SpongeBob SquarePants (season 1)
|SpongeBob SquarePants season 1|
DVD cover art for the first season
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Original run||May 1, 1999 – April 8, 2000|
|Home video release|
|Region 1||October 28, 2003|
|Region 2||November 7, 2005|
|Region 4||November 30, 2006|
The first season of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants, created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, aired from May 1, 1999 to April 8, 2000, and consisted of 20 episodes. The series chronicles the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The shows features the voices of Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants, Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star, Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles, Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, and Mr. Lawrence as Plankton. Among the first guest stars in the show were Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway voicing the superhero characters of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, respectively.
Hillenburg initially conceived the show in 1984 and began to work on it shortly after the cancellation of Rocko's Modern Life in 1996. To voice the character of SpongeBob, Hillenburg approached Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on Rocko's Modern Life. The show was originally to be called SpongeBoy Ahoy!, but the name SpongeBoy was already in use for a mop product. Upon finding it out, Hillenburg decided to use the name "SpongeBob". He chose "SquarePants" as a family name as it referred to the character's square shape and it had a "nice ring to it".
Several compilation DVDs that contained episodes from the season were released. The SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 1st Season DVD was released in Region 1 on October 28, 2003, Region 2 on November 7, 2005, and Region 4 on November 30, 2006. The pilot episode, "Help Wanted", was not included on the DVD due to copyright issues, but was later released as a bonus feature on various series DVDs, including that of the third season. The season received positive reviews from media critics upon release.
Creator Stephen Hillenburg initially conceived SpongeBob SquarePants in 1984, while he was teaching and studying marine biology at what is now the Orange County Ocean Institute. During this period, Hillenburg became fascinated with animation, and wrote a comic book entitled The Intertidal Zone starring various anthropomorphic forms of sea life, many of which would evolve into SpongeBob SquarePants characters, including "Bob the Sponge", who was the co-host of the comic and resembled an actual sea sponge, as opposed to SpongeBob who resembles a kitchen sponge. In 1987, Hillenburg left the institute to pursue his dream of becoming an animator, and began to envision the possible concept of a project involving anthropomorphic sea life, drawing several rough sketches. In 1992, Hillenburg began to attend the California Institute of the Arts to study animation, having been accepted into the institute by Jules Engel, who was impressed with Hillenburg's previous work.
While attending animation school, Hillenburg received a job on the children's television series Mother Goose and Grimm, and worked on the series from 1991 to 1993. When attending the California Institute of the Arts, he made his thesis film entitled Wormholes, which was funded by the Princess Grace Foundation and was later displayed at various animation festivals. In 1995, Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life, met Hillenburg at an animation festival, and offered him a job as a director of the series.
Rocko's Modern Life ended in 1996. Shortly following this, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob SquarePants, teaming up with several Nickelodeon veterans and Rocko crew members, including creative director Derek Drymon, writers and directors Sherm Cohen, and Dan Povenmire, writer Tim Hill, actor and writer Martin Olson, animation director Alan Smart, and story editor Merriwether Williams. To voice the character of SpongeBob, Hillenburg approached Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on Rocko's Modern Life. Originally the character was to be named SpongeBoy and the show would be called SpongeBoy Ahoy!. However, the Nickelodeon legal department discovered that the name SpongeBoy was already in use for a mop product. This was discovered after voice acting for the original seven-minute pilot was recorded in 1997. Upon finding this out, Hillenburg decided that the character's given name still had to contain "Sponge" so viewers would not mistake the character for a "Cheese Man." Hillenburg decided to use the name "SpongeBob." He chose "SquarePants" as a family name as it referred to the character's square shape and it had a "nice ring to it".
The first season had a cast of six main actors. Tom Kenny provided the voice of the title character SpongeBob SquarePants and his pet snail Gary. SpongeBob's best friend, a starfish named Patrick Star, was voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, while Rodger Bumpass played the voice of Squidward Tentacles, an arrogant and ill-tempered octopus. Other members of the cast were Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas; Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, a miserly crab obsessed with money and SpongeBob's boss at the Krusty Krab; and Mr. Lawrence as Plankton, a small green copepod and Mr. Krabs' business rival.
While Hillenburg, Derek Drymon and Tim Hill were writing the pilot "Help Wanted", Hillenburg was also conducting auditions to find voices for the show characters. He had created the character of SpongeBob with Tom Kenny, in which he utilised Kenny's and other people's personalities to help create SpongeBob's personality. The voice of SpongeBob was originally used by Kenny for a very minor female alligator character named Al in Rocko's Modern Life. Kenny forgot the voice initially as he created it only for that single use. Hillenburg, however, remembered it when he was coming up with SpongeBob and used a video clip of the episode to remind Kenny of the voice. Kenny says that SpongeBob's high pitched laugh was specifically aimed at being unique, stating that they wanted an annoying laugh in the tradition of Popeye and Woody Woodpecker. Hillenburg originally had Mr. Lawrence for the role of voicing Squidward. Drymon said "We knew Doug from Rocko, where he was a storyboard director and where he also did the voice of Filburt. We were showing Doug the storyboard, and he started reading back to us in his Tony the Tiger/Gregory Peck voice. It was really funny, and we wound up having SpongeBob use a deep voice when he entered the Krusty Krab for the first time." Hillenburg loved the voice and decided to give Lawrence the part of the series villain, Plankton.
