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SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One

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"SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One" is the 11th episode of the sixth season and the 111th overall episode of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. The episode was written by Aaron Springer who also directed the stoyboards, Paul Tibbitt, and Steven Banks, and the animation was directed by Andrew Overtoom and supervising director, Alan Smart. The episode was part of the series' tenth anniversary celebration in 2009. It features guest appearances by Johnny Depp as the voice of Jack Kahuna Laguna, Bruce Brown as the narrator, and Davy Jones as himself. It originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on April 17, 2009.

"SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One"
SpongeBob SquarePants episode
SpongeBob Big One promo art.jpg
Promotional artwork for the episode depicting SpongeBob (right), Patrick (middle) and Jack Kahuna Laguna (left) on a surfboard.
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 11 (111)
Directed byAndrew Overtoom (animation)
Alan Smart (animation and supervising)
Aaron Springer (storyboard)
Written byAaron Springer
Paul Tibbitt
Steven Banks
Produced byPaul Tibbitt
Original air dateApril 17, 2009 (2009-04-17)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Grooming Gary"
Next →
"Porous Pockets"
SpongeBob SquarePants (season 6)
List of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes

The series follows the adventures and endeavors of the title character and his various friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. In this episode, SpongeBob and his friends — Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and Sandy — are swept away by a giant wave. They get separated from each other; SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward find themselves stranded on a remote tropical island. To get back home to Bikini Bottom, they search for Jack Kahuna Laguna, a surf guru who can teach them the gnarly surf moves to hit the elusive wave, The Big One, in order to return home.

Upon premiere, the episode pulled an average of 5.8 million viewers, and met positive reviews. On March 3, 2009, the DVD and the video game based on the episode was released simultaneously.


Plot summaryEdit

Mr. Krabs discovers a lot of people are visiting the beach, so he decides to go to sell them Krabby Patties. When SpongeBob, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs are on a surfboard, they meet up with Patrick and Sandy. Patrick tries to climb onto the board, but he causes it to tip, it collides into a large wave and sweeps the five friends up into separate places: SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward go to an island with young surfers, Mr. Krabs ends up stranded in the middle of the sea with his cash register "Cashie", and Sandy is taken to a small island where she built a helicopter from the supplies.

SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward are told by the young surfers in the island that the only way to get back to Bikini Bottom is to surf there; unfortunately they do not know how to. Twitch, one of the surfers, tells them that there is one person who can teach them how to surf, Jack Kahuna Laguna. After they find Jack Kahuna Laguna, he comes out of his hut and surfs on an enormous surfboard which astonishes the three. He later says that they have to ride a wave called "The Big One", in order to get back home. They practice surfing for some time, then get ready to ride "The Big One". Before they set off, Jack Kahuna Laguna announces that The Big One demands a sacrifice.

SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward ride the wave and they see Mr. Krabs. He jumps up onto the board and drops Cashie into the ocean, so Jack Kahuna Laguna goes to retrieve it and acts as the sacrifice. SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward are seen flying on the surfboard and approach Goo Lagoon. Sandy's helicopter crash-lands in Goo Lagoon. A welcome home party has been thrown for SpongeBob, and Jack Kahuna Laguna returns with Cashie, which he returns to Mr. Krabs.


Actor Johnny Depp, shown here in 2011, guest starred in the episode as Jack Kahuna Laguna, among others.

