"Rule of Dumb" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season four. In this episode, Patrick becomes a mean tyrant when he is crowned king.



Rule of Dumb 015

Starfish minister

A starfish from the Royal Ministry comes to visit Patrick for a special delivery, but Patrick initially mistakes him for a mad librarian and hides. When the starfish announces he has a gift for Patrick, which is a crown, Patrick dashes out of SpongeBob's house and grabs his gift with a naive perception of its concept. The starfish explains it is an item to wear, not to eat. Patrick is pleased when he gets the shiny crown. The starfish explains that he had uncovered a family tree showing Patrick to be descended from a king, thus making him the official king.

Rule of Dumb 026

"All hail King Patrick!"

SpongeBob becomes Patrick's servant and shows a treaty to the other Bikini Bottomites whenever Patrick takes something from them. SpongeBob assists Patrick firstly by going to the Krusty Krab and ordering for Patrick when Mr. Krabs looks at him in shock and comes to him in a happy way. However he kicks both Patrick and SpongeBob out of his restaurant due to Patrick's refusal to pay a bill, disregarding his advantages of royalty. Patrick then resorts to stealing a fish's Krabby Patty and shake, then a nerdy fish's comic book collection that had been ever-expanding.

Patrick then gets other citizens to line up leading to his rock, which is turned into a magnificent castle, with one of their possessions. Next morning, Squidward wakes up in a good mood, but that is quickly spoiled when he is blown away by the wind inside his house because Patrick is making a crane move it back a little bit to build a Ferris wheel without permission from Squidward. Squidward finally explodes after coming out of his house and announces to everyone that Patrick could not be a king because he is much too stupid and tells them that he cannot be a king of anything except being a moron. The townspeople realize that Squidward is right and they abandon Patrick, deciding not to listen to him anymore.

Patrick's insane and awful attitude inside his castle makes SpongeBob afraid of him, and he slowly walks away, saying he needs to go to the Krusty Krab for work as an excuse. Realizing that his servant just left him, Patrick goes for a drink. On his way, Patrick looks at himself in the mirror and sees that being a king has turned him into a monster.

Rule of Dumb 088

Monster Patrick

He gets frightened at this sight and goes back to the starfish who made him king. He gives the crown back to the Royal Ministry starfish, who then rechecks the paper of ancestors who were made to be king. After wiping a stain on the other side of Patrick's family, he realizes that Gary is the one who really has struck royalty. SpongeBob and Patrick become servants and Gary gets the crown. The episode finally ends with a happy and questioning "meow" from Gary.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  Royal Tableau - Stuart Stirling [title card]

  Dramatic Cue (a) - Ronald Hanmer ["I know exactly who you are!"]
  Classic Soap - Dieter Reith [SpongeBob watching TV]
  The Sword of Damocles - Jack Beaver [Patrick burning overdue library books]
  The King's Codpiece - Paddy Kingsland ["Salutations, young one."]
  Seaweed - Steve Belfer [Patrick trying to eat the crown]
  The Sovereign's March - Barrie Hingley [family tree]
  What's This - Nicolas Carr ["What is?"]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Anything I want?"]
  Salute to the King (a) - Paddy Kingsland ["Your wish is my command, your majesty."]
  Royal Celebration Fanfare - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["Let us rejoice in welcoming our new king!"]
  Parting of the Clouds - Nicolas Carr [Mr. Krabs sees Patrick's crown.]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band ["Well, well, well, what can I do for you, Patrick?"]
  Dunces and Dragons - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Buffet/Patrick refuses to pay.]
  Drama Link (d) - Hubert Clifford ["All free?!"]
  Nude Sting - Nicolas Carr [Mr. Krabs kicks SpongeBob and Patrick out.]
  Dance Macabre - Keith Mansfield [Patrick takes someone else's food.]
  Dunces and Dragons - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [fanfare]
  Chief Taravana - Kapono Beamer [comic book collector]
  Dance Macabre - Keith Mansfield [Patrick takes comic books.]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [collector cries]
  Brass Flourish (f) - Barrie Hingley ["I love being king!"]
  Stiff Upper Lip - Paddy Kingsland [Patrick taking things from everyone.]
  Classy Harpsichord - Nicolas Carr ["I need your opinion on something."]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [Transition to next scene.]
  Aloha Oe - Hans Haider, Queen Lili'uokalani [Squidward wakes up.]
  Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer [Squidward's house moving around.]
  Dance Macabre - Keith Mansfield ["Back... back... back..."]
  Steel Licks 1 - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward crawls out.]
  Goofy Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Squidward yells at SpongeBob and Patrick.]
  Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Everyone goes away.]
  Entry of the Heroes A - Gregor F. Narholz ["Get him! Attack! Attack!"]
  Entry of the Heroes E - Gregor F. Narholz ["So I decree! Attack!"]
  Dunces and Dragons - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [SpongeBob holds up treaty.]
  Tension Link - Nicolas Carr ["Here's what I think of your treaty!"]
  The Pursuit of Power (a) - Keith Mansfield ["My royal subjects have deserted me."]
  Dance Macabre - Keith Mansfield [SpongeBob leaves.]
  I'm Ready Fanfare - Nicolas Carr ["SpongeBob, I request a drink."]
  Graveyard - Johnny Pearson ["Huh... everybody's gone."]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Knock-knock."]
  Mists of Illusion - Gilbert Vinter [monster in the mirror]
  Rescue - Cecil Milner ["What have I become?!"]
  The King's Codpiece - Paddy Kingsland [Patrick gives back the crown.]
  The King's Fanfare - Laurie Johnson [Gary is the true heir.]
  Reinstating the King - Laurie Johnson [ending]




