Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
If you were looking for the article about the DVD, then see The Complete 3rd Season.

The third season of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants, created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, aired on Nickelodeon from October 5, 2001 to October 11, 2004, and consists of 20 episodes. The series chronicles the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The season was executive-produced by series creator Hillenburg, who also acted as the showrunner. Season 3 was announced on September 20, 2000.[1] It began on October 5, 2001 with the episode "Just One Bite" and ended on October 11, 2004 with the episode "Pranks a Lot."

The season was well received by media critics and fans. During its run, SpongeBob SquarePants became the highest rated children's show on cable, with over 50 million viewers a month. The show received several recognitions, including its nomination at the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children's Program. The episodes "New Student Starfish" and "Clams" were nominated for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) category, while the entry "SpongeBob B.C. (Ugh)" won the same category. The season was also the first time the show received a nomination at the Kids' Choice Awards and won. It won the 2003 Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Cartoon, and also won the following year's Kids' Choice Award for the same category. Celebrities—including Justin Timberlake, Kelly Osbourne, Britney Spears, Bruce Willis, Noel Gallagher, rapper Dr. Dre, and Mike Myers—have been reported to be fans of the show.[2]

Several compilation DVDs that contain episodes from the season were released. The SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 3rd Season DVD was released in Region 1 on September 27, 2005, Region 2 on December 3, 2007, and Region 4 on November 8, 2007.


During production of the previous season, Nickelodeon already renewed SpongeBob SquarePants for a third season on September 20, 2000, due to the show's high ratings across basic cable television.[3]

Hillenburg halted production on the show to work on the 2004 film adaptation of the series, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. After production on the film, Hillenburg resigned from the show as its showrunner and appointed staff writer Paul Tibbitt to overtake the position. Season 3 was originally set to end the series after the release of the first film, but Nickelodeon denied the series from ending, and insisted to continue the series no matter what due to its critical and commercial success, leading to a fourth season.

List of episodes

Title card # Title U.S. airdate U.S. viewers
The Algae's Always Greener title card.png
41a "The Algae's Always Greener" March 22, 2002
Plankton uses one of his inventions to swap lives with his rival, Mr. Krabs.
SpongeGuard on Duty title card.png
41b "SpongeGuard on Duty" March 22, 2002
SpongeBob becomes a lifeguard at Goo Lagoon and closes it down, but he can't swim and has to find a way to rescue Patrick when he drowns in the lagoon.
Club SpongeBob title card.png
42a "Club SpongeBob" July 12, 2002
SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward are flung into and stranded in the Kelp Forest, where the former two depend their lives on the Magic Conch shell.
My Pretty Seahorse title card.png
42b "My Pretty Seahorse" July 12, 2002
SpongeBob adopts a stray seahorse.
Just One Bite title card.png
43a "Just One Bite" October 5, 2001
SpongeBob tries to get Squidward to try a Krabby Patty.
The Bully title card.png
43b "The Bully" October 5, 2001
A bully joins SpongeBob's boating class and threatens him that he will kick his butt.
Nasty Patty title card.png
44a "Nasty Patty" March 1, 2002
Trouble emerges when SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs create a tainted Krabby Patty to prank a seemingly false health inspector, and then think they killed him.
Idiot Box title card.png
44b "Idiot Box" March 1, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick use their imagination to play with an empty box.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV title card.png
45a "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" January 21, 2002
SpongeBob plays with Mermaid Man's shrink ray on his utility belt, but doesn't know how to turn things back to normal size.
Doing Time title card.png
45b "Doing Time" January 21, 2002
Mrs. Puff imagines going to jail and SpongeBob and Patrick try to break her out.
Snowball Effect title card.png
46a "Snowball Effect" February 22, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick have a snowball fight and try to get Squidward to join in as well.
One Krabs Trash title card.png
46b "One Krabs Trash" February 22, 2002
Mr. Krabs sells SpongeBob a soda drinking hat but after hearing how valuable it is, he decides to try and get it back.
As Seen on TV title card.png
47a "As Seen on TV" March 8, 2002
The Krusty Krab airs its first commercial and SpongeBob believes he has become famous off of it.
Can You Spare a Dime? title card.png
47b "Can You Spare a Dime?" March 8, 2002
Squidward quits his job and SpongeBob decides to let him stay at his house, but despite Gary's warnings, Squidward secretly uses him to his advantage.
No Weenies Allowed title card.png
48a "No Weenies Allowed" March 15, 2002
SpongeBob tries to act tough in order to get into The Salty Spitoon.
Squilliam Returns title card.png
48b "Squilliam Returns" March 15, 2002
Squidward tries to convince Squilliam that he owns a five-star restaurant.
Krab Borg title card.png
49a "Krab Borg" March 29, 2002
SpongeBob and Squidward think Mr. Krabs is a robot.
Rock-a-Bye Bivalve title card.png
49b "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" March 29, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick care for a baby scallop.
Wet Painters title card.png
50a "Wet Painters" May 10, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick paint the inside of Mr. Krabs' house, but at the cost of their behinds if anything other than the walls gets painted on.
Krusty Krab Training Video title card.png
50b "Krusty Krab Training Video" May 10, 2002
The Krusty Krab is featured in an instructional video for future employees.
Party Pooper Pants title card.png
51 "Party Pooper Pants" May 17, 2002
SpongeBob throws a party, but his guests refuse to follow his rather strict schedule and he ends up getting locked outside. Meanwhile, Patchy the Pirate is throwing his own party.
Chocolate with Nuts title card.png
52a "Chocolate with Nuts" June 1, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick read Squidward's fancy magazine and want to become entrepreneurs, so they proceed to sell chocolate bars, which doesn't go as planned.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V title card.png
52b "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V" June 1, 2002
After being childishly teased for having "Boy" in his name, Barnacle Boy joins the dark side and a team emerges to try and stop him and his new allies.
New Student Starfish title card.png
53a "New Student Starfish" September 20, 2002
Patrick joins SpongeBob's boating school, but he gets SpongeBob in trouble.
Clams title card.png
53b "Clams" September 20, 2002
Mr. Krabs earns his millionth dollar and takes his crew on a fishing trip, but a clam eats the dollar, and he orders his crew to get it back.
Ugh title card.png
54 "Ugh" March 5, 2004
SpongeGar, Patar, and Squog discover fire.
The Great Snail Race title card.png
55a "The Great Snail Race" January 24, 2003
SpongeBob is fed up over Squidward's insults towards his snail Gary, and when Squidward rents his own snail for a snail race tournament, SpongeBob forcefully trains Gary to enter him in the race as well.
Mid-Life Crustacean title card.png
55b "Mid-Life Crustacean" January 24, 2003
Mr. Krabs has a mid-life crisis when he realizes that he is old, so to make him feel young again, he joins SpongeBob and Patrick for a night out on the town.
Born Again Krabs title card.png
56a "Born Again Krabs" October 4, 2003
Mr. Krabs encounters the Flying Dutchman for his cheap actions after being sent to the hospital after eating a moldy Krabby Patty he tried to sell.
I Had an Accident title card.png
56b "I Had an Accident" October 4, 2003
SpongeBob breaks his butt while sand-sledding and becomes an introvert, but Patrick and Sandy try to convince him to come outside, where a gorilla eventually attacks them.
Krabby Land title card.png
57a "Krabby Land" April 3, 2004
Mr. Krabs builds a junky playground in an attempt to get lots of money from children.
The Camping Episode title card.png
57b "The Camping Episode" April 3, 2004
SpongeBob and Patrick go camping on SpongeBob's front lawn, to Squidward's dismay.
Missing Identity title card.png
58a "Missing Identity" January 19, 2004
SpongeBob loses his name tag.
Plankton's Army title card.png
58b "Plankton's Army" January 19, 2004
Plankton enlists the help of his hillbilly cousins to steal the Krabby Patty formula.
The Sponge Who Could Fly title card.png
59 "The Sponge Who Could Fly" March 21, 2003
SpongeBob wishes he could fly with the jellyfish, despite the residents of Bikini Bottom repeatedly making fun of him.
SpongeBob Meets the Strangler title card.png
60a "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler" October 11, 2004
A criminal attempts to get revenge on SpongeBob.
Pranks a Lot title card.png
60b "Pranks a Lot" October 11, 2004
SpongeBob and Patrick use invisibility spray to play pranks on the citizens of Bikini Bottom.


