The 21 Best SpongeBob Episodes, Ranked

We're diving into Bikini Bottom

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Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Who else other than SpongeBob Squarepants? Created by animator and marine science educator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon in 1999, SpongeBob Squarepants has since gone on to become one of the greatest and most influential animated series ever created. Seeing as though many of us were small children when the show premiered and Generation Alpha (those born in 2010) are now watching both old and new episodes in real-time, it’s safe to call SpongeBob a generational show with generational influence as it constantly goes viral on social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter.

You can call us biased (and we very well may be), but us millennials born in the latter half of the 1990s definitely feel that we got the best of SpongeBob or the series at its absolute peak rather.

RELATED: Come On Grab Your Friends: The 31 Best 'Adventure Time' Episodes

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While the recent episodes are still entertaining, in our opinion nothing compares to that 1999 to 2006 era of SpongeBob when we got some of the best episodes, songs (“Krusty Krab Pizza,” “Fool Who Ripped His Pants,” and “F.U.N” to name a few), and movies. Even the video games were next level despite being less technologically advanced than the ones that have come out in later years. Speaking of episodes, today we are looking at the best SpongeBob Episodes and ranking them, but before we do here’s a fun fact for you:

Prior to developing SpongeBob, Stephen Hillenburg was an animator on Nickelodeon’s hit series Rocko's Modern Life for four years until the show’s cancellation. That same year, 1996, he began developing SpongeBob, pitching the show’s pilot to Nickelodeon’s network execs the following year. Nickelodeon originally wanted SpongeBob to be a child in school, which went against Hillenburg as he wanted SpongeBob to be an adult. The two disagreed and Hillenburg was ready to walk away from the show, until they compromised by creating Mrs. Puff and her boating school for SpongeBob to attend. Long live Stephen Hillenburg.

Now onto the episodes.

21. Welcome to the Chum Bucket (Season 2, Episode 14)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “ A stove is a stove, no matter where you go.”

There’s a life lesson in that quote—you are who you are regardless of where life takes you. In “Welcome to the Chum Bucket,” Mr. Krabs loses SpongeBob in a bet with Plankton, which means SpongeBob has to leave the Krusty Krab and go work for Plankton at The Chum Bucket. Needless to say, SpongeBob isn’t exactly the employee that Plankton expects him to be, as apparently only The Krusty Krab is capable of bringing out the best in SpongeBob when it comes to work accuracy and ethic. Plus, SpongeBob misses The Krusty Krab (which contributes to him not working well), and even if Mr. Krabs will never admit it, he misses SpongeBob as well. Aww.

20. Texas (Season 1, Episode 18)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “A no-good yellow belly like yourself.”

We all have gotten homesick at some point in our lives, and Sandy is no exception as she comes down with a case of the blues and starts seriously missing Texas. Bless their hearts, SpongeBob and Patrick do everything in their power to cheer Sandy up, but sometimes you just have to let yourself feel the sadness in order to work through it. This episode gave us Sandy’s song “I Wanna Go Home,” and if you are anything like us then you definitely sing this whenever you are in a situation where you want to go home.

19. Ripped Pants (Season 1, Episode 2)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “I think I ripped my pants.”

“Ripped Pants” is peak early SpongeBob as it was literally the second episode ever aired. In it, SpongeBob is the boy who cried ripped pants as it was something that initially got him attention in a funny he ripped them trying to lift weights, but SpongeBob doesn’t realize that folks were laughing at him and not with him, and keeps overboard with finding ways to rip his pants for attention. Needless to say, the folks of Bikini Bottom start to get tired of SpongeBob’s shenanigans very quickly.

18. Patty Hype (Season 2, Episode 5)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Pretty patties available in six designer colors.”

