"The Camping Episode" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick go camping on SpongeBob's front lawn, to Squidward's dismay.
Squidward looks forward to a weekend of peace and quiet when SpongeBob and Patrick decide to go camping. However, he is extremely exasperated and disappointed to learn that they are camping in SpongeBob's front yard, right outside his window.
Squidward confronts them and tells them that they can't be "camping" if they're ten feet away from SpongeBob's house, and decides to join them in their "camping," after getting the impression that the gang think Squidward to be not manly or qualified enough to camp. After he is unable to set up his automated tent, he decides to sleep under the stars.
The gang begins roasting marshmallows while Squidward goes to his house to get his can opener so he can eat a can of Swedish Barnacle Balls. However, they stop him from doing so, saying that it "just doesn't seem to fit the camping spirit." So Squidward decides to eat the marshmallows, but Patrick repeatedly blows on his burned ones, sending them flying into Squidward's face. SpongeBob then plays the "Campfire Song Song." Squidward dislikes it and begins playing "Kumbayah" very badly on his clarinet, and SpongeBob stops him by shooting a marshmallow through his clarinet and into his windpipe, causing him to choke.
After Squidward recovers and yells at them, SpongeBob claims that it's not safe to play the clarinet outside at night, and then begins talking with Patrick about sea bears and the things that attract them. Squidward attempts to disprove their existence by doing all the things that supposedly would attract a sea bear, such as eating cheese cubes, wearing hoop skirts, waving flashlights, wearing clown shoes, etc.
Sure enough, a sea bear soon appears and begins mauling Squidward. SpongeBob and Patrick draw an "anti sea-bear circle" in the dirt, of which Squidward is also skeptical. After being attacked for the sixth time, Squidward leaps into the anti-sea bear circle. When the sea-bear leaves, SpongeBob mentions the sea-rhinoceros. Squidward fearfully asks what attracts them, and Patrick replies "The sound of a sea bear attack." A sea rhinoceros then appears and grunts at Squidward, and SpongeBob says: "Good thing we're all wearing our Anti-Sea Rhinoceros Undergarments," except for Squidward, who doesn't have a pair on.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Tom Fool - Van Phillips [title card]
‣ Lonely Heart's Club (a) - David Bell, Otto Sieben [SpongeBob and Patrick camping ten feet from SpongeBob's house]
‣ Tomfoolery - David Snell [Squidward joins them]
‣ Andy Anorak - Chris Marshall [roasting marshmallows]
◦ The Campfire Song Song - Dan Povenmire, Jay Lender
‣ Kumbayah - Brad Carow [Squidward playing clarinet]
‣ Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer ["Oh, no! I'll save you, Squidward!"]
‣ House of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [SpongeBob warns Squidward about sea bears/SpongeBob and Patrick tell Squidward what attracts sea bears.]
‣ Co Co Baby (a) - Gil Flat [Squidward doing everything that attracts sea bears]
‣ Dangerous (a) - Mladen Franko [Sea bear appears.]
‣ Dangerous (c) - Mladen Franko [sea bear attacks Squidward multiple times]
‣ Dangerous (a) - Mladen Franko [sea bear growls at Squidward]
‣ Hula Festival - George Elliott [ending]
"I always laugh even though I know the sea bear attacks are coming. By the way, SpongeBob singing the ever-accelerating verses of 'The Campfire S.O.N.G Song' isn't artificially sped up. People always ask about that."
- In the Best Day Ever marathon, this is the only episode in the Top 10 that is not from season four (it ranked #7).
- In fan-voted SpongeBob SquarePants marathons, "The Camping Episode" was ranked #7 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006 and #4 during The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash event on July 17–19, 2009.
- As of December 22, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 9.0/10/10 based on ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 9.2/10/10 based on 220 votes.
- The working title for this episode was "Squid Gets Mauled", and is sometimes listed as such in TV listings.
- This episode and its sister episode, "Krabby Land," premiered the same day of the 2004 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.
- In the early days of the airing, this episode would be paired before "Krabby Land," but was paired two months later.
- This is the second episode where Patrick is left-handed. When he is writing down how to set up a tent he is writing with his left hand, but in other episodes he is right-handed. The first episode to show Patrick as a lefty is "Jellyfishing."
- In the episode "Idiot Box," Squidward finds the same sombrero when he looks for a box and says, "Why haven't I worn this yet?"
- Things Squidward did that attracted the sea bear:
- Play the clarinet badly
- Wave a flashlight back and forth really fast (Patrick says flashlights are a sea bear's natural prey)
- Stomp on the ground (SpongeBob says sea bears take that as a challenge)
- Eat cubed cheese (sliced is fine)
- Wear a sombrero in a goofy fashion (When the sea bear came, he turned the sombrero upside-down)
- Wear a hoop skirt
- Wear clown shoes
- Screech like a chimpanzee (Judging by the amount of times SpongeBob and Patrick say never, this is a very big attractor)
- The "Campfire Song Song" is heard in the Family Guy episode "Road to Rupert," which was also directed by Dan Povenmire, in which Peter Griffin watches the episode's scene where SpongeBob and Patrick sing the song.
- Unlike the SpongeBob version, Squidward is not in it.
- In the "Campfire Song Song" the part where Spongebob bounces on the letters may be a reference to the Spongebob Squarepants Theme Song.
- This episode and "Krabby Land" were the last episodes where the closed captions appear before the lines are actually said.
- Like in the episodes "The Great Snail Race," "Snowball Effect," "Procrastination," "The Fry Cook Games," "Life of Crime," and "Ugh," fire is able to exist underwater.
- Running gag: The sea bear mauling Squidward.
