- Eugene H. Krabs
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Squidward Tentacles
- Nematodes (mentioned)
- Dogfish (written on dumpster)
- Catfish (written on dumpster)
- Patchy the Pirate (written on dumpster)
- Margaret SquarePants (mentioned as "mother")
- Patrick Star
- Harold (red fish)
- Vera Fishbowl
- Nancy Suzy Fish
- Harold "Bill" Reginald
- Pirate captain (debut)
- Old Man Jenkins
- Norma Rechid
- Jimmy Gus
- Susie Rechid
- Nat Peterson
- Octopus mother (debut)
- Octopus quintuplets (debut)
- Miss Shell
- Other Krustomers
- Eels (on Eels and Escalators board)
- Gary the Snail (mentioned)
- Betsy Krabs (debut)
The Krusty Krab has reached closing time and SpongeBob is about to leave, but is ordered by Mr. Krabs to take the trash on his way out. When SpongeBob goes around to the back of the restaurant, he peruses some of the dumpster writing, one passage in particular reading "Krabs is a..." As SpongeBob reads the last word, a nearby garbage man is disgusted at his usage of the word. Confused, SpongeBob repeats this new word to the arriving Patrick, who explains that it is a "sentence enhancer" used in refined conversation. They begin to repeat it to themselves and use it in conversations.
The next day, SpongeBob walks into the Krusty Krab using the word as the customers are shocked. SpongeBob greets Patrick with their new word and he does the same. SpongeBob then shares the word with everyone else over the intercom. The Krusty Krab customers are appalled by what they hear and leave. In the bathroom, Mr. Krabs is alerted to the empty restaurant and rushes out. Squidward explains that SpongeBob and Patrick repeated the word they learned on the dumpster to the Krusty Krab, causing the customers to leave.
Mr. Krabs asks what SpongeBob and Patrick's new word was and Squidward explains it. Mr. Krabs sternly informs them that it is actually the eleventh of thirteen vulgar words that should never be uttered. SpongeBob and Patrick wipe the expletive from their tongues and promise Mr. Krabs that they will never use it again.
Later, at SpongeBob's house, SpongeBob and Patrick play a game of Eels and Escalators. Patrick keeps moving up escalators while SpongeBob gets sent down the eels. After losing the game, SpongeBob angrily shouts out the expletive they promised not to say. Patrick then races to the Krusty Krab to tell Mr. Krabs while SpongeBob tries to stop him. During the chase, Patrick repeats the swear word, giving SpongeBob the excuse to tell on him instead. Thanks to Patrick's detour aboard an ice cream truck, SpongeBob reaches the Krusty Krab first and rushes to Mr. Krabs. However, SpongeBob can't get to the point, giving Patrick time to catch up and add to the clamor. Eventually, Mr. Krabs commands them to spit out what they mean to say, which turns out to be the bad word.Enraged, Mr. Krabs takes SpongeBob and Patrick outside and tells them to wait. Fearing their upcoming retribution, the two friends apologize to each other and vow to strike the word permanently from their lips. Mr. Krabs returns with cans of paint for them to give the Krusty Krab a fresh coat as punishment. However, he hits his foot on a rock, and in his pain, he shouts all thirteen expletives. Once SpongeBob and Patrick tally the curses, they run to Betsy Krabs' house to tell on her son while he chases after them to stop the pair. As Betsy answers the door, she is greeted by a cacophony of swearing from all three of them, causing her to faint.
Mr. Krabs reprimands SpongeBob and Patrick for using such salty language in front of his mother. However, Mama Krabs quickly regains consciousness, scolds all three for their sailor mouths, and sets them to work painting her house. After some time, she decides to reward them with some lemonade. On her way to get it, she hits her foot on a rock and shouts in pain. What they take to be a bad word, however, is actually the car horn of Old Man Jenkins' jalopy, with Jenkins greeting Betsy, giving them all a good laugh.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Blow the Man Down - Brian Peters [closing time]
‣ The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band [SpongeBob taking out the trash]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hmm?"]
‣ Tomfoolery - David Snell [sentence enhancers]
‣ The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [the Krusty Krab the next day]
‣ Dramatic Cue (h) - Ronald Hanmer ["The Krusty Krab! She's empty!"]
‣ Dramatic Cue (g) - Ronald Hanmer ["All hands on deck!"]
‣ Advance Attack - Sam Fonteyn [Krabs chews out SpongeBob and Patrick]
‣ Bobby Shaftoe - Brian Peters ["That's bad word number 11."]
‣ Hawaiian Holiday - Kapono Beamer [they promise not to use the word again]
‣ Earl's Revenge - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Eels, Escalators]
‣ Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["Ooh... you said number 11!"]
‣ Six Powerful Cues (d) - Wilfred William Burns ["I didn't mean..."]
‣ Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick goes to tell on SpongeBob]
‣ Dramatic Impact 3 - Ivor Slaney ["Do my ears deceive me?"]
‣ The Achterhoek Dances - Jan Rap ["Time to take out the trash."]
‣ Dramatic Cue (e) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob and Patrick worried]
‣ Blow the Man Down (c) - Robert Alexander White ["I'm sorry, Patrick."]
‣ The Achterhoek Dances - Jan Rap ["Alright, you two foul mouths..."/Krabs says all 13 bad words/"No, please, not me mommy!"]
‣ Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Wait! Please don't tell me mother!"]
‣ The Drunken Sailor - Brian Peters [SpongeBob and Patrick telling on Krabs]
‣ Beautiful Moonlit Night - Carl Maria Von Weber, George Wilson [Mama Krabs faints]
‣ Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [painting Mama Krabs' house]
‣ Oyster Girls - Robert Alexander White [ending]
"This was also one of the silliest recording sessions ever. We had to come up with fake 'cuss words' to stick in the dialogue to be 'bleeped out' later. I was laughing so hard, they recorded me while I lay on the floor of the sound booth."
