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


Note: All of these characters, except possibly Mrs. Puff and SpongeBob, are exclusively their daydream versions.


Doing Time 055
SpongeBob is taking his driver's license exam yet again and ends up leaving the driving course and wrecking the boating school and the city before driving off an unfinished bridge the mayor just opened. The police follow the boat and end up driving off the bridge themselves. They hit a truck full of fruit punch which is being delivered to Shady Shoals Rest Home, causing it to explode and flood the home in punch. Although SpongeBob is responsible, Mrs. Puff is sent to prison for gross negligence. In prison, she realizes that she'll never see SpongeBob again, and starts to enjoy it.

Meanwhile, SpongeBob is depressed that Mrs. Puff is in jail and Patrick tells him it is his fault. The duo sets out to free her from jail. First, they try to rob the "1st Nautical Bank" in order to get arrested themselves but fail. Next, they disguise themselves as rocks that the prisoners are made to smash as labor, and try to communicate with Mrs. Puff, who calls the guards, but they dismiss it 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. They then 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 needed to get her out. So 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 dismisses SpongeBob and Patrick (out of negligence and/or stupidity) as raw materials and send Mrs. Puff to her cell, still convinced that she is going insane. SpongeBob and Patrick next appear in Mrs. Puff's toilet, which causes the guards to flush them, then they appear on her bed and when she calls the guards, they turn out to be SpongeBob and Patrick in disguise. When she next sees the real guards, she rips off their faces after thinking it is SpongeBob and Patrick in disguise and is put in solitary confinement after the guards believe that Mrs. Puff has gone mental. She is glad that she is finally safe from SpongeBob, but she actually begins hallucinating her room to be made of sponge which is SpongeBob and is driven insane by his laughter.
Doing Time 070

"There's a crazed ex-student of mine and his overweight friend here to break me out!"

Mrs. Puff wakes up screaming in the car flying off the cliff and realizes that it was a dream. The car crashes into the fruit truck again; however, this time, Mrs. Puff is not the one that got arrested—it's SpongeBob. While she is happy because not going to the jail, a police officer told her she already did her time, and Mrs. Puff realized that she is already wearing a jail outfit. She screams, and wakes up screaming in the car flying off the cliff again. When she was about to relax, it turns out that the one that driving the car does not seem to be SpongeBob anymore, but instead it was Donna, the prisoner who incredulously asked her what is "the jail's dinner menu tonight." She screams, and wakes up screaming in the car flying off the cliff, yet again. This time SpongeBob's driving. She panics for a while, but after realizing it's just going to loop again, she stops screaming, says "Oh, forget it", and unenthusiastically sits in the boat, as the episode ends.



 ) Associated 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]
  Pomp and Circumstance March #1 - Edward Elgar, Fiachra Trench [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 Sting (c) - 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]
  SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob trying to rob a bank]
  Gator - 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 (d) - 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 arrested]
  Shock - Cornelus Joh Bolten [Mrs. Puff screams]
  Chase That Car - Laurie Johnson [ending]



  • As of June 10, 2019, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.8/10 based on 419 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a rating of 8.7/10 based on 160 votes.[2]



  • Although this episode premiered in 2002, it was made in 2001 according to the credits.
    • This is likely because of how early in 2002 the episode aired, as episodes typically cannot be aired as soon as they’re produced.
  • Originally, this episode ended with a scene similar to the beginning, but this time, it is SpongeBob who gets arrested instead of Mrs. Puff, much to her delight. This was instead used as part of the daydream sequence.
  • This is the second episode in which the majority is revealed to be just a dream. The first is "Procrastination".
  • This is the third episode where Mrs. Puff goes to jail. The first is "Hall Monitor" and the second is "No Free Rides".
  • This episode is a paradox (a never-ending cycle).
  • It is revealed that Mrs. Puff's first student in her boating school was SpongeBob. As of her flashback, this explains the origin of boating disaster.
  • When Mrs. Puff gets thrown into "solitary confinement," there's a rubber ducky in the corner (first scene in the sponge room only.)
  • According to the credits, there was supposed to be Mrs. Puff's dad who would have been voiced by Tom Kenny.
  • The scene where SpongeBob and Patrick are robbing a bank has become an internet meme.
  • In Indonesia, the unseen fish did not say the same thing to Mrs. Puff.
    • Instead, she says the same wrong words from Sandy (See here) with her voice.
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Odsiadka" (The Detention).
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Na Robiji", which translates to "In Prison".

Cultural references


  • Mrs. Puff's hat changes colors during 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 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.
  • Tom has a female voice in this episode.
  • SpongeBob wonders if the president is in town, and the fish opening the unfinished bridge looks like the mayor or president. However, King Neptune should rule the entire sea, including Bikini Bottom.
  • 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 offscreen.
  • When Mrs. Puff begins hallucinating her solitary confinement to be made of sponge, all SpongeBob's faces appearing on all sides of the wall that maniacally laugh should include the following. In each face, his eyebrows and his eyes should be on the upper part of his face, his nose should be in the middle of his face and his mouth should be in the lower part of his face. However, one of SpongeBob's faces on the upper side of the wall is rotated with the anticlockwise rotation of 90° at the center of his nose. His eyebrows and his eyes are on the right side of his face and his mouth is on the left side of his face. This error is considered to be the rotation error.
  • On August 31, 2005 airing of this episode, a network glitch occurred while this episode was on the air.
    • About three minutes into the episode, right after Mrs. Puff gets locked up, the screen suddenly went black for a few seconds, before turning into magenta.
    • After that, it glitched even more, and a shot of Cosmo from the show The Fairly OddParents could be seen for about a 10th of a second.
    • Then the episode restarted, but only for about 2 seconds after the opening credits when the episode picked up 10 seconds before it left off.
    • This happened again in 2014 on Disney XD with an airing of the dub of the Doraemon episode "返信!ドラキュラセット" (Henshin! Dracula Set.)
  • 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 Frankie Billy's is missing its driver.
    • Also, the boats are seen driving on the sand instead of the road seen at top right corner.


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