"No Free Rides" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season two. In this episode, Mrs. Puff passes SpongeBob just so she doesn't have to deal with him.
SpongeBob's last boating exam of the year ends in failure after he runs over the French narrator. Despite the failing grade, SpongeBob remains optimistic that his next year in Mrs. Puff's class will be productive. Mrs. Puff, on the other hand, dreads the thought of another
year administrating boating exams for SpongeBob. In desperation, she offers him an extra credit exam: a short, ten-word thesis on one thing he learned in boating school. SpongeBob finds he cannot decide what to pick and starts having a nervous breakdown. But Mrs. Puff, completely tired of SpongeBob, lets him pass anyway.
As SpongeBob leaves with his new driver's license, Mrs. Puff ponders over whether she's done the wrong thing and starts feeling guilt, then has a terrible daydream of him destroying the town. She consoles herself with the fact that SpongeBob lacks a boat to drive, much less one to wreck. Upon arriving to her home, however, she finds SpongeBob and his parents inside with a huge cake to thank her for her teachings, as futile as they had once seemed. Both SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff get another surprise when they see that SpongeBob's parents bought him a brand new boatmobile. In utter amazement, SpongeBob falls into the cake in a dead faint. As SpongeBob's parents take him home, Mrs. Puff realizes the danger he now poses and decides to settle the matter before anyone figures out she let him skip through boating school.
SpongeBob's parents tuck him into his bed and tell him that, due to his head injury, he should not drive anywhere that night. As soon as his parents leave, he sneaks out his bedroom window, gets into the boat, and falls asleep. Not long after, Mrs. Puff hi-jacks SpongeBob's boat and drives it away. SpongeBob wakes up to find the masked Mrs. Puff in the process of stealing his vehicle and fights her off.
Mrs. Puff tries knocking SpongeBob out of the boat, but he grabs hold of the rear bumper. She next drives through various obstacles to lose him, but he catches up to her while two police officers watch the commotion from their vehicle. In their struggle, SpongeBob ultimately reveals the thief to be Mrs. Puff, rendering him senseless just as the boat crashes into the police car.
SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff talk in the Bikini Bottom jail where Mrs. Puff is being held. Mrs. Puff apologizes to SpongeBob and says that she shouldn't have passed him when she knew he really wasn't ready. SpongeBob understands he'll have to relinquish his license, but Mrs. Puff tells him he can still continue his lessons with Mrs. Flounder, another driving teacher starting a new class. SpongeBob assures her she is the only one who he wants teaching him, giving her a tip that the warden will let her go early in exchange for free driving lessons.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Hen Pecker - The Surfdusters [title card]
‣ Dingles Regatta - Brian Peters [opening at boating school]
‣ El Dementia - The Surfdusters ["No, SpongeBob, wait!]
‣ Whisper from the Past [#64.02] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Don't worry. I'll be alright, Mrs. Puff."]
‣ Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [Mrs. Puff inflates]
‣ Unease - Dick Stephen Walter ["Another year with him!"]
‣ Puka A - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Extra credit!"]
‣ SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob sharpening his pencil]
‣ Muscovite Rebellion - David Arnold, Paul Hart ["No, wait, I changed my mind!"]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob's essay]
‣ Youthful Days - Mike Sunderland [SpongeBob's license]
‣ The Nightmare Begins (a) - John Devereaux [Mrs. Puff imagines SpongeBob destroying the city]
‣ Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill [Mrs. Puff goes home]
‣ Sunny Samoa - Jan Rap [surprise party]
‣ Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland ["What have I done?"]
‣ Undertow - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob sneaks out of his room]
‣ Stepping into Danger - Mike Sunderland [Mrs. Puff in a ski mask]
‣ El Dementia - The Sufdusters [SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff scream]
‣ Hen Pecker - The Surfdusters ["Who are you and what are you doing in my boat?"]
‣ Gorgeous Girl - Kurt Schick [Mrs. Puff turns on the radio]
‣ Hen Pecker - The Surfdusters [boat out of control]
‣ Holiday Dream - Max Mahlmann [ending]
- As of August 11, 2015, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.5/10 based on 167 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 8.6/10 based on 143 votes.
- "No Free Rides" was ranked #33 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
- In "Boating School," SpongeBob is upset about failing his driving test, but as of this episode, he clearly does not care about failing.
- The accident company has the same phone number as the Tattletale Strangler (555-1234).
- The fourth wall is broken when the French narrator is run over by SpongeBob at the beginning of the episode.
- Mrs. Puff's line "Oh Neptune" has become a popular Internet meme.
- SpongeBob and his parents hold a surprise party for Mrs. Puff at her house. When Mrs. Puff enters, a small picture of her standing at the door in the same shot can be seen. In addition, the same picture is seen within this picture. This is an example of a recursive image, one image that is repeated infinitely within itself.