In “Patty Hype,” SpongeBob comes up with the idea of designer Krabby Patties that come in different colors. Looking back, this was actually an offer that Mr. Krabs should have taken SpongeBob on because it was very unique. Nonetheless Mr. Krabs rejects the idea and you already know Squidward wasn’t going to say yes, so SpongeBob decides to open his own Krabby Patty stand which kind of goes well, but ends up going bad when the actual customers start actually turning colors. Hey, at least SpongeBob didn’t get sued.

17. Hall Monitor (Season 1, Episode 7)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Take the hat and belt.”

It didn’t take long to figure out that SpongeBob just simply wasn’t any good at jobs other than making Krabby Patties, and the “Hall Monitor” episode was just another example of that. As any fan of the show knows, SpongeBob is a regular attendee of Mrs. Puff’s driving school, (which he never seems to graduate from), and each student has to take turns being the hall monitor. Eventually it gets to the point where only SpongeBob is left, and Mrs. Puff is left with no other choice but to assign him the duties, which as expected goes bad quickly.

16. Band Geeks (Season 2, Episode 15)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Is mayonnaise an instrument?”

Squidward? A band director? Well that’s exactly what happens when Squidward decides to form a band for the Bubble Bowl after getting off the phone with Squilliam. That task is not an easy one as Squidward doesn’t exactly have a team of professionals that know what they’re doing, but he’s able to make it happen in time for the coveted Bubble Bowl halftime appearance, which features SpongeBob showing off his vocals once again.

15. Graveyard Shift (Season 2, Episode 16)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “I can’t hang out here all night. I’ve got a life.”

The Krusty Krab decides it’s going to open up a graveyard shift after the demand for customers wanting Krabby Patties after hours arises, and of course SpongeBob is assigned to the task. Squidward being Squidward, he decides he’s going to tell SpongeBob made-up spooky stories about a “hash-slinging slayer” to mess with him. The only problem is, some of the things that Squidward made up in his story actually begins to come true.

14. The Camping Episode (Season 3, Episode 57)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “I once met this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy.”

Surely SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward deciding to go camping together at night wouldn’t have any technical difficulties right? Wrong. Sometimes when camping out in the wilderness you encounter some unwelcome guests, and for SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward, that guest is a sea bear that the three have to battle. Yeah, not fun. Fun for us to watch, but not them.

13. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (Season 1, Episode 6)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “By the power of Neptune, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy unite!”

If you can find somebody that loves you as much as SpongeBob loves Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, then you gon be alright. This first episode was just mostly about introducing SpongeBob and Patrick’s love for duo as there have since been several more episodes centered around Mermaid Man and/or Barnacle Boy, but this one is funny just simply because of how much SpongeBob and Patrick’s antics annoy Squidward.

12. Mrs. Puff You’re Fired (Season 4, Episode 69)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Would anyone care for a Bon-Bon?”

Talk about wrongful termination. Due to SpongeBob’s inability to pass his drivers test (which by this point is at least in the dozens in terms of failures), Mrs. Puff is fired because it is viewed as teaching shortcoming on her end. Anybody who has seen SpongeBob drive knows that he is basically beyond help when it comes to his driving skills, which leaves Mrs. Puff with an impossible task. Eventually this is realized, and Mrs. Puff is able to get the job she should have never been fired from back.

11. Sailor Mouth (Season 2, Episode 18)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Hello customers! Nice $&#$& day you’re having?"

This just might be the funniest episode ever. If you were like us as kids, then you spent some time trying to figure out what curse word they were actually saying. As adults, it’s quite obvious that it’s an f-bomb because no other curse word makes sense. SpongeBob and Patrick hear the forbidden word being said behind a dumpster, and start using it loudly and proudly much to the chagrin of Mr. Krabs. How SpongeBob and Patrick were the only ones in Bikini Bottom who didn’t know the word or what it meant is beyond us.

10. Krusty Krab Training Video (Season 3, Episode 10)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “But for every good employee, there is one that is not so good.”

