If you were looking for the article about the box, then see idiot box (object).

"Idiot Box" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick play with a box.



Squidward comes outside his house to see a TV getting delivered to SpongeBob and Patrick in a box. He is shocked that they ordered such a large TV, only for them to use the box rather than the TV. He asks the two why they are playing in the box instead of using the TV, and they say that with imagination, they can do anything they want to do. Squidward takes the TV, while the other two play Mountain Climbing Adventure in the box.

Idiot Box 045

When Squidward gets annoyed by the two playing with each other, he kicks the box, only to cause an avalanche inside. He opens the box to see if the two are alright, only for them to have just been imagining themselves mountain climbing. Squidward goes back to his house and tries to find a box, but he can't find one big enough. After kicking the box, he hears the police and thinks he got in trouble for kicking the box, but it turns out to just be coming from SpongeBob and Patrick in their box.

Angry, Squidward kicks the box away and SpongeBob and Patrick take it. He watches TV to get his mind off of boxes, only for all the channels to be about boxes. He thinks the two are using a tape recorder to make all the noises, so he goes inside to find out. When he finds out they don't, he goes inside the box and starts playing with them to see how they play. However, the sounds that come from the box don't occur, so he goes back to his house.

At night, when the two get out of the box and go to bed, Squidward goes inside the box to find the button but he doesn't find it. When he starts pretending to drive a race boat, a garbage truck picks up the box and dumps it off into The Dump, making Squidward think he's actually driving a boat. The next morning, SpongeBob and Patrick find out that their box is gone and then go see Squidward, unaware that he is gone.

Running gags

  • While Squidward is watching TV, it is all about boxes in respective channels: documentary, educational, soap opera, and sports.
  • SpongeBob saying "Imagination" whilst showing a rainbow with his hands.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick making noises inside the box, but whenever the box is opened, the noises stop.




 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [title card]

  Vergnügungspark - Gerhard Trede [SpongeBob and Patrick hopping]
  Awakening Memories - Paul Fenoulhet ["Squidward, we don't need television."]
  Full of Beans - Robert Schreier [mountain climbing adventure]
  Dramatic Climax - Mike Sunderland ["Hang in there, buddy. The chopper's on the way."]
  Joust - Fredric Bayco ["Attention, climbers! Please hold on!"]
  Death in the City - Jack Beaver [police sirens]
  City Desk - Ronald Hanmer [show about boxes being made]
  Once Upon a Dream - Clive Richardson ["I couldn't afford a present this year..."]
  Parallel Dimension - Gregor F. Narholz [rocket launch]
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Laugh at me, will they?"]
  Journey to the Magic Island - Gregor F. Narholz ["Welcome aboard, Squidward!"]
  Comic Walk - Sidney Torch ["Why won't this thing turn on?"]
  Steel Licks 3 - Jeremy Wakefield [that night]
  Hawaiian Happiness - Jon Jelmer [SpongeBob and Patrick go home]
  Finders Creepers - Paddy Kingsland [Squidward sneaks into the box]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hello, what's this?"]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["What the...?"]
  You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [box taken to dump]
  Tympup A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [ending]



"SpongeBob and Patrick turn an empty box into a fantasy play land using only their "imaginations."[sic] Since Squidward lacks any imagination, he resents anyone who does! The ultra-dramatic and over-the-top action movie fantasy scenarios that our boys playact in the box are really funny (sounds can only be heard)."
  • "Idiot Box" was ranked #2 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.



  • The title card is an animated television transition. This is mostly seen on vintage televisions when one changes the channel.
    • This is also one of only a few episodes to have an animated title card.
  • "Idiot box" is a slang term for TV.
  • Plots of this episode were later used in the first part of the LeapPad Interactive Book and Cartridge SpongeBob SquarePants: Salty Sea Stories, which was released in 2003 by LeapFrog Enterprises, exactly 1 year after this episode aired on television. The music was composed by Jay Cloidt in the Interactive Book and Cartridge.
  • Music from "Count Duckula" and "Danger Mouse" is used in this episode.
  • On September 27, 2017, there was a National EAS alert that appeared about 5 minutes into the episode (2:20 PM EDT).[citation needed]
  • Squidward finds a sombrero in the hatbox and wonders why he hadn't worn it before. He later does wear it in "The Camping Episode."
  • This is a list of things SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward thought of in the box:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Police Chase
    • Space Shuttle Launch
    • Battle of Robot-Pirate Island
    • Race Car Driving
  • During the "space shuttle launch" portion, a brief bit of audio from STS-51-L, on which the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster occurred, could be heard.
  • SpongeBob's imagination sequence has become a popular internet meme.
  • When SpongeBob is reading in bed, his pillow is nowhere to be seen.
    • It could be possible all his pillows are in the laundry.
  • This is the third episode where its title card is animated. The first being "SB-129" and the second being "Prehibernation Week."
  • When Squidward went inside the box, SpongeBob and Patrick were using their imaginations, but they were not making noises. It is probably because Squidward left the box open.
  • In Battle for Bikini Bottom, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game, SpongeBob's Truth or Square, and Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated, boxes can be used to teleport around the levels which resembles the box from this episode.
  • In Indonesia, instead of saying, "Boxing Championship," the narrator says "Box Boxing Championship," because "box" and "boxing" have different meanings.
  • This episode was reenacted in a live table read during the San Diego Comic-Con in 2015, and was the most voted for the episode to be reenacted.[1]
  • Because its sister episode "Nasty Patty" was banned in Israel due to its dark content, this episode was also banned as well.[citation needed] However, it is still available in English in the night marathon, along with "Nasty Patty."
  • When Squidward ends up in the dump, he lands face first in a pie. This is the second time that Squidward gets hit in the face with a pie. The first was in the episode "Dying for Pie."
  • In the EBS version of the Korean dub, this episode was permanently paired up with "Doing Time," due to its sister episode being banned.
  • According to the production code (5572-178), this was produced as a season 2 episode.

