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Episode Title: "Skill Crane"

Episode Airing Number: 63

Episode Production Number: 64

Original Airdate: May 20, 2005

Season: 4

On DVD: "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Volume 1", "Where's Gary?"

On VHS: "Where's Gary?"

Aired With Episode: "Good Neighbors"

Running Time: 11:18

Storyboard Director: Vincent Waller

Writers: Kyle McCulloch, Aaron Springer and Vincent Waller

Technical Director: Vincent Waller

Animation Director: Alan Smart

Supervising Director: Paul Tibbitt

In Brief: Squidward becomes obsessed with trying to win a prize from the skill crane machine.

Story: At the Krusty Krab one day, R.A. PennyPincher Vending Supplies ships in Mr. Krabs's next money-maker for the restaurant: a skill crane. Mr. Krabs gives his workers a free try each, and Squidward almost picks up a stuffed worm. SpongeBob keeps winning stuffed animals whenever he plays. After avoiding the skill crane, Squidward can no longer resist, so he plays more games. As he loses each game, he makes Mr. Krabs a quarter richer. He soon runs out of money and can't play any longer.

Later, Mr. Krabs gives Squidward his paycheck in quarters, hoping he'll play the crane more. He insists he won't, but he does for six hours anyway. Still, he doesn't win a thing, while SpongeBob wins two.

Squidward slides home with a blanket on his head, humiliated. In his house, he finds that he's gone so nuts over the machine that he can't pick up the TV remote (as if his hand is the claw that can't pick up anything), cover himself with blankets in bed or pick up a glass of water. Not being able to take it, he decides he must go out and win a game. He gets his piggy bank and runs to the Krusty Krab in the middle of the night.

After playing the skill crane all night, Squid still doesn't win a thing. SpongeBob helps by telling him a secret. While playing, he must close his eyes and be the crane. By doing this, Squidward wins a teddy bear. He is so proud that he goes around the Krusty Krab announcing his win.

When SpongeBob and Squidward are walking home from work, Squidward spots a vehicle crane at a construction site. He gets in and ends up destroying a mall and The Krusty Krab while "being the crane." The angry construction workers circle around him, so SpongeBob gets into the crane to grab him from above. However, he grabs Squid's teddy bear instead - he can only pick up toys.

Song: (none)


Mr. Krabs: *offering Squid a quarter for a free game* Come on Squidward. You know you want to.

Squidward: *sighs* OK, if you insist. *pockets coin and walks off* Thanks.


SpongeBob: *after winning a teddy bear* It's a bear! I'm gonna call you Beary!

SpongeBob: *after winning two dolls in one try* Two in one quarter? That's not fair. *puts clown back into machine*

Squidward: *begging to skill crane* Just once! Please, oh please, let me win one time!

SpongeBob: Squid, I think you have a problem.

Mr. Krabs: No, he doesn't! You don't listen to him, Squidward. You keep playing until you win! *collects Squid's coins from crane and notices a paper in the collection* What's this?

Squidward: The deed to my house.

Squidward: *rubbing in to a little boy that he won a prize and the boy didn't* I'm a winner, see my prize; You're a loser who sits and cries!


Previously Used Music The music in the opening title card segment comes from "Shanghaied," when Patrick and SpongeBob spin in circles and they go off ice skating.

Cheap Game You only have to pay a quarter to play the claw machine. Most charge 50 cents or a dollar these days.

Dusty Bear? When the crane's claw grabs the cat with the tiny top hat, it creates dust clouds.

Prize Seen Once In the kitchen, a seahorse that SpongeBob won from the skill crane isn't seen sitting with the other prizes (Mrs. Wiggles, Beary, six-eyed monster and rabbit).

Two Names SpongeBob later refers to Beary (the teddy bear he wins) as Sponge-Bear Junior.

Quick Switch While getting his piggy bank in the closet, Squidward's changes from his nightshirt to his normal shirt.

Basketball When Squidward is "being the crane," a basketball can be seen in the machine.

Lots of Money Just by the amount of quarters from the crane Mr. Krabs counts in his office, Squidward has spent $874.75 playing the game (3,499 quarters). And there's still a huge uncounted pile.

Future Mall A sign in front of the buildings Squid destroys with the crane says "Your New Mall." This site includes buildings shaped like a treasure chest and a seashell.

Bad Thinking SpongeBob and the construction workers know that the crane is going to destroy the Krusty Krab, and yet they go and hide in there. Isn't that dangerous to be in the building while it's being destroyed?