The episode starts out when Squidward walks outside and sees a tiny shell on his front lawn. He believes that it ruins the appearance of his lawn, so he kicks it onto SpongeBob's lawn on purpose. Suddenly, SpongeBob pops out of his window and sees the shell. He also believes that it ruins the appearance of his front lawn, so he gets his "reef blower" (an underwater version of a leaf blower) out of his garage. He turns it on, much to the annoyance of Squidward. Squidward plugs his ears and SpongeBob struggles to blow the shell away. After failing attempts, he angrily blows a large column of sand onto Squidward. To fix this problem, SpongeBob blows the sand off, which irritates Squidward's eyes. SpongeBob peers over at his sidewalk and sees a pile of sand. A subtitle "You" appears as SpongeBob points at the pile (no dialogue is heard). He then sucks the pile of sand into the reef blower, which begins to malfunction. The sand and a few mechanical gears blow out. So, SpongeBob unzips the reef blower and puts them in himself. The reef blower sneezes.
When the reef blower refuses to start, SpongeBob pulls the cord to an extreme distance and before finally starts. However, this causes it to suck in all of the water in the ocean. The reef blower then explodes, returning the water and leaving piles of sand all over Squidward's lawn, while SpongeBob's lawn is perfectly clean. Satisfied, SpongeBob gets out of a pile of sand and then goes back inside, while the shell lands on Squidward's nose.
Reef Blower aired as part of the pilot episode after the Kid's Choice Awards on May 1, 1999. Unlike a majority of the episode, this episode is paired with Help Wanted in that there are no commercials in between. The title card for this episode pops up as soon as "Help Wanted" finishes. This later happens with other three-episode groups.
This episode aired first in Germany on August 23, 2002.
As of October 29, 2013, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.4/10 based on 280 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a 8.6/10 based on 429 votes.
"Reef Blower" was ranked #24 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
This is the shortest episode to date, with a length of exactly two minutes and fifty-one seconds.
Although this is the only episode to contain no dialogue, SpongeBob says "You!", but no audio is heard. The word is seen in subtitles at the bottom. The sound is heard in the Spanish version, with SpongeBob saying "¡Tú!" (the Spanish word for you). It's also used in Romanian, and in the Dutch version, where SpongeBob says: Jij! (which is the Dutch version of you).
Every time a reef blower appears, its own music can be heard.
Squidward is purple above-water in this episode.
This is the first time a reef blower is used. The second was in "Squidville".
A reef blower is a parody of a leaf blower.
When SpongeBob runs past the houses to get his Reef Blower started, Squidward is gone.
When SpongeBob's reef blower explodes, sand is shown in his yard. In the next scene, his house is sparkling clean.