Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
If you were looking for the article about the episode with the similar name, then see "The String."

"The Thing" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 4. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick think Squidward is an animal when they find him covered in dry cement and call him Smelly.



In the beginning of the episode, Squidward notices that the neighborhood is unusually quiet, and assumes that SpongeBob is gone for the evening. Back in his house, Squidward tries to relax and watch some smooth jazz on public television, only to be distracted by SpongeBob and Patrick, who emphasize that they are trying to "enhance" Squidward's evening. Eventually, Squidward lets SpongeBob and Patrick watch with him, only to be bombarded with questions. At last, Squidward is fed up and leaves Patrick and SpongeBob watching his television.

Departing the neighborhood on his bicycle, Squidward is hit by a truck of cement and flies off into Jellyfish Fields, where he stays for five days. SpongeBob and Patrick are jellyfishing, where they spot him and decide to adopt Squidward, who they consider a wild animal and refer to as "Smelly." Squidward tries to get away, but because the cement hindered his ability to talk, SpongeBob assumes "Smelly" is excited to come with him and takes him home.

Patrick throws a ball at Smelly.

Back at SpongeBob's pineapple house, Gary attacks Squidward and SpongeBob determines that it is dangerous for Smelly to remain in his household. Patrick decides to take Squidward under his wing, and plays a game of catch with him at his rock, but ends up calling Animal Control, who come and take Smelly to the zoo. There, SpongeBob is horrified that everyone is treating Smelly so cruelly, so that night, SpongeBob and Patrick break into the zoo and plan to free Squidward. However, they are caught by Animal Control and SpongeBob and Patrick only manage to lose them by going underground.

Various creatures that resemble Smelly.

After a while, Patrick sees the light and the gang find themselves in a jungle-like landscape. SpongeBob remarks that the creatures around them look just like Smelly, so they leave Smelly with his real family and return home. The creatures accept Squidward as one of their kind, and as Kelpy G starts playing his clarinet, Squidward's cement cracks open and he simply says to the creatures, "Um...hi." As the episode ends.




 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Clownfish Capers - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card]
  Footsteps of Horror - W. Merrick Farran ["It's too quiet."]
  Dingles Regatta - Brian Peters ["Could it be?"]
  Tuning Up - Nicolas Carr [TV turns on]
  SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer, Nicolas Carr [Squidward yells at SpongeBob and Patrick]
  Squanny Smooth Jazz - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Smooth jazz]
  Gator - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob and Patrick are at Squidward's door]
  Squanny Smooth Jazz - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Smooth jazz]
  Drama Link (B) - Hubert Clifford [Squidward screams]
  Baby Elephant - Dick Stephen Walter ["All I wanted to do was watch some smooth jazz on public television."]
  The Bachelor Life 3 - Laurie Johnson ["I think I've seen this before."]
  Comic Walk - Sidney Torch [Squidward rides his bike]
  Tympup A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [Squidward hits the cement truck]
  Drama Link (D) - Hubert Clifford [Squidward gets covered with cement]
  Editor's Circus (D) - Dick Stephen Walter [Squidward falls through a sewage pipe]
  Editor's Comic Antics (B) - Dick Stephen Walter [Squidward falls through a sewage pipe]
  House of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [Squidward gets stung by a jellyfish]
  Steel Licks 3 - Jeremy Wakefield [The cement dries]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill ["Day five, I think."]
  What's This - Nicolas Carr ["What is that thing, Patrick?"]
  Lonely Heart's Club A - David Bell, Otto Sieben ["Hi, stranger. I am SpongeBob."]
  Drama Link (D) - Hubert Clifford [SpongeBob and Patrick scream]
  Lonely Heart's Club A - David Bell, Otto Sieben ["Wait a minute, maybe he's not a monster."]
  Happy Holiday - Anthony Spurgin [Back at home]
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [Playing catch]
  Dramatic Cue (C) - Ronald Hanmer [Patrick calls Animal Control]
  Toys for Boys - Boris Schoska ["Sure, I'll hold."]
  Dramatic Cue (B) - Ronald Hanmer [Squidward tries to go home]
  Towerstreet 17 [#10] - Gerhard Narholz [The SWAT team arrives]
  Dramatic Cue (E) - Ronald Hanmer [Squidward is taken to the zoo]
  Steel Licks 8 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Mommy, what is that thing?"]
  Steel Licks 9 - Jeremy Wakefield [Everyone laughs]
  Drowsy Reef - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["This isn't good."]
  Mission Improbable - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [SpongeBob and Patrick try to break Squidward out]
  West Side Rumble - Sam Spence [The SWAT team chases them]
  Comic Walk - Sidney Torch ["Let's see where this dark sewer tunnel leads."]
  Mysterious Things - Nicolas Carr [Jungle]
  Hawaiian Link (B) - Richard Myhill ["I'm gonna miss him, SpongeBob."]
  Mysterious Things - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob and Patrick leave]
  Squanny Smooth Jazz - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [The ending]




