Are you ready, kids? It’s time to dive into the deep, blue sea that is Spongebob Squarepants – bring your scuba gear! This iconic children’s show created by Stephen Hillenburg has been getting laughs since its premiere on Nickelodeon in May 1999. The series follows a yellow sponge named ‘SpongeBob,’ who lives with his pet snail Gary and works as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab restaurant alongside Squidward Tentacles – all while trying (and often failing) to be an upstanding citizen of Bikini Bottom.
For die-hard fans, these first three seasons have become what they call “The Golden Era” of Spongebob Squarepants due mainly to incredible animation, fun writing, and top-notch voice acting crafted by Hillenburg and his team over these five years from 1999-2002. With so many episodes released across its twelve-plus season run, it can be hard work whittling them down, but now we bring you – IMDb’s best-rated episodes of all time.
Here are the greatest episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants according to IMDb:
Top 10 Highest-Rated Spongebob Episodes of All Time
- Pizza Delivery/Home Sweet Pineapple (1999) – 9.1
- Welcome to the Chum Bucket/Frankendoodle (2002) – 9.2
- Sailor Mouth/Artist Unknown (2001) – 9.2
- Dying for Pie/Imitation Krabs (2001) – 9.2
- Arrgh!/Rock Bottom (2000) – 9.2
- Graveyard Shift/Krusty Love (2002) – 9.3
- Nasty Patty/Idiot Box (2002) – 9.4
- Wet Painters/Krusty Krab Training Video (2002) – 9.5
- Chocolate with Nuts/Mermaidman and Barnacleboy V (2002) – 9.5
- The Secret Box/Band Geeks (2001) – 9.7
10‘Pizza Delivery/Home Sweet Pineapple’ (1999)
Season 1, Episode 5 | IMDb: 9.1/10 1.9K
SpongeBob SquarePants has always been an entertaining show from the very beginning. In “Pizza Delivery,” Mr. Krabs decides on a daring business venture and sends Spongebob and Squidward off to complete their first-ever pizza delivery with wild abandon! Despite numerous obstacles (including nearly losing their minds at times), they manage to make it happen, traveling far distances across dangerous terrain in this comedic adventure.
Meanwhile, in another early episode titled “Home Sweet Pineapple,” we see our heroes attempt to build a new pineapple home after theirs gets eaten by nematodes – but will everything go as planned? Tune into these classic episodes that made up some of SpongeBob’s earliest history for all the answers.
9‘Welcome to the Chum Bucket/Frankendoodle’ (2002)
Season 2, Episode 14 | IMDb: 9.2/10 1.3K
Mr. Krabs is devastated when he loses his best fry cook – SpongeBob – in Season 2’s “Welcome to the ChumBucket.” Though confident of beating Plankton at a game of cards, something goes wrong, and Mr. Krabs has no choice but to terminate Spongebob’s employment thereon-in.
In what follows the next half episode, “Frankendoodle,” courtesy of an enchanted pencil that comes into possession of our beloved sponge — DoodleBob appears—a character created accidentally by Sponge Bob himself!
But as it turns out, this drawing had a mind of its own. It was left to Spongebob alone now – rescue everyone else by outsmarting DoodleBob before things turn darker.
8‘Sailor Mouth/Artist Unknown’ (2001)
Season 2, Episode 18 | IMDb: 9.2/10 1.3K
In ‘Sailor Mouth,’ the first part of Season 2, Episode 18 of Spongebob Squarepants, we find our two protagonists – SpongeBob and Patrick – discovering an inappropriate word scrawled across a dumpster in front of Krusty Krab. Not knowing what it means, they assume that sea creatures must use this phrase to make their sentences more interesting! However, this leads them into plenty of trouble. Many are appalled by their language choices when they start using these ‘fancier’ phrases indiscriminately amongst the crowd at work or school.
The second half — titled “Artist Unknown” — has Squidward taking on SpongeBob as his one-and-only art student. It soon becomes evident that he is no ordinary pupil, though, displaying prodigious talents with each stroke he puts brush to canvas, causing even Squidward hardened eyes to light up with admiration for Bob’s skillset! That being said, all isn’t quite perfect yet since now it’s upon whose shoulders it lays responsibility (Squidward), both figuratively and literally, to get him inspired & creative once again…
Although funny, this episode also serves almost like a teachable moment preparing kids for similar experiences where using foul words can have terrible consequences socially and professionally if misused. It’s a lesson well taught; mainly, thanks go to good old Spongebob Squarepants, which most young viewers identify with so naturally.
7‘Dying for Pie/Imitation Krabs’ (2001)
Season 2, Episode 4 | IMDb: 9.2/10 1.3K
When “Employee Brotherhood Day” arrives in the second season, Squidward is full of spite and buys SpongeBob a pie as part of the tradition – unaware that it’s an explosive! Mr. Krabs informs him that because Spongebob consumes the treat, he only has hours left to live; guilt-ridden by his cruel prank, Squidward decides to give him the most memorable last day ever.
In “Imitation Krabs,” Plankton attempts an evil plan: disguising himself with a robotic suit resembling Mr. Krabs’, all to steal away The Krusty Patty’s secret formula from within their restaurant walls. Even though SpongeBob can’t recognize such devious tactics, Plankton faces difficulty carrying out his intentions.
