SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeGuard on Duty

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Episode Information [edit]
SpongeGuard on Duty
Season №: 3
Episode №: 41b
Airdate: March 22, 2002
Running time: 11 minutes
Sister episode(s): "The Algae's Always Greener"
Writer(s): Jay Lender
Sam Henderson
Mark O'Hare
Storyboard Artist(s): Caleb Meurer
Storyboard: Jay Lender
Sam Henderson
Animation: Sean Dempsey
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "The Algae's Always Greener"
Next: "Club SpongeBob"
List of episodes

"SpongeGuard on Duty" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, SpongeBob becomes a lifeguard.



At Goo Lagoon, SpongeBob and Patrick are sunbathing. SpongeBob remarks on how cool Larry the Lifeguard is, and SpongeBob fantasizes about how "cool" it would be if he was a lifeguard, but Patrick does not agree, disliking lifeguards. SpongeBob then says that he is "just as cool as Larry." SpongeBob claims that if he is not as "cool" as Larry, that he will be struck by "a flying ice cream truck." An ice cream truck falls from the sky and he quickly says "AND LIVE!" He then gets struck by the ice cream truck and Larry helps him up and notices vanilla ice cream on his nose. Thinking that it is sunscreen, and that therefore he is a lifeguard, he offers SpongeBob to help him with his lifeguard duties. 

Spongebob Lifeguard

SpongeBob Lifeguard

As a lifeguard, SpongeBob becomes very popular and does many fun activities. However, when Larry hears Bill drowning and saves him, SpongeBob realizes that being a lifeguard is much more than giving ice cream and sitting in a tower, but that it also means that he has to guard other people's lives. Larry suddenly leaves for a tanning booth, leaving SpongeBob, who cannot swim, in charge of the beach. SpongeBob then imagines all the fish dead in a graveyard in the goo, and then alerts all the fish to an "emergency" that is not even going on. When everybody asks, confused as to what the "emergency" is, SpongeBob, forgetting that sharks are sea animals too, improvises and states that the "emergency" is a shark attack. A shark family then 
Sea Monster (SpongeGuard On Duty.) 4
says that they are the ones he is referring to. Then he announces that there is a sea monster, but a sea monster then emerges from the crowd, slapping SpongeBob with his tail fin after explaining how impolite he is to sea monsters and everybody then knows that there is no emergency.

SpongeBob begins panicking when he sees everyone playing in the goo in a dangerous way, such as people splashing each other, people water skiing on top of each other, two kids playing with a ball inside of Billy the killer whale's mouth, and Frank throwing Scooter into a rock. SpongeBob then lures everyone out of the goo with ice cream. After they eat it, he tells them that they now have to wait one hour before going back in the goo and binds them with police tape. Thinking that everyone is safe, SpongeBob settles down to relax. However, the beach guests get upset at this and one fish states that Larry is a better lifeguard than SpongeBob is. SpongeBob announces that he gave them ice cream, and Larry never did. However, after emerging from the bathroom, Patrick mistakenly looks for ice cream after SpongeBob says "ice cream" through a megaphone, crosses the tape after he sees the words on it as "ICE CREAM," when it really is "DO NOT CROSS," and goes into the goo, where he gets cramps and starts drowning. When other fish get alerted to this, SpongeBob initially refuses to believe that someone is drowning, but he eventually sees Patrick and tries to find a way to save him without going in the goo. He reaches Patrick using a boatmobile he "borrowed" from the parking lot, but Patrick destroys it and they both start drowning. Larry then comes back and "saves" them from the ankle deep goo. Larry asks if SpongeBob is a real lifeguard, to which SpongeBob replies "No." At the end of the episode, Larry is seen teaching the two how to swim, and they both get butt cramps, and Patrick still does not have his ice cream, much to his dismay.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Surfin' Summer (b) - Richard Myhill [title card]
  Beach Party - Harry Bluestone [opening at Goo Lagoon]
  Facing the Challenge - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob imagines himself as a lifeguard]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill ["I'm cool."]
  Dramatic Impact 2 - Ivor Slaney [lightning]
  Dramatic Impact 1 - Ivor Slaney [flying ice cream truck]
  Steel Sting (b) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Please do not land flying ice cream trucks on the bathers."]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hey!"]
  Saxaboogie - Harry Bluestone [SpongeBob and Larry patrolling the beach]
  Advance Attack - Sam Fonteyn [Larry rescues someone drowning]
  Advance Attack Alt. End - Sam Fonteyn ["That's the last time I read and swim."]
  South Pacific Island II - Victor Cavini [Larry leaves SpongeBob in charge]
  On Fire - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob orders everyone out of the water]
  Steel Sting (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [everyone goes back in]
  Dangerous (a) - Mladen Franko [SpongeBob panicking]
  Dangerous (c) - Mladen Franko ["Free ice cream!"]
  Stars and Games - Alf Saro [everyone eating ice cream]
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Huh?"]
  Menace [#42] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["Cramp!"]
  Danger Sign - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Patrick drowning]
  Dramatic Impact 3 - Ivor Slaney ["...PATRICK ISN'T DROWNING!!"]
  Twelfth Street Rag - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob trying to rescue Patrick]
  Dramatic Cue (g) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob and Patrick drowning]
  Steel Licks (d) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Goodbye, Patrick!"/"Goodbye, ice cream!"]
  Beach Party - Harry Bluestone [ending]