The episode "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One" was written by Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, and Steven Banks. Andrew Overtoom and supervising director, Alan Smart served as animation directors, and Springer worked as storyboard director. The episode originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on April 17, 2009 as part of the series' tenth anniversary celebration.[1][2][3] During its release, it was also simulcast on Nickelodeon Mobile.[4] TurboNick, the online broadband player of Nickelodeon, also featured a sneak peek of the episode, short form video content, episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants and an instant replay following its on-air premiere.[4]

In addition to the regular cast, American actor and musician Johnny Depp guest starred in the episode as the voice of Jack Kahuna Laguna, a surf guru that taught SpongeBob how to surf.[5][6][7][8] According to Sarah Noonan, vice president of talent and casting for Nickelodeon, Depp accepted the role because he and his kids are fans of the show.[9] Nickelodeon animation president Brown Johnson said "We're excited to have Johnny Depp guest star on the SpongeBob TV special that kicks off the series 10th anniversary celebration[...] This is a big year for our porous pal, and some of the biggest celebrities are helping us honor him in a special way throughout the year."[10][11] Other guests included British musician and The Monkees' Davy Jones who starred in the episode as himself, appearing at the bottom of the sea with his locker,[12][13] and Bruce Brown providing vocal cameo as the episode's narrator.[14]

On March 3, 2009, the episode became available on DVD as Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon announced its release.[15][16] It was also released in the series' season six DVD compilation.[17][18]


The premiere of the episode on April 17, 2009 drew an estimated 5.8 million viewers,[19][20] and was 1.6 million higher than the highest-rated SpongeBob of the previous week, which aired April 11. The episode was Nickelodeon's fifth highest-rated telecast in total viewers so far that year and garnered significant ratings increases among all kid and tween demographics.[21]

The episode received mostly positive reviews. Carey Bryson of the said that "parents will also be pleased, as the episode contains no rude words or inappropriate jokes."[22] In his review for the Blogcritics, Maddy Pumilia wrote "Like most SpongeBob episodes, this episode was comic genius. I especially enjoyed Mr. Krabs' love affair with his cash register, Cashy. It's hilarious. Best part of the show, in my opinion."[23] Ian Jane of DVD Talk said "[the episode] is absolutely worth a watch thanks to the series high standard of quality, quirky animation, and multilayered humor."[24] Erich Asperschlager of DVD Verdict called the episode "a fun take on beach bunny surf fare, and is backed by a decent sextet of recent SpongeBob adventures."[25] David Hinckly of the New York Daily News gave the episode 4/5 stars and said "It's all good when you never forget to have fun."[26] The Daily Mirror described the vocal appearance of Johnny Depp as "totally wavelicious (or something)."[6] LJ Perez of News Observer said that the character of Johnny Depp "looks more like Patrick Swayze's surfing bank robber from the so-bad-it's-good movie 'Point Break' than he does any character Depp has ever portrayed."[27]

In 2010, the episode was nominated at the Golden Reel Awards for Best Sound Editing: Television Animation.[28] It has also been nominated at the 37th Annie Awards for Best Home Entertainment Production for its DVD release.[29][30]

Lesley Aeschiliman of Yahoo! Voices wrote "This year [2009] is SpongeBob SquarePants' tenth anniversary, and I hate to say it, but SpongeBob has really been showing his age recently. This special was not worth being part of such a milestone year for a television series."[31]

The DVD received mostly positive reviews. In his review from TV Shows on DVD, Gord Lacey said that the video quality is "fairly good" and the audio was "decent, but the surround track from earlier releases is better."[32] Danny Cox of Inside Pulse said that the full screen format "look very good" and "Dolby Digital Stereo Sound and also come through sounding great."[33]


SpongeBob vs. The Big One: Beach Party Cook-Off, a video game based on the episode, was released for Nintendo DS.[34] The game was published by THQ, and was released on March 3, 2009.[35] A book based on episode was also released in 2009. The book titled Surf's Up, SpongeBob! was written by David Lewman, and was published by Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon.[36][37][38]