6‘Arrgh!/Rock Bottom’ (2000)
Season 1, Episode 17 | IMDb: 9.2/10 1.6K
SpongeBob and Patrick had a grand time at Glove World, the premier leisure destination in Bikini Bottom. Not wanting it to end yet, they got on what seemed like an ordinary bus back home, only for them both to soon realize that something was amiss. It wasn’t taking its usual route but instead leading them away from their beloved town of coral houses into unfamiliar territory far more sinister than anything they ever expected: Rock Bottom!
As if this journey couldn’t get any crazier, SpongeBob quickly noticed that everything around him was murkily shrouded by “advanced darkness.” With no idea how he could make his way out of here alone or even where exactly “here” is supposed to be anyway, can SpongeBob find some help? Only time will tell.
5‘Graveyard Shift/Krusty Love’ (2002)
Season 2, Episode 16 | IMDb: 9.3/10 1.5K
In Season 2’s “Graveyard Shift” episode, SpongeBob is frightened by Squidward’s spooky story of a handless fry cook at the Krusty Krab. Little does he know that his tale will come to life later in Part Two – “Krusty Love.” In this segment, Mr. Krabs begins courting Mrs. Puff, and both romance and money become significant sources of competition between them when it comes time for him to plan their date night outing together.
When tasked with working late hours at the restaurant, cynical Squidward dampens Spongbob’s enthusiasm by spinning an ominous yarn about a mythical creature known as ‘The Hash-Slinging Slasher.’ Three signs were foretold: flickering lights, strange phone calls from unknown callers, and an unexpected bus arriving outside the diner.
4‘Nasty Patty/Idiot Box’ (2002)
Season 3, Episode 4 | IMDb: 9.4/10 1.5K
At the beginning of “Nasty Patty / Idiot Box,” SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs make an unappetizing sandwich for what they think is a fraudster who just wants free grub. However, when the health inspector chokes on a fly and passes out, fear takes hold of them as they realize it might not have been an imposter after all!
In Part 2 (“IdiotBox”), Squidward can’t seem to figure out why such life-like noises are coming from inside this box that SpongeBob & Patrick keep playing in with their “imagination.”
3‘Wet Painters/Krusty Krab Training Video’ (2002)
Season 3, Episode 10 | IMDb: 9.5/10 1.7K
Mr. Krabs has tasked SpongeBob and Patrick with painting his home in Season 3’s “Wet Painters.” Upon starting, they find that one slip-up can result in a significant consequence. Mr. Krabs will cut off their butts to hang over the fireplace if anything is messed up! This fear intensifies after paint gets dropped onto Krebbs’ beloved first dollar bill.
To familiarize new employees with what it takes to work at The Krusty Krab restaurant, viewers are presented with an instructional video – dubbed ‘Krusty Crab Training Video.’ It follows SpongeBob as he learns about preparing for success in this fast-paced working environment. He must apply discipline and customer satisfaction, which remain a top priority (as communicated via their motto: “POOF” or People Order Our Patties). This episode combines various animation styles, from hand-drawn art through CGI effects to live-action elements woven perfectly into a corporate training film set within Bikini Bottom’s universe.
2‘Chocolate with Nuts/Mermaidman and Barnacleboy V’ (2002)
Season 3, Episode 12 | IMDb: 9.5/10 2K
In the twelfth episode of Spongebob’s third season, “Chocolate With Nuts,” our favorite sponge and his best friend, Patrick, enter a new business opportunity. To live out their entrepreneurial dreams, they dive headfirst, albeit cluelessly, into door-to-door chocolate bar salesmanship. As expected with any Bikini Bottom-based misadventure, things don’t go as planned. They get duped by a sneaky salesman claiming that eating these sweet treats gives you superhuman powers.
From there, part two sees Mermaid Man enlisting other underwater threats in a team-up against Barnacle Boy, who has grown tired of being treated like everyone else’s sidekick. Hence, setting up severe superhero shenanigans for young and old fans like Sandy joining forces with Squidward. While this sure made for entertaining TV, it also provided meme makers everywhere plenty of material. Talk about cultural relevancy scored all thanks to “Chocolate With Nuts.”
1‘The Secret Box/Band Geeks’ (2001)
Season 2, Episode 15 | IMDb: 9.7/10 4.2K
SpongeBob SquarePants‘ “The Secret Box / Band Geeks” is undoubtedly one of the most popular episodes from Season 2, and it rightfully tops the list as SpongeBob’s highest-rated episode. Part one follows Patrick hiding an embarrassing photo of SpongeBob inside a cardboard cube… but what might be hidden? Cue part two, where Squidward attempts to put together Bikini Bottom’s residents into a marching band to impress his high school rival Squilliam Fancyson!
From their thrilling performance at Bubble Bowl featuring ‘Sweet Victory,’ this beloved musical set piece was memorialized in 2019 when Super Bowl LII featured its tribute halftime show. Viewers will also find plenty of comical moments, such as Patrick uttering that legendary line – “Is mayonnaise an instrument?” Moreover, with its inclusion of emotional arcs for characters like Squidward, these are just some reasons why viewers have held onto this magic moment since 2001.