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Idiot Box

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Episode Information [edit]
Idiot Box
Season №: 3
Episode №: 44b
Airdate: March 1, 2002
Running time: 11 minutes
Sister episode(s): "Nasty Patty"
Writer(s): Paul Tibbitt
Kent Osborne
Merriwether Williams
Storyboard Artist(s): Carson Kugler
William Reiss
Mike Roth
Storyboard: Paul Tibbitt
Kent Osborne
Animation: Andrew Overtoom
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Nasty Patty"
Next: "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV"
List of episodes

"Idiot Box" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick play with a box.



Squidward sees a large box being delivered to SpongeBob and Patrick. They open the box, which contains a giant flat-screen television. Patrick and SpongeBob throw the television away but keep the box. Squidward asks why they threw the television away, and SpongeBob explains that "We don't need television, as long as we have our... imagination." Squidward, not wanting any part of this, asks for the television, and they let him have it. Once he takes the TV back inside his house, he realizes that the remote control is missing and he goes back outside for it. He hears SpongeBob and Patrick begin - supposedly - to mountain climb inside the box and, annoyed by their stupidity, he gives the box a hard kick. A sound of an avalanche suddenly erupts from the box, shocking Squidward. Concerned, he taps the box, prompting another avalanche. Squidward hears a critically injured SpongeBob and Patrick saying that their limbs are frozen and that they have to cut them off, and rushes over to the box, opens it, and the noises immediately stop. He questions them about the noises, but they act oblivious and he leaves. Suddenly, the sound of a helicopter is heard and Squidward ducks. Realizing that it is coming from the box, he angrily opens the box and confronts them again. SpongeBob simply tells him that all of it is coming from their imagination. Squidward says that he has plenty of imagination, to which Patrick replies, "Good, now all you need is a box." Squidward gets a box, attempts to imitate SpongeBob and Patrick's experiences, and fails. After kicking his box in anger, he hears the sound of police sirens outside. Thinking that his kicking of the box is the cause, he goes outside with his box to apologize. He is quick to realize that the noises are coming from the box SpongeBob and Patrick are playing in. Furious, he kicks the box he was holding, which Patrick retrieves, saying, "Whoopee! Another box!"
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Squidward then begins watching TV to get his mind off the box, but all the programs that are on involve boxes. He then hears a space shuttle launch. As he tries to think of how they could possibly manage to make such realistic sound effects, it dawns upon him that they are probably using a tape recorder. Angered, he marches outside and demands the tape recorder from SpongeBob and Patrick. SpongeBob tells him that they do not have a tape recorder, which Squidward does not believe. He decides to join them in the box to see how they are managing to make the sound effects. After being asked where he wants to go, he asks to go to "Robot-Pirate Island." However, he sees nothing but SpongeBob and Patrick closing their eyes and saying stereotypical phrases of robots and pirates (Arrr, You'll walk the plank for that, beep beep, etc.) Squidward returns to his house and soon hears the sounds of an epic robot-pirate battle. Having enough, Squidward decides to sneak in the box after SpongeBob and Patrick go to bed to find a device that could make the sound effects. The show cuts to late at night, when a pirate victory celebration is heard.

Once SpongeBob and Patrick abandon the box and go to bed, Squidward sneaks outside and enters the box, looking for something that would make the noise. Squidward finds no such device after a scan of the box. Realizing that the box is, in fact, empty, Squidward wonders if it really was their imagination that caused the sound effects, but he immediately dismisses the notion, thinking that it is ridiculous. He mockingly starts pretending to be a race car driver, but suddenly he begins to hear noises. He imagines himself racing, and feels all the movements of actually driving a race car. However, in reality, these sounds and movements are due to a garbage truck hauling the box away. It is then dumped into the landfill, and Squidward flies out of the box, landing face-first in a pie. The next day, SpongeBob and Patrick realize the box is gone and they decide to visit Squidward, and Patrick says "I hope he's not too down in the dumps today."