- This episode became controversial, as it teaches children about inappropriate words, despite the episode censoring swearing with marine sound effects (i.e. foghorn, seal barking, dolphin chirping, etc.) so the kids don't know what they said.
- This episode also drew criticism from the Parents' Television Council, critics and some of the show's fans since they felt it encouraged children to use profanity. Despite this, the episode's intent was to deter swearing and show and that it results in being punished. When Mr. Krabs told Patrick and SpongeBob they were using bad words, they were horrified. When they all used them again, they were punished with painting the Krusty Krab and Mrs. Krabs' house.
- "Sailor Mouth" was ranked #96 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
- This episode premiered in Canada on December 14, 2001.
- SpongeBob swore before in "Krusty Love," two episodes prior to this. The swears in said episode were not bleeped, but either gibberish or profanities native only to ocean dwellers.
- SpongeBob swears again in 'The Abrasive Side" and "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout," this places this episode before them as SpongeBob knows what swearing is in those episodes.
- If one were to look closely on the dumpster, one can see the words "Patchy was here." This is a reference to Patchy the Pirate.
- According to two interviews found here and here, the idea for this episode came from a childhood experience:
Learning a curse word is a classic thing that all kids go through. It was inspired by creative director Derek Drymon's experience of getting in trouble as a child for using the f-word in front of his mother. Drymon said, "The scene where Patrick is running to Mr. Krabs to tattle, with SpongeBob chasing him, is pretty much how it happened in real life." The end of the episode, where Mr. Krabs uses more profanity than SpongeBob and Patrick, was inspired "by the fact that my Drymon's mother has a sailor mouth herself."
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game, bad word number 11 is said twice in Planktopolis.
- This episode was quoted to be Chris Pine's favorite episode.
- In Croatian dub, the episode name is "Prostaci," translating to "Hecklers."
- This episode is based on the reputation of sailors to use an abundance of profanities. The episode's title is based on the term "sailor mouth," meaning someone who swears a lot. Other terms include "swearing like a sailor." Among other names are foul-mouth and potty mouth.
- In the Russian dub, the amount of bad words Squidward knows is eight instead of seven.
- In the Brazilian dubbing, Betsy Krabs has a deep masculine voice.
- Dolphin noises are heard in other episodes, but they are not used to censor expletives. An example would be the dolphin noises in "Jellyfish Jam." Another one would be SpongeBob making dolphin noises in "The Paper" and "You Don't Know Sponge."
- Some of the dumpster writings:
- Up with bubbles, down with air
- Patchy was here
- Dogfish ♥s Catfish
- Starfish rool (reference to Patrick)
- Nematodes are people, too
- Squidward smells GOOD (the last word added by SpongeBob, who assumed that the writing was unfinished)
- Krabs is a [dolphin chirp]
- The "Squidward Smells" writing behind the green mess on the dumpster looks very similar to the "Something Smells" title card both in appearance and name.
- Patrick calling Mr. Krabs a "red sweaty guy" is a reference to the episode "Arrgh!"
- When Squidward whispers in Mr. Krabs about what word SpongeBob said, he actually says "Johnny Vandalism."
- Bad word number 11 was later said by a seagull during the Rap Battle in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
- In the Broadway musical, after Plankton's cover is blown, Mr. Krabs calls Plankton a (dolphin chirp), to which Plankton replies, "How dare you call me a (dolphin chirp)!"
- The dolphin chirp sounds is actually a sped-up kookaburra originally used in the 1963 film Flipper, and is still available from the first volume of The Premiere Edition from The Hollywood Edge sound effects library released in 1990.
- This is the only episode so far whose title card music has vocals.
- Squidward's quote "Don't you mean there are only seven?" was a reference to the comedian George Carlin's infamous routine, "Seven dirty words."
- The game Eels and Escalators is a parody of the board game Snakes and Ladders.
- On the Dumpster the word, "Onix" is written, which is most likely a misspelling of the semiprecious stone Onyx.
- When Mr. Krabs asks, "What kind of things?" the closed-caption says "What things?"
- When the mother octopus is blocking her children's ears, the cap on the son she misses is red, but when the child is shown up close, his cap is blue.
- When SpongeBob says: "Yeah verily. Now, let's play a nice wholesome game of "Eels and Escalators." It shows the game board, but SpongeBob's left arm and the dice that SpongeBob had on his left hand are missing, while Patrick is sitting down. The next scene when Patrick says: "Oh boy, my favorite!" He is lying down, again.
- When Mr. Krabs says: "From top to bottom," before his right foot hits the rock, he had his teeth together because his mouth wasn't in sync with the dialogue.
- When Mr. Krabs was at the bathroom on the toilet his naked bottom was seen. And his right foot got hit, he held his left foot which was uninjured. Mama Krabs had the same error.
- When Mr. Krabs pulls the penny out of Betsy Krabs' pocket, it is nickel instead of copper.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick promise to Mr. Krabs that they'll never use number 11 again, one of SpongeBob's eyelashes is missing.
- When Mama Krabs goes to SpongeBob, Patrick and Mr. Krabs and says: "I guess you three scallywags have earned a glass of lemonade," the dots on her claw become blue for a moment.
- Just before Patrick says "Oooooh! You said number eleven!," he bounces for a split second.
- When Mr. Krabs comes out with the paint cans, the outline of his tongue isn't there.
- Characters shouting swear words and various sound effects bleep out the curse words.
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