- Squidward Tentacles
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Patrick Star
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Bubble Bass
- Flats the Flounder (cameo)
- Suburban dad figurine (debut)
- Nat Peterson
- Harold Bill Reginald Scott
- Thaddeus (cameo)
- Billy (mentioned)
- Mermaid Man (as action figure)
- Barnacle Boy (cameo on display case)
- The Moth (cameo as action figure)
- Jumbo Shrimp (cameo as action figure)
- Pi-Right Ponderer (cameo as action figure)
- Unnamed green eel (debut)
- Fish at the Near Mint Comic Books store (debut)
- Grandma SquarePants (mentioned)
At the Krusty Krab, Squidward is playing his clarinet badly, to the annoyance of the customers. This causes Mr. Krabs to rush out of his office and tell Squidward to stop driving his customers batty. Squidward (oblivious to his lack of talent) informs Mr. Krabs that he is practicing for an important open mic night that will be going on that night. Mr. Krabs tells him to practice elsewhere since the Krusty Krab is a jazz free zone. Squidward then arrogantly claims he will take his music to the people and walks out of the Krusty Krab.
Squidward then stands outside the Near Mint Comic Books store where Bubble Bass is showing off a first generation talking suburban dad figurine to a few other fish. Squidward then begins playing his clarinet outside the store, which causes Bubble Bass to drop and break the figurine. Angered, Bubble Bass rushes outside and jumps on top of Squidward. Bubble Bass tells Squidward to remove his clarinet from the premises, or he'll snap the reed. He then gets off Squidward causing him to roll all the way into his own front door.Squidward angrily storms upstairs and begins playing his clarinet out the window. This annoys Patrick who is sitting outside playing with a couple of rocks. Patrick looks up and thinks that Squidward is being attacked by a pointy screeching monster. Patrick yells that he'll save Squidward and throws a rock which hits Squidward's clarinet and pins his head to a wood mount on his wall. Patrick yells "You're welcome!" and walks away. Squidward then puts his clarinet to bed for a pre-performance nap. After an hour passes, Squidward returns to find that his house has been broken into and his clarinet is missing. This begins the colorless segment of the episode.
Squidward begins monologuing about how his world has lost color since his clarinet went missing. He then notices his first suspect, SpongeBob, who is playing out in the rain. He goes outside and asks SpongeBob what he did with his clarinet. SpongeBob believes it to be a game. Squidward then slaps him and asks him again. SpongeBob slaps himself and says he does not know. He then gives Squidward an alibi that he was at his Grandmother's house and shows the kiss marks on his head to prove it. SpongeBob suggests they ask their friends for answers and asks if he can join Squidward. Squidward reluctantly agrees.
The two then drive to the Krusty Krab to interrogate their first subject. They rush into Mr. Krabs office and Squidward tells him he wants to ask him a few questions. The two begin pampering Mr. Krabs since SpongeBob doesn't know how to be a bad cop. Mr. Krabs gets angry by the duo's actions and question them. Squidward then asks him what he did with his clarinet. Mr. Krabs claims he didn't do anything since he was in his office counting his money all day. They believe him and mousy on their way. Mr. Krabs yells at them to bring him the clarinet when they find it so he can smash it.
They then return to the comic store where Squidward intends to interrogate Bubble Bass. The store is closed but they can here Bubble Bass and the other fish inside at the table. The two bust through the door and Squidward yells "Bubble Bass!". Bubble Bass then rushes off while SpongeBob sends a Mermaid Man figurine to fight the Suburban dad figurine. It turns out to be SpongeBob and Bubble Bass just bashing the figurines together. SpongeBob asks him what he did with Squidward's clarinet. He claims he had been at the comic store all day. Bubble Bass then drops and breaks the Suburban dad figurine again which causes him to cry.
