- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Patrick Star
- Incidental 41
- Incidental 64
- Incidental 222 (debut)
- Incidental 200 (debut)
- Incidental 214 (debut)
- Incidental 204 (debut)
- Incidental 211 (debut)
- Incidental 201 (debut)
- Incidental 220 (debut)
- Incidental 206 (debut)
- Incidental 202 (debut)
- Incidental 212 (debut)
- Incidental 221 (debut)
- Giant anglerfish (debut)
- Green soil (debut)
- Three baby fish (debut)
- Sea urchins
- Grandpa SquarePants (mentioned and depicted by SpongeBob)
- Gary the Snail (mentioned)
As the episode begins, 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 unusual and 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 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.
- A bus quickly driving off whenever SpongeBob attempts to enter.
- Nat getting hit with SpongeBob's balloon while he searches for some money.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Moon Walk - John Fox [Title card]
‣ Roll Up Waltz [#11.05] - Andrew J J Hall [opening at Glove World!]
• SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob and Patrick on the bus]
‣ Missile Disaster - John Fox [Bikini Bottom City Limits]
‣ On Fire - Gregor F. Narholz [bus drives down a cliff]
‣ Moon Walk - John Fox [SpongeBob and Patrick in Rock Bottom]
‣ Mavericks - The Woodies [SpongeBob chasing the bus]
‣ Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill [waiting for next bus]
‣ Vibe Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["Uh-oh, shoe's untied."]
‣ Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob still waiting]
• Grass Skirt Chase - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [The wind blows SpongeBob's balloon away]
• SpongeBob Theme - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Someone chases SpongeBob's balloon.]
‣ Kamakani (b) - Kapono Beamer ["Well, there goes another one."]
‣ Orchestral Effect (f) - Dick Stephen Walter [Glove candy dispenser]
• Gator - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob sees a candy machine]
‣ Pell-Mell - Sam Spence [Pushing buttons on machine]
• Tension Bit - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob reaches toward the candy bar]
‣ Deadline - Sam Spence [SpongeBob goes to the bus station]
‣ Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [329th in line]
‣ On the Beach - Kapono Beamer [Clock ticking]
‣ Menace from the Deep - Robert Cornford [Lights turned off]
‣ Death Trap [#25] - Gregor F. Narholz [someone approaching]
‣ Royal Hawaiian Hula - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob's balloon travel home]
‣ Honolulu March - Hans Haider [Ending]
- This episode is available on The Complete 1st Season, Fools in April, Aaarg!, First 100 Episodes, The Ultimate SpongeBob Box Set, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 2, The Complete First Season, From the Beginning, Part 1, The SpongeBob SquarePants Collection, On the Road Again, SpongeBob SquarePants Has Hit Rock Bottom, Rock Bottom, The SpongeBob SquarePants 8 Season DVD Collection, Glove World Forever, The First & Second Seasons, Movies & TV Collection, and The Best 200 Episodes Ever DVDs.
- "Rock Bottom" was ranked #79 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.
- "Rock Bottom" was ranked #41 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.
- The title card is similar to that of "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost," except it is recolored and backward.
- This is the first episode to use the APM track "Missile Disaster."
- This episode marks the first appearance of Glove World!
- 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, the 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.
- This episode's working title is "The Wrong Bus," as can be seen on pieces of concept art.
- This is the last episode written by Ennio Torresan before he left for Disney and later DreamWorks Animation.
- Mr. Lawrence stated that the idea for this episode came from his own moment of 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.
- This is also the case for its sister episode, "Arrgh!"
- This is one of the seven episodes in which the 1986 Paramount logo is plastered with the 2002 Paramount logo. The others are "Help Wanted," "Squeaky Boots," "F.U.N.," "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost," "Employee of the Month," and "Karate Choppers."
- The fish who works at the Rock Bottom bus station who give schedules of when the buses are coming is the same fish who stole SpongeBob's Kelp Nougat Crunch candy bar from the vending machine.
- In the level "Rock Bottom" from Battle for Bikini Bottom and Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated, 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."
- Certain signs have been misspelled, possibly deliberately. The bus stop sign reads "BUZ" with a "Z" at the end instead of an "S" at the end (or maybe a backwards "S"). 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.
- There is an online game based on this episode called Bikini Bottom or Bust.
- In the Croatian dub, this episode is titled "Dno Dna" or "Bottom Floor."
- In 2008, this episode inspired the roller coaster SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge, at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.
- SpongeBob saying "advanced darkness" has become an internet meme.
- This episode, along with "Arrgh!," as well as "Valentine's Day"/"The Paper," rarely airs on the British Nicktoons.
- This is the only episode to end with a bubble transition.
- This is the first episode segment to not feature Squidward, though his house is briefly seen in both episodes.
- On the old Nickelodeon website, this episode is alternatively known as "The Bus."
- 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."
- In the Spanish (Latin American) dub, after SpongeBob shouts 'Tartar sauce' (Salsa tartara), instead of speaking gibberish afterward, he shouts "...las percebes, tentaculos, medusas" ([the] barnacles, tentacles, jellyfish) then speaks gibberish. *
- This episode was paired up with different episodes:
- One "Scan Your Happy Meal Box" game on the McDonald’s Happy Meal app in the UK included footage from this episode.
- How the flashlight shorted out just seconds after SpongeBob activated it is unknown, since he did not even use the flashlight or take it out prior.
- He could have damaged it.
- The episode's name could possibly be a reference to the phrase "hitting rock bottom," which is a phrase normally in relation to addiction.
- Rock bottom is a figure of speech that means at the lowest possible level, fitting the city's location.
- 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."
- This was fixed on The Complete 1st Season DVD.
- 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 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 forward. However, he actually runs to the side.
- When the cardboard SpongeBob is at the candy machine, it does not smile, but it smiles when it falls.
- 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.
- The storyboard artists are not credited in this episode. Only the storyboard directors are credited.
- This error also occurs in "The Fry Cook Games."
- 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.
- There are a few errors in this scene.
- 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.
- Patrick's and Squidward's houses are missing, but in the next scene, they reappear.
- SpongeBob's pineapple is poorly and cheaply inserted.
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