Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
If you were looking for the article about the 2007 book, then see Mistaken Identity.

"Missing Identity" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from Season 3. In this episode, SpongeBob loses his name tag.



As the episode initializes, SpongeBob is at a diner on a dark and weary morning, while rain is pouring down outside. A patron is solving a crossword puzzle and realizes that he has lost his pen. A waitress says he can borrow hers, and he does. It then shows SpongeBob sitting at a table, who says he once lost something he couldn't live without: his identity.

He recounts the events of last Monday. In the flashback, he wakes up and throws his blanket into the air, and says "Good morning, world, and all who inhabit it!" The blanket falls on him, and SpongeBob, being unable to see, falls off of his bed, and his alarm clock falls on top of his head. He falls down the stairs and the alarm propels him into the window. He feeds Gary and comments that he has been feeding Gary snail food for years and doesn't even know what it tastes like. He tastes it, is revolted, and his screaming of disgust is sensed at the headquarters of the company that makes the snail food. He looks at the clock and realizes that he is late for work, and quickly gets changed and skips to work. While he is skipping to work, Patrick greets SpongeBob.

After SpongeBob tells the diner people about greeting Patrick, he decides to skip to the part when he was about to serve a customer. Later, as SpongeBob serves food to a customer, the customer tells him that he should wear a name tag so that she can thank him properly. He indicates that he is indeed wearing a name tag, but then realizes that his name tag is missing. He panics, hyperventilates, and eventually faints.

When he wakes up, he asks Squidward what happened. Squidward tells him that he fainted because he lost his name tag, but he assures him that his name tag is not that important, and SpongeBob hyperventilates once again until Squidward stops him, saying it's not the end of the world. However, just as he says this, Mr. Krabs comes out of his office and informs them that there is a uniform inspection in one hour and anyone who fails has to wear a very stinky boot all day. Squidward suggests to SpongeBob that he should retrace his steps.

SpongeBob repeats everything he did that morning several times, including his "horrific incident of terror" with the alarm clock and eating the snail food. SpongeBob repeats this many times since Patrick continuously fails to say "Hi" to him. As an example, Patrick accidentally says "Hi, SpongeBoob" and laughs afterward. Still, SpongeBob fails to find his name tag. Patrick asks him if he did anything else on his way to work before noticing he lost his name tag, and SpongeBob says that he skipped merrily to Krusty Krab, said hello to Old Man Jenkins, put an apple on Mr. Krabs' desk, and was thrown into a dumpster by two thugs. Patrick suggests looking in the dumpster, and they go to search there.

SpongeBob had his name tag all along!

During the search, SpongeBob gives Patrick two hints but he is still confused. SpongeBob does a double-take of Jack Benny while wondering, but panics that he has one minute left. Patrick finds SpongeBob's name tag on the back of his shirt, and when he alerts him to this and SpongeBob turns around, it seems to disappear and Patrick cannot remember where it was. SpongeBob gets irritated after he does this twice, and he soon tells Patrick to go home since he's no help. However, after an annoyed Patrick says "At least I don't wear my shirt backwards!," SpongeBob sees this and realizes that he had his name tag all along, and his shirt was just on backward. At the uniform inspection, however, Mr. Krabs smells SpongeBob and is disgusted by the stench of the dumpster, and seemingly suspends him from working at the Krusty Krab.

In the end, SpongeBob finishes telling his story, and thanks to the waitress for listening, calling her "Betty." She says that her name is not Betty and that she is just borrowing someone else's uniform while hers is getting cleaned. When SpongeBob learns this, he ends the episode by doing another Jack Benny double-take.

Running gags

  • SpongeBob waking up and saying "Good morning, world, and all who inhabit it." The blanket blinds him, making him fall off the bed, and then his foghorn clock falls onto him. He walks out of his room and trips down the stairs. His foghorn alarm sounds again, blowing him into the window. He slides toward Gary, says his "horrific incident of terror" is over, feeds Gary while singing about his meal, and decides to taste Gary's Snail-Po food, screaming "Bleah!" afterward.
  • Patrick bloops his line and SpongeBob has to start all over.
  • A character realizes SpongeBob's name tag is missing and SpongeBob starts hyperventilating (SpongeBob thrice and Patrick once)



Deleted scene

On the storyboard featured on the Sponge for Hire DVD, they show a scene of Patrick tearfully saying, "But, I am a helper" after SpongeBob tells him to crawl back under his rock since he's no help.


