Rock Bottom (SpongeBob SquarePants)
|SpongeBob SquarePants episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
Episode 35 (35b)
|Directed by||Nick Jennings (art)
Tom Yasumi (animation)
Paul Tibbitt (storyboard)
Ennio Torresan (storyboard)
Alan Smart (supervising)
|Written by||Paul Tibbitt
|Original air date||March 15, 2000|
|Running time||11 minutes|
"Rock Bottom" is the 34th episode of the first season of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. It originally was produced in 1999 and aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on March 15, 2000. The series follows the adventures of the title character in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. In the episode, SpongeBob becomes stranded in a hadopelagic zone called Rock Bottom.
The episode was written by Paul Tibbitt, Ennio Torresan, Jr., and David Fain, and the animation was directed by Tom Yasumi. Upon release, "Rock Bottom" was viewed by two million households and received positive reviews from media critics.
SpongeBob and Patrick board a bus to go home from Glove World, which is a glove-themed amusement park. They accidentally board the wrong bus, which then takes them to a 90-degree cliff. The cliff leads to a hadopelagic zone called Rock Bottom, which is inhabited by many strange deep-sea animals.
Patrick gets on the bus to go home but accidentally leaves SpongeBob behind. After several unsuccessful attempts to get on the bus, SpongeBob heads to a bus station and waits in a very long line. By the time he gets to the front, he finds out that the next bus leaves in 5 seconds and misses it, then learns it was the last one and gets stuck there until morning. He gets scared by a raspberry sound coming from off in the distance, and he dashes back to the cliff. The raspberry sound's maker reveals himself to be a friendly-looking anglerfish creature, who has SpongeBob's balloon from Glove World. The creature blows up the balloon, ties it to SpongeBob's wrist, and allows him to rise up the cliff and back to Bikini Bottom. The episode ends with Patrick on his way back to Rock Bottom, thinking SpongeBob is still there.
"Rock Bottom" was written by Paul Tibbitt, Ennio Torresan, and David Fain, with Tom Yasumi serving as animation director. Tibbitt and Torresan also worked as storyboard directors. The episode originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on March 15, 2000, with a TV-Y7 parental rating.
Series head writer of the first season Merriwether Williams said the episode's story is "so simple." She remarked "To me, it's one of the best episodes. It just stayed with one idea." The episode was about "how he [SpongeBob] keeps missing the bus and how that makes him feel." Williams said the episode was "so small that you could explore gags and opportunities for gags." The episode was an example of "a good outline" in the series where the storyboards and humor were done easily. Williams said "it was great for the board guys." She added "In many ways, my job was to create situations where the board guys could be funny, to create a situation that could be funny, and let them go for the actual, specific jokes."
"Rock Bottom" was released on the DVD compilation called The Best of SpongeBob SquarePants on the May 11, 2004. It was also included on the SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 1st Season DVD on October 28, 2003. On September 22, 2009, the episode was released on the SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes DVD, alongside all the episodes of seasons one through five.
"Rock Bottom" was watched by 2.1 million viewers upon its release. It received very positive reviews from media critics. Nancy Basile of About.com gave the episode a positive response and ranked it No. 4 on her "Best SpongeBob SquarePants Episodes" list. Basile said "The raspberries and SpongeBob's increasing frustration make this an hilarious episode." She cited the episode as a "running up against Murphy's law over and over again" and said "so it's very relatable." Basile's favorite scene was "SpongeBob tries to extract a snack from the vending machine before the bus across the road drives away."
Emily Estep of WeGotThisCovered.com ranked the episode No. 5 on her "Top 10 Episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants" list. She said "While Rock Bottom is mostly a goofy episode, it's also one of the scarier episodes of SpongeBob." She also said the episode has "the ideal balance of cuteness and sheer terror – like SpongeBob running from a mysterious character, saying, 'Well, that place will be there tomorrow. I guess I'd better keep walking. Running. Better start running. Running. Sprinting! Yes, I just gotta keep sprinting!' (Before he hits a wall; 'Sitting, sitting, bleeding.')" that made the episode "so well-remembered." Bill Treadway of DVD Talk gave the episode a 3 out of 5 rating.
"Rock Bottom" served as an inspiration for the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge ride. The ride first opened on March 15, 2008 at the Mall of America's Nickelodeon theme park re-branded from the Mall of America's Park at MOA, formerly Camp Snoopy, to Nickelodeon Universe in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge features vertical lifts and 90-degree turns providing the riders a 60-plus foot drop, a maximum speed of over 40 miles per hour and a 4.4 maximum G-force rating. The ride time is approximately two minutes and is the shortest Gerstlauer roller coaster built yet.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 1st Season. DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2003.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 1st Season ("Rock Bottom" credits) (DVD). United States: Paramount Home Entertainment/Nickelodeon. October 28, 2003.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants : Arrgh!; Rock Bottom". Zap2it. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
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- "SpongeBob SquarePants - Season 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes. DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2009.
- Lacey, Gord (September 29, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants - The First 100 Episodes (Seasons 1-5) Review". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "CABLE'S TOP 25 PEOPLE'S CHOICE". Broadcasting & Cable. March 27, 2000. Retrieved October 29, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Basile, Nancy. "Best 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Episodes". About.com. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- Estep, Emily (December 5, 2011). "Top 10 Episodes Of Spongebob Squarepants". WeGotThisCovered.com. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- Treadway, Bill (November 10, 2003). "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- "Spongebob Squarepants, Rock Bottom Plunge". Park Thoughts. October 17, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- Niles, Robert (March 11, 2008). "New attraction spotlight: Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- Clark, Jayne (March 13, 2008). "Nick characters drop in mall Universe". USA Today. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge Continues Wild Ride". Krech, O'Brien, Mueller and Associates, Inc. October 29, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
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