SpongeBob walks outside to breathe in the peacefulness of the neighborhood. Suddenly, he loudly begins to build a bubblestand, much to the annoyance of Squidward, who demands SpongeBob to be quiet while he's practicing the clarinet. SpongeBob stops for a time, takes a few tentative taps of his hammer, then quickly finishes construction before Squidward has a chance to complain again.
At the newly-built stand, SpongeBob offers bubble wand rentals for twenty-five cents. Patrick comes by and asks to try it out, after borrowing a quarter from SpongeBob to pay for it. Unfortunately, Patrick's forceful blowing fails to produce a bubble. SpongeBob offers to teach him for an extra quarter, which he happily loans to Patrick. SpongeBob then demonstrates his somewhat peculiar, yet effective, bubble blowing technique, crafting a duck, a caterpillar, and a boat, all out of bubbles. SpongeBob then uses two hands to blow a bubble elephant, which flies into Squidward's window and forcefully pops inside.
The fuming Squidward comes out and approaches the now closed bubblestand. He demands to know how they can cause so much disruption just by blowing bubbles. SpongeBob explains that he's creating art, utilizing his special technique to blow a dainty butterfly bubble that pops in Squidward's ear. Squidward scoffs at SpongeBob's ideas of art and marketing, sending SpongeBob and Patrick back to their homes in shame. Still snickering, Squidward begins to examine the bubble wand out of growing curiosity. As he takes a breath to blow a bubble himself, Squidward is shocked by the return of SpongeBob and Patrick, ready for payment. Squidward reluctantly lays down a quarter for the bubble.
Squidward attempts to impress the two with his skill, but his bubble falls flat to the ground. Paying quarter after quarter, Squidward keeps attempting to blow a satisfactory bubble, to no avail. All the while, SpongeBob and Patrick try to convince Squidward to use the technique. Fed up, Squidward furiously and mockingly copies their technique, finally screaming into the wand in anger. His screams end up producing a gigantic bubble, thoroughly impressing SpongeBob and Patrick. They congratulate the pleased Squidward on his use of the technique, though in his conceit he brushes off their contribution to his success.
Squidward heads back inside his house and begins to play his clarinet once more, with SpongeBob and Patrick chanting his name. However, the gigantic bubble floats down and encapsulates Squidward's house, unearthing it and floating with it up in the air. SpongeBob and Patrick try to warn Squidward, but Squidward thinks they're still cheering for him and keeps playing. When at last he looks outside to greet his fans, he sees himself high above the ground with SpongeBob and Patrick little more than specks. The bubble then pops with explosive force, prompting SpongeBob and Patrick to look at each other nervously and retreat to their houses. Once the house floats back down to earth, Squidwards lets out a few final feeble notes from his clarinet.
As of July 19, 2016, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.7/10 based on 462 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a 8.6/10 based on 348 votes.
"Bubblestand" was ranked #80 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
SpongeBob's "Bring it around town" is featured in the game Delivery Dilemma at nick.com. It is also used as a celebration dance when SpongeBob completes a tile puzzle in Revenge of the Flying Dutchman. SpongeBob's The Technique part of this episode appeared in a 2012 Yosicle commercial. Additionally, Prince Paul wrote a song about this episode called Prince Paul's Bubble Party, which can be heard on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie soundtrack. The song wasn't shown on the movie itself. Also, it has become an internet meme.
The "technique" part from this episode was featured as stock footage in the 2003 Season 3 special "The Sponge Who Could Fly" in the "Remembering SpongeBob" throwback montage. Also, the Elephant part of the episode is used on the 2005 Sony Pictures Entertainment's Columbia Pictures movie adaptation of Zathura, while the main characters were fighting over what to watch on Sony Plasma SDTV. When this movie first aired on Cartoon Network, it was edited and skipped to ESPN's SportsCenter, due to Cartoon Network doesn't want Nickelodeon to be shown on the Sony TV, but in-credit mentions of both shows were on the closing credits to the movie.
A clip from this episode appears in the first SpongeBob Burger King commercial.
Running Gag: SpongeBob blowing bubble art.
The bubbles that Squidward blew seemed to make farting noises when popping.
This is the first episode to feature the inside of Squidward's house. However, only the second floor is shown.
The title card music would later be used in "I ♥ Dancing."
Judging by each instance of Squidward placing a quarter onto the stand, along with the sound of a coin clanking when the stand is not seen, Squidward spends at least thirteen quarters to blow bubbles. That adds up to three dollars and twenty-five cents. He also spends a chocolate quarter.
The song that Squidward played at the end of the episode was "Mary Had A Little Lamb."
The music that Squidward plays on his clarinet would later be heard in "Christmas Who," but on a record player.
Near the start of the episode, Squidward says, "How did I ever get surrounded by such loser neighbors?" Half of that question is answered in "Truth or Square" when a pineapple falls onto Squidward's secret garden and SpongeBob buys it.
As mentioned above, a scene of this episode is shown on the 2005 movie Zathura.
This was the first episode a tuba was heard.
The ship bubble had the same foghorn as SpongeBob's alarm clock.
This episode also takes place before "Opposite Day" and "The Paper" because Squidward fails to blow a bubble.
In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Bańki mydlane" which translates to "Soap Bubbles."
Patrick's line "It's a giraffe!" has become a popular internet meme.
In the episode "Home Sweet Pineapple," SpongeBob says that he can't build a house, but in this episode he builds a bubblestand. This may mean that this episode most likely takes place after "Home Sweet Pineapple"
In Croatian dub, the episode is called "Mjehurići", which means "Bubbles."
Mr. Krabs and Gary do not appear in both segments.
SpongeBob collected quarters in this episode, but the amount continues to change throughout the episode.
When Squidward yells at SpongeBob in the beginning, there isn't any glass in his windows.
When Patrick yells "It's a giraffe!," he is on the left side of SpongeBob, but when the bubble goes into Squidward's house, he is on the right side of SpongeBob.
After SpongeBob spins while Squidward is trying to blow a bubble, right before it cuts back to Squidward, there is a transparent picture of a person's hand holding a clapboard, which only appears for about a frame. This occurs again right after SpongeBob says, "Don't forget the woo!," right before it cuts back to Squidward.