SpongeBob and Patrick board a bus in order to get home from Glove World!, a glove-themed amusement park that they enjoy. They accidentally board the wrong bus, which then takes them down a cliff. The cliff leads to a sort of aphotic zone called Rock Bottom, inhabited by multiple strange deep-sea animals. SpongeBob tells Patrick to wait while he goes to try and find a bus schedule. While SpongeBob is gone searching, Patrick gets on the bus to go home but accidentally leaves SpongeBob behind. SpongeBob tries to find a bus that will take him more but nothing happens.
After several unsuccessful attempts to get on the bus, SpongeBob heads to the bus station and waits in a very long line. By the time he gets to the front, he finds out that the last bus to Bikini Bottom will leave in a few seconds, but before he has time to react, it pulls away from the station. The ticketmaster leaves for the night, shutting off the lights in the process. SpongeBob, who is starting to show fear, takes out his glove flashlight, but the battery shorts out, leaving him in total darkness. As he stands alone in the station giving himself a pep-talk, he hears the familiar raspberry sound echoing, and makes a mad dash back to the cliff. The raspberry sound is getting closer, and SpongeBob cowers in fear, yelling out a weak threat. As the creature closes in, a bright light engulfs SpongeBob, and he lets out a scream. He is relieved when he noticed the light is coming from a friendly-looking anglerfish creature who found SpongeBob's lost glove balloon. SpongeBob sarcastically thanks him for solving the balloon problem but begins rambling about his other problem: trying to get home. The anglerfish blows up the balloon and ties it to SpongeBob's wrist. SpongeBob makes another sarcastic comment about how the balloon already has enough air, while closing his eyes and blowing raspberries. He opens his eyes to see he's floating in the air and understands the anglerfish was helping him using the unorthodox method of balloon travel. He thanks the anglerfish for his help, who replies with a polite "you're welcome" and waves goodbye. SpongeBob is able to take the currents back to Bikini Bottom and directly to the front of his house. After he lands the balloon pops and the episode ends with Patrick, riding on the bus, making his way back to Rock Bottom thinking SpongeBob is still stuck there.
As of February 13, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 9.2/10 based on 399 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 9/10 based on 210 votes.
"Rock Bottom" was ranked #79 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
This episode marks the first appearance of Glove World!
Residents of Rock Bottom all speak by blowing a raspberry (sound made while sticking out your tongue) in between words. When SpongeBob tries to speak normal to the fish at the bus station, the fish could not understand his "accent" until SpongeBob starts to blow his tongue to speak.
Rock Bottom's other areas are never shown and remain unknown. SpongeBob only stays near the bus stop, bus station, and the entrance road, not going any further. Though, in some video games, such as Battle for Bikini Bottom and SpongeBob's Boating Bash, Rock Bottom's other locations and sights are shown.
The opening credits for this episode are in light blue instead of the regular navy blue.
As the bus carries SpongeBob and Patrick descends down the cliff face, the dramatic incidental music is from the song "Whirlpool," performed by the Detroit, Michigan surf band The Volcano.
In the level "Rock Bottom" from Battle for Bikini Bottom, when the player first starts this level and runs towards the Kandy Machine near the bus stop, a bus will drive up, stop at the bus stop for a second, and then continue driving. This is a reference to the incident in this episode.
The Dutch title of this episode is "Wachten op de Bus," which translates to "Waiting For The Bus."
The bus stop sign reads "BUZ" with a "Z" at the end instead of an "S" at the end. The vending machine sign has a "K" replacing the "C," and the "N" is backwards.
The buttons that SpongeBob presses for a Kelp Nougat Crunch are A-B-E-F-A-C-F-E-C.
Rock Bottom is one of the few cities in the series besides Bikini Bottom. More can be seen here.
This episode marks the first mentioning of Grandpa SquarePants, when SpongeBob imitates him. However, his first actual appearance (in a thought bubble) is in "The Sponge Who Could Fly."
In this episode, SpongeBob notices that his shoe is untied and ties it. However, in a future SpongeBob episode, "Your Shoe's Untied," he has forgotten how to tie his shoes and mentions that his shoes haven't been untied since SpongeBob was an egg. It is possible that "Rock Bottom" takes place after this episode.
In Croatian dub, the episode's title is "Dno Dna," which translates to "The End of the End."
At the beginning of this episode, when SpongeBob says, "Another funtastic day at Glove World!," his lips don't move when he says "Glove World!"
If the scene when SpongeBob and Patrick are boarding the bus is played frame-by-frame, SpongeBob's right arm is missing, but appears for a brief moment.
The second time when SpongeBob checks for money in his pants, the pocket is fully brown.
When SpongeBob and Patrick get on the bus from Glove World!, SpongeBob doesn't have fifty cents for bus fare, butbwhen hr is in Rock Bottom, he is seen putting two coins that read "25" on them in a candy bar vending machine.
When the bus heads toward Rock Bottom, SpongeBob says, "I think we're on the wrong—Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!—bus!," but the captions exclude it and just say "bus."
Nominees: : Chiho Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Daisuke Sawa, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Dan Cubert, Lawrence Reyes, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "Suction Cup Symphony;" 2009) • Chino Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Eric Freeman, Tom Syslo, Keith Dickens, Jason Stiff, Sergio Silva, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One;" 2010)
Best Sound Editing – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television
Nominees: Devon Bowman, Justin Brinsfield, Nicolas Carr, Andrea Anderson, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Eric Freeman, Tony Orozco and Danny Tchibinda (for "Gary's New Toy;" 2013) • Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Bobby Crew, Keith Dickens, Gabriel Rossas and Tony Orozco (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!;" 2013)