- When Mrs. Puff gives SpongeBob his driver's license, he licks it and comments "It tastes just like I dreamt it would." Incidentally, he dreams he is holding a driver's license and licks it in "Sleepy Time."
- In the Croatian dub, the episode's title is "Ništa zabadava," which translates to "Nothing for Free."
- Although SpongeBob is seen coming out of the radio slot in the car, earlier in the episode, this same radio is shown (when Mrs. Puff is first stealing the boat) it still had a SpongeBob-like appearance before the event occurred.
- "My leg!:" SpongeBob runs over the people having a birthday party in Mrs. Puff's fantasy.
- Apparently, Mrs. Puff has given a student a driver's license before and it ended in mayhem, like SpongeBob, as she says "I'll have to move to a new town, open a new boating school, with a new name! No. Not again."
- The radio station that SpongeBob hosts is called "K.R.U.D." (Crud)
- In the Crime and Funishment book/Cine-Manga version of this episode, the scene between SpongeBob being kicked out of the boat and Mrs. Puff turning on the SpongeBob radio is cut out.
- This is the first episode where the French narrator is physically seen.
- This is the first episode to feature only one main character (SpongeBob).
- This episode marks the second time Mrs. Puff goes to jail. The first is in "Hall Monitor."
- This one of a few episodes where an air raid siren can be heard blaring during a time of chaos and/or destruction. The others are "Valentine's Day" and "Wormy."
- This episode premiered on Rik Mayall's 43rd birthday.
- From this episode onwards, Mrs. Puff no longer has a deep voice when inflated.
- Johnny Elaine is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker in this episode instead of Doug Lawrence.
- This is the first episode where "Stepping into Danger" plays.
- SpongeBob's wallpaper on his room looks different than usual.
- In the scene where the cops look at the boat, it is downhill, but when the boat comes toward them, it goes off a cliff. When it focuses on the cops again, it is back downhill, making the boat look like it got into the air from nowhere.
- Even though it is the final boating school exam for the year, SpongeBob says that he will see Mrs. Puff the following Tuesday.
- There are candles on top of SpongeBob's bedposts that are lit. When SpongeBob's mother turns the lights out in his room, the candles go out too.
- In this episode, SpongeBob's room is missing his alarm clock and the top part of his bed.
- When SpongeBob climbs inside Boaty, he is seen wearing socks. Although, seconds before, his socks fall on Boaty's floor.
- Boaty is much wider than Mrs. Puff's front door, though it still somehow ends up in Mrs. Puff's house.
- When SpongeBob gets grated by cheese graters, his eyes come out of the graters twice.
- When Mrs. Puff yells, "Extra credit!," she runs to SpongeBob with his unicycle and leads him back into the classroom, then the unicycle disappears.
- When Mrs. Puff imagines the chaos and destruction caused by SpongeBob driving, the news report is shown. It reads "Live," but at the end the of the news report, when SpongeBob runs over the reporter, the reporter says "Let's not use that take..."
- The cliff that the police car is parked next to disappears in the next shot.
- When SpongeBob goes to Boaty, he has casts on his head. In the next shot, when he is out of the window, his head casts disappear from here and for the rest of the episode.
- The accident phone number where it reads "accident" is misspelled as "accidente." This is actually a Spanish word that translates to "accident." However, this is not an error in the Spanish dub of this episode.
- In Mrs. Puff's daydream of SpongeBob being on the road, the sign besides the bus is white.
|Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (V • E)
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production
Voice actors: Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff (in "No Free Rides;" 2001)
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production
Voice actors: Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (in "Wormy;" 2001)
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for a Song in an Animated Production
Singers: Peter Strauss and Paul Tibbitt for "The Very First Christmas" (in "Christmas Who?;" 2001)
|Best Writing in an Animated Television Production
Writers: C.H. Greenblatt, Paul Tibbitt, Mike Bell, and Tim Hill (for "Fear of a Krabby Patty;" 2006)
|Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production
Voice actors: Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (in "Spy Buddies;" 2008)
|Direction in an Animated Television Production or Short-form
Directors: Alan Smart (for "Penny Foolish;" 2009)
|Best Home Entertainment Production
DVDs: SpongeBob vs. The Big One (DVD) (2010)
|Best Voice Acting in a Television Production
Voice actors: Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (in "Truth or Square;" 2010)
|Music in a Television Production
Composers: Jeremy Wakefield, Sage Guyton, Nicolas Carr, and Tuck Tucker (2011)
|Writing in a Television Production
Writers: Dani Michaeli, Sean Charmatz, Nate Cash, Luke Brookshier, and Paul Tibbitt (for "Patrick's Staycation;" 2012)
|Character Animation in an Animated Television or other Broadcast Venue Production
Animators: Dan Driscoll and Savelen Forrest (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!," 2013)
|Directing in an Animated Television or other Broadcast Venue Production
Directors: Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!," 2013)