- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Patrick Star
- PatBack (debut)
- Sandy Cheeks
- Sheriff Sandy (debut)
- Dirty Dan (debut) (mentioned)
- Pinhead Larry (debut) (mentioned)
Starting out the episode, SpongeBob and Patrick excitedly race to Sandy's treedome to hang out with her. However, the entire dome has a metal cover over it and a "Keep Out" sign on the front door. In the entryway, they find a TV, which turns on, and plays a video of Sandy dressed for bed, and gobbling on loads of acorns. The recording of Sandy explains that she is hibernating for the winter, and asks for no one to disturb her, including SpongeBob as she said so explicitly at the end of the video recording. However, even though prohibited to do so, Patrick opens the door anyway to reveal that the dome's environment is completely covered with snow.
Then SpongeBob and Patrick quickly take delight in the snow, even being able to remove their water helmets because of the snow's moisture. When they hear a strange noise from Sandy's treehouse, they go inside to investigate. They then discover that Sandy is many times her original size from eating loads of acorns, and is sleeping soundly. At first, their gentle prodding, and poking do nothing to wake her from her dreams of catching the outlaws Dirty Dan and Pinhead Larry.
Soon enough, though, their merrymaking takes its toll, and then Sandy suddenly wakes up, assaulting SpongeBob and Patrick in her sleepy stupor. Then she falls back to sleep in her bed. Patrick then makes a pair of earmuffs from his belly button lint, which SpongeBob places over Sandy's ears to prevent her from waking up.
Then SpongeBob and Patrick leave her room to continue playing in the snow. They pretend to be the outlaws from Sandy's dream, but then they start fighting over which one of them will play the part of being Dirty Dan. Their roughhousing knocks down Sandy's earmuffs off, allowing her to hear all the noise, and set upon them and attacks them in further half-asleep fury. Being battered and bruised, with the winter storm growing more intense, SpongeBob and Patrick try to leave, but then they find that the door's frozen shut, leaving them trapped in the wintery treedome.
Unable to escape or survive in the cold weather, they go into Sandy's room and, throwing caution to the wind, rip off all her fur. With their new fur-lined winter attire, SpongeBob proclaims that now they are ready for the "longest, coldest winter ever!" However, winter immediately comes to an end, and then Sandy wakes up with her winter pounds shed. Sandy sees SpongeBob and Patrick outside from her window and is excited to see them. She then comes out of her treehouse, and Sandy is initially surprised and confused to see SpongeBob and Patrick wearing her fur, but when she looks down at herself, she finds herself completely bald. SpongeBob and Patrick then realize that ripping her fur off was not a good idea, and now they have to suffer the consequences.
To punish SpongeBob and Patrick for what they did, Sandy forbids them from leaving, and drinks lemonade with them, with their bodies tightly wrapped around her to provide her new spring coat to keep her warm until her fur grows back, much to SpongeBob and Patrick's discomfort and dismay while the episode ends.
According to the audio commentary and in the storyboard, there is a deleted scene where Sandy's bed was hanging from the ceiling, and there was much more saliva/drool. Also stated in the audio commentary, the original title was "Survival of the Morons."
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Down by the Riverside - Jerry Burnham, Stephen Wade [Title card]
• Idea Vibe - Nicolas Carr [metal cover over treedome]
‣ Folli the Foal - Andrew Fenner [Sandy's on the eating chanel]
‣ Skaters Waltz - Emile Charles Waldteufel, George Wilson [snow inside treedome]
‣ Footsteps (b) - Dick Stephen Walter [Sandy snoring]
‣ Footsteps (c) - Dick Stephen Walter [Sandy snoring]
‣ Easy Days and Mellow Nights - Glen Sutton, Norris Wilson [Sandy talking in her sleep]
• Gator - Steve Belfer [Pat-back]
‣ Point of Departure K - Gregor F. Narholz [Sandy wakes up]
‣ Unpreventable - Gregor F. Narholz [Sandy roars]
‣ Easy Days and Mellow Nights - Glen Sutton, Norris Wilson [Sandy falls asleep again]
• Steel Licks 8 - Jeremy Wakefield ["All right, Pat!"]
• SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer, Nicolas Carr [testing the earmuffs]
‣ Hilo Rag - Guy Fletcher ["You're under arrest!"]
• Tension B/U - Nicolas Carr [Sandy wakes up]
‣ Monster Bug (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [Sandy backhands Patrick]
‣ Hog Fever (a) - Graham Preskett [Sandy chases SpongeBob]
• Death Bell - Nicolas Carr [tombstones]
‣ Time for Terror - Jack Dorsey [the lock is frozen]
‣ Face at the Window - Dick Stephen Walter ["...until the door thaws..."]
‣ Unease - Dick Stephen Walter ["...in spring."]
• Drowsy Reef - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob, Patrick freezing]
• Vibe Link - Nicolas Carr ["Maybe it's her fur!"]
