"Help Wanted" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from Season 1. In this episode, SpongeBob gets a job at the Krusty Krab.



Help Wanted 004.png

The series premiere starts with SpongeBob getting ready for the day; it is the day that he is to apply for a job at the Krusty Krab. Before going to the restaurant, he lifts a weight with stuffed animals on the sides to warm himself up for the application. SpongeBob starts jogging to the Krusty Krab while Patrick encourages him from his rock.

SpongeBob walking into the Krusty Krab.

SpongeBob starts talking about what he is going to do when he reaches the Krusty Krab, but in the end, he decides he is not ready. However, Patrick stops him, encouraging him that he was born to have the job. SpongeBob eventually decides to go to the Krusty Krab to get the job. Squidward sees SpongeBob running to the restaurant, making him panic and tell Mr. Krabs to watch out for SpongeBob.


SpongeBob has already arrived though and tries to get Mr. Krabs to give him the job. He tells Mr. Krabs that Squidward will vouch for him, but Squidward tells Mr. Krabs that he does not believe SpongeBob should get the job. Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob that if he gets a hydro-dynamic spatula, he will get the job. SpongeBob quickly runs to the Barg'N-Mart to get it, as Squidward and Mr. Krabs laugh.

Sea of anchovies

A couple of buses filled with anchovies arrive at the restaurant, making Squidward and Mr. Krabs panic as the latter knows what happens when anchovies come. As the anchovies flood the restaurant, Squidward tries to get them settled, but that only angers them more. It seems as though the two are finished due to the flood of anchovies, but SpongeBob comes right on time with his hydrodynamic spatula. SpongeBob goes into the kitchen and cooks many Krabby Patties, and tosses them to all the hungry anchovies until they are all satisfied and leave the restaurant.

Much to the dismay of Squidward, Mr. Krabs decides to hire SpongeBob as a fry cook, seeing as SpongeBob brought him in lots of cash.

To close the episode, Patrick orders, causing SpongeBob to cook many Krabby Patties and toss them all at him, flinging him out of the restaurant and ending the episode.


Early sketches

SpongeBob, Patrick, Camera, and Cheese Fizz.png
"Patrick! You're spraying the camera with Cheese Fizz!"

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"Help Wanted" was written by series creator Stephen Hillenburg, along with Derek Drymon and Tim Hill, and was directed by Alan Smart.[2] Hillenburg also functioned as a storyboard director, and Drymon worked as storyboard artist.[2][3] He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants into a television series in late 1996 upon the cancellation of Rocko's Modern Life earlier the same year.[4][5]

Hillenburg's original idea for the pitch was that the writers would write a storyboard for a possible episode and pitch it to Nickelodeon.[6] One of the original ideas was to write an episode with SpongeBob and Squidward on a road trip, inspired by the 1989 film Powwow Highway.[6] Even though the idea would later be substantially developed, Hillenburg gave up on the storyboard idea for the initial pitch.[6] The crew revived the road trip idea during the first season and used many of their original ideas for the episode "Pizza Delivery."[6]

Original storyboard drawn in 1997 and was titled "SpongeBoy Ahoy!"

Originally the character was to be named "SpongeBoy," and the show SpongeBoy Ahoy![7][8] However, the Nickelodeon legal department discovered that the name "SpongeBoy" was already trademarked for a mop product.[7][9] This was discovered after voice acting for the original seven-minute pilot was recorded in 1997.[7] Upon finding this out, Hillenburg decided that the character's given name still had to contain "Sponge" so viewers would not take the character to be a block of anthropomorphic cheese. Hillenburg ultimately decided to name the character "SpongeBob." He chose "SquarePants" as a family name, as it referred to the character's square shape, and it had a "nice ring to it." Despite the early renaming, SpongeBob would be called SpongeBoy in a few episodes such as "Squeaky Boots" and "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!."[10]

In an interview with Cyma Zarghami, she told "their [Nickelodeon executives'] immediate reaction was to see it again, both because they liked it and it was unlike anything they had ever seen before."[11] Hillenburg said the character construction in the episode was loose, but the character development was already "pretty strong."[12] Cavna rewatched the episode in 2009 and said "so much of the style and polish are already in place."[13][13]