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [title card]
  Vergnugungspark - Gerhard Trede [SpongeBob and Patrick hopping]
  Awakening Memories - Paul Fenoulhet ["Squidward, we don't need television."]
  Full of Beans - Robert Schreier [mountain climbing adventure]
  Dramatic Climax - Mike Sunderland ["Hang in there, buddy. The chopper's on the way."]
  Joust - Fredric Bayco ["Attention, climbers! Please hold on!"]
  Death in the City - Jack Beaver [police sirens]
  City Desk - Ronald Hanmer [show about boxes being made]
  Once Upon a Dream - Clive Richardson ["I couldn't afford a present this year..."]
  Parallel Dimension - Gregor F. Narholz [rocket launch]
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Laugh at me, will they?"]
  Journey to the Magic Island - Gregor F. Narholz ["Welcome aboard, Squidward!"]
  Comic Walk - Sidney Torch ["Why won't this thing turn on?"]
  Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [that night]
  Hawaiian Happiness - Jon Jelmer [SpongeBob and Patrick go home]
  Finders Creepers - Paddy Kingsland [Squidward sneaks into the box]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hello, what's this?"]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["What the...?"]
  You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [box taken to dump]
  Tympup (a) - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [ending]



  • This episode is ranked number 5 on Tom Kenny's Top 20 Episodes.
  • As of January 16, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 9.5/10 based on 418 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a 9.2/10 based on 180 votes.[2]
  • "Idiot Box" was ranked #62 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.


  • The title card appears to be an animated television transition. This is mostly seen on vintage televisions when you change the channel. During the initial airings of this episode, viewers were confused on what it was supposed to be.
  • "Idiot box" is a slang term for TV.
  • This episode was used on a famous voiceover on YouTube.
  • Music from "Count Duckula" and "Danger Mouse" is used in this episode.
  • Running Gags:
    • While Squidward is watching TV, it is all about boxes in respective channels: documentary, educational, soap opera, and sports.
    • SpongeBob saying "Imagination" whilst showing a rainbow with his hands.
  • The sombrero Squidward finds in the hat box is later worn in "The Camping Episode."
  • A LeapPad book based on this episode was adapted.
  • One of the equations, F = ma2, is a reference to Newton's Second Law, (F = ma) and Einstein's Mass-Energy Equivalence formula, (E = mc2).
  • This is a list of things SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward thought of in the box:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Police Chase
    • Space Shuttle Launch
    • Battle of Robot-Pirate Island
    • Race Car Driving
  • During the "space shuttle launch" portion, a brief bit of audio from STS-51-L, which was the final Space Shuttle Challenger flight, could be heard.
  • SpongeBob's imagination sequence has become an internet meme.
  • When SpongeBob is reading in bed, his pillow is nowhere to be seen.
  • It is unknown what happened to Squidward's giant screen TV after this episode.
    • Also, it is unknown what happened to Squidward after he fell into the junkyard, too. It could be possible he went home or was still in the dumpsite.
  • This is the second episode to use real imagery as part of the title card instead of a drawn one. The first was "The Secret Box."
  • This is the third episode where its title card is animated. The first being "SB-129" and the second being "Prehibernation Week."
  • When Squidward went inside the box, SpongeBob and Patrick were using their imaginations, but they were not making noises. It is probably because Squidward left the box open.
  • In Battle for Bikini Bottom, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game, and SpongeBob's Truth or Square, boxes can be used to teleport around the levels which resembles the box from this episode.
  • In Indonesia, instead of saying "Boxing Championship." the narrator says "Box Boxing Championship."
  • This episode was reenacted in a live table read during the San Diego Comic Con in 2015, and was the most voted for episode to be reenacted.[3]
  • This episode is probably set in the early 2000's, since Squidward's large old TV appears to be one that appears during the early 2000's. (Newer large TVs appear more like LCD computer monitors.)

Cultural References

  • When Patrick is climbing the mountain, he yells "I am the Lizard king!" which is also a line from the 1968 song,"Not to Touch the Earth" by The Doors and one of enemies in Dragon's Lair game.
  • There is a 1996 Australian movie under the exact same name.


  • When Squidward says "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy", his mouth doesn't move.
  • At the end of the episode, the path from Patrick Star's House is missing.
    I Hope He Is Not Too Down In The Dumps Today

    The path to Patrick's rock is missing.

  • Squidward tore up the note that SpongeBob had written, but in the next shot, all the pieces of the note were gone.
  • If Patrick is inside Squidward's gift box inside the TV box, then SpongeBob can hear the noises coming from the gift box like Squidward who can hear noises from the TV box.
  • When the garbage truck drove away, SpongeBob's house was missing. Also, an arrow appears on the box.
  • Squidward's mouth did not close after he said, "Where's that remote?"
  • Comcast calls this "The Idiot Box" by mistake.



Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia (originalauthors). Both Encyclopedia SpongeBobia and Wikipedia are licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported license.

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