SpongeBob SquarePants

The Sponge Who Could Fly

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Episode Information
The Sponge Who Could Fly
Season №: 3
Episode №: 59
Airdate: March 21, 2003
Writer(s): Paul Tibbitt
Kent Osborne
Merriwether Williams
Storyboard Artist(s): Carson Kugler
Caleb Meurer
William Reiss
Storyboard: Paul Tibbitt
Kent Osborne
Mark O'Hare (walk cycle)
Animation: Andrew Overtoom
Tom Yasumi
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Plankton's Army"
Next: "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler"
List of episodes

"The Sponge Who Could Fly" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, SpongeBob wishes he could fly with the jellyfish.



Potty the Parrot tells Patchy that the kids are here to see the lost episode. However, Patchy says that he has lost the lost episode, and tells the kids to forget about SpongeBob. The French Narrator introduces a segment called "Remembering SpongeBob", a musical montage of clips from past episodes from seasons 1-3.

After a long treasure hunt where Patchy finds a tape that holds the episode, he plays the tape. The tape shows a long clip of SpongeBob doing walk cycles to upbeat music before abruptly showing the EBS color bars. After Patchy sees this, he proclaims that "SpongeBob betrayed us!" and throws out all his SpongeBob merchandise and runs away. However, Potty informs him that the tape is not over and that the real lost episode is about to begin. As a countdown to that starts, Patchy excitedly says, "Really?!" and his throwing everything away is rewinded and the episode begins.

The SpongeBob segment begins with SpongeBob wishing he could fly with the jellyfish. He makes several
The sponge who could fly
attempts to do so, including a biplane, which malfunctions and destroys Farmer Jenkins' grain silo, bat wings, a garden chair with balloons, and a giant kite pulled by a bicycle. After his failed attempts are witnessed by others, he becomes known as "The Birdman of Bikini Bottom" and is ridiculed. He tells the people that "it is a sad day in Bikini Bottom, when a guy is ridiculed for having dreams!" The people tell him that they all had unfulfilled dreams, and form a mob and start chasing him for thinking he is more important than them. SpongeBob runs off a cliff and falls into a truck of mud, then into a truck of feathers.

SpongeBob is shown in his house, having given up on his dream. He begins to dry his hair, when he receives an insulting phone call from a "fan" of the "Birdman", and puts the hair dryer in his pants. While he talks, the hair dryer inflates his pants, giving him the ability to fly. He goes around helping people, earning their admiration and becoming a superhero of sorts. However, the people continue to ask increasingly unnecessary favors of him, leaving him no time to fly with the jellyfish. When he tries to escape to Jellyfish Fields, the people form a mob and chase him, but are unable to catch him. However, Cannonball Jenkins blasts SpongeBob, destroying the pants and sending him plummeting to the ground. The people mourn to Spongebob's death, but they just mourned the pants.

SpongeBob is is about to go home, but suddenly, the jellyfish help him fly. They take him home as he sings an intentionally corny song about how all you need to fly is friendship. As he says goodbye to the jellyfish, Patrick says "Hey, SpongeBob, let's fly down to the Pizza House for a slice.", and SpongeBob says "No flying for me, Patrick. I'll leave that to the jellyfish." Patrick then says "Suit yourself." and flies off like a superhero does. SpongeBob says "Did Patrick just...? Nah!" and the episode ends.

After the episode, Patchy attempts to play it again but doesn't know how to play it. He and Potty press a lot of buttons on the remote but the tape wears out and comes pouring out of the player, causing Patchy to get tangled in it. The episode ends with the narrator saying to the viewers to get lost.

Remembering SpongeBob

Scenes with SpongeBob are shown, in order of appearance:

  1. "As Seen on TV"(walking into Mr. Krabs office)
  2. "Bubblestand"(spinning when doing the "technique")
  3. "The Chaperone"(drawing a checkmark on a patty with mustard, turning his long legs at the prom with Pearl)
  4. "Pizza Delivery"(splitting in half and together again)
  5. "As Seen on TV"(shocked, thinking the customers adore him)
  6. "Help Wanted"(lifting weight with teddy bears on them)
  7. "Valentine's Day"(throwing valentines)
  8. "Tea at the Treedome"(accidentally catches himself when attempting to catch a jellyfish)
  9. "Ripped Pants"(ripping his pants when surfing)
  10. "Karate Choppers"(dodging Sandy's attack by splitting in half)
  11. "Grandma's Kisses"(blowing pipe)
  12. "F.U.N."(ripping fake skin off, revealing real skin)
  13. "Pizza Delivery"(inflated when checking tire pressure)
  14. "Naughty Nautical Neighbors"(whispering into bubble)
  15. "MuscleBob BuffPants"(catching jellyfish with muscular body, in imagination)
  16. "Home Sweet Pineapple"(in bed with Squidward)
  17. "The Chaperone"(drying insides with towel after a shower)
  18. "Boating School"(admitting he's cheating during test)
  19. "Band Geeks"(singing)
  20. "The Chaperone"(poinking off eyelashes)
  21. "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy"(sucking a table)
  22. "Nature Pants"(shrinking and turning black on stove)
  23. "Karate Choppers" (spinning arms)
  24. "Reef Blower"(blowing Squidward with reef blower)
  25. "F.U.N." (dancing and sing the FUN song)
  26. "The Paper"(talking to Squidward, Squidward closes the door)