 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Marching to Honolulu - Kapono Beamer [title card]
  Eastside Story (A) - Trevor Duncan [opening]
  On the Beach - Kapono Beamer ["Good morning, world, and all who inhabit it."/"That was the worst thing I've ever tasted."]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band [at the Krusty Krab]
  What's Up - Nicolas Carr ["Thanks... uh..."]
  On Fire - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob notices his name tag is missing]
  Pua Paoakalani B - Kapono Beamer, Queen Lili'uokalani [SpongeBob cries]
  Against the Law (C) - Wilfred William Burns [bank robbery]
  On Fire - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob panics]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White ["Attention, all employees!"]
  On Fire - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob panics again]
  Harp! - Nicolas Carr ["Squidward, you're a genius!"]
  Hawaiian Happiness - Jon Jelmer [SpongeBob going back home/SpongeBob tells Patrick to say hello him again]
  On Fire - Gregor F. Narholz [Patrick panics]
  On the Beach - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob retracing his steps]
  Vergnügungspark - Gerhard Trede [Patrick flubbing his lines]
  Ulkereien - Gerhard Trede [SpongeBob remembering what else he did that morning]
  Hawaiian Link (B) - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob and Patrick standing in front of the dumpster]
  Witty Fellow - Gerhard Trede [looking for SpongeBob's name tag in the dumpster]
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Could I have another hint?"]
  Dramatic Cue (B) - Ronald Hanmer ["One minute?"]
  Idea Vibe - Nicolas Carr [Patrick sees SpongeBob's name tag]
  SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer, Nicolas Carr ["Uh... I can't remember."]
  Marching to Honolulu - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob's shirt is on backwards]
  Up She Rises - Sam Spence [uniform inspection]
  Eastside Story (A) - Trevor Duncan [SpongeBob finishes his story]
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield [Hawaiian sting at the end]



  • "Missing Identity" was ranked #75 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.
  • "Missing Identity" was ranked #89 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.



  • This episode was originally planned as a Season 1 episode, according to Stephen Hillenburg's pitch bible.[2]
  • When this episode premiered in the United States, it aired second, while "Plankton's Army" aired first. This was due to "Plankton's Army" being heavily advertised as the episode where Plankton finally gets the Krabby Patty secret formula.[citation needed]
  • The fourth wall is broken when the waitress says, "Well, ya managed to kill eleven minutes," referencing the length of a normal SpongeBob episode.
    • Patrick also broke the fourth wall after saying "SpongeBoob" by apologizing to the audience.
  • The title card for this episode is the same as the one for "Reef Blower," but it is green instead.
  • In 2003, a clip from this episode was used for an event called Nickelodeon LunchToon in Nickelodeon Australia.[3]
  • SpongeBob yells "Pourquoi?" to Squidward when he was crying about losing his name tag at the Krusty Krab in this episode. "Pourquoi" means "why" in French.
  • It is revealed that Nat's last name is "Peterson."
  • The snail in the Snail-Po logo in this episode has a shell identical to the one of Larry the Snail.
  • This is the third episode where SpongeBob tastes snail food. This previously happened in "Opposite Day" and "I Was a Teenage Gary."
  • Old Man Jenkins makes a cameo appearance in this episode with his jalopy car, like in "Sailor Mouth."
  • At the beginning of the episode, there is a crossword. Four of the five things written are "Squid," "Chum," "Wet," "Sealweed," and "coral."
  • This is the first episode where Zeus Cervas is credited in the opening credits.

Cultural references


  • In early airings, the episode had an incorrect copyright date of 2001 in the credits. Later airings (and the original print of this episode) have the correct date of 2002.[4]
  • The cash register is missing when Squidward brags about being a "genius."
  • When SpongeBob turns around, showing his collar and name tag, the amount of filth on his shirt changes between scenes.
  • When SpongeBob is worrying about where his name tag is, Squidward's animation resets for a brief moment.
  • At the Krusty Krab, during the second collapse SpongeBob suffers after passing out, there is no animation of Squidward crossing his arms.

Squidward's house is missing.

  • When SpongeBob is trying to retrace his steps with Patrick, Squidward's house is not shown between SpongeBob's and Patrick's house.
    • In the same scene when Patrick is telling SpongeBob to "Retrace his steps, he has fingers instead of a large hand with a thumb.
  • When SpongeBob is retracing his steps and it shows all of Conch Street and Patrick, there is a window on the top left corner of SpongeBob's house, where there never is.
  • In the Hebrew translation, when SpongeBob tries to spell Patrick the word "name-tag," it sounds wrong since in Hebrew it is: "tagit shem" - "tag of" and "name," and he said: "name" and "tag of."[citation needed]
  • During the split-screen of SpongeBob's attempt to retrace his steps, when he says "Bleh!" the lower right box has him slamming into the window though this happened earlier. Also, he doesn't say "Bleh!" when hitting the window, but he does when he eats Snail-Po.
  • SpongeBob says "name tag" after saying "my." He also claims "name tag" is the second word, but he said three instead. Though he technically might be correct, as "name tag" can sometimes be spelt as "nametag".
  • While SpongeBob is retracing his steps, he keeps missing a step between eating SnailPo and saying hi to Patrick: putting his clothes on.
  • SpongeBob's name tag was on his back the whole time, but the few times we see him from behind before the reveal (when sliding to Gary, going inside the second time he retraces his steps and when looking at the dumpster), the name tag is not there.
  • When SpongeBob is tumbling downstairs, the stairwell wraps around the right side of the pineapple; normally, the stairwell wraps around the left side.