The fourth season of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants, created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, was announced in November 2004. It premiered on May 6, 2005 with the episodes "Fear of a Krabby Patty" and "Shell of a Man," and ended on July 24, 2007 with the episode "Squid Wood."
Unlike the previous seasons' DVDs, season 4's was split into volumes. The volume one DVD was released in Region 1 on September 12, 2006, the volume two DVD was released in Region 1 on January 9, 2007, the season set was released its entirety in Region 2 on November 3, 2008, and on November 13, 2012, the entire collection of episodes from season 4 was released on DVD in Region 1.
Although series creator Stephen Hillenburg wanted the show to end after release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie to prevent it from "jumping the shark" and because SpongeBob SquarePants had peaked with the first movie, Nickelodeon wanted more episodes to be produced in accordance with high ratings and series-based merchandise sales. Thus, the show was renewed for a fourth season. However, Hillenburg resigned as the showrunner and appointed Paul Tibbitt.
In November 2004, Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, and the rest of the crew confirmed that they had completed four new episodes for broadcast on Nickelodeon in early 2005, and planned to finish about 20 total for the then-fourth season. In particular, Kenny said, "Kids were happy watching them for the 3,000th time. It was the parents who've been busting my chops for new episodes." He remarked that it would be "the same show, the same sponge."
|Title card||#||Title||U.S. airdate||U.S. viewers|
|61a||"Fear of a Krabby Patty"||May 6, 2005|
|The Krusty Krab opens up for 24 hours as part of Plankton's plan.|
|61b||"Shell of a Man"||May 6, 2005|
|Mr. Krabs molts and loses his shell.|
|62a||"The Lost Mattress"||May 13, 2005|
|SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward try to get back Mr. Krabs' lost mattress.|
|62b||"Krabs vs. Plankton"||May 13, 2005|
|Plankton sues Mr. Krabs.|
|63||"Have You Seen This Snail?"||November 11, 2005|
|Gary runs away from home after being neglected by SpongeBob.|
|64a||"Skill Crane"||May 20, 2005|
|Squidward attempts to win a prize from the skill crane.|
|64b||"Good Neighbors"||May 20, 2005|
|SpongeBob and Patrick annoy Squidward with their "Good Neighbor Club."|
|65a||"Selling Out"||September 23, 2005|
|Mr. Krabs retires and leaves the Krusty Krab under new management.|
|65b||"Funny Pants"||September 30, 2005|
|SpongeBob thinks he lost his laughter.|
|66||"Dunces and Dragons"||February 20, 2006|
|After a jousting accident, SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally travel back in time to the Middle Ages.|
|67a||"Enemy In-Law"||October 14, 2005|
|Plankton falls in love with Betsy Krabs.|
|67b||"Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture"||October 7, 2005|
|SpongeBob and Patrick make a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy movie.|
|68a||"Patrick SmartPants"||October 21, 2005|
|Patrick gets smarter after he is screwed into the wrong brain.|
|68b||"SquidBob TentaclePants"||November 4, 2005|
|SpongeBob and Squidward get morphed together.|
|69a||"Krusty Towers"||April 1, 2006|
|Mr. Krabs turns the Krusty Krab into a hotel.|
|69b||"Mrs. Puff, You're Fired"||April 1, 2006|
|Mrs. Puff gets fired and is replaced by a stricter teacher.|
|70a||"Chimps Ahoy"||May 5, 2006|
|Sandy's bosses visit to see her inventions.|
|70b||"Ghost Host"||May 5, 2006|
|The Flying Dutchman stays with SpongeBob to reclaim his dignity.|
|71a||"Whale of a Birthday"||May 12, 2006|
|Mr. Krabs sends SpongeBob to get Pearl a birthday present.|
|71b||"Karate Island"||May 12, 2006|
|SpongeBob becomes "the king of karate" and travels to Karate Island with Sandy.|
|72a||"All That Glitters"||June 2, 2006|
|SpongeBob breaks his spatula and is forced to replace it.|
|72b||"Wishing You Well"||June 2, 2006|
|Mr. Krabs opens a wishing well at the Krusty Krab in an attempt to make money.|
|73a||"New Leaf"||September 22, 2006|
|Plankton turns the Chum Bucket into a gift shop.|
|73b||"Once Bitten"||September 29, 2006|
|Gary's biting causes the Bikini Bottomites to think that he has a disease.|
|74a||"Bummer Vacation"||October 13, 2006|
|Mr. Krabs forces SpongeBob to take a vacation to avoid paying a fine.|
|74b||"Wigstruck"||November 17, 2006|
|SpongeBob finds a wig and starts wearing it.|
|75a||"Squidtastic Voyage"||October 6, 2006|
|SpongeBob and Patrick travel inside Squidward to retrieve his clarinet reed.|
|75b||"That's No Lady"||November 25, 2006|
|Patrick is disguised as a woman.|
|76a||"The Thing"||January 15, 2007|
|SpongeBob and Patrick think Squidward is an animal and call him "Smelly."|
|76b||"Hocus Pocus"||January 15, 2007|
|SpongeBob thinks he turned Squidward into an ice cream cone.|
|77a||"Driven to Tears"||February 19, 2007|
|Patrick gets his driver's license and rubs it in SpongeBob's face.|
|77b||"Rule of Dumb"||February 19, 2007|
|Patrick becomes a mean tyrant when he is crowned king.|
|78a||"Born to Be Wild"||March 31, 2007|
|SpongeBob and Patrick think that vicious bikers are coming to Bikini Bottom.|
|78b||"Best Frenemies"||March 31, 2007|
|A new restaurant called Kelpshake opens in Bikini Bottom.|
|79a||"The Pink Purloiner"||February 19, 2007|
|SpongeBob accuses Patrick of stealing his jellyfishing net.|
|79b||"Squid Wood"||July 24, 2007|
|SpongeBob makes a miniature Squidward and everyone likes him better.|
|80a||"Best Day Ever"||November 10, 2006|
|SpongeBob's "best day ever" does not go as planned.|
|80b||"The Gift of Gum"||February 19, 2007|
|Patrick gives SpongeBob a glob of gum for Best Friends Day.|
- Squidward has the most appearances in this season, only being absent in "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired," "Driven to Tears," "The Pink Purloiner," and only appearing as Squidly Tentacles in "Dunces and Dragons" and being heard off-screen in "Chimps Ahoy."
- To date, Season 4 is the only season of the whole show that did not begin airing while the previous season was still airing, having premiered seven months after Season 3 ended.
- This is the first season where the tracks “Oyster Girls”, “Dramatic Climax” and “War Blowers” do not play.
- ^ Heintjes, Tom (September 21, 2012). The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants. Cartoonician. Retrieved on February 15, 2018.
- ^ Bauder, David (July 13, 2009). SpongeBob Turns 10 Valued $8 Billion. Retrieved on February 15, 2018.
- ^ a b 10 secrets of SpongeBob SquarePants. The Chicago Tribune (November 19, 2004). Retrieved on August 18, 2013.
- ^ a b Ten secrets of the SpongeBob movie. Today. Retrieved on August 18, 2013.
- ^ a b SPONGEBOB READY FOR HIS FOURTH TV SEASON. The Cincinnati Post (May 2, 2005). Retrieved on November 2, 2013.