SpongeBob SquarePants

Help Wanted

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Episode Information [edit]
Season №: 1
Episode №: 1a
Airdate: May 1, 1999 (USA)
March 4, 2000 (Canada)
Running time: 8 minutes, 16 seconds
Sister episode(s): "Reef Blower"
"Tea at the Treedome"
Guest(s): Tiny Tim as musical performer of Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight
Writer(s): Stephen Hillenburg
Derek Drymon
Tim Hill
Storyboard Artist(s): Derek Drymon
Storyboard: Stephen Hillenburg
Animation: Alan Smart
See all credits for this episode.
Next: "Reef Blower"
List of episodes

"Help Wanted" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season one. In this episode, SpongeBob gets a job at the Krusty Krab.



The episode opens with a coral scene. A narrator with a French accent talks about the sea while the coral pans out to reveal an underwater city with a life preserver sign that reads "Bikini Bottom." The French Narrator introduces the town. The scene then shows a brown rock with a bamboo wind vane on top. It also has a Easter Island Head with windows instead of eyes and a door instead of a mouth, and a pineapple with windows, a door, and a metal chimney sticking out. The scene pans into the pineapple. The French Narrator introduces SpongeBob SquarePants. He then confirms that fact that SpongeBob lives in a pineapple.

The scene shows the clock part of SpongeBob's alarm clock. The alarm goes off. It is the sound of a foghorn. The scene then shows a wide-shot of SpongeBob's bedroom. He is sleeping in his bed. To the left of his bed there is a diving board. To the right of him there is a caged Scallop. Below the cage, there is a snail on some newspaper, next to a bowl. The bowl reads "Gary." Gary wakes up. A few moments later, SpongeBob wakes up while his blanket is blown away. SpongeBob is revealed to be wearing only his underwear, socks, and shoes. SpongeBob turns off the alarm clock. He then starts to climb the ladder of the diving board. He stops and then tells Gary that "today is the big day." Gary meows like a cat while SpongeBob finishes climbing the ladder. He then starts to jump on the diving board. As he is doing this, he says "Look at me, I'm naked!" As he says "I'm naked!" he jumps out of his underwear and into a white shirt, red tie, and brown shorts with a black belt, which all is placed on a wire between two poles. SpongeBob runs to his exercise room. In front of him is a barbell with stuffed animals, instead of weights, on the end. SpongeBob tells Gary that SpongeBob has to be in top physical condition. Gary meows. SpongeBob then struggles to lift the barbell. He eventually does it and walks two steps before letting go of the barbell.

The scene shows the outside of SpongeBob's pineapple. Inside, SpongeBob says "I'm ready!" He runs out of his house at a controlled pace, saying the same thing repetitively. He runs past the Easter Island Head and the rock. When SpongeBob passes the rock, it lifts, revealing a starfish wearing green shorts with purple flowers on them, on the bottom of the rock. It also reveals a hole under the house with a TV, a chair, and a lamp. The starfish tells SpongeBob "Go, SpongeBob!" He then falls off his rock.

Using a bubble transition, SpongeBob is shown several feet in front of a building that looks similar to an old New England lobster trap. Next to the building, there is a sign that reads "the Krusty Krab." SpongeBob introduces the building as a restaurant. He also points out that it is the home of a food called "The Krabby Patty." He points out the "Help Wanted" sign in the window. SpongeBob says that, for years, he has been dreaming of that moment. He says "I'm gonna go in there, march straight to the manager, look 'im straight in the eye, lay it on the line and... I can't do this!" He starts to turn back, but he is stopped by the starfish. SpongeBob exclaims "Patrick!" Patrick asks SpongeBob were he is going. SpongeBob starts to explain where he going but is cut off by Patrick, who tells SpongeBob that he is only going into the Krusty Krab to get the job. SpongeBob tells Patrick that he is not good enough. Patrick then brings SpongeBob's spirits up by reminding SpongeBob of things like his first words being "May I take your order?," him making a spatula out of toothpicks in a wood shop, and his shape. He then asks SpongeBob "Who's ready?" SpongeBob answers "I'm ready." The two repeat this dialogue twice more until SpongeBob's spirits are high enough to run to the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob repeats "I'm ready!" while doing so.

Meanwhile, outside the Krusty Krab, a six-legged octopus, who is wearing only a brown, short-sleeved shirt and a Krusty Krab hat, appears cleaning graffiti of his head with the word "Loser" above it with an arrow pointing to the image, which is on one of the doors. He hears SpongeBob and turns his head. He says "Oh no, SpongeBob. What could he possibly want?" He looks at the Help Wanted sign and runs inside leaving the cleaning supplies outside. He yells for Mr. Krabs.