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  A Pirate's Life for Me (a) - Ron Goodwin ["Lost Episode" intro]
  Er Indoors - Johnny Hawksworth [Patchy taking a shower]
  Award Winners A - Otto Sieben [Remembering SpongeBob]
  Spanish Ladies (b) - Robin Jeffrey, Tim Laycock ["I don't believe I lost the lost episode."]
  Tripping Upstairs - Brian Peters [map to the lost episode]
  The Jovial Buccaneers - John Fox [Patchy following the map]
  The Creature A - Gregor F. Narholz [shot of playground]
  Dramatic Cue (g) - Ronald Hanmer [seven trials of Monkey Lagoon]
  Sea Fanfare - John Fox [treasure chest]
  Playbill - Wilfred William Burns ["Come on, Potty, time's a-wastin'!"]
  Bubble Beat Box - Theo Mondle [walk cycle]
  Lovely Scenery C - Mladen Franko ["SpongeBob betrayed us!"]
  Of Love and Destiny - Leighton Lucas [Patchy gets rid of all his SpongeBob stuff]
  Ta-Ra A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["Hooray! Let's watch!"]
  Screen Heroes (a) - Simon David Chamberlain ["The Sponge Who Could Fly" title card]
  Galleon - Sam Fonteyn [opening]
  Police Car - Sam Spence [SpongeBob springs into action]
  I Wish I Could Fly - Eban Schletter, Paul Tibbitt, Kent Osborne
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["I'm gonna follow his advice."]
  Hawaiian Trax - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob building a plane]
  Steel Licks (a) - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob, Patrick run away]
  Steel Licks - Jeremy Wakefield [new blueprints]
  Wild Panic - Gregor F. Narholz [bat costume]
  Ulkereien - Gerhard Trede [lawn chair with balloons]
  The Adventure Begins - Jonathan Neal [SpongeBob tied to a kite]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob returning the kite]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["You'll see."]
  Lonely Heart's Club (a) - David Bell, Otto Sieben [everyone ridiculing SpongeBob]
  Chase Cue 1 - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob chased off a cliff]
  ? ["There they go again, Gary."]
  Dramatic Climax - Mike Sunderland [SpongeBob's pants inflating]
  ? - Nicolas Carr ["Huh?"]
  He's Flying - Eban Schletter, Paul Tibbitt, Kent Osborne
  Bikini Bottom News Theme - Nicolas Carr [news on TV]
  Licence to Thrill - Robert Cornford [lighthouse light goes out]
  Screen Heroes (a) - Simon David Chamberlain [SpongeBob replaces it]
  Sword Fight - Sam Fonteyn ["Let's roll."]
  Steel Sting (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob cleaning Krabs' garage]
  The Silver Blade - Ilona Sekacz ["Finally! Jellyfish Fields, here I come!"]
  You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob doing favors for everyone]
  Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland [SpongeBob tries to escape]
  Chase Cue 2 - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [everyone chases SpongeBob]
  Lonely Violin - Dick Stephen Walter ["What have we done?"]
  All You Need is Friendship - Eban Schletter, Paul Tibbitt, Kent Osborne
  Steel Sting (h) - Jeremy Wakefield [ending]
  Er Indoors - Johnny Hawksworth [Patchy lost the remote]
  Jarabe Tapatio (a) - Gerhart Frei, Carlos Periguez [mariachi band]


This episode is available on DVD on Lost at Sea, Absorbing Favorites, The Complete 3rd Season.


SpongeBob Lost Episode (Commercial Bumper)

The logo, as seen from commercial bumpers.