  • This episode was released on the Season 4 Volume 2 DVD box set, before it aired on TV in the USA.
  • This is one of the episodes that aired during the "Patrick for President" marathon.
  • In this episode, it is revealed that Patrick has overdue library books.
  • When Patrick is burning his books, he shows SpongeBob a book that says How to Read, an ironically titled book.
  • Music from "Dunces and Dragons" can be heard at the buffet scene in this episode.
  • The people in the family line are:
    • King Amoeba (Patrick's great-great grandfather)
    • Queen Mildew (Patrick's great-great grandmother)
    • Princess Tulsa (Patrick's great grandmother)
    • Yorick (Patrick's great grandfather)
    • Prince Callows (Patrick's great granduncle)
    • Prince Dingus (Patrick's great granduncle)
    • Carl (Patrick's first cousin twice removed)
    • Billy Bob (Patrick's grandfather)
    • Maw Tucket (Patrick's grandmother)
    • Sluggo (Patrick's uncle)
    • Herb (Patrick's father)
    • Margie (Patrick's mother)
    • Gary (Patrick's first cousin)
    • Patrick
  • It makes sense that the oldest king and queen were a bacterium and an amoeba since those life forms existed before others.
  • Plankton's quote "What the barnacles is going on here?" from "The Algae's Always Greener" is reused by Squidward.
  • In this episode, it is revealed that Patrick and Gary are first cousins.
    • Although Gary and Patrick are first cousins, Patrick is an echinoderm and Gary is a mollusk like Squidward.
  • In other episodes, Gary's food bowl is green, but in this episode, it is orange. It's possible that the orange food bowl is a different food bowl.
  • This is the second appearance of Patrick's parents. The first was "I'm with Stupid."
  • This is the fourth time SpongeBob shrinks. The first time was in "Nature Pants," the second time was in "Big Pink Loser," and the third time was in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV."
  • This is the second episode where Squidward's house is hoisted off the ground. The first was "Bubblestand."
  • This is the fourth and final episode transcribed as a comic in the SpongeBob SquarePants/Tokyopop book Mistaken Identity. The other three were "Once Bitten," "That's No Lady," and "The Thing."
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode's title is "Kralj Patrik," which translates to "King Patrick."
  • In the Welsh dub, the episode title is "Bytheirio Brenhinol," which translates to "Royal Burial Ground."

Cultural references

  • The title is a pun of the idiom "rule of thumb," a broadly accurate guide or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory.
  • When Patrick hides in SpongeBob's house, he makes a mess. If one were to look carefully, they can see a book called Richie Salmon's Guide to Fitness by Richie Salmons. This is a parody of the fitness instructor Richard Simmons.
  • Yorick is a reference to the character of the same name from the play Hamlet.
  • When Patrick gives back the crown, the man from the royal ministry says "With great power comes great responsibility," as Voltaire, a famous French philosopher, once said.


Rule of Dumb 097

Overlapping flowers

  • When the kids are licking lollipops, the flowers in the sky background are overlapping with part of the sand.
  • The Krusty Krab sign is not seen in this episode.
  • When Patrick is taking items from the citizens, there is a small gray tower on his rock. When he is annexing Squidward's house, the tower is missing and his old antenna is shown again. When Squidward says that Patrick is a bad king, the gray tower is back on the rock.
  • When Squidward's house is dropped into the ground, its "nose" is above the ground, however, during a close-up of the house, the house is buried up to its windows.
  • Tower cranes have bases to keep them still in place, not tracks to move them around as seen in the one seen in this episode.
  • While Patrick orders an attack on Squidward, his house is black instead of brown.
  • After SpongeBob runs away from Patrick, he rips his coat off, but when it zooms out, the coat pieces are not there.
Rule of Dumb 127

Big window error

  • Squidward's window in his bedroom is bigger than usual.
  • When the man from the royal ministry shows Gary being the true king, he seemed to know the fact before rubbing off the stain despite how he never actually rubbed off the coffee stain before rubbing off the stain in front of Patrick.


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