Spongebob Squarepants has been around for more than twenty years now on Nickelodeon, igniting the hearts of children and adults alike with the adventures of the sea sponge and his friends in the world of Bikini Bottom. With thirteen seasons, there are plenty of storylines that tell the tale of the great Spongebob, however, there are only a select few that truly stand out above the rest.
With the new spinoff series coming out, titled Kamp Koral: Spongebob’s Under Years, we thought it would be suitable to figure out which episodes of Spongebob Squarepants are top-tier. Keep in mind – this only covers regular-season episodes, so the eleven-minute episodes are the ones we will be ranking today. For most fans, they will recognize many of these, as most are from the first couple of seasons – otherwise known as the best era of Spongebob Squarepants (in my personal opinion).
Honorable Mentions: Graveyard Shift, Idiot Box, Just One Bite
With 248 episodes to choose from, there are bound to be some honorable mentions, and that includes these few ones right here.
“Graveyard Shift” is not only a memorable episode with the hash-slinging slasher, but is relevant to any fast-food worker who’s had to stay late to clean up.
“Idiot Box” reaches out to the kid in all of us, showing what can be done if we are given just a little bit of 'imagination.’
“Just One Bite” is the epitome of the transition from being a picky eater, to trying that one food that changes your world.
All three episodes are great in their own right, which is why they are deserving of a special spot on this list just for them.
10. Artist Unknown (Season 1, Episodes 18)
We can’t have a Spongebob list without bringing up the classic “bold and brash.” I always personally love the "Artist Unknown" episode even now because we get to really see this different side of Squidward a bit more for the first time, showing off his love of art and how much he really adores it, even if his art is, uh… less than great as a professor.
But even so, the passion in the sea creature’s eyes is unbeatable and it’s always a great thing to see Squidward, of all people, show happiness for once. Besides, this episode became so popular that you can actually buy “bold and brash” online and hang it up in your own home – if that’s not a great episode, I don’t know what is.
9. Club Spongebob (Season 3, Episode 42)
The conch shell knows all.
I feel like everyone can relate to this episode on some level though in Spongebob. Sometimes when we’re stuck with our friends for a good amount of time even the closest of buddies might lose their minds after a while if they can’t find a way out. All they’re trying to do is have fun together and everything goes wrong.
But “Club Spongebob” is one of the best episodes just because of the stupidity of it all, how even in the end the park ranger was praising the magic conch and the legendary advice it would give, how even Squidward gave in. My only question is why didn’t they just head back to civilization through the path that the ranger had cut through the Kelp Forest? Probably could have saved a lot of time on their end.
8. The Camping Episode (Season 3, Episode 57)
Raise your hand if you’re a '90s kid and know every single lyric to the Campfire Song. raises hand
Let's talk about "The Camping Episode." In all seriousness, there’s just something about this Spongebob episode that speaks to me. A part of me will always aspire to be as carefree as Patrick and Spongebob were while they were camping, but also to be as cautious as they became later on.
Not only that, but the appearance of the sea bear awakened a new fear for the ocean I never thought I would have. If only Squidward stayed in the magic circle! It would have saved him a lot of pain.
7. Snowball Effect (Season 3, Episode 46)
Okay, so I grew up in the Northeast of America, right on Long Island, and let me tell you, watching the "Snowball Effect" episode of Spongebob Squarepants made me feel some type of way because I could only wish to have the amount of snow they had.
Disregarding the scientific abnormalities of this (I mean, snow underwater? I don’t know if that’s entirely possible), this episode of Spongebob is surely one of the best ones, if not just for the battle aspects of both Spongebob and Patrick building a fort, and even Squidward joining in not that long after in the snow. It’s always fun to see Spongebob and Patrick actually act like kids and have it not feel forced. This episode looks like they are having a great time instead of later seasons where the writers seem to push them into situations that make them act like children.
But here, the notion of having fun in the snow feels real. Maybe that’s what makes it so much fun.
6. Rock Bottom (Season 1, Episodes 17)
"Rock Bottom" is iconic in so many ways. This episode of Spongebob Squarepants sees Spongebob at one of his worst moments, where literally all he wants is to get a bus back home so he can get out of a sketchy part of town.