  1. ^ Moody, Annemarie (April 1, 2009). "Johnny Depp Teaches SpongeBob to Hang Ten in New TV Special". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  2. ^ "Johnny Depp guest stars as "Jack Kahuna Laguna" in all-new SpongeBob SquarePants special "SpongeBob vs. the Big One" on Friday, April 17, at 8 p.m." LI Kids. April 3, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  3. ^ McLean, Thomas J. "Johnny Depp Guests on New SpongeBob Special". Animation. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Liu, Ed (April 2, 2009). ""SpongeBob vs. the Big One" Premieres April 17, 2009 on Nickelodeon". Toon Zone. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  5. ^ "Johnny Depp, SpongeBob Square Pants". US Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Johnny Depp to star in Sponge Bob Squarepants 10th birthday episode". Mirror. February 6, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  7. ^ Pilkington, Diana (March 24, 2009). "Depp drops into SpongeBob". The Sun. London. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  8. ^ Goldman, Eric (January 9, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants Meets Johnny Depp". IGN. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "Why are Victoria Beckham and Sebastian Bach hanging with 'SpongeBob'?". Los Angeles Times. July 15, 2010. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  10. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (April 3, 2009). "Johnny Depp surfs to 'Spongebob SquarePants'". Zap2it. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Johnny Depp Teaches SpongeBob to 'Hang Ten'". Starpulse. April 1, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  12. ^ Oliver, David (February 29, 2012). "Davy Jones: His life and times". USA Today. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  13. ^ Lefcowitz, Eric (2011). Monkee Business: The Revolutionary Made-For-TV Band. Port Washington, New York: Retrofuture Products, LLC. ISBN 0-943249-00-7.
  14. ^ "'Endless' legacy for surf documentary". The Malibu Times. November 10, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  15. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob vs. the Big One". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  16. ^ Lambert, David. "SpongeBob SquarePants - Big One DVD Features a Brand-New Cartoon with Johnny Depp". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  17. ^ Lambert, David (August 9, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants - Dive Into Season 6, Volume 1 on DVD this December! **UPDATE: PACKAGE ART!**". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  18. ^ Mavis, Paul (December 7, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 6, Volume 1". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  19. ^ "SpongeBob Rides Big One to Ratings Win". Animation Magazine. April 21, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  20. ^ "'SpongeBob vs. the Big One' is Basic Cable's Number-One Kids' Telecast, Scores 5.8". Reuters. April 21, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  21. ^ Tanklefsky, David (April 21, 2009). "'SpongeBob' With Johnny Depp a Draw For Nick". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  22. ^ Bryson, Carey. "SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob vs. the Big One - DVD Review". Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  23. ^ Pumilia, Maddy (March 6, 2009). "DVD Review: SpongeBob Vs. The Big One". Blogcritics. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  24. ^ Jane, Ian (March 5, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob vs. the Big One". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  25. ^ Erich, Asperschlager. "Spongebob Squarepants: Spongebob Vs. The Big OneAsperschlager". DVD Verdict. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  26. ^ Hinckley, David (April 14, 2009). "'SpongeBob Squarepants' special with Johnny Depp is absorbing fun for all". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  27. ^ Perez, LJ (April 16, 2009). "Johnny Depp, meet SpongeBob". News Observer. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  28. ^ "Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialoque, ADR and Music Animation in Television". Motion Picture Sound Editors. February 20, 2010. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  29. ^ "37th Annual Annie Nominations". Annie Award. Archived from the original on January 24, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  30. ^ Spring, Mike. "Annie Awards Winners Announced". Voice Coaches. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  31. ^ Aeschiliman, Lesley (April 20, 2009). "Review: SpongeBob Vs. The Big One". Yahoo!. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  32. ^ Lacey, Gord (March 3, 2013). "SpongeBob SquarePants - SpongeBob vs. the Big One Review". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  33. ^ Cox, Danny (March 23, 2009). "SpongeBob Vs. The Big One – DVD Review". Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  34. ^ "SpongeBob vs. The Big One Beach Party Cook Off". Nintendo. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  35. ^ "SpongeBob vs. The Big One: Beach Party Cook-Off Has Shipped". IGN. March 3, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  36. ^ "Surf's Up, SpongeBob!". Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  37. ^ "Surf's Up, SpongeBob!". Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  38. ^ Surf's Up, SpongeBob! (Spongebob Squarepants) [Paperback]. ISBN 1416978690.

External linksEdit