Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Shell Games" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 12. In this episode, Patrick discovers that the rock he lives under is actually the shell of a sea turtle who overslept.



A sea turtle named Tony is getting ready to see the lady turtles at the Goo Lagoon. He begins his daily routine by playing music from his record player, trying to lift his weights, eating his breakfast in a can, and brushing his teeth until his mirror cracks to think that the lady turtles will see him like this. He decides to make himself look clean and gets himself out of his shell and leaves. Meanwhile, Squidward begins to celebrate because he thinks that Patrick is leaving.

While Tony is getting himself ready, Patrick wakes up and climbs on top of Tony's shell to break his morning almond with a wooden hammer. When Tony hears the whack, he starts wobbling to try to get Patrick off of his shell, and Patrick thinks that his rock is moving. Patrick grabs Tony and uses a jackhammer and a bomb to break his morning almond. Tony explains to Patrick that his rock is his shell, but Patrick does not want to leave, so he glues himself on top of Tony's shell. They go to the barber shop to remove Patrick from his shell, and a spa so that Patrick will get dehydrated from the steam, but both of these do not make Patrick leave.

They make it to the Goo Lagoon to meet the lady turtles, but they are more interested in Patrick, which makes Tony jealous. Tony pops out of his shell, which leads Patrick to go inside his shell. When Patrick makes it into his shell, he uses his record collection as a frying pan, while using a frying pan as a record, and tearing his wall-art. The two cause havoc inside Tony's shell, which causes chaos to erupt at the Goo Lagoon, tipping over buildings, being tied to a swing set, and destroying the Krusty Krab, from which Patrick made a to go order. Eventually, a giant rock destroys their home, causing them to start crying, and the lady turtles decide to leave. Patrick gets an idea for a home that they can share. They decide to use Squidward's house as a rock and a shell. Tony walks away with Squidward's house as his shell and meets the lady turtles and they tell him he is looking sharp. The episode ends with Squidward arriving home from his shopping, seeing his house being taken by the turtles, and he begins to chase after them.


The episode was confirmed by Vincent Waller on June 9, 2019.[2]



 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  A Pineapple Luau with Bongos - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card]
  Comedy Punctuations and Bridges 3 - Fredric Bayco ["I think I overslept."]
  ? [Tony the turtle puts on the record player while eats his breakfast and washes his teeth]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 15 - Jeremy Wakefield [Tony tries to open the door of his shell]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Oh, boy! How long was I out?"]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 1 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, nasty!"]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 6 - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward thinks Patrick moves somewhere else]
  Danse Comique - Kenny Graham [Patrick wakes up under Tony's stomach while he walks]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 26 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, you gotta be kidding me! How'd I get back here?!"]
  Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick trying to open his walnut on top of Tony's shell]
  Light Conversation 1 - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["I'm trying to enjoy a snack."]
  Flashback - Nicolas Carr [Patrick thinking what a "Van Moose" is]
  Light Conversation 1 - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Tony tells Patrick to leave his shell and he refuses]
  ? [Tony and Patrick enter at Mel's Man Salon]
  Bridge 3 - Wilfred Burns [Tony learns he overslept inside of his shell for 30 years]
  Buying Spree - William Loose [Mel shaving Tony's beard]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 23 - Jeremy Wakefield [Tony and Patrick leave Mel's Man Salon]
  Happy-Go-Lucky - Ernest Tomlinson [Tony and Patrick enter at the Bikini Bottom Bath House]
  Monster Surf Party - Nicolas Carr [Tony and Patrick arrive at Goo Lagoon to meet the turtle girls]
  Clown in Town - Philippe Pares [Girls start pampering Patrick and Tony gets mad at him for destroying the stuff inside his shell]
  Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Tony and Patrick fighting inside Tony's shell]
  Earl's Revenge - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Tony's shell spinning around Bikini Bottom while it destroys stuff]
  Comedy Punctuations and Bridges 4 - Fredric Bayco [Kids swing in Tony's shell]
  Earl's Revenge - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Tony's shell hits a piece of coral and ends up destroyed]
  Salt Water Works - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Tony and Patrick crying while apologizing to each other for fighting]
  Great Idea Patrick - Nicolas Carr [Patrick gets an idea]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 34 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Hey, wait a minute. I know another rock we can share!"]
  Danse Comique - Kenny Graham [Ending]




  • This episode was paired up with "Jolly Lodgers" during the original American airing, but has since been re-airing with "Senior Discount."
    • Ironically, they both have to do with an unexpected guest visiting at Squidward's house.
  • In the accidental and official premiere in the UK, the scene with Tony crushing the can with his head was cut.
  • It is revealed that Patrick's rock is actually the shell of a sea turtle who overslept.
  • This episode accidentally premiered in the UK and Ireland on February 29, 2020.
  • Squidward says, "So long, you big pink loser!," which is a reference to the episode of the same name.
  • An image of Squidward's house from the end of this episode can be seen in a promo for "King Plankton" and "Stormy Weather," even though this episode did not premiere on June 22, 2019.[3]
  • SpongeBob only appears for about 10 seconds in front of the Krusty Krab in this episode. This episode marks SpongeBob's third smallest cameo, after "Mall Girl Pearl," and later, "Lockdown for Love," but smaller than in "Whale Watching."
    • Both of SpongeBob's previous cameos were in episodes focusing on Pearl, making this the first non-Pearl episode where SpongeBob has a minor cameo.
    • SpongeBob's cameo in this episode is subtly acknowledged when Patrick refers to him as "the little yellow guy."
    • This is the sixth episode where Patrick has more screentime than SpongeBob, following "Rise and Shine," "The Executive Treatment," "Patrick's Coupon," "Patnocchio," and "Swamp Mates."
  • Tony is the very first sea turtle to appear in the SpongeBob SquarePants series. They were previously mentioned in "Chum Caverns."
  • This is the fourth episode to use sand as the title card background, the first being "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm," the second being "Rise and Shine," and the third being "Sand Castles in the Sand."

Cultural references

  • The episode's title alludes to the gambling game.
  • One of the posters in Tony's shell features a band named Fissh, referencing the American rock band Kiss.
  • Another poster features a band named Lynyrd Squidyrd, which references another American rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
  • A record and a poster both feature a band named Mötley Cärp, which is a reference to the American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe.
  • A Rubik's Cube can be seen on Tony's nightstand.
  • A poster in Mel's Man Salon says, "Shave and a Haircut, only 2 Bits," referencing the tune.


The Chum Bucket's path is gone.

  • When Patrick takes the to-go order from SpongeBob, the path leading to the Chum Bucket is not seen.