Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Sailor Mouth" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 2. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick learn profanity on the dumpster behind the Krusty Krab, much to Mr. Krabs' horror.



The episode begins when the Krusty Krab reaches 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, eventually finding one passage in particular reading "Krabs is a..." As SpongeBob reads the last word, which is censored via a dolphin sound, a nearby garbage man is disgusted at his usage of the word to the point where he asks SpongeBob if he kisses his mother with that mouth. Confused, SpongeBob repeats this new word to the arriving Patrick, who informs 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 and the customers are shocked, horrified and disgusted. SpongeBob greets Patrick with their new word and he does the same, to the chagrin of an old man who voices it by stating he thought the Krusty Krab is a restaurant not a guttermouth convention . SpongeBob then shares the word with everyone else over the intercom. The Krusty Krab customers are appalled by what they hear and leave for the sake of going somewhere where the employees don't work blue. In the bathroom, Mr. Krabs is alerted to the empty restaurant and rushes out. Squidward explains that SpongeBob and Patrick have learned a new word and SpongeBob said it to everybody in the Krusty Krab over the intercom, causing the customers to leave.

"Bad word?! Blegh, blegh!"

Mr. Krabs asks what SpongeBob and Patrick's new word was and Squidward explains it. Mr. Krabs sternly informs them that their new word isn’t a fancy word: it’s actually an expletive that is the eleventh of thirteen vulgar words that should never be uttered as they are all bad words. 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 accidentally 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 cannot 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.

"That's all 13, Patrick!"

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 of paint 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 and ending the episode.

Running gags

  • Characters shouting swear words and various sound effects bleep out the swear words.
  • SpongeBob keeps getting eels while Patrick keeps getting escalators.



 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Sailing Over the Dogger Bank - Brian Douglas Gulland, Robin Jeffrey, Tim Laycock, Robert Alexander White [title card]
  Blow the Man Down - Brian Peters [closing time]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band [SpongeBob taking out the trash]
  Idea Vibe - 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..."]
  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 episode became controversial, as it uses humor related to profanity, despite the episode censoring out the apparent swear words with marine sound effects (i.e. foghorn, seal barking, dolphin chirping, etc.).
  • According to a report titled Wolves in Sheep's Clothing,[2] which documents the increase in potentially violent, profane, and sexual content in children's programming, the Parents Television Council, a watchdog media group, and fans believed the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Sailor Mouth" was an implicit attempt to promote and satirize use of profanity among children. The episode originally aired during the 2001–02 television season, ironically the season in which the PTC named SpongeBob SquarePants among the best programs on cable television,[3] but the report cited a repeat broadcast of this episode from 2005 to prove its point that it promoted use of profanity among children.[4] In a later report, several members of the PTC listed "Sailor Mouth" as an example of how levels of profane, sexual, and violent activity has increased in children's television programming.[5] Nickelodeon, in response to the incident, said "It's sad and a little desperate that they stooped to literally putting profane language in the mouths of our characters to make a point. Has the FCC looked at this?"[6] Richard Huff of the New York Daily News criticized the report for misinterpreting "Sailor Mouth" over its intent to satirize profanity implicitly.[7]
  • "Sailor Mouth" was ranked #96 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.
  • "Sailor Mouth" was ranked #78 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.
  • This episode is number 16 on The Tom Kenny Collection on iTunes and Amazon.com. His description says:

"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 is the first episode in the series where a title card song has lyrics.
  • SpongeBob has cussed in "Krusty Love". The swears in said episode were not bleeped, but either gibberish or profanities native to ocean dwellers.

"Patchy was here."

  • The words "Patchy was here" can be seen on the dumpster. 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 [Drymon's] mother has a sailor mouth herself."