Inside the Krusty Krab, Squidward runs to Mr. Krabs, a red crab, who is sniffing money in the cashier's boat. Squidward quickly tries to explain the situation, but is cut off by SpongeBob opening the doors. SpongeBob asks "Permission to come aboard, captain?!" He explains that he has been training to join the "Krusty Krew." He then states that he is now ready. SpongeBob starts to walk in, but he trips on a nail and bounces around for a while until he lands in front of Squidward and Mr. Krabs, who are now both standing up. SpongeBob then asks when he starts. Mr. Krabs says that SpongeBob doesn't seem to even have his sea legs. SpongeBob says that he can prove that he is fry cook material and that Mr. Krabs should ask Squidward, who is the octopus. Squidward and Mr. Krabs quickly walk to the back of the dining area and Squidward says "No." The two quickly walk back. Mr. Krabs says that he will give SpongeBob a test. He asks for a Hydro-dynamic Spatula with port-and-starboard attachments and turbo drive. SpongeBob writes this down. Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob a Krusty Krab hat and SpongeBob runs into town. Mr. Krabs and Squidward start laughing about SpongeBob's mission. Right after SpongeBob leaves, five buses show up. Mr. Krabs stops laughing when he hears hatched doors. He then sniffs and dramatically explains that there are anchovies there. A large number of anchovies enter the Krusty Krab and Squidward and Mr. Krabs enter the cashier boat. Squidward asks the crowd to settle down and enter a neat single-file line. The crowd starts attacking the boat.

Meanwhile, with SpongeBob, he enters a store called "The Barg'N-Mart" while singing their jingle.

Back at the Krusty Krab, the building hops around with the force of the anchovies. Inside, the boat is being pushed by a wave of anchovies. Squidward says that a single-file line is all he asked. Mr. Krabs tells "Mr. Squidward" to "batten down the hatches." The boat gets torn apart. Mr. Krabs tells Squidward that they are "taking on water." The boat is then gone. Mr. Krabs tells Squidward that Mr. Krabs wants his mommy.

Back with SpongeBob, he has a shopping cart and is going down an aisle, looking for the spatula.

Back in the Krusty Krab, the wave of anchovies pushes Mr. Krabs and Squidward onto a weight-barring pole in the dining room. The two climb the pole until they are no longer in the wave's path. The anchovy wave attacks the pole. Mr. Krabs says that it is the end. The two say their goodbyes and start crying. SpongeBob is heard asking "Permission to come aboard, captain?!" He enters, riding on the spatula. He tells the two, who are speechless, that he got the exact spatula that Mr. Krabs ordered and that the Barg'N-Mart only had one in stock. He then enters the kitchen asking "Who's hungry?!"

While Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight plays, SpongeBob makes each of the Krabby Patties, which is a burger, for the anchovies. He feeds the anchovies as he makes the Krabby Patties. The song ends when the last patty is made and the last anchovy leaves. The buses leave and SpongeBob blows on his spatula. With a giant bag of money, Mr. Krabs says that what SpongeBob did was the finest "fast-foodsmanship" he has ever seen. He gives SpongeBob an employee name tag and gives three cheers for SpongeBob while Squidward tries to protest. Mr. Krabs then says that he is going to count his money in his office and wheels the bag of money, which is in a wheelbarrow, to his office. Patrick arrives and Squidward asks what Patrick wants. He says "one Krabby Patty." SpongeBob flies into the kitchen and makes a bunch of patties, which causes Patrick to fly out of the restaurant. Squidward then yells for Mr. Krabs to come and see what his new employee has done, as crashing and breaking can be heard in the background.




"Help Wanted" was written by series creator Stephen Hillenburg, along with Derek Drymon and Tim Hill, and was directed by Alan Smart.[1] Hillenburg also functioned as storyboard director, and Drymon worked as storyboard artist.[1][2] He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants into a television series in late 1996 upon the series cancellation of Rocko's Modern Life in 1996.[3][4]

Hillenburg's original idea for the pitch was that the writers would write a storyboard for a possible episode and pitch it to Nickelodeon.[5] One of the original ideas was to write an episode with SpongeBob and Squidward on a road trip, inspired by the 1989 film "Powwow Highway".[5] Eventually, the idea developed while they were working on it but Hillenburg gave up on the storyboard idea for the initial pitch.[5] The crew resurrected the road trip idea during the first season and used a lot of the ideas for an episode called "Pizza Delivery."[5]

SB pg 50

Original storyboard drawn 1997 and was titled "SpongeBoy Ahoy!"