Stephen Hillenburg and Derek Drymon were having dinner and came up with the idea for "Help Wanted" based on an experience Hillenburg had in the Boy Scouts.[6] Hillenburg and writer Tim Hill worked it into an outline.[6] In 1997, while pitching the series to Nickelodeon executives, Stephen Hillenburg donned a Hawaiian shirt, brought along an "underwater terrarium with models of the characters," and Hawaiian music to set the theme. The setup was described by Nick executive Eric Coleman as "pretty amazing."[14] When given money and two weeks to write the pilot episode "Help Wanted," Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, and Nick Jennings returned with – described by Nickelodeon official Albie Hecht – "a performance [I] wish [I] had on tape."[15] Although described as stressful by executive producer Derek Drymon, the pitch went "very well;" Kevin Kay and Hecht had to step outside because they were "exhausted from laughing," making the creators worried.[15] With help from Tim Hill and art director Nick Jennings, Hillenburg finished the pitch and sold SpongeBob SquarePants to Nickelodeon.[6] Drymon said, "the network approved it—so we were ready to go."[6]

SpongeBob SquarePants aired its first episode, "Help Wanted," along with sister episodes "Reef Blower" and "Tea at the Treedome," on May 1, 1999, following the television airing of the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards. The series later made its "official" debut on July 17, 1999 with the second episode, "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants."[16] This episode was re-aired on July 24, 1999, along with "Reef Blower/Tea at the Treedome" to consider it official.

Differences from the rest of the series

The pilot episode was made and recorded in 1997, so it has many differences to the rest of the series. However, the original version of the episode had many other minor differences corrected later. For example, this and a few other early episodes have SpongeBob's bed on the right, while the rest of the series properly has it on the left; this is also the only episode where his blanket is solid blue, as opposed to purple with yellow flowers.

Differences in voices are another example. SpongeBob's voice is slightly lower, and Patrick's voice is even deeper than the one he would have going forward. The designs and colors for characters are also different:

Squidward with pale cyan skin and Mr. Krabs with light red eyelids

  • SpongeBob has fewer holes than he does in other episodes. He also looks slightly fatter, and his shoes are slightly larger. SpongeBob's walking is not accompanied by any sound effects.
  • Mr. Krabs' eyelids are bright pink as opposed to the same shade of red as the rest of his body.
  • Patrick's pants are a slightly different shade of green, not to mention he looks slightly chubbier.
  • Squidward's complexion is paler, his laugh is different, the comedic "splat" sound is different, and his nose does not puff in and out when he laughs.
  • Gary's eye pupils are red dots and his irises are smaller, and he has a higher, somewhat squeakier tone of voice in the "meow" that sounds a little closer to an actual cat's meow; Tom Kenny claims to use a new "meow" for each episode where Gary is shown meowing, and the recording of this episode was much more removed from the rest of the series than consecutive episodes, even across different seasons, are from each other, explaining the more consistent "meow" throughout the rest of the series.
  • The characters' tongues have a black outline instead of red.

SpongeBob SquarePants Original Theme Clip 1997

1997 Intro

SPONGEBOB 1997.jpg


  • The animation used for bubble transitions is much choppier.
  • Squidward appears to have rows of bamboo poles behind his house, as in the concept art.
  • There is only one window in the front of SpongeBob's house. This was a feature of some other early episodes, such as "Boating School," but after 1999, it is almost always depicted with multiple windows on the front.
  • Mr. Krabs' office is on the right side of the Krusty Krab as opposed to its position the left for the duration of the series. In one shot, there is nothing visually to suggest there was a door in the usual location at all. It is unknown if this is an error, or a change made later in the show's production.
  • The original 1997 version uses a different intro with "SpongeBob Action Theme." It plays after Patrick says, "Go SpongeBob." The more familiar intro was used when the series officially aired.


