"The Incredible Shrinking Sponge" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season ten. In this episode, SpongeBob must figure out how to do his job after accidentally shrinking himself.



In the Krusty Krab, a woman fish steps over and files a complaint about something wrong with her Krabby Patty. It has a sea urchin in it and Squidward is very freaked out by this. He tries to smash it with the register, but ends up getting the urchin on his nose. He tries to smash the urchin again, but falls out of the register, with the urchin still on his nose. SpongeBob takes the urchin off his nose and takes it to his workplace, but the urchin bites him and falls down, turning the grill's heat to very hot, without SpongeBob noticing. As SpongeBob cooks, he gets hotter and hotter and sweatier and sweatier. He notices his mistake too late and is shrunk down smaller than his spatula.

SpongeBob gets up and climbs onto the counter. He says "It's huge!" to everything he sees. He then skates on the grill using butter, but the grill burns out and turns off. SpongeBob goes down to the bottom of the grill to investigate.

He finds the urchin in a mousetrap. He sets it free, and in return, it chases SpongeBob. The two run up and SpongeBob activates a soda machine. They then are washed into a drain, but SpongeBob is able to escape, while the urchin falls down, leaving his fate unknown.

Squidward then rings the bell for a Krabby Patty. He carries one out down into the seating area. Squidward thinks SpongeBob is an urchin trying to steal a Krabby Patty, and tries to smash it. Mr. Krabs picks SpongeBob and the patty up, and flicks SpongeBob to the Chum Bucket, mistaking him for Plankton. He lands on Plankton, who wonders why SpongeBob is so small, but then measures both him and SpongeBob and says "I am a towering half a millimeter taller than you! I win!" SpongeBob then lets some measuring tape wrap Plankton. He then touches it, slicing Plankton into pieces.

SpongeBob is kicked out and lands on the Krusty Krab window. A kid picks him up, thinking he's an action figure. He shows the "action figure" to his friends, and they fight over it. SpongeBob runs away, until he jumps into Squidward's shirt pocket. SpongeBob is now safe, and Mr. Krabs says the kids need to get their parents' money to get the "action figure." The kids run the customers out of the restaurant.

Mr. Krabs then realizes the "action figure" is SpongeBob after Squidward points out that they do not sell action figures. He then says that now that SpongeBob is so small, he only earns a penny a year. He is also now a personal hygienist. After doing stuff such as mowing a guy's back, and doing something in another guy's toenails, SpongeBob takes a break and lays on the sink.

An angry Squidward uses SpongeBob to clean the dishes, mistaking him for soap. Squidward then drops SpongeBob into the soapy water, growing him so big that he takes up the entire Krusty Krab. Mr. Krabs, in SpongeBob's hand, yells for Squidward to call the fire department. The giant SpongeBob says "No need to call them, Mr. Krabs," then walks there while using the restaurant as new clothes.


The episode name was confirmed in a tweet by Vincent Waller on November 12, 2016.[1]


 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  Shellfish Behavior - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card.]

