For one night a week, the Krusty Krab is converted into the "Komedy Krab," featuring some of Bikini Bottom's best comedians taking the big stage. SpongeBob is performing tonight as one of them. He takes the stage and begins an awful routine about his job, making poor jokes about salt, tomatoes, and forks. A heckler tells him that his act "smells funny, and puts people to sleep," throwing him off even further. As SpongeBob tries to make a witty observation, he notices Sandy's buck teeth, and starts joking about them to which the audience responds positively. SpongeBob begins telling more "squirrel jokes" about how stupid squirrels supposedly are and everyone starts laughing, except Sandy. After his act, Sandy confronts SpongeBob backstage and tells him that his jokes are hurtful, but he insists that it's just an act, and says that, "Everyone knows you're the smartest creature in Bikini Bottom."
However, the next day, everyone starts making fun of Sandy, and on the night of the Komedy Krab, she confronts him again, explaining how the jokes are affecting her public image and asking him to use some of his "other" jokes instead. When he goes on the stage, SpongeBob begins to do his original, pitiful routine from last week and soon drops the microphone and leaves the stage. However, he then comes back and continues his squirrel jokes and does them this time with fake buck teeth and a stereotypical Southern accent with which they become even more offensive.
After the performance, he finds a note from Sandy, stating that she has realized that his jokes really are funny, and she invites him to her Treedome to celebrate. When he visits her, however, Sandy looks and acts as his jokes make her out to be: an idiotic, clueless redneck. Sandy removes his water helmet. When SpongeBob starts to dehydrate, Sandy gives him too much water, a jellyfish was also sucked in. As SpongeBob fills every inch of the treedome, he learns his lesson, saying, "Okay, Sandy, I get it! No more squirrel jokes."
At the next Komedy Krab event, SpongeBob tells a single, toned-down squirrel joke. However, he makes fun of everyone else as well, including himself, fish, and crabs. SpongeBob and Sandy give each other thumbs up signals, indicating their restored friendship. After that SpongeBob begins saying, "and don't even get me started on starfish..." as the episode ends.
This episode is ranked eighteenth in Tom Kenny's Top 20 on iTunes. His description says:
"I started out as a stand up comedian, so it was fun to perform as the kind of schlockmeister I strove not to be. Stand ups are always fighting between doing more original material or repeating what works. SpongeBob goes for the pander, without thinking about the feelings of the person disparaged by his material."
"Squirrel Jokes" was ranked #86 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
As of August 11, 2015, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.6/10 based on 196 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a 8.5/10 based on 152 votes.
The title card design is nearly identical to that of "Funny Pants."
This episode has become notable for its surprisingly unvarnished message against racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory jokes, with squirrels serving as an expy for blondes, minorities, and/or women. This is also makes SpongeBob the only Nicktoon to have an episode to discuss these topics (if not, the only Nickelodeon show to discuss this).
When Harold was making fun of SpongeBob's jokes he had a shirt on, the next time he was shown he had no shirt.
When SpongeBob said "Okay Sandy I get it!" and "no more squirrel jokes" his mouth didn't move.
When Sandy is in the grocery store and the three fish start making fun of her, the hat-wearing fish's lips flicker orange for 1 frame.
Sandy and Patrick are sitting at the same table throughout SpongeBob's act. However, the image behind them alternates between a window and a wall between different shots throughout the episode.
During one of the close-up shots of the audience, Harold and Shubie switch seats.
When SpongeBob talks about crabs in his stand-up, Mr. Krabs doesn't have legs. This error happens again in "Dying for Pie."
In Indonesia, when it started to air, SpongeBob says, "Because, they're so darn stupid!" But later, he says, "Because, they're so darn ugly!" It's probably because in Indonesia the words "stupid" and/or "moron" is censored.
In this episode, SpongeBob said that sponges don't have vertebrae. However, in "Roller Cowards," SpongeBob has a vertebrae.
When SpongeBob says, "Um...noxious gas?" his shirt is gone.
Whenever Spongebob thinks/looks at the fork, it has three prongs instead of four.