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 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 was not impressed. Sandy then lifts two anchors and is cheered. 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 people 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 volleyball, then while playing Frisbee. SpongeBob and Sandy then proceed to get some ice-cream, where he again uses his ripped pants joke. He gets carried away and uses the joke at the snack bar and a kitchen.
While at the surfing competition, SpongeBob rips his pants while surfing, which bores everyone. Realizing this, SpongeBob pretends to drown. At first, the lifeguard laughs it off, thinking that SpongeBob is just a cardboard box that washed up on the beach. Upon looking closer into his telescope, he screams that it is a guy, and goes to save him, which leads to a crowd gathering around him and SpongeBob. SpongeBob tells the lifeguard that he needs a tailor because he ripped his pants. Everyone gets mad and leaves, including Sandy.
He attempts to revive the joke by ripping his entire pants off, but it fails. After realizing that he has driven all his friends away, he 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: Murray who forgot to put on sunscreen, Dexter who got sand in his buns, and Don who was buried in the sand and forgotten. They ask SpongeBob what happened to him, and he tells his story through a song. His underwear rips, but his booty is not seen. 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.
"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".
There is a toy produced by Fisher-Price based on this episode that consists of a SpongeBob whose pants can be made to rip.
This is the first episode that uses the trademark SpongeBob font on the title card.
This episode is the debut for most of the extra Bikini Bottomites that are used a lot throughout the series.
It's possible this episode takes place later chronologically in the series since Larry seems to know SpongeBob, yet in later episodes (such as Pets or Pests), he and SpongeBob don't seem to be familiar.
This is the first time the Beach Boys sing a song in the series. The second will be in Doing Time.
When Jimmy Neutron was a new Nicktoon, some airings of this episode had Jimmy messing around with the episode until turning into Carl and it would end up restarting the episode up to the part where the lifeguard screams.