SpongeBob SquarePants

Doing Time

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Episode Information
Doing Time
Season №: 3
Episode №: 45b
Airdate: January 21, 2002
Sister episode(s): "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV"
Writer(s): Aaron Springer
C.H. Greenblatt
Merriwether Williams
Storyboard Artist(s): C.H. Greenblatt
Storyboard: Aaron Springer
Animation: Frank Weiss
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV"
Next: "Snowball Effect"
List of episodes

"Doing Time" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick try to break Mrs. Puff out of jail.



SpongeBob is taking his driver's license exam yet again, and ends up leaving the driving course and wrecking the city before driving off an unfinished bridge the mayor just opened. The police follow the boat and end up driving off the bridge themselves. They hit a truck full of fruit punch which is being delivered to Shady Shoals Rest Home, causing it to explode and flood the home in punch.

Although SpongeBob is responsible, Mrs. Puff is sent to prison for gross negligence. In prison, she realizes that she'll never see SpongeBob again, and starts to enjoy it.

Meanwhile, SpongeBob is depressed that Mrs. Puff in jail, and Patrick tells him it is his fault. The duo set out to free her from jail.

First, they try to rob the "1st Nautical Bank" in order to get arrested themselves, but fail.

Next, they disguise themselves as rocks that the prisoners are made to smash as labor, and try to communicate with Mrs. Puff, who calls the guards, but they dismiss it as a hallucination and move her to kitchen duty. SpongeBob and Patrick are then smashed by another inmate, costing them their deposit on the costumes.

They then hide in a vat of chilli in the cafeteria and offer to help Mrs. Puff escape through it, but she explains to them that she likes it in prison, which they refuse to believe and SpongeBob tells Mrs. Puff if she can escape, he'll stay after school and decorate the entire classroom, but Mrs. Puff refuses. She calls for the prison guards again, and is reassigned again after the prison guards think Mrs. Puff is going crazy.

SpongeBob and Patrick appear to her yet again on a hanger assembly line, and when she calls for the guards, they dismiss SpongeBob and Patrick as raw materials (out of extreme stupidity) and send Mrs. Puff to her cell, convinced that she is going insane.

SpongeBob and Patrick next appear in Mrs. Puff's toilet, which causes the guards to flush them, then they appear on her bed and when she calls the guards, they turn out to be SpongeBob and Patrick in disguise. When she next sees the real guards, she rips off their faces after thinking it is SpongeBob and Patrick in disguise, and is put in solitary confinement after the guards believe that Mrs. Puff has gone mental.

She is glad that she is finally safe from SpongeBob, but she begins hallucinating her room to be made of sponge (SpongeBob), and actually goes insane.

Mrs. Puff wakes up screaming in the car flying off the cliff, and realizes that it was a dream. The car crashes to the fruit truck again and they was arrested again; however, this time, Mrs. Puff isn't the one that got arrested—it's SpongeBob. While she's happy because not going to the jail, a police officer told her she already did her time, and Mrs. Puff realized that she's already wearing a jail outfit. She screams, and wakes up screaming in the car flying off the cliff again. When she was about to relax, it turns out that the one that driving the car doesn't seem to be SpongeBob anymore, but instead it was Donna, the prisoner who incrediculously asked her what's "the jail's dinner menu tonight." She screams, and wakes up screaming in the car flying off the cliff, yet again. This time SpongeBob's driving. She goes panic for a while, but after realizing it's just going to loop again. As the episode is ending, she stops screaming and said "Oh, forget it." and it fades to black afterward.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Epic Struggle - Fredric Bayco [title card]
  Horlepiep - Jan Rap [opening]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [police chasing SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff]
  Hail to the Chief (Will Schaefer) - Will Schaefer [unfinished bridge opened]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [falling off cliff]
  Pomp and Circumstance (Fiachra Trench Duet) - Edward Elgar, Fiachra Trench [flashback to opening of boating school]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [truckload of fruit punch]
  Fisticuffs - Laurie Johnson ["Thank Neptune I'm still-"]
  Hawaiian Breeze - Jon Jelmer [opening windows]
  Surfin' Summer (a) - Richard Myhill [plays on janitor's headphones]
  O Primavera - Robert (Bob) John Foster ["A memoir of my life, written in red ink!"]
  Steel Sting (c) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, barnacles!"]
  Crime Busters - Ralph Dollimore ["Freeze! You're under arrest!"]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [Mrs. Puff imprisoned]
  Keel Row - Brian Peters [looking at the positives]
  Kamakani (b) - Kapono Beamer [empty classroom]
  Sugar Beat - Sid Phillips [montage of Mrs. Puff in jail]
  SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob trying to rob a bank]
  Gator - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob, Patrick disguised as rocks]
  Unease - Dick Stephen Walter [SpongeBob inside pot of chili]
  Springtime for Lovers - Len Stevens ["These are my people!"]
  Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland [Mrs. Puff refuses to go with them]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [later]
  Mud - Ron Aspery [SpongeBob and Patrick appearing everywhere]
  Steel Licks (d) - Jeremy Wakefield [solitary confinement]
  Creepy Sting 5 - W. Merrick Farran, Dick Stephen Walter [SpongeBob's face appearing on the walls]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [falling off the cliff again]
  Lonely Stranger - Laurie Johnson [SpongeBob arrested]
  Creepy Sting 5 - W. Merrick Farran, Dick Stephen Walter [Mrs. Puff screams]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [ending]



