Encyclopedia SpongeBobia


Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Doing Time" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 3. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick try to break Mrs. Puff out of jail.


Note: There is an asterisk (*) icon for all of these characters, except Mrs. Puff and SpongeBob, because they only appear within Mrs. Puff's imagination about jail, not reality.


The episode opens as SpongeBob is taking his driving test yet again. He ends up leaving the driving course and wrecking the boating school and the city, before driving off an unfinished bridge and falling into an abyss. The police follow the boat and end up driving off the bridge and into the abyss themselves. SpongeBob, Mrs. Puff, and the police all land on top of a truck full of fruit punch being delivered to Shady Shoals Rest Home, causing it to fall over and spill, flooding the rest home. Although SpongeBob is responsible, the incident occurred under Mrs. Puff's supervision, and she is sent to prison for gross negligence. In prison, she realizes that she will not see SpongeBob again for a very long time, and starts to enjoy it.

Doing Time 051

"But I don't belong here! It's all a big mistake!"

Meanwhile, SpongeBob is depressed that Mrs. Puff is in jail, and Patrick tells him that it is SpongeBob's fault. The duo sets out to free her from jail. First, they try to rob the bank in order to get arrested themselves, but SpongeBob gets wrapped up in the bureaucratic niceties of banking and forgets they are trying to commit a crime. Next, they disguise themselves as rocks that the prisoners smash as labor. They try to communicate with Mrs. Puff, who calls the guards, but they dismiss her conversation with two rocks as a hallucination and move her to kitchen duty. SpongeBob and Patrick are then smashed by another inmate, costing them their deposit on the costumes. Then they hide in a vat of chili in the cafeteria and offer to help Mrs. Puff escape through it, but she explains to them that she likes it in prison, which SpongeBob refuses to believe. He worries that Mrs. Puff is completely institutionalized in prison and he needs to get her out. In an attempt to coax her, SpongeBob tells Mrs. Puff if she can escape, he will stay after school and decorate the entire classroom, but Mrs. Puff refuses. She calls for the prison guards again and is reassigned again after the prison guards believe that Mrs. Puff is going crazy.

SpongeBob and Patrick appear to her yet again on a coat hanger assembly line, and when she calls for a guard, he somehow perceives SpongeBob and Patrick as raw materials used to make the coat hangers and dismisses her to her cell once again. SpongeBob and Patrick then appear in Mrs. Puff's cell toilet, asking her to hop in, and when Mrs. Puff calls for a guard again, he simply flushes them down the toilet and leaves. They then appear in her bed, and Mrs. Puff calls for the guards yet again, but this time the two guards that appear are SpongeBob and Patrick in disguise. After they leave, the real guards show up after hearing her screaming and crying, but Mrs. Puff thinks its still SpongeBob and Patrick in disguise and rips off their faces. This is the last straw for the guards, who strap Mrs. Puff into a straitjacket and throw her into solitary confinement, convinced she's completely lost her sanity. Despite this, she is glad to finally be alone and away from SpongeBob, but suddenly his face appears all over the walls and floor of the padded cell and begins laughing at her.

Doing Time 171

"Made of sponge!"

Mrs. Puff screams in horror at the incessant laughing as the scene transitions back to SpongeBob driving off the cliff and crashing into the fruit punch truck, once again flooding the rest home. Mrs. Puff stumbles out of the wreckage and is confronted by the police again, but to her surprise they arrest SpongeBob instead of her. From this, she concludes that her prison sentence was merely a hallucination and is happy that she's not going to jail, but after a police officer informs her that she "already did [her] time", Mrs. Puff suddenly sees herself wearing a prison uniform with a chain on her ankle.

She once again screams in horror as the scene transitions back to her sitting in the boat going off the cliff again, seemingly having suffered another hallucination, but this time she sees Donna, a prisoner with a masculine voice from her first hallucination, driving the boat instead of SpongeBob. Screaming yet again, the scene transitions back to Mrs. Puff sitting in the boat driving off the cliff, this time with SpongeBob behind the wheel and no police cars behind them. Exasperated, Mrs. Puff says "oh, forget it," immediately closing the episode.


Model sheets[]


Rough sketches[]

Ripped face security guard


 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Epic Struggle - Fredric Bayco [Title card]
  Horlepiep - Jan Rap [Opening]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [police chasing SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff]
  Hail to the Chief A - Will Schaefer [Unfinished bridge opened]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [Falling off cliff]
  Land Of Hope And Glory A - From Pomp And Circumstance No. 1 - Edward Elgar, John Fox [Flashback to opening of boating school]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [Truckload of fruit punch]
  Fisticuffs - Laurie Johnson ["Thank Neptune I'm still-"]
  Hawaiian Breeze - Jon Jelmer [Opening windows]
  Surfin' Summer (A) - Richard Myhill [Plays on janitor's headphones]
  O Primavera - Robert Foster ["A memoir of my life, written in red ink!"]
  Steel Licks 47 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, barnacles!"]
  The Crime Busters - Ralph Dollimore ["Freeze! You're under arrest!"]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [Mrs. Puff imprisoned]
  Keel Row - Brian Peters [Looking at the positives]
  Kamakani B - Kapono Beamer [Empty classroom]
  Sugar Beat - Sid Phillips [Montage of Mrs. Puff in jail]
  Closing Theme 2 - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob trying to rob a bank]
  Seaweed 3 - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob, Patrick disguised as rocks]
  Unease - Dick Stephen Walter [SpongeBob inside pot of chili]
  Springtime for Lovers - Len Stevens ["These are my people!"]
  Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland [Mrs. Puff refuses to go with them]
  Hawaiian Link (A) - Richard Myhill [Later]
  Mud - Ron Aspery [SpongeBob and Patrick appearing everywhere]
  Steel Licks 78 - Jeremy Wakefield [Solitary confinement]
  Shock - Cornelus Joh Bolten [SpongeBob's face appearing on the walls]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [Falling off the cliff again]
  Lonely Stranger - Laurie Johnson [SpongeBob gets arrested.]
  Shock - Cornelus Joh Bolten [Mrs. Puff screams]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [Ending]



