Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
If you were looking for the article about the book, then see Tea at the Treedome (book).
If you were looking for the article about the DVD, then see Tea at the Treedome (DVD).

"Tea at the Treedome" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 1. In this episode, SpongeBob meets Sandy Cheeks and convinces her that he can be fine with air, but is instantly proven wrong.



The episode starts with SpongeBob jellyfishing, only to stumble upon a land squirrel fighting a clam. He attempts to save her, but she saves herself just before the clam eats SpongeBob. After the squirrel saves SpongeBob, the two greet each other and start bonding. When he notices the air helmet she uses to help her breathe, he convinces her that he likes air too. Afterwards, Sandy tells SpongeBob to come over to her treedome for tea and cookies, and gives him a map of where her treedome is.

"Pinky out."

SpongeBob goes to Patrick to tell him about what he went through. When Patrick hears from SpongeBob that Sandy was talking about the air, he thinks that it is fancy talk, and that he needs to be fancy by putting his pinky out. The next day, SpongeBob arrives to Sandy's home, but when he goes inside, he realizes the treedome is entirely filled with air. SpongeBob starts having trouble breathing, but will not admit this to Sandy.

As Sandy is showing her house, SpongeBob attempts to use a birdbath to absorb water, only for the bird to get angry. Patrick reminds him to put his pinky out, and SpongeBob also brings flowers for Sandy. SpongeBob asks Sandy for water when she asks if he needs anything, but misinterprets this as needing a vase with water inside for the flowers. When Sandy leaves, SpongeBob desperately wants to get out of the treedome, but before he gets out, he gets enough optimism to continue staying the treedome despite the lack of water.

"What kind of place is this?!"

Sandy comes back with the water vase for the flowers, and starts talking to SpongeBob again. When the oven inside her treedome goes on, Sandy leaves again. SpongeBob starts wondering if he needs the water in the vase, repeatedly telling himself he does not need it, but eventually decides that he does need it. SpongeBob drinks all the water and tries to go outside again, only for Patrick to come inside and prevent him from doing so. He says that everything will be fine, but as he walks and stays inside the treedome, he starts choking due to the lack of water.

The two attempt to get out, and when Sandy comes to them with some tea and cookies, she is shocked when she sees the two have dried up. Sandy quickly brings water helmets for them so they can survive in the treedome and tells them if they needed water, then they should've asked for it. The trio happily drink some tea while the episode ends.

Running gags

  • Patrick constantly telling SpongeBob to hold up his pinky finger, all just to be fancy.
  • SpongeBob trying to have water.


Creation of Sandy

She was originally created by Stephen Hillenburg as "a strong female character that could be a friend to SpongeBob but not a love interest."[citation needed] However, when Tim Hill helped Hillenburg created a pitch bible for SpongeBob in 1996, it was suggested that a hint of romance should be added between SpongeBob and Sandy. This idea was included in the bible, but Hillenburg eventually decided against Sandy being a love interest in the show.




 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Moloka'i Nui A - Kapono Beamer [Title card]
  SpongeBob Closing Theme - Steve Belfer, Nicolas Carr [Opening]
  On Fire - Gregor F. Narholz [Sandy fights a giant clam]
  Death Trap [#27.2] - Gregor F. Narholz [The clam attacks Sandy]
  The Adventure Begins - Jonathan Neal ["You have fought well, giant clam."/SpongeBob continues trying to open the clam]
  Wild Panic [#39] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Your shell is mine!"]
  Return Of The Surfin' Headhunters - The Mel-Tones ["Hold on there, little square dude."]
  Moloka'i Nui A - Kapono Beamer [Sandy introduces herself to SpongeBob]
  Heroes Win [#34] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Oh, yeah? Watch this!"]
  12th Street Rag - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Sandy invites SpongeBob over to her treedome for tea and cookies]
  Cocktail Lounge - Dick Stephen Walter ["That's just fancy talk."]
  Armed Attack 3 - Mladen Franko [SpongeBob bangs on Sandy's door]
  Merlins Hill - Jennifer Jones [Harp music is heard]
  Aloha - Dick Stephen Walter ["Course there's no water."]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [Sandy gives SpongeBob a tour]
  Hippo's In My Bath - Richard Myhill ["Pinky, pinky!"]
  Dead March 2 - Frederic Chopin, Alfred Kluten ["I brought you some flowers."]
  Encirclement - Jean Clero ["I gotta get out of here!"]
  Merlins Hill - Jennifer Jones ["I like you, SpongeBob."]
  Encirclement - Jean Clero [SpongeBob struggles to open the door]
  Cocktail Lounge - Dick Stephen Walter ["When in doubt, pinky out."]
  Tribute To The King - Gregor F. Narholz ["I don't need water! Water's for quitters!"]
  Action Cut A - Gregor F. Narholz ["I don't need it... I don't need it..."]
  Kung Fu Saturdays - The Mel-Tones ["I need it!"/"What kind of place is this?!"]
  Dramatic Cue (H) - Ronald Hanmer [Sandy sees that SpongeBob and Patrick are dried up]
  You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Ending]



"This one introduced Sandy (Carolyn Lawrence). Nick Jennings' painting of crusty, dried out SpongeBob is classic. Also, Patrick's exhorting SpongeBob to keep his "pinky up," oblivious to the fact that SpongeBob is freaking out."



Original title card.

  • An original title card with a different background and font colors can be found on the SuperSponge asset discs. It is the only title card on the discs that does not match its final version. It was never used in the episode or shown on TV.

Edgar Larrazabal version.

Tom Yasumi version.

