- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Mermaid Man (cameo in a magazine)
- Barnacle Boy (cameo in a magazine)
- Magazine characters (debut) (cameo in a magazine)
- Pink silhouetted lady
- Circus tamer
- Gary the Snail
- French Narrator
- Sandy Cheeks
- Eugene H. Krabs (cameo on a billboard)
- Incidental 154 (normal and three different-colored variants)
- Incidental 92
- Incidental 87
- Incidental 91
- Incidental 65
- Incidental 67
- Incidental 68
- Incidental 69
- Incidental 73
- Incidental 29
- Incidental 82
- Incidental 28
- Incidental 107
- Incidental 48
- Incidental 49A
- Incidental 49
- Incidental 60
- Incidental 63
- Incidental 9
- Incidental 103
- Incidental 31
- Incidental 108
- Incidental 8
- Incidental 36
- Incidental 45
- Incidental 37A
- Incidental 37B
- Incidental 17
- Incidental 151
- Incidental 102
- Incidental 30
- Incidental 41
- Incidental 42
- Incidental 32
- Incidental 11
- Incidental 23
- Incidental 22
- Incidental 3
- Incidental 114
- Incidental 106 (Incidental 107-colored)
- Incidental 6
- Incidental 13
- Incidental 18
- Incidental 12
- Incidental 90
- Incidental 94
- Incidental 27
- Incidental 86
- Incidental 2
- Incidental 105
- Incidental 119
- Incidental 39
- Incidental 10
- Incidental 152
- Incidental 15
- Incidental 93
- Incidental 150
- Incidental 153
- Incidental 21
- Incidental 25
- Incidental 26
- Incidental 157
- Incidental 16
- Incidental 22
- Incidental 158
- Incidental 85
- Incidental 104
- Incidental 20
- Incidental 115
- Incidental 71 (dark green)
- Incidental 5
- Incidental 4
- Incidental 47
- Incidental 34
- Fire fish
- Patrick Star
The episode starts with SpongeBob being bored because Patrick is away. He then finds a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy comic lying on the floor and reads the section about pen pals. He then decides to write a letter, although Gary's slime goes all over it having a nap, making the word "frying" look like "flying."
SpongeBob is then seen waiting inside his mailbox a few days later and immediately goes to read the letter the pen pal sent. When SpongeBob reads it, he realizes the pen pal misinterpreted frying as flying, and then reads on and sees that he is dying. After thinking about how it could affect him, he decides not to break the news and write back with another lie.
Another few days later, SpongeBob receives the next letter, and it says that the pen pal wants to see him fly at the Bikini Bottom air show. And that he is dying! Not knowing what to do, he goes to Sandy to seek help. She suggests learning to fly, which SpongeBob happily goes along with, but, when faced with the simulator, is not very good at it and breaks it while crashing into his pineapple house. It is the same when he actually flies, but Sandy decides that it is good enough.
At the air show, SpongeBob is there and comes across an old person in a wheelchair who he presumes is the "pen pal," but they actually turn out to be an old man choking on a Krabby Patty.
SpongeBob is then announced to be up next and gets on the plane, revising what he is going to do, before he is confronted by Steve, who is dressed as death.
SpongeBob then goes to take off, as Patrick is running nearby and reveals that he is the "pen pal," along with the other page of the letter. They both throw the letters up into the air, but they fly into SpongeBob's face, making him lose control and risk crashing many times until they eventually crash, and the fire department arrives.
SpongeBob and Patrick walk away, with Patrick listing what else he wanted to see, and the episode ends with chaos at the air show, with Sandy and the firemen putting out the fire.
- Sandy offering SpongeBob a pair of underwear whenever he is nervous.
|( ‣ ) Production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
• Wahini Wobble Full - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card.]
‣ Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob is bored]
• Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Oh, what's this?"]
‣ Arizona Fanfare - Jack Shaindlin [SpongeBob reading the Pen Pal article]
• Bikini Bottom Bound - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob writes a letter.]
‣ Victim 5 - Harry Lubin [SpongeBob's writing gets smudged by Gary]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks 4 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Eh, it's just a little slime."]
• Bikini Bottom Bound - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Mailman arrives]
‣ Drama Link (G) - Hubert Clifford [SpongeBob gasps]
‣ Dramatic Impact (6) - Ivor Slaney ["Dying!?"]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks 8B - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob cries]
• Funeral Parlor Music - Nicolas Carr [Pen Pal's funeral]
‣ Taps - ? [Pen Pal buried]
• I'm Ready Fanfare - Nicolas Carr ["Time to make Pen Pal's wish come true!"]
• A Pineapple Luau - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob writes another letter]
‣ Dramatic Impact (2) - Ivor Slaney ["...so I can finally see you fly!?"]
