The Narrator introduces Goo Lagoon, which is a very popular beach in Bikini Bottom, where SpongeBob and Sandy are playing. SpongeBob puts on a show by making sand sculptures such as covering himself in sand and calling himself, "Sandy.," acting like Squidward, and as Vito who says: "Here's an order of twenty-five pepperoni and sand pizzas," which make Sandy laugh. Larry the Lobster comes and asks if they want to lift weights, which Sandy quickly accepts, while SpongeBob mopes behind them. When they arrive at the weight lifting area, Sandy lifts a bar weight and the crowd cheers. SpongeBob tries to get them to do something else, but Larry continues. He lifts a bar weight with six weights and the crowd cheers. Attempting to impress the crowd, SpongeBob lifts a stick, but the crowd is unimpressed. Sandy then lifts two anchors and is cheered loudly. Larry then lifts the entire audience and bleachers, and, once again, the crowd cheers.
SpongeBob is left out and tries to get more attention by lifting a stick with Stay Puft marshmallow men on the ends, which he actually struggles to do. However, he accidentally rips his pants and they see his underwear in the process, and the crowd laughs hysterically. Feeling embarrassed, SpongeBob sadly leaves the weight lifting area, as the fish continue to laugh at him until one fish compliments him for the good laugh. When Sandy agrees, SpongeBob decides to use this to his advantage. He rips his pants again while playing a game of volleyball, and again while playing frisbee, with both times getting a big round of laughter from Sandy and the other fish.
However, the joke soon starts to get old as when SpongeBob and Sandy go to get some ice cream, the vendor becomes increasingly annoyed when SpongeBob makes ripped pants-related puns, although Sandy laughs hysterically at them. He then goes over to the snack bar, but nobody there is amused when he brings up the ripped pants joke.
Later, at a surfing competition, SpongeBob once again rips his trunks while surfing, which bores everybody. He is then knocked off his board by a wave and washes ashore completely lifeless, having seemingly drowned. A lifeguard notices this, but at first laughs it off thinking that SpongeBob is just a cardboard box. Upon looking closer through his telescope, he screams that it is actually a person and races over to save him. The incident attracts a large crowd, including Sandy, who are all fearing the worst.
SpongeBob groggily tells the lifeguard to come closer and says that he needs something. He then whispers into the lifeguard's ear that he needs a tailor as he ripped his pants, revealing that he was faking it in order to get attention so he could use the ripped pants joke again. This angers the crowd and they leave, including Sandy, who scolds SpongeBob for making her worried.
Later, SpongeBob is shown sitting inside a dressing tent thinking about how he can revive the joke. He gets an idea and rips his entire pants off, only to be met with silence. He then notices Sandy playing volleyball with Larry in the distance, and SpongeBob realizes his ripped pants joke has driven all his friends away, with pretending to drown having gone too far. He then lies on the sand and asks himself if he is the biggest loser on the beach.
This question is answered by three other beach goers, who think they are the biggest losers on the beach: Millie, who forgot to put on sunscreen and got sunburnt; Dexter, who got sand in his buns; and Frank, who was buried in the sand and forgotten. They ask SpongeBob what happened to him, and he tells his story through a song. Everyone on the beach hears his song and understands how he feels and that he apologizes. Sandy tells SpongeBob that if he wanted her to be his friend, he should be himself. Larry asks him to sign his pants, and SpongeBob accepts. He bends down to sign, but his underwear rips off completely, and SpongeBob covers himself and blushes in embarrassment, and the screen cuts to black.
Also, during The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash, actor Nathan Kress said this was his favorite episode.
"Ripped Pants" is one of Tom Kenny's favorite episodes. He says "I think one of my favorite episodes is uh, "Ripped Pants," the one where SpongeBob rips his pants by mistake and gets a laugh out of it, and then overplays his hand by doing it one too many times, and people get bored with it, and he realizes that jokes have a lifespan. And I think that's something that happened to me a lot as a kid, where you would accidentally hit on something that was really funny and you would just do it over and over and over again, and when people stopped laughing, it was kind of like a slap in the face, it kinda hurt, and then you had to go out and find something else stupid to uh, get attention and laughs from your fellow classmates."
