Squidward is playing his clarinet awfully and someone arrives at his door. He goes to answer the door and a doctor is there who thinks he has a dying animal on the premises. Squidward does not care about this and then gets a call from his high school classmate, Squilliam Fancyson, who is very successful, and has succeeded in everything that Squidward failed in (e.g. music). He smugly asks Squidward for his band to substitute for his own at the Bubble Bowl (With Squidward amazed that he is playing there), believing (correctly) that he does not have one; however, Squidward denies that he does not have a band and accepts the offer. He assembles a large marching band, comprised of various Bikini Bottomites, including all the other main characters.
During their one week of training, the band performs consistently badly and fails to improve at all. This includes the drummers blowing the sticks, pinning Squidward to the wall (since the others that played first required blowing), and Patrick and Sandy get in a fight when he kicks Sandy; as a result he is stuck up a trombone. (He thought the figure of speech ‘Start kicking’ meant to kick someone).
On day two, while practicing a march, two flag twirlers are killed when they fly into the air and crash into a blimp, because of them spinning too fast, at Squidward’s demand. They all begin to mourn and play Taps, except for Squidward, who just curls up, disappointed. On the third day, Plankton plays his harmonica, but becomes exhausted from having to run from one place to another since he is very tiny and collapses from exhaustion. On the last day of practice, Squidward says if everyone plays loud, they will be good, but instead they play so bad Squidward changes the idea of loud to really quiet. A heckler gets upset, saying ”We wouldn’t sound so bad if some of us didn’t try play with big, meaty, claws!” and then he insults Mr. Krabs, and everyone gets into a huge brawl, smashing the instruments and hurting people offensively, causing the band to break up. At this time, a grieving Squidward expresses his disappointment in all of them and goes home to grieve over his failure. However, SpongeBob convinces them to go through with the performance for Squidward’s sake. He says that if Squidward were someone who did something they would never forget then maybe they should do something for him. Therefore, he takes command of their training.
On the day of the concert, Squilliam shows up at the Bubble Bowl to see Squidward’s failure, and he claims that his band died in a marching accident. However, Squidward’s band shows up and he is forced to go through with the performance. They enter a large glass dome, which rises up and takes them to a live-action football field for a team called the Showboats, complete with human fans. Squidward turns his head away from the band before they begin, assuming that the performance will be a disaster, but the band is tremendously successful, playing a rock ballad of David Glen Eisley’s ”Sweet Victory.” Squilliam goes into a state of shock and faints from a heart attack and gets taken away by paramedics, leaving Squidward to celebrate his ”Sweet Victory.”