 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Glissando (a) - Richard Myhill, Skaila Kanga [Opening to the sound of crashing waves (Original 1997 cut)]
  Hawaiian Train - Victor Cavini [Title card (1999 recut version)]
  Aloha Oe - George K, Hans Haider, Queen Lili'uokalani [The opening]
  Honolulu March - George K, J Dounfrey, Hans Haider ["Today's the big day, Gary."]
  The Land is Ours - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob lifts his teddy bear weights.]
  Grand Orchestral Fanfare - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob lifts his teddy bear weights.]
  Honolulu March - George K, J Dounfrey, Hans Haider ["I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready..."]
  SpongeBob Action Theme - Brad Carow [Title sequence (1997 cut)]
  Next Door Neighbour - Rick Cassman, Vyvyan Hope-Scott ["The Krusty Krab, home of the Krabby Patty."]
  The Land is Ours - Gregor F. Narholz [Patrick encourages SpongeBob.]
  Grand Orchestral Fanfare - Gregor F. Narholz ["Who's a big yellow cube with holes?"]
  Honolulu March - George K, J Dounfrey, Hans Haider [SpongeBob runs to the Krusty Krab.]
  Oyster Girls - Robert Alexander White ["Permission to come aboard, captain!"]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob a test.]
  Bartmania A - Guy Moon ["That sounded like hatch doors."]
  Menace from the Deep - Robert Cornford ["That smell... a kind of smelly smell."]
  Bartmania A - Guy Moon [Anchovies rush into the Krusty Krab/Anchovies pick up the boat/"All hands on deck! Get your anchors out of your pants!"]
  Death Trap [#27] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Batten down the hatches, Mr. Squidward!"]
  Bossa Cubana - Gerhard Narholz [SpongeBob shops for a hydro-dynamic spatula at Barg-'N-Mart.]
  Battle at Sea - Johnny Pearson ["Climb, Mr. Squidward! Climb!"]
  Reach for the Stars - Richard A. Harvey [SpongeBob returns.]
  The Main Event - Gregor F. Narholz [The hydro-dynamic spatula is revealed.]
  Living in the Sunlight, Loving in the Moonlight - Tiny Tim [Montage of SpongeBob making Krabby Patties/Ending.]
  SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer [End credits (1997 cut)]



  • In fan-voted SpongeBob SquarePants marathons, "Help Wanted" was ranked #24 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006 and #6 during The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash event from July 17–19, 2009.
  • "Help Wanted" was ranked #69 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.
  • In the "Top 100 Greatest Moments in Nicktoon History," one scene of the episode was ranked #29 and again #17 in the part near the beginning where SpongeBob lifts his stuffed animal barbell.
  • This episode is number 1 on The Tom Kenny Collection on iTunes and Amazon.com. His description says:
"It's hard to believe that when we started work on this maybe a dozen people knew what a 'SpongeBob' was. I fell in love with the characters and drawings at first sight. 'Havin a Wonderful Time'[sic] by Tiny Tim is one of the greatest songs ever recorded - (sorry, Beatles!)."



