- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Gary the Snail
- Squidward Tentacles
- Purple student (cameo)
- Jimmy Gus
- Orange student (cameo)
- Mrs. Puff (debut)
- Crowd of fish (debut)
- Patrick Star
- Joe (debut; cameo)
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 license. Once there, he throws his unicycle away saying "Well, pal, I won't be needing you anymore!", falsely assuming he will pass. Having taken the oral exam 37 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 did not know it was really long and hard. As a result, 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) find 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. Devastated and ashamed about what he did, Patrick flees to his house crying. SpongeBob starts 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 riding his 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|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Aloha Oe - Hans Haider, Queen Lili'uokalani [opening]
‣ Cream Pie - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob rides to boating school]
‣ Hawaiian Adventures SpongeBob Theme - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Here I come, Mrs. Puff!"]
‣ Quiz Organ (b) - Curtis Frederick Schwartz ["You passed the oral test, what a surprise."]
‣ Point of Departure K - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob floors it]
‣ Rocket Sled to Oahu - The Mel-Tones [Mrs. Puff inflates]
‣ Botany Bay (b) - Robert Alexander White [that night]
‣ Aggressor - Sam Fonteyn [Patrick on walkie-talkie]
‣ Side Drum [#52.07] - Mark Nolan [drum roll]
‣ Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob tells Patrick about the boating exam]
‣ Martial Links - Sam Fonteyn [walkie-talkie in SpongeBob's head]
‣ Real Western Steel - Bobby Black [cowboy hat]
‣ Apalachian Banjo Duel - Larry Hochman [SpongeBob acts natural]
‣ Menace from the Deep - Robert Cornford [driving test begins]
‣ Terminal Pursuit (c) - Paul Pritchard ["Freeze, mister!"]
‣ Martial Links - Sam Fonteyn [SpongeBob's big toe presses the gas pedal]
‣ Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [the first turn]
‣ Hello Blues - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [driving montage]
‣ Sailor's Waltz - Heinz Matschurat [approaching the finish line]
‣ Dramatic Impact 6 - Ivor Slaney [SpongeBob realizes he's cheating]
‣ Gator - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob confesses]
‣ Knuckleduster - The Langhorns [boat out of control]
‣ Rocket Sled to Oahu - The Mel-Tones [Mrs. Puff inflates again]
‣ Aloha - Dick Stephen Walter [Mrs. Puff put in ambulance]
‣ Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob walks away sadly]
‣ Cream Pie - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [ending]
- This episode is available the Lost at Sea, Complete 1st Season, First 100 Episodes, Nickelodeon DVD Sampler, The Complete First Season, and Tea at the Treedome DVDs.
- As of February 1, 2019, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.7/10 based on 588 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 8.4/10 based on 261 votes.
- This episode marks the appearance of Mrs. Puff and her boating school.
- This is the first episode to feature the famous running gag of Fred yelling out "My leg!:" when SpongeBob crashes a lighthouse on the first attempt and the second attempt.
- This episode premiered in Canada on March 25, 2000.
- 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.
- The closed-captions say "Man:" when someone yells "My leg!" because the character is unseen.
- When SpongeBob says "Gary, I'm not walking," Gary is wearing similar shoes from the episode "Your Shoe's Untied."
- The assistance that Patrick gives to SpongeBob throughout the boating exam is done by radio communication, almost like how assistance is given out to a race car driver by a crew chief or spotter of that driver.
- There's a book based on this episode named Don't Rock the Boat!
- There's also a online game based on this episode as well.
- A clip of this episode was shown in a Dodge commercial.
- The flag on the flagpole that the boat drives around is an international maritime signal flag for the letter "I."
- Despite Patrick having been introduced to Mrs. Puff in "New Student Starfish," she already knows him in this episode.
- "Patrick SquarePants" has become an Internet meme.
- This is the first episode to play "Hawaiian Adventures SpongeBob Theme," "Hello Blues," and "Cream Pie."
- Patrick visits SpongeBob's library in this episode, yet he didn't know it existed and SpongeBob introduces him to it in "Library Cards."
- This episode takes place after Hall Monitor because Jimmy Gus was seen in Mrs. Puff’s class in Hall Monitor and in this episode he was seen right after he got his driver’s license.
- The board that says 1/2 shell during SpongeBob's first crash is a reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Shell.
- When SpongeBob wears a hat to hide an antenna, it resembles the Arby's logo.
- Jimmy, the student who earned his driver's license in the episode, is referred to as a customer in the end credits.
- In this episode, SpongeBob's alarm clock blows in a different, higher-pitched tone. Usually, it blows in the key of F, but in this episode, it does so in the key of B♭ (or A#).
- The order of obstacles is different than the first view seen when SpongeBob first arrives.
- When Fred says "My leg!" the lighthouse falls to the right side, but the pictures of the scene show the lighthouse falls in left side.
- When SpongeBob crashes the first time he does not put the boat into drive.
- When SpongeBob enters his side room he uses a slide, but it disappears once he sits down.
- When SpongeBob is seated in the chair in the side room it is black, but when Patrick sits there it is purple; it later changes back.
- When SpongeBob is telling Patrick he failed, Gary can be heard saying "Meow." However, he can't be seen in the room.
- There is a number on the boat but when SpongeBob goes around the flag, the number disappears.
- When Patrick goes back to his house whining, SpongeBob's house is missing a window.
- In the same shot, there is a blue line around one side of Patrick's house that overlaps the ground near it.
- When the screen starts to shake before SpongeBob fails, it is blurry.
- When Mrs. Puff is puffing, she speaks with a deep voice. However, when the paramedics put her into the ambulance, she speaks with the normal voice.
- 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.
- SpongeBob's alarm changes color. The face is light blue, but when shown again as SpongeBob is talking to Gary, it turns dark blue.
- In Squidward's house, the viewer can see the window frame outside, but from the inside, they can only see the rock surface.
- Mrs. Puff's helmet changes. When she puts it on, it barely covers her head, and her hair is clearly visible. When SpongeBob is shaking, it is bigger and covers all of her hair.
- When SpongeBob crashes into the lighthouse, Mrs. Puff puffs up and says in a deep voice, "Oh, SpongeBob! Why?"