Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Bumper to Bumper" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 9. In this episode, Mrs. Puff tries new methods on SpongeBob to help him pass his driving test.



"No buts, SpongeBob! You fail this test over and over."

One day at Mrs. Puff's boating school, one fish is doing the boating course perfectly with Mrs. Puff, and then it is SpongeBob's turn.

SpongeBob puts the boat to reverse, then he crashes it to the obstacles and crashes into a house. Mrs. Puff gets very angry at SpongeBob after he fails the test again. SpongeBob cries and run to his house. At home, Mrs. Puff thinks about how SpongeBob could pass his driving test, and then realizes SpongeBob is afraid of the course and that if she took him to drive on a real road, he would pass and he would eventually be out of her life forever. Mrs. Puff goes over to SpongeBob's house and tells him to forget about what she said earlier. Mrs. Puff takes SpongeBob to an abandoned road, but SpongeBob is scared.

Mrs. Puff tells him to keep repeating "Focus on the road, there is nothing but the road" to get his confidence back. SpongeBob follows her instructions and imagines himself doing crazy driving tricks and poses as he proceeds to repeat the phrase. When SpongeBob has almost passed all the tests, Mrs. Puff tells him to safely dock the vessel as the last step, but due to constantly repeating the phrase, SpongeBob has mesmerized himself into a daze and cannot focus on what he is doing. He soon drives out of the road and freaks out. SpongeBob gets on a dangerous shortcut and gets back on a road, but he actually gets on a 10-lane intertidal seaway and he is gripped with fear and cannot concentrate.

A police officer sees them speeding and thought they were reckless drivers because Mrs. Puff crossed the county line, which she should not have done. The police officer tells SpongeBob to pull over, but instead he accelerates. Then, when Mrs. Puff tells to stop the vessel again, he finally parks the boat safely. Mrs. Puff gives SpongeBob his driver's license and screams: "I'm free!." But the police officer does not think so. He arrests Mrs. Puff for violating the parole and rips up SpongeBob's license. As Mrs. Puff goes to jail, she says, "SpongeBob, I'll get you for this! I'll get you!" and the episode ends.

Running gags

  • SpongeBob saying, "Focus on the road. There is nothing but the road."



SB904 CH sc016 shattered puff.psd.png



 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Horlepiep - Jan Rap [title card]
  Darting Around - Harry Bluestone [opening]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 2D - Jeremy Wakefield ["Hello, Mrs. Puff!"]
  Grass Skirt Chase - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob's driving test]
  Jungle Baby - Hans Ehrlinger [Goin' Bananas 3 in 3-D]
  Pell-Mell - Sam Spence [start of movie]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 13B - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob crashes through the wall]
  Disastrous Event 2 [#37] - Harry Lubin [Mrs. Puff tells SpongeBob he's unteachable]
  Hawaiian Link (B) - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob cries]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 1B - Jeremy Wakefield [Mrs. Puff inflates]
  Monocle and Pocket-Watch - Brian Douglas Gulland [Mrs. Puff at home]
  Befuddled Gent - Phil Green [she gets an idea]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 8B - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob wallowing]
  A Jolly Jaunt (a) - Dick Stephen Walter [Mrs. Puff at SpongeBob's door]
  A Jolly Jaunt (c) - Dick Stephen Walter ["We have a long day of driving ahead of us."]
  Graveyard - Johnny Pearson [Mrs. Puff driving to an abandoned road]
  Tales from the Swamp (c) - Ron Goodwin ["Driving test?!"]
  Befuddled Gent - Phil Green ["Out here, there's nothing but the road!"]
  Psycadelic Man - Nicolas Carr ["Focus on the road."]
  Stealth by Night - Jack Coles [SpongeBob nervously starts driving]
  V for Victory - Sam Fonteyn [Mrs. Puff checking things off her checklist]
  Focus on the Road - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob repeating the mantra]
  Movie Overture - Larry Hochman ["Only one more test!"]
  Shock - Cornelus Joh Bolten [SpongeBob in a trance]
  Rescue - Cecil Milner ["What happened to the road?!"]
  Porous Pursuit - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Ten-lane intertidal seaway]
  Busy Finale 07 B Maj - Marcin Pospieszalski [SpongeBob passes the test]
  Glorious Fin 08 C Maj - Marcin Pospieszalski [Mrs. Puff gives SpongeBob his license]
  Fanfares 18 C Maj - Marcin Pospieszalski ["And I'm free!"]
  Another Best Day Ever - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [ending]




