SpongeBob wakes up on the morning of the Boating School Picture Day, all excited. He gets up and he does his routine, which includes "brushing" his teeth with crayons, putting on his socks, and getting dressed. But, as he leaves, a piece of seaweed gets stuck on his shirt. He goes inside, saying it's "no problem," and does his morning routine over again. When he goes back outside, he is dumped in a garbage truck and gets laughed at by a watching Squidward. He goes back and he does his routine over again. He leaves, more cautious this time. But he has a run-in with teenagers and ketchup. He manages to duck them, but is squirted by Old Man Jenkins' ketchup. He goes back home for the second time and redoes his routine. This time, he uses Spongegloss (a pink substance that keeps the user clean, similar to lip gloss) in an effort to stay tidy. As he gets closer to boating school, the sponge gloss gets washed away by a truck full of water. More trucks crash and cover SpongeBob in stamps, oatmeal and glue.
As he is taking another shower, Patrick comes in with a jar full of jelly. Patrick eats it, and then SpongeBob gets an idea. He hides in the jar and successfully gets to Boating School. But Patrick thinks he is jelly and takes him over to the table, where his peanut butter taco is. He dumps SpongeBob on it without knowing. SpongeBob lands in the taco, all dirty again. SpongeBob then sadly reveals the truth to Patrick about why the day for him was important, which it is that someday, he will graduate, and he doesn't want to be remembered as the guy in peanut butter and taco shells. He then bursts into tears.
As he cries, his teacher, Mrs. Puff, comes outside and drags him in kicking and screaming for the picture, despite SpongeBob's protesting. The cameraman sprays him with water to be clean and puts him in a green outfit that is a little small for the picture, but SpongeBob still doesn't smile. To correct it, the photographer puts a huge set of dentures in SpongeBob's mouth and that makes him smile forcefully, and the picture is taken.
The episode ends with SpongeBob looking at the boating school yearbook. He is surrounded by real humans in the yearbook, like in real life, with teeth exactly like SpongeBob's. SpongeBob says, "Look, there I am. Hey. I don't look so bad after all."
The inspiration of the episode was from Dani Michaeli, as his daughter was having a bad picture day in preschool.
In other episodes, SpongeBob's socks already have the lines, but in this episode, he draws them.
The green outfit the Photographer makes SpongeBob put on is a little lord Fauntleroy outfit, a little boy's outfit of the 1800s.
A gag in this episode is that SpongeBob takes a shower with his clothes on. In fact, this is the only time in the entire series when he takes a shower with his clothes. When Patrick comes in and sees SpongeBob, SpongeBob says "Patrick, a little privacy here." If his clothes are on, nothing should be private.
This is one of the few episodes where Mrs. Puff is nice to SpongeBob.
At the end, the yearbook is Stephen Hillenburg's high school yearbook, while SpongeBob is covering up his picture.
Some of the teenagers appear to be very young.
The kid who tried to squirt ketchup from a bottle onto SpongeBob appeared previously in "Friend or Foe."
When SpongeBob went back inside his house, he painted two more stripes on each sock, and when he put on his pants, his socks each had two stripes, and SpongeBob said, "I'm ready!," his socks each had four stripes again.
In the scene when the foghorn alarm clock goes off, Gary meows, but it isn't heard.
When Harold "Bill" Reginald is hit by a ketchup filled balloon, he is knocked out. But when SpongeBob runs to the hot-dog place, Harold is sitting there eating.
The old fish missed his hot dog when squirting ketchup on it, but the hot dog already had ketchup.
When SpongeBob is put into Patrick's taco, SpongeBob says he's covered in peanut butter when it's usually called "Sea-Nut Butter".