SpongeBob and Patrick board a bus in order to get home from Glove World!, a glove-themed amusement park that they enjoy. They accidentally board the wrong bus, which then takes them down a cliff. The cliff leads to a sort of aphotic zone called Rock Bottom, inhabited by multiple strange deep-sea animals. SpongeBob tells Patrick to wait while he goes to try and find a bus schedule. While SpongeBob is gone searching, Patrick gets on the bus to go home but accidentally leaves SpongeBob behind. SpongeBob tries to find a bus that will take him home but nothing happens.
After several unsuccessful attempts to get on a bus, SpongeBob heads to the bus station and waits in a very long line. By the time he gets to the front, he finds out that the last bus to Bikini Bottom will leave in a few seconds, but before he has time to react, it pulls away from the station. The ticketmaster tells SpongeBob that was the last bus until morning and leaves for the night, shutting off the lights in the process. SpongeBob, who is starting to show fear, takes out his glove flashlight, but the battery shorts out, leaving him in "advanced darkness". As he stands alone in the station giving himself a pep-talk, he hears the familiar raspberry sound echoing, and makes a mad dash back to the cliff. The raspberry sound is getting closer, and SpongeBob cowers in fear, yelling out a weak threat. As the creature closes in, a bright light engulfs SpongeBob, and he lets out a scream. He is relieved when he noticed the light is coming from a friendly-looking anglerfish creature who found SpongeBob's lost glove balloon. SpongeBob sarcastically thanks him for solving the balloon problem but begins rambling about his other problem: trying to get home. The anglerfish blows up the balloon and ties it to SpongeBob's wrist. SpongeBob makes another sarcastic comment about how the balloon already has enough air, while closing his eyes and blowing raspberries. He opens his eyes to see he is floating in the air and understands the anglerfish was helping him using the unorthodox method of balloon travel. He thanks the anglerfish for his help, who replies with a polite "you're welcome" and waves goodbye. SpongeBob is able to take the currents back to Bikini Bottom and directly to the front of his house. After he lands the balloon pops and the episode ends with Patrick, riding on a bus back to Rock Bottom thinking SpongeBob is still stuck there.
Background from Pickles, but SpongeBob is from this episode.
Residents of Rock Bottom all speak by blowing a raspberry in between words. When SpongeBob tries to speak normal to the fish at the bus station, the fish could not understand his "accent" until SpongeBob starts to blow his tongue to speak.
Rock Bottom's other areas are never shown in this episode. SpongeBob only stays near the bus stop, bus station, and the entrance road, not going any further. However, in some video games, such as Battle for Bikini Bottom and SpongeBob's Boating Bash, Rock Bottom's other locations and sights are shown.
Mr. Lawrence stated that the idea for this episode came from getting on the wrong bus as a kid and the bus driver going the entire route before he would let him and his friend off in the right place, which frightened them both.
The opening credits for this episode are in light blue instead of the regular navy blue.
As the bus carrying SpongeBob and Patrick descends down the cliff face, the dramatic incidental music is from the song "Whirlpool," performed by the Detroit, Michigan surf band The Volcano.
In the level "Rock Bottom" from Battle for Bikini Bottom, when the player first starts this level and runs toward the Kandy Machine near the bus stop, a bus will drive up, stop at the bus stop for a second, and then continue driving. This is a reference to the incident in this episode.
The Dutch title of this episode is "Wachten op de Bus," which translates to "Waiting For The Bus."
The bus stop sign reads "BUZ" with a "Z" at the end instead of an "S" at the end. The vending machine sign has a "K" replacing the "C," and the "N" is backwards.
The buttons that SpongeBob presses for a Kelp Nougat Crunch are A-B-E-F-A-C-F-E-C.
This episode marks the first mentioning of Grandpa SquarePants, when SpongeBob imitates him. However, his first actual appearance is in "The Sponge Who Could Fly," albeit in a thought bubble.
The citizens of Rock Bottom are based on deep-sea animals, and Rock Bottom is apparently a deep-sea trench.
SpongeBob did not have to go ballistic at the bus station because the three baby creatures are clearly with their parent so when the line moved he is 328th in line, not 331st.
In this episode, SpongeBob notices that his shoe is untied and ties it. However, in "Your Shoe's Untied," he has forgotten how to tie his shoes and mentions that they have not been tied since he was an egg.
The audio of SpongeBob saying "Hey!" after the bus passes the first time he goes to the vending machine is taken from the bus driver's line in "Help Wanted."
"Advanced darkness" has become an internet meme, as has the line "I can't understand your accent."
On DVD releases of this episode, "Mavericks" is replaced with "El Dementia."
The clock in the bus station almost resembles a Pokéball from the Pokémon franchise.
At the beginning of this episode, when SpongeBob says, "Another funtastic day at Glove World!", his lips do not move when he says "Glove World".
If the scene when SpongeBob and Patrick are boarding the bus is played frame-by-frame, SpongeBob's right arm is missing, but appears for a brief moment.
The second time when SpongeBob checks for money in his pants, the pocket is fully brown.
When SpongeBob and Patrick get on the bus from Glove World!, SpongeBob does not have 50¢ for bus fare, but when he is in Rock Bottom, he is seen putting two coins that read "25" on them in a candy bar vending machine.
When the bus is going down the road, SpongeBob and Patrick fly to the back, but since the bus was heading down, they should have flown forward to the front of the bus.
When SpongeBob looks at the vending machine, it is facing him, but when he is choosing the candy he wants, it is facing the opposite side of the road at a 90 degree angle.
When SpongeBob yells at the man at the bus station, a sign that reads "Information" can be seen above the window, but when the lights shut off, the sign disappears.
When SpongeBob and Patrick arrive at Rock Bottom, there is no candy machine.
When SpongeBob and Patrick get on the bus, there is a fish sleeping on one of the seats, but when they arrive at Rock Bottom, he is gone.
When SpongeBob looks for a bus schedule, he has his balloon, but when he chases after the bus, the balloon is not in his hands. Then, in the next scene, he has his balloon again.
When SpongeBob is first seen dialing the letters on the candy machine, the sign titled "BUZ" disappears. It reappears in the next scene.
When SpongeBob chases the bus, his running animation shows him running forwards. However, he actually runs to the side.
When the cardboard SpongeBob is at the candy machine, it does not appear smiling, but when it falls, the cutout is.
When SpongeBob walks across the street back to the vending machine, he looks behind him to see if the bus came, but SpongeBob actually is looking at where he was standing at.
When the bus stops in Rock Bottom, the bubbles behind it freeze in mid-air.
The distance between the bus stop and when the road goes up varies between scenes.
When SpongeBob falls asleep while waiting in line at the bus station, it shows a clock that has two "3"s on it.
The storyboard artists are not credited in this episode. Only the storyboard directors are credited.
This also happens in a few other early episodes.
When SpongeBob chases after the bus Patrick is in, the exit in Rock Bottom is a greater distance away than it was in the prior scenes.
In one scene when SpongeBob is sneaking up on the bus, his holes are missing.
In the bus station, when the lights turn off, the !ИFθRNNA|-'iθИَ sign disappears, but a few scenes later, it reappears.
When SpongeBob flies above Bikini Bottom, his house is in the center of Bikini Bottom. But when he gets to his house, his house is no longer surrounded by lots of houses around it.
Whenever SpongeBob sees a bus and tries to run up to it, it quickly drives off.
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)