Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"The Incredible Shrinking Sponge" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 10. In this episode, SpongeBob must figure out how to do his job after accidentally shrinking himself.



The episode starts at 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 of 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 becomes increasingly hotter 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 notes everything he sees to be huge. 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.

"Who are you callin' a freak?!"

Squidward then rings the bell for a Krabby Patty. He carries one out down into the seating area and thinks SpongeBob is an urchin trying to steal a Krabby Patty, then 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 boasts about being taller than him. SpongeBob then lets some measuring tape wrap Plankton. He touches it, slicing Plankton into pieces.

SpongeBob is kicked out and lands on the Krusty Krab window. A kid picks him up, thinking he is 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. SpongeBob explains how he shrunk and tries to get back to work but Mr. Krabs stops him. He says that now that SpongeBob is so small, it is too dangerous for him to cook. SpongeBob begs for a new task and Mr. Krabs says he will think of something but says SpongeBob will only earns a penny a year. He eventually decides that SpongeBob is 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 there is no need for them to be called as he is on it, then walks there while using the restaurant as new clothes, as the episode ends.


The episode name was confirmed in a tweet by Vincent Waller on November 12, 2016.[3]



 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Slide Whistle Stooges 2 - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card.]
  Jovial Pirate's Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Opening.]
  ? [Urchin in a Krabby Patty.]
  Jovial Pirate's Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Squidward screams as he sees the urchin.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 36B - 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 28 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Good thing he is a little guy."]
  Light Suspense Segway - Nicolas Carr [Grill heats up.]
  Kitsch Latin Cool - Malcolm Lockyer [Patties "dancing" on the grill as SpongeBob cooks them.]
  Esquivelish - Nicolas Carr [Overlays "Kitsch Lation Cool"]
  Flextone Sting - Nicolas Carr [Patties start to shrink]
  Tympup A - Sammy Burdson, John Fiddy [SpongeBob's body starts to shrink.]
  Kitsch Latin Cool - Malcolm Lockyer ["Whoa! That's too hot!"]
  Descent Into Madness - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob is seen shrunk.]
  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 1D - 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 24B - 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 17D - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob smiles without teeth.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 19 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Little urchin, you are free to go!"]
  Shock (F) - Dave Hewson [Urchin roars at SpongeBob.]
  Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Urchin chases SpongeBob]
  Mr Krabs Happy Jig Pt 2 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["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 Dilema (With Triangle) - Nicolas Carr [Plankton sees SpongeBob shrunken.]
  Evil Wizard OL - Udi Harpaz ["I win!"]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 22A - Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton cut up by tape measure.]
  Flextone Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Oops."]
  The Creature (a) - Gregor Narholz [Karen flicks SpongeBob back to the Krusty Krab.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 3B - 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 33B - Jeremy Wakefield [Customers run out of the Krusty Krab.]
  What's This - 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.]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [Krabs gets an idea.]
  Slide Whistle Stooges 2 - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob works as a personal hygienist.]
  Galley Cooks Shanty - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob goes on break.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 15 - Jeremy Wakefield [Patty lands on Squidward's eye.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 8B - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh yeah, I forgot. I'm too little."]
  Cheap and Frozen Short - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Squidward washing dishes.]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 36B - Jeremy Wakefield ["I'm big enough to flip patties again!"]
  Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob grows to gigantic size.]
  12th Street Rag with Bass - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Ending.]




  • In the United States, 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.[citation needed]
  • In Germany, this episode was originally going to air on July 20, 2017, and for Poland and Turkey, it was originally going to air on August 18, 2017, but they were all pulled off due to this episode having not premiered in the U.S. at the time.
    • The Polish airing was pushed back for another two months, and Germany released this episode on their website, as well for the Netherlands.
  • This episode was paired up with "Pat the Horse" during the original American airing, but has since been re-airing with "Sportz?"[4]
  • The title card is similar to that of "Fiasco!," only with different colors.
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  • The way Squidward held his legs when he first saw the urchin is similar to the trope of how females hold their dresses/skirts when they are scared.
  • Squidward says the Krusty Krab does not sell action figures, however in "Born Again Krabs," "Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob," and "Yours, Mine and Mine," the Krusty Kid's Meal came with a toy, thus debunking his statement.
  • The fourth wall is broken when Mr. Krabs thinks of how SpongeBob could be a personal hygienist, a sign appears in his thought cloud. He then grabs it and blows the cloud away from the screen.
  • SpongeBob has been shown shrinking before. The first time was in "Nature Pants," the second time was in "Big Pink Loser," the third time was in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV," the fourth time was in "Rule of Dumb," and the fifth time was in "Stanley S. SquarePants."
    • However, this is the first episode where SpongeBob's shrinkage plays a major role.
    • This is also the first episode since the aforementioned "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" where shrinkage as a whole plays a major role.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Incidental 160.
  • This episode marks the first usage of the track "Slide Whistle Stooges 2" since "Gary's New Toy."
    • This is also the first time this track was used as title card music.
  • This is the second episode in which someone shrunken is mistaken for an action figure. The first was "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV," when Squidward gets shrunken by SpongeBob and Patrick mistakes him for an action figure.
    • In this episode, Ryan mistakes SpongeBob for an action figure.
  • This is the third episode in the series to involve shrinking. The first is "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" and the second is "Squidtastic Voyage."
  • This is the only season 10 episode to use the track "Jovial Pirate's Jig."
  • This episode was the last season 10 episode in airing order, but the 15th in production order.

Cultural references

  • The episode's title references The Incredible Shrinking Man.
  • When SpongeBob says, "That's one small step for SpongeBob, one giant leap for—," he is referencing Neil Armstrong's quote: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."


  • In the storyboard of this episode, Squidward starts sweating of being scared by the sea urchin. However, in the actual episode, he isn't sweating. This could be an error, or it just never made it into the finished episode.
  • When the little sea urchin turns the grill too hot, after SpongeBob tries to turn the grill less hot, it shows that it's not too hot, it only shows it's above too hot instead of too hot.

"Krabby Pattie" error.

  • When Mr. Krabs hammers the "Personal Hygiene Service" sign on the menu, the Galley Grub says, "Krabby Pattie" instead of "Krabby Patty."
  • The messy fish that says, "Personal hygiene service!" disappears in the next shot.
  • On the April 28, 2022 airings on Nicktoons USA, during the scene where Plankton calls SpongeBob " Shorty," the scene cuts to him saying " I win!," then being caught in the tape measurer.