The season had a number of secondary characters including Jill Talley as Plankton's computer wife, Karen; Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff, SpongeBob's driving instructor; Lori Alan as Pearl, Mr. Krabs' daughter; and Brian Doyle-Murray as the Flying Dutchman. In addition to the regular cast members, episodes feature guest voices from many ranges of professions, including actors, musicians, and artists. Former McHale's Navy actors Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway reunited for their first joint TV project in 33 years as guest actors portraying SpongeBob's favorite superheroes, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, respectively. Borgnine said "We [he and Conway] played off each other. Tim's such a performer - a little more caustic than I am. We were making all sorts of noise. People outside the room were guffawing. We're supposed to be underwater, you know." They would reprise their role in the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II", which also guest starred Charles Nelson Reilly as their nemesis, the Dirty Bubble. In the episode "Scaredy Pants", a Halloween special, American band the Ghastly Ones performed a special musical performance, while Brian Doyle-Murray voiced the Flying Dutchman. American country guitarist and singer Junior Brown made a vocal cameo, performing the song "Texas" in the episode of the same name. In "Neptune's Spatula", John O'Hurley appeared as King Neptune. John Lurie and Jim Jarmusch (who collaborated to make the films Stranger Than Paradise and Down by Law) made a cameo as themselves in the episode "Hooky", through excerpts from the Bravo serial, Fishing with John.
Prior to start of production on the show, Hillenburg decided early that he wanted SpongeBob SquarePants to be a storyboard-driven show, rather than script-driven. Storyboard-driven is an approach that required artists who could take a skeletal story outline and flesh it out with sight gags, dialogue and a structure that "would strike a balance between narrative and whimsy." Hillenburg originally wanted "a team of young and hungry people" to work on the show. The group, who worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life before, consisted of Alan Smart, Nick Jennings, and Derek Drymon. Tim Hill was asked about if he want to work as story editor, but was unavailable at the time. The crew got Peter Burns to work as story editor who developed the idea for the episode "Ripped Pants" about SpongeBob ripping his pants.
During the first season, the writing staff used most of the story ideas that were in Hillenburg's series bible and they had problems on how to generate new ideas. At one point, the writing staff went to the beach for inspiration for a possible episode. However, the day "was overcast and cold, so we [the writers] had to stay in the car." Drymon said "We didn't come up with too many ideas that day." Story editor Peter Burns left, and the crew had Merriwether Williams to overtake. Hillenburg said to Williams that "it was her responsibility to get us [the writers] to come up with new ideas." Drymon said "[It] is a tall order." Williams gave Drymon a book called Zen in the Art of Writing, written by Ray Bradbury, that catalogs a collection of essays about writing processes. One of the ways in the book to inspire plots was "to write nouns that interested him [Bradbury] on a note card and hang them in his office. He felt just having the word in his eyesight would get his mind working." Williams took this scheme and made it into "a writing exercise." In writing meetings, the staff would all enumerate 10 nouns on strips of paper and place them in a hat. The hat would be passed throughout and a writer would have a limited time to spawn an idea based on the noun he wrote. Drymon said "It would almost always start a discussion, and we wound up getting a lot of episodes out of it." Furthermore, Drymon said that Williams "really came up with a great addition to the process."
One time, Hillenburg came to Williams and said, "Why don't you go read a bunch of books about writing." Hillenburg wanted to keep the enthusiasm in the writing room, because, according to Williams, "sometimes it can be a slog." She went off, read more books about writing, and came up with two more exercises for writing meetings.
Animation and design
The animation was handled overseas in South Korea at Rough Draft Studios. Throughout the season's run, from 1999 to 2000, SpongeBob was animated using cel animation. The show shifted to digital ink and paint animation during its second season in 2000. Executive producer Paul Tibbitt, in 2009, said "[...] The first season of SpongeBob was done the old-fashioned way on cells, and every cell had to be part-painted, left to dry, paint some other colours. It's still a time-consuming aspect of the process now, but the digital way of doing things means it doesn't take long to correct." The season was storyboarded and by Sherm Cohen, Derek Drymon, Steve Fonti, Stephen Hillenburg, Chuck Klein, Jay Lender, Chris Mitchell, Mark O'Hare, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, Ennio Torresan, Vincent Waller, and Erik Wiese.[a]
When the crew began production on the pilot, they were tasked to design the stock locations where "[...] the show would return to again and again, and in which most of the action would take place, such as the Krusty Krab and SpongeBob's pineapple house." Hillenburg had a "clear vision" of what he wanted the show to look like. The idea was "to keep everything nautical" so the crew used lots of rope, wooden planks, ships' wheels, netting, anchors, and boilerplate and rivets.
