- 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)
An excited SpongeBob rides his unicycle to Mrs. Puff's Boating School for his driving exam, eager to finally get his driver's license. When he arrives, he throws his unicycle away, falsely assuming he will pass and will no longer need it. Having taken the oral exam 37 times before, SpongeBob is able to answer the questions before Mrs. Puff even asks them. However, upon reaching the driving portion, SpongeBob quickly loses control of the boat and crashes into a lighthouse, causing Mrs. Puff's body to inflate.
Later that night, SpongeBob complains about his failure to Gary, who asks him to go for a walk, which he declines. Patrick is then heard talking to him from a walkie-talkie under his covers. He asks SpongeBob to head to his closet for a "surprise", and SpongeBob finds Patrick wearing his clothes and calling himself "Patrick SquarePants". SpongeBob is too depressed to laugh at this, 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 Patrick tells him to "Freeze, mister!", and SpongeBob's foot stops just before it touches the pedal. Patrick then tells him to use his big toe on the pedal, and SpongeBob's toe pops out of his shoe and it presses the pedal. This is followed by a 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 SpongeBob's sudden improvement, and jokingly suggests that his success is due to an antenna under his hat through which "some guy miles away from here" is giving him all the answers. SpongeBob (and Patrick) finds this hilarious, until Mrs. Puff tells him it would be cheating to do so. Upon realizing 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. SpongeBob refuses to listen and crashes the boat, failing the test again, and the inflated Mrs. Puff is taken to the hospital. As SpongeBob leaves boating school, he finds Gary riding his unicycle. SpongeBob rides off on it, with Gary atop his head, and happily rides off to visit Mrs. Puff 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 June 10, 2019, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.7/10 based on 633 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 8.4/10 based on 262 votes.
- This episode marks the first 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.
- Interestingly enough, Fred makes a physical appearance walking with a cane after the first attempt.
- This takes place before SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis as SpongeBob claims he's failed 856 times.
- 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 Fred yells "My leg!" because he 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 an online game of the same name 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.
- 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."
- The title card music is the same as the Help Wanted title card music.
- 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.
- When SpongeBob moos while acting natural, his bottom-right front hole disappears for two frames.
- 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?"