At the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob reminds Squidward that today is the beginning of judging for the Employee of the Month Award. However, Squidward tells SpongeBob that the award is a scam, and Mr. Krabs is only giving it to him so he'll work harder for less money, but SpongeBob doesn't believe him. Mr. Krabs warns SpongeBob that Squidward might get the new Employee of the Month Award, and since SpongeBob has 26 consecutive awards (and wants a 27th), he starts worrying. Squidward says that he could get the award if he wanted to, and SpongeBob asks him to prove it. Squidward tells him that the award is fake, but SpongeBob refuses to believe him. After they both decide that they will arrive at the Krusty Krab earlier than the other; that night, SpongeBob tries to destroy Squidward's alarm clock so he won't wake up, but Squidward has 28 more in his closet. The two argue again about the award, and they say they don't even have to sleep. They both set several traps for each other as they both desperately try to reach the Krusty Krab first, and, after a temporary truce, both get there at the same time, just as Mr. Krabs opens the doors. They begin overworking in an attempt to impress him, doing more harm than good, scaring Mr. Krabs out of his wits in the process. They then begin trying to make as many Krabby Patties as possible, eventually causing the Krusty Krab to explode. Krabby Patties rain down from the sky, to the delight of the citizens of Bikini Bottom, and while Mr. Krabs tries to make the people pay for them, SpongeBob and Squidward ask him who is the Employee of the Month, giving Mr. Krabs a headache. In a future episode, we find out that SpongeBob won.
As of October 29, 2013, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8/10 based on 99 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a 8.6/10 based on 181 votes.
"Employee of the Month" was ranked #36 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
January 15: Annoy Squidward Day (mentioned)
1:15 PM: SpongeBob is told by the photo of himself to work harder
9:00 PM: SpongeBob looks through the binoculars at Squidward's house
9:05 PM: Squidward shows all 28 of his alarm clocks
6:50 AM: The Krusty Krab explodes
There is a PC game which has the same name as this episode, which was released in 2002.
SpongeBob imagines a drill sergeant version of himself in one of his Employee of the Month pictures, who demands him to work as hard as possible so that Squidward does not win. He appears in the March picture, a reference to an army march.
Traps that SpongeBob and Squidward set up, so that either one wouldn't make it to the Krusty Krab early in the morning (in chronological order):
Squidward fell into a hole dug up by SpongeBob.
Squidward nailed boards onto SpongeBob's front door.
Squidward trapped SpongeBob in a cage.
SpongeBob trapped Squidward in a bottle.
Squidward tricked SpongeBob by giving him a Krabby Patty attached to a claw, which grabbed SpongeBob's nose.
SpongeBob trapped Squidward in a net.
SpongeBob got cut into pieces while running through a fence, looking like fries.
SpongeBob tied up Squidward's tentacles.
Squidward sealed SpongeBob in a brick wall.
Things that Squidward and SpongeBob do to impress Mr. Krabs:
SpongeBob cleans the floor.
Squidward cleans the tables. He rubs too hard, causing the tables to break in half.
SpongeBob cleans dishes, deliberately drops them, then cleans the broken dishes with the mop.
Squidward tries to give Mr. Krabs flowers and chocolates.
SpongeBob puts his money in the register.
Both SpongeBob and Squidward make Krabby Patties with two spatulas, making a lot of Krabby Patties, resulting in the Krusty Krab exploding.
This is the second time Squidward burns something when he cooks. The first time was in "Pickles."
There are 23 Krabby Patties on the title card.
If one looks closer at the wall there is a December, December and the new January.
SpongeBob says that he has won the Employee of the Month award 26 times in a row, which means that if he had gotten his first within his first month of working, he has been working at the Krusty Krab for at least 2 years and 2 months. Also, this episode aired five months after Help Wanted, though it is possible this happened 26 months after.
When Squidward and SpongeBob barge into the Krusty Krab, the handlebars on the door are clear instead of gold.
SpongeBob's calendar said it was "March" but on the picture frame it said it was January. Also, the calendar had 28 as the last day of the month, meaning it must have been February.
There is a fan going in the kitchen, even though according to the "Employee of The Month" picture frame for that month, it is January.
Even though SpongeBob says that he won Employee of the Month for 26 months, there are actually 43 frames.
When SpongeBob shows the calendar showing "Annoy Squidward Day" on the 15th, the date of the 21st is right below it. In a real calendar, the 22nd would be below the 15th.
When SpongeBob goes to Squidward's closet it is filled with alarm clocks. In the next scene, he is breaking them, the others disappear, and is seen breaking one clock.
When SpongeBob sneaks into Squidward's house, all of Squidward's furniture is in the room. However, while SpongeBob is running back and forth from the closet with the clocks in it, the room is empty.
When SpongeBob is crying "How could the quality of my work slip so much?", the frame on the picture of Squidward says "January". But the frame before it said "February", then changes back to December.
When SpongeBob saws his front door in attempt to escape, the door hits Squidward. In the next scene, he immediately re-appears as normal.
When SpongeBob and Squidward run away from each other, Squidward gets trapped in a giant bottle. In the next scene, he runs again.
When Squidward walks into the bottle it seems he walk at the back but it is covered.
If you look closely in one scene where SpongeBob is in Squidward's pillowcase SpongeBob's eyes turn green and then they are back to normal.
Squidward's clock says 9:00 when he goes to bed, but in his closet full of clocks, most of them say 8:05. They all later switch to the correct time.
The diving board located above SpongeBob's bed is not seen in this episode.
When SpongeBob looks into Squidward's House to spy on him, Squidward sets his alarm clock on the nightstand with a lamp, but when SpongeBob goes into Squidward's House, the alarm is on the other nightstand with no lamp.