The season marked the introduction of the "sky flowers" as the main background. It first appeared in the pilot and has since become a common feature throughout the series. When series background designer Kenny Pittenger was asked "What are those things?," he answered "They function as clouds in a way, but since the show takes place underwater, they aren't really clouds." Since the show was influenced by tiki, the background painters have to use a lot of pattern. Pittenger said "So really, the sky flowers are mostly a whimsical design element that Steve [Hillenburg] came up with to evoke the look of a flower-print Hawaiian shirt—or something like that. I don't know what they are either."
The season was well received by media critics. Three of its episodes won Best Sound Editing in Television Animation at the 2000 Golden Reel Awards. It consisted of the episodes "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy" and "Pickles" for Music, while the "Karate Choppers" won for the Sound. In 2001, "Rock Bottom" and "Arrgh!" also won the Golden Reel Awards for Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Sound, while "Fools in April" and "Neptune's Spatula" were nominated for Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music.
In his review for the Variety, Noel Holston said "[The show] is smarter and freakier than most of the prime-time animated series that have popped up in the past year." Furthermore, most of the first season DVD reviews were positive towards the series as being one of the best American comedy shows. In a DVD review by Bill Treadway for DVD Verdict, he called the show "the best animated American comedy since The Simpsons, it is a claim I stand behind." Treadway said the show is "accessible to all" that "adults will enjoy the witty satire and sly in-jokes subtly inserted into every episode." He also mentioned that "children will love the bright colors, spunky pace, and lively characters" and that "parents will not have to worry about violence or crude humor." Jason Bovberg of DVD Talk called SpongeBob SquarePants "the coolest Saturday morning cartoon since the heyday of Warner Bros." In a separate review for the season's DVD release, Bovberg "highly recommended" the set and wrote "I love the show so much, I can't see any way around giving this one a recommendation." Bovberg was particular on the exclusion of the pilot episode "Help Wanted", saying "But why is 'Help Wanted' missing? I suppose I'll have to buy a "theme" disc down the road to secure that one. Sigh." Furthermore, he described it as "the only disappointment of the set." Ron J. Epstein, also from DVD Talk, said that the character of SpongeBob is "one of the strangest cartoon characters I have ever had the pleasure to watch." He said that "Unlike most cartoons today, SpongeBob SquarePants caters to both a child and an adult audience."
In his review for The Washington Post, Michael Cavna rewatched the pilot episode "Help Wanted" in 2009 and said "so much of the style and polish are already in place." He ranked the episode at No. 3 at his The Top Five SpongeBob Episodes: We Pick 'Em list. Nancy Basile of the About.com said "[The] humor and optimistic essence of SpongeBob is evident even in this first episode."
- The following episodes listed in the chart are arranged according to their production order, rather than by their original air dates.
|Title||Animation directors[a]||Written by[a]||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|1a||1a||"Help Wanted"||Alan Smart||Stephen Hillenburg, Derek Drymon & Tim Hill||May 1, 1999||6.9|
|SpongeBob SquarePants attempts to get a job at the local restaurant called the Krusty Krab, but is tasked to find a mechanical spatula because the owner, Mr. Krabs, considers him unqualified for the position. Eventually, crowds of ravenous anchovies stop by the Krusty Krab and demand for meals. SpongeBob returns from his errand, having fulfilled the request of Mr. Krabs and utilizes the spatula to fulfill the anchovies' hunger. He is then welcomed by Mr. Krabs as his employee.|
|1b||1b||"Reef Blower"||Fred Miller & Tom Yasumi||Stephen Hillenburg, Derek Drymon & Tim Hill||May 1, 1999||6.9|
|Trying to keep his front yard meticulous, Squidward, SpongeBob's next door neighbor, picks up a shell sitting and throws it over to SpongeBob's yard. SpongeBob finds this the perfect time to use his electric, high powered "reef blower" to remove the shell off his yard. Squidward, however, is unaware what havoc likely to happen for his quiet afternoon.|
|1c||1c||"Tea at the Treedome"||Tom Yasumi||Peter Burns, Mr. Lawrence & Paul Tibbitt||May 1, 1999||6.9|
|SpongeBob meets a squirrel named Sandy Cheeks and becomes friends with her. Sandy invites him over to her Treedome for a tea, but when SpongeBob arrives, he is surprised to find that there is no water, so he spends his time trying to find some. Patrick Star later comes into the Treedome not knowing that there was no water in there. Sandy later finds out that both SpongeBob and Patrick needed water when they look shriveled up, so she fills glass bowls with water, and puts it on their heads to solve their problem.|
|2a||2a||"Bubblestand"||Tom Yasumi||Ennio Torresan, Erik Wiese, Stephen Hillenburg, Derek Drymon & Tim Hill||July 17, 1999||1.9|
