"The Bully" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, Flats the Flounder joins SpongeBob's boating class.



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SpongeBob is at boating school, and Mrs. Puff announces a new student will be joining the class. His name is Flats the Flounder, and he tells SpongeBob that he is going to "kick his butt." SpongeBob at first assumes him to be joking, but Flats soon makes it clear that he really means to beat up SpongeBob. An extremely paranoid SpongeBob tries to seek help and to reason with Flats, but to no avail.

SpongeBob asks Patrick (who dialed the number of his school by mistake, thinking he was dialing the number of Pizza Castle) for help, only to learn that he and Flats were buddies back in community college. He then tries to go to Mrs. Puff to help, who talks to Flats and explains to SpongeBob that "kicking his butt" means that Flats wants to become his friend, which is obviously not true. He then encounters Flats' dad in a boat and confronts him about his son's actions, only for the latter to go up to his father and threaten him as well. SpongeBob panics and sprints away.

He eventually runs away into town, where Flats attempts to run him over with a garbage truck, while he eventually drives over a banana peel SpongeBob drops, causing it to flip over. Flats awakens in the hospital, where he learns that SpongeBob saved his life by performing CPR on him for five hours straight.

Despite this, Flats continues to pursue SpongeBob; when SpongeBob runs through town, some people kick an old man's butt who they think is going to kick SpongeBob's butt. The old man was by a bus stop and Harold asks how many times they have to teach him this lesson. Eventually, he corners SpongeBob in his own home, where he proceeds to beat him up.

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However, due to SpongeBob's spongy body, he absorbs the blows without harm. Flats continues to hit SpongeBob nonstop throughout all of next week, until he finally faints from exhaustion; his classmates cheer for SpongeBob. However, pitying Flats, SpongeBob starts a speech about how violence leads to nowhere, which ends with him making a fist. Mrs. Puff enters and sees Flats unconscious and SpongeBob making a fist, and believes SpongeBob beat up Flats. The episode ends with Mrs. Puff saying "I'm going to kick your butt!" to SpongeBob with the boating school being shown.




 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Marching to Honolulu - Kapono Beamer [Title card.]
  Hello Sailor (b) - Richard Myhill [Opening at Boating School.]
  Dangerous B - Mladen Franko [Flats the Flounder introduced.]
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [Flats says he's gonna kick SpongeBob's butt.]
  Horror Chords (b) - Paddy Kingsland [Flats rips off chest hair.]
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [Flats draws himself beating up SpongeBob.]
  Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob hides in the bathroom.]
  Unease - Dick Stephen Walter ["I just don't understand."]
  Dramatic Climax - Mike Sunderland ["What am I gonna do?"]
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, that's real nice."]
  Zelle 506 - Gerhard Trede [Flats enters.]
  Zelle 505 - Gerhard Trede [SpongeBob talks to Flats.]
  Funeral March - Frederic Chopin, R.A.F Music Library [Phone call.]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Patrick, is that you?"]
  Epic Struggle - Fredric Bayco [Flats at Patrick's house.]
  Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland [SpongeBob runs away from the phone.]
  Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Come in, SpongeBob."]
  Romance and Rhapsody - Felton Rapley [SpongeBob talks to Mrs. Puff.]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["You what?!"]
  Dramatic Cue (e) - Ronald Hanmer ["I got diarrhea!"]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr [Flats' dad.]
  Unpreventable - Gregor F. Narholz ["Dad, what are you doing?"]
  Flight in Panic 1 - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob running away.]
  Dramatic Cue (f) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob hides in a garbage can.]
  Dramatic Encounter - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob gasps.]
  Flight in Panic 1 - Gregor F. Narholz [Flats chasing SpongeBob.]
  Dramatic Stabs - John Fox [Banana peel.]
  Hawaiian Flower - Jon Jelmer [Flats in the hospital.]
  Flight in Panic 1 - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob runs home/SpongeBob arrives home]
  Dramatic Encounter - Gregor F. Narholz [Flats getting ready to beat up SpongeBob.]
  Chief Taravana - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob absorbing Flats' blows.]
  Whisper from the Past [#64] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Flats was the real victim here."]
  Tales from the Swamp (c) - Ron Goodwin [Mrs. Puff gasps.]
  Steel Licks - Jeremy Wakefield [Ending.]