  • The title card is similar to that of "Cephalopod Lodge" and "Model Sponge," except it is brown.
  • This episode reveals that SpongeBob is afraid of the driving course.
  • When Mrs. Puff sat down on her couch, a small picture of her sitting down at the same shot can be seen next to her, making an infinite picture. This is a callback to another infinite picture in Mrs. Puff's house in "No Free Rides."
  • The fancy guy returns as a character in a show that two fish are watching.
  • This episode was originally scheduled to premiere with "Little Yellow Book" on November 25, 2012, but was pulled at the last minute and instead moved to November 17, 2012.[1]
  • This is the second episode in which SpongeBob's license gets ripped up after he got it. The first is "Nautical Novice."
  • When this episode first aired, it was paired up with "Demolition Doofus."
    • Ironically, both are boating-related episodes.
  • This is the first usage of the APM track "Jungle Baby" since "The Fry Cook Games."
  • This marks the first usage of the APM track "Horlepiep" for a title card since "Boat Smarts."
  • This marks the last usage of "Hawaiian Link (b)" in a SpongeBob SquarePants episode to date.
  • During SpongeBob's episode of psychedelic scenes due to his hypnotic mantra, SpongeBob is shown to be driving on a mobius strip, a figure with only one side, and one boundary, though it can be easily made from one strip of paper.
  • When Mrs. Puff muted SpongeBob, he mouthed the word "unteachable."
  • SpongeBob is previously said to be "unteachable" by Captain Frostymug in "License to Milkshake," which is also a season 9 episode.
  • When SpongeBob jumped the missing section of road, he put the boat in to "J" more than likely meaning "Jump," which is not a real feature.
  • In the German dub, this episode is called "Denk ur an die Straße," which means "Just Think of the Road."
  • This is the third episode SpongeBob almost knows how to drive, following "Boating School" and "The Hot Shot."
  • List of tasks on SpongeBob's list:
    1. Boating within the lines
    2. Uses turn signals
    3. Obeying speed limit
    4. Round-about navigation
    5. Vertical driving
    6. Jumping gaps
    7. 10-point turn
    8. Avoiding obstacles
    9. Safe 'n steady acceleration
    10. Bump handling
    11. Mobius drag strip
    12. Safely dock vessel
  • This is Mrs. Puff's only major appearance in season 9.
  • This is one of Mrs. Puff's two appearances in season 9, though the other, "Patrick-Man!," is just a cameo.

Cultural references


  • When Mrs. Puff gets thrown into the police car, she is wearing hand cuffs. When she appears at the window threatening to get SpongeBob, her hand cuffs are suddenly gone.
  • When the policeman first yells at SpongeBob, he has a megaphone. In the next shot, after SpongeBob accidentally speeds up, the policeman's megaphone is suddenly gone.
  • When the policeman comes up to Mrs. Puff, the security cuff on her ankle disappears (also mentioned missing during the exam), then when she looks down at her ankle, it reappears.
  • SpongeBob calls Mrs. Puff 'Ms. Puff' when he asks if he is 'unteachable' in the outskirts.

Mrs. Puff's shoes are black, when they are supposed to be red.

  • Mrs. Puff's shoes are wrongfully colored black from their usual red throughout the episode.
  • When Mrs. Puff tells SpongeBob to scoot over, he has a seatbelt on. Then it zooms in some and his seatbelt disappears.
  • The boat that is used for the driving test in the outskirts has four wheels, when usually the boats have three wheels.



SpongeBob SquarePants Driving Test In 3D Nickelodeon UK