|SpongeBob loudly begins to build and opens a stand for blowing bubbles, much to Squidward's dismay. Patrick comes to the stand, and asks to try it out. SpongeBob offers to teach him and shows how he blow bubbles with a particular technique. Squidward is enraged, but he begins to blow a bubble out of curiosity. Squidward then attempts to impress them, but fails. Eventually, he blows an enormous bubble by screaming in anger. SpongeBob and Patrick congratulate Squidward, who thanks them and walks back into his house. However, the gigantic bubble floats and traps Squidward's house inside it, unearthing it, and sending it up in the air.|
|2b||2b||"Ripped Pants"||Edgar Larrazabal||Paul Tibbitt & Peter Burns||July 17, 1999||1.9|
|While in the Goo Lagoon, SpongeBob accidentally rips his pants, causing everyone to laugh hysterically, while trying to impress Sandy Cheeks. Feeling embarrassed, SpongeBob sadly leaves, but a fish compliments him for the good laugh, so he use this to his advantage. After some time, he attempts to revive his joke, but fails. After realizing that he has driven all his friends away, he meets three beach goers, who considered themselves as "the biggest losers on the beach". They ask SpongeBob what happened to him, and he tells his story through a song. Everyone on the beach hears his song, and understands how he feels and that he apologizes. Sandy tells SpongeBob that if he wanted her to be his friend, he should be himself.|
|3a||3a||"Jellyfishing"||Alan Smart||Steve Fonti, Chris Mitchell, Peter Burns & Tim Hill||July 31, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob and Patrick take Squidward, who is recovering from an accident, to "jellyfishing" (a sport involving the capture of jellyfish). When they arrive in the Jellyfish Fields, a jellyfish stings Squidward, so he goes after it for revenge. He manages to catch the jellyfish, and bangs his net triumphantly against a queen jellyfish. The queen jellyfish chases after him, attacking him with an extremely massive sting. The next day, the now life-support-bound Squidward is discovered and stung by the queen jellyfish again.|
|3b||3b||"Plankton!"||Edgar Larrazabal||Ennio Torresan, Erik Wiese & Mr. Lawrence||July 31, 1999||N/A|
|It is mass chaos at the Krusty Krab when Plankton, Mr. Krabs' business rival, tries to steal the Krabby Patty formula for his own restaurant, the Chum Bucket. At night, Plankton asks SpongeBob a Krabby Patty, but he loudly and boldly refuses and runs back home. Later that night, Plankton enters SpongeBob's head through a pore and makes his way to SpongeBob's brain. He attaches a mind control device to the brain and bends SpongeBob to his will, forcing him to walk to the Krusty Krab, get a Krabby Patty, and bring it to the Chum Bucket.|
|4a||4a||"Naughty Nautical Neighbors"||Fred Miller||Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer & Mr. Lawrence||August 7, 1999||2.1|
|Squidward destroys SpongeBob and Patrick's friendship, after being annoyed by their constant laughing. Eventually, all goes terribly awry when SpongeBob and Patrick fight over a new friend who is Squidward. Squidward decides to invite Patrick and SpongeBob to a dinner party in order to repair their friendship.|
|4b||4b||"Boating School"||Tom Yasumi||Ennio Torresan, Erik Weise & Mr. Lawrence||August 7, 1999||2.1|
|SpongeBob has to go to boating school as he continues to fail his driving test. He shares this info with Patrick, who decides to secretly give SpongeBob instructions during the test via walkie-talkie. Upon realizing that he has been cheating, SpongeBob goes into hysterics and driving wildly all over the course, while Mrs. Puff, in a panic, tries desperately to stop him. SpongeBob refuses to listen causing him to crash the boat and fail the test again.|
|5a||5a||"Pizza Delivery"||Sean Dempsey||Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer & Peter Burns||August 14, 1999||N/A|
|The Krusty Krab receives a call from a customer demanding to deliver him a pizza, so Mr. Krabs decides to have Squidward and SpongeBob deliver it. While on the way delivering the pizza, SpongeBob and Squidward get stranded in a desert. When they reached the customer's house, the customer gets angry that he did not get the soda he said he ordered. SpongeBob starts crying because the customer did not take the pizza. Angered that the customer made SpongeBob cry, Squidward knocks on the door and smacks the pizza on his face.|
|5b||5b||"Home Sweet Pineapple"||Tom Yasumi||Ennio Torresan Jr., Erik Wiese & Mr. Lawrence||August 14, 1999||N/A|
|A horde of hungry nematodes come to town and consumes SpongeBob's pineapple house. When this happens, SpongeBob plans to move back with his parents, though with a lot of reluctance because he will miss his old house and friends dearly. On the day he would leave town, SpongeBob finds a small pebble left from his house, and buries it where his house used to be. When SpongeBob cries, his tears is absorbed by the pebble (which is actually a seed), causing his pineapple house to grow back.|
|6a||6a||"Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy"||Sean Dempsey||Paul Tibbitt, Mark O'Hare & Mr. Lawrence||August 21, 1999||2.2|
|SpongeBob and Patrick want to meet their favorite retired superheroes, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. They try to bring them out of retirement, much to the superheroes annoyance who only want their TV fixed. SpongeBob and Patrick go through various kinds of hilarious antics to reunite them and eventually succeed.|