  • As of August 11, 2015, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.6/10 based on 170 ratings by users. users give this episode a 8.7/10 based on 153 votes.


  • This is the third time Mrs. Puff has been sent to jail.
  • Originally, the episode ended with a scene similar to the beginning, but this time, it was SpongeBob that got arrested instead of Mrs. Puff, much to her delight. This was used, but it turned out to be another dream.
  • This is the first time SpongeBob and Patrick break into a place.
  • This is the second episode in which the majority is revealed to be just a dream.
  • This episode's cutaway gag (when SpongeBob tells Patrick that she forgot about the outside world of prison, the random fish is shown going to work, then being there then looking out the window at night as his wife asks if he's coming to bed) was a example of the similarity to Family Guy's cutaways.
  • This episode is a paradox (A never-ending cycle.)
  • It is revealed that Mrs. Puff's first student is SpongeBob when she opens her Boating School.
    • As of her flashback, this explains the origin of boating disaster.
  • When Mrs. Puff gets thrown into "solitary confinement," there's a rubber ducky in the corner (first scene in the sponge room only.)
  • The scene where SpongeBob and Patrick are robbing a bank have became an internet meme.
  • This is the only appearance of Shady Shoals Rest Home without Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
  • In Indonesia, the unseen fish didn't say the same thing by Mrs. Puff.
    • Instead, she says the same wrong words from Sandy (See here) with her voice.

Cultural references

  • Iron Maiden's "Piece of Mind" Album (Front Cover): Mrs. Puff is placed in a padded cell in a straight-jacket.
  • The Blues Brothers (1980 Film): The scene where all the cop cars pile on top of each other.
  • The bank shown in this episode is called the "First Nautical Bank", a parody of the real-life "First National Bank".


  • Mrs. Puff's hat changes colors during this episode.
    • When Mrs. Puff goes to lunch duty, her hat turns from red to blue, and one second later, it changes back to red.
    • When the police are leading Mrs. Puff into jail, her hat changes from blue to red to blue again.
    • And when Mrs. Puff drinks her cup of water her hat turns black then back to red.
      • Then again, most of the episode is a dream.
  • When Mrs. Puff's jail cell is first shown, there is a single bed.
    • Later, it is a bunk bed.
      • Once again, this can be excused because it is Mrs. Puff's dream.
  • When SpongeBob crashes into the juice truck for the second time, the boat he was driving can be seen.
    • In the next shot, it is gone.
  • Tom had a female voice in this episode.
  • SpongeBob wondered if the president was in town, and the fish opening the unfinished bridge looked like the mayor or president. However, King Neptune should rule the entire sea, including Bikini Bottom.
  • When Mrs. Puff drinks a glass of water, her hat turns black instead of red for about two seconds.
  • On the August 31st, 2005 airing of this episode, a network glitch occoured while this episode was on the air.
    • About three minutes into the episode, right after Mrs. Puff gets locked up, the screen suddenly went black for a few seconds, before turning into magenta.
    • After that, it glitched even more, and a shot of Cosmo from the episode of the network's The Fairly OddParents could be seen for about a 10th of a second.
    • Then the episode restarted, but only for about 2 seconds after the opening credits when the episode picked up 10 seconds before it left off.
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