  • This episode was produced as a stand-alone pilot before a full season was ordered. Because of this, it originally had no production code. It was later re-cut for broadcast and given the title "Help Wanted." The re-cut was produced along with the theme song sequence in the middle of season one. Together, the re-cut and the theme sequence make up production code "#127."
  •  This episode is referenced in "Bottle Burglars" when the bottom of Mr. Krabs' desk says "05-01-99" which is the airdate for this episode.
  •  During SpongeBob's Grillin' and Villain Saturday, "Reef Blower" was replaced with "SpongeBob vs. the Patty Gadget."
  • This is the only season 1 episode not featured on The Complete First Season DVD and The First & Second Seasons DVD, due to copyright issues with the song "Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight" by Tiny Tim, which is played during the episode. According to Derek Drymon, this is because Nickelodeon did not want to pay Tiny Tim's estate for the rights.[17] However, on the German DVD release of Season 1, the episode is included.[18]
    • This will be the first time an episode from a season is excluded from a season DVD set with the second being "Kwarantined Krab".
  • In the Italian dub, "Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight" was mostly cut, most likely for copyright reasons.
  • This is the very first episode to be ended with a song.
  • This is the very first episode that SpongeBob gets a hero-like voice.
  • The beginning of the episode, in which SpongeBob says "Today's the big day, Gary" can be seen on a TV in the 2002 comedy film Orange County.
  • The French Narrator is the first character to speak in the series, if not counting the theme song.
    • However, if not counting him either, then SpongeBob is technically the first.
  • This, "Pickles," "Employee of the Month," "One Krabs Trash," and "Best Day Ever" are the only five episodes to have SpongeBob's bed placed on the right side of his room and not the left.
  • It is revealed that SpongeBob's first words were "May I take your order?"
    • However, in "Truth or Square", he said "Krabby Patty!" and "Yummy!" as an unborn fetus.
  • SpongeBob states that he has been training his whole life to join the Krusty Krew. These aspirations are further manifested in the episode "Friend or Foe."
  • If one looks closely at the condiments during the cooking scene, 2 ketchup dispensers have the Flag_of_Japan on them.
  • This is one of the seven episodes in which the 1986-2002 Paramount logo is plastered with the 2002-2011 Paramount logo. The others are "Squeaky Boots," "F.U.N.," "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost," "Employee of the Month," "Karate Choppers," and "Rock Bottom."
  • There is an old SpongeBob online game based on this episode called Anchovy Feeding Frenzy.
    • The quote "Go, SpongeBob! Go, SpongeBob! Go, SpongeBob! Go, self!" would later appear in the online game Reef Rumble.
  • CBS All Access falsely claims that this episode premiered on April 30, 1999.[19]
  • SpongeBob's Line saying I'm Ready is used in the song I'm Ready from the AJR band.
  • On September 7, 2013, there was a live script reading with the voice actors at Universal Studios Hollywood for this episode as part of SpongeBob Fan Shellabration.[20]
  • This episode was finished in 1997 but did not air until May 1, 1999, because the cast wanted to change various things. Similar periods between production of pilot episodes and their premiere on television are somewhat regular.[21]
    • This is also the only episode to be produced that year.
  • The end credits for the 1997 and 1999 versions of "Help Wanted" have several differences, including:
    • In the cast credits in the 1997 version, Bill Fagerbakke's name is misspelled as "Bill Fabberbakke." This error was corrected in the 1999 version.
    • In the cast credits in the 1997 version, Patrick Star's name is misspelled as "Partick Star." This error was corrected in the 1999 version.
    • Gary the Snail, who was voiced by Tom Kenny, is not credited in the 1997 version. This error was corrected in the 1999 version with Gary being added in.
    • Carolyn Lawrence, who voiced Sandy, is not credited in the 1997 version. This is because "Tea at the Treedome" had not been produced yet.
    • In the credits in the 1997 version, Erik Wiese's name is misspelled as "Erik Weise." This error was corrected in the 1999 version.
    • Near the ending of the 1997 version, instead of the United Plankton Pictures, Inc. logo being displayed, there is a logo with the "Created By" text above, the SpongeBob sketch drawing in the middle, and the "Stephen Hillenburg" text below. This is because Stephen Hillenburg had not yet created the company.
    • The 1997 version is the only episode to be produced by Games Animation, which would later be renamed to Nickelodeon Animation Studio the following year.
    • At the ending of the 1997 version, there is an early Nicktoons logo that has a small and short copyright notice with a production date of 1997. The ending of the 1999 version has a more detailed and prolonged copyright notice with a production date of 1999.
      • This is the first time where the copyright year does not match the actual production year, in this case, being the 1999 full version. However, this is because its sister episodes were produced in 1999.