The premise is so simple, and yet the way it is executed has me still laughing and clutching my stomach even to this day as an adult. He just can’t seem to catch a break, no matter how hard Spongebob tries to get on that bus. At the end of the day, we’ve all had those moments where all we want to do is go home, and seeing Spongebob having so much trouble sits well with me years later.
5. Dying For Pie (Season 2, Episode 24)
There are a couple of reasons why I love this episode of Spongebob Squarepants so much, but the main one is the humanity we see in Squidward.
Up until now, we hadn't really see Squidward show that much kindness towards Spongebob besides the occasional favor he would give (which we’ll go over in another episode here), but in “Dying for Pie,” we really get to see a different side of Squidward, one that actually cares about Spongebob. He didn’t mean to give the guy a pie that could kill him. He only meant it as a joke out of spite, but now, it could seriously end the sponge’s life – something Squidward did not want to happen.
It’s sweet to see Squidward try to make up for it all day by giving Spongebob the best day he could have, even if the ending feels like it ruins the sentimental moment. However, the thought is still there.
4. Frankendoodle (Season 2, Episode 34)
I can’t have a Spongebob Squarepants tier list without including “Frankendoodle” of all episodes. I’m pretty sure every single '90s to '00s kid has quoted the man-made doodle at least once in their lives. But honestly, this ranks so high because it’s so loony.
I mean, who would have thought that Spongebob and Patrick would find a magic pencil randomly, and then all of a sudden, they would create an actual living monster that wants to basically erase the world? Sounds like a downgraded version of Godzilla.
The whole entire concept sounds bonkers, which is why it’s the perfect Spongebob Squarepants episode.
3. Pizza Delivery (Season 1, Episode 5)
Ya’ll knew "Pizza Delivery" was coming.
As one of the earliest episodes in the series, no one expected Spongebob Squarepants to come out with such a banger of a song so quickly, but they did that and more. The premise is simple – deliver a pizza to a customer of the Krusty Krab, but Squidward and Spongebob run into multiple hurdles along the way.
However, the hijinks they find themselves thrown into is something that no one expects, and of course, Spongebob always tries to find a way around it to make the situation that much better.
Also, there is a surprising amount of heart near the end when Squidward (who shows his humility really for the first time towards Spongebob) stands up for Spongebob against the customer, who yells at him for forgetting a drink after Spongebob walked day and night to deliver it. It’s a great episode from beginning to end.
2. Chocolate With Nuts (Season 3, Episode 12)
As a former Girl Scout, I’ve had my own run-ins with people who have had their fair share of interesting takes on salespeople. But seeing Spongebob and Patrick take it on is something I never want to forget about.
All Spongebob and Patrick want to do in "Chocolate With Nuts" is become fancier people and make some money, so they decide that the best way is to sell chocolate. However, what they don’t realize is that sooner or later they run into crazies who are obsessed with chocolate, salespeople, and even more.
It’s complete chaos, and they don’t know what to do. Who knew chocolate would cause so much mayhem?
1. Band Geeks (Season 2, Episode 15)
The episode of all the episodes. The be-all-end-all of Spongebob Squarepants. That… is “Band Geeks.”
The story is simple. Squidward wants to get back as his past rival, Squilliam Fancyson by having his band perform in the Bubble Bowl, but of course, Squidward’s band is comprised of people who aren’t necessarily musicians. However, somehow they all pull it together at the very end for a performance that will knock your pants off and prove that no matter who you are, anyone can rock on.
I mean, how can you not think this is the best episode of Spongebob? Not only is “Sweet Victory” the best song to sing when you’re feeling yourself after winning something, but a clip of the episode was literally featured during the real-life Superbowl, what the Bubble Bowl was based on. It’s the best episode out there, which is why I think this is the spot that it deserves.
Even with Spongebob Squarepants still going strong years later, even after its creator has passed away, there are bound to be some episodes that stand above the rest. What are your favorite Spongebob episodes?
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!