Tom Yasumi credited in the original airing.

  • In early reruns, the Tales from the Deep DVD, and the Deep Sea Sillies VHS releases of this episode, Edgar Larrazábal was credited as the animation director instead of Tom Yasumi.[6][7] In the original airing on May 1st, 1999 and on The Complete 1st Season DVD, The First 100 Episodes DVD, 10 Happiest Moments DVD versions, and in subsequent reruns, Tom Yasumi was credited as the animation director.
    • This is also Yasumi's first episode credited as an animation director.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of a female main character.
  • Sandy's tail isn't shown throughout the first season when she is in her water protection suit, but every season onward has her tail shown even with her suit on starting with "Wormy."
  • In this episode, SpongeBob and Sandy meet as adults; however, in the Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years spinoff, they meet as children, which is not canon to the original series. This inconsistency was explained in the episode "Kitchen Sponge."
  • The scene that shows SpongeBob completely dehydrated due to lack of water and attempting to not take the water from the flower vase but eventually saying, "I need it!" has become a popular internet meme.
    • The scene where Patrick carries dehydrated SpongeBob and get dehydrated himself then sickly yells “What kind of place is this!?!?!?!l” has also become an internet meme.
  • The water helmets have two openings in this episode.
  • Irony: Sandy tells SpongeBob that if he wanted water, he should have asked, even though SpongeBob did tell Sandy he wanted water.
  • The cels of the characters in this episode have thinner outlines than the rest of the season 1 episodes.
  • This was the first segment produced for season 1, after the pilot, which was produced before a season was ordered.
  • This is the first episode where Squidward does not appear, ergo making SpongeBob the only character who has appeared in every episode of the series.
    • However, Squidward does appear in the novelization of the episode.
  • This is the first episode that Doug Lawrence wrote.
  • This is the first episode that SpongeBob's glasses for jellyfishing/reading glasses are used.
  • This is the first episode to play the title card music within the actual episode (not counting the title card itself).
  • This is the first episode where SpongeBob and Patrick are shown to dehydrate without water and turn into a live-action sponge and sea star.
  • This is the first episode with no bubble transitions.
  • This is the first episode to use the tracks "You're Nice," "12th Street Rag," "Moloka'i Nui A," and "Hawaiian Cocktail," and play the "SpongeBob Closing Theme" outside of the ending credits.
  • This is the first episode to use an under angle (the shot of the drain in the Treedome entrance).
  • This is one of the few episodes to have the second door in Sandy's treedome be used.
    • In most of the rest of the series, it is just the door that is on the outside of the dome that is used, even though both doors still exist.
  • An image of SpongeBob starting to dry out is shown on the protective case of The SpongeBob SquarePants Experience: A Deep Dive into the World of Bikini Bottom.
    • A storyboard image also appears on the chapter 1 title page of the book.
  • The title of this episode is different in other dubs of the show.
    • In the Croatian dub, this episode is called "Čaj na svježem zraku," which translates to "Tea on the fresh air."
    • In the French dub, this episode is called "Asphyxies en chaîne," which translates to "Suffocated by string." This title has nothing to do with the English title.
    • In the Greek dub, this episode is called "Τσάι Στο Θόλο του Δέντρου," which translates to "Tea At the tree's Canopy."
    • In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, this episode is called "Chá em terra firme," which translates to "Tea on dry land."
    • In the Korean dub, this episode is called "새 친구 다람이," which translates to "New Friend Daramie." Daramie is Sandy's name in that dub.
  • In the Bahasa Indonesia dub, instead of saying, "I need it!," SpongeBob says, "I need water!"
  • During the Best Day Ever marathon, this episode was paired up with "Clams."[8]


  • When SpongeBob puts his binoculars away, his teeth turn yellow for one frame.
  • When SpongeBob says, "That little squirrel is in trouble," the left part of his belt is missing.
  • When Patrick tells SpongeBob how to be fancy, he lifts his right-hand pinky finger up. From the front view, the pinky is shown on the left side. From the back view, it is shown on the left side instead of the right and looks like SpongeBob is holding up one of his middle fingers instead of his pinky.
    • Also, in the next scene where SpongeBob and Patrick approach the treedome, SpongeBob then has his left hand up and it looks like is holding up his index finger rather than his pinky.
  • The red light on Sandy's front door where the water gets drained is not there when SpongeBob and Patrick first walk up to the treedome.
  • When SpongeBob tries to sneak away to Sandy's birdbath, his sunken-in eyes return to normal until after Sandy leaves.
  • The ice cubes in the vase should not be floating and sinking up and down.
  • When SpongeBob rockets into the air and bounces off the top of the treedome, what appear to be grid lines meet where SpongeBob ricochets. These lines are never seen on Sandy's treedome any other time in the episode or the series.
  • When Patrick tries to open the door to get out, and SpongeBob jumps on his back, his eyes are small dots, but when he falls underneath Patrick, his eyes are back to their original color.
  • In the scene where Sandy finds SpongeBob and Patrick dehydrated, if one goes frame by frame, she lifts up the plate to drop it before a shocked expression is seen on her face.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick dehydrate at the same time, even though Patrick was only there for about a minute.
  • Assuming that Sandy Cheeks is either a college student or graduate in marine biology, she would have already known that many sea-creatures, such as a sea sponge and a squid, could not survive in her dome without sea water.
  • Putting a teabag in that much water, the water helmets, would make it weak not strong.



Nickelodeon - SpongeBob promo (1999)



SpongeBob Needs Water! 💧 "I Don't Need It...I Need It" Full Scene