Originally the character was to be named SpongeBoy and the show was to be called SpongeBoy Ahoy!.[6][7] However, the Nickelodeon legal department discovered that the name SpongeBoy was already in use for a mop product.[6][8] This was discovered after voice acting for the original seven-minute pilot was recorded in 1997.[6] Upon finding this out, Hillenburg decided that the character's given name still had to contain "Sponge" so viewers would not mistake the character for a "Cheese Man." Hillenburg decided to use the name "SpongeBob." He chose "SquarePants" as a family name as it referred to the character's square shape and it had a "nice ring to it."[9]

In an interview with Cyma Zarghami, she told "their [Nickelodeon executives'] immediate reaction was to see it again, both because they liked it and it was unlike anything they had ever seen before."[10] Hillenburg said the character construction in the episode was loose. But the character development was already "pretty strong."[11] Cavna rewatched the episode in 2009 and said "so much of the style and polish are already in place."[12][12]

Stephen Hillenburg and Derek Drymon were having dinner and came up with the idea for "Help Wanted" based on an experience Hillenburg had in the Boy Scouts.[5] Hillenburg and writer Tim Hill worked it into an outline.[5] In 1997 while pitching the cartoon to Nickelodeon executives, Stephen Hillenburg donned a Hawaiian shirt, brought along an "underwater terrarium with models of the characters," and Hawaiian music to set the theme. The setup was described by Nick executive Eric Coleman as "pretty amazing."[13] When given money and 2 weeks to write the pilot episode ("Help Wanted"), Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, and Nick Jennings returned with – described by Nickelodeon official Albie Hecht – "a performance [I] wish [I] had on tape."[14] Although described as stressful by executive producer Derek Drymon, the pitch went "very well"; Kevin Kay and Hecht had to step outside because they were "exhausted from laughing," making the cartoonists worried.[14] With help from Tim Hill and art director Nick Jennings, Hillenburg finished the pitch and sold SpongeBob SquarePants to Nickelodeon.[5] Drymon said, "the network approved it—so we were ready to go."[5]

SpongeBob SquarePants aired this as the first episode along with "Reef Blower/Tea at the Treedome" on May 1, 1999, following the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.[15][16][17] The series later made its "official" debut on July 17, 1999 with the second episode "Bubblestand / Ripped Pants." This episode was reaired on July 24 along with "Reef Blower /Tea at the Treedome" to consider it official.[15][16][17]


The pilot episode was made and recorded in 1997, so it has many differences to the rest of the series. However, the original version of the episode had many other minor differences corrected later. For example, this is the only episode where SpongeBob's bed is on the right (excluding "Pickles" and "Employee of the Month"), and his blanket is solid blue, as opposed to purple with flowers.

Differences invoices are another example. SpongeBob's voice is slightly lower and Patrick's voice is deeper.

Designs and colors for characters are also different.

  • SpongeBob has fewer holes than in newer episodes. He also looks a little bit fatter.
  • Mr. Krabs' eyelids are bright pink as opposed to red.
  • Patrick's pants are in a slightly different color, not to mention he looks slightly chubbier.
  • Squidward's complexion is paler, his laugh is different, the comedic "splat" sound is different, and his nose does not puff in and out when he laughs.
  • Gary's eye pupils are red dots and his irises are smaller, he lacks eyelashes, and he has a higher, somewhat squeakier tone of voice in the "meow" that sounds a little closer to a realistic cat's meow – although Tom Kenny claims to use a new "meow" for each episode (where Gary is shown meowing).

Other things:

  • The animation used for the bubble transitions are much choppier.
  • Squidward appears to have rows of bamboo poles behind his house.
  • There is only one window in the front of SpongeBob's house. Some other early episodes, such as "Boating School," also show SpongeBob's house with only one window.

The changes were made when the series officially aired.


"Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight" was used in this episode, but because of copyright issues, the pilot episode was not on the The Complete 1st Season. However, this episode appears on a few later DVDs. The episode also features SpongeBob singing a Barg'N-Mart jingle.

