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It's closing time at the Krusty Krab, and Squidward answers a last-minute call from a customer. Just as he is about to tell the customer the restaurant is closed, Mr. Krabs suddenly appears and snatches the phone from Squidward's hands. The customer tells Mr. Krabs that they want to order a pizza and have it delivered, an order Mr. Krabs happily accepts knowing he could get extra money. Squidward protests this by saying the restaurant doesn't serve pizza nor do they do deliveries, but Mr. Krabs spontaneously makes a pizza out of Krabby Patties and forces Squidward and SpongeBob to deliver it.
After SpongeBob does a few "safety checks" of the delivery boat, Squidward tells him to drive. However, SpongeBob cannot drive as he still in boating school, but Squidward insists and says "just do what you do in school". As expected, SpongeBob panics when he tries to shift the boat into reverse and ends up "backing up" for miles and miles until the boat runs out of gas in the middle of a desert. Squidward complains about the situation and kicks the boat out of frustration after SpongeBob mentions the pizza is getting cold. This causes the boat to suddenly drive off back to the Krusty Krab, leaving the two stranded and to continue their delivery on foot.
Throughout the journey, the duo encounters numerous mishaps: first, SpongeBob tries a pioneer trick he claims to have seen in a movie where he listens to the ground and hears a truck coming. But when SpongeBob tries to get the driver's attention by doing a ridiculous dance in the middle of the road, the driver speeds up and Squidward pushes SpongeBob out of the way so he doesn't get mowed down. Later, the duo is caught in a violent wind storm that eventually turns into a tornado, and Squidward tells SpongeBob to let the pizza go as it causes them to get sucked into the tornado. However, the pizza actually saves their lives after SpongeBob turns it into a parachute.
Upon landing on solid ground, Squidward freaks out as the road they were following is nowhere in sight. SpongeBob notices some moss on a rock and says that they should go in the direction that the moss is pointing (another one of SpongeBob's pioneer tricks), but Squidward does not trust SpongeBob and goes in the other direction, despite there actually being civilization where the moss was pointing. As they continue walking, SpongeBob constantly sings a song about how the Krusty Krab pizza is the best pizza on the sea floor, which annoys Squidward.
The two gradually become tired and hungry, so SpongeBob insists that they eat coral like the pioneers. Squidward immediately spits out the coral, disgusted by the taste, and demands that SpongeBob hand over the pizza so he can eat it, as he has finally given up hope of getting back to civilization. SpongeBob refuses and a short chase ensues between the two. Just as Squidward is about to grab the pizza, SpongeBob notices a giant rock that he claims the pioneers drove for miles. Squidward is incredulous at this claim and tries to tell SpongeBob to forget about the pioneers, saying that there are none left because of their unusual traveling methods. However, he quickly changes his mind after SpongeBob runs him over with the rock and they drive it all the way to the customer's house.
Unfortunately, their journey does not pay off well. The customer is at first happy that his pizza has finally arrived, until he discovers that he did not get the Diet Dr. Kelp he claims to have ordered. A confused SpongeBob checks the order, which says that Tom didn't order a drink (although it is heavily implied that Mr. Krabs didn't hear the customer's order correctly or that he hung up before he had a chance to finish). The customer finally loses his temper and he harshly berates SpongeBob and refuses to take the pizza or pay for it before slamming the door in his face.
SpongeBob then walks back to Squidward and collapses to the ground crying (whilst absorbing his tears). Disgusted at what the customer did to SpongeBob and won't pay for the pizza all because of a missing drink (making the long journey and the ridiculous obstacles the duo went through a complete waste of time), Squidward confronts the customer and brutally shoves the pizza into his face, claiming "it's on the house!" Squidward goes back to SpongeBob and cheers him up by saying that he took the pizza and "ate the whole thing in one bite". The episode ends as the two drive back to the Krusty Krab, which is comically revealed to be right across the street, much to Squidward's dismay.
"Pizza Delivery" was written by Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer, and Peter Burns, with Sean Dempsey serving as animation director. Cohen also functioned as storyboard director, and Springer worked as storyboard artist. The episode originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on August 14, 1999.
Series creator Stephen Hillenburg's original idea for the series pitch was that the writers would write a storyboard for a possible episode and pitch it to Nickelodeon. Hillenburg wanted to write an episode with SpongeBob and Squidward on a road trip, inspired by the 1989 film Powwow Highway.Derek Drymon said "It's a road trip movie starring Gary Farmer, who is an innocent, kid-like character who is traveling with a curmudgeon." Eventually, the idea developed while they were working on it, but Hillenburg gave up the idea for the initial pitch. Instead, they used another idea for the pitch which was in the series the pilot episode called "Help Wanted."  They resurrected the road trip idea during the first season and used a lot of the ideas for this episode.
