end, the walls are light blue instead of teal in the long shots.
  • When SpongeBob is standing on the grease, the spatula is as tall as him, but when he is cooking in the challenge, it is the normal length like SpongeBob's spatula.


"Neptune's Spatula" Animatic 🍔🧽 SpongeBob SquarePants

"Neptune's Spatula" Animatic 🍔🧽 SpongeBob SquarePants


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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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