• What's Up - Nicolas Carr [The live action squirrel is shown]
‣ Footsteps of Horror - William Merrick Farran ["Look at all that warm, toasty fur."]
‣ Night Chill - Dick Stephen Walter ["That should be enough, right?"]
‣ Reckless Rufus - Jerry Burnham, Stephen Wade, Tom Layton [roll of tape]
‣ Spring Song - Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fiachra Trench [spring arrives]
‣ Hog Fever (a) - Graham Preskett [the lock is still frozen]
‣ Fingerpickin' - John David Edmed, Vic Flick [closeups of SpongeBob and Patrick wearing fur]
‣ House of Horror - William Merrick Farran [Sandy screams]
‣ Curse of Evil 2 [#46.02] - Gregor F. Narholz ["SpongeBob... Patrick..."]
‣ Down by the Riverside - Jerry Burnham, Stephen Wade [ending]
- This episode is available on the Christmas, Complete 2nd Season, Nick For the Holidays!, Christmas DVD Double Pack, Bundled Up in Bikini Bottom, Holiday Cruise Collection, Christmas Who?, First 100 Episodes, Underwater Driving, Holidays with SpongeBob 3-DVD Gift Set, The Ultimate SpongeBob Box Set, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 3, Complete Second Season, From the Beginning, Part 1, The SpongeBob SquarePants Collection, The SpongeBob SquarePants 8 Season DVD Collection, The First & Second Seasons, and The Best 200 Episodes Ever DVDs.
- This episodes is also available on the Christmas VHS tape.
- "Survival of the Idiots" was ranked #34 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.
- In Bahasa Indonesia, in the scene where Sandy is infuriated when SpongeBob and Patrick steal her fur, she grunts rather than mentioning their names, though its airing in Indonesia shows her yell their names out of anger along with grunts.
- The graves of Dirty Dan and Pinhead Larry make an appearance in the episode "Shopping List."
- Also in that episode, Sandy's fur is used to provide warmth to the Yeti Krab after SpongeBob removes some of its own hair for the shopping list.
- According to the audio commentary, Aaron Springer considers this episode as the successor to "Prehibernation Week."
- In the pilot episode of FOX's drama series Fringe, the beginning of this episode can be seen briefly.
- In the audio commentary for the episode, a storyboard artist, C.H. Greenblatt, had admitted to being lazy with having to draw the water helmets for SpongeBob and Patrick after they got into Sandy's treedome for the rest of the episode. Because of this, there is a scene where Patrick and SpongeBob take them off in the treedome because they realize that the snow melts to water. However, when it later becomes spring, SpongeBob and Patrick are still not wearing their water helmets in the treedome.
- In the Arabic dub, this episode is called "ألم السنجاب "(alam alssanjab)," which translates to "Squirrel Death."
- In the Polish dub, this episode's title is "Nie dla głupoli," which translates to "Not for Idiots."
- In the Croatian dub, this episode is called "Kako Preživjeti?," which translates to "How to Survive?"
- In the Czech dub, this episode is called "Zimní spánek," which translates to "Winter sleep."
- In the Russian dub, this episode is called "Уроки выживания", which translates to "Lessons of Survival". The previous name "Выживание идиотов" translates to the original English title and it used until 2018. The episode title was changed due to the censorship against the usage of rude words.
- This episode was paired with "Wormy" during the Massive Monster Mayhem Marathon.
- Patrick breaks the fourth wall when he points to his dizzy clouds of chicken and said "hot wings" after he gets hit by Sandy.
- Patrick making a realistic face and saying "Who are you calling Pinhead?" has become a popular internet meme.
- "Patback" has become a meme as well.
- This is the first official episode where Sandy is not seen outside of her treedome.
- This is the second time Sandy appears without her helmet.
- On the July 25, 2020 airing on Nicktoons, this episode was paired with "Snowball Effect."
- The title is a pun on the phrase "survival of the fittest.
- When spring arrives, SpongeBob and Patrick are not wearing helmets and do not dry up.
- Similarly, earlier in the episode, when they depend on snow for hydration, they are not affected by the lack of snow while inside Sandy's tree.
- After Sandy grabs SpongeBob and Patrick the first time and goes back to bed, she is not wearing her blanket. The next time she appears, she is wearing it.
- When Sandy pounces on SpongeBob and Patrick, SpongeBob's feet and shoes are missing and Patrick has sharp Teeth.
- Sandy's lips do not move when she says "Oh, look, it's SpongeBob and Patrick!"
- When SpongeBob is standing next to Patrick, he has ice and snow on his head. When he runs to the tree, it vanishes. When he returns to his spot, it is back on his head as if it never left.
- When SpongeBob is in the hole and picks up a plank, there is another plank behind him. When the scene changes to Sandy, and back to SpongeBob, the plank is gone.
- At the end of the episode, just before the screen fades and zooms in from SpongeBob and Patrick to two empty glasses on the picnic table, the two glasses do not fade in and suddenly appear by one frame.
- In one frame, SpongeBob's mouth is offset.