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.

Production

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 the success prevented the series from ending, leading to a fourth season.


Title card # Title Airdate U.S. viewers (millions)
The Algae's Always Greener title card.png
41a "The Algae's Always Greener" March 22, 2002
N/A
Mr. Krabs and Plankton switch lives.
SpongeGuard on Duty title card.png
41b "SpongeGuard on Duty" March 22, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob becomes a lifeguard at Goo Lagoon.
Club SpongeBob title card.png
42a "Club SpongeBob" July 12, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward are flung into Kelp Forest.
My Pretty Seahorse title card.png
42b "My Pretty Seahorse" July 12, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob adopts a stray seahorse.
Just One Bite title card.png
43a "Just One Bite" October 5, 2001
N/A
SpongeBob tries to get Squidward to try a Krabby Patty.
The Bully title card.png
43b "The Bully" October 5, 2001
N/A
Flats the Flounder joins SpongeBob's boating class.
Nasty Patty title card.png
44a "Nasty Patty" March 1, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs create a tainted Krabby Patty.
Idiot Box title card.png
44b "Idiot Box" March 1, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob and Patrick play with a box.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV title card.png
45a "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" January 21, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob plays with Mermaid Man's secret utility belt.
Doing Time title card.png
45b "Doing Time" January 21, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob and Patrick try to break Mrs. Puff out of jail.
Snowball Effect title card.png
46a "Snowball Effect" February 22, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob and Patrick have a snowball fight.
One Krabs Trash title card.png
46b "One Krabs Trash" February 22, 2002
N/A
Mr. Krabs sells SpongeBob a soda drinking hat.
As Seen on TV title card.png
47a "As Seen on TV" March 8, 2002
N/A
The Krusty Krab airs its first commercial.
Can You Spare a Dime? title card.png
47b "Can You Spare a Dime?" March 8, 2002
N/A
Squidward quits his job.
No Weenies Allowed title card.png
48a "No Weenies Allowed" March 15, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob tries to get into The Salty Spitoon.
Squilliam Returns title card.png
48b "Squilliam Returns" March 15, 2002
N/A
Squidward tries to convince Squilliam that he owns a five-star restaurant.
Krab Borg title card.png
49a "Krab Borg" March 29, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob and Squidward think Mr. Krabs is a robot.
Rock-a-Bye Bivalve title card.png
49b "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" March 29, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob and Patrick care for a baby scallop.
Wet Painters title card.png
50a "Wet Painters" May 10, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob and Patrick paint the inside of Mr. Krabs' house.
Krusty Krab Training Video title card.png
50b "Krusty Krab Training Video" May 10, 2002
N/A
A training video for future employees of the Krusty Krab.
Party Pooper Pants title card.png
51 "Party Pooper Pants" May 17, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob throws a house party.
Chocolate with Nuts title card.png
52a "Chocolate with Nuts" June 1, 2002
N/A
SpongeBob and Patrick sell chocolate bars.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V title card.png
52b "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V" June 1, 2002
N/A
Barnacle Boy joins the dark side.
New Student Starfish title card.png
53a "New Student Starfish" September 20, 2002
N/A
Patrick joins SpongeBob's boating school.
Clams title card.png
53b "Clams" September 20, 2002
N/A
A clam eats Mr. Krabs' millionth dollar.
Ugh title card.png
54 "Ugh" March 5, 2004
N/A
SpongeGar, Patar, and Squog discover fire.
The Great Snail Race title card.png
55a "The Great Snail Race" January 24, 2003
N/A
Bikini Bottom holds a snail race.
Mid-Life Crustacean title card.png
55b "Mid-Life Crustacean" January 24, 2003
N/A
Mr. Krabs has a mid-life crisis when he realizes that he is old.
Born Again Krabs title card.png
56a "Born Again Krabs" October 4, 2003
N/A
Mr. Krabs encounters the Flying Dutchman.
I Had an Accident title card.png
56b "I Had an Accident" October 4, 2003
N/A
SpongeBob breaks his butt while sand-sledding.
Krabby Land title card.png
57a "Krabby Land" April 3, 2004
N/A
Mr. Krabs builds a junky playground.
The Camping Episode title card.png
57b "The Camping Episode" April 3, 2004
N/A
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
N/A
SpongeBob loses his name tag.
Plankton's Army title card.png
58b "Plankton's Army" January 19, 2004
N/A
Plankton enlists the help of his cousins to steal the Krabby Patty formula.
The Sponge Who Could Fly title card.png
59 "The Sponge Who Could Fly" March 21, 2003
N/A
SpongeBob wishes he could fly with the jellyfish.
SpongeBob Meets the Strangler title card.png
60a "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler" October 11, 2004
N/A
A criminal attempts to get revenge on SpongeBob.
Pranks a Lot title card.png
60b "Pranks a Lot" October 11, 2004
N/A
SpongeBob and Patrick use invisibility spray to play pranks on the citizens of Bikini Bottom.


Trivia

  • There were three years and six days between the airing of the season 3 premiere and finale. The only season that took longer to air is season 9 with four years, seven months, and one day.
  • To date, this is the only season in which the APM tracks "Gator" and "Hello Blues" do not play.

References

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