 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Hawaiian Train - Victor Cavini [title card]
  Aloha Oe - Hans Haider, Queen Lili'uokalani [opening]
  Honolulu March - Hans Haider ["Today's the big day, Gary."]
  The Land is Ours - Gregor F. Narholz [ SpongeBob lifting weights]
  Grand Orchestral Fanfare - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob lifting weights]
  Honolulu March - Hans Haider ["I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready..."]
  Next Door Neighbour - Rick Cassman, Vyv's Hope-Scott ["The Krusty Krab, home of the Krabby Patty."]
  The Land is Ours - Gregor F. Narholz [Patrick Star encourages SpongeBob]
  Grand Orchestral Fanfare - Gregor F. Narholz ["Who's a big yellow cube with holes?"]
  Honolulu March - Hans Haider [SpongeBob runs to the Krusty Krab]
  Oyster Girls - Robert Alexander White ["Permission to come aboard, captain!"]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [Eugene H. Krabs gives SpongeBob a test]
  Bartmania (a) - Guy Moon ["That sounded like hatch doors."]
  Menace from the Deep - Robert Cornford ["That smell... a kind of smelly smell."]
  Bartmania (a) - Guy Moon [anchovies rush in]
  Death Trap - Gregor F. Narholz ["Batten down the hatches, Mr. Squidward!"]
  Bossa Cubana - Gerhard Narholz [SpongeBob shopping]
  Battle at Sea - Johnny Pearson ["Climb, Mr. Squidward! Climb!"]
  Reach for the Stars - Richard A. Harvey [SpongeBob returns]
  The Main Event - Gregor F. Narholz [hydrodynamic spatula revealed]
  Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight - Tiny Tim [Montage of SpongeBob making Krabby Patties/ending]

*Only used in the 1997 version of the pilot.



  • As of April 14, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.8/10 based on 687 ratings by users.[18] users give this episode a 8.6/10 based on 456 votes.[19]
  • This episode ranks #1 on Tom Kenny's Top 20 collection on iTunes.
  • In fan-voted SpongeBob SquarePants marathons, "Help Wanted" was ranked #24 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006 and #6 during The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash event on July 17–19, 2009.


  • This episode is not featured on The Complete First Season DVD due to copyright issues with "Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight" by Tiny Tim, which is heard in the episode.
    • However, on the German release of that DVD, the episode "Help Wanted" is actually included.[21]
  • The beginning of the episode where SpongeBob says "Today's the big day, Gary," can be seen on a TV in the 2002 comedy Orange County.
  • SpongeBob's bed is on the right side when usually it is on the left side. This also happens in "Pickles."
  • This is the first time in which the episode title is mentioned within the episode.
  • SpongeBob had a pet scallop that he kept in a birdcage. The scallop makes occasional appearances throughout the series.
  • This is SpongeBob's first appearance in the series.
  • The Narrator is the first to speak in the series, unless the viewer counts Painty the Pirate in the theme song.
  • This is the first time a song is on the show (Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight), as well as the first time a character in the show sings a song (Barg'N-Mart Jingle). However, it is not the first full "long" song sung by a character, that is The F.U.N. Song in "F.U.N."
  • It is revealed that SpongeBob's first words were "May I take your order?”
  • It is also revealed that SpongeBob built a spatula out of toothpicks in the wood shop. This also implies that SpongeBob and Patrick went to school together.
  • SpongeBob states that he has been training his whole life to join the Krusty Krew. This training part is supported in the episode "Friend or Foe."
  • Normally, when SpongeBob walks, his shoes make a squeaky sound. However, in this episode, the squeak is not heard.
  • Right before Squidward tells the anchovies to get in a "neat single-file line," one of them says "Speak up!”
  • If one listens closely, the Honolulu March soundtrack is repeated twice.
  • This is one of the 7 episodes in which the 1986-2002 Paramount logo is plastered with the 2002-2011 Paramount logo. The others are "Squeaky Boots," "F.U.N.," "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost," "Employee of the Month," "Karate Choppers," and "Rock Bottom."
  • There is an old SpongeBob online game based on this episode titled "Anchovy Feeding Frenzy."
  • On September 7, 2013, there was a Live script reading with the voice actors at Universal Studios Hollywood for this episode. The live reading can be viewed here:
  • Starting in 2015, during the airings of this episode, the intro repeatedly goes faster and changes back to its normal speed.
  • This episode was finished in 1997, but didn't air until May 1, 1999, because the cast wanted to change various things. The old 1997 version can be found in this link: The Password is AHOY in capital letters.

    The early ending

  • The original pilot version of "Help Wanted" has some differences, including the early intro being played a bit later in the episode (after SpongeBob gets ready and goes to the Krusty Krab) and at the ending, instead of United Plankton pictures being displayed, it instead shows a picture of SpongeBob with the text "created by Steven Hillenburg."
  • In Indonesia, the scene where Mr. Krabs and Squidward are nearly killed by angry anchovies before SpongeBob comes to save them, is sometimes shown and sometimes skipped. This is likely due to time constraints due to being aired along with ads which commonly lasts for 5 minutes. This often occurs in other episodes as well that also aired in Indonesia.
  • The scenes were SpongeBob serves up Krabby Patties to the angry anchovies and Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight song is playing was cut in Italy for unknown reasons.
  • In the Croatian dub, this episode is called "Tražimo Kuhara" translating to "We are Looking for the Fry Cook."
  • Another difference with production and the sorts is that the Nickelodeon Animation Studios logo at the end has a small copyright notice with 1997 as the production date. The television airing has a more detailed and prolonged copyright notice with a production of 1998.
    • This implies the television airing (and most official airing) was made in 1998, and not 1997 or 1999.
  • Sandy Cheeks and Plankton are the only main characters who don't debut in this episode, as they debut in "Tea at the Treedome" and "Plankton!" respectively.