  • As of August 11, 2015, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.6/10 based on 172 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a 8.8/10 based on 140 votes.[2]


  • This episode was formerly called "LifeguardBob HelpPants," and "Summer of Sponge."
  • Ironically, one should not immediately dive into the water to save someone from drowning, and should instead find another way to save them, as they will risk drowning themselves otherwise.
  • This is the first episode where Larry is a lifeguard. In "Ripped Pants," "Walking Small," and "Bubble Buddy," another fish was a lifeguard.
  • On some TV guides, the airdate for this episode is not listed.
  • The shark father was also seen in the episode "MuscleBob BuffPants" selling Anchor Arms.
  • Even though SpongeBob and Patrick live underwater, ironically, this episode shows that they cannot swim.
  • In the 2012 commercial for General Mills breakfast cereals, a clip of SpongeBob sucking up all of the goo is used to advertise their SpongeBob squirters in specially marked boxes of brands.
  • In the later episode "A Life in a Day," Larry is shown as a lifeguard again.
  • The title card design shares the appearance of the title card design for the later episode "Shellback Shenanigans."
  • The SpongeBob mascot shown in numerous Nick theme parks appears in this episode.
  • Interestingly, while at the beginning, SpongeBob was shown struggling with a barbell made of two soda cups, yet later, he was shown capable of lifting an entire boat and holding it up with one hand.
  • The Sea Monster in the episode was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • In the Middle East airing, the scene where SpongeBob and Patrick check on their "tan" is removed. This is probably because SpongeBob peeking into his shorts is considered inappropriate there.
  • This episode premiered two years after "Texas" and "Walking Small" premiered.
  • Even though the setting of the episode and the entire show is under water and Goo Lagoon is actually made of goo, not water, the goo is referred to as "water" several times in the series, for example when SpongeBob yells "Don't go into the water!"
  • The title card's background is the same background as the "Uhhh..." timecard in the episode "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve."
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "SpongeBob ratownik" which translates to "SpongeBob the Lifeguard."
  • This episode hints that Patrick is so incredibly uneducated that he cannot even read properly, evidenced when he misreads the "DO NOT CROSS" isolation ribbon as "ICE CREAM." However, he could simply have imagined it as opposed to not reading it properly and in other episodes, he can read just fine.


  • When Larry lifts the board with fish on it, two of them fell off of their faces first.
  • The old man who Larry tells to leave (and who is implied to be Larry's father) reappears as a beach person in a later scene.
  • When SpongeBob raises his arms to call the people for ice cream, he never lowers his arms as he gives it to them.
  • When the crowd is looking up at the lifeguard tower when SpongeBob calls everyone out, Annette does not have any hair.
    • It is not Evelyn, however, because in the next shot and for the rest of the episode, Annette has her hair back.
  • SpongeBob's nose changed color every time Patrick hit him with the anchor.
  • When SpongeBob sees that Patrick is drowning, he breaks the lens of his binoculars, but the lens is back after Patrick finishes shouting.
  • When Patrick comes out of the Port-O-Head, there is toilet paper sticking out of his shorts. When he gets near the lagoon, it is gone.
  • In the scene when Larry saves Bill, a crowd of fish are worried, however, Bill himself was in the crowd.
  • When SpongeBob hands out ice cream, White Fish is shown with a pink ice cream. In the next shot of him, the ice cream is white.
  • When SpongeBob hands out ice cream, Nat Peterson is shown with a red popsicle. In the next shot of him, the popsicle is blue.
  • Nancy Suzy Fish is seen leaving with Larry for his tanning, but is again seen later sharing a hot dog with Gus in the parking lot.
  • Since Goo Lagoon is a lagoon, SpongeBob would not be able to drink all of the goo in Goo Lagoon as more goo from another body of goo next to it would flow in.
  • Improper grammar: SpongeBob said "Ladies and gentlemen of the lagoon is closed."
    Proper grammar: SpongeBob should have said "Ladies and gentlemen, the lagoon is closed."


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