  • Bad Word #11 is later said in other parts of the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise:
  • According to The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash marathon's Celebrity Favorites, Chris Pine rated this as his favorite SpongeBob SquarePants episode.
  • During Bikini Bottom's Most Wanted, this episode was paired with "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V."
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Prostaci," translating to "Hecklers."
  • 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."
  • The graffiti on the dumpster in this episode is as follows:
    • "Up with bubbles, down with air"
    • "Patchy was here" (reference to Patchy the Pirate)
    • "Dogfish ♥s Catfish" (reference to the rivalry between real-life dogs and cats)
    • "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]"
    • Onix (reference to Onix from Pokémon series)
  • The "Squidward Smells" writing behind the green mess on the dumpster looks very similar to the "Something Smells" title card.
  • When Squidward whispers to Mr. Krabs about what word SpongeBob said, he actually says, "Johnny Vandalism."
  • The dolphin chirp sound is actually the sped-up call of a 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.
  • One of the sound effects used to censor the curse words is the same sound used for SpongeBob's alarm clock.
  • List of sound effects used to censor the curse words:
    • Dolphin chirping (most common)
    • Sea lion honking
    • Tugboat horn
    • Air horn
    • Steam locomotive horn (three different variants)
    • Seagull calls
    • Locomotive bells
    • SpongeBob's foghorn alarm clock
    • Klaxon horn (at the end only)
  • According to the episode's production number (5572-182), this was meant to be the first episode of season three.
  • Mama Krabs' lip sync was assumed to be swearing (when her words were filtered by Old Man Jenkins' car horn), she actually says, "My poor old foot!"
  • According to an interview from February 1, 2015 with SpongeBob's voice actor, Tom Kenny, the show's creator Stephen Hillenburg gave the cast members permission to swear in the recording studio when they were making this episode.[8]
  • The episode's script, which can accessed through a DVD-ROM feature on the third disc of The Complete 2nd Season DVD, shows "(bleep)" in place of the swear words.
  • This marks the last time "Oyster Girls" is played.
  • This is the first appearance of Mr. Krabs' mother.
  • This is the first episode to have singing in the title card.
  • This episode was paired different episodes:
  • The episode is referenced in the Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years episode "Sugar Squeeze" on a poster inside the cabin at the beginning of the episode.

Cultural references

  • 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."
  • Squidward's quote "Don't you mean there are only seven?" was a reference to the comedian George Carlin's iconic routine, "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television."
  • The game Eels and Escalators is a parody of the board game Snakes and Ladders.


Help Wanted sign error.

  • When SpongeBob walks into the Krusty Krab after reading the dumpster writing, a Help Wanted sign is seen. Also, the road leading to the Chum Bucket is missing.
  • 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.

One of SpongeBob's eyelashes is missing.

  • When SpongeBob and Patrick promise to Mr. Krabs that they will never use number 11 again, one of SpongeBob's eyelashes is missing.
Polish 20200225 172742361.jpg
  • Right after SpongeBob and Patrick make a promise to Mr. Krabs, a bubble transition is shown. For a brief second, a blue screen appears at the bottom of the screen that says ETC 1:4 on the bottom screen. It is unclear if a compositing error was due during production.
    • This error has also happened in a few other episodes, such as "Doing Time".
  • When SpongeBob says, "Yeah verily. Now, let's play a nice wholesome game of Eels and Escalators," the game board is shown, but SpongeBob's left arm and the dice that he had on his left hand are missing, while Patrick is sitting down. In the next scene when Patrick says, "Oh boy, my favorite!," he is lying down again.
  • Just before Patrick says, "Oooooh! You said number eleven!," he bounces for a split second.

The outline of the tongue is gone.

  • When Mr. Krabs comes out with the paint cans, the outline of his tongue is not there.
  • When Mr. Krabs says, "From top to bottom," before his right foot hits the rock, he has his teeth together because his mouth is not in sync with the dialogue.
  • Mr. Krabs could be heard talking over one of the curse word sound effects midway through his tirade.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick thought Mr. Krabs said "all 13" when he actually said 12. Mr. Krabs said, "...a whole lotta [8] and with a side of [11]."
  • SpongeBob starts counting on his other hand when he reaches five swear words, rather than six.
    • Similarly, Patrick starts counting from nine when SpongeBob has eight fingers raised.

Nematodes is misspelled as "Nematoads."

  • In one of the dumpster writings, Nematodes is misspelled as "Nematoads." However, it may have been done on purpose.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Krabs' right foot gets hit, but he holds his left foot which is uninjured. Mama Krabs has the same error.
  • For a majority of this episode, SpongeBob's top left pore is bigger than it usually is.


Wikipedia logo.jpg This page uses content from Wikipedia (originalauthors). Both Encyclopedia SpongeBobia and Wikipedia are licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported license.