|6b||6b||"Pickles"||Tom Yasumi||Steve Fonti, Chris Mitchell & Peter Burns||August 21, 1999||2.2|
|Bubble Bass, a picky overweight bass, comes to the Krusty Krab for a Krabby Patty. Bubble Bass says SpongeBob forgot the pickles, and SpongeBob, shocked by this, loses his confidence. Mr. Krabs is worried about losing money, so he approaches SpongeBob to explain to him that if he remembers how to make a Krabby Patty, he will be back in order. It takes days, but SpongeBob eventually learns how to make a Krabby Patty properly again.|
|7a||7a||"Hall Monitor"||Edgar Larrazabal||Chuck Klein, Jay Lender & Mr. Lawrence||August 28, 1999||2.1|
|Mrs. Puff makes SpongeBob a hall monitor for the day. SpongeBob patrols the town, but it results into chaos. SpongeBob and Patrick decides to watch over a maniac causing trouble around town. Eventually, SpongeBob sees a wanted poster for himself and realizes that he is the maniac. The police arrive to arrest him, and Mrs. Puff appears to explain the situation to them, saying that he is her responsibility. The police interpret this as taking responsibility for the crimes, and she is arrested.|
|7b||7b||"Jellyfish Jam"||Fred Miller||Ennio Torresan, Jr., Erik Wiese & Peter Burns||August 28, 1999||2.1|
|SpongeBob brings home a wild jellyfish and throws a big party. However, the wild jellyfish continues through the night and more jellyfish come to the party. The next morning, SpongeBob wakes up to find his living room filled with hundreds of dancing jellyfish, and attempts to make them leave. After Gary drives them away by clicking his eyes together, SpongeBob leads them out to Jellyfish Fields.|
|8a||8a||"Sandy's Rocket"||Tom Yasumi||Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer & Peter Burns||September 4, 1999||1.9|
|SpongeBob and Patrick sneak onto Sandy's rocket ship. When they do, they accidentally start the engine but crash-land back to Bikini Bottom. Thinking they are on the moon, they capture everyone thinking they are aliens. Eventually, SpongeBob is convinced that Patrick is an alien. SpongeBob starts the rocket to return home, and when it reaches the moon, the rocket crashes on top of it. SpongeBob looks out the window and realizes his mistake.|
|8b||8b||"Squeaky Boots"||Fred Miller||Steve Fonti, Chris Mitchell & Mr. Lawrence||September 4, 1999||1.9|
|Mr. Krabs gives his daughter Pearl a pair of squeaky boots as a cheap birthday present, but when she refuses to take them, he gives them to SpongeBob. SpongeBob enjoys them and the squeaky sounds they make, but the sound begins to bother Mr. Krabs. Mr. Krabs cannot stand the sounds anymore, so he steals the boots and buries them underneath the Krusty Krab. The next day, SpongeBob comes crying because he could not find the boots. Mr. Krabs feels guilty, starts going crazy, and confesses that he stole the boots.|
|9a||9a||"Nature Pants"||Sean Dempsey||Paul Tibbitt, Mark O'Hare & Peter Burns||September 11, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob decides he wants to live with jellyfish, so he goes to Jellyfish Fields. Meanwhile, Patrick and Sandy have a set-up picnic to try to trick SpongeBob into coming back. They eat Krabby Patties, as an attempt to bribe SpongeBob, but he resists. Realizing his mistakes and the great life he gave up, SpongeBob returns home and is surprised by his friends, who forgive and hug him.|
|9b||9b||"Opposite Day"||Tom Yasumi||Chuck Klein, Jay Lender & Mr. Lawrence||September 11, 1999||N/A|
|Squidward plans to sell his house, so that he may move out of Bikini Bottom, after being annoyed by SpongeBob and Patrick. However, he is warned by the real estate broker named Patty that if his home is surrounded by bad neighbors, the house may not be sold. Squidward tells SpongeBob and Patrick that it is "Opposite Day", and that everyone must act opposite to how they usually act. When Squidward is away and Patty arrives, SpongeBob and Patrick both pretend to be Squidward, giving her a tour of the house, while describing it negatively and doing the opposite of what she asks. After the incident, the real Squidward begs Patty to sell his house, but refuses leaves.|
|10a||10a||"Culture Shock"||Edgar Larrazabal||Paul Tibbitt, Mark O'Hare & Mr. Lawrence||September 18, 1999||N/A|
|The Krusty Krab has hit a depression of customers, and Mr. Krabs tells Squidward and SpongeBob that the Krusty Krab needs ideas to get more customers. Squidward suggests a talent show at the Krusty Krab, and Mr. Krabs agrees. When the night of the show arrives, it is a major success, attracting a full house of customers. The final act features Squidward, but the audience quickly hates it. They begin throwing tomatoes at him, making Squidward leave the stage. SpongeBob goes onstage and begins mopping up the mess, which the audience enjoys and starts cheering.|
|10b||10b||"F.U.N."||Fred Miller||Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer & Peter Burns||September 18, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob thinks Plankton is evil because he is lonely, so he befriends him. Eventually, while at the movie theater, SpongeBob realizes that Plankton used him to get a Krabby Patty, and Plankton attempts to explain that he realizes now that he only ever wanted friendship. However, he runs directly through the screen with the patty into a solid wall. Plankton is squashed, and Mr. Krabs flicks him off the wall onto Bubble Bass' hand, who mistakes Plankton for a jellybean and chases him around his hand.|