  • SpongeBob's ideas for his flying machine allude many other flying machines, such as the plane at Kitty Hawk, the bat suit from Batman, and a lawn chair with balloons.
  • Netflix's title for this episode was "The Sponge who Could Fly/Lost Episode Patchy".
  • It is unknown as to how SpongeBob can re-inflate his pants without the hairdryer that did it in the first place.
  • Lou is shown in his younger version in this episode, when he was older in "Party Pooper Pants", which predates this episode.
  • During the marathon leading up to the premiere of this episode, celebirties including Whoopi Goldberg, Coolio, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and more guest starred with Patchy. 
  • When Patchy flips to the sports channel, John Elway can be seen.
  • SpongeBob does the following things to help Bikini Bottomites:
    • Saved Mrs. Puff's snail from a tree.
    • Helped Mr. Krabs reclaim his dime.
    • And saved Patrick from a mime.
    • Save Plankton from kelp.
    • Relight the lighthouse
    • Scratch Patrick's belly.
    • Clean out Mr. Krabs' garage.
    • Balance Mrs Puff's checkbook
    • Clean Squidward's bath.
    • Help Plankton spread the sign of evil.
    • Help Larry pick a tie.
    • Rub Dennis' scalp.
  • When this episode played before "Dunces and Dragons" aired for the first time it was shortened and ended with SpongeBob landing in the feather truck.
  • The fish who says "No, he owes us favors!" is wearing the exact same outfit as SpongeBob, minus the red tie. He also looks identical to Fred, but is purple in color.
  • This is the second time Fred wears the same clothes as SpongeBob (brown trousers, black belt and a white shirt). The first time was in "Squilliam Returns".
  • In the Hebrew version of this episode "Joe Mama" is called "סתם אחד" which means "just one".
  • In the Hebrew version of this episode, the line "And I'll save Patrick from this mime" is translated "ואציל את פטריק מחנוך רוזן" which means "And I'll save Patrick from Hanoch Rozen". Hanoch Rozen is an Israeli mime.
  • The clown on TV in the Patchy the Pirate segment is writer Kent Osborne.
  • In the storyboard for this episode, there is a scene where Don's Import Store and Delicatessen is simply called "Shop N Shop", and the owner says that no pirates are allowed.
  • Mrs. Puff's snail is similar to Squidward's snail, Snellie, from "The Great Snail Race". Mrs. Puff clearly states in the song, "I've had her since I was a little girl.", while Squidward ordered Snellie.
  • When Mr. Krabs says "And the recyclables?", SpongeBob says "Ah, shrimp.", but the captions say "Now that you mention it." But when this episode aired on October 8, 2012, the DIRECTV captions said "Ah, shrimp". though this may only be for DIRECTV users.
  • Before the commercial break during the televised version, the French Narrator says "Will SpongeBob be able to fly? Stay tuned." On the Lost at Sea and Absorbing Favorites DVDs, it just fades black and goes to the next scene.
  • Excluding the Patchy the Pirate segments (including the fake lost episode), this episode is only about sixteen minutes long.
  • This episode was used as the basis for the plot of SpongeBob Live, a musical currently touring in Britain.
  • The storyboard includes a deleted scene with Patchy ripping off a SpongeBob band-aid while he is destroying his SpongeBob stuff, although he is not seen ripping it off in reverse.
  • This episode had 7 million viewers on its premiere night.
  • In the book, there was a scene when SpongeBob was walking back to his house, being laughed at. At one point, a pressman snaps a picture of SpongeBob in feathers. This is probably a deleted scene, as it was never shown in the episode.
  • This episode has three different names.
  • On Amazon, it is called "SpongeBob Airpants".
  • The scene where Bikini Bottomites need SpongeBob's unnecessary help is similar to "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II".
  • This episode was originally meant to be the series finale of SpongeBob, told by the "Remembering SpongeBob" segment, showing clips from the past three seasons, but this episode is not the series finale, in fact it isn't even the season finale.
  • This episode, as well as fellow special "Ugh" is shown less frequently than all the others except for the holiday episodes.
  • All of Patchy's SpongeBob merchandise in his room are similar to real SpongeBob merchandise, except they show SpongeBob with large black pupils and a bow tie instead of his normal tie.
  • Sometimes, this episode airs without the Patchy the Pirate segments.

Cultural References

  • The title is a parody of The Boy Who Could Fly
  • The title card is similar to the title screen of The Simpsons opening sequence.
  • The hat and goggles that SpongeBob wears when he is working with the "flying machine" (the airplane), might be a reference to Amelia Earhart.


  • When SpongeBob flies out of his pineapple, he is about the same size as it.
  • Patrick might have been gliding through the water when he flew away.
  • Nancy Suzy Fish wears pink clothes in this episode instead of her usual yellow clothing.
  • When Mrs. Puff says "Help, please help", the captions has a woman's name who says "Help, please help" instead of Mrs. Puff's name.
  • When Potty says "Patchy, come back", captions say "Patrick, come back".

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