‣ Dramatic Cue (G) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob panics]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks 30 - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob trickles]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks 1A - Jeremy Wakefield ["Take these, they're clean."]
‣ Drama Link (C) - Hubert Clifford [SpongeBob struggles to say Sandy he lied]
‣ Drama Link (E) - Hubert Clifford ["I lied!"]
• The Fruitcake Vendor - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Sandy asks SpongeBob to explain]
• Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob rapidly explains]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks 25C - Jeremy Wakefield ["Really?"]
• Unknown Track 72 - Video game music
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks 17C - Jeremy Wakefield [Sandy notices SpongeBob's gone]
‣ Dignity - Peter Yorke [Wooden plane takes off]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks 15 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Did I do it?"]
‣ Victory Parade - Ronald Hanmer [At the air show]
• Suspended Suspense - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob going over what to do]
‣ Shock (F) - Dave Hewson [Grim reaper next to SpongeBob]
• Seaweed 2 - Steve Belfer [A scythe salesman is revealed.]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks 1A - Jeremy Wakefield ["No, it's still not that."]
‣ Adventure Fanfare 1 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["You'll be, uh...just fine, yeah!"]
‣ Air Power - Sidney Sager [Plane takes off]
• Grass Skirt Chase - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick reveals to be SpongeBob's pen pal]
• Slide Whistle Stooges - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob loses control of the plane]
‣ Bloodbath - Harry Lubin [Plane breaks down]
• Nude Sting - Nicolas Carr [Empty fuel tank]
• Cream Pie - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [ending]
- This episode is available on The Complete Ninth Season, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 16, The Best 200 Episodes Ever, and Next 100 Episodes DVDs.
- This episode was originally going to be titled as "Pen Pals."
- This is the first episode to use "Wahini Wobble" as the title card music since "SpongeBob's Last Stand."
- This is the second episode where SpongeBob wants to fly. The first was "The Sponge Who Could Fly."
- However, he is able to fly successfully in this episode, unlike in "The Sponge Who Could Fly."
- The fourth wall is broken when the airplane SpongeBob and Patrick are flying in stops when it runs out of gas just before it hits the ground and remains suspended mid-flight. Patrick refuels the gas tank, and the plane continues and smashes into the ground.
- The title comes from Gary smearing his slime on SpongeBob's mail letter.
- It also comes from the phrase "snail mail," which is what some users of the Internet use to refer to the standard postal service, as it is slower and less reliable than e-mail.
- Gary does not deliver the mail, even though an early promotional image showed him doing so.
- The episode was never about Gary delivering mail.
- Unlike in "Chocolate with Nuts," Incidental 154 is not scared when he opens a mailbox and sees SpongeBob's face.
- The red airplane slightly based on Soviet World War II fighter, Polikarpov I-16.
- Incidental 86 is known as "Frail Fish" in this episode.
- The plane that SpongeBob crashes into during his flight is a real-life airliner: the Airbus A320, however the tail was taken from Boeing 737.
- Additionally, this is one of the first appearances of a realistic-looking airliner in the show.
- This is the only season 9 episode to use the track "Hawaiian Cocktail."
- On the April 1, 2017 airing, this episode was paired with "Squirrel Jokes."
- The one-cent stamp from "Kracked Krabs" can be seen on the top-right corner of the title card for this episode.
- This episode is similar to "Dying for Pie," because in both episodes, a character wants to do something for someone because of a misunderstanding that involves the other person dying.
- When SpongeBob is about to write a letter to his pen pal, he is shown sharpening a pencil with his mouth like a pencil sharpener. This is similar to how DoodleBob sharpens the Magic Pencil with his own mouth in "Frankendoodle."
- The running gag of Sandy offering SpongeBob a pair of underwear when he is nervous is a reference to "Oral Report," where Sandy gives a pair of underwear with goggles to SpongeBob that make him see people in their underwear. She gives this because according to her studies, it makes a person less nervous talking in public when they see people in their underwear. This is because SpongeBob has an oral report at Mrs. Puff's Boating School.
- SpongeBob writes his name as "Spongebob Squarepants," when grammatically it should be "SpongeBob SquarePants."
- When the ice cream splats on the firefighters and Sandy, the ice cream is on Sandy's face even though she is wearing her helmet.
- When Patrick fills the plane, a gas port is seen. In the next shot, it is not there.
- In the scene where SpongeBob tries to fix the flap, there is not one on the other wing. Also, in the next scene, the broken flap disappears.
- When SpongeBob is writing his first letter, there are a couple of shots where his eyes turn green then back to normal.
- This is fixed on the DVD version.