|11a||11a||"MuscleBob BuffPants"||Edgar Larrazabal||Ennio Torresan, Jr., Erik Wiese & Mr. Lawrence||September 25, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob orders fake arms with inflatable muscles to impress everyone. When Sandy sees him, she decides to enroll the both of them in a competition, where each contestant must throw an anchor the farthest they can. SpongeBob realizes that this would expose that his "muscles" are fake. At the competition, every contestant heaves their anchors the farthest, but SpongeBob, with his fake muscles, cannot even lift his anchor. He inflates his arms to strengthen himself, but instead they explode, revealing him as a fraud.|
|11b||11b||"Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost"||Fred Miller||Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer & Peter Burns||September 25, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob and Patrick think Squidward is dead after breaking his self-replica. Squidward decides to take advantage of their beliefs by telling them that he will spare them if they accept all of his commands. SpongeBob and Patrick decide that since Squidward is a vengeful spirit, they need to have Squidward to be put to rest. Squidward eventually admits his charade, but SpongeBob and Patrick believe that Squidward is simply in denial about his death. SpongeBob blows a giant bubble that engulfs Squidward and sends him floating up to the sky.|
|12a||12a||"The Chaperone"||Sean Dempsey||Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer & Peter Burns||October 2, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob is asked to take Pearl, to her school prom after she was dumped by her boyfriend. When they arrive, SpongeBob clumsily ruins Pearl's experience, making him break down. Pearl, feeling sorry for him, attempts to console him and restore his confidence. Pearl and SpongeBob perform a dance, which everyone else soon begins doing. However, this results in many injuries and mass destruction. An angry mob forms and throws Pearl and SpongeBob out of the building. SpongeBob apologizes, and Pearl says even though it was a disaster, it was really fun.|
|12b||12b||"Employee of the Month"||Sean Dempsey||Paul Tibbitt & Mr. Lawrence||October 2, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob is always the best employee ever but Squidward wants the Employee of the Month Award. The two argued about the award and set several traps for each other as they both desperately try to reach the Krusty Krab first. They get there at the same time, just as Mr. Krabs opens the doors. They begin overworking in an attempt to impress him, doing more harm than good, scaring Mr. Krabs out of his wits in the process. They then begin trying to make as many Krabby Patties as possible, eventually causing the Krusty Krab to explode.|
|13a||13a||"Scaredy Pants"||Sean Dempsey||Paul Tibbitt & Peter Burns||October 28, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob is tired of always getting scared on Halloween, and people calling him "Scaredy Pants" so he decides to dress like the Flying Dutchman to get revenge. For his costume, SpongeBob realizes that a real ghost has a round head, and that he has a square one. Patrick shaves SpongeBob's head, making it round. The real Flying Dutchman appears and explains to the people how offended he is by people dressing up as him for Halloween, and that SpongeBob's costume is the worst of all. He takes off SpongeBob's costume, which revealed that his brain is exposed as a result of Patrick's shaving. Subsequently, everyone runs away, including the Dutchman, leaving SpongeBob satisfied to finally have succeeded in scaring people.|
|13b||13b||"I Was a Teenage Gary"||Edgar Larrazabal||Steve Fonti, Chris Mitchell & Mr. Lawrence||October 28, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob trusts Squidward to take good care of Gary while he goes to a jelly-fishing convention. However, Squidward neglects him and Gary falls sick. SpongeBob calls the veterinarian, who gives him a syringe filled with snail plasma. Squidward accidentally injects the serum into SpongeBob's nose, causing SpongeBob to turn into a snail. The transformed SpongeBob approaches Squidward, who runs in fear, accidentally injects himself with the serum, and thus turns into a snail himself.|
|14a||14a||"SB-129"||Tom Yasumi||Aaron Springer, Erik Wiese & Mr. Lawrence||December 31, 1999||N/A|
|After being asked by SpongeBob and Patrick for jellyfishing, Squidward refuses and wants to go away from them so he hides inside of the Krusty Krab's freezer, and gets trapped in there. 2,000 years later, he is in "the future" and experiences time traveling only to go back to his time. In the process, the time machine malfunctions, leaving Squidward in "a surreal realm of nothingness". Suddenly realizing his loneliness, he attempts to escape and lands in the time machine room. He begs it to return to the present, which it does. Only, he finds that he's now the one who invented "jellyfishing".|
|14b||14b||"Karate Choppers"||Tom Yasumi||Aaron Springer, Erik Wiese & Merriwether Williams||December 31, 1999||N/A|