The two then return to Squidward's house where Squidward notes he has one suspect left and SpongeBob states its Patrick. Squidward is surprised SpongeBob knew and asks about this, as the latter shows him Patrick is at the scene of the crime. Squidward then lays out what he believes Patrick did when he stole the clarinet. Patrick claims he did not steal it and says the goo he is eating is jellyfish jelly. This leads SpongeBob and Squidward to believe that the thief is at Jellyfish Fields.
The three then drive to Jellyfish Fields. When they arrive they see a jellyfish holding on to the clarinet. Squidward runs over and grabs the clarinet from the jellyfish, thus returning the color to his world. Squidward begins playing his clarinet in Jellyfish Fields. Patrick says they should solve another mystery which SpongeBob replies with, "How about the mystery of where all my coins went." This then results in all of his missing coins falling on his head.
At night, Squidward plays for the Open mic night which takes place at a place called "jelly" in Jellyfish Fields. The audience consists entirely of Jellyfish who enjoy the music, as well as Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob, and Patrick, whom all have their ears plugged.
As part of the SpongeBob: You Bring The Color promotion, people were able to color images of several scenes in this episode to be part of the actual episode. The competition ended on November 10, 2017.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr [Squidward playing clarinet.]
‣ Noodly Shenanigans - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["You're driving me customers batty!"]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (o) - Jeremy Wakefield ["And if I see that clarinet again, it'll be going into the woodwind chipper, you hear me?"]
‣ Fooling Around - Barry Anthony [Bubble Bass shows the other fish his suburban dad figurine.]
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr [Bubble Bass hears Squidward's clarinet.]
‣ Dramatic Impact 6 - Ivor Slaney [Figurine breaks.]
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr [Bubble Bass sees Squidward playing clarinet.]
‣ Nude Sting - Nicolas Carr [Bubble Bass jumps onto Squidward.]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (f) - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward emerges from under Bubble Bass.]
‣ Lite Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["You will remove that subpar woodwind from the premises."]
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr [Squidward playing clarinet in his house.]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (a) - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward's head is missing.]
‣ Alekoki - Kapono Beamer ["It's time for our pre-performance nap."]
‣ Dramatic Impact 5 - Ivor Slaney [Squidward's clarinet is missing and his window is broken.]
‣ Blue Lamp Blues - Ralph Dollimore ["And that's how it began... my life smashed to bits."]
‣ Secret Sleuth - Max Saunders [Squidward interrogates SpongeBob.]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Huh?"]
‣ The Hurry Up - Kenny Graham [Squidward and SpongeBob drive to the Krusty Krab.]
‣ Stool Pigeon - Kenny Graham [Squidward enters Krabs' office.]
‣ Bobmatisme - Achille Alberto Scotti [SpongeBob and Squidward pampering Mr. Krabs.]
‣ Sleazy Sax - Richard Myhill [Close-up of Mr. Krabs' makeover.]
‣ Silhouette No.3 - Johnny Hawksworth ["What in the salty seven seas are you two doing?"]
‣ Stool Pigeon - Kenny Graham [Squidward interrogating Mr. Krabs.]
‣ Subversion - Ralph Dollimore [SpongeBob and Squidward drive to Near Mint Comic Books.]
‣ Highway Hullabaloo - Kenny Graham [SpongeBob and Squidward burst through the doors.]
‣ Mermaid Man Sting - Nicolas Carr [Mermaid Man action figure.]
‣ Highway Hullabaloo - Kenny Graham [Mermaid Man action figure and suburban dad figurine fight.]
‣ Drama Link (g) - Hubert Clifford ["No!"]
‣ Funeral March - Frederic Chopin [Bubble Bass crying.]
‣ Today - Ralph Dollimore ["Come on, SpongeBob, let's go. This is a dead-end."]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hmm...Yeah, how'd you know?"]
‣ Dicey - Kenny Graham [Squidward interrogates Patrick.]
‣ Hot Steel and Slide Licks - Jeremy Wakefield [Shot of Patrick's hand full of jelly.]
