Encyclopedia SpongeBobia


Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
This is the page about the third season of the main series. For other uses, see Season 3 (disambiguation).

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

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.

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 popular demand and 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
41a "The Algae's Always Greener" (tr • ga) March 22, 2002
Plankton switches lives with Mr. Krabs.
SpongeGuard on Duty title card
41b "SpongeGuard on Duty" (tr • ga) March 22, 2002
SpongeBob becomes a lifeguard at Goo Lagoon.
Club SpongeBob title card
42a "Club SpongeBob" (tr • ga) July 12, 2002
SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward get trapped in the Kelp Forest.
My Pretty Seahorse title card
42b "My Pretty Seahorse" (tr • ga) July 12, 2002
SpongeBob adopts a stray seahorse.
Just One Bite title card
43a "Just One Bite" (tr • ga)
October 5, 2001
January 2, 2002
SpongeBob tries to get Squidward to try a Krabby Patty.
The Bully title card
43b "The Bully" (tr • ga) October 5, 2001
A bully joins SpongeBob's boating class and threatens to kick his butt.
Nasty Patty title card
44a "Nasty Patty" (tr • ga) March 1, 2002
SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs think they killed the health inspector.
Idiot Box title card
44b "Idiot Box" (tr • ga) March 1, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick use their imagination to play with an empty box.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV title card
45a "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" (tr • ga) January 21, 2002
SpongeBob obtains Mermaid Man's utility belt.
Doing Time title card
45b "Doing Time" (tr • ga) January 21, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick try to break Mrs. Puff out of jail.
Snowball Effect title card
46a "Snowball Effect" (tr • ga) 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
46b "One Krabs Trash" (tr • ga) February 22, 2002
Mr. Krabs sells SpongeBob a valuable soda drink hat.
As Seen on TV title card
47a "As Seen on TV" (tr • ga) March 8, 2002
SpongeBob believes he has become famous off a Krusty Krab commercial.
Can You Spare a Dime? title card
47b "Can You Spare a Dime?" (tr • ga) March 8, 2002
Squidward quits his job and stays at SpongeBob's house.
No Weenies Allowed title card
48a "No Weenies Allowed" (tr • ga) March 15, 2002
SpongeBob tries to act tough in order to get into The Salty Spitoon.
Squilliam Returns title card
48b "Squilliam Returns" (tr • ga) March 15, 2002
Squidward tries to convince Squilliam that he owns a five-star restaurant.
Krab Borg title card
49a "Krab Borg" (tr • ga) March 29, 2002
SpongeBob and Squidward think Mr. Krabs is a robot.
Rock-a-Bye Bivalve title card
49b "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" (tr • ga) March 29, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick care for a baby scallop.
Wet Painters title card
50a "Wet Painters" (tr • ga) May 10, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick paint the inside of Mr. Krabs' house.
Krusty Krab Training Video title card
50b "Krusty Krab Training Video" (tr • ga) May 10, 2002
The Krusty Krab is featured in an instructional video for future employees.
Party Pooper Pants title card
51 "Party Pooper Pants" (tr • ga) May 17, 2002
SpongeBob throws a party.
Chocolate with Nuts title card
52a "Chocolate with Nuts" (tr • ga) June 1, 2002
SpongeBob and Patrick sell chocolate bars.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V title card
52b "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V" (tr • ga) June 1, 2002
Barnacle Boy joins the dark side.
New Student Starfish title card
53a "New Student Starfish" (tr • ga) September 20, 2002
Patrick joins SpongeBob's boating school.
Clams title card
53b "Clams" (tr • ga) September 20, 2002
Mr. Krabs' one millionth dollar is eaten by a clam during a fishing trip.
Ugh title card
54 "Ugh" (tr • ga) March 5, 2004
SpongeGar, Patar, and Squog discover fire.
The Great Snail Race title card
55a "The Great Snail Race" (tr • ga) January 24, 2003
SpongeBob enters Gary into a snail race against Squidward and his new pet Snellie.
Mid-Life Crustacean title card
55b "Mid-Life Crustacean" (tr • ga) January 24, 2003
Mr. Krabs joins SpongeBob and Patrick for a night out in the town.
Born Again Krabs title card
56a "Born Again Krabs" (tr • ga) October 4, 2003
Mr. Krabs tries to sell a moldy Krabby Patty until he encounters the Flying Dutchman.
I Had an Accident title card
56b "I Had an Accident" (tr • ga) October 4, 2003
SpongeBob refuses to go outside after breaking his butt while sandboarding.
Krabby Land title card
57a "Krabby Land" (tr • ga) April 3, 2004
Mr. Krabs builds a junky playground.
The Camping Episode title card
57b "The Camping Episode" (tr • ga) April 3, 2004
SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward go camping.
Missing Identity title card
58a "Missing Identity" (tr • ga) January 19, 2004
SpongeBob recalls a day where he loses his name tag.
Plankton's Army title card
58b "Plankton's Army" (tr • ga) January 19, 2004
Plankton enlists the help of his hillbilly cousins to steal the Krabby Patty formula.
The Sponge Who Could Fly title card
59 "The Sponge Who Could Fly" (tr • ga) March 21, 2003
SpongeBob wishes he could fly with the jellyfish.
SpongeBob Meets the Strangler title card
60a "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler" (tr • ga) October 11, 2004
A criminal attempts to get revenge on SpongeBob.
Pranks a Lot title card
60b "Pranks a Lot" (tr • ga) October 11, 2004
SpongeBob and Patrick use invisibility spray to play pranks on the citizens of Bikini Bottom.

*(HH) indicates the amount of households the episode was viewed in.


  • 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.
  • Since production of season 4 started in 2004, no episodes were produced and copyrighted in 2003.
  • "Just One Bite" and "The Bully" are the only episodes to premiere in 2001.
  • This is the first season to not have a holiday special.
  • This is the first full season to have all of its episodes released in the 21st century.
  • This was the only season where "Gator" does not play, until season 13.
  • This is the season that holds the record of most time cards entirely shown, having 23.
    • This is also the season that has the episode with the most time cards shown, "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve," having 5.
  • Multiple episodes from this season (specifically "SpongeGuard on Duty," "The Algae's Always Greener," "The Bully," "Club SpongeBob," "My Pretty Seahorse," and "Just One Bite") were originally produced for the previous season, but were later moved for unknown reasons.
  • "Jellyfish Hunter," a season 2 episode, was originally produced for this season but was pushed back for unknown reasons.
  • This season is currently tied with season 8 for the least amount of title drops.


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