|SpongeBob and Sandy are constantly practicing karate, but Mr. Krabs forbids him from doing karate as he attacks the customers at the Krusty Krab and prevents him from working for a longer time. They attempt to forget karate, and go to the park. However, while slicing sandwiches, they begin doing karate again, which is saw by Mr. Krabs. However, he finds that karate chops can replace knives, and has SpongeBob and Sandy slice Krabby Patties this way, earning him more money.|
|15a||15a||"Sleepy Time"||Edgar Larrazabal||Paul Tibbitt, Ennio Torresan Jr. & Mr. Lawrence||January 17, 2000||2.0|
|When SpongeBob goes to sleep, he gains the ability of astral projection (because of Mrs. Puff) and ventures into his friends' dreams. After his journey to his friends' dreams, SpongeBob then goes back to his own dream. When he wakes up, everyone is in his house complaining that he messed up their dreams.|
|15b||15b||"Suds"||Edgar Larrazabal||Paul Tibbitt, Ennio Torresan Jr. & Mr. Lawrence||January 17, 2000||2.0|
|SpongeBob tries to fall asleep but fails. He decides that eating a sandwich would help, but he accidentally leaves the refrigerator door open. His open refrigerator gives him a bad case of a sickness like the common cold called the suds, causing him to sneeze bubbles out of his pores. Unfortunately Patrick foolishly tells SpongeBob going to the doctor is a terrifying experience, and SpongeBob asks Patrick to cure him but he only make it worse. Sandy then takes SpongeBob to a doctor, who prescribes the "sponge treatment". The treatment cures SpongeBob completely. Patrick fakes having the suds then gets the painful "starfish treatment".|
|16a||16a||"Valentine's Day"||Fred Miller||Chuck Klein, Jay Lender & Merriwether Williams||February 14, 2000||N/A|
|SpongeBob and Sandy set up a Valentine's Day treat for Patrick, a hot-air balloon made completely of chocolate at a Valentine's Day-themed park. Unfortunately, their plan is going through a delay, as the balloon is attacked by scallops, and SpongeBob gives Patrick a handshake in order to keep the balloon a surprise. SpongeBob's treat for Patrick arrives, and Patrick becomes friends with SpongeBob and Sandy again.|
|16b||16b||"The Paper"||Fred Miller||Chuck Klein, Jay Lender & Mr. Lawrence||February 14, 2000||N/A|
|SpongeBob plays around with a gum wrapper Squidward thrown on his yard. SpongeBob uses his imagination to have fun and do amazing things with the paper, and Squidward becomes jealous and attempts to take it back. However, SpongeBob refuses to give it back, as he promised not to. Squidward desperately begs SpongeBob for the paper, and is not successful until he agrees to trade everything he owns. However, Squidward does not have fun with the paper, and realizes that it is completely worthless.|
|17a||17a||"Arrgh!"||Sean Dempsey||Sherm Cohen, Vincent Waller & Merriwether Williams||March 15, 2000||2.1|
|SpongeBob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs play a board game based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman, which involves an in-game treasure hunt. Mr. Krabs likes the game so much that he wants to go on a real treasure hunt. In their hunt, SpongeBob and Patrick find the treasure, but Mr. Krabs says that all of the treasure belongs to him. They begin fighting over the chest, and their arguing wakes up the Flying Dutchman, who appears and congratulates SpongeBob and Patrick for digging it for him. He takes the treasure, but gives them two gold coins. Mr. Krabs asks for a reward, but only receives a tiny plastic treasure chest.|
|17b||17b||"Rock Bottom"||Tom Yasumi||Paul Tibbitt, Ennio Torresan & David Fain||March 15, 2000||2.1|
|SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally took the bus to Rock Bottom, an abyssal zone where they know their fate to go. After being abandoned by Patrick, SpongeBob tries it possible to take the bus to Bikini Bottom.|
|18a||18a||"Texas"||Sean Dempsey||Sherm Cohen, Vincent Waller & David Fain||March 22, 2000||N/A|
|Sandy is homesick and wishes she was back in Texas. SpongeBob attempts to cheer her up by organizing a Texas-themed surprise party at the Krusty Krab. They go to Sandy's house to ask her to come to the Krusty Krab with them, but she tells them that she is leaving Bikini Bottom to go back to Texas. SpongeBob and Patrick is shocked by this, and after they luring her to the Krusty Krab, Sandy realizes how much her underwater friends care about her, and that Bikini Bottom has become her true home, and decides to stay.|
|18b||18b||"Walking Small"||Sean Dempsey||Aaron Springer, Erik Wiese & Mr. Lawrence||March 22, 2000||N/A|
|At Goo Lagoon, Plankton arrives to turn the beach into the future site of a Chum Bucket branch, and demands everyone to leave the beach. However, no one listens to him. He concludes that he needs someone big to help clear the beach for him, and encounters SpongeBob. Plankton decides to trick SpongeBob into being "assertive" in order to get the things that he wants. After a series of cruel and rude actions by SpongeBob, everyone leaves the beach. Plankton then reveals his true intentions to SpongeBob, making him very upset. SpongeBob defeats Plankton by becoming "aggressively nice" performing kind actions that attract the people back to the beach. Plankton leaves the beach, disgusted by the overwhelming amounts of kindness.|
|19a||19a||"Fools in April"||Fred Miller||Aaron Springer, Erik Wiese & Merriwether Williams||April 1, 2000||N/A|