  • Most episodes in this season were produced in 2001 and 2002, and most aired in 2002, due to production of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Some episodes were aired in 2003 and 2004, most notably in the United States.
  • "Just One Bite" and "The Bully" are the only episodes to premiere in 2001.
  • This is the first season not to have a holiday episode.
  • This is the first full season to have all of its episodes released in the 21st century.
  • All episodes in this season aired in France in 3 days.


  1. ^ Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants
  2. ^ Wareham, Mark (April 3, 2003). Yellow Fever; Bruce Willis Loves the Little Yellow Chap and Rob Lowe and Noel Gallagher Are Also Fans. Children's Cartoon Character SpongeBob SquarePants Is Attracting a Cult Following with Viewers Old Enough to Know Better. High Beam. Retrieved on February 13, 2018.
  3. ^ The First 100 Episodes Special Features: "Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob"
  4. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/04/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020324.html?m=1
  5. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/04/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020324.html?m=1
  6. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/05/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020714.html
  7. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/05/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020714.html
  8. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/04/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020303.html
  9. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/04/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020303.html
  10. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/03/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020127.html?m=1
  11. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/03/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020127.html?m=1
  12. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/04/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020317.html?m=1
  13. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/04/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020317.html?m=1
  14. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/04/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020331.html
  15. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/04/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020331.html?m=1
  16. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/05/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020512.html
  17. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/05/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020512.html
  18. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/05/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020519.html
  19. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/05/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020602.html
  20. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/05/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020602.html
  21. ^ http://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/06/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020922.html?m=1
  22. ^ http://www.ratingsryan.com/2022/06/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20020922.html?m=1
  23. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2020/07/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20040307.html
  24. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2020/06/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20031005.html?m=1
  25. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/221124413/?terms=SpongeBob%20latter-day&match=1
  26. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2020/06/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20031005.html?m=1
  27. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/221124413/?terms=SpongeBob%20latter-day&match=1
  28. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2020/07/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20040404.html
  29. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2020/07/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20040404.html
  30. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2020/07/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20040125.html
  31. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2020/07/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20040125.html
  32. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2021/03/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20041017.html
  33. ^ https://www.ratingsryan.com/2021/03/broadcast-cable-nielsens-20041017.html
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.