- Eugene H. Krabs
- Squidward Tentacles
- Sandy Cheeks
- Larry the Lobster
- Mrs. Puff
- Sheldon J. Plankton
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Pearl Krabs
- Patrick Star
- Harold SquarePants
- Margaret SquarePants
- Don the Whale
- Frank (lifeguard)
- Frank (red shirt)
- Harold (red fish)
- Harold "Bill" Reginald
- Jimmy Gus
- Nat Peterson
- Nathiel Waters
- Old Man Jenkins
- Tina Fran
- Vera Fishbowl
- Jennifer Millie
- Miss Rechid
- Monroe Timmy
- Medley Fishbowl (light blue; normal)
- Norma Rechid
- Baytona 400 announcer (heard only)
- Archie (cameo)
- Taylor Fishbowl
- Mechanic (debut)
- Loud creature (debut)
- Giant fruit fly (debut)
- Jellyfish (cameo in picture)
- Flower creatures (debut)
- Octodecapede (debut)
- Triclops (debut)
- Cyclops creature (debut)
- Rock creatures (debut)
- Male judge
Everybody gets special invitations from SpongeBob, promising each the thing they love most in life. For example, SpongeBob says to Mr. Krabs that he will have free money, says to Squidward that he will have a latte sipping contest, and says to Sandy that she will have a science experiment. Everyone goes to his house, only to be surprised and disappointed that they are going to see vacation slides (which they do not care about). They are about to leave (while stepping on Plankton), but SpongeBob persuades them back.
The adventure starts with Patrick squirting the Cheese Fizz on the camera. SpongeBob's parents pull up and get him and Patrick in. SpongeBob looks at a brochure and Patrick suggests a game- Hide and Seek. Patrick gets on the windshield of the boat and Harold yells "Egad!!!"' and loses control. They slide and burst into The Outskirts Outlet Mega-Mall, and Basscar Racing Stadium. Then, they fling off the stadium and head straight into space where a floating cow gets hit by them and lands on the moon. Then, they fall back down to the Earth and slide down a rocky cliff onto the road. SpongeBob then suggests they sing a road song.Everyone sings the road song and at the end of the song, the engine blows up. They move the boat to a local service station. They wait in an outhouse. Margaret sees a playground and offers SpongeBob and Patrick to play on it. They do, but they slide down a sewer pipe and onto a small puddle.
When they get up, they try to get back up, but they cannot. They enter a mysterious red kelp forest with many mushrooms. They hear a hollering noise and run. It turns out it is a small creature. They jump over a cliff and onto an anemone and onto a mushroom. Behind Patrick is a giant fruit fly. They run away and go behind a rock. They hear a noise. It came from a gift shop. SpongeBob wastes his money on useless knick-knacks. They sing the road song wearily. Then, SpongeBob decides to play the road song on a flute he bought at the gift shop. They walk along past Harold and Margret and into the forest again. Animals follow them. The animals suddenly run away because the giant fruit fly is behind them. SpongeBob stops playing. When they turn around, they see the fruit fly wants to give them a lift. They then sing the above the road song. He drops SpongeBob and Patrick off. SpongeBob's parents call them over but SpongeBob and Patrick just fall asleep. Margaret says "Do something Harold!" while Harold says "He's your son, Margaret, he's your son..."
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Clownfish Capers - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [title card]
‣ Sailor's Sting 9 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs reading party invitation]
‣ A Fishy Conversation - Barry Anthony [Squidward and Sandy reading invitation]
‣ Sponge Twist - Nicolas Carr, Fabian Fernandez, James King [Larry reading invitation]
‣ Horlepiep - Jan Rap [Mrs. Puff reading invitation]
‣ Lite Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Plankton reading invitation]
‣ Befuddled - Pat Irwin [guests arrive]
‣ Steel Sting (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [everyone leaves]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [first slide]
‣ Unknown Track 35 - Pat Irwin ["Wait, come back!"]
‣ Seaweed - Steve Belfer [Patrick spraying the camera]
‣ Hop and Skip - Phil Green [SpongeBob's parents arrive]
‣ Bobbins and Spindles - Ronald Hanmer [Great Barrier Reef brochure]
‣ Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick drooling]
‣ Unknown Track 33 - "No, I really can't!"
‣ Hop and Skip - Phil Green [SpongeBob's mom suggests a road game]
‣ Armed Attack - Jean Clero [Patrick blocking the windshield]
‣ Shop-O-Rama - Nicolas Carr, Fabian Fernandez [mall muzak]
‣ Drama Link (g) - Hubert Clifford [boat flies through air]
‣ Unknown Track 64 - boat bounces down a racetrack
‣ Cosmos Adventure 1 - John Fox [boat ascends into space]
‣ Bucaneers 1 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [boat falls back down]
• The Road Song - Aaron Springer, Eban Schletter
‣ Solo Steel - Jeremy Wakefield [family pushing boat]
‣ Unknown Track 60 - servis stashun
‣ Steel Link (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick laughs]
‣ Steel Licks (e) - Jeremy Wakefield [Waiting room]
‣ Fresh as a Daisy - George French ["Playgrooouuund..."]
‣ Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["This looks more like a grayground."]