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, then you know the instructional videos shown in the episode were on point. There’s not much plot-wise to this episode as it’s mostly a Krusty Krab training video that’s supposed to be shown to future employees. Those future employees, however, are nowhere to be seen or found in the long run because we only keep Squidward and SpongeBob.

9. The Nasty Patty (Season 3, Episode 4)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Leave me to finish my work in peace.”

Every restaurant must undergo a health inspection, but The Krusty Krab’s inspection takes a borderline criminal turn when SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs think they’ve accidentally killed the inspector by giving him a tainted Krabby Patty. So what do they decide to do? Attempt to hide his body…that’s what they do.

8. Bubblestand (Season 1, Episode 2)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “I’m gonna need to borrow a quarter.”

The “A-Side” to “Ripped Pants,” SpongeBob decides he’s going to start a bubble stand, which technically isn’t a bad idea as he isn’t just creating regular bubbles. SpongeBob’s actually making really creative bubbles modeled after different animals and objects, which probably would have been all good had some of the bubbles made loud noises while popping, but because the bubble stand is right in front of Squidward’s house, Squid is obviously (and rightfully) annoyed and wants it shut down.

7. Frankendoodle (Season 2, Episode 14)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “It looks like a giant pencil.”

In “Frankendoodle,” SpongeBob and Patrick discover a giant pencil, which they use to create DoodleBob. While the two think that DoodleBob is just a drawing, they quickly discover that it’s not when the drawing comes to life. Not only that, but DoodleBob is actually kind of evil, and he speaks an evil gibberish that’s a wee bit disturbing. Anyway, DoodleBob has to be stopped, and it’s up to SpongeBob and Patrick to do it.

6. Shanghaied (Season 2, Episode 13)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Holy Shrimp!”

Well, this episode starts off with a giant anchor crashing into SpongeBob’s house, and from there it goes up (or down) as SpongeBob, Squidward, and Patrick board the Flying Dutchman Ship. Squidward wants to file a complaint, whereas SpongeBob and Patrick seem to be amused more than anything as they start doing whatever the Flying Dutchman wants them to do relatively calmly. 

5. F.U.N. (Season 1, Episode 10)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Victory is mine. I win. I win!”

All together now. "F is for friends who do stuff together, U is for you and me. N is for anywhere and anytime at all, down here in the deep blue sea.”

4. Mid-Life Crustacean (Season 3, Episode 15)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Are you feeling it now Mr. Krabs?”

Unfortunately for the youngins, this episode is banned.Why was it banned you asked? Nobody really knows for sure as “storyline concerns” was the only explanation we got. Some believe it’s due to the panty raid scene, but guess we’ll never know. It could have also been the way Mr. Krabs was feeling about his “mid-life crisis” or a combination of both (you have to remember this originally aired in the early 2000s which was a totally different time period in terms of what was acceptable and what wasn’t). Regardless, many feel that this is an all-time great episode of SpongeBob.

3. Pizza Delivery (Season 1, Episode 5)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “The pioneers used to ride these babies for miles.”

There was a very brief period in which The Krusty Krab explored delivering pizzas. It didn’t last very long as SpongeBob and Squidward got lost in the middle of nowhere on their very first delivery, but it was worth a shot we guess.

2. No Weenies Allowed (Season 3, Episode 8)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “ I am not a weenie!”

SpongeBob and Sandy discover the new club in town, Salty Spitoon, which is meant for the rough, tough, guys. Sandy makes it in, however SpongeBob does not, which hurts his feelings. In order to gain access to the club, SpongeBob tries out different challenges to try and prove his toughness which…doesn’t go well.

1. Rock Bottom (Season 1, Episode 15)

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  • Our Favorite Quote: “Don’t run for a bus, especially one that’s going up at a 90 degree angle.”

Hands down the most infuriating episode of SpongeBob ever created. Between getting on the wrong bus in the first place, and doing everything possible to miss all the future buses, this episode got on everyone’s nerves.

What’s your favorite Spongebob episode? Make sure to keep up with us for more entertainment content and updates.

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