SpongeBob and Patrick race to Sandy's Treedome to hang out with her. However, the dome has a metal cover over it, and a "KEEP OUT" sign on the front door. In the entryway, they find a television, which turns on and plays a video of Sandy dressed for bed and gobbling acorns. The recording of Sandy explains that she is hibernating for the winter and asks for no one (especially SpongeBob) to disturb her. However, Patrick opens the door anyway to reveal the dome's environment completely covered with snow.
SpongeBob and Patrick quickly take delight in the snow, even being able to remove their helmets because of the snow's moisture. Upon hearing a strange sound from Sandy's tree house, the two of them go to investigate. They discover Sandy, many times her original size and sleeping soundly. At first, their gentle prodding and poking does nothing to wake her from her dreams of catching the outlaws Dirty Dan and Pinhead Larry. But soon enough, their merrymaking takes its toll, and Sandy suddenly rises, assaulting SpongeBob and Patrick in her sleepy stupor. She then falls back into her bed, asleep once more. To prevent further disturbances to her slumber, a pair of earmuffs are fashioned from Patrick's bellybutton lint and placed over Sandy's ears.
SpongeBob and Patrick leave her room to continue playing in the snow. They pretend to be the outlaws from Sandy's dream, but start fighting over which one of them will play the part of Dirty Dan. Their roughhousing knocks Sandy's earmuffs loose, allowing her to hear the ruckus and set upon them in further half-asleep fury. Battered and bruised, and with the winter storm growing more intense, SpongeBob and Patrick try to leave but find that the door is frozen shut.
Unable to escape or survive in the cold weather, they go into Sandy's room and, throwing caution to the wind, rip off all her fur. With their new fur-lined winter attire, SpongeBob proclaims that they are now ready for the "longest, coldest winter ever!" However, winter immediately comes to an end, and Sandy wakes up with her winter pounds shed. She is surprised to see SpongeBob and Patrick but soon realizes that, with them wearing her fur, she has been left with none and so becomes angry at them. However, Sandy is soon happily drinking lemonade with SpongeBob and Patrick, whose bodies are wrapped around her to provide her new spring coat.
According to the Season 2 DVD commentary and in the storyboard, there is a deleted scene where Sandy's bed was hanging from the ceiling, and there was much more saliva/drool. Also stated in the commentary, the original title was "Survival of the Morons."
This episode could have taken place after "Prehibernation Week." However, Sandy explained hibernation to SpongeBob in that episode, yet he still does not know what it is in this episode.
It previously snowed in the episode "Christmas Who?" however, SpongeBob and Patrick act like they have never seen it until this episode, but it could be due to the episodes not being in order.
This episode takes place after "Texas" because SpongeBob mentions "She must be dreaming about Texas outlaws." which SpongeBob and Patrick never knew what Texas was until Texas.
Sandy's treedome was previously shown during the Winter in "Bubble Buddy." However, oddly, that time she had to go south to survive it, unlike in this episode.
The face that Patrick makes when he says, "Who you callin' Pinhead?" has been parodied countless times over the internet, and has become YouTube's popular meme.
At the end of the episode, when the snow has melted and Sandy first sees SpongeBob and Patrick with her fur, there is no water left in the treedome. However, this does not affect them. Similarly, earlier in the episode, when they were depending on snow for hydration, they are not affected by the lack of snow while inside Sandy's Tree.
In Bahasa Indonesia, in the scene where Sandy is infuriated when SpongeBob and Patrick stole her fur, she grunts rather than mentioning their names (though its airing in Indonesia shows her yell their names out of anger along with grunts).
Also, the scene where Patrick and SpongeBob are attacked by Sandy is rarely shown in Indonesia due to time constraints (as it was aired along with ads) and violence.
According to the audio commentary, the original title was going to be "Survival of the Morons." But It was changed to "Survival of the Idiots" for unknown reasons. Likely because it sounded to mean.
In the pilot episode of Fox's drama series Fringe, the beginning of this episode can be seen briefly.
In the Arabic dub, this episode is called "ألم السنجاب "(alam alssanjab)" which translates to "Squirrel Death."
In the audio commentary for the episode, a storyboard artist, C.H. Greenblatt, had admitted to being lazy with having to draw the Water Helmets for SpongeBob and Patrick after they got into the Sandy's Treedome for the rest of the episode. Because of this, there is a scene where Patrick and SpongeBob take off their water helmets in the treedome because they realize that the snow melts to water. However, when it later becomes spring, SpongeBob and Patrick are still not wearing their water helmets in the treedome.
This is the first episode where only less than three characters appear. This happens again in two episodes, "Gary Takes a Bath," and "Rise and Shine", but in this episode, more than three characters are mentioned.
In the Polish dub, this episode's title is "Nie dla głupoli" which translates to "Not for Idiots."
In the Croatian dub, this episode is called "Kako Preživjeti?" translating to "How to Survive?"
This episode had to be somewhere between December 20-23 of 1999 because that is when winter started.