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Boating School
Season 1, Episode 4b
Boating School.png
Air date August 7, 1999
Written by Ennio Torresan, Jr.
Erik Wiese
Doug Lawrence
Episode guide
Naughty Nautical Neighbors
Pizza Delivery

Boating School is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season one. In this episode, Patrick attempts to help SpongeBob pass his driving exam.



It is the day of SpongeBob's driving exam at Mrs. Puff's Boating School, and he is very excited. If he passes it, he will get his driving license. Once there, he throws his unicycle away, assuming he will pass. Having taken the oral exam thirty-seven times previously, SpongeBob is able to answer the questions before they are even asked. However, upon reaching the driving portion of the exam, he realizes he was so excited so much that he didn't know it was really long and hard. As a resuld, he gets scared and panics, and quickly crashes into a lighthouse causing Mrs. Puff's body to inflate. Mrs. Puff says, "Oh Spongebob, why?". Later that night, he complains about his failure to Gary, who asks SpongeBob to go for a walk, which he declines. Patrick is then heard talking to him from a walkie-talkie under his bed covers. He asks SpongeBob to head to his closet for a "surprise". It is Patrick wearing his clothes and calling himself "Patrick SquarePants". SpongeBob is too depressed to laugh, and explains his problem to Patrick and mentions that he needs someone to help him think straight during the exam. Patrick quickly devises a plan. He puts a walkie-talkie inside SpongeBob's head so that he can talk SpongeBob through the test, hiding the antenna with a cowboy hat.

The next day, SpongeBob goes back to take the test again. When asked to start the boat, he initially panics, but Patrick's instructions keep him calm. Just after SpongeBob puts the boat in drive he almost floors the pedal but then Patrick goes, "FREEZE MISTER!", and SpongeBob's foot stops just before it touches the pedal. Patrick then says, "Big toe." SpongeBob's toe then pops out of his shoe and it presses the pedal. This is followed by a video montage of SpongeBob acing the exam, interspersed with shots of Patrick eating SpongeBob's food and reading his diary while helping him. Mrs. Puff is floored by his sudden improvement and jokingly suggests that SpongeBob's success is due to an antenna under his hat through which "some guy miles away from here is giving you (him) all the answers." SpongeBob (and Patrick) finds this hilarious, until Mrs. Puff concludes, "But that would be cheating!" Upon realizing that he has been cheating, SpongeBob goes into hysterics, making Patrick realize that his method is bad, forcing Patrick to flee to his house, and driving wildly all over the course and sobbing while Mrs. Puff, in a panic, tries desperately to stop him but SpongeBob refuses to listen and crashes the boat and fails the test again, and the inflated Mrs. Puff is taken to the hospital. As he leaves boating school, he finds Gary ridinghis unicycle. SpongeBob rides off on it, with Gary atop his head, saying "Let's go surprise someone at the hospital!" thus ending the episode.


Associated production music

The following is a list of music tracks used in the episode.


  • SpongeBob's unicycle will appear again in No Free RidesThe Great Snail RaceChoir Boys & Karate Star.
  • This is the first episode to feature the running gag of someone yelling out "My leg!" (Fred Rechid), when SpongeBob crashes on the first attempt.
  • In this episode, SpongeBob's foghorn alarm clock has a different tone.
  • This is the first episode that implies that Patrick is an expert at boating, the second being "Driven to Tears".
  • This is the first Boating School episode. The next will be Hall Monitor.
  • This is Mrs. Puff's first appearance.
  • 7th time Mr. Krabs doesn't appear.
  • MY LEG: SpongeBob crashes into a building.
  • The captions says "Man" when someone yelled "My leg!" (Fred), because the character is unseen.
  • This is the first episode to have a montage (SpongeBob driving successfully). During this montage, Unknown Hawaiian Sting 6 can be heard. In fact, this is the first episode to play that track.
  • When SpongeBob wears a hat to hide an antennae, it resembles the Arby's logo.
  • The assistance that Patrick gave to SpongeBob throughout the boating exam was done by radio communication (as of those walkie-talkies), almost like how assistance is given out to a race car driver by a crew chief or spotter of that driver.
  • This is the first episode where SpongeBob is seen partially barefoot when his big toe comes out of his shoe. (Seen shown on the right.)
  • A clip was shown in a Dodge commercial.
  • This episode's title card music is the same as Help Wanted. A different section of the song has been used for the title card of this episode's partner, Naughty Nautical Neighbors.
  • Only episode where SpongeBob almost passes his exam.
  • Mrs. Puff inflates and has a deep voice until she gets in the ambulance. That occurs when a boat that she is in crashes, just like how an airbag of an automobile inflates if it crashes.
  • When Spongbob wakes up and goes to his calender while talking to Gary, it shows that his driving test was to be taken on Wednesday, March 3. This is actually the real date in 1999 (The same year SpongeBob premiered) so this would mean SpongeBob had to take one of his test on a real date on March 3, 1999, although SpongeBob wasn't 16 yet because he wasn't born until 1986.
  • When SpongeBob nearly floors the pedal Patrick says,"FREEZE MISTER!", and SpongeBob's foot stops just before it touches the pedal. Patrick then says. "Big toe." SpongeBob's big toe then pops out of his shoe and presses the pedal.


  • When Fred says "MY LEG!" lighthouse falls to right side. but the pictures of the scene show the lighthouse falls in left side.
  • When SpongeBob crashed the first time (floor it) he did not put the boat into drive.
  • When SpongeBob enters his sideroom he uses a slide, but it disappears once he sits down
  • When SpongeBob is seated in the chair in the sideroom it is black, but when Patrick sits there it is purple, but it later changes back.
  • The order of obstacles is different than the first view we see when SpongeBob first arrives
  • When SpongeBob was telling Patrick he failed, Gary can be heard saying "Meow"(That's 38 times). But he can't be seen nor in the room (SpongeBob's closet).
  • When SpongeBob comes out of the boating school at the end of the episode, he says Gary found his bike; however, it is a unicycle.
  • When SpongeBob cries out that he is cheating, Patrick runs back into his rock. When this happens, you can see that he has his regular shorts on, and not SpongeBob's pants that he was wearing previously.
    • It could possibly be that Patrick took them off (or they fell off) before he left.