However, this episode is not on Tom Kenny's top 20 episodes playlist.
There is a toy produced by Fisher-Price based on this episode that consists of a SpongeBob whose pants can rip.
This is the first episode that uses the trademark SpongeBob font (aka the Krabby Patty font) on the title card.
This is the first episode where SpongeBob is shown wearing a different attire rather than his casual ones.
SpongeBob's blue swimming trunks are seen again in "Walking Small" and "Bubble Buddy." However, in later episodes, his swimming trunks are red.
While in this episode SpongeBob's blue swimming trunks rip apart, in "Walking Small" and "Bubble Buddy" his blue swimming trunks are in good condition. It is most likely that this episode takes place after both "Walking Small" and "Bubble Buddy."
Another thing that could be possible is that he or someone else sewed his trunks, or he could've just bought new ones.
This episode likely takes place after "Pizza Delivery," because in that episode the Krusty Krab is revealed to not serve pizza (until Mr. Krabs mashes a bunch of Krabby Patties into said food), while in this episode SpongeBob is seen wearing a sand version of his Krusty Krab Employee Hat while holding sand boxes of pizza, asking "Did anyone order twenty pepperoni and sand pizzas?"
This episode is the debut for most of the extra Bikini Bottomites who are used a lot throughout the series.
This episode marks the second appearance of Sandy Cheeks.
It's possible this episode takes place later chronologically in the series since Larry seems to know SpongeBob, yet in later episodes (such as "Pet or Pests"), he and SpongeBob don't seem to be familiar.
Some overseas airings have the episode end at the scene where the concert is shown, with the original ending that shows SpongeBob's underwear ripping apart cut in these airings, possibly due to nudity.
This is the first episode where the Beach Boys sing a song in the series. The second was in "Doing Time," but only in one shot.
SpongeBob is seen surfing in this episode, but in "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One," he doesn't know how to surf. However, it's possible that the events in this episode come after the events in "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One."
In another airing, during the part where SpongeBob rips his pants while surfing, Jimmy and Goddard are seen on the Strato XL rocket, which they then stop. Jimmy and Goddard then hop out of the rocket, as Jimmy then thinks of an idea, then presses a button on Goddard, thus making a satellite come out of him. Jimmy then rewinds the episode to the part where SpongeBob says he'll get a banana split, but it's in slow motion. He then fast forwards to the part where SpongeBob rips his pants in front of the fry cook, which he [Jimmy] then rewinds it, and plays it again multiple times, thus making him laugh. He then fast forwards back to the episode during the part where the lifeguard yells "Why?!", as Jimmy and Goddard go back into the rocket, and fly off.
Running Gags: SpongeBob annoying people about his ripped pants and him getting jealous when Sandy hangs out with Larry.
When the first view of the weightlifters is shown, there are two huts, but when it goes to a close-up on the weightlifters, the huts are gone.
When Larry lifts the seats the Bikini Bottomites were sitting on, the background moves in such a way on the close-up on the Bikini Bottomites that it looks like the camera is panning down to the bottom of the seats instead of it looking like the seats are lifting up.
SpongeBob says that he has 20 pizzas, but unless they were in nine boxes that is impossible since he has only nine boxes.
After SpongeBob rips off his pants, he still has his sleeves on for the rest of the episode, save for one shot. This mistake has also been made in future episodes.
Although possibly intentional, on SpongeBob's paper he writes "em' rather than "'em."
SpongeBob rips off his swimsuit revealing his underwear, but when the camera zooms out as the other "losers" join him for the "Ripped Pants" song, he is wearing his swimsuit again.
In several scenes, SpongeBob rips his pants, then in the next scene they are not ripped.
When the five female fish were listening to the song, the yellow fish was on the left and the green fish was on the right but in the next scene, they were switched.
Larry the Lobster is credited as customer on the credits.