- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Dream SpongeBob
- Gary the Snail
- Jellyfish (mentioned)
- News reporter (cameo)
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Incidental 23 (cameo)
- Incidental 31
- Incidental 67
- Incidental 35
- Incidental 33
- Incidental 66 (debut)
- Fred (heard only)
- Sandy Cheeks
- Jackrabbit (mentioned)
- Patrick Star
- Doctor Patrick (debut)
- Wild scallops
- Dr. Gill Gilliam
- Hans (in-series debut)
- Tom Kenny (cameo)
The episode starts with SpongeBob asleep and dreaming about eating raining Krabby Patties. He awakens with a pillow fully in his mouth, realizing he is hungry, and makes himself a Sea-Nut Butter and jellyfish jelly sandwich as a midnight snack. However, he immediately falls asleep after the first bite, leaving the refrigerator open all night and freezing the entire house. By morning he develops the suds, a sponge-exclusive sickness similar to a cold or flu which causes bubbles to come out of him whenever he sneezes. Gary suggests he stay home, but SpongeBob stubbornly denies his illness and goes to work anyway.
At the Krusty Krab, the suds prevents SpongeBob from doing his job properly. When Mr. Krabs comes in to tell him off, the miser immediately notices that something is definitely wrong. When Mr. Krabs asks SpongeBob why he is discolored, Gary arrives to reveal that SpongeBob has the suds. Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob that he is too sick to work and orders him to return home and get some rest, saying that SpongeBob should not be sneezing all over the restaurant's food. Unfortunately, the customers overhear the conversation and panic. Mr. Krabs tries to calm them down, but all of them scramble out of the Krusty Krab, much to his dismay.
Once back at home, SpongeBob realizes he needs help, so he calls upon Sandy to take him to the doctor. She agrees, saying that she will be there "faster than a barefoot jackrabbit on a hot greasy griddle in the middle of August..." SpongeBob cuts her long-winded analogy short and simply thanks her. SpongeBob then dresses warmly in anticipation of going to the doctor, but is visited by Patrick, who thinks he is going skiing. SpongeBob explains that he is sick and going to the doctor.
Patrick warns him based off a third-hand anecdote that the doctor's office is "a horrible, horrible place" where they "make" one sit in the waiting room to read old magazines. SpongeBob, terrified, asks Patrick to be his doctor instead. "Doctor" Patrick begins to practice on him, starting by plugging up all of SpongeBob's holes so bubbles will no longer come out. However, this causes SpongeBob to inflate every time he sneezes. SpongeBob thinks this "treatment" is helping (when it is attacking symptoms rather than the underlying condition, perhaps making it worse), to Patrick's joy. With this SpongeBob decides to call Sandy and tell her not to come, but his fingers are too big and puffy for the buttons. He then asks Patrick to call Sandy and tell her not to come. He does so, but Sandy does not think Patrick's "care" is effective and continues coming. Patrick then tells SpongeBob to hurry up and feel better or else Sandy will take him to the doctor. He tries several ineffective "cures" to SpongeBob's suds, including turning his foot into a seanut butter sandwich, yanking a tooth out, bouncing on him like a trampoline, repeatedly placing and removing a large band-aid and even drawing and quartering, by which time Sandy has arrived. SpongeBob sneezes one more time, this time turning him into a perfectly round ball.
Sandy demands Patrick open the door, but Patrick rolls SpongeBob out the back door and disguises the patient as a duplicate of his house. Sandy questions Patrick as to why he suddenly has two houses. Patrick replies that he has too much stuff for one. She then questions why his "second house" has feet, Patrick responding that it is his "mobile home." SpongeBob then sneezes again, revealing himself. Patrick claim the “dirt therapy” is working just fine. Sandy says that he has to see a real doctor, but Patrick refuses, telling SpongeBob to "say "ahh" to show Sandy he is fine but, when SpongeBob does so, his breath damages a small ecosystem, which shows Sandy that he is even worse than she thought. Sandy takes this as proof that SpongeBob needs to go to a doctor. Sandy and Patrick then squabble over SpongeBob and accidentally fling him into the air.