  • This episode was released on the Season 4 Volume 2 DVD box set six days before it aired on American television.
  • This episode is similar to "Jellyfishing," where in both episodes, Squidward rides his bicycle to get away from SpongeBob and Patrick, but ends up getting injured and unable to talk. Thus, revealing himself at the end by his uniform cracking open.
  • When SpongeBob and Patrick are watching TV, the show plays the same music heard while Patrick watches TV in "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" and Patrick says, "Oh wait! I think I've seen this before. This part's funny." It is likely the same show Patrick watched in that episode.
  • Patrick says that Squidward hates pets. However, in "The Great Snail Race," Squidward shows great care for his pet snail.
  • The music when Patrick is put on hold for calling Animal Control is also heard in Nickelodeon animated series KaBlam! for the title music of "Sniz and Fondue."
  • Throughout the whole episode, SpongeBob and Patrick never found out that Smelly was actually Squidward.
    • However, Gary seemed to be the only character who was at least aware, since he attacked Squidward when he saw him in cement.
  • In this episode, Kelpy G's name is not mentioned. However, in "Smoothe Jazz at Bikini Bottom," it is.
    • However, his name is revealed in the closing credits to this episode.
  • This is the first appearance of Kelpy G.
  • This is the second episode where the Bikini Bottom Zoo appears. The first is "The Smoking Peanut."
  • This is the third of four episodes transcribed as a comic into the SpongeBob SquarePants/Tokyopop book Mistaken Identity. The other three were "Once Bitten," "That's No Lady," and "Rule of Dumb."
  • This episode was paired up with "Squilliam Returns" during the Massive Monster Mayhem Marathon. [citation needed]
  • On June 1, 2021, Nicktoons aired this episode and its sister twice in a row (9-10am, ET).[4]

Cultural references

  • This episode shares a title with a 1982 film by John Carpenter.
  • When Squidward is taken in by the other animals at the end, SpongeBob says to Patrick, "But he's with his own kind now, where he belongs, and with that, let us go back to where we belong." This is a reference to the ending of Disney's 1967 film The Jungle Book.


The path of Patrick's rock is missing.

  • At the beginning of the episode, the path to Patrick's rock is missing.
  • Squidward's grape juice box background is yellow and Patrick's is purple, but later, they are both purple.
  • Squidward asks no one in particular if a hard-working squid could get a break. However, Squidward is an octopus, not a squid, and he does not even care about his job at the Krusty Krab.
  • When Squidward hits the cement truck and rolls down covered in cement, the scene changes from a street to a grassy field.
  • When Squidward is covered in cement, he has trouble talking and moving his lips, but when he arrives in the jungle, he's able to move is lips without any trouble.


  1. ^ https://spongebob.forumcommunity.net/?t=4775293
  2. ^ Part of January 2007 McDonalds Happy Meal promotion, but was released in December 2006.
  3. ^ Release of 2 Secret Episodes! which came out in June 1, 2007 in Germany.
  4. ^ https://nicktoonstory.fandom.com/wiki/June_1,_2021