  • As of June 10, 2019, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 9.1/10 based on 525 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a rating of 9.0/10 based on 172 votes.[2]




  • This is Flats' third appearance on the show. His previous two were in "Sandy's Rocket" and "Texas." This is also his first speaking role.
  • This episode, along with "Just One Bite," are the only episodes from season 3 to premiere in 2001.
  • There are six bandages on the title card.
  • When the uncut version of "Just One Bite" was aired, "The Bully" would be aired first, and "Just One Bite" second. However, when the scene was deleted, the order of the two episodes is reversed. In some TV guides, the episode is still listed with "The Bully" before "Just One Bite."
  • In this episode, it's shown that because he's a sponge, punches don't hurt SpongeBob. However, in numorous other episodes, SpongeBob is hurt by them.
  • This episode premiered in Canada on December 28, 2001.
  • While SpongeBob and Flats are talking, Mrs. Puff is saying "blah blah blah red light blah blah blah green light blah blah speed" in the background.
  • When Patrick is talking to SpongeBob on the phone, Patrick says Flats was his "Community College Buddy," implying that Patrick went to college yet he was considered a kid in the first movie. He could be considered a kid because of his dimwitted and carefree personality.
  • The drawing Flats makes of himself beating up SpongeBob can be seen on Squidward's chalkboard in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game for PC.
  • When SpongeBob runs to the bathroom, there is a flyer that reads, "Join the Glee Club."
  • When Flats first walks into the classroom, it shows that the school leads outside. Later, SpongeBob is standing in a hallway, where the door would lead to.
  • In less than a minute, Flats recovers from his injuries to chase SpongeBob out of the hospital.
  • Charlie appears purple instead of blue, and wears green pants instead of red in this episode.
  • Flats seems to move to another town after this incident due to being absent for a long time. However, he makes a cameo appearance in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water credits.
  • This is the first episode to fully see the boating school hallways and bathrooms.
  • Mario from Pizza Castle (also mentioned by Patrick) was mentioned again in "Suction Cup Symphony" by SpongeBob when he said "sounds like Squidward ate at Mario's last night."
  • When the class is clapping, there's an old lady in the class.
  • The reason Flats wanted to kick SpongeBob's butt is never explained. He probably wants to kick SpongeBob's butt for pleasure since he says this "Well I like to kick people's butts."
  • This is the sixth episode to feature the Krusty Krab in an episode Squidward doesn't appear in.

Cultural references


  • When the students clap for Flats when he first enters the class, SpongeBob cannot be seen anywhere.
  • When SpongeBob crashes into Flats' dad's boat, there is only one seat. Later, Flats is shown in the car, too.
    • In addition, the steering wheel on the boat is on the right side, making it a foreign car.
  • Flats said he was going to kick SpongeBob's butt, but he only hit him. Although it could have been an idiomatic expression of him beating SpongeBob up.
  • When the garbage truck idles behind SpongeBob, it reads "Bikini Bottom Garbage." In the next scene, it is missing.
  • When Flats makes a sand sculpture of SpongeBob and kicks it, the viewer can see that Mrs. Puff's mouth is not moving while she is heard talking.
  • Flats is seen driving a dump truck, which makes the fact that he is in boating school seem illogical. Although he must have broke a law or have gone into an accident which is why he is in SpongeBob's boating school.
  • SpongeBob's eyelashes are missing for a short amount of time while Mrs. Puff says "And maybe play some sports with you on weekends."
  • SpongeBob states that he only said three words to Flats before he ran out of class. However, he actually said 15 words since he said more than just "Hi, I'm SpongeBob." Although he meant three words before Flats said anything to him.
  • At the beginning and end of the episode, Mrs. Puff walked directly into the classroom from the outside of the building. However, in the middle of the episode, her classroom is located within the building.
  • SpongeBob's pencils make a clacking sound when he picks them up.

Running gags

  • Twice during the episode, SpongeBob runs in fear from Flats, and inadvertently points to an old fish (Lonnie) when he says Flats is gonna kick his butt. The citizens of Bikini Bottom, led by Harold, are angry at this, and try to beat up the old man.
  • People mentioning butts.


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Start a Discussion Discussions about The Bully

  • The Bully: Realistic

    4 messages
    • If this was "Make an Episode Realistic", that could be a game, but since it isn't, I moved the thread.
    • it is a cartoon, ifit was real Squidward would be arrested for public nudity (no pants or underwear), SpongeBob would be arrested for trespassing etc.
  • Season 3 production order

    22 messages
    • I'm pretty sure the one with the deleted scene has The Bully first, but the one without ...
    • No necroposting
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