Patrick asserts that everything was fine before Sandy arrived; Sandy retorts that he should be arrested for impersonating a doctor (and lying to his best friend). SpongeBob, meanwhile, bounces away and at the last second, comes to a stop in front of the Krusty Krab. Soon enough, the pressure from his plugged-up holes reaches a tipping point, and he sneezes violently, blasting the corks out of his holes and releasing a massive amount of bubbles, destroying the Krusty Krab, much to Mr. Krabs’ annoyance.
Sandy then takes SpongeBob to a real doctor, who prescribes the "sponge treatment," which is performed by a live human hand named Hans. This involves being rinsed with soap and used to scrub various objects and people, much to SpongeBob's delight. As Hans brings SpongeBob back to the clinic, the treatment cures him completely. SpongeBob exclaims that he loves the doctor, and he even receives a giant lollipop. Wanting a giant lollipop too, Patrick lies that he also has the suds, after blowing a bubble to prove it. The doctor is not fooled and sarcastically assures “Doctor Patrick” that a "special treatment" awaits him. Hans returns, puts soap on Patrick, and uses him to clean a cactus and then a toilet, as punishment for lying to SpongeBob about the doctor being horrible and making SpongeBob’s illness worse by impersonating a doctor. Patrick cries out, "Wait, this doesn't seem right!" as the screen fades to black, ending the episode.
- When SpongeBob sneezes, bubbles come out of his holes. When SpongeBob sneezes with the corks on him, he inflates.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Sugar Plum Fairy 59 - Richard A. Harvey [Title card]
‣ Kamakani (b) - Kapono Beamer [Opening]
‣ Merlins Hill - Jennifer Jones [SpongeBob's dream]
‣ Vibe Link (b) - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob wakes up]
‣ Hawaiian Holiday - Kapono Beamer [midnight snack]
‣ Footsteps of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [SpongeBob left the fridge open]
‣ Sugar Plum Fairy 59 - Richard A. Harvey [the house is frozen]
‣ Stack of Leis - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob's sick]
‣ Botany Bay (b) - Robert Alexander White [at the Krusty Krab]
‣ Tales from the Swamp (a) - Ron Goodwin [customers panic]
‣ Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob at home]
‣ Hilo March - The Hawaiian Serenaders [SpongeBob calls Sandy]
‣ Footsteps of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [Patrick tells scary story about doctor]
‣ Whisper from the Past [#64.02] - Gregor F. Narholz ["You gotta help me get better, Patrick."]
‣ Me for You - George Callert [plugging SpongeBob's pores]
• War Blowers - The Blue Hawaiians [treatment montage]
‣ Monks (a) - Dave Hewson [SpongeBob tied to rack]
• Seaweed 1 - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob disguised as Patrick's house]
• Grass Skirt Chase - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Sandy tries to take SpongeBob to the doctor]
‣ On Fire - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob rolling toward Krusty Krab]
‣ Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill [after SpongeBob sneezes]
‣ Good Bye Samba A - Ben Nabor [Sponge treatment]
‣ Pepito from Tampico A - Ronald Sekura, Otto Sieben [ending with Patrick's "treatment"]
- This episode is available on the Lost at Sea, Complete 1st Season, Karate Choppers, SpongeBob on DVD Volume 1, First 100 Episodes, Beach Bob, Exposed!: The Ultimate Box Set, Karate Cutting, The Sponge Of Terror, The Ultimate SpongeBob Box Set, The SpongeBob SquarePants Collection, The SpongeBob SquarePants 8 Season DVD Collection, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 2, The Complete First Season, Orange Collection, From the Beginning, Part 1, The First & Second Seasons, Movies & TV Collection, and The Best 200 Episodes Ever DVDs.
- This episode is also available on the Lost at Sea and The Sponge Who Could Fly VHS tapes.
- In fan-voted SpongeBob SquarePants marathons, "Suds" was ranked #61 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006 and #10 during The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash event from July 17–19, 2009.
- It was also ranked #13 during the "Top 100 Greatest Moments in Nicktoon History" countdown as part of Super Stuffed Nicksgiving Weekend.
- "Suds" was ranked #34 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.
- This episode's lead plot serves as a follow-up to "Sleepy Time" (its sister episode).
- This is the last episode to use a 1999 copyright date in the credits.
