- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Gary the Snail
- Jellyfish (mentioned)
- News reporter (cameo)
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Charlie (cameo)
- Clay (cameo)
- Harv (cameo)
- Purple dress fish (cameo)
- Two customers
- Sandy Cheeks
- Jackrabbit (mentioned)
- Patrick Star
- Doctor Patrick (debut)
- Wild scallops
- Purple Doctorfish
- Hans (in-series debut)
- Tom Kenny (cameo)
The episode starts with SpongeBob asleep and having a dream about Krabby Patties. He awakens hungry with his stomach growling and makes a Sea-Nut Butter and jellyfish jelly sandwich as a midnight snack. However, he 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 influenza and has bubbles come out of him whenever he sneezes. Gary suggests he stay home, but SpongeBob denies being sick and goes to work anyway. At work, he has a hard time doing his job, and when Mr. Krabs comes in to tell him off, Gary reveals that SpongeBob has the suds. Mr. Krabs then orders him to return home and get some rest, saying that he can't have him sneezing all over the food. Unfortunately, the customers overhear what Krabs just said and panic and all of them scramble out of the Krusty Krab, much to Krabs' 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 off and 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 that the doctor's office is "a horrible, horrible place" where they make you sit in the waiting room and read old magazines. SpongeBob, horrified, 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 won't come out. However, this causes SpongeBob to inflate every time he sneezes. SpongeBob thinks it's helping (but it's really making his suds worse) so he decides to call Sandy and tell her not to come, but his fingers are too puffy for the buttons. He then asks Patrick to call Sandy and tell her not to come. He does so, but Sandy doesn't buy it and continues coming. Patrick then tells SpongeBob to hurry up or else Sandy will take him to the doctor. He tries several things to cure SpongeBob's suds, including turning his foot into a sandwich, yanking a tooth, bouncing on him like a trampoline, repeatedly placing and removing a large band-aid and even putting him in a medieval torture device, 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 him as a duplicate of his house. Sandy questions Patrick as to why he has two houses. Patrick replies that he has too much stuff for one. She then questions why his house has feet, Patrick responding that it is his "mobile home." SpongeBob then sneezes again, revealing himself. Sandy says that he has to see a real doctor, but Patrick refuses, telling SpongeBob to "say "ahh" to show Sandy he's okay but, when he does so, his breath destroys an area of nature, showing Sandy that he's worse than she thought. Sandy takes this as proof that SpongeBob needs to go to a doctor. They 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. 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 becomes too much and he sneezes violently and destroys the Krusty Krab. 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. The treatment cures SpongeBob completely, and he even receives a lollipop. SpongeBob exclaims that he loves the doctor.
Wanting a lollipop, Patrick claims that he has the suds, after blowing a bubble to prove it. The doctor is not fooled and sarcastically assures him that a "special treatment" awaits "Doctor" Patrick. Hans returns, puts soap on Patrick, and uses him to clean a cactus and then a toilet. The episode ends with Patrick crying out, "Wait, this doesn't seem right!"
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ 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]
‣ Gator - 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, First 100 Episodes, and Karate Choppers DVDs.
- As of February 1, 2019, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.8/10 based on 504 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 8.9/10 based on 213 votes.
- In fan-voted SpongeBob SquarePants marathons, "Suds" was ranked #61 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006 and #10 during The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash event on July 17–19, 2009.
- Suds is a parody of the common cold/flu.
- 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.
- Although this episode premiered in 2000, it was made in 1999 according to the credits.
- This is also the last episode to be produced in that year.
- This episode was also the last one to be produced in the 1990s decade.
- This episode premiered in Canada on November 11, 2000.
- 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.
- "My leg!:" Everyone running panicked in the Krusty Krab when they thought SpongeBob sneezed on their food.
- Here is a list of Patrick's unsuccessful attempts to make SpongeBob better:
- Plugging his holes with corks.
- Putting peanut butter and bread on SpongeBob's feet.
- Tying one of SpongeBob's teeth to the door, then slamming it.
- Jumping on him.
- Putting a massive bandage on his back then ripping it off when SpongeBob says "No" and then puts it back on in a different position.
- Putting him in what looks like a medieval torture device.
- 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.”
- SpongeBob's treatment involves washing a man, a foot, dishes, a car, and the floor.
- The man who was in the shower during SpongeBob's treatment is Tom Kenny.
- The man showering appears to be the same man in "Neptune's Spatula."
- Patrick's painful treatment involves washing a cactus and a toilet.
- SpongeBob mentions his experience with the suds again in "Whelk Attack," meaning this episode takes place before that episode.
- This marks the first time that the Krusty Krab is featured in an episode without Squidward.
- This is the second episode to use an inverted image. In this episode, it occurred when the lightning went off in SpongeBob's dream. The first episode to use it was "Culture Shock," when the flash cameras went off at the end of the episode.
- This is the third episode of season one to use the Crowd Scream sound effect, the first two being "Scaredy Pants" and "Sleepy Time."
- 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 voiceover, 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."
- 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.
- This episode is similar to the Rocko's Modern Life (another Nickelodeon show and Stephen Hillenburg project) episode "Flu-In-U-Enza."
- Patrick says, "Please leave a message after the beep," which is a reference to old-fashioned phone answering machines.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the shot when Patrick's second house is shown, Patrick's real house is gone.
- 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 sneezes, bubbles come out of his holes. When SpongeBob sneezes with the corks on him, he inflates.