  Jovial Pirates Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Opening.]
  ? [Urchin in a Krabby Patty.]
  Jovial Pirates Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Squidward screams as he sees the urchin.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (I) - Jeremy Wakefield ["He's still one of Neptune's creatures."]
  Jolly Little Roger - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob takes the urchin into the kitchen.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (s) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Good thing he is a little guy."]
  Unknown Track 73 - Grill heats up.
  Kitsch Latin Cool - Malcolm Lockyer [Patties "dancing" on the grill as SpongeBob cooks them.]
  Tympup (a) - Sammy Burdson, John Fiddy [SpongeBob's body starts to shrink.]
  Kitsch Latin Cool - Malcolm Lockyer ["Whoa! That's too hot!"]
  Unknown Track 57 - SpongeBob is seen shrunked.
  The March of the Ants - Sidney Crooke [SpongeBob covers himself with slices of pickles.]
  Slow Figure Skating - Gerhard Trede [SpongeBob skating on the grill.]
  Dramatic Cue (e) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob's feet on fire.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (V) - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob sighs in relief.]
  Moon Walk - John Fox [SpongeBob tries to flip patties.]
  Missile Disaster - John Fox [SpongeBob jumps beneath the grill.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (k) - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob absorbs grease.]
  Evil Atmosphere - Clive Richardson [SpongeBob hears a noise.]
  Big Bad Giant - Paddy Kingsland [SpongeBob sees the urchin trapped.]
  Drama Link (d) - Hubert Clifford [SpongeBob frees the urchin with his teeth.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (e) - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob smiles without teeth.]
  Shock (f) - Dave Hewson [Urchin roars at SpongeBob.]
  Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Urchin chases SpongeBob]
  Sailor's Sting 31 - "One Krabby Patty!"
  Six Powerful Cues (d) - Wilfred Burns [Squidward goes after SpongeBob mistaking him for an urchin.]
  Another Krusty Krab Day - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs mistakes SpongeBob for Plankton.]
  The Donut Dilemma - Nicolas Carr [Plankton sees SpongeBob shrunken.]
  Evil Wizard OL - Udi Harpaz ["I WIN!"]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (c) - Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton cut up by tape measure.]
  The Creature (a) - Gregor Narholz [Karen flicks SpongeBob back to the Krusty Krab.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (n) - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob stuck to the Krusty Krab window.]
  Tomfoolery - David Snell [Kids mistake SpongeBob for an action figure.]
  Porous Pursuit - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Kids chase SpongeBob around the Krusty Krab.]
  Wooden Bear - Tony Tape, Gil Flat, Florian Voelxen [SpongeBob wavers the kids.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (VIII) - Jeremy Wakefield [Customers run out of the Krusty Krab.]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hmm..."]
  Prologue of a Drama #9 - Hans Conzelmann, Delle Haensch [Krabs and Squidward shocked to discover SpongeBob tiny.]
  Comic Walk - Sidney Torch [Krabs doesn't let SpongeBob to work in the kitchen because of his size.]
  Enigma Vibe 2 - Nicolas Carr [Krabs thinks.]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [Krabs gets an idea.]
  Shellfish Behavior - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob works as a personal hygienist.]
  Sailor's Sting 22 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob goes on break.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (f) - Jeremy Wakefield [Patty lands on Squidward's eye.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (j) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh yeah, I forgot. I'm too little."]
  Sailor's Sting 28 - Squidward washing dishes.
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks (I) - Jeremy Wakefield ["I'm big enough to flip patties again!"]
  Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob grows to gigantic size.]
  Twelfth Street Rag - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Ending.]


  • As of June 22, 2019, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.3/10 based on 229 ratings by users.[2] users give this episode a rating of 10.0/10 based on 1 votes.[3]



  • This episode aired in Israel on July 4, 2017, in Russia on July 23, 2017, in Iberia on September 19, 2017, in the Middle East on September 29, 2017, in Poland on October 18, 2017, in the Netherlands on November 4, 2017, and in Greece on November 20, 2017 prior to its US airdate.
    • It was also leaked on (Nick Germany's official website) on July 25, 2017 and on (Nick Netherlands official website) in the same month.
      • Additionally, Germany was going to air the episode on July 20, 2017, and Poland and Turkey were supposed to air it on August 18, 2017, but the countries cancelled the airing at the last minute.
  • This episode aired in Canada on February 10, 2018.[4]
  • This episode marks the first usage of the APM track Shellfish Behavior since "Gary's New Toy."
  • When this episode premiered, it was paired up with "Pat the Horse."
    • Coincidentally, both are episodes where Ryan makes an appearance.
  • This is Plankton's final appearance in season 10.
  • In the USA, this episode had made a promotion to the live-action Nickelodeon original movie Tiny Christmas, which premiered on the same day as this episode. The movie was part of Nickelodeon's 2017 holiday lineup. The movie is also the reason why they chose this episode to air that day.
  • This episode is the last season 10 episode in airing order.
  • This is the third episode to involve shrinking. The first is "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" and the second is "Squidtastic Voyage."
  • This is the second occurrence where someone shrunken is mistaken for an action figure. The first time was with Squidward in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" when he was shrunken by SpongeBob and Patrick mistook him for an action figure.
    • In this episode, Ryan mistakes SpongeBob for an action figure.
  • The fourth wall is broken when Mr. Krabs thinks of how SpongeBob could be a personal hygienist, a sign appears in his thought bubble. He then grabs it and blows the bubble away from the screen.

Cultural references

  • SpongeBob makes a reference to Neil Armstrong's quote: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
    • Coincidentally, this is the first episode to make that reference. The second is in "Goons on the Moon."
  • The episode's title is a reference to the film The Incredible Shrinking Man.


  • In the storyboard of this episode, SpongeBob lands in mustard after burning his feet on the grill. However, in the actual episode, he lands in ketchup instead of mustard. Whether this was intentional or an error is unknown.
  • The messy fish that says, "Personal hygiene service!" disappears in the next shot.



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