- The drawing of SpongeBob and Patrick on the calendar shows pine trees, but it is impossible since they do not inhabit the ocean. There was support that pine trees can't exist underwater but, not without air in "I Had an Accident." Forests under the seas were kelp, as proven in several episodes, such as "Club SpongeBob."
- On the contrary, there have been several episodes where forests of pine trees were visible, such as "To Save a Squirrel" and "Bummer Vacation."
- The drawing of an anti-sea bear circle, which is a perfect circle that Squidward can't draw as SpongeBob mentioned, is similar to that on "Artist Unknown."
- There is an online game based on the sea bear attack called Camping Chaos!
- In the Indonesian version, on the line where SpongeBob asked Squidward about can openers, it's instead turned into asking him about sea bears.
- Also, usually the "Campfire Song Song" is cut in Indonesia (due to time constraints).
- The part where SpongeBob says "I met this guy who knew this guy..." has become a popular internet meme. Some YouTube videos even have SpongeBob saying it for 10 hours.
- In Indonesia, instead of saying "I met this guy who knew this guy...," SpongeBob says "I met this guy who knew his cousin..."
- This episode premiered on Alec Baldwin's 46th birthday, Alton Brown's 42nd birthday, and Sebastian Bach's 36th birthday.
- Tom Kenny revealed he sang the "Campfire Song Song" very speedily during recording. When SpongeBob sings fast, it was purely Tom Kenny, it was not edited to be fast.
- This is one of the few episodes to take place completely at night.
- This is the second episode to lack scene transitions after "Reef Blower."
- In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Biwak w dziczy" (Camping in the Wilds)
- This episode aired in Germany on September 23, 2003, before it aired in the USA.
- This episode could possibly take place after "Christmas Who?," because in that episode Patrick doesn't know how to write on a piece of paper, but in this episode, he does.
- In the French dub, The Campfire Song is left untranslated with the exception of "Oh, yeah!"
- The article I married a sea bear is a reference to the 1958 film I Married a Monster from Outer Space.
- The Bikini Bottom Inquirer is a reference to The National Inquirer, a tabloid newspaper notorious for printing exaggerated or outright false stories.
- Patrick playing Tic-Tac-Toe on his clipboard may be a reference to the Rugrats episode "Momma Trauma," where the psychiatrist played Tic-Tac-Toe on his clipboard and all he said was, "I see."
- It may be also, a reference to Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out, where after Wallace ends one of his sketches for the model of the spaceship he is about to start making, it's revealed that what he did was actually a tic-tac-toe.
- SpongeBob and Patrick smashing a guitar and some drums are probably a reference to Peter Townshend (guitar) and Keith Moon (drums) of the Who, who would destroy their respective musical instruments at the end of every live set.
- Patrick's line "It may be stupid, but it's also dumb!" may be a reference to Fonzie's quote from Happy Days, "Stupid? Yes. Also dumb."
- When Squidward does stuff SpongeBob told him not to do, he is not playing the clarinet again, like he does before this scene. However, he is screaming like a chimpanzee, which is a no-go that SpongeBob and Patrick stressed more than the others, so Squidward was probably trying to do something that would be more likely to attract the sea bear (even though he did not believe it existed) to prove them wrong.
- When Squidward looks at his cup of tea while in bed, the wrinkles on his forehead are gone. When he looks at his book, they reappear, but when he imitates SpongeBob's laugh, his wrinkles are gone again.
- After SpongeBob and Patrick "force" Squidward to come camping, Squidward changes (from pajamas to a shirt) (he could have changed while packing) and packs instantly. When he sets his backpack down and pulls out his tent, the screen changes to only Squidward's face. When it shows the ground by his feet again; his backpack is gone.
- When SpongeBob starts the song, he is sitting on a log. When he sits back down; the log is gone.
- Despite claiming he had "done everything to set a sea-bear off," Squidward had never eaten the cubed cheese as he was supposed to. It is possible, however, he ate it off-screen when the screen was focused on only SpongeBob and Patrick when they were freaked out that a Sea bear will come and when they drew the circle into the dirt.
- When the Sea Rhinoceros snorts, one of the bubble groups stops in mid air.
- When Squidward tries to set up his tent, he rips it. After the tent is put up; the rip is gone.
- When SpongeBob said: "Nope! We got something even better!," Patrick and the tent were next to SpongeBob. But when SpongeBob pulled out the marshmallows, they were gone.
- After Squidward shows up with a sombrero, a hoop skirt, clown shoes, a flashlight, and a plate of cubed cheese, he walks up to SpongeBob and Patrick, when the flashlight and cheese are gone.
- The last time Patrick blows his marshmallow, he did not put it in the fire.
- The song Squidward tries to play on his clarinet is "Kumbaya," but the captions say that he was playing "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore."
- When the sea bear attacks Squidward for the first time, he is shown with bandages on his arms and legs. In the next scene, they disappear, only showing an arm cast. In the end, they reappear.
- The marshmallow cannot go through the clarinet that easily because the rear end is smaller than the marshmallow itself.
- When Squidward attempts to organize his tent, SpongeBob is on the left observing him via binoculars while Patrick (even donning a pair of eyeglasses) writes how to set up a tent down. But when the two are clapping, they switch sides.
- When SpongeBob said "SpongeBob to Patrick. Help yourself. Over." if the audience counts the number of static noises, if they were taking turns to make static noises and say things, it should have been Patrick's turn to say something.
- The molten marshmallow mess looks far too similar to chocolate-chip cookie dough. In particular, the molten marshmallow mess appears too yellow (as opposed to orangy-brown of actual molten marshmallows).
- In the French dub, after Squidward chews the marshmallow, there is about is about a three-second pause on Squidward with no dialogue before SpongeBob says"Meilleur," which means "Better" in French.