Cultural references

  • One of the equations, F = ma2, is a reference to Newton's Second Law, (F = ma) and Einstein's Mass-Energy Equivalence formula, (E = mc2).


Idiot Box 029

The colors of SpongeBob's "imagination" rainbow are flipped upside-down.

  • When SpongeBob makes a rainbow with his hands, the colors are upside-down.
  • When Squidward says, "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!" his voice is out of sync with the animation.
  • Squidward's mouth does not close when he says, "Where's that remote?"
Squidward Mistake.

Squidward's wrinkles are missing.

  • When Squidward is planning to get inside of the box, his forehead wrinkles are gone for a couple of seconds.
  • Squidward tears up the note that SpongeBob had written, but in the next shot, all the pieces of the note disappear.
Idiot Box 188

SpongeBob's house is missing.

  • When the garbage truck drives away, SpongeBob's house is missing. Also, an arrow appears on the box.
Idiot Box 199

The path to Patrick's rock is missing.


San Diego Comic Con 2015 SpongeBob SquarePants Full Panel Nick

San Diego Comic Con 2015 SpongeBob SquarePants Full Panel Nick

Full Comic Con Panel


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Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (VE)

Golden Reel Awards StatueStraight

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Music

Nominees: Stephen Hillenburg, Donna Castricone, Nicholas R. Jennings, Alan Smart, Peter Burns, Doug Lawrence, Derek Drymon, Alex Gordon, Donna Grillo, Jennie Monica, Krandal Crews, Jim Leber, Justin Brinsfield, Tony Ostyn, Nicolas Carr (for "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy"/"Pickles;" 2000)Nicolas Carr (for "Fools in April"/"Neptune's Spatula" in 2001; for "Jellyfish Hunter"/"The Fry Cook Games" in 2002; for "Wet Painters"/"Krusty Krab Training Video" in 2003; for "The Great Snail Race"/"Mid-Life Crustacean" in 2004) • Jimmy Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn and Paulette Lifton (for "Mid-Life Crustacean;" 2004)

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Sound

Nominees: Nicolas Carr (for "Karate Choppers;" 2000) • Andrea Anderson, Jimmy Lifton, Monette Holderer, D.J. Lynch, Vincent Gutisetti, Jeff Hutchins and Gabriel Rosas (for "Rock Bottom"/"Arrgh!;" 2001)

Best Sound Editing in Television – Animation

Nominees: Timothy J. Borquez, Jeff Hutchins and Daisuke Sawa (for "The Secret Box"/"Band Geeks;" 2002)

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation

Nominees: Jimmy Lifton, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn and Chris Gresham (for "Nasty Patty"/"Idiot Box;" 2012)

Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated

Nominees: Jimmy Lifton, Nicolas Carr, D.J. Lynch, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn, Chris Gresham and Paulette Lifton (for "Pranks a Lot"/"SpongeBob Meets the Strangler;" 2005) • Vincent Gutisetti, Jimmy Lifton, Nicolas Carr, Monique Reymond, D.J. Lynch, Mark Howlett, Jeff Hutchins, Aran Tanchum, Mishelle Smith and Paulette Lifton (for "Have You Seen This Snail?;" 2006)Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeHenge;" 2008)

Best Sound Editing: Television Animation

Nominees: : Chiho Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Daisuke Sawa, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Dan Cubert, Lawrence Reyes, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "Suction Cup Symphony;" 2009) • Chino Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Eric Freeman, Tom Syslo, Keith Dickens, Jason Stiff, Sergio Silva, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One;" 2010)

Best Sound Editing – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television

Nominees: Devon Bowman, Justin Brinsfield, Nicolas Carr, Andrea Anderson, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Eric Freeman, Tony Orozco and Danny Tchibinda (for "Gary's New Toy;" 2013) • Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Bobby Crew, Keith Dickens, Gabriel Rossas and Tony Orozco (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!;" 2013)

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