‣ Tentically Speaking - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [seesaw]
‣ Thrill Ride - Gregor F. Narholz [swing set breaks]
‣ The Jitters - Raymond C. Jones [end of drain]
‣ Crazy Mind - Harry Lubin ["Patrick, are you okay?"]
‣ Steel Licks (a) - Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick climbing up the drain]
‣ Steel Licks (c) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Something tells me that is a one-way drain."]
‣ Planet Surface - Gregor F. Narholz ["How long have we been walking here?"]
‣ Unknown Hawaiian Sting (c) - vending machine
‣ Planet Surface - Gregor F. Narholz ["RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!"]
‣ Fight the Beast! - Gregor F. Narholz ["It's getting closer!"]
‣ Fighting Legions (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["I know how to get us out of this!"]
‣ Fight the Beast! - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob and Patrick falling off the cliff]
‣ Wahini Wobble - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Patrick, we did it!"]
‣ Dramatic Encounter - Gregor F. Narholz [giant insect behind Patrick]
‣ Fight for Your Life! - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob and Patrick swinging from vines]
‣ Big Bad Giant - Paddy Kingsland [insect flies away]
‣ Excited Tension 2 - Phil Green ["Patrick, did you hear that?"]
‣ Carefree and Gay - Phill Green, Geoff Love, Ken Thorne [gift shop]
‣ Solo Steel - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob crying]
‣ Bikini Bottom Bound - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["We did everything we dreamt of doing."]
‣ Steel Licks - Jeremy Wakefield ["I suggest we start walking."]
‣ ? - Eban Schletter [instrumental road song]
‣ Dramatic Impact 2 - Ivor Slaney [giant insect reappears]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["I think it's offering us a ride."]
• The Road Song - Aaron Springer, Eban Schletter
‣ Hop and Skip - Phil Green [ending]
- As of September 30, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 7.1/10 based on 74 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 6.4/10 based on 21 votes.
- The episode was released on DVD on September 20, 2011, before it aired on television one month and twenty-one days from its release.
- On iTunes, this episode is paired up with the season 8 short "Sandy's Vacation in Ruins."
- The original title for this episode was "Runaway Roadtrip." The DVD cover still has it.
- This is the first of the five episode vacation miniseries to air on Nickelodeon.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick jump off the cliff, it is similar to what they did in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
- On some airings, this episode is preceded by "Hello Bikini Bottom."
- This is the second episode where Patrick is mistaken as luggage. The first is "The Great Patty Caper."
- This is the second episode where Baytona is mentioned. The first is "The Hot Shot."
- The episode was promoted as "Runaway Roadtrip" in Ireland and the UK but the actual episode is still called "A SquarePants Family Vacation."
- This episode listed and called "SquarePants Family Vacation" in Turkey.
- SpongeBob's mother's first name is revealed to be "Margaret."
- This is the only double-length vacation episode.
- This is the second episode to be a long flashback sequence. The first is "Missing Identity." **Unlike that episode, this does not bring one back to the actual setting, making the whole flashback the rest of the episode.
- This goes the same for the rest of the vacation miniseries.
- This was the first episode to be rated PG in Canada.
- This is the third special to air on November 11. The first two were "Have You Seen This Snail" in 2005 and "The Great Patty Caper" in 2010.
- This episode reveals that Margaret SquarePants knits.
- This episode premiered eight years after Friends Forever was released, six years after "Have You Seen This Snail?" premiered, and one year after "The Great Patty Caper" premiered.
- The title of this episode is similar to those of the films RV, Runaway Vacation, Rat Race, and Johnson Family Vacation.
- When the boat is sent flying into space, there is a cow jumping over the moon, which is an allusion to the nursery rhyme "The Cat and the Fiddle."
- The cow seen floating in outer space near the moon may be a reference to the Milky Way Galaxy.
- It may also be a reference to the poem that goes "Hey diddle diddle, the cat had a fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon."
- This episode could be an allusion to 1987 film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, the 2005 film, Are We There Yet?, and the 1994 film, Dumber & Dumber.
- Baytona and Basscar are parodies of Daytona and NASCAR.
- The Road Song is a parody of the theme song "Holiday Road" from the movie National Lampoon's Vacation.
- When SpongeBob eats the grape and turns purple, it's a parody of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when Violet turns purple.
- SpongeBob playing the flute and causing weird animals to follow him may be a reference to the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
- Cheese Fizz is a parody of cheese whizz.
- When SpongeBob asks "Patrick, where'd you get that kelp cake?," the captions read "cupcake."
- When SpongeBob says "I'm so glad you all could make it...," Mr. Krabs doesn't have any legs.
- When Squidward reads the invitation letter, SpongeBob's house is gone.
- When Patrick's seatbelt is on while seeing the map then tries to get out, his seatbelt disappears in the next scene.
- When the boat is crashing through the Outskirts Outlet Mega-Mall, Phil and Henry-Bart, who are walking near the edge, disappear too early.
- The Grayground looks normal when Margaret looks at it, though it may have been the perspective that made it look normal.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick stand in the Grayground puddle, they have waves around their feet, but Margaret does not have them.
- SpongeBob and Patrick both should have been able to see the bouncy plant at the bottom of the cliff.
- Pearl's red lips are missing when she comes to SpongeBob's house.