‣ Rat Trap - Syd Dale [SpongeBob and Squidward realize the thief must be at Jellyfish Fields.]
‣ Drainpipe Drag - Ralph Dollimore [Squidward, SpongeBob, and Patrick drive to Jellyfish Fields.]
‣ Catfish Row - Benny Carter ["My baby!"]
‣ Tentically Speaking - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward retrieves his clarinet.]
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr [Squidward playing clarinet.]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Huh?"]
‣ A Brighter Day - David Luong [Jellyfish jazz club.]
‣ ? [Ending sting.]
- This episode premiered in the United States as part of the event based on the You Bring the Color game, where players color a screenshot from the opening of the show and scenes of this episode. There was a chance for them to see their colors live on American TV.
- Also, on the original American airing of the episode, the viewers also had a chance to color the last minute of this episode. In all future American TV airings, all digital releases, and all international airings, only the regular colors are used in the last minute of this episode.
- This is, to date, the only episode to have a 3D title card.
- The Moth from "Night Light" makes a cameo in this episode as an action figure.
- Jumbo Shrimp and Pi-Right Ponderer also make cameo appearances as action figures.
- The plot of this episode is similar to that of the short "GumShoe SquarePants."
- The idea of a jellyfish stealing Squidward's clarinet was used before in the DS version of SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis, where the Queen Jellyfish steals Squidward's clarinet (though in the game it isn't explained why she stole it).
- Flats the Flounder made a cameo in this episode. This marks his first appearance since appearing in the ending credits of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
- SpongeBob's alibi is a reference to the episode "Grandma's Kisses."
- This episode premiered eleven years after "Best Day Ever" premiered and six years after "Mooncation" premiered.
- The Russian title for this episode is "Сквидвард, частный сыщик," which translates to "Squidward, hard-boiled detective."
- This is the second episode that has black and white scenes, the first being "Truth or Square."
- This is the second time Squidward has questioned Mr. Krabs under a spotlight, the first time was "Krab Borg."
- This is the second episode where a character searches for something of theirs that went missing. The first was SpongeBob in "Missing Identity."
- This episode has many similarities to the episode "Where's Wanda?" from The Fairly OddParents!
- Both episodes revolve around a character losing something (Squidward: His clarinet, Timmy: Wanda).
- Both episodes have a black and white vibe throughout most of the episode.
- Both episodes have narration.
- Both episodes feature main characters having a hard-boiled attitude.
- Both of the main characters have 4 suspects (Squidward's suspects: SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs, Bubble Bass and Patrick. Timmy's suspects were Francis, A.J, Trixie and Cosmo). The characters proceed to interrogate their suspects with all the characters saying they don't have what they were looking for.
- Both episodes end off with them finding out who took their stuff (Squidward: The Jellyfish, Timmy: Cosmo). The color then returns once they find out where the item was.
- In Southeast Asia, this episode along with "Scavenger Pants" premiered on September 17, 2018 in a special event "What's The Juice?!: SpongeBob Edition."
- The title is a reference to the concept of film noir (French for "black film"), a genre of crime movies popular in the 1940s and 50s.
- One of the comics on the Near Mint Comic Books is titled "Blobfish." This is a reference to the fish of the same name.
- Squidward and SpongeBob's accidental make-over of Mr. Krabs makes him look like how Barbara Stanwyck's character is introduced in Double Indemnity, one of the most iconic noir films.
- Patrick tells Squidward he doesn't know who Jack is, but wants some beans. This is an obvious reference to Jack and the Beanstalk.
- When Bubble Bass' friends comfort him when his Suburban Dad action figure broke, the veil one of the friends wears disappears for a split second.
- In the Polish dub, Squidward's narration in the colorless segment of the episode was undubbed.
- In the French dub, John Trabbic's name is misspelled as John Trabbie.
- SpongeBob losing his coin.