  • Stephen Hillenburg's name in the "Written By" section of the opening credits is misspelled as "Stephen Hilleburg," missing the "N" in his surname.
  • When SpongeBob is looking at the Krusty Krab he is on the sand. In the next shot, he's on the road.
  • When Patrick says, "Who's ready?" his eyelids are pink instead of the usual purple.
  • The last time SpongeBob says "I'm ready!" his collar turns red.
    • The same thing happens in the final shot of making Krabby Patties for the anchovies.
  • After Squidward looks back to see SpongeBob, the arrow in the graffiti is gone.
  • When SpongeBob arrives at the Krusty Krab, the "Enter" sign in front of the Krusty Krab is on the road instead of next to it.
    • Also, In all the over-head shots of the Krusty Krab throughout the episode, the "Enter" sign is missing.
  • In one shot it shows four buses pulling up to the Krusty Krab, but a few shots later, there are five parked.
  • When Mr. Krabs yells "Anchovies!," the top of Squidward's mouth is separated with a line.
  • Whenever the anchovies say "Meep," their pupils are small, but in the next scene, their pupils are big.
  • When Squidward says "Quiet! Is this anyway to behave?," the Krusty Krab's side window and metal back wall are both gone.
  • When the anchovies are picking up the ordering boat, the "Order Here" sign is nowhere to be seen.
  • In the over-head shot of the Krusty Krab where the restaurant is jumping left to right, the white spots on two of the Krusty Krab's decorative flags are purple.
  • When Mr. Krabs and Squidward hit the pole, a frame of what looks like the alternate or inverted background for the credits appear. 
  • When Mr. Krabs says, "Climb Mr. Squidward! Climb!," Squidward's upper teeth are purple.
  • When Squidward says, "Mr. Krabs!," the anchor illustration on his hat disappears for a split-second.
  • When SpongeBob asks "Did someone order a spatula?," the pole Mr. Krabs and Squidward was on had a red covering. In the other scenes, they are blue.
  • Every time Mr. Krabs jumps when he says "Hip, hip!" his white undershirt disappears for a split-second.
  • In one scene SpongeBob's teeth turn yellow.



  1. ^ https://nicktoonstory.fandom.com/wiki/SpongeBob_SquarePants
  2. ^ a b SpongeBob SquarePants: 10 Happiest Moments. DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2010.
  3. ^ Mavis, Paul (September 16, 2010). SpongeBob SquarePants: 10 Happiest Moments. DVD Talk. Retrieved on September 20, 2013.
  4. ^ Hillenburg, Stephen (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment. 
  5. ^ Banks, p. 9
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Drymon, Derek. "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants", Hogan's Alley #17, Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved on September 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Farhat, Basima (Interviewer) (December 5, 2006) (mp3). Tom Kenny: Voice of SpongeBob SquarePants - Interview (Radio production). The People Speak Radio. http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/archives/mp3/tps-2006-12-05-kenny.mp3. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  8. ^ Pittenger, Kenny. "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants", Hogan's Alley #17, Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved on September 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ Banks 2004, p. 31
  10. ^ Neuwirth 2003, p. 51
  11. ^ Bauder, David (July 13, 2009). SpongeBob Turns 10 Valued At $8 Billion. Huffington Post. Retrieved on May 22, 2013.
  12. ^ Cavna, Michael (July 14, 2009). The Top Five 'SpongeBob' Episodes: We Pick 'Em. The Washington Post. Retrieved on May 28, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Cavna, Michael (July 14, 2009). The Interview: 'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg. The Washington Post. Retrieved on May 28, 2013.
  14. ^ Coleman, Eric (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment. 
  15. ^ a b Hecht, Albie (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment. 
  16. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/11/arts/television-radio-the-tide-pool-as-talent-pool-it-had-to-happen.html
  17. ^ http://cartoonician.com/the-oral-history-of-spongebob-squarepants/
  18. ^ https://www.amazon.de/SpongeBob-Schwammkopf-komplette-erste-Season/dp/B00HW5250Y/ref=sr_1_4_sspa?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1540771083&sr=1-4-spons&keywords=SpongeBob+Schwammkopf+-+Die+komplette+Season+1&psc=1
  19. ^ https://www.cbs.com/shows/spongebob-squarepants/
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3FlaYx8nzk
  21. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNfLaA5uzUg
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