|At the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob pulls numerous playful and harmless pranks on people. Eventually, Squidward gets so annoyed that he pulls his own cruel and nasty prank on SpongeBob in retaliation. Squidward goes to see SpongeBob to apologize, but finds himself physically unable to say "I'm sorry" to him. He is able to say it by putting a bubble over his head, so that SpongeBob cannot actually hear his apology. Squidward walks away, saying that his conscience is clear, but is confronted by memories of what he did. He goes back and genuinely apologizes to SpongeBob. Suddenly, SpongeBob fully opens his front door, revealing that everyone else is inside behind him, and witnessed Squidward's apology. Squidward states that he was fooling them as well before running away to his house while laughing maniacally.|
|19b||19b||"Neptune's Spatula"||Fred Miller||Chuck Klein, Jay Lender & David Fain||April 1, 2000||N/A|
|While at the Fry Cook Museum, SpongeBob pulls a legendary spatula out of a bucket of grease, summoning King Neptune. King Neptune challenges SpongeBob to prove his ability as he is not pleased to find that SpongeBob is the one destined to be his eternal fry cook. At the competition, King Neptune makes 1000 burgers, in the time it takes SpongeBob to make just one, winning the challenge. However, when Neptune shares his patties with the audience, they find that they taste terrible. Neptune is angered by this and tastes SpongeBob's patty, and finds it to be delicious. SpongeBob is declared the winner, but when he finds out that his friends cannot come with him to Atlantis, he refuses to go, and instead arranges for King Neptune to be a trainee under SpongeBob at the Krusty Krab.|
|20a||20a||"Hooky"||Edgar Larrazabal||Sherm Cohen, Vincent Waller & Merriwether Williams||April 8, 2000||N/A|
|Mr. Krabs comes into the Krusty Krab warning everybody of the fishing hooks arriving into the waters surrounding Bikini Bottom. Patrick encourages SpongeBob to play on them, thinking they are not dangerous. SpongeBob gets caught on the hook, and runs to the Krusty Krab for help. After escaping the hook successfully by removing his clothes, he runs naked to his house, embarrassed by the incident.|
|20b||20b||"Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II"||Tom Yasumi||Chuck Klein, Jay Lender & Mr. Lawrence||April 8, 2000||N/A|
|SpongeBob wins a conch shell that can summon his favorite superheroes, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, in emergencies. However, SpongeBob abuses this privilege, constantly calling the superheroes to help with everyday tasks. Eventually, the two heroes are exhausted, and SpongeBob apologizes and explains that he just wanted to spend time with them. As a result, they let SpongeBob join them on their daily patrol. At a restaurant, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy decide to "ditch" SpongeBob. Outside, however, they are attacked and trapped by their arch nemesis, the Dirty Bubble. SpongeBob comes outside to tell them, and sees their predicament. He asks the Dirty Bubble for his autograph, saying that he is his favorite supervillain, and "accidentally" pops the Dirty Bubble with a pencil tip, saving the day.|
The DVD boxset for season one was released by Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon in the United States and Canada in October 2003, three years after it had completed broadcast on television. The DVD release features bonus materials including audio commentaries, featurettes, and music videos. The pilot episode "Help Wanted" was excluded in the DVD release due to copyright issues. According to Derek Drymon, the episode was not included because Nickelodeon did not want to pay Tiny Tim's estate for the DVD rights. "Help Wanted" was later released on the SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 3rd Season DVD as a bonus feature on September 27, 2005. It was also released on the SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes DVD, alongside all the episodes of seasons one through five. The DVD included a featurette called "Help Wanted" the Seven Seas Edition that featured "Help Wanted" in numerous languages. The episode was also a bonus feature in the series DVD called SpongeBob SquarePants: 10 Happiest Moments that was released on September 14, 2010. Upon release, the DVD set was quickly sold out at Best Buy and was selling "briskly" at online retailers, including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.
|SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 1st Season|
|Set details||Special features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|October 28, 2003||November 7, 2005||November 30, 2006|
- Information is taken from the opening credits of each episode.
- Hillenburg, Stephen (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
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- Drymon, Derek (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
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- Heintjes, Tom (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17 (Bull Moose Publishing Corporation). Retrieved September 21, 2012.
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- Production orders based on United States Copyright Office records
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- Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Allworth Communications, Inc. pp. 50, 252–253. ISBN 1-58115-269-8.
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