Squidward gets a call from his high school classmate, Squilliam Fancyson, who is very successful, and has succeeded in everything that Squidward failed in, e.g. music. He smugly asks Squidward for his band to substitute for his own at the Bubble Bowl, believing (correctly) that he does not have one; however, Squidward denies that he does not have a band and accepts the offer. He assembles a large marching band, comprised of various Bikini Bottomites, including all the other main characters.
During their one week of training, the band performs consistently badly and fails to improve at all. This includes the drummers blowing the sticks, pinning Squidward to the wall (since the others that played first required blowing), and Patrick and Sandy get in a fight when he kicks Sandy; as a result he is stuck up a trombone. (He thought the figure of speech 'Start kicking' meant to kick someone).
On day two, while practicing a march, two flag twirlers are killed when they fly into the air and crash into a blimp, because of them spinning too fast, at Squidward's demand. They all begin to mourn and play Taps, except for Squidward, who just curls up, disappointed. On the third day, Plankton plays his harmonica, but becomes exhausted from having to run from one place to another since he is very tiny and collapses from exhaustion. On the last day of practice, Squidward says if everyone plays loud, they will be good, but instead they play so bad Squidward changes the idea of loud to really quiet. A heckler gets upset, saying "We won't sound so bad if some of us didn't play with big, meaty, claws!", and then he insults Mr. Krab, and everyone gets into a huge brawl, smashing the instruments and hurting people offensively, causing the band to break up. At this time, a grieving Squidward expresses his disappointment in all of them and goes home to grieve over his failure. However, SpongeBob convinces them to go through with the performance for Squidward's sake. He says that if Squidward were someone who did something they would never forget then maybe they should do something for him. Therefore, he takes command of their training.
On the day of the concert, Squilliam shows up to see Squidward's failure, and he claims that his band died in a marching accident. However, Squidward's band shows up and he is forced to go through with the performance. They enter a large glass dome, which rises up and takes them to a live-action football field for a team called the Showboats, complete with human fans. Squidward turns his head away from the band before they begin, assuming that the performance will be a disaster, but the band is tremendously successful, playing a rock ballad of Sweet Victory. Squilliam goes into a state of shock and faints from a heart attack, leaving Squidward to celebrate his "Sweet Victory."
The flyer for Squidward's band says: Looking to add fulfillment to your dull, dull life? Then become a part of the greatest musical sensation ever to hit Bikini Bottom and be forever adored by thousands of people you don't know. Not to mention free refreshments! Practice begins tonight, 8:30 sharp.
The ending is similar to the 1st movie: someone happy jumps in the air and screen freezes.
The Bubble Bowl "real life" crowd is footage from a USFL Memphis Showboats vs. Tampa Bay Bandits game.
This episode is widely accepted by polls as one of the greatest episodes of all time.
During Day Two when the band is marching down the street, they are actually doing a rendition of Semper Fidelis, regarded as the official marching song of the U.S. Marine Corps.
This episode came packaged in a PVD in black and white with the VideoNow personal video player by Hasbro. The episode was later released in color with "The Secret Box."
In the Latin American Spanish version the title card is called: "Squidward's Band Geek."
SpongeBob's eager face was used in the online game "Reef Rumble."
Patrick's line from this episode, "Is mayonnaise an instrument?" has become a famous internet meme.
Several clips of this episode has been used in various SpongeBob music videos on YouTube.
On Nick.com's official SpongeBob site, the episode video description states that Squidward only has minutes to put together a band for the Bubble Bowl, yet the band actually has four days to train. It might be referring to the length of the episode.
In the Japanese version of this episode, the French narrator and the announcer in the stadium are not heard.
In Latin America, during the day one training, the line where SpongeBob interferes Squidward after he asks people to stand in rows of five saying "This is the part where we start kicking," Squidward's response was changed. In English, he replies "No Bob, that's a chorus line" (Which in Spanish would translate to "No Bob, esa una linea de coro"), while in the Latin American version, he replies "No Bob, you think this is Karate?" (Which in Spanish translates to "No Bob, ¿crees que esto es Karate?"). This change could've been made in order to not confuse young viewers, since it's likely that most of them, if not all, do not have any sort of music compositional knowledge. However, this is countered by the fact that in the Latin American version, while asking the drum group to repeat the line from his clarinet, instead of saying "Drums" ("Bateria" in Spanish), he says "Percussion" ("Percusion" in Spanish), which is a far less common denomination of the instrument.
This is one of the only (if not only) episodes to have a major plot hole.
In Poland, this episode is called "Kapela Skalmara" which means "Band of Squidward."
During the song, when SpongeBob is pointing and Sandy is in the Background, SpongeBob is wearing a ring that looks like the friendship ring from this episode's sister episode, "The Secret Box."
Running Gag: Sandy constantly beats up Patrick with a trumpet.
The Bubble Bowl is a parody of The Super Bowl.
Part of Pearl's skirt is gone when SpongeBob talks to Evelyn and Larry, but reappers in the next scene, and then disappears again.
During the band's performance of "Sweet Victory" when the main cast (minus Mrs. Puff and Plankton) is shown, Mr. Krabs is playing a purple keytar, but during the panning the keytar is green.
During the full band scene, all of the main cast moves in some way but Mr. Krabs doesn't move at all.
When everyone in the room is talking, SpongeBob and Patrick are sitting next to each other. However, when Patrick asks if mayonnaise is an instrument and when he says "Kicking!? I want to do some kicking!," he is sitting next to Sandy.
Throughout the scenes of the rehearsals, the characters constantly change instruments.
During multiple scenes in which the screen shakes, when televised, it was surrounded by either a brown or blue border.
When Squidward says that he really expected better of them, Nancy's skin was green instead of pink.
When everyone says blah blahs, they all say it normally, but the closed captions show musical notes for this part, as if they were singing.
The entire reason that Squidward has a band is because Squilliam couldn't make it. But, he shows up anyway meaning he could make it. So, Squidward didn't have to make a band.
It is possible, if not likely, that Squilliam lied just to publicly humiliate Squidward.
Patrick's trombone has valves on it: a feature uniquely absent from trombones.
When Squidward says "That's his eager face," his mouth is somewhat off-sync with his dialogue.