  • "Doing Time" was ranked #52 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.


Untitled video

Fred mopping


Put the money in the bag! Stock Art

The "Put the money in the bag!" meme.

Doing Time 012

Original scene.


SpongeBob Police Hits Meme Compilation (2022)

Compilation of those memes.

  • Three parts of the episode has became internet memes:
    • SpongeBob's line "Put the money in the bag!"
    • The scene when Incidental 118 and Incidental 118B are beating a parking meter has became a popular internet meme on YouTube in 2022, replacing the parking meter with something else.
      • This was deemed to be violence in the UK and Ireland, as they think the police fish were beating someone up. Instead, UK and Irish airings cut the scene.
        • Former airings in both countries also cut the scene where SpongeBob and Patrick were disguised as rocks, as also the UK and Ireland deemed the scene to be violent, but is re-added as of 2022.
    • Fred mopping the floor (surprisingly).
  • The episode premiered on Martin Luther King Jr. Day during the SpongeBob-a-Thon.
  • It is revealed that Mrs. Puff's first student in her boating school was SpongeBob. As of her flashback, this explains the origin of her boating disaster.
  • In this episode, the boatmobile SpongeBob uses to take the test is painted blue as opposed to red.
  • When Mrs. Puff gets thrown into "solitary confinement," there is a rubber ducky in the corner in the first scene.
  • This episode is an example of recursion, a never-ending cycle.
SpongeBob SquarePants Doing Time Credits

Mrs. Puff's dad is credited for a deleted scene.

  • There was going to be a scene where Mrs. Puff's dad would appear, as his name is still listed in the credits of this episode, with Tom Kenny being credited for voicing him. His dialogue had already been recorded when he was cut from the episode. C.H. Greenblatt, who storyboarded and co-wrote "Doing Time," said that he did not remember anything about the episode when asked about Mrs. Puff's father in 2017.[2]
  • Originally, this episode would have ended at the scene where SpongeBob gets arrested instead of Mrs. Puff, who then finds out she already went to prison. This was instead used as part of the daydream sequence.[citation needed]
  • This marks the first time to feature Shady Shoals Rest Home without Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
    • This is also the only season 3 episode to feature Shady Shoals Rest Home.
  • This is the second episode in which the majority of the runtime is a product of a character's imagination. The first was "Procrastination."
  • This is the third episode where Mrs. Puff goes to jail (if only in a dream sequence). The first was "Hall Monitor," and the second was "No Free Rides."
  • The font of the title card is later used in "Squidiot Box."
  • During the Bikini Bottom's Most Wanted event, this episode was paired with "Mid-Life Crustacean."[3]

Dub facts[]

Cultural references[]



Mrs. Puff's blue hat.

Doing Time 126

The hat changes from red to black.

  • Mrs. Puff's hat changes colors throughout this episode.
    • When Mrs. Puff goes to lunch duty, her hat turns from red to blue, and one second later, it changes back to red.
    • When the police are leading Mrs. Puff into jail, her hat changes from blue to red to blue again.
    • When Mrs. Puff drinks a cup of water, her hat turns black for about two seconds before turning back to red.
  • When Mrs. Puff's jail cell is first shown, there is a single bed. Later, it is a bunk bed.
  • When Fred is mopping the floor both before and after the fruit punch got in, his arm keeps going through the headphone wire.
  • When SpongeBob crashes into the juice truck for the second time, the boat he was driving can be seen. In the next shot, it is gone.
  • Incidental 6 has a female voice in this episode.

The blue screen during the bubble transition.

  • During the bubble transition there is a blue screen that was made sometime in 2001 by Rough Draft Korea. This is possibly the result of a compositing error.
Doing Time 130

Sky error.

  • While Billy Gus is looking at the window, it is supposed to be night but instead it takes place during the day but dark.
  • The coals and the coat hangers do not move uniformly on the conveyor belt. When SpongeBob and Patrick appear on the conveyor belt, the coat hangers move faster than them and towards off-screen.
  • When SpongeBob tells Mrs. Puff that Patrick came along because he likes chili, his eyes are yellow for a split second.
  • On a traffic scene in "life on the outside" cutaway gag, the boat behind Incidental 107's boat is missing its driver.



Nickelodeon commercials from January 21, 2002 (Part 2) (READ DESCRIPTION)


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