Stephen Hilleburg error in Help Wanted

Should be written as "Stephen Hillenburg"

  • Stephen Hillenburg in the "Written By" section of the opening credits was misspelled as 'Stephen Hilleburg.'
  • Squidward cleans up the graffiti that says "Loser" as a picture of Squidward which has an arrow on it, but in the next scene, the arrow is missing. It is not likely that Squidward cleaned it up since he was looking at SpongeBob at the time.
  • The last time SpongeBob says "I'm ready!" his collar turns red.
  • When SpongeBob walks inside the Krusty Krab and says, "I've been waiting my entire life to join the Krusty Krab crew!" the Krusty Krab's lights were off. But when SpongeBob says, "And now I'm ready!" the lights were on. This error later happens again in "Your Shoe's Untied."
  • In the Krusty Krab, all doors to the left of the cash register aren't there. When Mr. Krabs goes to his office, he goes to the right.
  • When Mr. Krabs jumps every time he says "Hip, hip!" his white undershirt disappears for less than a second.
  • When SpongeBob arrived with the Hydro-Spatula, Squidward's skin changes from blue to white.
  • When SpongeBob bounces, he has no pants or shoes.
  • When Patrick says "Who's ready," his eyelids are pink instead of purple.
  • SpongeBob does not have a hole in the upper left corner of his head.
  • Squidward has bamboo sticks in his backyard, this does not appear in any other episode.
  • There are scenes where Mr.Krabs' blinks his eyes, his eye stalks are brighter more than his body.
  • The original captions spell "Krabby patty" as "Crabby patty."
  • When Mr. Krabs says "Climb Mr. Squidward! Climb!" Squidward's top layer of teeth are purple.
  • Patrick says "Who's a big yellow cube with holes?" but SpongeBob is not shaped like a cube; he is shaped like a rectangular prism.


  1. ^ a b SpongeBob SquarePants: 10 Happiest Moments. DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2010.
  2. ^ Mavis, Paul (September 16, 2010). SpongeBob SquarePants: 10 Happiest Moments. DVD Talk. Retrieved on September 20, 2013.
  3. ^ Hillenburg, Stephen (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment. 
  4. ^ Banks, p. 9
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Drymon, Derek. "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants", Hogan's Alley #17, Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved on September 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Farhat, Basima (Interviewer) (December 5, 2006) (mp3). Tom Kenny: Voice of SpongeBob SquarePants - Interview (Radio production). The People Speak Radio. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  7. ^ Pittenger, Kenny. "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants", Hogan's Alley #17, Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved on September 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ Banks 2004, p. 31
  9. ^ Neuwirth 2003, p. 51
  10. ^ Bauder, David (July 13, 2009). SpongeBob Turns 10 Valued At $8 Billion. Huffington Post. Retrieved on May 22, 2013.
  11. ^ Cavna, Michael (July 14, 2009). The Top Five 'SpongeBob' Episodes: We Pick 'Em. The Washington Post. Retrieved on May 28, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Cavna, Michael (July 14, 2009). The Interview: 'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg. The Washington Post. Retrieved on May 28, 2013.
  13. ^ Coleman, Eric (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment. 
  14. ^ a b Hecht, Albie (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment. 
  15. ^ a b SpongeBob Coming Soon. Zap 2 It (1999-05-31). Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
  16. ^ a b Gates, Anita. "Television / Radio; The Tide Pool as Talent Pool (It Had to Happen)", The New York Times, 1999-07-11. Retrieved on 2008-04-26. 
  17. ^ a b Banks, p. 8
  18. ^ IMDB rating
  19. ^ rating
  20. ^ User blog:120d/The Series and Movie Date Proof
  21. ^

External links

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Start a Discussion Discussions about Help Wanted

  • Help Wanted Super Thread

    3 messages
    • I really don't see the point of this. There's already a Help Wanted article where facts are placed, and you can comment your opinion...
    • I know this is a bit late but I want to contribute it's just a good episode

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