- This is the last episode to use the track Merlins Hill.
- This marks the first appearance of Hans outside of the theme song.
- This episode marks the first appearance of SpongeBob's wringer (though he does not use it).
- Suds is a parody of the common cold.
- Contrary to common misconception, it is not possible to come down with an illness by simply being exposed to the cold, which is how SpongeBob caught the suds. The worst disease that one can get from long exposure to the cold is hypothermia.
- There is a book based on this episode called SpongeBob Goes to the Doctor, also known as SpongeBob Gets the Suds!
- There is also an online game based on this episode called Deep Sea Surgeon.
- According to an interview in an issue of Nickelodeon Magazine, SpongeBob's voice actor, Tom Kenny, was very sick at the time of recording the lines for this episode. This made SpongeBob sound genuinely sick as well.
- "My leg!:" Everyone running panicked in the Krusty Krab when they thought SpongeBob sneezed on their food.
- When Patrick puts on gloves and covers them in water he says, "Don't touch me, I'm sterile!" Sterile meaning "free from living germs or microorganisms."
- An image from the part where Patrick says, "Don't touch me, I'm sterile!" is featured on the protective case of The SpongeBob SquarePants Experience: A Deep Dive into the World of Bikini Bottom.
- In real life, leaving your refrigerator open would not freeze your house. Leaving the fridge open would cause most food if not all to rot.
- Sandy was correct in stating it was illegal to impersonate a doctor (or practice medicine without a license) in most countries.
- The man who was in the shower during SpongeBob's treatment is Tom Kenny.
- SpongeBob mentions his experience with the suds again in "Whelk Attack."
- The car being washed during SpongeBob's treatment is a 1992 Honda Civic.
- This is one of the shortest time SpongeBob is seen at the Krusty Krab as he is sent home by Mr. Krabs for having the suds.
- If SpongeBob was sent home sick, then Mr. Krabs should have hired a temporary replacement cook to take over until he returns. In the series, in SpongeBob's absence, Mr. Krabs or Squidward typically prepares the orders instead.
- This is the first episode where the Krusty Krab appears without Squidward.
- This episode has the same opening credits as its sister episode.
- SpongeBob sneezes 19 times.
- In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Zapjenio se," which translates to "Foamed."
- In the Japanese dub, the episode name is "Kazehiki SpongeBob," which translates to "SpongeBob Catches a Cold."
- In the Azerbaijani dub, the episode name is "Köpük xəstəliyi," which translates to "Foam Disease."
- In the Serbian dub, the episode is called "Веома болесно (Veoma Bolesno)," which translates to "Very Sick."
- In the Indonesian dub, all the live action scenes were cut.
- In the European Portuguese dub, both this episode and "Bubblestand" are officially called "Bolhas," which translates to "Bubbles." Netflix distinguished the episodes by adding the Portuguese onomatopoeia "Atchim..." before this episode's translated title.
- This is the first SpongeBob title card to have bubbles as text.
- This episode was paired with different episodes:
- On the March 29, 2003 airing, this episode was paired with "Something Smells."
- On the November 10, 2006 airing, this episode was paired with "Gary Takes a Bath."
- In the shot when Patrick's second house is shown, Patrick's real house is gone.
- As the inflated SpongeBob ball begins to roll down the hill, one can see it leads straight for downtown Bikini Bottom. Then, it heads for the Krusty Krab somehow.
- When SpongeBob comes rolling down and crashing into the Krusty Krab, the Chum Bucket located across the street is nowhere to be seen.
- When SpongeBob is making his seanut butter and jelly sandwich, the jelly is already on the bread when he opens it.
- When Sandy and Patrick quarrel, Patrick's eyebrows are attached and opaque.
- Before SpongeBob's sneeze destroys the Krusty Krab, the five maritime flags are missing from the Krusty Krab and a flower was on the left-hand side of the Krusty Krab, but after he sneezes, the flags mysteriously reappear amongst the wreckage of the destroyed restaurant and the flower is gone.
- When SpongeBob begins to give the Krabby Patty and starts to sneeze for a split second, his left eyeball turns black.
- Throughout the episode SpongeBob's shoes are a light grey, instead of black.