"Pizza Delivery" was first released on the DVD compilation called SpongeBob SquarePants: Christmas on September 30, 2003. It was also included in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 1st Season DVD released on October 28, 2003. On September 22, 2009, the episode was released on the SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes DVD, alongside all the episodes of seasons one through five. On April 29, 2014, "Pizza Delivery" was released on the DVD compilation called SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob, You're Fired!
As of April 14, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 9.1/10 based on 525 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a 9/10 based on 304 votes.
This episode is number twenty on Tom Kenny's Top 20 on iTunes. His description says "The classic setup: SpongeBob and Squidward lost in the desert while delivering a pizza to a customer's home. Squidward just wants to get out of there, but SpongeBob sees his pizza delivery as a sacred oath between himself and the customer. I like when SpongeBob singing to himself - 'The Krusty Krab pizza is the pizza' ...turns into a bizarre gospel jingle singer-'Krusty Kray -ya ya-yaa-aaab!'"
This episode was voted to be the number one SpongeBob episode of all time by fans in The Ultimate SpongeBob Sponge Bash.
On November 17–18, 2012, this episode was ranked #1 on the SpongeBob Top 100 Weekend on Nickelodeon Germany.
"Pizza Delivery" received very positive reviews. Nancy Basile of About.com ranked the episode number 2 on her "Best SpongeBob SquarePants Episodes" list. She said "[It] is the perfect episode to depict SpongeBob's enthusiasm for all things Krusty Krab against Squidward's apathy and cynical nature." Basile cited her favorite scene in the episode where "After the customer slams his door in SpongeBob's face, Squidward makes sure he swallows the pizza 'in one bite.'"
Giving the episode 5 out of 5 stars, Bill Treadway of DVD Verdict said the episode is his "personal favorite all the episodes," writing that "this one is loaded with enough unique twists and hilarious comedy to bear repeat viewings."
Emily Estep of WeGotThisCovered.com ranked the episode Number 1 on her "Top 10 Episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants" list, saying "But – the pizza is for the customer, and flawless employee SpongeBob won't let Squidward eat any of it." She wrote, "[The episode] has the undervalued nostalgia of being episode five of the entire series and it benefits from the aforementioned chemistry of SpongeBob and Squidward." She also praised the episode as "an in-depth look at their SpongeBob and Squidward relationship, and it set the tone for just how strange the show could be." Estep lauded the hitchhiking dances by SpongeBob, saying "These moves are amusing and charming, while Squidward's bitterness is easy to relate to." In 2009, "Pizza Delivery" was chosen by viewers on Nick.com as the Number 1 episode during a marathon (television)|television marathon called "The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash".
Shower In A Can!
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In the part where SpongeBob is grabbing onto the pizza in the tornado, when he goes to the left, white dot particles appear beside him. These could be ones used within multiple anime.
Despite the fact that Squidward does not like SpongeBob and forcibly attempts to take the pizza from him, he shows compassion for him when he tries to cheer him up after the customer was mean to him, and then forces the pizza in the customer's face for making SpongeBob cry and being an ungrateful jerk.
In the shot where the gears on the boat change, the words change to the Korean words for "forward" and "reverse": 앞으로가 (ap'euroga) and 뒤로가 (dwiroga).
The scene where SpongeBob and Squidward back up the boat with SpongeBob saying "Backing up, backing up" repeatedly has become a popular meme on YouTube.
The fourth wall breaks once in this episode; when SpongeBob and Squidward are in the storm, everything stops, and he is in midair when he gasps and says "Squidward..."
This episode has similarities to the Hey Arnold! episode, "Buses, Bikes, and Subways." SpongeBob takes Harold's role of misdirections and Squidward is reluctant like Helga following them. At the very end SpongeBob and Harold both shout victoriously being saved.
The customer's yelling at SpongeBob could be a reference to how lots of people constantly nitpick even the smallest errors, especially fast food.
Considering that the customer lives right around the corner from the Krusty Krab, it's unknown why SpongeBob and Squidward didn't just walk there instead of driving.
When SpongeBob is running away from Squidward, then hits him and falls on the ground, SpongeBob sits on the ground, missing his hat.
After Squidward is run over by SpongeBob's rock, his eyes just momentarily become the same color as his skin.
When SpongeBob is being blown around holding the pizza, the writing was towards him. When they were spit out, the writing was facing away from him.
When SpongeBob fills up the "pressure" in one of the car's tires, the hub cap disappears.
It's most likely the other boat was Mr. Krabs' boat.
The delivery boat is white and purple on the sides and front, but the rear has a classic red stripe. It starts off red, However when the boat is spinning down the road, it has a purple tint. It turns entirely purple when it breaks down.